Saturday Sampler: June 19 — June 25

I’m glad Chris Hohnholz has started blogging more frequently at Slave to the King, although John and I have been more than happy with his weekly postings of the Voice of Reason Radio podcasts that he co-hosts with his friend, Richard Story. Chris warns us that The Most Dangerous Thing We Can Say is “We’ve got to do something!” Find out why he opposes that mindset.

In her article for CBMW, Sharon James lists 5 Reasons Why We Should Not Stop Using Male Pronouns for God by appealing to God’s authority in revealing Himself. I recommend this piece both for its excellent handling of God’s Word and for its reverence for the Lord.

Elizabeth Prata warns Christians to Run Away From Temptation Island in The End Time. She starts by admonishing us to avoid a certain television show, but uses her admonition to then counsel us against flirting with temptation of any sort. Her conclusion brings hope and encouragement that you won’t want to miss.

Even as Christians, we often struggle to take life as seriously as we ought. So Teach Us to Number Our Days by Cindy Matson of Bible Study Nerd examines a psalm that Moses wrote, applying it to the intricacies of contemporary life. Personally, I like her thoughts on how enjoying a piece of chocolate can help us number our days. Are you numbering your days well?

Sometimes our troubles cause us such despair that we struggle to look at the bigger picture, as Tim Challies demonstrates in The Thing About Light and Momentary. I love his balance in acknowledging human emotion while maintaining the truth of God’s Word.

Peter Krol of Knowable Word has been writing a wonderfully helpful series on the proper use of Bible Commentaries over the past several weeks. His latest installment, Your Test: Can You Do What the Commentator Did?, gets down to the heart of what he’s been trying to communicate all along. Even if you’ve missed his previous posts, don’t pass this one up!

Indeed, yesterday was A Day To Celebrate! Robin Self of A Worthy Walk rejoices over the Supreme Court’s courageous decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. Robin acknowledges that there’s still a long way to go before abortion is completely abolished in the United States, but we can praise God for this amazing milestone as we keep fighting and praying. To God be the glory!

Saturday Sampler: June 12 — June 18

Have you been thinking about heaven lately? I have! Apparently so has Tim Challies, as evidenced by his wonderful mediation, The Harder Our Earth, the Sweeter Our Heaven. If life is hard for you right now, Tim’s words might give you the encouragement you need.

Speaking of attitudes during suffering, Elizabeth Prata of The End Time writes Job vs. Naomi: How do we respond when circumstances take a downturn? This interesting comparison between two prominent people of the Old Testament can help us respond to our trials in ways that honor the Lord.

When Cindy Matson begins with an allusion to Shakespeare, my background as an English Literature major perks up. Of course, Bible Study Nerd is a blog about the Bible, not literature, so she merely uses The Bard to introduce us to Prayers to Kill the Green-Eyed Monster of jealousy. The direction of the prayers she suggests may surprise you.

In Growing 4 Life this week, a biographical sketch of John Bunyan and a truck bed full of discarded Legos lead Leslie A to muse on Life and Legos. She writes with humility and candor about her own struggles to maintain an eternal perspective, assuring us that God works patiently to develop our characters.

Many of us watching the live stream of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Annual Meeting this week were incensed when they allowed Rick Warren to speak from the floor. Chris Hohnholz was one of us. His reaction, On Rick Warren, Women Pastors, and “Secondary Issuesappears in Slave to the King with excellent evidence that the matter of women in the pulpit is definitely important. His passion for God’s Word makes this post well worth your time and attention.

Peter Krol continues his series on the “commandments” of commentary use by writing Facts vs. Implications in Commentaries for Knowable Word. Admittedly, this is a difficult distinction to grasp, so you can’t really skim through this article. But I think it’s well worth the effort if we want to enhance our Bible Study time with the wisdom of Bible scholars.

Saturday Sampler: June 5 — June 11

Like many of us who take Biblical stands on social media, Denny Burk suffered a little grief on Twitter last week. He responds to his critics by writing Pride Month and Ezekiel 16:49 by simply bringing out Scriptural and historical context. In doing so, he demonstrates that answering worldly objections doesn’t require making worldly arguments. All we need to do is rightly divide God’s Word.

Have you ever felt as if God ignored your requests? When I was single, desperately begging Him for a husband, I struggled with such feelings. Tim Challies addresses the frustration of unanswered prayer in his post, Prayers That God Will Not Answer. Looking back, I see each of the reasons Challies gives played a part in why the Lord delayed my marriage. See if you can find reasons He might not be answering your prayers right now.

