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Archives for May 2010

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To Die Is Gain (Acts 7:54-8:5)

The newest sermon audio from New Covenant Presbyterian Church is now online. The text was Acts 7:54-8:5 and the title, "To Die is Gain." You can listen to and download it here....

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Australia's Sons of Korah

My wife and I love the music of the Sons of Korah, the Australian band which has set many of the Psalms to modern tunes. What do they sound like? Think of an Australian version of Shane Shane with more lyrics, more harmonization and more of a 70's rock influence. You can listen to some of their music here and here. I especially like the album Redemption Songs. The band ha...

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Eric Alexander on Stephen's Martyrdom

In his 1981 address at Urbana, Eric Alexander made the following observations about Stephen's martyrdom and the fruit it bore: We see that Stephen's death was for the glory of God. There are clearly two sides to the fact of Stephen's death. There is on the one hand the wrath and hatred of the people as they gnashed their teeth against him (v. 54). That, I suppose,...

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D.A. Carson's Advice to Pastors on Marriage Situations

Back in December, the Gospel Coalition posted a helpful summary of D.A. Carson's advice to church planters with regard to difficult questions about marriage. You can read it here....

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How to Enjoy the The Virgin-Born Christ

Matthew 1:23 Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel" (which means, God with us). Luke 1:27 To a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin's name was Mary. Christ was born of a virgin mother. This is unique in that He was the only human conceived in this manner; and it is differe...

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A Biblical Stategy for Church Growth

One of my mentors and friends, Rev. Roland Barnes, has written a very helpful pamphlet for the Savannah River Presbytery (PCA) on biblical church growth. I would encourage every minister and seminarian to read it. You can download it here. Roland notes the two indispensable keys to growing churches: There are two major or fundamental elements of ministry upon which the Ch...

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Herman Bavinck’s Reformed Dogmatics: The Bear

When looking for the origin of emotion, William James asked, ‘do we run from the bear because we are afraid’ or is it the other way around? For James the bear was not the source of fear but the physical response to the situation was the cause of the emotion. While it’s not exactly ‘case closed’ for James one thing is sure: human beings resp...

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Phil Ryken's Final Series at Tenth

As the time approaches for Phil Ryken to close one chapter of his life and start another, our readers might want to download the audio from his final sermon series preached at Tenth Presbyterian Church. What more fitting way to end a fruitful pastorate than by preaching on one of the most spiritually rich chapters in the Bible--Romans 8? These sermons will only be availabl...

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A Defense To Die For (Acts 7:1-60)

The latest audio and video from New Covenant Presbyterian Church is now online. The sermon text was Acts 7:1-30 and the title was "A Defense to Die For." You can find the audio here. You can watch the video below. Keep Reading

The Continuing Acts of Jesus

The audio and video for the first six chapters of New Covenant Presbyterian Church's sermon series "The Continuing Acts of Jesus" are online....

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Theocratic Case Laws and the New Covenant Era

The issue of theonomy and the application of theocratic case laws in the New Covenant era has recently come up in several discussions I have had, so I thought I would make some resources available to those interested in learning more about a redemptive-historical approach to understanding the role of the theocratic sanctions given to Old Covenant Israel. The follow books g...

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Gospel Lessons from Jonah

Tullian Tchividjian, grandson of Billy Graham and pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, brings us lessons of grace from the book of Jonah.  Having just completed a Sunday School series on Jonah, it would have been great to have had this to use in my preparation.  Alas, better late than never.  Tchividjian draws out the gracious gos...

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Enjoying The Incarnation of Christ

John 1:14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. 1 John 4:2-3 By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antic...

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The Apostolic Hermenuetic: Preaching Christ From All The Scriptures

I am becoming more and more convinced that Dennis Johnson's book Him We Proclaim ought to be required reading in every seminary, bible school and elder training program. Whether it is understanding the preservation of the covenantal line, the principle of typology or the redemptive-historical purpose of the ceremonial and civil laws, there is no single volume that gives m...

