Sorry it's been quiet around here lately. I've been occupied on so many fronts that it's been difficult to find time to write. Here are some more notes from the series I've been working through with the brothers and sisters in my town. One of the brothers recently challenged me to put it all on paper so we can produce a print version of the entire study for wider distribution. Our focus will be local, of course, but I'll be happy to send a copy to you or anyone else who may find it useful. Keep in mind that these are just study notes, thus they are not exhaustive. The content is intended to serve as a launching pad for teaching/group discussion and to provoke further personal study.

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Photo Credit: bertiemabootoo via Compfight cc

The crisis of Pentecost

THE IN-RUSHING OF THE SPIRIT

Read: Luke 12:49-50, Acts 2:1-4

“The sign of Christianity is not a cross, but a cloven tongue of fire.”—Samuel Chadwick Continue Reading…

“We venture to say that a time has begun when the old and fixed positions of traditional Christianity are losing their hold on, not only the Christian public in general, but many sincere seekers for reality… something not to be found in many of the churches, and what they are looking for is the real and true life of God.” (T. Austin Sparks)

The supreme ambition of Paul’s life was “that I may know Him” (Philippians 3:10)–Christ, that is.

Evidently this meant more to Paul than just having a “salvation” experience with the resulting assurance of sins forgiven and an ever-increasing knowledge of theology, which is the today’s common evangelical conception of what it means to know God. Continue Reading…

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Photo Credit: noodlepie via Compfight cc

Just a brief update and request today.

I’m about halfway through the rough draft of my new eBook and already the project is shaping up to be more than I originally envisioned. It’s exciting, but it’s taking more work than I anticipated.

By the way, I’ve heard from a few of you who are willing to help with the launch of the book when it’s ready, and I appreciate that so much. If anyone else would like to lend a hand, I’m still looking for reviewers. Continue Reading…

There is at least one more article to come in my series on the heresy of orthodoxy. You can prepare for it by asking yourself the question, "What was the sin of Jeroboam in the Old Testament, and how does it relate to the church today?" In the meantime, enjoy this brief personal update and intro to a series on the first-century story.

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Photo Credit: rennes.i via Compfight cc

Those of you who have read my eBook know that my first official foray into the world of house church ended a couple years ago. Following that season my wife and I were largely bereft of fellowship and did what we could while attending a local Methodist congregation and visiting friends here and there. Continue Reading…

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Photo Credit: Pine Hill Photos via Compfight cc

Foundations are vital. The principles established in the beginning of a person’s life will determine the health and stability of that life in the long-term.

The Christian life is no different. Paul, in particular, saw himself as a “father” to those whom he brought to faith in Christ, and he cared for the churches as a mother cares for her newborn child. As an apostle, he was a “wise master-builder” who built the House of God on the foundation of Christ.  Continue Reading…

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Photo Credit: The Hamster Factor via Compfight cc

It’s been less than a year since I published In Search of the City, my first eBook and a personal memoir of sorts detailing my search for the City God is building. In Search of the City is free to all subscribers, and if you haven’t signed up to receive your own copy yet you can do so here.

Today I’m excited to announce that a second project is in the works. Continue Reading…

Occasionaly someone will come in the bookstore where I work and ask for a “clergy” decal. It’s a little sticker you can put on the bumper of your vehicle to distinguish yourself as a minister of the gospel (as opposed to the guy or gal in the car behind you, evidently).

If this seems funny or weird to you, keep in mind that I live in the Bible belt.

Across the Christian world today, as it has been for the past 1900 or so years, a distinction is commonly made between “clergy” and “laity.” Clergymen are professional ministers who devote part or all of their time to caring for the needs of their congregation. Some get paid to do it full-time while others work for a living and pastor on the side (these are your “bi-vocational ministers”). Laymen are the people in the pews who support the ministry of the clergy through their tithes, offerings, and volunteer activity.  Continue Reading…

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Photo Credit: riekhavoc via Compfight cc

“Organic church” is a buzz-word that is applied to many kinds of Christian gatherings these days. Sadly, it has devolved into a term that only implies a certain kind of meeting–usually the simple, home-church kind.

The organic expression of the church is so much more than that.

In the last post of this series we looked at the history of change in the local church. Today let’s consider how the increasing institutionalization of Christendom led to the loss of the assembly’s organic nature. Continue Reading…

Oh, could I tell!

January 8, 2014 — 2 Comments

The next article in my series on the heresy of orthodoxy is almost ready. In the meantime, here's a poem by F.W.H. Meyer I found in the opening chapter of Hannah Whitall Smith's book, The Christian's Secret of a Happy Life. Enjoy.

foam

“Oh, could I tell, you surely would believe it!

Oh, could I only say what I have seen!

How should I tell, or how can you receive it,

How, till He brings you where I have been? Continue Reading…

This is an old post I decided to refurbish for my present series on the heresy of orthodoxy. What we're looking at today is how the local character of the early churches changed from what they were in the first century. This is a bird's eye view of three centuries worth of history, so keep in mind there's a lot more which could be said. But it fits well with our meditation about the division among Christians that stems from the clergy system. Leave me a comment with any questions or further insight you may have.

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Photo Credit: Lori Greig via Compfight cc

Imagine the following scenario: Continue Reading…