The world is full of bad reasoning, which is too bad because few people bother to learn logic anymore. What’s worse, the most common logical fallacies could be learned (and memorized) without too much trouble. This could save your life, your church, and your writing a lot of trouble.
We may “crave” to grow spiritually, but it won’t happen without diligent effort. Of course we don’t work to earn our salvation or God’s approval or favor – that’s all of grace. But we must be faithful to pursue God as well. It is the diligent person – the one who keeps on plodding day after day, faithfully reading her Bible, praying, fellowshipping, listening to messages – who will have her soul richly supplied.
When it comes to doing church we can tend to gravitate toward one of two extremes. The first is the over the top, “everything must be awesome” extreme. The band should sound like as much like U2 as possible, and the worship leader should have that “I’m cool, but I’m not trying to look cool” look. Worship should feel similar to a rock concert, except, of course, we’re singing to Jesus. The lobby should feel like a fair-trade, organic only coffee shop, and the children’s ministry should resemble Chuck E. Cheese. If all these things coalesce at the same time it’s quite possible that the Third Great Awakening could take place.
The other extreme is the “it’s all about the heart”, don’t try to manufacture God’s presence, extreme. The worship band sounds like a steel pipe being put through a wood chipper? It doesn’t matter, it’s all about the heart. The children’s classrooms smell like vomit, playdough, and goldfish crackers? So what? The sanctuary is dingy, cold, and drafty, and the coffee served in the lobby tastes like peat moss? It doesn’t matter, because we try to attract people through the things that really matter, like preaching, and the gospel.
When Old Testament believers read their Bibles, they were asking the same two questions that we ask when we read the Old Testament:
1. What does the passage reveal about God?
2. What does this passage reveal about the coming Savior?
They knew they were not just reading a national history about themselves and their ancient ancestors. They knew they were reading about God and their promised Messiah.
Augustus Nicodemus Gomes Lopes:
Here in Brazil the majority of Reformed and conservative pastors have small congregations, from 80 to 120 members. This fact is well known and has often been leveraged as criticism against Reformed doctrine. If Reformed theology is so biblical and good, the thinking goes, why can’t its preachers and defenders convince people? Why do so few attend their churches? And why can’t these churches grow or get many young people to attend their services?