Paul Madson

THOUGHTS, QUOTES & REFLECTIONS

Month: April 2011

Stand Alone Post: Theologically Profound and Hope-Filled Quotes on “The Cross of Christ”

“For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.” (1 Corinthians 2:2 ESV).

As we approach Good Friday and then Resurrection Sunday in a few days, I thought I would pass along to you some of the “best of the best” quotes that I have come across recently on the Cross of Christ.

As a believer in Christ, these words should fill your heart with joy, gratitude, love, hope and humility. Many of these quotes are theologically deep, not simply some light, pithy, inspirational sayings. We must have a deep theology if our faith is to remain strong during the storms, temptations and doubts that come our way.

Root your faith deep in the doctrine of the substitutionary atonement! Root your faith deep in the cross of Christ and what it means!

Pastors, I hope you can use some of these quotes in your sermons or other writings and teachings in the future.

**********************************

That Is How Jesus Died (warning: very graphic)

“Shredded flesh against unforgiving wood, iron stakes pounded through bone and wracked nerves, joints wrenched out of socket by the sheer dead weight of the body, public humiliation before the eyes of family, friends, and the world — that was death on the cross, ‘the infamous stake’ as the Romans called it, ‘the barren wood, ‘ the maxima mala crux. Or as the Greeks spat it out, the stauros [Greek word for the cross]. No wonder no one talked about it. No wonder parents hid their children’s eyes from it. The stauros was a loathsome thing, and the one who dies on it was loathsome too, a vile criminal whose only use was to hang there as a putrid decaying warning to anyone else who might follow his example. That is how Jesus died.” (Greg Gilbert, as quoted in “The Gospel: God’s Self-Substitution for Sinners” in Don’t Call It a Comeback, by Kevin DeYoung – Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway Books, 2011 – Page 72)

 

“At the cross, the love of God and the wrath of God shake hands; the mercy of God and the justice of God embrace; and the holiness of God and the sinfulness of humanity appear in stark contrast.” (William P. Farely, from his book – Outrageous Mercy)

 

“How dare you approach the mercy-seat of God on the basis of what kind of day you had, as if that were the basis for our entrance into the presence of the sovereign and holy God? No wonder we cannot beat the Devil. This is works theology. It has nothing to do with grace and the exclusive sufficiency of Christ. Nothing. Do you not understand that we overcome the accuser on the ground of the blood of Christ? Nothing more, nothing less. That is how we win. It is the only way we win. This is the only ground of our acceptance before God. If you drift far from the cross, you are done. You are defeated. We overcome the accuser of our brothers and sisters, we overcome our consciences, we overcome our bad tempers, we overcome our defeats, we overcome our lusts, we overcome our fears, we overcome our pettiness on the basis of the blood of the lamb.” D.A. Carson, from his book Scandalous: The Cross and Resurrection of Jesus (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2010), 103

 

Please, please – let the above paragraph by D.A. Carson sink in!

 

“My observation of Christians is that most of us base our relationship with God on our performance instead of on His grace.” (Jerry Bridges)

“The law discovers the disease. The gospel (the cross and resurrection) gives the remedy.” (Martin Luther)

A Response to Ricky Gervais

Mike Cosper has a thoughtful response to “An (Atheist) Easter Message from Ricky Gervais.”

“Here’s the conclusion: In his abundant mercy, God looks upon the broken, the downtrodden, those crushed by the burdens of Satan, sin, and death, and provides scandalous mercy in Jesus Christ. That’s the starting place of the gospel, and the starting place of any conversation about what it means to be a Christian.

 

Ricky Gervais looks at the Scriptures and sees only law, not grace, and responds with appeals to legal obedience. There are millions like him, both inside and outside the church. They believe that the essential message of the Bible is, “If you behave, then you belong.” We have a better message and a much richer story, one drenched in grace and mercy. Remember, as many Christians before us have understood, the gospel tells us that we’re far worse off than we ever imagined . . . and far more loved than we ever dared to dream.”

 

Justin Taylor writes: I highly recommend Joe Thorn’s new book: Note to Self: The Discipline of Preaching to Yourself. It’s proving to be good medicine for my soul. Each “note to self” is short but full of gospel wisdom. In a recent interview he explains something that he also covers in the introduction: we must not only preach the gospel to ourselves, but we should also preach the law (rightly understood):

The law essentially does three things:

 

1. The law tells us what’s right. God has not left us in the dark about his will and ways. He has graciously revealed himself and his will to us that we might know what is right and good. This is actually grace.

