How to Avoid Disappointing Beliefs

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Disciple-making can be a tough, slow, and arduous process. God tells us, “He who began a good work in you, He will complete it until the day of Christ Jesus” (Phil 1:6). Verses like this remind us people grow on God’s time table. Although our friend has faith in Christ, sometimes the unbelief, wrong thinking, or sinful actions take a while to change. The longer we walk with Christ, the more our responsibilities to be involved in disciple making. As we age in our walk, we recognize the call to be a Titus 2 disciple maker where older men train up younger men to walk sensibly and women share similar responsibilities towards younger women.… Continue reading

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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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Your Pastor, Melancholy And The Black Dog

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Recently news broke that Andrew Stoecklein, pastor of Inland Hills Church in Chino California took his own life. It is heartbreaking news, and shocking, but I have to say not overwhelmingly surprising. I’ve heard and read some express sentiments along the lines of “how could a pastor do that?” Sadly, some have gone on to posit that no “truly called” man could possibly be depressed much less suicidal. While I don’t know anything about this man or the church he served, over the last several years, both through my own experiences and through relationships with other pastors, I have learned a thing or two about pastoral ministry. Continue reading

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How to Ensure Success in Counseling

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Later this week a Christian man named Andrew will begin counseling with his pastor in a last stitched effort to overcome a sin that he has long struggled with.  Andrew is 32, has been married for 8 years, is the father of 3-year-old twins, is an active member of his church, and is hooked on porn.  He’s been viewing pornography since he was a teenager, and with exception of a month here and a few weeks there, has not yet found victory over his addiction.  His wife has been living under the impression that Andrew’s struggle came to an end, at least as a daily struggle, several years ago. … Continue reading

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Reprise: When Gray Areas Are Black and White

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I have been thinking a lot about Christian liberty lately. Not because I tend to ruminate on this subject, but because in the last month or so I have noticed a ton of chatter about it in the Christian blogosphere  It isn’tblackorwhite that a lot of writers have decided that now is the time to discuss the doctrine of Christian liberty, it is that the comment sections of various blogs have erupted into a chorus that seemingly thinks that Christian liberty is the ultimate defeater argument.
Christian liberty can be defined as the freedom believers have in Christ to allow their redeemed conscience to guide their actions when scripture is silent on a topic or an issue.
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