Here’s a digest of some favorite resources I’ve discovered recently around the Web…
Does Your Calvinism Build Relationships With Arminians?
“…Theologically, I am Reformed. Sociologically, I am simply a Christian…when our theological distinctives make us aloof from other Christians…Even if a biblical argument can be made for a certain position…the proof of what’s really happening is not in the theological argumentation but in the sociological integration…(Paul) was a free man setting others free…What unifies the church is the gospel…My reformed friend, can you move among other Christian groups and really enjoy them?…Relationships reveal what we really believe, as opposed to what we think we believe.” Truly Reformed by Ray Ortlund at Christ Is Deeper Still
Several, Helpful Articles on God’s Law
God’s Law by Doug Moo
Starved for Mature Meat
“A prominent radio preacher frequently makes the statement that 85% of the people never darken a church door. Just could be that they’ve been starved out.
Tell me now, how long is it since you preached a sermon on the Sovereignty of God, the Majesty of God, the Holiness of God, the Justice of God, the Immutability of God, and the eternal, electing Love of God? Most of the preaching of our day in evangelical, as well as in liberal churches, is man-centered, not God-centered. Christian people have been entertained and whipped and broken and crucified and psychoanalyzed and sensitivity-trainingized, etc., etc., until they hardly know who God is or who they are…” Hey Preacher by G.E. MacLean at Banner of Truth
Joel Osteen’s Negative Message
“…The ‘positive’ message he proclaims is this: Do better. Try harder. Believe you can succeed. In other words, you can change! Just do it! God will help you, of course, but you have to make it happen.
Though Osteen claims he has positive sermons, I believe he is proclaiming the most negative, unmerciful message possible! Like telling a clinically depressed person to вЂњjust snap out of it!,вЂќ Osteen is giving people burdened by sin, guilt and despair more reason to despair.
Do we really think that more willpower will solve our problems? What is this message but the Law on steroids? There is no gospel in Osteen’s message, regardless of his rare references to Jesus Christ. Osteen’s idea of вЂњgood newsвЂќ is telling self-centered people to look for salvation in more narcissism!…” Joel Osteen’s Negative Message by Trevin Wax at Kingdom People
“…Yet, Jesus didn’t say, вЂњFollow themвЂќ; he said quite clearly, вЂњFollow me.вЂќ The true disciple puts his loyalty, not with a group or another human or a new idea, however good those things may be, but only with his master who has called him by name…” Following Christ by Trevin Wax at Kingdom People
One Man Committed to Christ
“…(William) Borden’s small morning prayer group gave birth to a movement that spread across the campus. By the end of his first year, 150 freshman were meeting for weekly Bible study and prayer. By the time Bill Borden was a senior, one thousand of Yale’s 1,300 students were meeting in such groups. Borden made it his habit to seek out the most “incorrigible” students and try to bring them to salvation…” No Reserves. No Retreats. No Regrets by Brian Hedges at Light and Heat
8 Dangers of Exclusive, Redemptive-Historical Preaching
I lo-o-ove redemptive-historical preaching. But, like all styles of preaching, it has its strengths and weaknesses. Ethics, Preaching, and Biblical Theology by John Frame
Minimizing the Bible?
Have seeker-sensitive preachers and over-contextualizing missionaries lost faith in the power of God’s Word to change people? Preach the whole counsel of God!
“…It seems to me that a growing number of pastors and missionaries have lost confidence in this truth. They have concluded that the gap between the glory of Christ and the felt needs of their neighbors, or between the glory of Christ and the religion of the nationals, is simply too great for the fullness of God’s word to overcome. The upshot seems to be the minimization of the Word of God in its robust and glorious fullness.
This is on my front burner just now because in recent weeks I have received a steady stream of testimonies from aching saints who say in so many words, вЂњOur pastor doesn’t proclaim to us what the Bible says and means. The messages are not revelations of the glory of Christ. They are advice-talks with a religious twist…вЂќ Minimizing the Bible by John Piper
The Guilt of Giving Part of God’s Counsel
Preach the whole Bible, nothing less! The Guilt of Giving Part of God’s Counsel by John Piper
Seminary Training vs. Church Training?
Who can better train future church pastors than current church pastors? Where better to learn to pastor a church than in a church? Long before pastors’ training became academicized and institutionalized, local churches trained pastors. Proposal for a New Seminary by John Frame