The 2018 Top Ten
As we come the the end of 2018, the Alliance wants to thank you for another year of faithful readership and continued support of the Christward Collective. We look forward to 2019 and the ways in which the Lord will continue to work through us to help provide resources for the building up of His people. To that end, here are the top ten posts of this past year:
"There is one specific kind of undiscerned spiritual pride that I think is not often discussed and is especially hard to recognize—the danger of doctrinal righteousness. Sadly, I think it’s a particularly prevalent danger among Reformed, theologically-minded Christians. It’s a danger I have fallen into at times. By doctrinal righteousness, I mean trusting in your doctrinal correctness as your righteousness, as opposed to trusting Christ as your righteousness. The difference can be very subtle, and, of course, will be marked by humility or pride."
"I've been wondering if we've given adequate consideration to the relationship that exists between idolatry and anxiety. Many rightly cite reasons to separate the one from the other (i.e. physiological problems, mental problems etc.); but in our Lord’s teaching in Matthew 6, he clearly links certain forms anxiety to idolatry."
"Small or large, every church has the important responsibility of receiving visitors. When someone visits your church for the first time, what is their experience? Welcoming visitors is rarely discussed, and very few churches have plans in place to make sure it happens, but it is a deficiency worthy of a remedy."
"'You scratch my back; I'll scratch yours.' This familiar idiomatic phrase sometimes simply refers to the way in which people with differing skills and abilities seek to care for one another out of a sense of need and gratitude. However, more often than not, it represents the way in which people are willing to show unjust partiality to one another for dishonest advancement or gain."
"God not only calls believers to attend church but to bind themselves to a local, Bible-believing congregation in a visible and vital way."
"In recent years, a number of Reformed theologians have introduced the phrase ordinary means of grace to a forthcoming generation of ministers. The incorporation of this phase into the vocabulary of the church has been quite easily observable--especially in serious-minded Confessionally Reformed churches where it has become something of a Shibboleth of orthodox worship and missions. Nevetheless, few have set out, in summary form, the variations of its use in the history of the Church."
"Leading and managing church staff can be one of the most challenging andexhilarating aspects of pastoral ministry. Unfortunately, staff can develop relational tension with other staff or volunteers. They can become resentful or bitter toward the leadership of the church. Sometimes, they can even begin to work independently from the overall mission of the church and gather adherents to their “side,” stirring up division within the body."
"I have something of an aversion to the term paedobaptist (i.e. infant baptist). I don't prefer the terminology because I believe it to be too restictive in nature. I much prefer the term oikobaptist (i.e. household baptist) for a number of biblical and theological reasons. In this post, I want to share a few of those reasons why I call myself a household baptist."
"We never forget our spectacular failures; but more often than not, the fear, regret, and embarrassment evaporate, leaving behind the residue of a humorous story. After we have healed, what remains is the callous of proven resilience. At least, that’s how we should work through our failures in light of God’s sovereignty and goodness. Granted, this pattern does not apply so much to moral failures, or deep trauma, though those episodes can still result in redemptive value."
"We must be vigilant and intentional to keep our heart, but there are times when we are weakened by our sin, the world around us, and the spiritual forces at work against us. In those times, we have to remember and trust God's promise to keep us for eternity. Though we are to work hard to guard our hearts, God is ultimately the one who preserves us and keeps us. "And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ" (Philippians 1:6). Though we might stumble in our duties, God will not let anyone or anything keep us from him (Romans 8:35-39)."