Walking on Water When You Feel Like You’re Drowning (Tyndale, 2012) by Tommy Nelson & Steve Leavitt
A book review by Michael Staton, pastor, First Baptist Church, Mustang, Okla. (http://fbcmustang.org)
In my 19 years of serving on a pastoral team, I have spent countless hours ministering to people as they shared their problems, concerns and burdens. I have heard stories of grief, anger, confusion, sadness, loss and depression. For many years I felt the pressure to “fix” them. After all, they called me. They trusted me. They thought I could do or say something that would make them better. If they left my office and were not “fixed,” would they think less of me? Would they think they wasted their time, or even worse, question if there really was any hope for them?
A Biblical Critique of Calvinism
Part 10: The Repentance Aspect of the Gospel Invitation
This is the thirteenth of a series of articles by Dr. Cox, with a Biblical critique of Calvinism drawn in part from his book Not One Little Child. All Scripture quotations are taken from the New American Standard Bible unless otherwise noted.
Strict emphasis on the work of the Holy Spirit and minimization of the response of man disarm the importance of the biblical teaching of repentance.1 The word metanoia means a change of mind, heart, and direction on behalf of the individual in response to God. Who would deny that Jesus came to call sinners to repent? The Bible teaches that He came to save what was lost, this means the unrepentant (Matt. 18:11). Jesus said to His listeners that they too would perish, unless they repent (Luke 13:3). He came calling sinners to repentance (Luke 5:32). All have sinned (Rom. 3:23). Therefore, Jesus calls all to repentance.
Newport smartly notes that, by definition, sin is a free and responsible act of disobedience and is man’s fault, not his fate.2 He argues that the New Testament description of God’s judgment on sin clearly teaches that each human is accountable to God for the use of his or her freedom.3 God’s justice makes all of us accountable for our choices. God does not force His will upon anyone. He invites people to respond. Each person has an option.
Calvinism does not seem to factor in Scripture which teaches that it is not God’s will that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. And the Bible is replete with evidence regarding this.
By Johnathan Pritchett
We often hear two things about the economy. These days, the first thing you are likely to hear is that the economy is bad. This may be a temporary condition that could get better. The other thing, which is more often heard about the economy in general during any climate is that we now live in a global economy. This is often discussed in the news and talk radio, and even pastors bring up this issue in our churches. What is often neglected when it comes to getting any attention is that we also, as has always been the case, live in a 24-hour economy.
The number of people working second and third shift has greatly increased in the last couple of decades, and in many cases during this sort of economic climate, these shifts fill up fast because people will work any hours they can get. Whether the economy is good or bad, those people who work the late shifts often get little interaction with those who live and do business during the daylight hours. Men and women with families are hardly getting the kind of quality time with their loved ones compared to those who work during regular business hours. Imagine being a parent, married or single, and you are sleeping when your children are at school, and you are either headed to work before they come home or just waking up for work when it is their bedtime. Imagine being single with no kids. What is there for you to ever do to meet people or fellowship? For people working these shifts, their free time is usually when everyone else is at work or sleeping.
By Dr. Eric Hankins, pastor
First Baptist Church, Oxford, Miss.
As I said in my previous post, I appreciate greatly Jon’s desire to make a friendly reply to my blog post that also deals honestly with the places where we differ. In this post and the next, I will address the content of his critique. Let me begin by saying that I am absolutely in favor of Christ-centered homiletics when it is done with a desire to preserve authorial intent. There are places in Jon’s critique where it seems that he thinks I believe that the interpretation of OT texts shouldn’t take into account their relationship to the grand redemptive story of the gospel:
However, while I appreciate him raising the discussion, I would differ with his conclusions. Eric states that Christ-centered exposition is all the “rage” among reformed preachers. Actually, it should be the rage among all Christian preachers. After all, Paul said that it is “Him we proclaim” (Col 1:28).