I couldn’t help but post this.
For tonight (June 17, 2013) only, Glorious Ruin by Tullian Tchivijian is available as a free .pdf download. I cannot recommend this book enough. You can read my review of the book here.
Located in Colorado Springs, David C Cook is very closely linked to many who have been personally affected by the recent wildfires within miles of our headquarters. While we don’t pretend to know the “why” behind these tragedies, we do know there is a “Who” that is there to suffer with us in our times of trial. With that in mind, we would like to offer a FREE PDF download of Tullian Tchividjian’s book to help aid anyone who might be wondering about the purpose of suffering in a believer’s life.
In this world, one thing is certain: Everybody hurts. Suffering may take the form of tragedy, heartbreak, or addiction. Or it could be something more mundane (but no less real) like resentment, loneliness, or disappointment. But there’s unfortunately no such thing as a painless life. In Glorious Ruin, best-selling author Tullian Tchividjian takes an honest and refreshing look at the reality of suffering, the ways we tie ourselves in knots trying to deal with it, and the comfort of the gospel for those who can’t seem to fix themselves—or others.
This is not so much a book about Why God allows suffering or even How we should approach suffering—it is a book about the tremendously liberating and gloriously counterintuitive truth of a God who suffers with you and for you. It is a book, in other words, about the kind of hope that takes the shape of a cross.
Click the image below to take you to the download page.
Spurgeon In Defense of Commentaries - “In order to be able to expound the Scriptures, and as an aid to your pulpit studies, you will need to be familiar with the commentators: a glorious army, let me tell you, whose acquaintance will be your delight and profit. Of course, you are not such wiseacres as to think or say that you can expound Scripture without assistance from the works of divines and learned men who have laboured before you in the field of exposition. If you are of that opinion, pray remain so, for you are not worth the trouble of conversion, and like a little coterie who think with you, would resent the attempt as an insult to your infallibility. It seems odd, that certain men who talk so much of what the Holy Spirit reveals to themselves, should think so little of what he has revealed to others. - Charles Spurgeon
The Evangelical Hustle - Would the apostle Paul ever google his own name? It is easy for us to look shocked and say no, of course not, but Jesus once asked His disciples about what the current rumors were (Luke 9:18), and whether #Elijah was trending. – Doug Wilson
The Dangers of Online Christianity - We lose something when we live off of podcasts: community. Living vicariously through the Internet is emotionally unhealthy and neglects the reality of our need for community. In fact, being in community in a local church reflects the eternal fellowship and community the Trinity has as Father, Spirit and Son. Furthermore, the author of Hebrews speaks to the importance of community, exhorting us to, “consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day [of the Lord's return] drawing near.” If you are living off of the preaching of your favorite podcast, not only are you living the Christian life in the opposite way intended for Christ followers, but you’re doing yourself harm in the process. - Chris Crane
As some of you already know, back in 2007 I ran a long-shot campaign for Congress on a third party ticket. Since then I have stayed somewhat involved in politics volunteering for campaigns and attending rallies here and there, even occasionally donating some money. Every once in a while I’m asked to speak at various political events. It’s no secret I love politics. However, this leads people to ask if I would ever consider running for office again. The answer is no. A flat no. Here are several reasons why:
- I’ve learned that you need more than just the right views to be an effective candidate, you need a plan – definite and specific steps and measures you would propose to actually deal with the problems you harp about. It’s not enough to have a good political philosophy or to be able to speak out on all of the problems are nation faces – you need to be someone who can step up to the plate and actually do something about it. I’m not that guy.
- Now that I live in the Mid-West, I feel compelled to mention I think all of your sports teams stink. Go Red Sox and Patriots.
- I’ve also learned that the issues our nation faces are much more complex than either side of the political divide would have you believe. No issue, whether it be anything from taxes to abortion, is a simple matter that one side is just 100% wrong about. Sticking to the talking points and appealing to the base is the lazy coward’s way out of long hours of research and deep thought. Our nation needs more than an empty suit.
- My wife would probably kill me, leave me or both…
- I don’t think I would appeal to anyone as a candidate. I’m too conservative for liberals, too liberal for conservatives, and too rigid for moderates. I don’t really have much of a base or political home.
- I’m pretty committed to a three or multi-party system. I’m not happy with either major party. They both have go to the extreme sections of their base because that’s where the money is. Party loyalty is placed above common sense. Our Founding Fathers purposefully gave us a style of government that requires compromise – which has become a dirty word. Parties today are more concerned with tearing down the other side than working with the other side. I don’t want to be a part of that. Introduce more parties to the system and that would force everyone to work together. However, many of the third parties out there are made up of the extremists the major parties will have nothing to do with. Even the legitimate third parties (one of which I used to belong to) don’t stand much of a chance because people will not vote for them. Americans have spoken, they don’t want third parties (even though polls suggest otherwise, actual votes speak louder than what people say in a survey).
