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.

45721 reads


  • Ben Edwards - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 8:49am
    Recently I rewatched most of an abortion debate I attended a couple of years ago at Wayne State University here in Detroit. The debate was between Nadine Strossen, professor of Law at New York Law School and former president of ACLU, and Scott Klusendorf, president of Life Training Institute. One of the values of a... Read More
  • Aaron Berry - Thu, 02/15/2018 - 2:39pm
    Matt Postiff, pastor of Fellowship Bible Church in Ann Arbor, MI, preaches a sermon entitled, “Eyewitness of Glory,” from 2 Peter 1:16-18. Download and subscribe to our Podcasts here
  • Aaron Berry - Wed, 02/14/2018 - 1:57pm
    Nathan Williams, the pastor of Woodhaven Bible Church, preaches from the parable of the soils and instructs us how to position ourselves to receive the Word of God. Download and subscribe to our Podcasts here
  • Tim Miller - Mon, 02/12/2018 - 9:57am
    Mark Ward, a personal friend, has written a very helpful book on the King James Bible debate. Initially, you might think that the horse has been sufficiently beaten. Surely there is nothing new under the sun, and in terms of this debate, what can Ward offer that White, Carson, or Beacham & Bauder have not already... Read More
  • Jacob Elwart - Thu, 02/08/2018 - 7:37am
    Our reaction when sinners receive grace from God gives us a window into what we believe. So let me ask you: Do see the sin of others as a disease from which you have been inoculated? Do you despise sinners who repent because you think they don’t deserve God’s forgiveness? If you answered yes to... Read More
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Religious Affections (about)

  • Scott Aniol - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 7:00am
    Becky and I have read to our children since they were infants. We read so much to them, and some of the books over and over (and over and over!) again, that they began to recite from memory every line of some books before they could read themselves. (In case you’re wondering, my favorite is Where […]
  • David Huffstutler - Mon, 02/19/2018 - 7:00am
    Galatians 3:27 states, “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ” (ESV). In the context of Galatians 3:26–29 and 3:7–29 as a whole, Paul’s point is to stress that everyone who believes (including Gentiles) is in Christ and thus an heir to God’s promise of blessing to Abraham. By […]
  • Scott Aniol - Sun, 02/18/2018 - 7:00am
    Week 8: God Saves His People Weekly memory verse: Exodus 15:1 – “I will sing to the Lord, for he has triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider he has thrown into the sea.” Weekly hymn: Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah (free download) Weekly catechism: In how many persons does this one God exist? […]
  • Scott Aniol - Sat, 02/17/2018 - 9:31am
    In his book, Wiser Than Despair: The Evolution of Ideas in the Relationship of Music and the Christian Church, Quentin Faulkner provides a helpful description of how the domination of the Church during the Middle Ages affected worship and music, for good and for ill: Financial support for the church was from taxes; therefore “in no way, […]
  • Kevin T. Bauder - Fri, 02/16/2018 - 1:44pm
    Kevin T. Bauder Genesis 1:28 is sometimes called the cultural mandate: “And God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.” The context […]
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Thoughts on Theology (about)

  • Andy Naselli - Tue, 02/20/2018 - 12:03am

    My family loves watching high-quality nature documentaries like BBC’s Planet Earth. I call them theological documentaries—even when the people who make them don‘t share my biblical convictions that God is the sovereign creator and that humans have a God-given role to rule over the nature that these films showcase.

    What would it be like to watch a high-quality nature documentary that honors the Creator? Watch The Riot and the Dance—Part 1: Earth.

    After I read Doug Wilson’s take on this new film, I wanted to see it.

    My kids enjoyed it so much that they begged Jenni and me to watch it twice in one weekend.

    Here’s an 80-second ...

  • Andy Naselli - Wed, 02/14/2018 - 10:34am

    My seminary has focused exclusively on training pastors with our four-year M.Div. program.

    Now Bethlehem College & Seminary is adding a two-year M.A. program for both women and men.

    My colleague Rick Shenk recently announced,

    Over the past several years, we have received numerous inquiries from friends who love the vision, theology, and faculty of Bethlehem College & Seminary but could not enroll in our flagship M.Div. program that focuses on training men for vocational eldership. Associate pastors and non-staff elders, women’s ministry leaders, missionaries, and others who desire formal theological education have asked, “What about us?”

    I am so excited that we are now offering an M.A. in Exegesis and Theology for women and men! I love this!

    This is another way that Bethlehem College & Seminary is spreading a passion for the supremacy of God for the joy of all peoples through Jesus...

  • Andy Naselli - Wed, 01/24/2018 - 2:44am

    This book releases today:

    Mark L. Ward Jr. Authorized: The Use and Misuse of the King James Bible. Bellingham, WA: Lexham, 2018. [Available from Amazon and Logos Bible Software.]

