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
There are ways to speak where each subsequent word means less. And there are ways to speak where each subsequent word means more. Society is filled with the former. God would have his people filled with the latter. Which is to say that God would have his people filled with the word of Christ, and … More Each Subsequent Word
Today I will give my final lecture as a college professor, symbolizing the end of fifteen years in Christian college ministry. Sometime late in the afternoon, I’ll finish a lecture like I’ve done many times before. But this time will be different. I’ll close my white teaching binder for the last time, corral my personal … More The Final Week
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…
Yesterday I shared the exciting news that God has called me to serve as Lead Pastor of BridgePoint Bible Church in Houston, Texas beginning this summer. I will teach my final five biblical counseling classes at Boyce College this spring before we launch into a new season of life and ministry. But this transition is … More A Letter to My Students
“Should my personality influence my ministry?” A female student recently asked this question in a discussion about counseling, but it applies to any responsibility a person might hold. Whether leading, managing, preaching, organizing, parenting, or discipling, we often wonder how our personalities should affect our Christian responsibilities. The longer we live, the more we see that … More ASKED: Should my personality influence my ministry?
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?
Father of all light, Son of all wisdom, Spirit of all power, Humbly we come before you, our Creator, and humbly we confess our double blindness: sin and ignorance. You are wisdom, but we are folly. You are truth, but we are error. You are light, but we are darkness. Send us rays of your … More A Trinitarian Prayer for Learning
College is supposed to teach you many things, and those many things are all important in their own way. The big ones, of course, are pretty comprehensive, like character, virtue, a mind awake, and a noble work ethic. The next tier is more personalized but still vital: a major, a vocational direction, and a set … More The Main Thing: Gospel-Rich Theology and the Students of Boyce College
There are some things you never forget. Back in 2002, during my last semester in college, Professor Todd Bolen returned my final assignment for his History of Ancient Israel class. He had spent an hour grading my 10-page paper and had stapled a full page of typed comments to the back. I’ll never forget what he wrote, … More Twenty-Five Tweets on Writing