Seeing the Big Picture of Parenting

Seeing the Big Picture of Parenting

Two weeks ago, we hosted the first of a two-part parenting seminar with Paul David Tripp. It differed from many talks and books on parenting in that it wasn’t particularly prescriptive. While it was incredibly practical, it didn’t aim to give a list of tips: “In this situation, do this.” Instead, it gave a holistic mindset for parenting by which parenting strategies can be better evaluated and incorporated. It helped parents lost in the trees, catch a glimpse of the forest. Three highlights stand out.

How to Enjoy Reading the Old Testament

How to Enjoy Reading the Old Testament

Last Thursday I went to Cambridge for a daylong seminar on Preaching the Book of Deuteronomy with Old Testament scholar, Dr. Daniel Block. For many people, Deuteronomy is a dull book to be avoided. But the 74-year-old Dr. Block was neither dull nor tentative in his treatment of the book. Full of passion and love for its teachings, he sometimes shouted, sometimes laughed, and at one point even broke into song as he was preaching. He shared how he had begun teaching through Deuteronomy in an adult Sunday School class at his church. Initially 60 people signed up to join him, but how many would continue, particularly given how slowly he was working through the chapters? Well, he still has a couple of chapters to complete, but he’s been teaching that class for seven years now and he averages 180 to 200 people each week. Obviously, there’s more to be learned from this book than most people think! There were many lessons I took away from the series of lectures, but perhaps most helpful was his perspective on how Christians can enjoy reading the Old Testament.

Gospel Principles That Can Radically Change Your Family

Gospel Principles That Can Radically Change Your Family

On Sunday October 15 and 29 from 2 to 5 pm (not October 14 as announced earlier), Grace Baptist Church is hosting a 2-part parenting live stream seminar with Paul David Tripp.. I hope you'll make time for this important opportunity. In order to introduce the speaker, today's post features him again as a guest contributor, introducing the principles of his book. In our parenting seminar, he'll be covering the first four topics.

Get the Foundation Straight

Get the Foundation Straight

I still remember doing a survey of the church building we erected in Japan. The foundation had just been laid and the supervisor walked the perimeter with me and got down on the ground to show me how perfect the angles were. He said, “Get the foundation perfect and you’ll have a stable building. But make a small mistake here, and you’ll always have problems.” Thankfully, they did get the foundation perfect. And we were very happy with the finished product. Over the years, I’ve seen again and again that getting the foundation of Christianity straight is crucial to a healthy relationship with God. The problem is that you can’t get everything straight. There is too much to know in the Bible to know it all equally. So you need to be able to discern what the foundation is and get that straight and then over time do your best to add to it. Do you have the foundation straight? Have you helped your children get the foundation straight? When people ask you about your faith, do you get the foundation straight?

Parenting Strategies Don't Work

Parenting Strategies Don't Work

On Sunday October 14 and 29 from 2 to 5 pm, Grace Baptist Church is hosting a 2-part parenting live stream seminar with Paul David Tripp.. I hope you'll make time for this important opportunity.. In order to introduce the speaker, today's post features him as a guest contributor..

In 1997, I wrote my first book, Age of Opportunity: A Biblical Guide to Parenting Teens. I felt God calling me to write more books, but I was equally as persuaded that Age of Opportunity would be my only one on the topic of parenting.  But for the past two decades, as I saw how people were using that book (and my brother Tedd’s book Shepherding a Child's Heart), I grew increasingly uncomfortable. Something was missing in the way these parents were interpreting and applying the strategies detailed in the pages of our books. It took me a while to figure out what was off. Then it hit me: the missing piece was the gospel. It sounds obvious, almost cliché, but it’s more significant in our lives than we realize.

How to Learn Proverbs with Your Children

How to Learn Proverbs with Your Children

Last time I talked about the importance of learning Proverbs with your children. I love the way they minister to the whole family and shift the dynamic of parenting from just a parent trying to pass along his or her way of doing things to, instead, a parent modeling and coaching a child in a life committed to God and His wisdom. The problem remains though: how do you teach them? Because there are thirty-one chapters, many advocate reading a chapter for every day of the month. There’s probably value in that practice, but with younger children, I’m convinced that less is more. Our family typically focused on one new proverb at a time and reviewed no more than five others. Let me share a few of the things that helped us.

5 Reasons Why You Should Learn Proverbs with your Kids

5 Reasons Why You Should Learn Proverbs with your Kids

Over the years, we have done many different things for family devotions. But learning verses from the Book of Proverbs has been a highlight. I think Proverbs has had the biggest impact of any book of the Bible in helping my parenting and shaping our family’s character. While I’ve begun preaching through the book of Proverbs in the new series, Ancient Wisdom, I’d also like to share a series of articles on why and how to learn Proverbs with your kids.

What could change a white supremacist?

What could change a white supremacist?

It’s easy to conclude a person is hopeless to change. We often assume that people who aren’t like us would never listen to us. The story of Derek Black shows us, that’s not rue. If Derek could change, anyone can. And the steps that led to his transformation give us hints as to how we can be help effect change in our culture today.

Dusting off the First Commandment

Dusting off the First Commandment

The Ten Commandments are still a shorthand for many people in our culture to talk about the Bible. ‘I believe in the Ten Commandments,’ usually means that the person believes in what the Bible teaches about being a good person, without getting too bogged down with the details. Church-going Christians would claim a higher standard, but I’m not sure that our approach is all that much better. Quick question: can you name the first commandment, without peaking? And could you give some quick examples of how it shapes the way you live? While most people do fairly well with at least the surface level of commands not to murder and steal, I’m not convinced that we score so high with the first commandment. Take a moment to consider it with me.

What Would Luther Say to the Roman Church Today?

What Would Luther Say to the Roman Church Today?

Today's post is by guest contributor, Christian Clement-Schlimm. Because it's the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, and because of Christian's background in history, I've asked him to share what Luther might think of the Roman Catholic Church, as it exists today.

Although I grew up with Roman Catholic friends and family, it wasn’t until I began university that I started to have serious theological conversations with Roman Catholics of conviction. These would include Roman Catholic seminarians, converts from Evangelicalism to Roman Catholicism, and people who frankly knew their stuff. We would discuss the nature of the sacraments and the positions of the early church, but it would always come back to the issues of the Reformation. One hard conversation I had took place with a Roman Catholic friend who was considering which Roman Catholic monastic order to join. At the same time he was struggling with critical points raised by Protestantism. The conversation ended when he basically asked, “Why can’t Roman Catholics and Protestants just get along? We’re all serving Christ after all.” I think many people struggle at this point. They know that there are differences between Roman Catholicism and Protestantism but they’re not sure how significant those differences are. What my friend didn’t seem to realize was that our differences were at the heart of our faith. We need to get along, but that doesn’t mean pretending that we’re the same or that our differences don’t matter. Let me explain.