To grow in and cultivate biblical discernment, consider listening to sermons by Dr. Caldwell from the Book of Romans (Series from 2019-2021). Specifically, consider listening to the sermons exposited from chapters 12, 13, 14, and 15. These passages of Scripture relate directly to this discussion. In addition to these, the following sermons will assist in this endeavor as well:
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Discernment, Faith, and Fidelity to the Truth Part 2 | Jerry Wragg
This week on the Straight Truth Podcast, Dr. Richard Caldwell is joined again by Dr. Jerry Wragg, Pastor/Teacher of Grace Immanuel Bible Church in Jupiter, Florida, and the President of The Expositors Seminary. Last week these two sat down and began a discussion on biblical discernment. This week they continue the discussion, diving in a bit deeper concerning the local church, how church members as a group discern, and how individuals can grow in it. Additionally, they speak about the drift that occurs at institutional seminaries.
Dr. Caldwell says that within our churches, there are various opinions about the issues of the day. Even when it comes to theological issues and doctrinal matters and discussions. Sometimes it’s opinions over things that aren’t doctrinal but perhaps peripheral. He asks Dr. Wragg how does he deal with this as a pastor? How does he help his people think about the unity of the church? How does his church work through the many differences of opinions and viewpoints? What do they do as elders to try to foster and encourage these things?
Dr. Wragg gives a helpful answer reminding us of how we are to look at the Scriptures. We need to see and know what the Scriptures mandate and what they don’t. He speaks about how there are things that are explicit, implicit, and other things that can be inferred from explicit or implicit texts. He shares about how there are things that are black and white. But also shares that there are areas outside of these that would be a sort of middle category requiring wisdom principles, a gray area. These are things where Christians will often disagree greatly on. He shares how we ought to look at and work through these gray areas. Further sharing that even when Christians disagree, they don’t have to disagree so starkly and be so different as to not talk about what might be the wisest course of action. He even gives a few helpful examples of this.
Dr. Caldwell and Dr. Wragg discuss how a person who wants to grow in discernment can go about doing this. Growing in biblical discernment requires us to hide God’s Word in our hearts. We need to know the Truth and its specifics to draw out principles by which we practice and live. Growing in discernment requires us to lay down our lives and to die to self. We must be transformed by the renewing of our minds. It requires letting the Spirit of God direct our lives and control our motives. The bottom line is that if we aren’t doing these things, the Holy Spirit isn’t going to zap or infuse us at any given moment with discernment. The Holy Spirit is merciful and gracious. Yet, if we neglect His Words, we just end up in the weeds. Our minds must be saturated by God’s Word, and we must humbly submit to what we are learning. The renewal process that takes place as we do these things will build discernment.
The final portion of their discussion remains on the subject of discernment. However, Dr. Caldwell and Dr. Wragg move from discussing the local church and the members to what is happening in institutional seminaries. As previously mentioned, Dr. Wragg is the President of The Expositors Seminary. The Expositors Seminary is made up of a group of churches, of which Founders Baptist is one of the campuses. The Expositor’s Seminary states its purpose is to magnify the glory of God by serving the local church (emphasis added), through training, equipping, mentoring, and affirming men who are called by the Lord Jesus Christ into the ministry of the gospel. With this in mind, Dr. Caldwell asks Dr. Wragg to talk with him about the sad tendency over time for seminaries to drift theologically and sometimes even morally.
They discuss both why Dr. Wragg thinks this happens and why he thinks this pattern emerges. They discuss how the next generation of pastors can be protected from participating in and being part of the drift. Dr. Wragg then shares what he believes is the best way to train future pastors. And lastly, he shares what he sees as some of the dangerous issues facing the church. Their conversation speaks of faithfulness and fidelity to the Truth, tendencies toward pride and false humility, insipid teaching, lack of discernment in leadership, and the fear of man that brings a snare.
Prayerfully this discussion has revealed the magnitude of importance that discernment must be to Christians. We are to be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves. We are to abhor what is evil; cling to what is good. We cannot be this nor do this without biblical discernment.
About The Straight Truth Podcast
The Straight Truth Podcast: Christian Opinions in an Increasingly Secular World. Join Dr. Richard Caldwell, Dr. Josh Philpot, and their guests as they discuss news events, current affairs, and cultural issues from a Biblical point of view. Find the truth at www.straighttruth.net
The Straight Truth Podcast is a weekly opinion show hosted by Dr. Richard Caldwell and Dr. Josh Philpot. Straight Truth is available as an audio podcast on iTunes or as a video podcast through YouTube or Vimeo. The duration of the podcast is approximately 10 minutes. We release new episodes every Thursday.
The topics discussed in the Straight Truth Podcast are current events, matters that challenge traditional Christian values, and questions submitted by audience members. Dr. Caldwell, Dr. Philpot, and their guests seek to answer these questions with Biblical truths and from a Christian conservative point of view. The Holy Bible is the inspired, infallible, and inerrant Word of God; it alone is and will be the basis and authority of
answering any and all questions.
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