Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Why the Reformed Baptize Their Babies

The latest edition of Mortification of Spin addresses an issue that attracts no small amount of controversy: Paedobaptism. Carl, Aimee, and I discuss why Presbyterians baptize their babies. The other benefit is that it's going to drive Frank Turk absolutely crazy.
This week the gang's in deep water discussing the holy sacrament of baptism - How should we treat it? Who should administer it? Why does it even matter? They reveal key exegetical defenses, share helpful resources for those on the fence, and tell what convinced them to hang up their own credobaptist views for paedobaptist ones. Come on down to the river... the water’s fine!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Sunday's Sermon

On Sunday I preached part 18 in our series through the Book of Acts. It is entitled "The Rejected Redeemer" (Acts 7:17-43) and can be listened to or downloaded HERE. We are also now podcasting our sermons.

Monday, September 29, 2014

De-Cisions, De-Cisions

In is excellent book Leading with a Limp, Dan Allender points out the isolating nature of decision making.
To decide requires a death, a dying to a thousand options, the putting aside of a legion of possibilities in order to choose just one. De-cide. Homo-cide. Sui-cide. Patri-cide. The root word decidere means "to cut off." All decisions cut us off, separate us from nearly infinite options as we select just one single path. And every decision we make earns us the favor of some and the disfavor of others...

A good leader will, in time, disappoint everyone. Leadership requires a willingness to not be liked, in fact, a willingness to be hated. But is is impossible to lead people who doubt you and hate you. So the constant tug is to make the decision that is the least offensive to the greatest number and then to align yourself with those who have the most power to sustain your position and reputation in the organization.
This is one of the reasons that leadership can be so lonely. I suggest that this is particularly true with leadership in the church. In businesses and even most non-profits the leader has a certain amount of leverage that pastors do not possess. Pastors are called to lead (or help lead) the very ones who pay his salary. It may sound carnal to be concerned about things like providing food and shelter for ones family but pastors actually do think about such things.

Everyday the pastor is aware of the fact that with each decision he makes he is alienating some of the very people he must be building bridges toward. The tension can be excruciating at times.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Mortification of Spin

On this week's Mortification of Spin, Carl, Aimee, and I are joined by Rachel Miller to discuss the Patriarchy movement.
Join a provocative conversation with Rachel Miller, editor and writer for the Aquila Report, as she enlightens us about the patriarchy movement, its driving forces, and its many dangers that have gone under the radar in reformed circles. It's all talk about headship, gender roles, and the Duggars. Listen to the team tackle sinister elements of the movement and how to approach it from a pastoral perspective. They laugh, they pry, they get serious.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Sunday's Sermon

On Sunday we continued our series through the Book of Acts. The message was part 17 and is entitled "Promise, Rejection, and Deliverance" (7:1-16). You can listen to or download it HERE.

Also, we are now podcasting our sermons.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Michael Horton on MOS

Michael Horton joins us on the latest edition of Mortification of Spin. Carl seems to think that Aimee and I fawn a bit too much over Dr. Horton. And perhaps we do. I just think Trueman is jealous that we don't treat him with the same deference.
Gallantly riding in from the White Horse Inn, our guest, Michael Horton -- author and fellow podcaster -- shares his thoughts on reformed theology and how he came upon it garbed in silk and laden with puka shells. Join the usual Spin Team as they discuss some of the nuts and bolts of the reformed faith, ponder how to "get the Gospel right" and discover Dr. James Boice's fascinating role in Horton's 'journey' to reformed theology.

Mars Hill in Forbes

Over at Forbes, Rob Asghar has written quite an interesting piece on the Mars Hill debacle. Whether he knows it or not he makes a case for denominationalism and sound polity:
Some organizations are more wired than others for spectacular success or spectacular failure. Nondenominational megachurches are one example. They often can be free-wheeling, Wild West-style operations, unencumbered by national bureaucracies. That frees them to respond to grow quickly … or to grow malignantly.

The central focus of the article is on the malignant nature of toxic leading and following. Along the way he makes statements that the church ought to carefully consider. Without dispensing with the responsibility to restore the one who has sinned, the church must also consider realities such as sociopathy. In other words, the church must not be naive about the reality that some pastors, no matter how sincere their repentance, must never serve as pastors again.
With toxic leaders, there are no happy endings, no matter how hard you pray. You just have to move on. That may seem especially sad to those Mars Hill congregants who want Driscoll to undergo a disciplinary process so that that a newly mature, repentant and humbled version of himself might someday take the pulpit.

But a number of psychologists have told me that the truly toxic leaders, the ones who manage to cause trouble on the scale of a Driscoll, are tragically irredeemable as managers. Oftentimes, the disciplining process only teaches them new ways to exploit the system while pretending to obey it. (Bear in mind that Driscoll himself has been claiming for years that he’s been making progress on his shortcomings.)

Could it be that this writer for Forbes has a better grasp of the consequences of pastoral malpractice? Certainly he raises some important questions about the difference between a pastor whose sins and frailties are common to most Christians and the one who is simply not qualified for the role to begin with.

Read the entire article HERE.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Sunday's Sermon

On Sunday we jumped back into our study of Acts. It is part 16 in the series and is entitled "Witness and Opposition" (6:8-15). You can listen to or download it HERE.

Also, Covenant Presbyterian is now Podcasting its sermons. If you don't already, get the Podcast app and look up Covenant Presbyterian Church.