PENSÉES

I have had a vision for a while to write a book on Philosophy of Ministry. At present it is only a series of fragments which I have, on loan from Blaise Pascal, titled the Pensées (thoughts). It will be a book about the Great Commission and pastoral missionary work, the kind Jesus did and passed on. Consider everything you read a work in progress. With more time, they would be more frequent than they are.

Gospel Ministers

The following is from John Wesley’s “Thoughts Concerning Gospel Ministers”.  Still pretty relevant today in our confusion about being “evangelicals”, “gospel-centered” or even “missional”. How frequently do we hear this expression from the mouths of rich and poor, learned and unlearned! Many lament that they have not a Gospel Minister in their church, and therefore

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Practical Sermons

When most people say they want a sermon to be practical, I don’t think they really mean how-tos and religious formulas as opposed to reasoned sermons that argue a case and actually cause people to learn something new. After all, most practicing Christians sens deep in their hearts that they know far too little about

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Job #2

Therefore, if evangelization is the most important task, the task that comes immediately after it – not in the tenth place, nor even the third place, but in the second place – is not politics, nor economics, nor the quest for comfort and security and ease, but to find out exactly what is happening to

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Theology for the Pulpit

They were peculiar, also, in being called to write a theology for the pulpit. In general, divines have written for the schools; but our fathers wrote for men, women and children. The Germans have wondered that several of our theological systems are in the form of sermons. It is a practical form, and it was

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Best Books of 2013

Since my father duties increased, I had less time to read than I have in times past.  But here are the best books that passed before my eyes in the year 2013: 1. The Sacred Journey; Now and Then; Telling Secrets Frederick Buechner 1982; 1983; 1991 Frederick Buechner is an author from whom I have

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Youth Group for Adults

Youth group was great, wasn’t it? Among the people who are trying to reinvent church for the future, there are those who stress community.  But not anything like the household of God in which we are all brothers and sisters bound by “the unity of the Spirit” (Eph. 4).  These church innovators stress friendship-based communities

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Jesus the Logician

From G.K. Chesterton’s Father Brown detective stories, here is the priest Father Brown speaking to a thief who was posing as a priest: “But, as a matter of fact, another part of my trade made me sure you weren’t a priest.” “What?” asked the thief, almost gaping. “You attacked reason,” said Father Brown.  “Its bad

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Deeper Sense

“Our primary need, if the Church is to be girded for its missionary task, is not more information or appeal, not better propaganda or more elaborate technique: it is a deeper sense of the unsearchable riches of Christ. . . . Can it be that we have not truly understood what prodigious incomparable wealth the

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iChurch

For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. 1 John 5:4 There are a good number of newish churches out there who believe that one of the church’s forgotten values is to be transformative.  In my experience, the value isn’t explained

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Fishers of Men

When Jesus said to his potential followers, “I will make you fishers of men,” he didn’t, as we usually read that verse, mean “I will make you fishers of warm bodies.”  Being a fisher of men was about helping people become men.  Or women, as the case may be. That’s, in fact, what Jesus himself

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On Believing that Christ Died for Me in Particular

While reading The Life and Diary of David Brainerd by Jonathan Edwards, I ran across a fascinating description of salvation with which I’m not quite sure what to do, though I know its important.  Edwards is writing: [David Brainerd] had occasion to bear a very full, plain, and open testimony against that opinion, that the

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