I’m back home after a few very busy days at The Gospel Coalition’s 2017 national conference. A great time was had by all on my team as we shared about what’s happening with The Gospel Project with attendees. Look for a couple of stories about that later in the week. Now, on to a few links worth reading!
Most of us have heard a rumor about them. They’re legendary. Who, you may ask? Those spiritual discipline “legends.” I met one once. At McDonald’s, a man told me he has read the Bible every year for 40 something years. Maybe you have met one too. More often than not its one of those “I know a guy who knows a girl” encounters. “This lady has memorized the entire Bible.” “I know a guy who has memorized the entire new testament in Greek!” Years ago I met a man who wouldn’t leave his prayer closet until he got his answers from God. He didn’t eat or sleep. He just prayed. Then, he told me about it.
It’s not a super hard question really. I mean, have you ever had a stomach flu? Or even a bad head cold? Did you feel super close to God all day, every day, while you walked through that? When your head was hung over the toilet, were you amazed with the godly attitude that just seemed to rush over you the more you vomited? Probably not, right?
Because suffering is still suffering, and it feels like suffering. It doesn’t often feel like magic and mountaintops.
This is for the family whose life is not as they expected it would be. It’s for the family who may seem normal from the outside, but on the inside is hurting, stressed and unsure of the future. It’s for the family who wonders if they did something wrong or could have prevented the struggles they face and asks, “Why, Lord?” as they face the responsibility of raising a child with a behavioral or neurological disorder.
There are some parts of Scripture that most of us consider to be “throw away.” I don’t mean we think they’re unimportant; it’s just that we tend to skip passed these sections of the Bible, you know, to get to the good stuff.
Secular Sam is very successful. He has a good job, a nice girlfriend, a beautiful apartment, a new car, and excellent health. He’s humorous, intelligent, and personable. Secular Sam is also a Christian, and actually quite an active one. He has an evangelical background (though he’s chosen to leave behind some of the embarrassing bits of it), is theologically conservative, and believes in the authority of Scripture.
Earlier this year, our congregation officially moved away from the long-standing pattern of having only one pastor to embracing a plurality of pastors. This was an intentional process that took several years to accomplish. The reason I led our church in this endeavor is because I’m convinced multiple elders is biblical, and, being biblical, it was full of practical benefits. Below, I want to list and explain six principles that guided me and can also guide other pastors who seek to implement this same change.
A favorite from the archives:
Whether we realize it or not, the answers to these questions about the death and resurrection of Jesus are among the most hotly contested in our pluralistic culture. Many Christians believe the answers are clear and that we shouldn’t even need to answer them at all at this point. Others haven’t really given them any serious thought at all. Others still find the questions that inevitably arise during the Easter season reflect their own. They believe, but they struggle with doubt. They wrestle with uncertainty and need reassurance. So, we need to recognize that these questions really do matter. More importantly, we need to recognize that these are questions that have answers. That’s why today I’m releasing a brand-new—free ebook: Did Jesus Really Have to Die?