    My endorsement:

    Ward combines good writing and common sense to explain why English speakers today should both appreciate the KJV and benefit from excellent modern translations.

    Other endorsements come from historic fundamentalists (Mark Minnick, Kevin Bauder), conservative evangelicals (Don Carson, Tom...

Stuff Out Loud

  • Wed, 02/07/2018 - 3:13pm

    This is a collection of highlights from John Leonard’s Get Real: Sharing Your Everyday Faith Every Day. It’s an interesting book, worth your time if you are interested in having gospel conversations with people. If you aren’t interested in gospel conversations with people, you should especially buy this book. It will encourage you.

    The inclusion of a highlight is not full endorsement. It is merely an indication of a provocative thought.


    Sharing your faith doesn’t impose itself on others, leaving them feeling resentful and used. It invites people to step beyond a superficial friendship where no one really cares about listening, and to head toward deep spiritual relationship. (LOCATION: 152)

    The good news of the gospel is that you cannot get to Jesus, but he can get to you. (LOCATION: 310)

    What we need is for God to give us mercy and grace so that Christ might do through us those things that are not in us. (LOCATION: 322)

    Not only are we to preach the gospel to all kinds of people, we are to expect that some of these very...

  • Wed, 01/31/2018 - 8:41am

    In Holiness, Ryle has a chapter devoted to a warning for the visible church drawn on the letters to the churches in Revelation 2-3. In this chapter, Ryle remarks,

    I never can believe, if a certain form of Church government was so very important as some say, that the great Head of the Church would have said nothing about it here. I should have expected to have found something said about it to Sardis and Laodicea. But I find nothing at all. And I think that silence is a great fact.*

    It is no doubt an argument that persuades many. We know this because the same argument is trumpeted about by what are known as “Red-Letter Christians.” The idea is that if Jesus didn’t say something about it the words directly attributed to him, then it isn’t really Christianity. By this means people pick and choose what parts of Scripture they must follow and what parts they can disregard. It is essentially Marcionite in its approach.

    The rebuttal to this is simple:

    First, there is the teaching that all Scripture is God-breathed and profitable (2 Tim 3:16-17). We should not devalue some parts of Scripture because it isn’t repeated in other parts. If...

  • Fri, 01/26/2018 - 6:09am

    Everyone knows that parents have tremendous power and influence in the lives of children, particularly in their younger years. And everyone knows that children have tremendous power and influence in the lives of parents.

    The first is what God intended. The second is moving toward the effects of the fall in the reversal of creation-based roles.

    The irony of the title, “The Power of Parents in the Worship of Children” is that we parents have often become almost powerless because we worship children. They run our lives by commanding our responses that flow out of a heart unchecked by the worship of God.

    It should be the other way around. That our power in the lives of our children is driven by our worship of God, and our children’s worship is instructed by our worship of God rather than our worship of children.

    As Israel departed Egypt in the exodus, the Passover was instituted by God as a reminder of his powerful deliverance, a deliverance that their children and grandchildren would never see. Yet in the initial instruction concerning the Passover, God envisions a day when the children will ask “What does this ceremony mean to you?” (Exod 12:26...

Institute for Nouthetic Studies Blog (about)

  • Jay Adams - Mon, 02/19/2018 - 12:00am

    Often biblical counselors who understand what Paul’s use of the word “noutheteo” means turn to 2 Timothy 3:15ff to prove that we have, in the Bible, all we might ever need to do effective counseling. They rightly point out the fact that it provides what it takes to carry a counselee through the four stage process of change mentioned there, to a place where he is able to live rightly in the future. Three times in that context, in various ways, the apostle says that the inspired Scriptures are sufficient to make the man of God adequate to deal with every difficulty that has to do with loving God and one’s neighbor. The passage should be so used.

    In addition, another portion of the Bible frequently cited to provide the same thing is 2 Peter 1:3, where we are told that the Bible contains all that we need to find eternal life and live in a godly way. This, too, is a powerful testimony to Biblical sufficiency. If “all things necessary” are provided, what else could we possible wish for?

    Yet, there is another passage, often omitted in such discussions, to which I want to call attention today. It is found in Hebrews where the writer tells us that God will “equip you with...

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

    So, you wrote a book. Now what do you do? Will you self-publish it? It’s a lot easier to get a book into print and bound these days than it used to be. But it’s very difficult to market.

    Should you try the publishers? Sure. But don’t necessarily expect them to jump at publishing it. Just because one publisher turns you down doesn’t necessarily mean the book is no good. Publishers may have many reasons for doing so. The same publisher, at another time may be looking for such a book—but not at the present. So, try another, and another, and another, and another, and another.

    What next?

    Best idea is to find someone known to a publisher to read and, hopefully, recommend it.

    What then?

