Morning Mashup 04/10

Morning Mashup

A daily mashup of book recommendations, articles, and videos for your information, edification, and enjoyment.


BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS

This Is Our Time: Everyday Myths in Light of the Gospel | TREVIN WAX

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12 Ways Your Phone Is Changing You | TONY REINKE

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ARTICLES

REMEMBERING THE RURAL | CANON FODDER

Michael Kruger: In recent years, this interest in the urban has sometimes turned into a superiorityof the urban, and even a disdain of the rural. Those who are a part of urban churches can sometimes project an attitude, even unwittingly, that urban centers are where “real” ministry happens.

ARE SHORT TERM MISSION TRIPS VALUABLE | EPM

Randy Alcorn‘s answer to the question, “Wouldn’t it be better just to take the money spent on short-term trips and send it to the mission field instead?”

THE OBSCENITY OF THE CROSS AND THE TRUTH OF THE GOSPEL | TPJ

Timothy Paul Jones: These forsaken bodies—the vast majority of the victims of Roman crucifixion—remained on their crosses to be consumed. Thus their remains disintegrated into the dust of the Roman Empire. But the case of Jesus—a Jew, crucified near Jerusalem on the eve of a popular religious festival—doesn’t fit this pattern.

WHY YOU MAY BE MISREADING SCRIPTURE | LOGOS

Tyler Smith: When we come to familiar passages, like the Easter story, we are tempted to rely more on our memory of the story and less on the text of Scripture itself.

RAISING EXPECTATIONS FOR YOUNG BELIEVERS| REFORMED MARGINS

Erik Odegard: There are young believers throughout our churches who are capable to be trusted with significant responsibilities, gospel labors, and growing in grace.  I pray that we would recognize that God has gifted young believers for the edification of our churches (1 Corinthians 12:7), raise our expectations of them, sharpen them training, and entrust them with significant tasks.

5 LESSONS FROM FALLEN PASTORS | ERIC GEIGER

Eric Geiger: As pastors are removed from ministry, the implications on churches and families are far-reaching. Here are five lessons from a season of fallen pastors, a season that has, at times, felt epidemic.

VIDEOS

Russell Westbrook Game-Winning Buzzer Beater | NBA

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Morning Mashup 04/22

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A mashup of book deals, articles, and videos for your information, edification, and enjoyment.


BOOK DEALS

11 books in the Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary Series for just $2.99

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Edited by Danny Akin, Tony Merida, and David Platt, these books are currently on sale for Kindle at $2.99. Take advantage of this great offer!

Same-Sex Attraction and the Church by Ed Shaw ($2.99)

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Recovering Redemption by Matt Chandler ($2.99)

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The Gospel-Driven Life by Michael Horton ($2.99)

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ARTICLES

The Secret History of Tiger Woods – Long, but compelling piece on the unraveling of Tiger Woods.

5 Reasons Why the New Calvinism is Worth Supporting – Love this honest and encouraging article from Jeffrey Jue, provost of Westminster Theological Seminary.

The Birds, the Bees, the Awe, the Wonder – Tim Challies shows how “the talk” is more than parental responsibility; it’s parental privilege as well.

The Pastor’s Typical Week – Convicting and sound advice for pastors.

9 Marks of Healthy Biblical Complementarianism – Kevin DeYoung: “The core of complementarianism is not up for discussion. How we talk about complementarianism is. And how we practice complementarianism too. Is the problem that we lack courage or that we are missing compassion? Have we gotten too soft? Or have we gotten too restrictive? Does complementarianism need a re-branding, a reformation, a revival, or a retrieval?”

A Pastor’s Reading Plan – What should be part of a pastor’s regular reading?

$5 Friday from Ligonier – Wonderful resources from Ligonier for $5.

VIDEOS

Review: The New Pastor’s Handbook

51+0hi1iWeLJason Helopoulos. The New Pastor’s Handbook: Help and Encouragement for the First Years of Ministry (Grand Rapids: Baker Books), 208 pp. $14.99.

