Book Review: Essentials by Lee McMunn

mdsg5vm

It’s great that McMunn starts his book with the Trinity unlike the usual gospel presentation. At first you might think it’s a short book about doctrine, but it’s not. Essentials is an evangelistic book . Essentials is giving a step by step explanation of the gospel. And as I have said McMunn started this book with the Trinity and ends with an invitation to have a relationship with God. Essentials is a presentable evangelistic tool because of appealing title, chapter title and cover image.

There are downsides in book. First, in chapter 3 which illustrates how Jesus rescues. Although the context is answering the question “So why didn’t he save himself? Why did Jesus stay on the cross?” an illustration of a kid drowning is not the biblical way to represent humanity submerged in sin. Total depravity points us that we are not drowning but dead at the bottom of the river.  Second the sinner’s prayer at the last part of the book, which is for me unbiblical. Decisionism is not part of the gospel message.

Essentials is a good book but has problematic issues. If for not those issues, I would have graded this book a bit higher.  Still you can benefit reading it for yourself and use some parts of it for your personal evangelism.

My verdict:

3.5 out of 5

8 Favorite Quotes From the Book “True Friendship” by Vaughan Roberts

1xdczh1

Yesterday, I lead our youth small group to cultivate their awareness with our persecuted brethren. Our activity was to write a letter of encouragement for these Christians who are undergoing trials. We wrote letters to two Chinese pastors currently in prison, a Nigerian mother and parents of the Chibok girls. I hope and pray that these letters will strengthen the spirits of these persecuted believer and our youth will open their hearts to fellow Christians who are suffering. Would you include that in your prayers?

Anyways, here’s Vaughan Roberts book True Friendshippublished by 10 of Those.  If you like these quotes, please get yourself a copy of this book by ordering at Amazon or at the 10 of Those website. Book review of this book is coming soon.

“Healthy Christian marriages do not have an exclusively inward focus, but are fuelled by looking up to Christ and strengthened by looking out to others, both to give and receive.”

“God’s plan of salvation is designed not only to restore our vertical relationship with God, but also to create horizontal relationships of loving friendship between human beings in his family.”

“The theme of friendship takes us right to the heart of the Bible’s message. God is relational.”

“The fundamental relationship in our life must be with the one true God, the sovereign Creator. The Bible insists that true wisdom begins when we ‘fear’ him: recognizing who he is and what he has done for us in Christ, and then responding with a worshipful, trusting submission. “

“Marriage is the exclusive, covenantal commitment of a man and a woman for life. The Bible teaches that sexual intercourse, which is designed to express and strengthen that covenant, should only take place in that context. Friendship should not seek to copy marriage by either demanding exclusive commitment or containing sexual expression. We are free to develop deep friendships, which can be a great blessing, as long as these boundaries are not crossed. “

“If we are hoping to marry we should be looking, above all, not for the perfect partner for romantic dates, but for a friend who can travel with us through all of life. For Christians, that must therefore mean someone who is on the same path, seeking to follow Christ.”

“Our Facebook profile might tell us that we have 464 friends, but how many really know us? How many would we be willing to make real sacrifices for? How many are there on whom we can rely in times of need? “

“We too can be friends of God, not because of any innate worthiness in us, but because of Christ’s death for us on the cross. “

By the way, to my Pinoy friends, do you want to learn how to self-publish your book? Here’s a step by step video from Loida Bauto, an AVM survivor and a PWD vlogger:

8 Favorite Quotes From the Book “Essentials” by Lee McMunn

mw53fvr

Living with my in law who needs a dialysis twice a week, me and my wife need to adjust. I have a graveyard shift so my time in the morning is flexible. But I need to make much of those dialysis sessions. So I decided, since I’ll be taking my father in law two times a week (Tuesday and Friday) at the hospital for his 4 hour dialysis session, I might as well bring some digital “baon”. Aside from e-books, I’ll be listening to various podcast from Spotify. It’s a mix bag of Reformed theology, business, comics and kid lit. I want those 4 hours to count as I listen, enjoy and learn.

Anyways, here’s Lee McMunn’s book Essentialspublished by 10 of Those.  If you like these quotes, please get yourself a copy of this book by ordering at the 10 of Those website. Book review of this book is coming up.

“The Bible teaches that the God who is responsible for all the good and beautiful things, from the tiniest particle to the grandest planet, is a united family of three persons; the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.”

“The Bible says it’s because the God who made us is a relationship of three persons, and we have been created to live in a similar way. That’s why relationships are so important to us.”

“The reason God has the right to rule our lives is because he created us. We know from our everyday existence that those who make things, whether small or grand, have ownership rights over their creations. “

“Passionate commitment to God and his way is for our happiness. Living with God in charge is not drudgery, it is delightful.”

“Rejecting God spells disaster for our eternal future. Cosmic treason is expensive. “

“Forgiveness alone would have been amazing. But the God who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit offers us much more. As well as forgiveness, we are invited to enjoy a relationship with each member of the Trinity.”

“Obeying Jesus in a world where many people don’t inevitably brings Christians into conflict with competing ideas. Therefore, anyone who follows Jesus should expect turbulence.”

“Relationship with the Father is very personal, but it is never to be individualistic. Anyone who follows Jesus instantly has lots of siblings!”

The Quotable Round-Up #100

og0ooopWow! It’s our 100th Qoutable Round-Up! What’s special about this post is that today is the  501 st year of the Reformation. Yay! Another is the book we are quoting is from Tim Keller’s new book The Prodigal Prophet. Very controversial author and book, but its a pretty good read. So here’s seven of them and next time I’ll post another batch:

“Because of his self-substitution, we can have life. To the degree you grasp what Jesus did for you, and rest in the salvation he bought for you, to that degree this pattern of substitutionary sacrifice and love will be reproduced in your relationships. And you will become the kind of person the world desperately need.”

“Many today reject the doctrine of substitutionary atonement. They believe it depicts a loving Jesus who extracts forgiveness from a wrathful, reluctant God. Some have called this “divine child abuse.” But that insults Jesus. It demotes him into some kind of lesser being, and it is a denial of one of the cardinal doctrines of the Bible and Christianity, namely that there is only one God who exists in three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The three persons are not three Gods, but one. So the name “Jesus” means “God saves,” and his name “Immanuel” (Matthew 1:21–23) means “God with us.” Paul says “that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them” (2 Corinthians 5:19).”

“There’s love at the heart of our storms. If you turn to God through faith in Christ, he won’t let you sink. Why not? Because the only storm that can really destroy—the storm of divine justice and judgment on sin and evil—will never come upon you.”

“If you want to understand your own behavior, you must understand that all sin against God is grounded in a refusal to believe that God is more dedicated to our good, and more aware of what that is, than we are. We distrust God because we assume he is not truly for us, that if we give him complete control, we will be miserable.”

“We were made in “the image of God” (Genesis 1:26–27). There can be no image without an original of which the image is a reflection. “To be in the image” means that human beings were not created to stand alone. We must get our significance and security from something of ultimate value outside us. To be created in God’s image means we must live for the true God or we will have to make something else God and orbit our lives around that.”

“We think that if we are religiously observant, virtuous, and good, then we’ve paid our dues, as it were. Now God can’t just ask anything of us—he owes us. He is obligated to answer our prayers and bless us. This is not moving toward him in grateful joy, glad surrender, and love, but is instead a way of controlling God and, as a result, keeping him at arm’s length.”

“Someone might object that the world has no right to rebuke the church, but there is biblical warrant for doing exactly that. In Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount he said that the world would see the good deeds of believers and glorify God (Matthew 5:16). The world will not see who our Lord is if we do not live as we ought. In the words of one book we are “The Church Before the Watching World.” We deserve the critique of the world if the church does not exhibit visible love in practical deeds.”

