Jonathan Edwards on Personal Bible Study

Far too few of us are willing to pick up the pickaxe of sound exegesis to labor and uncover the treasure of truth in the Scriptures that awaits us. As Christians, we are people of the book, birthed and formed by the word of truth (John 1:18). Though we live in one of the most literate countries in the history of the world with easy access to God’s word, far too few are giving the Bible a cursory reading let alone searching the Scriptures with the sort of intensity God desires for us. We tend to reduce Bible reading to just another task on a to-do list. This “get-it-done” mentality appeals to our pragmatism and mirrors the shallowness that typifies our culture, but a superficial reading of the Bible robs us of the slow and meditative reflection through which the Spirit forms us by his word.

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One Year at Redemption Church

On August 12, 2018, seventy people convened to partake of a ceremony few get to witness. None of us had planned on planting a church at the start of the year. Some of us barely knew each other. Some fused together in the furnace of ministry. Some of us just met a few months prior. The strange twist of God’s providence brought together a company of unlikely companions. We were—and still are—an odd group made up of farmers and bankers, engineers and professors, woodworkers and accountants, boomers and millennials, married and single, wealthy and poor. We were so different, but we were bound together by our shared faith in the resurrected Christ.

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You Need the Local Church

Christians tend to be skittish about the church. I feel like much of my ministry revolves around convincing Christians of their need to belong to a local body of believers, to commit themselves to its community , and to submit to its discipline and teaching. Though I’m able to convince some, others drift into the lone-ranger mentality that’s characteristic of much of what’s called spirituality today. Instead, many Christians take a more eclectic approach, creating their own spiritual regiment like consumers bouncing between storefronts in a mall.

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Pastor, First Shepherd Your Own Heart

Pastoral ministry is perilous. Not only do pastors face unique temptation due to their work, but their congregation watches their lives and imitation their actions. What a pastor most deeply loves, the church will grow to love. What captivates the imagination and affections of an elder will be mirrored by the church. Based on my anecdotal evidence, churches tend to become like their pastors over the years—both in the pastor’s strengths and deficiencies. This fact proves the wisdom and need for a plurality of elders in a local church, as many shepherds help balance out an individual’s weaknesses. Yet, the responsibility here is weighty.

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Lessons from Leviticus: Expositional Preaching from the Old Testament

In recent years, expository preaching has experienced a resurgence. In reaction to topical sermons driven by the personality and whims of the preacher or the felt needs of the congregation, many have returned to the practice of verse by verse exposition. I believe this trend has helped address the crisis of biblical illiteracy and the evangelical disconnect between the authority of Scripture and its sufficiency. Overall, the recovery of expositional preaching is a sign of health and cause for celebration. However, this return to text-driven preaching has exposed a hermeneutical deficiency—what do we do with the Old Testament?

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