Today's Word for Pastors...
From birth I have relied on you; you brought me forth from my mother's womb. I will ever praise you.
Today's Preaching Insight...
Be Careful How We Reflect Culture
In his book A Western Jesus (B&H Publishing), pastor Mike Minter argues that the western church has too often departed from biblical patterns because of our allegiance to western culture and traditions. In discussing the church, he observes, "The younger generation must learn why the older generation loves tradition, steeples, pews and hymnbooks. The older generation must be willing to see the younger generation as liking change. Good healthy dialogue in a teachable atmosphere can bring much fruit. Trying to prove that drums are of the devil or that hymns are boring become senseless arguments often birthed out of pride and a refusal to hear the other side. The truth often lies in the middle.
"I love the hymns because many of them tell a story that reflects what the church was dealing with in bygone years. ‘A Mighty Fortress is Our God' should be carefully read and understood in light of the Reformation. The lyrics are a powerful expression of the intense warfare of the day. The younger generation should be thankful for past generations that ran interference for them. They were the giants upon which our churches stand today.
"But let us not forget that God has his giants in every generation, and the battles are different as satanic strategies change. The church will always have common-denominator struggles with a lust for the world, but it may show its face differently. Jonathan Edwards didn't have to raise children in a day of Internet pornography, video games, amusement parks, shopping malls, cell phones, and TVs with 350 channels. Most of our praise songs reflect a battle that is different from battles fought before us. Hymns are often about God while praise songs are often to God. ‘A Mighty Fortress is Our God' if written today would be ‘You, Oh Lord, Are a Mighty Fortress.'
"There seems to be more despair in our present culture, which is why we so often read about postmodernism and the emerging church, and our bookshelves are filled with titles on anorexia, bulimia, and self-image. Such topics would have been foreign to Spurgeon, Luther and Edwards. So what does the church do? It must reflect its culture. Every culture has a story, and each generation within that culture has a story - and the transcendent Christ must be the answer no matter what the generation. The story is told in its music, worship, philosophy of ministry, and literature. If the church doesn't know the story, then its music, preaching, and philosophy of ministry will miss the mark. It starts reading Shakespeare to four-year-olds and Little Bo Peep to sixty-year olds. The dialogue ceases and the church begins to die. Unfortunately, cultural change within the church is often interpreted as doctrinal change - a watering down of theology. This is usually not the case, though it can be. That is why careful dialogue must take place among generations. Each generation can learn from the other and listen for the story line."
(Click here to learn more about the book A Western Jesus)]
This Week's Laugh: Employers Wanted
Here are actual excerpts from real resumes and cover letters. Think you'd hire them?
- Am a perfectionist and rarely if if ever forget details.
- I was working for my mom until she decided to move.
- Marital status: single: Unmarried. Unengaged. Uninvolved. No commitments
- I have an excellent track record, although I am not a horse.
- I am loyal to my employer at all costs... Please feel free to respond to my resume on my office voice mail.
- I have become completely paranoid, trusting completely no one and absolutely nothing.
- My goal is to be a meteorologist. But since I possess no training in meteorology, I suppose I should try stock brokerage.
- I procrastinate, especially when the task is unpleasant.
- Personal interests: donating blood. Fourteen gallons so far.
- As indicted, I have over five years of analyzing investments.
- Marital status: often. Children: various
- Reason for leaving last job: They insisted that all employees get to work by 8:45 am every morning. I couldn't work under those conditions.
- The company made me a scapegoat, just like my three previous employers.
- Finished eighth in my class of ten.
- References: none. I've left a path of destruction behind me.
(from the Daily Dilly)