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tim-kellerFrom time to time, Pastor and notable author Timothy Keller schedules a time on Twitter to answer questions about the Bible, ministry, book recommendations, and his personal life. Below is the most recent #AskTK event that took place July 28, 2014.

Special thanks to Cameron Moore for compiling this and the two previous #AskTK events which you can see here: 12/31/13 and 4/29/14).

For the sake of convenience, I have linked to articles and books he references. Some links are Amazon affiliate links, which means Amazon shares with me a small % of the sale with no extra cost to you (just for disclosure’s sake!).

Q: Favorite puritan?
TK: That’s easy, John Owens because Jonathan Edwards is not technically a Puritan.

Q: Favorite Lewis book?
TK: Another easy one: Mere Christianity.

Q: What is your opinion of “praying in tongues”?
TK: I like Don Carson’s book “Showing the Spirit” on this one. Balanced, thoughtful, and rooted in Scripture.

Q: Was there ever a point in the last several years that you questioned your role in ministry?
TK: When Kathy was sick a few years ago, I questioned if I should leave ministry for a while.

Q: Do you envision a time where we will see a “consolidation” of Christian denominations? church seems too fragmented
TK: As long as The Church strives for both unity AND purity there will always be denominations.

Q: Shake Shack or In-N-Out?
TK: Easy, Shake Shack in NYC. Better quality meat.

Q: Advice for young educators? (I teach English lit to 12-17 year olds)
TK: Similar to a question last time: At that age they need Christianity modeled more than explained.–Doesn’t have to be Christian education, just modeling your faith is important for 12-17 year olds.

Q: Favorite Doctor [Who]?
TK: David Tennant. Bonus: Favorite episode is “Blink.” Of course.

Q: Have you read Harry Potter- if yes, did you like them… If no- why not?
TK: Yes loved them, great examples of sacrificial love conquering evil reminds me of another story.

Q: Favorite coffee shop in NYC?
TK: None. I don’t drink coffee. I’m a Harney and sons Tea kind of guy, not to mention PG Tips.

Q: Most influential book on pastoring?
TK: Charles Bridges “The Christian Ministry” and Richard Baxter’s “The Reformed Pastor” and William Still’s book on pastoring

Q: What is your favorite movie?
TK: The Black Stallion

Q: What advice, counsel, or scripture would you give to a new father struggling with anger?
TK: Get help in discovering what idols are at the root of your anger.

Q: Fav commentary series for the NT?
TK: Pillar and Bible Speaks Today Series.

Q: What brings you the most joy in ministry?
TK: Conversions

Q: Ministry ever hurt so bad you thought your heart couldn’t take anymore?
TK: Of course.

Q: One mistake you witness church planters making more frequently than others?
TK: Concentration on superficialities-such as vibe or look.

Q: The Narnia series or LOTR- preference? Downtown attender Ryan Frater and I have a bet going.
TK: I do not prefer one over the other. They are too different.

Q: Literal Adam, common ancestry, both, or agnosticism on this question?
TK: I believe in a literal Adam and all human beings are descended from Adam.

Q: Should infant baptism be an issue that ends a dating relationship?
TK: You shouldn’t marry someone who will not happily go to the same church with you.

Q: I’ve listened to your sermon on God’s love for cities. How do you feel about rural ministry?
TK: I think its important. See my article “The Country Parson” from 2009.

Q: Can a person be a Christian without being a member of a church?
TK: Yes, but you are not an obedient Christian if u are not a member of a church. You can’t obey Heb 13:17 without membership.

Q: Confused while trying to see story of Jesus/Gospel while reading 1&2 Chronicles. Can you help?
TK: See Michael Wilcock on 1&2 Chronicles.

Q: Your process to teaching someone how to pray?
TK: I have a book coming out in Nov. on prayer and it’s my effort to teach people how to pray more fruitfully.

Q: Calvinism or Arminianism?
TK: Calvinism. You must have known I would say that? :)

Q: Advice for someone who wants to be a future theology teacher?
TK: Get some pastoral experience as well as a great academic degree.

