Thursday, July 24, 2014

Credo on Whitefield

The new issue of Credo is dedicated to the life and ministry of George Whitefield.

Credo is one of my favorite places on the web. This most recent issue, like all issues of Credo, is well worth your time.

Mortification of Spin

The latest Mortification of Spin is up and running...
The MoS posse toss around ideas about the biblical concept of finding strength in the midst of weakness. As Christians, we must draw our strength from our brokenness, sinfulness, and weakness. How can pastors shepherd their flocks of weak, broken people as weak, broken people themselves?

Thursday, July 17, 2014

It's a good idea to be Reformed

Over at First Things, our friend Carl has written an excellent apologetic for the Reformed faith. Specifically, Trueman asserts that the Reformed faith is uniquely suited (over general evangelicalism and Roman Catholicism) for exiles, or what the apostle Peter called "strangers and aliens."
It’s not surprising that Reformed Christianity equips us well for exile, because it was itself forged in a time of exile, often by men who were literal exiles. Indeed, the most famous Reformed theologian of them all, John Calvin, was a Frenchman who found fame and influence as a pastor outside his homeland, in the city of Geneva. The Pilgrim fathers of New England knew the realities of exile, and the conditions that it imposed upon the people, only too well. Winthrop’s famous comment about being a city on a hill was not a statement of messianic destiny but a reminder to the colonists of the fact that their lives as exiles were to be lived out in the glare of hostile scrutiny. Exile demanded they have a clear and godly identity.

The Reformed Church has its own baggage, but given the nature of its origins and our own moment, it is the right baggage: light when it needs to be light and heavy with the Gospel when it needs to be heavy. A marginal, minority interest in America for well over a century, she does not face the loss of social influence and political aspirations that now confront Evangelicalism and Roman Catholicism. We do not expect to be at the center of worldly affairs. We do not imagine ourselves to be running indispensable institutions. Lack of a major role in the public square will cause no crisis in self-understanding.

This does not arise from indifference or a lack of substance, but instead from clarity and focus. Doctrinally, the Reformed Church affirms the great truths that were defined in the early Church, to which she adds the Protestant doctrine of salvation by faith alone. She cultivates a practical simplicity: Church life centers on the preaching of the Word, the administration of the sacraments, prayer, and corporate praise. We do not draw our strength primarily from an institution, but instead from a simple, practical pedagogy of worship: the Bible, expounded week by week in the proclamation of the Word and taught from generation to generation by way of catechisms and devotions around the family dinner table.
It is an outstanding article. Read the whole thing HERE.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Can Campus Ministries Remain Christian?

The latest Mortification of Spin: Bully Pulpit is up and running:
Broadcasting from deep within the bowels of a college's frathouse, the wandering band of misfits address campus ministry. Bouncing off of an article published on First Things by Robert Gregory, the gang talks about campus ministry on secular colleges, some of which are making Christian groups hire non-Christian leaders. How should churches respond to this? Should they look toward starting their own on-campus ministries? How can they partner with solid, Bible-beliving, Reformed campus ministries already established?

Battered Pastors (5)


Over at Ref21 I have posted my final piece in the series on battered pastors.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Sunday's Sermon

On Sunday I preached part four in our current series through Job (2:11-3:26). It is entitled "Never Alone" and can be listened to HERE.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Mortification of Spin

The latest Mortification of Spin is up and running. On this edition we interview Trillia Newbell on the blessings and challenges of racial diversity within the church. We know that God is saving for himself a people from every nation, tribe, and tongue. However, achieving a glimpse of that reality this side of Heaven is easier said that done.
Quilting needles in hand (just listen, you'll get it), the Spin Team get to a controversial topic once again - this time discussing racial diversity with author Trillia Newbell. Trillia's perspective is a unique and helpful one, as she gets into issues not yet talked about on Mortification of Spin. Especially as Christians, we need to remember to treat other humans beings, created in the image of God, as brothers and sisters. What are practical steps that we can take to help create racially diverse churches? Can Aimee really quilt with nunchuck needles? What will  Mrs. Trueman think of Carl's "feminine side?"

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Suffering and Sovereignty

I am currently preaching a series of sermons through the Book of Job. Not surprisingly the subject matter of Job--God's sovereignty in suffering--brings up heart-felt questions. I am going to try to deal with some of those questions here as I have opportunity to write. Of course, more significantly, I will be dealing with those questions as I preach through Job.

As a Teaching Elder in the PCA I hold to the confession of faith of my church: The Westminster Confession of Faith. Chapters Three, Five, and Six are particularly applicable to questions about God's sovereignty over suffering and evil.

If you would like to read more about the relationship between God's sovereignty, suffering, and human responsibility (and hope in the midst of it all!), the following books are quite helpful:

Suffering and the Sovereignty of God  edited by Piper & Taylor
Why Do I Suffer? by John Currid 
Is God Really In Control? by Jerry Bridges 
How Long O Lord? by D.A. Carson 
Big God by Orlando Saer 
Deserted By God? by Sinclair Ferguson
Holding On To Hope by Nancy Guthrie
Be Still My Soul by Nancy Guthrie
When God Weeps by Joni Earickson Tada & Steve Estes
A Place for Weakness by Michael Horton



Monday, July 7, 2014

Can we live without Adam and Eve?

Christianity.com recently posted my response to Dr. Karl Giberson who has written that while Christianity can afford lose Adam and Eve, it cannot lose it's theistic evolutionists. Strange reasoning to be sure.
Giberson does us quite a favor in the final words of his article which read: “Christianity can survive the loss of Adam and Eve. What is not so clear is whether evangelical Christianity can survive the loss of so many of its scholars.” This is a stunning admission. For Karl Giberson, the survival of evangelical Christianity rests upon the presence of scholars rather than the accuracy of the claims of Scripture. Whether he knows it or not Dr. Giberson has surfaced an issue upon which we agree: This is a matter of authority. Who will have the final authority? God’s divinely given Word or an ill-defined company of “scholars?” While Giberson is alarmed at the prospect of Christianity losing “many of its scholars” he’s rather sanguine about the possibility of losing the very metanarrative of God’s Word upon which rests the gospel itself.
Read the entire post HERE.

Sunday's Sermon

On Sunday I preached part 3 of our current series through Job (1:13-2:10). It is entitled "My Only Comfort" and can be listened to HERE.