Take Up and Read

David Murray gives twelve reasons why public worship is to be preferred to private worship. This is an excellent corrective to many who think worshiping by yourself or with your family is the high point of the Christian life. I also find it interesting that all worship in Revelation is corporate.

Uri Brito gives a brief defense of pouring as the preferred mode of baptizing. I think pouring or sprinkling is the most biblical method. Immersion is fine, but the entire defense of it is from Romans 6 and even that is weak.

Kevin DeYoung has a summary of the Republican and Democratic Party Platforms on Abortion. He summarizes the different parties’ views since 1976. This makes for interesting and in many ways frightening read.

I continue to enjoy Peter Leithart’s books on political theology. He makes me think and evaluate things biblically. Here is an interview he did with Trevin Wax. I especially enjoyed the three things the church needs to do: teach the whole Bible, celebrate the Lord’s Supper, and practice church discipline.

Are we going to have enough good pastors in the coming years? Jeremy Mann says no and gives his reasons why.  I am not sure I buy everything he writes. But his points are worth considering, especially the draw of the academic life. The pastorate is not where the smartest men go anymore. They become professors. Why? I think often it is prestige.  I would also add that the low view of the church and authority has led to a lower view of the ministry. Leaders in the church need to reflect on why the ministry is in the shape it is and how we can fix it.

Keeping Watch Over Your Souls III

1.      If you disagree with something the elders did or are doing, talk to us about it. If you feel that we have sinned against you, let us know.  If you have a problem with us, do not spread it abroad among the members of the body. Bring it to us. You have taken a vow as a member of Christ Church to promote the peace and purity of the church and submit to the elders.  This vow is tested when you disagree with us or we have hurt you in some way. We are not perfect. If we are wrong or have sinned, we will confess it and turn.  If it is a miscommunication, we will seek to clear it up.  If you are wrong, we will correct you gently, following the pattern of II Timothy 2:24-25.  The point is come to us if you have a concern.
2.      Below is a list of some, but certainly not all, of the reasons to contact your elders. 
a.       If you are having financial trouble or trouble at work and/or could lose your job.
b.      If you are having marital difficulties, including sexual issues, communication problems, anger, etc.
c.       If you are having trouble with your children.
d.      If you are single, you can contact us about sexual issues, problems with parents, problems with friends or anything else that you feel you need advice on.
e.       If you have theological questions or questions concerning the interpretation and/or application of Scripture.
f.       If you have questions about our worship, a specific sermon, a teaching or practice of Christ Church.
g.       If you are having physical problems, such as ongoing sickness.
h.      If you are having a conflict with another member of the church or with someone who is not attending our church that you are unable to resolve.
i.        If you have committed or are involved in a serious sin and need guidance on how to overcome it.
j.        If you are thinking of leaving the church.
k.      If a crime has been committed against you or you have committed a crime.
l.        If you are having trouble with pornography and cannot seem to overcome it.