Collecting the Past: Delighting Grace Interviews Caleb of Log College Press

joanna-kosinska-44214-unsplash-01While Monergism.org dishes out awesome e-books of the past Christian giants, there is a new kid on the block that is solely dedicated in publishing unknown 18th-19th century American Presbyterians. As you go to their website Log College Press,  you’ll find over 1700 works by 350 authors that are free for download. So we reached out to Caleb Cangelosi, founder of Log College Press, to talk about church history, old books and of course Log College Press:

Delighting Grace:  First off, why is it important for us to look back and read materials of and about the past? In other words, how essential is history for a believer?

Caleb Cangelosi: The study of church history is vital for Christians today because we are not the first ones to study the Scriptures, wrestle with theological questions, and engage in apologetics and evangelism. God has been working in His church far before He brought us into the world. We stand on the shoulders of those who have gone before us, and have much to learn from our forefathers in the faith. As George Santayana wrote, “Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” 

The study of history also teaches us that God uses sinful saints to accomplish His purposes, and therefore gives us great hope and encouragement as we go forth into the world today. Additionally, we must recognize that our religious experience in American has been impacted by our American theological ancestors – the past is not dead. At Log College Press, we are committed to encouraging the reading of both primary and secondary sources, for it is important to hear directly from those in the past, and to understand their writings in proper historical context, so that we might rightly apply their teachings to the present. We are motivated by the conviction that as Christians in the present root themselves in the past, we will bear fruit forward into the future for the glory of God and the church of Jesus Christ.

Delighting Grace:  Can you tell us who are these authors and what is the most important contribution by this group in Christianity specifically in America?

Caleb Cangelosi: Log College Press is devoted to collecting and reprinting the writings of and about American Presbyterians from the 18th and 19th centuries. Our website contains authors from several different American Presbyterian denominations, and each of these bodies made unique contributions to the church of Jesus Christ, so it is difficult to state just one important thing they gave to America. But in general, in the books on our site you will find a commitment to the Scriptures as the inerrent, authoritative word of God; a commitment to the Westminster Standards as the summary of Scriptural teaching; a commitment to a gospel-centered and law-delighting piety; an emphasis upon the church of Jesus Christ; a focus on missions, evangelism, and apologetics; and a love for preaching (many of the writings on our site are sermon collections).

Delighting Grace:  There are already tons of Christian books out there that a Christian read. What do you think makes reading old stuff a unique experience for a Christian?

Caleb Cangelosi: C. S. Lewis put it best in his essay, “On the Reading of Old Books.” He wrote, “Every age has its own outlook. It is specially good at seeing certain truths and specially liable to make certain mistakes. We all, therefore, need the books that will correct the characteristic mistakes of our own period. And that means the old books…The only palliative [to ignoring our cultural and chronological blind spots] is to keep the clean sea breeze of the centuries blowing through our minds, and this can be done only by reading old books. Not, of course, that there is any magic about the past. People were no cleverer then than they are now; they made as many mistakes as we. But not the same mistakes. They will not flatter us in the errors we are already committing; and their own errors, being now open and palpable, will not endanger us. Two heads are better than one, not because either is infallible, but because they are unlikely to go wrong in the same direction.”

Delighting Grace:  Wow! Please tell us how Log College Press started and what goals LCP wants to target?

Caleb Cangelosi: For some time I have had the desire to create a website that collected all the digitized writings of early American Presbyterians, much as the Post-Reformation Digital Library did for the Post-Reformation period. Over the past several years I have also wanted to see some of the books and booklets that I appreciate from these authors reprinted. After not finding any publishers interested in doing these reprints, I finally decided I would try to do it myself. I quickly realized that I could kill two birds with one stone and combine my two desires into one project – Log College Press (the name is taken from the earliest American Presbyterian “seminary,” William Tennent’s Log College – as many universities and colleges have a publishing arm, I thought it a fitting name on several levels).

