“What is the greatest issue facing the church today?” In this clip from the introduction to a sermon entitled “The Maker’s Instructions,” GPTS Board Member and pastor, Dr. Ian Hamilton, suggests an answer appropriate to every generation. This sermon was Dr. Hamilton’s contribution to our 2016 Spring Theology Conference on Marriage, Family, and Sexuality. For the entire message, follow this link: https://youtu.be/6zTrxTtHaqA
Here are the items and resources of interest for March 26, 2018:
- Some people are probably not aware of this, but the sin of gossip is a grievous one and has the potential to destroy lives. The following articles discuss this issue.
- How to Shut Down Gossip — An article by Erik Raymond.
- 10 Ways Church Leaders May Cultivate Gossip Resistance. An article by Paul Tautges.
- Slander in the Camp — An article by Tim Lane.
- The Word-less Church — From the article by Robert Godfrey:
What has gone wrong? At the heart of the mess is a simple phenomenon: the churches seem to have lost a love for and confidence in the Word of God. They still carry Bibles and declare the authority of the Scriptures. They still have sermons based on Bible verses and still have Bible study classes. But not much of the Bible is actually read in their services. Their sermons and studies usually do not examine the Bible to see what it thinks is important for the people of God. Increasingly they treat the Bible as tidbits of poetic inspiration, of pop psychology, and of self-help advice. Congregations where the Bible is ignored or abused are in the gravest peril. Churches that depart from the Word will soon find that God has departed from them.
- Ten Things You Should Know About Sex — An article by Paul David Tripp.
- Does Church Membership Really Matter? A video (with transcript) by Tim Challies.
- Five Things That Keeping Churches From Change — In my experience as a minister I have witnessed some of these issues as articulated by the author, Ed Stetzer.
- Basic Reading in Church History: Suggestions for the Beginner — This article is written by Dr. Benjamin Shaw of Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary.
- If you have a Roku you might want to check out this article.
- If your phone ever gets stolen, you should do these things.
- Thirteen things you should always keep in your car.
** The Daily Roundup is published Monday-Friday at 9 AM ET **
Here are the items and resources of interest for February 16, 2018:
- Preaching Myths — This is an eight-part series and you should read all of it.
- Westminster Bookstore Give Away: “2,000 Years of Christ’s Power” — Enter to win. Enough said on that!
- Bannerman: The Church of Christ — an article that was first delivered at the Free Presbyterian Theological Conference. Author: A.W., MacColl. In addition to this article, you will want to read these other articles related to this book:
- Why Read Bannerman’s The Church of Christ: A Review — an article by Jeff Kingswood.
- The church of Christ: A Review — an article written by Stephen Westcott.
- Why Do Christians Still Die? — a short but helpful article by David Murray.
- God’s Prevailing Purposes — an article written by Brad Waller.
- The “Cultivating Biblical Godliness” series published by Reformation Heritage Books is now on sale in Kindle format for 99 cents. You can get them at Amazon (of course). Dr. Joel Beeke of Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary and Dr. Ryan McGraw of Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary are the editors.
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 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:
- The Obligations of Church Membership Vows — This is a thought-provoking article written by Matthew W. Kingsbury, pastor of Park Hill Presbyterian Church in Denver CO.
- The Fourth Membership Vow — this is written within the confines of an OPC context. Written by Lawrence R. Eyres. NOTE: I believe that this vow was changed and is now the 5th membership vow. Though this is written from an OPC perspective, it could easily apply to the 3rd and 5th membership vow of the PCA.
- Church Membership and the Vows Related to It — written by Scott Bushey.
- Church Membership — a general article on the topic on the Theopedia website.
- The membership vows of the PCA (The Presbyterian Church in America – my denomination) are:
- 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. **
Here are the items and resources of interest for January 29, 2018:
- When People Leave: The Private Pain of the Small Church Pastor — This is probably one of the best articles I have read on the subject. Written by Karl Vaters.
- This brief article is one that I have experienced in my short time as a minister of the gospel. In light of these things, here are eleven ways you can pray for your pastor (written by Thom Rainer).
- I hate to break it to you, but the purpose of the church is not to “make you happy.” The purpose of a church is worship. That is the point of this article.
- Dr. Beeke has released his “Top Ten Puritan Authors.” Excellent list!
- This weekly reading through Muller’s Post Reformation Reformed Dogmatics should prove helpful.
- Upcoming release from the Banner of Truth — Calvin’s sermons on 1 Timothy. Here is a sneak peek.
- How to lower the volume of your Mac’s startup chime — by CNET
- Some people are worried about identity theft. You should be. Here is an article about how to stay anonymous online.
- What we don’t like about the iPhone X — the “we” is CNET as they hope Apple will rethink some of these issues for the next release.