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Archives for February 2010

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Church Planting Interview

Chelsea Hauk, a reporter with Bryan County Now--a division of the Savannah Morning News, was kind enough to interview me today with regard to the work involved with planting New Covenant Presbyterian Church. Chelsea asked a really great question at the end of the interview. You can listen here....

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Enjoying the Son of God

John 10:36-38 Do you say of him whom the Father consecrated and sent into the world, 'You are blaspheming,' because I said, 'I am the Son of God'? If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me; But if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father. Romans 1...

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Herman Bavinck’s Reformed Dogmatics: Learned Ignorance

Dogmatics takes for its starting point the certainty of God’s existence. Everything else is details. For Bavinck the outset of Christian theology has one thing in common with the long history of critical reflection on God’s existence: he is unknowable. But nonattainability of the knowledge of God is not the same as nothing. As long as scripture remains object...

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John Owen on the Meaning of Hebrews 13:20

It is commonplace, in many Reformed churches, for ministers to use Hebrews 13:20-21 as a benediction at the end of a worship service. It is perhaps my favorite of all the benedictions we use. But as is true with all Scripture, we sometimes have a tendency to read over--and even memorize--portions of Scripture thoughtlessly. Such was the case, in my experience, with the phr...

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When Jesus Shows Up at Pentecost

Below is the audio and video from the Sunday morning sermon preached at New Covenant Presbyterian Church in Richmond Hill, GA. The text was Acts 2:1-13 and the title was "When Jesus Shows Up at Pentecost. Keep Reading

Phil Ryken is the New President of Wheaton

Big news, as one of my mentors, Phil Ryken, accepts the call to be the new President of Wheaton College. You can read about it here, here and here. Pray for Tenth Presbyterian Church as they will now need to find someone suitable to replace such a faithful and gifted man....

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Much More Then

Last Sunday Evening I preached a message on Romans 5:6-11 at New Covenant Presbyterian Church. The title of the sermon was "Much More Then." Having gone back and listened to it I've come to realize that I did not preach the text as fully or carefully as I should have. Can you figure out what was left out? It is a lack of reference to a crucial part of Paul's argument. Keep Reading

Michael Haykin Interview

Here is the link to the audio of my recent interview with Dr. Michael Haykin, concerning his book The Christian Lover. I believe that all Christian couples will benefit from the things that Dr. Haykin has to say and from this unique book....

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A Theology of the Cross or of the Breast?

Not that it really matters, but the latest theological abstraction from Union Theological Seminary has to win some kind of prize. Feminist theologian Margaret R. Miles will be delivering the 2010 Sprunt Lecture at the Seminary's campus in Richmond, VA. The subject? A theology of the breast. Miles argues that the crucifixion was a violent act and is therefore an inappropria...

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Herman Bavinck’s Reformed Dogmatics: The Grand Scheme of Things

“Mystery is the lifeblood of dogmatics” are Bavinck’s opening words to the doctrine of God. Even when a confirmed believer moves past the sophomore debates of faith v reason and proofs for God’s existence faith, moving toward understanding, faces the incompressibility of knowing God. The great question here at the outset of our journey is: How is ...

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Witsius on the Apostle's Creed

Among the multitude of expositions on the Apostle's Creed, written throughout church history, one in particular has not received the attention it deserves. Herman Witsius, best known for his  The Economy of the Covenants (part 1) and (Part 2), published an exposition of the Apostle's Creed under the title Sacred Dissertations on the Apostle's Creed (Part 1) and (Part 2)...

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Covenantal Baptism

Dr. Benjamin Shaw makes several significant points about covenantal baptism here. They deserve the most serious consideration by anyone who desires to understand more fully the biblical nature of covenantal signs and seals. I would also recommend that you listen to the audio lectures by Edward Donnelly and Bill Shishko. They are two of the finest defenses from modern theol...

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Dennis Johnson on Infant Baptism

Dennis Johnson, Professor of Practical Theology at Westminster Seminary California, has an article over at Third Millennium Ministries on how he came to change his mind about infant baptism. You can read the article here....

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The Purpose of Pentecost

Many people have incorrect thoughts about the purpose of Pentecost. You will sometimes hear Christians praying that the Spirit will come in the same way as He came at Pentecost. It is certainly a good  and right thing to desire a great outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the church. But Pentecost held a very special place in redemptive history. It is as special and unique ...

