Disdaining Shock and Awe from the Pulpit


American Christendom has birthed a disturbing new trend with today’s wave of ultra-hip pastors who unabashedly spew foul language from the pulpit and openly discuss various sexual acts in lurid detail with their congregations.   Allow me to share a nugget of wisdom from Charles Spurgeon that all these shepherds of God’s sheep should heed.

We need the divine influence to keep us back from saying many things which, if they actually left our tongue, would mar our message.  Those of us who are endowed with the dangerous gift of humor have need, sometimes, to stop and take the word out of our mouth and look at it, and see whether it is quite to edification; and those whose previous lives have borne them amoung the coarse and the rough had need watch with lynx eyes against indelicacy.  Brethren, far be it from us to utter a syllable which would suggest an impure thought, or raise a questionable memory.  We need the Spirit of God to put bit and bridle upon us to keep us from saying that which would take the minds of our hearers away from Christ and eternal realities, and set them thinking upon the groveling things of earth.  – Taken from Lectures to my Students: Chapter 14 -The Holy Spirit in Connection with our Ministry.

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Year End Book Review – Part 1


I love to read.  However, I am not a speedy reader.  Christian bloggers such as Tim Challies can knock down a hundred or so books a year – and manage to to review them all, but I’m lucky if I read a dozen.  Accordingly, I can lump all my reviews for the past year’s reading into a couple of manageable posts.  Let me first begin with all the books I have my hooks into but have not yet finished.

Books in Progress

  • Lectures to My Students by Charles Haddon Spurgeon – I put this one down last Christmas because of the influx of new books I received and was eager to tear into.  Spurgeon gives some timeless wisdom for all prospective preachers and pastors in this wonderful volume. Though I’m not likely to get into full-time ministry, I found his knowledge insightful and useful, even for a simple Christian layman.  I definitely will pick this one back up.
  • The Death of Death in the Death of Christ by John Owen – Maybe the most difficult volume I’ve ever attempted to read.  I grew exhausted about halfway through, though I actually did learn much from his treatise on Christ’s Particular Redemption of the elect.  I have since read other works by Owen, carried along by a little helpful editing and modernization of the text that I found very readable.  Is there a version of Death of Death similar to Justin Taylor’s and Kelly M. Kapic’s wonderful Overcoming Sin and Temptation?
  • The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism by Timothy Keller – Keller is the pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan.  He boasts nearly six thousand attendees in the very heart of Vanity Fair. This book is an Apologetic treatise answering seven of the most difficult questions non-believers pose about God and the Christian faith.  It then delves into the reasons for faith in the one true God.  I’m only a quarter the way through but so far this is one outstanding read.

On to the Reviews: Continue reading