So Log College Press is really two things. It is a website, offering free PDF downloads of all the public domain writings we can find online (or digitize ourselves) from 18th and 19th century American Presbyterians, and a near-daily blog that discusses the authors and writings we’re putting on our site. It is also a publishing company that aims slowly but surely to reprint some of the hidden gems from these authors, and hopefully one day secondary sources about them (we also have on our website a bookstore that possibly contains one of the largest online collections of secondary sources on American Presbyterian history). The website and the publishing are both designed to bring these authors and their writings back to the knowledge of the general public, so that by taking root in the past we might bear fruit into the future.

Delighting Grace:  And some are free to download and read!

Caleb Cangelosi: Yes! We want people to be able to read the writings of this period, and so the primary service we provide is collecting in one place what is already out there on the internet. Nearly all the books on our site have been found on Google Books or Archive.org. The digitization projects of these websites is a tremendous blessing of the internet age. What formerly was hidden away in a library is now accessible with the click of a button, and can be loaded onto a tablet for easy access. We’ve done the work of locating the books and organizing them by author, so that those who are interested in this period can discover them more easily. Hopefully our work will enable these authors to reach a new audience – including an international audience who has never heard of these writings, or does not have American library access to them. I like to say that our job is that of “biblio-paleontology” – the finding of ancient books by unknown authors, who though dead can still speak God’s truth to our hearts.

Delighting Grace:  That’s one noble cause for Christians to bring these authors back. How about the process of getting these materials and putting it online. It must be interesting process, isn’t?

Caleb Cangelosi: It is indeed. Currently two of us (a gentleman named Andrew Myers, and I) work on posting books to the site. As I just mentioned, we typically locate the works we are looking for on Google Books or Archive.org. Discovering books – especially books we had not known of previously – is the best part of this work. Sometimes we have to manually scan a work ourselves, or pay a library to do that for us. Since all these works are in the public domain, it is not a legal problem to copy them and post them online.  We also clean up the PDFs, deleting blank pages to make them more visually attractive and “user-friendly.” We try to find as many pictures of the authors as we can find. That has also been a neat part of this work, because often there is only one picture that everyone thinks of with regard to a particular author – and yet there are often more pictures online, some from the authors’ youth. Seeing additional pictures can help change the way you think about a person.
Delighting Grace:  Is there a one material from LCP that has a unique backstory?

Caleb Cangelosi: Two items come immediately to mind. First, Archibald Alexander’s Lecture Notes on Systematic Theology. Not only do we see what seminary class was like back in 1818, but also the notes were taken by Charles Hodge, Alexander’s student who followed Alexander as professor at Princeton Seminary. It is not alway easy to make out his handwriting, but it is fascinating to read hand-written notes from this era. Second, Alfred Nevin’s Encyclopedia of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America. This is a treasure trove of historical and biographical information, pictures, and Biblical-theological studies on important topics.

Delighting Grace:  Now that’s a gem! If a Christian wants to read books from Log College Press, which one would you first recommend and why?

Caleb Cangelosi: Of the four publications that we have put out thus far, William Swan Plumer’s Christ All in All: The Right Temper for the Theologian that would be appealing to the broadest audience. Plumer’s booklet, though originally addressed to seminary students, is an easy introduction to the writing of the period, and is so rich in its Christ-centered piety. It is also a great read for anyone who desires to study theology, for Plumer teaches the manner in which one ought to approach this joyful task.

If any of your readers are pastors or teachers, they should definitely buy Francis Grimke’s Meditations on Preaching (about the glorious calling of feeding God’s sheep with the truth of Christ), or C. W. Grafton’s A Forty-Three Year Pastorate in a Country Church (about small-town ministry). Finally, if anyone is interested in learning more about Presbyterianism, Thomas Dwight Witherspoon’s The Five Points of Presbyterianism is a great introduction. We are about to publish Archibald Alexander’s Aging in Grace: Letters to Those in the Autum of Life (about the trials of growing old, and the Christian’s hope beyond the grave).

