Learning from The Forgotten Spurgeon

the-forgotten-spurgeonOf the books I had the opportunity to read this year, Iain Murray’s The Forgotten Spurgeon stands out among them. Every time I read a book by Murray, I am greatly edified, and this time was no exception. At this point, it was the book I gained the most from reading in 2016. So, in this post I’d like to share some of the primary lessons I learned from it.

Originally published in 1966, The Forgotten Spurgeon looks to the controlling center of life and doctrine of Charles Haddon Spurgeon; the great Calvinistic, Baptist, Evangelical preacher of 19th C.… Continue reading

Why I Am Thankful for the Reformation

Reformation Day is this coming Tuesday. I have no doubt that you will read many blogs about the importance of what Martin Luther did on October 31, 1517, as well as the glorious results that came from the era of the reformation (approx.. AD 1500—1650). It was an important time in the life of the true church of Jesus Christ. The Roman Catholic Church (RCC) had spiritually abused people for 100s of years (and continue to this day) and God had had enough. So He sent a mass of men (Luther, Knox, Calvin, Tyndale, Zwingli, Hus, and others) to expose the abuses of the RCC and to bring God’s truth that salvation is by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone for the glory of God alone.Continue reading

Trinitarian Discussions & Church History

Trinity in LatinAs of late it would seem a plethora of events have conspired to break the internet. Everything from a mass murder being committed to the tragic loss of a young boy while on vacation with his family. Amidst these and other current events has been an interesting and even moving occurrence among evangelicals. In case you have been blissfully disconnected, I will take a moment to explain. The theological subject of the Trinity has recently garnered what might seem like new attention, now I will not even attempt to lay out the nuances of this discussion as others more capable than myself have done so here.… Continue reading

Elders and Deacons (oh, and Don’t Forget Trustees)

Last week I offered some observations about the differences between the lists of the elder qualifications in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1 and you can read that here. This week I want to look at the difference between the roles for “elders” and “deacons.” The resurgence of elders and elder-rule in evangelical churches in the last 40 years has led to a significant reconfiguration of the roles of elders and deacons.

There are two basic approaches in the relative roles of elders and deacons[1]: Traditionally, in Baptist and Congregational systems there is a single elder (the pastor) who is then supported by a group of deacons who form a governing board of some sort.… Continue reading

The Problem with Elders…

Probably one of the most significant developments in evangelical churches since the 1970’s has been the reëmergence of “elders” or “elder-rule” in local churches. Before that time “elders” were something “Presbyterians had” or perhaps you had friends who were Plymouth Brethren who also had elders. Most churches, especially in America, followed a more Congregational and Baptistic tradition of a single elder, that is the pastor, supported by a board of deacons; with members exercising their input by congregational voting.[1]

With the emphasis on “elders” the key passages of 1 Timothy 3:1–7 and Titus 1:5–9, where the qualifications for elders are detailed, are naturally foundational starting points in discussions of church leadership.… Continue reading