The effective separation of sex from procreation may be one of the most important defining marks of our age–and one of the most ominous. This awareness is spreading among American evangelicals, and it threatens to set loose a firestorm.
Most evangelical Protestants greeted the advent of modern birth control technologies with applause and relief. Lacking any substantial theology of marriage, sex, or the family, evangelicals welcomed the development of “The Pill” much as the world celebrated the discovery of penicillin — as one more milestone in the inevitable march of human progress, and the conquest of nature.
At the same time, evangelicals overcame their traditional reticence in matters of sexuality, and produced a growth industry in books, seminars, and even sermon series celebrating sexual ecstasy as one of God’s blessings to married Christians. Once reluctant to admit the very existence of sexuality, evangelicals emerged from the 1960s ready to dish out the latest sexual advice without blushing. As one of the best-selling evangelical sex manuals proclaims, marital sex is Intended for Pleasure. Many evangelicals seem to have forgotten that it was intended for something else as well.
CNN Belief Blog - Megachurch pastor arrested for battery | This is not the first problem Creflo Dollar has had.
Atlanta (CNN) - (CNN) - Megachurch pastor Creflo Dollar was arrested in suburban Atlanta on simple battery charges, police said Friday.
Deputies in Georgia's Fayette County responded to a call about a domestic disturbance about 1 a.m. Friday. Dollar's daughter, 15, said she argued with her father over attending a party, said Investigator Brent Rowan of the Fayette County Sheriff's Office.
The daughter says the argument got physical.
She said her father charged her, put his hands around her throat and began to choke her, according to a police report. She said he then slammed her to the ground, punched her and beat her with his shoe.
James MacDonald - What Every Pastor Must Do | Preach!
- The power of preaching is the means by which the world is converted.
Jesus said in Mark 16:15, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel.”
- It is the very channel through which our faith comes to us.
Romans 10:14 says, “How shall they call upon Him in whom they have not believed? How can they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? How shall they hear without a preacher?” Without someone willing to proclaim to their neighbor the good news that is found in Jesus Christ.
- It is the protection against human strategy entering the church.
1 Corinthians 1:17 says, “Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not in cleverness of speech so that the cross of Christ would not be made void.” Many stand up and want to be clever, to work and angle and tell emotional stories, and manipulate people with words. Preaching is the protection against that. Just stand up and let it fly! Just speak the truth and God will use it. It’s the protection against strategy in the church.
- Preaching is the thing the world despises most.
1 Corinthians 1:18 says, “For the preaching of the cross is to them that are perishing foolishness. But to those of us who are being saved, it is the power of God.”
- Preaching is the demonstration of God’s power.
Paul said in 1 Corinthians 2:4, “My message and my preaching were not with persuasive words of wisdom, but in a demonstration of the Spirit and of power.”
- Preaching is the compelling call upon the man of God.
1 Corinthians 9:16 says, “I have nothing to boast of for I am under compulsion. For woe is me if I preach not the gospel.”
Christian Post - So. Baptists Divided Over Calvinism; Debate 'Salvation' Document | The SBC is big enough for both Arminians and Calvinists. Period.
Hundreds of Southern Baptists have signed a statement that rejects Calvinist views on the doctrine of salvation and outlines the "traditional Southern Baptist Understanding of God's Plan of Salvation."
The statement – which denies that God predestined certain people for salvation and others for condemnation, among other beliefs – has stirred wide debate within the Southern Baptist Convention with some affirming it fully and others arguing that it is causing an unnecessary division.
"Why are we headed down the broken road of schism over Calvinism today?" asked Josh Buice, pastor of Pray's Mill Baptist Church in Douglasville, Ga.
"Have we forgotten our history as Southern Baptists where we had Calvinists such as Lottie Moon, James P. Boyce, John L. Dagg, A.T. Robertson, John A. Broadus, and many others who served in our convention along with those who were less Calvinistic (Reformed) in their doctrine? They didn't fight over it, throw mud, and pull out the heresy sword to use on one another."