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Britain's First Pro-Abortion Television Ad

Here is an excellent article by Ed West, a journalist for the Telegraph, offering a critique of Britain's first pro-abortion television advertisement. HT: Martin Downes...

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Beck, Lillback, Mohler and DeYoung on Social Justice

I am not a huge fan of melodramatic, Mormon political analysts talking about God and country. But I was interested to see that yesterday Peter Lillback, President of Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, was on Glen Beck to talk about the difference between the Gospel and the implications of the Gospel in light of current discussions on social justice. You can ...

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Octavius Winslow Book Giveaway

Matthew Blair, over at the Octavius Winslow website, is giveaway a copy of Winslow's Heaven Opened.. You can learn more here....

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Why Did God Live in a Tent?

This is a particularly thought provoking sermon, by David Murray, on the significance of God's dwelling in the tabernacle. The Lord dwelt in the tent of meeting because His people dwelt in tents. He had promised to be their God. He had promised to dwell with His people. In order to do this, God became like His people. Israel dwelt in tents, so God dwelt in a tent. This is,...

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A Day in the Life of an Extraordinary Man

The audio and video from the most recent sermon preached at New Covenant Presbyterian Church is now online. The text was Acts 6:8-15 and the title was "A Day in the Life of an Extraordinary Man." You can find the audio here. You can watch the video below: Keep Reading

R.C. Sproul on the Importance of Tithing

Here is an outstanding article on the biblical mandate for tithing by R.C. Sproul. I wish every Christian would read this....

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Tim Keller on Contentment

A much needed reminder from Tim Keller on contentment. We desperately need to be reminded, time and time again, of the words of David from Psalm 131, and the theology of contentment: My heart is not proud, O LORD, my eyes are not haughty; I do not concern myself with great matters or things too wonderful for me. But I have stilled and quieted my soul; like a weaned child w...

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Jim Elliot Sermons

Because I had planned on opening my sermon tomorrow morning with a brief recount of the life, ministry and death of Jim Elliot, I decided to review the historical accounts of Elliot's missionary endeavors up to the point when his life was taken by the Auca Indians to whom he was laboring to bring the Gospel. I was somewhat surprised to find two sermons that Elliot preached...

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Pipa Lecture on William Perkins

Some time ago I posted a link to the interview we had with Dr. Joseph A. Pipa, on Christ the Center, regarding the preaching of William Perkins. You can listen to it here. Dr. Pipa wrote his doctoral dissertation on the preaching of Perkins. He recently gave a lecture on the life of Perkins at the 2010 Whiteabbey Congregational Church Puritan Conference. You can listen to ...

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Godly Men: The Divine Methodology

E.M. Bounds, in his book The Power of Prayer, made the astute observation that humanly devised methods can never replace the working of God in the man of God. He wrote: God's plan is to make much of the man, far more of him than of anything else, because men are God's method. The church is looking for better methods; God is looking for better men. The Holy Ghost ...

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On Earth As It Is In Heaven - Tullian Tchividjian's Blog

I have really been enjoying Tullian Tchividjian's blog over at the Gospel Coalition website. If you have not visited it, I would heartily recommend it to you as a worthwhile resource for Gospel-centered and theological insights....

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R.C. Sproul and the Ligonier Teaching Fellows

Here is an interesting panel discussion with Dr. R.C. Sproul and the four Ligonier Academy Teaching Fellows. Dr. Ferguson's opening remarks are sobering for any pastor. The people who sit under preaching will inevitably read their Bibles in the manner in which they are taught the Bible....

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Acceptance and Persecution

Growing up, I spent my time and energy seeking acceptance. No one wants to be left out. C.S. Lewis, in his masterful lecture, The Inner Ring, explained the nature of this futile desire to be on the inside. This deep seated, sinful desire was what led  me to seek acceptance by means of sports in High School. When I wasn't able to fulfill my desires there, I turned to sex...

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R.C. Sproul's Successor(s)

One of the big questions floating around the Reformed world has been, "Who will replace R.C. Sproul when he retires from his leadership role at Ligonier Ministries?" Sproul has been the face of Ligonier for nearly 40 years (since 1971). On account of the fact that Dr. Sproul is one of the brightest and most articulate men of our times, finding one individual to carry on th...

