Monday, August 12, 2019

The Pastor, Sheep and Goats

"The pastor is called to feed the sheep, even if the sheep do not want to be fed. He is certainly not to become an entertainer of goats. Let goats entertain goats, and let them do it out in goatland. You will certainly not turn goats into sheep by pandering to their goatishness." (William Still)

What Do You Want from Church?

"When I go to the house of God I do not want amusement. I want the doctrine which is according to godliness.
"I want to hear of the remedy against the harassings of my guilt and the disorder of my affections. I want to be led from weariness and disappointment to that goodness which feeds the hungry soul.
"Tell me of the Lord Jesus who himself bore our sins in his own body on the tree. Tell me of his intercession for the transgressors as their advocate with the Father. Tell me of his Holy Spirit, whom they that believe on him receive to be their Preserver, Sanctifier, Comforter.
"Tell me of his chastenings, their necessity and their use. Tell me of his presence, his sympathy and his love. Tell me of the virtues, as growing out of his cross and nurtured by his grace.
"Tell me of the glory reflected upon his name by the obedience of faith. Tell me of the vanquished death, of the purified grave, of a blessed resurrection, of the life everlasting, and my [heart] warms.
"This is gospel; these are glad tidings to me as a sufferer, because glad to me as a sinner.”
-- Thomas Murphy

Eternity Changes Everything

"If forever is great and forever is mine, I can endure even though now is lousy."
-- Stephen Witmer, "Eternity Changes Everything: How to live now in the light of your future (Live Different)". [Good Book Company]

Faith as Trust that Generates Loyalty

"...Biblical faith is trust in the divine Word, which generates loyalty to the God of covenant promises."
-- Daniel Treier, "Introducing Evangelical Theology"

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Why Do We Do What We Do at Church?

"In the New Testament, and especially in Acts, the primary focus of the Church's energies and efforts was to make disciples of Jesus Christ -- that is, converting people into those who would devote themselves to living for God's glory, in accordance with the teachings of Christ.  The means and methods were essentially prayerful, Spirit-empowered proclamation of the Gospel and teaching of the Word, evangelizing the lost, and edifying (transforming) the saved.

"Today, so much of the American Church's focus seems to be on providing religious goods and services to the 'saved' -- centered on an essentially therapeutic and enjoyable concert-like event on Sunday mornings (or Saturday evening, if more convenient).  The focus on sanctification of the saved, and conversion of those whom Paul calls "the disobedient" (not "seekers"), in the Church's weekly gatherings, meetings and events seems to have been profoundly obscured and, frankly, replaced."

-- Jon G. Baldwin, "Towards Revival and Renewal"