Friday, August 31, 2007
Monday, August 27, 2007
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
A new study from LifeWay Research reveals that more than two-thirds of young adults who attend a Protestant church for at least a year in high school will stop attending church regularly for at least a year between the ages of 18 and 22.
As young people transition from high school into the workforce or college life, they are faced with many choices – including whether to continue attending church. Although this decision is a source of concern for parents and church leaders, discussion of the reasons young adults choose the direction they do has largely been speculative.
"Lots of alarming numbers have been tossed around regarding church dropouts," said Ed Stetzer, director of LifeWay Research, the research arm of LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention. "We wanted to get at the real situation with clear research – and there is some bad news here, no question. But, there are also some important solutions to be found in the research. When we know why people drop out, we can address how to help better connect them."
To uncover the reasons young people leave church, LifeWay Research conducted a survey in April and May 2007 of more than 1,000 adults ages 18-30. Each indicated that they had attended a Protestant church regularly for at least a year in high school.
Click here for full article.
When speaking on predestination and election, there is one question that regularly presents itself:
If God in His sovereignty has settled from all eternity who shall be saved, why should we evangelize? God is sovereign not only in the dispersion of His grace but also in His commands for the church. The first thing we must understand is that we are commanded to evangelize. Part of God's divine decree is not only to decree who will be saved but how they will be saved, and he has declared that the elect will be saved through preaching. Let us think hard about the missionary enterprise and the privilege of our involvement in it that it may be said of us, how beautiful are the feet of those who send the preachers so that people may hear, believe, and be saved.
Click here for more.
Without a doubt, a firm grasp of the sovereign rule of our Father in heaven is necessary for a God-honoring Christian life and effective witness of the risen Lord. When we understand that God is Lord over all things we can find peace even in the most difficult of circumstances because we know that nothing takes God by surprise, and, therefore, everything that happens is for the good of His people and His glory (Rom. 8:28). Knowing that God is sovereign in salvation makes us confident that our witness to the Gospel will not be in vain and emboldens us to take great risks for the kingdom. We learn to act without worrying overtly about our initial success or failure, for it is God, working through flawed men and women, who saves His people.
In a similar vein, our Christian life and witness is impossible if we do not understand what took place during Jesus’ crucifixion. The Savior’s atonement for sin on the cross is the good news of the Gospel, for in Jesus the Father was reconciling the world to Himself (2 Cor. 5:19). Gaining a fuller grasp of Christ’s work enables us to present Him to others with clarity and helps to increase our assurance that He is indeed “the way and the truth and the life” (John 14:6).
Unfortunately, church leaders often neglect the full exposition of these topics and assume that Christians know enough about the atonement and God’s sovereignty. Today, a good understanding of such things is no longer a given. There are people in our pews who have not tasted the riches of the cross and the Lord’s all-encompassing reign.
Click here for more.
Christians move towards code on seeking converts
by Robert Evans
GENEVA (Reuters) - Christian churches are moving closer to a common code of conduct on how they go about winning converts among themselves and from other religions, the World Council of Churches (WCC) said on Monday.
Conversion, sometimes dubbed "sheep-stealing" as it targets another's flock, is a cause of friction and conflict between religions and among different branches of individual faiths.
Militant groups are often accused of underhand tactics in winning over new adherents.
The Geneva-based WCC, working with the Vatican on the issue, said a meeting in Toulouse later this week should bring the year-long process of agreeing a conversion rule-book nearer to completion by its target date of 2009.
"Evangelical and Pentecostal representatives will be taking part in the dialogue for the first time, and we see this as a good sign for the eventual success of this project," said WCC spokesman Juan Michel....
The first meeting was attended -- alongside the Christians -- by representatives of the Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim, Jewish and Yoruba faiths.
The National Youth Workers Convention will take place in three different US cities this coming fall (October through November). The event is presented by Youth Specialties, an organization that has been a springboard for contemplative and emerging spiritualities for many years. If your youth pastor or youth workers are planning on attending one of the three conventions, we urge you to take a look at the following links (from the NYWC website). We think you will agree that attendees will receive a hearty dose of mystical spirituality and emergent messages that can ultimately lead followers away from biblical faith:Labyrinths,Taize worship, Catholic liturgy, meditation - it's all at the 2007 National Youth Workers Convention
Sunday, August 12, 2007
I will be honest when I first saw this advertisement on Southern Baptists and Calvinsim I didn't know what to think. But as I read further this could be a good thing for the SBC. I was impressed that Southeastern Seminary and the Founders ministry are putting the two day conference on.
