Building Faith & Counting Costs: The Cost of Discipleship in a Society that Takes Faith for Granted

 

By David Brown 

buildingfaithpicFor which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it? (Luke 14:28)

In his excellent commentary on Luke’s Gospel New Testament scholar David E. Garland wrote: “ Many who come to Christ have no idea in advance what this decision will eventually cost them.”[i] The church, he continued, often makes the problem worse by soft-selling the requirements of discipleship in an effort to keep attendance high and conflict low.[ii] As a pastor I agree with Garland completely. Pastors have sometime emphasized unity within the church body at the expense of unity with Christ.

Continue reading “Building Faith & Counting Costs: The Cost of Discipleship in a Society that Takes Faith for Granted”

Donald Trump and the Evangelical Vote

By Obbie Todd

For years scholars have debated the validity of “secularization theory,” the idea that, as society progresses, religion will irrevocably lose its authority in the public square and in society as a whole. In his monumental work A Secular Age (2007), philosopher Charles Taylor described this view as the “disenchanting” of the world through modernity, or the draining of the spiritual realm from the material. A generation of Dispensational premillennial Christians raised on the Scofield Reference Bible and Left Behind theology have perhaps unconsciously imbibed this worldview. However others aren’t as pessimistic about the trajectory of our culture. According to ecumenicist Lesslie Newbigin, “There are good grounds for saying that the secularization theory has been accepted uncritically by Christians to justify a social institution.” (The Gospel in a Pluralist Society, 215) Can a developed society actually elevate the role of religion in its political and moral culture over Continue reading “Donald Trump and the Evangelical Vote”

10 Quotes From Preaching By Tim Keller

By Evan Knies

Tim Keller’s book Preaching can be purchased here.

Reformed Theological Seminary also has a podcast series available on Preaching Christ in a Postmodern World by Tim Keller and Ed Clowney here.

  1. Cultural engagement in preaching must never be for the sake of appearing “relevant” but rather must be for the purpose of laying bare the listener’s life foundations.
  2. The purpose of preaching is to preach the Scripture with its own insights, directives, and teachings.
  3. Expository preaching is the best method for displaying and conveying your conviction that the whole Bible is true. This approach testifies that you believe every part of the Bible to be God’s Word, not just particular themes and not just the parts you feel comfortable agreeing with.
  4. Expository preaching only encourages you to declare God’s will on such matters and also forces you to find ways of addressing and handling tough issues publicly.
  5. Exposition should be the main diet of preaching for every congregation.
  6. To preach the gospel in a penetrating way, then, you do not merely want to talk about an abstract concept of forgiveness and acceptance. You want to show listeners Jesus himself and all that he came to do for us. To preach the gospel every time is to preach Christ every time, from every passage.
  7. Preaching Christ every time is the way to show people how the Bible fits together.
  8. Demonstrate that Christians share a common membership in the earthly city, not just citizenship in heaven.
  9. Preachers must know those sore spots and press on them with questions, offers, illustrations, and examples that make the tension they feel more acute and the incongruities more troubling.
  10. Knowledge is not the same thing as wisdom. Knowledge is data and facts, but wisdom is knowing what is the good and right way to live. Wisdom is a kind of understanding about the nature of reality that science cannot possibly give you. The wisdom literature of the Bible provides Christian preachers with many rich themes and passages for thoughtfully engaging the late-modern faith in science.

Evan Knies is married to Lauren and is a student at SBTS.