RSS feed for this section

Archive | The Church

3GT Episode 51: Heretic! Heretic!

From a question that arose during family worship, the prof turns the pastor and parishioner’s attention to II Peter 2 and asks how to identify a heretic. For it is a term that is often used wrongly (Luther was called one!) but should not be thrown around lightly. The parishioner immediately zooms in on the Trinity, and the pastor makes a distinction between heresy and a heretic. The guys focus on other key doctrines that, if done wrongly, constitute heresy. From there they highlight when a person should be deemed a false prophet. Then they even name some names as they point to a few of our modern day heretics!

You will want to take a listen and learn with the 3GTers how to sniff out a heretic!

https://threeguystheologizing.files.wordpress.com/2017/08/3gt-episode-51.mp3

Download

You can also subscribe to 3GT on iTunes!

Kindred Spirits

Anyone familiar with Anne of Green Gables will immediately think of Anne’s search for true friendship when they hear the term “kindred spirits.” This poor orphan finally finding heart companions in such persons as Diana, Matthew, Marilla, and ultimately Gilbert is what makes the story so touching and tender. She viewed a kindred spirit as one who saw things and cared for life in the same manner that she did.

Interestingly, this term is found in the NASB version in Philippians 2:20. Paul says of Timothy, “For I have no one else of kindred spirit who will genuinely be concerned for your welfare.” This phrase is a translation of the Greek word ἰσόψυχοs, which combines the word equal (“iso” like in the word isoceles triangle) with the word for soul. So the term is defined to mean “like-minded, equal in soul, same hearted.” The increasingly popular ESV does not quite do justice to the word when it has Paul saying “I have no one like him.” The NKJV and KJV get closer when they use the more literal “I have no one like-minded.” Not to be sentimental, but a brief study would show, I believe, that Paul would have been happy with us thinking of him and […]

A Love Greater than Family

Psalm 87:2 gives expression to a sentiment of God that is worthy of Christian reflection:

The Lord loves the gates of Zion more than all the dwelling places of Jacob.”

In speaking of Zion, the psalmist is thinking about the holy city of Jerusalem (v. 1). This city is the place where the temple resided that David prepared for and Solomon constructed, and is clearly Jerusalem for it is called “the city of God” in verse 3. This divine love for the holy city is stated in comparison to the dwelling places of Jacob.  These dwelling places of Jacob referred to the families and their homes throughout Israel.

In the New Testament age with the coming of Christ, we understand this verse to speak to the heavenly Zion, or the church, in contrast to Christian homes. For this statement finds its ultimate, prophetic fulfillment in the church.  Spurgeon says, “God delights in the prayers and praises of Christian families and individuals, but he has a special eye to the assemblies of the faithful.  He has a special delight in their devotions in their church capacity.” In short, God is saying he loves the church more than he loves families.

So how are we to […]

3GT Episode 48: Small Town Ministry

You got it – we’ve finally given Kyle his own episode! After we have fun learning more about Winchester, Kansas, we dig into his recent article in Tabletalk on rural ministry. We discuss counterbalancing the current rush to church plant, being more like Jesus and the apostles who preached in towns and villages, the wonderful blessings of doing so, and some of the unique challenges faced in ministering in rural areas. It leads us to the obvious question: Is Kyle the next Tim Keller of the small town? You be the judge!

Listen along and you’ll probably start singing, “Give me a Sunday morning that’s full of grace/A simple life and I’ll be okay/Here in small town U-S-A.”

https://threeguystheologizing.files.wordpress.com/2017/08/3gt-episode-481.mp3

Download

You can also subscribe to 3GT on iTunes!

Referenced Article:

“The Need for Rural Ministry“, Tabletalk | Kyle Borg

Browse Worthy: The Slippery Slope

Some helpful articles have appeared recently discussing how ministers, churches, and denominations can start the downhill slide down into theological liberalism that destroys evangelical faith, personal holiness, and ecclesiastical integrity. The following posts are helpful mind-sharpeners on this issue.

The Slippery Slope and the Jesus Box | Richard Philips

Dr. Philips tracks a former PCA minister’s (and the congregation he pastors) long descent into endorsing homosexuality and denying Christ’s penal substitution. He points to the first steps down this slope, which he identifies as compromising Biblical authority and accepting women’s ordination.

The Slippery Slope: An Iron Law of Theological Declension? | William Evans

In response to Philips, Dr. Evans questions whether these are truly the first steps and wonders if starting the slide down the slippery slope is not more complicated. He raises the question of whether the competing authority of the culture with Christ and how the Bible is being interpreted are where slides begin.

Double Black Diamonds: Navigating the Slopes | Jay Harvey

In another article interacting with this subject on Reformation21, two particular types of slippery slopes, that of hermeneutical fallacy and the other of fear, are described.

