In modern evangelical Christian culture, there can be those who rise so high in popularity that they are beyond criticism. There are those who have make such a significant contribution in the past to the cause of Christ that they they can appear to be untouchable when in the wrong. Such is the case with Paige Patterson. The once stalwart architect of the conservative resurgence of the Southern Baptist Convention and president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, has in recent years acted in such a way that he is not longer fit to lead and should, for the good of the convention, the reputation of Christ, and the advancement of the gospel, step down from public ministry and leadership of an institution charged with forming the theology and character of the next generation of pastors. For those unfamiliar with the situation, you can read an article by Ed Stetzer which chronicles the disqualification of Patterson. In addition, a young man who is a seminary student at SWBTS has been fired from his position there after tweeting Stetzer's article.
I am currently reading a book called Gospel Fluency (available here) and so far it is an excellent book. The author argues early in the book that we are all unbelievers. By that, he means that we all have areas in our lives where we fail to believe God. That is a simple, yet profound observation, and ultimately true. Though we may be trusting in Christ, we can say along with the man with the epileptic son, "I believe, help my unbelief" (Mark 9:24). We all need help in our unbelief.
In Sunday School at Arbor Drive, we are covering some core convictions we have as a church. One of them is a conviction that believers should be disciples and should be discipling others. Due to some good discussion, we did not get to the final section of the lesson which addressed barriers to discipleship, so I am writing this to help address that issue. If we are honest, we all have barriers to discipleship. Overcoming those barriers ultimately flows from two things, namely, a conviction that Christ commanded us to disciple others, and a love for/desire to obey Christ. That said, I believe there are some practical things that we can think through in overcoming barriers to discipleship.
In our last episode of The Pastor Discussions Podcast, we mentioned a resource that might be helpful in revitalizing your prayer life called Praying the Bible by Don Whitney. I took Dr. Whitney's Spiritual Disciplines class in Seminary before this book was published and it walks through everything we covered in class. This is an excellent and easy read that I highly recommend for you. You will seriously never pray the same again. I've also added some other resources we mentioned in the show that might help with your prayer life. Click on the links below to buy them on Amazon and we will receive a little kick back to help with show costs for every purchase.
Praying the Bible by Don Whitney: http://amzn.to/2nF0vlQ
Praying with Paul by D.A. Carson: http://amzn.to/2nFtJB9
Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy With God by Timothy Keller: http://amzn.to/2nCApQr
Enjoying Your Prayer Life by Michael Reeves: http://amzn.to/2BbeyHf
The Psalms (ESV): http://amzn.to/2E3cxQi
The Psalms (ESV – Ladies might like this one): http://amzn.to/2nMLUUr
The Valley of Vision: http://amzn.to/2E61u4P
Gadsby’s Hymns (Cheaper soft cover version): http://amzn.to/2E4vdiD
Gadsby’s Hymns (Hardcover – the one we both have): http://amzn.to/2BYBmH4
Field Notes Memo Book: http://amzn.to/2BGwISb
Moleskine Cahier Journal: http://amzn.to/2Bd6Xbr
Moleskine Soft Cover: http://amzn.to/2Bc76f0
Leuchtturm 1917 softcover (Love this one): http://amzn.to/2BXliW5
Day One Journal App: http://dayoneapp.com/
Husband to Carlee, Papa to Fin and Ainsley, Pastor for Preaching and Vision at Arbor Drive Community Church in York, Ne., and co-host of The Pastor Discussions Podcast.
This last week I posted on the Arbor Drive Facebook page that there was some exciting news coming down the pipeline. Well, here it is. Starting in January, we will be launching a weekly podcast called Pastor Discussions. Hooray!
I came home yesterday after a long day and walked in the house to see my two year old daughter run out of the bedroom, but this time she looked different. He shirt was bulging out from her belly to her chest with the outline of a stuffed bear. I asked her "what is in your shirt"? She replied "bear"! "Why is bear in your shirt" I asked. She responded simply... "He's eating". To fully comprehend this story, you need to know that "bear" is her baby. She plays with him and kisses him and carries him around. About 15 minutes later, bear's head was poking out of the neck of her shirt. "I'm wearing bear" she said.
Maybe you read the title and you are already overwhelmed. You hear the words "family discipleship" and you have no idea what that can or should look like. I am assuming for the sake of this article that you are reading this because you either a) want to start doing family discipleship but are not sure what it would look like or what it would involve or b) you are already doing something but are looking for additional ideas.
11 years ago, a young man woke up and after showering, he opened his closet, got dressed in a suit, tied a tie, and drove from Manhattan, Kansas to a little town called Minneapolis, Kansas. He drove with a young lady sitting in the passenger seat. Both were excited, nervous, and had no idea of the seriousness of what they were about to do. They were filled with hopes and dreams for the future and intoxicated with affection for each other. When they arrived in Minneapolis, they drove to the courthouse and walked inside with two of their friends. They both stood before a judge, handed her a piece of paper, and she began. Though neither of them realized it, when they walked out of that court room, something profound had changed. They were married.
My aim is not to give a political commentary on the events that transpired this week in Charlottesville, Va. This issue is not one of political ideology or party affiliation. It is, above all, a theological issue. As a pastor, I am not called to be a political activist and I refuse to do so because political involvement will not really change anything. As I read the Bible, I see that the problem with humanity is the problem of sin. It's a spiritual one, not a political one. My aim is simply to point out that as Christians, we cannot be silent about the issue of racism. Put simply, there is no room for racism within the family of God. If you are claiming the name of Christ and harbor animosity, bigotry, or hatred for another person on the basis of the color of their skin or their ethnicity, you are in sin. If you claim the name of Christ and believe that one race is superior to another, you are in sin. Thankfully Jesus redeems us from sin and gives us new hearts. When we look at the root of racism, we see hatred and hatred is not compatible with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Therefore, here are 12 reflections on racism that I think all believers need to embrace.
Today, I'm starting a series of posts on the church. I'm starting with the question, "what is the church"? This may sound like a superficial question but how we answer it says a lot about how we view the church. We live in a very interesting time. On one hand, many parents that have kids that are in High School and College grew up in the church and likely raised their kids in the church to some degree. On the other hand, there are others who have perhaps never set foot in a worship gathering or think of the church as an institution. How should we think about the church? What is the church?