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9Marks Explained : A Letter From Mark Dever

Jonathan Leeman

Blog posts by Jonathan Leeman:

My Congregation Barely Sings; How Can I Help?

Spend some time with members of a Khosa church in South Africa, and you will quickly discover how wonderfully they sing. No instruments. No microphones. One individual leading, the rest following. Many hands clapping. And how they join their voices in full-throated praise!

The Two Paths Out of Trials

There are two paths for people to take in the midst of trials. They can take the path of self-reliance or the path of trusting in God.

The path of self-reliance sometimes sounds like angry recriminations against God, sometimes an upbeat can-do attitude. But in both cases God is rejected. Maybe he didn't cause the trial, but he surely could have prevented it. So he is charged, convicted, and imprisoned.

The Good News of the Father’s Conditional Love for the Son

I assume it’s a foregone conclusion among many—maybe most?—evangelical Christians that the greatest love in all the universe is God’s unconditional love.

And it’s not just evangelicals, but Americans generally. Just last Sunday the preacher pulled out these Katy Perry lyrics:

I will love you unconditionally,

There is no fear now,

Come just as you are to me.

Opening Ceremonies: Has Putin Passed Us by Falling Behind Us?

A friend emailed me and a couple of other brothers this on Saturday night. I thought it was interesting enough I asked him if I could post it. Without further ado...

Non-Congregationalists, Stop Firing Your Church Members!

Three cheers to The Gospel Coalition for posting two articles on church government last Friday. Congregationalist Hunter Powell and his Presbyterian friend Mark Jones put on their wrestling shoes and went after it.

High Schoolers: What You Really Want In a College

Autumn represents that time of year when high school seniors and others make final decisions about where to apply to college. Early application deadlines are due in November, while regular deadlines come in January.

What does the average senior look for in a college? People generally want to maximize the balance between a school’s academic prestige, cost, location, social life, extracurricular programs, and so forth. All reasonable variables to consider.

Why Christians Should Wax Weepy with Wax


I am grateful for Trevin Wax’s blog post “I Weep for Miley.” And I want to tell you why: it joins a genre of Christian literature that is rare but appropriate—the cultural lamentation.

Connecting Evangelism and Church

Is evangelism an individual sport or a team sport? Really, it’s both.

Think of fishing. There are times you might saunter down to the dock by your lonesome, dangle your feet off the side, and cast in a line. But ask the men on an ocean trawler what it takes to haul a ton of wriggling mackerel out of writhing seawaters. They desperately need one another.

How God's Wrath Equals and Reveals God's Worth


The "penal" in the doctrine of penal substitution, being tied to God's wrath, has long been a source of controversy inside the church and out. It's criticized as overly "legal" or "forensic." People want to look to the cross and talk about Christ's love, not his enduring the divine penalty.

May I boast about my church?

You know how the apostle Paul sometimes boasted about his churches (see 2 Cor. 9:2; 2 Thes. 1:4; cf. Phil. 2:16). Will you let me boast for just a moment?

This morning I caught the bus and then the subway which take me to the office. Sarah, a member of the church, shared the same commute. Along the way, she told me about the work she and her husband did over the weekend caring for a homeless woman. They housed her for a night. They took her to collect her things from a troublesome man's house. They talked gospel throughout.