Here are the top 10 articles you read, clicked, and shared in 2023.
10. "Undistracted by Easy-Believism" by Patrick Slyman
The undistracted Christian is not reluctant or hesitant regarding personal holiness. Christ was sent to proclaim repentance, and He holds us responsible to live a life characterized by repentance. Undistracted by sin’s lure—the easy-believism gospel of our day—we must “strive for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14, ESV).
9. "The Greatest Reformer You've Never Heard Of" by Jacob Trotter
Peter Martyr Vermigli’s approach to theology was not markedly different from the rest of the Reformed. He drew from a wide range of authorities and sources, but they were all subordinate to Scripture. In this way, he set an example for later Reformed writers to eclectically appropriate various sources in a way that adhered to the Protestant principle of sola Scriptura.
8. "Wise Pastors Understand Emotions" by Nathan Williams
As pastors seeking to faithfully shepherd God's flock, we need to have a thorough grasp of the human beings we shepherd. This means understanding one of the basic features of our humanity: emotions.
7. "Distraction: Our Modern-Day Siren Song" by Patrick Slyman
If we are going to resist our modern-day Siren’s songs of distraction, then we will have to stop chasing the fleeting trends of our day. We will have to start disappointing those who try to fit us into their diverting agendas. We will certainly have to reevaluate what we deem essential and divorce ourselves from any pursuit of the American dream. Why? Because that is the only way we can make Christ’s priorities our priorities.
6. "The Most Terrifying Verse in the Bible" by Marco Bovino
I believe that out of the 31,102 verses in Scripture, there is none more sobering and terrifying than 2 Timothy 4:10. This quick, often overlooked comment is found in between names and greetings at the end of the last chapter of the last book written by the apostle Paul. But it should cause us to stop and ponder. There we find a reality more dreadful than hell itself. The mere thought of it should cause every genuine believer to tremble in fear and consider anew the state of their soul before the living God.
2 Timothy 4:10 teaches us that we can spend our entire life fooling everyone, including ourselves, but it also teaches us that God will not be mocked (Gal. 6:7).
5. "Stop Watching the News. Your Discipleship Depends On It." by Nathan Williams
The news lacks perspective and depth in its analysis of events and people. It sees on a surface level and lacks the distance that time provides to truly grasp the heart of a matter. With the attention span of a goldfish, it moves on to the next “breaking story.” Constant exposure to this form of media will shape you into a “thin” person who lacks perspective and the ability to think deeply about a subject. You will get angry and then quickly move on. The “thinning” of your soul that will take place will harm your spiritual life.
4. "Prayer that Pleases God" by Michael Staton
It has been said that God may not always be pleased with humanity, but He is never perplexed. Heaven is God's throne, and the earth is His footstool (Isaiah 66:1), so be assured that the pressures and problems we encounter do not confuse or intimidate our Father. It is with this confidence that we approach God in prayer. Our Father hears our prayers, and He is greater than anything we face.
3. "A Pastoral Response to Gender Confusion: Caring for Those Caught in the LGBTQ Religion" by Jesse Johnson
As US embassies around the world wave the Pride flag, there is no denying that LGBTQ has become the American culture’s center of gravity. Twenty years ago, the main American religion was prosperity. Now it is the LGBTQ movement.
How do pastors respond to the LGBTQ worldview? Or, more particularly, how do pastors shepherd their people to think rightly about the issues this movement raises? Here are five practical ways pastors can help their congregations navigate the LGBTQ culture.
2. "How Should We Think About the Current Situation in Israel?" by Michael Grisanti
The brutal attack into Israel by Hamas forces in October 2023 brings us face to face with the sad reality of mankind’s depravity. There is no justification for it, no political arguments that make it acceptable in any sense.
My purpose in this article is not to rehearse the abhorrent and tragic details of the violent actions by those committed to the purposes of Hamas and Iran. I also am not trying to pursue political ends. My desire is to help Christ followers know how to think and act in the wake of the dark evil and tragic violence that we have seen and heard about.
1. "Shepherds Conference 2023 General Session Notes" by TMS Staff
Romans 9:10-28 introduces the word that is the theme of our conference this year: remnant. The word remnant refers to a small section that is part of a greater whole. Throughout the Bible, this is how the people of God are depicted—the few who are chosen out of the many. This remnant is who we are, and it is who God has entrusted to our care for shepherding. We are those rejected by the world, yet chosen by God; unknown by the world, yet foreknown by God; persecuted by the world, yet predestined by God. We are the remnant—the small, the few, the little, yet precious in the sight of God.