This and That 06-29-13

How Should Same-Sex Marriage Change the Church’s Witness? – The gay and lesbian people in your community aren’t part of some global “Gay Agenda” conspiracy. They aren’t super-villains in some cartoon. They are, like all of us, seeking a way that seems right to them. If we believe marriage is as resilient as Jesus says it is (Mk. 10:6-9), it cannot be eradicated by a vote of justices or a vote of a state legislature. Some will be disappointed by what they thought would answer their quest for meaning. Will our churches be ready to answer? – Russell Moore

The Popularity, Pitfalls, and Practice of Christ-Centered Interpretation – I think this tendency is what makes some scholars such as Daniel Block recoil somewhat from Christ-centered interpretation. None of us would have much confidence in a carpenter who only brought a hammer to the building site each day. Neither would we be very pleased with the resulting house! Similarly, when constructing a Christ-centered sermon from an Old Testament text, we must bring more than one tool to the task… If we only use typology, or contrast, or redemptive-historical progression for every Old Testament passage, we will not build theologically sound or aesthetically attractive sermons… Although, as Daniel says, Christ is not in every text of Scripture, I firmly believe that Christ is in every passage of Scripture; but He’s not in every passage in the same way. The big question then is: “In what way?” – David Murray

The Twelve Biggest Challenges Pastors and Church Staff Face – What is fascinating, if not discouraging, about this survey is that virtually all of the challenges noted by these pastors and staff were internal challenges. It appears that many of our churches in America are not effective conduits of the gospel because the members spend so much energy concerned about their own needs and preferences. – Thom Rainer

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