Monthly Archives: March 2012

Worth a Look 3.26.12

New York Times – Tim Tebow in Babylon:

THE Prophet Jonah was sent to Nineveh. St. Paul was sent to Athens, Macedonia, Rome. And now Tim Tebow has been sent to New York City.

The Doctrine of Vocation in the Sermon on the Mount:

The teaching of the Bible is not that there are no priorities in life. Seeking the kingdom of God is the most important thing.

But the revolutionary teaching of Jesus and the Bible is that you don’t have to be a pastor or missionary or full-time Christian worker to do this.

Temptation is Not Sin:

As you walk longer on the path, you will learn how to control those tempting thoughts a little, but they will always be there, until sin is removed from every cell of our being. But please hear this: these thoughts are not sin; they are temptation.

Read Yourself into the Story:

What we need when we read the bible is whole heap of imagination to go with our commentaries and lexicons.

What are we missing of God by reading the bible without imagination? Wouldn’t we understand him better if felt what Joseph felt while abandoned in an Egyptian prison for a crime he didn’t commit? Wouldn’t the reality of “the Lord was with Joseph” be more meaningful if we wrestled through the bitterness or loneliness or desperation or depression that he might have suffered?

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Grace to Love What You Command

Almighty God,
You alone can bring into order the unruly wills and affections of sinners:

Grant Your people grace to love what You command
and desire what You promise;
that, among the swift and varied changes of the world,
our hearts may surely there be fixed where true joys are to be found;
through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.

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We Have Seen Him as God

We have known and believed that Jesus is the everlasting Word, the veritable Son of the Father.

We have beheld Him by faith, as dwelling with the Father or ever the world was, the beloved of His Father’s soul.

We have seen Him and we have marked that His goings-forth are of old, even from everlasting.

We have seen Him weighing the clouds, measuring the channels of the great deep, planning the heavens, and meting out the sea.

We have seen Him with the line and with the plummet, making all things according to His wisdom, and the purpose of the counsel of His will, for “without Him was not anything made that was made.”

We have seen Him as God, seated upon the throne of His Father, and we have believed that the sea roareth only as He bids it, that the earth with all the creatures that are therein obeys His glorious will.

Lo, in His hands today the keys of heaven and death, and hell!

We have had no doubts whatever as to His Divinity, for we have seen and known that He is “very God of very God.” “God over all, blessed for ever Amen.”

Charles Spurgeon

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Friday Funny: 10 Church Bulletin Bloopers

Please place your donation in the envelope along with the deceased person(s) you want remembered.

Applications are now being accepted for 2 year-old nursery workers.

If you would like to make a donation, fill out a form, enclose a check, and drip in the collection basket.

We are grateful for the help of those who cleaned up the grounds around the church building and the rector.

A worm welcome to all who have come today.

Irving Benson and Jessie Carter were married on October 24 in the church. So ends a friendship that began in their school days.

Helpers are needed! Please sign up on the information sheep.

Diana and Don request your presents at their wedding.

The concert held in Fellowship Hall was a great success. Special thanks are due to the minister’s daughter, who labored the whole evening at the piano, which as usual fell upon her.

Remember in prayer the many who are sick of our church and community.

The choir invites any member of the congregation who enjoys sinning to join the choir.

See 34 more of these here

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Trevin’s Seven

Links for your weekend reading:

1. The Subtle Art of Sabotaging a Pastor

2. The FAA may finally consider updating its list of approved electronics

3. Deadly Denial: Top Ten Rationalizations about Death

4. Video of Karl Barth answering a question about “enjoying theological dispute”

5. “One Day, Night Fell”

6. Plumblines: 35 Values I Wish I Had Possessed When I Started Pastoring 10 Years Ago

7. Indispensable Writing Advice

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Behind Every Theological Crusader There’s Usually a Story

I know a pastor who thinks militant Calvinism is about to overtake the Southern Baptist Convention and lead to multiple church splits. In personal conversation, he is constantly going back to the dangers of Reformed theology and the damage it is doing across the evangelical world.

I have a friend on the other side of the spectrum – a truly Reformed guy convinced that the contemporary church movement, particularly its Purpose-Driven manifestation, is man-centered, God-dishonoring and infecting evangelicalism all over the place, leaving us powerless for mission and divided in our churches. Whenever I talk with him, he is constantly railing against church growth and numbers-obsessed pastors who only want to build monuments to themselves.

I have another friend who has a visceral reaction whenever someone is expressive in worship. He talks often about how people are just showing off. Their enthusiasm isn’t real. If it gets out of hand, it will cause problems.

The Common Thread: A Story

Do you know these types? Maybe it’s not Calvinism or church growth or charismatic expression but something else. The common thread you find is that they are almost obsessive in their critique of a movement, theological persuasion, or church practice they think is doing damage to the kingdom of God.

There’s one thing all these guys have in common: a past experience. Behind every theological crusader, you can usually find a story.

For the anti-Calvinist pastor, it was a church he labored over for many years. When he moved to another city, the church called a …

Posted in Christianity, Church Issues, Counseling, Emerging Church, Missions / Evangelism, Reformed Theology, Theology | 31 Comments

Worth a Look 3.22.12

Could Many Universities Follow Borders Into Oblivion?

