Another Ortlund Update

God has blessed us during our year in the Chicago suburbs. In July Esther and I celebrated 10 years of marriage at the very restaurant at which I proposed to her in downtown Chicago (pictured right). In August little Elijah joined us. I will never forget walking around the neighborhood just outside the hospital in Highland Park, filled with joy and amazement at being a family of 5! Unbelievable. God has been so good to us. We purchased a minivan, which makes me feel like an official “dad.” I became quite adept at chucking snacks into the back row while…

What I Liked and Disliked About Star Wars: The Last Jedi

I enjoyed watching Star Wars: The Last Jedi last night, but I also found myself unsatisfied with some features of it. At the risk of incurring the wrath of those who loved it, here I list several things I liked, and several things I disliked. I am not a big Star Wars know-it-all so this is basically worthless. Also it has *spoilers ahead* so don’t read it if you haven’t seen it yet. WHAT I LIKED I liked the moral ambiguity invested in Kylo Ren. The fact that he hesitated in killing his mother showed a glimmer of good in him, and you…

An Ortlund Update

A lot of you have asked about our plans this summer, so I thought I’d share an update on our blog to catch everyone up to speed. This summer we will be moving to the Chicago area where I have been awarded a resident fellowship for the 2017-2018 school year at the Carl F.H. Henry Center for Theological Understanding at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in connection to The Creation Project. I will be conducting research with a view to writing a book on Augustine’s doctrine of creation, particularly in terms of how it can be retrieved to help contemporary discussion…

Five Ways to Deepen Your Preaching

I’ve been blessed lately with the opportunity to preach a bit more. I really enjoy preaching, and the homiletics training I received at Covenant Seminary during my M.Div. was excellent. But the more I learn about preaching, the more I feel like I’m just beginning to learn what it even means to preach. Preaching to me is like a vast mountain, the top of which is hidden by clouds and cannot be seen, and the higher I climb, the more it stretches up still higher and higher above me. I’m not looking for encouragement when I say that, or trying…

Four Appeals to Christians Embracing Gay Marriage

I was not particularly surprised by the Supreme Court’s decision last Friday. Nor do I feel alarmist about it. Some Christians are responding to it in doomsday tones, but to my mind that attitude is at odds with the basic tenor of the gospel. Panic and pessimism are out of order for a worldview anchored in belief in an omnipotent God, irresistible grace, and an eternal heaven.

Mid-year Update

2015 has been a great year for Esther and me. We are blessed. In February our daughter Naomi was born. She is healthy and doing great. Later that month I passed my comprehensive finals in my PhD, advancing me to candidacy. That feels great to have that behind me. Isaiah turned two in March, and he is so much fun—just exploding outwards in his personality, his vocabulary, his sense of humor. It is always so joyful and relaxing to come home and play with him after a long day. I’ve taken on more of the preaching at our church, and…

10 Quotes From Samuel Rutherford’s Letters

“When we are dead and gone, let the world know that Spurgeon held Rutherford’s letters to be the nearest thing to inspiration which can be found in all the writings of mere man.” So wrote Charles Haddon Spurgeon concerning the letters of Samuel Rutherford, the 17th century Scottish pastor and commissioner to the Westminster Assembly. Nor was Spurgeon alone in this high praise. Richard Baxter said of Rutherford’s letters, “hold off the Bible; such a book the world never saw;” and H.C.G. Moule called them “a small casket stored with many jewels.” Rutherford’s letters have been through something like 100…