In a Galaxy Far, Far Away: Why Epics Leave Us Satisfied and Longing

photo-1444703686981-a3abbc4d4fe3This year, a movie released in theaters that filled some longtime fans with a nostalgia and excitement they have not experienced in some amount of time. They became captivated (again) with the opposing Jedi and Sith orders, hoping to see the side to which their allegiances lie burst forth in victory. When Star Wars: The Force Awakens released, people moved to their sides and planted themselves firmly. Many viewers were enraptured by this return to childhood memories (as many in this camp would not consider the prequels to be Star Wars movies in any form, although that’s another topic entirely); some were less than thrilled.

However, one word that cannot be used to describe the vast majority of viewers is that of “neutral.” This film either rekindled fond memories of childhood fantasies or reaffirmed a distaste for George Lucas’s fictional universe. One common denominator does in fact exist between both seemingly mutually exclusive groups. Even though fans of Star Wars experienced great delight in seeing this series continued (and continued well), I feel that they would have to admit some sort of feeling (on varying levels, contingent on the degree of fanaticism the fan attains) of dissatisfaction.

Dissatisfaction is our human method of expressing longing – we long for that which we do not have, and are thus dissatisfied. I would make the assertion that the source of our longings is paradoxically the same source as that of our satisfaction. The reason we find the narratives of such epics so compelling (and yet unsatisfying) is that we are subconsciously longing for the true epic narrative that these only shadow. The reason they are compelling to us is because the narrative of our universe follows a similar (albeit infinitely more fulfilling) trajectory, and the reason they are so unsatisfying is that they do not and cannot satisfy our ultimate longing. This longing can only be met in the ultimate narrative that God Himself created.

“The Heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.” (Psalm 19:1) Since orthodox Christians affirm the doctrine of general revelation (that God reveals generally to all people his existence through His creation), we can see that all that God has created is created with the intent to bring glory to Him, and to bring us to an awareness of Him. However, as Romans 1 indicates, this is not sufficient to bring us to saving knowledge of Him.

Our purpose in being created was to become worshippers of God, and any deviation from this end must necessarily leave us in longing. This is what one of the primary ends of creation is – to nurture in us a longing for God (even in those who “by their unrighteousness suppress the truth” [Rom. 1:18] there is a longing created, although they seek to supplant it with other temporal pleasures). One way in which we come to a deeper longing is through myths, legends, and epics. J.R.R. Tolkien aptly explains why:

We have come from God, and inevitably the myths woven by us, though they                               contain error, will also reflect a splintered fragment of the true light, the eternal                          truth that is with God. Indeed only by myth-making, only by becoming “sub-                               creator” and inventing stories, can Man aspire to the state of perfection that he                              knew before the Fall. Our myths may be misguided, but they steer however                             shakily towards the true harbour, while materialistic “progress” leads only to a                              yawning abyss and the Iron Crown of the power of evil.

While I do not necessarily believe that myths are the greatest natural supplement to our eternal longings, I do believe there are a few parallels between the mythical narratives and God’s ultimate redemption narrative that lead us to desire God more deeply. Just as in experiencing Epics we experience an acute awareness that something is wrong within the world of the narrative, so also do we who are in Christ reach an awareness that there is something wrong (both outside of ourselves and within ourselves).

Were there not within us an acute sense of our prior normality, there would be no means through which to understand our own present corruptions. Apart from general revelation, we would have no basis for comparison, and would thus be rendered incapable of reaching a determination regarding the state of our wickedness. Therefore, while general revelation is futile without special revelation, this does not minimize the necessity of general revelation; rather, it enhances it.

Just as our physical bodies hunger and thirst for sustenance, so also do our spiritual bodies hunger and thirst for that which shall enable us to ultimately satiate our longings (John 6:35). This does not necessarily indicate that we will never eat or drink again (or any other capacity we have that leads to desire, for that matter); rather, it indicates that the satisfaction we will find in God will be utterly sufficient.

All that we have desired in our lives will ultimately and finally reach the end which they have always longed to reach. We may experience satisfaction in media and literature – and understandably so, considering good art glorifies God and brings us pleasure – but ultimate satisfaction can only be found in the ultimate narrative God has and is writing. What a joy it is that the author of our souls is simultaneously the author of all of creation and redemption.


Micah Russell is a senior at Blue Mountain College in northeastern Mississippi. He is pursuing degrees in Biology and Christian Ministry. Micah is a member at The Church at Trace Crossing in Tupelo, MS. He enjoys reading good books, drinking good tea and coffee, and playing frisbee and chess. You can follow him on Twitter @micahclay.

