In my former life as a professor, I once spent a week grading 68 undergraduate papers, each 8–10 pages long. In the process, I noticed enough trends that I decided to throw together a series of writing tips. The number came to 25. I was focused on academic writing, but most of the principles are … More 25 Tips on Writing
Do you still know how to read? Not just clickbait headlines. Not just sensationalist twenty-click articles. Not just the punchy all-caps lines in GIFs and memes. Not just a slew of video titles in the sidebar. Not just piecemeal Facebook arguments. Not just cable listings and Netflix titles. Not just one-line iPhoned emails. Not just … More Do You Still Know How to Read?
I remember the last time I taught Introduction to Biblical Counseling in Rankin 101 on Wednesday, April 26, 2017. I finished the 1-hour 15-minute class, and about a third of the students lined up to say their goodbyes. They knew our family was moving to Houston. Near the end of the line was a senior … More No Small Moments
Dear Boyce College Graduates, This morning you’ll rise with a rush of excitement mixed with a few unnecessary nerves. You’ll mentally rehearse the big event as you dress in your regalia, get your hat and tassel properly arranged, and somehow get over that momentary feeling of silliness that always fades as graduates start feeling like medieval … More Pierce the Darkness: A Charge to the Graduates of Boyce College
How can young people move toward maturity? How can adolescents grow into young adults? How can college students move through the college years with increasing integrity, character, maturity, skill, and productivity? Here are six basic steps to help the saplings of the next generation add rings as they reach for the light. 1. Wake Up: Desire … More Growing Up: Six Basic Steps toward Maturity
Here’s the fourth installment of my ongoing series of quotes from Dr. John Hannah of Dallas Seminary. The context of each quote is in bold, and it’s helpful to keep in mind that each statement was made in a specific educational context with its free-flowing atmosphere. It’s also helpful to keep in mind that Dr. … More Wit and Wisdom from John Hannah Revisited (4)
What happens when you combine one of the best minds the Christian church has ever known (Jonathan Edwards) with one of the most quotable professors I’ve ever encountered? A cascade of wit and wisdom like what you’ll find below. Quotes from Wednesday’s Class Theological controversies: If you don’t define terms agreeably before a controversy, you’ll just … More Wit and Wisdom from John Hannah Revisited (3)
I’m continuing to share penetrating quotes from Dr. John Hannah’s class on Jonathan Edwards, one of the most memorable classes I ever took. Quotes from Tuesday’s Class Reading the Bible: The first book you need is a Bible. I recommend reading it. Many don’t. They study it. I’ve been at seminary for 38 years, and the … More Wit and Wisdom from John Hannah Revisited (2)
Ten years ago I took a one-week class on Jonathan Edwards from Dallas Seminary professor John Hannah. It still ranks as one of my most memorable academic experiences. In the weeks that followed, I posted a bevy of wise and witty quotes that cascaded from Dr. Hannah’s teaching. Now after ten years, I’m re-posting those quotes, … More Wit and Wisdom from John Hannah Revisited (1)
If you want to learn, you have to get uncomfortable. And since we don’t often choose to be uncomfortable, if we want to learn, we have to find teachers and mentors and programs and responsibilities and experiences that will make us uncomfortable. The semester has begun at Boyce College, my final semester as a college professor. … More If You Want to Learn…
The following is the manuscript of a sermon I preached at Fellowship Church in Louisville, Kentucky (audio here). Psalm 78:1-8 (ESV) 1 Give ear, O my people, to my teaching; incline your ears to the words of my mouth! 2 I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings from of … More Lesson and Legacy: Tell the Coming Generation (Sermon from Psalm 78:1-8)
Each week, it seems, I experience a class session that seems magical — filled with intellectual tension, unbridled curiosity, stimulating questions, rich spontaneity, and seemingly life-shaping learning. I inevitably walk away with my mind racing over fresh terrain and new ideas, rejoicing in my God-given role as lead learner. Of course, growth is mainly measurable over time, … More The Magical and the Mundane
ASKED: A New Feature This semester I’m teaching 230 students in four biblical counseling classes at Boyce College, the undergraduate school at Southern Seminary. CN101a: Introduction to Biblical Counseling CN101b: Introduction to Biblical Counseling CN201: Methods of Biblical Counseling CN481: Counseling Skills Development I Depending on time and topic, students ask 10-20 questions per class, and many … More ASKED: Should a younger Christian ever correct an older Christian?
Welcome to the blank page of your next chapter. Welcome to the first day of the rest of your life. Welcome to Southern Seminary and Boyce College. Our campus is abuzz this morning. The graduate students were getting oriented all day yesterday, and hundreds of you new college students and your families are preparing to blitz … More A Blank Page and a Good Father: Welcome to Southern Seminary and Boyce College
Dear Boyce College Graduates, It’s nearly midnight on the eve of your graduation. Your families, friends, and professors will soon awake with excitement as we prepare to watch you flow into Alumni Memorial Chapel in full regalia. You’ll enter to pomp and circumstance, with heads high and smiles broad, before rightfully receiving the sacred symbols of … More Join the Dawn: A Charge to the Graduates of Boyce College
The most important time to be at church is when you don’t feel like it. I’ve talked with three Christians this past week — two struggling with depression, and a third who just went through a tough break-up — who’ve all stopped gathering with God’s people during a difficult season. Whether for weeks or for … More The Most Important Time to Be at Church