Called to Full Time Ministry?

This week I began reading Jason Keith Allen’s book, Letters to my Students, in which he asks an important question for those who feel called to full time ministry: Are you sure? Here he quoted Spurgeon:

The first sign of the heavenly calling is an intense, all-absorbing desire for the work. In order to be a true call to the ministry, there must be an irresistible, overwhelming craving and raging thirst for telling to others what God has done to our own souls.

C.H. Spurgeon
Continue reading Called to Full Time Ministry?

The Ruin of Many Pastors

R.A. Torrey, in his short biography of D. L. Moody:

“I believe more promising [ministers] have gone on the rocks through self-sufficiency and self-esteem than through any other cause. I can look back for forty years, or more, and think of many men who are now wrecks or derelicts who at one time the world thought were going to be something great. But they have disappeared entirely from the public view. Why? Because of overestimation of self. Oh, the men and women who have been put aside because they began to think that they were somebody, that they were “IT,” and therefore God was compelled to set them aside.

Continue reading The Ruin of Many Pastors

God Also Cares About Your Personal Drama

In Genesis 41, the Pharaoh had two dreams that warned him of the famine that would soon sweep the whole region. No one in the palace could interpret the dreams, except for Joseph who was still in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. Then the chief cupbearer remembered him.

I’ve always read this account with a delicious sense of irony. The guy who would save them all was right there all along, under their noses, suffering an injustice, forgotten by the people who were supposed to help him out of his prison cell. There are so many things to be gleaned from this story, most of them are already clichés to our ears. Let’s venture to mention a few.

Continue reading God Also Cares About Your Personal Drama

Why Cancel Culture Is Not Enough

In internet-speak, cancel culture is the practice of withdrawing support for public figures, organizations, or churches after they did, said, or posted something considered objectionable or offensive. 

So if internet people catch you doing something deemed unacceptable, you get “cancelledt.” That last word is not a misspelling. One doesn’t properly cancel someone without using that particular spelling. And if you do agree to cancel someone, you are obliged to comment, “samedt” in the comments section. Again, that’s not a misspelling. It’s the word “same” stylized with the additional D and T. Don’t ask me how that mongrel of a word came to be; I didn’t make the rules. I suspect it’s the same grammar rules that gave us the word “shookt.” These days you are no longer shocked, horrified, appalled, or mortified. You are “shookt.” 

Continue reading Why Cancel Culture Is Not Enough

Why People Avoid Talking About Predestination

The doctrine of predestination, also called election, is a difficult topic to talk about. Romans 8:29 says, “For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son.” Some people are surprised I believe in this. I always say, “Why not? It’s all over the Bible!”

But why do many Christians avoid this topic? Two reasons. First, because some think it means humans no longer have a choice. They become like robots and their decisions don’t matter anymore. But if you look at the Bible, Jesus said things like, “come to me all of you who are weary and burdened…” “whoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life.” These are invitations. God is calling for a response from the people he is inviting. You don’t invite robots; you program them.

Continue reading Why People Avoid Talking About Predestination

Theology for Ordinary People

I don’t understand cooking shows. The full range of my cooking skills involves cooking rice and a few tricks on how to prepare quick meals appropriate only for college dorm life. Beyond that, I’m totally useless in the kitchen. My wife Donna is different. She’d watch a YouTube video about a recipe and in less than an hour she’d come up with her own version of whatever dish she’s interested in.

Continue reading Theology for Ordinary People