Dear church family,
Peter gave a great reminder to a suffering church in 1 Peter 1:6-7. He said, “…though now for a little while … you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold…” It is great news that God takes our trials and suffering and refines and purifies our faith like gold in a furnace. Today, we can celebrate the fact that God is doing a work on in us in the midst of these turbulent times.
This past Sunday I shared that one of our first steps in the current conversation about social justice is that we need to listen well by having empathy. There are two resources that I want to suggest that I believe will help us further the conversation. First, is a 25 minute message by Dr. Tim Keller about racism and corporate evil. Here is the link to that video. I found this very helpful and caused me to think through many things. I pray that this will help you.
The second resource is an article by a pastor named John Piper. This article was written in 2016 to talk about the existence of structural or systematic racism. The article is deep, well-thought out, and theologically solid. You will need to be ready to think as you read this article. As you read this article, please guard your heart from defensiveness. Do not let the toxic rhetoric of the today blind you from considering his arguments from the Bible. Here is a link to that article. I pray that as you read this it will help you think more deeply about our need for a Savior and the brokenness of our world’s systems.
For His Name's Sake,
Dear church family,
God is a wise and competent communicator. In His wisdom, He spoke to us through His Word thousands of years ago and it is still amazingly relevant for our world today. None of us saw 2020 coming, but God’s Word clearly deals with all the issues this year has and will bring our way. We have finished the second week of our new series “Do Justice | Love Mercy.” Psalm 146 framed the conversation with worship and hope. Two weeks ago we saw that God defines Justice as judgment of what is wrong, help for the vulnerable, and relational wholeness in the community.
As part of this series, I will be sending you resources to help us have a better grasp of the issues of race and justice in our society today. This week I want you to watch a video that goes over “Justice” in the Bible. Much of it is review from this past Sunday. Here is the link to the video. It is important for us to lay a solid and Biblical foundation for the conversations we are going to have about Race, Justice, and Authority.
For His Name’s Sake,
Dear Church Family,
This past week we started a new series on Biblical justice. Psalm 146 framed this conversation for us with the truth that God is a good and just King who will rule forever. This allows us to deal with these difficult times with (1) worship of God because He is good and (2) hope that the gospel is strong enough to change hearts. As part of this series, I will be sending out emails with resources for you to look at each week. The goal of these resources is to broaden our understanding of the issues of today. I do not agree with everything in all of these resources, but I do find that their overall value has been helpful.
Normally the resources will be articles or videos, but this week I want to suggest a few pastors to consider listening to. There is some disagreement among these men about certain issues but they all have brought some great points forward in the current discussion of justice and racism in the United States. Here are the men that I suggest you consider listening to: (1) Dr. Tony Evans, (2) Dr. Eric Mason, (3) Dr. Voddie Baucham, (4) Thabiti Anyabwile, and (5) Dr. Tim Keller. A book that lays a great foundation for the topic of Justice in the Bible is by Generous Justice by Tim Keller.
In addition, several week ago I suggested a video series by PBS on the history of the African Americans. It is free on Amazon Prime. The name of that series is The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross by Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr. I pray that these resources will help us as we begin to take steps into a tense topic in our culture today.
For His Name's Sake,
Lead Pastor at North Florida Baptist Church