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Morning Mashup 10/20

Morning Mashup

A daily mashup of book recommendations, articles, and videos for your information, edification, and enjoyment.


BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS

Why the Reformation Still Matters | Michael Reeves & Tim Chester | $9.70

The Unfinished Reformation: What Unites and Divides Catholics and Protestants After 500 Years | Gregg Allison & Chris Castaldo | $15.31

ARTICLES

Should Christians Feel Guilty All the Time? | TGC

Kevin DeYoung: It sure seems like Paul put his head on the pillow at night with a clean conscience. So why do so many Christian feel guilty all the time?

Open Letter to SBL | Patheos

Michael Bird pens a persuasive, respectful, and poignant letter to the SBL over their decision to ban IVP from their annual conference.

No Application? Then You Haven’t Preached | 9Marks

Michael LawrenceIt’s simply not enough for us as preachers to explain the text to our congregation. If we’re going to be good shepherds, we have to apply the text to their lives today.

Halloween: More Christian Than Pagan | Patheos

Beth Allison BarrIt means that when we celebrate Halloween, we are definitely participating in a tradition with deep historical roots. But, while those roots are firmly situated in the medieval Christian past, their historical connection to “paganism” is rather more tenuous.

Ben Zobrist: Major League Believer | TGC

Interesting profile of Chicago Cub, Ben Zobrist, and his commitment to his local church.

10 Tips for Leading Kids to Christ | For the Church

Excellent counsel from Jason Keith Allen.

The Missing Elements of Modern Worship | Challies

I’m grateful we are not missing any of these elements at Trace Crossing.

VIDEOS

Christ the King of Nazareth

pexels-photo-131616In the United States, we don’t have a king who rules over us. In America, you don’t have to be a part of a certain family to lead the country one day. We have many leaders who help make, enforce, and interpret laws for our protection. We have a many people in our government who seek to rule and defend us. In fact, one of the main roles of the President of the United States is to defend the citizens as Commander-in-Chief. But a king is different. A king rules with absolute authority. No one can question or challenge the decisions of the king. This is why bad kings are so bad. They rule with total power, and no one can stop them. In a world filled with sin, kings with absolute authority are bad for the citizens of a country.

In the Bible, God was the rightful king of the people of Israel. But one day, they grew tired of God being their king. They wanted a human king like the other nations around them. God gave them what they wanted and from the first king until the exile, Israel experienced a succession of good and bad kings that at times led the nation in godliness and prosperity, and at other times in sin and destruction. The roles of these kings were to rule and defend the people from their enemies. But many of them failed to rule the people well. These kings led the nation into sin rather than holiness. They led the people away from God.

God is the eternal king of the universe because he is the creator of the universe. When Adam sinned against God, he rebelled against the King and his kingdom. Through sin, Adam refused to submit to God as King. God established kings once again when he allowed his people to be ruled by a king. King David was the closest thing to a godly king. But David failed to perfectly rule and defend his people. In fact, he even had one of his own people killed in order to hide his sin. David’s ultimate purpose was to point to a greater King who would come from his line to reign in a kingdom that will last forever.

As our King, Jesus rules over us and defends us against all our enemies. He has conquered sin, Satan, and death for us. And even now he guards our hearts from that which would do us greatest harm. He is a good king indeed. All who are in his kingdom must submit to his rule as King. In Jesus’ kingdom, no rebels exist. Jesus is a King who does not allow sin to reign over us. In the end, we can have one ruler, either sin or Jesus. Growing in Christ is a process of learning to walk in the way of the kingdom. The question for a Christian every day is: Will I submit to King Jesus or king self?


Mathew Gilbert (B.A. Boyce College) is Associate Pastor for Children and Preschool at The Church at Trace Crossing in Tupelo, MS. He is the author of Come to the Well: 50 Meditations to Fuel Your Joy in God (Westbow Press, 2016). He is an M.Div student at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Mathew is married to his high school sweetheart, Erica. Mathew and Erica live in Tupelo with their sons, Jude and Jack. You can follow him on Twitter @mat_gilbert.