    Self-publish a finite number of quantities. Today, there are places where you can publish a single copy. Apply for and place your intention to copyright symbol on it. Send them to publishers with your inquiry. For now, that’s the best I can do to help.

    Are you a good writer? There is a glut of written material out there—much of which should never have been published. Will your book help people in a way that...

  • Jay Adams - Mon, 02/05/2018 - 12:00am

    In discussing problems with Christian counselees, we often find ourselves deeply involved in matters concerning the providence of God. People want to know “Why?” But it isn’t always possible to respond to that question in any specific way. If it is, fine; but that is the exception, not the rule.

    So what do we say? Well, of course many different things—responses that fit each individual situation—but there are some principles (abstract as they may be) that people usually find helpful.

    In referring to Paul’s imprisonment at Rome (Philippians 1) we show how God used it to convert soldiers as well as encourage others to go preach. As we open up the passage at some length, the following encouraging principles emerge:

    1. God is in your problem
    2. God is up to something in your problem
    3. God is up to something good

    Whether or you are able to see all or even only part of what it is that He’s up to, you can rely on the fact because of Romans 8:28,29.

    What is providence? It is the working out of God’s plan by God Himself. Unlike Deism, Christianity teaches that God plans His work,then works His plan. Deists believe that having...

  • Jay Adams - Thu, 02/01/2018 - 12:00am

    Many consider that the only things that matter are those that have earthly consequences. But in God’s plan of things, He created both the temporal and the eternal, the physical and the spiritual. Others who see this connection between the two have a different view of how things matter.

    These two fundamental ideas comprise two various different philosophies which, when seriously adhered to as guides for thought and conduct, lead to two quite distinct ways of life.

    That is why some fix their concerns upon the preservation of all that they can in this life. They have only one world, only one life to live. And they intend to make the most of it.

    On the contrary, Christians have two worlds, both important, but one more important that the other. Indeed, it is thought by some that all the Christian cares about is the world to come. Pie in the sky when you die bye and bye, if you will. Not true. An informed Christian knows that he can begin slicing the pie right now! He sees both worlds as inseparably linked. What happens in the one affects what happens in the other.

    This basic view of life for the Christian means that he is concerned about how he lives here...

  • Jay Adams - Wed, 01/17/2018 - 12:00am

    Because I have spent much of my life writing articles and books, it has been necessary to consider what good writing is like. While I am sure that I do not have all of the answers, I think I have a few. In this post, in a running outline form, I shall share some of my guiding principles with the hope that some of you will find them useful and be encouraged to put some of your own ideas into print.

    Christian writing should be

    I.  Biblical—but not academic.

    1. Writing that is informative, scholarly, and substantive,
    2. that uses the original languages and the best commentaries and helps,
    3. need not be dry as dust,
    4. using a stilted, abstract, passive, colorless style
    5. similar to that which is found in most Ph. D. dissertations.

    But, instead, it can be,

    II.  Interesting—but not shallow.

    1. Interest can be aroused over a variety of matters:
    2. stories, jokes, unusual experiences.
    3. But, good writing arouses interest from the subject matter itself
    4. by exposing the interest values that are inherent in it,
    5. by relating it...
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Institute of Biblical Leadership(about)

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ChurchWorksMedia Blog (about)

  • Chris Anderson - Thu, 02/22/2018 - 1:06pm

    Billy Graham died yesterday. After 99 years on earth, right now he is seeing Jesus face to face. No doubt he also sees multitudes whom he told about Jesus. There’s no person in history who has preached the gospel to more people than Billy Graham. Not the Apostle Paul. Not George Whitefield. Nobody. So why […]

    The post Grace, Truth, and Billy Graham appeared first on Church Works Media.

  • Chris Anderson - Wed, 01/10/2018 - 7:10am

    Church life can be messy. Any time you put sinners together—even redeemed sinners—there’s bound to be some friction. Sadly, many churches feel more like a war zone than a refuge. Much of the problem stems from our unwillingness to exercise the undervalued virtue of deference, what Colossians 3:13 calls “bearing with one another.” Conservative Christians […]

    The post Your Church Is God’s Gift to You appeared first on Church Works Media.

Strength for Today (about)

  • Diane - Wed, 08/02/2017 - 2:19pm

    I’m beyond excited about this opportunity to help launch Heidi St. John’s new book, “Becoming Mom Strong”! This is a timely, biblically-based perspective on today’s parenting…because what we are facing ain’t your mama’s motherhood experience. I love what Heidi has said in our launch group (don’t worry…I won’t be sharing anything of a personal nature from this private group):

    I truly believe that you are part of a very special generation of mothers—tasked with raising kids in a culture that is rapidly moving toward moral relativism and away from the things that God says bring life. We’re going to be talking about the very real struggles we are facing right now—but we’re also going to laugh (a lot) pray for each other and learn to see ourselves the way God sees us… as women who have been set apart “for such a time as this,” capable, loved, chosen. In other words, “MomStrong!”

