Monday News & Links (October 5)
School's back in session, even for the late-starters now. So we thought we'd kick off this week's news & links by throwing up two pieces about school. Seminary, to be precise.
"It's time to call a spade a spade," writes Thune, an Omaha-based Acts 29 church planter, in his recent two-part series. "I am not anti-seminary. I have a seminary degree myself, and I cherish the education and the spiritual formation that it provided me. But it’s time for someone to challenge the standard assumptions." With plenty of carefully noted caveats, Thune disassembles the "I'm called to ministry, therefore I go to seminary," formula.
Ed writes in his web interview on goingtoseminary.com: "I realize some people are suspicious of seminary because they feel it institutionalizes the work of ministry. ... But I would push back against that attitude and say that most graduates will tell you the education they received has helped to shape a proper theology, ecclesiology, and missiology.
"Seminary also offers something personal that we tend to lose as pastors and planters: camaraderie. As a planter, I was constantly around people and, at the same time, I was utterly alone. The time spent in seminary gives you the opportunity to learn how to seek out strong friendships and remain accountable in them. It is a side benefit to the education but a helpful one nonetheless."
Tim Challies interviews Bill Farley on his new book, Gospel-Powered Parenting and, in his 8th question, asks how parents could guard against promoting gospel-opposed moralism in parenting. "The only way," says Farley, "is to understand the nature of New Birth, to understand justification by faith alone, and to aim all of your parenting efforts at these targets. Parents that center their families around the gospel tend to get these results."
Tim Chester briefly contrasts the modern secular understanding of character versus the biblical understanding of character. "In our culture... character has come to be virtually synonymous with personality. My character is the combination of idiosyncrasies that mark me out as different from other people. We used to say ‘He is a man of good character’ meaning he is a man of integrity and generosity. Now we say ‘He is a character’ meaning he is an eccentric, a bit different."
From our friends at The Resurgence comes Dr. Catanzaro's three-part series on Healthy Pastors. "Your pastors may be built as tough as a Dodge, but I tell you they weep, ache, sweat, agonize, intensely labor and lose sleep over their tribe. They weep over those who are living separate from Christ and labor to keep sheep in healthy pastures away from harmful predators. They sweat to provide nurturing food. They ache and agonize to provide a better way for you and for me. Give them the best of your prayers, service and work—your sacrifices and action of faith will be the aroma of Christ."
Darrin Patrick, Acts 29's Vice President and Jonathan McIntosh with Rethink Mission have been working with the Chicago Partnership for Church Planting. They are hosting their second huddle on "principles of urban church planting" on October 13th from 9:30am-1pm. Eric Mason (Epiphany Fellowship in Philly) and Phillip Jenson of St. Andrew's Cathedral in Sydney will be speaking. RSVP by emailing Sam Smith at ssmith "at" htcchicago.org.
Jeff Vanderstelt (Acts 29's Second Vice President), Tim Smith (Mars Hill Church Worship Pastor), and JD Greear (Acts 29 church planter) will be teaching at this training day on Vintage 21's Raleigh campus.
We have a lot coming up this month and next on the calendar, all over the country and beyond... check them out.