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Posts by Joe Cristman

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Top Books of 2023


I love reading, and I love talking about reading. I particualrly like recommending good books, and receiving recommendations on good books. Each year I read roughly 80 or so books, and those that stand out as the most helpful and enjoyable end up on my "Top Books" list. My disclaimer: A book listed here does not mean I endorse 100% of the book, but rather, that I enjoyed i...

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Takeaways from the PCA's 50th General Assembly


Each year, Pastors and Elders of the Presbyterian Church in America(PCA) gather from all across the country to deal with denominational business. It's a wonderful time of worship, fellowship, and important church business. This gathering each year is called the General Assembly, and this year, the PCA held it's 50th General Assembly. It was a year of celebration, as we mar...

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Why Christians Shouldn't Watch "The Chosen" (Or similar productions)


I don't watch much television these days, and don't tend to keep up with what is new or popular on tv. One show, however, has caught my attention because of its notoriety, and it's subject matter. The Chosen, which has been on air for a few years now, seeks to depict the life and ministry of Jesus Christ in the form of a television series. The series has been met with rave...

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The New Study Bible You Should Know About

CH study bible

At the end of 2022, Crossway unveiled it's new Church History Study Bible. This long anticipated project promised to produce a Study Bible unlike any other. The notes in this Bible would be from key figures in church history, and represent the best commentary on the text from time tested sources such as Augustine, Calvin, Luther, and more. The Bible has now been released, ...

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Why Our Family Says No To Santa


Around this time each year, several christian parents will approach me with the same question "What should we do with Santa?" Well intentioned christian parents are trying to figure out what is the best approach to this cultural tradition. Most christian parents I know recognize there are obvious issues with this cultural phenomenon, and yet there are also varying reason...

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Book Review: The Sabbath as Rest and Hope for the People of God by Guy Waters


I'd assume that most of the American-Evangelical church does not consider Sunday to be the Sabbath. In fact, I'd assume most Western-American Christians don't even have a category of Sabbath as a still functioning ordinance today. For whatever reason it may be, most christians in our day consider Sunday to be a "2nd Saturday" with the only substantive difference being ...

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One Pastor's Thoughts On This Year's Overtures


Every year dozens of Overtures are sent to the General Assembly of our denomination for consideration. For those who aren't aware of our polity and process, an Overture is a proposal from a lower court (think church or presbytery) to a higher court (the General Assembly) with regard to a specific action. In short, it's how things change in our denomination. Each year, do...

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Most Helpful Commentaries on Revelation

revelation commentaries

I have been blessed richly by the book of Revelation. Having had the privilege to preach through the entire book over the past 10 months, I thought it might be helpful to share which commentaries I found to be the most helpful. Most Helpful: 1.) Revelation: A Shorter Commentary by G.K. Beale (Eerdmans) Every time I preach through a book of the Bible, I read throug...

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7 Takeaways from Revelation

Jesus Wins

Over the course of the last year, I was given the privilege to preach through the entire book of Revelation. It took 10 months, and 30 sermons to work through the entire book, and as I look back, I share these 7 takeaways, with the hope of enticing you to go and read the book of Revelation for yourself. 1. The Reality Of Spiritual Warfare The Christian life is far more...

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Best Books of 2021


Every year I read many good books, but some stand out above the rest. What follows is my annual recap of the best books I read during the previous year. New to this year's post, I am also including a longer list of books, which didn't make the top list this year, but were still enjoyable or helpful. I didn't get to as many books as I usually do in 2021, due to having our ...

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Book Review: With A Mighty Triumph! by Rhett Dodson


Pastor Dodson has written another incredibly helpful resource for christians today. All of Dodson's works are biblically saturated, and easily accessible. This short book on the doctrine of the resurrection, is an exposition of 1 Corinthians 15. Broken into 6 small, but meaty chapters, the book seeks to both explain, and apply the truths c...

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A New Map of American Presbyterianism


When I was studying for my ordination exams in the PCA, one field of study which took up much of my time was the history of Presbyterianism in America. I used several different resources, but one of the most helpful was a graph I came upon that tries it's best to depict the several different presbyterian denominations, and how they relate to one another over history. This ...

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How to Read More; Better


I love reading. It is my single favorite hobby to do in life. Those who know me best, will regularly hear me discussing something I am currently reading, or have recently read. As people have come to know me as an avid reader, I often hear the same sentiment- "I wish I read more". I find myself regularly encouraging others in ways to grow as a reader, and in turn, read m...

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Commentaries on John

john commentaries

I spent over a year and a half preaching through the Gospel according to John. Preaching through John was one of the most encouraging, and enjoyable experiences I have had as a Pastor. I thought it may be helpful to list out a few of the most helpful resources that served my preparation well. Most Helpful: 1. The Gospel according to John by D.A. Carson (Pillar NT) T...

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