Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Midweek Roundup: Ten Articles

Why the Church of Tomorrow Starts Today

The future of the church can appear pretty bleak based on some of the studies circulating these days: We’re losing people; we’re not connecting with the next generation; we’re struggling financially. These reports can lead us to question whether it’s even possible for the church to survive. I’m firmly convinced it will. Here are a few of the dimensions I see for the future of the church. Read More

10 Questions to Ask of New Year’s Resolutions

Most of our resolutions are aimed at changing certain things about ourselves. Here are 10 questions to ask of resolutions (whatever time of year they’re made) to ensure we’re being gospel-centered in our approach to change. Read More

Six Simple Ways to Minister to Ministers

Being a pastor is a blessing, but it can be discouraging, too. Here are some ways you can encourage your pastors. Read More

12 Quality Resources to Help You Cultivate a Deeper Devotional Life in 2016

What will you do to get your soul into a happy state each day? Here are 12 resources that Steven Kryger of Communicate Jesus has used and recommends to help you cultivate a deeper devotional life in 2016. Read More

Why I Plan to Read Less of the Bible This Year (2016 Edition)

Thomas Brooks, in his classic work Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices gives helpful instruction here, “Remember, it is not hasty reading—but serious meditating upon holy and heavenly truths, that make them prove sweet and profitable to the soul. It is not the bee’s touching of the flower, which gathers honey—but her abiding for a time upon the flower, which draws out the sweet. It is not he who reads most—but he who meditates most, who will prove the choicest, sweetest, wisest and strongest Christian.” With that in mind, here are a few ideas for your consideration. Read More

A Body of Divinity by Thomas Watson--Free eBook

This book contains a series of sermons on the Westminster Catechism, a central catechism in English-speaking Calvinist churches. Watson treats several of the questions and answers from the Catechism in detail, including “What is the chief end of man?” “Did all mankind fall in Adam's first transgression?” and “How does Christ execute the office of a priest?” In covering topics such as these, Watson touches on nearly all of the basics of orthodox Christian theology. Readers still consider the sermons clear and concise, and many consider them classics among 17th century Puritan works. Read Online or Download

How to Answer Objections and Start Gospel Conversations

Imagine the following scenario. You’re teaching a co-ed college Bible study. The group is a diverse mix of Christians and non-Christians, and all seem to be reasonably interested in learning more from Scripture. You’re feeling good about the material and the group’s openness to the gospel. Everything is going smoothly—that is, until one of the students, a quiet, meek sophomore who has attended every session, raises her hand and asks, “I get what you’re saying, and all this Bible stuff sounds great. But how can we really know if it’s all true? How do we know Jesus is alive right now? Why should we trust the Bible more than the Book of Mormon or the Quran?” Read More

God Ranks High in New Year’s Resolutions

In January, Americans resolve to cut the carbs, hit the gym — and get right with God. When Americans make New Year’s resolutions, a better relationship with God ranks almost as high as better health, Nashville-based LifeWay Research finds. And for many groups, faith actually outranks health. Older Americans, African-Americans, Hispanics, and Christians are all more likely to say they’ve made resolutions about God than about health. Read More

Reform Ireland Takes Church of Ireland Bishops to Task over Same Sex Marriage Pastoral Letter

In the past week every presbyter in the Church of Ireland has received a letter from their bishop entitled “Some Frequently Asked Questions and Responses Concerning Same Sex Marriage”. It is a letter agreed in the House of Bishops and each bishop has put their own name to it in their diocese signifying their personal agreement to its contents. We are concerned because what the letter contains is a dangerous departure from confessing Anglicanism. It is dangerous because of its appearance of orthodoxy while undermining the principles of our reformed protestant denomination. What follows is an unpacking of our understanding of the letter. We include a copy of the letter itself below with numbered paragraphs. Read More
Also see
Some Frequently Asked Questions and Responses Concerning Same Sex Marriage
Pakistani Christians Face Eviction from Islamabad Slums

Christians in the Pakistani capital, Islamabad, are facing eviction from their homes, after the Capital Development Authority went to the country’s highest court to request the demolition of the slums in which many of them reside. Read More

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