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Three reasons why pastors should preach about the public square

  Christian pastors find themselves in an odd position today. There isn’t really a clear model of how to engage the broader public conversation about morals, laws, cultural developments and the spirit of the age. Not many of the young and restless crowd aspire to be culture warriors, and the Moral Majority looms large in…

The road ahead: challenges gospel ministers can expect

  Writing to Timothy, the apostle Paul looks back on his ministry and declares satisfaction that he had finished his course. Paul would be the first to insist that his entire ministry was evidence of the grace and mercy of God, but he was assured that, by grace, he had finished his race. Paul’s statement…

Why the Great Commission isn’t just for missionaries

As the victorious and triumphant Lord, Christ sends his people out into the world. It is under the marching orders of King Jesus that we, as his ambassadors, take the gospel to the nations.

How to care about social justice (without losing the gospel)

We need to stop pretending that Jesus does not call his churches to act on behalf of the poor, the sojourner, the fatherless, the vulnerable, the hungry, the sex-trafficked, the unborn.

3 questions with Keith Getty

  What are your goals as an artist and hymn writer? I’ve spent my life with twin goals. One is to try and let the word of Christ dwell richly when people meet together and sing. What we sing is as important, if not more important than, what we speak. And secondly, to try and…

Demythologizing the Uncle Tom myth and the N-word

EDITOR’S NOTE: In honor of Black History Month, Jarvis J. Williams, associate professor of New Testament interpretation at Southern Seminary and author of several books, including One New Man: The Cross and Racial Reconciliation in Pauline Theology, writes about the ongoing problem of racist speech in America.   Martin Luther King Jr. dedicated much of…

The challenge of Islam—a Christian perspective

  The issue of Islam is never far from our headlines. Early in his administration, President Barack Obama put the issue of Islam front and center on the international stage. His visits to Islamic-dominated lands and his public statements to the Muslim world have raised a host of questions at home and abroad. In a…

The next last frontier: are you ready to minister in the cities?

  No alert reader in ministry has to go very far today to find some reference to urbanization, cities or urban missions. It’s a hot topic, and it should be. Cities have always been centers of power, culture, religion and wealth, but the majority of people around the globe lived away from urban hubs. That…

A grand vision for the Christian life

  EDITOR’S NOTE: Below, Owen Strachan, assistant professor of Christian theology and church history at Boyce College, discusses his new book, Risky Gospel: Abandon Fear and Build Something Awesome, with Towers book review editor Matt Damico.    MD: Why did you write Risky Gospel? OS: I wrote Risky Gospel because everybody today wants a Snuggie. You’ve…

All of the church’s best leaders should move away. Here’s why.

The task of a pioneer missionary is not a fall-back option for those who can’t make it in the States.

Part V – The pastors confession

  All this assumes, of course, that the pastoral ministry is first rooted in the pastor’s own confession of faith — the pastor’s personal theological convictions. The faithful pastor does not teach merely that which has historically been believed by the church and is even now believed by faithful Christians — he teaches out of…

How a biblical worldview shapes the way we teach our children

To have a biblical worldview is to interpret every aspect of our lives — including our relationships with children — within the framework of God’s story. At the center of God’s story stands this singular act: in Jesus Christ, God personally intersected human history and redeemed humanity at a particular time in a particular place.…

3 questions with J.D. Greear

  Why do you want people to stop asking Jesus into their hearts? For many evangelicals, “asking Jesus into their hearts” has become something like a Protestant ritual or sacrament, which if you do correctly punches your ticket for heaven. God never promises to give salvation to someone because they pray a magical prayer or…

Part IV – The pastor as teacher

  *Editors note: Read also Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 of this series.  As a theologian, the pastor must be known for what he teaches, as well as for what he knows, affirms and believes. The health of the church depends upon pastors who infuse their congregations with deep biblical and theological conviction. The means of…

The ex-felon and the gospel

  Several years ago, I stood in front of our congregation and introduced a new member. That, in and of itself, was not strange. We regularly introduce new members as we prepare to extend to them the right hand of Christian fellowship – a traditional practice of our 49-year-old congregation. However, this was different. Not…

The dissolution of marriage

  We leaned against the pickup-truck fender out in the front yard. One of my laymen, Rick, was inside, talking with the woman of the house while her kids swirled about. I was taking the man through the Continuing Witness Training presentation of the gospel, leading up to willingness and commitment questions. He’d been tracking…

Part III – The pastor and theological triage

  *Editors note: Read also Part 1 and Part 2 of this series.  The pastor’s stewardship of the theological task requires a clear sense of pastoral priority, a keen pastoral ear and careful attention to the theological dimensions of church life and Christian discipleship. This must be foundational to the ministry of the local church,…

Gaining a balanced picture of gospel counsel

  Whether we engage in the private ministry of God’s Word as pastors, missionaries, counselors or just a concerned brother- or sister-in-Christ, it is important to answer the question, “What is thorough, biblical help?” Surely, the answer to this question must begin with a faithfulness and an accuracy as we study and apply the Scriptures…