This and That 03-14-15

4 Sermon Types to Avoid – The “I want to tell you what is on my heart” sermon.  It may begin with the text, but the text functions as a mere peg on which to hang the preacher’s “concerns.” Its hermeneutic is inadequate. It fails to look at the intention of God in the passage. What emerges is often full of passion but devoid of precision, earnest but effervescent, relevant but unrelated. – Derek Thomas

Three Christian Misconceptions About Muslims – Women are often the most ardent defenders of Islam. Ironic but true: despite Islam’s history of oppression, women will often be Islam’s most ardent supporters. Many Islamic women, especially in the Western world, call for reform in how women are treated in Islamic culture, but rarely for an end to Islam itself. – JD Greear

God Doesn’t Want Matt Chandler to be Your Pastor – Your pastor knows you (at least he should). He knows about your struggles with worry. He knows about your eating disorder. He knows about your battle with greed. He knows about your ongoing chronic illness. Both God and your pastor are shaping the sermon with you, as well as other members of the church, in mind. For your encouragement. For your conviction. For your refreshment. And God intends to use your pastor’s sermon to help sustain your faith. – Stephen Altrogge

9 Marks of an Unhealthy Church – 9. There are issues everyone knows about but no one talks about openly. Unhealthy churches often have one major unwritten rule: the person who mentions our problems is the one with the problem. This could be a pastor who can’t preach, an organist who never sticks around for the sermon, an elder who is rumored to be in a compromised relationship, a youth director who doesn’t know how to talk to kids, a staff member who can’t get along with anyone, a leader who leads by fiat and intimidation. To be sure, many matters should be dealt with privately and quietly, but this is no excuse for turning a blind eye to what everyone can plainly see. Naming what everyone knows is often the first step in robbing the problem of its crippling power. – Kevin DeYoung

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