Your Most Important Decision and Four Other Interesting Things I Read This Week

Kevin DeYoung on going to church while in college, Marvin Olasky on learning to honor a faithless father, and an NBA beat writer on faith and cancer. Also: Allistair Begg with a pep talk.

Welcome to this week! At our house, our kids are grinding out their last few days of school, which means final exams and also pool parties. And the parents are not unhappy about less driving.

This is also the season for graduations. I’ve got a sixteen-year old so I’m thinking more about this. It is also hard to believe that my own walk down the aisle was way back in 1996 (an era my kids refer to as ancient history). As I’ve gotten older, I’m more interested in investing in the next generation with good advice. Here Kevin DeYoung does that, with a good word about the most important decision they will make, though one they’re likely not thinking about:

If you want to be into what Jesus is into, you’ll get into a church.

You need to decide before you leave home, what will I do on that first Sunday morning. Don’t wait until that moment to decide, because you’ll probably decide you’re tired, or you don’t have a car, or you don’t know where to go, or you’ll get to it next week. Decide before that Sunday what you will do on that Sunday. You’ll be making all sorts of plans this summer, and one of the most important decisions you may ever make is what you will be committed to that first week and those first months. Will you get up and go to church–not just chapel, not just campus ministry–but a local church, where the people aren’t all your age, where the music isn’t all your style, where the pastor may not be everything you’d want him to be?

Jonathan Tjarks on Facing Cancer

It’s not too rare to hear a Christian talk or write or post about their faith. It is rare for an NBA beat writer to do it at a place like The Ringer. And yet this is what Jonathan TJarks did, with an honest, vulnerable piece about his fight with cancer and how faith in Christ was his only hope.

Honoring a Less-than-Honorable Father

Marvin Olasky is one of my favorite people. As Editor-in-Chief of World for decades, he’s been a model of faithful, winsome Christian witness, both as a journalist and as an important voice on cultural issues. His story is fascinating, converting from a wild-eyed Marxist to a follower of Jesus. His latest work is personal, an honest book about his father. I loved this conversation with the guys from Life, Books, and Everything.

Allistair Begg on Life as An Exile

Worried about a shifting culture? Nervous about increasing hostility to Christianity? Me too. But pastor Allistair Begg says that Christians were built for this moment, encouraging us to embrace our identity as exiles.

What I’m Reading

I am currently reading two books, this wonderful bio of Jack Miller, an influential pastor whose work had a significant impact on pastors like Tim Keller. And I am also reading/listening to A World Undone.

A few other notes:

Lifeway asked me to write an article on emerging from COVID and not seeing our neighbors as threats.

Also, this book, Ministers of Reconciliation I edited for Lexham Press just released, hopefully helping pastors apply the Scripture to racial reconciliation.

Podcast:

I had my friends Collin Hansen and Sarah Zylstra on to discuss their new book Gospelbound. I was excited to have them on to discuss:

  • Why we are so prone to only believe bad news about the church

  • Why we need to see where the Spirit is working through God’s people around the world

    How do to good journalism about Christians, both being willing to see what is bad and being willing see what is good.

Check it out.

And don’t forget to sign up for the paid version of One Little Word.

photo credit: University of Essex

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