Posted in aimee byrd, church, Michelle Lesley, scripture, women's ministry

Is your Women’s Ministry at church fully integrated, or is it still a kids’ table?

Ladies, be aware of when the church diminishes your value to Christ by scheduling fun activities-lite for you instead of Bible studies with meat. At a certain point, kids graduate from the Thanksgiving kids’ table to the adult table. You should, too.

Source Bon Appetit

Not that scheduling a ladies night around a fun activity isn’t worthwhile. Sometimes it’s relaxing to get together at a home or in the Fellowship Hall with other like-minded friends and just hang out. It’s even more fun to hang out by doing something or creating something than just to sit around and chat. But if your church believes exclusively that these kinds of Ladies Ministry outings and events are a substitute for learning theology, then gently but insistently remind them that your value in Christ is not about decorating cookies and scrapbooking, it is growing in grace in likeness of Christ and knowledge of Him. The only way to do that is by the Word as the Spirit applies it- as you learn it.

Here is Michelle Lesley having stated it so well. This is a re-blog of an excellent piece she wrote, titled,

Mary and Martha and Jesus and Women’s Ministry
By Michelle Lesley

You remember the story. Jesus comes to Mary and Martha’s house. Martha’s Pinteresting up the place while Mary sits at Jesus’ feet to listen to Him teach. Martha gripes to Jesus that Mary should help her and Jesus says no because it’s better for her to listen to Him than fold napkins into the shape of swans or whatever. Moral of the story- Martha needs to relax and not let other things distract her from Jesus.

That’s a good, true, and important takeaway from this passage, and one that we would all do well to heed. 

But did you ever stop to think that Mary and Martha aren’t the main characters in this story? Jesus is. Jesus is the main character in every Bible story, so our primary focus should always be on Him: what He said and did and was like. 

What was Jesus teaching that day at Mary and Martha’s house? The passage doesn’t tell us the topic He was speaking about, but we are privy to a very important lesson He imparted through the scenario with Mary and Martha. A lesson about the way God loves and values women.

Remember how women were generally regarded at that time? They didn’t have much more value than livestock, furniture, or a man’s other possessions. They were considered intellectually inferior, they weren’t formally educated, and their legal and social standing were often tenuous at best. They could not go beyond the Court of the Women at the temple for worship. There was even a traditional prayer Jewish men recited in which they thanked God for not making them a woman, a Gentile, or a slave. Women were low man on the totem pole, so to speak.

And that’s where we find Martha. She wasn’t doing anything wrong that day. In fact, in her culture, she was doing everything right. If anything, Mary would have been the one viewed as being in the wrong because the teaching was for the men, and it was the women’s job to bustle around taking care of all the hospitality duties. Martha knew this. Mary knew this. Jesus knew this. Everyone else present knew this. Martha must have wondered why someone hadn’t yet shooed Mary out of the living room and into the kitchen. So her statement to Jesus in verse 40, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me,” was probably not just, “I need another pair of hands,” but also a bit of, “Mary is forgetting her place. This isn’t what proper women do.”

Oh yes it is.

Whatever else He might have been lecturing about that day, that was one of the lessons Jesus taught Mary, Martha, the rest of their guests, and Christendom at large.

Women aren’t second class citizens in the Kingdom of God. We are precious and valuable to Him. He has important, worthwhile work for us to do – His way – in the body of Christ. And He wants us trained in His word in order to carry out that work.
How did Jesus teach that lesson?

First, He allowed Mary to stay and receive His teaching (39). (We see this echoed in God’s instruction to the church in 1 Timothy 2:11: “LET a woman learn…”) It hadn’t slipped Jesus’ mind that she was sitting there. He could have told her to leave, but He had no intention of doing so. Jesus wanted Mary there. He wanted to teach her and to have her learn God’s word from Him.