Delighting Grace:  How about those freebies? What is your Top 5 must read from the Free PDF Library?

Caleb Cangelosi: This is a very difficult question, as we currently have on our site over 1750 works by over 350 authors! But here are five that I would recommend:

  1. Archibald Alexander’s Biographical Sketches of the Founder, and Principal Alumni, of the Log College – to learn more about the history of the Log College and early American Presbyterianism.

 

  1. William Catto’s A Semi-Centenary Discourse – A History of the the First African Presbyterian Church, Philadelphia, and a Brief Notice of Rev. John Gloucester – to learn about early African-American Presbyterians.

 

  1. Henry Alexander White’s Southern Presbyterian Leaders– biographical sketches of Presbyterians in the 19th century Southern United States.

 

  1. William Swan Plumer’s Commentary on the Psalms (or Hebrews orRomans)– commentaries filled with exegetical insights and practical wisdom for the Christian life.

 

  1. Stuart Robinson’s Discourses on Redemption– a great study of the gospel from Genesis through Revelation; a 19th century Biblical theology.

 

Delighting Grace:  Thank you for this interview Caleb, so please invite our readers to go check Log College Press and share us your social media accounts so we can get in touch with LCP.

Caleb Cangelosi: Thank you so much for the privilege of communicating to your readers what we are doing! We would love for them all to visit our site (www.logcollegepress.com) and browse our free library, our blog archives, and our bookstore. We are giving away a free ebook on our home page, so your readers should definitely take advantage of that (currently, it’s William Swan Plumer’s Christ All in All: The Right Temper for a Theologian). Your readers can also sign up to receive our blog posts in their email inbox (this is a great way to learn more about the authors and works on our site). We are also on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. To keep the website going, and to enable us to reprint more works, please buy our publications! I don’t currently ship to the Philippines, but I do sell ebooks (in Kindle and EPUB formats), so international readers can purchase them. We also sell our books on Amazon. If anyone has more questions, there is a contact form on our website. We would love to hear from them!

Book Review: Faker by Nicholas T. McDonald

fake_medium3d-n7bly6fo4uoa7gzkleoznqwuuyqyfup4
photo grabbed from The Good Book

No one wants a faker.

In this age of social media we can easily hide real selves because we want to project a better us. So we put on the mask that will not just make us feel good but rise above anyone else. Teens and young ones sometimes struggle with this issue.

Yes, the struggle is real.

“Faker” is a short but spot on book by Nick McDonald.  In the book he admits being a former faker. He tells his story of his fakery that we can easily relate to. He became prideful and looks other down behind a mask. The problem with that he needs to maintain his status quo but ends up still feeling empty.  However that’s half of the book is all about. This is not your typical pep talk, think positive or self help for teens. In its 7 chapters the book, Nick expound Luke 18: 9-14 the story of Pharisee and the tax collector. As you read this book, Nick unleashed the power of the Scripture that will hold you till the last page. “Faker” hits the root cause of our pretension: sin and provides the solution: the gospel.  Well that something considering this is a book for teens and young ones. He even discuss the word propitiation, you might think it will turn off a teen reading the book. Well it won’t. The book ends with a plea to drop the mask and come to God.

“Faker” and “Something More” by Theron St. John (which I book reviewed previously) are spot on when it comes to addressing the younger generation by its unique way of presenting the gospel that doesn’t have to be watered down. The cool book design, artwork and pop culture references which are awesome in this book really helps the lesson stick to our mind. However  those elements doesn’t   overwhelmed  “Faker” because that’s not the star of this book but the message of Luke 18 that young people badly needs to hear. Highly recommended resource to reach out young people and teens.

