The Church's Indispensable Members
We say, “useless!” God replies, “on the contrary — indispensable!”
Our churches are filled with people who don’t realize how the culture has made a negative impact on their perception of disability.
For those of us with loved ones who live with severe cognitive impairment, it can be frightening to live in an American culture that so highly values ease, transitory wealth, health, and beauty.
Some people (generally not those who go to church) will even say out loud what many... Continue Reading
Pastors, How to Recognize a Wolf-In-The-Making
Pastor John from 1989:
Let me just mention one feature to watch out for in the recognition of wolves. As I have watched the movement from biblical faithfulness to liberalism in persons and institutions that I have known over the years, this feature stands out: An emotional disenchantment with faithfulness to what is old and fixed, and an emotional preoccupation with what is new or fashionable or relevant in the eyes of the world.
Let's try to say it another way:... Continue Reading
Humility and Conviction in Biblical Authority
In this video, John Piper, Tim Keller, and D. A. Carson discuss uncertainty, humility, and conviction as they relate to our use of the Bible.
Watch the video at The Gospel Coalition.
See Pastor John's recent post, The Authority of Preaching for Readers and Non-Readers.
Narnia Helps Us Live Better Here
Many Christian readers, upon discovering additional layers of meaning in the Narnian stories, immediately jump to the conclusion that the Chronicles are allegories. These same readers would be surprised to learn that C. S. Lewis denied multiple times that the stories are allegories.
The Narnian Stories Are Not Allegories
But it is not, as some people think, an allegory (“Letter to Sophia Storr,” in The Collected Letters of C.S. Lewis, vol 3, 1113).
You are mistaken when you... Continue Reading
When Orthodox Christology Is Unprofitable
John Owen writes:
Men profess to know the truth; but they know it not in its proper order, in its harmony in use. It leads them not to Christ, and brings not Christ unto them; and so is lifeless and useless. Hence, oft-times, none are more estranged from the life of God than such as have much notional knowledge of the doctrines of Scripture.For they are all of them useless, and subject to be abused, if they are not improved to form Christ in the soul, and transform... Continue Reading
The Inner Essence of Worship
Pastor John from 2008:
The essential, vital, indispensable, defining heart of worship is the experience of being satisfied with God. This satisfaction in God magnifies God in the heart. This explains why the apostle Paul makes so little distinction between worship as a congregational service and worship as a pattern of daily life. They have the same root – a passion for treasuring God as infinitely valuable. The impulse for singing a hymn and the impulse for visiting a prisoner... Continue Reading
Equipping the Church to Minister to Victims of Sexual Assault
A few months ago we had the privilege of interviewing Justin Holcomb on ministry to victims of sexual assault. Today, Justin and his wife, Lindsey, have published a helpful post over at The Resurgence:
It is important to address the effects of sexual assault with the biblical message of grace and redemption. Jesus responds to victims' pain and past. The message of the gospel redeems what has been destroyed and applies grace to... Continue Reading
11 Ways God Works for Us
Only a few things have gripped me with greater joy than the truth that God loves to show his God-ness by working for me, and that his working for me is always before and under and in any working I do for him.
At first it may sound arrogant of us, and belittling to God, to say that he works for us. But that’s only because of the connotation that I am an employer and God needs a job. That’s not the connotation when the Bible talks about God’s working for us. As in: “God works for... Continue Reading
The Crisis of History Deepens
Lesslie Newbigin writes:
Once the gospel is preached and there is a community which lives by the gospel, then the question of the ultimate meaning of history is posed and other messiahs appear. So the crisis of history is deepened (The Gospel in a Pluralistic Society, [Grand Rapids: Baker, 1989], 122, paragraphing mine).
The advance of the gospel deepens the crisis of history. Newbigin's explanation here is fascinating. Before people are confronted with the gospel, we are... Continue Reading