Snippets from the interweb (3rd February 2019)

Warning signs (and what to do)

Emma Scrivener offers some warning signs of mental health issues. If you begin experiencing these, especially for a reasonable length of time, go and get some help.

3 reasons definite atonement is basic to Biblical missions

I liked this reflection. It is a lazy trope that casts all who hold to Reformed soteriology as hyper-Calvinists who don’t believe in mission. This article explains why definite (or, limited) atonement encourages missionary endeavours.

Consulting Aristotle on Biblical hermeneutics

Did a lack of faith on the part of individuals limit Jesus’ power to perform miracles? The answer must be no. Did it limit his ability to perform miracles? The answer must be yes. This blog post, with a nod to Aristotle, explains.

Don’t ignore the “speed limit”

‘We ought to get out of the fast lane long enough to reflect on the sufficiency of Scripture or our own philosophy of ministry, and to rest in God’s sovereignty to build his church. We ought to spend less time thinking about marketing so as to reach people not there, and more time thinking about equipping the saints who are there. After all, I bet that 10 godly, gospel-loving people will be far more effective in reaching your town than 10,000 postcards. The speed limit in Scripture encourages us to a more patient, persevering, and sustainable ministry, one that more commonly takes the long view.’

You don’t have to have a well-formed opinion on everything

This was particularly helpful. You don’t have to have an opinion on everything. It is OK to say, ‘I don’t know what I think about that.’ It is fine to have opinions and views, but we also need to be careful to recognise the limits of our knowledge.

Making it personal

Ray Evans gives some excellent advice for taking our sermon framework and turning headings into something that helps the congregation see God is speaking specifically to them. I have often done this but, I must admit, I haven’t always. I certainly think I should do what Ray suggests far more than I do. ‘Here is a simple rule of thumb. Ask yourself, “What application am I going to make from this heading?” Then turn that into your heading!

From the archive: Are theological colleges the servant of the local church?

‘We need to acknowledge that academic degrees are not for every church leader, shouldn’t have to be and a focus on vocational training may be more appropriate. When we demand things that scripture doesn’t, and we force them to conform to particular way of doing things that are also not demanded by scripture, we may just find we are locking out of ministry many effective leaders and workers for little more than our own cultural disposition. This is the issue that theological colleges need to address. Are the theological colleges the servant of the church or are church members merely fodder for the academy?’