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Rooted & Unwithered

Rooted & Unwithered

By B. C. Newton

Audio recordings of B. C. Newton, both new and old, that aim to provide rooted theology for the unwithered church.
Visit bcnewton.co for more resources.
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Judging the Gods | An Exodus Excursus

Rooted & UnwitheredJan 25, 2023

00:00
07:27
AI Isn't Becoming Human; We're Becoming Artificial

AI Isn't Becoming Human; We're Becoming Artificial

Perhaps we are looking at the whole thing from the wrong angle. Instead of being afraid of how intelligent AI is becoming, maybe we should take warning of how artificial we are becoming. For the links referenced, visit the article here.
Mar 30, 202308:17
By Streams of Water | Psalm 1:3

By Streams of Water | Psalm 1:3

Christian, if you do not delight in and meditate upon God’s Word, you are planting yourself in a parched, desert land. You are depriving yourself of the stream of living water granted to you by our triune God. Plant yourself, therefore, beside this stream, and drink deeply each day. To read this meditation and other resources for knowing and loving God's Word, visit bcnewton.co
Mar 28, 202304:14
Chapter 7: Self-Examination

Chapter 7: Self-Examination

This is my discussion of the seventh chapter of Thomas Watson's book, Heaven Taken by Storm, from 2020. Visit bcnewton.co for more resources for knowing and loving God's Word. Questions for Reflection Have you practiced self-reflection as a spiritual discipline in the past? If so, how has Watson changed how you view the practice? Why is rooting our self-examination in the Word of God so important? What are some practical steps that you might take for practicing self-examination going forward?
Mar 26, 202317:33
The Preacher's Confidence

The Preacher's Confidence

Do not lose heart, brother pastor, and keep preaching the Word. The fruit of the seed is in God’s hand; let us devote ourselves to faithfully sowing the Word. For more articles and resources for knowing and loving God's Word, visit bcnewton.co
Mar 23, 202304:36
He Is Like a Tree | Psalm 1:3

He Is Like a Tree | Psalm 1:3

Root yourself in the forest of God’s kingdom today by giving your time and trust to God’s holy Word. For more rooted theology for the unwithered church, visit bcnewton.co
Mar 21, 202304:43
Chapter 6: Meditation

Chapter 6: Meditation

This is my discussion of the sixth chapter of Thomas Watson's book, Heaven Taken by Storm, from 2020. Visit bcnewton.co for more resources for knowing and loving God's Word. Questions for Reflection How did you understand meditation before reading this chapter? How has your understanding of meditation changed now that you have read Watson’s thoughts on the subject? Which of Watson’s six matters for meditation most stood out to you? Why? How do you plan to make meditating upon Scripture a regular practice in your life? For further information on biblical meditation, I suggest reading David Saxton’s book, God’s Battle Plan for the Mind. You can read my review here.
Mar 19, 202323:22
The American Nightmare?

The American Nightmare?

I am no prophet to be able to predict the future success or defeat of the American Dream. I do know, however, that “what has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done; and there is nothing new under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9). We should not be surprised, therefore, to find our society repeating itself. For more rooted theology for the unwithered church, visit bcnewton.co
Mar 16, 202305:28
He Meditates Day and Night | Psalm 1:2

He Meditates Day and Night | Psalm 1:2

Blessed are those whose delight in God’s law is evidenced by their constant chewing and tasting of its eternal truths. For more meditations and other resources for knowing and loving God's Word, visit bcnewton.co
Mar 14, 202304:21
Chapters 4-5: Hearing the Word & Prayer

Chapters 4-5: Hearing the Word & Prayer

This is my discussion of the fourth and fifth chapters of Thomas Watson's book, Heaven Taken by Storm, from 2020. Visit bcnewton.co for more resources for knowing and loving God's Word. Questions for Reflection What does Watson mean by hearing the Word? Do you attend to the hearing of the Word with the devotion that he describes? Are your prayers marked by holy violence? Which of Watson’s points to consider most stirs up your heart to and in prayer?
Mar 12, 202326:54
C. S. Lewis, Fantasy, & Scaring Children

