I really liked this. Really excellent post for a small church like ours. Are we characterised by gospel generosity or closed-handedness?
‘The reality of hell and eternal punishment is not a popular topic, even among Christians. Part of the problem is that the nature of hell has been horribly distorted in our culture and portrayed as an experience that is far from what we read in the NT.’
‘I feel that we are at a bit of an impasse with urban mission. I have participated in numerous conversations over the past couple of years about the need for people and resources into urban priority areas. However, those conversations have been quite frustrating’. Having been part of many of those conversations, I am minded to agree.
‘A traditional view of mission is that God delegates the task of mission to the church. The missio Dei view of mission is that the Triune God has a mission and that he calls the church to participate in that mission with him. The difference is subtle, but extremely important and in my view it has huge implications for the way in which we talk about mission and involve people in it.’
I appreciated this. ‘I want to acknowledge that there are a number of “common grace” preferences the that we may come to appreciate about various pastors. Some men may have an extra dose of a particular category. Certainly, you can think of one who exudes more warmth. Perhaps you others who are better communicators. Others may excel in their intuitiveness. Let’s be honest, there are some who are frankly off the charts intelligent. Others drip creativity when they are preaching like Bob Ross with a paintbrush. The list could go on and on. But let’s be clear, these are common grace gifts that we should rejoice in but they are not essentials for the office of pastor.’
I am absolutely with the position argued here. ‘It does surprise me to learn that many parents feel that they don’t have the option to hold off on providing a cell phone for their kids. The day that I made my shocking confession, the attitude of the fellow moms in the room seemed to be: You can DO that? Why yes, you can. And I would argue that in most cases you should.’
‘The cry of Elijah – we are the only one’s left – exposes a spiritual pride that tends to lead to decline. It is an interesting lesson from the annals of history. Those who cannot find gospel unity in any other church typically can’t find it in their own. Likewise, those who cannot find any other church with whom they can have fellowship evidence a spiritual arrogance that suggests only we know how to do church properly and only we are truly faithful.’