A vision worth pursuing

What are some factors that characterize a healthy church?
  • Increasing attendance?
  • Measurable results from church programs?
  • A compelling vision from senior leadership?
While all of these may be good, none are necessary indicators of church health. I maintain that the first indicator of church health is a tenacious commitment to an entirely unoriginal mission statement. Let me explain.

An idea for healthy churches

Create a full-time paid role on your staff team for an Assistant Pastor with the following description:
  • The term of his employment would be limited to 2 or 3 years.
  • Employment requirements would be
    • that he has completed an M.Div. or M.A. in Theology with courses in Greek and Hebrew, and
    • that he is ordained or eligible for ordination within his stated term.

A Martin Luther Haiku

The Roman light dimmed
While I drank beer with Philip
Preaching catholic truth.

Inspired by Martin Luther's own perception of the events of the reformation. "I simply taught, preached, wrote God's Word; otherwise I did nothing. And then, while I slept, or drank Wittenberg beer with my Philip and my Amsdorf, the Word so greatly weakened the papacy that never a prince or emperor did such damage to it. I did nothing. The Word did it all." Quoted in Timothy George, Theology of the Reformers, (Nashville: Broadman & Holman, 1988), p. 53.

J.I. Packer's rules for writing

J.I. Packer's rules for writing1:
Have something to say … keep it simple … make it flow … be willing to redraft as often as necessary to meet these requirements.

  1. Marvin Olasky, “Two Lives: You'll Know Them by Their Fruit,” World Magazine, May 28, 2016, 30.

Closet Cessationists

From John MacArthur, Strange Fire, (Nashville, TN: Nelson Books, 2013) 233.
Before discussing the dangerous consequences of holding a conservative charismatic position (e.g., continuationism), its important to state one of the great ironies of that position—namely, that continuationists actually hold to an incipient form of cessationism. Let me explain what I mean.

The continuationist position asserts that modern prophecy is fallible and nonauthoritative, it acknowldges that the prevalent practice of modern tongues-speaking does not consist of authentic foreign languages, and it generally denies that healing miracles like those recorded in the Gospels and Acts are being repeated today. Moreover, continuationists concede that the unique office of apostleship ceased after the first century of church history. Thus continuationists agree that there have been no apostles in the past nineteen hundred years, and that any inerrant prophetic gift of New Testament times has ceased (with inerrant revelation continuing only in the Bible).