There are currently no items in this feed.
There are currently no items in this feed.
Is the resurrection of the body! Too often we speak of waiting to go to heaven. True, upon death genuine believers will in their spirit be “with Christ” in paradise (as he told the thief on the cross). But as much as that is fine and wonderful, it isn’t our ultimate hope.
No, we “eagerly wait for a Savior the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform the body of our humble condition into the likeness of His glorious body . . .” (Philippians 3: 20, 21: HBSC). That is more than heaven—indeed, we will live in a new body in a new heavens and new earth (2 Peter 3:13) in which righteousness is at home. Think of it—believer, some day, you will have a new body like His!
It was a body that rose from the dead, walked through doors, ascended into heaven and sat on the right hand of God (where it is today).
On that resurrection day, your body will rise to meet Him in the air, in order to escort Him to earth. You will then enjoy all the privileges of living in a perfect body in a perfect world! That is heaven, all right: heaven on earth!
In speaking to a promising young man recently about his preaching, we both arrived at the conclusion that his difficulty was not in style, organization or delivery. What he was facing was simply a problem of communicating something substantive to his congregation each week. The problem is not uncommon, even among those who hold to the inerrancy of the Scriptures.
In order to preach effectively, you must have something to say, not merely have to say something! From reading and hearing sermons, all too frequently it seems as though that elemental truth has escaped many.
Are your sermons thin soup? Does your congregation get fed sawdust or the wholesome food of the Scriptures each week? Lean, scrawny Christians are indicative of lean victuals. Are your members healthy and robust? Or are they suffering from spiritual rickets?
It is not as though there is not enough “healthy teaching” (one of Paul’s favorite phrases in speaking to pastors like Titus and Timothy) to go around; the Word of the Lord is filled with all of the ingredients necessary to spread a balanced, nourishing meal before the congregation every time that you rise to preach. There is no end of...
Is it surprising that some preachers are hated? Well, it shouldn’t be. For people to hate them is nothing new. Listen to this passage:
Jehoshaphat asked, “Isn’t there a prophet of Yahweh here any more? Let’s ask him.” The king of Israel said . . . “There is one man . . . but I hate him because he never prophesies good about me, but only disaster” ( 1 Kings 22:8, HCSB).
The king of Judah was right in seeking God’s will through a prophet; the king pf Israel was wrong in hating the prophet. What a contrast!
Why did the latter hate the prophet? Because he did his job—he told the truth about the sins of the king and his people, and predicted God’s judgment upon them apart from repentance.
Today, we have no prophets (contrary to the views of a popular theological writer), but we have preachers who are as close to being prophets as anyone. When they do their job (fulfill their calling from God) they will frequently have to warn about the consequences of sin against God. When they do, they are often disliked (or possibly even hated) by those who listen. But they are as foolish for doing so as king Ahab, who lost his life as a result (v. 37).
One of the principal unrecognized problems in contemporary preaching is sleep-inducing rhythm patterns. These pulpit lullabies, which stroke and soothe already sleepy parishioners, are of much more frequent occurrence and contribute far more toward the ineffectiveness of preaching than most realize.
Pulpit sirens, who fall into such rhythmic patterns, bill and coo at congregations unwittingly. It is almost impossible to convince them that their Sunday lyrics may be responsible for the small results obtained, because of the difficulty of recognizing the problem in one’s own preaching. If you are guilty of orchestrating weekly performances of this nature, you will never know it unless you are willing to listen analytically to tapes of your preaching in a critical and businesslike manner. Because so few are, I predict that this article will go largely unheeded. Pastoral nightingales, perched in pulpits, chirruping and warbling away, often are too entranced with the sound of their own voices to do the critical evaluation necessary. But for the few rare birds who will listen, who discover that the problem is theirs and who wish to do something about it, I offer the following...
“It’s our being caught up into the air to meet Jesus at His coming, of course.”
“Wrong? Why I read about this in Titus 2:13. How can you say that?”
Easily: by reading the passage; and not reading anything into it.
I’ll let the passage do so:
We wait for the blessed hope and (better, “even”) the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.
Do you get it? What we wait for isn’t what happens to us—it’s what happens to Jesus: the important thing isn’t our going; it’s His coming.
And it’s not just His coming—but how He will come. He will appear in a glory that makes it clear to all who He is: God as well as Savior.
In that day we who know Him won’t focus on ourselves—we’ll focus on Him! It would seem wise to do so now, as the Great God and Savior, as well as then, wouldn’t it?
 He Greek word “KAI” can mean either and or even.
Mohler’s comments about Hillsong music in a New York Times article:
“It’s a prosperity movement for the millennials, in which the polyester and middle-class associations of Oral Roberts have given way to ripped jeans and sophisticated rock music,” said R. Albert Mohler Jr., the president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. “What has made Hillsong distinctive is a minimization of the actual content of the Gospel, and a far more diffuse presentation of spirituality.”...
