Category: The Gospel and the Church

Jonathan Edwards A Missional Theologian

I try not to put much stock in buzzwords. They often become part of my vocabulary, but I try always to remember their limits. In recent years “missional” has become one of those buzzwords I use. The word has a dozen different meanings, but it frequently finds a place in discussions about Christian social justice. To be “missional” can often mean to reflect God’s heart for the poor and oppressed. In this sense, then, the idea of missional Christianity is not new. The 17th Century Puritan theologian, Jonathan Edwards was a missional Christian long before the term became buzzworthy....

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Learning to See the Beauty of a Gospel-Centered Church

I love the gospel and the church, and I can’t wait to teach them every Sunday. But it wasn’t always that way. How Do You See the Church? Admittedly, for me, I was slow to understand and appreciate the importance and beauty of the local church. In high school and college, I came to faith, began sharing the gospel, and learning how the Word of God impacted all of life. In this time, the church was important, but only as an extension of my individual Christianity. For me, church was an a la carte affair. I was committed to...

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Four Ways to Respond When a Ministry Leader Is Removed from Ministry

It happened yet again. A popular ministry leader fell into sin. Over the years, I’ve sadly seen this happen so many times. Each time a ministry leader falls and has to resign from his position it breaks my heart breaks. I’ve also sadly seen people who come down overly hard on ministry leaders. These are the same people who I’ve also seen not take their sin seriously. Let me be clear my intention is not to point the finger and say, “I’m better than anyone” because to wave that flag is to commit a whole host of doctrinal and...

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Fellowship Within the Church

I am a member of a church that has home groups that meet every other week. These groups are filled with many different people, and they come from different areas of life. But there is one thing that unites us. It is the gospel! It is through relationships like those in our home group that biblical fellowship is displayed. People, by the world’s standards, should not care for one another. But by the gospel standards (and power), they do care. This is fellowship. This is unity. We don’t have fellowship for the “sake” of fellowship. We genuinely care for...

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4 Reasons for Biblical Leadership Qualifications

I’m thankful that God didn’t leave us to guess about the qualifications of church leaders. Both Titus 1 and 1 Timothy 3 provide some basic traits that should characterize elders and deacons. Elders, for example, should be men who are “above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach” and so on (1 Tim. 3:2). They must “not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain” (Titus 1:7). Elders should also “shepherd the flock of God…being examples to the flock” (1 Pet. 5:2-3). Deacons should be men “full of the...

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