Reprise: I Prayed About It Again

Last Friday, I attended a conference at my former church where Dr. Stuart Scott gave an excellent presentation of bad methods Christians use to make decisions (among other dimensions of decision-making). It was very helpful and I encourage you to download it here when available: Sermon Audio – Grace Community Church. To provoke your thinking on the matter, here’s what I wrote a while back on one of the many “wrong” ways to make decisions. 

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Previously, I wrote a post talking about the dangers of misusing prayer in the decision-making process. But I neglected to specify the ways God does get directly involved in influencing the decisions we make.… Continue reading

Psalms and Hymns: Preach the Psalm Headings

The psalm is a hymn that is sung to an instrument, either a lyre or a psaltery. According to the spiritual or analogical sense, the poem is a contemplation of truth that happens not only in the mind but also in the music as with measured harmony. The psalm denotes actions that are done according to right reason; so as one sings he follows the way of an effective life; he sings who follows a life of contemplation.[1]

Didymus the Blind (ca. 313–398 AD) was an Alexandrian exegete whom Jerome admired. Origen influenced Didymus in his exegesis and theology.… Continue reading

Reprise: Why I Am A Dispensationalist

I originally wrote this around the time when the horrifically unnecessary reboot of the Left Behind series was hot news in the Christian blogosphere.  Around that time in certain corners of the reformed community it was in vogue to assert that all dispensationalists were chart obsessed simpletons.  I recently had a conversation with a committed amillennial brother who could neith articulate why he was committed to his position (other than listing who also holds/held the same position) and he had never heard anyone give any actual reasons for holding to dispensationalism.  And where there is one, there are more, so I thought this (very) short discussion may be helpful to some in thinking through their eschatological position, or at least as a discussion starter.Continue reading

Ministry in a Nutshell

PlantingPlanting and waiting.  That, I am learning, is the essence of biblical ministry.  It is perhaps the most important lesson I have been learning over the last few years, at least as it concerns my life as a pastor.

Of all the things that I long to see happen in, around, and as a result of my ministry, I have no power whatsoever to make happen.  I cannot save a single soul.  I cannot make a single Christian more like Christ.  I cannot cause a single saint to endure to the end of his life in faithfulness to Christ.

Beyond these things, I cannot heal a single marriage. … Continue reading

Simple Ways to Serve Your Church

In many ways, serving your church is difficult. It involves sacrifice (1 Cor. 10:24). It involves deference (Romans 14:15-21). It requires bearing others’ burdens (Galatians 6:2). It requires love (Galatians 5:13).

But it doesn’t have to be as difficult as we often make it. It is something done not by our own power, but by the “grace” that God gives – strength for ministry (Romans 12:6, 1 Cor. 15:10). The selfish desires that naturally rule us can be overcome by a changed heart that desires to please Christ instead of serving one’s own self (2 Cor. 5:13-15). The motivation of future reward should be sufficient to help us not seek the ease and comfort that ministry often takes away.… Continue reading