My verdict:

4.5 out of 5

The Quotable Round-Up #91

f11jjqtHeads up guys! time for some 6 awesome quotes from a Christian book. This time we shall enjoy quotes from the book “Is Christianity Good for the World?” by Christopher Hitchens and Douglas Wilson. If you find these nuggets of wisdom superb, please get the book at your favorite bookstore or log in to Amazon. God bless and Peace!

“If there is no God, what is truth? Christopher Hitchens displays great moral indignation, but, given atheism, I want him to justify that indignation. If there is no God, then who cares? And Christopher Hitchens writes as a very capable wordsmith, but given atheism, I want him to justify his vibrant and engaging prose. If there is no God, then yammer, yamber, yaw&^% . .” — Douglas Wilson/Christopher Hitchens

“There is no God, right? Because there is no God, this means that—you know—genocides just happen, like earthquakes and eclipses. It is all matter in motion, and these things happen.”– Douglas Wilson/Christopher Hitchens

“The Christian faith is good for the world because it provides the fixed standard which atheism cannot provide and because it provides forgiveness for sins, which atheism cannot provide either. We need the direction of the standard because we are confused sinners. We need the forgiveness because we are guilty sinners. Atheism not only keeps the guilt, but it also keeps the confusion.”– Douglas Wilson/Christopher Hitchens

“If Christianity is bad for the world, atheists can’t consistently point this out, having no fixed way of defining “bad.” If Christianity is good for the world, atheists should not be asked about it either because they have no way of defining “good.”– Douglas Wilson/Christopher Hitchens

“In the kindness of God, the Cross is an object of inexorable fascination to us. When men and women look to Him in His death, they come to life in His resurrection. And that is good for the world.” — Douglas Wilson/Christopher Hitchens

“The Cross is God’s merciful provision that executes autonomous pride and exalts humility.” — Douglas Wilson/Christopher Hitchens

 

The Quotable Round-Up #90

f11jjqtHeads up guys! time for some 7 awesome quotes from a Christian book. This time we shall enjoy quotes from the book “Faker” by Nick McDonald. If you find these nuggets of wisdom superb, please get the book at your favorite bookstore or log in to Amazon. God bless and Peace!

“At the cross we see these two stunning realities about God: He is the holy King and Judge of our world. His overwhelming purity demands death for sin. He dethrones us.”

“…God, in his goodness, gave up a relationship more precious than anything you and I can imagine. It was a relationship better than the best marriage. Better than the most googley-eyed date. Better than the best BFFs ever. It was a perfect, intimate relationship that existed forever, between a perfect Son and a perfect Father.”

“Through the propitiation of Jesus’ blood, we, like the tax collector, can be declared good. Jesus Christ defeated the death we deserve by dying in our place, and then by rising from the dead three days later. The victory is won. The battle is over. When we place our faith in him, we are united to his death and resurrection forever—because he died, we can live.”

“So to say “God is love” is true, but incomplete. Love isn’t god—God is, among other things, love. He isn’t a god who loves like we do. His love is “other”: it’s better than our niceness. It own from his volcanic, beautiful purity.”

“Whenever I’m tempted to think that my failures are devastating, or think I made myself successful, I can look to this truth: God, the King and Judge, is truly in control. Not me. He gives, and takes away. Whenever I’m tempted to fret about pleasing people, I can remember: “These people don’t have ultimate power. God does. He controls my life, not them.”

“See, the God of the Bible is a God I wouldn’t have made up. He’s a God who’s over me, not a god who’s under my thumb. He’s a God who confronts me about my claim to the throne of my life.”

“The Bible says the problem with self-righteousness is this: the instant we say: “I’ll be good/right/worthy of love according to me,” is the instant we say: “I am the king and judge over my own life.”

 

Book Review: Something More by Theron St. John

xkak8tvThere are books that rely on heavy arguments and controversial issues to make a case for the need of the gospel. It can be on the issue of abortion, same sex marriage or the prosperity gospel. Sometimes it is tackled pages upon pages that is grueling to read. Theron St. John’s Something More diverts from those books and dishes out answers to ones purpose in life.

