Elements of a Christ-Centered Marriage

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Marriage is hard work. It’s no forty or fifty hour work week but 168 hours each week, 365 days each year, “till death do us part.” There are no days off or vacation or sick leave. But hard work doesn’t mean misery or joylessness or drudgery. By hard work, I mean that marriage demands that…



How to Diagnose and Treat Pastoral Authoritarianism

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Suffixes have a way of distinguishing a word from its root, such as –ian. An electrician does not personally hold an electrical charge but he does work with electricity. A Washingtonian may not have the last name Washington but she does live or work in the nation’s capitol. One source states that the –ian ending…



Radical Individualism: The Divisive Spirit of Our Age

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Rugged individualism works well for a new nation trying to get its feet on the ground. Often, when historians describe the characteristics of our nation’s founders, “rugged individualism” gets mentioned as a primary trait, and rightly so. Who else would forge into unknown territory, face extreme hardships, and carve out a life in the middle…



Can You be a Christian without Going to Church?

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I’ve heard it many times. “Well, you don’t have to attend church to be a Christian.” “Attending church doesn’t make you a Christian!” “I don’t need the church; I worship God in my own way.” In each case, someone attempts to provide a barrier to further conversation about the gospel and its effects upon the…



The Gospel Triumphs

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“But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place” (2 Corinthians 2:14). The image sticking in the Corinthian’s mind over Paul’s use of this language would be similar to someone in the Deep South mentioning Neyland,…



He Sends None a Warfare Upon Their Own Charges

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The dark waters of the Irish Sea rose to meet the River Bladnoch. The incoming tide moved closer to two lonely figures tied to stakes. What had Margaret McLachlan, in her late sixties, and Margaret Wilson, only eighteen, done to deserve such agonizing deaths? They refused to acknowledge the King’s religion and abjure their brothers…



When is it Right to Fire a Pastor?

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The callousness of the letter stunned me. I rambled through a drawer and found a copy of a long-forgotten hand scribbled note sent to a pastor twenty years ago. I had known him in seminary and early ministry. He had faithfully served his Southern Baptist church in a small southern town for a couple of…



Change, Plant, or Stay: Which is Best?

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Recently, a brother from a small town in the south wrote for advice. He came to Christ in the early nineties. Over the past two years he and his wife embraced reformed (baptistic) theology. But the church they were part of did not. Opposition to their theological convictions has mounted. After moving to their third…



Preaching Stories

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Stories communicate. Just look at your local bookstore. It’s filled with stories. Consider the classic books by Dickens, Lewis, Tolkien, and Sayers. They continue to gain new generations of readers. Their stories communicate. So do the biblical stories. They communicate an eternal message that remains equally true for each generation. The message that the Holy…



Wait on the Lord

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Do you find it easy to trust the Lord everyday? Maybe some days seem easier than others but to use the word “easy” with “trust” appears out of place! Maybe better put, some days we don’t struggle as much as other days to believe the Lord and to rest in His gospel promises. Waiting on…