From the world of books, Westminster Books is offering a special deal of their bestsellers from 2013. There are some really good deals here. Be sure to check it out. Tim Keller has a new commentary out: Romans 1-7 for You. This is part of the “For You” series put out by The Good Book Company. If you buy it from them, you get a Bible study guide on the same passage for free. If you just want the book, Amazon has it cheaper.
Christian theology and popular culture come together in a post by Tim Keller this week. There he talks about the oft-used criticism of Christians who reject laws about shellfish but embrace those that condemn homosexuality and why it doesn’t work as a valid criticism of Christianity. While Israel adopted one of the most liberal laws regarding abortion, the US Department of Justice rejected an appeal by catholic nuns for an exemption in helping to pay for them. Joni Erickson Tada wrote in the WSJ explaining the inconsistencies of laws in place to help the disabled (an account is required to read this; go here for Albert Mohler’s commentary on the issue). Christianity Today published a list of the 50 places in the world where it’s hardest to be a Christian (HT: TGCIO). Finally, the ERLC announced the creation of a leadership network for helping believers apply the gospel to issues of ethics and culture.
There were lots of thoughtful posts related to ministry this week. Mez McConnell offered two posts on ministering to addicts. The first deals with guarding your heart and the second with double-mindedness. Anyone in ministry will be dealing with these issues and these articles are well worth your time in preparing for it. Heath Lambert reflected on the need for training in biblical counseling. Douglas O’Donnell challenged church music leaders to think about the lyrics being sung. Specifically, he pointed out the need for lyrics that speak to the believer’s sanctification. From the archives of history, Jeremy Walker blogged about Spurgeon’s standards for conversion and membership–something every pastor should think deeply about. Finally, Jonathan Leeman wrote about Mark Dever’s example of passing out authority in the church. This is a good corrective to those who would want to hoard authority in the church like a king instead of an under-shepherd.
Two videos wrap up this week in review. The first is a brief history of student missions from the recent Cross Con. The second is a narrated version of Pilgrim’s Progress for kids (HT: JT).