Columns

Following Elijah’s stunning victory over the prophets of Baal in 1 Kings 18, he turns his attention to drought that continued to linger over the land. Back in 1 Kings 17, Elijah had announced a drought on the land because of the apostasy of the people. They had backed into Baalism and paganism. And their failure to remain faithful to the Lord carried the judgment of God removing his word from the people, signified by the lack of rain or dew. This was also a polemic against Baal, the storm god. The Baal cycle would be broken and the LORD would show himself to be God.

"With which person in the Bible do you most identify?" This is a question I have often asked others in the church over the years. Most of us lack even enough self-awareness to able to answer the question. Others among us have a propensity to appeal to the best characters in Scripture.

For the previous post in this four-part series, p

The sermon was the minister’s attempt through reason to encourage faith as it affected this life and the next. They were committed to a style that was plain but not dull. Each minister was pledged by his own creed to use a balance of doctrine and practice, faithfully devoted to the exposition of the Word of Scripture, and understood by all. Every Puritan sermon began with a definite Biblical text. Once a text was selected, the preacher’s immediate duty was to clarify it in all possible ways. Thus the lengthy Puritan sermon had a structure of its own.

Perhaps we’re most accustomed to thinking that we’re in danger of forgetting God during times of barrenness instead of times of blessing. But the Bible teaches that we’re just as prone to wander from worshiping God when things are going well for us as we are when things aren’t. In Deuteronomy 8 we learn that the wilderness was filled with barrenness, but Canaan would be filled with blessing. The wilderness was a great and terrifying place, but Canaan was a good land. The wilderness was dry and flat, but Canaan was filled with sources of water, valleys and hills.

Think of all the things we tell others we’re going to put on—the coffee maker, a meal, the finishing touches to a project, new tires, and of course, clothes. Some of these, like putting on the morning coffee, don’t take much thought or effort. But others, like putting the finishing touches on a project, take much more. If we spend time thinking about these kinds of things, wouldn’t it be wise for us to think about putting on more important things, like love?

Christiana Tsai and Her Persistence in Trials

 

One day, Christiana Tsai woke up to find the room spinning around her. Her body grew stiff while the light stabbed her eyes as with daggers. This was the beginning of a long, intermittent illness that doctors could not explain. 

Paulus Orosius – A Forgotten Augustinian Historian

Last January, a new professor wrote with a little conundrum. A student scored a 27% on his final, realized that he might fail the course as a result, and called the professor three weeks later to plead for mercy - a second chance - so he could pass the course.

In Matthew 12, Jesus and the disciples experienced events that had to be bitterly disappointing. Jesus healed a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute and the Pharisees said “It is only by Beelzebul, the prince of demons, that this man casts out demons” (12:24). A little later, they came to him and said “Teacher, we wish to see a sign from you” (12:38). But they had just seen a sign; what could possibly satisfy them?

I was recently struck anew by reading Genesis 26. It’s the story of Isaac dwelling in Gerar. The story is familiar. We might read it in “like father, like son” fashion. As Abraham told Abimelech that Sarah was his sister, Isaac did the same. Yes, we sometimes learn from our parents. Even the patriarchs passed on what was not good.  But that’s not what struck me. 

Thanksgiving is an interesting exercise. It implies that the thanks given can be received. When growing up my mom would make my favorite dish on my birthday.  I would thank her, and she would receive the thanks with a hug.  It is this very thing that shows the inadequacy of idolatry. The idol is unable to receive the thanks of the worshiper.

It is often the case that a minister only begins to really appreciate the value of his books when the time comes for him to part with them. Sometimes it happens when he runs out of space on his shelves and he is forced to thin them out. Or it may be when it comes to his retirement and he is downsizing his house and there simply isn’t the same amount of space in his new accommodation. Either way, he finds himself struggling to decide which ones to keep and which to let go. It begins to dawn on him that these volumes mean more to him than he may have previously realised.

The first question and answer of the Heidelberg Catechism has resonated with generations of people familiar with it.

 

Q. What is your only comfort in life and in death?

On July 18 the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals began airing Eric Alexander's sermons on the Book of Revelation on the Hear the Word of God Podcast.

Of all the books of the Bible, the Book of Revelation has received diverse attention from the Christian world. In this rich study, Rev. Alexander proclaims the kingdom of God here now and yet to come in its fullness. God has opened a door into heaven in this book, providing a vision of the exalted King of kings on His throne. There is nothing we need more.

A shift has taken place in recent years—as Christians, we find ourselves suddenly living not merely in a world that is indifferent to the Gospel but one that is distinctively anti-Christian. Christian beliefs are often regarded in the West as immoral and dangerous. This situation is nothing new to the Church, but it does call Christians to consider our need for courage and conviction while living in a culture that finds us socially unacceptable. 

In places with a Christian heritage the weightiness of baptism can easily be underestimated. Many people get baptized, or baptize their children, out of impulse, or as a matter of custom. It isn’t usually a sobering decision.

In formal logic, the logical biconditional is the relation that exists between two statements when they imply – or necessitate – each other. It is usually expressed with the phrase “if and only if.” For example, the statement “I am breathing if and only if I am alive” necessarily entails the statement “I am alive if and only if I am breathing.” We come to something of a logical biconditional in Article XV of The Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy. The affirmation in Article XV reads as follows:

Having laid a foundation for the nature and authority of the Holy Scriptures as the Word of God in the three opening articles, the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy proceeds to define and defend mankind’s capacity to receive God’s Word. The framers of the Statement make the following affirmation in its fourth article:

We affirm that God who made mankind in His image has used language as a means of revelation.

Taken from forthcoming book, Daily Doctrine by Kevin DeYoung, Copyright © 2024. Used by permission of Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.org.