Dialogue on the Traditional Statement

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Last week I had the privilege of delivering the Darby/Beal Lectures at the Baptist Missionary Association Theological Seminary in Jacksonville, Texas. It was a joy to be on campus and to learn more about the mission and vision of BMATS. I was impressed with the faculty and students that I met and was particularly delighted to meet…



Billy Sunday, Part 3: Jack Rabbits and Creeds

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(See also Part 1 and Part 2, of this series.) Among the public impressions that gave Billy Sunday such popular appeal was his vigorous support of Woodrow Wilson’s war effort. The money, at least it was so reported, that came in from the ten-week New York campaign in 1917 all went to the war to end all wars….



Spurgeon’s Sorrows

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Zack Eswine. Spurgeon’s Sorrows: Realistic Hope for those who Suffer from Depression. Ross-shire, Scotland: Christian Focus, 2014. 144 pp. $9.99. Only the grace of God can explain Charles Spurgeon. In 38 years as pastor of Metropolitan Tabernacle (known as New Park Street Chapel during his early years), Spurgeon’s output was superhuman. He often preached 10…



Patristic Wisdom on the Focus of Pastoral Ministry

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I am working my way through Christopher Beeley’s recent book Leading God’s People: Wisdom from the Early Church for Today, and have enjoyed it immensely. One particular section was very good and I wanted to share it with you. Beeley discusses the focus of pastoral ministry. He highlights the others-centered nature of the pastoral vocation: “At…



Contentment in Christ, Part 2

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As Tom Hicks outlined in a recent post here, so unusual is contentment in a fallen human being, that Puritan Jeremiah Burroughs called it “a rare jewel.” Nothing exhibits Christian maturity like contentment in Christ and nothing unmasks our immaturity like discontentment, which I examined in part I of this series. Yet, contentment is elusive….



Responding to Gathered Worship: With Faith and Hope

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One of the great benefits of gathered worship with the church is that it keeps us regularly under the preaching and teaching of God’s Word. As God’s people we must give attention to God’s Word. We must be diligent to listen as it is taught. We must be willing to place our lives in its…



Measured by Love

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One afternoon a church member met me in my study to say that he and his family was leaving the church. He offered this explanation: “You know that I like to be around things that are a success. And this church is not a success. So we’re leaving.” With that, he left. Realistically, if we…



To Assume the Gospel is to Lose it

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For well over a decade I have expressed concerns that many conservative, Bible believing churches have in important ways lost the gospel. This concern has been met with varying degrees of incredulity by certain sectors of the evangelical world, most notably, some of the very ones that provoked my evaluation. Though things have improved from…