A Few Good Reads

October 19, 2016
photo credit: solidether via photopin cc

photo credit: solidether via photopin cc

The Biblical Necessity of Judging Others
Our culture loves to quote Matthew 7:1 as a way of silencing Christians for their critiques of wayward morality. Unfortunately, many Christians wrongly quote this verse to other believers who are called false doctrine to account or pointing out where people are not walking in step with what it means to follow Jesus. David Prince explains what this verse does mean and what it doesn’t mean. “The entire Sermon on the Mount requires moral judgments to be made by the followers of king Jesus. Elsewhere, Paul urges the followers of Christ, ‘Test everything; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil’ (1 Thess 5:21-22). The word translated test in this verse means ‘to prove, verify, examine prior to approval, judge, evaluate, discern’ (Ceslas Spicq, the Theological Lexicon of the New Testament [TLNT]).”

Hillbillies: My Kinsmen According to the Flesh
I loved J.D. Vance’s book “Hillbilly Elegy.” Here Jeff Robinson reviews it and shares his thoughts on how Vance accurately portrayed the struggles in rural America. Then he shows how the Gospel addresses the root of these terrible issues.  “Vance rightly detects the odd dichotomy of a people who hold affinity for Jesus, but none for his church. Personal transformation is a community project, so we need each other. We need churches that are serious about being the church.”

Nine Characteristics of a Real Man
In the last two weeks, we have heard a lot of talk about how “all men” act a certain way and what they discuss. Vince Miller explains who God has created men to be and what a man who is truly being conformed into Jesus’ image looks like. “We need a better definition of masculinity, and who better to define what masculinity is than the Creator himself. When God created life, he reached down to touch and mold man from the earth. With care and intimacy, he created man in a distinctive way. Ultimately, we learn that God is embedding his own image into man.”

10 Tips for Leading Kids to Christ
For those of us who are raising children, seeing them come to know Jesus stands as one of our life’s chief preoccupations. Jason Allen shares ten helpful tips to help us along the way. “Be faithful to teach them the Word, to shape their hearts, and, yes, to indoctrinate them. Even if your church is healthy enough to outsource your kid’s spiritual formation, do not do it. It is unbiblical, and it robs you of some of life’s greatest joys.”

The Power of a Dinner Table
When I think about my childhood, the first image that comes to my mind is our family dinner table. Around that table I experienced a lot of laughs, heard a lot of great stories, and received a fair share of correction. David Brook talks about the power of a dinner table, and how it can be a place where people find real friendship and community. “The problems facing this country are deeper than the labor participation rate and ISIS. It’s a crisis of solidarity, a crisis of segmentation, spiritual degradation and intimacy.”

Scott Slayton

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Scott Slayton is the Lead Pastor at Chelsea Village Baptist Church in Chelsea, AL. He and Beth have been married since 2003 and have four children.