Author: Ryan Burns

Sullied Streams of Great Saints

I started reading John Piper’s The Legacy of Sovereign Joy: God’s Triumphant Grace in the Lives of Augustine, Luther, and Calvin the other night. In his intro about the importance of studying the great saints of the past, Piper reminded me, through the words of Luther, how often I stop there and how insufficient that is. In his (and Luther’s words): But let us be admonished, finally, from the mouth of Luther that the only original, true, and life-giving spring is the Word of God. Beware of replacing the pure mountain spring of Scripture with the sullied streams of...

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Valley of Vision – Praying with Puritans

I am indebted to Joe Thorn, pastor of Redeemer Fellowship in Saint Charles, IL, as he has help to inspire an awakening of prayer in my life. He recently shared on his blog a discipline he’s incorporated into his life of stopping, three times a day, to meet with God in prayer. This isn’t simply a time of spontaneous prayer, rather Joe sits down for a few minutes with great men and women of faith from the 16th and 17th century and communes with God through the prayers that they prayed. The Valley of Vision is a collection of...

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Charles Spurgeon on Death

I can’t say that many books I read talk about death much, however I find that it is a topic that I often encounter when reading Charles Spurgeon. What is even more interesting (in a good way) is that I always leave Spurgeon’s writings on the subject with greater peace and comfort. Here are two excerpts that I’ve found particularly encouraging to my soul (emphasis mine): Oftentimes we look forward with forebodings to the time of old age, forgetful that at eventide it shall be light. To many saints, old age is the choicest season in their lives. A...

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Baptism: Its Purpose, Practice and Power

I was flipping through my Logos library the other day and randomly came across Michael Green’s, Baptism: Its Purpose, Practice and Power (Logos | Amazon). I decided to give it a glance, and I’m really glad I did. I’m only two chapters in, but I have to say that I am really enjoying Green’s clear and balanced handling of the subject. In the first chapter Green looked through the lens of various denominations (baptismal traditions) and wonderfully articulated that there is something important to be gained from the three predominate views. He explains: So, as we turn from the...

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John Calvin and Singing from the Heart

I wrote the other day about John Calvin’s call for depth in the music we sing in church. In it was a challenge for those who lead worship to not simply play and sing in such a way as to “tickle the ears” of the listeners, but to sing deep, theological songs that glorify God. Today, I was reading another sections of his Institutes that was directed towards musical worship. In it, John Calvin reminds worshipers that the heart is just as important in worship as the songs and words. In clear Calvin form, he explains it like this...

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