This and That 07-27-13

The “Other” Celebrity Pastor – You see this when…  A pastor has to be at everything. Something isn’t important if he isn’t there or if he doesn’t announce it from the stage.  Everyone needs to talk to the pastor or be counseled by the pastor. Talking to another elder or leader is seen as getting passed down the line.  People skip church if the pastor isn’t preaching. – Josh Reich

Before Leading Your Congregation in a Discussion of “Race” and “Racism,” You May Want to Check a Few Things – But has the local church modeled the reconciled life where you live? I suspect that in most communities we’d have to say, “No.” If I had to judge by the comments left in posts on this blog, I’d have to say that even among Christians purportedly holding the same theological convictions, “race” seems to upset our happy little theological carts. We witness—not to Christ—but to our “racial” groups and their perceived interests. There’s a significant gap between what Christ achieved in our reconciliation (1 Cor. 12:12-13) and what the church lives out (1 Cor. 1:10-12). When it comes to “race,” most all of our local churches resemble Corinth more than Ephesus (Eph. 2:11-22). – Thabiti Anyabwile

What’s at Stake with Internet Pornography – We must also empower women in our congregations to grapple as Christians with husbands enslaved to pornography. We believe, and have taught emphatically, that wives should submit to their husbands (Eph. 5:23). But, in Scripture and in Christian teaching, all submission (except to the Lord directly) has limits. The husband’s body, the Bible says, belongs to his wife (1 Cor. 7:4). She need not subject herself to being the physical outlet for her husband’s pornographically supplied fantasies. If both are members of a Christian church, and if he will not repent, we counsel the wife to follow our Lord’s steps (laid out in Matt. 18:15–20) to call a brother to repentance, up to and including church action. – Russell Moore

Has God Called You? Discerning the Call to Preach – One key issue here is a common misunderstanding about the will of God. Some models of evangelical piety imply that God’s will is something difficult for us to accept. We sometimes confuse this further by talking about “surrendering” to the will of God. As Paul makes clear in Romans 12:2, the will of God is good, worthy of eager acceptance, and perfect. Those called by God to preach will be given a desire to preach as well as the gift of preaching. Beyond this, the God-called preacher will feel the same compulsion as the great Apostle, who said, “Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!” (1 Cor 9:16, ESV). – Albert Mohler

Does R.C. Sproul Believe in Miracles? – Now of course when people ask me, do I believe in miracles, they’re asking one question and I’m answering a different one. If they’re saying to me, “Do you believe that God is still working in the world supernaturally?” Of course I do. “Do you believe that God answers prayers?” Of course I do. “Do you believe that God heals people in response to prayer?” Of course I do. All miracles are supernatural, but not all supernatural acts are miracles. Theologians get real tight in their making of distinctions, and when I say I don’t believe in miracles today, I don’t believe in the tight kind of miracle in the very narrow sense where a miracle is defined as a work that occurs in the external perceivable world; an extraordinary work in the external perceivable world against the laws of nature, by the immediate power of God; a work that only God can do, such as bringing life out of death, such as, restoring a limb that has been cut off—by command—such as, walking on the water, such as, turning water into wine. – R.C. Sproul

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