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Showing posts from September, 2017

what to do with announcements

Tim Scheiderer writes about the various ways local churches present their announcements on Sunday morning:  "The problem with these delivery styles is that the stated motivations don’t match the glory and weight of what the congregation is being asked to participate in. The magnificent blessing of the event or service opportunity is masked by the mediocre delivery system. Churches shouldn’t take an event intended to display the truth of God and serve it on a platter of mediocrity.  We can do better." Read " Make Church Announcements Great Again " And a long-time friend and fellow-pastor in New England recently sent the following out to his congregation: Sometimes I feel like our Sunday mornings are becoming a stream of commercials or recruiting infomercials for favorite ministries. We are even probed more and more to “book” ministry teams from all kinds of good and profitable outreach organizations—even asking for a whole Sunday morning serv

God as Trinity the ultimate reality

"God is ultimate reality. The revelation that his nature is Trinitarian brings us the knowledge that personal relationships are ultimate reality, and are blissful. The revelation of his character brings us the knowledge of how we may go about establishing our relationship with God and with one another more perfectly, by loving God with all our heart and loving our neighbor as ourselves, by giving ourselves in personal communication to one another, by absolute fairness and faithfulness in our dealings with each other, and by being mindful of the order and priority which God has created, so that our relationships may flower with the bliss that God intends for us in our friendship with him and with one another." ~ Broughton Knox, The Everlasting God

essential and non-essential

"I am a Calvinist; I believe in election and predestination; but I would not dream of putting it under the heading of essential. I put it under the heading of non-essential… You are not saved by your precise understanding of how this great salvation comes to you. What you must be clear about is that you are lost and damned, hopeless and helpless, and that nothing can save you but the grace of God in Jesus Christ and only Him crucified, bearing the punishment of your sins, dying, rising again, ascending, sending the Spirit, regeneration. Those are the essentials… While I myself hold very definite and strong views on the subject, I will not separate from a man who cannot accept and believe the doctrines of election and predestination, and is Arminian, as long as he tells me that we are all saved by grace, and as long as the Calvinist agrees, as he must, that God calls all men everywhere to repentance. As long as both are prepared to agree about these things I say we must not break

why we love the mountains

J. Gresham Machen, professor of New Testament, apologist, author, and founder of Westminster Theological Seminary, once said, "I do love the mountains, and I have loved them ever since I can remember anything at all.” In a 1933 lecture to ministers in Philadelphia he spoke about "Mountains and Why We Love Them."  It was subsequently published in Christianity Today in 1934.   A five-minute overview of this message is presented by Stephen Nichols here .   I love Machen's own words on the perspective that mountains give us on history and our world:   What will be the end of that European civilization, of which I had a survey from my mountain vantage ground—of that European civilization and its daughter in America? What does the future hold in store? Will Luther prove to have lived in vain? Will all the dreams of liberty issue into some vast industrial machine? ... Will some dreadful second law of thermodynamics apply in the spiritual as in the material realm?