Here are the top 10 articles you read, clicked, and shared in 2021.
10. "No Fear for the New Year" by Nathan Busenitz
The ground may quake, but God is immoveable. The earth may change, but God is immutable. The mountains may crumble, but God is unassailable. Tidal waves may form as the waters roar, but God is unmoved. Though the mountains quake, and though the sea rises, God remains sovereign on His throne, unshaken, in control, and in charge as the King of kings and Lord of lords.
9. "A Theology of Confusion: How Faith Responds When God's Ways Don't Make Sense Pt. 1" by Patrick Slyman
God’s knowledge is an unplumbable mystery, a bottomless ocean, an immeasurable line. Unfathomable, unattainable, unsearchable—all biblical descriptions of God’s mind. No wonder the psalmist declares, “Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is too high, I cannot attain it” (Psa 139:6). And yet what do we find to be true throughout the Christian life? That the infinite wisdom of our God—the wisdom that brings us so much comfort—is the very wisdom that leaves us in a state of so much confusion.
8. "How Do I Know if Sin Reigns in Me?" by Jack Gamble-Smith
Have you ever stopped to consider what it means that sin “hardens”? If you’ve seen concrete poured, you get the idea. If wet concrete sits for long enough, you can drive a dump truck over it. That’s what happens to sin if it sits on a soul for long enough, baked in by the day-in-day-out little compromises we make. The preacher of Hebrews says one more thing about sin in that verse. He calls it “deceitful.” Sin whispers to us that we have more time before the concrete settles, that our ways are still malleable. But it’s lying.
7. "Announcing the Most Recent Issue of The Master's Seminary Journal" by John MacArthur
Just as justification by faith is the centerpiece of soteriology and the very marrow of the gospel, the principle of imputed righteousness is the necessary center and soul of the doctrine of justification. Put simply, this indispensable article of faith means that righteousness is imputed to (or credited to the account of) all who lay hold of Christ by faith. This is done by a forensic reckoning—meaning a legal transaction, like a courtroom verdict.
6. "The Humility God Hates" by Corey Williams
There is a humility that God hates. Let’s get to know a man who embodies this loathsome humility. See how he lives day-to-day. First, let’s notice how much he talks about humility. It’s a preferred adverb. In conversation, this man often says “I humbly submit” or “I humbly think” or “I humbly wonder.” Note the self-righteous use of language. Subtly, this man has seized the moral high ground. He has put his coworker, his friend, his family member on notice: “Because I speak from a place of humility, I speak with superior authority, excellence, and wisdom.”
5. "Why Every Believer Needs Systematic Theology" by Peter Sammons
We live in a day of “Mere Christianity,” when believers want to know the bare minimum required to believe in order to be saved. Easy
4. "The Bible and Lectio Divina: A Helpful Tool or a Dangerous Practice?" by Brad Klassen
Although reading more of God’s Word is always commendable, the quality of one’s reading will always outweigh the quantity in terms of impact. Recognizing this reality, readers of the Bible should not only consider how much they should read, but—more importantly—they should consider how they should read. Prioritizing the manner of reading above its quantity helps Christians steer clear of the rut of reading as a mere formality. When it comes to manners of reading the Bible, one approach deserves careful scrutiny—and a serious warning. In the attempt to rescue Bible reading from mere formalism, an increasing number of evangelicals are prescribing a practice known as lectio divina.
3. "God’s Glorious Answer to the Evil of Our Present Day" by Scott Christensen
Providing definitive answers to the classic problem of evil is known as a “theodicy,” a word which comes from the Greek terms for God (theos) and justice (dike). A theodicy is an attempt to “justify God” and the reasons He has for permitting, and dare we say, ordaining evil to ruin His good creation. Examining the problem of evil and searching the Scriptures for a theodicy is not an empty exercise in speculation. Rather it is a way to consider precisely who God is and why He created the world in the first place. A theodicy need not be a morbid focus on evil and its myriad expressions of malevolence. Ironically, evil serves to highlight the supreme glory of the Creator and Lord of the universe.
2. "The Seminary of Suffering" by Caleb Cunningham
I came to seminary to learn to study the Word of God, but God had also enrolled me in a different seminary—the seminary of suffering. A dear friend told me recently, “There’s something you learn in the trial that you can’t learn without it.” So I’m learning to write these lessons down, first and foremost for my own soul; second for my daughters, that they might one day see the grace that this trial has been for my own soul; and third for anyone else who also may be suffering silently.
1. "We Stand with Pastor James Coates" by Nathan Busenitz
The pages of history are filled with examples of faithful believers who resolutely obeyed God, even if it meant facing severe repercussions from men. When Daniel refused to stop praying, he was thrown into a den of lions. When the apostles refused to stop proclaiming the name of Jesus, they were arrested and scourged. When the church father Polycarp refused to renounce Christ, he was burned at the stake. When the Puritan John Bunyan refused to stop preaching, he was put in jail for twelve years. Many other examples could be given, but the point is clear. To obey God rather than men is not always easy. But it has been the heartbeat of believers in every age. James Coates is a living illustration of that same kind of resolve.