September 12, 2013

Jay Pathak and Dave Runyon give us a test in their book The Art of Neighboring to help us discover whether or not we are living out the command to love our neighbor.  The goal is not to induce shame, but to see if we are moving from loving our neighbor in theory to loving our neighbor in practice. Take a sheet of paper and draw nine boxes in three rows of three.  Your house is the one in the… Read more

August 22, 2013

This week many Christians in Birmingham have been curiously watching the events surrounding Matt Pitt’s second arrest in the last year.  Matt is the founder of The Basement, a large youth ministry centered in the city of Birmingham.  Some Christians have joined the world in mocking Matt, which is the last response a believer should have.  Some have claimed that he is the victim of police persecution, which is not helpful either.  You can read a good synopsis of who… Read more

August 21, 2013

A few weeks ago, I posted a list of the resources that I was going to be working through to get ready for our church’s series on marriage and the family.  The plan was to read through these resources quickly, but my attention has been arrested by Gary Thomas’ Sacred Marriage.  There are memorable lines and important points on almost every page.  To do a full book review on this would be nearly impossible at the rate that I’m taking… Read more

August 20, 2013

One of the things that I see in the suburbs is that people devote large quantities of time to pursuits that are of limited eternal value and crowd out the things that truly matter.  People don’t know how to keep the main thing in their life as the main thing.  Stephen Covey gives this helpful illustration in his book First Things First and it wonderfully describes how to prioritize the main thing in our lives. One day this expert was… Read more

August 20, 2013

Many times when Christian parents think about teaching the Bible to their children, their thoughts automatically turn to family worship.  While family devotions are a great tool, we have to remember that most of the teaching that we do with our children does not happen in that type of environment.  Most of it happens in little everyday situations.  What we will discover though, is that if we teach the Bible to our children in these “little” moments, a lifetime of… Read more

August 19, 2013

Many Christians struggle to read the Old Testament.  On the surface, it seems like a long string of unconnected stories with some genealogies sprinkled in.  Add to that laws that seem to have very little to do with life in the 21st century.  It is easy to see why Christians would look at the Old Testament, then look at the New Testament and wonder what the two had to do with each other. Enter David Murray, professor of Old Testament… Read more

August 17, 2013

I grew up in Southern culture that spoke of God’s grace, but practically acted as if God only wanted those who had been good enough.  The result of this was that those who were churched often looked down upon those who were not.  As I was awakened to the realities of the Gospel, the wrongness of this way of looking at those outside the church became readily exposed. One of my favorite explanations of the Gospel comes from Matt Chandler’s… Read more

August 15, 2013

Last week I highlighted Bob Terry’s editorial in The Alabama Baptist entitled “Why Disagree About the Words of a Hymn?”  Dr. Terry seemed to deny substitutionary atonement in the editorial and I was not alone in this estimation.  In fact, there was such an overwhelming reaction to the original post that he wrote a clarification on Friday afternoon.  He has added several additional paragraphs since then and I thought that it was appropriate to post some follow-up thoughts since his… Read more

August 13, 2013

The internet is full of writings that fall into what could be best characterized as the “reasons why the church sucks” genre.  This genre’s offerings are not limited to one subset of the Christian family.  They run the full gamut.  One article may decry the church as backwards on gender roles while the next one will argue that the entire church is in the midst of a doctrinal downgrade.  One pastor will write an article saying that the church is… Read more

August 13, 2013

There has been a lot of discussion in the last few weeks about the trend of millennials leaving the church and the rise of the “nones,” which is the title that has been given to those who have no religious affiliation.  (You can read Pew Research’s article here.)  Much of the discussion has centered on why the church is to blame for these trends along with suggestions for what the church should do to change in light of these trends…. Read more

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