    Do you have days (sometimes weeks?) when you feel like you’re just not doing this thing right? It’s time for some empowerment, ladies. Lasting, rock-solid, uplifting...

By Faith We Understand (about)

  • Mark Ward - Sat, 02/17/2018 - 7:07pm

    I’m really liking Jonathan Leeman. He humbly lets his gifts be sublimated to those of Mark Dever when the two chat on 9Marks Pastors Talk episodes, but when I read The Church and the Surprising Offense of God’s Love and then went and heard his paper at the 2016 ETS—I saw that Leeman himself is really theologically and intellectually sharp. And doctrinally solid. This recent article by Leeman on gender roles at the 9Marks site is an absolute must-read.

    His analysis of “broad” vs. “narrow” complementarians is very helpful; his graciousness is palpable. His wisdom is… Okay, I’ll stop gushing. Go read it.

    My non-denominational, biblicist training might possibly have pushed me in a...

  • Mark Ward - Fri, 02/16/2018 - 6:44pm

    A reader of Authorized wrote me:

    I have found it interesting on the topic of italicized words in the KJV to notice the difference in the number of italicized words in the “original” 1611 KJV and the KJV of today. Using Mark 5 for instance, I believe the count is something like 20 in today’s KJV and 6 in the 1611 KJV (two of which are not even italicized in today’s KJV…“Talitha cumi”).

    I responded:

    As far as italics go, I felt like I never heard anyone give the other side, the “cons” of italics. And I began to feel like none of the “pros” I always heard were really pros.

    One of the most profound things any reader has said to me after reading my book was this: “If my over-arching goal is to understand what God said, it changes everything in the versions debate.”

    Loyalty to italics privileges “accuracy”—as sort of a disembodied reality—over understanding.

    I’ll add: for every claim I’ve heard that the italics (in any Bible translation, not just the KJV) are beneficial, I hear zero stories showing that they aid understanding. I...

  • Mark Ward - Fri, 02/16/2018 - 11:16am

    A Facebook commenter with a PhD in English challenged my interpretation of halt at It was perhaps an incautious challenge to make to a person only too ready to write articles upon the feeblest provocation. Here goes.

    Many of our common words trace back etymologically to physical actions or directions. One of the most common ways we get “new” words is by the development of old ones from literal to metaphorical. Let’s probe this feature of language, on our way to understanding one specific word in one Bible passage in one translation.

    Here’s an example from contemporary English: when I say about Harvey Weinstein, “His actions were indefensible,” I’m speaking on an abstract level; I’m arguing that no argument could justify him. But strip off the affixes (in-, –de-, and -ible) and you’re left with what was once a quite concrete idea: fens, from the Latin fendere, “to strike.” Our current abstract term indefensible derives historically from a very concrete action: striking something with a fist or tool. Something that is indefensible is something not...

  • Mark Ward - Sun, 02/11/2018 - 1:57am

    “Preserved” is the key word in KJV-Onlyism these days. Just about every KJV-Only doctrinal statement I see uses that word “preserved.” But I’ve been thinking for a long time along with famous systematic theologian Inigo Montoya, I do not think it means what they think it means.

    A new friend from KJV-Only circles contacted me on Facebook, asking me how I would assess the bibliology statement from a KJV-Only mission board. It turns out that the language is used elsewhere, and my best guess is that the original source is Heartland Baptist Bible College. So I’m going to use their text. I will bold the statements that concern me in this post, the ones about preservation.

    Here’s Heartland:

    We believe the Holy Bible was written by men supernaturally inspired: that it has truth for its matter without any admixture of error; that it is and shall remain to the end of the age, the only complete and final revelation of the will of God to man; and that it is the true center of Christian union, and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and opinions should be tried.


  • Mark Ward - Sat, 02/03/2018 - 9:55pm

    I recently had occasion to reflect on what I concluded about teaching from my own years sitting under it. As I enter more teaching roles, I have to ask myself, “What makes for good learning?”

    1. Learning is ultimately a mystery, because so little of what I do, so little of what I think I know, is traceable to “aha” moments. Nonetheless, teachers who applied appropriate methods really were more effective, particularly when it came to writing tests. Just because learning is a mystery doesn’t mean there’s no connection between the skill of a teacher and the learning outcomes of his or her students.
    2. Instead of aha moments, my education was, I think, a long initiation into a conversation that started long before I came along and will continue long after I’m gone. The initiation taught me the kinds of arguments and evidences that count as contributions. It taught me which voices were most important in that conversation both now and in the past. It also taught me where to go to look for their contributions. I know intuitively when someone is playing by the “rules” of the biblical studies game—but only because I listened and listened and...
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