The Anatomy of a Leader's Heart, Part 2

From Voice magazine, Mar/Apr 2016. Used by permission. Read Part 1.

Our Heart’s Treasures

The second chamber of our lead­ership heart pertains to our treasures. This chamber pulsates in rhythm with the previous one, our thoughts. Jesus, in the process of sculpting the heart of His disciples, said: “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Luke 12:34). Our hearts follow our treasures.

What exactly are treasures of the heart? A treasure is what we highly value. It is what we define as having great worth. It is what we pursue by virtue of declaration of its value. For example, what is the value of a $100 bill? The actual paper is worth pennies at best. The ultimate worth of the bill is determined by the declaration of the United State Treasury Department. Apart from their declaration, the worth of a $100 dollar bill is not worth any more than the paper upon which it is printed. Read more about The Anatomy of a Leader's Heart, Part 2

The Anatomy of a Leader's Heart, Part 1

From Voice magazine, Mar/Apr 2016. Used by permission.

All ministry leadership ultimately involves spiritual work in hearts. It is doubtful that any ministry leader in our circles would deny or challenge that biblical reality. But as I have the blessing of serving ministry leaders here and abroad, it has been my observation that the proposition of ministry leadership being ultimately a spiritual work in the heart is too often mentally affirmed but functionally denied.

The key word is process. While a semi­nary student I well remember Prof. Hendricks repeatedly stating, “Process always determines product!” As a young and immature Christian, I had little idea at that time how pregnant that statement was with implication. If the process is natural, the product will be natural. If the pro­cess is spiritual the product will be spiritual. Read more about The Anatomy of a Leader's Heart, Part 1

The Internal Evidence of the Fourth Gospel

(About this series)

CHAPTER II - THE INTERNAL EVIDENCE OF THE FOURTH GOSPEL

BY CANON G. OSBORNE TROOP, M. A., MONTREAL, CANADA

The whole Bible is stamped with the Divine “Hall-Mark”; but the Gospel according to St. John is primes inter pares. Through it, as through a transparency, we gaze entranced into the very holy of holies, where shines in unearthly glory “the great vision of the face of Christ”. Yet man’s perversity has made it the “storm center” of New Testament criticism, doubtless for the very reason that it bears such unwavering testimony both to the deity of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, and to His perfect humanity. The Christ of the Fourth Gospel is no unhistoric, idealized vision of the later, dreaming church, but is, as it practically claims to be, the picture drawn by “the disciple whom Jesus loved”, an eye-witness of the blood and water that flowed from His pierced side. These may appear to be mere unsupported statements, and as such will at once be dismissed by a scientific reader. Nevertheless the appeal of this article is to the instinct of the “one flock” of the “one Shepherd”. “They know His voice” … “a stranger will they not follow.” Read more about The Internal Evidence of the Fourth Gospel

Damnation by Faith

(Read the series so far.)

As far as I can tell the Roman Catholic Church now teaches that the most likely way to go to hell is to believe Roman Catholic doctrine. Allow me to support this from a series of quotes from the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC).

The CCC teaches that Protestants who disbelieve the doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church are likely saved:

CCC-818: However, one cannot charge with the sin of the separation those who at present are born into these communities [that resulted from such separation] and in them are brought up in the faith of Christ … . All who have been justified by faith in Baptism are incorporated into Christ. (Brackets in original.)

CCC-819: Christ’s Spirit uses these Churches and ecclesial communities as means of salvation, whose power derives from the fullness of grace and truth that Christ has entrusted to the Catholic Church.

Read more about Damnation by Faith

The Creation Narrative - Genesis 1 & 2 (Part 4)

(Read the series so far.)

The Creation & Purpose of Language

Approaching the question of language and meaning can often seem like a chicken and egg scenario. If we had words and grammar first then how did we learn to communicate them so as to be correctly understood by others? But if we had a thought to communicate, how could we do it without the symbols of language (alphabet, grammar, syntax, etc.) to convey that thought?

The Creation account in Genesis represents God as the first Speaker. He employs words to convey His precise intentions. Something of immense importance occurred when God created Adam and Eve. What we witness there is God speaking to them of their dominion mandate, and they understand Him. In the second chapter God gives a specific prohibition to the man with a clearly worded warning appended.

A little examination of this transaction will be helpful. Read more about The Creation Narrative - Genesis 1 & 2 (Part 4)

A Warning for True Believers Who Lack Faith (Part 7)

(From Maranatha Baptist Seminary Journal; used by permission. Read the series so far.)

Nature of Falling Away

There are three words or phrases in Hebrews 6:6 that describe what it means to “fall away.” Each of these is discussed individually.

Fall away. The first word used to describe falling away is “fall away” (παραπεσόντας).1 There are two broad categories of understanding concerning the nature of falling away. Some suggest that falling away is absolute apostasy, a total rejection of Christ and his gospel, an alignment with those who crucified Christ.2 Others suggest that falling away is a serious sin that a believer can commit which is usually identified as a decisive refusal to trust Christ’s high priestly ministry for help in daily living.3 The word “fall away” itself does not help in choosing which view is correct, because it does not have an object in Hebrews 6:6.4 It is uncertain from what one falls away. Neither does its use in the LXX aid one’s decision.5 Gleason concludes, Read more about A Warning for True Believers Who Lack Faith (Part 7)

Seeking Excellence? Don't Start With "Why," Start with "Who"

In seeking to identify the seeds of excellence, there is a popular device (the Golden Circle) that traces the beginnings of excellence back to the question Why?

Using this model, we could critique the more common alternative of beginning with the outcome (the What) and arriving at the Why, rather than beginning with the Why. The idea is that before arriving at the process (How) and the outcome (What), it is of primary importance that we solidify the Why.

In a way the concept corresponds to reality, but there is a key piece missing. This model lacks the worldview follow-through to really work. Read more about Seeking Excellence? Don't Start With "Why," Start with "Who"

From the Archives: Why Vote for the Lesser of Two Evils

(First posted in Dec., 2011)

A recurring question in the American political experience is this: ”Should people of conscience vote for the lesser of two evils?” The question is of interest to all who care about right and wrong but carries special interest for Christians, since their aim is to do all things in obedience to Christ.

My thesis is simple. In a vote between two evils, Christians ought to back the lesser of the two.

For the purposes of this essay, I’m assuming readers already believe Christians ought to vote. My aim is to present three arguments for voting for the candidate who is least evil, whether the office is President of the United States, U.S. Senator or Village Clerk.

1. Such a vote is the lesser of two evils.

The first argument for voting for the lesser of evils is in the proposition itself: less evil. Who can be against that? Here’s the argument one statement at a time: Read more about From the Archives: Why Vote for the Lesser of Two Evils