I have a problem with application in sermons. It’s often poorly done. Granted, this is because application is actually one of the hardest parts of preaching. I agree with what Haddon Robinson has said: more heresy is preached in application than in any other part of the sermon.
Most people question the reliability of the Bible. You’ve probably been in a conversation with a friend or met someone in a coffee shop who said, “How can you be a Christian when the Bible has so many errors?
How should we respond? What do you say?
Instead of asking them to name an error, I suggest you name one or two of them.
Something happened inside me when I saw Ann’s name in my inbox, and that’s what has compelled me to write this little article. Seeing her name brought a sudden and surprising realization and with it a twinge of guilt and remorse. It has happened to me before, this strange feeling that comes when I suddenly realize that the name on the front of the book—“Ann Voskamp” in this case—is not some cleverly programmed, unfeeling robot that spits out blog posts and magazine articles and books, but a person. A real person. That should have been no great revelation, yet there have been too many times over the years that I have had to remind myself of this simple fact. I try to remind myself before posting a review; sometimes it only comes later.
Stephen Altrogge’s got a great new eBook out, Create: Stop Making Excuses and Start Making Stuff. Here’s the description:
The title may lead you to think that the book is just for creative, artsy, fartsy types, but that’s not true. I believe that God has given every person creative gifts, and that all of us are called to use our creative gifts for the glory of God. This book is intended to inspire and motivate Christians to start using the creative gifts that God has given them for the glory of God and the good of others. It’s a book for artists and homemakers, poets and plumbers, architects and accountants. In other words, this book is for you.
Some of the folks saying nice things about it include Jefferson Bethke, Bob Kauflin, Tony Reinke, Ted Kluck, Bobby Giles, Barnabas Piper and me:
Admit it. You saw the title of this book and said, “Oh, I’m not creative…” Stop it. Creativity isn’t limited to fancy wordplay, pretty pictures, or clever major/minor key switches. Creativity isn’t something for a special class of people—it’s for stay-at-home moms, baristas and accountants, too. In Create, Stephen Altrogge offers us practical guidance and encouragement in getting over the fears, excuses and setbacks that prevent us from setting ourselves to the task of being creative to the glory of God. Read this book, get motivated and stop making excuses (although accountants, don’t get too creative—I hear the IRS frowns upon such things).
I’m sorry to say that the way most people describe Heaven sounds rather boring to me. Ask what they’re looking forward to about Heaven, and many people will say something about finding lost loved ones—sometimes even lost pets—the end of pain and sorrow, finally being able to dunk a basketball, run a marathon, or possibly even fly through the clouds. And these are all great things, I suppose. But I’m guessing that after a few thousand years, they’d all grow a bit stale. I love my friends and family, but after a millennium or two, I can pretty much guarantee that I’d be hiding in a closet every time I heard one of them coming around the corner. It’s possible that I just have an unusually short attention span and get bored easily. But 4,000 years of the same old thing sounds boring.