John Glas

6:45 PM I have a very good friend named Jon Glass. He’s served with us in Ethiopia on several occasions. He and his wife Matthea are super people. Jon was even kind enough to review my latest book over at his blog (Why you should read “Why Four Gospels?”). Yes, I like Jon Glass! But have you ever heard of John Glas? This “Glas” lived from 1695 to 1773. He was an ordained minister of the Church of Scotland. That is, until he was stripped of his ordination in 1727. His misdeeds? Continue reading John Glas

What to Do Each Sunday

From Dave Black Online:

5:22 PM While running my errands today I happened upon our local Christian radio station that was airing what appears to be a new series on the church by Chuck Swindoll. Chuck had us looking at Christ’s promise to build His church and then he requested his audience to turn to Acts 2 for a look at the birth of the church. Focusing on Acts 2:42, he emphasized that there are four marks of a local church. There will always be these four marks, he claimed. There may be more but never less. The four marks, as recorded by Luke, are teaching, fellowship, the breaking of the bread, and prayers. Ironically, and sadly in my view, Chuck reinterpreted the third mark to refer to “worship.” Is this, perhaps by metonymy, what doctor Luke meant? I suppose it is possible. Of course, he may have also meant for us to take him quite literally — that when the early church met it observed the Lord’s Supper. I happen to think he meant the latter. The early church was focused on Christ. It fellowshipped around Him. His body and blood were commemorated regularly. Just because many of us no longer do so today is no reason for us to take the breaking of the bread and transform it into what today we call “worship services.” (True worship, of course, is not what we do on Sunday but what we do 24/7. See Rom. 12:1-2. I have commented on this subject in my essay Enter to Serve, Depart to Worship.) Continue reading What to Do Each Sunday

A Living Letter

From Dave Black Online:

10:10 AM “A living epistle, read by all” (2 Cor. 3:2). I love this word picture. Paul suggests that we are to allow others to turn the pages of our lives and read the fine print. The imagery points to open and honest communication. As a rule, however, we gild the covers of our lives and conceal the contents. I think this is often true of blogging. Conversely, a blog can reveal our hidden faults. The impudent tone, the look of disdain, the judgmental or superior attitude — all these jeopardize the message, regardless of how true that message may be. On the other hand, love liberates. Everywhere in the blogosphere I see Christians who are seeking to use their words to edify others. They’re not reactionary, they’re not fussing over minor matters, they’re not pontificating, they have a philosophy of blogging that gives them a happy freedom to seek in specific and creative ways to serve others. What it all comes down to is this: If you are a Christian blogger, your life, your teaching, your example must say, “Come, my friends, let’s journey together back to what is of ultimate importance. It’s time to reorient ourselves to Christ. He is worth it!” Every day I try to post what I call a “Barnabas Blog” — calling us all to participate more freely and faithfully within the framework of the Body of Christ. I also try to link to other helpful posts. There’s a principle here I believe. Keep your relationships two-way. Let other people minister to you. Are you always on the side of exhortation and correction or do you allow a brother or sister to correct you? Even in my classroom teaching I try to do this — not only leading but being led, exposing my ignorance as well as my knowledge. This is so important!

Of course, just as no two individual Christians are alike, so no two Christian blogs will ever come out alike. My “un-blog” is really a daily diary. My more creative thoughts are generally published in linkable essays on my home page. Nor do I have comments. That would take too much of my time I’m afraid. However, if you send me an email you will receive a prompt and courteous reply. Regardless of how we blog, however, followers of Jesus will ask this question: How can we use our gifts and resources to serve God’s kingdom? Honesty, mercy, compassion, truthfulness — these are the marks of the new society that Jesus established through His blood. As “living epistles, read by all” our lives and even our blogs can undergird and support that commitment. As members of one another, we need each other’s mutual care for our own spiritual well-being as well as to help us become more faithful pursuers of the upside-down ways of Jesus.

(Used by permission. David Alan Black is author of Energion titles The Jesus Paradigm, <a href="Christian Archy, and Why Four Gospels?.)