Following my comments here on whether it is consistent to let paedobaptists into membership of baptist churches as a matter of course, here is Jonathan Leeman making a similar case. Also worth reading Jonathan’s follow up to a further response here (it also links to all articles in the discussion).
Alexander Jun reflects on the state of things in China for persecuted Christians. He draws out five lessons for those of us in the West.
Given my comments on preaching from Monday (which you can read here), John Piper offers some further helpful thoughts on preaching Christ from the text. ‘Jesus did not die so that a Bible would be written with a thousand pages describing only Calvary. He went to Calvary so that a thousand glories would be described in the Bible for us to see and savor and show through a crucified life.’
It would be great to be able to disagree with this, but I can’t because it is true. ‘Why despite all the gains made in technology and budgeting can’t Christians make good movies? I know, I know — people always try to come up with exceptions. But there aren’t any, really. Every now and again some well-meaning brother or sister will say to me, “This one’s different. You gotta see it. It’s not like the others.” And then it is. It painfully, painfully is. Why does it seem like the only good “Christian movies” are the ones made by the world’s artists with Christian themes?’
‘Many church members really don’t want to see their churches grow. Some of them are content with sufficient growth to pay the bills, but none thereafter. I have learned from countless pastors and members over the years why this seeming Great Commission disobedience is so pervasive in many churches. Here are six of the most common reasons.’
This is an important one from my Anglican friend on the state and direction of the Church of England. Pray for him, and all those who find themselves in mixed congregations, that they would, indeed, make faithfulness to Christ their first priority.
‘The problem we have caused in the West is that because so many non-church organisations exist, groups that have no biblical parallel, we find ourselves toing and froing over when and where to apply overtly church-based criteria to non-church organisations. Very often, we end up in one of two wholly unsatisfactory positions. Either we apply the biblical criteria for church life until such time as it contravenes our own sense of what would be appropriate, at which point we employ ‘we’re not a church’; or, we consistently apply the biblical church criteria and wind up locking people out of all sorts of things on the presumption that criterion written solely for the local church applies to things that we all accept are no such thing.’