The Structure of the Heidelberg Catechism Could Change Your Life

The aim of this podcast is to help you, the listener, find deeper comfort and joy in the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. The gospel should produce comfort and joy in our hearts every day as we strive by the Holy Spirit to live for the glory of our God. In order for you and me to find the comfort and joy our souls crave, we need to understand several important things. We need to understand God’s law, the law’s goodness, and how God uses the law to love us. We need to understand the gospel...

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A Clearer Direction for This Podcast/Blog

First, thank you so much for listening to the podcast or perhaps reading the episodes, either in emails or at smalltowntheologian.org. I appreciate your time investment, and I trust that God has used this podcast to deepen your comfort and joy in the gospel in some way. Keep listening. More helpful content is coming.    Second, I want to improve this podcast for the good of my beloved local church, Jerusalem Church, which meets in the small town of Manheim, PA, and for the good of...

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Spurgeon & Joyfully Submitting to the Truth of God’s Infallible Word

It is evident in our culture today that many people are ready and willing to exchange the truth for absurdity. Relativism nicely illustrates the arrogance and egocentrism of human nature. None of us gets to decide what is true. Unless our truth is the truth our truth is a lie erroneously labeled. Should the bank teller honor your substantial withdrawal simply because you self-identify as Jeff Bezos? No. That would be absurd and unfair to Mr. Bezos. Our culture venerates science, worships it...

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The Plurality of Elders Protects a Pastor (and a Church) from Disaster

I’ve been listening to Christianity Today’s podcast titled The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill. It’s insightful, compelling, and really well done. It’s also concerning, painful, and tragic. Coupled with introspection, the podcast is humbling me and teaching me some good lessons. Mark Driscoll was someone I really looked up to. I listened to his sermons. I read some of his writing. I listened to the worship bands from his church. I didn’t agree with everything Mark taught, but much...

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Five Essential Gifts to Give Your Kids: (5) Connect the Dots with Relationship

What do you want your kids to see more than anything else? I hope you would say the beauty, majesty, and glory of God. Don’t you want your kids to be awestruck at God and his mercy and grace for them? Creation can show them God’s eternal power and divine nature, but not his justice, judgment, mercy, grace, and love. Only in the Bible does God reveal his redemptive character, nature, and works. If our kids are going to see the beauty, majesty, and glory of God, they will need to see it by...

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Five Essential Gifts to Give Your Kids: (4) Daily Family Worship

Think about what you do every day, the things you do because you need to, the things that benefit you. I sleep every day. Sleep is vital for good health. Sleep deprivation can lead to mental issues, a compromised immune system, high blood pressure, poor balance, and more. Sleep is good. I also eat every day. Good nutrition is vital for good health. Malnutrition can cause awful side effects like unhealthy weight loss, slowed healing of wounds, fatigue, and depression. Food is good. Breathing...

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Five Essential Gifts to Give Your Kids: (3) Weekly Corporate Worship

The other day I was driving one of my kids to piano lessons in Manheim. We were heading down a street when I saw something interesting. An electric car parked on the street was recharging. I had seen the car before but was curious about how it was hooked up. Then I saw it. It was plugged into a tree. Talk about green. I guess the owner converted the tree into a charging station. Electric cars need to be regularly recharged or they won’t run. What do your kids need most to grow spiritually...

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Five Essential Gifts to Give Your Kids: (2) A Basic Theological Framework through Catechization

Imagine your son or daughter sitting at the lunch table with friends at school. The conversation moves from the weekend movie release to first-period health class to religion. One kid is an atheist who says he believes in science. Two kids admit they’re not sure what they believe. Two more admit they go to church but have little more to say. One girl is into meditation and crystals. Then, the atheist kid turns to your child and asks, “What do you believe?” Eyes shift from tater tots to...

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Five Essential Gifts to Give Your Kids: (1) Your Prioritization of Their Discipleship

As parents, we devote calendar space, gas, mileage, money, texts, camera clicks, social media posts, late nights, and much attention to what we value and prioritize for our kids. While dedicating much, we also sacrifice much for what our kids want to do and what we want our kids to do. What we say yes and no to, what our kids are allowed and not allowed to do, says much about our priorities for them. Our planners, cars, bank accounts, phones, and homes showcase what we think is foremost for...

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Five Essential Gifts to Give Your Kids: Series Introduction

My parents gave me some fantastic gifts through the years including stuffed animals, a mini basketball hoop, cold cans of soda after pitch and putt golf, and a Yamaha MX175 dirt bike. They even helped me financially through college. But the best thing my parents gave me was discipleship. They led and nurtured me spiritually. I heard about God’s law and my sin, the gospel of Christ crucified and risen for my salvation, and how I should live for God first from my parents. They took my...

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