What Pastors Owe Their People

If you are a pastor, you cannot escape the unmistakeable call of spiritual leaders, in the New Testament to "feed the flock of God": Jesus commissioned Peter to do "feed my sheep", no less than three times, in that famous scene on the shores of Galilee (John 21:15-19) Jesus commissioned the disciples, in the Great Commission passage to "teach them all things I have commanded you." (Matthew 28:16) Paul commissioned the Ephesian elders to "tend to the whole flock" pointing this example of his unwillingness to shrink from "the whole counsel of God" (Acts 20:17-28) Peter urges church leaders to "feed the flock of God among you." Paul instructed Timothy, in his last letter, "these things you have learned from me, commit to faithful men" (2 Timothy 2:2). He also urged him to "guard the deposit entrusted to you" (2 Timothy 1:14; 6:20). He also  reminded Timothy of the usefulness of "all Scripture" as profitable for...

Continue Reading

Friday Five: Joe Carter

Joe Carter is one of the most articulate evangelical voices on the intersection of church, culture, and politics. Joe founded Evangelical Outpost in 2005. He is the web editor for First Things and an adjunct professor of journalism at Patrick Henry College. A fifteen-year Marine Corps veteran, he previously served as the managing editor for the online magazine Culture11 and The East Texas Tr

ibune. Joe has also served as the Director of Research and Rapid Response for the Mike Huckabee for President campaign and

as a director of communications for both the Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity and Family Research Council. He is the co-author of How to Argue like Jesus: Learning Persuasion from History’s Greatest Communication.1) You’ve served in a variety of capacities in the conservative movement. What is your impression of the movement as it stands today? 
The first thing that should be said about the conservative movement is that there is no conservative “movement.” The term movement implies that a there is cohesive group that is in agreement about moving toward specific political goals. While individuals aligned with conservatism tend to agree on a general set of principles, they often have radically differing views on where those lead. For example, social conservatives and libertarians are generally lumped together under the rubric of the “conservative movement, yet both groups differ on issues such as same-sex marriage.

The reality is that conservatism is comprised of numerous small movements, some that are flourishing and others that are stagnating. This inevitably leads to internal tensions since established conservative groups, politicians, and media are all fighting for the same attention and donor funding. When specific grassroots sub-movements begins to gain popularity, activists of all stripes try to co-opt it for their own purposes.

A prime example is the Tea Party movement in 2008-2010. Despite the fact that polls and surveys showed that it was largely a subset of the “religious right” movement, libertarians tried to claim it as their own. The media latched onto that spurious impression and tried to create a narrative that conservatives were ready to abandon social issues. Of course that was never true. Most grassroots conservatives are full-spectrum conservatives who don’t make sharp distinction between economic, social, and national security conservatism. This is why I’m optimistic about the long-term prospects about conservatism, despite the problems within the “movement.”

Kevin DeYoung on Christian Political Engagement

Today is the Iowa caucus and the first of many primaries for Republicans before a long drawn-out Presidential and Congressional contest. Christians of course have to wrestle with politics in America. Good people find themselves on both sides of important issues. This is why I especially appreciated the wisdom of Kevin DeYoung, who writes on this blog: This can be tricky. On the one hand, I’m concerned that some of us think there is a Christian position on every issue—as if the Bible determines the one and only God-honoring decision regarding rates of taxation or how to respond if Iran closes the Straits of Hormuz. But on the other hand, I fear other Christians are so loathe to seem partisan, or they consider politics so unclean, that they don’t dare bring Christian principles to bear on their political thinking. This too is a mistake. You don’t have to be a transformationalist or...

Continue Reading

Bible Reading Plans for 2012

In 2012 our church is going thru the Bible in a year. To help, I gathered resources and some Bible reading plans and put them out at our information table at church. I thought I would post the information here as well as a help to those considering reading the Bible thru in 2012. This is not comprehensive by any means, but it points to some nice tools and links: Digital Tools: 1.    Youversion.com – This is perhaps the easiest and best online Bible. You can find your Bible reading program and have it remind you every day via email or you can visit the site. This was created by the folks at Lifechurch.tv a.     Youversion also has a terrific smartphone app for almost every platform (look it up in your appropriate app store) that will pop up a daily reminder. It also allows you to catch up if you’ve gotten off track. 2.   ...

Continue Reading