It is interesting how just a little taste of something can awaken an appetite that you didn’t know you had. And obviously, that taste doesn’t have to be food. It can be an experience, a relationship, a word of encouragement, or an opportunity to use a latent gift. In 1990, I was a recently married salesman for an industrial gas company. We had just begun attending Briarwood Presbyterian Church in Birmingham, Alabama, which was pastored at the time by Frank Barker, one of the finest, most humble and effective pastors I have ever known. Frank led a men’s Bible study. . .
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In the early chapters of Herman Melville’s classic novel, Moby Dick, Ishmael visits a worship service before joining a ship’s crew and heading out on his whaling expedition. The architecture of the church building he enters has a nautical theme and the pulpit is fashioned to resemble the bow of a ship. Ishmael comments on the propriety of this design: For the pulpit is ever this earth’s foremost part; all the rest comes in its rear; the pulpit leads the world. From thence it is the storm of God’s quick wrath is first descried, and the bow must bear the. . .
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Giving Good Gifts Instead of Acceptable Gifts Most of the residents had been living on the street before they came to our program, drug addicts and drunkards who had made a mess of their lives. They were not a happy crowd, sometimes they were rather wily, some were probably dangerous, but I never really thought about it. They were men who needed the gospel, and I was zealous to teach them, to offer them an amazing gift. I had been working at the rehab for about five weeks when I decided to deal with a false doctrine that was rampant. . .
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Three Reasons I’ve Heard Here are the three reasons I hear most frequently, and two I suspect. First, I have heard from some pastors that the issue is a political one, and they think it necessary to avoid political issues. Some argue that they avoid political issues because they are divisive, others because the government forbids it. They are right on the first count, wrong on the second. Of course every truth divides. Every truth. Preach “Puppies are cute” and the kitten crowd might get upset. Preach “The sky is blue” and the gloomy brigade will demand to know what. . .
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The shepherd talks to his sheep. Sometimes to praise, sometimes to correct, always to instruct. The Word preached is a pillar of our sanctification.
They are the men charged with shepherding our souls; they serve us and our families faithfully day after day with little pay and often little acknowledgment. We take them for granted at our own peril for their well-being affects us all. What can we do to care for these men of God? What do they want and need from us? Join pastors R.C. Sproul Jr., Laurence Windham and Mark Dewey along with Jonathan Daugherty as they examine these important questions.
THE PROPHET’S MANTLE
In this conversation we consider our calling to be prophets, to bring the Word of God to bear in the lives of those under our care.
Paul resolved to preach nothing but Christ and Him crucified. In this, the third of four on the marks of the church, we consider together what it means to preach Christ. We affirm that we must preach the text, and in context. We affirm that every text finds its yea and amen in Jesus, that He is the Word, that the Bible is His story. We consider as well the right response of the flock to the preaching of the Word, as it cuts away from us all that is displeasing, as it purifies the bride.