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Blog Archives: January 2018

The Church’s Dual Responsibility in the World

January 30, 2018
Chris Castaldo
Jesus said, You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men. You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven (Matt 5:13-16)....

The Elusive Balance of Grace & Truth in Gospel Ministry

January 22, 2018
Chris Castaldo
Reaching back in time, we observe the wreckage of hasty choices strewn along the corridors of history. Beginning with Eden’s forbidden fruit, examples include Moses hitting the rock, David and Bathsheba, Napoleon invading Russia, and overzealous parents assaulting Little League coaches. Such behavior occurs when we act before we think. Perhaps you can relate. One reason for confusing the thinking/action sequence is our tendency to see only a piece of a situation to the exclusion of the whole. As with all choices, we respond to what appears ...

The Reading of Scripture

January 11, 2018
Chris Castaldo
This week’s post will explain why we read Scripture on Sunday morning, and why we intend to do more of it. From the earliest history of God’s people, the covenant community gathered to hear God’s Word (Deut. 31:10–13). And moving forward through the centuries, Scripture reading has been interspersed with the singing of Psalms, hymns, and Scripture songs. In this kind of service, God’s Word is magnified and honored, not the opinions and self-importance of the pastor. It’s no surprise to see the practice of scripture reading has lessened in ...

The Presence of God

January 04, 2018
Chris Castaldo
Have you ever felt isolated and bereft of God’s presence? In such moments we often find ourselves immobilized by fear and exposed to the murderous taunts of the evil one. Where can we turn? Solomon Stoddard proposes an answer. Solomon Stoddard (1643 – 1729) was the minister of the church in Northampton, Massachusetts, for over half a century and was succeeded by his grandson Jonathan Edwards. He enjoyed a fruitful ministry over many years, and in particular, he was used by God in the conversion of many people and the reform of the community ...