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What The Bible Says Good Samaritan's Penny Pulpit by Pastor Ed Rice
What The Bible Says Good Samaritan's Penny Pulpit by Pastor Ed Rice
What The Bible Says Good Samaritan's Penny Pulpit by Pastor Ed Rice
What The Bible Says - Good Samaritan's Penny Pulpit by Pastor Ed Rice
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Lester Roloff - That Dirty Crowd Called "Mainstream Media" Lester Roloff was born on June 28, 1914, to Christian parents in Dawson, Texas. Raised on a farm, he learned the value of hard work at a young age. In his early teens he was saved and later committed his life to becoming a preacher. He knew he needed
Charles Crismier - New Sex Trend: It's Frightful, Frightful, Frightful Younger Generation More Prone to Immoral Behavior, Survey Finds Young adults under 25 are more than twice as likely as all other adults to engage in behaviors considered morally inappropriate by traditional standards, a survey released Monday shows.
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He came to divide sons from their fathers and daughters from their mothers—not to promote “family values.”An excerpt from CT’s Beautiful Orthodoxy Book of the Year. Here’s the full list of CT 2019 Book Award winners.When many people think of North American Christianity, one of the first words that come to mind would be family. Part of that is good, necessary, and unavoidable for a church on mission. If we are going to disciple people, we must teach them to keep themselves from idols (1 John 5:21), and many of the idols of our age come under the rubric of allegedly freeing people from the “constraints” of family responsibility and even family definition. When the outside culture valorizes sexual promiscuity, gender confusion, a divorce culture, and the upending of marriage, then the church must work hard to articulate a different vision. There is a danger, though, that comes with any mission, and this one is no exception.The outside world is interested in order and stability. In that sense, the world can see the value, in most cases, of “The Family” in a way that it would not see the value of, say, the doctrine of justification by faith. Churches can talk about the family, then, in ways that seem immediately relevant even to their most metaphysically disinterested neighbors. With the secularizing of Western culture, many churches find that their neighbors simply aren’t asking questions like “What will I say when God asks me, ‘Why should I let you into heaven?’ ” They find people are asking, “How can I find sexual fulfillment if I’m not married?” or “How can I stop arguing so much with my husband?” or “How can I relate to my kids during the teenage years?” For many churches, the family then becomes the point of contact with ...Continue reading...
Our picks for the books most likely to shape evangelical life, thought, and culture.There’s a funny graphic making the social media rounds that confirms a truth universally acknowledged, at least by bibliophiles. Under the heading “Do I need more books?” sits a pie chart partitioned into a big slice (in teal) and a much smaller slice (in yellow), representing the dueling impulses in play. Predictably enough, the teal portion depicts the overwhelming urge to answer with an emphatic “YES.” But then we confront the nagging, still small voice of conscience, whispering ever so delicately, “also YES, but in yellow.”As someone who owns a perfectly appropriate, not even slightly excessive, but still fairly large number of books, I know the feeling. Several years ago, I was part of a book club at church. We were discussing a book about books (Tony Reinke’s Lit!: A Christian Guide to Reading). At some point, I asked whether anyone else ever felt guilty about devoting too much time to reading, given all the other callings God places on our lives. One young woman in the group thought the question revealed more about the bookworm bubble I inhabited than any spiritual dilemma Christians commonly face. And of course she was right! (Thank goodness that levelheaded young woman later saw fit to become my wife.)If only through gritted teeth, you can usually get me to concede the sinful temptations that bookaholism encourages. Like any good gift, reading can be overindulged. But each year, as I set the table for another book awards banquet, I try to ease up on the introspection, adopting the literary equivalent of the “calories don’t count” mindset that fuels so many satisfying Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner binges.During book awards season, at least, the ...Continue reading...
