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Showing posts from March, 2016

No Retreat

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That’s the first “R” that Kevin DeYoung, senior pastor of University Reformed Church in Michigan, wrote in his “The Three R’s of Christian Engagement in the Culture War.” [1] In the face of controversy and opposition, it’s always tempting to withdraw into friendlier confines. But working for the public good is part of loving our neighbors as ourselves. The pietistic impulse to simply focus on winning hearts and minds does not sufficiently appreciate the role of institutions and the importance of giving voice to truth in the public square. Conversely, the progressive impulse to stay quiet for fear that we’ll invalidate our witness is a misguided strategy to win over the world by letting them win. [2] If we love our neighbor, we will give “voice to truth in the public square”. If we keep silent, the world wins and we have let them win. It’s like losing a game by default because we did not even bother to show up.

The prophet Jeremiah almost gave up. People mocked him and his message. Time …

Provoked to Proclaim

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If anyone deserved a break, it was the apostle Paul. He just escaped under the guise of darkness from an angry mob in Thessalonica. Then, he had to be escorted out of Berea to Athens to avoid an agitated crowd. (Read Acts 17:1-15.) He could use a vacation. Now, Athens had a reputation for being a city full of beautiful buildings and artworks. But Paul’s sightseeing stirred up something other than awe for Athens.
Now while Paul was waiting for them at Athens, his spirit was provoked within him as he saw that the city was full of idols. So he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and the devout persons, and in the marketplace every day with those who happened to be there. (vv. 16-17, ESV. Emphasis added.)He got provoked with what he saw so he reasoned with them. It did not say he was inspired. He was provoked. According to the Theological Dictionary of the New Testament,  “his spirit was provoked or incensed in him.” It means he got so irritated and angry with what he saw. Our referenc…

Engage

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One sleepy morning, a researcher of an opinion poll company knocked on a door and a guy who just woke up answered. The researcher asked, “Sir, do you agree that the problem with our society is that we are ignorant of and apathetic the issues around us?” The guy yawned, “I don’t know and I don’t care.”
Whether we like it or not, we are in a culture war, that is, “a battle of ideas, an ideological struggle.” [1] We cannot deny it and we cannot hide from it. Kevin DeYoung, senior pastor of University Reformed Church in Michigan wrote regarding , I know, I know—you really don’t like the term “culture war.” The mission of the church is not to “reclaim” [our country]. The growth of the church does not rely on political victories or societal approval. And we don’t want the people we are trying to reach to think we are at war with them. … I know every generation thinks they are facing unprecedented problems, but it really does feel like free speech, religious freedom, and the institution of mar…