WHAT IS THE GOSPEL?

DAILY DEVOTIONS IN THE PSALMS

For the next several months, visit for a daily (Monday to Friday) devotion in the Psalms. I will be working through the Psalms systematically offering a brief devotional thought on a successive Psalm every day of the week. These are not expositions but simply devotional reflections on the biblical Psalms.

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Rooted (Psalm 108)

Yesterday, we considered the exhortation of the psalmist to believe that the God who had been faithful to past generations would be faithful to the present generation. We considered the truth that God’s steadfast love, which has proved so powerful to previous...

Pondering Love (Psalm 107)

Psalm 107 celebrates two related themes: Yahweh’s covenant love and his salvation. The opening verses set the tempo: “Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever! Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom he has redeemed from...

Biblical History (Psalm 106)

Some time ago, I saw former England star footballer David Beckham interviewed on a television talk show. Speaking about his children’s involvement in football, he recalled a particular match that he attended for one of his sons. The referee did not arrive and so the...

Recalling Faithfulness (Psalm 105)

It seems obvious to the consistent reader of the Psalms that Psalms 105 and 106 were designed as a couplet. Psalm 105 focuses on God’s faithfulness to his people, more or less from the time of Abraham till the settling in the Promised Land. Psalm 106, on the other...

Enjoy Yourself (Psalm 104)

John wrote his letters (particularly the first two) in the context of the Gnostic heresy. Among other things, the Gnostics taught that the physical world was inherently evil and the spiritual world inherently good. In Gnostic thinking, it was not possible to glorify...

Embracing Forgiveness (Psalm 103)

Psalm 103 has been referred to as “a pure note of praise” (Leupold). Maclaren observes that “there are no clouds in the horizon, nor notes of sadness in the music, of this psalm. No purer outburst of thankfulness enriches the church.” This is significant given that...

God Unchanging (Psalm 102)

The ancient Greek philosopher, Heraclitus, once said, “Man cannot step into the same river twice.” His point was that things are always subject to change. If you step into a river and then into the same river moments later, things have changed, even if imperceptibly....

Opposing Evil (Psalm 101)

I think it’s fair to say that we live in an age in which we are encouraged to be tolerant. It is considered unloving and bigoted to speak out against others’ actions and beliefs. Everybody has a right to behave in the way in which he or she believes is best and no one...

Worshipping Well (Psalm 100)

We have been considering, in recent days, a mini collection of royal psalms, which sing of Yahweh’s universal praise and call all nations to recognise him as King. Psalm 100 brings this collection to a close. This is a loud psalm. The psalmist invites the reader to...

Confidence in Consistency (Psalm 99)

The concept of divine holiness is rich in Scripture. It implies otherness (that God is entirely separate from and over his creation) and purity (that God is light and in him is no darkness at all) but, biblically, the idea also implies consistency. Because he is holy,...

What the HEK? Abortion and Vaccine Hesitancy

I recently received a stirring lecture from a pharmacist who learned that I had been for my first COVID-19 vaccination. Strongly arguing the benefits of Ivermectin, he simply could not fathom why I would permit toxic substances to be injected into my body. (I had...

The Ant and the Tapeworm

Someone, possibly Charles Spurgeon, once said that there is a sermon in every flower. That is, if we pay close enough attention to nature, we can often find illustrations of biblical truth. Some illustrations are stranger than others—like the Temnothorax ant and the...

Let’s do better: Reflections on stirring the Byrd’s nest

If you interact on social media in Reformed circles, you are probably aware of the recent furore surrounding Aimee Byrd’s most recent book, Recovering from Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. The title is provocative, no doubt, and has led to a series of unfortunate...

The seven sayings: Security

Every year, the Human Development Report Office for the United Nations Development Programme releases a report focusing on a particular area of human development. In 1994, the report focused on human security and identified seven key areas associated with human...

The seven sayings: Victory

We tend to place a great deal of value in last words. Perhaps you can still vividly recall the last thing a loved one said to you before they died. Perhaps you have been inspired by the last words of a public figure. Sometimes, last words display confidence and...

The seven sayings: Suffering

A recent CNN news clip showed reporter Gary Tuchman outside an Ohio megachurch, where vehicles were streaming out of the parking lot. One woman stopped her car and rolled down her window to speak to him. “Can I ask you about your decision to go to church, to be inside...

The seven sayings: Atonement

In April 1984, police arrived at Rafael Ruiz’s home to inform him that he was a suspect in a sexual assault investigation. Professing his innocence, Ruiz complied fully with the investigation. Formally charged, Ruiz was offered a plea deal in which he could accept...

The seven sayings: Love

When Man of Steel was released in 2013, director Zack Snyder was asked about some of the obvious artistic parallels between Superman and Jesus Christ. Snyder replied, “The Christ-like parallels, I didn’t make this stuff up. That is the tried-and-true Superman...

The seven sayings: Salvation

In April 1994, Milwaukee pastor, Roy Ratcliff, received a phone call from a local prison warden. The warden informed him that a prisoner wished to be baptised and asked if he would be willing to perform the rite. Intrigued, and never having been involved in prison...

The seven sayings: Forgiveness

On the evening of 17 June 2015, a tragic mass shooting happened at the Emanuel African American Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. During a routine Bible study, young white supremacist, Dylann Roof, entered the building and opened fire, killing...

