Wednesday, 28 April 2010

(Just) a few good men...

Our youth Fellowship Group are looking at Complementarianism verses Egalitarianism (great summary paper here) a week today, prompting a bit of online study on my part. My Googling caused me to stumble across this website bemoaning the lack of men in today’s church and positing some solutions to the problem.

I certainly agree with the problem, there are too few men in today’s Church. There are too few men reaching non-Christian men with the gospel, too few men leading well in the home and in the church, too few –Christian- men marrying Christian women.

We should of course be profoundly thankful for godly and gifted women, but a lack of masculinity in the church is nonetheless a serious concern. And more feminized the church becomes, the more self-perpetuating the problem.

I agree with the sickness, but not the remedy:

In my Go for the Guys Sunday Action Plan, I advocate a one-point sermon, ten minutes in length, built around an object lesson.

Surely churches need more time in the Bible, not less?! Surely Scripture offers a corrective to any imbalanced church, including the overly feminized church? Here we find a Sovereign, almighty, fearsome God; calling people to repentance and faith in Christ, and summoning them to fight the good fight like good soldiers of Christ Jesus. Here we find a summons from the Lord to go into the world in his Name on a mission to see souls saved and God’s Kingdom come.

If we don’t know and love our Bibles, we won’t know and love our God- that is not the answer to any of our problems.

Speaking to men like they are women is a problem.

Speaking to men like they are children is not the solution.


Thursday, 22 April 2010

Francis Chan moves on - raising some fascinating questions


Francis Chan is stepping out in faith... from Catalyst on Vimeo.

Francis Chan has announced his decision to move on from Cornerstone Church, without being entirely sure as to where he's moving on to.

This kick-started a fascinating conversation over at expository thoughts about when (and how) elders are called to leave a church.

Are elders\pastors responsible for double standards here- we would not expect the Lord to speak to a church member about moving to another church simply because things are tough, it's 'time for a change' or they just don’t feel at home- unbiblical we might say. Yet we then move on citing those very reasons.

Maybe a (paid) pastor is different, as there's no space for stepping down for a while? Maybe our first ministry responsibility is to our family, and if they're struggling we can feel free to move on?

So what do you think, should we 'nail our feet to the floor' until we are kicked out, or die, or does the Lord really lead most of us on subjectively after a few years hard-graft?


Monday, 19 April 2010

t4g conference audio


Monday is an unusual day for the preacher. Even after a ‘good’ Sunday, the day after the battle is filled with dangers. Achan fell into sin after the fall of Jericho (Joshua 7), Elijah prayed that he might die shortly after the victory at Carmel (1 Kings 18\19) and the tired pastor can just as easily sink into sin or sadness when the spiritual focal-point that is the Sunday passes.

For this reason I always try to make sure I listen to some good preaching to strengthen and stir me spiritually on a Monday morning. This morning I’ll be downloading something from t4g.

Here are some links should you wish to join me:

Mark Dever- The Church is the Gospel Made Visible

RC Sproul- The Defence and Confirmation of the Gospel — What I Have Learned in 50 years

Albert Mohler- How Does it Happen? Trajectories Toward an Adjusted Gospel

Thabiti Anyabwile- ‘Fine-Sounding Arguments’ — How Wrongly ‘Engaging the Culture’ Adjusts the Gospel

John MacArthur- The Theology of Sleep! (Mark 4)

John Piper- Did Jesus Preach Paul’s Gospel?

Some written summaries of the messages here and here.

Some personal reflections:

‘We were together for the Gospel” Colin Adams gives his personal highlights

Derek Thomas reflects on t4g here and here, before coming to the conclusion that these are ‘encouraging times.'


Monday, 12 April 2010

Amazing Grace


The sinner, apart from grace, is unable to be willing and unwilling to be able.
..W.E. Best

Grace is not a reward for faith; faith is the result of grace.
John Blanchard


Sunday, 4 April 2010

Easter Sunday

. .

The New Testament preaches a Christ who was dead and is alive,
not a Christ who was alive and is dead.

(James Denney)

Saturday, 3 April 2010

Good Friday - Great Faithfulness

"All I have needed, thy hand hath provided..."

"All I have needed, thy hand hath provided..."

HT: Craig Dyer