The Goal of Church Discipline: Repentance unto Restoration

The goal of all correction, rebuke, and discipline is that our sinning brother might be brought to repentance, would forsake his sin, and be restored to fellowship.

You see, church discipline is not some sadistic form of vindictive retribution for proud men with wounded egos. The aim of church discipline is not to embarrass people; it is not to shame them for the sake of shaming them. It’s not to subjugate them and show them who’s boss. Church discipline is not retaliatory, but remedial; not retributive, but restorative. The goal is to bring the sinning brother or sister to genuine repentance.

A Wonderful Illustration Of The Necessity Of An Objective Definition Of Reformed

It has become common place to use the adjective Reformed so broadly, so disconnected from the history and tradition of the Reformed churches, that the word is in danger of losing its meaning.

To include, as many do, Karl Barth, and to include (as Wax does) Chuck Colson, N. T. Wright, and John Wesley in the “Reformed” house makes the definition of Reformed so difficult as to be border on incoherence. However influenced Colson might have been by the neo-Kuyperian social and cultural agenda, he compromised the article of the standing or falling of the church (justification) in the Evangelicals and Catholics Together project. Wright is a leading proponent of the “New Perspective on Paul.” Again, this movement rejects the Reformed confession concerning salvation. The same was true, of course, of Wesley, who was an “evangelical Arminian,” who opposed the Reformed soteriology with might and mane.

8 Traits of a Faithful Minister

Important reminders of biblical traits for life and ministry.

Wisdom from the Heart: A Deep Knowledge of God’s Word, Being Taught by the Spirit of God. “Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be... Continue Reading

10 Things You Should Know about Evangelism

Our evangelistic efforts must stem from a biblical understanding of evangelism.

A healthy church with a culture of evangelism is the key to great evangelism. Jesus did not forget the gospel when he built his church; in fact, a healthy church is meant to display the gospel. Think of the ways that the gathered church displays the gospel: we sing the gospel, we see the gospel in... Continue Reading

Justification by Attendance

There is something suspicious going on with our relationship with the attendance figure

I’m simply saying that we recognize attendance records can be like handguns—helpful in some situations and dangerous in others. Ask yourself questions like, “Why am I watching the attendance so closely? For the care of souls or for me?” Remember, our worth as followers of Jesus and as pastors is not wrapped up in how many... Continue Reading

Only 1 in 7 Senior Pastors Is Under 40

Report finds passing pulpits to millennials a ‘glaring challenge'

“The pulpit has been graying for decades. In the ’60s, a majority of pastors were under 45. In 2017, most are over 60. The age shift stems from evolving career expectations and difficulty passing leadership on to millennial-aged pastors, Barna reported.”   American pastors aren’t as young as they used to be. As clergy live... Continue Reading

Neil Gorsuch Belongs to a Notably Liberal Church — And Would be the First Protestant on the Court in Years

He belongs to St. John’s Episcopal Church in Boulder, Colorado

“The Episcopal Church has embraced more liberal positions on a variety of issues, including performing same-sex commitment ceremonies since the 1980s and eventually same-sex marriages. Many parishes have broken away, joining different Anglican denominations instead, over the issue of homosexuality.”   The day after Donald Trump was elected president, the Rev. Susan Springer wrote to... Continue Reading

Systematic Theology at Covenant Seminary is Biblical and “Missional”

Covenant Seminary recently modified its systematic theology department by positioning it in a larger newly named area called “missional” theology

“Missional at its core means to be characterized by mission.  God has a mission to unify all creation under Christ (Ephesians 1:9-10) and to reconcile all of creation through the cross and resurrection of Christ (Colossians 1:15-20). God invites his redeemed people into this mission, commissioned by him as ambassadors of our Savior-King Jesus Christ.”... Continue Reading

Why Should a Pastor Stay a Long Time at One Church?

Watching God work through your ministry in such a way that those who once despised you, grow to love and appreciate you.

Unable to humanly explain anything I had experienced that day, God reminded me of one of the greatest joys of staying and enduring with these people. As we endure the criticism, complaints, and verbal attacks, and try to love and care for the souls of those who attack us, God in his grace might just allow us to eventually win them over. What a powerful testimony of the power of God at work in his shepherd and sheep when He does this.

Soap and Oprah

Move over Thomas Aquinas, there is a new guide to morals on Malta: Oprah Winfrey. “I just know in my heart that it is OK.”

I am not a Roman Catholic and not a huge fan of much Roman Catholic theology. But I had long thought that, when it came to social teaching and hard-headed moral thinking, the Roman Catholic Church was light years ahead of most Protestants in both sophistication and precision. That no longer seems to be the case. The best one can say is that the style of this document is provided by soft soap, and the content by Oprah.