Last week I was captivated by a sunrise. I am one of those people who is “early to bed, early to rise” and have watched many sunrises. I love the dawning of a new day because every day is so full of promise and possibility. Every sunrise lays a new day before us and asks, “What will you do with this day? What will this day be?”
The sunrise that so gripped me is described in the book of Ecclesiastes where the author, a man who identifies himself only as The Preacher, writes “Light is sweet, and it is pleasant for the eyes to see the sun.” This man is a poet and he looks at that sunrise and sees it as a picture of youth. The brightness of the sun as it cuts through the darkness and ushers in a new day is like the radiance of youth with all its excitement and energy and possibilities. Youth lays a whole lifetime before us and asks, “What will you do with this life? Who will you be?”
…a little while back I found myself on the receiving end of various critical responses when I wondered aloud on Ref21 about why complementarianism is considered to be a matter of gospel fidelity by groups like TGC. Just for clarification: I am a complementarian. In fact, I am fairly sure that I am stricter (ironically) on the matter in both conviction and in church practice than many in those groups to whom I was alluding. And I hold the position simply because I believe the account of the special creation of Adam and Eve in Genesis and its application by Paul in passages such as 1 Tim. 2:12-14.
Now, I am neither an exegete nor the son of an exegete, a fact which may explain my naive confusion — but I am puzzled as to how one can affirm any evolutionary account of Adam and Eve’s origins and yet be complementarian, let alone see it as a necessary gospel distinctive. Indeed, I may not be willing to say that complementarianism is a gospel distinctive but I do seem to hold the position on more thoroughly biblical grounds than those who combine the position with some form of theistic evolution which would appear to cut the heart out of Paul’s arguments on the matter. So what exactly does an evolutionary-complementarian reading of that passage in Timothy look like? Or 1 Cor. 11?
Tomorrow marks a year since I finished at Richview and began the process of planting a church. It’s been both the most exciting and the most difficult year of my ministry so far.
A year in, here are the four most profound lessons I’ve been learning.
A 2008 survey by LifeWay Research found that “unchurched adults”—those who hadn’t attended a church, mosque, or synagogue in the past six months other than for holidays or events—are more turned off to utilitarian buildings. More Americans prefer a medieval cathedral to a contemporary church building. Ed Stetzer, president of LifeWay Research, at the time said the findings surprised him, but suggested the look of a Gothic cathedral was more likely to connect visitors with the past.
“A church building is a tool and not a goal,” Stetzer told me. “When choosing a tool, you need the right one for the right job. As such, I’d be discerning in what kind of church will help advance the mission of the church in the community. For many churches, they’ve found older mainline church buildings to be such a tool—connecting them with the community, its history, and even with a sense that the (big-C) Church did not start when theirs did.”