A No-Nonsense Conversation on Calling

This podcast episode from Mark Dever and Jonathan Leeman is one of the clearest, most demystifying conversations I have heard on “the call” to ministry. I might tweak one or two of their comments, but overall I think you will find their perspective very helpful.

What about you? What do you think about their assessment of and commentary on calling?

[Source]

More Than Gospel Rudiments

William Still (2010) challenges us to push further into the Gospel and all that it means:

In evangelical circles the danger that the Gospel may be equated with the mere rudiments of the Word of God has become almost a disaster, for these rudiments are only the beginning of the Good News. There are profounder things by far in the Bible than what is called ‘the simple Gospel,’ although they issue from it. Indeed, in a sense, those who proclaim almost exclusively forgiveness of sins and justification, only make known the preliminaries to the best Good News, which is not that our sins are put away and that we are justified in God’s sight, wonderful though that is, but that God wants us for Himself and to that end brings us to the birth in Christ. After all, the death of Jesus, for all its wonder, is a means to an end, which is not merely that we may be right and clean but that we may be His, which involves personal relationship in love.” (p. 62)

Would you agree with his assessment?

Still, W. (2010). The Work of the Pastor.

The Importance of Singing in Spiritual Formation

Andy Crouch (2017) makes an interesting point about the wholistic nature of singing and its contribution to our spiritual formation:

Worship is more than singing, of course. But there is something about singing that is fundamental to Jewish and Christian worship – starting with the Psalms, continuing with the hymns that grew out of the early church and the renewal and revival movements of subsequent centuries, finding new expression in the chants of Christian slaves in the American South, and abounding even today in a profusion of “worship music.”

Simply, singing may be the one human activity that most perfectly combines heart, mind, soul, and strength. Almost everything else we do requires at least one of these fundamental human faculties: the heart, the seat of the emotion and the will; the mind, with which we explore and explain the world,; the soul, the heart of human dignity and personhood; and strength, our bodies’ ability to bring about change in the world. But singing (and maybe only singing) combines them all. When we sing in worship, our minds are engaged with the text and what it says about us and God, our hearts are moved and express a range of emotions, our bodily strength is required, and – if we sing with “soul” – we reach down into the depths of our beings to do justice to the joy and heartbreak of human life. (pp. 190-191)

Crouch, A. (2017). The tech-wise family: Everyday steps for putting technology in its proper place. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.