The First Sermon I’ve Ever Heard That Addresses IVF

I’m sure that others have preached sermons on IVF (in vitro fertilization). But I hadn’t heard one until last Sunday. Jason Meyer preached it to Bethlehem Baptist Church (video, audio, and notes here):

Jason said that it’s the hardest sermon he’s ever preached, and he wisely shepherded our church on a difficult issue.

At the end of Jason’s sermon, our church watched this video: Paul and Susan Lim, who attend Bethlehem’s North Campus and are both medical doctors, briefly share their story about embryo adoption:

The Lims shared their story in more detail in a chapel for Bethlehem College & Seminary last year: [Read more…]

Josh Harris Resigns So He Can Attend Seminary

Josh Harris humbly announced that to Covenant Life Church yesterday.

Hats off to him.

Here are two statements that stand out to me—a seminary professor who teaches New Testament and theology (including ecclesiology):

  1. If I had been seminary trained with established convictions about church polity, pastoral leadership and other topics, I don’t think I would have been chosen to lead our church. (I might not have accepted the job!)
  2. [Abraham Lincoln] said, “If I had eight hours to cut down a tree I’d spend six hours sharpening my ax.” I believe Jesus is calling me to do some ax sharpening.

(God doesn’t call every pastor to do what Josh Harris is doing, so I don’t intend for this post to induce false guilt in current pastors. My motive is to encourage current seminary students to sharpen their ax!)

Read (or watch) the whole thing.

Beer and Bacon: Christian Hedonism 2.0

RigneyThat’s not the title of Joe Rigney‘s next book, but it could be:

Joe Rigney. The Things of Earth: Treasuring God by Enjoying His Gifts. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2015.

The four men who have most influenced Joe’s thinking on this subject are Jonathan Edwards, John Piper, C. S. Lewis, and Doug Wilson. Wilson quipped a while back that Piper’s Christian hedonism could use a little more “beer and bacon.” Joe has fleshed that out, and this book is the result.

Check out the contents in this 48-page sample PDF, including a foreword by John Piper. I’m not sure I’ve read a more glowing foreword. [Read more…]

3 Reflections on Evangelical Academic Publishing

This morning the latest issue of Themelios released.

It includes an article I wrote entitled “Three Reflections on Evangelical Academic Publishing” (web version | PDF).

It’s the most personal essay I’ve written.

Here’s the abstract:

In light of John A. D’Elia’s A Place at the Table and Stanley E. Porter’s Inking the Deal, this article shares three reflections on evangelical academic publishing.

Ladd inking

(1) Evangelical scholarship is a gift to evangelicals for which they should be grateful.

(2) Evangelical academics should aim to be academically responsible more than being academically respectable.

(3) Evangelical scholarship is ultimately about glorifying God by serving Christ’s church.

Related:

  1. Kevin DeYoung, “7 Ways Christian Academics Can Be Truly Christian
  2. Dane Ortlund, “Reflections on Christian Publishing

C. S. Lewis: What Christmas Means to Me

This short essay by C. S. Lewis originally appeared in Twentieth Century 162 (December 1957): 517–18, reprinted in God in the Dock: Essays on Theology and Ethics (ed. Walter Hooper; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2014), 338–40.

* * * * * * *

Three things go by the name of Christmas. One is a religious festival. This is important and obligatory for Christians; but as it can be of no interest to anyone else, I shall naturally say no more about it here. The second (it has complex historical connections with the first, but we needn’t go into them) is a popular holiday, an occasion for merry-making and hospitality. If it were my business to have a ‘view’ on this, I should say that I much approve of merry-making. But what I approve of much more is everybody minding his own business. I see no reason why I should volunteer views as to how other people should spend their own money in their own leisure among their own friends. It is highly probable that they want my advice on such matters as little as I want theirs. But the third thing called Christmas is unfortunately everyone’s business. [Read more…]