Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Dever on the Bondage of "Guidance"

I agree wholeheartedly with what Mark Dever has written here.

HT: Justin Taylor

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Quote of the Day: Walter Kaiser Jr.

At a recent lecture, one of my heros, Dr. Walter Kaiser Jr. said this:

"To ignore any part of the Word of God today is to create a seedbed for heresy in the next generation -- or to generate the need for a parachurch ministry."

HT: Carl Truman
Evangelical Fellowship of Canada (EFC) to Appear Before Senate Committee

The EFC General Legal Counsel Don Hutchinson will appear before the Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs in Ottawa on Friday, Feb. 22 at 2:00 pm. He will speak to the proposal to raise the age of consent to sexual activity with an adult from 14 to 16 in Bill C-2. Please pray for this legislation to gain Senate approval.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Thinking About Going to Seminary?

Justin Taylor draws together many helpful resources, articles, and a reading list all in one helpful post here.

I am Really Enjoying Reading The Reason for God by Timothy Keller

This is one of the best Christian books I have ever read. Every night I am not getting enough sleep because I can't put it down. It is sort of a modern Mere Christianity (C.S. Lewis). It is a book specifically designed for the skeptical, secular, intelligent, western individual, most often found in cities. It is humbly written and it is written out of many years of experience in conversation with thousands of skeptics. Read this book to strengthen your faith, but more importantly buy a few copies of the book and give it to your thinking skeptical colleagues, family members, and friends. You will not regret it.

I hope to reflect further on the book later on this blog when I am finished reading it.

To learn more about the book and why Tim Keller wrote it, go to the website here.

HT: Justin Taylor

Friday, February 15, 2008

What's the Difference Between Emerging, Emergent, and Evangelicalism?

C. Michael Patton has a helpful article related to these issues called "Would the Real Emerger Please Stand Up."

He also has a couple of very helpful diagrams to illustrate what he is talking about, including which thinkers/leaders fit into which camp:

HT: Justin Taylor

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Learning at the Feet of Jesus: A Case for Seminary Training
Professor John Frame makes this case for Seminary training.

HT: Going to Seminary
The Scoop'a on Rob Bell's NOOMA

Greg Gilbert does a careful, helpful, insightful, and humble three part analysis of Rob Bell's NOOMA 19 volume video series. This is must reading for all Christians, but especially for those who have been exposed to the series in church, youth, and/or college settings. See Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.

On a related note, see C.J. Mahaney's helpful practical meditation: "Rob Bell, the Pastor's Task of Discernment, and my Heart."

HT: Justin Taylor

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Worship God 2008 Conference: Rediscovering the Psalms

Registration is now open for this year’s Sovereign Grace worship conference, titled WorshipGod08: Rediscovering the Psalms. To be held July 30–August 2 in Gaithersburg, Maryland, the conference will focus on how the ancient Psalms can transform our worship today.

WorshipGod08 is for anyone who wants to grow in understanding and leading biblical worship. Bob Kauflin, the director of worship development, summarizes it this way:

Worship leaders and planners are always on the lookout for ways to serve their churches more effectively. Thank God, we have an increasing number of tools, websites, and books we can turn to. But the most important teaching on modern worship wasn’t written in our lifetime. Thousands of years ago, God gave us the Psalms to inform, inspire, and direct our worship. Every generation has the opportunity to rediscover what he’s said.

Speakers will include Bob Kauflin, Thabiti Anyabwile, Mark Dever, and David Powlison. In addition to the general sessions, each attendee can choose up to five practical seminars on topics such as songwriting, voice and instrumental instruction, pastoral leadership, praying the Psalms, family worship, planning, and creative media.

Register by March 31 to receive the lowest rates. (You can still register until July 9, but prices will be higher.) To register, choose seminars, find travel information, and more, visit

Messages from the Desiring God Conference called "The Pastor as Father and Son"

Here are the messages from the Desiring God Conference called "The Pastor as Father and Son" with reflections by Tyler Kenney and Abraham Piper.

Session 1: "The Pastor as Son of the Heavenly Father" - D. A. Carson (video, audio, reflections by Abraham Piper)

Session 2: "The Call to Courage" (Joshua 1:1-9) - Crawford Loritts (video, audio, read, reflections by Tyler Kenney)

Session 3: "The Pastor as Son of an Earthly Father" (Exodus 20:1-17) - D. A. Carson (video, audio, read, reflections by Tyler Kenney)

Session 4: "Evangelist Bill Piper: Fundamentalist full of Grace and Joy" - John Piper (video, audio, read, reflections by Tyler Kenney)

Session 5: "The Pastor as Father to His Family and Flock" (1 Timothy 3:1-7) - D. A. Carson (audio, read, reflections by Tyler Kenney)

Session 6: "Fathering a Pioneer Mission Ministry" - Greg Livingstone (video, audio, reflections by Tyler Kenney)

Session 7: "Questions and Answers" (video, audio, read, reflections by Tyler Kenney)

Interesting Posts Related to the Conference:

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Christian Classics Curriculum for your Church or Small Group

Check it out here. I think Mark Dever does it with his church.