C. S. Lewis, Fantasy, & Scaring Children

It is our responsibility as parents to instruct our children how to guard against the wiles of the world while also preserving their innocence. We do our children no favor by presenting a fantasy of the world as harmless to our children. For more rooted theology for the unwithered church, visit bcnewton.co
Mar 09, 202305:22
His Delight Is in the Law of the LORD | Psalm 1:2

His Delight Is in the Law of the LORD | Psalm 1:2

Blessed are those who delight in God’s law, for by it they behold the Blessed One. For more meditations and other resources for knowing and loving God's Word, visit bcnewton.co
Mar 07, 202303:13
Procrastination, or, The Sin and Folly of Depending on Future Time | A Sermon by Jonathan Edwards

Procrastination, or, The Sin and Folly of Depending on Future Time | A Sermon by Jonathan Edwards

Dead Men Preaching is a monthly series aimed at bringing sermons from the past into the ears of the present. This month's sermon is by Jonathan Edwards on procrastination, his text being Proverbs 27:1: Boast not thyself of to-morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth. For more sermons and other resources for knowing and loving God's Word, visit bcnewton.co
Mar 05, 202301:01:00
To Manuscript Or Not to Manuscript?

To Manuscript Or Not to Manuscript?

That is the question that every preacher must ask, and he must answer that question for himself in accordance with the wisdom of the Spirit. I know plenty of faithful fellow preachers on both sides of the question. Even so, here is my experience attempting to answer the question. To read this article and other resources for knowing and loving God's Word, visit bcnewton.co
Mar 02, 202307:07
The Seat of Scoffers | Psalm 1:1

The Seat of Scoffers | Psalm 1:1

Blessed are those who turn away from the seat of scoffers, choosing to prize rather than ridicule the wisdom of God. For more meditations and other resources for knowing and loving God's Word, visit bcnewton.co
Feb 28, 202304:13
Chapters 2-3: Self-Violence & Reading the Word

Chapters 2-3: Self-Violence & Reading the Word

This is my discussion of the second and third chapters of Thomas Watson's book, Heaven Taken by Storm, from 2020. Visit bcnewton.co for more resources for knowing and loving God's Word. Chapter Two Outline Mortification of Sin Provocation to Duty Chapter Three Outline Each paragraph in this chapter is essentially its own attempt to give us “a right notion of Scripture” so that our desire would be to read it diligently. Read the Word as…a book made by God Himself. a perfect rule of faith. a soul-enriching treasury. a book of evidences. a spiritual magazine out of which you fetch all your weapons to fight against sin and Satan. a spiritual glass to dress yourself by. a book of spiritual recipes. a sovereign elixir to comfort you in distress. the last will and testament of Christ. a book by which you must be judged. Questions for Reflection What reasons does Watson give for mortifying sin? Do you agree that prayer is the best means of battling sin? In what ways do you find your heart sluggish to the things of God? Which of Watson’s descriptions of God’s Word stood out most to you? Why? How might you become more diligent in reading the Word?
Feb 26, 202319:13
Facing an Empty Planet and the Shock of Global Population Decline

Facing an Empty Planet and the Shock of Global Population Decline

In 1968, Paul Ehrlich published his bestselling book, The Population Bomb, which predicted the apocalyptic death of millions in the 70s and 80s as the result of over-population. Surely you have heard the nutshell of his argument before: the earth and its resources simply cannot sustain humanity’s ever-growing population. Sixty years later, the fact that nearly all of his predictions have failed to come true did not stop the now ninety-year-old from doubling-down on the disaster of over-population on 60 Minutes just last month. And many people are still in agreement with his assessment. Darrell Bricker and John Ibbitson make a case that the global population is actually looking at the very opposite problem: a population bust rather than a bomb. In their book, Empty Planet: The Shock of Global Population Decline, they aim to dismantle several common population myths.  To read this article and other resources for knowing and loving God's Word, visit bcnewton.co
Feb 23, 202313:49
The Way of Sinners | Psalm 1:1

The Way of Sinners | Psalm 1:1

Blessed are those who avoid the way of sinners, who turn away from the path of evil and pursue the wisdom and righteousness of the LORD. To read this meditation and other resources for knowing and loving God's Word, visit bcnewton.co
Feb 21, 202303:60
Chapter 1: Taking Heaven by Violence

