Author Archives: Kevin DeYoung
Might it say something good and healthy about your convictions and priorities if you gather for corporate worship on December 25 just like you do every other Sunday?
This December 27 to 30 I’ll be in Indianapolis with thousands of college students for our second national Cross Conference. There are lots of good options for students during Christmas break. We don’t want to take away from the good things other evangelical organization are doing to disciple college students for Christ. But with 5 million Christian students in this country, it’s not like there are too many opportunities for students to gather for worship and teaching.
So why should you think about coming to Cross? Or think about encouraging the students in your home, in your church, and in your campus group to register?
Let me give you five reasons.
1. The conference is robustly, deliberately, joyfully, and seriously theological. We love spiritual experiences, but the goal of Cross is not simply an experience. Neither is the aim to give students a series of generically uplifting sermons. We’ve tried to make sure that everything—from the songs to the speakers to the booths to the books—are focused on the authority of the Scriptures, the uniqueness of Christ, and the centrality of the cross. We are praying for an atmosphere of passionate sacrifice, careful thinking, and mission-minded precision.
2. Some students are ready to go. By “go,” I don’t mean go to a conference, but go to the uttermost parts of the earth with the good news of Christ’s atoning death. These students may not need much convincing, but they still need a lot of connecting. They need next steps. They need …
Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising god with a loud voice; and he fell on his face at Jesus’ feet, giving him thanks. Now he was a Samaritan. Then Jesus answered, “Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine?” (Luke 17:15-17)
Everyone reading this blog has reason to give praise to God. The question is whether we will go on our thankless way like the rest of the former lepers, or turn around and fall at Jesus’ feet like the Samaritan. Are you part of the one or one of the nine?
I find it easy to ask God for things. I find it relatively easy to confess sin, perhaps because I have so much of it and feel guilty for it. It is harder for me to give thanks, not because I think I’m too proud to say thank you, but because I don’t have my eyes open to see all that God has done and is doing.
All of us, I imagine, got sick in the past year. And almost all of us got better. Have we given thanks? If we are getting sicker, maybe even approaching death, have we given thanks for the grace to make it this far and for the grace that will lead us home?
There is so much God has done for us: jobs, paid our bills, paying our bills at church, safe travel, safe surgeries, miraculous provision for little babies over the past year. We’ve had good test …
This year’s conference is December 2-3. Magnify is a great opportunity to meet other brothers and sisters from mid-Michigan (and beyond) and hear excellent teaching. It’s also inexpensive–only $5 for students and $10 for adults!
The keynote speaker this year is Ed Welch. Our theme is “Living for Approval, Dying from Rejection.” Here is the schedule:
Friday, December 2
Doors Open at 6:00pm
7:00 – 8:15 Session 1: Fear of Man: Time to Get Lower (Ed Welch)
8:30 – 9:30 Session 2: A conversation between Kevin DeYoung and Ed Welch
Saturday, December 3
7:45 – 8:45 Leader’s Breakfast (special sign up)
9:00 – 10:15 Session 3: Shame: God Raises You Up (Ed Welch)
10:30 – 11:30 Session 4: Bearing Shame and Scoffing Rude: How Christ Carried our Sin and Shame (Kevin DeYoung)
1:00 – 2:00 Session 5: Q/A with Ed Welch and Kevin DeYoung
2:15 – 3:15 Session 6: Shame: Listening to a New Voice (Ed Welch)
Conference ends at 3:30pm
The leader’s breakfast on Saturday morning is designed for church leaders and counselors. Seating is limited and we always fill up, so sign up soon. Ed Welch will also be preaching the two morning services (9:15, 11:00) at University Reformed Church on Sunday. All are welcome.
You can register for the Magnify Conference here.
In case you hadn’t heard, Mike Pence went to see Hamilton last week, and it turns out that the people who star in Hamilton and buy tickets for Hamilton are not a natural constituency for Donald Trump. What this says about Broadway and Main Street, or Red States and Blue States I’ll leave for others to dissect. And whether lecturing the Vice President-Elect was an act of courageous resistance or blinkered rudeness is not what this post is about.
Instead, I want to talk about an old fashioned word: magnanimity.
What is magnanimity? Merriam-Webster defines it as “loftiness of spirit enabling one to bear trouble calmly, to disdain meanness and pettiness, and to display a noble generosity.”
In other words, see Mike Pence’s response to Hamilton-gate (and not so much Donald Trump’s tweets). I understand there is a time to fight, a time to stand your ground, a time to give as good as you get. But this was not one of those times. We must not confuse personal pique with national security. In fact, for most of us, most of the time, we would do well to take Pence’s approach: minimize our own offendedness and praise what we can, even in those who oppose us.
In September 1775, and in again in September 1787, the founding father John Witherspoon preached a sermon to the senior class at Princeton entitled “Christian Magnanimity.” He listed five principles of magnanimity:
1. To attempt great and difficult things.
2. To aspire after great and valuable possessions.
3. To …
It’s been awhile since I’ve done a Book Briefs post, so…
Sometimes when I don’t know the right analysis or the best forward, I figure I can at least pray.
From right here in little old Lansing. Boy can sing.
Q. What do you understand by the providence of God?
A. Providence is the almighty and ever present power of God by which he upholds, as with his hand, heaven and earth and all creatures, and so rules them that lead and blade, rain and drought, fruitful and lean years, food and drink, health and sickness, prosperity and poverty—all things, in fact, come to us not by chance but from his fatherly hand (Heidelberg Catechism Q/A 27).
This is my favorite Lord’s Day in the entire Catechism. I love its poetic description of providence. “Sovereignty” is the word we hear more often. That’s a good word too. But if people run out of the room crying whenever you talk to them about sovereignty, try using the word “providence.” For some people God’s sovereignty sounds like nothing but raw, capricious power: “God has absolute power over all things and you better get used to it.” That kind of thing. And that definition is true in a sense, but divine sovereignty, we must never forget, is sovereignty-for-us. As Eric Liddel’s father remarked in Chariots of Fire, God may be a dictator, but “Aye, he is a benign, loving dictator.”
The definition of providence in the Catechism is stunning. “All things,” yes all things, “come to us not by chance but from his fatherly hand.” That’s a remarkable statement.
And a biblical one too.
To be sure, God’s providence is not an excuse to act foolishly or sinfully. Herod and Pontius Pilate, though they did what God had …