 

2. The law tells us what’s wrong. Unfortunately, we do not keep God’s commands. The law is held up against our own lives, and what is reflected back is a life of law-breaking, rebellion, and selfishness. The law shows us what’s wrong—ourselves. Through the law we see our sin and guilt.

 

3. The law tells us what’s needed. The law then shows us that what we need before God is forgiveness, cleansing, and restoration. We need mercy if we are to find life. We need God to rescue us from our sin and his judgment. In this way the law prepares us for the gospel.

 

“Every time we look at the cross, Christ seems to say to us, ‘I am here because of you. It is your sin I am bearing, your curse I am suffering, your debt I am paying, your death I am dying.’ Nothing in history or in the universe cuts us down to size like the cross. All of us have inflated views of ourselves, especially in self-righteousness, until we have visited a place called Calvary. It is there, at the foot of the cross, that we shrink to our true size.” (John R. W. Stott, from his commentary, The Message of Galatians (London, 1968), page 179.

 

And because of the cross of Christ…

“Ransomed men need no longer pause in fear to enter the Holy of Holies. God wills that we should push on into His Presence and live our whole life there. This is to be known to us in conscious experience. It is more than a doctrine to be held, it is a life to be enjoyed every moment of every day.” (A. W. Tozer)


“Either He bore all our sins, or none; and He either saves us once for all, or not at all.” (Charles Spurgeon)


“My whole theology of gospel preaching rests on the foundation of truth that the quote below illuminates. God’s grace is a beautiful, and scandalously freeing, thing! My observation of Christendom is that most of us tend to base our relationship with God on our performance instead of on His grace. If we’ve performed well—whatever ‘well’ is in our opinion—then we expect God to bless us. If we haven’t done so well, our expectations are reduced accordingly. In this sense, we live by works, rather than by grace. We are saved by grace, but we are living by the ‘sweat’ of our own performance. Moreover, we are always challenging ourselves and one another to ‘try harder’. We seem to believe success in the Christian life is basically up to us; our commitment, our discipline, and our zeal, with some help from God along the way. The realization that my daily relationship with God is based on the infinite merit of Christ instead of on my own performance is very freeing and joyous experience. But it is not meant to be a one-time experience; the truth needs to be reaffirmed daily.” (Jerry Bridges, from his book Transforming Grace)

 

One of My Favorite Descriptions of the Christian Life…

“I am not what I ought to be.

Ah! how imperfect and deficient.

Not what I might be,

considering my privileges and opportunities.

Not what I wish to be.

God, who knows my heart, knows I wish to be like him.

I am not what I hope to be;

ere long to drop this clay tabernacle, to be like him and see him as He is.

Not what I once was,

a child of sin, and slave of the devil.

Though not all these,

not what I ought to be,

not what I might be,

not what I wish or hope to be, and

not what once was,

I think I can truly say with the apostle Paul, “By the grace of God I am what I am.”

(Cited in Letters of John Newton, p. 400)

 

You will not understand, nor will you fully appreciate, the grace, mercy and love of God, until you first understand the holiness, justice and wrath of God! As a believer in Jesus Christ, don’t be afraid of learning and embracing the holiness, justice and wrath of God – let them push you deeper into a full appreciation and embrace of God’s love, grace, mercy and kindness! Listen to what D. A. Carson writes in The Gagging of God: Christianity Confronts Pluralism:

 

The point that cannot be escaped is that God’s wrath is not some minor and easily dismissed peripheral element to the Bible’s plot-line. Theologically, God’s wrath is not inseparable from what it means to be God. Rather, his wrath is a function of his holiness as he confronts sin. But insofar as holiness is an attribute of God, and sin is the endemic condition of this world, this side of the Fall divine wrath cannot be ignored or evaded. It is not going too far to say that the Bible would not have a plot-line at all if there were no wrath.”

 

Knowing the truth of what Carson has just said, we must now remember that on the cross, Jesus took the full wrath of Almighty God, that was meant for you and me, so that we could be free forever from his wrath and condemnation! (Romans 5:1-11, 8:1)


 

“Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God.” (Romans 5:9 ESV)


 

J. I Packer says it this way: “There is unspeakable comfort, the sort of comfort that energizes, in knowing that God is constantly taking knowledge of me in love and watching over me for my good.  There is tremendous relief in knowing that His love to me is utterly realistic, based at every point on prior knowledge of the worst about me, so that no discovery now can disillusion Him about me, in the way I am so often disillusioned about myself, and quench His determination to bless me.  There is, certainly, great cause for humility in the thought that He sees all the twisted things about me that my fellow men do not see, and that He sees more corruption in me than that which I see in myself.  There is, however, equally great incentive to worship and love God in the thought that for some unfathomable reason He wants me as His friend and desires to be my friend and has given His Son to die for me in order to realize this purpose.”


