Doctrinally Sound Teachers

A Few Good Men, Again!: 10 Doctrinally Sound Male Teachers

Sometimes we ladies fall for the mindset that if we’re going to pick up a Bible study book, read a blog, or listen to Bible teaching, it has to be from a female author or teacher. Not so! There are a lot of fantastic, doctrinally sound, male Bible teachers, pastors, and writers out there – far more males than females, actually – and you’ll really be missing out if you limit yourself to women teachers and writers.

In A Few Good Men, and A Few MORE Good Men, I recommended some of my favorite male pastors, writers, and podcasters. Here are ten more; and these lists are by no means exhaustive!

IMPORTANT REMINDER: Don’t take my (or anyone else’s) word for it that any ministry, podcast, book, or blog is biblical in its doctrine. You MUST do the work of comparing with Scripture everything you read and hear. If it doesn’t match up with God’s word (in context), chuck it.


1. A.W. Pink – “Biographer Iain Murray observes of Pink, ‘the widespread circulation of his writings after his death made him one of the most influential evangelical authors in the second half of the twentieth century.’ His writing sparked a revival of expository preaching and focused readers’ hearts on biblical living.”¹ Pink pastored churches in Britain, Australia, and across the United States. During that time (1922-1953), Pink published a monthly magazine, Studies in the Scriptures. Each edition contained several articles expositing Scripture. He also authored scads of pamphlets and books on a number of theological topics. Perhaps two of his best known books are The Attributes of God and The Sovereignty of God. You can read these and many others of Pink’s works online for free at CCEL and Chapel Library or buy a bound or Kindle copy at Amazon.  Facebook 

2. Tom Ascol – Tom has served as pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Cape Coral, Florida for over thirty years and has taught theology courses at several seminaries. He is one of the founders, and current executive director of Founders Ministries, and a popular author, conference speaker, podcaster, journal contributor, and blogger. Check out Tom’s books Traditional Theology & the SBC and From the Protestant Reformation to the Southern Baptist Convention: What Hath Geneva to Do with Nashville?read one of his excellent articles, listen to his sermons, or subscribe to The Sword and the Trowel podcast, which Tom co-hosts with his associate pastor, Jared Longshore.  Facebook  Twitter

3. Allen Nelson – Better known as “Cuatro” to his friends (because he’s Allen Nelson IV), Allen pastors Perryville Second Baptist Church in Perryville, Arkansas. You can hear Allen’s heart for the life and health of the rural church on the podcast he hosts with fellow rural church pastor, Eddie Ragsdale, The Rural Church Podcast (also on iTunes), and you don’t have to be a pastor or member of a rural church to benefit from listening in. You might recall reading a review here on the blog of Allen’s recently published first book From Death to Life: How Salvation Works (ordering info. included). It’s a helpful treatment of the ordo salutis in plain English for plain Bible Belt “Christians,” a discouraging proportion of whom do not understand the biblical gospel. Allen is also contributing writer and roundtable member of the Things Above Us blog and podcast, and don’t forget to check out his sermons, too!  Facebook  Twitter

4. James White – An expert in apologetics, textual criticism, and theology, “James White is the director of Alpha and Omega Ministries, a Christian apologetics organization based in Phoenix, Arizona. He is a professor, having taught Greek, Systematic Theology, and various topics in the field of apologetics. He has authored or contributed to more than twenty-four books…is an accomplished debater, having engaged in more than one-hundred sixty moderated, public debates around the world with leading proponents of Roman Catholicism, Islam, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and Mormonism, as well as critics such as Bart Ehrman, John Dominic Crossan, Marcus Borg, and John Shelby Spong. [Dr. White] is an elder of the Phoenix Reformed Baptist Church.” Check out Dr. White’s many books and debates, his blog, and The Dividing Line webcast (also on iTunes).  Facebook  Twitter 

(A word of caution: Dr. White maintains a personal friendship and occasional ministerial partnership with Dr. Michael Brown, who, although doctrinally sound in many areas of his theology, has become a safe haven for the worst of the worst New Apostolic Reformation heretics. To my knowledge, Dr. White does not endorse this behavior of Dr. Brown, and certainly does not endorse NAR heresy. I strongly discourage you from following Dr. Brown.)

