Some preachers produce abundant applications (or, implications?) for their congregations from biblical narratives, whether they are Old Testament historical narratives like Judges 4 or New Testament Gospel narratives like Mark 3. Other preachers insist they should offer only theological and practical implications. Still others refuse to recognize any implications or applications from Scripture narratives. They declare, “Biblical narrative is only descriptive, not prescriptive.” Which practice is best? Which practice is legitimate and in keeping with sound biblical interpretation?
New Testament Teaching
No matter what the topic, one should always begin with the Scriptures themselves. What does the Word of God teach?… Continue reading
I minister in the metropolitan area of Washington D.C. many, even most, of the people in the church have their livelihoods directly tied to the government, and truth be told I used to be a full-fledged political junky. Add to that that I am very conservative in my theology and that when it comes to “social issues” I heartily affirm that the only correct (non-sinful) positions are the biblical positions, and by biblical positions I mean as understood for the first 1800 years of church history. I wholeheartedly affirm that abortion is murder, that all sexual activity outside of the bonds of marriage is sin, that marriage is exclusively between one man and one woman, and that marriage is to be permanent (it is a covenant before God and excepting adultery, Matt 19:9 and abandonment by an unbelieving spouse, 1 Cor 7:15, there are no permissible grounds for divorce).… Continue reading
In two days, the world (that seems like an over-statement ….) will celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day. This unofficial holiday (at least, it is unofficial in America) is celebrated in various ways by various cultures and peoples. For most, it seems a day to play Irish music, drink a Guinness, wear “kiss me, I’m Irish” merchandise, and eat cornbeef with cabbage or Irish stew–both sound kind of gross to me (just sayin’).
For seemingly most, no one cares about THE MAN St. Patrick, they just want a reason to mix-up their mundane lives with something different.
Just before I left for a trip, I did a memorial service (see my last post). I had a few hours on a international flight to reflect on the delicate balance between celebrating and mourning at a memorial service. Here are a few thoughts.
I like doing funerals. I know that’s a strange opener, but let me explain a little. Funerals provide a unique opportunity. Some Sunday mornings at our church, it’s a feat to get everyone quiet and focused to start the service. I’ve never experienced this at a funeral. When the family comes in and the minister stands behind the pulpit, typically all you can hear are a few sniffles as everyone solemnly directs their attention towards the front. … Continue reading
If you have been around church circles for any amount of time you have probably heard it said that the Corinthian church had so many profound sin issues because it was rooted in a city that that had a centuries long tradition of debauchery, immorality and the vilest kinds of sin. You may have even heard it said that to coronthianize meant to engage in sexual depravity. The logic is that because the church at Corinth was made up of converts who were steeped in that entrenched culture of debauchery prior to conversion, the church at Corinth was unique in its propensity to sin and tolerate sin.… Continue reading