 

I’m forgiven because You were forsaken,

I’m accepted, You were condemned.

I am alive and well, Your spirit is within me,

Because You died and rose again.

 

Amazing love, How can it be

That You, my King, should die for me?

Amazing love, I know it’s true.

It’s my joy to honor You,

In all I do, I honor You.”

(From Amazing Love – by Chris Tomlin)

 

 

“For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” (1 Corinthians 1:18 ESV)

Stand Alone Post: Halftime – Clearing Up Confusion, Moving Ahead

So far in my series entitled “What I Wish (as a Pastor) that I had Known, Understood, Believed and Lived 30 Years Ago,” we have covered SIX of the TWELVE “lessons” in the series.

One of my long time pastor friends from North Carolina was kind enough to remind me that it has been a bit confusing “which lesson you are on” and “how many more there will be in the series.” I apologize for any confusion.

In order to clear up any potential confusion, I have gone back and titled each blog post in this series as “Lesson #1 (or #2, #3, etc.): “What I Wish (as a Pastor)…”

For some of the lessons where I spent more than one week on that particular point (for example “Lesson #3” on “your identity”), I labeled each one as “Lesson 3a”, “Lesson 3b” and “Lesson 3c.” This way you will know which “lesson” I’m writing about and how they all fit together.

Also, as you may have noticed, periodically (like this week) I have done a special blog post that was not part of this “What I Wish…” series. For those posts, I have gone back and labeled them as: “Stand Alone Post” before each title. This way you will know right away that this particular post is not connected to this (or any) series.

Because we are now half way through this series (i.e. “halftime”) on “What I Wish…” (we have finished lessons 1-6), I thought that it would be a good idea to recap where we have been so far in this series and where we are headed.

Also, let me mention a very important point here: These 12 lessons that I have and will be sharing, are not necessarily the 12 “most important” lessons that I think a pastor needs to know for godly, effective ministry (some are, some are not). Rather, these 12 lessons are truths and principles that are very personal to me. These are lessons that I wish I had either known, understood, believed and then ultimately lived out throughout my years in ministry.

Most of these truths I knew from my early 20’s. Someone taught me each of these truths (or lessons). But many of them I really didn’t believe or understand until later on in ministry.  For example, Lesson #3 which says, “Your identity is defined by your relationship with Jesus…not your ministry,” I learned and knew very well early in my 20’s. I really thought “I have this one down pat” and therefore thought that I was living it out. But it wasn’t until my mid to late 30’s, after planting a church and being a Sr. Pastor for several years, that I realized that my identity was misplaced (it was through those “four lights on the dashboard,” that I wrote about a  few weeks ago, that revealed this to me).

I was deriving my sense of significance from being a Sr. Pastor, not from my relationship with Christ. So even though I “knew” this lesson in my early 20’s, I really didn’t believe and/or understand it until almost 20 years later. And we will never be able to live out a particular truth if we don’t…

First, know it,

Second, understand it, and

Third, believe it.

Now, just to recap, here are the first SIX lessons that I have covered:

Lesson #1: Decide which hills are worth dying on, and which are not.

Lesson #2: Live to an audience of One.

Lesson #3: Your identity is defined by your relationship with Jesus…not your ministry!

Lesson #4: Ministry will always be challenging and (at times) very discouraging. You must fight the temptation to give in to your discouraging thoughts.

Lesson #5: You must remind yourself daily of this simple, but profound and incredibly comforting truth: God is sovereign and in full control of all the circumstances and details of your life and ministry (this lesson was subtitled: Bites from Sheep and the Sovereignty to God).

Lesson #6: The daily habits of your life will be one of the greatest single factors in your own personal spiritual growth, as well as your future ministry effectiveness. Develop good, healthy, God-honoring habits.

In the coming weeks, I will be covering the last six lessons in this series (lessons #7 thru #12).

Just so you are aware, I will still post “Stand Alone Post’s” periodically. I will mark them clearly so that you will know that they are not part of this series.

