I have recently been having several conversations with people about multi-site churches and it reminded me of a paper I wrote in seminary about this topic. I hope it is useful in getting us thinking about what is a church.
I grew up outside of Washington D.C and until recently my old neighborhood was the home of some serious tobacco farming. For several years of my childhood our house was literally surrounded by a tobacco farm. I remember walking home from school and seeing farmers tilling the soil, planting the seeds, and gathering the tobacco leaves. It was clear to me that my neighbors knew what they were doing. If I asked them anything about tobacco farming they could have told me more than I ever wanted to know. Imagine if one day while I was walking home I asked each of the different farmers what they were planting in the ground. What do you think are the chances that I would have got a different answer from each of them? Each farmer may have different farming methods, but they would never even slightly disagree about what they are planting, right?
Yet, I wonder if I could say the same thing about most pastors and church planters. If I went and asked a large group of pastors and church planters what they are planting, would I get different answers from each one of them? Now, I know that defining and identifying a church is much more complicated and subjective than defining and identifying a tobacco plant. However, I am concerned that many pastors and church planters today are redefining what is a church. All you need to do is begin listening to those pastors and planters who have been advocating the recent multi-site church planting model. If you listen closely to what they are saying about the church and then compare it to what the bible says about the church the differences will be clear.
What I hope communicate in this post is twofold:
1) Provide a biblical and historical definition of the church.
2) Compare that definition with a definition of a multi-site church by quoting the men who are advocating the practice. Continue reading
This is the first in a series of posts on some of the more common biblical views of divorce and remarriage. The content of these posts come mostly from some lectures David Jones gave at SEBTS.
Same-sex marriage is getting a lot of attention right now and for good reason. However, I believe there is a more fundamental and pervasive problem with our views of marriage and the family. As Dr. David Jones once said in an ethics class at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, divorce and remarriage are hands down the greatest moral problems facing the church today. What do you think about that statement?
Do you think divorce and remarriage are the greatest moral problems facing the church? Even though there is no way to REALLY know what is the greatest moral problem anywhere, I think Dr. Jones might be right.
Today we hear people complaining that we need to stop our government from redefining marriage, but haven’t we already redefined marriage back in the 1970s and 1980s when almost every state adopted some form of no-fault divorce law? Part of me thinks we should not be so surprised that so many young people today have a low view of marriage and are happy to approve same-sex marriage. Anyone born after 1983 has grown up seeing their parents treat marriage just like a contract. They have not observed the perpetual and life-long covenantal vows “for better or for worse, till death do us part.” Instead when things go bad and someone is not happy, then they get a divorce. The very essence of marriage as a covenant has already been redefined by both our government and an entire generation of “failed marriages.” Continue reading
Filed under 1 Corinthians, Bible Studies, Christian Living, Counseling, Discipleship, Family Ministry, Lectures, Marriage, Matthew, Pastoral Ministry, SEBTS
Do you live in the United States or Canada? Are you a Christian and want to reach the unreached and unengaged nations around the world? …. Well, do not pack your bags and do not buy that plane ticket quite yet. Instead go knock on your neighbors next door.
Watch this video to see what I mean:
The following are my notes of Jorge Mendoza’s breakout session at Legacy 2013 Conference.
Today we are going to look in the book of Ephesians at the big picture view of the church. We could look at Acts and see the church really banging. We could look at 1 & 2 Corinthians and see a church struggling. But today we want to look at God’s view of the church.
1. God Wants to Display His Wisdom
What is wisdom? It is knowledge skillfully applied. God is the only wise God. He is in a category of his very own. No one can light a candle to his wisdom. It is manifold. It is multicolored. It has great variety.
You ever watch a movie and then watch a second time you catch something new you missed the first time. God’s wisdom is like watching a movie again and every time you watch it you see something new every single time.
Who is the audience to whom God is displaying his wisdom? God needs an audience that can appreciate it fully. Who does Paul say this audience is?
It is the heavenly beings. The angels and rulers of heaven. The angelic hosts that did not fall.
We see angels all through scripture. From Genesis, through the Old Testament, all through the life of Christ, and all over the place in Revelation. Usually they are called messengers, but in Ephesians 3 we see that these messengers are being recipients of God’s message of wisdom through the church. Continue reading
The following are my notes of Trip Lee’s general session message at the Legacy 2013 Conference.
The theme of the conference is Soli Deo Gloria and we want to think about the glory of God in all areas of our lives and tonight I want to talk about the glory of God in evangelism.
This is hard topic because we often all feel guilty that we are not sharing the gospel enough. I was even feeling guilty this week about a neighbor that I did not follow through with on sharing the gospel.
Why do we preach the gospel? We preach the gospel so that people can see glory. In fact, if you do not get any other point in my message this is the main point:
We preach Christ so that people can see the glory of God.
The brokenness in our world is because people have not seen the glory of God. Ultimately, people go to hell because they do not know the glory of God. The glory of God matters!
Tonight we will look at 2 Corinthians 4:1-6 and hear from Paul who was not some guy sipping coffee at Starbucks when he wrote this letter. He was a guy who lived in this world and really struggled in it. Continue reading
The following are my notes from a workshop at the Legacy Conference 2013 by David Wood and Sam Shamoun.
Objection # 1 – The Bible has been corrupted.
Muslims have to believe that the bible is corrupted, but their scriptures teach them that no one can corrupt the scriptures.
This is what we call “The Islamic Dilemma” because current Muslims tell us that we should not trust our bible but Muhammad and the Qur’an tell us that we should trust the bible.
For example consider these passages:
Qur’an 3:3-4 – He has revealed to you the Book with truth, verifying that which is before it, and He revealed the Torah and the Gospel aforetime, a guidance for the people, and He sent the Qur’an.
The following are my notes for a bible study I am currently teaching through 2 John.
I have three goals for this bible study:
(1) I want us to study in great depth just a few verses of 2 John.
(2) I want us to learn basic bible study principles so that you can learn how to study on your own and how to teach others how to study God’s word.
(3) I want us to spend some time prayerfully meditating on these truths from 2 John.
A Couple Questions Before We Begin
Can you think of any benefits of studying the bible with this kind of depth and specificity? Are their dangers of studying the bible this way?
In sum, we want to try and exhaust and squeeze all that we can out of these verses, but without losing the context. Continue reading