Worldly Saints

Seizing Life for the Glory of God

A Sample of Kevin DeYoung’s Writing

DeYoung KevinOne of my modern-day heroes is Kevin DeYoung, who serves as Senior Pastor at University Reformed Church in East Lansing, MI. His book include The Biggest Story, Just Do Something, Crazy Busy, The Hole in Our Holiness, Taking God at His Word, What Does the Bible Really Say About Homosexuality?, What is the Mission of the Church?, Good News We Almost Forgot, Why We Love the Church, Why We’re Not Emergent, Don’t Call It a Comeback, and Freedom and Boundaries.

His preaching encourages me; his writing provokes me; his blog amuses and edifies me.

Below is a list of quotations I have taken note of over the years and have used in my own teaching and preaching. I believe you will find them instructive to your own heart.

On the Passive Christian – “Passivity is a plague among Christians. It’s not just that we don’t do anything; it’s that we feel spiritual for not doing anything. We imagine that our inactivity is patience and sensitivity to God’s leading. At times it may be; but it’s also quite possible we are just lazy. When we hyper-spiritualize our decisions, we can veer off into impulsive and foolish decisions. But more likely as Christians we fall into endless patterns of vacillation, indecision, and regret. No doubt, selfish ambition is a danger for Christians, but so is complacency, listless wandering, and passivity that pawns itself off as spirituality. Perhaps our inactivity is not so much waiting on God as it is an expression of the fear of man, the love of the praise of man, and disbelief in God’s providence.” (Just Do Something, pgs. 50-51)

On the Bible Being Clear – “The doctrine of the clarity of Scripture is not a wild assertion that the meaning of every verse in the Bible will be patently obvious to everyone. Rather, the perspicuity of Scripture upholds the notion that ordinary people using ordinary means can accurately understand enough of what must be known, believed, and observed for them to be faithful Christians.” (Taking God at His Word, pg. 59)

On the Bible Being Sufficient – “God has given us all we need for life and godliness; Scripture is enough to make us wise for salvation and holy unto the Lord. If we learn to read the Bible down (into our hearts), across (the plot line of Scripture), out (to the end of the story), and up (to the glory of God in the face of Christ), we still find that every bit of the Bible is profitable for us. To affirm the sufficiency of Scripture is not to suggest that the Bible tells us everything we want to know about everything, but it does tell us everything we need to know what matters most. Scripture does not give exhaustive information on every subject, but in every subject on which it speaks, it says only what is true. And in its truth we have enough knowledge to turn from sin, find a Savior, make good decisions, please God, and get to the root of our deepest problems.” (Taking God at His Word, pgs. 54-55)

On the Measure of a Church’s Success – “Didn’t Jesus tell us that ‘the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few’ (Matt. 7:14)? Wasn’t the early church of Philadelphia commended by the Lord Jesus even though they were facing opposition and had ‘little power’ (Rev. 3:7-13)? There is simply no biblical teaching to indicate that church size is the measure of success.” (Why We Love the Church, pg. 31)

On Holiness – “Even if could enter heaven without holiness, what would you do? What joy would you feel there? What holy man or woman of God would you sit down with for fellowship? Their pleasures are not your pleasures. Their character is not your character. What they love, you do not love. If you dislike a holy God now, why would you want to be with him forever? If worship does not capture your attention at present, what makes you think it will thrill you in some heavenly future? If ungodliness is your delight here on earth, what will please you in heaven, where all is clean and pure? You would not be happy there if you are not holy here.” (The Hole In Our Holiness, pg. 15)

John Calvin on What the Cross Accomplished

The Sunday feature of the Worldly Saints blog is all about quotes. No commentary from me, no reflection, etc. Just a provocative or informative quote from a saint in church history.

Calvin John“In the cross of Christ, as in a magnificent theater, the inestimable goodness of God is displayed before the whole world. In all the creatures, indeed, both high and low, the glory of God shines, but nowhere has it shone more brightly than in the cross, in which there has been an astonishing change of things, the condemnation of all men has been manifested, sin has been blotted out, salvation has been restored to men; and, in short, the whole world has been renewed, and every thing restored to good order.”

John Calvin from his commentary on the Gospel of John




Just In Case You Missed It – August 15-20, 2016

  1. 4 Interesting Facts about the Production of the King James Translation” by George Guthrie.
  2. 10 Reasons to Talk More About Heaven” by Jordan Standridge (The Cripplegate).
  3. 10 Things You Should Know About God’s Omniscience” by Sam Storms.
  4. California Lawmaker Drops Controversial Proposal to Regulate Religious Colleges” by Sarak Eekhoff Zylstra (Christianity Today). An update on SB1146.


Happy 39th BD to Andrea

A   nyone who knows her knows her smile.

N   ever did I think I would have a best friend like her.

D   id you know she was on the power-lifting team in high school?

R   elationship-building with her has seemed as natural as breathing.

E   xcited I am every day that I think about being married to her.

A   nother 39 years of living with her would be even sweeter.



Developing People and Not Structures

The Tuesday feature of the Worldly Saints blog is all about reading. The post is meant to share some of my reflections from the latest book or magazine article or blog post I have or am reading. At times, I may post a book blurb (a wannabe book review) or recommend books to be read by others.

In a book entitled The Trellis and the Vine: the Ministry Mind-Shift That Changes Everything, authors Colin Marshall and Tony Payne suggest that churches know “what its aims and goals are, how it proceeds, and what part we all play in its exercise” (pg. 17). This book is not about building structures, but about building people into disciple-makers.

In Ch. 2, a chapter entitled “Ministry Mind-shifts”, the authors recommend eleven different shifts (and I will share ten of them with you here) that need to be made in churches. The following “mind-shifts” can be found on pgs. 17-26 of this book and I will include a short summary paragraph of each “mind-shift.”

Trellis and the Vine#1 – “From running programs to building people.” Instead of considering what ministries you would like to have or add to your church, think about the spiritual needs of your people and what ministries they need to help them grow. Then build ministries to meet the needs of your people.

#2 – “From running events to training people.” More evangelistic events do not mean you are doing evangelism. Providing venues for people to evangelize but failing to train and equip them to do the work of evangelism is counter-productive.

#3 – “From using people to growing people.” Allowing volunteers to work “behind the scenes” and never be equipped for the work of the ministry will lead to ministry and spiritual burnout. We need to make sure we are proactive about encouraging them in the work of the ministry and helping them develop their giftedness.

#4 – “From filling gaps to training new workers.” Create ministries when God gives you the gifted people to fill the gaps for those ministries. Don’t say, “We need this ministry and then hope God provides the people later.”

#5 – “From solving problems to helping people make progress.” Ministering to people should not take place when problems invade their life (e.g., hospital stays, counseling needs, etc.). It should be balanced with encouraging them and discipling them in every life situation.

#6 – “From clinging to ordained ministry to developing team leadership.” Don’t ever underestimate the usefulness of someone who has never been professionally trained for the work of the ministry.

#7 – “From relying on training institutions to establishing local training.” Character is rarely developed in academic institutions; that should be the training ground of the church.

#8 – “From focusing on immediate pressures to aiming for long-term expansion.” Keep looking on the horizon.

#9 – “From engaging in management to engaging in ministry.” Do not overload your schedule with administration at the expense of shepherding people.

#10 – “From seeking church growth to desiring gospel growth.” Filled seats or pews is not a reliable indicator of making disciples; maturing Christians is real Gospel growth.

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