Chapter 1: Taking Heaven by Violence

This is my discussion of the first chapter of Thomas Watson's book, Heaven Taken by Storm, from 2020.  Visit bcnewton.co for more resources for knowing and loving God's Word.  Chapter Outline Introducing the text (pp. 1-3) Violence Concerning Magistrates (pp. 3-4)In punishing the guilty (p. 3) In defending the innocent (pp. 3-4) Violence Concerning Christians (pp. 4-7) What this violence is not (pp. 4-5)An ignorant violence (p. 4) A bloody violence (pp. 4-5)Toward oneself Toward another What this holy violence is (pp. 5-7)Violent for the truth (pp. 5-6) Violent for our own salvation (p. 7) What is implied in this holy violence? (pp. 7-8)resolution of will vigor of affection strength of endeavor the many ways of offering violenceto himself to Satan to the world, and to heaven Questions for Reflection Do you agree with Watson’s premise that “it is easy to talk of heaven, but not to get to heaven?” Why or why not? How can we both be violent in our pursuit of heaven while also resting totally in the finished work of Christ? How do our will, affections, and strength relate to one another? Is there a significance in Watson’s ordering of the three? In what ways are you hoping the rest of this book will be a challenge to you?
Feb 19, 202326:05
The Counsel of the Wicked | Psalm 1:1

The Counsel of the Wicked | Psalm 1:1

The only way not to walk in the counsel of the wicked is to walk according to the counsel of the Scriptures. To read this meditation and other resources for knowing and loving God's Word, visit bcnewton.co
Feb 14, 202303:43
Introduction to Thomas Watson & the Puritans

Introduction to Thomas Watson & the Puritans

Here is a brief introduction to the book Heaven Taken by Storm, its author Thomas Watson, and the Puritans in general.  For more resources for knowing and loving God's Word, visit bcnewton.co
Feb 12, 202316:42
Birthdays & Death(days)

Birthdays & Death(days)

Wise men and women somberly, but boldly, look death in the face, praying for God’s grace to keep them from wasting their limited time here on earth. To read this article and other resources, visit bcnewton.co
Feb 09, 202310:45
Blessed Is the Man | Psalm 1:1

Blessed Is the Man | Psalm 1:1

Indeed, the blessed man is the focal point of the psalm, and he is described by action (meditating on God’s law), by comparison (like a tree), and in contrast to the wicked. Biblically, to be blessed is to be favored by God. Conversely, the wicked are disconnected from God, still “alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds” (Colossians 1:21). To belong to God means being blessed, wise, and alive, while rejecting God is wickedness, foolishness, and death. And each and every person must walk down one of these two paths. There is no third option. To read this meditations and other resources for knowing and loving God's Word, visit bcnewton.co
Feb 07, 202302:57
Parting Counsels | A Sermon from Thomas Watson

Parting Counsels | A Sermon from Thomas Watson

The first Sunday of each month I will be recording sermons from church history for a series called Dead Men Preaching. I recorded a reading of this sermon by Thomas Watson back in 2020 whenever our church read through Heaven Taken by Storm together. Titled “Parting Counsels”, Watson delivered this message to his church after the Act of Uniformity ejected him from the pastorate. The best place to read this and other sermons from this time is Sermons of the Great Ejection from the Puritan Paperback series. For more sermons and resources for knowing and loving God's Word, visit bcnewton.co
Feb 05, 202345:30
How Accurately Do You Remember the Exodus Story?

How Accurately Do You Remember the Exodus Story?

From Israel’s enslavement in Egypt to their wondrous crossing of the Red Sea, the first fourteen chapters of Exodus are some of the most well-known stories in all of Scripture, which added a degree of gravity to preaching through them last year. Yet, as is almost always the case, well-known is a bit of a misnomer. It would probably be more accurate to say that we think that we know exodus story. The reality is that most of us remember the broad story beats: slavery, Moses in a basket, burning bush, plagues, Red Sea. And we allow our imaginations, films, or a combination of both to fill in some of the details. To read this article and other resources for knowing and loving God's Word, visit bcnewton.co
Feb 02, 202309:24
Rooted & Unwithered: Meditating Through Psalm 1

