9 Marks of a Healthy Church is a great book. If you have never read it, I encourage you to read it. Dever’s work is a blessing to every local church. Each “mark” is essential and needed. His book prepares any church to honor Christ. As it stands 9 Marks is an excellent book.
So, let us pretend we can make a great book greater. Adding one important chapter to the 9 Marks book. What is the missing chapter? The Worship Service.
I started going to church during the shift from traditional to contemporary music. I remember the debates (which publishers are thankful for) and people leaving churches for their preferred musical style.… Continue reading
The city of Bakersfield, California is a relatively sleepy town, about 90 miles North of the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles. It’s known for oil production, agriculture and the “Bakersfield Sound”, made popular by the hometown heroes, Buck Owens and Merle Haggard. Not much happens in Bakersfield, but for me, its where I hang my hat, it’s where I proudly call home, and it’s where I have the privilege of serving Christ and His Church.
Recently, two pastors in the Bakersfield area picked a fight with the reformed theology community. I don’t think they realized the fight they were getting into either, because shortly afterwards, Valley Bible Fellowship (a church with 10,000+ souls in attendance) pulled their anti-Calvinist rant from their website.… Continue reading
The last time I celebrated Halloween was 1988. I was 4 years old and dressed up as Big Bird. My family did the traditional thing: dress-up, go door to door at night, say “trick or treat,” get candy, repeat, come home, spill the candy, compare with siblings, make candy trades, begin eating candies, get scolded by mom for eating too much candy, get candy taken away and told it will be rationed over the year, argue about how un-fair that was, get a spanking, get sent to bed, sneak out of bed at 1am, eat more candy, get a stomach ache, realize mom was right, sleep in the next morning because I was sick.… Continue reading
Halloween has become one the biggest holidays on the American calendar, spending over $6 billion last year on decorations, candy and costumes. What was once essentially a children’s holiday has become a cultural juggernaut, and as it has, Halloween has become an increasingly controversial and at times divisive topic in the Christian community. But it doesn’t have to be, and to that end I humbly offer a few thoughts.
- There is no clear teaching in scripture about whether or not it is permissible to participate in Halloween observances. It is what might be considered a gray area of the Christian life.
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I know I am the self-proclaimed reference and resource guy here at Parking Space 23, but please allow me to break out of my shell just a little this week as I put on my storyteller hat just for a bit. You see one of the reasons I love books so much is for the stories they share, and especially when those “stories” are true and otherwise known as history. Now don’t go getting scared I am not to use this post to provide another in an endless string of internet histories on Halloween nor am I going to wax poetic about all the heroes of the Faith who lived through and contributed to the Reformation.… Continue reading