Avoiding Logical Fallacies in Theology | Justin Taylor

In this archived article, Justin Taylor reminds us of how a slippery slope argument […]

3GT Episode 47: The Mark of Church Discipline

Seriously, is one of the top three attributes of a true church, in addition to preaching and the sacraments, really discipline? How can this be? What about other attributes such as love or prayer?

The guys dig in to define, defend, and describe what church discipline is. Both sides of discipline, formative and corrective, are explained. The relationship with the two other marks of preaching and sacraments is made. The connection between love and discipline is given. Even more importantly, they show the connection between Christ and the marks.

Seriously, you need to listen to this episode!

https://threeguystheologizing.files.wordpress.com/2017/07/3gt-episode-47.mp3

Download

You can also subscribe to 3GT on iTunes!

What’s a Hurting Wife To Do?

Following Rebecca VanDoodewaard’s article “A High View of Marriage Includes Divorce” here on Gentle Reformation, and with the internet abuzz with Australian reporter Julia Baird’s hit piece on the church regarding abuse that has produced such responses as “An Open Letter to Husbands Who Abuse Their Wives” at TGC, a question has been raised. What is the proper response of a Christian wife who finds herself facing a sexually immoral or abusive husband?

Though the types of situations a wife may encounter can vary greatly, meaning there is no simple blanket answer to this question, certain Biblical principles and options can be pursued. My wife, Miriam, helped me to write this post as we reflected on our experiences in pastoral ministry that, sadly, included too many wives dealing with this issue.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

What is a Christian wife to do when she discovers explicit texts from another woman on her husband’s phone? When she is shocked by an explosion of anger that creates a bleeding heart or even a bruised body? When she walks in the room unexpectedly and finds her husband watching pornographic videos?

Each of these scenarios can have quite a range of involvement and intensity, and thus influence how a wife […]

What Matters Most – Seeking God’s Glory

Over the last week or two, I’ve been taking some time out to study John’s Gospel in more depth. My particular concern and focus has been to get a better handle on the relationship that exists between Jesus and the Father.

This morning I was looking at John Chapter 7.10-24. This section narrates the doctrinal head-to-head between Jesus and the Jews, both the masses and their masters. The debate took place in the precincts of the Temple. Christ had come in cognito, resisting the pressure of his relatives. Now, constrained by the duties of His office, He stands in God’s House to declare divine doctrine in order to decimate human tradition.

What is apparent, throughout this account, is the commitment of the Son to the glory of His Father. This, in fact, is the thing, above all, that distinguishes Jesus Christ clearly from His Judean teachers and hearers. The central section of the passage is found in the statement recounted by John in Chapter 7 Verse 18:

“He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but he who seeks the glory of the one who sent him is true, and no unrighteousness is in him” (NKJV).

This portion of the 4th Gospel raises […]

Australia’s Most Beautiful Site

Recently I returned from Australia. What a tremendous time I had seeing the land down under!  

A visit to the Healesville Sanctuary, a natural zoo set in the bushland of Victoria, allowed me to get up close to such creatures as wombats, dingoes, platypuses, Tasmanian Devils and other native animals. A bird show in an amphitheater there was incredible. Birds such as a Red-tailed Black Cockatoo and a Wedge-tailed Eagle came flying in and performed as directed by the trainers. I watched in awe as a Barking Owl glided on command right past my head, its large yellow eyes gazing ahead as its wingtip slipped silently by my right ear.

On another day, I visited Kennett River and had King Parrots and Crimson Rosellas perched on my arm and eating out of my hand. We watched koalas munching away on eucalyptus trees. Mait’s Rest, a rainforest area near Apollo Bay with a wooden boardwalk, transferred us to another world as we walked in the silence provided by towering gum trees and dew-covered large ferns. A delightful drive along the Great Ocean Road was made even more beautiful by the numerous iridescent rainbows that kept appearing and reflecting on […]

Policies, Procedures, and Those Presbyterians

I always tell people that I was a pragmatic Presbyterian before I was a biblical Presbyterian. I grew up in a context that rarely thought about the governing principles of a church and, as a result, I saw the bad effects of a poor ordered congregation. Our pastor often said: “We have the word ‘free’ in our name because we’re free to do what we want.” There were no agreed on standards and patterns by which to make decisions. There wasn’t a clear path to express disagreement and no recourse to appeal the decisions of others. At its best these things were guided by the arbitrary will of the majority or, at worst, it was left to the control of a single individual. In that environment it was hard for justice and mercy to flourish.

That’s one of the reasons I was so impressed when first introduced to Presbyterianism. At its heart Presbyterianism seeks to find a way to structure the church according to the character of God. Paul expressed this concern when he reminded the church in Corinth that God wasn’t a God of confusion but a God of order and peace (1 Corinthians 14:33). One of the ways that […]