Monday, December 21, 2009
Spiritual pride is: "the main door by which the devil comes into the hearts of those that are zealous for the advancement of religion.... Spiritual pride disposes us to speak of other persons' sins, their enmity against God and His people, the miserable delusion of hypocrites and their enmity against vital piety, and the deadness of some saints, with bitterness, or with laughter and levity, and an air of contempt; whereas pure Christian humility rather disposes, either to be silent about them, or to speak of them with grief and pity. Spiritual pride is very apt to suspect others; whereas a humble saint is most jealous of himself; he is so suspicious of nothing in the world as he is of his own heart. The spiritually proud person is apt to find fault with other saints, that they are low in grace, and to be much in observing how cold and dead they be, and crying out of them for it; and to be quick to discern and take notice of their deficiencies; but the eminently humble Christian has so much to do at home, and sees so much evil in his own heart, and is so concerned about it, that he is not apt to be very busy with others' hearts; he complains most of himself, and cries out his own coldness and lowness in grace, and is apt to esteem others better than himself"
[Jonathan Edwards as quoted in D.A. Carson and John Woodbridge, Letters Along the Way: A Novel of the Christian Life (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 1993), 264].
Sunday, October 18, 2009
"I am no longer my own, but thine. Put me to what thou wilt, rank me with whom thou wilt. Put me to doing, put me to suffering. Let me be employed for thee or laid aside for thee, exalted for thee or brought low for thee. Let me be full, let me be empty. Let me have all things, let me have nothing. I freely and heartily yield all things to thy pleasure and disposal. And now, O glorious and blessed God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, thou art mine, and I am thine. So be it. And the covenant which I have made on earth, let it be ratified in heaven. Amen" (Wesley's Covenant Prayer as used in the Book of Offices of the British Methodist Church, 1936).
Monday, October 05, 2009
Learn the History of Christianity in one day with world class scholar Dr. Michael Haykin: No Other Foundation at Ajax Alliance Church, October 17th, 2009, 10am-3:45pm. Cost: Free. Click here for more info.
“One day as I was passing into the field, this sentence fell upon my soul: ‘Thy righteousness is in heaven.’ And with the eyes of my soul I saw Jesus at the Father’s right hand. ‘There,’ I said, ‘is my righteousness!’ So that wherever I was or whatever I was doing, God could not say to me, ‘Where is your righteousness?’ For it is always right before him.
I saw that it is not my good frame of heart that made my righteousness better, nor yet my bad frame that made my righteousness worse, for my righteousness IS Christ. Now my chains fell off indeed. My temptations fled away, and I lived sweetly at peace with God.
Now I could look from myself to him and could reckon that all my character was like the coins a rich man carries in his pocket when all his gold is safe in a trunk at home. Oh I saw that my gold was indeed in a trunk at home, in Christ my Lord. Now Christ was all: my righteousness, sanctification, redemption.”
- John Bunyan, Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners
HT: Of First Importance
I just enjoyed listening to Dr. Gerald Bray on Justification, John Piper, and N.T. Wright here. It humbled me to think of how easily we can be influenced by popular opinion and popular theology without even realizing it. We need to be deeply rooted in the Scriptures and to understand the history of theology so that we can, by God's grace, see more clearly.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Lee Irons looks at the issue. The bottom line, according to Lee, is that Wright uses traditional terms with untraditional definitions.
Here's his conclusion after looking at the evidence from Wright's own writings:
- sin is an impersonal evil force, not personal rebellion against God;
- sin has bad consequences, but does not elicit God's punitive wrath against the sinner; and
- the cross is to be understood as some version of the Christus Victor theory in which Christ defeats evil by letting it do its worst to him, not as a penal satisfaction of divine justice.
Saturday, August 22, 2009
"Just because it's in the Bible doesn't mean you should preach it"
(Robert Schuller in an interview with Michael Horton on the Whitehorse Inn).
For a transcript of the interview go here.