Michael Kruger observes,
In the end, Christianity triumphed in its early Greco-Roman context not because it was the same as the surrounding pagan culture, but because it was different.
Organizations often choose names that advertise their purpose or emphasis. The Federal Aviation Administration regulates aviation. The American Automobile Association helps drivers of automobiles. Alcoholics Anonymous is devoted to alcoholics—and anonymity. Names correlate with purposes.
Consequently, when an organization calls itself The Gospel Coalition, one assumes that it focuses on the gospel. One supposes that a Gospel Coalition would devote itself (as TGC puts it in the preamble to its foundational documents) to providing “gospel advocacy, encouragement, and education.” After all, the gospel is the boundary of Christian fellowship. No one who denies the gospel may be viewed as a Christian, and no Christian fellowship is possible with a gospel denier.
When The Gospel Coalition began, I had the impression that “gospel advocacy, encouragement, and education” would be the real focus of the organization. Its leaders held varying views on secondary issues, but all gave evidence of allegiance to the gospel. They disagreed about baptism, church order, eschatology, and even the continuation of miraculous gifts—...
Gene Veith asks,
So what if the Church were to worship in a style that no culture of today follows? What if its music were utterly different from everyone’s popular tastes? What if people of all cultures and sub-cultures–every nation, tribe, people, and language, including teenagers and hipsters, factory workers and financiers, people of every ethnicity, farmers and suburbanites and urbanites, little children and the elderly–could worship together? Wouldn’t that be cool?
Read more: Should Christianity try to be “cool”?.
In 1768 the French Enlightenment philosopher Voltaire wrote: “If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him.” Voltaire was not trying to denigrate Christianity. Rather, he was arguing for the social benefit of belief in God. He thought that belief in God helped provide incentive to people to live morally and helped establish social order and justice. Thus, if God did not exist, it would be better for society to convince people that God did exist.
There are a growing number of atheists in our day who are clamoring for the abolishment of religion. The late Christopher Hitchens was a leading voice in this movement, and he did not hide his contempt for Voltaire’s sentiment. “Though I dislike to differ with such a great man, Voltaire was simply ludicrous when he said that if god did not exist it would be necessary to invent him. The human invention of god is the problem to begin with” (God is Not Great, 96).
In response to these calls for the abolishment of religion, some are continuing to argue that religion, though perhaps (likely?) false, is still good. Thus, much of the discussion has moved past the question of whether or not...
The winner of our recent book giveaway was Chris K. in Clarkston, MI. His copy of Four Views on the Apostle Paul is in the mail. Congratulations, Chris. And thanks to all who participated.
Hopefully, at this point in the summer you’ve made a pretty good dent in your summer reading list. We’re looking to add one more title to that list, and we’re going to give a free copy of Four Views on the Apostle Paul (Zondervan, 2012) to someone who comments on this post.
In order to enter the drawing, you need to leave a comment below telling us the author and title of the best book you’ve read this summer (outside the Bible). The book can be fiction or non-fiction, academic or popular, long or short. It doesn’t matter. To be entered, you only need to tell us the title and author, but if you really enjoyed the book and want to tell us why, that would be great too.
The deadline to be entered in the drawing is 11 pm (EST), Wednesday, August 13.
It’s no secret that I have an abiding interest in the place and function of sanctification in the life of believers. The journey that began for me as a doctoral dissertation answering the Keswick model of sanctification that has historically punished dispensational fundamentalism has taken a new twist in recent years as a new threat has emerged within conservative evangelicalism: the gospel-driven sanctification approach most vividly seen in the writings of Tullian Tchividjian, but certainly not restricted to his sphere of influence.
In ultimate terms, I am not opposed to the label “gospel-driven” as applied to sanctification. My tension with the contemporary use of this label by those in the “contemporary grace movement” (as it is now being labeled in some Reformed circles) is that it restricts the gospel, in varying degrees, to Christ’s accomplishment of justification for us while giving scant attention given to Christ’s accomplishment of regeneration in us. As such, “gospel-driven” sanctification becomes, to a greater or lesser degree, an exercise in recalling Christ’s righteousness imputed in justification (with an attendant abhorrence of all that...
Earlier this summer I had a chance to read and review a new and increasingly-influential book on Hebrews by David Moffitt, assistant professor of NT at Campbell University Divinity School. The review’s slotted to be published in the Fall edition of Trinity Journal. Here, however, I wanted to post a lightly revised, pre-publication version, principally because I think the book’s fundamental thesis is just plain wrong. I’ll explain why. But, first, a summary.
Summary. Moffitt tries to overturn two common assumptions in Hebrews’ scholarship. Against those who argue that (1) Jesus’ resurrection is unimportant for Hebrews and (2) Jesus’ resurrection has been conflated with his exaltation, he insists that Jesus’ resurrection should be distinguished from his exaltation and that Jesus’ resurrection stands at the center of Hebrews’ theology. He supports this intriguing thesis with three arguments.
First, he argues that Jesus’ human presence in heaven is what makes him greater than angels, which, therefore,...