Podcast: On The Hero of the Story, Brian and I are answering the question, “What do we mean by ‘gospel culture’?” This was a fun one for us to do. I hope you’ll give it a listen (and if you’d be so kind as to give us a review on iTunes, that’d be fantastic).
This is an interesting point from Jeff Medders:
For example, if the Pastor for Counseling isn’t also an elder, then he shouldn’t be titled as a pastor. If the Worship Pastor doesn’t have the same responsibility, authority, and function as a part of the plurality of elders, then it’s a misuse of the word pastor.
There’s the ditch on the other side too. If elders don’t pastor, then they aren’t really elders. Elders pastor because they are pastors. And pastors are elders because they oversee and shepherd the flock of God.
I love posts like this (and not because this blog is on the list). If you’re looking for some new blogs to add to or replace in your feed, try some of these.
The parables Jesus tells in the four Gospels are peculiar kinds of stories that too many readers read very wrongly. It’s important, then, to clear up some common misconceptions about these important stories. I want to share with you what the parables are, but first, it is helpful to establish what they are not.
For most of us, using a calendar is a necessity because of the amount of things we have going on at a given moment. If you’re a parent, compound that a few times because you’re not only keeping track of your stuff, but you’re keeping track of their stuff, too. Once upon a time parents looked forward to the day when a kid would turn 16 so they wouldn’t have to drive them to all their stuff any more; I suspect that we are getting close to the point when that sense of parental freedom comes when a child gets their own personal calendar rather than a driver’s license. That way they can keep up with all their stuff on their own.
Michael S. Hamilton:
Dwight Moody’s appeal is harder to figure. Of grandfatherly mien, he was portly and genial. He preached less about sin and more about love. All the old drawings of him in the pulpit give the impression he must have been stolid and ponderous. Yet it was Moody—more than Whitefield, Finney, and Sunday put together—who was Billy Graham’s true predecessor. It was Moody whom Graham admired; Moody who, in fact, made it possible for Graham to do what he did. For “Crazy” Moody was the architect who drew up the plans and laid the foundation for 20th-century evangelicalism. Then Billy Graham took over the project and built it to dimensions beyond any of Moody’s craziest dreams. By the start of the 21st century, the Moody-Graham project had reshaped the skyline of American Christianity and had launched a new kind of ecumenical movement that reached into every corner of the globe.
For those of us in the majority culture, this process has begun with a posture of listening, not talking. The definition of a blind spot, after all, is a weakness that we don’t know that we have. Historically, the most insidious blind spots result from positions of privilege and power. If we are serious about discovering these blind spots, it means committing ourselves to uncomfortable conversations where we seek more to understand that we do to be understood.
A favorite from the archives:
Maybe you’ve been there. Maybe you’ve read an evangelism book and agreed with what’s said, but by the time you were done, you felt less motivated than you did when you started. You felt less effective than ever. And so, you continued to feel like a failure when it comes to sharing the gospel.
So often, there’s an expectation in these books—whether spoken or unspoken—that you’re going to see immediate results. That you should be able to draw a line from someone who comes to faith in Christ to yourself. And I’m not always so sure that’s true. I agree that we should be able to point to clear fruit in our lives of our growth as disciples, which includes playing our part in making others disciples.