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Monday, April 28, 2008

Marriage Enrichment Weekend

Just been on a marriage enrichment weekend... this was the view from the pool and spa area!
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Friday, April 18, 2008

when is the norm directive?

Perhaps you can help me with a question I have regarding church government. Over the past few months I have been think about elders and looking at what the Bible has to say about it. This is what I have concluded:
A plurality of male elders is the the norm for NT churches.
The question I have though is when does the norm become directive. Mark Dever in his 9 marks of a Biblical Church says: The only two biblical church offices are deacon and elder. And I agree that the norm for the NT churches was to have elders and deacons. But how do we know that this is then directive for churches today. There appears to be lots of other examples of things in the NT church that are normative that we reject as directive. eg. they met on Saturday...

There also seems to be a whole category of people in the NT who can be classified as Paul's fellow workers but who were not elders or deacons but may have done elder like things eg. Apollos in Corinth, Timothy (was he an elder?), Epaphroditus.

Is the NT norm of eldership directive for us today or is a means to an end. That is, would Paul be happy with some other structure or office that achieved the goals of shepherding, overseeing, keeping the wolves at bay and teaching the word of God?

Thoughts? How do the Anglicans argue for their church government?

Taking a stand...

We have done a five week series on this at church.
- Scripture Alone
- Grace Alone
- Christ Alone
- Faith Alone
- To the glory of God alone

The last talk has been the hardest to prepare. After much erring I decided to tackle it by looking at God's glory in creation (Ps 19), Jesus (the incarnation) (Jn 1:14), salvation (John 17; Eph 1), judgment (Exodus 13:7-4:31).

It has been humbling to see God working for his glory even in our salvation.... an exert from my talk...

At the cross, what is on the mind of Jesus? His Father’s glory! His glory! We sing a song here at church occasionally called “Above all” This is how the chorus goes…

Crucified, laid behind the stone;
you lived to die, rejected and alone;
like a rose, trampled on the ground,
you took the fall,
and thought of me, above all

That’s what we like to believe isn’t it. That the cross was primarily about me. But it’s not! Which goes against the grain of popular Christianity. There’s something kind of offensive about Jesus’ prayer (Jn 17) here isn’t there. Jesus’ prayer as he approaches the cross is God centred, and not real people centred.

Which we don’t like. We like to domesticate God. It’s kinda of scary to think of God who creates this world and this universe, and goes to the extent of sending his Son to the cross so that his name might be made known, so that he will be glorified and magnified as God – and has the right to that!

We like to think of a God who’s much more preoccupied with pleasing us. And we particularly like to think that about the cross. The one thing we thought would be about us is about Jesus. It’s about God. It was about God bringing glory to himself through his Son.

Not even our salvation is primarily about us… but it’s about God!