As Christians, we are not immune to the reality of our present moment. However, our response must look different, and there is reason why it can.
Division within the body of Christ is ultimately a heart issue. But it’s also, in part, a culture issue.
Now more than ever, the church needs models of faithfulness.
On this episode of the FTC Podcast, Jared Wilson interviews pastor and author Jonathan Dodson on the revolutionary help of the Beatitudes for our culture in crisis.
The world desperately needs faithful leaders that steadily live the gospel out before a watching world.
What may seem like a setback or a delay is actually His perfecting preparation.
Churches that attempt to accommodate the moving-target needs of individual “spiritual quests” are not doing anyone a favor.
By connecting lament with our theology, we change how we define steadfastness in trial.
FTC.co asks Dr. John Mark Yeats, Dean of Students and Professor of Church History at MBTS, "How would Christians benefit in the future from know our past?"
Do we only recognize that this virus has taken comfort from us? Or do we also look to Jesus and see that He has given us a great gift?
This week's links include resources on how to help the homeless, believing you're forgiven, "even ifs," why there were three crosses, church history and the chronically ill, and being quarantined alone.
All alone with our selves, being babysat by our anxieties, we might see just how helpless and frail we really are. And we might see just how loved.
This is a community meal, signified by the corporate nature of the covenant that we are remembering and taking part in.
Racism refuses to acknowledge the equality and dignity or your neighbor, much less love them as you love yourself.
How do you lead big change in a church without blowing it up?
Disappointment with your pastor, with other believers, or with your church should send you to your knees in prayer, not out the door with a dramatic show of indignation.
Some practical ways to help open the door to talking about the most glorious news that heaven itself sings about.
How do you encourage a young family struggling with family devotions?
We are not created to die, so reminders of human frailty do not come easily to most of us.
When a friend is caught in addiction or destructive behavior, the loving thing to do is to help them out of it through intervention.
Our hope awaits an eternal consummation, but we minister with buoyancy and confidence even now.
What if God used this time to bond us closer together than ever in his Spirit, the true foundation of our unity?
Many lay preachers feel unprepared for the task—I know I have. What should you do? Where do you start? Here a few tips.
Someday, Jesus the Redeemer will return to redeem everything. Fully. Completely. Eternally.
This week's links include resources on Jesus in the Proverbs, pastors and integrity, self-help, lessons from working with those who were abused, and successful evangelism.
Nothing special happened about my life’s purpose and mission as a result of losing the weight that I lost.
How do you write sermons? Describe your sermon preparation process.
I treat God like a teenager does a parent, recognizing his presence but longing for him to leave me alone, for crying out loud.
Know that when you love your wife like Jesus loves her, the foundation of your marriage is strengthened, Satan is defeated again, and Christ is lifted up for more to see.
Here are three reasons why teachers of the Bible shouldn’t be boring—and four strategies to avoid boring teaching.
FTC.co asks Adam McClendon, Professor in the School of Divinity and Director of the D.Min. program at Liberty Universtiy, "Can the church 're-create' the early church?"
May God cause something mighty and special to happen when the church, across the entire world, returns to corporate worship.
On this episode of the FTC Podcast, Jared Wilson and Ronni Kurtz discuss the pros and cons of writing and preaching from both outlines and manuscripts.
Paul is asking us to push the boundaries of our hearts when we pray.
It is hardly God’s great purpose to make you feel like you’re something special.
We ask our Managing Editor, Ronni Kurtz, "Why should pastors care about Systematic Theology?"
For evangelicals, the enduring relevance of Patrick of Ireland lies in a sacrificial heart motivated by the Great Commission and burdened for the lost.
Whether you meet or don't meet, do all things to the glory of God.
The gospel helps us see that our lives are not about us.
Four helpful perspectives to remember when making the decision to cancel worship services due to the spread of the Coronavirus.
How can large churches provide effective ministry training?
We tend to think that only the most perceivably gifted people are the ones who pleasingly serve God.
A few challenges and helpful advice for an Associate Pastor becoming the Senior Pastor in the same church he has been serving for years.
FTC.co asks Jared C. Wilson, Assistant Professor of Pastoral Ministry at Spurgeon College and Author in Residence at MBTS, "How should we think about the sins of our heroes from church history?"