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Herman Bavinck’s Reformed Dogmatics: Lost & Found

There’s a TV show with a highly fantastic plot relevant to Bavinck’s formulation of God’s independence. On this show, survivors of a plane crash form tribes and collectives to solve problems and battle wits with other tribes and collectives on a supernatural island. The island itself is a character exerting powerful forces on the other players, challen...

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Choosing Seven Servants (Acts 6:1-7)

The most recent audio and video from New Covenant Presbyterian Church is now online. You can listen to and download the audio here. You can watch the video below: Keep Reading

Michael Reeves on Adam and Eve

Here is a phenomenal article by Mike Reeves on the necessity of the historicity of Adam and Eve. It it taken from the forthcoming book Should Christians Embrace Evolution? edited by Norman Nevin (IVP-UK, PR). I have not read a theological defense as good as this that actually interacts with the more nuanced expressions of theistic evolution....

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On Not Being Good Enough for the Gospel

Erol Bortucene posted a great quote in which Martyn Lloyd-Jones explained that when people say they are not good enough for the Gospel, they are actually denying the Gospel: To make it quite practical I have a very simple test. After I have explained the way of Christ to somebody I say “Now, are you ready to say that you are a Christian?†And they hesitate. And t...

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Discrimination and the Seven Servants

William Still, in his sermon on Acts 6:1-7, mentioned that the problem of the discrimination against the Greek speaking Jewish widows by the Hebrew speaking Jewish widows was met by the choosing of the seven wise men, all of whom had names with Greek etymological derivations. He made the fascinating observation: The seven may have been the most spiritual men in the fellows...

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The Imperative of the Indicative: Preaching Christ from the Gospels

It may seem strange to hear someone say that ministers need to learn how to preach Christ from the Gospels; but in light of the failure, in this regard, of so many when dealing with the commands of Christ (case in point), there is perhaps no greater need for minsters of the Gospel at present than to learn this principle and etch it into their minds and hearts. I had a frie...

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Separated at Birth?

Every time I see a picture of Robert Gibbs, the current White House Press Secretary, I wonder if he and Phil Ryken were somehow separated at birth. I at least think the comparison is as good as some of the ones you will find here. ...

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Advice on Reading Noteworthy Theological Chapters, Articles and Sermons

If you are anything like me, you know that having multiple interests makes reading books--cover to cover--an extremely difficult task. There was a time when I was determined to read through each and every book I started. Needless to say, this inevitably proved to be a hopeless effort. I do read entire books when I am teaching a particular subject, writing a review or wanti...

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The Family Tree of Reformed Biblical Theology

All I can say is, "this book looks amazing!" If only it were written by a Presbyterian! ...

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What Made You Who You Are?

For the last two, maybe three years, I've listened to Montgomery Gentry's song titled, "Long Line of Losers." I always loved it, and still do, however, it was not till about a week ago that something hit me while I sat in the library studying and listening to the song. Something so simple, and yet so glorious in the Gospel that I had over looked in the words of this son...

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Herman Bavinck’s Reformed Dogmatics: Smash and Grab

We’ve been sifting through some of the high points of Bavinck’s doctrine of God, offering up small, somewhat uncritical summaries of his thought. In volume two Bavinck has an almost throw-away statement that carries a cautionary tone and is even little haunting: “there is no guarantee of a better job, preferment or worldly gain that comes with the knowl...

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Above All Earthly Powers

The most recent sermon audio and video from New Covenant Presbyterian Church is online. The text from this past Sunday morning was Acts 5:12-42 and the title was "Above All Earthly Powers." And, yes, the title was ripped off from a sermon by Phil Ryken, who borrowed the words from Luther's hymn A Mighty Fortress is our God. You can listen to Phil's sermon here. It was prea...

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Enjoying The Deity of Christ

John 1:1-4 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. John 20:27-28 Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and plac...

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