When Do You Leave a Church?

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It is the conversation with church members every pastor dreads but inevitably comes to every man who has shepherded a local flock: “Pastor, we need to meet with you and discuss our future at the church. We have been praying about transferring our membership to another church.” Naturally, you ask the inevitable question, “Why?” The…



John Rooker and God’s Sovereign Purpose

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Recently I read this item in the 1806 Circular Letter of the Philadelphia Association on Christian Missions: “The Charleston Baptist Association of South Carolina, at their last session, received favorable accounts from their missionary, Brother John Rooker, relative to his ministration among the Catawba Indians. They have engaged him to continue with them, and are…



What about Justification?

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1. Today’s Confusion on Justification Some of today’s theologians who claim the Reformed tradition think the traditional doctrine of justification needs modification. N.T. Wright says, “Paul has . . . spoken in Romans 2 about the final justification of God’s people on the basis of their whole life” (Paul in Fresh Perspective, 121). Dan Fuller says,…



Does church membership matter?

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One of the most frequent questions that I get from professing Christians is, “Why do I have to be a member of a church?” Over the course of the years the character of that question has increasingly shifted from honest inquiry to incredulous accusation. In fact I am no longer surprised when believers get angry at…



Guest Post: Perilous Times, Dead Baptists, and the Church

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[The following is a guest post from Aaron Menikoff. Aaron serves as Senior Pastor of Mount Vernon Baptist Church in Sandy Springs, Georgia. He will be speaking at the upcoming National Founders Conference in Charleston, SC in October] As I write these words, news outlets are buzzing over the beheading of the American journalist Steven…



Healthy Christianity is Confessional

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Faith precedes practice. Creed governs deed. What you believe controls what you do. This is true even though at times a person’s actions may be contrary to his confession and it is the very fact that he professes a standard that enables his actions to be judged in harmony with or contrary to his beliefs….

 

Whatever happened to the Law and the Gospel?

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When one looks at the New Testament teachings of Jesus and the writings of the Apostles, one would think that a confession of faith ought to have some explanation of the law of God as well as the gospel of Christ. You cannot read the Sermon on the Mount, Romans, Galatians, James, or 1 John…



The Power and Impact of Confessions of Faith

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This week I have been at the Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary lecturing to a group of PhD students. They gather the week before the beginning of the regular semester for a week-long session of seminars and at noon have a plenary session. I have delivered those lectures on the subject “The Art of Pastoral…



Corporate Confession

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Many years ago, while serving in a traditional church in the Deep South, a lady just a few years older than me approached me after the morning worship with concern written on her face. She had always been supportive of my ministry. Her husband served on the pastor search committee that presented me to that…