Growing up in the religious South, “backsliding” was a familiar term. The characteristics of a backslider were never precisely defined, but you knew one when you saw one and you knew that you did not want to be one. As one now engaged in ministry, I find the concept a helpful category. So when one of my . . .
The young, zealous pastor of Dundee, Scotland, Robert Murray M’Cheyne, who flamed out for God at age 29 and gave himself to the work of God as perhaps no young pastor has so uniquely given himself to God’s work, said before he died, “The greatest need of my people is my personal holiness.” M’Cheyne understood that the effectiveness of his pastoral ministry, including his pulpit . . .
While reading in George Whitefield’s sermons and journals for an academic project I found the grand itinerant helping my preaching. Whitefield is instructive for many reasons (Spurgeon said if he had any model in ministry, it was Whitefield), but I have especially been learning from his clear communication that “you must be born again!” If these words of Jesus are true (and of course . . .
As children we learned from Pinocchio to “Give a little whistle! And always let your conscience be your guide.” But what exactly is conscience? Christians often use words like ‘conscience’ to identify spiritual realities without being precise with their definition. Generally, concrete objects are more easily defined. Abstract concepts, such as conscience, can prove quite difficult to . . .