This and That – 01-14-17

Why Should Gospel-Loving People Care about Politics? – Can we say that we love our unborn neighbors if we have an opportunity to speak out for their lives, but don’t? Can we say that we love our neighbors living below the poverty line if we have an opportunity to speak out for their welfare, but don’t? Can we say that we love our trafficked and enslaved neighbors if we don’t work for their freedom? – Daniel Darling

7 Ways Smartphones Can Enhance Your Spiritual Life – Yet in watching out for the pitfalls of technology we should not overlook the ways that smartphones can be useful for spiritual formation. – Joe Carter

Three Questions to Ask Before Listening to Any Sermon – The challenge we always face is gospel drift, a gospel that imperceptibly glides into language that makes the answer to these three vital questions clouded and obscure. It requires attentiveness so that we do not float into a “hunch gospel” that uses a bunch of Christian jargon, all aiming at self-actualizing goals and satisfying felt needs, but at the same time failing to explain the core themes of God’s wrath or the essential purpose of Christ’s substitutionary blood. In other words, the natural drift of our thoughts is always being “led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ” (2 Corinthians 11:3). – Tony Reinke

7 Lies We Tell Our Children – IT WILL BE OK, I PROMISE.  This is the lie told with the best intentions. It is what we say when our children are frightened or hurt and we can’t do a thing about it. We cannot fix it. We cannot heal it. So we say, “the Sun will come out tomorrow” – it will be ok. But we don’t know that. Tomorrow might be worse. We cannot promise it will be ok. I mean, we know it will be ok because God promised it would be, but He didn’t promise we would feel better. – Barnabas Piper

It Was Every Bit as Good as I Hoped (Responding to David Mathis at Desiring God) – Yes, Jesus IS better than presents or a measly national championship. But reminding someone in the midst of joy that there’s an emptiness behind earthly joy—while technically right—seems to miss the intent of the moment. When Jesus tells us we should become like little children to enter the kingdom of God, it seems that he is—at least in part—pointing us to the innocent, freely enthusiastic joy that a child shows when she’s happy. – Joshua Pegram



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