Saturday, August 08, 2009
In his newest book Filling up the Afflictions of Christ, John Piper reprints this remarkable letter from John Calvin to five young Frenchman about to be martyred in 1553 for carrying the gospel into France:
We who are here shall do our duty in praying that He would glorify Himself more and more by your constancy, and that He may, by the comfort of His Spirit, sweeten and endear all that is bitter to the flesh, and so absorb your spirits in Himself, that in contemplating that heavenly crown, you may be ready without regret to leave all that belongs to this world.
Now, at this present hour, necessity itself exhorts you more than ever to turn your whole mind heavenward. As yet, we know not what will be the event. But, since it appears as though God would use your blood to seal His truth, there is nothing better for you than to prepare yourselves for that end, beseeching Him so to subdue you to His good pleasure, that nothing may hinder you from following whithersoever He shall call…Since it pleases Him to employ your death in maintaining His quarrel, He will strengthen your hands in the fight and will not suffer a single drop of your blood to be shed in vain.
Your humble brother,
Thursday, August 06, 2009
Missionary martyr Jim Elliot:
"Our young men are going into the professional fields because they don't 'feel called' to the mission field. We don't need a call; we need a kick in the pants. We must begin thinking in terms of 'going out,' and stop our weeping because 'they won't come in.' Who wants to step into an igloo? The tombs themselves are not colder than the churches. May God send us forth."
Elisabeth Elliot, Shadow of the Almighty: The Life and Testament of Jim Elliot (New York: Harper, 1958), 54.
HT: Robert Sagers at Between Two Worlds
Sunday, July 26, 2009
"If ministers wish to do any good, let them labour to form Christ, not to form themselves, in their hearers"
[John Calvin quoted in John Stott, The Message of Galatians (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1968), 118].
Friday, July 10, 2009
Sunday, July 05, 2009
Thursday, July 02, 2009
Keith Mathison of Ligonier Ministries has complied one of the best lists I have come across. This will be very helpful for anyone who teaches the Bible on a regular basis. Enjoy!
Thursday, June 25, 2009
I had the privilege of hearing and meeting Ajith Fernando today at Tyndale Seminary in Toronto. There was much Scriptural wisdom as he talked about witnessing to people of various religions in a post-Christian cultural context. Because I enjoyed him so much, I thought that I would post some of his previous talks here for your edification.
How Must a Pastor Die, Part 1
How Must a Pastor Die, Part 2
How Must a Pastor Die, Part 3
Gospel-Faithful Mission in the New Christendom
Ajith Fernando Apr 22 2009
Category: Conference Message
Series: 2009 Gospel Coalition National Conference Audio Video
Ajith Fernando (1-31-2007),
Dallas Seminary Chapel
If you have any more links, please let me know.
Sunday, June 21, 2009
- Free online book by Mark Driscoll called Pastor Dad: Scriptural Insights on Fatherhood; you can read it online, print it, or buy a printed copy
- Fatherhood: What it Is and What It's For by Tony Payne; preview it here; if in US or Canada, buy it here.
Saturday, June 20, 2009
Here is good message from Rick Holland on fighting sexual lust.
Using Proverbs 5, he identifies six biblical strategies that will ensure sexual purity:
- Undertake the pursuit of biblical instruction (Prov. 5:1-2).
- Undress the deception of sexual sin (Prov. 5:3-6).
- Understand the value of safe distance (Prov. 5:7-8).
- Unmask the regret of sin’s aftermath (Prov. 5:9-14).
- Unlock the satisfaction of marital fidelity or intimacy (Prov. 5:15-19).
- Unleash the power of God’s omniscience (Prov. 5:20-23).
Thursday, June 18, 2009
A description: "Masturbation, pornography, sexual fantasies...what's so bad about these? No one gets hurt, right? Aren't they better than indulging in actual sexual indecencies with other people? CCEF faculty member Winston Smith addresses the issue of what's sinful (if anything) about these supposedly "victimless" indulgences." Check it out here.