Next, when someone tried to take Mary away from hearing and being trained in God’s word, Jesus – God Himself – answered with a resounding NO. This “will not be taken away from her,” Jesus said. Mary, and Martha too (41), could arrange centerpieces or turn a cookie into a work of art any time or never. But this, the teaching of God’s word, was urgent. Vital. Jesus didn’t want either of them to miss it by focusing on the trivial things they thought they should be pursuing. 

And He doesn’t want us to miss it either, ladies.

Jesus pulled women out of the craft room and into the study. Is the women’s ministry at your church trying to pull them back? 

Is the women’s events page on your church’s web site filled exclusively with painting parties, fashion shows, ladies’ teas, and scrapbook sessions?

Does your women’s ministry do canned “Bible” studies authored by women who offer nothing but personal stories, experiences, and false doctrine? 

Are the Marys in your church who want to sit at the feet of Jesus and hear His word rightly handled and taught being scolded by the Marthas for not staying in their place and embracing the banality the women’s ministry is doling out? 

Is this it? Is this all women are good for in the church- fluff and false doctrine?

Jesus didn’t think so.

Let’s have our women’s ministries train women in the full scope of biblical womanhood. Let’s be serious students of God’s word by picking it up and studying it like mature women. Let’s get equipped to teach and disciple other women who are babes in Christ. Let’s share the gospel with the lost. Let’s learn how to train our own children in the Scriptures and be the ones to raise the bar for what the kids at our church are being taught. Let’s roll up our sleeves and get our hands dirty ministering to those who are ill, in prison, lonely, poor, elderly, considering abortion, experiencing crisis; who have wayward children, problems in their marriages, a parent with Alzheimer’s, or have lost a loved one.

Women are worth more and capable of more than the bill of goods they’re being sold by “Christian” retailers suggests. More than cutesy crafts and fairytales masquerading as biblical teaching. Let’s put the “ministry” – ministry of the Word and ministry to others – back in “women’s ministry.”

Keep this good definition of Women’s Ministry in mind, it’s from Grace Community Church

Women’s Ministries at Grace Church exists to encourage women to worship our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ through the study and application of Scripture and the deepening of relationships with other women for fellowship and accountability.

The fellowship has the express purpose of application of scripture and accountability under it. Note that in order to do that, first comes worshiping Jesus through study.


Further Reading

Aimee Byrd, series:

The Danger in Women’s Ministries
Why We Are So Insulted
How the Church Ministers to Every Member

Posted in elder women, encouragement, Michelle Lesley, sharon lareau, susan heck

Where are the mature women writers?

It’s been a long week. The time change has thrown me for a loop, I know that. And two weeks of solid rain and darkness and fog hasn’t helped either. When it’s this rainy and dark all you want to do is stay cuddled up in bed and mutter “stay away, cruel world.” When I do get to work, (because God said if a man will not work, he will not eat, 2 Thessalonians 3:10), the kindergarteners, the constant rain and no outside recess makes for a very un-fun atmosphere. They’re cranky too!

I notice that Tim Challies posted an essay of Aimee Byrd’s who had re-posted it from Lisa Spence, called “Where are the mature women writers?

Lisa expresses her gratitude that there are many younger women passionately writing and given a platform to do so, but laments the lack of more experienced, mature voices to speak to the issues that we are confronted with after the toddler rearing years. … Many of the big conference platforms and marketed book deals are invested in the younger women. I’m glad to see that young women have more resources to choose from these days, but what if we want to read about more than being a mother or the beginning foundations of the faith? Where are the more academic or doctrinal contributions from women? Where are the women being included in theological conversations with men that are not on mere token women’s issues? There are some, but the ratio is way out of whack.  

I agree that the Christian media darlings are usually the younger, more vivacious, excitable women. These are women who write as the author notes, about foundational theological issues or about being mommy to young children. Where are the women with a more mature understanding, going through middle years life issues, or who simply possess a greater wisdom and speak it calmly, even staidly?

There may be fewer of these women and the ratio may be out of whack, but for heaven’s sake, it’s not like there’s a complete dearth of middle years women who write and blog and speak.

There’s 59-year-old, married for 40 years Susan Heck, “With The Master“. Mrs Heck is a mother and a grandmother.

