Featured Articles on Trans·formed This Week
Preaching the Gospel from the Old Testament: A Homiletical Outline (Jeff Louie): In creating a homilectical outline for a sermon on Jonah, I am proposing one that includes three elements: historical, practical, and redemptive. The difficulties for the inclusion of these three elements are “time” and “cohesion.” Three goals means less time for each goal, as they have to be adequate expressed. One does not want to have a sermon that ends with a one-liner about the redemptive aspect. Sermons like this are very common since it’s easy to spend so much time on the historical and practical aspects of the sermon that the redemptive conclusion gets a mere sentence or two.
Little Steps on the Road to Change (Understanding Change part 2) (Chad Hall): When working with individuals and organizations, I find it best to start with incremental change. Why? Because change is hard and the desire for deep change comes only from a motivation that is informed by the journey of having tried incremental change and found it lacking. If incremental change is what is needed, then great. If not, the need for deeper change often becomes evident.
So? A Simple Question, A Powerful Impact (Bev Hislop): Ken was dating a girl in our church. Both Wendy and her parents were followers of Jesus. Ken was not. Wendy told Ken he needed to talk with the pastor before they could continue dating. Ken was a personable and determined young man so the possibility of losing Wendy drove him to comply. When he came into Pastor Jim’s office he was very cordial and seemingly open to Jim’s input. However, unknown to Jim, Ken had a plan that he was certain would enable him to leave the office unchanged.
The Fruit of the Spirit (Bill Mounce): Just as a healthy tree produces fruit, so also the life of a healthy follower of Jesus will change, and those changes are called “fruit.” Paul writes to the church in Galatia: “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23, ESV). Another translation says, “the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives (TNIV).
The Famine of Decent Preaching (John Johnson): Amos warned Israel that one of God’s severest judgments is to send a famine, not of bread or a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord. And maybe we are experiencing this. Part of it goes back to poor training. For all too many pastors, courses in homiletics can be long on stories and short on training. My homiletic notes were lost (by the professor!) shortly after seminary, and I confess I have never missed them. To me, they were as relevant as instructions for growing tropical plants in Iceland.
Other Articles on Trans·formed This Week
Other Posts of Interest from around the Web
- The Jeremy Lin Problem (NYT): We’ve become accustomed to the faith-driven athlete and coach, from Billy Sunday to Tim Tebow. But we shouldn’t forget how problematic this is. The moral ethos of sport is in tension with the moral ethos of faith, whether Jewish, Christian or Muslim.
- The Pastor as Counselor: During eras when church life has been vibrantly responsive to Scripture, pastors have counseled well and wisely. They have understood that their pastoral calling includes a signiﬁcant ‘counseling’ component. The faith proclaimed and practiced in congregational life also ﬁnds a natural home in conversational life. Pastor, you are a counselor.
- 3 Ways Smart Leaders Prepare for the Unknown: If we could predict the twists and turns in life, we’d never be confronted with the unknown. But things like cancer, death, or a sudden job loss are often beyond our control—they thrust us into an unknown world with little or no warning.
- A Lost Generation?: Fewer young women are practicing their faith: How the church can woo them back.
- A Love Note to the Workaholic: Many of us have spent the majority of our adult lives in jobs that train us to outrun and outsmart the experience that underpins love and connection – vulnerability.
- My Thoughts after Writing ‘Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus’: All in all these past few weeks have been a quick lesson and reminder of where my identity is. Is my identity in my failures? Nope. Is it in my successes? Nope. Is it in how many views I get on YouTube? Definitely not. My identity is in the Cross of Jesus, and His resurrection. I’ve had to anchor myself in that truth every morning, because the voices of the world are incredibly powerful.
- What does it mean to “Act like Men” – 1 Cor. 16:13?: Personally, I do not see anything in the biblical context or the usage of the word that requires a male orientation….But whatever it nuances may be, it is certainly a call for a mature courage, and that is always a good word.
About Marc Cortez
Theology Prof at Wheaton College, husband, father, & blogger, who loves theology, church history, ministry, pop culture, books, and life in general.