Archive for the ‘Well Said’ Category
Posted on October 24th, 2014 by Jonathan
Ten Lessons I learned Pastoring the Same Church for Ten Years: For ten “particularly difficult and yet very special” years, Brian Croft has pastored the same church. Pastors and pastors-to-be will find the lessons he’s learned both encouraging and instructive.
Eight Ways to Redeem That Mission Trip: “Being a good steward of the blessings God gives us includes that we reflect on and treasure them.” David Sills gives us eight ways to do just that on the heels of any mission trip.
The Most Important Reality in Overcoming Sexual Sin: Heath Lambert says that “when we are counseling people who struggle sexually the most important thing we will help them do is to know God.”
The University as a Cross-Cultural Mission: When it comes to sharing your faith, Scott James offers some practical help to those who live and work in a highly-academic, university setting . . . all stemming from a cross-cultural missions mindset.
Posted on October 10th, 2014 by David Burnette
Are You Ready to Speak to the Culture? Over at Baptist 21, Dan Darling of the ERLC talks about why pastors and church leaders must be ready to address difficult questions, particularly on the issue of homosexuality.
Pagans Envying Christians: It is largely Christian missionaries who have responded to the Ebola crisis, and as Ross Douthat notes, this is making some non-Christians in our culture uneasy. Douthat likes the fact that Christians are outshining their pagan neighbors in terms of good deeds. (See, however, Denny Burk’s gentle pushback regarding what qualifies as persecution).
Supreme Court Round-Up: Andrew Walker gathers together a number of responses to this week’s Supreme Court decision regarding so-called same sex marriage. Churches and individual Christians would do well to pay attention to these events, not so we will panic, but rather so that we might pray and persevere.
Posted on October 3rd, 2014 by Jonathan
Repenting of our Lack of Sleep: Scott Slayton writes, “When we push ourselves morning to night seven days a week for days on end we demonstrate that we have a Messiah complex.” (HT: TGC)
How the News Makes Us Dumb: Reflecting on C. John Sommerville’s book by the same title, Kevin DeYoung says that “most of us would do well to read the news less often.”
Powers in the Hood: In a letter to a friend, Doug Banister warns of one aspect of urban ministry that is often neglected by churches, classes, and training manuals – spiritual “powers.”
Traditional Sexuality, Radical Community: Corey Widmer says that if we call our LGBTQ friends to radical denial of their sexual desires, our Christian communities should be just as radical.
Posted on September 26th, 2014 by Jonathan
Family Life and the Kingdom of God: For you and your house to choose to always serve the Lord (Joshua 24:15) is what Gloria Furman calls, “the highest aspiration of every Christian family.” Though such a resolve is not easy, it’s possible through the gospel, seen even in Joshua, Judges, and Ruth.
Why Are You on the Earth?: John Piper answers the question with a line from a George Herbert poem: to be a “secretary of God’s praise.”
Two Ways to Drive Our Roots Deep into the Gospel: Since life consists of seasons–good and bad, high and low, happy and sad–we ought not take queues from our good-season-seeking culture. Rather, explains JD Greear, we ought to trust in God’s Word, driving our roots deep into the gospel so as to bear fruit in all seasons.
Mutual Confession: A Holy Experiment: What’s to keep your accountability from becoming moralistic and discouraging “Do better; be better” speeches? Dane Deatherage and his friend Cale have found beautiful freedom in confessing their secret sins to one another and offering gospel forgiveness.
Posted on September 18th, 2014 by Radical
What the church needs most today: Robert Godfrey points to Psalm 81 to make the point that the church’s greatest need is to listen to God.
Abandoning the term pro-choice: John Stonestreet points out that abortion advocates are redefining themselves by taking an even harder “pro-abortion” line. Trevin Wax also wrote about the change–“If the abortion-rights agenda is to succeed, then, abortion must be de-stigmatized.”
Ministering to those who experience loss: By sharing her personal experience of losing everything in a house fire, Julie Lowe of CCEF helps us think through how to minister to those who experience loss.
How to criticize a preacher: David Murray gives us ten questions to think through before telling your preacher that he got it “badly wrong.”
Ten ways for husbands to exercise Christ-like headship: Over at CBMW, Owen Strachan lists ten ways husbands can exercise biblical, Christ-like headship.
Posted on August 15th, 2014 by Cory Varden
Five Principles of the New Sexual Morality, Alastair Roberts: The sociologist Mark Regnerus recently published a piece for the Witherington Institute’s Public Discourse, suggesting that support for same-sex marriage in some Christian circles correlates to broader shifts in morality surrounding sexuality and relations. Survey respondents were asked to declare their level of agreement with seven statements relating to the issues of pornography, cohabitation, no-strings-attached sex, the duty of staying in a marriage, extramarital sex, polyamorous relationships, and abortion. The results illustrated pronounced fault lines between those committed to historic Christian stances on sexual morality and supporters of same-sex marriage.
Jonah, Mosul, and ISIS: Lessons for Us All, David Allen: In the swirling mayhem of the Middle East conflict, we all need to be reminded that one far greater than Jonah, Jesus Christ, once said in Luke 13:3: “Unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”
Biblical Theology: Guardian & Guide of the Church, 9Marks: Churches, as much as ever, need to know who they are, where they come from, who their ancestors are. Are we not children of Abraham? Doesn’t our family tree include Moses and David, Rahab and Ruth? Are we not all adopted heirs and coheirs with Christ? Sons of the divine king? Biblical theology is not just about reading the Bible rightly, though it begins there. It serves to guard and guide the local church. It maintains the right message, defines the task of the messenger, identifies imposters, tells us what we do when we gather, and sets the trajectory of our mission. It answers the question, Who are we, as the church in the world?
