Wednesday Quotations


Many postmoderns feel as if they are entering an alien culture when encountering evangelical Christianity. It is not the job of the unchurched postmodern to enter our culture. It is our job to invade theirs. We do that by recognizing this as mission work.

Mission work is the same in every place; the missionary must radically engage the culture. We must live among them, learn their language, build relationships, and work to discover what kind of redemptive analogies we can adopt from their culture to communicate the message of Christ to them.

Postmoderns are not responding to “sit and let them come to us” evangelism. Reaching postmoderns takes more than just a weekend outreach or a new program. Evangelism to postmoderns is a day-to-day effort. Postmoderns do not want to hear about Christianity; they want to see Christianity in action. A new evangelism paradigm must be used.

-Ed Stetzer, Planting New Churches in a Postmodern World, 140-141.

A couple of afterthoughts to Stetzer’s quote. For the most part it is excellent. I would just clarify that in a real way Christians are “aliens and strangers” in the world so don’t be surprised when we are taken that way, as long it is for the right reason. Also, we should show postmoderns “Christianity in action” but this does not negate the need for them to “hear” the gospel as well. This is because faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God (Romans 10:17).

Puritan Thomas Manton in his commentary on Jude made the following application from verse 3 and his words from centuries ago speak to us today and our need for fellowship and community as the body of Christ:

This shows how inappropriate it was for religion to be confined to a cloister or wrapped in a black garment or consigned to what was called a religious house. Oh, how far this was from the modesty of the apostles! Peter called the faith of ordinary Christians “a faith as precious as ours” (2 Peter 1:1), and Jude speaks of the salvation we share. The Jews who lived before them confined God’s choice to their nation. They could not bear to hear about salvation among the Gentiles or of a righteousness that came to everyone and on all who believe. We are envious by nature and want to appropriate common favors to ourselves. The church of Rome seeks to bring the whole world under their law and confine truth and faith and salvation within the precincts of their churches. They seize the keys of heaven and open the gate to whomever they wish. Now God has broken down all enclosures that attempt to build up a new wall of separation. Corrupt human nature does not want other people to share the same privileges that we have. People value their lesser differences and the particular opinions they have taken up as if only those of their own party and persuasion could be saved; it is our nature to treat our own opinions as holy, and not to admit that anyone is good unless they agree with us in everything. There were divisions in Corinth. Even the people who said, “I follow Christ” made themselves into a faction (see 1 Corinthians 1:12). We are apt to be harsh toward those who differ from us and to be happy only with those who share our opinions. Beware of hurting your Christian brother. “Why do you look down on your brother?” (Romans 14:10). Since God has made him a Christian, why do you make nothing of him? And why do you make another religion out of all your private opinions as if nobody could be a saint or a believer unless they thought exactly as you do? Beware that you do not fence in the common salvation; enclosures are against the law.

I think the words of Thomas Manton speak for themselves…

Mark Driscoll asks the question:

What can be done to help the pastors’ wife?

I wanted to quote him this week because it’s a great list and I love my wife. I agree with Pastor Driscoll that ministry is fourth on my priority list after being a Christian, being a husband, and being a father. So if you come to Enjoying God Fellowship, this is the attitude you can expect from me! By God’s grace I will model this for the men in our fellowship so that these are the kinds of families that will develop. Here is the list Driscoll gives to answer his question:

  • She needs a clearly defined and guarded role.
  • She needs some help with the kids and house.
  • She needs some help getting to and from church on Sundays.
  • She needs a designated parking place.
  • She needs a handful of safe relationships with other godly women.
  • She needs to choose her own friends and define her own relationships.
  • She needs to see her first jobs as Christian, wife, and mother, not free hire for the church.

Here is a quote from John Piper at a recent church planting seminar at his church in Minneapolis: 

Jesus never said, I will build my social service agency. He never said I will build my parachurch ministry. He never said I will build my university or my Christian college or my Christian school. He said, “I will build my church.” One institution in all the universe is given this promise. ‘I will build my church.’

So, brothers, be encouraged that you are about something extraordinarily important. Let me just give one last counsel or piece of advice. This comes right off of my devotions from this morning. I was reading in Mark 4 (vs. 26-27), where it says, ‘The kingdom of heaven is as if a man should sow seed on the ground. And then he sleeps and wakes, night and day. And the seed grows and sprouts. He knows not how.’

And my closing exhortation negatively is you don’t know how to grow the kingdom of God. Beware of conferences. Beware of books. Beware of seminars that tell you how to plant the church. You don’t know how to plant the church. The bible says you cannot know this. This is God’s doing. It is mysterious, it is deep, it is awesome. You go to bed at night. You get up in the morning. You sow your seed. And it sprouts. You know not how.Watch out for know-alls. They don’t know how to grow the church. If they think they know, it isn’t the church they’re growing. This is a work of the sovereign God. It is a profound and supernatural mystery to open the heart of Lydia (Acts 16:14), to liberate the servant girl (Acts 16:18), to shatter the prison and the heart of the jailer (Acts 16:32-33).

So, my counsel is, brothers, give your life to sowing. Take this glorious Word of God and preach it. Preach Christ. Preach the scriptures. Preach the cross. Most of the people in the world don’t know what is in this book. And faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God

 John Piper 

HT: Ed Stetzer

Here is a great word from Richard Baxter from the 17th century in his work The Reformed Pastor. By God’s grace, this is what I want to be for you at Enjoying God Fellowship:

“It is, you see, all the flock, or every individual member of our charge. To this end it is necessary that we should know every person that belongeth to our charge; for how can we take heed to them, if we do not know them? We must labor to be acquainted, not only with the persons, but with the state of all our people, with their inclinations and conversations; what are the sins of which they are in most danger, and what duties they are most apt to neglect, and what temptations they are most liable to; for if we know not their temperament or disease, we are not likely to prove successful physicians.”