Rooted & Unwithered: Meditating Through Psalm 1

My goal is not to say all that could be said about Psalm 1; instead, I simply hope to present enough thought on each phrase of this psalm to provoke further meditation in you, the reader. I pray that you take these nuggets of Scripture, easily memorized, and ponder them in your heart and mind throughout the day and week. For more meditations and resources for knowing and loving God's Word, visit bcnewton.co
Jan 31, 202302:50
Judging the Gods | An Exodus Excursus

Judging the Gods | An Exodus Excursus

God’s execution of judgment upon the gods of Egypt was not simply upon an abstraction but upon the actual demons that reveled in such worship. The LORD judged them by exposing them as the frauds, the vanities, that they are. They called themselves divine, masquerading as being sovereign over particular domains of creation, yet Yahweh displayed with each sign that He “is the blessed and only Sovereign” (1 Timothy 6:15). To read this article as well as other resources for knowing and loving Scripture, visit bcnewton.co
Jan 25, 202307:27
Rethinking the Relationship Between Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, & the Song of Songs

Rethinking the Relationship Between Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, & the Song of Songs

Proverbs 1-9 and Song of Songs certainly can be seen as giving a similar message with emphasis toward boys and girls respectively. Yet rather than seeing Proverbs 31 as a boy-centered conclusion to Proverbs, I believe it provides a significant meeting of those two themes. To read this article and more resources, visit bcnewton.co
Jan 17, 202310:51
Why Did God Harden Pharaoh's Heart? | An Exodus Excursus

Why Did God Harden Pharaoh's Heart? | An Exodus Excursus

While Exodus does not explicitly give a reason, it certainly comes pretty close to doing so. Consider God’s words to Pharaoh in Exodus 9:16, while warning of the plague of hail: “But for this purpose I have raised you up, to show you my power, so that my name may be proclaimed in all the earth.” God could have erased all of Egypt in the blink of an eye. He could have rained fire and sulfur upon them until the whole country was nothing but ash and dust, just as He did to Sodom and Gomorrah. However, God had other plans. Repeatedly, God has said that both Israel and Egypt will come to know that He is the LORD, that He is Yahweh. So, God raised up Pharaoh for the purpose of displaying the power and greatness of His name through the defiant king. To read this article and other resources, visit bcnewton.co
Jan 11, 202308:43
Six Principles for Reading the Bible

Six Principles for Reading the Bible

These six principles that governed how Henry commented upon Scripture should, likewise, govern how we read Scripture. Read to this article and other resources, visit bcnewton.co
Jan 04, 202307:43
I Am with You | Haggai 1:12-15

I Am with You | Haggai 1:12-15

Preached January 26, 2020 To read this sermon and other resources, visit bcnewton.co
Jan 01, 202339:15
Deceiving the Serpent: Was It Sin for the Midwives to Deceive Pharaoh?

Deceiving the Serpent: Was It Sin for the Midwives to Deceive Pharaoh?

Even if we were to study a book of the Bible one verse at a time, there would still be no way extracting every nugget of truth and wisdom from its pages, so given the pace with which we will be studying Exodus (often moving one chapter or more per week), there will obviously be many items of discussion that we will simply will not have time to dive into on Sunday mornings. I hope to present the most significant and interesting of these in articles called An Exodus Excursus later in the week, which, of course, is exactly what this is. So, let’s dive into the topic at hand: in Exodus 1, did the Hebrew midwives sin by deceiving Pharaoh? To read this article and find more resources, visit bcnewton.co
Dec 28, 202207:30
Consider Your Ways | Haggai 1:2-11

Consider Your Ways | Haggai 1:2-11

Preached January 19, 2020 To read this sermon and other resources, visit bcnewton.co
Dec 25, 202245:37
Favorite Books of 2022

Favorite Books of 2022

To read this articles and other resources, visit bcnewton.co
Dec 21, 202212:30
Prologue to Haggai | Haggai 1:1

Prologue to Haggai | Haggai 1:1

Preached January 12, 2020 To read this sermon and other resources, visit bcnewton.co
Dec 18, 202240:31
Forgiveness Might Not Mean What You Think It Means

