Performer vs. Herald?

Andy Naselli —  September 2, 2011 — 1 Comment

I recently read this book:

Andy Stanley and Lane Jones. Communicating for a Change. Sisters, OR: Multnomah, 2006.

It’s filled with insights about public speaking in general, so it’s worth reading even if you deeply disagree with it at points along the way.

The book compares preachers to performers. In one sense there’s something to that since both preachers and performers—whether stand-up comedians or actors on a stage—must engage their audience. And to their credit, the authors qualify that “acting and preaching are a bit different” (p. 134).

But this is a good example of how a controlling metaphor can slant an argument. Why not choose the metaphor of a herald (κῆρυξ)? After all, the New Testament itself uses that metaphor in 1 Tim 2:7 and 2 Tim 1:11 (not to mention the 61 occurrences of the main verb for preaching: κηρύσσω).

Every Life Has a Story

Andy Naselli —  September 1, 2011 — 2 Comments

This is a Chick-fil-A training video for their employees.

Dan Cathy, president and Chief Operation Officer at Chick-fil-A, writes this about the video:

“Every life has a story . . . if we only bother to read it.”

A video we created to remind us that everyone we interact with is a chance to create a remarkable experience.

How much more does this way of viewing people apply to Christ-followers?


Andy Naselli —  August 31, 2011 — 2 Comments

This book comes out later this month:

Tony Reinke. Lit! A Christian Guide to Reading Books. Wheaton: Crossway, 2011. 202 pp.

You know it’s good when Leland Ryken, professor of English at Wheaton College, says this about it:

There is so much to commend about this book that it is hard to know where to start. The most obvious virtue is its scope. On the subject of reading, Reinke covers every possible topic. Each topic, in turn, is broken into all of its important subpoints. With a lesser writer, this could produce a tedious book, but the opposite is true here. Reinke says just enough, but not too much. The effect is like seeing a prism turned in the light. There is never a dull moment. Once I sensed that Reinke was going to cover all the important topics, and with unfailing good sense and Christian insight, I could hardly put it down. ‘What will Reinke say about that topic?’ I found myself asking. But to add yet another twist, he has read so widely in scholarly and religious sources that I do not hesitate to call the book a triumph of scholarship. Reinke writes with an infectious and winsome enthusiasm. It is hard to imagine a reader of this book who would not catch the spark for reading after encountering Reinke’s excitement about reading and his carefully reasoned defense of it.

Here’s the table of contents: Continue Reading…

Tim Chester, Closing the Window: Steps to Living Porn Free  (Downers Grove: IVP, 2010), 17–35:

  1. Porn wrecks your view of sex.
  2. Porn wrecks your view of women.
  3. Porn wrecks women’s view of themselves.
  4. The porn industry abuses women.
  5. Porn is a sin against your wife. . . . If you’re not yet married, porn is a sin against your future wife.
  6. Porn wrecks families.
  7. Porn is enslaving.
  8. Porn erodes your character.
  9. Porn wastes your time, energy, and money.
  10. Porn weakens your relationship with God.
  11. Porn weakens your service.
  12. God’s wrath is against people who use porn.

Chester expounds on the above twelve reasons when explaining the first of what he calls five key “ingredients in the battle against porn”: Continue Reading…

Erik Thoennes, Life’s Biggest Questions: What the Bible Says About the Things That Matter Most, (Wheaton: Crossway, 2011), 35–37 (formatting added):

Essential vs. Peripheral Doctrine

The ability to discern the relative importance of theological beliefs is vital for effective Christian life and ministry. Both the purity and unity of the church are at stake in this matter. The relative importance of theological issues can fall within four categories:

  1. absolutes define the core beliefs of the Christian faith;
  2. convictions, while not core beliefs, may have significant impact on the health and effectiveness of the church;
  3. opinions are views or personal judgments that generally are not worth dividing over; and
  4. questions are currently unsettled issues.

These categories can be best visualized as concentric circles, similar to those on a dart board, with the absolutes as the “bull’s eye” (see fig. 3.4).

Into which category an issue falls should be determined by the cumulative force of at least eight considerations: Continue Reading…

That’s the title of a talk I gave this morning at Emmanuel Bible Church:

I attempt to answer two questions:

  1. Does the Son submit to the Father eternally?
  2. How does the Son’s submitting to the Father eternally apply to the roles of husbands and wives?

Recommended reading:

  1. Ware, Bruce A. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit: Relationships, Roles, and Relevance. Wheaton: Crossway, 2005. See esp. pp. 46–51, 72–85, 98–99, 137–47.
  2. Grudem, Wayne. Evangelical Feminism and Biblical Truth: An Analysis of More Than One Hundred Disputed Questions. Sisters, OR: Multnomah, 2004. See esp. pp. 25–48, 201–11, 552–99. Available online as a free PDF.
  3. Cowan, Steven B. “The Metaphysics of Subordination: A Response to Rebecca Merrill Groothuis.” Journal for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood 14, no. 1 (2009): 43–53.

I team-taught with my pastor, Andrew Franseen. We did Q&A at the end of Andrew’s second talk (from 38:22 to 50:34).

Related: Trinity Debate


That’s the title of a sermon. But it’s not one by Tim Keller, author of The Prodigal God.

This sermon was preached in 1891 by Charles Spurgeon.

The text is three words from Luke 15:20: “And kissed him.”

Some excerpts:

  • When sinners come to God, he gives them a loving reception, and a hearty welcome.
  • He forgives like a God.
  • Their past lies hidden under the blood of atonement.

HT: J. D. Crowley