The early years of ministry are, for most pastors, a rush. For better or worse, those early years in the ministry are filled with hard and fast learning. Young pastors like myself can easily feel confused, lost, overwhelmed, and inadequate. Young pastors leave seminary or Bible College ready to change the world and solve problems the church has experienced for years only to discover the dark side of ministry. Sadly, young pastors are unable to bear the weight of their unrealistic expectations. Before actually stepping into pastoral ministry, it is an easy to make it into an idol.

Young seminarians like myself have a tendency to look to their mentors or favorite pastors as the standard or litmus test for their own ministries. Holding such unrealistic standards is a major factor in early burnout and a true identity crisis in the life of a young pastor. Ministry is hard. And while some young pastors have terrific mentors, most do not. This means there are a host of young pastors and seminarians who are or will be thrown to the wolves.

If there are two things pastors in those green years of ministry need, it is help and encouragement. In his latest book, The New Pastor’s Handbook: Help and Encouragement for the First Years of Ministry, Jason Helopoulos sets out to offer both help and encouragement to new ministers. Helopoulos knows a lot about the pastorate. He has served three different churches, currently as Associate Pastor at University Reformed Church in East Lansing, Michigan.

The title is apropos. Through forty-eight short, yet significant chapters, Helopoulos takes the pastor through every step of the beginnings of ministry, and the many situations the pastor will face not only in the early years, but also throughout his ministry. He sates the purpose of the book in the first pages when he writes,

“I ask you to consider this book as an outstretched helping hand from a pastor a little further along in the journey than you—a pastor who experienced his first years of ministry just a decade ago. Those memories and challenges are still fresh in my mind. I hope this freshness, along with some seasoning through experience as the years have passed, will provide ready wisdom and aid to those just beginning this journey. Much of this book draws on advice mentors have given me over the years, but some of it is what I wish I had known and unfortunately only learned by experience.” (20)

This paragraph nicely summarizes exactly what this book is. It is the wise advice of an older brother pastor passed on to younger brother pastors. It is the author’s way of looking in the rear view mirror of his journey along the road of ministry and offering warning signs for those just beginning the ride.

Structurally, The New Pastor’s Handbook functions quite well as handbook or manual. The short, yet numerous chapters allow the reader to jump around from topic to topic as he sees fit. The breadth of topics addressed means this book can be used again and again throughout the early years of ministry and beyond as new situations are faced.

Helopoulos begins by addressing the beginnings of pastoral ministry, where he discusses matters including a pastor’s calling and candidacy. Next, he moves to offer advice for how to “start strong” in whatever ministry role the pastor is in. Helopoulos quite tactfully speaks to senior pastors, assistant pastors, and youth pastors and offers advice for how to properly serve in these roles. What is most commendable about The New Pastor’s Handbook is the fact that the advice given is rooted primarily in Scripture and focuses on the nature of the pastorate—servant-leadership. Pastors are shepherds, and as such should function as servant-leaders. The pastorate is unlike any other work in the world. It is not a climb up a ministerial corporate ladder. Instead, it is constant building up and pointing to the sufficiency of Christ.

Helopoulos excels in properly setting a young pastor’s sights on what is important. In his discussion of starting out strong in the various ministry positions, Helopoulos strikes an important balance between encouragement and warning. He neither discourages young pastors from serving in any pastorate position, but appropriately flashes warning signs to guard the young pastor.

The remainder of the book deals with various highly practical ministry issues, contexts, and situations. There is a section for encouragement, pitfalls, and the joys of ministry. Helopoulos speaks to both the discouraged, lost, and confused pastor who has no clue what his next move will be. Yet, he also speaks to the cocky, brash, and shortsighted pastor who thinks he knows far more than he does.

Bottom line: if you are in pastoral ministry, especially in those early years, you need a copy of The New Pastor’s Handbook. In it the pastor will find a reservoir of help and encouragement for the rocky, joyful journey that is pastoral ministry.


Disclosure: I received this book free from Baker Books through the Baker Books Bloggershttp://www.bakerbooks.com/bakerbooksbloggers program. The opinions I have expressed are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html.