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Better By the Dozen (Acts 1:12-26)

Below is the audio and video from the Sunday morning worship service at New Covenant Presbyterian Church of Richmond Hill, GA. The text was Acts 1:12-26 and the title, "Better By the Dozen." Audio Keep Reading

Choosing Apostolic Number 12

There is an interesting theological purpose in the historical account in Acts 1:12-26. At first glance it doesn't seem to be anything more than an historical recollection of the apostasy, suicide and replacement of Judas Iscariot, the one who betrayed our Lord. But the place of this record in the book of Acts, the nature of the apostles' prayer, and the Scripture that Pete...

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Muller on Confessing Five Points

Over at the Riddleblog there is a post by Richard Muller, in which he considers what it means to say you believe in the five points of Calvinism. Muller suggests that there is much more to the historical Reformed faith than a bare confession of adherence to the so-called "five points of Calvinism"--which, incidentally, did not originate with John Calvin. At a time when man...

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Pastoral Lessons from Larry King?

David Murray has a post over at Head, Heart, Hand in which he draws a valuable pastoral lesson from the skill with which Larry King carries out his interviews. You can read it here....

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Ian Hamilton Sermons

If you have never heard sermons by Ian Hamilton you are missing out on a great spiritual blessing. Iain is the minister of Cambridge Presbyterian Church in Cambridge, England. I find his sermons to be an outstanding example of substantive, passionate, Christ-centered, applicatory, textual, expositional preaching. He really is one of the best preachers in the church today. ...

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Presbyterian Mission in Haiti Relief Efforts

Presbyterian Mission in Haiti has posted a list of relief efforts they are helping accomplish. If you are interested in helping provide relief, but are concerned about know where funds will go, the following is a breakdown of the needs that PMH is seeking to meet according to order of priority. PMH is a trustworthy organization, supporting Gospel-centered missions: "A" Li...

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Hart and Bucey on Epistemology and Two Kingdoms

Darryl Hart and Camden Bucey have a discussion on Christian Epistemology and Two Kingdoms Theology here....

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Enjoying the Oneness of Christ With God

John 10:25-30 Jesus answered them, "I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father's name bear witness about me, but you do not believe because you are not part of my flock. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has g...

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Herman Bavinck's Reformed Dogmatics: Supply vs. Popular Demand

It's been more than 2 months since we ended our year long series in Herman Bavinck's Reformed Dogmatics. We covered two of the volumes and some material from 'Philosophy of Revelation' and 'The Certainty of Faith.' As the new year takes shape it feels like the work is only half done. Personally I can't read Bavinck without some sense of guilt for not sharing it. So if we ...

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Text, Context, Cultures PHD Program

Texts, Contexts, Cultures is a new departure in graduate research and training in Ireland. It offers candidates a multi-disciplinary PhD programme delivered in co-operation between Arts and Humanities research institutes at Trinity College Dublin, University College Cork and NUI Galway. The programme investigates the most basic component of Arts and Humanities research â...

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The Puritan Exegesis Project: John Trapp on Ecclesiastes 11:5

Handing out resumes and shuffling investments have two things in common: uncertainty and Ecclesiastes 11:6. John Trapp (1601 – 1669) noted that the only works guaranteed to succeed in this life are pure acts of mercy and kindness. He’s right. But it can be such a frustrating answer to those who have lost 1/3 of retirement or can’t get even one intervie...

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The Acts of the Ascended Christ

New Covenant Presbyterian Church had its first morning worship service yesterday. We began a series on the book of Acts. The first sermon was titled "The Acts of the Ascended Christ."The text was Acts 1:1-11.  You can watch the video below. Keep Reading

The Progress of Doctrine

If you have never read T. D. Bernard's The Progress of Doctrine you really must do so as soon as possible. It is a treasure chest of rich theological exposition with regard to the development of doctrine in the New Testament. It is a New Testament introduction of sorts. This work was highly commended by Reformed Presbyterian ministers at the time of its release, though Ber...

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Jonathan Edwards on Christ's Purchase of the Spirit

In his Apocalyptic Writings (WJE Online Vol. 5) Jonathan Edwards explained that the Holy Spirit is the principle blessing purchased by Christ in the work of redemption. He wrote: The sum of the blessings Christ sought, by what he did and suffered in the work of redemption, was the Holy Spirit. So is the affair of our redemption constituted; the Father provides and gives t...

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New Year's Sermon

I had the privilege of preaching a New Year's sermon for 2010 at Kirk of the Isles (PCA) in Savannah, GA. The text I preached was Exodus 12:1-30. the institution of the Passover. The title of the message was New Year's Redemption. You can listen to it here....