Sunday, June 14, 2009
"ALMIGHTY and most merciful Father; We have erred, and strayed from thy ways like lost sheep. We have followed too much the devices and desires of our own hearts. We have offended against thy holy laws. We have left undone those things which we ought to have done; And we have done those things which we ought not to have done; And there is no health in us. But thou, O Lord, have mercy upon us, miserable offenders. Spare thou them, O God, who confess their faults. Restore thou them that are penitent; According to thy promises declared unto mankind in Christ Jesu our Lord. And grant, O most merciful Father, for his sake; That we may hereafter live a godly, righteous, and sober life, To the glory of thy holy Name. Amen."
"ALMIGHTY God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Maker of all things, judge of all men; We acknowledge and bewail our manifold sins and wickedness, Which we, from time to time, most grievously have committed, By thought, word, and deed, Against thy Divine Majesty, Provoking most justly thy wrath and indignation against us. We do earnestly repent, And are heartily sorry for these our misdoings; The remembrance of them is grievous unto us; The burden of them is intolerable. Have mercy upon us, Have mercy upon us, most merciful Father; For thy Son our Lord Jesus Christ's sake, Forgive us all that is past; And grant that we may ever hereafter Serve and please thee In newness of life, To the honour and glory of thy Name; Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen" (Both prayers from the 1662 Book of Common Prayer by Thomas Cranmer).
See Gordon Cheng's post on why we need to pray again like this here.
I read this piece by Tim Keller a while back and it really impacted me. This should be required reading for everyone involved in ministry to the poor. It is also required reading for every Christian because we are all called to care for the poor. Elders at churches would profit greatly from it. Executive Directors of ministries should require their people to read this so that they have a sound biblical theology of the relationship between the gospel and the poor to undergird their practical day to day ministries.
Monday, June 08, 2009
Thursday, June 04, 2009
Saturday, June 13, 6:45 PM at Thistletown Baptist Church
Free admission - all are welcome!
Enter a place of dreams - dreams of a young woman named Keisha. You will be transported to a dimension of sound, a dimension of sight, a dimension of mind, a dimension where people act the way they're dressed and the students sing. You will move into a land of both shadow and substance, of things and ideas, where nobody gives bizarre behaviour a second thought. You will cross over into a Community College Musical. Keisha will learn the important lesson Jesus taught His disciples at the last supper: "Apart from me, you can do nothing" (John 15:5). Keisha's Community College Musical is indeed a dream world, where truth is learned in strange ways.
Join Jehovah Shalom Youth Choir and Band for this special night of song and drama - and invite a friend. Light refreshments will be served.
Sunday, May 10, 2009
David Short responds below:
If viewing this by email, you will have to go to the website to view the video.
Monday, May 04, 2009
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
The workshops are now online.
Two of the workshops are available in video (as well as audio):
- Thabiti Anyabwile, "The Decline of African-American Theology"
- Buster Brown, "Preaching in a Christianized Culture"
- Steven Chin, "Working Faithfully Under a Senior Pastor"
- Graham Cole, "Homosexuality and the Bible: Texts, Hermeneutics, and Pastoral Wisdom"
- K. Edward Copeland and Charlie Dates, "Mentoring Younger Pastors"
- Andy Davis, "The Gospel and Social Action"
- Joshua Harris, "Ministering in a Church-Hopping Society"
- David Helm, "Biblical Reflections on Building a Staff"
- Bill Kynes, "Complementarianism: Definition and Priorities"
- Crawford Loritts, "Staying Faithful, Staying Relevant: The Use and Abuse of Polemical Preaching"
- Tom Nelson and Matt Perman, "The Gospel and Money"
- Colin Smith, "Transformational Expository Preaching"
- Stephen Um, "On Ministry and Revolving Doors: Practical Challenges and Ideas for Ministry in a Mobile Society"
- Sandy Willson, "Gospel Mission to the World: Arrogance or Love?"
