Justin Taylor highlights a fantastic article by David Powlison that was published in the Journal of Biblical Counselling in 1993.
But for the other sort of Bible‑believer the Bible is a grand piano. In fact it’s a grand piano, plus the rest of the orchestra, plus the great composers, plus the great pianists, plus the great conductors. It sounds all the notes, all the tones, all the rhythms, all the keys, all the special effects, all the nuances. That’s the vision biblical counselors have of the Bible. It’s crammed. The Composer, Conductor and Musician is active.
When people with thin Bibles hear people with crammed Bibles talk about the sufficiency of Scripture for counseling, they hear, “Something thin and incomplete is sufficient for a very complex job.” That sounds ridiculous. Biblical counseling sounds absurd, doctrinaire, obscurantist, the rantings of small‑minded know‑nothings who glory in their ignorance.
But when people with crammed Bibles speak of Scripture’s sufficiency they mean—or ought to mean—”Something living and active, inexhaustibly rich, comprehensive and relevant, is sufficient for a very complex job.” That sounds reasonable. And when in the trenches of face‑to‑face ministry the Lord Himself speaks to people, that profession of vision is vindicated.
Andrew Davis has written an article at the Gospel Coalition on how to run an elders meeting.
By the astounding grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the elders have been entrusted with the awesome role of “undershepherds” of his flock. This ministry is done collectively; therefore, the elders must meet together regularly to carry it out. The elders must consecrate themselves to the glory of God and the good of his people, and carry out the shepherding, prayer, discernment, and management tasks entrusted to them. As they do so, they should conduct themselves as Spirit-filled men who seek unity and true understanding of each other’s minds.
Justin Taylor summarizes one of David Platt’s messages at Verge 12 where he gave 8 non-negotiables for mobilizing the local church for accomplishing the great commission. The 8 non-negotiables are:
1. A God-centered God.
2. A word-saturated ministry.
3. A life-changing gospel.
4. A Spirit-empowered church.
5. A Christ-driven strategy.
6. A peoples-focused goal.
7. A multifaceted approach.
8. A death-defying commitment.
Rick Phillips has written an article that should help clear the air about whether one should privately phone the author of a book or article before offering public criticism of their work. Rick offers 4 reasons why Matthew 18 is not a valid objection, and you can read his explanations at Reformation 21.
1. Matthew 18 establishes a procedure for dealing with personal sins, not public debate.
2. Just as private matters should be handled privately, public matters should be handled publicly.
3. When an author happens to be an officer under confessional vows to the Church, writings that impact the application of those standards are a public, not a private matter.
4. We must realize that teaching and publishing entails a public responsibility that invokes public scrutiny and criticism.
Bobbie Jamieson at 9 Marks has written a very good review of Iain Murray’s classic book Revival & Revivalism, and follows it up with 7 important lessons for us to reflect on:
1. Don’t Confuse an External Act with Inward Change.
2. Beware of Producing False Converts.
3. Be Cautious about Giving Immediate Assurance of Salvation.
4. Tether your Ministry to What God Requires in his Word.
5. Make Sure your Theology Drives your Practice, not Vice Versa.
6. Don’t Equate Outward Success with a Divine Endorsement.
7. Celebrate the Normal.