I grew up when Diff'rent Strokes was a popular television show. That's no big deal unless your last name is Willis. To this day I still hear those famous words popularized by Arnold: "Whatchu talkin bout Willis?" Usually they are uttered by someone looking at me as though I may have never heard it before. Yeah, right! Well this blog is what I (Willis) am talkin bout...my thoughts, observations & opinions. Enjoy...

Monday, October 06, 2008

Better Late Then Never

Roger Chambers died over two decades ago but I find many of his writings to be vibrant and relevant today.

The late Dr. Roger Chambers asks and answers a very compelling question:

“What is the primary work of the local congregation?
Evangelism? Worship? Fellowship? Therapy? Benevolence? Missions? Maintaining the property? None of the above. The first business of the New Testament Church was and must be teaching and learning; all else stands upon this foundation; all else flows from this fountainhead.

Christianity is a taught religion, and people believe what they're taught. The idea of Illumination is Calvinistic nonsense. The Holy Spirit does not filter out the truth from the flood of religious error and impress it upon the minds of people in a process that protects believers from heresy. There is nothing about the Gospel truth that guarantees that it will be better received than false doctrine. Quite the contrary; the Bible says that fallen man is more likely to accept a lie.

False churches grow because dynamic teachers teach the people what is not true. The New Testament Church will grow only when dynamic teachers teach the people what is true. "
I have rediscovered the works of Roger Chambers recently thanks to E.L. Jones, Billy Dyer and some of Dr. Chambers’ former students. I knew of Roger Chambers and had heard a few of his sermons, but didn’t know of beyond that. Fortunately, some of his former pupils have made many of his writings, lectures & sermons available via the internet. To checkout the works of Dr. Chambers go here or here.


Anonymous said...

I agree that there must be strong, biblical teaching in the church that constantly points people to Jesus... but what happens when all that is taking place is "information downloading"--when there is little or no help given to help people apply what they're learning practically?

I grew up in a church like that... and it resulted in a lot of pride a spiritual snobbery. What can we do to avoid that and, instead of producing a bunch of people who know about Jesus (but aren't being transformed), produce sold-out followers of Jesus who aren't just learning, but living out what they learn?

David H. Willis said...

Amen. I'm with you. We need transformation not just information. The challenge today (IMHO) is that the pendulum is swinging the other way and we're trying to get transformation with little or no (biblical)information. Authentic transformation will always result in action. I think a right handling of the whole counsel of God would result in that - the Bible is full of calls to action. Good shepherds will lead their sheep in this way & prepare them for service. We are to be servants not just students.

Anonymous said...

Right on, dude.

There's a lot of good to be said about the whole "missional" movement (there's some really good thinking and writing coming out of that strain), but many in this strain are also jumping the gun... that if we would just feed the hungry, serve the poor, etc., then we'll see change. Many are implying that simply meeting those needs is enough... but Jesus is left out. It's shortchanging both those serving and those being served.

We gotta find that balance. Yeah, we need to live like Jesus, serve like Jesus, and help like Jesus... but it's still all about Jesus.

Good post, Willis.

Keith Wood said...

And good discussion you guys. I'm right there with you. We have to model the balance. And I beleive Jesus did that with something called "discipling". Somewhere along the way we have lost that concept.

William Mckinley Dyer said...

Me and Keith Woods were talking bout this the other day. A lot of Christianity is learning to live in the sweet spot. Not going too far with the pendulum swing. U cant have transformation w/out solid biblical teaching but solid biblical teaching consists in a call to action not just a call to learn the propositions of scripture. Being "spiritual" isnt about knowing the propositions of Scripture, its about practicing the propositions of Scripture. U cant practice what u dont know