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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
This is a new writer to me. I stumbled across Liam Thatcher from cross linking to another writer, but I absolutely loved his exegesis of the songs sung from the angels of Revelation. Listen to me, friend. There is no understanding of God that ever comes without praise and worship! That there are so many who profess faith in Christ yet feel no need to erupt in jubilant praise for the Lamb and the Lion, feel no need to worship and neglect participation in their local church, and make no effort to grow in their understanding of the Holy One of Israel tells me that Satan is active in numbing the souls of mankind with the lie that awareness of Jesus is the same as knowing Him. Let us, those who know Him, join all the starry host of heaven and praise Him!
This juxtaposition of old song (4:8-11; cf Is 6:2-3) and new (5:9-10) tells us a number of things: The angels have always sung the same song and never tired of it, throughout history. The splendour of God is so vast that thousands of years’ worth of repeated singing can hardly exhaust it, nor can creatures with eyes all around and within fully comprehend it to the point that they no longer feel compelled to marvel and praise (4:8).
As a parent you are the shepherd of your child who is given into your hands in trust by the God of the universe. Nudge your kid toward godliness. Challenge your child to surrender to Christ. Challenge your child to live for Christ. Jesus expects this and so much more. I pray you do not disappoint Him and squander the gift He gave you when He gave you salvation on the cross and the child in your arms.
Be a good leader. 'Nuff said.
I have just completed reading this book. Truthfully, it does not break new ground. I know this will shock many of my pastor buddies to hear me say this, but these ideas have been covered before by Christopher Wright in his very helpful paperback, Knowing Jesus Through the Old Testament. I don't have Wright's paperback on hand, hence I cannot look at his bibliography, but I'm pretty sure Wright compiled these ideas from other theologians. These are not new theological concepts, but the authors have warmed over old ideas, rehashed them, and served them up afresh from a major publishing corporation with wide distribution. THIS is helpful! Not that Wellum and Gentry are to be commended for fresh insights but for a fresh presentation of ancient ideas that have gotten short shrift in the last two decades. This so-called "via media" has been the theological commitment of many scholars and pastors for years, including myself.
So do I recommend Kingdom through Covenant? Yes, I do. I think this is a far better understanding of the correlation of the Old Testament to the New than what is found within Dispensational Theology or Covenantal Theology (especially Covenantal Theology!). However, Kingdom through Covenant only gets two stars because it is technical, academic, and dry. It will not gain traction at the popular level, hence it will be self-limiting to the academic world, and not as helpful to the church. I think you would much prefer an old classic such as Knowing Jesus Through the Old Testament. Wright is simply a better writer!
Perhaps you're familiar with the phrase, "be a good sport!" We're all familiar with the concept of sportsmanship: it's not wether you win or lose; it's how you play the game! A similar concept is that of churchmanship. The strength of any church rests on the strength and health of the individual members of the church. Strong churches have strong members who are more concerned with honoring God in all areas of their life, rather than pursuing their own pet agendas or withdrawing into their own private world, the only time you see them being Sunday. Strong churches possess team players, also known as good churchmen, selfless Christians who fear God and honor Christ, disciples who strive to be disciple-makers. I stumbled across a number of posts this week that speak to the issue of churchmanship, and so I thought I would post this collection here this week.
The purity of the local congregation rests upon the willingness of the members of that local congregation to safeguard that purity. The Holy Spirit indwells every believer, and the collective assembly known as the local congregation is a Biblically constituted authority that must be respected as the very embodiment of Christ.
"The question of church discipline really is one that hinges on the church's counter-cultural understanding of authority."
None of us can grow into our full potential in Christ without each other. It's as simple as that. Sanctification requires participation in a local church congregation. Tim Challies hits the nail on the head with this one:
"To summarize, the measure of the Christian life is growth in holiness. We grow in holiness, at least in part, by putting sin to death. We put sin to death by exposing it to the light. This all helped crystallize something I have been considering for some time now—the corporate nature of holiness. Sanctification is a community project."
The most recent manifestation of the "non-denominational church" is the Emerging Church movement. It's hip to be anti-tradition, anti-institution, and anti-your-grandmother's-old-church. However, we will never seperate ourselves from our forefathers before us. We can only hope to improve where they may have failed us, but we will never be better than they were. Ben Witherington takes on the foolish claims and aspirations of the Emerging Church movement. I think it is a needed rebuke.
"It is my hope that when the Emerging Church stops Emerging from wherever it has been previously hidden and starts merging with other groups of Christians who are willing to partner with them, that it will be realized that it was after all unprofitable and unhelpful to sass your Mother, to repudiate the womb from which you emerged, by which I mean the ekklesia, the body of Christ, the people of God, which will always need structures and organizations. Think on these things."
Tim Challies wrote this post awhile back, but it ties in with the churchman concept and the strength of the local congregation.