The Dangerous Task of Expository Preaching

by Michael Cooper

preachingSince the inception of the Church on the day of Pentecost, the “sermon” has been a central part to the worship experience. The history of the sermon is quite intriguing. The communication of ancient wisdom and tradition passed down and delivered into the hearts and minds of the congregation is the task of the preacher. The preacher’s responsibility is to proclaim “the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.” However, in our culture, preaching a sermon is often a lost art and practice. Many churches prefer “conversations” as opposed to an outright monologue. Continue reading

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Seasons (Part 1): Primavera

by Kirk Spencer

Primavera00 Primavera

Within the warm heart of earth

Bulbs revive and ferns unfurl

Where roots grow deep

And leaf to reach

Promises warm in their wooden beds

Which wake as little leaf-fingers unfolding hope Continue reading

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Spiritual Cardiology

by Joshua Crutchfield

heartI believe that my wife and I have such a unique story that even Nicholas Sparks would want to buy the rights for his next best seller. You see, we have been close friends for nearly sixteen years. We served together in our youth group, of which her father was the youth pastor. We performed skits together. We were in the praise band together. We also dated. We were the familiar story of high school sweethearts; only our story broke from traditional patterns. In Jamie’s senior year of high school, her father took a position and moved his family to Tennessee. This brought the tentative conclusion to our relationship. As a result, I began to identify with all the sob songs of those with broken hearts. My world ended, or at least, that is what my heart wanted me to believe. Continue reading

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Is Using More Energy Immoral?

by Joe Wooddell

energy meterIn Jeffrey Ball’s interview with Vaclav Smil (Wall Street Journal Business and Environment page, April 9, “Looking for a Global Energy Solution? Well, Don’t”), Mr. Smil rightly maintains that when looking for energy solutions, “It’s all regional. It’s all local. And we just have to descend to that level to judge it.” That is, there is no one-size-fits-all, top-down solution from the UN, Washington, Kyoto, or wherever. Instead, local geography, weather conditions, needs, and especially local knowledge are the best means for determining what sorts of energy production and policies should be adopted in each region. Mr. Smil errs, however, by implying that Americans are somehow immoral or misguided for consuming 310 gigajoules of energy per capita, while “Japan and rich countries in the EU are about 170.” Mr. Smil asks whether consuming so much energy makes Americans smarter, happier, or live longer than the Europeans or the Japanese. By asking this he seems to assume that being smarter, happier, or living longer are the only good reasons for consuming energy. Finally he asks, “what have we gotten for consuming twice as much energy as Europe?” One answer Mr. Smil fails to see is GDP. By any measurement the United States exceeds its closest competitor (China) in total GDP by almost twice as much. Of course, the EU as a whole exceeds the US GDP (just barely), but keep in mind that total EU population is almost double that of the US. Continue reading

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Weekly Radio Wrap-Up

Here’s a summary of this past week’s For Christ and Culture radio broadcasts!

Noah is all the Rage (Friday, April 4)

Barry talks with Dr. Everett Berry about a recent post on his blog, All Things New, about the God of Noah.

A Light to the World (Monday, April 7)

Dr. Joe Wooddell drops by to talk with Barry about how to be a light in secular circles of society.

Ownership, Welfare, and Christian Response (Tuesday, April 8)

Barry is joined by Winston Hottman to talk about Aristotle, communal ownership, and generosity.

Galatians: Heaven in the Real World – Part 7 (Wednesday, April 9)

Barry talks about Galatians chapter 4 and how to go from the bondage of slavery to adoption as sons.

Mental Health and the Church (Thursday, April 10)

Dr. Henderson talks with Dr. Matthew Stanford about how the church can serve those who are struggling with mental illness.

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Blessed Insurance

by Kirk Spencer

00 BlessedInsuranceDid you hear about the “victory lap” celebration in the Rose Garden? On April Fool’s Day of all days. There was much handclapping because 7.1 million people signed up for health insurance. It was a standing O for Obama Care. No one there seemed to notice how foolish it was to celebrate obedience to something that was mandated by law—tax law in fact, that carries the “threat of punishment” from the most powerful government on the face of the earth.[1]  Maybe we should celebrate on the Ides (15th) of April as well as the first of April? It too is a deadline for something mandated by law…  income tax.

We praise folly when we applaud weak obedience to a particular unpopular law. And, we play the fool to stand in ovation because some have shown obeisance to a particular law at the very moment when the Rule of Law itself exits the world stage, stage left.

Are you paying attention? Continue reading

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Weekly Radio Wrap-Up

Here’s a summary of this past week’s For Christ and Culture radio broadcasts!

World Vision and the Traditional Family (Friday, March 28)

Barry talks about the recent announcement from World Vision and their policy regarding homosexual marriage.

Leading and Cooperating (Monday, March 31)

Barry is joined by Dr. James T. Draper, Criswell College Interim President, to discuss leadership tips and the continuing relevance and value of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Pragmatics (Tuesday, April 1)

Barry Creamer talks about why moral concerns should come before practical concerns.

Alpha Dogs and Dumbbells (Wednesday, April 2)

Our favorite wordsmith, poet, and sword maker, Professor Spencer, drops by to talk about a few of his recent posts on the Criswell blog.

Diagnosis, Medication, and Counseling (Thursday, April 3)

Barry talks with Dr. David Henderson, Director of Psychology and Counseling at Criswell College, about the importance of correct diagnosis when serving those who struggle with mental illness.

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