Sin Doesn’t Stand a Chance Against You

people-men-fight-challengeHave you ever been in an intense wrestling match? Wrestling matches between siblings are often much more entertaining and dangerous than WWE wrestling matches because, frankly, they are much more real. Growing up, I was about six years older than my brother, so I always had a physical advantage over him when we would fight. We didn’t fight all the time, but we always fought when we played games with each other. A game couldn’t pass by without one of us starting a fight. Our fights didn’t just begin the same way; they also always ended the same way—with me on top of my brother and my brother crying for help. In our fights, my brother didn’t stand a chance.

Romans 7:14-25 is all about a bitter struggle that occurs within the soul of every Christian. Paul emotionally and painfully cries out for deliverance at the end of Romans 7, “Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?” Paul is describing the nature of the war that rages in the Christian mind and heart. It is an intense wrestling match against a formidable opponent. Sin is strong. If you give in to sin very quickly, it is because you are either not in Christ or underestimating the strength of your opponent. In fact, if you are giving in to sin quickly, you don’t even realize the bell has rung! From the moment your heart is changed by the Holy Spirit, there is a struggle with sin that doesn’t end until you die or Christ returns.

Genuinely fighting sin is exhausting. There is a serious temptation to give in because the fight is hard. But the greatest motivation for staying the course in our fight against sin is found in one simple, yet life-changing statement: “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 8:1). Our struggle against sin is one we cannot lose, so it is one we must fight! No matter how hard sin fights against you, and no matter how many battles it wins, if you are in Christ, sin doesn’t stand a chance against you. Because Jesus died on the cross in your place, you will never have to face God’s wrath. He was condemned, so there is no condemnation for you. He became sin. You receive righteousness. Sin doesn’t stand a chance against you because you are united to the one that condemned sin. Nothing provides more freedom and hope to fight sin than knowing God’s wrath has been fully absorbed by Christ and there is none left for you. Justification not only leads to sanctification, it fuels it.


Mathew Gilbert (B.A. Boyce College) is Associate Pastor for Children and Preschool at The Church at Trace Crossing in Tupelo, MS. He is the author of Come to the Well: 50 Meditations to Fuel Your Joy in God (Westbow Press, 2016). He is an M.Div student at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Mathew is married to his high school sweetheart, Erica. Mathew and Erica live in Tupelo with their sons, Jude and Jack. You can follow him on Twitter @mat_gilbert.

Morning Mashup 10/18

Morning Mashup

A daily mashup of book recommendations, articles, and videos for your information, edification, and enjoyment.


BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS

Big Beliefs!: Small Devotionals Introducing Your Family to Big Truths | David Helm | $14.99

big-beliefs-book

Married for God: Making Your Marriage the Best It Can Be | Christopher Ash | $12.99

married-for-god

ARTICLES

Dear New Elder | TGC

Jeff Robinson offers sound advice to new elders in the local church based on 1 Timothy 4:6-16.

The White Flight of Derek Black | The Washington Post

If you have a good half hour to spare, spend it reading this provocative piece.

19 Objections and Answers on Penal Substitutionary Atonement | Reformedish

My fellow theology nerds, this is an oldie but a goodie. Derek Rishmawy explores the “beauty of the cross.”

The Gospel vs 100 Years of Planned Parenthood | Russell Moore

Russell MooreAs we stand against the abortion industry, and the culture of death behind it, let’s point to Christ. He was here long before Planned Parenthood, and his kingdom will be here long after Planned Parenthood has been utterly forgotten.

Packer at 90 | First Things

Beautiful tribute to the theological giant, J.I. Packer.

Why It Matters That the Reformers Were Pastors | TGC

Excellent interview with Scott Manetsch on why it matters that the Reformers weren’t ivory-tower theologians.

Top 10 Books Every Pastor Should Read | Practical Shepherding

Brian Croft offers a great list of resources for the pastor.

VIDEOS

Who Will Deliver Me From This Body of Death?: The Slow Death of Sin

pexels-photo-167964A cry for help is unmistakable. My son, Jude, cries a lot. Anyone who keeps him in the nursery understands this. He is also loud. He laughs loud, babbles loud, and cries loud. As his parents, Erica and I can tell the difference between his real cries and fake cries. Sometimes he cries just to get our attention. Sometimes he cries because Jack is crying. Sometimes he cries when he’s hungry or sleepy. Sometimes he cries, because, well, I have no idea! Maybe he cries when he’s bored. Who knows! But there are times when Jude cries because something is really, really wrong.

