In case you missed it, this week’s episode of Reading Writers features a really fun interview with Tim Challies where we talk about how he reads as much as he does, where he reads, and how he really feels about graphic novels.
…do not look to the glitz of a parachurch organization to assess you, train you, and send you. Instead, give extended time and service to a local church in the audience of its elders as the primary means of readying you for gospel ministry—whether as a church planter, a future pastor, or something else entirely.
Some of us will now have to break the habit of calling John Webster the greatest living theologian. In due course we’ll have to find a way to estimate where he ranks, and how well he fits in, among the great list of teachers who have doctored the church.
For years, conservative evangelicals, including writers at this site, have tried to defend the religious right where we could, arguing that what we need is not a repudiation of the religious right but a better religious right. We needed a religious right more understanding of how institutions work. We needed a religious right that understood that fighting a culture war requires actually having a Christian culture. We needed a religious right that paid as much attention to daily rituals as it did to world views. But the religious right’s overall project was basically sound and the men leading it were trustworthy. That’s what we told ourselves. So we defended many of the men who have now proven themselves to be so cowardly and lacking the very thing they said the secularists and liberals were missing—a moral compass.
So, it’s only by about half of a percentage point, but more Millennials live with their parents than in any other kind of living arrangement. This is remarkable, worthy of note, and must grab the attention of the local church.
We must ask the question, “Why?” “Why are young people living with their parents more than they ever have in the past?”
Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee prayed boldly “God, I thank you I am not like that man” while the tax collector knelt in a corner, beat his chest, and prayed “Lord, have mercy on me a sinner.” One of these men went home right in the eyes of God, and we all know which one. And we all despise the other.
In a weird, ironic, but quite predictable plot twist by pursuing the position of tax collector we have become the Pharisee.
We. All of us.
To church hop every time you find something with which you are unhappy is a form of ecclesiastical Antinomianism. It shows a lack of unwillingness to submit to those whom God has put in authority over you–as well as to the brethren in that particular congregation. When men and women leave a congregation because they have rubbed shoulders with the leadership over adiaphora in worship or congregational life, they often think that they can keep their friendships with those in that congregation without inflicting any harm or incurring any loss. However, when an individual or family leaves a church because of their discontent with leadership, they are also walking away from the congregation that they may have vowed to love and support. They can no longer fulfill the “one another” imperatives of the New Testament in that particular local congregation. The body suffers as it loses one of its necessary members (Rom. 12; 1 Cor. 12-14; Eph. 4).
“Risk or rust,” wrote Jack Miller, one of my heroes of the faith.… Miller wasn’t advocating for foolish risk-taking, or being motivated by presumption rather than faith. He was concerned about our tendency to stop risking, and to prioritize fear over obedience. He didn’t coast in his own ministry, and his legacy continues.