One of the things I love about weekends is the opportunity to read a little more. If you’re in the mood for a biography, seven volumes in John Piper’s Swans Are Not Silent series are on sale. They’re great sketches of great men of faith including Charles Spurgeon, Martin Luther, C.S. Lewis, and William Tyndale.
Tony Reinke asks, “What built the “bookish” tradition in the first three centuries of the church? And how was it unique?”
An Anglican man rang me out of the blue the other day to ask if the New Testament teaches “equality.” “Not really,” I replied. “The New Testament mentions equality once or twice, but when it comes to social relationships, it is far more interested in concepts like oneness, commonness, partnership, union, and joint-inheritance. If you make all those passages about equality, you flatten their meaning. And in any case, it’s become a blunderbuss word that means everything and nothing.”
Considering the history of the past 50 years, let alone the last 2,000, it might seem unwise to dismiss “equality” so casually. Thankfully, the New Testament presents a better, higher vision.
Scientists are just beginning to believe what the Bible tells us in Genesis 6:3. “Then the Lord said, ‘My Spirit shall not abide in man forever, for he is flesh: his days shall be 120 years.’” With that, God declared there would be no more Methuselahs, and new research published in the journal Nature is bearing that out.
Researchers from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine have concluded the maximum human life span has a ceiling of about 115 years—and we’ve already reached it.
Actually, these are more like five “right ideas” or five “right tracks” the “seeker sensitive” church growth movement started down before it veered hard into a fuller blown consumerism and became the attractional church. The yes, but‘s will be a reflex for most of my readers (as they are for me), and I have tried to anticipate them in my explanations, but for the most part, this really is a post about some good gifts the seeker church of yesteryear has given contemporary evangelicalism.
I remember the first time I encountered Stan. He taught theology like I’d never heard it before. He was clear, charitable to those who disagreed, and willing to let Scripture speak even when it threatened denominational dogma. Best of all, he had a passion for the church. He was no ivory tower theologian. He’d served as a pastor, and had (and has) a pastor’s heart.
The supposed goal of celebrity judges on talent shows is to help contestants to be their best, right? They want to help contestants be their best at things that may have artistic value. I remember Mark Dever explaining that holding a group review of one’s sermons will help push the preacher toward gospel clarity and smoother styles of communication. Thus, sermon reviews help preachers become better gospel communicators. More than fine-tuning an art form, the practice fine-tunes something that has definite and eternal value.
Some leaders long for accountability while others seem to shun it. We all need accountability. We all need someone to care for our souls, to remind us of our commitments, and to help us evaluate our development and decisions. Wise leaders receive accountability while foolish leaders refuse it. By receiving or refusing accountability, leaders are receiving or refusing care, development, and the ability to make adjustments. So when you consider your appetite for accountability, here are four questions to ask yourself.
This was one of the first books I reviewed here on the blog. In many ways, it’s more timely than ever:
The parallels that Lutzer addresses—increased government control in economic issues (such as propping up major corporations that are on the verge of bankruptcy due to gross mismanagement) and the devaluing of human beings through the legalization of abortion, the “evolved” form of tolerance that is used to bully people into silence out of fear of being called a ‘bigot” for disagreeing with a lifestyle, sexual orientation or religious viewpoint (unless it’s Christianity) and pushes to see moral absolutes become relative preferences in the school system—paint a disturbing picture.