Here are Tuesday’s links.
The Lord’s Prayer is not mild, inoffensive, vanilla, listless, nominal, wishy-washy, or wallpapery. If you don’t worship the God and Father of the Lord Jesus Christ, it is deeply subversive, upsetting, and offensive—from the first phrase to the last.
I think it’s unlikely for a work of church revitalization to go on without overcoming significant human opposition. But God commands us to be humble toward our opponents, entrusting ourselves to him. This is among the greatest displays of grace. And it’ll be instrumental in transforming your church.
Several years ago I did a series on heresies and heretics. Preparing the messages helped me understand church history better and more carefully articulate the orthodox faith. It also helped me notice some patterns (and non-patterns) related to false teachers. I discovered that church history can teach us a lot about wolves.
The same shadow of doubt is cast on God’s Word today. It’s always subtle, and it’s always war. “Did God actually say” appears on the shelves of Christian book stores, in the words of popular online bloggers, and in the claims of Netflix documentaries. Someone on Facebook shares the “real” Greek or Hebrew meaning though it contradicts the obvious and plain meaning of easily understandable words. A writer claims the cultural context of the words carry more weight than the eternal-never-passing-away truth of them: “Would God really say that if He were writing the Bible nowadays?” And like Eve, if we remain unfamiliar with what God said, we become easy targets.
In 2014, Baptist Press wrote a story about Andy, who at that time had memorized an astounding 35 books of the Bible. Since then he has added another seven.