Here are the items and resources of interest for February 16, 2018:
BOOK RECOMMENDATION: The Church of Christ by James Bannerman
From the website: “The New Testament places the church at the centre of its practical vision of the Christian life and at the heart of the Great Commission. A church-less Christianity is no real Christianity at all.
As we head into a world very similar to Paul’s own context, in which pluralism dominates and Christianity is regarded with intellectual and moral suspicion, it is vital that Christians have a clear understanding of what the church actually is.
James Bannerman’s The Church of Christ is one of the key historic texts of the doctrine of the church. Few will agree with everything the author has to say, but as Carl Trueman states in his foreword, ‘the great thing about the book is that it will stimulate the reader to reflect on the nature of the church in a profoundly biblical and historically sensitive way’.
After dealing with basic principles and distinctions, such as the contrast between the visible and invisible church, and between the local and universal church, Bannerman takes up the important and far-reaching question of the relation between church and state. But the body of the work is really a treatise on church power—the nature, limits and exercise of Christ’s power in the church in its connexional and local aspects. In what does the ordained ministry consist? Should the church micro-manage the lives of her members? To what extent should the church campaign for wider political or social causes? Is the church to be an agent for the transformation of society as a whole? What tools does the church have for making disciples and, if necessary, disciplining them? Answers to these questions can only come from a correct understanding of the nature of the church’s power.
Although Presbyterian in conviction, the author has undertaken a ‘comparative’ study of the various classic positions on each issue under consideration as these are expressed in the confessional symbols and standard authors. It is this method which makes the book so useful for all serious-minded readers. The appendix also contains valuable bibliographical material.
This is classic Scottish theology at its best, and those who take the time to digest it will be richly rewarded.”
- For those of you who have a Samsung phone, a nice little app called SideSync is very helpful. It mirrors your phone on your laptop/desktop computer. In order to use it you need the SideSync app on your phone.If your Samsung phone is fairly new it is probably installed already. Check and then go to the SideSync website and download the program for each computer you want to us with your phone.
** The Daily Roundup is published Monday-Friday at 9 AM ET. See you next week! **
Here are the items and resources of interest for February 15, 2018:
This spring, I spoke to a group of large-church pastors, staff members, and elders. During a Q&A, an elder asked, “What is the single greatest problem facing pastors today?” I replied, “The greatest problem is internal opposition from subversive co-leaders and self-appointed critics within the church.” The pastors released a collective groan of recognition and assent.
I will briefly mention five causes of criticism and focus on the fifth.
First, a pastor may face full-blown antagonists who will lie, deceive, and manipulate to destroy him and control the church.
- Valentines Day is over, but this article on the subject of love is not tied to any specific day. The issue is one of great importance and wrought with great misunderstanding. Written by the late Dr. R.C. Sproul.
- How should a pastor receive members from another church? — Listen to this podcast [19:08] as the hosts [Brian Croft and Jim Savastio] discuss this very issue. It is one that I have given some thought to, and it is an essential issue in a society where there are churches of every stripe on nearly every corner.
BOOK RECOMMENDATION: Pastors, if you do not have this book, you should get it and devour it. Excellent volume!
“Some Pastors and Teachers is a volume for every minister’s study and indeed for the bookshelves and bedside tables of everyone who has a concern for the ministry of the gospel and the well-being of the church in the twenty-first century. In many ways, it reflects the biblical vision of what every minister is called to be: pastor, teacher, counselor, and example—but also a man who is growing spiritually, both in understanding and in character, before the eyes of his congregation.” (From the Banner of Truth website).
- Do you use Apple Music? You will want to read this CNET article.
- YouTube has added more channels.
- Do you use SnapChat? You will want to read this article about their recent redesign.
- Do you use the Edge browser? If so, you will want to read this article that talks about saving passwords. I do not recommend keeping passwords in your browser. Instead, you should be using a password manager. My personal favorite and one that I use daily is LastPass. With this password manager, I have no idea what my passwords are except for the LastPass password. For instance, My Facebook password is OVER 20 characters long (I will not tell you how many, but it is long!) and I could not tell you from memory what it is. The best password is the one you do not remember.
** The Daily Roundup is published Monday-Friday at 9 AM ET. **
Here are the items and resources of interest for February 14, 2018:
- In recent days, I have had reason to think about the subject of church membership vows. In my opinion, and one born from years in a Presbyterian church both as a member and now a minister, I am convinced that some people do not take them very seriously. Here are some articles on the subject:
- The membership vows of the PCA (The Presbyterian Church in America – my denomination) are:
- Do you acknowledge yourself to be a sinner in the sight of God, justly deserving His displeasure, and without hope save in His sovereign mercy?
- Do you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as the Son of God, and Savior of sinners, and do you receive and rest upon Him alone for salvation as He is offered in the Gospel?
- Do you now resolve and promise, in humble reliance upon the grace of the Holy Spirit, that you will endeavor to live as becomes the followers of Christ?
- Do you promise to support the Church in its worship and work to the best of your ability?
- Do you submit yourself to the government and discipline of the Church, and promise to study its purity and peace?
- The membership vows of the OPC (Orthodox Presbyterian Church) are:
- Do you believe the Bible, consisting of the Old and New Testaments, to be the Word of God, and its doctrine of salvation to be the perfect and only true doctrine of salvation?Do you believe in one living and true God, in whom eternally there are three distinct persons—God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit—who are the same in being and equal in power and glory, and that Jesus Christ is God the Son, come in the flesh?
- Do you confess that because of your sinfulness you abhor and humble yourself before God, that you repent of your sin, and that you trust for salvation not in yourself but in Jesus Christ alone?
- Do you acknowledge Jesus Christ as your sovereign Lord, and do you promise that, in reliance on the grace of God, you will serve him with all that is in you, forsake the world, resist the devil, put to death your sinful deeds and desires, and lead a godly life?
- Do you promise to participate faithfully in this church’s worship and service, to submit in the Lord to its government, and to heed its discipline, even in case you should be found delinquent in doctrine or life?
- Some articles on the subject:
- Right and Wrong Ways to Pray — an interesting article by Clint Archer.
- The Looming Debate Over SSA — an article written by Dr. Richard Phillips of Second Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Greenville SC. By the way, SSA is shorthand for Same-Sex Attraction.
- I have often said that “gossip and slander will destroy a church faster than false teaching.” I have said it to others one-on-one. I have said it in Bible studies. I have said it in sermons. It is a fact. This article details the destructive nature of the tongue.
- Why Hospitality is Vital to Church Planting — It is not only vital to church planting, it is essential for any church and it ought to be practiced by those in the church. Sadly, it is often neglected.
BOOK RECOMMENDATION: I am currently reading Practical Religion by J.C. Ryle and highly recommend it to my readers. It will not disappoint. It will challenge and convict.
- I bought a battery pack for my devices because I got tired of searching for an outlet when at meetings, conferences or wherever. This article by Lifehacker will help you decide which one you need.
- The Apple HomePod – A review by Chris Velazco of Engadget. Forbes also has a review.
- If you use OneNote, you will want to install this add-on. By the way, OneNote is FREE. I use it daily, and I also have the add-on installed. Works perfectly and this add-on is a great tool.
** The Daily Roundup is published Monday-Friday at 9 AM ET. **