September 20, 2020

Pastoral Joy

So deeply do we care for you that we are determined to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you have become very dear to us. …For what is our hope or joy or crown of boasting before our Lord Jesus at his coming? Is it not […]

Pastoral Suffering

Apart from such external things, there is the daily pressure on me of concern for all the churches. – 2 Corinthians 11:28 NASB * * * When I read about the Apostle Paul’s sufferings, I find it hard to relate. 2 Corinthians 11 is Paul’s resumé of his sufferings in the service of Christ. There, he writes about being imprisoned and […]

John Piper, Miserable Comforter

@JohnPiper: “Your sons and daughters were eating and a great wind struck the house, and it fell upon them, and they are dead.” Job 1:19 @JohnPiper: “Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped.” Job 1:20 * * * As expected, John Piper, retired pastor of Bethlehem […]

Ageism in the Church?

Some days more than others, and for various reasons, I’m glad I’m not a Methodist anymore. No, seriously, the trend this article from CT’s Live Blog reports is happening in many church bodies and denominations. I wonder what you think of it. As for me, I’m all for young pastors — after all, I was […]

Sacramental Preaching

In sacramental traditions, the concept of preaching, and even the corporate reading of Scripture, is different than in revivalist traditions. It is about God literally acting through the spoken word. I know pastors who don’t think, for example, that the lectionary readings should even be printed in the bulletin. The words presented in worship are […]

The Problem with Grandpa’s Church

After World War II, through the 1950’s and especially in the 60’s-70’s and since, America’s culture has been more and more dominated by youth and youth-oriented themes, fashions, preferences, and images. An entire “youth culture” was created and its energy has filled the land. Churches, especially those who have bought in to church growth philosophies, […]

David Fitch Recommends Taking “No Position” on LGBTQ Relations

Introduction from CM A couple of pastors I admire in my denomination have impressed me with how they have responded as church leaders in light of the ELCA’s decision regarding homosexuality in 2009. This is going to sound counter-intuitive, but they both basically decided to ignore it. They did not make a big deal about […]

“The Church’s Richest Jewels”

In 1539, late in his career, Martin Luther wrote “On the Councils and the Church.” One avenue for reformation that Luther and others had regularly called for was a church council. Over the course of time, however, Luther became disillusioned that a “free, Christian council” could be convened that would properly reform the church and […]

Daniel Jepsen: A Season of Nothingness

Daniel blogs at Random Musing on Life, the Universe and Everything * * * I will be doing nothing this fall.  For three full months, I will have no deadlines, to-do lists, phone calls or emails to answer. Nothing. I will be hiking, praying, reading, and spending time with my family. And I will still […]

Why “Leaders” Are Not the Church’s Greatest Need

In conjunction with today’s post, I encourage you to read the following article by Mark Galli as a complement to what I have to say here. As usual, Mark is spot on. * * * The Leadership Cult Why are we fascinated with the very thing Jesus warned us against? by Mark Galli, 11/13/2008, Christianity […]