My writing of these blog posts is not one of the highest items on my priority list (at least at this point in time), that is why many weeks I don’t write anything substantial or simply pass on to you great articles, quotes, video’s etc. My life (as well as Lisa’s) is extremely full and extremely busy with leading Global Training Network. My weeks are typically jammed from end to end. Even though these blog posts typically only take 4-5 hours to write, many weeks I just don’t have the time. I typically write these in my “spare” time (when I have any).

Also, just for your information, in case you are fairly new to my blog posts, I have posted three other complete “series” throughout last year. Those series are:

“Heaven: Living ‘Here’ in Light of ‘There’” (Six parts)

“The Cross-Centered Life: Keeping the Main Thing the Main Thing” (Four parts)

“Humility: That Elusive, All-Important, Hard-To-Define Character Trait” (Three parts)

You can click on any of the above titles and it will take you to “Part 1” of that particular series.

A few last thoughts…

Thank you to all of you who have taken the time to let me know (either in person or via email) of your benefit and blessing from these blog posts. I really appreciate it and am genuinely humbled that God has (and still does) use such an inadequate and imperfect “clay pot” (or “jar of clay”).

“But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.”

(2 Corinthians 4:7)

As the Apostle Paul says in 2 Corinthians 2:16, referring to carrying out this great stewardship called ministry, “Who is adequate for these things?” The obvious answer to Paul’s question is “no one!”

The longer I walk with Jesus and serve Him, the more aware I become of my profound inadequacies and shortcomings. In my 20’s I remember thinking (though would never ever say it), “I think I have this thing (ministry) wired! It’s not that hard. I’m up to the task!” I was ready to “charge hell with a water pistol!”

Through the years God humbles us and breaks us – and that breaking is necessary for the “fragrance of Jesus” to be released through us. Every day I wake up with a profound sense of gratitude for God’s amazing grace and incredible kindness in choosing me to be part of his family and calling me to be his servant. Humbled, grateful and overwhelmed by His Grace! Soli Deo Gloria!

I leave you with this quote from Spurgeon

“Meet me in heaven! Do not go down to hell. There is no coming back again from that abode of misery. Why do you wish to enter the way of death when heaven’s gate is open before you? Do not refuse the free pardon, the full salvation which Jesus grants to all who trust him. Do not hesitate and delay. You have had enough of resolving, come to action. Believe in Jesus now, with full and immediate decision. Take with you words and come unto your Lord this day, even this day. Remember, O soul, it may be now or never with you. Let it be now; it would be horrible that it should be never. Farewell. Again I charge you, meet me in heaven.”

C. H. Spurgeon, All of Grace (London, 1897), page 128.

Lesson #6: What I Wish (as a Pastor) that I had Known, Understood, Believed and Lived 30 years ago

Subtitle: “The importance of your daily habits.” This week, we continue with Lesson #6 in the series “What I Wish (as a Pastor) that I had Known, Understood, Believed and Lived 30 Years Ago.”

Here is Lesson Number 6:

The daily habits of your life will be one of the greatest single factors in your own personal spiritual growth, as well as your future ministry effectiveness. Develop good, healthy, God-honoring habits!

Develop, pursue and practice daily habits that build spiritual stability and vitality! Never stop growing! Self leadership is the most important leadership that you will give!

“You are responsible for the depth of your life; God is responsible for the breadth of your ministry!”

(Dawson Trotman)

“This much is certain: we will never preach more than we know and we will never preach above our reading.”

(R. Albert Mohler)

If you do not plan into your daily / weekly / monthly schedule time to…

1)    be alone with God in prayer and in his Word,

2)    to read good, spiritually stimulating books,

3)    to rest and refresh yourself physically, mentally and emotionally,

…then your spiritual life and ministry leadership will suffer!

Listen to what John Piper says about the importance of planning time for prayer into your regular routine (this is powerful, rich stuff!)…

“I close this chapter (his chapter on Prayer) with an earnest exhortation. Unless I’m badly mistaken, one of the main reasons so many of God’s children don’t have a significant life of prayer is not so much that we don’t want to, but that we don’t plan to. If you want to take a four-week vacation, you don’t just get up one summer morning and say, ‘Hey, let’s go today!’ You won’t have anything ready. You won’t know where to go. Nothing has been planned.

But that is how many of us treat prayer. We get up day after day and realize that significant times of prayer should be a part of our life, but nothing’s ever ready. We don’t know where to go. Nothing has been planned. No time. No place. No procedure. And we all know that the opposite of planning is not a wonderful flow of deep, spontaneous experiences in prayer. The opposite of planning is the rut. If you don’t plan a vacation you will probably stay home and watch TV. The natural, unplanned flow of spiritual life sinks to the lowest ebb of vitality. There is a race to be run and a fight to be fought. If you want renewal in your life of prayer you must plan to see it.

Therefore, my simple exhortation is this: Let us take time this very day to rethink our priorities and how prayer fits in. Make some new resolve. Try some new venture with God. Set a time. Set a place. Choose a portion of Scripture to guide  you. Don’t be tyrannized by the press of busy days. We all need mid-course corrections. Make this a day of turning to prayer – for the glory of God and for the fullness of your joy.”

(from Desiring God, pages 150-151)

I’m convince that things and people, when left to themselves, drift towards mediocrity and sloppiness.  They  become wandering generalities.  God calls us to live life intentionally.

As Howard Hendricks used to say, “I have never met a Christian who sat down and planned to live a mediocre life.”

Mediocrity, both in our spiritual life and in our ministry leadership, come naturally. This is why we need to be intentional about growth in all areas of our life.

As Eugene Peterson said in his classic book, God calls all of us to “a long obedience in the same direction.”

“What have I learned in these last six years? That Spirit-motivated disciplines facilitate the Christian walk.  Oh, I’m not discounting all the warm feelings along the route, when I’ve sung Jesus-songs and held hands and the rest.  But our sensuous age forgets that feelings come and feelings leave you, but the disciplines of life are what get you to where you want to go.”

(Anne Ortlund)

The well known author Elisabeth Elliot wrote these classic words on the importance of planning and personal discipline when it comes to writing (these thoughts also apply well to the preparation of sermons – as a pastor, I’m sure you will be able to relate!)…

“We all have to do things by an act of the will that we don’t really feel like doing.  I am often asked, ‘Do you write when you feel inspired?’ My answer is, “No, I write from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon and from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. and from 8:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.’ I don’t usually feel inspired at any of those times.  In fact, I don’t know if I’ve ever been inspired for five minutes in my life.  But I take myself by the scruff of the neck, march myself into the study, sit myself down in the chair, turn on the computer and write–or chew on a pencil and think about writing.  I try, cogitate, meditate and think, and then sometimes something comes out that eventually turns out to be publishable. But it takes a lot of perspiration–not inspiration.  If I wrote only when I felt inspired, I would never have written a book, let alone anything else.

So there is a sense in which each of us has to master ourselves…actually, that’s the way I do most of my prayingnot because I’m in a spiritual mood or feel particularly pious or heavenly minded, but simply because I need to pray.

“Freedom and joy come on the far side of obedience.”

As George Müller wrote…

“It is a common temptation of Satan to make us give up the reading of the Word and prayer when our enjoyment is gone; as if it were of no use to read the Scriptures when we do not enjoy them, and as if it were of no use to pray when we have no spirit of prayer; whilst the truth is, in order to enjoy the Word, we ought to continue to read it, and the way to obtain a spirit of prayer is to continue praying; for the less we read the word of God, the less we desire to read it, and the less we pray, the less we desire to pray.”

Make the reading of good books a high priority in your life! Read biography regularly! I have such a high respect for a “well finished (though far from perfect) life!”

John Wesley, in writing to a young minister, wrote the following about the importance of reading (this was quoted by D. A. Carson and John D. Woolbridge in Letters Along the Way, Wheaton, 1993, page 16)…

“What has exceedingly hurt you in time past, nay, and I fear, to this day, is lack of reading.  I scarce ever knew a preacher who read so little.  And perhaps, by neglecting it, you have lost the taste for itHence your talent in preaching does not increase.  It is just the same as it was seven years ago.  It is lively, but not deep; there is little variety; there is no compass of thought.

Reading only can supply this, with meditation and daily prayer.  You wrong yourself greatly by omitting this.  You can never be a deep preacher without it, any more than a thorough Christian.  Oh begin!  Fix some part of every day for private exercise.  You may acquire the taste which you have not; what is tedious at first will afterward be pleasantWhether you like it or not, read and pray dailyIt is for your life; there is no other way; else you will be a trifler all your days, and a pretty, superficial preacher.  Do justice to your own soul; give it time and means to grow.  Do not starve yourself any longer.  Take up your cross and be a Christian altogether.  Then will all the children of God rejoice (not grieve) over you, and in particular yours.”

As someone once said,

“Show me a person’s daily habits and I will show you who they will become in the future!”

