If we understand culture to be the place where human persons, made in God’s image, enter into various relationships with others within the family, business, government, economics, the arts, the sciences, and so on, but cannot discern what God wants to do with culture, Christian leaders will continue to be embroiled in intramural debates about what it means to be a Christian in modern society, why Christians should care about injustice, and so on, while fundamentalist secularists gain more and more of a foothold in the lives of individuals and the institutions that are a part of God’s good creation. There have been good discussions to clarify the gospel in light of the heresy of legalism but the directional elephant in the room, in the mission of God discussion, is what we understand as our role in stewarding God’s desire for creation (people, places, and things) now and in the world to come.
Many pastors have learned and practiced a deficient model of leadership in the last century: the Superman model. A Superman pastor sees every ministry as either his responsibility or the responsibility of the paid staff. He functions like a CEO, like a paid professional, like the minister. It’s his role to do the church’s work, and it’s the congregation’s role to reap the benefits of his expertise.
There are a few things in this model we can commend. First, it takes seriously the role of the pastor; he does not abdicate responsibility. Second, the Superman pastor takes seriously his accountability to God, his training, and his calling as he works hard to oversee the mission of the church. Ultimately, however, the failures of this ministry model are grave.
Kindle deals for Christian readers
MacArthur fans, here are a whole whack of deals for you:
- Grace for You—$1.99
- The Gospel According to Jesus: What Is Authentic Faith?—$5.98 (US only)
- Twelve Ordinary Men—$1.99
- Anxious for Nothing–$2.87
- Found: God’s Will—$3.82
- Holy Bible – ESV MacArthur Study Bible—$5.00
- Twelve Unlikely Heroes—$5.99
Also on sale:
- The Call: Finding and Fulfilling the Central Purpose of Your Life by Os Guinness—$2.50
- Basics for Believers: An Exposition of Philippians by D.A. Carson—$3.49
- Putting Amazing Back into Grace: Embracing the Heart of the Gospel by Michael Horton—$3.49
- The Forgotten Trinity by James R. White—$3.49
From the Theology in Community series:
And, as I mentioned yesterday, my new eBook, Everyday Theology, is available for 99¢.
Some words should never find their way into research papers. Wikipedia is pretty high on that last (though I do think you can and should use Wikipedia for research). So is anything that is not technically a word (IMHO). Fortunately, though I’ve heard from others who’ve experienced the terror of encountering these in papers, I have not yet experienced them myself. That’s a good thing.
But there is one mistake I run across all too frequently, one that I’d like to see disappear forever: papers that begin with something like the following:
“I would like to try to explore the possibility of….”
The yardstick that our community measures by is not decisive. Yes, it is beneficial to know that our context will interpret things through the lens of materialism and/or moralism. But at the end of the day the gospel is more powerful than those false lenses. Jesus can break the yardstick of our carnal stupidity and rescue us by His grace.