Welcome to the SharperIron Blogroll.

The Blogroll is a collection of blogs that are often of interest and help to SI readers. SharperIron does not create the content of these blogs and the views expressed in them are those of their respective writers.

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  • Mark Snoeberger - Tue, 07/24/2018 - 2:27pm
    It is with great pleasure that we announce the release of the 2018 Detroit Baptist Seminary Journal, now in its 23rd year of publication. This year’s selections give attention to a thorny question in Zechariah, the curiosity of Paul’s reticence to directly cite the words of Jesus, the perennial issue of the identity of the... Read More

Religious Affections (about)

  • Becky Aniol - Fri, 08/17/2018 - 3:37pm
    We started back to school this week! Here is what we’re using this year in our homeschool to foster a joyful search for wisdom and beauty and the formation of habits of Christlikeness. Read to the end to find out what new things my kids are loving so far. Language Arts Spelling Wisdom from Simply […]
  • Ryan Martin - Fri, 08/17/2018 - 12:01pm
    Many good points here made by Derek Thomas: Truth is, for all the entertainment on offer, ours is perhaps a bored generation. We have movies, malls and MP3 players and yet, the whine “There’s nothing to do” can still be heard, loud and clear. A recent survey revealed that 71% of us want more “novelty” […]
  • Kevin T. Bauder - Fri, 08/17/2018 - 10:00am
    Kevin T. Bauder John Buck is a manager for a national corporation where he has been advancing through the ranks. One day his boss stops by to offer John a new position as manager of a plant in a distant part of the country. The job comes with a pay increase of $15,000 per year. […]
  • Ryan Martin - Thu, 08/16/2018 - 9:58am
    I am forming an argument for Scripture-regulated worship from two pillars: the authority of Christ and our love for him  (Part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, & 6). If Christ is Lord, then we should obey him. But we should also obey Christ because we love him. The way Christ exercises authority in the church is through the apostles, and […]
  • Scott Aniol - Wed, 08/15/2018 - 7:00am
    It has always been a characteristic of God’s people that they are a singing people. This was Paul’s admonition when he commanded Christians in Colossians 3 and Ephesians 5 to sing. Early church father John Chrysostom emphasized the power of singing when he said, “Nothing so arouses the soul, gives it wings, sets it free […]
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Thoughts on Theology (about)

Stuff Out Loud

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Institute for Nouthetic Studies Blog (about)

  • Donn R Arms - Mon, 08/06/2018 - 5:10pm
    Coming August 31st

    An exciting announcement and a new bookstore. See you then!


  • Donn R Arms - Tue, 07/31/2018 - 12:00am

    I need your help, yes you! You are reading our little blog because you know, have read, have heard, or are otherwise familiar with Jay Adams. You have profited from his ministry and have been a greater blessing to others because of what you have learned from him.

    But sadly, there are many who travel in Biblical counseling circles these days who have never heard Jay speak and, unbelievably, have never read Competent to Counsel. When I first began my journey as a biblical counselor Jay Adams was scheduled as the speaker for all five plenary sessions at the annual NANC conferences. Today, a large majority of those who attend an ACBC conference have never heard him speak. Now, this is not necessarily a bad thing. It is good that so many younger men and women now identify with the movement.

    But the Biblical counselor, of any age, who does not read and learn from Jay Adams is missing a great blessing and, frankly, is derelict in his responsibility to grow as a counselor. Imagine the theologian who has never read Calvin. Is there a pastor anywhere, who is serious about growing as a preacher, who has never read Spurgeon? Can one be a conscientious WWII historian...

  • Jay Adams - Mon, 07/23/2018 - 12:00am

    James talks about the man who looks into a mirror, sees his face is dirty, but then goes away and forgets all about it—as a result, he still has a dirty face. What was he talking about? People who look into (study) the Bible, find out what is wrong with them, but go away and do nothing about it. Dirt is one thing; for neatniks, possibly everything. But suppose he sees signs of skin cancer, and still walks away? That could be deadly.

    Yet, people do what James describes all of the time. They read, they hear a sermon, they remember a Scripture verse—any one of which facts demonstrates the need for change—but no, they go on, unperturbed, just as if they hadn’t seen the spiritual dirt or signs of cancer evident in their lives.

    In some ways, it’s more dangerous to hear and neglect (or refuse to obey) than not to have heard at all. The responsibility for continuing in sin is greater. When your preacher holds the Bible mirror to your face in a powerful message, do you immediately go the Lord in repentance for His washing? Or do you go home, have a good meal, turn on your HD wall mounted TV, and forget all about it?

    If we Christians...

  • Jay Adams - Mon, 07/16/2018 - 12:00am

    Sometimes preachers fail to distinguish between preaching a sermon and preaching to a congregation. For some, the two may be identical (preaching a sermon to a congregation) but, on the other hand, they may not be (and usually are not). What is the difference to which I allude, what are its consequences, and what can be done about it?

