By Archie Parrish. As we pray the Psalms, the Holy Spirit helps us commune with the Father, conform to the Son, and combat the devil.As sons and daughters in a conscious vital relationship with our Father and with His family in a local church, we can properly serve as soldiers in Christ’s army and gain victory in battles with the world, the flesh, and the devil.
Relationships in the neighborhood, at the office, or at school are important. But if they don’t extend beyond the confines of that environment they have limited value. And the same is true of relationships at church. Hopefully, the believer will have friendships with some that extend beyond the confines of a church program.
Are we willing to pay the price? That is a question that must be answered within the context of specific relationships. Can I love the son who has broken my heart? Can I love the student who I can’t seem to reach? Can I love the church member who seems to have so little to give to me? Or the neighbor who irritates me?
If God is good and all-powerful, why is there evil in his world? Is he really God? All-powerful? Good? Does he really rule his world? Where does he fit into the picture with all the bad things going on? And bottom line, we ask, How is it possible to reconcile the realities of life-sin, evil, and wickedness-with God’s all powerful and good rule? Theodicy is an attempt to justify and harmonize those things.
By William J. Larkin. Indeed, how can we communicate a gospel that is truly “good news” to the postmodern person (or any cultural being for that matter)? We must “exegete” the culture from the inside out. We must interpret the Scriptures at a metacultural level. Then, we must bring the two together in effective gospel communication.
Unanswered questions don’t go away, especially the ones never raised, never addressed.Our thinking needs to be challenged. Our values, even those we cherish the most, need to be evaluated. Our faith must be examined lest we find ourselves losing that which we claim is most dear.
The role of deacons is critical to the ministry of the local church. However, for some time it has suffered from a poor image. In reformed circles the office is rightly seen as one of service and helps. But with the growth of church buildings and property, deacons are often viewed more as caretakers of property and less as caretakers of people.
A church-based mercy ministry benefits not only those who receive help but also those who show mercy by blessing them with the heart of Christ for a needy world.
Volunteering in your church’s educational or women’s ministry doesn’t have to be a prison term. CE/P has three groups of trainers that can help you recapture your vision, supplement your efforts to encourage your co-laborers, and help set up a means for ongoing support.
By Brad Winsted. How can we give this generation within our reformed churches the memory stones and the rites of passages that mark their maturity to Christian adulthood?