Scripture and the church have always taken a dim view of flattery also because it perpetuates the deadliest of the Seven Deadly Sins: pride. Flattery, in short, is deadly for the giver and the receiver.
Director, the Center for Excellence in Preaching at Calvin Theological Seminary
As Mills details his own journey from disorientation back to hope, we see what this does to the pastor’s soul, spirit, mind. The hurts are real and they cut deep.
As I have been grading sermons these past days (about 25 of them since middle of last week with about 10 to go) I often find myself writing “Show, Don’t Tell.”
God has given us our lives twice: first through creation and then through the death and resurrection of God the Son. Maybe like Sheldon Cooper we'd rather not live with a sense of biding indebtedness, but there it is.
Should it matter to us that the people who seem to have the most to say about certain issues Christians rightly care about do not themselves have any formal biblical-theological training?
We preach in our churches but in the larger sense we are always preaching in public. We cannot bracket out the larger world when we preach.
There are doubtless many “secrets” and tips for building a successful ministry team. But many of the things that build a team are among the simplest, everyday things. Like praying for each other. By name.
Gratitude somehow builds up in us during the ordinary and good times of life so as to make us less likely to be defeated when the bottom falls out on us in this or that area of life.
Whatever else Easter means, it does not mean people stop dying. The Thessalonians knew what we still know: namely, the stark and stubborn fact of death in our world poses a most difficult challenge to our faith.
And similarly if I misread your tone toward the Seminary I also apologize.
I know it can be hard for people to believe this but lots of ministers know that you don't have to advocate for...posted on: Think Globally, Push Back Locally
To Mr. Ellis: The reference in this post to fishing and logging was to a speech I once gave and not specifically to a sermon. However, even in that speech I was not advocating specific public or...posted on: Think Globally, Push Back Locally
Good piece, Josh! Of course . . . there are lots of layers here and you yourself point out several of them in your post. Let's not forget that the trio of Luke 15 parables had 2 distinct...posted on: Please Stop It with the Older Brother
One of the things we are trying to do through the aforementioned Lilly Grant program at the Seminary right now is listen to the church and start conversations in the wider church precisely to see...posted on: Our Biggest Problem: Poor Preaching
To Larry (and I hope Keith is looking on as well): Thank you for your post (and thanks to Lou Tamminga for his initial reply). Just a few comments so as to let those reading these posts know...posted on: Our Biggest Problem: Poor Preaching
In response to Larry: I don't think rehearsing and remembering the story or the cross is exactly a way to live in the thrall of the devil or to do an end-run on the victory of Easter. What do we...posted on: Mardi Gras
I am not 100% sure I am following what you are trying to get at here but suffice it to say that as with all things, a big part of discipleship and of living for Jesus involves wisdom. It goes...posted on: Advice or Imperative: How Can We Know?
Hi, Daniel: I don't think the Greek language has any grammatical differentiation between "types" of imperatives: a verb is an imperative or it is not--I have never heard of strong or weak, urgent...posted on: Advice or Imperative: How Can We Know?
Perhaps if we restrict what I tried to say to formal sermons only, then I am guilty of an overstatement. Put it this way: the Scriptures affirm and the Church has long also claimed that "faith...posted on: What's a Preacher to Do?
Jeff: There may be something to your distinction to tease out the category of "wisdom" as a way to re-label (and thus re-assess) what I called moralistic and "To Do" preaching. Even so, however...posted on: What's a Preacher to Do?