One day, Jude accidentally locked himself in our bedroom. I was on the phone and Erica was fixing lunch when Jude went in our bedroom, shut the door, and turned the lock. Of course, he didn’t know what he was doing, but when he realized that he couldn’t get out, he lost it! He let out an ear-piercing scream that caused Erica to immediately drop what she was doing and run to the door. This cry for help was unlike any of his other cries. It didn’t take us long to get to him, but for those few minutes, Jude was desperately screaming for help.

After passionately describing the struggle Paul continues to have with sin, you can tell he is on the brink of despair. A Christian who is growing in holiness also grows in awareness of sin. The more we obey God, the more we see how much we don’t obey God. This struggle can lead to despair. Soldiers grow weary after fighting battle after battle after battle with no end in sight. Paul feels the weight of sin’s power and the flesh’s deceit, and cries out in desperation, “Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?”

The deliverance Paul is crying out for is not related to justification. Paul sees himself as a wretched man because he has realized he cannot escape his sinful nature. As Tim Keller has said, “The more holy you become, the less holy you will feel.” This seems to be the experience of Paul at the end of Romans 7. The He is not crying out for a justifier. He is crying out for a final deliverer. He is groaning inwardly for the final and complete redemption of our mortal bodies. He is longing for the day when the perishable puts on the imperishable and the mortal puts on the immortal (1 Cor. 15:53-54). Your fight against sin within yourself will cause you to long for the day when your desires and actions are no longer divided. You will one day always and perfectly do what you want to do and you will never do the thing you hate.

While longing and groaning inwardly for the day when sin and temptation are no more could conceivably lead to despair in the moment, the purpose of such yearning is to increase our confidence in the hope of Christ’s work on our behalf. In World War II, D-Day was considered the effectual end of the war even though fighting would continue for another year. Once Nazi Germany was faced with a closing two-front war, defeat was inevitable. But harsh fighting raged on. In fact, as the Red Army surrounded Berlin, Hitler sent the youngest boys and oldest men to defend the city. Evil tyrants die hard, and they don’t go down without a fight. Sin and Satan have been conquered on the D-Day of the death and resurrection of Jesus.

When Jesus walked out of the tomb, their defeat was sealed. But they have not surrendered. Sin and Satan will continue to fight until they are tossed into a burning lake of fire. Until that day there will be an ever-increasing tension between who we once were in Adam and who we now are in Christ. Only the continual presence of Jesus Christ can solve the problem of sin in the life of a believer. Though sin’s penalty and power have been vanquished in the cross of Christ, the presence of sin is waiting final destruction. Jesus delivers us from sin now by pardoning us before God and empowering us to win our battles with sin. And Jesus will one day deliver us from the presence of sin forever.


Mathew Gilbert (B.A. Boyce College) is Associate Pastor for Children and Preschool at The Church at Trace Crossing in Tupelo, MS. He is the author of Come to the Well: 50 Meditations to Fuel Your Joy in God (Westbow Press, 2016). He is an M.Div student at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Mathew is married to his high school sweetheart, Erica. Mathew and Erica live in Tupelo with their sons, Jude and Jack. You can follow him on Twitter @mat_gilbert.

Morning Mashup 10/14

Morning Mashup

A daily mashup of book recommendations, articles, and videos for your information, edification, and enjoyment.


BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS

Come to the Well: 50 Meditations to Fuel Your Joy in God | Mathew Gilbert | $14.82

come-to-the-well-book

Exalting Jesus in Ezekiel (Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary) | Landon Dowden | $10.99

ezekiel-book

ARTICLES

Seeking Clarity In This Confusing Election Season | TGC

Kevin DeYoungI’ve been the pastor at my church since the summer of 2004. That means this is the fourth presidential election we have been through together. In each of the previous three, there have been moments—small, isolated moments—of conflict surrounding the election. Things have been stirred up by email chains, social media fodder, and sometimes by things I have said. I hope these brief reflections will not be in the category of “stirring up,” but rather might provide some clarity about what Christians should agree on and what we may not have to agree on.

So Why Not Hillary? | Snakes and Ladders

Alan JacobsIn short, I believe Hillary Clinton is a terrible candidate whose Presidency would — at this point I should probably say will — be very bad for this country, and if the Republicans had nominated a sane person I would very likely be voting for their Presidential candidate this year for the first time in a long time.

Parents, Let Your ‘No’ Be ‘No’ | Desiring God

Sam CrabtreeConsequences ensue when a parent says, “No, you may not . . . ” but the child delays, or fusses, or whines, or simply disobeys, and the parents bow to it. Understanding yes and no are profound prerequisites for experiencing and appreciating mercy and grace, and there’s nothing we want more for our children.