Review: Another Gospel

There is much talk in evangelical churches today about professing Christians—usually, high profile professing Christians—undergoing a process of “deconstruction” whereby they come to question, and often completely abandon, their faith. Some try to maintain a claim to...

Review: Talking Back to Purity Culture

When I saw Rachel Welcher inviting people to join a book launch team to promote her forthcoming book—Talking Back to Purity Culture: Rediscovering Faithful Christian Sexuality—I was a little sceptical. The book is billed as a response to “purity culture’s complicated...

Review: Not Forsaken

I first came across Jennifer Michelle Greenberg when someone I follow on Twitter recommended hers as a thoughtful but funny account to follow. I quickly learned that she had recently written a book: Not Forsaken, published by the Good Book Company. The opening...

Review: Unfollow

It began in 1991. A local independent Baptist Church in Kansas began picketing at a nearby park popular with gay men. Citing Romans 1:32, the protestors paraded handmade signs proclaiming that gays deserve death. The church’s pastor, Fred Phelps, had taught his small...

Review: What’s a Girl Worth?

American lawyer and one-time amateur gymnast, Rachael Denhollander, was the first woman to publicly accuse Larry Nassar, former USA Gymnastics doctor, of sexual assault. What’s a Girl Worth? My Story of Breaking the Silence and Exposing the Truth about Larry Nassar...

Review: The Case for Christ

In April 2017, Pure Flix Entertainment and Triple Horse Studios released The Case for Christ, a feature film based on Lee Strobel’s 1998 best-selling book of the same name. The story follows Lee, an atheist journalist, who sets out to disprove the historic claims of...

Review: I’m Not Ashamed

On 20 April 1999, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, seniors at Columbine High School, infamously marched onto school property, armed with a variety of firearms, and murdered thirteen people before killing themselves. The Columbine High School massacre was, at the time,...

Review: Fight!

I was first introduced to Preston Sprinkle through his book Charis, which tackles the enormity of God’s grace toward his people. Since then, I have come to respect Dr. Sprinkle. I have found him to be a theologian who really challenges my thinking. Even when I...

Review: Praying Together

“What is the best book on ____________?” I see and hear that question asked all the time. You fill in the blank: spiritual warfare, baptism, the local church, preaching, etc. It’s a question, of course, that invites highly subjective answers. Where I might recommend...

Review: Four Views on Hell (Second Edition)

Back in December 2011 I read a book in the Counterpoints series titled Four Views on Hell. Published in 1992, this book brings together the scholarship of four different authors to debate the nature of hell. The first edition presented four different interpretations...

Hymnody: Jesus, I My Cross Have Taken

Henry Francis Lyte was born into severe poverty in Scotland on 1 June 1793. While still very young, he became an orphan. Despite, these challenges, he successfully navigated his schooling, eventually graduating from Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland. Entering...

Hymnody: “More Love to Thee”

Elizabeth Prentiss was a nineteenth-century American author, perhaps best known for the most famed of her novels, Stepping Heavenward. A pastor’s daughter and, later, a pastor’s wife, she struggled for most of her adult life with debilitating health. Reflecting on...

Hymnody: “What a Friend We Have in Jesus”

Joseph Scriven was born in September 1819 to wealthy Irish parents. He received the best education money could afford. More importantly, he received a Christian upbringing and grew into a godly young man, well-respected in his community. As a young man, he fell in...

Hymnody: “Blest Be the Tie that Binds”

John Fawcett was born on 6 January 1740. Orphaned at age 12, he gained an appreciation for Scripture, and for Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress, from a young age, but it was under the ministry of George Whitfield in 1755 that he came to faith. He joined a Methodist...

Hymnody: “When the Roll is Called Up Yonder”

James Milton Black (1856–1938) was an American hymnist, youth leader and Sunday school teacher. It is said that Black had a great passion for reaching children with the gospel. One day, while on his way to a meeting, Black cut through an alleyway in order to save...

Hymnody: “This is My Father’s World”

“He loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of the steadfast love of the LORD” (Psalm 33:5). Maltbie Davenport Babcock was an American Presbyterian clergyman and hymn writer in the 19th century. He was born on 3 August 1858 and died on 18 May 1901. In 1882,...

Hymnody: “Day by Day”

Lina Sandell (1832–1903) was a Swedish hymnist and the daughter of Lutheran minister, Jonas Sandell. She greatly loved her father, and since she was a frail child, she frequently spent a great deal of time with him in his study rather than outside with her friends....

CHURCH AFFILIATION

I am a member and an employee of Brackenhurst Baptist Church in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Founded in 1972, Brackenhurst Baptist Church (BBC) exists to glorify God by making disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ in all nations, and seeks to meet people’s spiritual needs through the preaching and teaching of God’s word.

Independent of the Baptist Union of South Africa, BBC is a member of Sola 5, an association of God-centred evangelical churches in Southern Africa.

About Me

I am a Christian, husband, father, church member, and elder from Johannesburg, SOuth Africa.

As a Christian, I adhere to the classic creeds of historic Christianity: the Apostles’ Creed, the Nicene Creed, and the Athanasian Creed. As a Protestant, I hold to the five solas of the Reformation. As a Calvinist, I affirm the doctrines of grace. As a Baptist, I adhere largely, though not minutely, to the 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith. As an evangelical, I affirm the National Association of Evangelicals Statement of Faith.