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A Letter From Jim | July 2018

We are in a new day of hatred and demeaning language. I’m sure you see it. One US senator said that he had just come off a seven month fast from social media and realized that he had forgotten that people were supposed to hate each other. Believers must do better. I have often been shocked by spiritual leaders, along with otherwise faithful Christians, spending so much of their public speech in vitriolic, accusative language about political issues, at the…

Christian, Rethink Your Public Speech

Believer, if you truly relish a life of turmoil, public anger, boiling arguments, caustic debates and throwing out verbal darts like porcupine quills, you will genuinely help the cause of Christ by not identifying publicly as a Christian. I’m serious. We are in desperate need of Christian wisdom, but not barbaric untamed and undignified rhetoric. It’s doing us no good. Try this test of your speech first: “The wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of…

A Letter from Jim | April 2018

I’ve just been 12 feet from a very loud business consultant, whose confident speech was nearly deafening. He had made money and was pushy and totally sure of himself as he told his subordinate just how to do it. I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone so brash as this man. Frankly it turned my stomach. I realize that most people of the world live for themselves, but at least many of them try to “appear” humble. This man had…

Questions for a Prospective Pastor

It is not uncommon for a pastor to be opposed by the very people who at first enthusiastically promoted him. Why? Often it is because only surface communication took place between the potential pastor and the congregation before he assumed his position in the church. In our day it is possible for a pastor to be chosen for a church with almost no serious questions being asked, much less any doctrinal questions. This should never be the case. We suggest…

A Letter from Jim | March 2018

First, A Story to Ponder There were thirteen trumpets in a row on the porch. The lady came alone. She still had the choice to keep the two small copper coins in her hand. She slowly walked across the Court of the Women. Then she paused close to the colonnade watching certain religious leaders step around and past her to make their offering. She felt pensive but determined. She had so little to give compared to them; she only had…

Burrus the Deacon and the Meaning of Diakonia in the Letters of Ignatius of Antioch

As Ignatius of Antioch made his sunset journey from Antioch to Rome, he passed through the city of Smyrna, stopped in Troas, and continued his journey through Neapolis to Rome. The first four of Ignatius’ letters are the product of the Antiochan overseer’s stay in Smyrna (Ephesians, Magnesians, Trallians, and Romans). The remaining letters were penned in Troas (Philadelphians, Smyrneans, and probably the Letter to Polycarp). Unable to write to all the churches from Troas because of his sudden evacuation…

A Letter From Jim | February 2018

I just got off Skype with a pastor in Colorado who has been studying Galatians with me. We’ve had several weeks of study, marking the text in our notebooks, reading and re-reading together and separately, sectioning the book, and discussing the major themes and minor conundrums. We tried to understand everything. We worked about an hour and a half today, and it was pure joy! God is unveiling potent truths in this amazing book. That pastor assured me that he…

A Letter from Jim | January 2018

Dear CCW family, I hope you will take some time to look over the collage of photos in this letter. We can’t begin to show even one photo from each of our ministry experiences this last year, but we wanted you to see some. What a year!  Our team spoke hundreds of times in the US and several venues overseas, such as Canada, India, South Africa, Zambia, Colombia (2x), Ethiopia, and Peru. Now we are working on 2018, filling in…

Pursuing God: A Seeker’s Guide

by Jim Elliff Pursuing God: A Seekers Guide offers its readers a straightforward, clear, and engaging explanation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The reader is led with integrity, and in conversational tone to understand why the biblical Gospel is good news. Beginning with man’s dead, blind, and sinful condition, and then moving toward God’s wrath, the certainty of death, and the future judgement of the world, the reader is faced with his state before a holy and just God. From…

Wasted Faith

by Jim Elliff This Book Addresses Evangelicalism’s Most Urgent Need! “What is most alarming is this risky willingness of today’s evangelicals to gamble eternity on an emotional one-time experience, or a ‘sinners prayer’ properly prayed, or some feeling of substantial relief at a juncture in time, without ever taking a serious look at what is evident now, at this moment. Is eternal life of so little value that it becomes a waste of time to examine ourselves for evidence of…

Seeking Assurance?

The “security of the believer” is the unchanging objective reality that God has forgiven us and has accepted us through Jesus Christ forever. The “assurance of the believer” is the sometimes shifting subjective confidence that God has forgiven us and has accepted us through Jesus Christ. Do you have assurance? And do you have good reason to have it? Faith is assurance, true, yet the faith of real believers is sometimes weak allowing doubts for a variety of reasons. An…

Missionary or Missionary Worker?

Missionaries must have other workers, long and short term, to assist. Many of these will naturally come from among those who show promise as converts through the missionary’s efforts. Paul, though perhaps exceptional in his management skills, had 38 whose names appear as likely assistants at various times. He was always traveling and laboring with a coterie of faithful helpers. There could have been even more! Some of Paul’s workers were women (18%, according to Schnabel, p. 251), although no…