Author Archives: Kevin DeYoung
It sounds like the beginning of a joke or a support group introduction, but it’s true: some of my best friends are Baptists. I speak at conferences with and to Baptists. I read books by Baptists (both the dead and the living). I love the Baptist brothers I know–near and far–who preach God’s word and minister faithfully in Christ’s church. I went to a Baptist church while in college and know that there are many folks of more credobaptist persuasion in my own church. I imagine the majority of my blog readers are Baptist. You get the picture. I have thousands of reasons to be thankful for my brothers and sisters in Christ who do not believe in baptizing infants.
And yet, I do. Gladly. Wholeheartedly. Because of what I see in Scripture.
One of the best things I get to do as a pastor is to administer the sacrament of infant baptism to the covenant children in my congregation. Before each baptism, I take a few minutes to explain why we practice infant baptism in our church. My explanation always includes some–but rarely is there time for all–of the following:
It our great privilege this morning to administer that sacrament of baptism to one of our little infants. We do not believe that there is anything magical about the water we apply to the child. The water does not wash away original sin or save the child. We do not presume that this child is regenerate (though he may be), nor do …
Thanks to Mark Dever, many of us have become well acquainted with the 9 Marks of a Healthy Church. While these were never meant to be the last word on everything a church should be or do, the nine marks have been helpful in reminding Christians (and pastors especially) of the necessary substance we often forget in an age fixated on style.
In one sense the nine marks of an unhealthy church could simply be the opposite of all that makes for a healthy church, so that unhealthy churches ignore membership and discipline and expository preaching and all the rest. But the signs of church sickness are not always so obvious. It’s possible for your church to teach and understand all the right things and still be a terribly unhealthy place. No doubt, there are dozens of indicators that a church has become dysfunctional and diseased. But let’s limit ourselves to nine.
Here are nine marks that your church–even one that believes the Bible, preaches the gospel, and embraces good ecclesiology–may be unhealthy.
1. The more peripheral the sermon topic, the more excited the people become. One of the things I’ve always loved about University Reformed Church is that the sermons they love most are the ones that deal with the most central themes of the Bible. They love to hear about sin and salvation, about the glory of God, about providence, about Christ and the cross. It’s not that they never hear (or dislike) sermons on the end times or social …
If you can only serve one master, make sure you choose wisely.
We struggle, we sin, we repent. If our doctrine of sanctification does not embrace all this we are out of step with Calvin, out of step with the Reformed tradition, and, most importantly, out of step with the Bible itself.
All our doctrinal defining and theological wrangling is meant to preserve the simple, eminently biblical truth that Jesus Christ is both God and man, and as such, is uniquely and solely capable of saving the chosen ones of Adam’s helpless race.
It’s Monday, again. But at least you’re not this guy.
I haven’t read these cover to cover, but I’ve read parts of all of them and plan to consult them again in the future.
Here are some of the books I’ve read over the past couple months.