Until we return with more M'Cheyne, here's some interesting links on life in the church for your consideration...
A La Carte. Appreciated Challies' brief introduction to today's A La Carte:
Super Bowl this, Super Bowl that. It’s tough to get too excited about the Super Bowl when your church has an evening service that overlaps kickoff. And when you don’t have cable. And when you don’t have a favorite team. And I’m okay with this (especially after catching some video of that unspeakably awful half-time performance).Ditto, Tim, I am okay with this too. Actually, I pray for the day when God's church in our age is so revived that Christians look to the Lord's Day with a holy greediness of its blessings(see next link) and say at the end of the day, "Oh, there was a game today?"
A Phrase to Retire. Great reminders from Kevin DeYoung that the Church - and her means of grace - are God's gifts and not just arenas of our giving to God.
Amen to evangelism. Amen to services that recognize the presence of non-Christians. Amen to poking long-time believers to serve in ways besides the reading of books. But boo-hoo to chiding church members for wanting a church that loves them, teaches them, and watches over their souls. The phrase sounds prophetic and I understand the good intentions, but there is simply no biblical warrant for saying to God’s people “church is not for you.” Better to say ala the Apostle Peter: “Church is for you, and for your children, and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God calls to himself.”
Mom Always Shovels the Drive. Part biopic and part exhortation from Tim Challies. If you are fathering a son, read this! Reminded me of an exhortation I recently heard from an older professor to single men: "Serve the single mothers in your church! Put down the video games and take her kids to the park, so she can have a break and you can invest some time in another's faith." Great stuff.
Evangelize by Loving Christians. Terrific synopsis of Stiles' work, Marks of the Messenger, by Andy Naselli. Turns out that John 13:34-35 is not only true... but it just might work!
Why Facebook (and Your Church) Might Be Making You Sad. Insightful and helpful article by Russell Moore. Grateful that we sang, "The Lord is Angry," during corporate worship yesterday.
By not speaking, where the Bible speaks, to the full range of human emotion—including loneliness, guilt, desolation, anger, fear, desperation—we only leave our people there, wondering why they just can’t be “Christian” enough to smile through it all.
Where Have All the Presbyterians Gone? Another one from Russell Moore, but a recent article in WSJ, with poignant indictments and encouragements. Reminded me of the constant need for fidelity and sobriety in the church, without defaulting into dead traditionalism.
But there are some signs of a growing church-focused evangelicalism. Many young evangelicals may be poised to reconsider denominational doctrine, if for no other reason than they are showing signs of fatigue with typical evangelical consumerism.