One of the, if not strange, then unique things about ministry as the preaching pastor of a church is the perspective I get on the congregation. I’m not speaking metaphorically, I’m not talking about having a special insight, I mean actual perspective. I don’t sit looking at the back of the heads of my church family, I stand in the pulpit and look in their faces.
And I’ve seen some interesting things. I’ve seen a visitor’s face change the precise instant they were offended by the gospel. I’ve seen tears of conviction roll down the face of someone I think of as very godly and advanced in their sanctification.… Continue reading
I wanted to write and publish this a few weeks ago, but didn’t want it teaming with the other plethora of emotional reactions to current events. Stressful and high emotional events do not serve as the best time for research and cognitive change. A friend once said, “Don’t learn theology of trials during the trial, but before the trial.” The best time to learn combat tactics is during the preparation time, allowing practice to hone those skills, not introduce them. The amount of public accusations levied recently highlights the need for God fearers to act appropriately, being in line with God’s Word.… Continue reading
What role do we expect miracles to have among people? Would we expect a miracle to lead an unbeliever to Christ? Does a miracle solidify faith? Would it lead those in opposition to join our cause? Are miracles a sign of truth saving faith?
These are some questions that need to sit on the foundation in this discussion. First, perhaps, what are we talking about? Does a miracle occur when your spouse finally puts his shoes up? Is it a miracle when your teenager simply says, “Sure, I’d be happy to do that dad?” (That second one probably is a miracle, lol).… Continue reading
One of the things I have come to realize in my first few years of pastoral ministry, is that unexpected questions of all kinds come, and often as a pastor my job is not to provide an answer so much as provide a road-map to help the questioner come to a biblical answer for themselves. Lately, I think because of events that have recently been in the news, I have been hearing a question I never anticipated, “Pastor should I, as a Christian, get/carry a gun?”
Now before I get into the nitty gritty, in the interest of full disclosure, let me give you a little bit of personal background.… Continue reading
Nuance seems to be a dirty word among some people. In the last few years I’ve heard people mocked for applying theological nuance to situations or doctrines. Any elder will tell you many situations and resolutions in the church require wisdom. Part of making wise decisions requires evaluating different factors and precise nuances to a situation. But I get it too, sometimes the Bible seems to be clear on an issue so the call to nuance sounds like philosophical jargon to “make the Bible say what it doesn’t say.” As a friend said to me once, “The biblical categories are clear, human situations are not.”… Continue reading