Recent discussion, mostly in blogs, regarding the forthcoming Elephant Room conference, sponsored by James MacDonald and Mark Driscoll, provides an opportunity to write a few clarifying paragraphs on confessionalism, boundaries, and discipline. Whatever else The Gospel Coalition has or has not done, it has not prohibited mutual criticism among Council members. We disagree not only on some historic dogmatic matters (e.g., … Read More
What Does It Mean to Be Missional?
The term “missional” shows up in lots of conversations among church leaders these days. Clearly we are trying to gain a renewed focus on what we are to be and do as the church in the 21st century. In fact, our 2012 National Conference on Preaching will use the theme “Preaching on Mission” as we explore the relationship of preachingto … Read More
A Pauline Paraphrase
One of my favorite theologians is Oswald Bayer (Univ. of Tubingen). I do not claim to always understand him, or agree with him, but he diagnoses humanity like a skilled physician. Consider the following statement about the incurable disease of self-justification: judgement I constantly vacillate, even to the very end of life, between the judgment others make about me and … Read More
Book Recommendation: Unbroken, by Laura Hillenbrand
This past summer I made a commitment to read more outside of my typical interests and beyond anything that might be counted as related to work, which means that books on theology, hermeneutics, and ethics would not count toward this commitment. Think of it as New Year’s resolution made 7 months late, or (my preference) made 5 months early. To … Read More
Pastor, can I help?
I love my pastor. Actually, I love pastors. I have had six of them in my life. Two of them have gone on to heaven. The other four are still serving our Lord. At one time, I thought I was to be one, a pastor, as well. Very early in my vocational ministry God revealed to me via trials, successes, … Read More
What I Have Learned Since I Stopped Being a Pastor
I enjoyed being a pastor. I counted it a privilege of the highest honor to shepherd the flock of God. I loved the congregation with blood, sweat, and tears. I felt–and treasured–the eternal weight of the pastoral task. Each morning I awoke to an inaudible but ever clear trumpet call as I reengaged the battle for souls. Nothing matches the … Read More