Monday, November 29, 2010
The corrected version of the journal is being reprinted this week and will be remailed as soon as possible. We apologize for the inconvenience.
A copy of the affected article by Matthew Barrett, "Is Irresistible Grace Biblical?," can be found here.
Thursday, November 25, 2010
The result is a comical and insightful glimpse into fallen human nature. Today, as Thanksgiving is celebrated all across our nation by religious and irreligious, my guess is that few Charlie Anderson-like prayers will be vocalized. But the reason for that has more to do with a lack of honest forthrightness than with disagreement with his world-view. His prayer is probably an accurate representation of what's behind many Thanksgiving prayers today.
Those of us who have been rescued by the grace of God know better, even if we do not always demonstrate that knowledge in our attitudes and actions. "What do you have that you did not receive?" asks the Apostle Paul (1 Corinthians 4:7). As Moses reminded the Israelites, it is God "who gives you power to get wealth" (Deuteronomy 8:18).
As I celebrate this day with family and friends, many of whom I have not seen in years, I want to wish you and yours a Happy Thanksgiving, as well. May the grace of God that has been given to us in His Son fill us all with true joy and gratitude today and always.
Thursday, November 18, 2010
One of the great need of our days is men who are willing to lead like Christ. For men who are married, it starts in the home. If a church is going to have the kind of leaders that will sacrificially serve in ways that move her forward, then men are going to have to learn to die to self and refuse to abdicate their responsibilities to lead their homes.
If a man fails in his home, he disqualifies himself from serving as a leader in the church.
[An overseer] must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church?...Let deacons each be the husband of one wife, managing their children and their own households well (1 Timothy 3:4, 5, 12).May the Lord raise up an army of such men in our day.
Here is a Sanctus Real music video of the song.
Here is the story behind the song.
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Today's thought is based on Romans 8:29, "that he might be the firstborn of many brethren." It is so appropriate for what is happening today. The recovery of the gospel and its centrality to all of life is resulting in renewed--and sometimes new--fellowship among brothers and sisters who a few years ago would not have regarded one another very kindly. Such fellowship is crossing denominational lines and theological traditions. It is very encouraging to see brothers come together not over political alliances or tertiary issues but on the basis of the gospel.
This renewed fellowship befits the younger brothers of Jesus. It is not a syrupy, spineless ecumenism that pretends we do not have any differences. Rather, it is a robust love for all those who love the Lord Jesus in sincerity. Frankly, I do not see how anyone whose love for the Lord Jesus is sincere cannot be encouraged over this renewal of gospel fellowship that is arising out of a renewed commitment to the gospel itself. John says, "Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves Him who begot also loves him who is begotten of Him" (1 John 5:1).
Nevertheless, there are some who, rather than join in this movement of God's Spirit, seem intent on undermining with accusations of conspiracies and compromise. I pity such people. Their spirit is contrary to spirit of Jesus and the Word of God. Winslow understood that. And his morning thought for today could not be more timely.
If you don't understand all the talk about the centrality of the gospel, commit yourself to read Winslow's Morning Thoughts for the next year. Even if you are not convinced, you will certainly be helped to see what so many in our day are getting excited about with the recovery of the gospel and its centrality to every aspect of life. The excerpt from today's reading will give you a taste of what to expect.
Romans 8:29, "That he might be the firstborn among many brethren"
Thursday, November 04, 2010
The resolution is based on the one adopted by the Southern Baptist Convention in its 2008 annual meeting in Indianapolis. It is great to see pastors, churches and associations continuing to affirm this vitally important biblical principle which Baptists have historically advocated. Perhaps the Lord will use this kind of attention on the issue to provoke ongoing biblical renewal in our churches.
Below is the text of the resolution adopted by the Carolina Baptist Association.
On Regenerate Church Membership and Church Member Restoration
WHEREAS, The ideal of a regenerate church membership has long been and remains a cherished Baptist principle, with Article VI of the Baptist Faith and Message (2000) describing the church as a “local congregation of baptized believers”; and
WHEREAS, A New Testament church is comprised only of those who have been born again by the Holy Spirit through the preaching of the Word, becoming disciples of Jesus Christ, the local church’s only Lord, by grace through faith (John 3:5; Ephesians 2:8-9), which church practices believers’ only baptism by immersion (Matthew 28:16-20), and the Lord’s supper (Matthew 26:26-30); and
WHEREAS, Local associations, state conventions, and the Southern Baptist Convention compile statistics reported by the churches to make decisions for the future; and
WHEREAS, The 2009 Southern Baptist Convention annual Church Profiles indicate that there are 16,160,088 members in Southern Baptist churches; and
WHEREAS, Those same profiles indicate that only 6,207,488 of those members attend a primary worship service of their church in a typical week; and
WHEREAS, The Scriptures admonish us to exercise church discipline as we seek to restore any professed brother or sister in Christ who has strayed from the truth and is unrepentantly in sin (Matthew 18:15-35; Galatians 6:1); and
WHEREAS, The messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Indianapolis, Indiana, June 10-11, 2008, urged our churches to maintain a regenerate membership by acknowledging the necessity of spiritual regeneration and Christ’s lordship for all members; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, That we humbly urge our churches of the Carolina Baptist Association meeting at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Hendersonville, North Carolina, October 26, 2010 to maintain accurate membership rolls for the purpose of fostering ministry and accountability among all members of the congregation; and be it further
RESOLVED, That we urge the churches of the Carolina Baptist Association to repent of any failure among us to live up to our professed commitment to regenerate church membership and any failure to obey Jesus Christ in the practice of lovingly correcting wayward church members (Matthew 18:15-18); and be it further
RESOLVED, That we humbly encourage denominational servants to support and encourage churches that seek to recover and implement our Savior’s teachings on church discipline, even if such efforts result in the reduction in the number of members that are reported in those churches, and be it finally
RESOLVED, That we humbly urge the churches of the Carolina Baptist Association and their pastors to implement a plan to minister to, counsel, and restore wayward church members based upon the commands and principles given in the Word of God (Matthew 18:15-35; 2 Thessalonians 3:6-15; Galatians 6:1; James 5:19-20).