The following is a paraphrased excerpt from Paul Tripp’s Dangerous Calling (139-140):
We come into worship in the middle of a war that we probably don’t recognize. It is a war for the allegiance, the worship, of our hearts. In ways we probably don’t understand fully, we have again and again asked the creation to give us what only the Creator can provide. We have looked horizontally again and again for what can only be found vertically. We have asked people, situations, locations, and experiences to be the one thing they will never be: our savior. We have looked to these things to give us life, security, identity, and hope. We have asked these things to heal our broken hearts. We have hoped that these things would make us better people. So a war rages and we sit in worship like so many wounded soldiers. It is a glory war, a battle for what glory will rule our hearts and, in so doing, control our choices, words, and behaviors.
Dear Dr. McDowell,
The occasion for this letter is my attendance at your recent talk at a pastors’ luncheon at a local Christian school in my area. As I begin my letter I want to say how grateful I am for the energetic ministry in the service of the Lord Jesus you have maintained for so many years. The Spirit has made your efforts consequential in many lives, bringing many to faith and buttressing the faith of many others. I want to personally thank you for your book More Than a Carpenter as it was an effective apologetic foothold for me during a time in my life where my faith was under attack.
However, in service to the church and the schools where you have spoken and will speak in the future, I want to interact critically with some of your methods. It is my hope that you are open to criticisms from fellow believers since your ministry seeks to engage people on an intellectual level. Yet from the outset it is good for me to say that my main task is not to dispute the data and statistics per se. Rather what follows will be a critical interaction with your methods/tactics and some seeming inconsistencies between the data you presented and one of the main points of your talk.