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On Biblical Numerology

There is a legitimate, as well as an illegitimate, approach to a biblical theology of numbers in Scripture. The  majority of those who have approached this subject have, by and large, delved into the realm of the speculative and imaginative,--perplexing or leading astray their readers. O.T. Allis, first Professor of Old Testament History and Exegesis at Westminster Theo...

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Jay Adams on Rescuing Straying Sheep

This is a 3:21 excerpt of a talk that Jay Adams gave at a NANC Conference. It is based on the last two verses of the book of James. The introduction to this message is pretty funny!...

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When the Man Comes Around

Have you ever noticed that just about every song Johnny Cash wrote with Scriptural lyrics comes from the book of Revelation? ...

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George Scipione on Drunkeness vs. Disease


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Euan Murray, Rugby and the Lord's Day

Most of you have probably not heard of Euan Murray. He's a rugby player (a real man’s sport). He’s a Scotsman. And he’s a Christian. Unlike many Christian athletes he has reversed the trend of playing sports on Sunday.  He used to, but doesn’t any more. Murray plays rugby at club level for Northampton and at international level for Scotland...

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The Puritan Exegesis Project: John Trapp on Ecclesiastes 11:6

John Trapp’s (1601 – 1669) commentaries were Spurgeon’s personal treasure. As biblical scholarship progresses the minister and serious student continue to benefit greatly from consulting Trapp’s thought, suggestions and devotional contributions.  For years I waited patiently for a set of Trapp. After finally obtaining one, my dad--equally thr...

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IPC Lord's Supper Conference

Independent Presbyterian Church, in Savannah, GA, will be hosting a conference on the Lord's Supper this Thursday, February 4th and Friday, February 5th. Dr. Hughes Oliphant Olds will give three lectures dealing with Calvin and Knox on the doctrine and administration of the Lord’s Supper as well as presentations from Terry Johnson and Ron Parrish. If you are anywher...

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Eric Alexander on the Work of the Spirit in the Book of Acts

Eric Alexander very wisely notes the foundational and temporary functions of the Holy Spirit in the book of Acts: If we are to understand the New Testament's teaching on the Holy Spirit we must concentrate on the teaching of Jesus in the Gospels, and on the systematic exposition in the Epistles—rather than on the narrative in the Book of Acts. A great deal of confus...

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The Cross and the New Division

The apostle Paul was dealing with the problem of division in the church in 1 Corinthians 1. He introduces the idea of Christian unity with the words, "Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you?" This conflict sets the stage for everything that Paul goes on to write in the remainder of the chapter. Believers in Corinth were once part of the lost and perishing world, div...

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Feeling Like Christ Is All And Acting Like Christ Is All

In his book, The Screwtape Letters, C. S. Lewis wrote: “We have a tendency to think, but not to act.  The more we feel without acting, the less we will ever be able to act, and, in the long run, the less we will be able to feel.” I have often thought and felt a lot of things while listening to sermons or while reading Bible-saturated books or while looking...

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Adolph Monod: Five Discourses

Adolphe Monod's Living for the Hope of Glory has been one of the most influential Christian works I've read. Deeply affected by Monod's story as well as the spiritual mindedness with which his writings are marked, I have returned to his writings time and time again. Most of Monod's writings remain in French, though I recently discovered one that was translated into English...

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Echoes from a Geneva Pulpit: The Sermons of Calvin 500

In case you didn’t have the $6000 plus it cost to attend, you can now buy the sermons preached this past summer in 2009 from John Calvin’s pulpit from Ligonier. The Speakers include none other than my buddy Joel Beeke, and many more like; Iain Campbell, Bryan Chapell, Ted Donnelly, Ligon Duncan, Sinclair Ferguson, Robert Godfrey, Martin Holdt, Hywel Jones,...

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New Perspective(s) on Paul Audio Resources

Ligonier Ministries has done a fine job of gathering some of the best audio critiques of the New Perspectives on Paul. You can find them all here. I especially recommend Sinclair Ferguson's lecture The New Perspective on Paul and Related Issues and Guy Waters' Christ the Center interview on N.T. Wright and the New Perspective on Paul (part 1) and (part 2)....

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10 Helpful Books on the Acts of the Apostles

As we move forward in our worship at New Covenant Presbyterian Church, I am planning on starting a sermon series on the Acts of the Apostles. This seems to be fitting with a new church. The book of Acts can be summarized as "the acts of Jesus Christ through His apostles by the Holy Spirit." It is filled with all the excitement and wonder of the dawning of the new age and t...

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