Mathew Gilbert (B.A. Boyce College) is Associate Pastor for Children and Preschool at The Church at Trace Crossing in Tupelo, MS. He is a M.Div student at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Mathew is married to his high school sweetheart, Erica. Mathew and Erica live in Tupelo with their son, Jude. You can follow him on Twitter @mat_gilbert.

Morning Mashup 08/19

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Our Theology is Meant to Flatten Us – A message we all need to hear from John Piper.

Walking Along the Beach with the Lord – This is hilariously awesome!

Divorce and Spousal Abuse – I usually roll my eyes at statistics mostly because they are often used to skew reality. And while I think the implied and explicit conclusions drawn here are for the most part weak sauce, it is helpful to see what pastors and churches across America are thinking when it comes to divorce.

Bedtime Stories for Young Brains – I read a section of John Frame’s The Doctrine of God aloud while holding our four month old, Jude, yesterday. Does that qualify as a bedtime story? Maybe not. Still, parents, get to reading!

45 Ways to Avoid Using the Word “Very” – Gah! I needed to read this article very, very, very badly!

Planned Parenthood and the Eugenics Movement – Lengthy, but excellent article if you have the time. “There is a haunting familiarity to the arguments defending Planned Parenthood’s sale of body parts from aborted babies for medical research: an echo of another era of medical innovation amid moral ambiguity. Then, as now, the response of cultural leaders — especially religious leaders — is a story about the corruption, and potential renewal, of Western civilization.”

Teens Think Calling People on the Phone is Awkward – What do teens know anyway though, right? Or, do they have a point? “Researchers found that kids these days primarily think of their phone numbers as being for texting. When it comes to actually vocalizing sentences, however, teens may as well be saying, ‘LOL, bye.'”

No “Deflate Gate” Settlement – Despite a judge’s attempt to get both parties to settle, Tom Brady will go to battle with the NFL in court. I’m curious to see how this turns out.

25 Weird Things Said to Pastors – Yeah, weird doesn’t quite capture the nature of these statements.

For thou hast never said, “Seek ye me in vain.” –Valley of Vision

Morning Mashup 08/12

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How to Survive a Cultural Crisis – Mark Dever offers seven biblical principles for how Christians should respond when the culture shifts.

Reflections on Pastoral Leadership – I try to read everything D.A. Carson writes. Here he writes of the importance of pastoral leadership.

How Abortion Kills the Future – Joe Carter: “‘For the last 30 years, I’ve supported abortion rights,’ says Ruben Navarrette Jr., a columnist for The Daily Beast. ‘This year may be different.'”

Review of Keller’s “Preaching” – Dane Ortlund’s review of Keller’s masterful book on preaching begins with this sentence, “Tim Keller got a C in preaching at Westminster Seminary in the early 1970s.” That’s all you need to know. Click away.

Sex is More and Less Important than What You Think – Trevin Wax with excellent balance on one of the most misrepresented and misunderstood aspects of humanity–human sexuality.

“Shut Up, Bigot!” – “Postmodern liberals cannot comprehend the idea that one could simultaneously reject a belief and accept the person who holds it.”

No Girls Allowed – Barnabas Piper calls male sports fans like myself to leave the “no girls allowed” sign in the treehouse as he asks, “Why does the idea of a woman coaching your favorite team bother you?”

Tim Keller Sermons – You can find around 90% of Keller’s sermons here. Wow.

Unfinished Story by JRR Tolkien to be Published – I’m in book nerd heaven now. I can’t wait to get my hands on this.

We need to forgive our brother seventy times seven not only for 490 offences but for one offence. –C.S. Lewis

Morning Mashup 08/07

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Lots and lots and lots of articles. Including two videos. An extended mashup of articles and videos for your information, edification, entertainment, and enjoyment.


 

What’s It Like to Abort Your Own Child? – I almost teared up just reading the title. The story will beckon your tears fall. I’m thankful for Bethany Jenkins for telling it.

3 Reasons the Campaign on Planned Parenthood is Winnable – Doug Wilson with reasonable encouragement for the pro-life movement. “Think of it this way — Planned Parenthood is serving as the designated victim. This is not scapegoating, or unjust in any way, because in this case the scapegoat really is guilty.”

