I originally wrote this around the time when the horrifically unnecessary reboot of the Left Behind series was hot news in the Christian blogosphere. Around that time in certain corners of the reformed community it was in vogue to assert that all dispensationalists were chart obsessed simpletons. I recently had a conversation with a committed amillennial brother who could neith articulate why he was committed to his position (other than listing who also holds/held the same position) and he had never heard anyone give any actual reasons for holding to dispensationalism. And where there is one, there are more, so I thought this (very) short discussion may be helpful to some in thinking through their eschatological position, or at least as a discussion starter.… Continue reading
Planting and waiting. That, I am learning, is the essence of biblical ministry. It is perhaps the most important lesson I have been learning over the last few years, at least as it concerns my life as a pastor.
Of all the things that I long to see happen in, around, and as a result of my ministry, I have no power whatsoever to make happen. I cannot save a single soul. I cannot make a single Christian more like Christ. I cannot cause a single saint to endure to the end of his life in faithfulness to Christ.
Beyond these things, I cannot heal a single marriage. … Continue reading
In many ways, serving your church is difficult. It involves sacrifice (1 Cor. 10:24). It involves deference (Romans 14:15-21). It requires bearing others’ burdens (Galatians 6:2). It requires love (Galatians 5:13).
But it doesn’t have to be as difficult as we often make it. It is something done not by our own power, but by the “grace” that God gives – strength for ministry (Romans 12:6, 1 Cor. 15:10). The selfish desires that naturally rule us can be overcome by a changed heart that desires to please Christ instead of serving one’s own self (2 Cor. 5:13-15). The motivation of future reward should be sufficient to help us not seek the ease and comfort that ministry often takes away.… Continue reading
(This is an article I wrote a couple years ago in a different context. The specific target audience at that time was Christian scholars, and I’m developing the point that the Christian life must be motivated by adoration of Christ. But the point of the article is that the principle at hand applies to all Christians, not just intellectuals. So I offer it for your edification here on PS23.)
What does it mean to adore someone? We romanticize adoration: “I just adore her. She’s such a wonderful person!” Or we trivialize it: “What an adorable puppy!” Now these are normal developments in word usage, so I’m not complaining, but it does present the possibility that when we come to the idea of adoring the Son of God our understanding of adoration may be somewhat diluted.… Continue reading
For our regular readers, you probably noticed a break this week. In the life of pastoral ministry things get greatly crazy. I define crazy as great because busy serving family and church are a joy and privilege I greatly enjoy. To be physically worn out at night after spending time with the church and family is a great privilege . . . and I love going to bed exhausted, the sleep is superb!!
In the midst of this craziness, the church served me by sending me to a week long seminar on the Protestant Reformation at The Master’s Seminary taught by Dr.… Continue reading