    The difference between preaching a sermon and preaching to a congregation is enormous. In the first, all, or nearly all, of the preacher’s effort has gone into preparing what he hopes will be THE SERMON. It is a masterpiece of style and artistry. People come just to hear and admire the sermon itself. Usually, such sermons are read or memorized. Almost always they are written out in full. In such preaching, the focus is on the sermon as such; it is a thing in-and-of-itself, and whether the particular congregation before whom (not to whom) it was performed (not preached) were to hear it, or another, is irrelevant. It can stand alone on its own two feet as a literary work. There are actually no such sermons in the New Testament. The Sermon on the Mount...

  • Jay Adams - Mon, 07/02/2018 - 12:00am

    What a wonderful word! Yet, what does it mean? How do you grant forgiveness; and, for what?

    As much as Christians talk about forgiveness, you’d think they could tell you all about it. Yet, there is hardly one in a thousand who can give sound, Biblical answers to the questions above.

    Forgiveness of others is to be modeled on one’s own forgiveness by Christ: “… forgiving one another just as God, in Christ has forgiven you” (Eph. 4:32).

    Forgiveness must be extended to all who say they repent—even if the offense has been repeated (Cf. Luke 17:3). But it is only to be granted to those who confess wrong doing, claim to be repentant, and ask forgiveness (Prov. 28:13). In Mk. 11:25, Jesus tells you to forgive those who wronged you when you pray, thereby avoiding bitterness and resentment (Eph. 4:32). But, that is different from granting the wrongdoer forgiveness. You do that only when he repents. Forgiveness of others must reflect god’s forgiveness; He forgave you when you repented.

    Some unthinking Christians advise forgiving another whether or not he confesses sin...

Institute of Biblical Leadership(about)

  • David Phelan - Wed, 08/15/2018 - 5:43pm
  • David Phelan - Mon, 08/13/2018 - 6:57pm

    The following article originally appeared in the summer edition of our print newsletter called Side by Side. To download a PDF version of the newsletter, click here.

    Dr. Russ Lloyd’s heart is for our Brothers and Sisters in Christ in Vietnam. In March, Russ completed his thirty-third pastoral training mission to this southeast Asia country. His ministry there began in 1998 when he was invited to lead a one-time training retreat for pastors and church leaders. Since then, he’s been going every six months except for a two-year period when the communist authorities did not permit his entry to the country. In 2005, IBL established a full-time in-country presence under the leadership of Pastor Doan Nhat Tan, the current Director of IBL-Vietnam. To date, Pastor Tan has graduated 250 students through the three-year training program that he and Dr. Lloyd developed.

    Russ’ March trip marks the conclusion of his labors in Vietnam, but this milestone also marks the beginning of a new season of ministry in Vietnam overseen by IBL’s...

  • David Phelan - Thu, 08/09/2018 - 5:21pm
    A Church Committed to the Pursuit of Unity in the Advancement of its Common Cause

    In Ephesians chapter 4, Paul turns his attention to the matter of unity within the body of Christ as he exhorts us to walk in a manner worthy of our calling in Christ (verse 1).  The first half of the chapter provides a vivid portrayal of the type of unity that should characterize the functioning of the church: Spirit-led, interdependent co-laboring of diversely gifted yet deeply integrated, mature followers of Jesus Christ.  The second half of the chapter describes in very practical terms the behavior that should characterize our relationships within the church as we allow the Holy Spirit to transform our lives into Christ-likeness. As we yield to the Spirit’s leadership in our lives and ministries we successfully realize the theme of the chapter: “being eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in a bond of peace” (verse 3).

    There is a word in verse 3 that is very important and worth contemplating:  “eager.” Paul tells us to be eager to maintain unity within the church:  be speedily diligent; be swift and show full diligence.  This...

  • David Phelan - Thu, 08/02/2018 - 5:00pm

    We are excited about a new opportunity to expand our impact in the country of Kenya. Having successfully completed an initial five-year training program with Pastor Wilfred Githongo in Kijabe, we are now planning to conduct parallel programs in Kijabe and Nairobi.  This will be a significant expansion of our efforts in Kenya.  It is a step that we are taking deliberately and carefully, being faithfully obedient to the Holy Spirit’s leading and IBL’s vision to “equip and encourage spiritual leaders.”

    Our work in Kenya is not unlike the work of Paul with Timothy: equipping, encouraging, and sending his spiritual son to pastor and strengthen local churches.  We too are passionate about assisting leaders to become the men, women, and ministry leaders God desires.  Our ministry venues—training, coaching, consulting and counseling—give us the flexibility we need to address the full range of issues facing God’s leaders, so that the man and woman of God is fully prepared to serve faithfully, advance Kingdom work, and bring God glory.

    In majority world settings we utilize a self-sustainable, multi-faceted training program.  We focus on the three key...

