Why We Need Faithful Preaching

This is a snippet of my message for Sunday, "The Equipping Church" - 8th in a series of messages called Doing Church: It’s important that every generation hears the same faithful orthodox truths of the Bible. I want to read a quote from Eric Metaxas recently biography of Deitrich Boenhoeffer, the courageous pastor who resisted Hitler in Germany. He is speaking about the state of the church in Germany under Hitler: “For many Germans, their national identity had become so melted together with whatever Lutheran Christian faith they had that it was impossible to see either clearly. After four hundred years of taking for granted that all Germans were Lutheran Christians, no one really knew what Christianity was anymore.” Those words haunt me as a communicator of the Word of God. We must never take the gospel for granted. Paul told Timothy: “preach the word; be ready in season and out...

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Friday Five Interview – Dan King

Every once in a while you meet someone who really knows and understands their craft. Dan King is that kind of person. Recently, I’ve gotten to know Dan, who is the proprietor of a unique Christian site, BibleDude.net. This is a really cool, interactive site with a variety of writers posting articles and blogs on all facets of the Christian life. Dan is someone who really “gets” the internet, social media, and the mediums that will shape how the gospel is communicated in the 21st Century.

King’s travels have included projects to numerous countries in Africa and to Haiti, as well as throughout the US in his efforts to share the love of Christ in practical ways. His corporate background includes work as a corporate training and adult education development professional for one of the nation’s largest telecommunications companies.

Besides serving as the founder and voice of BibleDude.net, Dan provides columns for ChurchDrop.com (a mobile technology site for churches and non-profits), and directs blogging projects for The Idea Camp (theideacamp.com). Most recently, along with Dillon Burroughs and yours truly, King cofounded the Activist Faith site (activistfaith.org), where he serves as media director.

As a Christian social media expert, King provides leadership to the High Calling (thehighcalling.org), a network of over 1,000 bloggers on faith, life, and work. His expertise has been noted in his columns for ChurchCrunch.com, one of the web’s top spots for church and technology issues.

King lives with his wife, Krista, and son, Samuel, on the Gulf Coast of Florida.Today Dan was kind enough to stop by for today’s Friday Five:

Book Review: Bonhoeffer by Eric Metaxas

It’s hard to imagine a more complex study than the life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. After more than a half-century after his death, the debate still rages about his life. Was he a committed evangelical motivated by the gospel to resist the Nazi regime? Or was he noble, yet a dedicated liberal theologian, a skeptic of the orthodox positions of the Christian church?

Stepping into the breach is the extraordinarily talented biographer, Eric Metaxas. Metaxas, whose work on William Wilberforce was widely praised, seems to have a thing for the lives of counter-cultural, Christian reformers. Bonhoeffer, like Wilberforce, resisted the prevailing social trends in the church and in the culture, standing up to injustice, regardless of the cost.

Bonhoeffer is a weighty book. It’s not a light read and while Metaxas tackles his subject with verve and tight, interesting prose, he presents a rather comprehensive account of this man’s life. Much has been written and said both about Metaxas’ work and Bonhoeffer. I’d like to just share a few of the things I learned while reading this magnificent biography of this extraordinary life:

Christian Handwringing – A Favorite Pastime

Along with potlucks, bad hair, and cheesy TV, another favorite past time of Christians is hand-wringing. I say this as a lifelong Christian and a pastor. For some reason, we think we’re more spiritual when we’re beating up ourselves. The easiest sermon to preach for a pastor is the one that beats up on “the Church” and points out some spiritual deficiency.

And in the last few years, we’ve had a merry band of Christian pollsters who’ve given us fresh batches of alarming statistics to prove our points. But maybe, just maybe those stats are wrong. For instance, one of the most tried and true dire warnings for the American church has been the refrain, “The divorce rate is higher in the church than in the culture.” This has been used to beat up the soft theology of the American church and call it to more robust, cross-bearing discipleship. I think the call to such radical obedience is necessary, but the alarmism is often misplaced. Expecially when you consider that those marriage statistics we’ve been spouting may have been wrong all along.