- I’m broke.
- I’m probably way too extreme on some issues. I’m 100% pro-life and not really willingly to compromise on that. I’m really not all that far from chaining myself to a planned parenthood clinic. I’m for massive (i.e. reasonable/responsible) budget cuts in all areas leading to a balanced budget every year. By the way, I wouldn’t even think about a budget surplus as long as there was still a massive debt. It seems as though no one is really serious about true deficit and debt reduction. I’d also end the income tax. Sometimes I think these views would prevent me from even being elected dog-catcher.
- I don’t have any real connections with the higher ups, upper class or political bosses.
- Most importantly and the reason that trumps every other reason – I don’t believe it is the Lord’s will for my life. God has given me a desire to preach His word. Nothing else can compare to thrill I get every time I get behind a pulpit and have the chance to see God’s Word doing the work only it can do. I love to see the Holy Spirit change lives and convert to the uttermost those souls that seemed closest to hell. Only the ministry of the Word can have an eternal impact. That is my life’s ultimate desire. Success in the political arena cannot compare. I once heard a quote attributed to Charles Spurgeon that sums it up quite nicely, “If you have been called to preach, don’t stoop down to be a king.” I believe God’s calling on my life is ministry. My biggest fear in life is that someday after I’m gone I’ll only be remembered as that guy who was into politics. I would much rather be remembered as the guy who pointed others to see the glory of Christ and the greatness of His grace.
Don’t get me wrong, I do not believe that Christians ought to stay out of politics. I will still stay involved. In fact, I pray that more Christians would pay attention to the world around them and I even pray that God would raise up men who would run for office. I don’t regret my run for office. We need godly men and women in positions of power. I’m just not that guy.
Now the very best of John MacArthur’s Christian living titles have been updated to feature a fresh look and study guides for both personal and group reflection.
Am I really saved? Am I going to heaven? How can I know for sure? Every believer has wrestled with these questions at some point in their journey. Saved Without A Doubt,/i examines Scripture to uncover the truth of salvation, while addressing tough questions that can hinder our faith. Readers will develop a Bible-based theology of salvation and be encouraged to securely rest in their personal relationship with Christ.
Download the book here.
Desecration and Titillation - When you look at pornography you are watching the violation of what God considers more valuable than anything else he has created. It is a violation of all that person is, for sex is not only skin-deep but soul-deep. You are not only watching it but enjoying it, and not only enjoying it but being titillated by it. God says “I value her above all else because she is made in my image, in my likeness.” You watch her being humiliated and violated and desecrated and all the while fantasize about doing the same. God says “Of all I created there is nothing with more worth and dignity,” and you delight in her desecration and indignity. God says, “I hate it when her body and soul is stained” and you say, “It turns me on.” – Tim Challies
The Life Giving Crucifixion of a Disappointing Church - I have really benefited from reading the struggles of ministry from guys like Tullian Tchividjian, Matt Chandler, Mark Driscoll and Andy Stanley but the reality is, a lot of their success can be attributed to who they know, who they’re related to, their natural charisma, good looks, business savvy and their dynamic / magnetic personalities along with God’s grace to maximize these natural gifts for His kingdom. These guys are one in a 100,000 and are God’s gifts to the church (one or two of them may be God’s scourge!). As for the rest of us: the countless pastors and ministers in microscopic ministries dotted all over the country; the many ignoble and non-mighty whom God calls, we read books and attend conferences led by the .01% who have almost no idea how to relate to us. So, as one of those in the 99.99% of plain, feebly-talented, not-well-educated, related to nobody famous, with a dry personality; I hope to share some of what God is doing in my life because He may be doing the same thing through yours as you struggle through what you may see as a disappointing ministry. This isn’t meant to say that I think 99.99% of us are in ministries that disappoint our expectations, but within that number, I know I have met many guys who pastored for 5-15 years and it seemed that nothing good ever came of it – the church split, the church closed, the church fired them and all that seemed to be in the wake of the experience was damage, emotional carnage and disappointment. – Will Dudding
Does theology matter? - Take a quick look at verse 33 if you doubt what I am saying. The theology of justification helps us understand a little bit of the “why” God won’t allow us to be separated from His love. It’s really all about Jesus. God won’t allow me to be separated from His love because He sees me bathed in the righteousness of His own Son! While we may not understand the mechanics of how it works, the truth of it gives us confidence. God does not abandon me because I am wrapped snuggly in the righteousness of Jesus. When I was at my worst, God loved me enough to send His son to die for me. He didn’t abandon me then. Now, by His grace, I am clothed in the righteousness of His son. How much more will He not abandon me now? – Phil Allen
