“Timothy… was being thrust into a position of responsible Christian leadership far beyond his natural capacity.”
John Stott wrote those words in his introduction to a commentary on 2nd Timothy. He could have replaced Timothy’s name with mine.
And the more pastors I get to know, the more I’m starting to think that this is the lay of the land. Continue reading
The pastor is a signpost, bearing witness to the road of God’s revelation.
In other words, pastors ought to be about the Bible, “rightly handling the word of truth” (2 Tim 2:15). The only way to rightly handle God’s word is to see everything through the lens of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
But pastors can’t just be dispensers of information. Continue reading
What is a pastor, and what does he do?
During the twentieth century, the pastor was often stylized as a therapist, or even compared to the friendly sitcom bartender. In recent years a myriad of metaphors, borrowed from the business world, has been posited: the pastor has been called a “visioneer,” a “catalytic leader,” or even a “movement maker.” For consideration is a new metaphor: the pastor as signpost. Continue reading
A couple of years ago, I joined many other nervous moviegoers to see a much-anticipated superhero blockbuster. The story had so much potential. Would they tell it in a way that was compelling?
The general consensus after the movie’s release: No.
I don’t know the first thing about making a movie, and I certainly wouldn’t have done better, but I was a little disappointed.
Then, hope. There were rumors of a Director’s Cut. A version that told the story as its creator intended. A version that did justice to the characters, the significance of their sacrifice, and the value of their victories.
Decades after the enormous wake of Good Friday, John reflects on seemingly commonplace details of Jesus’ crucifixion and sees what others couldn’t: the Creator’s explanation of the story.
In John’s account of Jesus’ crucifixion, we get the Director’s Cut of Good Friday.
The Psalmists praised God for His deliverance. The Lord had given His people abundance in a wasteland!
If we are saved by the grace of God through the sacrifice of Christ, then we have every reason to join in the song:
I was having a bad day. I don’t have bad days very often, because the inner critic knows that “someone else always has it worse” and the inner God-lover knows He is “working all things together for good.” I have tiring, or busy, or frustrating days, but not bad days.
This was a bad day.
I am convinced that the Christian life is a buddy comedy. You know, the kind of movie where a guy bemoans his meaningless existence until his father sends him on a mission to prove himself, with an annoying tag-a-long at his side.
So off they go on a quest of discovery and danger, and by the end they have grown to be good buddies, and their budding friendship has grown them.
Many in my denomination prefer the term “Lord’s Supper” to “communion” when discussing the breaking of bread and the (obviously non-alcoholic) fruit of the vine. The word “eucharist” is practically unheard-of! (Literally.)
Recently, I was explaining to a friend[*] that the use of the term “Lord’s Supper” in Southern Baptist circles was meant to emphasize the memorial nature of the act (see: Zwingli).
Ironically, I had only known this blessed practice as “communion,” since pretty much the only time I partook was when visiting my high school friend’s (not-so) non-denominational Christian church. Actually, it was the only question I stumbled over during my licensing to ministry; I couldn’t remember what the “two ordinances” of the church were, but I knew the sacraments!
Soli Deo Gloria – It’s Latin for “Glory to God Alone,” and it’s the purpose of the Church.
If we pull the thread of humanity woven into Scripture, we’ll find that God has always intended to bring into being a people reflecting His reign, conveying His character, and, ultimately, giving Him glory.