In high school, I remember many occasions in which I was given the assignment to read a book, a piece of poetry, or a short story and then summarize its contents. The teacher then would helpfully remind the class that a good place to start would be, “The main message of _________ is …” I still remember having to read “To Kill A Mockingbird.” Admittedly, I didn’t like the book at the time, even though I was told it was it was a “classic” and I would like it when I was an adult (for the record, I have not read it since I was 15, so I cannot say if this latter statement is true).… Continue reading
The Gospels primarily seem to focus on Jesus Christ. What we must realize, however, is they focus on both His character and actions. Every action reveals His character. What we read describes Him. Knowing His character encourages us because we can trust, due to His immutability, that He is the same today too (even dwelling in flesh).
Focusing on His character, the Bible reveals Him to be fully God and fully man as communicated by these titles: the Son of God and Son of Man. Both are equally true. One never wanes over the other or dissipates. So, when we read about Jesus talking to the Centurion, the woman at the well, or His disciples, He does so as the Messiah – fully God and fully man, not 50% / 50%, but 100% / 100%.… Continue reading
There are several important passages in scripture that shed considerable light on just what apologetics is and how it should be done. The first thing that you should understand from Scripture is that apologetics is a biblical word. It comes from the Greek word apologia which doesn’t mean an apology, but rather a defense (a verbal defense, in the legal sense) of something. The word is used this way in several passages in the New Testament including Acts 22:1, Acts 25:16 and 2 Tim 4:16 where Paul uses it to describe a legal defense in a judicial setting (or at least in the face of a mob bent on “justice”). … Continue reading
Apologetics is one of the most misunderstood and misused terms in the modern evangelical church. Too often it has come to mean having a contentious disagreement with an unbeliever (or especially a professing atheist) and clobbering them in the argument. But that is not apologetics! That is simply trying to sanctify obnoxious behavior. So what is apologetics? In short, it is believers giving an answer for the hope that is within them. But the long answer is a little more involved, but still basic to the Christian life. So I want to kick off a little sub series on apologetics as part of our back to the basics series here on Parking Space 23.… Continue reading
(I apologize in advance for the length of this essay. I am not trying to fight the ever decreasing attention span of readers, but as Spurgeon told the lady who criticized his humor in the pulpit, “you would think better of me if you knew how much I left out.”)
It should go without saying that pastor’s read. Some read more than others and some read better than others; the ones that aren’t as good aren’t illiterate, sometimes just blindingly uncritical. Books are the tools of the pastor, because for both preaching and everyday pastoral ministry, the effective pastor must have a wide range of material at his disposal.… Continue reading