Why Our Church Isn’t Charismatic

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Last Sunday a new attender of our church approached me and asked me about the charismatic gifts, and if they exist. I of course answered. And I believe unequivocally that the gifts have ceased. That said I am not a committed partisan warrior in this discussion, and I wholeheartedly believe that anyone’s position of the gifts is not the litmus test of orthodoxy (but let me be clear, I’m not saying it is unimportant either). What follows while not a recreation of the conversation, follows the contours of that discussion. I offer it in a generous spirit and for the edification of the church.… Continue reading

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The Mission Field All Around Us

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Missions is something that happens overseas. That’s why missionaries need to be sent, missionaries need to be supported, and short term mission trips are taken. That is the common wisdom anyway.  Let me be clear, I wholeheartedly agree that missionaries need to be supported and that overseas missions are vitally important. But I think too often we focus on overseas missions and neglect the mission field all around us.

I am not talking about simple evangelism of our neighbors (which we absolutely must do), rather I am talking about reaching out to the non-American people groups that surround us. When I think of missions, I start my thinking with the great commission as recorded in Matthew 28:18-20.… Continue reading

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Israel’s Missionary Work

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Dr. Barrick began our series on missions discussing its relationship to Christ’s resurrection. This article seeks to evaluate missions in the Old Testament context between the Lord and Israel. When using missions, we mean to communicate evangelizing the nations about the grace of our Lord. Hudson Taylor, going to a foreign land, learning the language, and preaching the Gospel exemplifies missions. But is this a NT concept?

Like fingers running down a chalkboard is the concept that God did not have a heart for the nations until after Jesus’s resurrection. Yet, I also understand why people think and teach this.… Continue reading

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Self-Examination and the Lord’s Supper

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In just a couple of days at our Good Friday service, our church will be remembering the death of Christ once again by eating and drinking together in the Lord’s Supper.  The Lord’s Supper is a time for Christians to remember the death of our Lord in a unique way as one family purchased by his blood.  It’s a time for local Christian churches to re-calibrate themselves around the reality that through Jesus’ substitutionary death, he secured the forgiveness of sins and right standing with God for us.

In preparing to observe this ordinance, I often reflect upon the words of the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 11, where he warns a young, sin-tolerant, and immature church against eating and drinking the Lord’s Supper in an “unworthy manner.”  There he writes:

For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body, which is for you.

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The Coming Doom of Elder Rule

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Weather and history, facilitate two other professions: the “forecaster,” an individual who states with varying degrees of accuracy what the weather will be like tomorrow; and the “futurist,” those who forecast, also with varying degrees of accuracy, future trends in society, business, politics or multiple other arenas. Another occupation, the consultant, also forecasts, but mainly recommends some action to either take advantage of the trends or to mitigate against damage the potential storm may cause. The church consultant, like me, is no different. I try to examine history and the “weather” and then make some educated predictions with a view to helping churches either exploit or expiate their situation.… Continue reading

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