I once did the funeral of the brother of a godly woman at our church. He lived by himself and, as far as we knew, was outspokenly anti-Christian until he died.
A person should ask if, in their personal walk with God, they avoid the Scripture passages that call for radical boldness. If that's the case then the defeat is there before you even hit the streets.
Yes. If we don't value God for who he really is then our behavior is going to reflect that skewed understanding of God.
I think it is misleading to say that hell is giving people what they most want. When there are only two choices, and you choose against one, it does not mean that you want the other
Why would a sovereign God allow false beliefs to seemingly prosper? What can we learn from their existence?
I would begin by preaching the gospel and displaying the infinite and all-satisfying worth of God. In other words, I wouldn't start at the symptom.
Any listener who thinks that the way forward in race relations is to dumb down doctrine, so that you can hang out and not count truth as important, is undermining the very foundation on which we must stand together
Suffering and death were so much a part of life back then.
People need to be brought face to face with how utterly unique they are in the universe of God's creations
One of the main dangers in being comfortable in our Christianity is that over time comfort tends to begin to feel like something that God – or the world – owes us
Jesus was pro-woman to the max. But he did not choose women to be apostles.
If there is nothing specifically wrong with my church, but I feel like I've stopped growing, is that a good enough reason to look for another one?
The danger is this: Is it the most helpful thing to do? Is it the best way to nurture a radical holiness
You certainly want to help your church get clarity. You don't want them to be confused.
If I were granted all the insight that I needed to understand every verse in the Bible, then it may well be that I would not have the capacity to understand my own sinfulness
Discerning the will of God for your ministry would start with a deep and recurrent desire, which is a good thing. Then you must test it.
It seems to me that if everything were easy and straightforward, no controversy at all, nothing apparently out of sync with my little human brain and its ability to discern contradictions, then I bet there would be a question here like, "If this is really God's word, why is it so simple?
Well of course you can. The question is whether you should. And I think that it's not helpful, by and large, either personally or at some ecumenical gathering, to do that without clarifying the differences.
I have had numerous pastors testify to me that discovering Christian hedonism has been revolutionary to their ministry.
The counsel I would give is to seek to do your work in such a way that Christ looks more important than your work.
I think that these kind of gifts are most effectively and appropriately ministered in smaller groups rather than on Sunday morning.
I have been around long enough to know that there are seasons when the Holy Spirit is over attended to. And there also are seasons when he is under attended to.
My pattern is not to be followed by anybody except those who are wired exactly like I am, which is probably no one.
I can't go to him with a log hanging out of my eye because the log will hit him on the head and do more damage than if I took my log out first.
If at the end of your life you could say one thing to the next generation of church leaders, what might it be?