The Holy Spirit creates the desire in hearts and helps believers respond to God’s generosity and grace with offerings back to Him.
The Bible gives us the necessary worldview and the essential principles needed for thinking through these issues with the right perspective.
The presence of polyamory among professing believers is yet another manifestation of a culturally accommodating Christianity that seeks to worship the Lord on its own terms.
The way of Christianity is the way of unity between old and young saints in the body, and if you want our youth to take this way, show them the road.
When articulating a call to ministry, here are two common errors to avoid.
FTC.co asks Nathan Rose, Lead Pastor of Liberty Baptist Church in Kansas City, MO, "How do churches benefit from giving their pastors a sabbatical?"
There is no chapter in this book that does not look to Christ as the ultimate fulfillment of the Ten Commandments.
Salvation by Christ's work is a gift of grace received through faith. This salvation is total (Romans 8:30) and we see its totality in John 6.
Jesus was most concerned about the toll their ministry efforts had on them.
How is grace different from permissiveness?
Every semester I tell my students, “For the love of God, do not bring your Greek or Hebrew Bible to corporate worship on Sunday.”
FTC.co asks Won Kwak, pastor at Maranatha Grace Church in Fort Lee, New Jersey: "What do you say to the pastor who's tired and wants to quit?"
On this episode of the FTC Podcast, Jared Wilson interviews pastor and author Jonathan Parnell about finding strength from God for all of our days and disciplining ourselves to rest regularly in God's immeasurable grace.
The following suggestions are designed to help you spend an extended time in prayer and meditation with God.
He will not merely help us turn over a new leaf; he will actually give us a new life.
Good theology, for the church member, is how we tell the truth about God and how we dwell together in a way that honors the Lord Jesus Christ.
FTC.co asks Dr. Todd Chipman, Assistant Professor of Biblical Studies at MBTS and pastor at the Master's Community Church in Kansas City, "What advice would you give someone deciding between academic theology and pastoral ministry?"
When his dog was suffering a particularly noisome barking fit, Martin supposedly preached this gospel implication to him, exhorting the pooch this way: “Never mind, little Hans . . . Thou too, in the Resurrection, shalt have a little golden tail.”
This week's links include resources on how God listens, Christian maturity, condemnation, pastoral friends, creeds, and witness to others.
Has the mission of the church changed?
Peter’s darkest episode exposed his prideful heart, but it also led him to the humblest of repentance.
Should college students join a local church by campus if they have a church membership “back home”?
Theologians at every level: Employ your expertise with humility in every interaction for the good of your brother and the good of your neighbor to the glory of God.
FTC.co asks Dan Darling, Vice-President of Communciations at the ERLC, "What tempts Christians to engage politically in undignified ways?"
I deceived myself and thought I had the right to question God, to turn my back and scoff at Him, the Creator of everything.
God is not calling perfect people to be His ambassadors in this world.
The first thing to know is that your father isn’t like us.
FTC.co asks Adam McClendon, Director of the D.Min. Program at Liberty University, "Why is contentment radical?"
It is not as if God looked through time, saw you would be an asset to the organization and so chose you.
This week's links include resources on chronic pain, believing your own press, improving preaching, marriage, and Lent participation.
Don't pit singing and the sermon against each other.
You may not like the way the bride of Christ looks. But be careful how you treat Christ’s bride.
What are some important components in training men for ministry?
It’s easy to be discouraged when you see a tiny trickle of people coming into your congregation. But if that trickle is good, solid growth, it’s much more likely to be growth that lasts.
FTC.co asks Steve Bezner, Lead Pastor at Houston Northwest Church in Houston, TX: "Why do you develop relationships with Muslim leaders in your city?"
On this episode of the FTC Podcast, Jared Wilson and Ronni Kurtz discuss the problem of pastors plagiarizing the work of others in their sermons and writing.
Though freed from the penalty of sin by the blood of Christ, my struggle with and the remaining presence of even “canceled sin” was bigger and deeper than I knew.
He still loves to forgive, redeem, restore, and transform.
Within me is the longing for beauty, and the repulsion of non-beauty. I am convinced that I have the normal longings of all of us. We are made for beauty.
