Gospel Min

Pastoring already ranks high on the list of difficult, thankless work, but the pandemic has greatly exacerbated its difficulty and stress. We thought the pastors in our audience would appreciate hearing from someone deep in the trenches of ministry. Brian Croft is the former Senior...

Variety in worship is easy to find. In your neighborhood alone, there is likely a church using modern songs by Bethel and Maverick City. Another worships with voices only. Another boasts two services... a "traditional" and a "contemporary" to please both preferences. EP author and pastor Terry Johnson argues that a church should establish its worship practices on more than just preferences, but on a posture instead. A posture of God-centeredness.

In a recent episode of Theology Applied, Pastor Joel Webbon interviewed Dr. Joel Beeke, one of JPL's most prolific authors. The discussion centered on Dr. Beeke's study of the Puritans, asking the question, "What would the Puritans say to today's American church?" We think this conversation will be both educational and inspirational for you as well all seek to walk rightly with the Lord.

Let's be honest. Just the topic of this post makes some of us uncomfortable. In fact, abortion is one of those words that can send Christians scurrying for cover. We can be reluctant to engage with the topic because we feel unqualified and underprepared. We may hear the clamour of voices on the news, and wonder what the Bible says about when life begins. We may come with our arguments at the ready, but struggle to respond to real life ethical dilemmas. Even if we feel like we have a good grasp of what culture and the Bible have to say, we may feel out of our depth applying a biblical perspective to such a sensitive subject.

Silence. Just the word may cause you anxiety. Does it make you think of boredom, lonliness or isolation? The truth is that most of us have very little silence in our lives. At home we listen to music or watch television while our family members chatter away. Then we move to the car or transit where we instantly turn on music or a podcast. Even our workouts are full of noise from a screen or our earbuds. And how many of us turn on music during our "quiet" time with God? Today we're excerpting an article by Brian Croft of Practical Shepherding, which shares his struggle with silence and the tremendous benefit it has brought to his life as a person and a pastor.

  When your children are young, the idea of preparing them for adulthood seems incredibly irrelevant. You might be thinking at this point I'd be happy with them just tying their own shoes! But the truth is that the years will speed by and both you and your child will be staring their adulthood in the face, whether you've prepared or not.

There will be very few people for whom 2020 has not been the strangest year of their lives. What seemed to be the simple, ordinary ways and patterns of life have been taken over by the reaction of governments all over the world to the...

mostyn robertsYou don't have to be in ministry for long to experience the sting of criticism. While it cannot be avoided, we can control our response to it and even turn the pain into a blessing. This is the theme of Mostyn Robert's new release Coping with Criticism. Here is what Melvin Tinker had to say about the book: “This book is a must for all those starting out in pastoral ministry and essential for all those wishing to continue in it. By a combination of superb biblical exposition and sensitive application reflecting a wealth of personal ministerial experience, the author not only shows how to endure criticism but flourish through it. I really enjoyed and benefited from reading this. I could have done with it 40 years ago! A little gem of a book.”

Does the world seem upside down to you? Even the most normal of norms seem to be questioned; the most basic of truths thrown out for more progressive ideas. Lest we be careful, this upending of foundational principles can seep into the Christian's thinking, bringing doubt and confusion. Today we have the privilege of hearing from EP author and Pastor Terry Johnson who brings together his knowledge of history and theology to speak to what is true, specifically what is true about our identity in Christ. Enjoy!

Ask ten Christians about the value of technology and you will find eleven different answers. Some view technological advances with fear and prefer to avoid or them all together and disparage those who use them. Others fully embrace technology, while glossing over its inherent dangers. Somewhere in between, you will find the nuanced approach of Dr. John Fesko, author of The Christian and Technology. His thoughtful and balanced look at the Christian's use of technology is a valuable tool in the hand of both the clergy and the layman.

Please enjoy this word from Graham Heaps, whose heart-stirring new release, The Last Valley, is available for pre-order now in the UK:   Though it was four and a half years ago, the haunting memory of peering down into the deep, narrow, empty pit that was about to become the last resting place of the precious body of my first wife is still very vivid. In those few seconds I realized the naked truth that my Sue really was gone from this world: that I would not see her, touch her, or turn to her for support, comfort or understanding ever again in this veil of tears. I felt more profoundly alone than I had ever done in my whole life. And as I took it all in, I felt my faith profoundly challenged by all that I was seeing and experiencing. And yet, whatever fears flooded my soul at that moment, the Lord was not about to fail me in my greatest time of need. Indeed, he had surely planned to use those very sad times to temper that faith, so it might become stronger and more useful both to myself and to others. 

Please enjoy this timely word from EP author Elizabeth El Mostain, author of Survival Tips for Mums: The world as we once knew it has been turned upside down by the COVID-19 pandemic. Many have lost loved ones. Others face loneliness or financial insecurity. Parents struggle to balance working from home and teaching their children. We all wonder how long this will go on for. Everyone is looking for hope.

We had the recent privilege to interview pastor and EP author Jeremy Walker.  Graham Hind, EP's Managing Director, describes Mr. Walker as one of the "few true 21st century Puritans." He is also a member of the EP Board and book review editor for the Banner of Truth magazine. We trust that you will find his answers below both insightful and thought-provoking:

We are so pleased to offer a new book by J.V. Fesko next month. The Christian and Technology will stand as an indispensable resource for believers attempting to reconcile the benefits of digital technology with its potential temptations to sin and distraction. In today's post, Mr. Fesko gives us a peek into the inspiration for the book. Enjoy!

How many of us believe that our childhood struggles are doomed to limit our current potential? EP author Faith Cook is a fantastic example of someone who pushed past those limitations to reach her full potential in later years. Enjoy her inspiring testimony: As a child...

Recently Ligonier Ministries interviewed EP Books author John Blanchard for its Tabletalk Magazine. We found his answers to be incredibly insightful. Enjoy this excerpt:
Tabletalk: What is the most common objection to the Christian faith you hear from atheists, and how do you answer it? John Blanchard: The theory of evolution, and science in general, have often been thrown at me as reasons for rejecting the Christian faith, and one must develop ways of dealing with these. It can easily be shown that evolutionary ideas have no explanation for human dignity, rationality, or morality, while science’s limitations can be pinpointed just as easily. For example, Richard Dawkins’ claim that “truth means scientific truth” is not even a scientific statement. On its own terms, it can’t be true; it is no more than a silly sound bite.