5. Tim Challies – Founder of one of the most widely read conservative Christian blogs on the web, Tim Challies has been writing on a variety of theological and “Christian Living” topics for over fifteen years. An avid book reviewer, Tim is also an author in his own right. Two fun features of Tim’s blog are his daily “A la Carte” column, a curation of articles and other resources from around the web, and Free Stuff Fridays, a weekly giveaway of books, conference tickets, software, music, and all kinds of other awesome Christian resources and materials. Catch Tim at a speaking engagement or on his YouTube channel, listen to his sermons, and take a look at his terrific products over at Visual Theology, and Tim’s publishing company, Cruciform Press.  Facebook  Twitter

6. Kevin DeYoung – Kevin is the senior pastor of Christ Covenant Church in Matthews, North Carolina, serves as board chairman for The Gospel Coalition, and holds the position of assistant professor of systematic theology at Reformed Theological Seminary. Kevin is the author of several books, including Crazy Busy and The Biggest Story, the story arc of redemption for children. Read Kevin’s articles at his blog, DeYoung, Restless, and Reformed, check out his books, tune in to his sermons and videos, or catch him at an upcoming conference like Faithful.  Facebook  Twitter

7. Darrell Harrison – “An expository Bible teacher with a passion for helping Christians understand what they believe and why they believe it,” Darrell’s love for God’s Word and God’s people is evident no matter which ministry “hat” he wears. Darrell is a faithful member of Rockdale Community Church in Conyers, Georgia, and is training to become an ACBC certified biblical counselor. But Darrell is probably best known for blogging and podcasting. At Just Thinking…For Myself, Darrell writes eloquently on a variety of theological topics and current events. “The Just Thinking podcast is an extension of the Just Thinking blog and is hosted weekly by Darrell Harrison and Virgil Walker. The mission of the podcast mirrors the mission of the blog: applying biblical truth to social, cultural, political, and theological issues in our world.”  Facebook  Twitter

8. Tom Buck – Tom’s no nonsense quips and keen insight into the current affairs of Southern Baptist life have made him something of a legend on Twitter, but Tom is first and foremost a pastor. “Tom has a strong passion for the local church and a desire to lead the church to be Word-centered in everything it does. He is committed to the expositional preaching and teaching of God’s Word” as senior pastor of First Baptist Church of Lindale, Texas. Listen to Tom’s sermons online or on iTunes. You can read some of Tom’s compelling articles at The Statement on Social Justice and the Gospel (which Tom contributed to), Delivered by Grace, and Reformation 21.  Facebook Twitter

9. Costi Hinn – Costi is “the Executive Pastor of Mission Bible Church in Orange County, CA. He is passionate about equipping Christians to live boldly for Jesus Christ. Due to his background and expertise, he educates people around the world on strategies for dealing with the prosperity gospel.” Though not one to capitalize on the family name, much of Costi’s background and expertise that uniquely qualify him to address the blight of the prosperity gospel and New Apostolic Reformation, stem from his personal experiences as nephew and ministry assistant of NAR faith healer Benny Hinn. I highly recommend Costi’s excellent book on the NAR, Defining Deception: Freeing the Church from the Mystical-Miracle Movement (co-authored with MBC’s pastor, Anthony Wood) as well as his Truth & Transformation video series with Justin Peters. Check out all of Costi’s sermons, videos, and podcast appearances, and be sure to subscribe to his blog at For the Gospel.  Facebook  Twitter

10. Jerry Bridges – Jerry Bridges spent most of his professional career in parachurch ministry, serving in a variety of positions and capacities with The Navigators. He is remembered for his clear and easy to grasp writing style which has endeared to the hearts of millions his books The Pursuit of Holiness, The Practice of Godliness, Trusting God, and over twenty others dealing with topics in theology and discipleship. Get a list (with links) of all of Jerry’s books, listen to his sermons, talks, and interviews here and here, and watch his videos on YouTube.  Twitter


Also check out:
A Few Good Men: 10 Doctrinally Sound Male Teachers
A Few MORE Good Men:10 Doctrinally Sound Male Teachers

Mailbag

The Mailbag: Will you review my book?