ChurchWorksMedia Blog (about)

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Strength for Today (about)

  • Diane - Wed, 02/28/2018 - 1:40pm
    So, yesterday by the time I got done with the long-overdue grocery shopping, I was exhausted and decided to pick up some Little Caesar’s for the family for supper. The usual SOP, placing the order, etc. When the gal brought the pizzas to the counter, she opened the lid for me to inspect them.   Me: It’s sort of weird that you are even required to do this. It looks great.   Pizza gal (looking forlorn): I had a woman scream at me because one of her pepperonis was cut in half by the pizza cutter.   Me: Oh dear, really?   Pizza gal: We get a good number of people who refuse their pizzas for stuff like that.   Me: Well, then, please allow me to apologize for all of those people. From what I can see, you’re doing a terrific job.   Pizza gal: (brightening) Have a wonderful day, and thank you!   So first…it doesn’t cost anything to show some kindness. Working in food service is tough. I think there should be some sort of “karma” thing which requires difficult people to spend at least a week on the other side of the counter.   Second…I shudder to think what will happen if things get really tough in this country...
  • Diane - Sat, 02/24/2018 - 3:06pm

    Dear Friends, the accuser of the brethren has his name for a reason. He has great contempt for the Cross and the freedom it has provided for us. Even if we’ve come for forgiveness, the adversary wants to convince us to doubt the truth, to question its thoroughness, to live in such a way that we keep the memory of forgiven faults fresh.

    God cannot lie. He tells us that the believer who has sought forgiveness from God for his or her sin has been freed. God chooses not to remember those past deeds… puts them behind His back where they cannot be seen and will not be rehearsed again…buries them in the deepest parts of the sea where no man has ever ventured… separates them from us as far as east is from west (for they never meet).

    Be blessed today in the assurance that His forgiveness is complete and final. Jesus said “It is finished”…His work as our perfect sacrifice is done. Our God is...

  • Diane - Fri, 01/26/2018 - 2:39pm

    We dropped in at Walmart real quick last night for a few things. I was astounded at the crowd lined up at the pharmacy counter. It’s flu season. We’ve seen it in our home. But please, please be educated.

    People, children, have been woefully misdiagnosed with flu when in actuality it was Type 1 Diabetes…and it was too late. So grievous. Kisses for Kycie educates about this very thing. The photo on the right is Katie on Easter, prior to her diagnosis on May 17 of that same year. I thought, “How slim and mature she’s becoming”, and then a few weeks later began the incessant water drinking, the lethargy, the blurred vision… Please look at this graphic and be familiar with it. No one ever thinks it could actually happen to them. But we are here to tell you…yes, it can. I post this each flu season. I’ll continue to do so. Educate...

By Faith We Understand (about)

  • Mark Ward - Thu, 08/16/2018 - 11:13am
  • Mark Ward - Tue, 08/14/2018 - 5:10pm
  • Mark Ward - Thu, 08/02/2018 - 7:00am

    A pastor friend in urban Chicago asked a great question:

    How does the case you make in your book regarding [unintelligible language in] the KJV apply to our hymnody? I’m editing our Sunday slide presentation and am finding that the “thees” and “thous,” while beautiful and transcendent, may not be clear to an outsider attending our fellowship. In some cases, the old English is updatable without ruining the message or meter. But, in other cases a small tweak would ruin a rhyme.

    I replied that that question is a really good one, one other friend has already posed. And here’s what I’ve come to so far:

    First, nobody is 17th-Century-Hymnody-Only or has made a doctrine out of using archaic hymns exclusively, so the pressure to push back against unintelligible language in hymns is not as great as the need to push back against unintelligible language in Bibles.

    Second, the Bible is also more important than hymns, so that’s the battle I’m picking first.

    But, third, to be consistent with my argument in Authorized, I...

  • Mark Ward - Tue, 07/31/2018 - 7:00am

    It seems that the phrase “grandfathered in”—as in, “Smokers who were already working at the company were grandfathered into the new health plan, but new hires won’t be able to get on if they smoke”—has its origins in overtly unjust, racist practices. This was sent to me by an editor from a website for copy-editors. And those unjust and racist practices, by the way, were truly terrible. Hateful.

    But I’m left wondering why a copy-editor thought a bunch of other copy-editors should know all this. It suggests to me that this copy-editor has forgotten what his job is: gauging the reaction of the intended audience of a piece to every piece of meaning in that piece. Effectively zero English speakers today are aware of the allegedly racist origins of the common phrase “grandfathered in.” Effectively zero readers will react negatively to it—until now, now that they’ve read this article.

    This copy-editor has just torpedoed, to a tiny degree, the work of the authors he’s called to serve. Now a few readers out there may...

  • Mark Ward - Fri, 07/27/2018 - 11:32pm

    By page 3 of most self-help books, I start hearing a cheery person intoning in the background, I’m good enough, I’m smart enough. By page 10: And, doggone it, people like me! Without denying that I should Win Friends and Influence People, go from Good to Great, and work harder at Getting Things Done—indeed, without denying that there is a lot of practical wisdom in these books that I ought to heed—I get a little frustrated with their vapidity quotient. Could anything be more clichéd than “Synergize” or “Put first things first”? But there’s something deeper that nags at me when I read these mega-bestelling works. In my experience (and I confess I haven’t even read all the ones I’ve just named), they studiously avoid the deeper issues that Drive us: our loves, our beliefs in ultimate realities.

    Stephen Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People was refreshingly, though not entirely, different. It professes religious neutrality, but it also makes explicitly religious...

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Emeth Aletheia


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