Trump Gets Spotlight, But it Might Burn – We can only hope that the more Trump speaks, the more voters will see how outlandishly insane he is. If Trump cared at all about the GOP winning the White House, he would drop out or back off. He doesn’t. He won’t.

News for Democrats…It’s a Baby! – Kristen Powers at USA Today shows how Democrats are on “the wrong side of history” when it comes to Planned Parenthood and abortion.

There is No Pro-Life Case for Planned Parenthood – Ross Douthat does it again. Don’t miss this important piece: “Tell the allegedly “pro-life” institution you support to set down the forceps, put away the vacuum, and then we’ll talk about what kind of family planning programs deserve funding. But don’t bring your worldview’s bloody hands to me and demand my dollars to pay for soap enough to maybe wash a few flecks off.”

Shocking Videos and the Art of Looking Away – Important consideration for those of us denouncing videos of Planned Parenthood, yet ignoring videos of police brutality.

In Zimbabwe, We Don’t Cry for Lions – Whoa. Interesting and important perspective. We in the West can be so blindly arrogant. “Did all those Americans signing petitions understand that lions actually kill people? That all the talk about Cecil being “beloved” or a “local favorite” was media hype? Did Jimmy Kimmel choke up because Cecil was murdered or because he confused him with Simba from ‘The Lion King’?”

Ray Rice on NFL Return – Ray Rice expresses desire to return to the NFL, and hopes a team will give him a chance to “hang them up the right way.”

The Most Meaningless Abortion Statistic Ever – I was directed to this article by Albert Mohler in yesterday’s edition of The Briefing. It was written in 2013, but is very important in light of the Planned Parenthood defense of their actions.

Obama on Killing Humans and Harvesting Organs – He called it an “atrocity” while in Africa discussing the tribal killings of a particular sect of people and the harvesting of their organs for ritualistic purposes. Obama was disgusted by this practice, all the while ignoring an eerily similar situation in his own country. My heart weeps for his blindness. Lewis’ idea of “chronological snobbery” comes to mind with Obama’s simultaneous rejection of tribal killings and support of scientific killings.

If Planned Parenthood Goes, Where Do Women Go? – Answer: many places.

How Not to Pray Against Cultural Decline – Christian historian Thomas Kidd offers advice grounded in colonial America on how to engage the culture with prayer.

Should the Church Divorce from the State in Marriage? – Rick Phillips gives six reasons why the church shouldn’t jump ship just yet.

The Sound of Silence – Kevin DeYoung gives ten compelling reasons why congregational singing may be absent in your church, I love reading DeYoung because he just makes sense.

The Gospel and Porn – Good stuff from Fred Zaspel: “Godliness is not attained by zaps. There is no switch to pull that brings us immediately to perfection — well, not on this side of the grave, that is.”

7 Pieces of Advice for Young Pastors – I don’t love everything Ron Edmonson says or writes, but this is pretty good.

Check out this video that does an adequate job dispelling Planned Parenthood’s 3% abortion myth.

And just in case you missed it, here is the 5th undercover video exposing Planned Parenthood. Please, watch the video. I am afraid many people are coming to solid conclusions about the videos without actually watching them. Watch and share.

We need some standard or rule from outside of us to help us sort out the warring impulses of our interior life. –Tim Keller

Morning Mashup 10/27

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This edition of Morning Mashup is coming to you from the Atlantic Coast. It was hard to finish this post with a view like the one above right in front of me. Is there anything more beautiful than a sunrise at the beach? However, there were some really interesting articles and one really fun compilation of maps that were too good to let pass. So, as I go down to enjoy the sun, beach, and ocean, I’ll let you guys peruse the following links at your own discretion. But as my buddy, John Calvin, says below, I will try not to enjoy the gift of this mini vacation above the Author of all that I see.


The Pope and the Precipice – Ross Douthat, a conservative Catholic, writes on the Catholic doctrine of papal infallibility, the future of the Catholic Church under Pope Francis, and the inevitable action weighing on conservative Catholic shoulders.

