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9Marks Explained : A Letter From Mark Dever


One from a Dad in Africa

Brothers, thanks for the laughs from the children.  Classic!  Here's one:
Titus [riding in van, counting]: 1... 2... 3... 4...
Dad [proud]: That's great son.  How far can you count?
Titus [looking out the window and pointing]: Oh... about that far.

Fridays are for Ranting

Every two months, a local Baptist organization sends out its "Official News Magazine". Before I throw them in the trash (lest a church member accidentally read one), I always hold a debate with myself about whether I should even bother to peruse the contents. I always give in; it's the ecclesiological equivalent of the car crash you can't help staring at as you go by.

But I thought that I might share a nugget lovingly culled from the most recent issue. I quote:

The growth and sustained ministry of the local church rises and falls on the strength of SUNDAY SCHOOL. (capitalization theirs)

This offends me on at least three levels:

1. Ecclesiologically, this is a statement completely unsupported (and in fact, contradicted) by Scripture. I'm a big fan of Sunday School, but I'd probably have to give the nod to the power of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God in terms of what's most important in the growth and ministry of the church.
2. Pragmatically, this seems to be contraindicated by both common sense and statistics. If we're going to be pragmatists, could we at least be good pragmatists?
3. Ecologically, trees had to die in order for this sentence to appear on my desk this afternoon.

Back to writing my sermon. I hope you're all enjoying your Fridays.