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From the nightstand…

Sneaking a peek at friends’ bookshelves is always telling. But even more telling would be to see what’s on their nightstand. In lieu of real book reviews today, consider this a peek at my bedside table (which is straining under the guilty weight of unread or half-read books). Here are some books I’ve been reading and even some I’ve even been enjoying.

Social media: the 3rd degree

In preparing for an online seminar through RPTS on technology and social media, I’ve become even more convinced of the necessity of interrogating (roughly, if necessary) our technology. Authors I’ve read on the subject all agree: the inventors of technology cannot be counted on to subject their inventions to a Biblical, discerning screening.

Why does God let men preach?

This is the best and most useful exercise in humility, when (God) accustoms us to obey his Word, even though it be preached through men like us and sometimes even by those of lower worth than we. If he spoke from heaven, it would not be surprising if his sacred oracles were to be reverently received without delay by the ears and minds of all. For who would not dread the presence of His power? Who would not be stricken down at the sight of such great majesty? Who would not be confounded at such boundless splendor? But when a puny man risen from the dust speaks in God’s name, at this point we best evidence our piety and obedience toward God if we show ourselves teachable toward his minister, although he excels us in nothing.
–John Calvin (Institutes 4.3.1)

Preaching to a 4 year old

Like many parents, I am regularly rebuked of how greatly I underestimate my children. How often something slips from their lips and Lisa and I look at each other with eyes that say, “wow, they were actually paying attention” or “wow, we need to watch what we say!” But rarely have I been so encouraged and exhilarated as I was after last Sunday’s service.

Why do false faiths prosper?

It is an observation worthy of attention, that false religions have commonly been more successful than the true one, in persuading men to devote their substance to sacred uses; not surely because error is, in its own nature, more efficacious than truth, but because the former accords better with the vanity and corrupt propensities of mankind. –John Dick, Lectures on the Acts of the Apostles, 306