Q: How redemptive suffering/pain can remit the just punishment for one’s sins ?
TK: It can’t. See Martin Luther on this.

Q: What is your advice for how to better foster Christian community, particularly in a college environment?
TK: My son says you have to make time for each other, convince them to do it not over the internet, and cultivate vulnerability.

Q: Tips for raising a family in the city?
TK: My wife Kathy has written on “Why the City is a wonderful place to raise children.” It is very good.

Q: Are there any books you would recommend to someone who is grieving? My friends just lost a child at 6months old.
TK: Books are hard with those who are grieving, but try to find Elisabeth Elliot’s book “A Path Through Suffering.”

Q: What would you say is the MAIN difference between teaching and preaching?
TK: The goal. The goal of teaching is inform the mind, maybe warm the heart, but preaching is worship.

Q: What would you say is the primary purpose of apologetics?
TK: To clear the way for evangelism.

Q: Is the Problem of Evil the biggest objection to faith people have today?
TK: It is still in the top 2. The other one is the charge of narrowness and bigotry, but that has many forms.

Q: Would you care to mention one of your failings that we might find encouraging? Many thank yous.
TK: Not one-I have struggled with sins of all types-not enough love, not enough faith, not enough hope, self-pity, selfishness, more

Q: Why did God create people. Did His own great value compel Him with an irresistible enthusiasm to share Himself?
TK: Read Edwards “Concerning the End for which God created the World.” [or Kindle version]

Q: What’s one piece of advice you would tell your younger self, or something you wished you knew then that you know now about The Lord?
TK: I would tell him that prayer is way more important than he thinks.

Q: Recommend any bible reading plans?
TK: I like to use M’Cheyne’s first three columns. That takes you through the Bible once in a year, three chapters a day.

Q: Why are so many of our fellow Reformed believers so bitter/angry?
TK: In fairness, those opposing Reformed theology seem pretty bitter and angry too. It may be “the age” and the internet.

Q: What’s your favourite book this year?
TK: Charles Taylor’s A Secular Age.

Q: Should Christians believe in souls, or just bodily resurrection?
TK: Both.

Q: Can you please recommend books on 1-Sin in believer’s life 2-Spiritual discipline
TK: 1-Owen On Mortification. 2-Owen on Spiritual Mindedness. These are not easy reads.

Q: What has been the hardest book to write & why?
TK: The book I just finished, because it was on Prayer.

Q: Serious question: Have you read @james_ka_smith’s How (Not) to Be Secular? If so, any thoughts?
TK: Yes, It’s a very subtle and sophisticated critique of secularism. Christians need it.

Q: What was your favorite Theological class? Undergrad or Grad
TK: Meredith Kline’s class on Old Testament theology.

Q: How much does your wife influence how you think, prep, and preach?
TK: Enormously. More than any living person.

Q: Any plans for a new apologetic book to come out?
TK: Yes, someday I hope.

Q: What’s the first step you take when you begin writing a new book?
TK: I read a lot of other books on the subject.

Q: An open endorser of BioLogos would almost certainly be outside the theological bounds of TGC. Why do you get a pass?
TK: Theological statement is on the website and council members are free to believe in an Old Earth.

Q: (This is real question) point me to a good understanding of “women will be saved through childbearing”?
TK: Many theories-one good one is Paul is thinking of Eve in Gen and the promise that the Savior will come through her offspring

Q: Is broccoli acceptable in casserole form?
TK: Never.

Q: And where do you get your news from?
TK: NYT, WSJ, New Republic, Atlantic, and my sons.

Q: CS Lewis space trilogy or Chronicles?
TK: Depends on my mood.

Q: What’s your favorite color?
TK: I don’t have one.

Q: Any plans to release a daily devotional?
TK: No, I don’t however we are working with the Youversion Bible App to get stuff like that on it.

Q: Who did you want to win the World Cup?!
TK: I won’t watch or really follow many sports or sport teams. I know that makes me strange.

