With my first post about Ministering to Problem People in Your Church: What to Do With Well-Intentioned Dragons, I wanted to kick off the series on a positive or constructive tack, rather than just whining or blaming. Every church, going all the way back to Corinth and beyond, has had its share of folks who pass over the threshold of acceptable or normal misbehaving and into those super-descriptive, unflattering Scriptural categories reserved for the worst cases: they are gossips, slanderers, divisive persons, judgmental and evil, wild waves, and blemishes on your love feasts.1 The Lord is not pleased with those who trouble the church. From… Read the rest
In my last post, I kicked off a series on Christian leadership in the church. The question arises: “Why another blog about this stuff and why me?” I’ve always had a keen desire to see others grow in Christ and serve His Bride, the Church. But, my motives are always mixed and, if we can be honest, you may be serving Jesus out of a variety of not-so-Biblical or virtuous motivations, too. Let’s face it, if we were as pure in our devotion to Christ and His Kingdom as we like to believe or pretend, Jesus wouldn’t have spent so much time warning us to guard against pride, greed or selfishness:
… Read the rest
The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat, so do and observe whatever they tell you, but not the works they do.
J.I. Packer is a true gentleman. He read my biography of Richard Baxter and mailed me a copy of his book, A Grief Sanctified, along with a thoughtful note. This is the second time I’ve received a personal communication from the world-class theologian and author of the classic, Knowing God. The first was back around 1988, when he sent me a detailed, thorough reply to a question about ecclesiology, along with a fairly lengthy paper (which he obviously read).
I’ve learned something through all my research and writing adventures over the years. The great ones are generous with their time, their writings, and their knowledge.… Read the rest
Serious Christians long for revival (or reformation) and I have some good news for you, if you find yourself among that number. Consult the history books or, better yet, dig into the Scriptures. As you survey the collapse of Christian power and influence in the west, when you witness the open hostility and intolerance toward those who follow Jesus from both secularist and nominal Christians everywhere, and you see reports of persecution on an Apocalyptic scale around the world, you can be sure that revival is either here or on the doorstep. By the way, reformation and revival appear to be in full swing throughout Africa, Central/South America and Asia.… Read the rest
In an earlier post, I mentioned Flannery O’Connor and I have to admit I haven’t read nearly enough of her work! What she has to say here stings just a little bit:
Everywhere I go, I’m asked if I think the universities stifle writers. My opinion is that they don’t stifle enough of them. There’s many a best seller that could have been prevented by a good teacher.
Have you ever wondered why people who always seem to be involved in conflicts or controversy are the first to cry foul? Richard Baxter made this observation of human nature over 300 years ago and it’s as timely now, as it was during those factious days of the English Civil War:
He that will blow the Coals must not wonder if some Sparks do fly in his face…
I have hundreds and hundreds of pithy quotes (and, some longer), which I have collected over the years. I brought them together as a collection in a Hypercard stack, back in the early ’90s.… Read the rest