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Archive of entries posted on July 2010

A Move Towards Intentionally Smaller Churches?

Brandon O’Brien in his new book Strategically Small Church, The: Intimate, Nimble, Authentic, and Effective writes, “Despite the fact that the Bible compares the spread of the gospel to the mustard seed, which appears insignificant and unproductive, the dominant expectation of most pastors is that success is measured in terms of numerical growth.  Fifty years […]

The Yearning for Popularity

“But there is a danger in our desire to do big things for God, for our pursuit of success dovetails with a powerful American temptation: the appeal of celebrity.  These days, obscurity is the worst kind of failure.  When we do something significant, we expect to be rewarded with popularity.” (Brandon O’Brien, The Strategically Small […]

A.T. Robertson on Sermon Preparation

“It is not too much to say that, however loyal laymen are to the pulpit, they yet consider it a piece of presumption for the preacher to take up the time of the audience with ill-digested thoughts.” – A. T. Robertson, “Grammar in Preaching”, in The Minister and His Greek New Testament, 81)

Doug Wilson on Relevance

Relevance is a big topic in the church these days.  Of course we ought to be relevant, but the issue is how such relevance is defined.  Doug Wilson in his A Primer on Worship and Reformation provides a good distinction between proper and improper irrelevance. “There are at least two kinds of irrelevance.  One is […]

Tozer on Slowing Down for Cultivation of the Soul

This analysis by Tozer in his day is no less true in ours.  The acceptance of trite entertainment and showmanship in church is surely the result of a shallowness that has resulted from frenetic activity. The idea of cultivation and exercise, so dear to the saints of old, has now no place in our total […]

A. T. Robertson on Imagination and Preaching

I have commented here from time to time on the value of proper imagination in interpreting and proclaiming Scripture.  I was pleased today to come across a quote along this line from A. T. Robertson.  Robertson was certainly not one to minimize close attention to the text.  In fact this quote comes from his famous […]

Howard Marshall on Evangelical Certainty

“…where criticism takes place on the basis of anti-supernaturalist presuppositions and the teaching of scripture is assessed in terms of what modern, unbelieving western man is prepared to accept, again the evangelical will have no truck with it.  The kind of ecumenism which tries to assure us that really we all believe the same things […]

For you I am a bishop, with you, I am a Christian

Augustine’s sermon “On the Anniversary of His Ordination” (listed as Sermon 340) provides a beautiful portrait of pastoral ministry. I have included here several excerpts.  The importance of the oversight of souls is clear in these comments.  Here is a good blend of authority and humility.  The people need their pastors and the pastors need […]

Preach the Word as Though It Were Alive

This is a good exhortation from Doug Wilson as we prepare to preach the Word tomorrow. Speaking of Heb 4:12-13, Wilson writes: “…preachers need to learn to preach as though this is what is happening.  First, we must handle the Word like a sword.  And secondly, we must learn to handle the Word as though […]

Prayer While Studying and Teaching

From every error keep us free; Let none but Christ our Master be, That we in living faith abide, In Him with all our might confide. “Come, Holy Spirit, God and Lord,” Martin Luther (Trans. Katherine Winkworth)