FTC.co asks Dr. Andreas Köstenberger, Research Professor of New Testament and Biblical Theology and Director of the Center for Biblical Studies at MBTS, "What is a vital ingredient for faithful longevity in scholarship or ministry?"
I want to persevere in ministry purely at the mercy of the sovereign God who is with me.
God’s purpose is always for your worry to be transformed into worship.
This week's links provide resources on worship as discipleship, the meaning of marriage, loneliness, following your heart, hobbies and idolatry, and fathers.
Jesus knew the Bible, and he used David's words to foretell the kind of battle he came to fight and the kind of victory he came to win.
What is the one thing you would do to change the Christian’s devotional life?
When I am closer to Jesus, I am closer to my wife. I mean truly closer to Jesus, in my heart, not just thinking I am closer because I am doing the right things.
Fellow moms, if we think teaching our children about the Triune God and the universe he made is small or pitiable or unimportant, we don’t understand smallness.
Because God put Jesus away on the cross, he will never put us away.
Jude’s letter is emphatic that Jesus Christ is our only Savior, a teaching all the more pronounced through Jude’s litany of the sorrowfully condemned.
Self-sufficient living brings disastrous results.
Not every theological issue demands warfare. Not every doctrinal disagreement deserves the same outrage on social media.
Though there are many things a particular church may not be able to do well, love is not one of them.
This week's links include resources on salvation, language and the missionary, guarding your relationship with God, one-to-one Bible reading, and churches working together.
The ministry of preaching cannot be divorced from the ministry of soul care; in fact, preaching is actually an extension of soul care. There are a host of reasons why it is important for pastors who want to preach meaningfully to know their flocks as well as they can, but here are three of the most important.
What is the one thing a new Christian needs most from his church?
The people we encounter in the church may not necessarily be the people we would have chosen for ourselves. But they are the people we need.
The Bible itself describes our lives as vapors that vanish quickly. We must recognize today that we are not promised tomorrow.
FTC.co asks Trillia Newbell, Director of Community Outreach for the ERLC, "What does the gospel say about body image?"
While we’re always experiencing death to some extent in the present age, we’re also at the very same time experiencing resurrected life.
If the gospel is the one thing that makes us unique, then the gospel needs to be the one thing that shapes how we do everything.
On this episode of the FTC Podcast, Jared Wilson interviews artist and author Andrew Peterson about creativity, spirituality, and Andrew's new book Adorning the Dark.
If we can reframe how we think about touch and avoid fear of man, we can love our brothers and sisters by touching them in a holy, loving way.
Central to our gospel presentation is the solution to the problem of sin, and if this sin is central to our hearer’s identity, we haven’t actually presented the gospel until we’ve brought it to bear rigt there.
These are just three symptoms of my ailment. I have to stay aware of them, because when I am not consciously and intentionally directing my gaze to the glory of Christ, I can very easily get swept up in the winds of political discourse.
A leader who holds fast to the true source of life is utterly free to love others well.
This week's links include resources on engaging those who disagree, complacency in salvation, grieving with hope, mothers who do 'nothing,' Jesus and the Old Testament, myths on studying the Bible, and empty nesters.
What should pastors remember in counseling those dealing with porn use?
Amazingly, even small, rural churches inherit the powerful kingdom of God through the blood of his Son.
Is Strachan right to claim that anthropology is the major issue of our time? He is. There is no more pressing issue for the Church of Jesus Christ.
FTC.co asks Michael Kelley, Director of Discipleship at Lifeway Christian Resources, "Why don't more Christians pray for their daily bread?"
Do you recognize that an inability to enjoy children is not representative of a defect in the children, but of a defect in us?
Whether you are a beginner preacher or veteran one, cultivate a sense of dependence on Christ.
The road to apostasy is paved with indifference to the glory of Christ.
FTC.co asks Clint Pressley, Lead Pastor of Hickory Grove Baptist Church in Charlotte, NC, "Who has influenced your preaching the most?"
You’re not responsible for understanding all the depths of theology today; you’re called to simply be intellectually faithful.
How would you live if you realized that nothing you fear could ever have the last word in your life?
