About Joseph M. Fleener

Associate Pastor, Howick Baptist Church<br />Lover of Christ &amp; His Gospel, Husband to Mandy, Father to three wonderful children, Servant to the Local Church, Bible College Lecturer

Public Notes


Recent Activity

  • Joseph shared from Homespun Gospel: The Triumph of Sentimentality in Contemporary American Evangelicalism by Todd M. Brenneman
    The history of evangelicalism cannot be best understood now solely in the terms of Jonathan Edwards (or even George Whitefield). Instead, evangelicalism has undergone its own conversion. Evangelicals have left Edwards’s angry God for a domestic one who is busy cataloging mementoes of his children. Modern evangelicals no longer carry the burdens of intellectuality or doctrine; instead, they have abandoned them and are traveling light.
    Note: One reason why I don't describe myself as an Evangelical. A 2014 Oxford University Press book says:
  • Joseph shared from Homespun Gospel: The Triumph of Sentimentality in Contemporary American Evangelicalism by Todd M. Brenneman
    In focusing on the importance of emotion in evangelicalism, we will see that evangelicals downplay the importance of doctrine. Defining evangelicalism only in terms of doctrines or beliefs, then, avoids a sizable part of evangelical practice and misses that evangelicals themselves do not prioritize the very feature scholars point to as their essential characteristic. Evangelicals have in fact abandoned a concern with doctrine, although the beliefs stereotypically associated with them still shape the evangelical worldview. Emotion, however, pervades evangelicalism and provides us with a better...
    Note: This may prove an interesting read...
  • Joseph shared from Bonhoeffer on the Christian Life: From the Cross, for the World by Stephen J. Nichols
    This emphasis is worth pausing over. Bonhoeffer is not here excluding civic engagement. Rather, he calls for us to have the right emphasis and order. We witness to the world first as the church witnesses to the Word. It is from this position that we then engage politics and social ethics. To put the matter another way, what the world needs most from the church is a solid witness to the Word, the gospel. That is the urgent call and task. But the world also needs our being good citizens. To put the matter even more directly: We are salt and light in the world primarily when we proclaim the gospel...
    Note: A helpful and important summary.
  • Joseph shared from Bonhoeffer on the Christian Life: From the Cross, for the World by Stephen J. Nichols
    “A congregation that does not pray for the ministry of its pastor,” Bonhoeffer warns, “is no longer a congregation.”11 He then adds, “A pastor who does not pray daily for his congregation is no longer a pastor.”12
    Note: A pointed rebuke.
  • Joseph shared from Bonhoeffer on the Christian Life: From the Cross, for the World by Stephen J. Nichols
    Bonhoeffer offers two means by which we can live in real and not ideal communities: forgiveness and gratitude. We ourselves personally live “in the forgiving love of Jesus.”33 We need to extend the same to our brothers and sisters in Christ. Cultivating thankfulness also helps us look past the difficulties, the petty wrongs, the things that go awry in church life. Now we see why the church is the church through Jesus Christ.
    Note: This is particularly helpful.
(Golflands, Auckland, New Zealand)
Joseph M. Fleener