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Top Ten Posts of 2016

Some of you may have noticed a big change at DennyBurk.com in 2016. I closed down comments on the blog. I didn’t make a big announcement or anything. I just did it. Why? The short answer is that Tim Challies convinced me. After a trial run of closed comments, I eventually wavered and opened them back up. But then I read this article explaining why NPR shut down comments on its website, and that sealed the deal for me. No more comments!

I want to thank all of you who have read and interacted with this site over the last year. I am grateful for every one of you. For those of you who are interested, I give you the top 10 blog posts from 2016. This blog is a combination of content creation and content curation, which means that I sometimes write original material and that at other times I pass on to you items that I find interesting from elsewhere on the interwebs. Both kinds of posts appear on this list, but the vast majority are original pieces. Drum roll, please. Continue Reading →

Our Advent Calendar Tradition

Like many of you, my wife and I are trying to cultivate Christ-centered traditions in our household. And that is no less true during the Christmas season. I thought I would share one thing that we do that some of you readers might wish to incorporate into your family traditions—an advent calendar.

We like the advent calendars because they are about advent—the first coming of Christ in fulfillment of God’s promises. Advent calendars are a way to mark every day of the Christmas season with that singular focus. In our house, the tradition is very simple. Beginning on December 1, we read a daily verse of scripture pertaining to advent season. I will say a few words of instruction about the verse (very short!). After the reading, the children take turns opening that day’s door on the calendar. Our calendar is a manger scene. For every figure in the manger scene, my wife and I briefly explain who they are and why they are important. Continue Reading →

A Meditation on Psalm 19

I thank You for this piece of sky
Which often I’ve let fly right by
Without a single thought from whence
It came or by it what is meant.
For day to day it pours forth speech
In words within my soul’s short reach.
And night to night its knowledge pours
Of You Who reigns forevermore.
Its line has gone through all the earth
To tell Your glory and Your worth. Continue Reading →

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A short remembrance of Dr. Charles Ryrie

I was in chapel yesterday when I learned that Dr. Charles Ryrie had passed away at the age of 90. Dr. Ryrie’s name is probably most familiar to evangelicals because of his best-selling Ryrie Study Bible. He is known to students of theology as an ardent proponent of Dispensationalism, a view that he cogently summarized in his popular book Dispensationalism and that he taught for many years at Dallas Theological Seminary.

I will leave it to others to discuss Ryrie’s wider life and legacy. Sandra Glahn has penned a fitting tribute that is worth the read. I simply wish to share briefly about my own experience of the man. I knew Dr. Ryrie during my time as a student at Dallas Theological Seminary. But I didn’t know Ryrie as a professor. He had already moved on from DTS by the time I got there, even though his home was still in Dallas. Continue Reading →

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Top Ten Posts of 2015

I want to thank all of you who have read and interacted with this site over the last year. I am grateful for every one of you. For those of you who are interested, I give you the top 10 blog posts from 2015. This blog is a combination of content creation and content curation, which means that I sometimes write original material and that at other times I pass on to you items that I find interesting from elsewhere on the interwebs. Both kinds of posts appear on this list, but the vast majority are original pieces. Drum roll, please.

10. Bruce or Caitlyn? He or she? Should Christians accommodate transgender naming? – As the next phase of the sexual revolution unfolds, Christians are wondering how to refer to friends and loved ones who identify as transgender. There is more to say on this topic than I have in this post, but this is a start.

9. Seeking the complete financial ruin of a Christian family – This post gives an update on the saga of the Oregon bakers—Christian parents of five children who were forced out of business for refusing to participate in a gay wedding. As of today, this family has had to pay over $135,000 in state-ordered damages.

8. The “least of these” are not the poor but the Christian baker, photographer, and florist – In which I show from scripture that the “least of these” are not the poor in general but are Christians who are suffering mistreatment.

7. The President’s Deeply Dishonest Statement about Life – In his State of the Union Address, President Obama said he wants “every child” to know that their life matters, but he obviously doesn’t mean that.

6. Possible first-century copy of Mark’s Gospel discovered – A controversial report said that a group of scholars were planning to publish what they believe to be a first-century fragment of Mark’s Gospel.

5. How to protect your church against sexual orientation and gender identity lawsuits – This post provides a link to a legal guide explaining how churches, Christian schools, and Christian ministries can get ready for the inevitable challenges to religious liberty that are coming our way. The booklet is very practical and provides a checklist that leaders should work through based on the kind of organization they serve

4. I am a Christian, but I don’t follow Christ – My response to BuzzFeed’s inane viral video “I’m Christian, but I’m not…”

3. Florist rejects AG’s offer, stands courageously on principle, and risks everything – Christian florist Barronelle Stutzman risks everything to follow Christ.

2. The Southern Baptist Convention passes resolution on gay marriage – This is an explanation of a resolution that Andrew Walker and I co-authored and that was passed by the messengers at the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention. The resolution is titled “On the Call to Public Witness on Marriage.”

1. Matt Bevin’s family tragedy and strong Christian faith – Although Matt Bevin is well-known in Kentucky, his story is perhaps not as well-known outside of the state. That was certainly true in November when Kentucky voters elected him to the governorship. This introduction to his strong Christian faith and his connection to Southern Seminary ended up being the most-read blog post of the year.

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Obligatory Letterman Post: The time I almost got on the show…

In July of 2009, my wife and I were in New York City for a trip that was both business and pleasure. I had a meeting to attend in the city, and we came a few days early before my work began so that we could see the Big Apple together for our anniversary.

We got into town on a Thursday morning, and one of the first things I did was to ask the hotel concierge how to get David Letterman tickets. I’m not much of a late night TV guy anymore, but I cut my teeth as a faithful Letterman viewer back in the 80’s. Letterman was still New York to me, and I wanted to see him in person in the Ed Sullivan Theater. The concierge, however, insisted that getting tickets would be more trouble than it was worth and that I probably couldn’t find any even if I tried. So I dropped it. We had plenty to do without trying to crack that egg. Continue Reading →

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Another chance to catch a glimpse of what is coming true!

CalendarWhen I look in the rearview mirror, I see the years gathering up behind me, and I can hardly believe how quickly they’ve piled up. As life rattles forward, it seems the earth makes its annual journey a little quicker than the year before. Where has the time gone?

It’s well past time to start wondering whether there may be more years behind me than there are in front of me. I don’t mean to be dour or macabre in saying such a thing. It’s just that pondering that possibility tends to focus the mind on what God wants it focused on. Numbering our days is how we present to God a heart of wisdom (Psalm 90:10-12). As the ball drops into the silliness of Time Square, it anchors the soul to know how transient we really are (Psalm 39:4). Continue Reading →

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Top Ten Posts of 2014

I want to thank all of you who have read and interacted with this site over the last year. For those of you who are interested, I give you the top 10 blog posts from 2014. This blog is a combination of content creation and content curation, which means that I sometimes write original material and that at other times I pass on to you items that I find interesting from elsewhere on the interwebs. Both kinds of posts appear on this list, but the vast majority are original pieces. Drum roll, please. Continue Reading →

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Top 10 YouTubes of 2014

It’s time for my annual posting of the Top 10 YouTube Videos of the Year (see last year’s list here). This ranking is totally unscientific. Only one person was polled to compile this list—yours truly (although my wife helped a little this year). This year’s slate of videos ranges from profound and poignant to downright silly. I have put the three serious videos at the beginning. The rest of the videos (numbers 4-10) are humorous. They’re not all actual YouTubes. They’re just internet videos. If you think I’ve left something out, let me know. I’ll think about adding it to the “Honorable Mention” category at the bottom.

Continue Reading →

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