Q: What is the most significant theological understanding you’ve come to cherish?
TK: Simply put, Grace.

Q: What is most important when choosing someone to marry?
TK: Besides being of the same faith, it would be someone who can forgive and repent regularly.

Q: Biggest problem you see in modern evangelism efforts?
TK: Talking past each other is happening more and more as we have less and less common ground to stand on.

Q: Atonement theory: Christus Victor or Penal Substitution? Or maybe, both?
TK: Yes. Paul uses many different paradigms and we can too.

Q: How have good stories helped mature your faith?
TK: They put theoretical truths in ways I can relate to them.

Q: How was Christ able to satisfy God’s eternal wrath against man in only three hours?
TK: Longer answer needed. When Christ was separated from the Godhead, it was the first time ever that relationship was broken.

Q: Advice on raising pure, godly boys in this sex-crazed world? Or books to read on the topic?
TK: Pray for them, model faith for them, and put good filters on the internet in your home.

Q: How do you respond to the accusations that you are endorsing theistic evolution ?
TK: I’m published and on record on this topic. The problem is people have different definitions of this term.

Q: Why do you have that AWFUL popcorn ceiling?! Get out of the 70′s, man!
TK: I’m on vacation with my family. #notmyfault

Q: What cultural idols are the hardest to combat for a church in NYC?
TK: Extreme individualism, and materialism.

Q: How does one deal with the charge of narrowness and bigotry without compromising on the truth of the gospel?
TK: I talk about this in Reason for God some. The charge of narrowness is usually a culturally imperialistic assumption.

Q: How do you stay charged up during your 4th sermon in one day?
TK: It is hard. Best answer: practice.

Q: Do you play sports?
TK: No, though I do run regularly.

Q: I’m starting seminary next month. biggest piece of advice you can give me?
TK: Always ask the, “So what?”–question. When studying we can forget “the WHY we are” question.

Q: I’m getting married in 2 weeks. Just finished “Meaning of Marriage” – thanks! Any last minute words of wisdom?
TK: Have fun getting to know each other!

Q: Yoga: a danger for Christians? or a harmless workout?
TK: Depends on how you are using it. Some it is just stretching and body movements, for others its a religious position.

Q: What is the best way to get a seminary education while living in NYC?
TK: Don’t quote me on this, but we are working on an option beginning sometime in 2015 (maybe).

Q: If you could speak about one apologetic for Christianity to a group of college skeptics what would it be?
TK: Probably show that there is no such thing as a non-religious view. All views are inherently religious.

Q: What’s the difference between prayer and meditation?
TK: Prayer is the conversation between you and God-Meditation is thinking on God’s words in Scripture that can often lead to prayer

Q: Is this your first Twitter Q&A, and what do you think of Twitter for this?
TK: Nope, 4th or 5th? There are summaries of old #AskTK out there. I think Twitter is a great medium for Q&A if the answers can be shor

Q: Been a fan of your work for a long time. My Q: how are you planning to engage w the arguments in Vines’ new book?
TK: I’m not sure yet, but many of the arguments within have been around for a while.

Q: Do you have a best practice for saying “no” to others in a constructive way?
TK: Saying it in love? Whatever that looks like, depending on the context.

Q: How would you respond to the charge that the Christian faith is too narrow?
TK: Simple. Every faith is “narrow.” Even the faith that says all faiths are equal excludes those who disagree. Can’t help it.

Q: Is that why I didn’t got an answer last time? :) not possible in 140 characters?
TK: Many of the questions I choose not to answer can’t be in a single sentence. So I choose not to. So–maybe!

Q: My husband and I have been married 9 months. What advice would you give us?
TK: Make you have regular “check-ins.” Communication tends to be one of the main problems with newlyweds.

Q: What’s more difficult in today’s American culture: to be married or single?
TK: They both have their unique challenges. Every era has different ones for married and singles alike.

Q: Favorite Chronicles of Narnia book?
TK: The first one, properly known as The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.

