How to Plant a Contempervant Church

143 things you need to know about in order to teach the Bible

According to Acts 29, a minister should, amongst other qualities, be able to comprehend, and communicate effectively on these 119 issues.

1. Adoption
2. Ammillenialism
3. Angels
4. Apostle
5. Aseity
6. Baptism in the Holy Spirit
7. Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit
8. Body of Christ
9. Born Again
10. Canonicity
11. Common grace
12. Communicable and Incommunicable Attributes
13. Complementarian
14. Conversion
15. Cosmological Argument
16. Covenant
17. Covenant of Grace
18. Covenant of works
19. Covenant community
20. Credo Baptism
21. Deacon
22. Death
23. Decree of God
24. Definite Atonement
25. Demons
26. Dichotomy
27. Disciple
28. Doctrines of Grace
29. Ecclesiology
30. Effectual Calling
31. Egalitarian
32. Eisogesis
33. Ekklesia
34. Elder
35. Election
36. Eschatology
37. Excommunication
38. Exegesis
39. Exorcisms
40. Expiation
41. External Calling
42. Faith
43. Father
44. Final Judgment
45. Foreknowledge of God
46. Forensic Justification
47. Free will
48. General Revelation
49. Glorification
50. Heaven
51. Hell
52. Hematology
53. Hermeneutics
54. Holy Spirit
55. Humiliation of Christ
56. Hypostatic Union
57. Imago Dei
58. Imminent Return
59. Impeccability
60. Imputation of Sin
61. Incarnation
62. Incomprehensibility Of God
63. Inerrancy
64. Infallibility
65. Infinite
66. Intercession
67. Invisible Church
68. Keys of the Kingdom
69. Liberty
70. Limited Free will
71. Lord’s Supper
72. Lordship Salvation
73. Mediator
74. Millennium
75. Miracles
76. New heavens and new earth
77. Officer in the church
78. Omniscience
79. Ontological Argument
80. Original Sin
81. OT and NT Priest
82. Overseer
83. Paedo Baptism
84. Parousia
85. Particular Redemption
86. Penal Substitution
87. Pneumatology
88. Postmillenialism
89. Predestination
90. Premillenialism
91. Propitiation
92. Providence
93. Rapture
94. Reconciliation
95. Redemption
96. Regeneration
97. Regulatory principle
98. Religious Affections
99. Repentance
100. Reprobation
101. Resurrection
102. Sanctification
103. Satan
104. Second Coming
105. Son of God
106. Soteriology
107. Sovereignty
108. Special Revelation
109. Spiritual Body
110. T.U.L.I.P.
111. Teleological Argument
112. The Fall of Mankind
113. Theology proper
114. Total inability
115. Transcendence
116. Tribulation
117. Trinity
118. Virgin Birth
119. Worship

And be able to apply a scriptural argument on the following 24 issues:

1. Annihilationism
2. Antinomianism
3. Arianism
4. Arminianism
5. Consubstantiation
6. Deism
7. Dictation Theory
8. Dispensationalism
9. Doceticism
10. Dualism
11. Evolution
12. Fatalism
13. Feminism
14. Limbo
15. Monism
16. Pantheism
17. Pelagianism
18. Perfectionism
19. Purgatory
20. Soul Sleep
21. The Mass (Catholic)
22. Theistic Evolution
23. Transubstantiation
24. Universalism

This is why I think the Westminster Confession is a good thing. Somebody has done the hard work (mostly) for us.

So how do you score on those 143 items? How would Jesus score (based on his teaching in his time)?

Jesus was way cool*

You know. Jesus was pretty darn awesome and he hung out with all the movers and shakers in first century Jewish society – so we should totally do the same with our ministries… no wait. That’s not right. An Acts 29 church planting screener has pointed out that a number (all is a number) of the planting candidates he’s interviewed have the same missional passion – the desire to see cool people saved.

It’s amazing how many young pastors feel that they are distinctly called to reach the upwardly-mobile, young, culture-shaping professionals and artists. Can we just be honest? Young, upper-middle-class urban professionals have become the new “Saddleback Sam”.

Seriously, this is literally the only group I see proposals for. I have yet to assess a church planter who wants to move to a declining, smaller city and reach out to blue collar factory workers, mechanics, or construction crews. Not one with an evangelsitic strategy to go after the 50-something administrative assistant who’s been working at the same low-paying insurance firm for three decades now.

His conclusion is just as on the money.

It could be that we’re simply following in the footsteps of the church growth movement that we’ve loved to publically criticize while privately trying to emulate – we’ve just replaced Bill Hybels and Rick Warren with Tim Keller and Mark Driscoll.

In the Australian context it’s probably not so bad – but it’s just something to remember. Jesus loves city people, young professionals, farmers, retirees and the homeless. Our ministries should love those people too.

* Check out the King Missile song by this name if you haven’t already discovered it.