Your weekly installment of what we’ve been reading (and watching) around the web.
Articles of the Week
The Beginner’s Guide to Conflict Resolution, Tim Challies. Scripture makes it clear that Christians are going to clash. Scripture also makes it clear that we should resolve those clashes. Challies offers a helpful way forward for interpersonal conflict within the church. It begins with two basic questions: What kind of conflict are we in? And, What do we need to do to resolve this kind of conflict? Three cheers for good triage!
I am a Baptist pastor. The church I lead may be known for a lot of things (and should be known for a lot of things), but one of the most critical elements of our theology centers on that often controversial word—Baptist. We make a big deal out of baptism.
Making a big deal out of baptism tends to draw some objections. I’ve heard a lot of them, most of which boil down to one basic question: What’s the big deal about baptism, anyway?
Here are four truths that shape the way we view baptism:
Many of you have been in situations where you look at something in your life and wonder, “Is God even aware? What could he possibly be up to right now?” Maybe your circumstances are so dismal that you aren’t even sure there is a God. You’re in pain, you can’t see the end of it, and you can’t see any purpose in it.
That’s the situation in 2 Kings 5, with the story of Naaman. Through this story of two sufferers—the powerful Naaman and an anonymous little girl—we see the answer to one of the biggest questions we all have: “What is God doing in my pain?”
1. God uses your pain to bring you to himself.
What if God had a much bigger purpose in your pain than you could ever imagine? Naaman, you see, had been an incredibly powerful general…until he discovered a spot of leprosy on him. Then suddenly he realized how fragile and fleeting everything was.
What if God is trying to say that to you in your pain? What if that big problem in your life was put there, by God, to wake you up? You think what you need most is the resolution to your painful situation. But what if God, in your pain, had something for you that was even better than a cure?