There's been a lot of talk in the blogosphere this year about the rise of "celebrity pastors" with "rock-star status" and the larger-than-life influence of popular conference speakers whose sermons are downloaded by the thousands. Some have openly decried this development; others are glad that at least pastors are being celebrated. Most of us are somewhere in the middle....Keep Reading
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Christians have a long tradition of referring to elders and deacons as church “officers.” The nomenclature rightly recognizes the role and responsibilities that Scripture gives to our leaders. It also points to the honor due to pastors (1 Tim. 5:17). People show respect to officers, right? I don’t want to downplay any of this. But . . . church membership is an office, too. It’s a job that comes with authority and responsibility. We can call a lieutenant an “officer” without diminishing the honor due to a general. What’s at stake here is not just academic, but pastoral and biblical....
God not only knit you together in your mother’s womb; he also sovereignly orchestrated all the places you would call home — the periods and boundaries of your “dwelling place.” You do not have a home by accident. Your home is an invitation from God to seek God, and a commission from God to help others seek God....
It differs somewhat with the cruise liner mentality because the focus isn’t on the reason why you’d choose to belong to a particular church over another one, but on the reason why you might attend a variety of churches without ever committing to any of them. It’s when you see the church as a restaurant....
What is doctrine? In its basic sense, doctrine is any sort of teaching. The Bible, for example, talks about the teachings of men (Mark 7:7...Keep Reading
One of the greatest needs of our dark times is for the Christian church to regain her true identity and character. To understand what the church is designed to be, the best place to inquire is at its founding in the time of the apostles. "And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers" (Acts 2:42)....Keep Reading
Scripture teaches us to love our neighbor (Leviticus 19:18), and Jesus in his famous story makes the point that our neighbor is whatever person God has placed right in front of us (Luke 10:29...Keep Reading
When the heat of our neighbor's sin singes our conscience and our own creeps in on us, we often respond in fear, cynicism, and hopelessness. This is why we can sing lines like "prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, prone to leave the God I love" with great ease, yet still find it hard to believe God can actually take "my heart, O take and seal it, seal it for Thy courts above....Keep Reading
The answer is that the Bible presents a person as a substance that can do personal and relational things (such as speaking, thinking, feeling, acting). Something that does these personal things in relationship...Keep Reading
We are not as strong in the faith as we think we are. Peter had to find out the hard way when he denied Jesus three times (John 18:15-27). Peter the 'rock' crumbled like a cookie before a slave girl on the night that Jesus was betrayed. And yet we are told that he repented of his failure and was restored by Jesus himself in John 21:15-19. He repented because Jesus prayed f...Keep Reading
All Christians are made differently, but we're also made to work together. As an individual believer you may be a foot or a finger or a follicle, but you are part of a body, the church, and it is as part of that body that you're most yourself...Keep Reading
The Reformation principle of sola Scriptura has to do with the sufficiency of Scripture as our supreme authority in all spiritual matters. Sola Scriptura simply means that all truth necessary for our salvation and spiritual life is taught either explicitly or implicitly in Scripture....Keep Reading
Faithful evangelism is so crucial to the health of a church. The gospel that is grasped is given away. Most Christians agree and even want to see this happen but often struggle with implementing it in their lives. In this post I want to provide a few practical, immediate things that you can do to foster more evangelistic faithfulness....Keep Reading