Q: If you could recommend one book this year, what would it be?
TK: Words of Life by Timothy Ward is a great book on Scripture I read recently.

Q: What drew you to Presbyterianism, as opposed to CRC/RCA, Anglicanism, etc…?
TK: Roger Nicole’s stuff on infant baptism help start it, but Kathy was there first.

Q: How come you don’t like/pay attention to sports?
TK: It often takes too much time.

Q:Which apologetics methodology “camp” do you most ID with? Classical, evidential, Van Til, Clark, G. Lewis, etc.
TK: Probably a soft version of Van Til, though I see benefits in all the different apologetic streams.

Q: I’m attending seminary next Spring. How do you make sure that Christianity doesn’t become a purely intellectual pursuit?
TK: Keep asking the practical questions. The so what and why questions, means there is a reason for your learning.

Q: Does your wife make you watch #TheBachelorette like mine does?
TK: No

Q: Who are your favorite puritans\ saints or preachers of old?
TK: John Owens, Jonathan Edwards, Thomas Brooks…

Q: I know I’m late to the #AskTK party but if @timkellernyc ran a 5k with @ThabitiAnyabwil who wins?
TK: @1NickMiller Winning, but I am a one trick pony. Running is all I do.

Q: Late to #AskTK: any one theologian/pastor to study and get to know well while at GCTS? (eg Calvin, Edwards, or Bonhoeffer)
TK: Yes. All, but more likely one. Also good is Bavinck.–I would do Berkhof and then every page of Calvin’s Institutes.

Q: When is your book on prayer going to be available on Kindle?
TK: Nov, when it is released.

Q: Will Kathy be writing any more? Jesus, Justice & Gender roles best book ever read on subject
TK: I hope she will. Nothing coming out soon.

Q: What is the biggest thing your wife, Kathy has done to support you in ministry over the years?
TK: Move to New York to start Redeemer when she didn’t want to.

Q: What’s your favorite book on the Holy Spirit?
TK: Last #AskTK answer for a while. See Ferguson’s book and JI Packer’s book. They are old but good. –Packer’s book is called Keep in Step with the Spirit.

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This post is the second in a series. You can read the first 16 Signs You May Be A Culturally Captive Christian.

If you read the first post in this series, you have seen several examples of how Christians conform to the world and are “captive” to its ideas instead of the Word of God. This post deals with the same issue–but with an important difference.

Christian communities are filled with sinners in the process of sanctification. Many Christian sub-cultures function exactly like the world–except use Christian labels and generally stay away from the “major” sins. This is to say, that there can be a type of “Christian worldliness” inside of the Christian bubble of a church group, Christian school, or organization.

Many of the things I share are observations from my time in church and at two Christian schools–and some most of which I have been guilty of personally.

As you read through this post, ask yourself where you may be guilty and ask God for help and grace to change. When you’re done, join the conversation in the comments by sharing any additional examples you can think of.

23 Signs You May Be Captive to Your Christian Sub-Culture and Missing True Christianity

1. You quote more Christian songs than you can Scriptures.

2. You rave more about what a Christian book teaches you than you do what God teaches you through His Word.

3. You can talk naturally with your Christian friends about everything–except your relationship with the Lord and His Word.

4.You equate enjoyment of Christian friendships and church activity with a strong relationship with God.

5. You are “gold-digger Christian”–one who only loves God because of what you can get from Him. (HT)

6. You get excited about a celebrity saying they are “Christian” even when their lifestyle says something totally different.

7. You base your faith more on conversations with your Christian peers rather than a diligent study of the Scriptures.

8. You avoid practicing many spiritual disciplines because you don’t want to be “too legalistic.”

9. Your pursuit of holiness mainly involves staying away from “big” sins and anything that would hurt your reputation in front of other Christians.

10. You base your theology on popular “Christian” sayings like “Let go and let God” more than on Scripture.

11. You repent just enough to feel better about your sin and be happy again than you do to please God and show Him how sorry you are for your sin.