On a related note, check out this interview with Mark Dever by C.J. Mahaney and this short story about Mark - very funny (whom I also had the priviledge of meeting at the Gospel Growth vs. Church Growth Conference (9 Marks Ministries and Matthias Media USA).

HT: Justin Taylor

Monday, February 04, 2008

Interview with R. Kent Hughes

I had the privilege of meeting R. Kent Hughes, one of my modern day heroes, at the Gospel Growth vs. Church Growth Conference (Matthias Media USA and 9 Marks Ministries) at Capitol Hill Baptist Church a while back. I really enjoyed our conversation. He was very warm, very encouraging, humble, and thoughtful. He is a faithful man who has expounded God's Word for decades as pastor of College Church in Wheaton, IL.

Here is a two part interview with Dr. Hughes: Part 1, Part 2.


HT: Andy Naselli

John Donne Quote: We Need Mercy Every Minute

"We are all prodigal sons, and not disinherited; we have received our portion, and misspent it, not been denied it. We are God's tenants here, and yet here, he, our landlord, pays us rents; not yearly, nor quarterly, but hourly and quarterly; every minute he renews his mercy."

John Donne, quoted in Thomas C. Oden, Classical Pastoral Care, III:285.

HT: Ray Ortlund Jr.

Spurgeon Quote: Let Everybody Else Vanish

"Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28

"One is struck with the personality of this text. There are two persons in it, 'you' and 'me.' . . . Jesus says, 'Come to me, not to anybody else but to me.' He does not say, 'Come to hear a sermon about me' but 'Come to me, to my work and person.' You will observe that no one is put between you and Christ. . . . Come to Jesus directly, even to Jesus himself. You do want a mediator between yourselves and God, but you do not want a mediator between yourselves and Jesus. . . . To him we may look at once, with unveiled face, guilty as we are. To him we may come, just as we are, without anyone to recommend us or plead for us or make a bridge for us to Jesus. . . . You, as you are, are to come to Christ as he is, and the promise is that on your coming to him he will give you rest. That is the assurance of Jesus himself, and there is no deception in it. . . . You see there are two persons. Let everybody else vanish, and let these two be left alone, to transact heavenly business with each other."

C. H. Spurgeon, The Treasury of the New Testament, I:171.

HT: Ray Ortlund Jr.
Tim Keller's Definition of the Gospel

“The ‘gospel’ is the good news that through Christ the power of God’s kingdom has entered history to renew the whole world. When we believe and rely on Jesus’ work and record (rather than ours) for our relationship to God, that kingdom power comes upon us and begins to work through us.”

HT: Tullian Tchividjian

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Emotional Health: Tim Keller

"Some say that calling yourself a 'sinner' is emotionally unhealthy. Oh, no. It is emotionally unhealthy not to call yourself a sinner...To be able to say 'I am capable of terrible things, but I am unconditionally loved,' is the epitome of mental health. It is the gospel that gives us that. The gospel gives us the freedom to admit who we are when the information comes, to see where we need to change, to know ourselves."

-Tim Keller, Did He Die for You?, Journal of Biblical Counseling, Spring 2007

How Shall We Love Our Muslim Neighbour?

Pastor John Piper offers some helpful Scriptural insights here.

40 Reasons Why I Do Not Want to Commit Adultery

God, in His Word says the following: "You shall not commit adultery" (Exodus 20:14) and "But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart" (Matthew 5:28). Dr. Daniel Henderson gives some other personal reasons as well.

