The Church: Identity, Mission, & Cultivation

The below is a Gospel Life Course taught during May 2018 at CrossWay Community Church.

Week 1 — Introduction, Identity, & Mission
May 6th, 2018

Week 2 — Cultivation, pt. 1
May 13th, 2018

Week 3 — Cultivation, pt. 2
May 20th, 2018

Week 4 — Cultivation, pt. 3
May 27th, 2018

Children & Dangerous Ministry (John Piper)

Should we engage in ministry and pursue the mission even when it might involve putting ourselves in potentially harmful situations. Yes. Absolutely. Without a doubt. We do not make an idol out of our welfare and self-preservation.

But what if we have a family? What if doing this sort of ministry and pursuing the mission in this way not only potentially endangers ourselves, but also our family and our children — those of whom Paul says, “[I]f anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever” (1 Tim 5:8).

John Piper — “Short answer: Yes.”

Why? Because the cause is worth the risk, and the children are more likely to become Christ-exalting, comfort-renouncing, misery-lessening exiles and sojourners in this way than by being protected from risk in the safety of this world.

Read the article, Risk Your Kids for the Kingdom? On Taking Children to Unreached Peoples.

On Organic, Relational Evangelism (David Doran Jr.) and Cynical Critics (D.L. Moody)

I … say Amen to relationships…. [But] I must admit I’m growing skeptical of the only — organic — witness. … I wonder how much we actually get to the Good News. … People are not saved by relationships but by the Gospel. So it’d be fair to ask- have I shared the Gospel…? Proclamation and relationship can’t be separated but relationships can’t [be allowed to] lull us to sleep making us think we’re evangelists without ever sharing the good news.

~ David Michael Doran Jr., church-planting pastor at Resurrection Church (Lincoln Park, MI)

It is clear you don’t like my way of doing evangelism. You raise some good points. Frankly, I sometimes do not like my way of doing evangelism. But I like my way of doing it better than your way of not doing it.

~ D.L. Moody (said to one of his critics)

An Ecclesiological Concern with Messianic Judaism

Let me be very straight-forward (as if that’s unusual).

Messianic Judaism is something that makes me feel… uncomfortable, not for ethnic or cultural reasons, but theological ones. I say “uncomfortable” because, although I’m not sure I could clearly articulate my thoughts very well at this point, I have a sense of theological uneasiness in regards to this movement. I may be able to identify some of my concerns, e.g., Messianic Judaism seems to be a practical outcome of viewing Israel and the Church as two separate peoples of God (clearly an unbiblical concept). But I need to do some more thinking about what’s causing this theological nervousness.

Continue reading