Snippets from the interweb (16th August 2020)

The makings of a dull sermon

‘You would think it is impossible to preach a dull sermon because, as preachers, we are talking about God’s Word, but we all would probably say that we’ve preached a boring sermon at least once. Last week I published an article about communication and how preachers and authors need tobe faithful to the Bible, but not dull. A friend challenged me to write a follow up article talking about what exactly makes a dull sermon. Here goes…’

Culture clash is common in scheme ministry

‘It’s weird how often we talk about the culture clash between middle-class Christians and scheme Christians (unchurched working or benefits class). People often tell us, usually middle-class church people, that it doesn’t exist. This is a prime example that it does. Majority rules.’

But I’ve not been discipled! 

‘You might not have the opportunity to meet with an older man or woman at Starbucks (especially in a pandemic!) once a week to study Ephesians. You might not have a Bible study leader checking in on you every day. Your church leaders probably don’t have the training required to address all aspects of your past trauma or mental illness. This doesn’t mean you’re not “being discipled.”’

Jerry Falwell’s fall puts fundamentalism in a new light

This is an interesting take on the recent Jerry Falwell incident: ‘For now, one thought has been going through my mind as I watch this slow-motion train wreck: A little fundamentalism could have prevented that.’

Meatless, cheeseless, crustless pizza and the Evangelical Church

Tim Challies highlights something that one of my elders has noted a number of times too: ‘I’m sure just about every worship service from every denomination and tradition contains an obvious element of exhortation and teaching. But is it equally clear that the church is devoted to reading God’s Word?’

Why not grandchildren? An argument against reformed paedobaptism

Gavin Ortlund take a look at an inconsistency in the application and argument of modern reformed paedobaptist practice: ‘if the basis for infant baptism is infant circumcision, and infant circumcision was practiced intergenerationally, should not infant baptism be practiced intergenerationally as well? In other words, why should the grandchildren of believers not be considered eligible for baptism?’

From the archive: Make the main thing the main thing

‘Our preaching needs to make the main thing the main thing. It doesn’t particularly matter whether the specific individuals in the narrative are saved or not. Or, at least, if that does matter the text would make that abundantly clear. What matters is what the episode reveals about God, how it points us to Christ (who fully reveals God) and how it applies to us through him.’