Ref21 Blog

A Mantle of Love for the Weak

On the night I proposed to Anna 15 years ago, she gave me a gift--an antiquarian edition of Thomas Brooks The Unsearchable Riches of Christ. It is a work to which I returned many times over the past 15 years....
Posted June 15, 2019 @ 2:46 PM by Nick Batzig

When Dead Men Speak...

I just finished watching the TV miniseries Chernobyl. I was brought to tears by the end of the series. In the final episode (spoiler alert, the reactor explodes), Legasov, the nuclear expert rises to speak before the Soviet tribunal tasked...
Posted June 13, 2019 @ 9:54 AM by Adam Parker

1 Corinthians 14:34: Did God Really Say...?

While a student, I came across an article by Latin American theologian Elsa Tamez titled, "Women Must Not be Silent in the Congregations!"--in which she argued that Paul gave apostolic instruction about how women should exercise the gift of prophecy...
Posted June 11, 2019 @ 3:33 PM by William Castro

The "Cereal-Aisle" Syndrome

The grocery store cereal aisle has become a common metaphor for distinguishing the West from the rest of the world, and rightly so. Just after we moved to Eastern Europe years ago, my family and I began the hunt...
Posted June 10, 2019 @ 9:30 AM by David B. Garner

Sufficient Hope

If you could give a new mom the perfect gift, what would it be? Would it be full night's sleep? Maybe you'd give her a hot meal without interruption or maybe the confidence that she'll be a good mom....
Posted June 10, 2019 @ 8:12 AM by Rachel Green Miller

On Platt and Priorities

It's been an amazing past few days watching the fallout from David Platt's prayer over president Trump. When I first heard about the situation and read the transcript of the prayer, my initial reaction was quite positive. This was...
Posted June 6, 2019 @ 9:04 AM by Lisa Robinson Spencer

Against Open Doors

Much that passes for Christian decision making in modern Evangelicalism strikes me as a mixture of lazy moral reasoning and illegitimate efforts to discern those "secret things" (Deut. 29:29) that God has never promised to reveal to us. Scripture...
Posted June 5, 2019 @ 10:20 AM by Aaron Denlinger

Strength from Weakness

No words can express the sadness I have felt upon news of the failing health of David Powlison. Dr. Powlison has been one of the great gifts God has given to the church. His book Seeing Through New Eyes is...
Posted June 4, 2019 @ 8:03 AM by Nick Batzig

Serious and Sensitive Preaching About Hell

What is the preacher to do with hell and eternal punishment? In our day and age these truths strike some as comical and others as cruel. To some, hell is a joke. It's about little devils in red tights...
Posted June 3, 2019 @ 8:00 AM by Ligon Duncan

Identical Equity?

The battle cry of "equity" serves as a summons to action, or at least outrage, wherever a person feels an injustice, or a passing over. The trouble for Christians is, in a field of politically charged verbage, words like...
Posted May 30, 2019 @ 9:18 AM by Justin Poythress

Praying for the Dead

An individual dies and social media is flooded with sentiments about prayers for the deceased and their family members. Without doubt, it is altogether right and in keeping with a spirit of true Christian charity to pray fervently for the...
Posted May 28, 2019 @ 8:35 AM by Nick Batzig

A Peaceful Parting

I suspect that if we conducted a careful study, we would find that dissolving a pastor's call when he isn't expecting it or disagrees with his session's (or elder board's) assessment is one of the most common experiences of both...
Posted May 23, 2019 @ 8:56 AM by Matthew Bradley

God's Forgetfulness and God's Face

True believers may, and do, experience times when they feel as if God has forgotten them. They feel as if the divine no longer takes interest in them. David felt this as well. He expresses this in Psalm 31...
Posted May 21, 2019 @ 6:25 AM by Richard C. Barcellos

Reforming Apologetics

J.V. Fesko, Reforming Apologetics: Retrieving the Classic Reformed Approach to Defending the Faith. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2019. 250pp. Paperback. Christians often polarize one another over their approaches to apologetics. While different apologetic schools compete for dominance in...
Posted May 18, 2019 @ 6:37 AM by Ryan McGraw

Breaking from Breaking News

The category of breaking news has grabbed our eyes to report such matters as the latest celebrity gossip and the latest tweet of a politician. Though sometimes the breaking news is of tragedy (because tragedy sells) in some land...
Posted May 16, 2019 @ 9:05 AM by Jared Nelson

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