I am leading off with a book today, an old one, by Horatius Bonar entitled Words to Winners of Souls. Don’t let the title mislead you. This book was written well before “soul winning” became a sales term. It is actually a book about pastoral theology. I highly recommend it. You can get a PDF here or an audio version here. In this book, Bonar builds on this theme:
The lukewarm ministry of one who is theoretically orthodox is often more extensively and fatally ruinous to souls than that of one grossly inconsistent or flagrantly heretical.
One day I will blog more about it, for my own sake mostly. I urge you strongly to avail yourself of this book and be challenged by it.
Second, on a bit of a related note, Tim Keller gives five things that “keep his ministry strong.” They are worth considering as pastors who should be taking stock of our own souls.
Third, my friend Marty comments on the problems created by premarital cohabitation.
And finally, related to that, is this article at CT about churches and recommending birth control to singles. At the recent Q Conference, 70% of leaders there said they would recommend BC to singles to prevent abortions.
The seed article for the Out of Ur article says,
In encouraging our single people who are sexually active to pursue contraception, we offer them a technological remedy to what is functionally a discipleship and community shortcoming. At its heart, this is little more than a tacit rejection of the power of the gospel to transform lives and bring people to a repentance that is genuine and genuinely holistic. Rather than building them up to maturity in Christ, the decision to pursue contraception so as to continue to be sexually active only reinforces their infantile faith.
I recently read Lauren Winner’s book Real Sex: The Naked Truth about Chastity and found it to be very good. She deals much with the idea that sexuality is, at least to some degree, a community issue.
What in the world is going on in churches when we give up the biblical commands out of pragmatism?
As I have said before, the problem with pragmatism is that it usually works.