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New Horizons

July, 2014: Home Missions

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The entire issue is available in the following formats: PDF  ePub  and  Mobi 

Turning Church Inside Out

It happens every Sunday. The sermon is over. The benediction has been received. The doxology has been sung. The doors at the back of the auditorium are opened. People begin to flow into the lobby. Lively conversation and the aroma of good cake and even better coffee fill the air.

Children zigzag around adult legs to make it to the snacks and back to their festive kid’s table. They catch up with one another, discussing another week gone by. Their parents and the other adults have no time to sit. They duck in and out, jumping from one conversation to the next, engaging one another with smiles, handshakes, and hugs. It’s joyful, delightful, and wonderful, and it happens every Sunday. Read more

Outreach—Where Church and Community Intersect

“Missions is not the ultimate goal of the church. Worship is. Missions exists because worship doesn’t. Worship is ultimate, not missions, because God is ultimate, not man,” says John Piper.

Human beings were created and designed for worship. More accurately, human beings were created and designed to worship the Creator. Unfortunately, men and women embrace sin and choose to worship created things rather than the one and only Creator (Rom. 1:21–23). That basic fact about the human race calls the church to a lifetime of missions, outreach, and evangelism. “Missions exists because worship doesn’t,” says Piper. He goes on to say, “So worship is the fuel and goal of missions” (Let the Nations Be Glad! 3rd ed., p. 32). Read more

Solid Comfort from a Familiar Verse

Many pastors have heard, even frequently, “Pastor, we don’t need all this theology. Just tell us what to do.” I have a standard answer: “Sure. Rejoice always. In everything give thanks.”

These are biblical commands, but the point is that you can’t really do these things without theology. These commands, like many others, cannot simply stand by themselves. A pasted-on smile is fake, not really rejoicing at all, and not obedience. And these commands don’t mean that we should rejoice about happy things and give thanks for happy things in spite of bad things that may be happening too. That’s a pretend game that tries to ignore real pain. Rather, Christians are taught realistic rejoicing and giving thanks while fully acknowledged pain and sorrow. Only a sound doctrinal understanding enables someone to obey commands like this. Theology is eminently important and practical. Read more

What Is a Retreat?

According to Webster, a retreat (in our sense of the word) is “a period of group withdrawal for prayer, meditation, study, and instruction.” The Machen Retreat and Conference Center exists to be just that.

It is the only center owned and operated by the OPC that is dedicated to achieving that purpose. So both the property and the schedule of its use are ours! Read more

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