How I read the Bible differently than John MacArthur

John-MacArthurA friend pointed me to Tim Challies’ recent interview with John MacArthur in which MacArthur doubled down on the claims made in his Strange Fire conference condemning the charismatic movement in Christianity. While I don’t have time to consider MacArthur’s scriptural arguments exhaustively, one of the passages he used to support his cessationist view that the Holy Spirit has stopped revealing things to people in the way that happened in Biblical times is Ephesians 2:20. I find his use of this passage providentially ironic and a good opportunity to illustrate how differently we read the Bible.

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Jesus inside the beltway: Glocalization and relationship-rooted causes

On the last day of our GBCS young clergy leadership forum, we learned the term “glocalization.” It’s actually not an affirmation of the activist world cliche that we should “think globally and act locally.” The problem is precisely that we too often think about activism in global terms instead of local ones. Activism that is understood in kingdom terms should always seek as localized a form as possible even if it occurs over a distance that is global. Let me explain. Continue reading

Giftedness vs. Expertise (Jesus vs. Plato series)

In the church, we often face a clash of paradigms for understanding whose opinion to trust (usually regarding the question of how to make our churches grow or at least stop shrinking, since that’s the desperate question most churches are obsessed with). On the one hand, there are experts, who have worldly credentials such as Ph.D.’s and C.V.’s and work for think-tanks or institutes that we think merit our respect and attention. On the other hand there are prophets, people whom God has presumably given a word to share with us, but they are usually entirely ordinary people with no worldly training or credentials upon which to stake their credibility. Continue reading