Forgiveness Might Not Mean What You Think It Means

A common assumption seems to be that forgiveness of a debt means simply wiping it out of existence altogether as if it never happened at all. Unfortunately, that is not how debt works. To read this article and other resources, visit bcnewton.co
Dec 14, 202204:58
Not of This World | John 18:28-19:16

Not of This World | John 18:28-19:16

Preached on January 5, 2020  To read this sermon and other resources for knowing and applying the Bible, visit bcnewton.co
Dec 11, 202234:58
Allow Me to Vent: How Not to Be a Grumbling Israelite

Allow Me to Vent: How Not to Be a Grumbling Israelite

Grumbling, like all other sins, brings judgment and destruction. Yet the danger with grumbling is that, again, it comes naturally to us all as well as being so easy to excuse and even justify. For example, have you ever began to complain by saying something like "I just need to vent for a minute"? Or maybe you end by saying facetiously, "Sorry for the rant!" What is really being said is, "Grant me moral immunity to grumble for a moment." To read this article and other resources, visit bcnewton.co
Dec 07, 202206:06
Loving Those the Woke Leaves Broke

Loving Those the Woke Leaves Broke

While the culture war continues to rage, I would like to very briefly ask my brothers and sisters in Christ to poke our heads above the fray of headlines and to consider the years ahead and how they might impact our actions today. To read this article and more resources, visit bcnewton.co
Dec 03, 202205:37
Valiant-for-truth, Enchanted Ground, & Death

Valiant-for-truth, Enchanted Ground, & Death

After last reading of the pilgrims’ assault and triumph over Giant Despair and of their coming to the Delectable Mountains and what the Shepherds there revealed to them, we come now to the end of their journey and to the end of John Bunyan's The Pilgrim's Progress. In these final pages, the company meets two more worthy pilgrims, Mr. Valiant-for-truth and Mr. Steadfast. They also pass through the Enchanted Ground into Beulah Land, where Christiana and many others are summoned to cross the River Death into the Celestial City. For more resources, visit bcnewton.co
Nov 19, 202211:08
Despair & the Shepherds

Despair & the Shepherds

In our previous reading, Christiana and her ever-increasing company of pilgrims added Feeble-mind and Ready-to-Halt as well as Gaius' daughter, Phoebe, as James' wife. They then came to the town of Vanity and stayed in the house of Mnason, finding the town much less hostile to pilgrims that it was during Christian’s time. While staying there, Great-heart and several other worthy men fought back a great monster that had periodically plagued the town. In our present reading, the pilgrims continue on their journey, where they fight against Giant Despair and come after to the Shepherds upon the Delectable Mountains. For more resources, visit bcnewton.co
Nov 12, 202210:16
Feeble-mind & a Monster

Feeble-mind & a Monster

When we last left Christiana and her companions, they added another pilgrim to their party, an older man named Honest, and then came upon the house of Gaius, where they were able to stay for over a month. We pick up the story once more with the pilgrims still resting in Gaius' house. Here we will read of how Gaius employed Great-heart's service in ridding the land of a fearsome giant named Slay-good, how they met another pilgrim named Feeble-mind, and how, after leaving Gaius, they came to the town of Vanity and of what they found there. For more resources, visit bcnewton.co
Nov 05, 202212:58
Honest, Fearing, & Gaius

Honest, Fearing, & Gaius

Having previously ventured through the Valleys of Humiliation and the Shadow of Death and defeated the giant Maul in combat, we continue onward with the pilgrims' journey. Over the course of this stage, they meet a fellow pilgrim named Honest, who recounts for them the pilgrimages of Mr. Fearing and Mr. Self-will. Lastly, they are greeted warmly into the home of Gaius. For more resources, visit bcnewton.co
Oct 29, 202212:07
The Valleys of Humiliation & the Shadow of Death

The Valleys of Humiliation & the Shadow of Death

In our previous reading, the pilgrims left the Arbour and passed by the dread of the giant Grim to come to the Porter's Lodge called Beautiful. There they resided for more than a month. In this week's pages, we read of the pilgrims' next stage of their journey, wherein they must pass through the valleys of humiliation and the shadow of death. For more resources, visit bcnewton.co
Oct 22, 202212:25
Catechisms at Beautiful