Click here for the advertisement
Tagged by Expositor at 8/12/2007
Monday, August 6, 2007
The Scriptures use various terms to express God’s emotions that are in contrast to his love for, pleasure in, and satisfaction with his people. In the Old Testament at least six terms are used to express his negative reactions to humanity, particularly to his covenant people. These terms, all of which express varied shades or degrees of wrath, anger, displeasure, or vexation, are the following: ˒aph (to be angry), zā˓aph and derivatives (to be wroth, displeased, sad); ḥêmâḥêmâh (indignation, anger, wrath); kâ˓as (to be angry, wrathful, indignant, vexed, grieved); ˓ebrâh (rage, wrath); qâsaph (to be displeased, angry, wroth); ˒saneh (to hate). In the New Testament there are more than twenty references to the anger, wrath, or vengeance (orgē) of God and a few references to indignation and displeasure (achthŏs). These terms are to be considered anthropopathic expressions; human terms, however, cannot give the full meaning of the infinite and sovereign God’s emotional experiences. As his love is infinitely incomprehensible, so are his displeasure, hate, anger, wrath, and vengeance. There is good reason indeed for the writer to the Hebrews to warn sinful people that it “is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Heb. 10:31).
Tagged by Justice at 8/06/2007
Sunday, August 5, 2007
1. God is self-existent. Exod. 3:13-14
2. God is self-sufficient. Ps. 50:10-12
3. God is eternal. Deut. 33:27; Ps. 90:2
4. God is infinite. 1 Kings 8:22-27; Jer. 23:24
5. God is omnipresent. Ps. 139:7-12
6. God is omnipotent. Gen. 18:14;Rev. 19:6
7. God is omniscient. Ps. 139:2-6; Isa. 40:13-14
8. God is wise. Prov. 3:19; 1 Tim. 1:17
9. God is immutable. Heb. 1:10-12; 13:8
10. God is sovereign. Isa. 46:9-11
11. God is incomprehensible. Job 11:7-19; Rom. 11:33
12. God is holy. Lev. 19:2; 1 Pet. 1:15
13. God is righteous and just. Ps. 119:137
14. God is true. John 17:3; Titus 1:1-2
15. God is faithful. Deut. 7:9; Ps. 89:1-2
16. God is light. James 1:17; 1 John 1:5
17. God is good. Ps. 107:8
18. God is merciful. Ps. 103:8-17
19. God is gracious. Ps. 111:4; 1 Pet. 5:10
20. God is love. John 3:16; Rom. 5:8
21. God is spirit. John 4:24
22. God is one. Deut. 6:4-5; Isa. 44:6-8
23. God is a Trinity. Matt. 28:19; 2 Cor. 13:14
This sovereign redemptive love is one facet of the quality that Scripture calls God’s goodness (Ps. 100:5; Mark 10:18), that is, the glorious kindness and generosity that touches all his creatures (Ps. 145:9, 15-16) and that ought to lead all sinners to repentance (Rom. 2:4). Other aspects of this goodness are the mercy or compassion or pity that shows kindness to persons in distress by rescuing them out of trouble (Pss. 107, 136) and the long-suffering, forbearance, and slowness to anger that continues to show kindness toward persons who have persisted in sinning (Exod. 34:6; Ps. 78:38; John 3:10–4:11; Rom. 9:22; 2 Pet. 3:9). The supreme expression of God’s goodness is still, however, the amazing grace and inexpressible love that shows kindness by saving sinners who deserve only condemnation: saving them, moreover, at the tremendous cost of Christ’s death on Calvary (Rom. 3:22-24; 5:5-8; 8:32-39; Eph. 2:1-10; 3:14-18; 5:25-27).
Let the Redeemed of the Lord Say So
Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
for his steadfast love endures forever!
2 Let the redeemed of the Lord say so,
whom he has redeemed from trouble
3 and gathered in from the lands,
from the east and from the west,
from the north and from the south.
4 Some wandered in desert wastes,
finding no way to a city to dwell in;
5 hungry and thirsty,
their soul fainted within them.
6 Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
and he delivered them from their distress.
7 He led them by a straight way
till they reached a city to dwell in.
8 Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love,
for his wondrous works to the children of men!
9 For he satisfies the longing soul,
and the hungry soul he fills with good things.