Read This! 09.21.17

From Where Does Bad Theology Come?

I thought the answer was going to be TBN.

Be Patient with Your Slow Growth

This is much easier said than done.

Will a Happy Marriage Prevent an Affair?

Wise words.

Tetzel on 7 Years in Purgatory for Every Sin

Man, the gospel is so much sweeter than this.

Four Types of Questions Not to Ask in Your Small Group Study

This is helpful. We are hoping to start small groups soon.

Suggested Steps for Going from Text To Sermon

I follow something similar to this.

Wrestling with the Biblical Text

Wow, this was really good and informative.

7 Good Reasons to Leave a Church

On some of these I might ask whether or not we ought to stay and try to transform, but I would also say these are valid reasons for leaving.

I get this question sometimes, how can I trust the Bible with so many different translations? Appreciate Bill Mounce’s answer:

Truth I’m Trying to Hold Onto

I’m going through a rather dark season of the soul.

At times it’s just my depression talking and kind words are being filtered through a wickedly unhelpful lens. And at times it’s just that I’m enduring criticism on a daily basis for something or another. And I’m usually right there in the crowd yelling, “crucify him”. And so when my feelings are all jacked up I try my best to meditate upon things that I know to be true.

I don’t feel confident enough to write anything original today. But, I came up with this list a few years ago:

  • He knows what I need (Matthew 6:8)…even when I haven’t a clue.
  • It is His character to generously give (James 1:5)…even when I’m most undeserving.
  • He didn’t spare His Son for me (Romans 8:32)…even though I didn’t ask Him to, or desire for Him to do this.
  • He has provided the Spirit to intercede on my behalf when I don’t have the words to pray (Romans 8:26)…and even when my emotions don’t know how to feel.
  • He promises we will lack no good thing (Psalm 34:9-10)…even though I cry out that I’m empty.
  • He knows my frame, he remembers that I’m dust (Psalm 103:14)…in the times when I feel lower than dirt or more confident than I ought.
  • He doesn’t break bruised reeds, or quench smoldering wicks (Matthew 12:20)…even if that is exactly what I would do.
  • No one can snatch me out of His hand (John 10:28-29)…even if I try to leap out of His grasp.
  • He is not ashamed to call me brother, or son (Hebrews 2:11, Romans 8:15) …even when I feel bastardly
  • He has brought me near by His blood and placed me into His family, His body, His church (Ephesians 2:11-22)…even when I’m the crazy uncle.

These are but a few of the truths that I cling to. It’s a great reminder that it little matters what I write on the other side of those periods. It is as Bunyan said, “I saw that it is not my good frame of heart that made my righteousness better, nor yet my bad frame that made my righteousness worse, for my righteousness IS Christ.”

I’m glad to have an anchor.

Praying I can deeply feel these precious truths once again.

*These are worded in an individualistic way because I have found that to be most helpful. If I say “us, you, them” then I don’t personalize them and I assume that the promises are for someone else.

Originally appeared here.

Photo source: here

Read This! 09.19.17

Self-Loathing and Desire

I think Doug Wilson makes a great point here.

Popular Author Stumbles, What Should We Do With His Books?

I appreciate the way Piper answers this question.

4 Ways Pastors Can Help With Mental Health

This likely falls under the second “way”, but I would stress the importance of consistently working to give your people a robust view of suffering.

The Overcommitted Church

I see this as a constant battle. What was once a successful program can easily turn into a time suck.

Should We Pull the Plug on Cable News?

I answered “yes” to this question years ago.

Must Elders Be Skilled in Teaching?

“Are elders the kind of men who can teach if a gun is put to their head, or are they the kind who won’t stop teaching even at gunpoint?”

Please Read Me Your Email

Interesting.

10 Parenting Imperatives from the Book of Proverbs

Proverbs are so helpful to life.

This 30 Day timelapse video of the sea is astounding:

Read This! 09.14.17

5 Surprisingly Effect Ways to Improve Your Preaching

We should never get to a spot where we don’t think we still have room to improve.

Top 8 Reasons Most Churches Never Break the 200 Attendance Mark

We are pushing up against this number and I can identify with these barriers.

Most Protestants Aren’t Protestant

A new survey reveals this, and honestly I’m not incredibly surprised.

Resources for Depression

This is a helpful list.

Rejoice in the Wife of Your Youth

Ray Ortlund pens a phenomenal letter to a “would-be adulterer”

Pastor, Strive to Learn Their Names

I agree with this. I’m also grateful that I have a tendency to remember names pretty well.

Are Smart, Educated Women Still Called to the Church Nursery?

I appreciate the balance of this article.

Hope for Perfectionist

Yes, a healthy doctrine of sanctification is very helpful.

This is put together pretty well: