Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
- I'm so thankful for the precious and encouraging saints the Lord has put in Blair's and my life. We have so many more life-shaping friendships with brothers and sisters of different generations and are thankful that these friends will also be part of our new son's life.
- I'm so thankful for a church that is eager to hear God's Word preached. I came with one clear agenda--to systematically and expositionally preach through Biblical books. It has been such a blessing to hear people (of all ages) excited about learning the Bible.
Two Prayer Requests:
- I'm praying the Lord will use our congregation to call men and women to faith in Christ and be united with our fellowship. I'm so eager to see the miracle of salvation in happen in our community and through our church's reach. Nothing excites me more than seeing God's sovereign grace at work!
- I'm praying the Lord will raise up doctrinally sound and evangelistic leaders in our congregation. You can never have enough. We need more people (especially men) who will be called to teach God's Word and stand with conviction on God's Word.
I'm eager to see and to savor what God does among us. My hope since day one was to be part of a Word-driven church who could speak of what exciting things are happening among our fellowship and say, "Only by the power of the Word... only God has done it."
Monday, March 22, 2010
Is it a problem that some of us who are tranquil as still water about biblical doctrine and ecclesial mission are red-faced about Nancy Pelosi and the talking heads on MSNBC? Is it a problem that some who haven’t shared the gospel with their neighbors in months or years are motivated to vent to strangers on the street about how scary national health care will be?
Read the whole article HERE.
Friday, March 19, 2010
1. The Death of Death in the Death of Christ by John Owen
2. Knowing God by J.I. Packer
3. Bondage of the Will by Martin Luther
4. Cur Deus Homo? by Anselm
5.The Pleasures of God by John Piper
6. The Institutes of the Christian Religion by John Calvin
7. The Doctrines of Grace by James Boice and Philip Ryken
8. Counted Righteous in Christ by John Piper
9. Christian Theology by Millard Erickson
10. Systematic Theology by Wayne Grudem
11. Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis
12. Faith Alone by R.C. Sproul
I know I'm forgetting some but those rattled from the top of my head. I'd recommend most-some with caution, and I don't necessarily ascribe to everything written in each book. If you are looking for a good theology book to dive into, those are some suggestions. Mainly of course, dive again and again into THE BOOK.
Thursday, March 18, 2010
It would not be correct to simply equate Calvinism with the 'five points'... Calvinism is something much broader than the 'five points' indicate. Calvinism is a whole world-view, stemming from a clear vision of God as the whole world’s Maker and King. Calvinism is the consistent endeavour to acknowledge the Creator as the Lord, working all things after the counsel of His will. Calvinism is a theocentric way of thinking about all life under the direction and control of God’s own Word. Calvinism, in other words, is the theology of the Bible viewed from the perspective of the Bible—the God-centred outlook which sees the Creator as the source, and means, and end, of everything that is, both in nature and in grace. Calvinism is thus theism (belief in God as the ground of all things), religion (dependence on God as the giver of all things), and evangelicalism (trust in God through Christ for all things), all in their purest and most highly developed form. And Calvinism is a unified philosophy of history which sees the whole diversity of processes and events that take place in God’s world as no more, and no less, than the outworking of His great preordained plan for His creatures and His church. The five points assert no more than that God is sovereign in saving the individual, but Calvinism, as such, is concerned with the much broader assertion that He is sovereign everywhere.
HT: John Piper
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Monday, March 15, 2010
Also, here is a LINK to his website .
Sunday, March 14, 2010
Friday, March 12, 2010
Take for example my sermon this week compared to the last two weeks. In Matthew 21:23 there begins a series of confrontations between the temple priests (especially the Pharisees) and Jesus. They question Jesus' authority and He responds with three parables that illustrate salvation history and the condemnation of unbelieving Israel- represented by those priests. After the second parable Jesus proclaims that He is the cornerstone on which a glorious eternal kingdom is being built (not limited to ethnic Israel). The third parable follows in Matthew 22 describing who is part of this kingdom and who is not. Then in Matthew 22:15 those priests come back at Jesus' three parables with three questions meant to trap Jesus and find cause to kill Him. He masterfully responds and silences His enemies proving yet again His divine authority and messianic fulfillment. In answering these questions Jesus also distinguished some characteristics of those who are citizens of this new and glorious kingdom.
So part of me sees these texts and observes about eleven or twelve potential sermons yet I am preaching all these verses in three sermons. What is my thought process in this? I believe there is great benefit in meditating slowly on the details of the text just as a microscope helps you see things in soil that you couldn't see by flying over that soil in an airplane. On the flip side there is also great benefit in seeing how all these texts flow together and connect in a greater narrative just as you would see things from an airplane that you couldn't appreciate up close and through a microscope. In preaching there should be balance. If you are in my flock I hope you are studying these texts (since I provide them ahead of time) "through a microscope" on your own and with other believers, so that when we come together on Sunday you can see the big picture as well.
This "high altitude" approach is not my favorite. I like getting down in the details and it kills me that I cannot preach four hour sermons to cover more in one Sunday! However I try to vacilate between styles and when we get to Galatians in 2011 Lord willing we will be more microscopic (so you'll have to read the whole book each week to keep the big picture in mind). The great comfort to me is that "all Scripture is God-breathed" and I cannot go wrong as long as I'm committed to faithfully expositing the sacred text as God intends it to be understood.
Monday, March 8, 2010
Thursday, March 4, 2010
Read Tim Challies' article "Pure" HERE.
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
This Sunday I'll be preaching from Matthew 22:1-14 in which Jesus teaches about the Kingdom through another parable. He was a master at using parables to communicate truth. I came across some "modern-day" parables that while not Holy Spirit-inspired, authoritative, or effectual as what we read in Scripture (there is no substitute), these are short and clever and help illustrate some important spiritual lessons for the church. Go HERE for the first video (and better of the two) entitled Sea Parable and view the second below.