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Winning the War, Losing the Home Front

Let me introduce you to my friend. We’ll call him Al. Al’s a great guy. The type of person who is naturally good at just about everything.

Handsome. Athletic. Great at his job.

He brings positivity, excitement, and excellence to everything he does. He even professes to be a Christian. By all appearances he takes his faith seriously. He goes to church. Participates regularly in a Bible study at work. He even took a leadership position at his local church. On the surface, Al is a successful guy. He has his stuff together. But that’s only part of the story.

This morning, as I was walking away from Al's desk I dropped a casual compliment.

"Good luck, Al. I know you'll make this project better. Everything is better when you've worked on it."

His response stopped me dead in my tracks.

"I wish that were true with my kids. They just seem to be getting worse."

I only know a little of Al’s family story. What I do know has me concerned. I know he’s been struggling …
Recent posts

Hallowed Be Thy Name

Growing up, I said the Our Father prayer a lot.

A lot. Multiple times a day.It was part of my religious tradition. Most of the time, I mumbled it as quickly as I could.

For what it's worth, my Dad tried to help me understand that mumbling the prayer without understanding what it really meant wasn't the goal. He wanted me to understand it. He wanted me to mean it.

I remember sitting with him in the car one afternoon while we went through every phrase. He did his best to explain to me what the terms meant. Why we would say these things. Why it mattered.

It didn't take.

Although I became better equipped to describe the meaning of the phrases, I still mumbled them as fast as I could so I could move on to the next part of my day.

Fast forward many years. After being born-again by the grace of God I started to read my Bible. I desired to know God and His Word. I remember when I stumbled upon Jesus teaching the disciples to pray the Lord's prayer in Matthew 6. I was both excit…

Five Truths For The Ministry of Sowing

"He who has ears to hear, let him hear." (Mark 4:9) I pay a lot of attention to how the gospel is preached. I listen carefully to invitations to accept Christ. I compare the things I hear to Scripture. I compare them to how Jesus, the Apostles, and other Christians in the New Testament preached.

Much of what I hear today doesn't sound like what I read.

My desire is to make my own proclamation and gospel testimony sound more like the example of Christ. More like the Apostles. Less like a salesman.

How about you?

If we want to understand the ministry of sowing, we can find no better teacher than Jesus. This is His teaching:

"Listen to this! Behold, the sower went out to sow; as he was sowing, some seed fell beside the road, and the birds came and ate it up. Other seed fell on the rocky ground where it did not have much soil; and immediately it sprang up because it had no depth of soil. And after the sun had risen, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it wither…

Servants & Stewards

Some Christians look at the men and women recorded in the Bible as "super saints." People whose images are rightly captured on stained-glass windows. Those whose sacrificial service to the King of kings is beyond the grasp of normal, regular, every day Christians. But this is not how the Apostle Paul viewed himself. Paul urged Christians in Corinth to be imitators of him. Twice (1 Corinthians 4:16, 11:1). He said similar things to Christians in his other letters. See, for example, Ephesians 5:1; 1 Thessalonians 1:6, 2:14; 2 Thessalonians 3:7-9; Hebrews 6:12, 13:7; and 3 John 1:11. Paul said this instruction of imitating him and his conduct is something he teaches everywhere he goes:
Therefore I exhort you, be imitators of me. For this reason I have sent to you Timothy, who is my beloved and faithful child in the Lord, and he will remind you of my ways which are in Christ, just as I teach everywhere in every church. (1 Corinthians 4:16-17) Paul traveled. He preached the Gospe…

Secret To An Open Door - A Review

David A. Morel's short book, Secret To An Open Door: Igniting a Passion for the Lost, was recommended to me by a dear friend. I'm glad it was.
This book focus is different than virtually every other book on evangelism that I've ever read.

Greatest Strength Being different isn't always better. In some cases, books are better simply because they are different. I found the difference in approach that was presented by Morel to be a refreshing and edifying angle.

The biblical information that Morel starts with isn't what you might expect. He doesn't start at 1 Corinthians 15 or John 3:16. Instead, the biblical content emphasized is regarding the gospel as a "mystery." Morel spends a good amount of effort to trace the importance of this theme through the pages of Scripture and the life of the Apostle Paul in particular.

Understanding the spiritual aspect of the gospel is lost on many. Morel tries to make this clear. This spiritual understanding requires us…

The Gospel & Personal Evangelism - A Review

Mark Dever claims to have written his book, The Gospel and Personal Evangelism, to help individual Christians and local churches develop a culture of evangelism. He wants them to evangelize more.
For this, he should be commended.

I am eager to endorse this aim. I share it. I think every local church should have the same goal.
Greatest Strengths1. The Scope. As Dever seeks to create a culture of evangelism he brings in details that other authors skip. This book attempts to deal with stumbling blocks that keep people from evangelizing, making the case that evangelism is something for all Christians to grow and participate in, what to do leading up to, during, and after actual evangelism takes place.

2. What Evangelism Isn't. Like other books in the 9 Marks series, Dever attempts to clarify the gospel and evangelism by presenting what it is and what it isn't. Particularly helpful in this little book is the discussion of commonly held views about evangelism that Dever rightly teac…

The Heart Of The Gospel - A Review

Robert E. Coleman's The Heart of the Gospel: The Theology Behind The Master Plan of Evangelism is a systematic theology book. I have a lot of Systematic Theologies on my shelves.
The reason I recommend this book so highly is that Coleman always brings things back to the gospel. When theologians disagree, Coleman points these disagreements out - then shows why both sides still require the same gospel focus. A truly great read.
Greatest Strength Coleman states plainly on page 13 that:
Getting to know this God and glorifying him is the purpose of evangelism. I couldn't agree more.

Knowing God, being known by Him, and making Him known are the great privileges of the Christian. As a result of Coleman's focus, his systematic theology revolves around evangelism serving this purpose. Most systematic theologies treat evangelism as one aspect of their system. It gets its own chapter or two. Not so with Coleman's system. The purpose of knowing God and glorifying Him is a steady …