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Archives for October 2014

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7 Wrong Reasons to Join a Church

Committing yourself and your family to a local church is one of the most important decisions you will ever make this side of eternity; and yet, for all the weightiness of it, it is a decision to which the larger part of church attenders have given little to no thought. Over the past three decades, I have witnessed multitudes of individuals and families choose to join c...

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Jonathan Edwards on Adam and the Tree of Life

There is no small disagreement among theologians over the issue of Adam and the Tree of Life. Some have supposed that Adam was eating from the Tree of Life prior to his disobedience in relation to the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. For instance, John Calvin held the view that God gave the Tree of Life to Adam and Eve "as an earnest of immortality, ...

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Working on Learning to Rest

If you're anything like me, you know that you have to be intentional about learning how to rest. It's hard for some of us to downshift. Some have a bent toward laziness and others a tendency to overwork. Phil Ryken has made the helpful observation that busyness stems from the same sinful root as laziness. Both are sinful manifestations of an idol of control. When we overw...

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A Biblical Theology of the Wilderness

In elementary school, one of my teachers gave our class a mnemonic device to help us remember that "desert" is spelled with one "s" and "dessert" is spelled with two. She said, "Two people would rather eat "dessert" than live in a "desert." Lost as her attempt may have been on some, in this case her method worked for me. To this day, anytime I have to write the words ...

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The Importance of Being a Pastor/Theologian

I have a theory about why God seems to use pastor/theologians in the ways in which He does in the world. I have come to believe that God blesses the labors of pastor/theologians who give themselves to him and the work of the church in a way that He often does not do so with other believers actively engaged in helpful para-church ministries. Last May, while I was in Durham...

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A Church's Coming of Age

When I tell people in our community that I am a church planter, I sometimes get the response, “A church what-er?” or “What’s a church plant?” The  analogy, so familiar to those in the church, is often lost on those outside. There are other fitting analogies to describe the nature of a new church, and it would serve those in the church well to consider their use...

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Loving the Place to Which You're Called?

In recent years, I've noticed something of a trend among men looking for a call to a pastorate. As I've talked with several friends about open pulpits in cities that I would gladly serve in if the Lord called me to a work there, I've often gotten the response, "Well, my wife and I really feel like we're called to such or such a city." It is obvious why they want to be in s...

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