Posts by Matthew Holst

 

As I approach the fifth anniversary of my ordination to pastoral ministry, I confess that last five years have been a maelstrom of emotional highs and lows--as well as a school of previously unknown experiences. My own experiences and observations of pastoral situations have helped produce my baker’s dozen of lessons for seminarians and new pastors.

 

“For Everything There Is A Season...” So says the Preacher in Ecclesiastes 3:1. Our God has ordained whatsoever shall come to pass, according to His most wise and free counsel. He has set the limits for every hour, day, week, month and year. He has also ordained the seasons. We live our lives by the divine designations of days and seasons. We mark our births and deaths, we plant and pluck up, break down and build up, all according to the times that God has designated. We live our lives by calendars.

 

Many of us have joyfully welcomed the renaissance of Christ-centered preaching that churches in North America have undergone in recent decades. For some it has been an old practice to saturate their ministry with the person and work of the Savior. For others it is a relatively new thing to earnestly seek to proclaim their Savior in a more pervasive way in thier preaching. Praise God! If Christ is being proclaimed, the church has done well. Yet there is a fine line between being Christocentric (preaching the Scriptures in a Christ-centered way) and being Christomonic (preaching Christ to the exclusion of the Father and the Spirit).

 

The genealogies in Scripture are so important that it may rightly be said that we cannot fully see the glory of the metanarrative (i.e. the storyline) of the Bible without them.

 

For some, it's going too far to state that Christ is found in the Psalms of chastening. Many have suggested that Christ cannot be found in the Psalms of the “Guilty Sufferer"--because He was without sin. It is only when we view the language of the Psalms in light of the language of the substitutionary Suffering Servant of Isaiah 53 that we begin to see how this is in fact exactly how we are to read them. Additionally, we must remember that the principle of substitution was found all throughout the sacrificial laws given prior to the Psalms.