Monday, April 14, 2014

All Around the Web - April 14, 2014

Justin Taylor - At What Point in Pilgrim’s Progress Does Christian Get Saved?
When I ask this question to my students who have just finished reading the book, they nearly always respond with a variety of answers. After batting around several ideas, we narrow the possibilities down to two: Christian was saved either (1) when he entered through the Wicket Gate or he was saved (2) when his burden rolled off his back at the cross.

Most students come to the conclusion that Christian got saved at the cross.

But this is, in fact, the wrong answer. Christian got saved when he entered through the Wicket Gate.
Students get the wrong answer because they misunderstand three critical elements of Bunyan’s allegory: (1) The Wicket Gate, (2)  Christian’s Burden, and (3) the proper object of saving faith.

Albert Mohler - Moralism is Not the Gospel (But Many Christians Think it Is)
One of the most amazing statements by the Apostle Paul is his indictment of the Galatian Christians for abandoning the Gospel. “I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel,” Paul declared. As he stated so emphatically, the Galatians had failed in the crucial test of discerning the authentic Gospel from its counterfeits.

His words could not be more clear: “But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you have received, he is to be accursed!” [Gal. 1:6-7]

This warning from the Apostle Paul, expressed in the language of the Apostle’s shock and grief, is addressed not only to the church in Galatia, but to every congregation in every age. In our own day — and in our own churches — we desperately need to hear and to heed this warning. In our own time, we face false gospels no less subversive and seductive than those encountered and embraced by the Galatians.

RadicalSome Questions to Ask Before Leaving a Church

Thom Rainer10 Ideas from Wise Leaders
  1. Give your family veto power over your schedule.  He’s an incredibly busy man, but he somehow manages his schedule well. Here’s what he taught me: involve your wife before you make a commitment that requires you to be away from home after work hours. Be prepared to change your schedule if your family says, “We need you at home.” You’ll be less likely to lose your family in the midst of busyness if they have opportunity to help you plan your schedule.
  2. Compliment first before negatively critiquing. It was a young pastor who taught me this strategy: before you offer constructive criticism, always give a minimum of three compliments first. You’ll find that any frustration is tempered by the positive thoughts.
  3. Pray before, during, and after meetings.  This kind of praying happens only with intentionality. One of the best leaders I know prays at the start and end of every meeting – and he intentionally prays about needs that become apparent during the meeting. It is often the mid-meeting praying that most surprises (and encourages) others.
  4. Honor and thank your staff’s families.  One of my previous pastors taught me the importance of honoring the families of your team members. Give your staff a day off on their spouse’s birthday and their anniversary. Write a note of thanksgiving to the entire family of a staff member. Offer to provide childcare so a couple can have a night out.
  5. Learn first names.  I struggle with names, but I’ve learned from a friend who strives to learn at least two new names a week in his ministry. He remembers the names of church members and their families, worship service guests, local ministers, and others in his community. Writing a few notes about a person, and then reviewing those notes as you work to memorize names, can make a difference.
  6. Never eat lunch alone. I’m an introvert who has learned a lot from an extrovert friend. He uses his lunch times strategically, and he accomplishes more in an hour lunch than others do in a full day. It’s really quite amazing how much you can do in a concentrated time with one other person – and you get to eat a good lunch at the same time!
  7. Always keep in mind your successor. A former employer has led his organization for two decades now, and he may well be in that role for another decade or so. Already, though, he is working to make sure that what he hands over to his successor is strong. He is not interested in saddling the next leader with deferred maintenance, debilitating debts, or weak infrastructure. His insights remind me to think about the person who will take my position after I’m gone.
  8. Connect with young people.  All of us say that the young people are the future, but few of us give them the attention they deserve. Not so for a former student of mine, who annually goes to camp with young people of the church he pastors. In addition, he prioritizes his schedule when his student minister requests his presence at a student event. It’s no surprise to me that several of those young people are now preparing for ministry.
  9. Spend one hour per day—in addition to the lunch hour—out of your office.  A colleague has seemingly perfected this strategy. Find time each day to visit others in the work place. Greet others at the door. Unexpectedly drop in other offices simply to ask how co-workers are doing. Stay longer if a co-worker needs more time. The time you spend with others will pay dividends.
  10. Make work fun. The strongest leaders I have ever worked with make it fun to come to work. They do not take themselves seriously, even while they work incredibly hard. They laugh a lot (though I’ve seen them weep as well over co-workers and tragedies). Others genuinely enjoy being with them. What I’ve realized is that these leaders are not just fun people in general; instead, they work to make work fun. 

Fox NewsRob Lowe: 'I Want the government Out of Almost Everything | I highlight this only because I just finished watching 7 seasons of The West Win where Rob Lowe plays a character that is a speech writer for a President the show describes as "the most liberal" ever.
Handsome actor Rob Lowe says he wants the government to stay out of everyone’s business.

In an interview with the New York Times, the former “really, really liberal Democrat” said: “My thing is personal freedoms, freedoms for the individual to love whom they want, do with what they want. In fact, I want the government out of almost everything.”

English is crazy.

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