Thy Works, Not Mine, O Christ | Doxology & Theology

Adam WrightThe Corner Room’s latest project, What Great Mystery, is a collection of five hymns that explores the mercy of God for sinners. One of these is a retuning of Horatius Bonar’s hymn, “Thy Works, Not Mine, O Christ.”

How Evan McMullin Could Win Utah and the Presidency | FiveThirtyEight

Benjamin MorrisIt would take a fascinating scenario — in which much of the technical detail of how we select presidents comes into play — for McMullin to be sworn in as the 45th president, but the chances of its happening are slim, not none. 

How to Understand the Three A’s of Religious Liberty as Christians | ERLC

Andrew WalkerChristians desire to worship God. Christians desire to bring their worship into every corner of their lives. And Christians give God the highest place of authority. These basic truths form the backbone of why religious liberty ought to matter to Christians.

Bob Dylan Awarded Nobel Prize in Literature | NY Times

Mr. Dylan, the poet laureate of the rock era, has been rewarded with the Nobel Prize in Literature, an honor that elevates him into the company of T. S. Eliot, Gabriel García Márquez, Toni Morrison and Samuel Beckett.

Out of Bounds: The Incompatibility of Transgenderism and Sports | Canon & Culture

Casey HoughWhen the transgender movement attempts to commandeer athletics as a mechanism of public persuasion, the narrative of the individual athlete’s self-identification necessarily dies. Sports are not about self-expression, but instead, communal, competitive activity governed by predetermined, objective rules. 

VIDEOS

Morning Mashup 10/13

Morning Mashup

A daily mashup of book recommendations, articles, and videos for your information, edification, and enjoyment.


BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS

Gospel Eldership: Equipping a New Generation of Servant Leaders | Bob Thune | $14.99

gospel-eldership-book

Church Elders: How to Shepherd God’s People Like Jesus (9marks: Building Healthy Churches) | Jeramie Rinne | $13.38

church-elders-book

ARTICLES

Authority and Its Abuse | 9Marks

Shai LinneAbusive authority… [is] devastating for a workplace, devastating for a family, devastating for an entire community of people. The greater the degree of authority, the greater the pain inflicted when it is abused.

As a Pastor, Did You Use Church Growth Strategies? | Ask Pastor John

John PiperI tried to communicate to our people continually that, in view of the glory of Christ, his purpose is to be magnified in the world through believing people, the vast lostness of millions and millions of people near and far, the horrors of hell, the beauties and the power of the gospel, the nature of love, the truth that it is more blessed to give than to receive.

Happy Daddy, Happy Home | Desiring God

David MathisThe father is the fountain of the family’s joy. Where Daddy is winsomely happy — and happy enough to make the sacrifices necessary for the good of others — a happy family will follow in his wake.

Are Reader’s Bibles (Finally) Here to Stay | Bible Design Blog

J. Mark Bertrand: My wish is that, with the 6-Volume Reader’s Bible and Bibliotheca and (hopefully) other sets cut from the same cloth, this kind of edition will leave the realm of antiquarian curiosities and come to represent a sustainable segment in the Bible market.

On Loving My Neighbor With My Vote | TGC

Jared WilsonWe definitely should think of how our votes (or non-votes) affect our neighbors. As Christians, we ought to think how our postures toward politics and the electoral process demonstrate love for our neighbor.

Caring For Your Pastor’s Children | Timothy Paul Jones

Timothy Paul JonesHaving seen the life of a pastor’s children from both sides, I can tell you that churches possess the power either to encourage the pastor’s children in the faith or to embitter them. So what can a congregation do to encourage the pastor’s children?

Russell Moore Can’t Support Either Candidate | NY Times

Great interview with Russell Moore.

VIDEOS

John Piper’s Vision for Five More Books

Why Parenting Is Hard

Christ the Priest of Nazareth

pexels-photo-131616I used to love sports video games as a kid. My favorite games were Madden and NBA 2K. Every year a new version of each game released. My friends and I would count down the days until we could have the new video game. Now, unlike my friends, I had to wait from the time the game released until my birthday before I could play it. For a few years on my birthday I would receive the same gifts each year: the new Madden and NBA 2K video games. My dad always teased me about my excitement for the new year’s game. He would say, “This game is exactly like last year’s game! What’s the difference?”

