Saturday, August 30, 2014

All Around the Web - August 30, 2014

Tom Nettles - Why Your Next Pastor Should Be a Calvinist
Southern Baptists inherited the most compelling aspects of all the Baptist Calvinists that preceded them. James P. Boyce summarized this well. He encouraged every preacher to get theological education in some way, even if it could not be at the Seminary in Greenville, South Carolina. If no other means were available, he advised, “work at it yourself.” The fathers of the convention did this, Boyce claimed; “They familiarized themselves with the Bible, and Gill and Andrew Fuller, and they made good and effective preachers. God is able to raise up others like them.”[1] But this is the very difficulty that we face at this moment in Southern Baptist history. God indeed is raising up others like them, that is, like the fathers. Whether self-educated or seminary-educated, Boyce and all his contemporaries viewed a Bible theology that reflected a blend of Gill and Fuller as normal and expected. Churches should have no other kind of pastor. Today, however, some Southern Baptists are warning the churches against them. This is a mammoth historical irony that many find difficult to appreciate.

The Charleston Association in its adoption of the 1689 Confession and in the preaching of such men as Oliver Hart, Richard Furman, Basil Manly, Sr., bequeathed the theology of the fathers to James P. Boyce.

Eric MetaxasBringing Humans to Market
Last spring, a start-up company in Germany announced a new app that promises to simplify a growing aspect of urban German life: legalized prostitution.

The app operates on the same principles as those that recommend restaurants or help you find live music: you tell it what you’re in the mood for and it uses your smartphone’s location services to tell you what’s available nearby.

The app was one of the examples cited in the August 9 cover story of The Economist about “how technology is transforming the world’s oldest profession.”

The Economist waxes enthusiastic over the ways that “specialist websites and apps are allowing information to flow between buyer and seller, making it easier to strike mutually satisfactory deals.”

Joe Carter - 9 Things You Should Know About Rabbinic Judaism
Aside from knowing that we share some of the same religious texts, most Christians today are completely unfamiliar with the “modern” forms of Judaism (forms that go back almost 2,000 years). To close a small portion of the knowledge gap about our religious Jewish neighbors, here are nine things you should know Rabbinic Judaism.

1. In Judaism, a rabbi is a teacher of the Torah. Rabbinic Judaism, which is based on the “dual Torah,” was formulated in the 2nd century, making the religion, in terms of defining texts, younger than Christianity. By the 6th century it had become the dominant type of Judaism and is the foundation of all forms of Judaism practiced today. The three main branches of Rabbinic Judaism in North America are Reform, Conservative, and Orthodox.

Thom Rainer - Words of Advice for Young Church Leaders
  1. Always be a learner. Degrees don’t signal an end to learning. The world keeps changing, and none of us knows everything. An unwillingness to learn is intellectual arrogance.
  2. Learn the stories of your people. Everybody has a story, including that church member who frustrates you. Learn to ask about those stories. Listen well. Show genuine interest in the people God has placed in your care.
  3. Love the grandparents in your church. Sure, maybe they don’t like change – but you probably won’t either when you reach their age. You need their life wisdom today.
  4. Love the children in your church. From their early preschool years, children will choose their heroes. Be one of them.
  5. Be patient. Follow Jesus’ lead as He made disciples – teach, listen, re-direct as needed, teach again . . . and trust the Father to change your congregation. Impatient church leadership is usually discouraged leadership.
  6. Laugh. A lot. Today, the situation you face may seem unbearable. I assure you, though, that some of today’s events will be comical in the future. Learn to laugh today with godly joy.
  7. Invest in at least three people. Lead your whole congregation, but pour yourself into at least three people – a non-believer you’re trying to reach, a new believer you’re equipping, and an older believer you’re encouraging.
  8. As much as possible, don’t do ministry alone. Train somebody as you counsel, visit, and evangelize. Involving somebody else takes more time, but your congregation will be stronger in the long run.
  9. Be willing to apologize. You are not always right. None of us is. You will make mistakes. You will hurt people, even unintentionally. Learn to say with integrity: “I’m sorry. Please forgive me.”
  10. Don’t forget your spouse and children. Your spouse should not learn from others important information about church events. Your children should not wonder why you’re always away from home. Make your family part of your team.
  11. Adore the church. The apostle Paul thanked God for the Corinthians and expressed his deep love for them (1 Cor. 1:4, 16:24) – all the while saying to them, “You’re an absolute mess.”  That mess is still God’s church. Love them.
  12. Don’t be afraid of numbers. You can evaluate numbers without idolizing them. If your church is seeing no one turn to Christ and few believers growing in their faith, those numbers ought to challenge and motivate you.
  13. Be accountable to somebody. Seek an older leader to pour into your life – and don’t give up until you find that person. Give permission to ask about your Bible study, your prayer life, your godliness, and your evangelism.
  14. Beware of “lostness apathy.” When your heart no longer breaks over non-believers, it’s time to repent. A lack of concern over the lost is sin.
  15. Keep up with the news. You need to know what’s going on in the world. Your commitment to the Great Commission demands it.
  16. Work hard. Frankly, we need no more lazy church leaders. Work every day as if you will answer to God for the way you care for the souls of people . . . because you will.
  17. Seek financial guidance. Taxation on ministry salary can be confusing. Your contributions toward retirement income should begin now. Get some input from someone who knows this world.
  18. Keep records. Years from now, you will wish you had records of the baptisms, weddings, and funerals you performed. I know, because my mentor told me to do the same – and I didn’t listen.
  19. Plan now to end your ministry well. Nobody ends ministry well by accident. In fact, the decisions you make today will affect whether you end well in the decades to come. Don’t be stupid.
  20. Thank God. I have NO idea why God allows me to be a leader in His church. He does, though, and I get to do something that affects eternity. So do you. Be grateful.

Everyday Theology - Breaking the Silence: When Christian Leaders Speak Openly about Depression
There is still a stigma around depression that silences many Christian voices and prevents them from letting anyone know about their painful, personal struggles. A stigma that destroys people by making them suffer alone.

In his presidential speech at Wheaton College’s convocation ceremony this year, Dr. Phil Ryken pushed back. And he did so by sharing honestly and transparently about his own struggles with depression last spring, struggles serious enough that he said at one point that he thought he was “losing the will to live.


Post a Comment