Catechisms at Beautiful

When we last left Christiana and her fellow pilgrims, they had left Interpreter's House with a new companion to be their guide and protector, Great-heart. Together they came upon the place of deliverance, found the hanged bodies of Simple, Sloth, and Presumption, and began their climb up the Hill of Difficulty. In our present reading, the pilgrims face Grim the giant and find a lengthy lodging at the House Beautiful.
Oct 15, 202212:59
Journey to House Beautiful

Journey to House Beautiful

In our previous reading, Christiana and the other pilgrims came to Interpreter's House, where they were given a warm and joyful welcome since Interpreter had already received word that Christian's family had finally become pilgrims themselves. Having shown the travelers a number of lessons, they were ready again to set out. In these pages, the pilgrims come to the place of deliverance and discuss the imputation of righteousness, come upon men hanged as a warning, and start up the hill of difficulty. For more resources, visit bcnewton.co 
Oct 07, 202209:30
Lessons at Interpreter's House

Lessons at Interpreter's House

In our previous reading, Christiana, her four sons, and Mercy set forth upon their journey and entered through the Wicket-Gate. Though Mercy was fearful of being rejected for not having a received a letter from the King as Christiana had, the Keeper assured her of her acceptance. In our present section, the pilgrims continue along the path and, after escaping an assault, come the house of Interpreter, where they are shown many illustrations that will serve to instruct them for the remainder of their travels. For more resources, visit bcnewton.co
Sep 24, 202214:13
Mercy & the Wicket-Gate

Mercy & the Wicket-Gate

Last week, we began our journey reading through the second part of the Pilgrim's Progress. There we met Christiana, Christian's wife, as she wrestled with the guilt of having mocked Christian's desire to become a pilgrim. After some visions in the night and a visit from Secret, Christiana resolved to set forth for the Celestial City herself taking her four sons with her. Our previous reading then closed with Christiana's dialogue with her neighbor Mrs. Timorous, who tried to persuade her not to become a pilgrim. In our present passage, Christiana sets out on her journey with her four children and her young neighbor Mercy, who fears that she will not be permitted to pass through the Wicket-gate because she received no invitation from the King. For more resources, visit bcnewton.co
Sep 17, 202210:07
Christiana, the City of Destruction, and Mrs. Timorous

Christiana, the City of Destruction, and Mrs. Timorous

As we begin reading Part II, we are greeted again by Bunyan who transmits this story to us as the sharing of his dream, and from the very first paragraph, we discover the subject of this tale: Christian's wife and children that he left behind in the City of Destruction. To read more articles and resources, visit bcnewton.co
Sep 10, 202215:08
Dreams, Cannibalism, & the Dangers of Normative Morality

Dreams, Cannibalism, & the Dangers of Normative Morality

A few weeks ago, I dreamed a disturbing dream. As with many dreams, I cannot recall the context nor the setting in great detail, yet Tiff and I were eating a meal with others. We were eating meat, which I came to realize was not beef or pork but human. Everyone at the table ate without hesitation, viewing it no different than any other form of meat. I too ate but with some reservation. Deeply embedded within me, I sensed that something was wrong, that something was erroneous. As I debated, still eating, whether I should ask Tiff later if she felt the same, I awoke. To read more articles and resources, visit bcnewton.co
Aug 05, 202206:24
The River Death & the Celestial City

The River Death & the Celestial City

Having only been blown off course of our initial projected reading schedule by two weeks, we come now to the conclusion of the first part of John Bunyan's The Pilgrim's Progress. Here Christian and Hopeful conclude their pilgrimage and finally arrive at their eternal home in the Celestial City. Of course, while this is the conclusion of Christian's journey, Bunyan wrote a sequel about Christian's wife, Christiana, and after a hiatus for the remainder of July and August, we will begin our study of her pilgrimage in September. For more articles and resources, visit bcnewton.co
Jul 11, 202214:24
The Enchanted Ground, Hopeful's Conversion, & Ignorance

The Enchanted Ground, Hopeful's Conversion, & Ignorance

As we last noted, the content of the ninth stage of Christian's journey was too large for me to adequately capture in one week. Thus, we previously discussed the first half of the stage, particularly Little-faith, Flatterer, and Atheist. Moving on the second half, we shall discuss the Enchanted Ground, Hopeful's testimony, and Ignorance. For more articles and resources, visit bcnewton.co
Jul 08, 202216:07
Little-Faith, Flatterer, & Atheist

Little-Faith, Flatterer, & Atheist

The previous stage took Christian and Hopeful into both the heights and depths of life, which very often do occur back-to-back as Bunyan has described. Now, as has been the pattern since the Valley of Humiliation, Bunyan follows a stage of much action with a stage of much conversation. In the ninth stage, which is bookended by their encounters with Ignorance, the two pilgrims tell the story of Little-Faith, are led into a snare by Flatterer, and enter into the Enchanted Ground. This is the largest reading that we have covered yet, and I soon realized that there was far too much to discuss over the course of one week. Thus, we will break our discussion of this stage into two parts. To read more articles and resources, visit bcnewton.co
Jul 01, 202213:59
Doubting Castle & Giant Despair

Doubting Castle & Giant Despair

After shunning the corrupting company of By-ends and avoiding the pit at Lucre Hill, the pilgrims Christian and Hopeful concluded the previous stage of their journey with the sight and warning of Lot's wife. Now in this eighth stage, the pilgrims meet three settings: the River of Life, Doubting Castle, and the Delectable Mountains.
Jun 23, 202217:47
A Narrow Way Notification

A Narrow Way Notification

There will be no post on The Pilgrim's Progress this week. The 8th Stage lies still before us with its classic description of Christian and Hopeful being caught in the grip of Giant Despair. Given the ever-growing depression and anxiety rates today, our society as a whole seems to be similarly locked in Doubting Castle. With such a heavy and needed discussion paired with my preparation to preach Mark 10:13-16 (a passage equally heavy and needed), I have found that my mind has had the mental space to only focus on one of the two. And sermons always get the right of way. Use this week, therefore, as an opportunity to catch up with the readings if needed or to read ahead if that suits you best. For more articles and resources, visit bcnewton.co
Jun 17, 202201:17
By-ends & Demas

By-ends & Demas

After witnessing the death of his fellow companion, Faithful, under a faux trial at Vanity Fair, our last reading ended with Christian escaping from his cell and setting back on his journey, singing in honor of his victorious brother. Along this stage of Christian's pilgrimage, he is joined by a new companion named Hopeful, and the pilgrims navigate their encounters with By-ends and Demas. For more articles and resources, visit bcnewton.co
Jun 10, 202213:30
Vanity Fair

Vanity Fair

After Talkative's departure, Christian and Faithful continue on to the next stage of their journey. In this week's reading, the two pilgrims meet with Evangelist who prepares them for the suffering and even death that awaits them in the town called Vanity. Once in Vanity Fair, the pilgrims are mocked, arrested, tried, and Faithful is martyred for the faith. For more resources, visit bcnewton.co
Jun 04, 202217:35
Faithful & Talkative

Faithful & Talkative

Having passed through the Valleys of Humiliation and the Shadow of Death, Christian's journey marches onward. On this leg of his travels, we have two distinct parts. First, Christian begins to walk with Faithful and hears of his pilgrimage thus far. Second, Faithful has a dialogue with another traveler named Talkative. For more resources, visit bcnewton.co
May 27, 202217:21
Humiliation, Apollyon, & the Valley of the Shadow of Death

Humiliation, Apollyon, & the Valley of the Shadow of Death

Our reading picks up with Christian setting out from his stay at the House Beautiful. Discretion, Prudence, Piety, and Charity accompany him down to the foot of the hill, the beginning of the Valley of Humiliation. Here Christian discovered a different kind of difficulty. Scaling the Hill of Difficulty left Christian ascending slowly upon his hands and knees, but descending can be just as perilous as the ascent. Indeed, despite Prudence's warning and Christian's wariness, "he caught a slip or two" (59). We should take heed that it is often after a time of rest, peace, and joy that the Tempter strikes hardest, hoping to catch us unprepared. This, of course, is exactly what befell Christian, as Apollyon came to meet him. For more articles and resources, visit bcnewton.co
May 18, 202218:08
Deliverance, Difficulty, & the House Beautiful

Deliverance, Difficulty, & the House Beautiful

In this third stage of Christian's journey to the Celestial City, he finds deliverance from his burden at the cross, loses his roll of assurance on the hill of difficulty, and finds rest at the House Beautiful. 
May 13, 202215:27
Interpreter's House

Interpreter's House

We ended our first week's reading with Christian being sent back to the narrow path toward the wicket-gate by Evangelist. In our present reading, Christian enters the gate, has a brief conversation with Goodwill, and then is given much to meditate upon by Interpreter. For more articles and resources, visit bcnewton.co
May 04, 202217:20
Fleeing the City of Destruction

Fleeing the City of Destruction

As we begin our reading together through The Pilgrim's Progress, we first discuss Christian's flight from the City of Destruction, Pliable's short-lived pilgrimage, and the counsel of Mr. Worldly-Wiseman, applying these moments to our own walk with Christ.  To read this article as well as other resources, visit bcnewton.co
Apr 27, 202215:52
Let's Read The Pilgrim's Progress Together

Let's Read The Pilgrim's Progress Together

Our plan is to read both parts of The Pilgrim’s Progress, although we will likely begin Part II around September. The edition that I will be referencing throughout our reading is produced by Banner of Truth, which is a lovely little hardcover containing both parts, fourteen illustrations, and Scripture references in the margins. Of course, given that the narrative follows the pilgrims along their path, readers should be able to follow along using any edition via the stages of the journey that we will discuss each week. You can find full week-by-week reading plan as well as other resources at bcnewton.co.
Apr 06, 202208:38
Is Disney or Scripture Catechizing Your Child's Imagination?

Is Disney or Scripture Catechizing Your Child's Imagination?

Entertainment producers like Disney, after all, have a tremendous financial incentive for lodging their characters into the imagination of children. Of course, the more fully they are able to catechize children into their narratives the more merchandise they are then able to sell. Yet on an even deeper level, if their tales can become core components of the child’s childhood, then he or she is likely to actively look forward to sharing whichever film or show with his or her own children. In other words, Disney and similar companies are in the multigenerational discipleship game. To read this article and find more resources, visit bcnewton.co
Mar 30, 202214:38
Skin-Deep Secularism: Thoughts on Amazon's Lord of the Rings Series

Skin-Deep Secularism: Thoughts on Amazon's Lord of the Rings Series

I think it was a great choice to set the Amazon's series, The Rings of Power, during the Second Age, depicting the downfall of Númenor. Tolkien wrote the least about the Second Age, so that gives creators a bit more room to go their own route. But I most love the potential that the story of Númenor has to reflect upon our own secular age. Yet, while I will be overjoyed if I am proven wrong, it does not appear that the producers of Amazon’s series understand the heart beneath the story of the fall of the Númenóreans. Read this article and other resources, at bcnewton.co
Mar 23, 202216:13
Should You Watch The Chosen?

Should You Watch The Chosen?

As a pastor, "what do you think about The Chosen?" is a question that I get asked a lot.  Here are my thoughts. 
Mar 16, 202210:36
Visionless in a Visual Age: a few thoughts on the Kyle Rittenhouse trial

Visionless in a Visual Age: a few thoughts on the Kyle Rittenhouse trial

While the Kyle Rittenhouse shootings were captured by three different videos, the trial and its verdict are still incredibly divisive.  How can everyone look at the same evidence and come away with such opposite opinions? The problem isn't what we see but how we see.  Read this article and other resources at bcnewton.co
Mar 09, 202208:04
Livestreaming, Metaverse Services, & the Dangers of Digital Gnosticism and Transhumanism

Livestreaming, Metaverse Services, & the Dangers of Digital Gnosticism and Transhumanism

Is livestreaming into a church service the same as attending physically? What about metaverse services? And what do either have to do with digital gnosticism and transhumanism?  To read this article and other resources, visit: bcnewton.co
Feb 23, 202211:46
Being Authentic Is Not Good Enough

Being Authentic Is Not Good Enough

There is nothing innately noble about being your authentic self, especially whenever our authentic selves are very often wicked. To read this article and other resources visit bcnewton.co
Feb 16, 202208:36
Metaverse Church & the Necessity of the Body

Metaverse Church & the Necessity of the Body

To read the article and other resources, visit bcnewton.co
Feb 09, 202213:34