From a distance, he was right. From one year to the next there were few changes to the game. But for those of us who really played, we noticed every single difference. Even though, yes, there were many similarities between last year’s game and this year’s game, the differences were just enough to keep us playing for hours. The Old Testament prophets, priests, and kings are like last year’s video game. They are a little like the new, but once the new has come, there is no turning back to the old. We’ve said that as our Redeemer, Jesus performs the roles of a prophet, priest, and king. We are thinking this week about Jesus as our priest.

There were many priests in the Old Testament. In fact, if you read the book of Leviticus, you’ll learn a ton about these priests and all the things they had to do in order to atone for the sins of the people of Israel. The main goal of a priest was to stand between God and man as a mediator to atone for man’s sin against God, so their relationship may be restored.

The Old Testament priests accomplished this goal by offering sacrifices on behalf of the people to God. Priests offered sacrifices throughout the year. Once every year, on the Day of Atonement, the priest would offer a special sacrifice to God for the sins of all of God’s people (see Leviticus 19). Priests had access to the presence of God and atoned for the sins of the people so they could dwell in the presence of God. These Old Testament priests failed over and over to do their jobs. But Jesus is a far greater priest. Michael Horton writes, “Jesus in not just another high priest who serves in the Holy of Holies, but is one greater than the temple itself.”

When people were first created, Adam and Eve had unlimited priestly access into the presence of God. However, after sin entered the world, fallen human beings no longer had priestly access into God’s presence. Sin cut us off from God. When Jesus came, he perfectly fulfilled the role of a priest that Adam and the Old Testament priests failed to fulfill. As our perfect high priest, Jesus lived a sinless life so that he could not offer an animal sacrifice for himself or others, but instead offer himself as the supreme, spotless sacrifice to God for sin. And although Old Testament priests had to be replaced, through his work as our eternal priest, Jesus brings us into the presence of God to dwell forever.


Mathew Gilbert (B.A. Boyce College) is Associate Pastor for Children and Preschool at The Church at Trace Crossing in Tupelo, MS. He is the author of Come to the Well: 50 Meditations to Fuel Your Joy in God (Westbow Press, 2016). He is an M.Div student at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Mathew is married to his high school sweetheart, Erica. Mathew and Erica live in Tupelo with their sons, Jude and Jack. You can follow him on Twitter @mat_gilbert.

Morning Mashup 10/12

Morning Mashup

A daily mashup of book recommendations, articles, and videos for your information, edification, and enjoyment.


BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS

Growing Young: Six Essential Strategies to Help Young People Discover and Love Your Church | Kara Powell, Jake Mulder, and Brad Griffin | $15.69

growing-young-book

The Disciple-Making Parent: A Comprehensive Guidebook for Raising Your Children to Love and Follow Jesus Christ | Chap Bettis | $13.99

the-disciple-making-parent

ARTICLES

20 Surprising Ways a Believer Can Be Self-Deceived | Out of the Ordinary

Diane BucknellEvangelicals en masse believe they will inherit eternal life because they have “asked Jesus into their heart”,  even though many know nothing of  what it means to test themselves to see if their faith is genuine.

Why Are So Many Evangelicals Condoning Sexual Assault? | TGC

Joe CarterRecent events have shown that many evangelicals—especially prominent conservative defenders of family and public morality—side with the powerful oppressors over the vulnerable oppressed. Many have shown they are willing, even eager, to overlook admissions of sexual assault if it will lead to their preferred political outcome.

Seven Simple Daily Prayers | Desiring God

Marshall SegalAs we walk through the valley of the shadow of rut, many of us just put our heads down and hope for better days. But the Bible speaks too often and too highly of prayer for us to stay here long.

Churches Reaching Millennials | TGC

Trevin WaxYou don’t have to be the flashiest church in town, have the coolest pastor, or the most contemporary music to reach young people. The churches in this research come in all shapes and styles and sizes. There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ model.

Why Does Friendship at Times Feel One-Sided? | Grace Covers Me

Christine Hoover It’s so disheartening when we make ongoing efforts to extend friendship to other women and find them met with what appears to be apathy or, worse, disinterest.

Why It’s Pivotal to Make Room for Reading | Club 31 Women

Jen ThornReading is important. This is the primary way we learn about God. God did not inspire a TV series about himself. He gave us a book that is inspired by the Holy Spirit. A book that when read and studied brings about a change that lasts forever.

VIDEOS

What Is It Like to Be a Missionary? | IMB

 

Mark Dever on Sermon Preparation | For the Church