On Halloween, Don’t Be that Parent – Dan Darling gives some practical advice to Christian parents on Halloween.

When Dad Doesn’t Disciple the Kids – Jen Wilkin with some encouraging words for the wife of the believing father guilty of spiritual absenteeism who desires both to honor her husband and spiritually equip her children. Sadly, this post is very necessary for many wives and mothers.

Pastor, Why Not Visit Their Workplace? – Greg Forster contends, “[Your congregants] visit you in your workplace regularly. Why not visit them in theirs?”

Point People to Christ – San Francisco Giants executive, Bobby Evans, says, “You want your life to point people to Christ.”

Forgotten Providence – After recently teaching this doctrine, I can wholeheartedly agree with the concerns of this writer when she says, “We seem to have moved past needing to talk about God’s providence—we’re quite sophisticated these days.”

ERLC Conference – The 2014 ERLC Conference begins today. It features excellent speakers on many important topics, some absolutely crucial for the church and Southern Baptist life. If you have time, check it out via livestream.

25 Maps that Describe America – This is a really cool compilation of maps that describe America in different ways. Have fun with this one!

For nothing is more preposterous than to enjoy the very remarkable gifts that attest the divine nature within us, yet to overlook the Author who gives them to us at our asking. –John Calvin

Morning Mashup 10/22

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In this edition, I have provided a true “mashup.” This is because there is quite a bit of randomness floating around on the web today. Below is everything from tips for better sleep, responding to the unjust subpoenas in Houston, the conversion of an epic theologian, millennials and marriage, reasons you may be neglecting your church, some uncomfortable questions, and much more.


 70 Years Ago Today – On October 22, 1944, J.I. Packer, one of the most influential and important theologians of the 20th century, became a Christian.

Is the Bible Too Complicated for Those Who Struggle to Read? – In ministering to children, I ask and am asked this question often. I found this answer to be helpful.

A Line Has Been Crossed – Eric Metaxas along with the ERLC are calling American pastors to send Bibles and sermons to the Houston Mayor’s office. This is an effort to show that trampling on religious liberty will not be tolerated by the American people. In the words of Metaxas, “If we don’t act on this, we can’t complain when we lose further liberties and eventually we aren’t able to act at all. This is our chance. Whatever voice and liberties we have now, we must use.”

What Millennials Misunderstand About Marriage – Aaron Earls: “Millennials, perhaps more than any other generation, grew up with the reality of broken homes and divorced parents. But in their efforts to avoid those mistakes, they often go in the wrong direction and end up in the same situation.”

Why You May Be Tempted to Neglect Your Church – Tim Challies writes there are two primary reasons you may neglect your church: (1) You forget what you bring, and (2) You forget what you need.

How Should Pastors Deal with Politics in the Pulpit? – Drs. David Prince and Russell Moore discuss how to properly deal with controversial issues and politics in the pulpit.

C.S. Lewis, Public Intellectual – Thomas Kidd of Baylor University reviews Alister McGrath’s biography of C.S. Lewis: “McGrath’s book is a judicious and accessible treatment of Lewis’s remarkable but controversial career.”

The Kingdom of Christ as the Theological Center of Scripture – David Prince: “The theme of the kingdom of God is a good starting point for thinking about the theological center of Scripture. Nevertheless, more can be said for clarity.”

How Can You Really Reach Millennials? – I read a lot about reaching millennials. Most that I read is superficial at best. This is one of the best articles I have read on the subject.

22 Ways to Get a Better Night’s Sleep – Okay, this list is not too shabby.

Some Uncomfortable Questions – Kevin DeYoung: “Have mercy on stupid and sinful people. You and I will be one of them soon enough.”

Grateful joy is a motive that will lead to much more endurance in obedience than fearful compliance. –Tim Keller

Morning Mashup 08/29

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The Continuing Menace of Anti-Semitism – Michael Gerson of The Washington Post writes, “In fact, anti-Jewish attitudes remain deep and consistent, and the memory of the Holocaust is fading.”

Please Say More than Six Words to Your Kids About Sports or Any Performance – I love when David Prince writes on sports. I grew up playing three sports, and I can attest from experience that Prince’s counsel for what to say to kids before and after performance is spot on!

