The Church's Indispensable Members

John Knight
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

Josh Etter
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

Narnia Helps Us Live Better Here

Joe Rigney
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

Jonathan Parnell
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

Josh Etter
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

Josh Etter

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:

They write:

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

John Piper
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

Jonathan Parnell

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

The Power of the Devil Is Alarming

Josh Etter
The Power of the Devil Is Alarming

Martyn Lloyd-Jones writes:

The power of the devil is alarming. Our Lord says to Peter, Satan has desired to have you, that he may sift you like wheat. These are indications of his tremendous power. But perhaps the ultimate proof of the power, and the confidence, and the ability of the devil, is to be found in the fact that he did not hesitate to tempt and to attack even the Son of God himself. He approached him with confidence, with assurance, for he had defeated all... Continue Reading