Should You Be a Pastor or a Professor?

In his post “Should You be a Pastor or a Professor? Thinking through the Options,” Michael Kruger lays out six options in a chiasm:

1. The Pastor

2. The Pastor-Scholar

3. The Pastor-Scholar who is active in scholarly world

4. The Scholar-Pastor who is active in the church

5. The Scholar-Pastor

6. The Scholar

Kruger’s taxonomy (and the way he explains it) is insightful and helpful. [Read more…]

Praying the Bible (Not the Same Old Things about the Same Old Things)

Whitney“Since prayer is talking with God, why don’t people pray more? Why don’t the people of God enjoy prayer more? I maintain that people—truly born-again, genuinely Christian people—often do not pray simply because they do not feel like it. And the reason they don’t feel like praying is that when they do pray, they tend to say the same old things about the same old things.”

That’s from page 11 in this book:

Donald S. Whitney. Praying the Bible. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2015.

In Praying the Bible, Whitney says more winsomely and practically what I argue for in this essay:

Andrew David Naselli. “12 Reasons You Should Pray Scripture.” Themelios 38 (2013): 417–25.

Religious Demographics of the Twin Cities

Shortly after my family moved to Minneapolis a few years ago, my wife and I went on a morning bus tour of the city that John Mayer led. Incredibly fascinating.

citySo I was eager to read the latest edition of his religious demographics of the Twin Cities:

John A. Mayer. Cityview Report: Twin Cities. 16th ed. Minneapolis: City Vision, 2015.

How well do you know Minneapolis? Mayer shares this list of 47 statements to pique your interest (p. 8): [Read more…]

Tim Keller on Prayer

prayerTimothy Keller. Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God. New York: Dutton, 2014.

This is probably the best overall book on prayer that I know of because it shrewdly addresses the issue from three angles:

  1. theological
  2. experiential or devotional
  3. methodological or practical

It seems like every book Keller writes is the best all-around book on that subject.

This chart is particularly helpful (p. 141):



I agree with Andy Davis’s review.

John Murray’s Motivational Words for Seminary Students

murrayIn 1944 while America was fighting in World War II, some young men enlisted at Westminster Theological Seminary instead of enlisting for military service. This is the opening address in which Professor John Murray welcomed them on June 30, 1944. Murray’s words—especially the ones I bolded below—are a motivational perspective for students who are currently enrolled in seminary (HT: Chris Brauns).

* * * * * * *

John Murray. “Greeting to Entering Students, 1944.” Pages 104–6 in Collected Writings of John Murray, Volume 1: The Claims of Truth. Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth Trust, 1976.

[page 104] In the name of the Faculty of Westminster Theological Seminary it is my duty and privilege now to welcome to the fellowship and work of the Seminary the members of the incoming class. On behalf of the Faculty I therefore extend to you cordial congratulation and welcome. [Read more…]

“Here I Stand”: Elsa (from Frozen’s “Let It Go”) vs. Luther (at the Diet of Worms)

The following two videos each include the bold words “Here I stand.” But do they mean the same thing?

1. Elsa (from Frozen‘s “Let It Go”)

2. Luther (at the Diet of Worms)

Tim Keller explains how they differ:

“Let It Go,” by Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez, was sung in the Disney movie Frozen and won the 2013 Oscar for Best Original Song. It is both interesting and ironic to compare the sung speech of the character Elsa in Frozen with that of Martin Luther before the Holy Roman Emperor. Both say, “Here I stand.” But Luther meant he was free from fear and from other authorities because he was bound by the Word of God and its norms. Elsa speaks for the contemporary culture by saying she can be free only if there are no boundaries at all.

[Read more…]

Interview with Sharon Gerber on Her New Celloasis Album

My family loves Sharon Gerber’s cello music.

cellocase cellolake

Kaffeemusik1Our girls listen to her Eine Kleine Kaffeemusik each night, and according to iTunes, we’ve played that album over 15,000 times! It’s beautifully soothing. (See also albums 2 and 3.)

In the first half of this 7.5-minute video for Sharon’s church, she explains why she experienced a tragic divorce, how that caused her to doubt everything she believed about God, and how God showed grace to Sharon through members in her new church. Then she introduces her latest cello album, Into the Night, and shares the background to the song “Jehova-Rohi,” which the second half of the video features.

Sharon kindly let me interview her earlier this month:

1. How did this video come about? [Read more…]