Some of our staff is slowly reading through Dane Ortlund’s Deeper: Real Change for Real Sinners together. Like his book, Gentle and Lowly, it’s beautifully written and is simultaneously rich in theology, warm and pastoral in its tone, and immensely practical. I appreciate how he communicates deep truths in uncomplicated ways.
The thrust of the book is that to change or to grow, we grow in Jesus, meaning knowing more of who he is and then what means for us who are united to him. “Our growth is not independent personal improvement. It is growth in Christ.”
Continue reading 7 Facets of Christ from Dane Ortlund’s book, Deeper
God’s attributes are not like characteristics that are parts of who he is, as if he can act out his attribute of kindness in one moment but do apart from his attribute of justice (as an example). His attributes aren’t separate from who he is, nor do we separate his attributes from one another. It’s not as if he scores a 97 on kindness, 85 on patience, and 75 on gentleness. He is not a conflicted being where his mercy and wrath are at odds with one another. God is all his attributes perfectly and seamlessly.
Continue reading What does it mean that God is “simple”?
It can be difficult to grasp God’s love for us. For many, the love of Jesus comes through loud and clear, but God the Father often seems distant or looming. God’s attributes—including love—aren’t like human traits that strengthen or weaken nor are they like moods that come and go. God is all of his attributes perfectly, all the time. And yet, we still struggle to believe it can be true, that this great God can love us messy and stumbling sinners. Sometimes we don’t feel his love on a day-to-day basis like we desire, so walls of doubt begin to shut him out. Other times we unwittingly read the Word not through the lens of his love and grace to us in Christ, but through tinted lens of condemnation and guilt.
Continue reading Reasons We Struggle to Experience God’s Love
In The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self, Carl Trueman writes, “Understanding the times is a precondition of responding appropriately to the times. And understanding the times requires a knowledge of the history that has led up to the present.” Over the last few years, several helpful books have been written explaining the expressive individualism defining our culture today. This is not the culture of the world “out there.” All of us live and breathe in these waters and are more affected by it than we realize.
Continue reading 10 Recommended Books to Understand and Respond Faithfully to Expressive Individualism
My book, The Grumbler’s Guide to Giving Thanks: Reclaiming the Gifts of a Lost Spiritual Discipline, releases today. It’s exciting to see the work become a reality, and I pray that God will use it to stir up gratitude in the hearts of his people.
Maybe you think you’re not really a grumbler, so a book on gratitude isn’t for you. Here’s a Grumbler’s Quiz (excerpted from the book) to help you know if it’s for you or not.
Continue reading Gratitude & Thanksgiving Book, Grumbler’s Quiz, and Discussion Guide
I’ve recently had the chance to contribute to a few other websites or had articles picked up by them. For anyone interested in reading things that might not always get posted here, check out the following links.
Continue reading A Few Recent Links
Discipleship is essentially following Christ for the purpose of maturing in Christ-likeness. Disciples rediscover and then faithfully live in light of their identity in Christ. Or to say it differently, discipleship is the process whereby we’re remade and we regain who we were created to be as image-bearers of God by being transformed into the image of Christ.
If believers have a new identity in Christ why don’t we live it out? Obviously layers of answers could be offered here related to doctrines of sin, sanctification, and glorification so let me narrow the question. What are a few identity issues that keep Christians from understanding and living out the reality of who we are as a new creation in Christ?
Continue reading Three Identity Struggles
Colossians is full of great theology. Not just informative, but the kind of theology that warms our hearts with the knowledge of who Jesus is or that provides solid ground to stand on when our faith is shaky. The deeper we dive into Paul’s theology in this book the stronger our faith becomes.
Continue reading Articles on Two Key Doctrines in Colossians
You can now purchase a copy of my new book Finding Satisfaction in Christ: A Devotional Study of Colossians in paperback or kindle formats. I wrote this over the course of a few years. What began as a small group study on Colossians in the home of our friends Dan and Emily later turned into a Group Discussion Guide for College Park Church that blossomed into a full-length book slowly written off-and-on over the course of a few years. As any writer or teacher struggles with, I hope my personal joy and benefit of studying Colossians leads to your joy and encouragement as you read through Colossians with me. Here’s a bit about the book.
Continue reading New Book Available on Amazon
Anxiety is overwhelming. It can affect our bodies. It wreaks havoc on our emotions. And it consumes our thoughts. They race like a runaway train or get caught in a vicious cycle of spinning round-and-round with “what if…”, “if only…”, or many other possibilities. Anxiety awakens us in the dark hours of the night. It can rob us of a day’s joy and suck the life right out of us.
Continue reading Three Truths About God to Remember when Anxious