This week's links include resources on being pro-life and pro-woman, God's goodness tomorrow, recovering benedictions, talking to kids about ethnicity, and walking away from discipleship.
Not knowing your spouse, never doing anything together, reading Bavinck by candlelight while she cleans up the kitchen, and feeling like her roommate is bad.
Forget not what thy God has done for thee; turn over the book of thy remembrance, and consider the days of old.
A 10-point manifesto for a healthier Youth Ministry.
Envy is a feeling of bitterness that God has given something good to somebody else.
FTC.co asks Don Whitney, Professor of Biblical Spirituality at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, "Why do many Christians seem more inclined to Bible Study than prayer?"
On this episode of the FTC Podcast, Ronni Kurtz interviews Jared Wilson about his new book The Gospel According to Satan: Eight Lies About God that Sound Like the Truth.
These were ordinary women. Much like us, they probably didn’t feel like they had particularly extraordinary lives.
The way we lead them is vital to their success.
Even as I write this, the fires still burn. But one day soon, through the blackened earth, green shoots will spring up again.
FTC.co asks Adam McClendon, Professor in the School of Divnity and Director of the DMin doctoral program at Liberty University, "What does Christian culture sometimes get wrong about masculinity?"
A poem in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day
There are so many other spiritual dangers that face the one in the spotlight. These four, I'm convinced, are some of the reasons why James says not many people should be teachers.
O for grace to study the Bible with Jesus as both our teacher and our lesson!
What are some practical considerations for the pastor leading his church from an attractional mindset to a more gospel-centered ministry?
We should see orthodoxy as beautiful because it is bigger than us. It came before us and will be there after we’re gone.
When you join a local church, you’re committing to helping other covenant members faithfully follow Jesus.
FTC.co asks Barnabas Piper, Director of Community at Immanuel Church in Nashville, TN: "What is a surprising way to become a better writer?"
Tell me that God’s love doesn’t demand the willingness to lose everything and, in fact, does take quite a lot.
Though our flesh wars against it, the humility to recognize our need for God’s forgiveness and redemption is a gift.
The testimony of the Bible from beginning to end says that laziness is wicked. But we don’t often look at it that way.
A new book from one of our profs called by Matt Smethurst 'one of the most thought-provoking writers in the Christian world today.'
Left without a challenger, pride makes us into self-exalters who forget that we are here to magnify God and not ourselves.
FTC.co asks Dr. Jason K. Allen, President of Midwestern Seminary and Spurgeon College, "Why should pastors consider reading biographies?"
He doesn’t need our help. And he doesn’t need our permission.
These were not token women. They were essential participants in the fulfillment of God’s promises to Abraham and David.
Your marriage may always be a place of great trial, but you can change the way you react to it.
How can a church help make sure its theology leads to doxology?
For those seeking to turn around a declining church, the challenge of paying the bills is often daunting.
May a new generation continue to follow Packer to make new discoveries like his of their own.
It is vital that you and I rightly discern and evaluate Satan. He is not to be trifled with nor buffooned, but in Christ, his back was utterly broken on Calvary’s hill.
All the fullness of God was pleased to dwell in a baby who couldn’t speak.
Jared Wilson and Ronni Kurtz kick off the new year of the FTC Podcast with another installment in the FTC Mailbag feature.
Show me a man or woman seeking the kingdom, and I will show you a man whom God supplies.
Here is the bottom line: when young people are passionate, bold, and relentless, things change.
FTC.co asks Dan Darling, Vice-President of Communciations at the ERLC, "What is virtue signaling and how do you know if you are doing it?"
There is a subtle kind of pride that has the appearance of celebrating grace. But its aim is self-oriented.
You cannot have a high view of Christ and a low view of the church at the same time.
Sin doesn’t make you more real. Sin makes you more dead.
What does gospel-centered parental discipline look like?
Yarnell is able to paint a picture of the Holy Spirit with many shades and hues, with colors drawn from a spectrum of biblical genres located at various points within redemptive history.
Being around the flock helps them see what our message looks like in real life.
It’s disheartening that so many people are listed on a church roll somewhere but not actually attending.
FTC.co asks Clint Pressley, Lead Pastor of Hickory Grove Baptist Church in Charlotte, NC, "How do you build consensus on a church team that disagrees?"