- Michael Bullmore, "The Functional Centrality of the Gospel"
- Tim Savage, "Power in Weakness: The Heart of Gospel Ministry"
- Scotty Smith, "A Biblical Theology of Worship: On Preference and Other Matters"
Saturday, April 25, 2009
The audio and video from The Gospel Coalition conference are now available online for free. Most of them are expositions of 2 Timothy:
- Tim Keller, "The Grand Demythologizer: The Gospel and Idolatry" (Acts 19:21-41)
- John Piper, "Feed the Flame of God’s Gift: Unashamed Courage in the Gospel" (2 Timothy 1:1-12)
- Phil Ryken, "The Pattern of Sound Words" (2 Timothy 1:13-2:13)
- Mark Driscoll, "Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth" (2 Timothy 2:14-26)
- K. Edward Copeland, "Shadowlands: Pitfalls and Parodies of Gospel-Centered Ministry" (2 Timothy 3:1-9)
- Bryan Chapell, "Preach the Word!" (2 Timothy 3:10-4:5)
- Ajith Fernando, "Gospel-Faithful Mission in the New Christendom"
- Panel Discussion: Tim Keller, John Piper, Ligon Duncan and Crawford Loritts (chair: Stephen Um)
- Ligon Duncan, "Finishing Well" (2 Timothy 4:6-22)
- Don Carson, "That By All Means I Might Win Some': Faithfulness and Flexibility in Gospel Proclamation" (1 Corinthians 9:19-23)
Friday, April 24, 2009
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Saturday, April 18, 2009
Friday, April 17, 2009
This book by Mark Driscoll I have found to be very helpful. It is the best modern book on this subject that I know of. It is a courageous book that speaks very powerfully to issues of lust, masturbation, and pornography. I think that this is the major issue that is keeping men from being the spiritual leaders that God would have them be. If you are a male I highly recommend you read it and give it to others that you know. It is available for free to read online, or to print out or email as a PDF. There is also an option of buying copies at a cheap price. I have bought some and given them out to friends and have received very positive feedback.
Update: Mark Driscoll's scriptural support in this book for oral sex from the Song of Songs is weak. See John MacArthur's four part series called:
"And let it be understood that, by his being made of earth and clay, a restraint was laid upon pride; since nothing is more absurd than for creatures to glory in their excellence who not only inhabit a cottage of clay but who are themselves composed partly of dust and ashes"
John Calvin, On the Christian Faith (New York: Bobbs-Merrill, 1957), 37.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Yesterday, Tom Schreiner, Mark Seifrid, Brian Vickers, and Denny Burk had a conversation with the students of Boyce College about Paul’s doctrine of justification. In particular, they discussed Tom Wright’s new book Justification: God’s Plan & Paul’s Vision, which is largely a response to John Piper’s 2007 book The Future of Justification: A Response to N. T. Wright. For more info and to listen to the audio, go here.
Monday, April 13, 2009
One video discusses what Easter Is and one discusses the historical reliability of Jesus' resurrection.
THAT'S EASTER Life to Death from St Helen’s Church on Vimeo.
THAT'S EASTER Death to Life from St Helen’s Church on Vimeo.
Sunday, April 12, 2009
I have really enjoyed listening to this debate featuring Pastor Mark Driscoll, founding pastor, Mars Hill Church, and Annie Lobert, executive director of “Hookers for Jesus” for the existence of Satan versus Dr. Deepak Chopra and liberal pastor Bishop Carlton Pearson against the existence of Satan. Go here to view the debate.
I have enjoyed listening to this debate between Christopher Hitchens, Lee Strobel, William Lane Craig, Douglas Wilson and Jim Denison.
Saturday, April 04, 2009
Let these books (besides the Psalms) serve as inspiration and fuel for your your own prayers:
The Book of Common Prayer 1552 Edition (Evangelical)
The Pastor in Prayer by Charles Haddon Spurgeon
A Diary of Private Prayer by John Baillie
The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions by Arthur Bennett
Friday, April 03, 2009
I am looking forward to when this movie comes out. Check out a couple previews below (if viewing by email you will have to go to my website):
Monday, March 30, 2009
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Colin Adams of Unashamed Workman gives the following very helpful advice:
1. Preach, preach, preach
2. Take on a variety of texts (psalms, prophecy, narrative, epistles), but don’t be too brave too early (eg. consecutive studies through Revelation!)
