Husband of but one wife, father of three children and pastor of Christ's flock at Central Avenue CRC in Holland, MI
Posted in: Third Way? Meh
This has been an ongoing discussion on the Abide Project. After 50 years of debate and discussion along with example after example of those who have forged this path ahead of us, Pastor Andy Sytsma offers some biblical and pastoral insights in his article published already back in February entitled: "A Third Way or Better Way?"
Pastor Aaron Vriesman has taken a deeper dive into specific denominations that have attempted a so-called centrist position. Here is his article discussing the United Methodist Church:
This post is a few years old now, but still relevant. Thanks for highlighting the various resources from Faith Alive, Paul. As walls are crumbling between denominations it's important to expose our young people to good resources and help them discern what is true, biblical, and even Reformed.
Our youth group went through Karl Graustein's "Growing Up Christian: Have You Taken Ownership of Your Relationship with God." by P&R. Good resource.
Great Commissions (the publishing arm of the OPC and PCA) has a a great set of studies in their "So What?" series.
In catechism, we have provided our teachers with solid curriculum and then given them the freedom to teach the lessons as they see fit for the given class. We use a variety of foundational resources - some from Faith Alive (yes, "Landmarks" and "What We Believe" are still the framework!), Reformed Fellowship ("Life in Christ" series), and some cobbled together pieces for a study of the Church History and Canons of Dort ("The Doctrines of Grace: Student Edition" by Shane Lems).
Some of that comes from the broader Reformed circles - but we hope to expose our youth to authors and teachers who may be beyond the CRC.
A few more good resources from a Reformed perspective:
"This Changes Everything: How the Gospel Transforms the Teen Years" by Jaquelle Crowe
"Do Hard Things" by Alex Harris
The "New City Catechism" provides a fresh look at the Heidelberg meshed with the Westminster Catechism.
Reformed Youth Services is another resources which has several series of youth group lessons/studies.
Certainly there was a great deal of thought in putting this together - thank you! Our landscape has certainly changed and the need for de-centralization has become apparent. So thanks for those considerations. One glaring omission, in my opinion, is that the name of Jesus Christ is not mentioned in the grounding vision and mission statements. The vagueness of just using the term "God" leaves it too open ended. Our intention is to proclaim Christ to the nations - He should be front and center.
Posted in: Beige Spirituality
A great book in the same vein is Michael Horton's Ordinary: Sustainable Faith in a Radical, Restless World (Zondervan, 2014). We did it as a book club last summer and was refreshing - www.ordinarybook.com
Posted in: Preachers and Churches
Scott - great comments. I agree - but I also think we as pastors are as much to blame for vacating the study for the board room as much as the congregation is for pushing us there. Maybe it's been a build up over decades and decades, but when we've downplayed the importance of sound, exegetical preaching by our practices, we've trained a congregation to think that way. Now, to put aside talking about good sermon prep and getting back to actually doing - I'm signing off!!