“I am a debtor” — On the two-hundredth birthday of Robert Murray M’Cheyne

May 21, 2013

Today would have been the two-hundredth birthday of Robert Murray M’Cheyne (1813-1843), who was a faithful pastor in a small church in Dundee, Scotland for six years, until his early death at age 29. A life so short, and in many ways very ordinary, yet so powerfully used.

M’Cheyne is perhaps best known today for his widely used Bible reading plan, which goes through the Old Testament once every year, and the Psalms and New Testament twice (see this post for more info and suggestions).  He followed this plan much of his short life, and it was from this deep well that he ministered so powerfully.

M’Cheyne left few writings behind, but he was a memorable poet.  He wrote the following poem, titled “I am a debtor”, around 1837: Read the rest of this entry »

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Weekend Web Watch 10 March 2013

March 10, 2013

In this WWW: What’s the point of marriage? — three books on marriage; ten sure signs we’ve lost our minds; word studies; Dr Tim McGrew on the reliability of the gospels; why the afterlife bores us; reading; Christians in business; preparing for suffering; and conference media from Ligonier and Desiring God. Read the rest of this entry »


What are you reading this Easter? Try “The Cross of Christ,” “Scandalous,” or “Cross-examined”

March 9, 2013

John Stott - The Cross of ChristI well remember the excitement of reading The Cross of Christ when it was first published. It expanded my mind and warmed my heart like nothing I had read before or have read since, apart from the Bible.

— Vaughan Roberts

i can echo Vaughan Roberts’ endorsement above.

If you’ve never before read John Stott’s classic, theologically rich yet readable magnum opus on what Jesus’ death means, The Cross of Christ (Inter-Varsity Press, 2006), why not do so this Easter?  i have now read The Cross of Christ three times, and each time it has been a fresh experience of growing in depth of understanding and devotion.  i highly recommend you read it at least once, even though it is a weighty tome (both physically and in content). Read the rest of this entry »


The Master’s Seminary lectures now available online

February 24, 2013

The Master’s Seminary (TMS), founded in 1986 by John MacArthur to provide top-class training to future pastors and teachers, last week announced their Theological Resource Center.  The Theological Resource Center is intended to be a free, worldwide extension of TMS for pastors and others who cannot attend classes at its campus near Los Angeles, California.  It features free videos of graduate-level lectures from The Master’s Seminary (along with faculty lecture series addressing specific issues, chapel messages, and The Master’s Seminary Journal), chapel and conferences messages from The Master’s College (a Christian liberal arts college), sermons from Grace Community Church (where MacArthur has pastored and has preached verse-by-verse since 1969), and MacArthur’s sermon library and daily devotions from Grace to You.

Among the courses i am particularly excited to learn from are Steven Lawson’s 12 lectures on Expository Preaching in the Psalms, and William Barrick’s Hebrew Grammar I and Hebrew Grammar II, which so far are the only complete, free Biblical Hebrew courses I’ve come across (and Barrick is a top teacher and Hebrew scholar, having been involved in Bible translation projects).  At the moment there are also courses available in systematic theology, Old and New Testament survey, and marriage and family counselling.


2013 bibliographic guides for Old and New Testament from Denver Seminary

January 19, 2013

Each year faculty of Denver Seminary compile helpful bibliographic guides for Old and New Testament studies. This year’s bibliographies have just been published in the Denver Journal, and they are excellent resources for Bible students and pastors, covering introduction and background, theology, language, criticism and exegesis, hermeneutics, etcetera., and offering recommendations of commentaries for each book. The bibliographies also highlight those books which faculty consider most important and helpful. This is well worth bookmarking or printing.


Reading the Bible in 2013

January 1, 2013

How sweet are Your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!
(Psalm 119, ESV)

The past few years i have stuck to a particular plan in reading the Bible which i have found to be very helpful.  i know that unless i have a plan by which i may measure progress, and in which others can join me, i am likely to neglect my reading of the Bible, and will stagnate to the jeopardy of my life and joy.  i still battle, often, to read each day; but i find that my own progress and joy in the faith are inextricably bound up in prayerful reading of the Bible.  i want, like Job, to “treasure the words of His mouth more than my portion of food” (Job 23).  The missionary George Mueller (1805-1898) once said, “I saw more clearly than ever, that the first great and primary business to which I ought to attend every day was, to have my soul happy in the Lord.  I saw that the most important thing I had to do was to give myself to the reading of the word of God, and to meditation on it…”

Read the rest of this entry »


Weekend Web Watch 29 December 2012

December 29, 2012

This is the first post of 2012 (yes, i know…), and also the first in a new feature on this blog.  The intention is that it be a Weekly Web Watch, but calling it Weekend Web Watch will probably turn out to be more accurate…  i follow a lot of different blogs and websites, and so here i plan to offer a round-up of recent findings around the Web which i have found significant, helpful, encouraging, challenging, or just plain quirky, as well as perhaps some older treasures.

Read the rest of this entry »