Blogging the Institutes | 1.20-22 |The Point of Creation

"Blogging the Institutes" is my on-going attempt to paraphrase John Calvin's work, the Institutes of the Christian Religion. You can find out more about the series in the Introduction. For all the posts in this series, check out the Master List.  The Point of Creation God has placed us in a most beautiful place! Let's delight in…

Blogging the Institutes | 1.14.19 |About Demons

"Blogging the Institutes" is my on-going attempt to paraphrase John Calvin's work, the Institutes of the Christian Religion. You can find out more about the series in the Introduction. For all the posts in this series, check out the Master List.  About Demons I first refuted the idea that holy angles are nothing more than good thoughts…

AND: The Gathered and Scattered Church

How does the church keep from being too inward focused? How does the church balance the big gatherings with smaller service initiatives? It's questions like these that Hugh Halter and Matt Smay seek to answer in their book And: The Gathered and Scattered Church. Halter and Smay don't want people to lose their love for the church,…

Pioneering Movements

What kind of leadership would is take to make  the gospel spread quickly across an area? That's the question that Steve Addison takes up in Pioneering Movements: Leadership that Multiplies Disciples and Church. The Gist Churches join in gospel movements by training leaders (24). A powerful combination is "training followed by action" (25). The training method…

Blogging the Institutes | 1.14.15-16 |Biography of the Devil

"Blogging the Institutes" is my on-going attempt to paraphrase John Calvin's work, the Institutes of the Christian Religion. You can find out more about the series in the Introduction. For all the posts in this series, check out the Master List.  Biography of the Devil One thing should motivate us to continually battle the devil: the fact…

The Nuts and Bolts of Church Planting

I learned nothing new from this book. And that's a good thing! Because it means that we're (generally) on the right track in our discussions about church planting as pastors and elders. The Nuts and Bolts of Church Planting by Aubrey Malphurs is a basic template for planting just about any kind of church. The steps…

The Open Secret

Lesslie Newbigin (1909-1998) was a Britist missionary for many years to India. He wrote many books focusing on the church and her mission. The Open Secret  introduces some key issues surrounding the concept of mission. Because church plants must be mission focused in order to survive, the book has direct implications for shaping the discussion around church…

On (Theological) Courage

Courage does not consist in drawing lines. It consists in holding them. Especially in today's church climate, the need for courage is the order of the day. Yet courage is so often misunderstood. On the one hand, those of a "confessionalist" background who adopt detailed, multi-page statements of faith (like the Westminster Standards) deride those…

I can’t let the past go. Help!

Many people get stuck in the past. Maybe you're stuck right now. Maybe you feel guilt over something you've done (time doesn't heal guilt). Maybe you feel shame over some evil done to you. Maybe you're angry at a friend and holding a grudge against them. I don't know what you're situation is. But God does.…