God uses our daily habits to build our character, develop our mind, strengthen our body and deepen our spiritual life.

The daily habits of your life will determine more about your personal growth and future ministry effectiveness than any other single factor! Develop good, healthy, god-honoring habits.

Rick Warren, at this past years Desiring God National Pastors Conference in Minneapolis, MN (which I was privileged to attend), talked to the thousands of pastors gathered about “The Battle for your Mind.”

One of his main points was “Never let up on learning!” He went on to talk about the importance of developing a good personal library (he has over 20,000 books in his library)! He just finished reading this past year the entire set of “The Works of Jonathan Edwards” (who is his hero in the faith). He recommended pastors read 25 percent of your books from the first 1500 years of church history, 25 percent from the last 500 years, 25 percent from the last 100 years, and 25 percent from recent years.”

We so often think that nothing of any value was written before 1900. The legacy of the great saints of the past can teach us a great deal. I personally love church history and biography. Whenever I read it, it reminds me over and over that there truly is “nothing new under the sun.” (Ecclesiastes 1:9)

Tim Challies recently wrote in his blog…

“A couple of years ago I read Warren Wiersbe’s book 50 People Every Christian Should Know and marked a couple of paragraphs that I thought would prove worth sharing. These words come from a chapter devoted to Alexander Whyte. Here they are:

The sales manager of a successful Christian publishing house tells me that pastors are not buying books. “Most of the books sold in Christian bookstores are sold to and read by women,” he said. If our pastors are not using their valuable time for study, what are they using it for? Perhaps Whyte had the answer: “We shroud our indolence under the pretext of a difficulty. The truth is, it is lack of real love for our work.”

Alexander Whyte loved books, and he read them to his dying day. The Puritans in general and Thomas Goodwin in particular were his main diet. But he also thrived on the mystics and the princes of the Scottish church, such as Samuel Rutherford. Whyte constantly ordered books for himself and his friends in the ministry.

Whyte often contrasted two kinds of reading—“reading on a sofa and reading with a pencil in hand.” He urged students to keep notebooks and to make entries in an interleaved Bible for future reference. “No day without its line” was his motto. He wrote to Hubert Simpson: “for more than forty years, I think I can say, never a week, scarcely a day, has passed, that I have not entered some note or notes into my Bible: and, then, I never read a book without taking notes for preservation one way or another.”

It’s important also to remember that a personal library isn’t just about the books that you have read, but also books that you will reference at some point in the future. Having good books to reference when the time comes is vitally important. You can’t always wait a few days for a book to arrive when you need it that “day” in your preparation of a sermon or other written material.

I leave you with these two passages of Scripture…

“My son, if you receive my words

and treasure up my commandments with you,

making your ear attentive to wisdom

and inclining your heart to understanding;

yes, if you call out for insight

and raise your voice for understanding,

if you seek it like silver

and search for it as for hidden treasures,

then you will understand the fear of the LORD

and find the knowledge of God.

For the LORD gives wisdom;

from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.”

(Proverbs 2:1-6)

“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.”

(1 Corinthians 9;24-27)

 

 

 

Stand Alone Post: “The Hole in our Holiness” & Reviews of Rob Bell’s “Love Wins”

One of the young pastors that I enjoy reading on a regular basis is Kevin DeYoung. Kevin is an accomplished author and speaker (only in his late 30’s, maybe early 40’s at most). I find that he has a great deal of wisdom and insight on everything from theology to church ministry to Christian living in general. A few months back Kevin posted an article on his blog entitled “The Hole in our Holiness.” I found it to be truly one of the best, most concise treatments of the importance of holiness (or Christlikeness) in the believers life. The blog post is only a page and a half, but loaded with great wisdom and insight! I thought I would pass it along for your encouragement. Click here to read The Hole in our Holiness.

Next week I’ll continue in my series on “12 Things I Wish I Had Known, Understood, Believed and Lived 30 Years Ago.”

Also, in the coming weeks, I will be posting a critique of Rob Bell’s new book Love Wins. In case you are looking for a good, biblically sound review / critique of Bell’s book, take a look at the following articles:

God is still Holy and What You Learned in Sunday School is still True: A Review of Love Wins

Rob Bell’s Bridge Too Far by Mark Galli

David Platt: Do We Really Believe What We Are Saying?

Mark Driscoll: To Hell with Hell?

Tim Challies – A Review of Rob Bell’s Book “Love Wins”

© 2018 Paul Madson

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