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Categories : Christianity, evangelicalism, gospel, Ministry, preaching, Rick Warren, seeker movement, sermon, the cross, theology
I have found that I have personally become quite exercised about some of the various methods and practices that are employed within the popular American evangelical community. Sometimes I have, through introspection, wondered if my offense was based upon my preference and these evangelicals’ divergent view of ministry. In other words, I wondered if my issue was chiefly my offense or God’s.
So in effort to have clean hands, a clear conscience and pure motives I examined this, and tried to understand what in the world contemporary evangelicalism is doing. And you know what? I’m offended. But now more than ever I feel that my offense is rooted in the attack upon God’s method for accomplishing his own end.
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Categories : prayer, theology
The Scriptures teach that God is good in both his character and dealings. The 119th Psalm says it this way in a true prayer to God: “You are good and do good, teach me your statutes” (v.68).
Consider with me the fact that everything believers in Christ would seek should be good and all of our deeds likewise should be pursuing good, in fact everything we desire should be good…right?!
Well not only is God intrinsically good but he is the source of all good. Everything that is good comes from him (Jam. 1.17). Do you fully grasp this? I don’t! If I did I would be praying a heck of a lot more!
God is the source and supplier of all goodness, therefore believers cannot obtain goodness apart from him. In other words, without God’s loving kindness fueling his gracious manifestations of goodness to us we are devoid of good.
So how does this impact my prayer life?
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Categories : Charles Spurgeon, John Calvin, Martin Luther, preaching, Reformed Theology, teaching, theology, Uncategorized
An exciting and alarming by-product over the increased excitement in reformed theology is the intense individual identification with the reformed theological framework. Of course this is exciting because reformed theology is by in large biblical. However, there are some contemporary trends that are alarming.
For example, when I hear a sermon by a well known contemporary preacher quoting Calvin, Luther & Spurgeon more than the Bible I become concerned. I listen to a guy referring to what Calvin said as if it is authoritative and binding in my life. I need to listen to what Calvin (or anyone for that matter) says because it reflects what God says.
Reformed heroes are not our authority the Bible is. I know that guys do not intend to do this but they end up elevating the dead guys with nice lettuce (hair) to a position of authority, thereby circumventing one of the great Solas of the reformation (Sola Scriptura). And in so doing we create our own little protestant Magisterium. Again I know this is not the intention but what else am I to conclude when guys repeatedly appeal to men as their authority to make their homiletical points?
The preacher is called to ‘preach the word’ (2 Tim. 4.2). This is done by giving the meaning of the text (according to God) to the hearer with personal application. This is not accomplished by quoting and interacting with theologians for 45 minutes while giving a courteous tip of the hat to the text by simply reading the passage.
So to preachers: are you primarily providing and reinforcing theology or are you primarily there to operate on hearts by giving your hearers the word of God?
And to those who sit under the preaching ministry of another: Are you primarily there to learn more about the reformed heritage and concepts or are you primarily there to have your heart operated on by the sacred scalpel of truth (Heb. 4.12)?
The faithfully preached word will provide and reinforce theology and illicit passion in the life of the Christian. My fear is that, even with good motives, some today are not being clear and faithful with the Bible as their ultimate authority and means by which we are sanctified. So I challenge myself and others to ensure that our theology and emotions are derived from the text and not the other way around.