Morning Mashup 04/17

Morning Mashup

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


The Resurrection of the Son of God (Christian Origins and the Question of God, Vol. 3) | N.T. WRIGHT



The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus | GARY HABERMAS & MICHAEL LICONA





R.C. Sproul: How is the resurrection of Christ linked to the idea of justification in the New Testament?


Aaron Armstrong: Whenever we gather together with a body of believers in the area, even as visitors or semi-regular attendees as we’ve been doing over the last several months,1 it reminds us that there’s still one thing that’s the same, even if the faces and songs aren’t. And that doesn’t change for us just because this Sunday happens to be Easter. If anything, it makes this truth more real for me.


The key to persevering in a discouraging marriage is hope and faith from God’s word that he can overcome the divide.


Kelly Minter: How many times have I looked for life in places where only dead men live? I’ve peered into the tombs of fame and wealth, stepped into caverns where the powerful and popular preside, and carried my offerings to the pleasures of this world, looking for life. And then the whisper that cuts with the tip of a sword slices through: Why are you looking for life here? Look for Jesus. No life is life except the life he gives.


Dane Ortlund: Easter is the promise of final in-breaking light to every pocket of darkness in our lives. Easter is the proven certainty of a sunrise on every self-inflicted sunset. Easter is the promise of reversal. 






Morning Mashup 03/29

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

Book Deals


How Do We Relate to Superman? – Aaron Armstrong reflects on the new Batman vs. Superman movie and how we identify with the Man of Steel.

The Collected Letters of C.S. Lewis – And all Lewis admirers said, Amen.

The Tragedy of the Resurrection – Beautiful piece from Carl Trueman on the often overlooked tragic elements in Christian theology, particularly the resurrection. He writes, “The lack of a sense of the tragic in Christian worship indicates a lack of biblical balance in the liturgies of today’s services.”

Has Ken Ham Embraced Evolution? – Dr. Kenneth Keathley of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary believes so. Tim Challies disagrees in this article.

Baptists and the Benedict Option in American Babylon – This article by Nathan Finn is worth reading a few times over.

Did the Second Person of the Trinity Die? – I believe Mark Jones convincingly refutes R.C. Sproul’s Christological belief that only Jesus’ humanity suffered death.

A Biblical Theology of the Resurrection – D.A. Carson at his best.


“We cannot serve God and the world at the same time. It is vain to attempt it. The thing cannot be done.”

— J.C. Ryle

The Unwasted Life

There is one story that my wife and I have read multiple times that both shakes and sustains us in our Christ-centered hope beyond the grave. It is the familiar story of John and Betty Stam–two people who truly risked all for the sake of Christ. They met as students at Moody Bible Institute and both surrendered their lives to be missionaries in China. They signed up with the China Inland Mission in response to a call for 200 new missionaries to be sent to China. China was an incredibly hostile place for a missionary to be at this time. However, fear found no place in John Stam’s mind. In his address to the graduating class at Moody in 1932, he said:

Shall we beat a retreat, and turn back from our high calling in Christ Jesus; or dare we advance at God’s command, in the face of the impossible?…Let us remind ourselves that the Great Commission was never qualified by clauses calling for advance only if funds were plentiful and [if there is] no hardship or self-denial involved. On the contrary, we are told to expect tribulation and even persecution, but with it victory in Christ.

Betty left for China one year before John in 1931, but they were reunited and married in 1933. In September of 1934 Betty gave birth to a baby girl. In December of that same year, Communists ravaged the village they were serving in and took them captive. John and Betty were both 25 years old and had an infant. On December 6, 1934, John Stam wrote a letter to his superiors at the China Inland Mission informing them of his capture. He concluded his letter with these words:

Things happened so quickly this a.m. They were in the city just a few hours after the ever-persistent rumors really became alarming, so that we could not prepare to leave in time. We were just too late. The Lord bless and guide you, and as for us, may God be glorified whether by life or by death.

Two days later, John and Betty Stam hid their daughter in a basket to save her from execution just before they were stripped of their clothes and paraded through the streets of a neighboring town. They were then taken to a hill outside the village. John was ordered to kneel before his wife. The last thing Betty saw of her husband was a long sword taking off his head. Betty was next. It is told that she did not scream, but trembled as she lay down next to her husband’s lifeless body. With a similar swing, the same sword that beheaded her husband ended her life.

Paul writes, “If Christ has not been raised…If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.” After reading the account of John and Betty Stam do you see what Paul is meaning here? If Christ has not been raised, the gospel is false, the Stam’s faith is empty, they are guilty of their sin, and they have no hope after death. So, risking their lives and the life or their daughter is absolutely ludicrous—it is insane—if Christ has not been raised. We should feel so sorry for the Stams that they gave their lives and gave up comfort for a false Christ, if it is true that Christ has not been raised.

But Christ has been raised! And so, the radical sacrifice of John and Betty Stam makes total sense and is enviable, as they found joy in risking all for Christ for the glory of Christ in all nations. Sacrificial obedience and radical risk-taking for Jesus is the only thing that makes sense if Christ has been raised. New Testament scholar Tom Schreiner writes, “The lordship of Jesus is inseperable from his resurrection.” Jesus walked into universal lordship and cosmic kingship when he walked out of the tomb.

If you want to waste your life, then live as if Christ has not been raised. Risk nothing. Sacrifice nothing. Obey only yourself. Gain every comfort you possibly can. In the words of Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:32 “If the dead are not raised, ‘Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.”

If you claim comfort as your king, yet you claim Christ as your Savior, you are serving a dead Jesus. Oh, how long will we live like we believe in a dead Jesus? How long will we ignore the poverty and injustice that surrounds us? How long will we ignore the lost people that we see every single day? How long will we neglect the nations and the over 2 billion unreached peoples who have little to no access to the gospel? Will we come to the end of our lives and reflect back saying, “I’ve wasted it”?

May we start living in light of the unavoidable truth of the resurrection. Paul ends this chapter with these words: “Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain” (v. 58). Christ has been raised! So, spend your life for his glory. Give selflessly. Love passionately. Serve sacrificially. Take radical risks for Christ and his glory in your neighborhood and in all nations. Commit yourself today to not waste your life, but to live a life worthy of being envied—a life that delights in risk-taking obedience to Jesus, the Lord of life and death. The life that is not wasted is the life that is spent for Christ for his glory and our joy.

Mathew Gilbert (B.A. Boyce College) is Associate Pastor for Children and Preschool at The Church at Trace Crossing in Tupelo, MS. He is a 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 son, Jude. You can follow him on Twitter @mat_gilbert.

Quick Quotes: 10 Quotes from “Captivated” by Thabiti Anyabwile

Q-train-logoEvery Friday, I plan to share select quotes from a book I am either currently reading or have previously read. Few things have impacted my faith and life as much as reading has. This will be just one way I promote books and reading. These articles will be for the dedicated reader who loves to gain insight from as many books as possible. They will also be for the Christian looking for new books to read. I am always on the lookout for new books to read. Hopefully some things I share will lead you to pick up a new book. Finally, these articles will be for those of you too busy to read. Hopefully these quick quotes will provide you with easy access to books you would otherwise not have time to read. Each article will include a brief discussion of the author and his work followed by ten (or more) pertinent quotes from the book.

I seem to always be looking for books that are just hard to find. I really enjoy biblical commentaries, but would love to find some that are helpful for devotional style reading without forsaking robustness. They are hard to find. I also love concise theological works that may not address all the issues on a topic, but lay out the basics in a biblically and theologically rich manner. There are a few of these, but they are still difficult to track down.

One reason I love these concise theological works is that they are so helpful for non-believers and new Christians. I am always looking for books to pass along to curious non-believers and new converts. While John Frame and Wayne Grudem have written two of the best systematic theologies in the last 50 years, I would prefer a new Christian’s first look at Christian theology to be a little lighter than 1000 pages. Finding concise theological works is great for discipling children and youth as well. While even these shorter works are often too deep for most children, many teenagers can tackle them, especially in a group setting.

J.I. Packer’s Concise Theology is an excellent choice. It is the go-to work I pass along to new Christians and curious non-believers. It is comprehensive and gives a solid and trustworthy overview of Christian theology from a Reformed perspective. But for non-believers and new Christians, I believe it’s best to read one of these concise works on a particular topic: the person and work of Christ. Bruce Ware’s The Man Christ Jesus is helpful here. But one of the best short theological works on the death and resurrection of Jesus, specifically in the last few years, is Captivated: Beholding the Mystery of Jesus’ Death and Resurrection, written by Thabiti Anyabwile.

81HvEVm8fJLCaptivated is a short and steady meditation on the death and resurrection of Jesus. Anyabwile’s goal is for readers to “behold His face and be satisfied as we’re changed from one degree of glory to another in Him.” To be captivated by anything, we must gaze and behold the beauty of a thing. This is exactly what Anyabwile does in Captivated. He helps readers gaze into the beauty of Christ and behold him as an all-satisfying treasure.

If you are a non-Christian considering the claims of Christianity, a new believer, or a longtime believer, Captivated will help clarify your mind and captivate your soul to the heart of the Christian faith. Here are ten quotes to get you started:

1. Only Jesus ends the war between God and man with a peaceful solution. If Jesus does not go to the cross, then God will win the war with a final and terrible judgment against man for his sin. Sinners cannot fight God and win. Having Jesus as our Mediator is the only way for us to be reconciled to God.

2. God’s greatest motivation for all His actions is the revelation of His glory in the universe.

3. The only perfect Father found occasion to deny the only perfect Son because such denial achieved the only perfect goals: a perfectly qualified high priesthood, reconciliation through the only God-man Mediator, loving atonement for the sins of men, the vindication of the Father’s righteousness, and the ever-redounding glory of the Father in the Son and the Son in the Father.

4. Gethsemane’s silent answer rings eternally in the loud joyous praises of the universe.

5. But on that dark midday on Golgotha, when the sun refused to shine, the unimaginable and indescribable happened. That beautiful, shining, loving face of the Father withdrew into the dark, frowning, punishing face of wrath.

6. Death is dead. Jesus destroyed it in His death and resurrection. It was impossible that death should ever have victory over the Author of life.

7. Life lived in light of the resurrection includes radical sacrifices in faith.

8. The death, burial, and resurrection free us from having to keep the law in order to be reconciled with and justified before God.

9. The resurrection turns us from law-keeping to gospel-believing and from self-righteousness to an alien righteousness in Jesus Christ. It turns us from trying to earn God’s love by our good deeds to freely accepting God’s love as a gift through faith in His Son.’

10. Only one infallible way of knowing the truth about who Jesus really is and the power of His resurrection exists. We must have our eyes opened by God.

11751958_1209158262442953_3486622930933138849_nMathew Gilbert (B.A. Boyce College) is Associate Pastor of Children and Preschool at The Church at Trace Crossing in Tupelo, MS. He is an M.Div student at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Mathew is married to his high school sweetheart, Erica. They have one son, Jude Adoniram.