What Pastors Should Tell Their Wives

What Pastors Should Tell Their Wives

A few years ago I wrote an article on what pastors should not tell their wives. In it I argued that there is much that it said behind closed doors, in elder meetings (e.g.,consistory or session meetings), that should not be repeated to anyone who is not authorized to...
Revoice, Nashville, And The Therapeutic Revolution

Revoice, Nashville, And The Therapeutic Revolution

More than 50 years ago Philip Rieff alerted us to what has been called the “therapeutic revolution.” The West did not pay attention and now our broader culture is awash in therapeutic categories and rhetoric. Anyone, on most any university campus, who dares to...
Grumpy Old Men, “A Ministry Of Condemnation,” And The Church

Grumpy Old Men, “A Ministry Of Condemnation,” And The Church

The Bible contrasts two very different kinds of ministries. In 2 Corinthians 3:6 the apostle Paul says that we are ministers of the New Covenant, of the Spirit and not of the letter. The contrast the apostle is making is between the New Covenant as the fulfillment of the promises made to Abraham, which he calls the “ministry of righteousness,” and the particular phenomenon of the giving of the law on Sinai to Moses—which he designates as the “ministry of condemnation.” The contrast between them is important because each kind of ministry produces its own kind of fruit in its recipients.

Choose Your Metaphors Carefully: The Church Is A Pasture Not A Business

Choose Your Metaphors Carefully: The Church Is A Pasture Not A Business

35 years ago, when I began seminary, the “church growth” movement was hitting its stride. In a course taught by an adjunct professor with a Harvard MBA we were taught how be efficient just the way successful CEOs are. Later, in the church growth literature with which...
When Your Pastor Becomes A Social-Justice Action Hero

When Your Pastor Becomes A Social-Justice Action Hero

I know it has become en vogue in our day for pastors to think they’re doing their congregations a great service by framing their sermons to deal with the social justice issues of the day. Obviously, the problems are many and we’re never short of issues to address:...
The Difference Between Magic And Ministry

The Difference Between Magic And Ministry

As a child I was fascinated by “magicians” such as Harry Blackstone Jr. For a few dollars one could order a kit or study library books and learn to do “magic.” Of course, it was not magic at all. It was merely sleight of hand. The “magician” is an illusionist. He...