Michelle Lesley is a homeschooling mom of 6, involved in music ministry, and is an author. She blogs at Michelle Lesley Books.

Mrs Sharon Lareau is a 27-years-married woman in New England who home-schooled her children for 18 years. She has health issues which render her homebound and which impact her ministry. Grace abounds in her writing. Her nook is at Chapter3Ministries.

New Englander DebbieLynne Kespert is married and also has cerebral palsy which necessitates the use of a headstick to write. She writes at The Outspoken Tulip.

Georgian Martha Peace is a 50-year married mother of two and grandmother of 12. Mrs Peace is both an author and a speaker. She writes at

And just for a change of pace, there’s me. I am a 55-year-old childless, single woman devoting time outside of work to Jesus, as 1 Corinthians 7:34 says the unmarried or childless woman is to do. I can’t vouch for how wise I am but I do blog theologically. 🙂

This list comprises women of diverse interests and stages and physical abilities of middle years life. I know that there are many more mature, middle years women who blog about the issues we face and the deeper theological thoughts gracefully given to us from years/decades of living in submission to the Lord and His word. I suspect one reason these elder women labor in relative obscurity compared to the younger, media-oriented women is that they just roll up their sleeves and with little fanfare, go about the Lord’s business.

Posted in encouragement, Michelle Lesley, no greater love

Movie Review: No Greater Love (re-blog from Michelle Lesley)

I love movies, documentaries, and television shows. However as a Christian, I’m offended at much of the fare offered these days. We are told to redeem the time, and to involve ourselves in edifying things. (Ephesians 5:16, Philippians 4:8-9). So then, it’s a struggle to find entertainment that fulfills the necessities of Christian living and honors God.

Here is Michelle Lesley with a good movie find. She reviewed this movie at her blog and I was so pleased to find another good movie via her review. I watched it last night and I agree with her assessment that it is God-honoring and biblically sound. Here is Michelle Lesley’s review:


Throwback Thursday ~ “No Greater Love”– Movie Review

I stumbled across this movie at my local library a few days ago, and, boy am I glad I did.

Jeff and Heather were the “lucky ones”. Best friends from childhood, high school sweethearts, and married by 22, they were inseperable soul mates.

After the birth of her first and only child, Heather Baker (Danielle Bisutti) fell into a deep depression. Hopelessly lost, she did the unthinkable– she abandoned her husband and her infant son –and vanished. Jeff Baker (Anthony Tyler Quinn) was forced to raise their son Ethan as a single father.

Ten years after his wife’s disapperance, Jeff is finally ready to move on and is on the verge of marrying his new girlfriend. His world, however, is dramatically rocked when Heather shockingly reappears in the most unusual place.
(From the “No Greater Love” web site.)

If you liked the movie Fireproof, you’ll almost certainly like No Greater Love. The acting is much better, and so is the production quality. Of course, that’s to be expected when a movie is made by a professional studio hiring professional actors rather than by a church using mostly church members as actors. (That’s certainly not a dig at Sherwood Baptist Church. They did a fantastic and admirable job with both Fireproof and Facing the Giants –both of which you should see, if you haven’t already –it’s just that professional studios and production companies have the resources and budget to put together a more polished product.)

The storyline of No Greater Love is unique and endearing, but believable. The only thing I found to be a bit of a stretch was, well, how do I say this without giving too much away? Let’s just put it like this: It can take a long time and a lot of difficult, painful emotional work for the most Godly among Christians to forgive someone who has wounded them unfathomably. Generally speaking, one would expect that, for a similarly wounded unsaved person, forgiveness would probably come much more slowly and with even greater difficulty. But I suppose there are exceptions to the rule.

Theologically, this movie is right on target. Director, Brad Silverman, says in his commentary on the movie that his goal was to be as theologically correct as possible, and I think he nailed it. To be honest, one of the reasons I picked up this movie was to see if there were any false doctrine or theology in it, so I was on the lookout for Biblical error. None to be found as far as I could tell.

