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This is a list of recent blog posts which I found interesting. That I found them interesting doesn’t mean I necessarily agree with or endorse all of the ideas presented in the posts, but that I found them to be intriguing and thought-provoking. They may benefit you as you prayerfully consider your area of shepherding and stewardship, which has been given to you in trust by the Lord. (They are listed in no particular order of interest.) Please post your comments to discuss any article that strikes your interest. If you have recent blog posts to nominate, please send the link and your reasons for nominating that post to
The truth is that there are far too many churches adding stuff to the Bible. Just doing exactly what the good Book says is hard enough. Pastors and churches too often try to streamline and codify the intense and overwhelming call of God for His people to become like His Son through rigorous programs, organizational schemes, and various other "to do" lists. This (1) removes the assistance of God's Grace by enslaving people into a legalistic system, (2) reduces the call of God from Christ-like discipleship to something wicked, and (3) ultimately leads us away from knowing the Father in a personal relationship. The question is so simple: has God spoken, or has He not? Has He so commanded us to live in such and such a way. Or has He not? Adding stuff to the Bible is really all about an ancient heresy, an effort to distort the truth of what the Father has actually spoken. Be sure to read Daniel Darling's article on "When We Add Stuff to the Bible, We Hurt People."
Orthodox evangelicals believe in something called a 'closed cannon.' It’s in our statements of faith, its part of our creeds, and we will not be ashamed to say we believe this. But in practice, we often say something different."
I love Dietrich Bonhoeffer! Everything he said was right on (except for the stuff he said about Baptism; immersion following individual profession of faith is the only legit way to do it, man!). I'm having this exact conversation all the time, over and over again. People often desire the Pastor to be The Leader of the church. While there are many leaders within our church, and while each has been granted an authority to lead and influence others to a certain extent, there is only One Leader. All leadership must point to Him, all leadership must derive from Him, and all authority must be grounded in His wishes and will. Everything else is Satanic.
"If [the true Leader] understands his function in any other way than as it is rooted in fact, if he does not continually tell his followers quite clearly of the limited nature of his task and of their own responsibility, if he allows himself to surrender to the wishes of his followers, who would always make him their idol – then the image of the Leader will pass over into the image of the mis-leader, and he will be acting in a criminal way not only towards those he leads, but also towards himself. The true Leader must always be able to disillusion. It is not just that this is his responsibility and real object. He must lead his following away from the authority of his person to the recognition of the real authority of orders and offices…"
As a Shepherd who has been granted a Trust from the Lord, it is important to me that you learn not only what the Bible says but how to read and interpret it for yourself. This is a great mini-primer on reading and interpreting the Proverbs.
"Interpreting the proverbs as promises is a critical mistake that can fuel legalism, moralism, and disillusionment. Once again, we see the importance of knowing how to interpret the different genres of Scripture and the heartache that comes from a misguided interpretation."
"As with anything that takes time, effort, and patience, people are prone to look for shortcuts. Some people substitute a mystical, subjective feeling of closeness to God for actual spiritual growth. Others cling to outward expressions of godliness while sin still makes a home in their hearts. But that’s not true spiritual growth—it’s counterfeit. If you truly love the Lord, you can’t be willing to move the goalposts on biblical sanctification."
This is your apologetic tid-bit for the week. One of the biggest objections to the reality of a loving Father is the presence of suffering and evil in this world. You will encounter this objection throughout the course of your life, and so this is an important basic primer for how to understand the objection and how to respond faithfully.