Modernized Hymns: Hymns, or Contemporary Songs with Old Words?

How Long Are The Days Of Genesis? Hugh Ross And Jason Lisle Debate

10 Questions to Test Whether You Are a True Christian

Editor’s Note: J.C. Ryle first wrote these words to his English congregation in 1878. His important message is as powerful today as when he first wrote it.

“Let us go again and visit our brethren in every city where we have preached the word of the Lord and see how they do.” (Acts 15:36).

The text which heads this page contains a proposal which the Apostle Paul made to Barnabas after their first missionary journey. He proposed to revisit the churches they had been the means of founding, and to see how the were getting on. Were their members continuing steadfast in the faith? Were they growing in grace? Were they going forward—or standing still? Were they prospering, or falling away? “Let us go again and visit our brethren in every city where we have preached the word of the Lord—and see how they do.”

This was a wise and useful proposal. Let us lay it to heart, and apply it to ourselves in the 19th century. Let us search our ways, and find out how matters stand between ourselves and God. Let us “see how we do.” I ask every reader of this volume to begin its perusal by joining me in self-inquiry. If ever self-inquiry about religion was needed—it is needed at the present day.

We live in an age of particular spiritual danger. Never perhaps since the world began, was there such an immense amount of mere outward profession of religion as there is in the present day. A painfully large proportion of all the congregations in the land consists of unconverted people, who know nothing of heart-religion, never come to the Lord’s Table and never confess Christ in their daily lives. Myriads of those who are always running after preachers, and crowding to hear special sermons—are nothing better than empty tubs, and tinkling cymbals—without a bit of real vital Christianity at home. The parable of the sower is continually receiving most vivid and painful illustrations. The way-side hearers, the stony-ground hearers, the thorny-ground hearers—abound on every side!

The life of many religious people, I fear, in this age, is nothing better than a continual course of chasing after novelties. They are always morbidly craving fresh excitement; and they seem to care little what it is—if they only get it. All preaching seems to be the same to them; and they appear unable to “see differences” so long as they hear what is clever, have their ears tickled and sit in a crowd. Worst of all, there are hundreds of young unestablished believers who are so infected with the same love of excitement, that they actually think it a duty to be always seeking it. Insensibly almost to themselves, they take up a kind of hysterical, sensational, sentimental Christianity—until they are never content with the “old paths;” and, like the Athenians, are always running after something new!

To see a calm-minded young believer, who is not stuck up, self-confident, self-conceited, and more ready to teach than learn—but content with a daily steady effort to grow up into Christ’s likeness, and to do Christ’s work quietly and unostentatiously, at home—is really becoming almost a rarity! Too many young professors, alas, behave like young recruits who have not spent all their bounty money. They show how little deep root they have, and how little knowledge of their hearts—by noise, forwardness, readiness to contradict and set down old Christians, and over-weaning trust in their own imagined soundness and wisdom! Well will it be for many young professors of this age if they do not end, after being tossed about for a while, and “carried to and fro by every wind of doctrine,” by joining some petty, narrow-minded, censorious sect, or embracing some senseless, unreasoning crotchety heresy. Surely, in times like these there is great need for self-examination. When we look around us, we may well ask, “How do we do about our souls?”

In handling this question, I think the shortest plan will be to suggest a list of subjects for self-inquiry—and to get them in order. By so doing I shall hope to meet the case of every one into whose hands this volume may fall. I invite every reader of this paper to join me in calm, searching self-examination, for a few short minutes. I desire to speak to myself as well as to you. I approach you not as an enemy—but as a friend. “My heart’s desire and prayer to God is that you may be saved” (Romans 10:1). Bear with me if I say things which at first sight look harsh and severe. Believe me—he is your best friend, who tells you the most truth.

1. Do we ever think about our souls at all?

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Whatever Happened to God the Father?

Raffaello,_God_the_Father_and_the_Virgin_MaryRecently an Anglican theologian asked me, “Have you noticed how few theological books have been published in the last decades on God the Father?  Can you name even one?”

He was right.  The Father has been lost from view—of both theology and the Church. In the evangelical world since World War II, Jesus has been the focus of most thinking and worship. There were good reasons for this.  Liberal theology in the 20th century had reduced the gospel to the fatherhood of God, the brotherhood of man, and social ethics.  Salvation, liberals implied, was the reward for being a nice person.


