this went thru my mind


666 & Revelation: “Why Can’t Johnny Count?” A Needed Guide for Preachers (and Commentators) on Gematria (666/616), Isopsephism, and Counting by Richard Oster

“A final inconvenient truth that has also yet to makes its way into some pulpits and halls of academic learning is that gematria was not a “secret code” used primarily by persecuted, minority groups to stay beneath the radar of the Evil Empire.”

Church & ministry: * The Problem with Grandpa’s Church; * An Open Letter to the Latest in a Long Series of People Angry at the Church; * Autopsy of a Deceased Church: 11 Things I Learned [essential reading]; * 10 Quick & Practical Ministry Principles that Will Bless Your Church

* “… there is a big problem that I see about seeking an adult faith and Church in the midst of youth culture, one that frightens and worries me deeply. The problem is me.”

* “To all those who are fed up with, cannot stand, and are otherwise angry at the church. I think I get your message. … The overwhelming majority of you are in your third decade of life. Some are much older, some are younger. That tells me that the majority of you simply have not had the opportunity to experience so much of life that longevity teaches. … hat leaves some of you who are my age and older who still angry at the church but for entirely different reasons. Maybe something I say will speak to you as well, but I fear the issues you have need another letter. Increased chronological age does not necessarily equate to increased maturity. An angry senior citizen is no improvement over an angry toddler. … I want to tell you that we – the older generation that you seem to be so bent on overcoming – have been where you have been and we have done what you are doing.”

* “As many as 100,000 churches in America could be dying. Their time is short, perhaps less than ten years. What do you think of the autopsy on this church? What can we do to reverse these trends?”

* “Here are ten ministry axioms I received from Larry Osborne.”

Depression & discouragement: * Is it ‘Unspiritual’ to be Discouraged? by Sinclair Ferguson; * Hymn Stories: God Moves in a Mysterious Way

* “Faith in Christ does not remove all of the causes of discouragement; rather, it enables us to overcome them.”

* “The mental pain [William] Cowper struggled with was primarily depression. He had four major battles with it through his life, leading him to attempt suicide on several occasions. … Cowper’s hymn writing came as a result of his friendship with John Newton.”

Heresy: I’m a Heretic, You’re a Heretic, Wouldn’t You Like to Be a Heretic Too?

“… how should we respond to heretical ideas in a world where any attempt to declare something heretical will be viewed with extreme prejudice? Here are just a few suggestions.”

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