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Theology Matters

This weekend we had a great time of worship at Pillar Church. We invited the people of our church to show up an hour early this so that we could have a focused time of prayer for Colby & Annie Garman, our missionaries to Iceland. The Garmans are within a week or two of giving birth of to their third child, Gracie, who has a heart defect. Gracie’s Dr’s are saying she is going to have a series of surgeries after birth. Pillar people gathered to pray that God would heal the baby and send the Garmans back to Reykjavik.

Since the Garman’s are here Colby has been working with me on the church planting material I am working on. This week he finished a chapter on the importance of Theology in the life of a church planter.

Here is an excerpt…

“Now here are a couple of thoughts about how a leader can develop and sharpen their theological discernment.

Read, Read, Read! There is no substitute for literacy.  There is a little maxim that I believe to be true. I am not 100% sure, but thus far it fits everything I know about church leadership. Here it is: Some leaders love to read. Other leaders discipline themselves to read. I have yet to find a respectable leader that does neither. So here are some suggestions about reading

  • Read the Bible. Regardless of what you think about N.T. Wright’s view of justification, he is a great scholar and has done some amazing work in defense of the bodily resurrection of Jesus. When I read The Resurrection of the Son of God I was amazed at the scope of his understanding of the entirety of scripture. Later I remember hearing him discuss his habits in regards to Bible reading and he said that there is no substitute for the repeated reading of scripture (I believe he said that he reads the Old Testament twice every year and the NT four times).
  • Read classic Christian theological works. If someone has long been dead and is still being published there is usually a good reason. Become informed about influential Christian thinkers of the past and read portions of their work.  A few years back I set out to read one Puritan classic each month of the year. Although I did not quite accomplish my goal that year it has led to an ongoing habit of reading books from that era.  Each generation has certain assumptions that they do not test and others that they constantly challenge. Sometimes the greatest problems are in the areas we assume we have right. Reading books from other eras aids us in examining those areas that our own assumes to true.
  • Read authors that disagree with you. Evangelicalism has its people it loves to hate.  We are often tempted to criticize a movement or another Pastor before giving them a fair hearing. You cannot read everything, but if you are going to criticize, it is important to know that you are not misrepresenting someone. Furthermore we develop discernment when we read the best arguments that others have to offer and take time to critique what they have to say.”

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