Healthy Churches and Christian Growth

From Mark Dever’s Nine Marks of a Healthy Church, p. 214-215: “A healthy church has a pervasive concern with church growth–not simply growing in numbers but growing members. A church full of growing Christians is the kind of church growth I want as a pastor. Some today seem to think that one can be a “baby Christian” for a whole lifetime. Growth is seen to be an optional extra for particularly zealous disciples. But be very careful about taking that line of thought. Growth is a sign of life. Growing trees are living trees, and growing animals are living animals. When something stops growing it dies. “Growth may not mean that you negotiate this rapid in half the time you negotiated the last; it may simply mean that you are able to continue in the right direction as a Christian, regardless of the adverse circumstances. Remember, it is only the things that are alive that swim upstream; the dead things

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Christ-centered Means Cross-centered

This post, and the next (above), concern a couple of books I’m currently reading. They were among the freebies given out at T4G last week. They are excellent reads and in different ways prophetic. This first one addresses the central doctrine of penal substitutionary atonement. My thanks to Justin Childers for this: In My Place Condemned He Stood: Celebrating the Glory of the Atonement by JI Packer and Mark Dever is a great compilation of articles. This is a book to become familiar with and to return to again and again. Article 1 is called “The Heart of the Gospel” and is a discussion of the Biblical concept of propitiation (wrath-quenching sacrifice). Article 2 is called, “What did The Cross Achieve? The Logic of Penal Substitution.” This is a difficult article to navigate but extremely helpful in thinking through the essence of the atonement. Article 3 is called, “Nothing but the Blood” and deals with some of the more modern

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T4G – Here I Come!

Next week I’ll be heading out to Louisville, Kentucky, for the T4G conference. This has been made possible by some good friends. To whom I’m very grateful! Many of my favourite preacher/teachers will be speaking. It’s a mouth watering prospect indeed, but more importantly I’m expecting it to be a life changing encounter. You can check out the titles of the sessions here. Here’s some highlights from the last conference in 2006. I’m also booked in for the Band of Bloggers luncheon. Should be fun!