Category Archives: Books and Quotations

Martin Luther on the Ninth Commandment

This past weekend at Eastbrook, I spoke about the Ninth and Tenth Commandments from Exodus 20:16-17 in a message entitled “The Neighbor.” I came across an interesting quotation from Martin Luther about the Ninth Commandment:

Knowledge of sin does not entail the right to judge it. I may see and hear that my neighbor sins, but to make him the talk of the town is not my business….Those are called backbiters who are not content just to know but rush ahead and judge. Learning a bit of gossip about someone else, they spread it into every corner, relishing and delighting in it like pigs that roll in the mud and root around in it with their snouts. This is nothing else than usurping the judgment and office of God, pronouncing the severest kind of verdict and sentence, for the harshest verdict a judge can pronounce is to declare somebody a thief, a murderer, a traitor, etc. Whoever therefore ventures to accuse his neighbor of such guilt assumes as much authority as the emperor and all magistrates. For though you do not wield the sword, you use your venomous tongue to the disgrace and harm of your neighbor. (quoted in David Hazony, The Ten Commandments, pp. 214-215).

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Posted by on April 17, 2014 in Books and Quotations


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The Treasure Principle book giveaway

the-treasure-principleAs we concluded our “Real Rich” series at Eastbrook this past weekend, I wanted to share a simple resource for those who want to keep digging into the topic of what it means to be really rich and also steward our finances wisely to honor God.

Randy Alcorn has a brief book entitled The Treasure Principle, which offers six key principles to understanding how we can view our finances appropriately and live in light of eternity. I am giving away one free copy of this book to one person selected at random from those who respond via my blog, Facebook or Twitter to this question:

What is one way you want to grow in honoring God with your finances?


Posted by on January 27, 2014 in Books and Quotations


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Timothy Keller on Miracles

I came upon the follow thoughts from Tim Keller, author and pastor at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan, today while preparing my message. Perhaps I may utilize some of these thoughts in my message, but I thought I’d post them here today.

I don’t want to be too hard on people who struggle with the idea of God’s intervention in the natural order. Miracles are hard to believe in, and they should be. In Matthew 28 we are told that the apostles met the risen Jesus on a mountainside in Galilee: ‘When they saw Him, they worshipped Him; but some doubted’ (verse 17).

That is a remarkable admission. Here is the author of an early Christian document telling us that some of the founders of Christianity couldn’t believe the miracle of the resurrection, even when they were looking straight at Him with their eyes and touching Him with their hands. There is no other reason for this to be in the account unless it really happened.

The passage shows us several things. It is a warning not to think that only we modern, scientific people have to struggle with the idea of the miraculous, while ancient, more primitive people did not. The apostles responded like any group of modern people– some believed their eyes and some didn’t. It is also an encouragement to patience. All the apostles ended up as great leaders in the church, but some had a lot more trouble believing than others. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on December 12, 2013 in Books and Quotations


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What Are You Thankful For Today?

1000 giftsAll through this month, we have been talking about things for which we are thankful.

So, on this Thanksgiving Day, what are you thankful for?

At the end of the day on Thanksgiving, I will randomly select someone who responds on my blog and send you a copy of Ann Voskamp’s One Thousand Gifts.

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Posted by on November 28, 2013 in Books and Quotations


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The First Thanksgiving

thefirstthanksgivingRobert Tracy McKenzie, Chair of the History Department at Wheaton College (IL), recently released a book entitled The First Thanksgiving: What the Real Story Tells Us About Loving God and Learning from History. This is obviously a timely book as we lean into the celebration of Thanksgiving this week. With all the debates about the faith of our country’s founders, McKenzie gets us into a helpful exploration of the motivations and context of the original pilgrims’ journey across the Atlantic.

Thomas S. Kidd, professor of history at Baylor University, offers a helpful review of the book at Christianity Today’s web-site where he writes the following summary comments:

In telling this story, McKenzie clears up a host of misconceptions about the Plymouth settlers, who certainly did not wear buckled hats or black clothes (those were a 19th-century sartorial invention). He demonstrates that the quest for “religious freedom,” in the modern sense, did not really animate the Pilgrims. Yes, they wanted to find a place where they could worship God according to Scripture and the dictates of conscience. But they had already discovered those conditions in Holland, where a number of English dissenters had gone in the early 1600s.

The most pressing concern that led the Plymouth Separatists to leave Holland was that they found the Netherlands “a hard place to maintain their English identity and an even harder place to make a living.” They did not worry so much about religious persecution (at least not since they left England), but about “spiritual danger and decline.” They worried about the cultural corruption they saw around them in foreign Dutch culture, and struggled to find profitable employment that could nourish their common identity. America seemed to offer both better opportunity and a place to preserve their sense of covenanted community.

McKenzie’s focus here is not so much how America was founded as a refuge for religious freedom. The real lesson has to do with maintaining Christian commitment in the midst of a worldly, permissive culture. “The Pilgrims grappled with fundamental questions still relevant to us today: What is the true cost of discipleship? What must we sacrifice in pursuit of the kingdom?” To what lengths should we go—how far should we go—to maintain a proper separation from the world? The Pilgrims decided they should traverse the dangerous Atlantic to do so, yet they found that the New World had many of the same challenges as the Old, plus some new ones, such as relating to Native American neighbors.

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Posted by on November 27, 2013 in Books and Quotations


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