Each Wednesday we share some recent links that we found informative, insightful, or helpful. These are often related to Crossway books, Bibles, or authors—but not always. We hope this list is an interesting and encouraging break for the middle of your week.
By living a life that reflects human flourishing, the church witnesses to her God and to life. The challenge is to live like the exiles we are, citizens of heaven who contribute to the good of the society in which we live. So we are to incarnate the presence of God within or society and help to build a city in how we engage and serve those around us through our job and our involvement with our neighbors. This assumes an approach that does not withdraw from society but engages in it.
It is important to add that there are some questions that should not be part of our consideration in deciding which doctrinal matters to exclude with new boundaries. These are questions such as the following:
1. Are the advocates my friends?
2. Are they nice people?
Did you go through a period of mourning when MSU was eliminated from the NCAA Basketball Tournament?
You don’t even want to know. I was so frustrated. It really felt like our worst game of the year. I don’t know why we kept doing the weave up top and never drove the ball or fed the rock to Payne. This was our year to win the tournament. But hats off to the Huskies. They were the best team over the last six games. I’m just glad we could go to church after the Spartans lost on Sunday afternoon. That put things in perspective.
Church leaders, I fear we have made a costly and erroneous assumption about those we lead. I fear that in our enthusiasm to teach about finances, gender roles, healthy relationships, purity, culture wars, and even theology we have neglected to build foundational understanding of the Scriptures among our people. We have assumed that the time they spend in personal interaction with their Bible is accumulating for them a basic firsthand knowledge of what it says, what it means, and how it should change them. Or perhaps we have assumed that kind of knowledge isn’t really that important.
If there’s one thing Stiles wants you to understand, it’s this: evangelism is not about programs or events. It’s not a technique or a specific kind of response. Many of our problems creating a healthy culture of evangelism stem from a lack of a biblical foundation. We count declarations of faith, hands raised, cards put in a bag, people walking down aisles… but do these things really mean anything? Maybe, but maybe not.