Bearing Grief through Truth and Worship

We all—hundreds of us—asked God for something good: a baby’s life. Something that would give us an opportunity to magnify his mercy and exalt Jesus together as a church family. Instead, he let baby Tahlia die just a few hours after she was born. Instead of a telling miracle story, we are grieving with our friends who have been left with empty arms.

Every grief is different, and it’s usually unfair to compare one loss with another. But most people seem to acknowledge that grief over a lost baby is in a special category.

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Is Preaching the “Heart” of Worship?

Last week the esteemed Al Mohler reprised an excellent article he originally posted several years ago, “Expository Preaching—the Antidote to Anemic Worship.” I recommend it highly. As the title suggests, he argues that much of the corporate worship in today’s evangelical churches is weak because the preaching is weak. Whether the style is choir-and-orchestra traditional or guitar-and-drums contemporary, it is often the case that “music fills the space and drives the energy of the worship service.” Music, that is, instead of the Word of God accurately preached.

It’s not my purpose here to disagree with this well-made point but rather to build on it.… Continue reading

Biblical Genealogies: Begetting a Devotional Reading

You’ve heard it and maybe even said it yourself, “When I get to a genealogy in my Bible reading, I just skip it.” Genealogies (lists of names telling who is related to whom) can be boring and intimidating—especially if you have to read all those hard-to-pronounce names aloud for someone else to hear. However, Paul did not exclude the biblical genealogies when he wrote, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16–17 esv).… Continue reading

Why Movie, When you can Spiritual?

“Why would we go to a movie when we could do something spiritual like pray, read our Bibles, evangelize, or serve the body?” Most of us have heard or used this logic before. I’ve heard (and used) other subjects instead of movies: television, video games, board games, sports, beverage choices, or any hobby. I certainly can remember using this line of reasoning too.

The Problem

The line of reasoning, on the surface, appears holy and god-exalting. I mean, when we really weigh reading Scripture and watching a movie, who would say a movie is godlier than Scripture? The problem often presents itself when this reasoning is used to denounce and judge a person for watching television, movies, or any other “fun” activity.… Continue reading

Psalms and Hymns: Preach the Psalm Headings

The psalm is a hymn that is sung to an instrument, either a lyre or a psaltery. According to the spiritual or analogical sense, the poem is a contemplation of truth that happens not only in the mind but also in the music as with measured harmony. The psalm denotes actions that are done according to right reason; so as one sings he follows the way of an effective life; he sings who follows a life of contemplation.[1]

Didymus the Blind (ca. 313–398 AD) was an Alexandrian exegete whom Jerome admired. Origen influenced Didymus in his exegesis and theology.… Continue reading