Our reading group starts on June 6th and Bro. Jeff recommend the title we’ll be going through – Renaissance: The Power of the Gospel However Dark the Times – highly!  Please make plans to join us!  Of course, with summer travels and events no participant can be at every meeting but being at the ones you can will be, I trust, very beneficial.  Details are below.

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The summer reading/discussion group will start on Saturday, June 6!  If you are a regular attender, please add this to your calendar—and confirm that you will be part of the summer group

If you’re not a regular or if it’s been sometime since you were part of the group, this is an invitation—please make plans to join us.  And let me know your plans to attend.

We will be reading Renaissance:  The Power of the Gospel However Dark the Times by Os Guinness.  Also, go ahead and order your copy of the book.  Even if you can’t attend the reading group, I’d encourage you to purchase and read the book.

I’m hoping that our first session can be a video of Dr. Guinness speaking about Renaissance. He recently gave this talk at the Acton Institute in Michigan.  When I inquired when the video would be online, the good folks at Acton said they would do me one better—they’d just send me a CD of the talk.  Hopefully, I’ll have that talk for our first meeting/discussion on June 6.

Here are three introductory quotes from Renaissance which will give you an idea of where Dr. Guinness goes in the book.

After half a millennium of dominance, the West is being eclipsed in the global era, the United States as the lead society in the West stands on the verge of relative if not absolute decline, and much of the Christian Church in both Europe and North America is in a sorry state of weakness, confusion, unfaithfulness and cultural captivity.

The truth is that the greatest enemy of the Western church is not the state or any ideology such as atheism, but the world and the spirit of the age.Anything less than a full-blooded expression of the Christian faith has no chance of standing firm against the assaults and seductions of the advanced modern world. So when the church becomes worldly, she betrays her Lord, and she also fails to live up to her calling to be dangerously different—and thus to provide deliverance from the world by a power that is not of the world.

What we also need is a constructive overarching vision of Christian engagement in today’s advanced modern world, one that is shaped by faith in God and a Christian perspective rather than by current wisdom, and one that can inspire Christians to move out with courage to confront the best and worst that we may encounter.

A very helpful review of Renaissance, with lots of quotes, can be found online at the website of the Australian ethicist and apologist Bill Muehlenberg.

Time: 8:30-10:00 a.m. – Saturday mornings
Location:  Peachtree Learning Center
Address: 420 N. Walnut (at the intersection of Walnut and 4th streets)

Thanks to the generosity of a church member and the folks at 9 Marks our church library received a rich investment in recent days.

NewBooks

Stop by the bookshelf this Sunday in the church foyer and pick out something good to read!

NewBookshelf

YSFM

Tomorrow at Midway Baptist Church starting at 7:00am – rain or shine – you will find a yard sale chock full of goodies.  The proceeds from each sale will go to support mission work through West Haven Baptist Church in the Smokey Mountains with Chilhowee Area Ministries (Click HERE to learn more about CHARM’s work).

Up for sale are tables, desks, a dog crate, housewaress, lots of clothing and other misc. items. Refreshments will also be on sale.

Drop by!

Tim Challies regularly takes readers of his  blog through classic writings.  In reading The Mystery of Providence by the Puritan John Flavel he came across a section aimed at exhorting Christian parents.  Below you’ll find Flavel’s points from this section with a few explanatory sentences from Challies himself.  We commend it to your consideration:

[Flavel] offers these 8 considerations, asking that you would ponder each one and allow them to motivate you to call your children to respond to the gospel.

  1. Consider the intimacy of the relationship between you and your children, and, therefore, how much their happiness or misery is your concern. Our children mean so much us. You gain joy by them, you place high value on them, you express hopes and longings for them, you sympathize with them in their troubles, and you grieve from the depths of your soul if they precede you into death. Why would you long to have children, and assign such value to them, and find so much joy in them, if, in the meantime, you give little thought to their eternal souls?
  2. Consider that God has charged you to tend not only to their bodies, but also to their souls. You can know this by the clear commands God has given parents (see Deuteronomy 6:6-7; Ephesians 6:4), and also by the commands he has given children since these commands imply the duty of the parents (e.g. Ephesians 6:1).
  3. Consider what could possibly comfort you at the time of your children’s death if, through your neglect, they die in a Christless condition. The most heartbreaking cry is that of the parent who has to honestly admit, “My child is in hell and I did nothing to prevent it! My child is in hell and I helped him go there!”
  4. Consider this question: If you neglect to instruct your children in the way of holiness, will the devil neglect to instruct them in the way of wickedness? No, of course not. If you will not teach them to pray, he will teach them to curse, swear, and lie. Where the ground is uncultivated, weeds will inevitably spring up.
  5. Consider that if the years of your children’s youth are neglected, there is little probability of any good fruit afterwards. You have to make the best use of their most formative years. Flavel uses this brilliant little illustration: “How few are converted in old age! A twig is brought to any form, but grown trees will not bow.”
  6. Consider that you are the instrumental cause of all your children’s spiritual misery, both by generation and imitation, by birth and by example. They are in a state of spiritual death because of the plague of sin which they contracted from you. As David says, “Behold, I was shapen in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me” (Psalm 51:5). This further increases your responsibility to see them healed from that plague.
  7. Consider that there is no one in the world more likely than you to be instruments of their eternal good. You have advantages that no others have, such as the insights you gain into their hearts. Because you are with them every day, and because you have so much knowledge of their weaknesses, you have unique opportunities to instill the knowledge of Christ into them. If you are neglectful, who shall help them? No one else can or will take your place in their lives.
  8. Consider the great day of judgment and be moved with pity for your children. Remember that text, “I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God” (Revelation 20:12). What a sad thing it would be to see your dear children at Christ’s left hand. Friends, do your utmost to prevent this misery! “Knowing the terrors of the Lord, we persuade men” (2 Corinthians 5:11).

Now, the purpose of these 8 considerations is not to make parents despair, but to help them see their responsibility. Flavel acknowledges, of course, that God is the only one who can bring a child to salvation and that God’s purposes are his own. And yet the Scriptures make it plain that the parents are to raise their children in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. Every parent would do well to ponder these 8 items.