"Statement of the Traditional Southern Baptist Understanding of God's Plan of Salvation" was authored by Pastor Eric Hankins and several other Baptist leaders who expressed concern over the increasing role and influence of the "New Calvinism" – characterized by an aggressive insistence on the "Doctrines of Grace" (Total depravity, Unconditional election, Limited atonement, Irresistible grace, and Perseverance of the saints) – within the denomination.
While there are and have been Calvinists in the SBC, the statement points out that the majority of Southern Baptists do not embrace Calvinism and even the few who do tend to modify its teachings.
Managing Your Church - 8 Ways Churches Are Using Pinterest | I'm still not on board, but this is helpful. I do believe that churches should use Facebook, Twitter, websites, and yes blog.
Here are eight ways your ministry can utilize Pinterest starting today:
- Reminding your congregation of upcoming events. In addition to church bulletins, websites, and e-newsletters, churches are using Pinterest to provide visual reminders of upcoming sermon series, activities, and events in the local church. Use Pinterest to pin sermon podcasts or a pastor’s latest blog entry.
- Championing stories in your community. Did your church just complete an outreach project or volunteer day? Did the youth group return from its missions trip? Has your church developed a vibrant network of small groups? Champion the stories of what God is doing in your community by sharing photos through Pinterest.
- Developing fresh themes for church events. Churches are using Pinterest to develop new themes and decoration ideas for events and activities from church wide retreats to fall festivals to VBS. Search under "DIY" and "craft" to create a board for Sunday school activities. One church outside of Denver, Colorado, is using Pinterest to design its volunteer appreciation dinner as a luau-themed barbecue.
- Fundraising. One Pinterest-inspired small group of DIY’ers in Texas created handmade items to sell at the church’s annual mission fundraising event. To date, the group has created more than two dozen items, ranging from monogrammed canvas to tile drink coasters made with paint chips.
- Archiving worship songs. Worship teams are using Pinterest to pin songs and YouTube videos that they want to learn and practice.
- Recommending resources to members. Pinterest can be used by pastors and staff to “pin” recommended resources and activities for church members. Share books, music, and websites you want your church to know about, read, and explore. These pages can be used to provide a list of overall staff recommendations. Pastors and staff can set up boards for individual ministries, too, such as “Men’s Ministry,” “Women’s Ministry,” and “Small Groups Ministry.”
- Sharing quotables. Inspire your congregation throughout the week with a “Notable & Quotable” board that offers reflections, quotes, and other visually inspiring images. These can be tied into the church’s mission, vision, or current sermon series.
- Staying in touch. Whether your church supports a handful of organizations or dozens of missionaries, create a board to keep your people updated on what’s going on in their lives. Your organizations and missionaries will appreciate the extra care and you may just find the extra awareness turns into extra prayer.
Mark Driscoll - 5 Signs You’re Spiritually Dead |
1. You treat your faith like a routine, not a ritual.
2. You’re not passionate about Jesus.
3. You treat your faith like a have-to, not a get-to.
4. You’ve closed your eyes to Jesus’ mission.
5. You’d rather see your church die than grow and change.
The Masters Seminary - Atonement: Scripture on Penal Substitution | I've been listening to some of these lecture/sermons on the issue of penal substitution. They've been real helpful.
February 17, 2009 - Penal Substitution in Worship - Play
February 12, 2009 - Penal Substitution in Church History - Play
February 10, 2009 - Penal Substitution in the NT - Play
February 5, 2009 - Penal Substitution in the OT - Play
January 29, 2009 - Atonement: Scripture on Penal Substitution - Play
Real Clear Politics - Dick Morris: "Bill Clinton Does Not Want Barack Obama To Win" | I think there's some truth to what Morris says here regarding Clinton and Obama.
Hobit Movie Production Video 7. I can't wait for its release.