By Dr. Daniel D. Henderson

  1. I would violate my relationship with my Savior and Lord Jesus Christ who has loved, cared, and died for me. This action would disregard the selfless and cruel death He suffered in order to give me power over this sin.
  2. I would bring public shame and unnecessary disrepute to His most holy and precious name, which I have been privileged to represent.
  3. I would have to face someday my gracious Savior, eye to eye at His judgment seat, giving an account for willfully squandering His abundant provision of purifying grace. At that moment of eternal consequences I would inevitably witness the results of my own disregard for the rewards of faithfulness and obedience He so desired to give to me.
  4. I would choose to submit myself to a destructive process of self-deception and the dulling of my conscience, causing a lack of confidence in my future ability to walk in obedience and faith.
  5. I would inflict unimaginable pain on my wife, my best friend and my faithful and sacrificial partner in ministry and life—and would have to stare into her tear-filled eyes to explain this conscious violation of my vows and describe the stupidity of my behavior.
  6. I would permanently damage my wife’s ability to trust me or believe my word. I would lose her respect in the future, giving her constant cause for suspicion and question.
  7. If my pattern of deception were to continue, or if she were unable to forgive me, I would lose her as my wife and would be left to face ongoing regret, loneliness, and pain.
  8. In this case, I would permanently ruin my wife’s future fulfillment causing her to face the remainder of her life feeling the struggle of rejection and dealing with the complications of single parenting or remarriage.
  9. I would violate the love and trust of my precious children. In essence, I would be telling them, “Your mother is not a worthy person. Your father is a liar and a cheat. Honor is not as important as pleasure. My own selfish satisfaction is more important than loving my children.”
  10. By destroying my own example and credibility with my children, I would lose future opportunities to influence them toward loving obedience and holiness and would plant within them a potential long-term resentment and bitterness toward the Lord and the ministry.
  11. I would bring continual shame to my children every time they had to explain why their father was no longer in ministry—or why he was no longer together with their mother.
  12. I would create destructive and continually tempting mental memories that would cultivate unhealthy lust and negatively affect future intimacy with my wife.
  13. I would squander all of the money, time, effort, and pain that have gone into my preparation for and development in the pastoral ministry.
  14. I would seriously disappoint those godly leaders who have faithfully invested themselves in me (e.g. professors, pastors, mentors, and relatives).
  15. I would bring shame to the college and seminary from which I graduated, tarnishing their reputation and squandering their investment in my theological education and character development.
  16. I would deeply wound and embarrass my parents whose loving instruction, sacrificial investment, and current delight in the positive course of my life would be horribly violated.
  17. I would significantly damage the solid ministry foundation and tarnish the wholesome legacy of my faithful predecessors of my current ministry.
  18. I would bring long-term disrepute to the positive reputation of my church in the community, hindering future ministry to people in this area.
  19. I would undermine the credibility and effort of other Christian ministries and leaders in my city, adding to the climate of mistrust that continues to expand with each story of moral failure.
  20. I would violate the precious trusting relationship with the elders of the church causing difficulty for them into the future as they seek to lead the congregation and causing a potential spirit of mistrust on their part toward future senior pastors at this church.
  21. I would destroy my credibility and relationship with staff members who have faithfully supported me and responded to my leadership. A revelation of duplicity at this level would wound them deeply and would hinder even their own leadership among the flock.
  22. I would bring underserved difficulty and pain to my successor and his family, as they would be forced to reap what I have sown in their attempt to salvage the church and clean up the mess I would have made.
  23. I would deeply wound all those who have been saved, discipled, equipped, counseled, and prayed for under my ministry, causing disappointment and disillusionment for some.
  24. I would create possible disillusionment in the hearts of young men preparing for ministry as they wonder about the credibility of my leadership and the viability of authentic pastoral ministry.
  25. If this should become newsworthy at a statewide or national scale, I would exacerbate the growing climate of mistrust toward Christianity at an even broader level.
  26. I would squander my witness to various unsaved friends, acquaintances, and neighbors to whom I have witnessed over the years, perhaps driving them farther away from accepting Christ.
  27. I would be thoughtlessly and carelessly throwing away the impact of the prayers of thousands of people who over the years have wholeheartedly supported me on their knees.
  28. I would be heaping significant guilt and pain on the other woman for the rest of her life.
  29. I would potentially contribute to the dismantling of her marriage, family, and network of trusting friends.
  30. I would run the risk of the complications of a pregnancy resulting from the extramarital sexual activity.
  31. I would run the risk of physical consequences in the form of sexually transmitted diseases.
  32. I would suffer the consequences of losing a job and creating serious practical strain on my family financially and socially.
  33. I would experience the trauma of a career change, having violated the qualifications for pastoral office.
  34. I would join the ranks of those whom I have previously despised and whose actions have deeply grieved me because of their violation of calling and trust through moral scandal.
  35. I would live with personal life-long embarrassment and shame, as I would encounter regular reminders of my foolish and destructive choices.
  36. I would be required to invest a significant amount of time and money in the process of recovery, as many hours of counseling and years of rebuilding would be required.
  37. I would take myself out of the running for multiplied opportunities in the future that could have come my way, had I remained faithful.
  38. I would run the risk of being permanently “shelved” in my usefulness to God and His kingdom, knowing that the overwhelming shame and personal regret could cause me to completely give up my service for Christ.
  39. I would cause a countless number of people to doubt the validity of the Scriptures, the Holy Spirit, and the power of Christ as they might ask, “If it didn’t work for him, can it really work for me?”
  40. I would bring delight to Satan and his demons as these enemies of my soul and opponents of Christ would exult in their victory over one of God’s called servants.

Some of these concepts were originally conceived by Randy Alcorn in Leadership Journal.
Copyright 1999 Daniel Henderson

Saturday, February 02, 2008

The Bible on Leadership/Elders

See these helpful series of posts by Thabiti Anyabwile, pastor of First Baptist Church in Grand Cayman.

C.J. Mahaney's New Blog and Some of His Recommendations

See his new blog here, and his book recommendations on the cross, and on the charismatic/continuationist position concerning spiritual gifts and the Holy Spirit.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Using Commentaries in Bible Study

You study the Bible, but do not know much about commentaries or how to use them. Check out these two helpful posts (good reading also for those who already use commentaries):