In case you missed it earlier this week, Zondervan’s Counterpoints series is on sale with 31 titles marked at $3.99 each. This deal will end soon, so if you’ve been putting it off, now might be a great time to get them. Also on sale are:
- Unseen Realities by R.C. Sproul
- NIV Zondervan Study Bible edited by D.A. Carson
- NIV Archaeological Study Bible
- Four Views of the End Times by Timothy Paul Jones
- The History of Protestantism by J.A. Wylie
Finally, today is the last day to Crossway’s entire Reclaiming the Christian Intellectual Tradition Series for $2.99 per volume: Arts and Music, Christian Worldview, Ethics and Moral Reasoning, The Great Tradition of Christian Thinking, History, The Liberal Arts, Literature,The Natural Sciences, Philosophy,Political Thought, Psychology.
Spurgeon had much to be proud of. Crowds hung on his every word. Biographers lauded his popularity. Kings and queens sought his company. Spurgeon was a red-carpet celebrity.
Yet his Achilles’ heel was not influence. God had answered his youthful prayer “that prosperity and fame may not injure me” (Letter to his father, Angus Library, Oxford). Spurgeon was not seduced by the fame and fortune afforded by a royal London lifestyle.
Following the resignation of a high-profile Tennessee pastor last weekend the issue of burnout and failure again occupied the conversation of ministers and church members.
“Was he really just tired?”
“How can a pastor with that many staff get tired?”
“That can’t be all there is to it.”
Sometimes that is all there is to it, and this is what church members need to realize.
Brandon Smith also wrote a really helpful article on this theme at For the Church. Both his and Marty’s are well worth your time.
When Paul says “make it your ambition” he indicates that this is the good, right, and honorable way for them to live their lives—and for us to live our lives. Over against all the other things we could aspire to, we are first to aspire to these, for these are matters of first importance. He highlights three godly ambitions for the Christian.
My friend Nick Batzig writes a really helpful article laying out the differing views on what Genesis 3:16 could mean.
For nearly ten minutes, I spun in my desk chair playing out the familiar scene line by line:I’ll open with this probing question, then I’ll bring up the sin and point to this Scripture, and after I’ve listened for a while I’ll really dig in hard this time because this is just unacceptable! Why does this member keep slipping back into the mud? I mean really, I’ve got better things to do than to deal with this problem for the hundredth time.
I was thinking about this paradigm for sports the other day, and I wandered down a similar path about ministry. It seems to be a trend to talk about certain Sunday gatherings as “big days.” Giving people the benefit of the doubt, I think I know what they mean. They are saying that this Sunday is big because people are getting baptized or because we have an announcement about church planting or we are going to have a special guest. All of these are good things that should properly be anticipated and celebrated. However, I have a couple concerns with casual elevation of certain Sundays over others.
Many of us find evangelism daunting, even frightening. However, evangelism should take place as we naturally converse with people. As we have normal conversations, we are to look for opportunities to speak to people about Christ. In a normal evangelism culture, we will pray together for the unbelieving, and we will celebrate gospel conversations, not just “deals closed.”
A favorite from the archives:
But what was strong about his defence was what he ultimately pointed to. He didn’t simply encourage the Corinthians to look at the fruit of his ministry, though he could have. He didn’t tell them to consider his teaching. He told them to look at how he conducted himself in ministry—his humble disposition and his refraining from taking financial support from them so that it would not be a stumbling block.
You could look at Paul himself—not the results of his work, but the man—and discern whether or not the criticism he faced was valid.