Category: Practical Theology

Carson’s Counsel to a Young Church Planter on Marriage Situations

Carson’s Counsel to a Young Church Planter on Marriage Situations

The following post was first an email to a young church planter seeking counsel. He is planting a church in a rough area. Not a few of those who are getting converted have been living together, sometimes with children, sometimes for years, without getting married. His question, then, is what should be said to these couples where one of the pair gets converted, and the other, so far, does not. Should the advice be to get married? Or is that encouraging people to be unequally yoked?

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The “Goodness” of Demonic Accusations

The “Goodness” of Demonic Accusations


“Neither let your own accusing conscience, nor Satan the accuser of the brethren, hinder you any longer from Christ. For what though they should accuse you of pride, infidelity, covetousness, lust, anger, envy, and hypocrisy? Yea, what though they should accuse you of whoredom, theft, drunkenness, and such like?

Yea, do what they can, they can make no worse a man of you than a sinner, or chief of sinners, or an ungodly person; and so, consequently, such a one Christ came to justify and save; so that in every deed, if you do rightly consider it, they do you more good than hurt by their accusations.”

—Edward Fisher, The Marrow of Modern Divinity (Ross-shire, UK: Christian Focus, 2009), 150-51
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Chuck Swindoll: 10 Leadership Lessons Learned in 50 Years of Leadership

Chuck Swindoll: 10 Leadership Lessons Learned in 50 Years of Leadership

Chuck Swindoll, accepting a Lifetime Achievement Award at Catalyst 09, offered the following lessons he has learned:

  1. It’s lonely to lead. Leadership involves tough decisions. The tougher the decision, the lonelier it is.
  2. It’s dangerous to succeed. I’m most concerned for those who aren’t even 30 and are very gifted and successful. Sometimes God uses someone right out of youth, but usually he uses leaders who have been crushed.
  3. It’s hardest at home. No one ever told me this in Seminary.
  4. It’s essential to be real. If there’s one realm where phoniness is common, it’s among leaders. Stay real.
  5. It’s painful to obey. The Lord will direct you to do some things that won’t be your choice. Invariably you will give up what you want to do for the cross.
  6. Brokenness and failure are necessary.
  7. Attitude is more important than actions. Your family may not have told you: some of you are hard to be around. A bad attitude overshadows good actions.
  8. Integrity eclipses image. Today we highlight image. But it’s what you’re doing behind the scenes.
  9. God’s way is better than my way.
  10. Christlikeness begins and ends with humility.
The Two ‘Courts’

The Two ‘Courts’

“There are two ‘courts’ we must deal with: the court of God in Heaven and the court of conscience in our souls. When we first trust in Christ for salvation, God’s court is forever satisfied. Never again will a charge of guilt be brought against us in Heaven. Our consciences, however, are continually pronouncing us guilty. That is the function of conscience. Therefore, we must by faith bring the verdict of conscience into line with the verdict of Heaven. We do this by agreeing with our conscience about our guilt, but then reminding it that our guilt has already been borne by Christ.”

– Jerry Bridges, The Discipline of Grace (Colorado Springs, Co: NavPress, 1994), 54.

Do not Starve Yourself Any Longer

Do not Starve Yourself Any Longer

“What has exceedingly hurt you in time past, nay, and I fear, to this day, is lack of reading. I scarce ever knew a preacher who read so little. And perhaps, by neglecting it, you have lost the taste for it. Hence your talent in preaching does not increase. It is just the same as it was seven years ago. It is lively, but not deep; there is little variety; there is no compass of thought. Reading only can supply this, with meditation and daily prayer. You wrong yourself greatly by omitting this. You can never be a deep preacher without it, any more than a thorough Christian. Oh begin! Fix some part of every day for private exercise. You may acquire the taste which you have not; what is tedious at first will afterward be pleasant. Whether you like it or not, read and pray daily. It is for your life; there is no other way; else you will be a trifler all your days, and a pretty, superficial preacher. Do justice to your own soul; give it time and means to grow. Do not starve yourself any longer. Take up your cross and be a Christian altogether. Then will all the children of God rejoice (not grieve) over you, and in particular yours.”

John Wesley, writing to a younger minister, quoted in D. A. Carson and John D. Woodbridge, Letters Along The Way, page 169.