I’ve written a book. Will you please read and review it or give me some feedback on it?

Every time I receive this e-mail from an author, I just want to reach through the screen and hug her. I’ve been in her shoes.

When my book, Jacob: Journaling the Journey, was in print I, too, had to write to bloggers and Christian newspapers and magazines asking them to write a review of my book. It’s a good way to introduce potential readers to your work and encourage them to buy a copy or twenty.

I never liked soliciting reviews for two reasons: First, it’s kind of like asking a boy out on a date – it’s an awkward and weird feeling that you’re essentially saying, “Do you like me enough to say ‘yes’ to me?”. Then, there’s the agonizing wait to see whether or not you’re going to be rejected. Second, I always felt like I was asking the person to invest an enormous amount of time and work, and all I was able to give her in return was my thanks and a copy of my book. It felt like asking someone for a huge favor that I’d never be able to repay.

So my heart goes out to those fledgling authors who are having to cold call bloggers for reviews. It ranks right up there with having a tooth pulled.

Now that the shoe is on the other foot and people are asking me to write reviews of their books, I have a much different perspective. Far from feeling like authors are asking me for a humongous favor, it would be my joy to serve and encourage each and every one of them by writing up shining and supportive reviews for all.

Unfortunately, for a number of reasons, I find that I can’t:

📖 There aren’t enough hours in the day to read and review, in a timely manner, all of the books I receive inquiries about. And, I can’t bring myself to say “yes” to some authors and “no” to others.

📖 I’ll just be perfectly transparent with y’all, I’m very undisciplined right now when it comes to book reading. I study my Bible. I read lots of articles. But for some strange reason, I’m not reading many books – even books of my own choosing – at this season of my life. I can’t really figure it out because I’ve lived my whole life with my nose in a book, but…there it is.

📖 Writing a book review (especially when you have a relationship with the author) is kind of like a friend showing you her new baby and saying, “Isn’t she cute?”. Fortunately, I happen to think all babies are cute, but…with books, not so much. And the last thing I want to have to do is tell a friend, or even a stranger, that her book has a face only a mother could love. I’m an author. I know what it’s like to hear that. It’s no bueno.

Every once in a blue moon, I’ll write a brief recommendation of a book I’ve picked up of my own volition and taken my sweet time reading because I think it’s something my readers would enjoy or benefit from. I can do that without the pressure of a deadline or worrying about hurting an author’s feelings.

Also, I try to compensate for the fact that I don’t write book reviews myself by publishing reviews written by guest posters. If you would like to write a book review as a guest poster, or if you’re an author who has a blog-less friend ready to write a review but needing a platform to post it on, drop me an e-mail and let’s chat about it.

While I’m honored and humbled that anybody out there might want my opinion on her book, and I dearly wish I could write a review for everyone who asks, I’m afraid that – with rare exceptions for people I’m extremely close to or who have served as mentors to me – for this season of my life, the answer has to be an across the board “no”.


If you have a question about: a Bible passage, an aspect of theology, a current issue in Christianity, or how to biblically handle a family, life, or church situation, comment below (I’ll hold all questions in queue {unpublished} for a future edition of The Mailbag) or send me an e-mail or private message. If your question is chosen for publication, your anonymity will be protected.

Christian women, Complementarianism, Rock Your Role

Throwback Thursday ~ Are Female Bloggers Violating Scripture by “Teaching” Men?

Originally published October 23, 2015female bloggers

“You say that women shouldn’t teach men (1 Timothy 2:12),
but what about men who read your book or blog?
Aren’t you teaching them?”

Complementarian women bloggers and authors are frequently asked this question. Often it’s asked by dissenters looking for a “gotcha” moment. Other times it’s a genuine concern for Christian women who want to write but still be in obedience to God’s word as it speaks to the role of women. But, whatever the motivation for asking, it’s a great question that needs to be answered.

