1.  “More than a Tagline: The Perils of Church Cliches” by Nick Bal

“They stole our line! That’s what we use to describe our church!”

I found myself getting a little irked at the revelation that a tagline our church uses is now being used by not one, but two other churches in the same area that we are trying to distinguish ourselves in.

Don’t read into my surprise too much. I don’t want to sound like I’m competing with other churches. In fact, when I heard their vision, quite honestly, I was thrilled. My frustration was in trying to communicate with people what we as a church have to offer them in a way that stands out among all the messages that pull for their attention. (read the rest)

2.  “The Gift of Prophecy – What Is It For?” by Adrian Warnock

For the remainder of the sermon I preached on Spiritual gifts, I focused on this gift of prophecy. We will be several days in sharing an edited version of a transcript of this section. I am open to receiving questions about this and will try and answer at least some of them here on the blog.

What is prophecy?
I believe that prophecy is an impression that God may have something to say specifically to specific people at a specific time. It can be a word for an individual. It can be a word to a group of people, for a church, maybe even for a whole country. But it’s a word from God that’s for the here and now. What is the purpose of this? (read the rest)

3.  “How can I break free from an addiction to entertainment?” by John Piper

I believe I do love Jesus, but most of the time I’d rather spend time being entertained than spend time in God’s word. How do I break this hold that entertainment has on my heart?

That’s a very good question. And I think it’s especially relevant because we live, I think, more now than ever, in a day when entertaining kinds of things are immediately accessible. (read the rest)

Tim Challies has some thoughts on the subject as well.

4.  “Evangelical Wrath and God’s Righteousness” by Matthew Raley

Sometimes I slip statements into my posts to see who’s paying attention to what. The award this week goes to my brother Chris, who spotted a matter of some importance in last week’s post about the court decision on Prop 8.

What I said was,

“Having entered the political fray with a fractured base — a base that opposes threats to marriage in principle but that is under the thumb of family courts in fact — the religious right has little option but to find enemies and blame them. That’s elementary, abc stuff. If the base is not united, your tool is fear.

So the enemies are homosexuals.”

This strategy is Pharisaical. Which is to say, it is the wrath of man leveraged to produce the righteousness of God.

Chris pulled out the last sentence: “That has a lot of implications. Like, to what extent do we do this to fellow Christians?” (read the rest)

5.  “10 People A Pastor Should Fear” by Jared Wilson

Not to be confused with 10 Church People You Shouldn’t Trust.

All of these people need grace (EDIT: except for #10, of course, who gives it), but pastors should guard their hearts against some of their words and deeds (EDIT: except for #10, of course, whose words and deeds should be trusted, enjoyed, and proclaimed).

1. The guy who "subtly" reminds you how much he gives to the church.

He thinks he is buying influence, and because some of his money pays your salary, he thinks he is buying more access to you and more pull with you than others have. Relieve him of this illusion if necessary. (read the rest)

HT: Erik Raymond

  1. So a first time visitor and there words should be “trusted, enjoyed, and proclaimed”.

    I think I smell a rat in that one, just like your brother did.

    If I trusted all my first time visitors who came up and told me how “good” or “life altering” my sermon was, and the I go do a home visit mid week and ask if they remembered my sermon I would get blank stares… I do my ego a small favor and dont ask that question. Maybe I should start though.

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