When I was a young pastor I had a scattergun approach to preaching. Like many I tended to take a text, depart therefrom and go everywhere preaching the gospel.
Regrettably this approach also led to preaching in which I would “confront” a member of the congregation at the expense of the many. Rather than meeting with people individually about a certain issue, I would use the preaching time to address it. I would scattershot. In my ignorance it never dawned on me that the majority of the congregation had no idea what I was talking about and the intended target probably thought I was talking about someone else.
When I wanted to do it, I could really put the “bully” in bully-pulpit. This was a terrible pattern of preaching and leadership. Over the course of many years God got me mostly beyond preaching and leading that way, and I am grateful.
This past week—when I was supposed to be on vacation—I spent my evenings killing and uprooting a Magnolia tree. I decided to do this in a three stage process. Stage one is chopping down the tree and leaving a 3 foot stump*. Stage two is to dig a hole around the tree until I expose and then kill those dastardly roots. Stage three is to rent several horses, badgers, cattle, Sherpa’s, and anything else I can find to pull the tree out of the hole.
While planning my lumberjacking festivities I started thinking a little about how this magnolia tree relates to sanctification. Specifically gospel-driven sanctification.
Kindle deals for Christian readers
This weekend I shared a whole pile of Kindle deals. Here are a few more worth checking out:
Church Zero by Peyton Jones
The Word Became Fresh by Dale Ralph Davis—$3.99
God’s Indwelling Presence by Jim Hamilton—$2.99
Perspectives on Family Ministries by Timothy Paul Jones—$2.99
Growing Up Amish by Ira Wagler—$2.99
God’s Grand Design by Sean Michael Lucas—$2.99
A Little Book for New Theologians: Why and How to Study Theology by Kelly M. Kapic—$4.36
Ten Who Changed the World by Daniel Akin—$2.99
A Christian’s Pocket Guide to Jesus Christ by Mark Jones—$2.99
Walk Worthy by Peter Jeffery—$2.99
Jesus, In His Own Words by Robert H. Mounce—$2.83
Encountering the Manuscripts by Philip Comfort—$2.99
The Power of Suffering: Strengthening Your Faith in the Refiner’s Fire by John MacArthur—$2.51
For two millennia, it has stood at the apex of human relationships. Every culture has witnessed it and added their own cultural significance to how it is conducted. It has been celebrated and lampooned, but it has survived. It has received the blessing of both Church and State. In recent decades, it has staggered. Culturally “enlightening” ideas of radical feminism, the sexual revolution, and even ‘no-fault’ divorce has all but reduced this venerable institution to its knees. Most recently, one judge (with the backing of four others) allowed for its redefinition.
And yet, it stands. It bows to no man, winces from no blow, and walks with head held high as yet the ultimate union of a man and a woman. No matter what happens to it, I still believe in marriage.
Someone turned Don Carson into a cartoon!
HT: Darryl Dash