Some Posts that You Might Find Interesting

Here are some of the posts on other blogs that I found interesting.

The History of Christianity in 25 Objects – Tim Challies

In this ongoing series of articles we are tracing the history of the Christian faith by pausing to look at 25 objects, 25 historical relics that survive to our day. From the John Rylands Library at the University of Manchester we return to the city of Rome and this time we travel to the Palatine Antiquarium Museum, a museum dedicated to the history of the Palatine Hill. Rome is the city built upon seven hills and the Palatine Hill is at the center of them all, rising up above what remains of the Roman Forum on the one side and the Circus Maximus on the other. It has been the context for many of history’s most significant moments. Some of the museum’s exhibitions display models of the early villages that predate the founding of Rome while others hold relics of ancient temples and other buildings that used to adorn the hill. Among the relics, secured high on one wall, is a curious piece of graffiti.

 

Behold the Son – Trevin Wax

At the foot of the cross where the sins of the world are being condemned and judged and the Savior is down to His last breaths, the soldiers are casting lots for His clothing. They divide and rip up His clothes, but they take care not to sever the tunic. Why tear such a good piece of fabric? Meanwhile, the body of Christ hovers over them, torn and bloodied.

What love! Christ was stripped naked on the cross, so that you and I might be wrapped in His robe of righteousness. Our sin for His righteousness. His death for our life.

I’m reposting something I put together for myself several years ago after reading John Stott’s book Between Two Worlds on preaching. This is basically an outline of his chapter on preparing a message with slight additions for my own personal use. I hope it encourages fellow pastors. (The picture is from 2005 when I had the privilege of meeting Mr. Stott who has since gone on to be with the Lord.)

 John Stott on Preparing a Sermon – Josh Harris

I’m reposting something I put together for myself several years ago after reading John Stott’s book Between Two Worlds on preaching. This is basically an outline of his chapter on preparing a message with slight additions for my own personal use. I hope it encourages fellow pastors. (The picture is from 2005 when I had the privilege of meeting Mr. Stott who has since gone on to be with the Lord.)

 

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Unconfessed Sin Distracts from the Mission

ID-10053881When a church has to focus the majority of its time and attention on cleaning up the mess left by a Pastor who has fallen into sin, it will be distracted away from it’s primary mission of preaching the gospel.  When I was first starting out in the ministry, I had the opportunity to see from a distance the effects that occur when a Pastor falls into sin.  In this instance, the issue was not adultery but rather the mishandling of church funds.  A routine audit of the church books revealed that the Pastor had been using thousands of church dollars for his own personal use. Prior to the scandal being discovered this church had been one of the great missionary churches in that area of the country.  Over twenty Southern Baptist Churches had been planted from this one congregation over the years and they had a reputation of being one of the most missionary churches in our denomination.  But after the scandal things changed drastically.  While they continued to try to be involved in planting new congregations, the missionary zeal of the church slowly diminished as more and more of the ministry was aimed at healing the wounds left by the scandal involving their Pastor.  Today they are on the verge of closing their doors.  I cannot help but to wonder what kind of work they could have accomplished in the Kingdom had it not been for this one sad incident.

This same story has been repeated across the evangelical world. Once vibrant churches have been rendered ineffective due to the sin of their Pastors.  When the church has to spend more and more of its time and resources trying to mend the broken hearts and lives left in the wake of a Pastors moral failure, there is little time or energy left for the mission.  In one of the strangest paradoxes that you will ever witness,  churches that goes into this kind of “survival mode” all but guarantee their own slow but inevitable death.  Being on mission with God gives life and vitality to a church, so when the mission is replaced with merely trying to survive the present crisis churches end up trapped in a slow churning spiral of death.