Writing in The End Time, Elizabeth Prata shows us evidence from Scripture and solid commentators that we can Rejoice in our future! The reason she gives for rejoicing is something I’ve read thousands of times over my 51 years of reading the Bible, but never really grasped until reading her article. I wonder if the reason will surprise you as much as it surprised me.

Why should we bother with church history? Leslie A offers a powerful answer in Sometimes a Look Back is Invaluable, which appears in Growing 4 Life this week. If you think history is boring and irrelevant, I beg you to read this post to see how the Christians of past generations can encourage us as we face persecution in our own time.

I’m not quite sure how to introduce Jesse Johnson’s Father, Long Before Creation, which you’ll find in The Cripplegate. What a marvelous musing based on a hymn written by Chinese Christians during persecution in the 1950s! And what a stirring celebration of how the Trinity worked long before creation for our salvation! Be sure to click the second link in paragraph 1 to play a joyful version of the hymn by Indelible Grace.

On Slave to the King, Chris Hohnholz takes issue with the news that Eerdmans Publishing Celebrities Sin to observe Pride Month. Well folks, we indeed should be upset when a company claiming to be Christian deliberately disregards the clear teaching of God’s Word for the sake of appeasing worldly culture. Kudos to Chris for standing on Scripture.

I approached Why “Proverbs Aren’t Promises” is Misleading with skepticism, and truthfully I’m still questioning some points in Peter Krol’s article for Knowable Word. I debated about including it in this week’s collection, but decided to so because he has an interesting understanding of Proverbs. And many of his points are quite reasonable, making them well worth consideration.

Saturday Sampler: May 29 — June 4

In a short but powerful post, Slimjim of The Domain for Truth compares Legalism as Prison and License to sin as false freedom. It’s a comparison worthy of notice.

Idolatry comes in many forms, most of which are subtle. Continuing her series on idols Christians struggle against, Cindy Matson writes Do You Crave Comfort? in Bible Study Nerd. Although her post is terribly convicting, she raises points that very much need to be raised. And she helps us find ways to enjoy God’s blessings without turning them into idols.

The Unloved Wife: Responding Biblically by Heather Coker addresses a problem that Christians might largely ignore. I applaud Servants of Grace for allowing her to bring up this topic, and I appreciate the sensitivity in her writing, even as she refuses to compromise Scripture.

Are you looking for something uplifting? Elizabeth Prata explores The incomparable riches of His grace in a devotional essay for The End Time. This exquisite little Bible Study should fill you with adoration for the Lord and anticipation for an eternity of worshiping Him!

Although Michael Horton should have been a little stronger in maintaining that homosexuality is sinful, his article, 3 Ways to Engage LGBTQ+ Pride Month in Core Christianity, does make points that Christians might want to consider.

Thankfully, Robin Self, author of A Worthy Walk, balances Horton’s piece wonderfully with Pride Month is Hatred for God. She writes with compassion for those who are entrapped by homosexual sin, but still exposes its wickedness. I urge you to read her post, especially if you struggle to accept that homosexuality is sinful.

Of course I’d like to “Make America Great Again.” But I think Leslie A, writing in Growing 4 Life, brings us a more Biblical perspective in her article, What Does the Bible Say About… (Patriotism)? She reminds us that true citizenship extends beyond loving and serving our country.

“Why Don’t You Be Quiet and Listen?” by Chris Hohnholz of Slave to the King really hits the nail on the head by revealing how progressive evangelicals, along with false teachers and their followers, shut down conservative Christians without dealing with our viewpoints. Chris writes with his characteristic passion, while acknowledging that we indeed need to listen.

Saturday Sampler: May 22 — May 28

Using a little humor to demonstrate his point, Ryan Higginbottom of Knowable Word shows The Absurdity of Using God’s Word Out of Context. Don’t let his bit of fun fool you though; he actually presents a serious case regarding one of the most important subjects Christians face. Stick with it to the end, where you will find refreshing encouragement.

Distinctions make all the difference, especially in talking about God and His dealings with us. In The End Time, Elizabeth Prata answers the question, Revelation, or Inspiration? So many evangelicals have difficulty making the distinction between the two, fueling confusion and false teaching that results in seriously weakening the church.

