The Writing Pastor: An Essay on Spiritual Formation From the latest edition of Themelios: “None of us will likely have the influence of Augustine or Luther or Bonhoeffer. But our writing still matters. It matters because it can help us to make progress in our own hearts and minds. So as an exercise in pastoral ministry, we will explore some benefits that come to the soul of a pastor through the discipline of writing. These apply particularly to pastors but are not limited to the vocation of pastor.”
My Top 10 Theology Stories of 2012 From Collin Hansen: “The end of the year brings lists galore recounting the best books and top news stories. But I’ve never seen anyone else attempt to count down the top theology stories from the last calendar year. After doing this several years now, I know why. It’s subjective, presumptuous, and guaranteed to infuriate almost all of you…So consider my list an admittedly foolhardy attempt—written from the vantage point of an American who subscribes to The Gospel Coalition’s confessional statement—to discern the most important theology stories 0f 2012.”
Interview with Darrell Bock on Bible Contradictions [Podcast] “Is the Bible full of contradictions? Were the biblical authors confused about the historical details they report? In this podcast, I interview leading New Testament scholar and New York Times best selling author Dr. Darrell Bock on whether the Gospels contradict one another as skeptics like Bart Ehrman claim.”
53 Lectures on Romans From Doug Moo “Dr. Douglas Moo, from Wheaton College Graduate School, offers an exegetical examination of the book of Romans. This course was recorded during a D.Min. seminar at the Carolina Graduate School of Divinity in May 2012.”
20 Most Read Biblical Counseling Coalition Blog Posts of 2012 “It’s that time of year. At the end of each year we like to direct you to the most read blog posts at the Biblical Counseling Coalition. With these direct links, you can visit or re-visit these top 20 BCC blog posts with biblical insights for your life and ministry.”
Richard Baxter on Unity and Peace in the Church From Elliot Ritzema: “Writing in the 17th century, Richard Baxter offers some tips that are still relevant today for mending the rifts in the Church. The below are from his collected writings, The Practical Works of Richard Baxter, and pastoral guide, The Reformed Pastor.”
Things People Should Never Say They Never Heard at Your Church “I cringe every time I hear the testimony of a Christian who grew up in the church and only later came to understand some fundamental article of the faith. Granted, some things are hard to understand. We have to drink milk before we get to meat. I’m not chagrined about the folks who never learned the word propitiation or never knew the difference between Christ’s active and passive obedience. Those are incredibly important concepts and we ought to teach them from the ground up. But I’m talking about the basics, about the things that every Christian should know backwards and forward, the things we should hear in church all the time.
Meals Matter to the Mission Meals are full of significance. “Few acts are more expressive of companionship than the shared meal,” writes Carolyn Steel. “Someone with whom we share food is likely to be our friend, or well on the way to becoming one.” The word “companion” comes from the Latin words meaning “together” and “bread”… Food connects. It connects us with family. It turns strangers into friends. And it connects us with people around the world.
Good Riddance It’s time to purge. The end of a year and start of the new is a great metaphorical event to use to enhance a critical aspect of your constructive creativity—get rid of everything that you can. Your psyche has a certain quota of open loops and incompletions that it can tolerate, and it will unconsciously block the engagement with new material if it has reached its limit. Release some memory.
The Most Misunderstood Aspect Of Great Leadership Here’s an article at Forbes that really resonates with the gospel: “If you want to become a better leader in 2013, I suggest you become comfortable with a leadership practice few are – surrender. You’ll rarely encounter the words leadership and surrender used together in complementary fashion. Society has labeled surrender as a sign of leadership weakness, when in fact, it can be among the greatest of leadership strengths. Let me be clear, I’m not encouraging giving in or giving up – I am suggesting you learn the ever so subtle art of letting go.”
The Need for More Homegrown Leaders The church needs more homegrown leaders. It’s not a novel plea. In fact, church researchers have called for local equipping of leaders for a long time. In our globalized society, however, it is becoming even more important…What are some things to consider when empowering these homegrown leaders?
Out on a Limb From Seth Godin: “This might not work. At some level, ‘this might not work’ is at the heart of all important projects, of everything new and worth doing. And it can paralyze us into inaction, into watering down our art and into failing to ship.”