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 Bonhoeffer on the Christian Life: From the Cross, for the World (Theologians on the Christian Life) 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 (Theologians on the Christian Life) 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 (Theologians on the Christian Life) 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.
  • Joseph shared from Bonhoeffer on the Christian Life: From the Cross, for the World (Theologians on the Christian Life) by Stephen J. Nichols
    Bearing the cross does not bring misery and despair. Rather, it provides refreshment and peace for our souls; it is our greatest joy. Here we are no longer laden with self-made laws and burdens, but with the yoke of him who knows us and who himself goes with us under the same yoke. Under his yoke we are assured of nearness and communion. It is he himself who disciples find when they take up their cross.64
    Note: What a beautifully, encouraging thought.
  • Joseph shared from A Puritan Theology: Doctrine for Life by Joel R. Beeke, Mark Jones
    Puritans show us the importance of persevering in catechizing family and church members and neighbors. Like the Reformers, the Puritans were catechists. They believed that pulpit messages should be reinforced by personalized ministry through catechesis—the instruction in the doctrines of Scripture using catechisms. Puritan
    Note: We just reviewed the Shorter Catechism Q's 1-27 as a family after dinner with our Chinese student.
(Golflands, Auckland, New Zealand)
Joseph M. Fleener