It's the Theology!

In The Nick of Timeby Kevin T. Bauder

When I accepted my first senior pastorate, I thought that I had no illusions about ministry. I had grown up in a pastor’s home, been through four years of Bible college (which took me six years to finish), completed four years of seminary (M.Div. and Th.M.), served in an interim pastorate, worked as a pastor of youth and music for two years, and taught Greek and theology in a Bible college for two years. I thought that I knew what I was getting into.

I was wrong.

Within a month, I felt completely overwhelmed. I had no idea that pastoral ministry involves constantly juggling a dozen time bombs, any one of which has the potential to destroy the church. I had no clue about the depth to which depravity has affected the lives of Baptist church members or about the horrendous moral and spiritual problems that I would be forced to confront. I had no way of guessing how petty and vituperative God’s dear children could be.

I was not ready.

Of course, most of ministry was not the “bad stuff.” Most of it was very, very good and tremendously fulfilling. The church to which I was called was not a bad church—it was just an ordinary one, with all the usual quirks and foibles.

But I didn’t know that.
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Roads That Lead to Christian Burnout, Part 2

Wrong Road #2—Relationship Deficiency

Read Part 1.

by Debi Pryde

A second road takes workers to a place called “burnout.” This path looks inviting because it isn’t crowded. There are no family cars on this road—nothing but single-passenger vehicles. Everyone’s in a hurry to get where he is going, so there’s no lingering, no time for making friends, no time to ask anyone for directions, and no time to listen to others talk. People pryde_roads.jpgwho travel this route don’t take time to get close to anyone, including their own family members. Consequently, relationships tend to be superficial; there’s no time to cultivate genuine, mutual intimacy. Acquaintances and admirers may be many but companions few. Sadly, this solo style of traveling tends to have its greatest impact on family relationships—even worse on one’s relationship with the Lord.
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Spurgeon on the Bible and Darwinism, Part 1

Note: This article is reprinted with permission from As I See It, a monthly electronic magazine compiled and edited by Doug Kutilek. AISI is sent free to all who request it by writing to the editor at dkutilek@juno.com.

Compiled by Doug Kutilek

Note: A reader from Indiana recently asked if Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834-1892) ever directly addressed the subject of Darwinian evolution. Because Darwin’s kutilek_spurgeon.jpgOn the Origin of Species was published in England in 1859 only five years after Spurgeon began his London pastorate and was the occasion of great and continuing controversy directly affecting the credibility of the Bible, it would be most surprising indeed if Spurgeon had not addressed the subject. In fact, he did so numerous times, always in strong opposition. Our search turned up a number of quotes and references that should be of interest to the reader. We reproduce a selection of these, without extended comment. —Doug
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Roads That Lead to Christian Burnout, Part 1

by Debi Pryde

When a Christian worker describes himself as “burned out,” he is usually expressing a sense of having exhausted all of his available physical, mental, or spiritual resources. Those in such a state of mind find it a fitting analogy to compare themselves to a candle that has burned to the place of consuming itself, its flame flickering in its final moments before pryde_road01.jpgextinguishing with a faint puff of smoke. We often use such colorfully descriptive words when continual hardship, fatigue, or weariness of mind have begun to severely erode our sense of purpose, enthusiasm, or resilience to opposition. Just as often, however, we use the same expression to describe a wearisome monotony that can be associated with continual boredom, a lack of challenging goals, unfulfilled expectations, or continual dependence on self rather than on Christ.
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Of Cleanliness and Godliness

by Michael Osborne

If cleanliness is next to godliness, it is because they are in such close competition. It is hard to be godly and to be clean, too. When a schedule already bulges with a full-time job, church ministries, activities, and raising a toddler, sometimes the choice becomes one of washing the pile of dishes or reading the Bible, of writing an exhorting letter to that wayward osborne_cleaning.jpgbeliever or fixing the faucet, of inviting that new family at church over for dessert or getting the boxes in the basement unpacked (since we bought our first house in May).

I am a clean freak. (My wife just glanced over my shoulder and corrected me. “You used to be a clean freak.”) Touché. Having a toddler and all of these various responsibilities has constrained me to relax my standards, and it vexes my clean-freak soul. If asked what she does for a living, my wife tells people, “I fight entropy.” And entropy fights back so hard, you would think we’re living under some kind of curse.
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