Posted on August 8th, 2014 by Cory Varden
Cultural Disintegration and the Revival of a Moral Imagination, Joe Rigney: We live in a time of cultural disintegration. Not just America, but the entire Western world is jettisoning the wisdom of the ages and striving to remake the world after our own image. And, unsurprisingly, the fundamental arena in which this cultural unraveling is playing out is that of sexuality.
What’s Wrong with the “Wrong Side of History” Argument?, Kevin Deyoung: No doubt, the “wrong side of history” retort is rhetorically powerful. But it also happens to be intellectually bankrupt. What’s wrong with the phrase? At least three things.
Aborting in the Name of Jesus, Russell Moore: It is one of the most disturbing articles I’ve ever read. The current issue of Esquire magazine profiles the “abortion ministry” of Willie Parker, a doctor who flies in and out of my home state of Mississippi to perform abortions at the state’s only abortion clinic. The word “ministry” isn’t incidental. Dr. Parker says he aborts unborn children because Jesus wants him to.
Posted on August 1st, 2014 by Jonathan
This past week has seen a flurry of blog posts, articles, videos, and teachings on persecution and Christian suffering that are all deserving of attention. So instead of our normal Friday “Well Said” feature, we’re going to point you to a number of these pieces, all centered on the global plight of suffering and/or persecuted Christians . . .
The Persecuted Church
Led by Mindy Belz, this TGC Women’s Conference workshop is very informative.
VIDEO: David Platt on global Christian persecution
This 7 minute ERLC conversation covers the effects of persecution and our response to it.
American Doctor with Ebola Displays Heroism
Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol are battling Ebola, a deadly disease they contracted while helping other stricken with it.
Meriam Ibrahim, Freed from Sudan, Plans to Settle in New Hampshire
The woman who was imprisoned for becoming a Christian and sentenced to death in Sudan has been freed.
5 Facts About Christian Persecution
Joe Carter of the ERLC offers a brief survey of global persecution.
Stay or Go When Ebola Breaks Out?
Robert Cutillo offers some helpful principles regarding risk and following Christ.
State Department Releases Report on International Religious Freedom
“In 2013, the world witnessed the largest displacement of religious communities in recent memory.”
Christian Persecution Bulletin Insert
From the ERLC, this could be a helpful tool this Sunday: Persecution Sunday.
For Sale: Mother Without Child: $800 (Part 1)
Here is a stirring account of one North Korean woman’s journey to faith . . . and out of North Korea.
Where Are The Iraqi Refugees Now?
Under threat of death, ISIS has expelled all Christians living in Mosul. Where are they now?
They Know Not What They Do
“Sin has darkened the mind of the church’s enemies.”
Posted on July 18th, 2014 by Cory Varden
What’s All This ‘Gospel-Centered’ Talk About?, Dane Ortlund: “Gospel-centered preaching.” “Gospel-centered parenting.” “Gospel-centered discipleship.” The back of my business card says “gospel-centered publishing.” This descriptive mantra is tagged on to just about anything and everything in the Christian world these days. What’s it all about?
5 Insights Into Idolatry, J.D. Greear: There are certain themes in Scripture that tend to beat you over the head with their persistence. Idolatry is one of those. It’s such a prominent theme in Scripture that some have said it is the central theme of the entire Bible. And when it comes to idolatry, we humans are endlessly creative. As John Calvin said, “The heart of man is a perpetual factory of idols.” Give us the chance, and we’ll replace God with any and every object, person, ideal, or dream.
The Missional Church is Pointed in 5 Directions, Trevin Wax: The unhealthy church is too inward-focused, some will say. Unless a church looks outside itself to its kingdom mission, it will shrink and die. Wise counsel, of course. Just as Christians are to put others before themselves, churches are to put their mission ahead of their own comfort. But missional churches are not called to only look outward. The biblical position is more robust (and beautiful) than the inward / outward dichotomy. In fact, one of the directions a missional church should look is inward, as long as it is being pointed in the other directions as well.
Posted on July 11th, 2014 by Cory Varden
The Next Wave of Missions, J.D. Greear: I am convinced that the next wave of missions (at least coming from the Western World) is going to happen on the wings of business. This has a strong biblical and historical precedent. Luke seems to go out of his way to show that the gospel got to some places in the ancient world faster via the hands of Christian merchants than even Apostles. He notes that the first time the church “went everywhere preaching the word,” the Apostles were not engaged (Acts 8:1).
Evangelicals and Cities: A Discussion in Need of Clarity, Kevin Deyoung: I love cities. I’ve spent time in Washington D.C., Philadelphia, and Chicago this summer. I love the energy, the opportunities, and the history of our nation’s big cities. I have no desire to discourage any Christian from moving to the city for ministry. Our cities have lots of people, and so they need lots of Christians, lots of churches, and lots of evangelical institutions. I’m all for evangelicals and cities coming together. But what does that mean?
How Churches Became Cruise Ships, Skye Jethani: Why am I talking about the history of the shipping industry? Well, I think it’s a helpful parallel for what’s happened in the American church over the last 40 years. Around the same time that jetliners were causing waves for the shipping industry, cultural changes were also rocking the church. Prior to the 1960s most churches in America were small with a very utilitarian function–they transported people into communion with God by providing the basic necessities for living a Christian life.
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