6 Characteristics of a Disciple-Making Church—Part 2 In the previous blog, we noted that while it is easy to give lip service to the Great Commission as the mission of the local church, it is also easy to get distracted from it. We saw that a disciple-making church is actually a Christ-centered church. Our goal is not so much size as it is health, and a spiritually healthy church will be centered around Christ and His mission.In part 1, we looked at the following three characteristics. (If you have not had a chance to read the previous blog, I'd encourage you to read it quickly here before reading further.)A Christ-Centered Philosophy—Our goal to seek the lost and train disciples must be biblical and Christ-centered, not fleshly and ego-centered.A Christ-Centered Motivation—Any motive less than the love of Christ will be unsustainable. A Christ-Centered Approach—We must give consistent and thorough gospel presentations with purposeful and biblical follow up. But what then? What is it like for a new Christian just saved through the ministry of a Christ-centered, disciple-making church? This is where the following three characteristics come in: 4. A Christ-Centered EnvironmentBut we were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherisheth her children: So being affectionately desirous of you, we were willing to have imparted unto you, not the gospel of God only, but also our own souls, because ye were dear unto us.—1 Thessalonians 2:7–8A new Christian should be welcomed into a church that is intensely loving and fully Christ-centered. They need people who will come alongside them and point them to consistent growth in Jesus.This is why at Lancaster Baptist Church, we place a lot of emphasis on the Sunday morning adult connection groups or Sunday school classes. These provide great opportunities for acceptance and growth in a setting that easily lends itself to both Bible teaching and relationship building. It's so important that young Christians be pointed to Christ and to His Word, rather than being surrounded by contentious, frustrated, bitter Christians. A new Christian needs time to grow and encouragement in grace.5. A Christ-Centered DiscipleshipAnd when they had preached the gospel to that city, and had taught many, they returned again to Lystra, and to Iconium, and Antioch, Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.—Acts 14:21–22Discipleship is not a series of ten lessons. It is a life-long decision of daily following Christ. The very emphasis of the word disciple—follower—suggests that our focus is on Christ, not on ourselves or others.So at Lancaster Baptist Church, our goal in our discipleship curriculum is that we are pointing new Christians to Jesus through the series of one-on-one mentoring meetings. We want to help them establish a strong, daily walk with Christ and to become grounded in the foundational doctrines of His Word. In short, we want to point them to Christ—the living Word through the pages of His written Word.6. A Christ-Centered Pulpit MinistryFor the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.—1 Corinthians 1:18Biblical preaching is primary in discipleship. It is foundational for establishing doctrine, reinforcing doctrine, and encouraging the disciple's faith and continued growth.And this is not just true for new disciples of Christ. Preaching is vital for all Christians.For these reasons, a disciple-making church has Christ-centered preaching. There may be illustrations, and there should definitely be applications. But the core message should always be the Bible—not opinion or fluff. When God's Word is preached, Christ is exalted, for He is the living Word. In part 1, I mentioned that a disciple-making church is a Christ-centered church. But the reverse is also true. A Christ-centered church will be a disciple-making church. In fact, a church that is centered on anything or anyone other than Christ may produce converts, but it will not produce disciples. From gospel-driven philosophy and motives to an others-focused outreach and church environment, to a biblically-grounded discipleship and pulpit ministry, it must all be centered around Jesus.This is the kind of church that produces fully-committed followers of Christ.
Randall Stephens's history pays attention to political and cultural flash points—without losing focus on the music itself.Every few years, it seems, what some call the “mainstream media” rediscover Christian rock. Sometimes it’s treated with reverence and respect, as in John Jeremiah Sullivan’s now-classic 2004 account of tagging along at a Christian music festival for GQ. More often, it’s treated like a sociological oddity: a strange footnote in the history of American pop, a foreign culture to be explained with an anthropologist’s rigorous eye. Just this September, The New Yorker’s Kelefa Sanneh wrote a mini-history of Christian music (“The Unlikely Endurance of Christian Rock”) that took the genre seriously, but still contained whiffs of the incredulous stance preferred by many music writers: Can you believe that band you like—take your pick from among U2, Bob Dylan. Paramore, Evanescence, Switchfoot, Sixpence None the Richer, The Killers, and the list goes on—might actually be Christian?What Sanneh’s piece got right, thankfully, was its attention to just how common Christian pop music is today—how central it is, in sometimes unrecognized ways, to American popular culture. (Though when he says this would have been hard to imagine in 1969, I’m not so sure; “Spirit in the Sky” was a hit single that year, and the previous year saw the release of perhaps the most overtly religious rock record of all time, The Electric Prunes’s Mass in F Minor.)Indeed, Christian rock has had a strange and circuitous journey back to the center of American culture. Randall J. Stephens’s The Devil’s Music: How Christians Inspired, Condemned, and Embraced Rock ‘n’ Roll describes this sometimes paradoxical path. Stephens traces the roots of ...Continue reading...
References to Noah's Ark abound in the culture and even have been used to describe recent efforts to store strains of microbes (instead of animals).
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