This and That 09-24-16

Why I’m Trying to Preach Shorter Sermons – If the people stop listening at 45 minutes each week, what value is there in going another 15 minutes? If the people aren’t receiving the information, I’m not really making disciples. – Josh Buice

Crush Your Exegesis Paper: 3 Secrets Every Student Should Know – Don’t write like an academic computer writing binary theological code to other academic computers. Writing exegesis papers, like preaching sermons, means sending “truth through personality.” Write like you and your teacher both need to be edified by the Bible, because you do. – Mark L. Ward, Jr.

Five Categorical Lies about Pastors – Lie #3: “Megachurch pastors don’t care about the members.” Pastors of large churches and megachurches (over 2,000 in average worship attendance) are getting the brunt of these criticisms. The assumption is that large is bad and unloving. Here is the reality. A church of over 150 in attendance is a large church compared to most of the 350,000 churches in America. And even the pastor of a church of 150 cannot give ongoing personal attention to every member. Most large church and megachurch pastors do really love their flock.

Gospel Points – Questions on Depression

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This week on the Gospel Points podcast we continue our look into the issue of Christians and depression. Our latest installment features an interview with Pastor Chris Brauns of the Red Brick Church in Stillman Valley, IL. The interview took place a few years back as a follow-up to a message Pastor Chris preached during a chapel time at Rock County Christian School. So listen in and hear answers to such questions as, is depression a spiritual or medical issue? Is depression a sin? What are the causes of depression? What is the spiritual condition of those who take their own life?

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Related Links:

When the Word Leads Your Pastoral Search
Unpacking Forgiveness
Bound Together

Gospel Points – Christians Get Depressed Too

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This week begins our next series on the Gospel Points Podcast, Christians and Depression. For this first installment we will hear from Dr. David Murray, Professor of Old Testament and Practical Theology at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary. Dr. Murray is also the author of Christians Get Depressed Too. Listen in as Dr. Murray shares with us a little bit about his wife’s struggles and then gets into depression’s symptoms and causes along with some practical helps.

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Related Links:

Head, Heart, Hands

This and That – 09-10-16

How to Talk to Your Children About Election 2016 – The most important step is to combat fear. That’s true in any election year, due to the way that partisans—and, sadly, especially Christians—speak in apocalyptic terms every four years. “If Barack Obama is elected, we won’t have a country left in four years,” was said many times in 2008. “Our country can’t survive the reelection of George W. Bush,” others said in 2004. Elections have consequences, yes. Elections are important, yes. But elections are not the pinnacle of history—for either good or for bad.  Our children should see that we are concerned about our country, but not that we are wringing our hands over the election. As Christians, we have an Apocalypse revealed to us. This isn’t it. – Russell Moore
An Open Letter to the Single Bag of Oreos at the Church Potluck – You are most welcome here! Amidst a shimmering, gelatinous sea of casseroles and Jello, you are a glorious beacon of preservatives and GMOs. You are also a symbol of hope and freedom, reminding all that attendance at a church potluck is not dependent on one’s ability to cook or one’s adherence to social conventions. You, the bag of ice, and the Fritos loudly declare that this is a safe place where judgment does not exist. – Stephen Altrogge

 

Gospel Points – Gary Johnson and the Evangelical Vote

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This week we conclude our look at the 2016 presidential election with a few words from Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson. Back during his 2012 campaign I was invited to be a part of his monthly blogger conference calls. We were allowed to ask whatever we wanted which gave me the opportunity to probe him a little bit on issues that would be of interest to Evangelicals like myself. So, we talked about his faith, abortion, gay marriage and then the question of where government gets its authority from. So, if you have been considering a vote for the Johnson/Weld ticket, this is the podcast for you! You’ll find Governor Johnson to be kind and engaging.

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This and That 08-27-16

Your Neighbor Is Not a Number – When we talk numbers, we’re talking about actual people, about our neighbors. Before we start discussing the “secular,” or “liberal,” or “morally relativistic” puppy-hating Satan worshipers in our city, ask the question, Would I be embarrassed if my neighbor knew I said this about him? – Jonathan Parnell

Gospel Points – Tom Hoefling for President, Part 2

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Our look into the 2016 presidential election continues with our second and final segment with Tom Hoefling of America’s Party. Last week we spoke mostly about Tom’s passion to defend the rights of the unborn. This week we learn more about America’s Party and the differences between it and the Constitution Party. We also chat about Christianity’s relationship to our American concept of freedom and the so-called faith of Donald Trump. Don’t worry, of course we had to ask, is a vote for Tom Hoefling really a vote for Hillary Clinton?

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Related Links:

Hoefling/Schulin 2016
The America’s Party