12. On a missions trip, you are more concerned with great Instagram photos of yourself with those you serve than you are about having a lasting impact.

13. You get more upset about how others act in matter-of-conscience issues like drinking or entertainment choices than you do your own sin. (See Romans 14.)

14. You know more about your favorite Christian band/author/athlete than you do about the Apostle Paul, Moses, or Christ Himself.

15. If you have accountability, you care more about not being embarrassed in front of your partner than you do about offending a holy God with your sin.

gossipsm16. You think you never gossip–but don’t realize many of your prayer requests, complaints about people, and questioning of leadership are gossip.

17. You have a consumerist approach to worship where you need to “get something out of worship” at the Sunday service instead of pouring out your heart in worship to God.

18. You are quick to rave about your pastor’s great preaching instead of revel in the greatness of God and how He speaks through His Word.

19. Your definition of fellowship is anything done with other Christians–regardless of any mention of the name of Christ.

20. Dating anyone is OK as long as they are a Christian and go to church, regardless of their true spiritual maturity.

21. You think your service for the Lord should earn you His favor instead of serving out of a joy that you already have His favor by being clothed with Christ’s righteousness.

22. You are more worried if a band labels themselves as “Christian” than you do if their lyrics and music develop a deeper passion for Christ in your life.

23. You listen to the popular lie that church attendance is not vitally important for Christians but merely one way of connecting with God.


Did you enjoy that list? Truthfully, I actually hope you didn’t. I hope it grieved your soul like it did mine as I wrote it and brainstormed how I have slapped a Christian mask on my worldliness.

So quickly we can fall away from God! So quickly we can turn to idols and be influenced by others more than God’s Word! So quickly we can be satisfied sitting in the mud making mud pies than we are to pursue the greatness of God and behold His incomparable wonder (to quote C.S. Lewis).

What’s the remedy for “Christian” worldliness?

The book of Romans provides us the answers which can be found on either side of the command of Romans 12:2 “do not be conformed to this world”:

“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind…” (Romans 12:1-2).

The fuel for our obedience for God and our non-conformity to the world is based on the finished work of Christ on the cross. This is part of what the “mercies of God” refers to 12:1 (that also refers to all of Romans 1-11). Dwelling on the mercies of God will remind us what is of “first importance” (1 Corinthians 15:3)–God saving sinners and reconciling us to His family by the blood of Christ–and is what motivates us to:

  • live lives of spiritual worship
  • deepen our understanding of God’s purpose for the church and Christian community
  • enrich our spiritual friendships
  • help us be more gracious with others, and
  • avoid many of the traps of Christian worldliness

Christian–be intentional about renewing your mind in the gospel. Make it a daily and moment-by-moment practice like staying hydrated or breathing. Fear the Lord and make your relationship with Him more important than anything else in your life.

Seek the things above and pray for God’s transforming grace to impact your life in a way that will help you break free from captivity to the Christian sub-culture to live a holy and acceptable life before God. You’ll be glad you did.

Which of these have you been guilty of too?

What are other ways you have been a worldly Christian?

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Links-To-Make-You-Think-and-Grow

Praying in the Spirit by J. Oswald Sanders

Here’s a great quote from a great article:

“True prayer is God the Holy Spirit talking to God the Father in the name of God the Son, and the believer’s heart is the prayerroom.” –Samuel M. Zwemer

12 Quiet Rituals of Enormously Successful Humans by Marc and Angel

 

Four Temptations: How Internet Habits Can Cripple Book Reading by Tony Reinke

This is an excerpt from the book Lit!: A Christian Guide to Reading Books which I recommend.

Top 10 Most Common Atheist Arguments and Why They Fail by Eric Hyde

 

A Christian Review of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles by Matt Slick

I wholeheartedly agree with this short and sweet review of the new TMNT movie.

How then Should We Work? from IFWE

God loves a cheerful giver. That means He really must love Brother Franklin, whose YouTube videos below have been viewed over a million times. Enjoy Brother Franklin dancing at church during offering time.