It is true that God has ordained different roles for Christian men and women. Both roles are needed and important, but different. Part of the role for women is outlined in 1 Timothy 2:11-14. Women are not to preach to or teach men in the gathering of the church or hold other positions of authority over men in the church. (If you’d like to read more about the Bible passages pertaining to women’s roles in the church, check out my Rock Your Role series.) But notice that key phrase “in the church.” The context of all of the passages dealing with women refraining from teaching men refers to the teaching of God’s word in the gathering of the body of believers.

That’s not the same thing as blogging in the public square. Yet, most of the godly women I know who blog still seek to be obedient to the spirit of the command even if the letter doesn’t technically apply. I admire their character and their faithfulness to God’s word, so I asked each of them how they would answer this often-asked question. Here’s what they said:

Erin Benzinger of Do Not Be Surprised and Equipping Eve

Equipping Eve-05“A semi-formal ministry such as a blog, book, or podcast must be approached with the biblical mindset of seeking to teach and equip fellow women as per Titus 2. At the same time, a woman blogger cannot know who is reading her blog. Nor can an author control who reads her book, or a podcaster supervise who hits “play.” Might the woman see it as necessary to make clear that she is, in fact, a woman and that her ministry is directed toward fellow sisters in Christ? Of course, this seems a logical and simple safeguard and is in fact my own approach.” (I had to edit Erin’s fantastic comment for length, but you can read it in its entirety in the comments section of the original article.)

Pamela Couvrette of Guarding the Deposit

“As a woman blogger, my intention is to write to women, however, I cannot control who reads my blog posts. I was concerned for a while about teaching to men, however, after a conversation with a few trusted Christians, my concerns were alleviated. The point was made that I was not teaching in an official church capacity; if I am offering the Word of God to show men their error, I am not claiming to be over them in authority, but instead, beside them as a sister in Christ. Additionally, if women are not supposed to teach men anything, how far does this mandate reach into our everyday lives?”

DebbieLynne Kespert of The Ouspoken Tulip

“In honor of Christ, I want to avoid teaching men through this blog without avoiding my responsibility to substantiate my assertions (or, when necessary, recant them) with Scripture. Sometimes, I may cross the line, in which case I’ll eagerly repent. If I had a way to guarantee an all-female readership, believe me, I’d be teaching a lot more boldly! Alas, I can’t control who reads this blog. I will, to the best of my ability, state my beliefs with appeals to Scripture, and will provide links to in-depth teaching by respected men.” (This is an excerpt from a great article at DebbieLynne’s blog.)

Christine Pack formerly of Sola Sisters

“My bottom line is that (1) I’m not expositing scripture, and (2) the book of Jude (about contending for truth and doctrinal purity) was written to all believers, not just men.”

Elizabeth Prata of The End Time

11695005_969809886414876_853379219293858257_n“As for women writing books, blogging, discipling, or speaking of theological things in the public square, I follow Philip’s daughters, (Acts 21:9), Eunice and Lois, (2 Timothy 1:5), Lydia, (Acts 16:14),  Dorcas (Acts 9:36) and other women who restrict their ministry to women, submit to the men in their lives, but unashamedly proclaim the glories of this wonderful Jesus whom we share and whom the dying world needs to know.” (This is an excerpt from an excellent article Elizabeth wrote at her own blog. In it, she links to several great resources.)

Beth Seifert formerly of the Naomi’s Table Radio Show/Podcast

“In the forum that we were in with Naomi’s Table, it was made clear that this was intended for women not men. Could I stop a man from listening on the radio? No. But, especially when teaching anything that directly related to men (i.e. husbands love your wives…) I put so many disclaimers around anything I said, pointing any men listening back to Scripture, re-stating that I was not trying to teach them, that they should not be using me as their teacher, etc. At the end of the day, I couldn’t stop them from downloading the studies or notes, but there was no ‘muddiness’ about who I was teaching.” Beth also has her own blog, Daily Dose of Truth.

Sunny Shell of Abandoned to Christ

“Since [my blog is] on the internet, I’m not purposefully putting myself in any way as authority over men. If I had a blog that was just for men and I was doing the same thing, that would be sinful. But whether or not men read my blog and glean something from it, that is between them and God as many women have wisdom that helps men and women (cf. Priscilla and Aquila)… there is a difference between having a generic blog (like mine) and one that is purposed to reach both men and women in a teaching manner.” (Read Sunny’s awesome article on women’s roles here.)

