Interesting findings from LifeWay Research.
It’s amazing how deeply how compulsion at self-justification runs, and it comes out in big and small ways. It’s that tendency that keeps me from truly listening to what someone else is saying because I’m trying to think of how I will justify my place in the conversation with my next retort. It comes out when I know that I’ve sinned against another, and yet instead of truly and humbly apologizing and asking for forgiveness, I look for the loophole to slip in just to make sure the person on the other side knows he or she has something to be sorry for too, or perhaps that my actions were a result of their actions first. It appears when even before we don’t accomplish something we’ve set out to do we are already preparing the mental reasons why we failed.
There are many ways to prepare a sermon. When preparing a sermon on a passage of Scripture, though, I’ve found that there are ten questions that every preacher must answer. Not every answer will show up in the sermon, but every answer is important to the shape that the sermon takes.
Sam Allberry challenges the conventional wisdom. Whether you agree or not, it’s worth reading:
Many churches run some kind of small-group ministry. Groups of this sort of size (typically ten or so believers) tend to be one of the best contexts for discussion of Scripture, and for sharing needs for support and prayer. During a main Sunday gathering there might not be the same kind of opportunity to interact at this level. Small groups tend to be where some of the most vital “one another” ministry takes place. Relationships are deepened, insights are shared, and problems and difficulties in life are discussed and addressed.
Because of all this, it can be easy for such a group to become the main focus of its members’ spiritual lives. The group becomes, in effect, church.
While this is understandable, it is not desirable.
While the problem of suffering and evil cannot be resolved in this brief piece (or in any of the massive volumes that have attempted to do so), I want to share a few truths I was reminded of as I held my son during his introduction to the pain of our world.
Pay attention, résumé writers.
Though it (rightly) hasn’t been discussed as much as the actual trinitarian issues themselves, the current trinitarian debate does suggest some interesting things about how evangelicals are beginning to approach questions of gender. The consensus that has existed amongst most conservative evangelicals for some time is beginning to fracture—and in more than one direction.