Published during: February 2012

On Missions and Parachurch Ministries

Missions and churches

Missions is not simply evangelism; it necessarily entails planting local churches. Consider: in every city where Paul preached, he established local congregations of believers. The New Testament, as has often been pointed out, does not know of “lone wolf” believers; its authors simply assumed that all believers are parts of local congregations. Nearly all of the New Testament letters are written to churches; those that are written to individuals are nonetheless written to individuals deeply embedded in the affairs of local churches.

When we consider the task of modern missions, then, it is clear that we should not just focus on evangelizing. We must also see to the second task: building healthy churches. Read on, intrepid explorer →

Deprived of our crutches

Our circumstances do not make us sin. They simply reveal the sin that is already present in our hearts. They give it opportunity, or strip away our social barriers, or decrease our emotional resiliency, and a fuller measure of our wickedness is suddenly on display.

Read on, intrepid explorer →

Do you have a peace?

You need to make a difficult decision, and ask Christian friends for their input. They give some advice, then ask, “Do you have a peace about your decision?”

Read on, intrepid explorer →

Faith is not a private reality that arises from inner reflection or as a result of philosophical investigation. People receive the Spirit “by hearing with faith” (Galatians 3:2-5). When human beings hear the word of the gospel and believe, they are saved. The oral proclamation of the word is necessary for faith.

—Thomas R. Schreiner, Paul, Apostle of God’s Glory in Christ

A Theology of Vocation

It has become increasingly apparent to me over the past three to five years that evangelicalism suffers from a serious deficit of careful thought to our theology of vocation. Though evangelicals pay lip service to the notion that every believer’s work is valuable in the sight of God, in practice we do not act as though this is true. We do not, deep down, seem to actually believe that working as a software engineer or an electrician or a clerk or a manager or a lawyer or even a doctor is really important and God-honoring. Or at least, not as much as doing ministry. Read on, intrepid explorer →

The centrality of Christ and the new humanity formed in him signifies that all other human classes, organizations and distinctions are outmoded.

—Thomas R. Schreiner, Paul, Apostle of God’s Glory in Christ