In which I have a small argument with a Puritan about suffering

Recently someone asked me to comment on Facebook on a quotation from a Puritan. I told her I found the quotation troubling enough to make a blog post out of it. Here, finally, is the promised post.

My friend said, “When I read this quote, I thought it was true and couldn’t refute it, which is why I posted it – I thought it was okay. At the same time I had doubts, and that’s why I asked you about it. It’s typical of the preaching I heard in my old church. For many years I primarily read Puritan books like this.”

So what was it? It was a paragraph from a piece called “Seven Inferences from the Great Suffering of Jesus Christ,” by Puritan Thomas Brooks. But before I offer commentary on his work, I’d like to ask you to read it without commentary. Continue reading

Dear Christian, you are called to spiritual life, not perpetual death

addressing the false teaching of “daily dying to self,” part 3

You can read Part 1 hereYou can read Part 2 here.

Recap of the “daily dying to self” study so far

When Jesus told the crowd “Deny yourself and follow Me,” He wasn’t saying “daily die to yourself in a spiritual or soulish way.” He was telling them to turn their backs on their former lives and become His true disciples. He still calls people to this.

When He said “Take up your cross (daily) and follow Me as a disciple,” He was not saying “die to yourself daily in a spiritual or soulish way.” He was telling them Continue reading

Dear Christian: stop trying to die

addressing the false teaching of “daily dying to self,” part 2

You can read Part 1 here. 

I die dailyPart 1 was an introduction to the topic of “daily dying to self,” partly to respond to a blog post, plus I had the privilege of providing a platform for my excellent husband.

But Part 2 will begin looking at the Scriptures that don’t teach “daily dying to self.” First off . . . Continue reading

Dear Christian, your marriage is not supposed to kill you

addressing the false teaching of “daily dying to self,” part 1
Your marriage is not supposed to kill you.

by Rebecca Davis

A couple of months ago blogger Darrell Harrison posted this blog article (link), which told us our marriages are supposed to kill us.  Continue reading

Power over Porn

Not long ago I had the privilege of having a deep conversation with a young man who was attending an excellent local Bible school.

What made this conversation unusual was that this young man began telling me about an addiction to pornography that had gripped him since he was nine. He was one of the oldest children in a large family, so hiding his addiction had been no small feat, but he managed it. Continue reading

Note to self: Stop saying “I can’t”

At some point in my life—not that long ago, I’m afraid—I realized I said these two words a lot.

I can’t memorize like I used to. I can’t keep anything in my head for more than about ten seconds.

I can’t take on one more thing. Really, I would love to, but I just can’t.

I can’t do this by myself, people.

I just can’t break this sin pattern.

At some point—don’t remember what God used to turn on the light—I realized Continue reading

So where’s the fruit? Thoughts on John 15 and the sower and seed

blueberry bushes“I want more fruit, Lord. I want much fruit.” My prayer ran more or less along the lines of that vague reference to John 15. It was summer, and my parents’ blueberry bushes groaned with fruit. I was jealous. In the Love of Christ, my roots ran as deep as those. Of the Water of Life I drank long and often. Yes, I have fruit, but I’m hungry for more. Where is it?

As is commonly the case with these Hard Questions, I prayed and pondered for a while before receiving an answer. Then somewhere Continue reading