The Flame of Revival

Friend, Dr. Michael Haykin, responded to the question “What can we learn from Christian Fundamentalists” in the most recent 9Marks e-journal. I found his answer balanced and very helpful. For so many of us that value truth, it is easy to think that right doctrine will lead to a Third Great Awakening. However, the truth is that our doctrine must be lit on fire by the Holy Spirit. Only then will people see that which we preach as being true objectively and subjectively.

After saying that we can learn how to be resolute in our convictions of truth and in our desire to be holy, Haykin finished with this:

Yet, as Fundamentalism pursued these passions, all too frequently it found itself getting sidelined in debates about tertiary issues and becoming a movement that fostered schism rather than reformation. At times it seemed to forget that theological orthodoxy in and by itself cannot revitalize Christian communities: the coals of orthodoxy are vital, but there must be the life-giving flame of the Spirit as well.

Nice Type of Boaz

“Boaz is the type of the bridegroom who marries Ruth in order to raise up a seed for the old and widowed Naomi. James Jordan says Ruth is a substitute bride, because the firstborn seed is her seed, and leads to the redeemer that comes into the world. Typologically: The Bridegroom marries the Moabitess, the Gentile widow, but he does it in order to give a seed to the Israelite widow. All Israel is saved through the marriage of Gentiles with the redeemer.” Peter Leithart

Baucham and Youth Ministry

“Paradigm Shift, Not Program Shift: An Interview with Voddie Baucham”

Gary Shavey inteviews Baucham, who discusses his book Family Driven Faith.

In his book Baucham calls families to recapture the vision Scripture presents for the family. So much of evangelicalism has bought into the notion that programs are the primary means by which disciples of Christ are made. God has instituted the family to be the primary means by which discipleship happens and sticks.

In this interview, Baucham sees three things wrong with typical youth minstries:

1) It’s not scriptural. It is not biblical to separate people based upon age. It is based on the government education system.
2) Actually works against biblical model of family discipleship.
3) It doesn’t work. Since the advent (late 60’s, early 70’s). Our youth baptism and retention rate has steadily declined.

“Youth ministry is one of the symptoms of the problem.” That problem is that we have left ministry in the hands of the paid ministers and forgotten our call as soul care-takers of our children.

The role we have adopted has actually usurped the role of families; it has crippled the role of families. Baucham says that we have created a “spiritual welfare system” where the parents are told to stay out. Thus, when a youth worker tries to “do their job,” they find that they can’t because the parents have not been training their children at home.

What are your thoughts about youth ministry? I have friends who are youth ministers, how should this inform the way they/you do ministry to youths?

New Social Wholeness

The church is then not simply the bearer of the message of reconciliation, in the way a newspaper or a telephone company can bear any message with which it is entrusted. Nor is the church simply the result of a message, as an alumni association is the product of a school or the crowd in the theater is the product of the reputation of the film. That men are called together to a new social wholeness is itself the work of God which gives meaning to history, from which both personal conversion (whereby individuals are called into this meaning) and missionary instrumentalities are derived (John Howard Yoder, “A People in the World: Theological Interpretation,” in James L. Garrett, Jr., The Concept of the Believers’ Church (Scottdale, PA: Herald, 1969) 258.