Bonhoeffer on the Ministry of Listening

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“How, then, is true brotherly service performed in the Christian community?”  German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer asks this very practical question near the outset of the fourth chapter in his relevant and helpful book Life Together.  In an attempt to flesh out the ways Christians are to serve one another in the church, Bonoeffer begins with a ministry that many of us are prone to overlook – the ministry of listening.

He writes,

“The first service that one owes to others in the fellowship consists in listening to them.  Just as love to God begins with listening to his Word, so the beginning of love for the brethren is learning to listen to them. 

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What We’re Preaching and Teaching

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One of the things that makes PS23 unique is that all of the contributor are engaged in pastoral ministry. We love to write, but our first love is the local church and shepherding the flock of God. And part of shepherding God’s people is teaching them the full counsel of God. So we thought we would give a glimpse of our shepherd’s hearts by sharing what we are teaching and why.

John

At PBC we just started a series in the Servant songs of Isaiah, four beautiful and powerful prophecies of Christ’s messianic ministry found at Isaiah 42:1-9, Isaiah 49:1-13, Isaiah 50:4-11 and Isaiah 52:13-53:12.… Continue reading

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Putting Words in Your Mouth

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A few months ago I visited a wonderful church in America’s heartland. I had been asked to assist their music ministry and consult on what it means to have a Pastor over Worship. It was encouraging to share in what was going on at their church and I was sharpened by their great questions. Of course, coming from hot and dry California, it was especially rejuvenating to be surrounded by endless fields and beautiful, big blue skies, but there was joy greater in serving and worshipping with this Church, even though I had only known them for a few days. While I came to serve them, they encouraged my soul and reminded me of the sweet fellowship we have in our bonds of Christ.Continue reading

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I Was Arrested!

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On April 25, 2018, I was arrested. I was led away from the church in handcuffs. I was booked and charged with 3 counts of larceny and 2 counts of defacing a monument. I know, really shocking stuff. But what is even more shocking than a pastor being arrested, is what precipitated my arrest. I removed political signs that were posted on church property without permission. And because so many have asked me what happened, I thought I  should take this opportunity to relate the events, and also a few of the lessons I learned.

I want to be clear and open.Continue reading

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Reprise: Is Rome a Christian Church?

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Note:I am running this reprise about the theology of the Roman Catholic church in anticipation of my next post.  And yes that is a teaser.

There has been a lot of talk in recent months about evangelicals, Roman vaticanCatholics and the pope. Whether John Piper’s recent tweet, or the recent march of Evangelical leaders to the Vatican, or the unprecedented interest among prominent evangelical celebrities in the most recent papal election, many are asking anew, or for the first time, is Rome a Christian church and are Catholics brothers in Christ?

Mike Gendron from Proclaiming the Gospel Ministries ruffled more than a few feathers when he said:

“I’m very concerned because what this does is it confuses the average evangelical.

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