Is a plurality of elders necessary in the local church? (Josh Buice): When it comes to the local church, we must remember that everything we do should be evaluated through the lens of Scripture. If the Bible provides us with the necessities of both life and the practice of our faith—how the household of God functions really matters. Therefore, if God established a specific system and we choose to operate under a different model simply because of pragmatic rationale or a commitment to some form of modern trends or historic traditions—it must be noted that we don’t have such freedom to make those alterations. Read more at Church Leaders.
Pursue integrity relentlessly (John MacArthur): Ethical integrity is one of the indispensable attributes of Christlike character. As vital as it is to be sound in doctrine and faithful in teaching the truth of Scripture, it is by no means less crucial for Christians to be upright in heart and consistent in our obedience to the moral and ethical principles of God’s law. That is no simple duty, by the way. The moral standard God’s people are supposed to live by far surpasses even the highest principles of normal human ethics. Read more at Ligonier.
The night God took my wife: How grief imprisoned us to grace (Reid Karr): “If I could have known somehow that the Lord would call my wife, Kyra, home to be with him, I would have begged him to take me instead. Our girls were only six, four, and two. What hope did I have of raising them alone? The thought was unthinkable. It simply didn’t make sense.” Read more at Desiring God.
How can you tell if your church is gospel-centered? Start with the pulpit (Yancey Arrington): The tagline “gospel-centered” has become commonplace in the church-planting world. In many ways, this is a good thing. But we do well to ask: What exactly does the phrase mean? One of the best ways to “test” gospel-centrality in the life of a church plant is to look at the pulpit. A church may have “gospel-centered” peppered throughout their statement of beliefs and on their website, but one of clearest places to see whether gospel-centrality is a real value—or simply a buzzword—is when the pastor preaches God’s Word on Sunday. Read more at The Gospel Coalition.
Serious and sensitive preaching about hell (Ligon Duncan): How does the reality of hell and endless punishment make a difference in your preaching? How do you tackle them in a responsible and appropriate way? What do you need to avoid when treating them? How should we preach hell and eternal punishment (if at all)? Read more at Reformation 21.
Three approaches to Ecclesiastes (Peter Krol): In my observation, Ecclesiastes is second only to Revelation in the number of competing interpretive approaches available to readers of the book. It offers a great case study in how perception can drastically affect both interpretation and application. This fact ought to motivate us to be as meticulous as possible in observing the text within its context. Read more at Knowable Word.