For Your Edification (7.14.12)

For Your Edification is a weekly set of resources on the subjects of Bible, Theology, Ministry, and Family Life.  Let me know what you think or if you have other resources that growing Christians should be aware.

BIBLE & THEOLOGY

The Danger of Pragmatism.  Jared Wilson, “Gospel-centered” blogger, pastor, and author, provides a helpful look at pragmatism and its deletrious effect on biblical truth and faithful ministry.

Pastor Wilson lists six symptoms of pragmatism and seven ways churches and pastors can regain a biblical ministry.

Six Symptoms of Pragmatism

  1. Pastors increasingly hired for their management skills or rhetorical ability over and above their biblical wisdom or their meeting of the biblical qualifications for eldership.
  2. The equation of “worship” with a creative portion of a weekly worship service.
  3. The prevalent eisogesis in classes and small groups.
  4. The vast gulf between the theological academy and the church.
  5. Biblical illiteracy.
  6. A theologically lazy and methodologically consumeristic/sensationalistic approach to the sacraments.

Seven Ways  to Fight Pragmatism

  1. Pastors must study and read, and read and study.
  2. Expository preaching.
  3. Pastors must bridge that gulf between the theological academy and the church.
  4. Churches should identify those with the spiritual gifts of teaching and leadership and make sure they are both discipled and discipling, mentored and mentoring.
  5. Impress upon every minister of the church the need for doctrinal soundness, especially those planning and leading “worship.”
  6. Recapture a vision for truth that makes the goal of theology a deeper relationship with God and greater affection for Christ.
  7. Recover the centrality of the Gospel.

Let me encourage you to read the whole blogpost and ask the question: Are you being shaped more by the pragmatic culture around you, or are you being shaped more by God’s truth?

Complementarianism for Dummies. Mary Kassian, a well-respected author and women’s speaker, has given a short definition to what an often misunderstood term means: Complementarianism.

Calvinism Under Review.  Two book reviews came out this week on three recent books concerning the (de)merits of Calvinism.  Tom Ascol reviews Killing Calvinism by Greg Dutcher, and on the CredoMag blog, I review For Calvinism by Michael Horton and Against Calvinism by Roger Olson.  Wherever you are on matter of the doctrines of grace, I would encourage you to check out these reviews which chronicle three of the most recent books on the subject.

CHURCH, FAMILY, & MINISTRY

Missionary Biographies.  Here is a great site that lists a number of readable missionary biographies.  From David Brainerd, to William Carey, to C. T. Studd, you will find a short bio of each missionary, plus countless resources for doing further research.  If you have young children or are in need of an encouragement in your service with God, this would be a great page to bookmark.  Take up one biography a week, and see how God worked in their lives, and how he can work in yours as well.

IN THE NEWS

The Coalition of African-American Pastors (CAAP) .  Well over 1,000 pastors of African-American churches have come out against the pro-homosexual agenda endorsed by President Barack Obama.  In an open letter, they state, “President Obama is the fulfillment of our dream for our sons — and he has broken our hearts by using his power and position to endorse as a civil right something that is simply wrong. Some things are bigger than the next election.”  May God use such bold men and their churches to stand against the evil of legalizing something God abhors, and to stand against those who hijack the Civil Rights Movement for something it was never intended–the celebration and legalization of ‘same-sex marriage.’

2016. If you have not seen the previews yet for 2016, you need to.  It is a hard-hitting expose on the ideology of our current President.  Dinesh D-Souza, president of King’s College, and noted author is its director, and in this article you can find an interesting interview with Barack Obama’s right-leaning brother, George Obama, who lives in Kenya.

An unforeseen effect of legalizing same sex marriage (John Piper).  ” . . . there will be a lot of conscientious, loving Christians going to jail.”

Preserving the honor of a fallen soldier (College Station, TX)

The Spotless Bride of JoePa (Rod Dreher)

An Academic Witch Hunt (via Denny Burk)

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