Category Archives: church

Potomac Ministers Retreat 2013: Immersed

I had the privilege of making it to the Potomac Ministry Networks Ministers Retreat this past week. It was at the Eastern Shore in Cambridge, Maryland. It was a beautiful place with great fellowship and teaching. I’ll share some of my takeaways below. Maybe they’ll help remind you of something spoken there or will allow you to glean the things I gleaned if you weren’t there.

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Why I love Mark Driscoll

Well, since there aren’t many posts like this out there, I thought I would put a little different opinion out there.

I love Mark Driscoll and I’ll tell you why.

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Book Review: The Hole in our Holiness

I am crushing my Winter Reading list and just finished The Hole in our Holiness by Kevin DeYoung. It’s a smaller book but packs a big punch and left me wanting more instead of having me skim the last couple chapters because the author had lost my attention. Well done, Mr. DeYoung, well done.
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Book Review: Deep and Wide

I got a chance to sit down and read Andy Stanley’s Deep and Wide the other week and wanted to get my review out there. For years the knock on Andy has been that his church, Northpoint, has been wide but not deep. They are great at reaching unchurched people but those of us on the outside have wondered if those people have been able to move forward through discipleship. Andy wrote this book to speak to that tension. I both appreciated and enjoyed his candor.
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Why I Love My Church

Let me tell you a reason I love my church.

This past weekend was little Levi’s first time at church. He did great! But, that’s only part of the reason I love my church.

As the family and I were on the way out, we got stopped.

Three ladies and and a man stopped us. The eldest of the ladies (old enough to be my grandmother) said, “I was hoping to see you here!”

I was a bit confused as to who she was or who she was talking too.

Turns out she was talking to Levi, or Katie, but either way not me. The three ladies were in Katie’s bible study group on Thursday morning. They knew we had the baby and were excited to meet him!

How exciting is it when the church looks and acts like a family across generations! Such a beautiful picture of the Kingdom of God.

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2011 NIV

Well, some of you have noticed and others of you haven’t noticed but the NIV has updated their translation. Many of us read the NIV and have used the 1984 edition since well, 1984. The NIV committee has made changes throughout the way but none big enough to roll out a new copyright date for the version. Until now.

After the debacle that was the TNIV (I blame the militancy of the piperites) they finally came out with an updated version that takes today’s language into account.

I sat in on a talk that Douglas Moo, the head of the NIV translation committee, gave at the Study Center last semester. He explained why the NIV committee updated their language and it made complete sense to me. I mean, why shouldn’t we have a translation that is up to date and helps us to understand biblical truths in today’s language?

Moo outlined the word studies that were done, the language studies that were done and why the changes that were made were made. It was all about making things more understandable, this should be a noble task!

I know a lot of people are getting caught up in the gender issues. I think the committee worked very hard to make sure what the author intended came across. So, if Paul used brothers to mean brothers and sisters, then they changed it to brothers and sisters. What is the problem there? If Paul used men to mean men, then they left it at men. This sounds like a good idea to me.

I also found the following statement from Moo to be very helpful. Wen talking of the translation difference between the NIV, ESV, and NLT he said the following,

The NIV is trying to preserve natural English.
The ESV is trying to make it understandable English, a more formal translation.
The NLT is looking for easy English.

I found that comparison to be very helpful in my understanding.
This is going to wreck havoc on some of my verses I had memorized, but if it makes the biblical text more understandable and is still a good dynamic translation, I’m all for it.

I haven’t yet picked up my copy yet, but I hope to grab one very, very soon.

What say you about the 2011 NIV?

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Advancing the Kingdom

Advancing the Kingdom. A phrase that I heard this past year and have not been able to get out of my mind since then. I don’t think this was the first time I had heard it, and it wasn’t stated in any profound way, but it has stuck with me for a while now.

When Curt Harlow took the position at Bayside he and Kelly commented on their blog that they felt this was the best place for them to advance the kingdom at this stage in their lives. Man, what a beautiful thought and what a beautiful statement.

The Kingdom can be advanced (and should be advanced) everywhere. The kingdom needs to be advanced everywhere. The Kingdom is here and needs to be ushered in by God’s people. This is our task, to advance the Kingdom.

The beautiful thing about it is that it can be done everywhere. I was so struck by d fact that the Harlows said the place where they could best advance the kingdom. they were advancing the Kingdom before, they just found a better groove! I love it.

I’ve been trying to use this terminology in my discipleship relationships since then. Where is the place you can best advance the Kingdom given your unique giftings and talents? Is it in the realm of law and politics, the foreign mission field, grad school, some type of teaching, or any other number of things. Is it in a small town, college town, or a large city? Where do you fit in to best advance the Kingdom?

I’m more and more convinced that this mindset is critical to live the Christian life to the fullest. I’m more and more convinced that people in the so-called marketplace have some of the greatest opportunities to advance the kingdom. And when I say advance the kingdom, I mean way more than just send money around the world. We can advance the kingdom in our lines of work, in our relationships and in many other ways other than just missionaries.

All that to say that missionaries are incredibly important as we advance the kingdom. It’s important to go places that the gospel has never been and continue to tell the story around the globe to people that desperately need to hear it. I just can’t believe that’s the only way for people to be missional.

So, what are your thoughts on advancing the Kingdom? Are there ways for you to work this type of language into your lexicon?

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Church Discipline

There has been a little spike in the blogosphere over church discipline lately. Well, mostly the church discipline of Mars Hill Seattle and because of that the practices of the one and only Mark Driscoll.

Evidently, the leadership of Mars Hill tired to excommunicate a young man recently because he had what they would have called an unrepentant heart concerning his current sexual sin. The leadership team asked his small group to stop hanging out with him and there was a big mess over the whole deal.

Now, I don’t necessarily want to just talk about the ins and outs of church discipline. What I’m really confused about was the fuss that was made by so many “christian” bloggers. All they had was his side of the story and they set out to demonize Driscoll and Mars Hill based on one side of the story. Don’t they understand how hard church discipline is? How hard it is for a church to actually enact biblical church discipline in “tolerance is king” America. It’s not easy and they did not make the process any easier. Majorly frustrating, in my opinion.

Now, I do like Driscoll and Mars Hill (and Justin Holcomb for that matter). But I think the blog world got a little ahead of themselves in this one and didn’t do anyone any favors.

I skimmed Mars Hill’s response that Justin Holcomb posted. You can check that out here http://marshill.com/2012/02/13/a-response-regarding-church-discipline

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