In this post, Ray Ortlund relies of Francis Schaeffer to pose a question for the church, “A nice church filled with nice people doing nice things will make no impact in the intensity of our times. Every hybrid form of “Christianity” deserves to die, and it will die, because it simply is not of God. But here is a pathway back into the prophetic power of apostolic Christianity. In 1974 I heard Francis Schaeffer preach at the Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization. His sermon was unforgettable. Schaeffer asked the question, What is the Christian’s task in the world today? A clearly focusing question. And his answer was not evangelism. Evangelism can seem canned and mechanical, he said, like a sales pitch. But when evangelism is pursued as part of something larger, something beautifully humane, it will be convincing, even captivating. What then is that larger whole, embodied in a truly biblical church?”
Peter Adams offers some practically helpful advice on how churches can start training young men for preaching. A heart, it just takes some effort.
“How and when should a pastor speak up about current events? The question is not new. What’s new is both the urgency of this obligation and also the degree to which parishioners demand that pastors speak to specific concerns. Several pastors I know have recounted stories of parishioners leaving their churches because they spoke either too much, or not enough, about specific issues in the news. What cultural or social changes might help us understand this expectation for pastors to bear witness to myriad concerns? How might we navigate these changes as healthy pastors and churches?”