‘During a meeting… I recounted several conversations of people who came to me to “talk about concerns.” He said to me, “It seems people come to you with those types of things. Do you find that to be true?” I initially thought this was a compliment, so I proudly declared, “Yes, I believe so. I think I am viewed as trusted and safe.” He then said, “Let’s probe that a bit more. Why else could people be coming to you?” Over the next several moments we concluded together that it is not always a good thing if people are complaining to me, that perhaps “being a trusted person” was not the only signal I was sending.’
‘It is ironic that in the same chapter, indeed in the same context, in which our Lord teaches the utter necessity of rebirth to even see the kingdom, let alone choose it, non-Reformed views find one of their main proof texts to argue that fallen man retains a small island of ability to choose Christ.’
‘One of the difficulties we have is the assumption in our culture that basically we all believe the same stuff except that some Christians have this weird hang up about gay sex. But, in truth, the issue isn’t that I disagree with the non-Christian world about gay sex. I disagree with the non-Christian world about pretty much everything- the meaning of life and the reason for the existence of the universe would simply be starters. And, actually, it creates more helpful and less heated discussions when we all acknowledge that.’
I followed the debate between Andrew Wilson and Tom Schreiner regarding gifts of the Spirit. I previously posted Andrew’s paper for continuationism which has made its way into the latest edition of Themelios (you can read it here). I said I wanted to post Tom’s paper if it became available, so here it is.
I think this is an important one for those of us who have gone to so-called ‘hard places’. We may go, we may even speak with great passion about going, but when we get there the reality on the ground is messy and uncomfortable. All too often, we gladly love people from a distance but find it much harder to love them when reality bites.
‘Jesus didn’t save us to hang out in exclusive tribes; he saved us from different tribes to be his people (1 Pet. 2:9–10). We aren’t united by education, political affiliations, personalities, or interests. We’re united because the blood of our Savior has purchased us to be his own (Gal. 3:28). And because we are his, we are called to love those who are his (1 John 4:7). Our friendships shouldn’t always make sense to the world; they should grab the world’s attention and make them wonder why in the world we love each other.’
‘One of the simple ways we can build trust is to affiliate well. If I were looking for a church in a new area, I would typically search the internet and check out what is available. On finding a variety of churches, I would head straight to what they believe and to which organisations they affiliate. These are the shorthands of which churches I would countenance attending. At the end of the day, there are affiliations that engender my trust and those that don’t.’