How Your Devotional Life Flavors Your Ministry Life

If you haven’t read Paul Tripp’s Dangerous Calling: Confronting the Unique Challenges of Pastoral Ministry, I can’t recommend it to you highly enough. It’s vintage Tripp: punchy, pithy, and full of gospel glory. Here’s a passage on the pastor’s devotional life (p. 35): I am more and more convinced that what gives a ministry its motivations, […]

My 3 Favorite OT Biblical Theologies

When I first began learning about biblical theology at Wheaton Graduate School, I was immediately hooked. To this day one of my greatest joys in studying Scripture is discovering new twists and turns that the themes of the Bible take on their journey from Genesis 1-3 through Jesus’ ministry and on to Revelation 21-22. To spur you […]

10 Steps to Read 50 Books in 2013

This is a guest post by Josh Stringer (@revjoshstringer). Josh is a pastoral resident at College Church, and will be graduating from our program in July 2013. If your church is looking for a pastor I highly recommend you consider Josh. You can contact him via email at jstringerATcollege-churchDOTorg. Is one of your New Years […]

10 Tips on Solving Mysterious Bible Passages from Sherlock Holmes

If you didn’t see it yesterday, go check out my guest post at Trevin Wax’s blog, “10 Tips on Solving Mysterious Bible Passages from Sherlock Holmes.” It got a lot love on Twitter and Facebook, and just enough hate in the comments. Here’s the intro: “What can a fictional detective teach you about how to study the Bible? […]

The Minimalist Pastoral Library: 19 Book Recommendations for Those Starting Out

There are a million books on ministry out there. What few books will help you the most, right away? If you are just starting to build your library, this list will point you in some helpful directions. If you have a growing library, perhaps a recommendation or two will reveal a title that you haven’t […]

What the Pastor-Scholar Has in Common with an NBA Star

One of the most important ministry lessons I learned during my time at Bible college came from an NBA player. I did my undergrad at Moody Bible Institute, located in downtown Chicago. Lots of NBA teams practiced at MBI when they were in town to play against the Bulls. I walked up to a window […]

9 Websites That Will Save You Money at Conference Book Tables

This is the second of three posts leading up to the 2012 Together for the Gospel Conference. If you are more than a mere peruser of the book tables at conferences, this will be a money saver for you. Caution: you are entering a book buying temptation zone if you are going to T4G next […]

10 Benefits of Ebooks that Will Surprise You

Did you know that ebooks are even better than you think? There are obvious benefits to ebooks, with lower prices and portability topping out the list. But in my use of ebooks, I have noticed other benefits that I haven’t seen anyone mention yet. You may be thinking, “Is this the same guy who gave […]

10 Reasons Why Physical Books Are Still Better Than Digital Books

After 8 months of experimenting with digital books on my iPad (got a nice deal buying it refurbished from the Apple site), I’ve determined that I still like physical books more. Here’s ten reasons why. 1. Physical books never run low on batteries. 2. Much more efficiently than with digital books, you can put your […]

Why There Is No Excuse for Avoiding Theological Rigor

Pastors and congregants alike often use the “we will never fully know” excuse to marginalize the practical value of certain theological topics. This trump card brings to a screeching halt conversations about eschatology or the relationship between divine sovereignty and human freedom. But just because we can’t fully know something, does that mean we shouldn’t […]

Do You Know Your Proper Place of Authority in the Church?

Who has more authority: the pastor or a commentary author? The pastor or a theologian? The pastor or what he preaches? In preparation for my Ordination Council this Sunday, I have been reading Michael Horton’s The Christian Faith: A Systematic Theology for Pilgrim’s on the Way. Any of you who are following me on Twitter […]

How to Relate the OT and NT Without Dissolving the Integrity of Either

Good words from responsible and insightful biblical theologian, Thomas Schreiner: “Jesus concluded the parables in Matt. 13 by comparing the kingdom of heaven to a scribe ‘who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old’ (Matt. 13:52). Jesus considered here the OT, the many prophecies about the kingdom of God. The […]

Let Karl Barth Turn You Into a More Spiritual Theologian

Every pastor goes through periods of theological drought. Sometimes the congregation can see it, sometimes they can’t. But the pastor notices it immediately. It gets difficult to plumb theological depths in sermon prep. Leadership becomes a matter of pragmatics. Cliches abound in counseling meetings. Indeed, the theological drought withholds rain from all aspects of ministry. […]

The Key to Being a Humble Theologian

I met Joe Thorn at the Band of Bloggers gathering at the Gospel Coalition, and received a free copy of his recent book, Note to Self. He’s a really cool guy, and I couldn’t wait to read his book. However, my wife stole it from me when I brought the book home. Now that she has finished it, […]

How to Read 200 Blog Posts in 20 Minutes

You should read blog posts like you’re following directions on Google Maps. I use the Google Maps app on my iPod Touch (waiting for iPhone 5 from Verizon) when I don’t know how to get where I want to go. In the course of the trip, many places grab my attention, but most are irrelevant to […]

How to Make Your Desk a Cockpit for Exegesis

Have you ever thought about how efficiently your office is set up? There’s a reason why fighter pilots don’t have to reach behind their head for missle triggers. Matt Perman, over at What’s Best Next, wrote a great series on how to set up your desk. Find a setup that aligns best with your study habits. Or […]

17 Simple Actions to Grow as a Pastor Scholar

Pastors stall in their growth sometimes. It is to be expected because we are imperfect. But how do we break out of the plateau? New challenges have always seemed to work for me. That’s how P90X works for physical muscles. We should expect the same for pastoral muscles. But new challenges don’t have to be the […]