A Wrong Time for Everything

There’s a right time for everything under the sun (Ecc. 3:1–8). That means, apart from God, we creatures find a wrong time for everything under the sun, too.

Writes Karl Barth (CD IV.2, §65, 413–14):

The stupidity of man consists and expresses itself in the fact that when he is of the opinion that he achieves his true nature and essence apart from the knowledge of God, without hearing and obeying His Word, in this independence and autonomy, he always misses his true nature and essence.

He is always either too soon or too late.

He is asleep when he should be awake, and awake when he should be asleep.

He is silent when he should speak, and he speaks when it is better to be silent.

He laughs when he should weep, and he weeps when he should be comforted and laugh.

He always makes an exception where the rule should be kept, and subjects himself to a law when he should choose in freedom.

He always toils when he should pray, and prays when only work is of any avail.

He always devotes himself to historical and psychological investigation when decisions are demanded, and rushes into decision when historical and psychological investigation is really required.

He is always contentious where it is unnecessary and harmful, and he speaks of peace where he may confidently attack. …

In Eccl. 3 we are given a list of different things for which there is a proper time — in accordance with the fact that God Himself does everything in its own time.

The genius of stupidity is to think everything at the wrong time, to say everything to the wrong people, to do everything in the wrong direction, to lose no opportunity of misunderstanding and being misunderstood, always to omit the one simple and necessary thing which is demanded, and to have a sure instinct for choosing and willing and doing the complicated and superfluous thing which can only disrupt and obstruct.

The 50 Best Books of 2015 (So Far)


2015 is 60% over, and that means all the books for the year have either been released or announced. In the summer months I begin to compile a rough list of about 50 of the potentially best Christian (non-fiction) books of the year into a list that I will use to pick my top choices in November.

[Update: It’s now a list of 60 — thanks for the wonderful suggestions.]

Here’s the list:

Of course I need your help on this community project of trying to pull in all the contenders. Tweet me or comment here: What books from 2015 have I missed?

John Newton Birthday Bash Book Giveaway!


[UPDATE: The contest is now concluded. We had 473 entries to the #JNXL contest. Thank you all! And congratulations to @jreidpatton and @jenniferguo, the winners!]

John Newton turns 290 years old today (Tuesday). In celebration, two randomly drawn winners will get a set of the Theologians on the Christian Life series to date (9 volumes). All thanks to our friends at Crossway Books.

Here’s how to enter.

Beginning right now, post your favorite quote(s) from John Newton (or from the new book) — in Twitter and/or Instagram — using the hashtag #JNXL.

Post as many quotes as you like, but entries are limited.

  • Up to 2 entries on Twitter will be entered (each #JNXL quote is worth 1 entry).
  • Up to 2 entries on Instagram will be entered (Tweets to pics not counted).

If you use Twitter and Instagram, that’s 4 entries per person max.

Don’t have any favorite Newton Tweetables? [hint]

The shipping address for the winning books must be within the continental US.

On Thursday morning (9am central), entries will be collected and one male and one female will be randomly drawn from the entries and will win one set of the 9-volume paperback set of Theologians on the Christian Life. I will contact winners to get addresses later. Contest ends Thursday morning at 9am central time. Winners will have 12 hours to respond to winning notification or another winner will be chosen.

Two winners will get all this $135 goodness for free (paperbacks):