You don’t know where events are going to take higher education. But if you want to be an important institution 20 years from now, you have to position yourself so that you can adapt to whatever those technology changes are. Whenever you have this kind of technological change, where there’s a large incumbency, the incumbents are inherently at a disadvantage. And we’re the incumbents.

10 Leadership Lessons I Learned from Golf:

You may not think of the golf course as a beaker for leadership testing, but there’s a ton to learn, besides how to hit it long and straight. Which, between you and me, is a task much harder than leadership.

Tim Kimberley reviews Tim Tebow’s autobiography:

This book did surprise me. Yes, there are all sorts of great details you’ll love if you’re already a fan of Tebow or a fan of American Football. The book, however, led me to a place I did not expect. I spent less time thinking about Tebow and more time thinking about his parents.

Children with Down Syndrome: Will Culture Make Them Disappear?

With advances in genetic testing and the foretelling of the end of Down syndrome, I have to wonder who’s next. If a test can reveal future childhood diabetes or cancer, blindness, deafness, a propensity toward violence, and even ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) later in life, will couples choose abortion? What possible disability or disorder will be eradicated next? What will we as a …

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Missional Giving: A Conversation with Marty Duren (and free book)

A friend and colleague of mine – Marty Duren – is giving away copies of his book The Generous Soul: An Introduction to Missional Giving (see information below). To help him get the word out, I’ve asked him to join me for a conversation about how generosity is connected to the mission of the church.

Trevin Wax: Marty, welcome to Kingdom People. What prompted you to write this book in the first place?

Marty Duren: Thanks for the invite, Trevin. Many years ago, I was blessed to hear some really solid preaching by a number of evangelists on the biblical attitude toward possessions. Early in our marriage, Sonya and I committed to give from what God had entrusted to us, so over the years, we supported numerous missionaries, ministries, and whatever local church we attended. We really wanted to lay up treasures not on this earth.

During the past few years as the conversation around missional church, missional living, missional Christianity, etc. expanded, it seemed that the direct relationship to possessions was being overlooked, if not completely, then in a big way. If missional has to do with the believer’s partnership in the missio dei, then there is simply no way around the fact that this must impact our relationship to money and possessions.

Trevin Wax: I like the phrase you introduce in the book: “missional giving.” What do you mean by that?

Marty Duren: Missional giving is the idea that our relationship to money and possessions is subordinate to the mission of God, that all money we …

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Worth a Look 3.21.12

Outstanding Issues with Smartphones in Church:

As more people make the move from regular cell phones to smart phones and tablets, many want to use the “smart” features during worship services to access the Scriptures, take notes, and even interact with the pastor. This has led to an ongoing, though fairly quiet debate about the proper place of such devices in church.

Time to Enlarge the Church Planting Table:

Pastors, you need to stop looking elsewhere for the high-caliber church planters you don’t have to send from your churches, and start equipping and mobilizing the 1-3-s and the 4-7-s that the Lord has entrusted to your care.  Be faithful with what you have.  If you have the 8-10-caliber leaders, then be faithful with them as well.

Pastoral Idolatry: 10 Common Forms of False Righteousness in Ministry:

Let it be said that theology, well-thought ministry philosophy, and the rest of these things are good things. But when they become the way we distinguish ourselves from other Christians, they have tragic results on our souls and our ministry. We all find security in each of them, and some more than others.

LGBT: An Open-Minded Movement?

A number of different suggestions have been made as to the most civil and sensible way for Christians to respond to accusations of bigotry, but the best is to simply point out what is being ignored in the accusation itself: the fundamental realities of modernity.

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Book Notes: The Holy Spirit in Mission / The Cross is Not Enough / The Dragon’s Tooth

Notes on two books I’ve read recently:

 The Holy Spirit in Mission:
Prophetic Speech and Action in Christian Witness
Gary Tyra (IVP Academic)
My Rating: ****

Gary Tyra brings his Pentecostal convictions to bear on the ongoing conversation about the missional church. In observing the early church’s faithful witness to the gospel in Acts, Tyra highlights the need for evangelicals to be alert to the Spirit’s prompting toward prophetic speech and action.

Christians from various theological backgrounds will benefit from Tyra’s counsel to be more sensitive to the Spirit’s movements as we seek to edify and equip disciples for missional faithfulness.

 The Cross Is Not Enough:
Living as Witnesses to the Resurrection
Ross Clifford and Philip Johnson (Baker)
My Rating: ****

This is a challenging book that brings together apologetics, worldview analysis, biblical exposition, and theological reflection. The authors believe that evangelicals have unintentionally downplayed the theological significance of Christ’s resurrection, as well as the cultural connection points that the resurrection provides us in our evangelistic efforts.

Despite occasional hyperbolic statements that appear to pit the Cross against the Empty Tomb, the primary message is highly needed as Christians seek to witness faithfully in a postmodern age.

 The Dragon’s Tooth:
Ashtown Burials #1

N.D. Wilson (Random House)
My Rating: *** 1/2

I’m a firm believer in reading just for the fun of it. Sometimes, to recapture the fun of reading, you’ve got to dive into some kids’ books or young adult fiction. That’s why after reading and enjoying  Notes From The Tilt-A-WhirlI picked up N.D. Wilson’s recent …

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