Does No Greater Love overtly share the Gospel, spelling it out step by step? No. That’s your job and mine, not the job of a movie. I think, primarily, this is an entertaining movie which reinforces Biblical truth that Christian viewers (should) already know. But it would also be a great movie to share with unsaved friends as a conversation starter for sharing the Gospel in detail.

For more information on No Greater Love, visit the web site and “like” the Facebook page.

No Greater Love is available for purchase at:
Lionsgate Studios

No Greater Love can be viewed for free here

Posted in God, Michelle Lesley, providence, sovereign

Freedom from Sin, 10 Things about Southern Baptists, Heart problems, But God…

It is said that a flippant young man remarked to a preacher in mocking fashion, “You say that unsaved people carry a great weight of sin. Frankly, I feel nothing. How heavy is sin? Ten pounds? Fifty pounds? Eighty pounds? A hundred pounds?”

The preacher thought for a moment, then replied, “If you laid a four hundred pound weight on a corpse, would it feel the load?”

The young man was quick to say, “Of course not; it’s dead” Driving home his point the preacher said, “The person who doesn’t know Christ is equally dead. And though the load is great, he feels none of it”

The Christian, unlike the average non-Christian, is not indifferent to the weight of sin. He is actually hypersensitive to it. Having come to Jesus Christ, his senses are awakened to the reality of sin. His sensitivity to sin intensifies as he matures spiritually. Such sensitivity prompted a saint as great as Chrysostom, the fourth century church father, to say he feared nothing but sin (Second Homily on Eutropius).

More at link

10 Things I Wish Southern Baptists Knew About Southern Baptists

Yes, there is a lot of ignorance about Southern Baptists out there among those who aren’t part of our denomination. However, there’s also a lot of ignorance inside the SBC about what’s really going on in our denomination, our doctrine, practices, leadership, and so on. These are ten SBC realities I wish the average Southern Baptist church member were more aware of.

The Lord is stunningly graceful. Read this from Sunny Shell and see if you don’t weep.

My Flesh and My Heart May Fail, But God…

This past Friday, my Cardiac Electrophysiologist confirmed that I have an uncommon heart arrhythmia called sick sinus syndrome (SSS). What this means is that my heart can no longer keep a steady rhythm because it’s “sick”.

But God… such powerful words. We read in Ephesians 2:4

But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us,

Here is a devotional from Our Daily Bread on “But God…”

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. —Romans 5:8 

Howard Sugden, my pastor when I was in college, preached many memorable sermons. After all these years, the one titled “But God . . .” still makes me stop whenever I come to those words in the Bible. Here are a few examples of verses that encourage me with the reminder of God’s righteous intervention in human affairs: 

“You meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to . . . save many people alive” (Gen. 50:20). 

“Their beauty shall be consumed in the grave . . . . But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave” (Ps. 49:14-15). 

“My flesh and my heart fail; but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever” (Ps. 73:26). 

“For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:7-8). 

“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard . . . the things which God has prepared for those who love Him. But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit” (1 Cor. 2:9-10). 

Whenever you feel discouraged, look up some “but God” verses and be reassured of God’s involvement in the lives of those who love Him. 

Creator of the universe
Who reigns in awesome majesty:
How can it be that You’re involved
With such a one as me? —Sper 

God’s involvement in our lives should reassure us of His love.

Posted in discernment, lysa terkeurst, Michelle Lesley, proverbs 31 ministry, the best yes

Re-Blog: Leaving Lysa: Why You Shouldn’t Be Following Lysa TerKeurst or Proverbs 31 Ministries

Michelle Lesley writes at Michelle Lesley Books. Last week she wrote a wonderful article to which I’d linked, called “Nine Reasons Discerning Women Are Leaving Your Church“.

In the ‘Nine Reasons’ article’s comments section a reader had asked Ms Lesley to offer some biblical discernment regarding a new and popular author Lysa TerKeurst. Ms Lesley replied, and then expanded that reply into a stand-alone article. The article is re-blogged below.

