Are You Wicked or Wise?

The following was preached at Christ Church Downtown during our time of exhortation prior to our confession of sin and assurance of pardon.

“He who corrects a scoffer gets shame for himself, And he who rebukes a wicked man only harms himself. Do not correct a scoffer, lest he hate you; Rebuke a wise man, and he will love you. Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; Teach a just man, and he will increase in learning” (Proverbs 9:7-9).

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Excerpts from Vol. III of the Collected Letters of Lewis

Thankful for Kindle highlights. Enjoy.

“We cd. read the whole Aeneid together.”

“But fan mail from children is delightful. They don’t gas. They want to know whether Aslan repaired Tumnus’s furniture for him. They take no interest in oneself and all in the story. Lovely.”

“Unredeemably savage religion goes on in the village: the Hermit philosophises in the forest: and neither really interferes with the other. It is only Xtianity wh. compels a high brow like me to partake in a ritual blood feast, and also compels a central African convert to attempt an enlightened universal code of ethics.”

“…though California must be a very attractive state, I confess I prefer New England. It is more my sort of country.”

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The Local Church and Global Missions

This paper was written as part of my studies in the Greyfriars Hall ministerial training program.

Introduction

In this position paper, I will address key areas of focus and emphasis that a local church should value as they seek to obey Christ’s Great Commission in the world (Mt. 28:18-20). Due to length limitations, this paper will not dive into a deep biblical/theological explanation of the Great Commission, but instead presupposes that Christ’s command to “make disciples of all nations” is part of the mission of the local church, and the question at hand is how a church should go about this work.

The topics included are: the centrality of the local church in missions, the qualifications of a missionary, how many missionaries a local congregation should support, equipping indigenous leaders in the field, and why our optimistic eschatology should encourage and fuel missions efforts.

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Favorite Books of 2018

This is now the fourth year that I have kept track of my favorite books of the past year. This list is merely based on personal enjoyment, and all of them I have read for the first time this year. According to Goodreads, I read 100 books this year—but that number is a little deceiving given a number of booklets and smaller works included.

As always, this is somewhat in order, but I didn’t agonize over it. You can see last year’s list here, 2016, and 2015.

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Thou Shall Not Steal

I came across a headline in the Daily News recently that read: “Local man steals nearly $200,000 in merchandise from NRS.” Eager to make sure that our fellow Greyfriar Chase, who works at NRS, was not this “local man,” I clicked on the article and can happily say that Chase is not a thief.

What did stand out to me in this report was the man’s reasoning behind stealing nearly 200 items from his employer to sell on eBay. He said, “I was trying to do good things to achieve certain goals and made a mistake.” The article goes on to say the man no longer has the money he made, since these “good things” and “certain goals” included a wedding, student loans, and a house.

What this man calls a mere “mistake” God calls a “sin.” But have you ever considered why God commands us not to steal?

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Our Singing God

“Sing aloud, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel! Rejoice and exult with all your heart, O daughter of Jerusalem! The LORD has taken away the judgments against you; He has cleared away your enemies. The King of Israel, the LORD, is in your midst; you shall never again fear evil.

On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem: “Fear not, O Zion; let not your hands grow weak. The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness; He will quiet you by his love; He will exult over you with loud singing” (Zephaniah 3:14-17).

Does your God sing over you?

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Why Churches Ought to Publish a ‘Statement of Faith’ Online

Louis Berkhof (Introduction to Systematic Theology):

The position of the Church in the world calls for a united testimony. Every Church owes it to other Churches and to the world round about her, to make a public declaration of her teachings. If it is but natural that w desire to know something about the character and convictions of the people to whom we would entrust our material interests, it will certainly be considered highly desirable, and in fact quite essential, that we know exactly where a Church stands, in which we would seek spiritual guidance for ourselves and for our children. Moreover, one Church will have to know where another stands, in order to be able to determine in how far it can correspond, cooperate, and possibly affiliate with such a Church. The Church of Jesus Christ should never seek refuge in camouflage, should not try to hide her identity. And this is exactly what she does in the measure in which she fails to give a clear and unequivocal expression of her faith.