Are you enjoying Clint Archer’s series on the Person and work of Christ as much as I am? His latest post, The Goldilocks Effect: Christ the Sustainer, is fascinating from a scientific standpoint alone. But Archer merely uses the science as a launching pad that propels us into adoration and worship. You’ll find his marvelous piece on The Cripplegate.

In his post for Gentle Reformation, Keith Evans gives us 5 Considerations of an Action to think about. He challenges us in uncomfortable ways, to be sure, but perhaps those challenges are exactly what we need as we progress in our sanctification. If you’re tempted to skip this one in order to avoid conviction, it’s most likely just what you need to read. 🙂

Are All Abortions Equally Heinous? Writing for Stand to Reason, Amy Hall gives the answer Christians should expect with an argument that we might not expect. She makes no compromise with worldly ideology, but she closes with words of grace and compassion for those who have aborted their children.

Leslie A of Growing 4 Life reflects on a recent conversation in an airport that provided her with Something to Think About. She makes some observations and conclusions that are disturbing, especially to parents. I struggle to believe everything she says because I don’t want to accept what probably are hard facts. But I completely agree with her that we must consider the probability that our children are in danger from their school systems. Thankfully, Leslie also suggests strategies for protecting our children against indoctrination.

Speaking of children and indoctrination, have you wondered how to keep your kids from unbiblical attitudes regarding sex? If so, Pastor Tedd Mathis shares practical tips in Advice For Parents: Four Principles To Guide Regarding the Subject of Marriage and Sex on tedddmathisdotcom. He draws heavily from Scripture to substantiate each point, encouraging parents to do the same.

The series on Commandments for Commentary Usage that Peter Krol has been running in Knowable Word has benefited me, and I hope it has helped some of you as well. This week, he explains that Not All Commentaries are Created Equal and shows us how to determine which commentary gives the best assistance in studying a text. He even links to a list of commentaries that model the most text-driven arguments in understanding a passage.

Its been a while since I’ve shared anything from R. Scott Clark’s The Heidelblog,but his post, Winsome Is The New Nice, changes that trend. I’m not sure I agree with him on every single point he makes, but overall I think he has valid insight on this current conversation within evangelical circles. And his primary points are definitely spot on!

Saturday Sampler: May 15 — May 21

Paul Tautgus begins our week’s collection with You Were Chosen by the Father in Counseling One Another. His brief study of Ephesians 1:14 is so much more than an academic exercise in theology, however, and it most assuredly isn’t dry! The closing paragraph brings it all home in an encouraging and uplifting way.

Don’t miss The Center of the Universe by Clint Archer in The Cripplegate. He continues his series on Christ’s nature and deity with amazing examples. As last week, this installment not only provides solid theology, but it inspires awe and worship of our wonderful Lord!

How do you know you can trust what I write in this blog? Hopefully, you check it against Scripture. In her essay, Paul: What does it mean to be a Berean?, Elizabeth Prata of The End Time takes us back to the account of Paul’s ministry in Berea to show us how the people there verified his preaching. It’s great instruction on how we should filter whatever teaching we encounter.

Reprising an article from June 22, 2018, Michelle Lesley wants to know: Is the SBC’s Tent Big Enough for ALL Marginalized Christian Women? I understand that not all my readers are Southern Baptists, but the problems she outlines here extend to other denominations and even non-denominatial churches. The women Michelle references indeed suffer marginalization. Will churches and denominations listen to the concerns we have?

Saturday Sampler: May 8 — May 14

Why didn’t I post each of the essays on those women of the Middle Ages who gained celebrity as mystics that Elizabeth Prata wrote in The End Time last week? She wrote five of them (including an introduction), which would have dominated Saturday Sampler and excluded the other fine articles I wanted to feature. But she opens Medieval mystics: Conclusion with links to all the previous installments in the series. If you’re too busy to read them, she has a podcast where she reads each essay, so you can listen while driving or doing chores.

Many evangelicals think doctrine is boring and irrelevant. Clint Archer’s Meeting your Maker: Christ & Creation defies that erroneous assumption by showing Christ’s relationship with creation and how false religions distort that relationship. This post, if properly understood and applied, will do more than equip you to answer heresy; it will enhance your adoration of the Lord Jesus Christ!

In Growing 4 Life, Leslie A shares insights on The Apostate Church with a helpful history on how the visible church declined over the past century or so. She includes interesting observations and encouragement toward a Biblical response to the situation. I suggest reading her article in conjunction with Elizabeth Prata’s Can you be an ‘ex-Christian’? for a fuller understanding of apostasy.