Parallel to that, I’ve noticed a new popularity in a certain young author/teacher/social justice champion: Lysa TerKeurst. Her book “The Best Yes” was featured heavily by the “She Reads Truth/IF:Gathering” ladies, a group/ministry of which I’d researched and rated negatively. These women are not edifying to you nor are they helping the cause of Jesus Christ. Though associations are important, I don’t believe guilt by association should be the only factor to warn about this or that person or ministry, but it is an indicator. This put Ms TerKeurst on my radar, but I waited. Since then, I have not had time to review Ms TerKeurst further.

Now Ms Lesley has done so, and has graciously allowed me to re-blog her work here. Yesterday I wrote extensively on the phrase that Paul begins his warning to the Colossians about mysticism and ascetic practices. He said in Colossians 2:18 “Let no one disqualify you for the prize…”. One of the problems with false teachers and false teachings is that they hinder the Christian in his or her walk, color our perceptions so that we cannot think clearly about Jesus, and defraud us of our rewards. If we should see a sister falling under the sway of a false teacher we should help them by letting them know they are at risk of being defrauded. We do this because we love them and want the best in Christ’s name for our sisters.

Here is Ms Lesley:

Leaving Lysa: Why You Shouldn’t Be Following Lysa TerKeurst or Proverbs 31 Ministries

According to her web site, “Lysa TerKeurst is president of Proverbs 31 Ministries and the New York Times best-selling author of The Best Yes, Unglued, Made to Crave, and 16 other books.” She also blogs prolifically and speaks at numerous Christian women’s conferences.

Lysa is charming, friendly, and down to earth- the type of person I would probably want to be friends with if I knew her personally. We have several things in common: a big family (she has 5 kids, I have 6), women’s ministry, we’re even just a couple of months apart in age (which shocked me, since she looks so much younger!).

I first became familiar with Lysa a year or so ago when her name, articles, and memes of her quotes (and those of Proverbs 31 Ministries) began appearing in my news feed on Facebook. What I was seeing sounded good, and I hoped against hope that she was a doctrinally sound teacher of God’s word that I could recommend to my friends and readers. In fact, I resisted vetting her for a while because I was afraid of being disappointed by another popular Christian women’s author and teacher who seemed biblical on the surface but turned out not to be.

Sadly (and I genuinely mean that- I was sad), that is exactly what I found when I began to research Lysa TerKeurst at the request of several of my friends and readers. It’s my prayer that Lysa will repent of the areas in which she is acting against Scripture, learn biblical hermeneutics so she can rightly handle God’s word, and have a tremendous – doctrinally sound – impact on the thousands of women who love her so much. I would love nothing more than to give her a virtual “high five” and highly recommend her to others if she would do so.

Until such time, I regret that I must recommend that women not follow Lysa TerKeurst or Proverbs 31 Ministries (including the other women who write for and are leaders in this ministry) for the following reasons:

1. Lysa unrepentantly preaches to and instructs men in violation of 1 Timothy 2:12-14 (as well as the many other passages of Scripture that do not allow this). Without exception, every female Bible teacher I know of who unrepentantly instructs men also teaches other doctrinal error (usually Word of Faith or seeker driven false doctrine).

If a woman is supposedly knowledgeable enough about the Bible to be in the position of teaching and authoring, yet doesn’t understand or obey such a basic biblical truth, what does that say about the rest of her knowledge of the Bible? How can you trust that anything else she teaches you about the Bible is accurate and true?

2. Lysa is a member of Steven Furtick’s Elevation Church (where she has preached the Sunday morning service on multiple occasions), and has written articles and made videos supporting his false and eisegetical teaching. She has also preached the Sunday morning service at Perry Noble’s New Spring Church.

If you are not familiar with either of these men, you should know that they both egregiously and narcissistically mishandle God’s word (click links above). Both of them support and agree with prosperity preachers such as T.D. Jakes, Joyce Meyer, Christine Caine, etc., and many of these have preached at their churches. Perry Noble is perhaps most famous for having AC/DC’s “Highway to Hell” played during his Easter Sunday service a few years ago.

