Jesus died not only to save your soul, but your body also.
It’s very true that were we to build the case for the church’s physical gathering merely upon a text like Hebrews 10:25 that our case would be, at best, incomplete. (And the presence or absence of church buildings is completely beside the point). But it is bewildering to the point of being speechless to read... Continue Reading
What Is the Attractional Church?
"I (and many others) use the term attractional to refer to a way of doing church ministry who’s primary purpose is to make Christianity appealing."
“While the expressions are varied, by and large the attractional church serves the end of attracting people in two ways: music and creative elements that appeal to the desired audience and teaching that is designed to be both inspirational and practical. This is true regardless of the size or style of an attractional church.” ... Continue Reading
Should We Theologize About Covid-19?
As innately curious creatures with a high view of the sovereignty of God it’s natural that our interest should wander to trying to make sense of what’s going on.
I recently attended a meeting with other pastors (on Zoom, of course) in which a seasoned and much respected Christian leader spent some time developing his thesis that the pandemic is a clear instance of divine judgment. At the other end of the spectrum, Ruth Valerio and Gideon Heugh for Tearfund assert that Covid-19 is all our... Continue Reading
Some Implications of an Empty Pulpit
Whatever God’s purpose, we need to pray for renewed pulpit ministry.
Among all of the providential logic of our present day, perhaps God is prompting us to value afresh the intricate simplicity of stepping into a pulpit and declaring God’s name. Perhaps he has allowed us this famine of live preaching so that we might feast once again with a heightened appetite and taste for truth... Continue Reading
A Personal Family Catechism
Encouraging families to catechize their children.
Editor’s note: Brad Winsted wrote this article many years ago when his family was young and at home. His adult children still recall how “special” it was to have a unique “Family Catechism.” Brad offers this approach to encourage parents to catechize their children. As Presbyterians and in the reformed tradition we are intrinsically... Continue Reading
What Is Discernment?
People often do not see issues clearly and are easily misled because they do not think biblically.
Most of us doubtless want to distance ourselves from what might be regarded as “the lunatic fringe” of contemporary Christianity. We are on our guard against being led astray by false teachers. But there is more to discernment than this. True discernment means not only distinguishing the right from the wrong; it means distinguishing the... Continue Reading
What Is Missing From “Home-Churching”
Praise be to God, my commitment to the local church remains unchanged.
In contrast to the homeschooling endeavor I have pursued for more than a decade—where we are able to take the good parts of education and create a whole that far exceeds its constitutive parts—home-churching has proven to have quite the opposite result: Most of the parts are present, and yet they fail miserably to create a... Continue Reading
Praying in a Pandemic
What is God doing? Are we allowed to ask? Are we allowed to complain?
This pandemic has touched us all in more ways than one. For Christians, the cancellation of in-person worship services has been particularly distressing. At times, even prayer seems difficult. We want to ask God to fix it, to put an end to this pain, but we know this is his work. In the end, he... Continue Reading
If COVID-19 Takes Me Out
We amplify our love of Christ by caring for his bride.
If I were to die from COVID-19, or anything else, there will be no replacing my void as a husband or father. Losing a parent, child, or spouse leaves a permanent scar. Or maybe it’s more like a missing limb—a vital part that is supposed to be connected to the body, but no longer is. Here,... Continue Reading
Is Your Congregation An Oasis Or A Mirage?
A place in the desert without shade and water, however attractive, is no real help.
Without the pure preaching of the gospel a congregation is not an oasis. It is only a mirage, which has nothing to offer the pilgrim but more heat and sand when what the sojourner needs is relief from the heat and the water of life. This is a basic point and obvious but it bears... Continue Reading