New Study Shows Shorter Sermons Are Perferred

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God has used all kinds of literature in the Bible to convey His truth. Poetry, narrative, exhortation, etc. One of those is Satire. Satire can be defined as the use of humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people’s stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues. This genre is used quite a bit in God’s Word. Elijah the prophet used it (1 Kings 18:27). Isaiah used it (Isa 40:19-20). Paul used it (1 Cor 4:8-13). Jesus used it (Matt 7:5). And God used it (Jer 46:11). In fact, it is possible that Jonah is a whole 4-chapter book that is satirical, though still historical.… Continue reading

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Practical Pauline Missions: Athens

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Brethren, we are not apostles, but their example instructs us. We cannot be exactly like the apostle Paul, but we can learn basic principles and practices from the biblical record of Paul’s missionary service. We can even develop a biblical evangelistic or missions methodology based upon Paul’s example. A careful study of Paul’s missionary efforts reveals that his methodology exhibits flexibility. Although he often begins with the synagogues (Acts 17:1–4, 10), he makes exceptions—as he does at Philippi, going to a group of women meeting for prayer outside the city (Acts 16:11–13). Each strategic church plant comes about through different means.… Continue reading

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Implications or Applications?: Preaching Biblical Narratives

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Some preachers produce abundant applications (or, implications?) for their congregations from biblical narratives, whether they are Old Testament historical narratives like Judges 4 or New Testament Gospel narratives like Mark 3. Other preachers insist they should offer only theological and practical implications. Still others refuse to recognize any implications or applications from Scripture narratives. They declare, “Biblical narrative is only descriptive, not prescriptive.” Which practice is best? Which practice is legitimate and in keeping with sound biblical interpretation?

New Testament Teaching

No matter what the topic, one should always begin with the Scriptures themselves. What does the Word of God teach?… Continue reading

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How much seminary training does a missionary need?

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An old pastors’ adage says, “Those who can’t, go; those who can’t go, teach”—the shortened aphorism for “Those who can’t preach, go to the mission field; those who can’t go to the mission field, teach.” Whoever created this useless and unbiblical proverb deserves appointment as minister of sanitation over church restrooms. This adage contradicts the following truths:

  1. Every man going to the mission field must be able to preach the Word.
  2. No one should go to the mission field as their second or third option for ministry.
  3. Every man who / must be able to preach the Word.
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Context! Context! Context! (a lesson from Luke 15)

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Context is king!

I have been told this for a very long time, especially in seminary where I was learning to rightly divide God’s Word. The Bible was not written in a vacuum. It was written in real history, with real people, making real speeches, writing with real pens & ink & paper, with real burdens to see God’s holiness perfected in God’s people. And each book makes an argument for us to live as God intended: for His glory. Every passage, then, must be taken at face value and interpreted in its context, so that the truth contained will be understood as God the Author intended it to be understood.… Continue reading

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