Mark-Driscoll-beard-Facebook

Chances are you’ve heard the news about Matt Chandler and Acts 29 removing Mark Driscoll and Mars Hill Church from membership in their church planting network. If you’ve followed Driscoll-related news in the last year or so, this may not come as a huge surprise. He’s been a controversial guy.

I don’t feel the need to run down a list of his vices or add my scathing comments to the conversation for a couple of reasons:

  1. Knowing a catalog of someone else’s sin rarely helps anybody, and
  2. I don’t have scathing comments to share. (Truthfully, I actually haven’t looked too deep into the matter.)

I have never read any of his books and I have only listened to a few sermons (I watched more clips on YouTube). What I wish to do is productively add to the conversation with thoughts on how we can learn from this ordeal and use it to sharpen us to live holier lives that bear more fruit for the Kingdom.

Six Suggested Responses to the Mark Driscoll Controversy:

1. Mourn.

Hearing the news of a disgraced pastor of any stripe should deeply sadden us. Instead of being saddened, it seems like some bloggers have gone into attack mode and have analyzed his every comment and action. And to some degree, that is good because we need to hold our leaders accountable, make sure they are above reproach, and are leading God’s people according to Scripture. We should mourn for their sin, the destruction caused by that sin, and for the name of Christ being tarnished. This controversy is a lose-lose matter for everyone–even if you disagree with some of Driscoll’s theology or antics. For the sake of the body of Christ, mourn with me.

2. Remind people of their need to pray for their pastors.

Be on your knees for your pastor and the pastors who influence you through social media, podcasts, TV, or books. Everyone is susceptible to let power corrupt and everyone is in daily need of the grace of God to help them live and minister righteously. Don’t gossip about pastors or celebrity pastors, but rather pray for them. The truth of John 15:5 applies to them as well: without Christ they can do nothing.

3. Pray for Mark Driscoll and Mars Hill Church.

Be on your knees for Pastor Mark and his church at this difficult time. Pray that Pastor Mark would be humbled and changed forever to live and serve as God desires–regardless of what man thinks. Pray that God would protect his sheep from believing lies and pray that the name of Christ would not be trampled upon. Pray that Mars Hill Church would stand strong in the Lord in the midst of this controversy and that the devil’s work would be thwarted. Pray for vision and direction in the future of the church and Pastor Mark’s life.

These next three responses are geared more toward pastors, but apply to everyone seeking to make an influence in the Kingdom.

4. Examine yourself in light of 1 Timothy 3, Titus 1:5-16, and 2 Timothy 2:14-26.

God tells us how He wants church leaders to act and behave. Read through these passages slowly and ask yourself, “Do I meet these requirements?” If you are arrogant, quick-tempered, violent, greedy, lacking self-control, undisciplined, and unholy, then you shouldn’t be leading God’s people. If you see areas of weakness, let trusted people know so they can pray with you and work with you to grow. Pray for God to help you in areas you may lack–and commit yourself to rely on His grace to change you.

5. Submit yourself to a higher authority to whom you can be accountable.

To quote Lord Acton: “Power corrupts.” The reason the US government has a system of checks and balances is so that each one of the three branches of government will be accountable to each other. Leaders are sinners just like the rest of us and need accountability just like the rest of us. Christian leaders: submit yourself to the authority of your denomination, elders, or wise older Christians. Don’t think that you are some special class of Christian leader who can beat temptation–submit yourself to authority and be accountable.

6. Know when to say no.

Today’s technology allows us to have great influence. But as I have already stated, “Power corrupts.” We need to learn to say no to things that might be a snare for us in the future. That might mean we are to get off social media, stop writing books, stop trying to market every aspect of your ministry and care for those God has entrusted to you. We are to be on our knees, daily seeking God’s leading in everything we do.

Pastor–you have been selected by God to care for His flock. Don’t take your task lightly and don’t think that being an “ordinary” pastor isn’t enough. Don’t think that your role is worthless. God will sustain you if you abide in Him.

