ScribblePreach Awards 04.22.2017

From the Pub: Our Ally and Enemy

“It is no use either saying that if there is a God of that sort – and impersonal absolute goodness – then you do not like Him and are not going to bother about Him. For the trouble is that one part of you is on His side and really agrees with his disapproval of human greed and trickery and exploitation. You may want Him to make an exception in your own case, to let you off this one time; but you know at bottom that unless the power behind the world really and unalterably detests that sort of behavior, then He cannot be good.’

‘On the other hand, we know that if there does exist an absolute goodness it must hate most of what we do. This is the terrible fix we are in. If the universe is not foverned by an absolute goodness, then all our efforts are in the long run hopeless. But if it is, then we are making ourselves enemies to that goodness every day, and are not in the least likely to do any better tomorrow, and so our case is hopeless again. We cannot do without it, and we cannot do with it. God is the only comfort, He is also the supreme terror: the thing we most need and the thing we most want to hide from. He is our only possible ally, and we have made ourselves His enemies.’

‘Some people talk as if meeting the gaze of an absolute goodness would be fun. They need to think again. they are still only playing with religion. Goodness is either the great safety or the great danger – according to the way you react to it. And we have reacted the wrong way.” – CS LEWIS, MERE CHRISTIANITY

Kindle Deal of the Week: Present Concerns 

C.S. Lewis apparently has a collection of newspaper and journal articles I knew nothing about, for $1.99.

Preaching: Bunyan and the Hidden Perils of Preaching

Bunyan expresses so well the full weight of duty upon a preacher, as well as our freedom given in Christ.

Apologetics: Tim Keller’s Free Apologetic Lectures

Kevin Halloran rounds up several of Keller’s lectures given at Oxford University, each talking points through his new work, “Making Sense of God.” I’m eager to put these in my earbuds.

Theology: B.B. Warfield’s Old Testament Analogy for the Trinity. 

“The Old Testament may be likened to a chamber richly furnished but dimly lighted; the introduction of light brings into it nothing which was not in it before; but it brings out into clearer view much of what is in it but was only dimly or even not at all perceived before.

The mystery of the Trinity is not revealed in the Old Testament; but the mystery of the Trinity underlies the Old Testament revelation, and here and there almost comes into view.

Thus the Old Testament revelation of God is not corrected by the fuller revelation that follows it, but only perfected, extended and enlarged.”

A Glimpse of Truth: Nihilism or Wonder: The Alien Story

Literary Hub has an interesting perspective on how worldviews have morphed our outer space narratives, preferring the less nature is red, tooth and claw approach…but why? Because we’re not wired to resonate with a false narrative. That’s why.

Books and Lit: A Father’s Final Odyssey

This had me in tears. It’s long form, but you will be captivated by this literary and physical final journey of father and son.

Writing: Only One Platform Will Last

Karen Swallow Prior nails it on this one, and I have an icky feeling I’ve been part of the problem (which is why I backed off links-to-these-ends last year).

Christians and Culture: The Need for Cultural Humility

I was just talking to a friend about how my various experience across North America have given me more cultural humility than I began with. My judgment of various NA cultures stemmed more from my faults than theirs.

Micro Book Review: Parenting: 14 Gospel Principles That Can Radically Change Your Family

I’m torn by this review. On the one hand, I want to say that this book really hit me where I needed it as a parent. I was moved and stretched all over these pages. So, I thank God for Paul Tripp’s ministry for me now.

On the other, being familiar with Tripp’s work, I felt these was his least good. It felt as though perhaps the book had been whipped up in a rush – lots of repetition, unclear categories, no research or citations behind anything, etc. Just Paul Tripp saying what he says. The 14 “principles” are more like 14 words or biblical concepts that Tripps riffs off of…so I didn’t exactly walk away knowing what I read, and I wasn’t sure whether I agreed, since Tripp doesn’t really attempt to argue his points, he just states them.

But again, I remember specific points of challenge and encouragement.

So, 3 out of 5 stars.

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Nicholas McDonald is a blogger, pastor, and author of the book "Faker: How to Be Real When You're Tempted to Fake it." He studied creative writing and communication at Oxford University and Olivet Nazerene University, and received his M.Div from Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary. He currently resides in Lexington, NC, with his wife and two boys, Caleb and Owen.


  1. Karen’s piece on platform touches on something I’ve been concerned with for years: tribe as opposed to community. I don’t want to build a tribe through my writing, nor be part of someone else’s tribe. I want to be in community with those who read my work and with those whose work I read.

    • Thanks for the input, Tim. I think you do a great job of creating community on your blog, or what’s possible as far as community online. That doesn’t exactly match my goals, since I feel like I have so many in-person communities I don’t manage well. My goal would be to serve others through great resources and my own writing. I don’t aspire to lead a tribe, certainly…but I do want to help people!

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