Jason A. Carter contributes to the Reformation 21 blog with his analysis of Two Temptations for the Post-Covid Church. I hope his article will help you avoid both spiritual heart failure and spiritual nerve failure.

I greatly appreciate Tim Challies for writing Keys To Knowing God’s Will for Your Life this week. If Christians would simply follow the Biblical principles that he lays out, they could significantly reduce the anxiety they feel about major life decisions.

Some people erroneously teach that baptism is necessary in order to be saved. Tedd Mathis of tedddmathisdotcom muses On Baptism and Acts 2:38 with evidence from the Bible that baptism can in no way be a prerequisite to receiving God’s forgiveness. Take a few moments to read this brief but helpful study.

Most of us struggle to “set our minds on things above” as Colossians 3:1-2 commands. Andrew Kerr, in his column for Gentle Reformation, paints a picture of True Heavenly-Mindedness for us to consider. Heavenly-Mindedness might be more down-to-earth than you think.

Continuing his series on the proper use of commentaries on the Knowable Word blog, Peter Krol asks Which Voice Delights You Most? I absolutely recommend this post as probably the heart of this entire series. Please don’t overlook this wonderful and encouraging discussion of where commentaries fit in to healthy Bible study.

Saturday Sampler: May 1 — May 7

One of my favorite memories from my three months in Wales is visiting the ruins of a 12th Century castle. So Like a Ruined Castle by Tim Challies caught my eye. Challies makes a marvelous analogy between castles and the state of humanity.

We’ve all encountered Jehovah’s Witnesses, and most of us (if not all of us) have fumbled and stuttered as a result of their verbal gymnastics. Thankfully The Cripplegate features Christology for Visitors by Clint Archer to help us use Colossians 1:15 to show Scripture’s presentation of Christ’s deity. This post is a handy resource for dealing with anyone who tries to deny that Jesus is God. I’ve bookmarked it on my computer for further study — you might want to do the same.

Sharing her discoveries on That Elusive Contentment, Leslie A of Growing 4 Life tackles an issue common to women. With her typical transparency, Leslie begins by confessing her own battle with a chore she doesn’t enjoy, testifying that God used her daughter to adjust her attitude. She then takes us to the Bible and leads us in applying it to our struggles with discontentment.

Denny Burk makes a careful analysis on Overturning Roe and the Attempt To Delegitimize SCOTUS that we really ought to read. Obviously, we’ll have to keep praying until abortion is totally abolished. Still, Burk’s words help us understand where we are in this battle to save unborn children.

Even if you don’t have children, check out Beautiful Motherhood: A Mother’s Day Bible Study by Michelle Lesley. Her studies don’t spoon feed women, so plan to budget time to work through her questions. You’ll learn a few things that could enhance your mothering capabilities.

Please read It was never an option on the Flawed and Faithful blog. It’s a moving and tender testimony of one mother’s courageous choice to put her children before her own convenience.

On Counseling One Another, Paul Tautgus enumerates Ten Reasons We Should Pray for the End of Legalized Abortion. He supports all ten points with the Word of God, including his concluding one emphasizing God’s compassion toward those who have participated in this evil. If you’re not convinced that abortion must be abolished, I hope you’ll prayerfully consider his arguments.

Continuing his series on using Bible commentaries, Peter Krol of Knowable Word cautions us that The First Commentator to Plead His Case doesn’t necessarily have the right definitive understanding of the passage he exposits. Find out why reading a plurality of commentaries gives us a healthier approach to studying God’s Word.

Saturday Sampler: April 24 – April 30

Leslie A published The Sick Toddler on Growing 4 Life late last Saturday, so I decided to sneak it into this week’s curation. We all need this wake up call to take spiritual medicine, even (or perhaps especially) when it’s distasteful.

Taking on a popular idiom, Ryan Higginbottom of Knowable Word writes Context Matters: My Cross to Bear. American culture has really watered down that idea of bravely suffering, and Ryan brings us back to Jesus’ original intent in saying His followers must take up our crosses. The true meaning of the maxim isn’t as comforting as many people suppose.

Present-day women’s ministry looks vastly different from how women in the New Testament ministered, according to The End Time author Elizabeth Prata. She demonstrates her point in Women’s ministries then and now, using gentle humor and a good grasp on God’s Word.