J.R.R. Tolkien Killed a Beatles Lord of the Rings Movie - Once upon a time, the Fab Four—having slain the pop charts—decided to set their sights on the Dark Lord Sauron by making a Lord of the Rings feature, starring themselves. One man dared stand in their way: J.R.R. Tolkien. – Joe Carter
Everything I Know about Pastoral Ministry I Learned Riding with Pastors - “Not all disagreement is opposition.” Boom. There’s that canon fire again. This time John Folmar lit the match during a car ride in Dubai. He doesn’t even remember the comment and I forget the precise context. But when he said it I knew I’d been confusing the two in far too many instances. Since that time it’s been helpful for me to recognize that godly people may view the same situation with really different perspectives and outcomes in mind. That difference doesn’t itself mean opposition or an active resistance to me. It may simply be an honest disagreement and it’s pride on my part to assume that if they only saw it the way I see it then they’d agree with me. - Thabiti Anyabwile
Spurgeon on the Pastor’s Wife – Churches do not give a married minister two salaries, one for the husband and the other for the wife; but, in many cases, they look for the services of the wife, whether they pay for them or not. The Pastor’s wife is expected to know everything about the church, and in another sense she is to know nothing of it; and she is equally blamed by some people whether she knows everything or nothing. Her duties consist in being always at home to attend to her husband and her family, and being always out, visiting other people, and doing all sorts of things for the whole church! - Charles Spurgeon
In his day, Abraham Booth (1734-1806) was one of the leading pastors of the English Calvinistic Baptist denomination. Once described by Andrew Fuller as “the first counsellor of our denomination,” he was always referred to by his contemporaries with deep respect. His chief claim to literary fame is probably his The Reign of Grace (1768). This essay, which has also been reprinted a number of times, was written some twenty years later, and is a valuable exploration of the ramifications of our Lord’s confession before Pontius Pilate: “my kingdom is not of this world” [John 18:36]. Booth argues that by this statement Christ depicts himself as a spiritual monarch, ruling over the realm of the human conscience and the heart [p.6-7]. Moreover, since “the empire of Christ. .. extends to every creature” [p.5], his kingdom cannot be regarded as coterminous with any earthly state. Building on these assertions, Booth queries “whether any national religious establishment can be a part of his kingdom” [p.21].
Ken Boa hits the mark. You don’t have to look very far today to come across “popular” ideas of leadership that try hard to mimic biblical principles. The problem is that’s all they do… mimic. Boa propels leadership a giant step forward with the revelation of the ultimate Christian leadership model.
Boa rejects the compromises found in much of today’s teaching that force-fit secular standards into a biblical mold—ideas that hover around humanistic ideas of fairness, kindness, and basic morality. Instead, Boa challenges leaders to do a serious evaluation of their approach and to follow the leadership qualities exhibited by God in his Word.
Download the book here.
In The Saint and His Savior, Spurgeon has written what amounts to a basic introduction to the experience of God. He writes on the subject of religious experience, dealing in particular with the experience of beginning Christians. Spurgeon offers counsel “to comfort the mourner, to confirm the weak, to guide the wandering, and reassure the doubting.” The Logos Bible Software edition of The Saint and His Savior was originally published in New York by Sheldon, Blakeman & Co. in 1858.
““I have turned to Charles Spurgeon in these days for help, and I have not been disappointed. . . . I think the word ‘indefatigable’ was created for people like Charles Spurgeon.” —John Piper”
Download the book here.
There is a crying need in the church today for men to be men. But competing visions for what a man is to be some growing out of popular culture and others arising from flawed teaching in the church are exacerbating the problem. Richard Phillips believes it is possible to cut through all of this confusion by consulting the Bible. Only in the pages of Scripture, he asserts, can men find a clear explanation of their God-given roles as leaders, husbands, fathers, and churchmen.
Beginning in Genesis, Phillips shows that God commissioned Adam to work and tend the Garden of Eden. In these twin tasks, he perceives a template for manhood, one that, when carried out with diligence, provides dignity to men, service to mankind, and glory to God. He then goes on to show that men are called to lead, to love their wives, to discipline their children, and to serve the church of Jesus Christ. Here is biblical exposition of the most practical sort teaching that reveals not only what men are to think but what they are to be.
Download the book here.