There is a great difference in excellency, usefulness, and comfort between people of clear, digested knowledge, and confused, undigested apprehensions. -Richard Baxter

Archive for September, 2007

bringing the close of the book, perhaps, close to home

Do you feel like the church has elevated marriage over singleness? Insinuating, if not articulating, that life begins when youbrokenring2.jpg betroth yourself to another?

Or has the meteoric rise of divorce–even within the allegedly marriage-fortifying context of the church–sullied an earlier, more positive, view of marriage? Does the incidence of divorce and the precarious state of marriage insinuate that life might, in a sense, end when you say “I do”?

I’d like to wrap up our discussion of Tripp’s book on change and counsel by having you help us create a realistic-as-possible profile of someone in the church whose desire to be married has caused them to be so preoccupied with finding a mate, that one of two moods has emerged: either so despondent at the slight prospects of a marriage in the near-term, or so reckless in their pursuit of a mate. Specifically, I’d like you to envision how someone with either outlook would manifest that outlook in their day to day living. Read the rest of this entry »

Perfect love casts out all fear. . . of evangelism

Mark Dever has just released a book entitled The Gospel and Personal Evangelism. He’s the pastor at Capitol Hill Baptist in D.C.

In his chapter entitled Why Don’t We Evangelize? he speaks candidly about his own conflictedness in being more forthright with the Gospel, but he also gets at the heart of perhaps why we–why I–don’t learn how to explain the Gospel in this postmodern setting: it’s due to a lack of love. If we loved them, we’d be willing to stumble over sentences, we’d be willing to acknowledge ignorance on some issues for which we don’t have answers, we’d be willing to risk taking the relationship in a different direction than just the comfortable acquaintance we’ve come to appreciate.

Here’s an excerpt Read the rest of this entry »

Come together

Hey, three things, all mentioned last Sunday in class, but which might’ve eluded your memory due to the high volume of announcements:

spiritual exfoliant?

Here’s a comment from Tim Challies (of challies.com) in a review of one of George Barna’s oft-quoted books, Revolution.  Having only skimmed Barna’s book, I can’t say if Challies’ appraisal has merit, but considering Tim’s not in the business of selling books (at least not yet, his first is coming out in a few months), he has, prima facie, a little more credibility than one who’s all about marketing strategies in the church like Barna. (Forgive me if even that assessment of the pollster isn’t generous enough.)  Anyway, this comment from Challies’ review struck me because too easily does the church unwittingly profliferate the consumer-orientation to church-membership–that is, turning the choice of submitting to a Body of believers purely on the basis of how comfortable it makes you.  So here’s his comment: Read the rest of this entry »

becoming the counselor you were called to be…

Even an extended series on one book about offering biblical counsel deserves as much supplemental comment from other credible sources. Here’s one summary of what counsel in view of God’s glory entails.