Category Archives: Articles on Church

Authority and Authoritarianism

Authority and Authoritarianism

This entry is part 11 of 16 in the series Ten Mangled Words You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

This entry is part 11 of 16 in the series”Ten Mangled Words”You can read more posts from the series by using the Table of Contents in the right sidebar.When authority is usually discussed, about three sentences later, the word authoritarian will make its entrance. In fact, for some, authority is authoritarian – there is no other… Continue Reading

I’m Still Here, Too

I’m Still Here, Too

The most recent issue of Frontline Magazine is apparently getting a bit of buzz. I don’t subscribe, but through friends I’m getting caught up. It appears that the Fall 2016 issue, “Convergence,” caused a stir with how it treated the younger generation who grew up in fundamental Baptist churches. As a sort of response, Mark Ward… Continue Reading

Pastors – Become Literate in Christian Culture

Pastors – Become Literate in Christian Culture

When the topic of music and worship comes up, a favorite slap-down argument against thoughtful discrimination of music is that pastors need not study music to be faithful pastors. It is beside the point to say that pastors need not become art critics. If their vocation is that of shepherding the flock, it is manifestly… Continue Reading

Judging Matters of Freedom

Judging Matters of Freedom

This entry is part 8 of 16 in the series Ten Mangled Words You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

This entry is part 8 of 16 in the series”Ten Mangled Words”You can read more posts from the series by using the Table of Contents in the right sidebar.Modern Christians are in the habit of labelling all sorts of things as ‘matters of Christian liberty’ or ‘areas of preference’. We do not doubt that these… Continue Reading

A good and bad way to use Lent

A good and bad way to use Lent

It’s that time of year again, a time when Evangelical Christians debate whether or not it is a good thing to observe Lent. My answer to that question is always the same: it depends on what you mean by “Lent” and “observe.” Here is a short note I have sent our congregation on occasion to… Continue Reading

Horatius Bonar on Trendiness in Religion

Horatius Bonar on Trendiness in Religion

Every pastor and Christian leader feels a certain pressure to be relevant. We do not want Christianity to slip away into an oblivion. We do not want the church to go “backward” during our watch. This impulse has led many to the conclusion that Christianity must “keep up with the times.” One of the criticisms… Continue Reading

Differences over philosophy of culture must always affect cooperation

Differences over philosophy of culture must always affect cooperation

This entry is part 6 of 8 in the series That They May Be One: Conservatism, Cooperation, and the Center of Christian Unity You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

This entry is part 6 of 8 in the series”That They May Be One: Conservatism, Cooperation, and the Center of Christian Unity”You can read more posts from the series by using the Table of Contents in the right sidebar. Up to this point in this series, I have described the essence of conservative Christianity, particularly… Continue Reading

The “Two Hands” of Ministry

The “Two Hands” of Ministry

In 2006 an approach to church ministry began to gain popularity. It was called a “two-handed” approach to ministry. One closed hand represented the theology of the church and its grasp of biblical truth and principles. The hand being closed symbolized the non-negotiable aspects of theology. One open hand represented the methodology of the church.… Continue Reading

Chestless Churches

Chestless Churches

What would ‘Churches Without Chests” look like? To use a strictly Lewisian definition, it would be groups of professing believers without ‘the spirited element’. In plain language, that would be believers who have profoundly under-developed parts of their souls. Chestless churches would be: Churches Without Beauty. The music, the poetry, the rhetoric in the sermons,… Continue Reading

Tozer’s Third Concern – Worship and Entertainment

Tozer’s Third Concern – Worship and Entertainment

Perhaps Tozer used more ink on the topic of worship than on any other. As Tozer watched the heritage of Christianity being exchanged for a religion that sought credibility in its intellectualism and popularity through its pragmatism, he saw the ultimate casualty was Christian worship. For as genuine illumination of the Scriptures dissipates, and as… Continue Reading

Tozer’s Second Concern – Pragmatism

Tozer’s Second Concern – Pragmatism

A.W. Tozer had the uncommon ability to step aside from his own culture, and see as alien what had become natural. Tozer saw that the pragmatic philosophy of Americans, which had brought such material success to the nation, was devastating the evangelical church. He wrote: “As one fairly familiar with the contemporary religious scene, I… Continue Reading

Tozer’s Three Concerns

Tozer’s Three Concerns

Although A.W. Tozer’s writings ranged over all kinds of topics, three concerns dominated Tozer’s writings. You’ll find him returning to these often, and giving them different treatments each time. What they amount to is what Tozer saw as the most serious maladies of evangelicalism and fundamentalism. The first was what he called textualism. For Tozer, this… Continue Reading

What Churches Take For Granted (But No Longer Should)

What Churches Take For Granted (But No Longer Should)

A first-grade teacher does not require, but typically expects the five and six-year-olds that arrive in class to be able to: * understand enough language to communicate with other humans * eat their own food without assistance * sit in a chair (or on the floor) without rolling on the stomach and flailing helplessly *… Continue Reading

Being a Disciple of Jesus

Being a Disciple of Jesus

The final words of Jesus before his Ascension give the Christian church its marching orders: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with… Continue Reading

The Green Book

The Green Book

Poor Alex and Martin. Misters King and Ketley had no idea that their forgettable English textbook would unleash one of the twentieth century’s most eloquent and destructive critiques of modernism, with the two of them in the marksman’s crosshairs. The Control of Language: A Critical Approach to Reading and Writing, was published in 1939 as… Continue Reading

Paul, Plato, and Calvin on Music

Paul, Plato, and Calvin on Music

In 1 Corinthians 14:7-8, Paul says, ”If even lifeless instruments, such as the flute or the harp, do not give distinct notes, how will anyone know what is played? And if the bugle gives an indistinct sound, who will get ready for battle?” 1 Cor 14:7-8 (ESV) The “flute,” I’m told, was a woodwind instrument more akin… Continue Reading

The Meaning of the Word Church and What It Means for Us Today

The Meaning of the Word Church and What It Means for Us Today

Our word church is comes from the older kirk (Scottish) or kirche (German), which in turn derives from the Greek adjective kuriakos, meaning “belonging to the Lord.” The Greek term directly behind our word church, however, is ekklesia, a combination of the preposition ek (“out of”) and the verb kaleō (“to call”). Ekklesia could refer… Continue Reading

Practice Makes Perfect: Culture and the Liturgies of Life

Practice Makes Perfect: Culture and the Liturgies of Life

This entry is part 10 of 10 in the series Practice Makes Perfect You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

This entry is part 10 of 10 in the series”Practice Makes Perfect”You can read more posts from the series by using the Table of Contents in the right sidebar.So here are the primary points of my argument: Culture is the behavior of a people. The formation of certain kinds of behaviors falls squarely in the… Continue Reading

A Modest Proposal: One Loaf in Communion

A Modest Proposal: One Loaf in Communion

In 1 Cor 10:17 Paul says, Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread. For many Christians, Paul’s words in that verse do not make as much sense as they might otherwise, because they break the their Communion bread before they see it.1 While I… Continue Reading

Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi

Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi

This entry is part 9 of 10 in the series Practice Makes Perfect You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

This entry is part 9 of 10 in the series”Practice Makes Perfect”You can read more posts from the series by using the Table of Contents in the right sidebar.Over the past several weeks I have been making the argument that in order to shape the behavior–the culture–of a people, we must give attention to the… Continue Reading