3. Continue to read formal instruction on expository preaching
4. Listen to a variety of good preachers, and learn things from each of them
5. Get feedback
6. Learn something every time, and work on that area next time
7. Pray for conversions
8. Read theology, especially biblical theology
9. Begin with the tried and tested styles of preaching, then begin to adapt to your own style
10. Guard yourself against pride and despondency, the two most common pitfalls
Sunday, March 15, 2009
Don Carson, Phillip Jensen, Mark Dever and David Helm
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Canada's Best Preaching Workshop Coming to Toronto
Imagine taking time out to be refreshed, encouraged, and strengthened in community with other fellow preachers for two and a half days to learn more about expository preaching, to see it modeled by world class expositors, and to receive valuable feedback in small groups.
This is the Simeon Trust Exposition Workshop that is very new to
The instructors (David Short and David Helm) have been hand picked for their experience, for their giftedness, and for their faithfulness to preaching God's Word.
There is something here for the pastor in training to the pastor of 25 years.
Register today online or by phone/email:
call or email Doug Kelley at
Date: March 25-27, 2009
Monday, March 09, 2009
Saturday, February 21, 2009
Here is a very helpful video by Mark Driscoll:
Here is an excellent review by an Australian fellow.
Here is an excellent review by Canadian Tim Challies.
Here is a good review by Gerald Hiestand.
Here is a good review by Douglas Wilson.
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Our makeup of our spiritual diet will impact our spiritual walk. Lionel Windsor from Australia makes a compelling case from the Scriptures themselves that our diet and our church's diet should reflect the following:
Read the whole article here.
“The gospel, by telling us Jesus died for us, is also really insulting. It tells us that we are so wicked that only the death of the Son of God could save us. This offends the modern cult of self-expression and the popular belief in the innate goodness of humanity.”
- Timothy Keller, The Message of Romans (Redeemer Presbyterian Church, 2003), 2.HT: Of First Importance
Monday, February 09, 2009
Sunday, February 08, 2009
Speaker: Mark Dever
Date: June 1-3
Location: Richview Baptist Church, Toronto
Registration: Check back soon to the website for more info...
Who are the Speakers for the Toronto Pastors Conference?
Wednesday, February 04, 2009
The Need for Evangelism
A Shepherd and His Unregenerate Sheep
The Pastor and Evangelism
"I Will Not Be a Velvet-Mouthed Preacher!”
The Church and Evangelism
Missions as Fasting
I just listened to this the other night and found it very very interesting. One thing that hit home was the fact that many biblical scholars compromise concerning inerrancy, not because of intellectual reasons, but because of sociological reasons: fear of conflict and the desire to fit in to one's environment:
Greg Beale and Carl Trueman join the Christ the Center discussion forum to talk about inerrancy and evangelicalism.
Part 1: Three Reasons to Share the Gospel
Part 2: Five Things That Aren't Evangelism
Part 3: The Church and Evangelism
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Dear Brothers in Ministry,
I’d like to tell you about a Preaching Workshop being held in the GTA from March 25th to 27th. This workshop is sponsored by the Charles Simeon Trust and has been designed to help men fulfill their calling to accurately and effectively preach the Word of God.
This year’s workshop is being held at
Let me encourage you to set these two and a half days aside to hone your preaching skills and be encouraged and motivated in the work of preaching to which the Lord has called us. For more information or to discuss the details of the workshop please feel free to call Pastor Doug Kelley at 905-873-0249. To register you can go to the Charles Simeon Trust website. We will be making arrangements for discount rates in nearby hotels so please be sure you check your registration confirmation for this important information.
