The Last Week of Jesus

Even for those who know the Bible well, it can be difficult to piece together the final week of Jesus as it is chronicled across the four gospels. This is why I'm excited to see a brand-new book by one of my favorite people: Justin Taylor. Justin is a popular blogger at Between Two Worlds, a senior vice-president and publisher for books at Crossway, and an author and scholar in his own right. He has teamed with Andreas Kostenberger on a book that is sure to be a terrific reference for Bible students: The Final Days of Jesus. Today I interviewed him for Leadership Journal. Here was one of my questions: Did anything surprise you about the last week of Jesus? On the one hand, the story is so familiar to many of us that there are no blockbuster surprises. But it's one of those stories where there is always more to see in what we...

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Getting Free by Pursuing Jesus

Chances are you have seen Jefferson Bettke's viral video: "Why I Hate Religion But Love Jesus" which has now been viewed almost 27 million times. A lot of has happened in Jefferson's life since the release of that spoken word video. God has given him a great platform to share the gospel in unique and powerful ways. He is out with a new book, Jesus>Religion. I had the chance to interview Jefferson for my weekly blog at Leadership Journal's Out of Ur. I asked him about one of the subjects of his public speaking ministry: the grip of pornography on young men: Pornography has been a subject of much of your public speaking. How can the gospel free young men from porn's grip? The good news of Jesus is that he has brought new creation right here in the midst of the old one. The kingdom is near as he says and that means his rule,...

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Finding Joy In a Fallen World

I've been deeply convicted lately, about my own writing and interaction on social media. I enjoy keeping up with current events, politics, and movements in the Church. I like writing in reaction to news stories, helping people think biblically about what is going on in the world. I'd like to think I do a fair job at doing this, but I know that because I see "through a glass darkly" even at my best, my view of the world is tainted by sin. It's a good thing to help people size up the world biblically, but if we're not careful (and by we, I mean me), people can assume that the Christian faith is all about cynicism, negativity, and opposition. I recently read, afresh, Philippians 4:8: Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if...

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What Is Your Thing?

As a pastor I meet a lot of interesting Christians. I have people who attend my church, people who call or stop by to promote their ministry in our church, and/or people who send me information via email or mail. The common theme is that every Christian seems to have a "thing." That is to say the one theme of their life and their advocacy. For instance, there are those whose specialty is defending Genesis. For others it's Christian political activism. There are outreaches and emphases on Jewish ministry, men's ministry, Christian education, eschatology, and a host of other specific niches. Pastors get hit with appeals for these on an almost weekly basis. In one sense, I love this because it demonstrates how God has uniquely gifted and called individual Christians and ministries. Their laser-like focus helps educate and edify God's people. For the busy pastor, who sees the whole church, having...

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