One of the interesting aspects of life is following the passage of time. I don’t know if you’re like me, but I struggle to stay on top of the current date. Yes, I’m that bad. I often don’t know what date it is. Then, when I find out, I’m shocked. “The 25th! It can’t be the 25th! It was just the 12th!” Has that ever happened to you?After conducting an intensive one-person study over a matter of days, the consumed… Read more

I’m in between series right now and so am taking a few days to spotlight interesting things. Today’s interesting thing is the Together for the Gospel blog. For those who don’t know, Together for the Gospel is a conference sponsored in part by 9Marks ministries and Sovereign Grace ministries. It will be held in Louisville, KY in late April 2006 and will feature such speakers as pastor John Piper, Southern Seminary president Al Mohler, pastor Mark Dever, author C.J. Mahaney,… Read more

There is a natural tendency in America to unobstructedly believe the experts. To make up our minds, we need know little save what the PhD’s tell us to think. There is obvious good and bad in such a tendency. It’s right that we value what educated people say about things they study alot. There’s an appropriate humility in such deference. Yet we must also balance our trust of the experts with careful analysis of what they say. Do their findings… Read more

Hello from the road, everybody. I’m currently in South Carolina on a recreational tour of this most interesting, and warm, state. Posting will be a bit sporadic this week. It will resume en force next week. No series for the time being, though I’ve got some cooking. Today we’re thinking about educational philosophies: to accept or not to accept?One of the more interesting debates I’ve had in recent times came in a class on leadership I took a little while… Read more

Better than an altar call in which someone makes a one-time decision and then puts their trust in that decision for the rest of their life is the simple proclamation of the gospel and subsequent exhortation to all to believe and live by the gospel. We’ve become convinced in evangelicalism that noone can be saved without praying a prayer. This is simply not true. Our assurance of salvation does not root in the subjective moment we recall as signaling our… Read more

The invitation system has achieved almost sacred status in a certain corner of evangelicalism. To those in this corner, being mainly traditionally conservative Baptist churches, to not give an invitation is to not present the gospel and also to prevent people from being saved. This latter effect is what is often most stridently argued and also most heavily flawed. Such thinking stems from an ironclad belief that salvation depends on the actions of men. Not in the sense that works… Read more

Today marks another installment in the “Evangelical Eccentricities” series. I hope it’s been somewhat interesting. We look now at the “invitation system” or “altar-call” mentality of many evangelical churches.Evangelicals have preached what they call the “gospel” for many years. The gospel consists of the proclamation that Jesus Christ, the Son of God and very God Himself, came to earth from heaven, lived a perfect life, and died on the cross to wash away the sins of a rebellious people. His… Read more

One of the weird traits I’ve noticed of evangelicals is our propensity for lowest common denominator Christianity. In our beliefs, we often gravitate toward the simple and basic. This is in some ways a positive thing. It’s good, I think, to emphasize the essentials and major on the most important. Such action stirs up unity and reminds us of our basic identity: we are Christians.But this tendency has its drawbacks, too, namely that we tend to cling to what it… Read more

As an evangelical, it’s interesting to describe the work of missions to religious outsiders. Lots of people in this day are somewhat familiar with the fact that Christians try to tell other people what they’re about. That’s fairly well known by the culture at large. But many people are not familiar with the idea that people voluntarily (and passionately) pack up their belongings and hopes and dreams and move far away with the sole purpose of communicating the Christian faith…. Read more

Having looked at the strange, conference-oriented nature of evangelicals, we turn to examine their propensity for symbols. Evangelicals have long felt the need to litter their lives and spaces with all manner of symbols. The cross, the icthus (the little fish thing), and the trinity symbol are just three examples of symbols popular among Christians today. Take the fish for a minute. For some reason, we put the fish everywhere we can. Now, obviously I know that we do so… Read more

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