Why recognizing our need for grace enlarges our capacity to give it

British author and thinker G. K. Chesterton was once invited by a London newspaper to offer his opinion on what was wrong with the world. Legend has it he sent a brief letter in reply: Dear Sirs, I am. Sincerely yours, G. K. Chesterton This echoes the thoughts of another philosopher. In one of his final letters, Paul wrote his protégé Timothy and volunteered an answer to a hypothetical question: Who is the world’s worst sinner? Which human being was the biggest problem, in Paul’s mind? Was it Nero, the wicked despot who gleefully slaughtered innocent Christians? Was it the weak people of faith who abandoned Paul in a time of need? Was it the perennially dysfunctional church in Corinth? None of the above. So who did this aging apostle finger as the chief sinner? Shockingly, Paul pointed to himself (1 Tim. 1:15). Yes, in Paul’s mind, he was the problem. This is...

Continue Reading

15 Years and Counting

“Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband. (Ephesians 5:31–33 ESV) Fifteen years ago, a man waited by a church stage in Chicago as a beautiful young woman from Texas walked down the aisle. When you get married, you do it without knowing, fully, what is ahead. You know the other person, of course. You get wise input from friends and mentors and parents. You spend time together getting to know each other. But you don't really know the person you are marrying. This is part of what makes marriage mysterious and wonderful if you are committed to it. It is mysterious in that you have no...

Continue Reading

Thanksgiving, When There is No Reason to Be Thankful

There was little to be thankful for in those first few, difficult, ravaging years. The bitter New England cold had claimed half of the Mayflower’s first courageous travellers. The comforts of their homes in England, warm food, adequate furnishings, reliable city infrastructure—this was all gone and replaced with a crude and uncertain reality in the New World. Still, these men and women stopped to say thank you. We don’t really know if this feast—perhaps in the early 1620’s in Plymouth, Massachusetts—was “the first thanksgiving”, but we do know that these hearty souls found time to offer gratitude to God, in the midst of their suffering. It’s reminiscent of another unlikely call to praise, this time the faint whisper of a beleaguered prophet. Habakkuk, who groaned with longing and expectation for God to visit his sinful people, nevertheless offered up a feeble note of trust: Though the fig tree does not bud and there...

Continue Reading

The Way Home: Alistair Begg on Spurgeon, pastoral leadership, and sports

How has Charles Spurgeon's ministry influenced Alistair Begg, pastor, radio teacher, and author? Today Alistair joins the podcast to talk Spurgeon, pastoral leadership, and Cleveland sports. I asked him about the difference between shepherding and mere leading and what piece of advice he'd give to a young seminarian. [powerpress] Show Notes Twitter: @truthforlife Website: truthforlife.org and Spurgeon Study Bible Book: Spurgeon Study Bible ...

Continue Reading