Lori Williams of Falsified Ministries

falsified book coverFrom the Falsified Ministries web site: “Vince is the leader of this ministry and Lori serves in a supportive role helping with the administrative aspects of organization of materials, responding to women who email the ministry, supportive research, working resource tables/booths and any other help-mate role that Vince needs in fulfilling other aspects of the ministry. Lori will never be speaking in front of a group that consists of a mixed audience of both male and females. We choose to obey the Biblical command in1 Timothy 2:12…Since the verse refers to a corporate setting of the church in any assembly, we always want to adhere to that.” (Like Beth, Lori is also a former Bible study teacher at Naomi’s Table.)

 

As you can see, all of these women are keenly aware of their biblical role and strive to obey Scripture by setting up various reasonable safeguards and parameters for their blogs, ministries, and podcasts, most of which are aimed specifically at women. I believe they all do an excellent job of adhering to the spirit of 1 Timothy 2:12.

I have, however, seen blogs by other Christian women which I believe cross the line and actually violate this passage, even though the woman was blogging rather than teaching in the church setting. This article, written in the wake of the Ashley Madison scandal, is the most clear cut example I’ve run across. As you can see, the article, by a pastor’s wife, is written directly to men in a corrective, instructive, rebuking, warning, and even threatening tone. It certainly does not exemplify the “gentle, quiet spirit, which, in God’s sight is very precious,” and, at the very least, is most unbecoming of a pastor’s wife and a woman who bears the name of Christ. This is a great example of what not to do for female bloggers who desire to be obedient to Scripture.

Christian men should also desire to be obedient to 1 Timothy 2:12 by not seeking out female bloggers for biblical instruction for themselves. I mentioned that sometimes people inquiring about the biblical appropriateness of women bloggers do so for a “gotcha” effect. Sometimes men with ulterior motives of “nailing” complementarianism visit my blog, claim to have learned something, and then turn around and attack me as a hypocrite for “teaching” them. This is akin to a man listening at the door of a women’s Sunday school class, then bursting in and saying, “Aha! You taught a man.” To those men, I would ask a simple question- If a female blogger puts a fence around her blog and you jump over it and trespass on her property, how is she the one at fault?

And me? Like my godly sisters featured above, I have also set up parameters for both my blog and my book to do everything I can to place myself under the umbrella of 1 Timothy 2:12. My book (when it was in print) was always labeled and marketed as a women’s Bible study. If you’ll take a look at the “Welcome” tab at the top of this page, you’ll see I explicitly say that this blog is for Christian women and that I’m a complementarian. When I address the readers of this blog and my Facebook page, I nearly always address them as “ladies,” both because this is a blog for women and also to remind the handful of men who follow me that they are not my audience; they are, in a sense, “eavesdropping.”

While I welcome male readers, I do not want men seeking me out for biblical instruction for themselves. All of my readers should look to the doctrinally sound teaching of their pastors and elders for biblical instruction. For women, my blog should only be a leisure time supplement to their sermons and classes at church.

 

Being a godly female blogger can be a tightrope walk. All of us have fallen off from time to time, and in those cases we ask that you extend us grace and forgiveness, knowing that we didn’t do it intentionally or rebelliously. Praise God for the “net” of God’s mercy and cleansing that catches us and puts us right back up on that tightrope so we can encourage and build up the lovely Christian ladies in our audience. You mean so much to each of us. We love you and want you to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. That’s why we do what we do.

Awards

And the Winner Is…

titus-2-1-award

Today, it’s my honor be a recipient of the fifth annual Titus 2:1 Award for a Doctrinally Sound Blog from fellow blogger Ryan Smith over at One Christian Dad. Big hugs and thank yous to Ryan and his (anonymous) reader who nominated me. Be sure to click on over and check out the other two ladies who won: Rebekah Womble of Wise in His Eyes and Sabrina Jaspers of My 3 Princes. Congratulations, ladies!

Ryan has asked the winners to answer a few questions in our “acceptance speeches”…

If you could have dinner with any historical Christian figure, who would it be and why?