This is the type of false teaching Lysa supports and is being fed each time she attends her home church. The old adage, “You are what you eat,” is true in both the physical and the spiritual realm.

3. Lysa partners with and calls Christine Caine a “dear friend”. Christine Caine also unrepentantly preaches to men and is a proponent of the false Word of Faith (prosperity gospel) doctrine, as a leader at Word of Faith “church,” Hillsong. Because this is “another gospel,” (Galatians 1:6-9), partnering with Caine is a violation of 2 Corinthians 6:14-18.

For these reasons, plus her habitual mishandling of Scripture (as outlined in the resources below), I unfortunately must recommend that women not follow, support, or receive teaching from Lysa TerKeurst or Proverbs 31 Ministries (including any writers or speakers affiliated with Proverbs 31 Ministries).

Additional Resources:

Steven Furtick, Lysa TerKeurst, and Code Orange by The Wartburg Watch

The Best Yes? at Housewife Theologian

Review of The Best Yes by Aimee Byrd

Unglued at The Gospel Coalition

Posted in Burnout, Church Mothers, Discerning Women, discernment, encouragement, Michelle Lesley, prophecy, tower of babel, trevin wax

Gibberish, Discerning Women, Burnout, Church Mothers, Eschatological Discipleship

Around the interwebs, edifying and thought-provoking essays for your enjoyment.

What I been sayin,’ words mean things. Words matter. They really do.

I’d written back along,

Well, the second problem that ties back into the first (ecclesiastical feminism) is that words mean things. They mean things. Any liberal in any realm in the battle for hearts and minds will first seek to change meanings of commonly understood words in order to co-opt the meaning and then to redefine them to their advantage. Example: sodomite—->homosexual—->gay. In the church world, we no longer sin. We make mistakes. We’re no longer Christian. We’re Christ followers.

Tower of Babel, Pieter Bruegel the Elder (1563)

So. Words matter. Until they don’t. The ever-brilliant Carl Trueman writes about The Coming of Age of Today’s Gibberish whereupon an “Editor’s Note” attempted to say what certain words mean without being too specific about what they really mean. Like the word “woman” and menstruate”.

Editor’s note: This blog post refers to individuals who menstruate as women because the author wanted to highlight gender inequality in health care. We acknowledge that not all individuals who menstruate identify as women and that not all individuals who identify as women menstruate, but feel this generalization is appropriate considering the gendered nature of most health care policies. 

One might translate what the editor is really saying as ‘the concept of being a woman is now utterly meaningless but we have decided to preserve the fiction at those points where it is politically convenient for us to do so.’ Notice the editor’s use of the vague term feel and the slippery adjective appropriate. As ever, in our aesthetic age, it is impossible to argue against a feeling.


Here, Michele Lesley lists Nine Reasons Discerning Women Are Leaving Your Church and every single one is 100% a ‘hear, hear’.

The absence of discerning women in churches gives rise to many other problems. Godly mothers raise godly children, and absent discerning moms, the next generation of church life suffers. Elder discerning women have much to bring to the table (reason #7) in being the Titus 2:4 women teaching the younger. As discerning women leave churches the less discerning take over and soon you have the blind leading the blind. Third, the contributions to the faith of discerning women are without measure. Within our biblically prescribed roles, we see New Testament women advancing the Gospel and expanding the kingdom in myriad ways.

Priscilla and Aquila were discerning enough to see the potential in Apollos and taught him separately. Lydia’s home became a hotspot for prayer, teaching, and hospitality-fellowship. Dorcas gently led many women in a worthwhile sewing circle, teaching biblical principles by example.

On the other hand, you have a young and skittish and Rhoda who was so startled to see rescued Peter standing at the gate she shut it and left him there, believing the false but then-widely-popular notion that humans have a doppelganger angel, and that was who came to visit.

Soon, if not already, you will have churches that are absent your wise Priscillas, and Dorcas’ and Lydias and instead filled with foolish Rhodas.

