Church, the Holy Spirit, and Learning to Rely on God Rather than Our Institutions

I had a church history professor who was fond of saying, “The church institutionalizes how the Holy Spirit moved last.” He’s right. When a movement of the Spirit comes along, and people are saved and there is revival in the church, there is the innate human tendency to want to replicate this result by nailing …

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Sin, Church Conflict, and the Need for Confession in Public Worship

Over the last five years or so, I have had at least half a dozen pastor friends who have had to leave or resign from their churches on account of various kinds of congregational dysfunction or confict. Even though it's true that I don't know many of the details about these individual stories, it almost …

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Making Every Effort When There’s Nothing You Can Do: More Thoughts on Spiritual Formation

The process of Christ being formed in us, the process of maturation every believer is called to undergo, is called spiritual formation. In other words, the process of transformation, of growing in Christ, is the work of the Holy Spirit. Through the prophet Ezekiel, the Lord told his people, “I will put my spirit within …

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