Tuesday, March 11, 2008

To New Beginnings...

My family and I are making preparations to move to the upper peninsula of Michigan in the next few days so there will be no updates in the following week or so.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Addicted to Sex

Addicted to Sex. That is the title of the most recent issue of Christianity Today. It is no lie that many men and women are caught in a vicious cycle of pornography and sex addiction, and the church would be foolish to believe itself free of this sex and pornography stranglehold, so I am glad CT has tackled this issue head on and would encourage you to read it for yourselves. You can read a couple of its articles for free online. Here are the links -

Help for the Sexually Desperate

These Guys are Really Screwed Up

Inside CT: Porn's Stranglehold

Nice Yet Naughty

Friday, March 7, 2008

Recommended Chapters on Preaching

C.J. Mahaney has posted a great list of "recommended chapters on preaching." Here are the first five:

1. “Why Preach?” by J.I. Packer. The Introduction to The Preacher and Preaching (P&R, 1986).
2. “Theological Foundations for Preaching” by John Stott. Chapter 3 in Between Two Worlds (Eerdmans, 1982).
3. “Preaching Christ from the Old Testament” by Ligon Duncan. Chapter 2 in Preaching the Cross (Crossway, 2007).
4. “The Gravity and Gladness of Preaching” by John Piper. Chapter 4 in The Supremacy of God in Preaching (Baker, 1990).
5. “Paul’s Theology of Preaching” by Dennis E. Johnson. Chapter 3 of Him We Proclaim (P&R, 2007).

Dare to be a Berean

Here is a post over at CBMW that reminded me of Acts 17:11, "now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true." Oh that God would fill His church with more people who "every day" examine the Scriptures to see if what their pastor's say is true!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Pastoral Leadership and the Gender Issue: What Does Courage Look Like?

Dr. Russell D. Moore has some great thoughts on pastoral leadership and the gender issue.

Here is an excerpt from the article:

"A pastor must be willing to lose his pulpit in order to save it. He cannot simply renounce the same "culture war" opponents that might be demonized by Fox News. He must talk about issues that will be sensitive to people in his own congregation--a dating culture that by its very definition anticipates fornication, the outsourcing of parenting to daycare "professionals" in order to carry out dual-income households, and so forth. A pastor who addresses such issues will find some hostility, but he will also find Christians--and seeking lost people--who are willing to give him a hearing because of his honesty and conviction."

Read the rest here!

John Piper on the Prosperity Gospel


A One-Eyed Invader in the Bedroom

Well, chalk one up for my parents again! I can still remember the days when I fought with my parents to have a TV set in my bedroom, but thankfully they never gave in, and according to a study done in Buffalo, NY may have actually helped keep me healthy! Read more about the negative influence of TV in the bedroom. It is not just what a child watches on TV that is important, but where also!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Medical Testimony Against Murder (AKA Abortion)

The first video of Abort73's "The Case Against Abortion" series is now online.

Five Books To Read Before Easter

Tim Challies suggests five books to read before Easter at his blog:

"Easter is fast approaching and is now less than three weeks away. As Christians begin to turn their gaze towards the death and resurrection of the Savior, it seems appropriate that we should look for resources that will help us meditate on the cross and that will help prepare our hearts. To that end I’d like to suggest five books you may wish to read as Easter approaches. Each of these titles deals with the cross. Each will benefit you immensely as you prepare to remember the Lord. In each case I’ve provided my thoughts on the book and have listed a couple of representative endorsements."

Christian Truth Confronts Post-Christian America

Dr. Albert Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, has some great food for thought concerning the Christian truth and culture over at his website. Here are some clips of what he wrote:

"The Church has constantly been perplexed concerning its proper relation to culture. H. Richard Niebuhr traced five different patterns of cultural response in his famous work, Christ and Culture. The book over-simplified the issues and now looks awkwardly optimistic, but some of the patterns Niebuhr described are still evident. The Church has at times withdrawn from culture and sought refuge in attempted cultural isolation. At other times and in other contexts the Church has simply abdicated to the culture, thus reflecting the culture rather than proclaiming the cross. A myriad of patterns and be traced between these two extremes. The fact is that the Church has often exhibited several patterns at once, capitulating to culture on the one hand and seeking isolation on the other."

"The mission of the Church in the midst of this cultural crisis is to proclaim the truth and reach out to the casualties. In the face of rampant relativisms, the believing Church must proclaim the truth of God's Word, the permanence of His commands, and the reality of His judgment. Given the cultural context, this task is one of the most important tests of Christian faithfulness. To proclaim biblical truth to this culture is to risk social isolation, outright rejection, and, in some cases, potent attacks."

Read the entire article now!

Friday, February 29, 2008

Worry and Fear

Edward T. Welch has done it again. I have benefited greatly from his previous writings and look forward to reading this too! It is titled Running Scared: Fear, Worry, and the God of Rest. C.J. Mahaney has written two seperate reviews of it found here and here. Tim Challies has written a longer and perhaps a bit more helpful review here (by the way, he admits this is his first, but certainly not last time, he read Welch). Here are some excerpts from the book:

"At this point, we know that worry and fear are more about us than about the things outside us. They reveal what is valuable to us, and what is valuable to us in turn reveals our kingdom allegiances. We also know that God is patient and compassionate with us, and he gives grace upon grace. Though alert to our divided allegiances, he persists in calling us away from fear and worry, persuades us of the beauty of the kingdom, and gives more than we can imagine."

"Like most writing projects, this book is aimed squarely at myself. Although I can be angry or melancholy, I am a fear specialist. In this I have found that I am not alone. Not everyone is a fear specialist, but there is no doubt that every single person who ever lived is personally familiar with fear. It is an inescapable feature of earthly life. To deny it is…well…to deny it."

Sunday, February 24, 2008

No Little Places

I just finished reading an excellent book by Ron Klassen & John Koessler titled No Little Places: The Untapped Potential of the Small-Town Church. Here are some excerpts:

"If God has called you to pastor a small-town church, this book is for you.It is to encourage you to appreciate more than ever before the importance of the work to which God has called you and to give you and your people practical tools for fulfilling your church's God-given potential. Your picture will probably never grace the cover of a national magazine. You may never be invited to address your denominational conference. Few may hear or care about the struggles you have faced as you serve Christ in your small town. Do not let that discourage you. There is One who notices. He will bless your efforts and reward your faithfulness" (pg. 15).

"The more pastors become the students of their people, the more they can impact their lives for good. If we want to reach people for Christ, we must immerse ourselves in their world instead of trying to force them into ours" (pg. 68).

"Good worship is not a fancy sound system or choir or talented soloists or professional instrumentalists. The best worship is simply when all the people participate in ascribing worth to God" (pg. 84).

"The truth is that no church of any size can meet all the needs around it. But any church can do those things God has specifically called it to do. God never calls us to do anything without also giving us the resources to do it..." (pg 90).

"Pastors who want their congregation to be on the cutting edge of creative ministry must help nurture an atmosphere that encourages experimentation....Perfectionism - demanding excellence - can kill creativity. Paradoxically it is by extending the freedom to fail - by creating an atmosphere where the inexperienced can develop new skills without feeling embarrassed by their mistakes and where those with vision are encouraged to experiment with new ministries - that you provide the environment that is most likely to lead to excellence in ministry" (pg. 95).

Verse of the Day