'Practical Christianity' Tagged Posts (Page 4)

'Practical Christianity' Tagged Posts (Page 4)

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…

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…

Bryan Elliff’s Testimony

I grew up as a “PK” or preacher’s kid. The Elliff household has always been one that revolves around the Bible and the things of God. During my growing-up years I heard the essential biblical truths hundreds or possibly thousands of times. As a result of this, I did not doubt the authenticity of the Bible except for some brief periods.   As far back as I can remember I have wanted to be a follower of Christ. As a result,…

Lightning Strike: Better Than You Think

Several nights ago, I was out alone in a severe thunderstorm. Rain was pouring. Massive flashes of lightning frequently lit up the sky, followed by thunder that made the ground shake. I marveled at the power of God and quaked in my size 11 tennis shoes. To be honest, I was rather frightened. “Suppose I get struck by lightning?” I thought. “What am I against this?” But then it occurred to me: Who said I was against anything? Don’t all…

The Reluctant Mother: Amy Carmichael

We can’t always identify life-changing moments as they occur. When a little Indian girl named Preena crawled into Amy Carmichael’s lap and called her “Amma” (or “mother” in Tamil) for the first time, neither of them could have known that this simple act would change both their lives forever, and the lives of hundreds of others. Amy Carmichael was born in Ireland in 1867, the oldest of seven children. She was a feisty child whose longing for excitement often got…

Mingling Groans of Pain and Songs of Hope : Charles Haddon Spurgeon on Depression

It’s a good thing he wasn’t born in the 20th century. Many believing brothers and sisters would label his tendency to melancholy sinful, or evidence of a lack of self-discipline, or even the result of shallow faith. A psychologist would probably send him away with a prescription and a self-help book with twelve easy steps to overcome depression. But Charles Haddon Spurgeon, perhaps the greatest preacher of the 19th century, had a different attitude toward his affliction. Spurgeon knew “by…

Music in the Church: How Special Should We Make It?

You could put the entire teaching about church music in the New Testament in a paragraph or two. Add to this teaching those spirited illustrations of corporate singing in heaven displayed in the last book of the Bible, when angels and throngs of people fill the air with thundering six to eight line choruses. When it comes to intentional instruction about music, however, there are really only four passages in the New Testament: Speaking to one another in psalms and…

Should Christians Pursue the Arts?

I re-skimmed George Eliot’s The Mill on the Floss last week. It has had a startlingly deep affect on me over these days—searching far into caves of feeling, and engendering a few meditative walks. Its themes have turned my mind to consider why it is that I pursue things like literature, music, and other forms of art. I have at least tentatively come to the following conclusion: We were created not only to do what is right and believe what…