Word and Deed: The Church’s Mission
Just as loving words are to be found on the lips of God’s people, so too are loving deeds to be found in their hands.
God’s glory is displayed when the good news of His salvation is proclaimed and the good works of His people are carried out. Though they must never be confused with each other, ministries of both word and deed are essential to the ongoing work of God’s kingdom. Jesus announced the purpose of His incarnational... Continue Reading
What do we Fight in the Fight of Faith?
True Christianity is a struggle, a fight, and a warfare.
The principal fight of the Christian is with the world, the flesh, and the devil. These are his never-dying foes. These are the three chief enemies against whom he must wage war. Unless he gets the victory over these three, all other victories are useless and vain. The true Christian is called to be... Continue Reading
Polite Villains of the Universe
False teachers play the fiddles and songs the culture is already humming.
Nice blasphemy, spoken between stories of one’s family, is more popular and better received by some professed Christians than plainly spoken Christian truth about sin and unbelief. For some reason I always assumed false teaching would be unsophisticated, even crude. This speaker’s message, however, sounded like a skillfully painted sunny day at the ocean.... Continue Reading
The attractional church problem is nothing new, and neither is the solution.
We fool ourselves if we think the schism between ecclesiological models is somehow a uniquely modern dilemma.
the faithful preacher’s fight manifests in the temptation to add a dash of the sensational in his presentation of the gospel. To compromise his commitment to proclaiming Christ crucified by making it more fashionable. To jettison his engagement with the Infinite by settling on entertaining and enticing his congregants. In The Gospel-Driven Church, and... Continue Reading
From the Head to the Heart: The Motivation Behind Obedience
The doing of the Word completes the hearing of the Word.
In order to be faithful doers of the Word, we need to think more deeply about the biblical nature of ethical instruction and how to cross the bridge from hearing to doing. Recognizing the bridge that connects our listening and acting will help those of us who read the Bible daily, listen to sermons weekly... Continue Reading
Why Did Jesus Use Animal Metaphors to Prepare His Disciples for the Mission of God?
Jesus spent much time reading the book of nature.
Jesus could point to a simple flower in order to explain to his disciples the mystery of God’s providential care and provision for them (Luke 12:27). Some of Christ’s most impactful illustrations came from the agrarian culture in which he lived and traveled. He expended prolonged periods of mental energy meditating on the birds of... Continue Reading
“Ill-Advised Zeal for Righteousness”: Calvin and That Awfully Divisive Person in Your Church
The most effective way to discourage your pastor is to be a source of discord in your church.
Here, he makes a remarkably helpful distinction. The schismatic wants the church to be entirely perfect, and its failure to be perfect means it is no true bride. Calvin takes a more measured, and quite frankly more beautiful, approach. He says that “it is also no less true that the Lord is daily at work... Continue Reading
Vanguard Presbytery’s First Convocation
Vanguard Presbytery held its first Convocation on July 30, 2020 in Nashville, TN
There were 94 people present for the Convocation with over 350 others watching the live stream. The actual numbers of how many people watched cannot be determined. One minister who was present placed the link to the Convocation on his church website. Within a day or so, 1400 people had gone to the link to... Continue Reading
Preaching the TONE of the Text
The preacher must be careful not to abandon the truth in the journey from text to sermon.
Every text has a central truth. And every text has a natural tone. To discover the truth of the text is to discover the tone of the text. Some passages teach doctrine. Others offer comfort. There are passages that state commands. Still others give issue warnings. Some passages encourage the weary soldier to fight on,... Continue Reading
Exodus Old and New
Reading one of Morales's books on Scripture is like going on a walk with a friend down a forest path that you've travelled many times and having that friend more than once point to something and say, "Did you ever notice this?"
My friend, Michael Morales, has published a new book titledExodus Old and New: A Biblical Theology of Redemption. I have been eagerly awaiting this one for some time, and I was not disappointed. The exodus event is the paradigmatic redemptive event in the Old Testament, shaping the way the biblical authors talk about redemption throughout... Continue Reading