Sticky Teams

Larry Osborne, Sticky Teams: Keeping Your Leadership Team and Staff on the Same Page (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2010). $16.99, 224 pages. There is often a huge gap between what a seminarian learns in the classroom and what a pastor learns on the job. Seminaries focus on training would-be pastors to read and preach the Bible, to understand and defend orthodox theology, and to counsel troubled souls. What they don’t teach them is how to run a board meeting, build a cohesive staff, or unify a congregation around a mission. And yet, this is what precisely what pastors do with … Continue reading Sticky Teams

Sex, Prayer, and Holiness (1 Corinthians 7:5-6)

Is sex dirty, or is it holy? This question neatly frames the difference between the Corinthians’ view of sex and Paul’s. For the Corinthians—or, at least, some of them—sex was a dirty act that should be avoided. Their motto was, “It is good for a man not to touch a woman” (1 Corinthians 7:1). Consequently, they advocated abstinence, even within marriage. For Paul, however, sex is a holy act between a husband and a wife, who possess, have obligations to, and hold authority over one another’s bodies (7:2-4). Indeed, it is a sanctifying act, that is, one that aids a … Continue reading Sex, Prayer, and Holiness (1 Corinthians 7:5-6)

The Morality and Mutuality of Christian Marriage (1 Corinthians 7:2-4)

In 1 Corinthians 7:2-4, Paul writes about the morality and mutuality of Christian marriage. But since there is so much immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband. The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife’s body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband. In the same way, the husband’s body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife. He begins by contrasting the immorality of prostitution with the morality of marriage. In Greek, the first … Continue reading The Morality and Mutuality of Christian Marriage (1 Corinthians 7:2-4)

No Abstinence within Marriage (1 Corinthians 7:1)

When it comes to human sexuality, Christians have gotten a bad rap. If I read our critics rightly, we are either ascetics whose only word regarding sex is “No,” or hypocrites who indulge our sexual appetites with an enthusiastic “Yes,” even as we denounce others’ indulgence of the same. Either way, we don’t come out looking good in the eyes of others. Having a good reputation is a good thing, of course, unless it’s not. There’s a difference between looking good and being good, after all, and it’s quite possible to look good to bad people, in which case you’re … Continue reading No Abstinence within Marriage (1 Corinthians 7:1)

Atheism’s Just So Scenarios

From Edward J. Oakes, S.J., over at First Things.: Today, one can hardly find more puffed-up braggarts than those noisy New Atheists currently mounting their soapboxes in Hyde Park, and who seem to labor under the assumption that they are doing the human race a favor by attacking belief in God. In fact, as Nietzsche saw, in his own inimitably ironic way, these atheist frat boys are really attacking science. This is because for Nietzsche—who was perhaps the only truly honest atheist in the history of philosophy—science was ultimately a moral, not an epistemological problem, a point he drove home … Continue reading Atheism’s Just So Scenarios

TDW On Hiatus

The Daily Word is on hiatus today through Friday. It’ll restart on Monday, May 24. In the meantime, check out the following book review: Eric Metaxas, Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2010). $29.99, 591 pages. “When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote those words in The Cost of Discipleship, which was first published in 1937. Eight years later, on April 9, 1945, he answered Christ’s bidding and was executed by the Nazis at the Flossenburg concentration camp for conspiring to assassinate Adolf Hitler the previous year. Bonhoeffer’s last words, appropriate … Continue reading TDW On Hiatus

After the Hangover

R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr., After the Hangover: The Conservatives’ Road to Victory (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2010). $24.99, 272 pages.   In 2006 and 2008, Democrats gained control of Congress and the White House respectively. The majority of the American electorate had grown tired of Republican governance, which went hand in glove with unpopular wars, political scandals, economic recession, and Bush fatigue. Pundits quickly pronounced the death of conservatism, mistaking—it seems to me—the Republican genus with the conservative species. But sixteen months into a unified Democratic government, the species is experiencing something of a resurrection, with Tea Parties rising first and … Continue reading After the Hangover