Something More is a relevant and fresh book geared for young adults who are in pursuit of their dreams. Caught up in their goals in life they neglect ultimate purpose that is found in God. Theron St. John step by step, real life stories after stories, in every chapter with laser focus unravels the reality of finding that purpose and eventually joy. It is a straight trail with the end goal that is to present the need of salvation. A brief book that hits the heart of the millenials to stop and consider that there is something more.

St. John wrote Something More with an evangelistic tone that doesn’t cram the Bible on someones throat, bog down someone with theological jargon or too preachy. Neither does this book succumbed to a water down gospel. On the contrary it does still points to the gospel and God. Something More presented the gospel in a way that  half of it feels like a book and half of it is like a friendly conversation.   I’m totally hands down on how St. John wrote it and looking forward for more of this kind of stuff in future books he will release.

If you want to give a book to someone who is in college or just starting to work then this book is highly recommended. If you want a book that is not hard hitting but still gives a spark of hope to people who are burden by their pursuit of their dreams this book is for them. Something More caters to new believers also who are connecting their personal pursuit with what God wants them to have.

4.5 out of 5

Buy the book at Lulu.com

The Quotable Round-Up #86

tpn6bjc

Howdy! It’s a great day to sit down, chill and sip your favorite drink! And while at it, add some awesomeness in your day by reading our latest collection of quotes.  This time we are featuring fresh quotes from the book “Good News: The Gospel of Jesus Christ” by John F. MacArthur Jr. And if you got stoked with these quotes, please get the book at your nearest Christian bookstore or on Amazon.

“The message of the gospel is the message of reconciliation. The alienated sinner can be reconciled to God. That’s what we pray for, it’s what we teach, and it’s why we live. Some even die for it. It is the unparalleled message of reconciliation with God through the work of Christ. We have been given the ministry of reconciliation.”

“The only reason God has kept us in the world is for the work of evangelism. Yes, we’re saved to worship, but God tolerates our imperfect worship on this side of eternity for the sake of adding to His kingdom. We’re also saved to be sanctified, but God tolerates our inadequate, incomplete sanctification to keep us here to evangelize. He endures all our consistent errors and failures because He has work for us here that we cannot accomplish in heaven.”

“The notion that God is a loving and compassionate Savior contradicts the core doctrines of the world’s religions. If you study the history of religion, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a savior god among them. When men and demons design gods, that’s simply not how they design them. Demonic religious systems don’t concoct deities anything like the God of the Bible. Instead, they generally range from indifferent to severely hostile.”

“We need to understand that reconciliation does not start with the sinner, or some cosmic cry that God responds to. We don’t have to ask God to accept the sinner—we don’t have to coax Him into it through pressure or praise. He is not reluctant to save. Reconciliation begins with God—it’s woven into His glorious nature.”

“We don’t sit in judgment of God’s judgment. The question is not, why did God send bears out of the woods to destroy a group of boys who yelled “bald head” at a prophet (2 Kings 2:23–24)? The question is not, why did the ground open up and swallow people whole for violating Old Testament law (Num. 16)? The question is not, why did God displace and destroy the idolatrous Canaanites? The question is not, why did God destroy the globe and preserve only Noah and his family? Those questions are easy to answer: the wages of sin—no matter how great or small the sin might seem to us—is always death (Rom. 6:23).”

“True reconciliation requires God’s forgiveness. The only way reconciliation can occur is if the offended party is willing to forgive and remove the barrier sin creates. The sinner cannot reconcile himself to God. Only the Lord can effect reconciliation by choosing not to count our trespasses against us.”

“We ought to cling to the vital doctrine of God’s sovereignty. But don’t ever let your view of sovereignty overwhelm or obscure the fact that sinners have a responsibility to respond to God—and we have a responsibility to beg them to do so. God accomplishes His reconciling work through—not in spite of—the obedience of faith from those He calls to be reconciled.”