Do you ever wonder about the spiritual armor Paul describes in his Ephesians 6? If so, read Clothed in the Armor of Christ by Cindy Matson at Bible Study Nerd for a wonderful look at this famous passage. You might be a little surprised at Cindy’s perspective on the topic, but think about it. That’s all she asks.

I’ve been reading Flawed and Faithful for a number of weeks, and I like what I see! Her recent article, Why The Law of Attraction is Demonic, gives a clear warning against popular philosophies that promise power over circumstances. As someone who toyed with the occult and New Age teachings before I came to Christ, I appreciated this sound counsel. Even if you’ve never been tempted in this direction, the information she supplies can be useful as you witness to people.

Over at excatholic4christ, Tom reminds us that Sanctimonious dumbness is at best a poor evangelistic strategy. His words make me think about some of the things I post on Twitter. As I recall, Jesus never condoned self-righteous attitudes or behavior.

Easter may be over, but we can continue drawing insight from the Resurrection narrative. For example, Andrew Kerr writes Dispelling Unbelief in Gentle Reformation to explain why people reject the Gospel so easily and what we can do to encourage them toward faith.

I know I’ve already shared one essay by Elizabeth Prata this week, but Satan is a good counterfeiter fits so well with Andrew Kerr’s post that I couldn’t justify neglecting to include it. As an added bonus, you could use the Scriptures Elisabeth gives to start your own topical Bible Study on Satan. I’d guess that such a study would ultimately teach you more about God’s truth.

Throwback Thursday: Let Me Count the Ways: 75 Ways Women Can Biblically Minister to Others by Michelle Lesley comes amid increasing debate on Twitter. Even women who once held solid Biblical positions have migrated to the egalitarian camp, demanding that churches elevate women to authority. Michelle thankfully brings us back to reality by listing ministries that women can do without violating God’s Word.

SlimJim of The Domain for Truth lets us peek at some preliminary notes he’s taken in preparation for a sermon he’ll preach in the future. In these notes, he points to the truth that Prayer is mightier than the Sword as he reflects on Exodus 17:8-16. You’ll get helpful teaching on prayer, but also a glimpse into the hard work pastors do to bring us God’s Word each Sunday. Maybe his article will even inspire you to pray for your own pastor.

Saturday Sampler: April 10 — April 16

I’ve left churches for right reasons, and once for a wrong reason. I’ve seen friends leave churches, usually for wrong reasons. When The Great Resignation Comes to Church by Tim Challies pulls back a curtain on the hurt caused when Christians leave churches without valid reasons. If you’re considering making a switch, this article may help you evaluate your motives.

Christ’s crucifixion fulfilled prophecies that, logically, couldn’t possibly have been fulfilled. In The Odds of Calvary, Clint Archer of The Cripplegate selects just three of the many Messianic prophecies as a glorious demonstration of the Lord’s sovereignty in His own death. Don’t assume Clint’s article is a dry and dusty theological treaties. It’s actually a wonderful treat that will increase your awe of Christ’s work on the cross.

Stop by the G3 Blog to read John Sweat’s warnings about The Dangers of Heartfelt Ignorance as he gleans insight from a character in John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress. If you’ve never read Pilgrim’s Progress, Sweat might just inspire you to do so. (Hint: I just downloaded a free Kindle version of Bunyan’s classic last week.)

Writing for The End Time, Elizabeth Prata shows us how Jackie Hill Perry rejects discernment talk about her false prophecy. I don’t really care to spotlight JHP herself, other than to say I had expected better of her, but I believe the way Elizabeth analyzes her statement against discernment bloggers teaches us skills in examining defensive statements such as this one.

Michelle Lesley reminds us of The Daily Wonder of Easter as she meditates on the truth that Christians can never hear the Gospel too often. She also shares Easter with the King: The Story of Nabal, Abigail and David, which she adapted from a women’s Sunday School class she taught on Easter Sunday 2014. The latter post helped me make sense out of a Bible episode that has perplexed me for 50 years.

I enjoy reading The Cripplegate. Almost every article is outstanding, and full of rich, solid teaching that helps us grow in our walks with the Lord. But Teach Them What the Bible Doesn’t Say by Dan Crabtree is particularly stellar! It provides interesting instruction on proper Bible interpretation that can sharpen our discernment and therefore protect us a little more from false teaching.

Since I’m currently reading 1 Kings, Peter Krol’s God’s Word Fulfilled in the Book of Kings caught my attention. This short post in Knowable Word might encourage you to read this admittedly daunting portion of Scripture as it unveils God’s commitment to His Word.