I hope you will be able to take advantage of this opportunity for fellowship and instruction. Please forward this post to those whom you think would benefit.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
The following is my unpublished letter of my response to Stephen Marche's weekend opinion piece in the National Post, one of Canada's national papers:
Stephen Marche writes of "religion's inherent toxicity," but is it right to lump all "religion" together under one category? If one religion teaches: "love your enemies and pray for those persecute you" (Mt. 5:44) and another teaches "When the sacred forbidden months for fighting are past, fight and kill the disbelievers wherever you find them, take them captive, beleaguer them, and lie in wait and ambush them using every stratagem of war" (Qur'an 9:5), are they the same? Would those helped in India by William Carey and Mother Teresa and those helped in Africa by World Vision consider all religion toxic? In fact, atheist and secular regimes in the twentieth century alone have killed well over 100 million people, more than one hundred times the total deaths caused by Christians from the Crusades until the present (See R.J. Rummel, Statistics of Democide, U of Virgina Press, 1997).
Second, the author says that "Christians have faith. Athiests and humanists have reason." However, the apostle Paul himself considered faith as trust in what is true (cf. his belief in the historicity of the resurrection, 1 Cor. 15:3-8). Faith is not belief in what some one knows not to be true, but trust in what is reasonable true.
Friday, January 16, 2009
Monday, January 12, 2009
Every year at People's Church Toronto this conference brings in world class Bible preachers/teachers to refresh your soul and increase your love for Jesus Christ.
Here are the Details:
Speaker: Colin Smith
Date: Jan 18-21
Times: Sunday evening 6 pm; Monday to Wednesday 7:30 pm
Location: The Peoples Church; 374 Sheppard Avenue East, Toronto, ON
Messages: Rescued from Sin (Rom 8:1-11)
Rescued from Fear (Rom 8:12-17)
Rescued from Frustration (Rom 8:18-27)
Rescued from Forever (Rom 8:28-39)
I encourage you to come and to bring someone with you.
Saturday, January 10, 2009
It's amazing how much of the Bible you can take in if you really want to. I have been listening to Max MacLean read the ESV Bible as I drive around Toronto doing errands, going to work, etc. Right now I am focusing on the book of Romans. I am currently on my third time through and I hope to listen through it 30 times and then pick another book, probably 1 Corinthians, then 2 Corinthians, and then Revelation after that.
I have also started the Bible reading plan located in the new ESV Study Bible. It is about 30 minutes a day (around 4 chapters a day) and I will read the Bible through this year (I think I will read the Psalms twice).
We make time for what we value. If you don't know the Bible, its because you do not want to or do not desire it.
With all the different ways that we can take in the Bible nowadays, I challenge you to make the Bible central in your life this year.
It is through the Bible that we hear God speak to us (2 Timothy 3:16-17), and in responding to this Word in confession, repentance, faith, and obedience we develop a relationship with our Creator, Redeemer, and Father.
Take up and Read (or Listen!)
Thursday, January 08, 2009
The camp that I first heard the gospel at has a full time year round position available: Boys Camp Director. I would love to see a faithful, godly man fill this position. Please pass this on to anyone who fits this description and loves the outdoors.
Saturday, January 03, 2009
A while back, Jim Hamilton, a professor of Biblical Theology at SBTS argues this exegetically (which many think is impossible). He is very convincing.
Thursday, January 01, 2009
Don Whitney states the following:
The beginning of a new year is an ideal time to stop, look up, and get our bearings. To that end, here are some questions to ask prayerfully in the presence of God.1. What's one thing you could do this year to increase your enjoyment of God?
2. What's the most humanly impossible thing you will ask God to do this year?
3. What's the single most important thing you could do to improve the quality of your family life this year?
4. In which spiritual discipline do you most want to make progress this year, and what will you do about it?
5. What is the single biggest time-waster in your life, and what will you do about it this year?
6. What is the most helpful new way you could strengthen your church?
7. For whose salvation will you pray most fervently this year?
8. What's the most important way you will, by God's grace, try to make this year different from last year?
9. What one thing could you do to improve your prayer life this year?
10. What single thing that you plan to do this year will matter most in ten years? In eternity?