IMG_5823 You may have noticed that it’s been a while since anything new showed up here. Over the past couple months, other things have taken precedent over blogging. Also over the past couple months, we’ve realized that this will have to be a long-term thing.

We have come to a point where children, work, church, and book projects are taking up pretty much all waking hours, which are intruding on our non-waking hours. In this season of life, something had to give, and that is blogging. Tim Challies (with the advice and support of his elders) recently stepped down from full-time pastoral work in order to make time for the blog which he runs so well and faithfully. Blogging takes hours of thought and typing time: we cannot sustain it and fulfill our other callings at present. Continue reading

The Sanctified Introvert

God gave us our personalities. In their sinless forms, each is perfectly suited for Kingdom use. In their fallen forms, they can be excuses for a lack of obedience in some aspect of Christian service. Extroverts can control and manipulate people; introverts avoid them. But as each personality becomes more Christ-like in sanctification, it becomes more useful to the Kingdom and a greater blessing to others. B. B. Warfield had some wise words for those of us who would rather not exert ourselves for other people:

“Self-sacrifice brought Christ into the world. And self-sacrifice will lead us, His followers, not away from, but into the midst of men. Wherever men suffer, there will we be to comfort. Wherever men fail, there will we be to uplift. Self-sacrifice means not indifference to our times and our fellows, it means absorption in them. It means forgetfulness of self in others. It means not that we should live one life, but a thousand lives—binding ourselves to a thousand souls by the filaments of so loving a sympathy that their lives become ours. Continue reading

Another Ordinary Pastor

Last Week in Canada 030Earlier this week, Tim Challies linked to this article. In the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church, each year the synod reads aloud obituaries of pastors who died in the past year. It is a way of honouring God’s faithfulness to them and an encouragement to ministers who are still serving. This is one of them.

Born to Scottish immigrants, William Campbell grew up in a loving, Presbyterian Church of Canada home in Ontario. While employed by a large newspaper, he married Maureen Dawson in the summer of 1956. During routine travel for work, he saw an entire family known for their immorality suddenly converted; Continue reading

Trusting Your Wise and Generous Father

Petronia_xanthocollis_at_BharatpurIn the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus teaches us about our heavenly Father. He describes the birds of the air, telling us that our heavenly Father feeds them, and aren’t we of more value than they are? In Matthew 6:32, after describing the pressures of our human need to obtain food, drink, and clothing, he reminds us that our heavenly Father knows that we need all these things. In Matthew 7:11, reflecting on prayer using the illustration of a child asking a father for food and receiving what is good, he says, “how much more will you Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!” Jesus tenderly and lovingly points us, and the crowds hearing him, to God the Father’s great care and love for his people. Continue reading

Pursuing Beauty

Life_Pharmacy_Westfield_Albany_cosmetics_2013_In 2008, the American YWCA published a report titled “Beauty At Any Cost”: “Every woman in the United States participates in a daily beauty pageant, whether she likes it or not. Engulfed by a popular culture saturated with images of idealized, air-brushed and unattainable female physical beauty”, women are daily pressured to join in the idolatry, even as men, through coveting or lusting, propel the cycle. Continue reading

Post-Christianity, Spurgeon’s Psalm Notes, and the Resurrection

Jerusalem_Tomb_of_the_Garden_Utilisateur_DjampaMany Christians are feeling the erosion of freedoms under post-Christianity in Western nations, or the lack of them in non-Christian nations. As we do, Psalm 2 provides a marvelous reminder of reality, snapping our present contexts into the broader present context. Here are some of Charles Spurgeon’s reflective notes on the Psalm:

“Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD and against his Anointed, saying, ‘Let us burst their bonds apart and cast away their cords from us.” (Psalm 2:1-4) Continue reading

Searching for Adam?

What is the root of our existence? Was there an Adam and Eve? Is their world a lost world, just beginning to be recovered?

How we answer these questions has vast implications for our theology and practice of life. It defines who we are, what God has done, and who God is. The gospel is connected to Genesis: there is the first Adam and the second Adam. Christ, the Eternal Son was intimately involved in the creative origin of humanity: “for by him all things were created… all things were created through him and for him.” (Colossians 1:16) Continue reading

James Gilmour of Mongolia

Gilmour_in_Chinese_DressOriginally from outside of Glasgow, Gilmour (1843–1891) decided to dedicate his life to bringing the gospel to the people of Mongolia. His giftedness and zeal were evident to his friends in college, and some were surprised that he would choose to work in obscurity in a physically difficult place. From his base in Peking (Beijing), Gilmour repeatedly went into Mongolia with little equipment, encouragement, few or no companions, but strong conviction:

“I have been thinking lately over some of the inducements we have to live for Christ, and to confess Him and preach Him before men, not conferring with flesh and blood. Why should we be trammelled by the opinions and customs of men? Continue reading