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Context, Melodic Line, Context

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Context, Melodic Line, Context

Context, context, context. Students of the Bible have it drilled into their heads to interpret Scripture “in its original context.” But many preachers relate to context like I relate to a mechanical tool: I know it’s supposed to be useful, but I don’t quite know how to use it.

While attending 2019 Simeon Trust Workshop in Indianapolis, I was struck by the practical value of literary context. Knowing the “melodic line,” the central theme(s) of an entire book, often sheds light on individual pericopes; seeing the forest enhances knowledge of each tree.

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"We are determined to be true theologians..."

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"We are determined to be true theologians..."

In recent months I’ve been encouraged to talk with a handful of pastors across the US to describe what ITS is doing and give suggestions how they can get a similar work started where they are. One such pastor was Cory Wilson of City Church in Cleveland. Cory is also a fellow with The Center for Pastor Theologians where he posted this very helpful reflection. In it Cory considers how vital it is to remember that, “Theology cannot be understood apart from the people of God, the church, [but] meant to be done by the church and for the church.” Such comments, and Cory’s entire post, resonate strongly with what we’re doing here in Indianapolis, so I’m glad to share it with you this month. Read Cory’s original blog here.

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Why I Love the Simeon Trust Preaching Workshops

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Why I Love the Simeon Trust Preaching Workshops

We want to hear from God. We believe we can hear from him. We believe we do hear from him. God speaks to us through the Scriptures. And so we hear his voice Sunday after Sunday as pastors devote themselves to faithful expository preaching.

This is why fifty of us gathered together for the Indianapolis Simeon Trust Preaching Workshop on June 6–8. This was our fourth workshop in Indianapolis, so I offer four reasons why I love it.

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Household ‘Stewards’

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Household ‘Stewards’

In creation, there is nothing more valuable than human life. And this is doubly true for those who have been purchased with the infinite blood of Christ (Acts 20:28; 1 Corinthians 6:19; 1 Peter 1:18–19). God sent his Son to Calvary to redeem a people for his own possession, and so great is his love for his people that the Good Shepherd has raised up shepherds who would tend his flock. Sometimes these spiritual leaders are called pastors, or overseers, or elders—synonymous terms for the same office. At the same time, while each of these labels stress different aspects of local church ministry, there is another title that needs consideration—steward. ...

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Congregational Premarital Counseling

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Congregational Premarital Counseling

Premarital counseling can be an entertaining exercise for an older couple offering guidance to a younger couple.  Across from them sit two individuals eager to be wed.  Apart from occasional disagreements about planning the ceremony, the soon-to-be-newlyweds are prone to think all is well and their excitement is reflected on their faces. While the mentors don’t mean to discourage the couple, they do mean to equip the couple with counsel that will carry them beyond the honeymoon to the anniversaries to come. ...

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