Even though it is a bad thing that discerning women are leaving the churches, it is encouraging in a sense if you are one of the discerning women. At least you know you’re not alone in your concerns. Read Ms Lesley’s piece, it’s good.

While Scripture is pretty clear that we can expect women (and men) who are false converts to eventually fall away from the gathering of believers, why are godly, genuinely regenerated women who love Christ, His word, and His church, leaving their local churches?


Other men and women are leaving due to burnout. Yikes, burnout is an epidemic, just at the time when we need good men and women ministering to the flock. Please, please avoid burnout. Please, please pray for your pastors and leaders.

Question: “What does the Bible say about burnout?”
Anyone who has experienced burnout knows it is not something he ever wants to experience again. Burnout is commonly described as an exhausted state in which a person loses interest in a particular activity and even in life in general. Burnout is a state of emotional, physical, social, and spiritual exhaustion. It can lead to diminished health, social withdrawal, depression, and a spiritual malaise. Many times, burnout is the result of an extended period of exertion at a particular task (generally with no obvious payoff or end in sight) or the carrying of too many burdens (such as borne by those in the helping professions or those in positions of authority, among others).

Photo by Alysia Burton Steele

An interesting peek at a part of Christian culture of which I have no experience and very little knowledge

Chronicling Mississippi’s ‘Church Mothers,’ and Getting to Know a Grandmother

Ms. Bearden and Ms. Floyd were part of a larger assemblage of 50 African-American women whom Ms. Steele had chosen to chronicle in text and image for a book-in-progress she has titled “Jewels in the Delta.” Whether by formal investiture or informal acclamation, nearly all the women in the book held the title of “church mother,” a term of respect and homage in black Christianity.

Jesus giving the Farewell Discourse (John 14-17)
to his disciples, after the Last Supper,
from the Maesta by Duccio, 1308-1311

Trevin Wax is an Editor at LifeWay and is working on his doctoral dissertation. He wrote recently that his dissertation is on the topic of Eschatological Discipleship.” This is a topic near and dear to my heart, because it is exactly the focus of this blog. How are we to live, biblically, knowing of Jesus return? I’d observed that too many people, as Trevin wrote below, focusing on Jesus’ past work and avoiding the future promise of His return. Yet the Bible is replete with admonitions for living, encouraging, and a praying for the future deliverance via the promises of prophecy. This is what Trevin is writing about. Here is the excerpt from his longer essay which is mainly on other topics. He wrote that he is taking a break from blog writing to focus on his dissertation writing, whichis the topic of:

Eschatological Discipleship

The topic of my dissertation is “eschatological discipleship.” Following Jesus means understanding our times in light of the biblical vision of history and having the wisdom to make the right choices when the path ahead seems unclear. 

Many gospel-centered folks are right to point out that the New Testament’s moral imperatives are often grounded in Christ’s finished work for us in the past. What we sometimes overlook, however, is how many of those moral imperatives also look forward to Christ’s return in the future. We are called to be “children of the day” in a world that knows only darkness. 

The question that propels me forward is this: 

What kind of discipleship is necessary to fortify the faith of believers so that we understand what time it is, we rightly interpret our cultural moment, and see through the false and damaging views of history and the future that are in our world? 

That is the question I posed in my workshop at TGC this year: Discipleship in the Age of Richard Dawkins, Lady Gaga, and Grounding Believers in the Scriptural Storyline that Counters Rival Eschatologies. (The audio from the talk is available here.)
To be alert to our times is a gospel requirement, says Oliver O’Donovan:

To see the marks of our time as the products of our past; to notice the danger civilisation poses to itself, not only the danger of barbarian reaction; to attend especially not to those features which strike our contemporaries as controversial, but to those which would have astonished an onlooker from the past but which seem to us too obvious to question. There is another reason, strictly theological. To be alert to the signs of the times is a Gospel requirement, laid upon us as upon Jesus’ first hearers.

I agree.

Enjoy the day today friends, look forward to the future and keep looking up!