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Tag Archives: gospel

The Way to the Future is through the Past

In preparation for our Emotionally Healthy Leadership Conference I spent a lot of time reading of about the impact of social media/technology on our formation in Christ along with the importance of learning from other spiritual traditions outside of contemporary evangelicalism to root us deeply in Christ. What are the lessons I learned? 1. We need to learn from Roman Catholics, Orthodox churches and church history. Remember, Luther was anti-Semite. Calvin drowned an Anabaptist for believing in baptism by immersion. Jonathan Edwards had slaves. Azusa Street, in 1906, split on racism.  While my church historian friend, Dr. Scott Sunquist, reminds me that the roots of evangelicalism in the 18th and 19th century was marked by a generous spirit towards other traditions, that is not the case today.  We are often deeply judgmental and narrow. Our church family genogram since Pentecost has many riches and warts. By studying this history, we can see better what. Read more.

George Whitfield and Applying the Gospel

I returned this week from 5 weeks away and began the difficult transition of  coming down off the mountaintop of being away with God for a sabbatical rest (i.e. vacation) and returning to the ordinary, the mundane, the imperfect, the very real work of life. The work of bills, house, cars, parenting our four girls, congregants with cancer, families in crisis, a sermon to finish and the rest of what makes up pastoring a church. It sure is easier to be a contemplative away from it all! I am sobered by my limits and body resisting too much activity after time away. By God’s grace, I am trying to listen to the Spirit in my body/spirit to live slowly. Each year I teach a course for 3 consecutive weeks on a book of the Bible. This year it is Galatians and the theme of Sonship and the gospel, one of the greatest contributions of the. Read more.

Daily Offices for Me

I am often asked what I do for my Daily Offices.  The answer is not too complex. I generally pause 3-4x a day – morning for a longer period, midday, evening and compline (right before going to bed). I have been meditation on and praying the psalms now for over 3 and a half years, using the schedule found in the end of the Book of Common Prayer. (I have also made it available as a download from our resources at the EHS and NLF website).  I don’t keep to the daily schedule with dates but just keep moving along day by day. I think it works out to praying through the Psalter every 5-6 weeks. This is my bread and butter. I generally will take 2 ten to twenty minutes blocks of silence somewhere in my offices (almost always in the morning). I almost always have a devotional handy (like the Sayings of the Desert Fathers. Read more.

Lakeland and Todd Bentley

One of our staff asked me recently my view on what is happening and if I had seen the meetings on YouTube. I have not and do not know too much about it. But I do believe and affirm Paul’s  counsel to the Philippians: “It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. The latter do so in love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel.  The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains. But what does it matter? The important thing is that in very way, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice” (Phil.1:15-18). I have had the privilege to participate in many of the streams of God in His mighty river called the church – from the Reformed tradition of my seminary (Gordon-Conwell) to the. Read more.

Rule of Life NLF Part 2 (with commentary)

This is the second of four sections on the Rule of Life I have been developing for New Life Fellowship Church in Queens. We have only just begun to pilot it.   My concern is to keep us faithful to our charism, that is, our unique grace and calling. I think we are in great need for fresh, creative ways of understanding who we are as God’s people and His call on our lives.  I know I need this personally. What amazes me is that every week has more to do in it than available time. I don’t know how I ever lived without that 24 hour Sabbath each week!!  In a conversation with Basil Pennington that I had with him before he died (he was a Trappist monk for 55 years and prolific author), he shared with me how he longed for greater time with God, more contemplation now that he had just “retired.” And that was from a monk having 7-8 Daily Offices. Read more.