Overcoming Temptation–Lessons from Gethsemane, Part 1

Perplexed But Not Crushed

2 Corinthians 4:8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair;

Read Ray’s blog:

What Every Pastor Wishes His Worship Leader Knew

Fear Not

“The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?”1

“It is reported that the [former] newspaper counselor, Ann Landers, received an average of 10,000 letters each month, and nearly all of them from people burdened with problems. She was asked if there was any one problem that predominates throughout the letters she receives, and her reply was the one problem above all others seems to be fear.”2

Read more:

Book Preview: Evidence that Demands a Verdict by Josh McDowell and Sean McDowell

About the Authors

Josh McDowell

As a young man, Josh McDowell considered himself an agnostic. He truly believed that Christianity was worthless. However, when challenged to intellectually examine the claims of Christianity, Josh discovered compelling and overwhelming evidence for the reliability of the Christian faith. After trusting in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, Josh’s life changed dramatically as he experienced the power of God’s love. After his conversion, Josh committed his life to telling a doubting world about the truth of Jesus Christ. After studying at Kellogg College, Josh completed his college degree at Wheaton College and then attended Talbot Theological Seminary, graduating magna cum laude with a Masters of Divinity. Working with Campus Crusade for Christ and founding the youth outreach, Josh McDowell Ministry, Josh has shared the gospel with more than 25 million people in 125 countries. He is the author or co-authored of 147 books.

Sean McDowell
Dr. Sean McDowell is a gifted communicator with a passion for equipping the church, especially young people, to make the case for the Christian faith. He connects with audiences through humor and stories while imparting hard evidence and logical support of a biblical worldview. Sean is an assistant professor in Biola University’sChristian Apologetics program and the resident scholar for Summit California. A regular speaker for organizations like Focus on the Family, the Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview, and Youth Specialties, among others, Sean is the author, co-author, or editor of over eighteen books and is a frequent guest on radioshows like Family Life Today and Point of View.

About the Book

Finish Strong

always read the biblical books of Kings and Chronicles with a sense of trepidation. I know these historical books fairly well, but every time I read of a new king taking the throne, I dread the inevitable assessment of his reign: Was he faithful or disobedient? Did he follow God or turn aside to false gods?

Asa was one of the good kings. He ruled Judah for 41 years and “did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, as David his father had done” (1 Kings 15:11). His rule was successful, his reign was honoring to God. He fought and won a great war against the Egyptians because he called out to God and had faith in his deliverance: “The LORD defeated the Ethiopians before Asa and before Judah, and the Ethiopians fled” (2 Chronicles 14:12). He enacted key religious reforms: “He took away the foreign altars and the high places and broke down the pillars and cut down the Asherim and commanded Judah to seek the LORD, the God of their fathers, and to keep the law and the commandment” (2 Chronicles 14:3-4). Perhaps most difficult of all, he removed his mother from her honorific position because of her stubborn idolatry. He was a good king to the end. Actually, not quite. He was a good king almost to the end.

In the 36th year of his reign, almost 90 percent of the way through, he had new trouble with Baasha, the king of Israel. This time, though, Asa did not rely on God but took matters into his own hands. Instead of crying out for deliverance as he had done before, he acted on his own, emptying the national treasury to bribe the Syrians to turn on Israel. Then, when he became ill, he neglected to seek God’s help but relied instead on physicians. For his lack of reliance upon God, he faced divine anger. Now, he was told, he would have constant warfare until the end of his reign and would also be struck with a crippling disease. Asa ruled well for so long and then collapsed. For 36 long years he was faithful, for five short years he was not.

As I ponder Asa, I consider the sorrow of finishing poorly and the joy of finishing well. I consider the terrible reality that a man can live a good life almost to the end, then falter, stumble, and even fall. This is why we so often hear of Christian leaders who had long and faithful ministries, who stood firm in the face of falsehood, who endured trials and persecution, but who then seemed to give way so much in their later years. We also hear of men who remained married to their wives for decades, then walked away near the end. What a tragedy. My friend, if you are are going to run to win, you need to finish strong.

The rest of Tim’s blog is at: