Honoring Christ Online: An Interview with Tim Challies by Tim Challies | Reformed Theology Articles at Ligonier.org.
This month’s Tabletalk includes an interview with Christian blogger and pastor Tim Challies (challies.com – “Informing the Reforming”). This was one of the first blogs I found and started following. And still do, because it is one of the best Christian blogs on the internet. And Challies covers a lot of books, which is one of the things that initially drew me in
This interview contains many interesting items, but of special interest to our readers will be Challies’ description of the value of blogging and other forms of social media by today’s Christian:
TT: How do blogs benefit the church?
TC:The church rightly has a love-hate relationship with blogs and the blogosphere. Unfortunately, though not surprisingly, blogs have been both a great benefit and a great liability to the church. When blogs are at their best, they are a source of biblical exposition, a means of spiritual encouragement, and a source of valuable news and information. On a personal level, bloggers are able to model Christian living and display thoughtful engagement with ideas and competing worldviews. The blogs I appreciate most are those that remain steady, focused, and biblical over the long run.
TT: In an age of rapid social media growth, how should Christians be encouraged or discouraged to use social media?
TC:Social media is a fact of life in the twenty-first century. Many Christians (and non-Christians, for that matter) would make it all go away if they could. However, since that is not going to happen, Christians are being forced to adapt to this new world, and they are being forced to learn to use social media in a way that honors God. Social media itself is not for everyone, and certainly every form of social media is not for everyone.
Christian leaders are finding that if they are to have a voice to the current generation, they need to have a voice that includes at least some forms of social media. As Albert Mohler states in his book The Conviction to Lead, a refusal to take advantage of at least some forms of social media is essentially a refusal to engage an entire generation.
Of course, one of the questions that caught my eye was the one relating to the books that have influenced Challies most:
TT: Excluding the bible, what have been the five most influential books in your life and why?
TC: Though I was raised in the Reformed tradition, I drifted into the Evangelical mainstream shortly after I got married and left my parents’ home. There were several books that were instrumental in showing me that sound doctrine really does matter and that served to rekindle my love for Reformed theology. John MacArthur’s Ashamed of the Gospelexposed the church I was attending as being driven by pragmatism rather than Scripture; James Montgomery Boice’s Whatever Happened to the Gospel of Grace? showed me the beauty of sound doctrine while R.C.Sproul’s The Holiness of Godopened my eyes to the sheer wonder and majesty of God. Those three books played a pivotal role in my life; they were just the books I needed within a very particular circumstance, and I regard it as the Lord’s kindness that He exposed me to all three of them.
Since then, John Owen’s Overcoming Sin and Temptationis one I have returned to often as I’ve done battle with sin, while Jerry Bridges’ The Discipline of Gracehas taught me the value of preaching the gospel to myself and ensuring that the gospel is instrumental, not supplemental, to all of faith and practice.
You will find the rest of the interview at the Ligonier link above. And if you haven’t visited challies.com, it’s time you did.