The fab four were the musical hosts on SNL this past weekend, and played “I Will Wait” and “Below My Feet” from the forthcoming Babel
Mark Dever interviews Andy Davis for 9Marks on Davis’ remarkable experience witnessing God’s favorable blessing on his church. This is “must listen” material for all Christians who long to see their congregations reformed and always reforming.
Read more and download the interview at the 9Marks website.
Sometimes we look at all of the problems in the world, and it can become overwhelming. We see the darkness even in our own lives: broken & fractured relationships between husband & wife, parent & child, and family members; untrusting communities; dishonesty, greed and pride. So what is God doing about it now, and what are we to do?
The Gospel of John tells us that Jesus came as the “true light of the world” (1:9). The only way to combat the darkness of sin, injustice, violence, oppression and pride of this world was if God’s Light came fully human into our lives to chase away the shadows. And in Jesus, the Light of the World, we see the glory of God (John 1:14; II Corinthians 4:4 – 6).
By coming as the Light, Jesus went to war against darkness. Darkness is the absence of light, and darkness cannot remain where the true Light shines. Even in the Old Testament, God had promised He would send “a light for the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth” (Isaiah 49:6; cf. 42:6). So God began the Light when He spoke it into existence in Genesis 1. And in our rebellion; our divine treason; our sin against God – humanity had rejected the Light and lived in darkness. But God promised to send His light again, and Jesus is our “bright Morning star” (II Peter 1:19) and the “Sun of Righteousness” (Malachi 4:2). Continue reading
Reforming the Local Church
Reforming your local church is no easy task. Let me begin by stating that the substance of what follows is advice based on personal experience in three pastorates, as well as my interaction with pastors from across the country who have come to embrace Reformation theology and attempted to incorporate that theology into the life of their respective churches.
First Things First
Two preliminary observations are in order. First, it must be understood that there is no guarantee that what has worked in one place will achieve the same results elsewhere. What follows is an overview of what I and others have done and should not be viewed as a sure-fire formula. If anything, I pray that this summary will be used as a guideline for pastors as they think through the comprehensive challenges of reforming a local church.
Second, reforming a church ordinarily begins with the pastor. This is only right because it is through the preaching and teaching of this biblically ordained office that the doctrinal direction is established. If the pastor and elders are not convinced that Reformational theology is the proper theological framework, not much progress will be made. Any effort on the part of the laity (no matter how noble the intention) to teach contrary to the doctrine of the pastor and elders is disruptive to church order. Once laypeople have become convinced of Reformational theology, however, they can be instrumental in bringing these truths to bear in the life of their local church if: (1) they have access to the pastor and elders; (2) they have the confidence and support of the pastor and elders; and (3) they proceed with permission and caution. I will begin with advice for pastors and conclude with a reflection for lay reformers.
The Ground on Which You Stand
Pastors, know your context. There is a huge difference between reforming an existing church that stands within the Reformed tradition but has drifted from its standards, and bringing Reformational theology into a new context where it has never been intentionally or formally held. Continue reading this article by Ken Jones at ModernReformation…→