John KnoxHe’s one of my heroes in the faith because of his passion for the people of Scotland to know Christ, to read the Bible for themselves, and for false doctrine to be eradicated from the church.

What one burning question would you ask?

John, would you please record a teaching – to be required viewing by every pastor in America – on the urgency and imperativeness of pastors boldly and faithfully fulfilling all three parts of Titus 1:9?

Where and what would you eat?

I’d invite John over to my house for a crawfish boil. After a lifetime of eating Scottish food, he deserves the finest cuisine this side of Heaven.

What was the last Bible verse you read?

Well, technically, Titus 1:9, but before that, Ezekiel 35:15. I’m teaching the book of Ezekiel to my children right now, and today we covered chapter 35.

Pay it forward- who would you nominate for the Titus 2:1 Award?

Definitely my friends Amy Spreeman and Marsha West over at Berean ResearchAnything you read on my blog relating to false teachers or discernment, they probably had a hand in at some point along the way. It is the finest and most godly discernment blog out there. If anybody deserves an award, it’s Amy and Marsha.

Thanks again, Ryan. I guess now I can say
I have an award-winning blog!

Uncategorized

A Picture’s Worth a Thousand Blog Posts

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Not long ago, I read an article about overused stock photos. You know, like the one up there ↑ that we bloggers use to add visual interest to our articles. It made me laugh, because if anyone overuses certain stock photos, it’s Christian bloggers. I read articles all the time that use the same photos I’ve used for my own articles, and I’m sure other bloggers recognize a lot of the photos I use as ones they’ve used. Hmm…maybe we’re all using the same image site.

Here are seven stock photos that have made the rounds of Christian blogs (including mine). Do you recognize any of them?

1. This Little Light of Mine

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think this one might finally be in semi-retirement. For a while there you practically couldn’t read a Christian blog article without seeing this one. Articles on evangelism, marriage, baptism, cutting your toenails in church…it was used on all of them and not really related to any of them.

2. Shebrews

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This one’s usually used on articles about Bible study, so at least that fits. I kind of like it, but then I’m a big fan of both the Bible and coffee. I started to make a comment about how much this Bible is highlighted, but then I realized I have Bibles that look like they were printed on neon yellow paper.

3. Dark Shadows

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There’s a whole genre of these: silhouette lady reaching for the sky. I’m just curious as to how many women have ever actually gone out to the beach or a meadow or the mountains at dawn and thrown their arms up in the air. I haven’t. Maybe I’m missing something and should give it a try. (But I think the something I’d be missing is my nice warm bed.)

4. Miss Lonely Hearts

depression-890x480

I’ve used this one myself and have seen it on countless other blogs, usually in articles about women’s ministry. Guess what the title of the picture is? “Depression.” It does look pretty depressing, but doesn’t it look more like she’s fighting off morning sickness? I spent upwards of a year and a half of my life hunched over like that willing myself not to hurl, so I consider myself something of an expert.

5. Last Man Standing…er…Sitting

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This is what happens when you fall asleep in church (although I can’t imagine anybody falling asleep on those uncomfortable looking pews)- the service ends and everybody gets up and leaves your sorry self. And no, we don’t believe you’re that deep in prayer or meditation. It’s a great picture, though, a perfect fit for articles on church-related topics.

6. Cup O’ the Mornin’ to Ya!

coffee-690349_960_720

Mmmmm…more coffee. Look at its steamy goodness filling that bright, airy room with an awesome Arabica aroma. This hypnotic focal point almost prevents you from seeing the bed that somebody forgot to make up. What do coffee and untucked sheets have to do with anything in the Bible? I’m not sure, but I confess, I’ve used this photo before.

7. Bible Study, Baby!

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Could this photo be any more adorable? Probably only if we could see this little cutie’s face. I’ll be honest, I love this picture and I don’t care how many bloggers use it. It might not work for an article on circumcision or eternal conscious torment, but, hey, give it a try anyway. It’s too precious to pass up.

Those are the seven most used stock photos I’ve seen floating around the Christian interwebs. What about you? What are some photos you’ve seen over and over on Christian blogs and web sites? Post a link or the photo in the comments below!