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Apr 2013 18 Apr 18, 2013
2

In a previous article I spoke of the danger of pastoral bullies in the local church (1 Peter 5:1-4). One of the factors that can often contribute to this approach to ministry is personal insecurity. Consider the dangers of an insecure pastor (of course, each of the following applies equally well to all Christians). Insecurity makes it difficult to acknowledge and appreciate the accomplishments of others on staff (or in the congregation). In other words, the personally i...Read More

Apr 2013 17 Apr 17, 2013
2

“Has there ever been a phrase more adept at smuggling in doctrinal confusion and moral laxity than the slogan ‘spiritual, not religious’? Granted, for some people this means, ‘I want a personal, life-changing relationship with God, not mere church attendance.’ But more often than not the phrase implies a dislike for theological standards, moral absolutes, and organized religion. Being spiritual in contemporary jargon means you are open to my...Read More

Apr 2013 17 Apr 17, 2013
18

In his instructions to Elders/Pastors, Peter insists that they must not lead for love of power, which is to say they must not “domineer” those in their charge but rather be “examples” to them (v. 3b). How might a pastor or elder “domineer” his flock? In other words, what makes a man a pastoral bully? Here are some ways. A man can “domineer” or “lord it over” his flock by intimidating them into doing what he wa...Read More

Apr 2013 16 Apr 16, 2013
1

“It’s all too easy to turn the fight of faith into sanctification-by-checklist. . . . And inevitably, checklist spirituality is highly selective. So you end up feeling successful at sanctification because you stayed away from drugs, lost weight, served at the soup kitchen, and renounced Styrofoam. But you’ve ignored gentleness, humility, joy, and sexual purity” (Kevin DeYoung, The Hole in our Holiness, 34)....Read More

Apr 2013 16 Apr 16, 2013
2

I want to share a few thoughts about why I so strongly dislike intinction and why I believe it is detrimental to the message communicated in the Eucharist and to the fullness of what I believe the believer should experience in partaking of the elements. For those of you not familiar with the word “intinction,” it refers to a particular way in which the elements of the Lord’s Supper are served and ingested. With intinction, the believer dips the bread i...Read More

Apr 2013 15 Apr 15, 2013
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[Last night I had the unique privilege of joining nearly 4,000 believers in Minneapolis in a celebration of thanksgiving for the ministry of John Piper at Bethlehem Baptist Church. I was also given the honor of issuing a “challenge” or “charge” to John for the remaining years of his life and work on earth. I thought you might enjoy reading what I said.] John, as you know, we first met 29 years ago, appropriately, at Wheaton College. It was a conf...Read More

Apr 2013 12 Apr 12, 2013

Just when you thought you’d seen and heard it all, there appears an article in the most recent issue of World magazine on the battle over gay marriage in our country. On p. 36 is a photograph of a man in front of the U.S. Supreme Court dressed in a red, skin-tight, mesh leotard, a multi-colored tutu around his waist, wearing purple sun glasses to match his purple lipstick, together with a red wig and red horns protruding from his head. One supposes he’s portr...Read More

Apr 2013 12 Apr 12, 2013
2

“. . . holiness is more than middle-class family values” (Kevin DeYoung, The Hole in our Holiness, 34)....Read More

Apr 2013 12 Apr 12, 2013

Pope Francis (Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio) made history in becoming the first Jesuit to be elected as leader of the Roman Catholic Church. But who are the Jesuits? The answer to that question begins with a man named Don Inigo de Onez y Loyola, otherwise known as Ignatius (1491-1556). He was the youngest in a family of thirteen children who spent his early years seeking fame and fortune in the military. He "grew up a courtier and caballero, captive to the romantic ide...Read More

Apr 2013 11 Apr 11, 2013

“If the war on poverty is worth fighting, how much more the war on your own sin? The fact of the matter is, if you read through the instructions to the New Testament churches you will find few explicit commands that tell us to take care of the needy in our communities and no explicit commands to do creation care, but there are dozens and dozens of verses that enjoin us, in one way or another, to be holy as God is holy (e.g., 1 Pet. 1:13-16)” (Kevin DeYoung, T...Read More