I close with 1 Peter 5:2-4 to remind us of the pastoral duty and the promised reward:

Shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.

What would you add? 

Book Review The Wonder Working God by Jared C Wilson Cover

Our culture loves the supernatural–just look at how many TV shows and movies feature superheroes, vampires, and the impossible coming into everyday life. While our culture may think the only satisfaction for their appetites for the supernatural is through fiction, Christians know that we serve a living God who works miracles– miracles which impact our daily lives by pointing to the glory of Christ and His love for us in the gospel.

In the new book, The Wonder Working God: Seeing the Glory of Jesus in His Miracles, Jared C. Wilson unpacks the wonder and glory of Jesus’ miracles in a powerful and practical way. Meditating on the miracles of Christ leads some to analyze some of the nitty-gritty, and altogether-unimportant details like how exactly did water turn into wine? Or why didn’t Jesus walk on water more often? Wilson helpfully gets us past distracting questions and takes us to the heart of issue: the glory of Christ in His person and work on the cross. The glory of the miracles is not in the miracle itself, but in the glory of the Miracle-maker.

Wilson writes in a way that is theological, but far from dry, and compellingly shows the glory of Christ as displayed in His miracles. Wilson grounds everything in the gospel and richly connects it to everyday life in Christ. Wilson also knows our culture and how we can settle for something other than Christ Himself, “many churches today are filled with people eager to trade the gospel for a miracle rather than embracing the miracle of the gospel.

I found the book a pleasure to read due to Wilson’s profound and just-plain-fun writing style. He infuses humor into truth without being distracting like when he describes Jesus not drawing attention to Himself after a healing, “He refuses to be anyone’s trained miracle monkey” or casually using the word ‘mollycoddle’ just for the heck of it. Here is a short preview:

Over and over we see what kinds of people Jesus goes out of his way to fraternize with, consistently setting the first last and the last first (Matt. 19:30). When the disciples are trying to cordon the children off, hustling them off to “children’s church” perhaps, it is the grown-ups he rebukes (vv. 13-14). It’s the sick who need a doctor (9:12) and the poor in spirit who receive the blessing (5:3), so when you tug on Jesus’s garment, he doesn’t sigh or roll his eyes. He loves to be pestered. Pester him. His love is that deep.

Here are a few more sample quotes:

Even preachers identifying themselves as Christian today downplay the existence of sin and the primacy of the cross in order to present the faith as predominantly a self-improvement program. Like many who clamored about Jesus, many churches today are filled with people eager to trade the gospel for a miracle rather than embracing the miracle of the gospel.

We love for Jesus to fix our circumstances and our pains, but we don’t want him doing the invasive surgery his gospel is designed for.

Jesus gave the man the greatest gift he could receive: eternal pardon. The rest was gravy. Suppose Jesus had only healed the man’s body but not his soul? He might have danced until his dying day and then suffered for all eternity.

Some will say, “Oh, no, no. I know Jesus died on the cross for me.” But the problem is that they will never have died with him (Romans 6:6; Galatians 2:20; 6:14).

God cannot be boring. If we find him boring, it is we who are the problem, not God

Our boredom at any time, then, is a sin. Sin is, at its essence, a failure of worship, and failing to worship is failing to be astonished by the presence and activity of God in the world. Sin is a failure to marvel at and be motivated by the miracle of the gospel.

If you look to Jesus, the bread of life, and ask him to satisfy your hunger, he will not give you a stone. He will give you himself.

Overall, I recommend The Wonder-Working God to anyone looking to see the glory of Christ in a greater (and entertaining) way. I also recommend a companion book of sorts by Wilson, The Story-Telling God: Seeing the Glory of Jesus in His Parables.

Title: The Wonder-Working God: Seeing the Glory of Jesus in His Miracles
Author: Jared C. Wilson
Publisher: Crossway Books
Pages: 192
Year: 2014
Rating: 5 Stars

According to FTC Disclosures, I received a copy of this book from Crossway Books to provide an honest review.

Jared Wilson Wonder Working God Quote

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