'Practical Christianity' Tagged Posts (Page 3)

'Practical Christianity' Tagged Posts (Page 3)

Natural Disaster and Pastoral Comfort

We must acknowledge that the most troubling problem emerging from any large scale natural disaster is not that people die. That is a real human and emotional issue, but not the most significant one. Hurricanes, tsunamis, earthquakes, fires, tornados or floods do not change the statistics on the number of the human race experiencing death by even one digit. A typhoon in Bangladesh swept away between 300,000 and 500,000 lives in 1970,[1] and the worldwide influenza pandemic of 1918 exterminated…

When Pastors Aren’t Able to Pastor

The church is medium-sized in attendance, yet, on paper the membership roll is even larger. Its solo pastor is a frustrated man. There are some good days, and certainly some fine people who encourage him, but he’s frustrated because the job God called him to do just cannot be done. He has many people to tend to, numbers of which are missing, and even those who are present are more than any average man could possibly care for—that is, really care for. So,…

What Did George Muller Think About the Bible?

George Muller loved orphans. By the end of his life in the late 1800’s, he had housed over 10,000 in Bristol, England. Remarkably, throughout his ministry he made needs known only to God. Muller’s ultimate desire for destitute boys and girls was not just to provide shelter and food, though the children were cared for very well. When sharing his dreams for ministry to orphans, Muller said this: The chief and special end of the Institution will be to seek,…

From First Baptist Church to a House Church

The first church I pastored was a fairly traditional First Baptist Church (FBC). We met in a brick building. The Sunday morning gathering had the largest attendance, and the numbers dropped off significantly on Sunday evening and Wednesday. The sanctuary itself was typical, with pews arranged in rows and a stage at the front with a pulpit and choir loft. Our meetings had Scripture reading, prayers, singing, and preaching, as you might expect. When I arrived, there were 155 people…

Herbert Brown: The Anointed Stutterer

James Alexander Stewart was experiencing enormous success as an evangelist. By the age of 20, he was so sought after that he was preaching four or five times a day. He also filled his hours with evangelism in the streets and in homes. This was too much for a young man to handle alone. Stewart comments about his burden: I began to feel that I needed a co-evangelist to labor with me . . . My heart longed, also, above…

Leaving the Work Undone

One of the saddest notes in biblical history is found in the book of Joshua. The children of Israel were coming into the land that had been promised to them after 40 years of wandering in the wilderness. God had set everything up. He put dread into the heart of the people in the land, His usual pre-war tactic. He provided an able leader, Joshua. And He promised, and God’s promise is always enough. It was as good as done.…

By Faith Alone: The Conversion of Martin Luther

It was the moment he had been waiting for. His father was in the audience watching, as were his fellow monks. It was time for Martin to offer his first mass, and he was overwhelmed with the solemnity of the event. He led the congregation, saying, “We offer unto Thee, the living, the true, the eternal God.” Suddenly Martin froze. He couldn’t go on. He later wrote: “At these words I was utterly stupefied and terror-stricken. I thought to myself,…

15 Resolves for Maintaining Spiritual Balance in Severe Interpersonal Conflicts

The pain of interpersonal conflict may seem too acute to bear. Sometimes we see these conflicts erupt suddenly among families, or between church members, or at work or school. They may involve serious allegations that tend to rip people apart in ways that seem irreparable. In these most severe ruptures of confidence, when the necrosis of sin is eating up the lives of those involved, is it possible to rise above and maintain a spiritual composure? Certainly that must be…

Public Debate with Bart Ehrman in Seminaries: A Bad Decision

Last week a debate was held in a close-by conservative seminary between Dr. Bart Ehrman* and another apologist. I won’t mention the name of the school or the apologist, though I am free to, since I hope this little piece will be useful for a variety of situations yet to come. Why is it wrongheaded to set up such a debate with Ehrman in seminary, or, for that matter, any unbelieving skeptic? First, because Ehrman is a false teacher and…

Trusting God Like Muller & Elliff: Our New Approach

A former seminary professor of mine lets me speak in his classes when I’m back on campus. He gives me about 10 minutes to discuss both my church and Christian Communicators Worldwide (CCW). I also give away CCW resources. I concluded my time with one particular class by asking if anyone had questions. Someone wondered how I was paid. At the time, my income included a small stipend per month from the church, support from friends and family, wages from…

Home Alone: Do We Still Need the Local Church?

The down-the-street local church is not the only show in town anymore. We are able to enjoy faith-building messages, listen to the latest Christian music, and explore the rich diversity and variety found in the most noted Christian gatherings, all with the click of the mouse or the touch of a button. Many local church pastors now say, "The world is my parish," just as did the horseback-riding evangelist, John Wesley. But they mean this without ever going out of…

Jesus Loves Me, This I Know

The little girl talked fondly to her. In fact, she had never done otherwise. And though she had only one eye, and was blind in the other, and though deaf and unable to speak, she was adored. When the other children entered into the room she instinctively embraced the helpless doll even tighter. To her, this baby was precious and nobody else could have her. But the time would come when other interests would compel the little girl to forget…