You may have started the year with good intentions for your devotional life.  But winter has now passed, and with it has passed your resolve to draw near to God through regular Bible reading and prayer.  This provocative article may give you a way to reinvigorate your devotions.  It suggests that maybe your quiet times shouldn’t be so quiet.       


Family Driven Faith

March 28, 2008

I recently finished Voddie Baucham’s book Family Driven Faith. The overall premise of the book is that multigenerational discipleship and faithfulness begins in the home, and therefore, it is the responsibility of father’s and mothers (particularly fathers) to cultivate, nurture and model biblical faith within the home.

 Much of this book is derived from Baucham’s study of Deuteronomy 6. This passage makes it undeniably clear that God understands the home to be the normative environment for cultivating biblical faith. The home and the biblical relationships nurtured in the home are God’s greenhouse for faith.

Baucham is hard on mainline contemporary youth ministry and its current structure. He may also go too far in his presuppositions about the role of the father (ideas which don’t naturally emerge in this book but if you spend some time getting to know Baucham they will surface), but I believe Baucham’s message is a needed one within our Western church culture. Read the rest of this entry »

Sticker Chart Theology

March 26, 2008

Some of you may remember Curtis Hill.  Curtis was the associate pastor at Brainerd Baptist before recently taking a pastorate in Delaware.  Curtis is a good friend and an excellent minister of the gospel.  (When you have some time, download a few of Curtis’ sermons for the car or the jogging trail.  I think you’ll be encouraged by his biblical, down-to-earth preaching.  I highly recommend his three-part series on temptation.)   

Anyway, I couldn’t help but chuckle as Curtis recently described the following behavior of his young son: Read the rest of this entry »

The boys over at Of First Importance posted a real zinger today.  The quote doesn’t explain everything, for Jesus suggested that we could expect some fruitlessness, even when sowing faithfully (Matt 13:18-23).  But maybe this is a partial explanation of why I struggle in evangelism:

Our power in drawing men to Christ springs chiefly from the fullness of our personal joy in Him, and the nearness of our personal communion with Him. The countenance that reflects most of Christ, and shines most with His love and grace, is most fitted to attract the gaze of a careless, giddy world, and win restless souls from fascinations of creature love and creature-beauty. A ministry of power must be the fruit of a holy, peaceful, loving intimacy with the Lord.

(Horatius Bonar, Words to Winners of Souls, 13)

What did Jesus do after Easter Sunday?  Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and Paul give us some clues, recording at least eleven times Jesus appeared to various disciples.  New Testament scholar Andreas Kostenberger has produced a handy chart of these post-resurrection appearances.  The chart puts Jesus’ appearances in their probable sequence.  You can access the chart here.     

(HT: Between Two Worlds)