Losing Your Voice – Clint Archer gives four ways pastors can lose their pulpits.

Mas Hill Pastors’ Letter on Mark Driscoll – Things are falling apart in Seattle. I have been deeply saddened by Mark Driscoll’s fall and I pray for repentance and restoration. But as for now, Paul Tripp admits something (as quoted in the letter) startling and frightening: “This is without a doubt, the most abusive, coercive ministry culture I’ve ever been involved with.”

An Impatience with Biblical Exegesis – Wesley Hill: “Although it may seem futile, the effort to trace out the meaning of the Bible and talk about Scripture with others isn’t a vain exercise.”

Marriage and Mating Rites – Karen Swallow Prior: “If marriage is a sacrament, then the way in which practices that lead to marriage function as liturgies deserves attention.”

Christians Are Terrible: You Should Know This Going In – Derek Rishmawy: “One of the major premises of the Christian faith is that humans are so flawed, so broken, so rebellious, and so unable to redeem themselves that the eternal Son had to incarnate himself, live, die, and rise again in order to fix them.”

Bill Cosby and Victoria Osteen – Bill Cosby reacts to Victoria Osteen. Watch all the way to the end.

13 Marketing Terms You Might Be Falling For – Barnabas Piper gives the down-low on marketing tricks.

Six Things Every Freshman Needs to Know – Sammy Rhodes: “If I could write a letter to every incoming freshman who doesn’t want to waste their college, I would want to say six things to them before they move to campus. It applies to their anxious parents, too.”

Because the gospel is endlessly rich, it can handle the burden of being the one “main thing” of a church. –Timothy Keller

Morning Mashup 08/06

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Might as Well Call Jesus the ‘Daughter of God’ – Jared Wilson: “The progressive evangeliwhatchamacalits seem to think they can mess with the revelation of the nature of our relational God without messing with the revelation of the nature of his Son.”

Caring for the Anxious Pastor-in-Waiting – Dave Harvey gives poignant and comforting counsel to men who have surrendered to the ministry, but are waiting for ministry opportunities. This article eased my own soul.

8 Ways the Enemy Attacks Churches – Chuck Lawless: “I have studied spiritual warfare for more than twenty years. During most of that time, I’ve also worked as a church consultant. I’ve learned these two worlds often collide: churches fail to recognize the schemes of a real enemy, and they have no plan to respond. Here are some of the primary ways I’ve seen the enemy attack churches:”

Iraq’s Christians Need Our Help – Clearly, Iraqi Christians need help. Here are ways they need it most.

Christian Family of Eight Murdered Next to Open Bible in Iraq – They would not convert, so they were killed next to their open Bible. Come, Lord Jesus.

Cultural Disintegration and the Revival of a Moral Imagination – Joe Rigney: “[W]e must always endeavor to winsomely wage culture war, to fight as those whose feet are firmly planted on a Rock that is unshaken by Gallup polls, HHS mandates, or Supreme Court decisions.”

Cultural Engagement – Russell Moore: “Knowing Andy Griffith episodes or Coldplay lyrics might be important avenues for talking about kingdom matters, but let’s not kid ourselves. We connect with sinners in the same way Christians always have: by telling an awfully freakish-sounding story about a man who was dead, and isn’t anymore, but whom we’ll all meet face-to-face in judgment.”

Can One Believe in Jesus But Not Believe in Adam? – Contrary to the theological liberal trend and the growing number of so-called conservative theologians, the answer is still “No.” Check out pastor Andrew Dyer’s brief thoughts on the vitality of a historical Adam.

6 Tips for Small Group Discussion – Matt Capps: “Leading a meaningful conversation that engages the hearts and minds of people takes practice. But healthy discussion can be the difference between people going to a group and growing through a group. A life-changing discussion has the following characteristics.”

What Gathered Worship Should Look Like – Ligon Duncan: “Worship is not evangelism, but our worship services should always have the free offer of the Gospel in mind, and if we are God-centered and Bible-directed we will be evangelistic.”

The farther back you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see. –Winston Churchill