Tim Keller has a very useful post, over at the Redeemer City to City Blog, in which he pulls a number of Lloyd-Jones quotes expressing the necessity and danger of being intentionally doctrinal. You can read it here....Keep Reading
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Believers often meditate on the love, the joy, and the peace of Jesus. However, most of us probably do not give enough attention to the thanksgiving of Jesus. One of the things that we can be certain of--concerning all of the sinless perfections of incarnate Son of God--is that Jesus expressed full and unceasing gratitude to His Father for every provision, every kindness, every protection, every soul-strengthening support and every miraculous act that the Father worked through Him during His earthly ministry. Without doubt, Jesus is the most thankful person who ever lived. ...
The more we understand the relationship between Satan and sin--keeping them in biblical perspective and viewing them in light of the person and work of Christ--the better equipped we will be to put sin to death and to avoid the temptations that so easily ensnare us. ...
Since the preaching of the gospel is the primary means by which God saves His people, ministers of the gospel should concern themselves with pursuing growth in their ability to skilfully communicate the truth of Scripture. Pastors should avail themselves of all the means of growth that are at their disposal. In so doing, we may never become the best preachers in the world, but we will--by God's grace--become more skillful in making known "the unsearchable riches of Christ." ...
I sometimes fear that there is a willful naïveté in the church with regard to the presence and power of Satan. One doesn't have to look far into the Gospels, the Acts of the Apostles, or the New Testament Epistles to discover the reality of the spiritual forces of darkness and to develop a theology of the assault tactics of the evil one. But it might surprise some to see what exactly these tactics are in their more subtle forms. ...
If the church is to be rooted in the timeless truths of God’s word, it needs leaders who are standing on the shoulders of giants in whom the Spirit of God was at work. If pastors are to navigate the overwhelming challenges of an increasingly secular and antagonistic society–not to mention the internal attacks from strong willed and self-seeking individuals within the church–they need to counsel of older and wiser saints. ...
In recent years, our society has rapidly embraced what has come to be known as the "cancel culture." If someone has said or done something--at any point in his or her life--that cuts across the grain of the suppose moral rectitude of society, he or she is swiftly excoriated to the point of irremediable social ostracization. An immediate sentence is determined by the masses and pronounced on social media in order to ensure its execution. There is no mercy, no call to repentance, and no hope of restoration...The rashness and widespread nature of the execution is, in part, the thing that makes cancel culture so brutal. The bitter and self-righteous speech of those pronouncing judgment gives the unremitting banter a veneer of justice. This is what makes cancel culture such a powerful weapon; yet, I suggest, a weapon to be avoided by Christians. ...
When we come to Christ, we learn to live in a way that is pleasing to God. We seek after His instruction and walk in His ways. Jesus is the rarest commodity–the eternal wisdom of God and sole source of righteousness and life. It is Him we must seek, find, and acquire more than any other commodities we may come to possess in life....
There is a clear pattern in Scripture of the way in which God uses the praises of His people for their future deliverances and the evangelization of the nations. May we enter into His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise, knowing that our God is enthroned on the praises of His people. We need His deliverance and the watching nations need His salvation....
By restraining wrong opinions about His person and work...
When I began the work of church planting I had absolutely no idea what to expect. We had no core group, and I only knew one person in the town to which we were called. It's all too common to read church planting blogs, manuals and articles, in which the authors speak of the pressing need to reach the "un-churched" in your community with the Gospel. This is something we see...Keep Reading
Jonathan Edwards, in one of his most interesting entries in his Notes on Scripture, drew a typological connection between the actions and words of Jacob and Joseph, in their deaths, and the promise of Jesus immediately prior to His death. He wrote: Genesis 48:21 "And Israel said to Joseph, 'Behold, I die, but God shall be with you.'" So Joseph, when he was near his death, ...Keep Reading
The videos from the 2010 Ligonier National Conference are now available online for streaming. The title of this year's conference was "Tough Questions Christians Ask." You can find the index of all the videos here. I would especially recommend the following talks: Derek Thomas If God is Good, How Could He Command Holy War? Derek Thomas How Do We Know Which Interpretation i...Keep Reading
Andreas Kostenberger and Michael Kruger have presented to the Christian world a fascinating account, and rebuttal, of an old idea that seems to keep rearing its ugly head.Â In The Heresy of Orthodoxy:Â How Contemporary Culture's Fascination with Diversity Has Reshaped Our Understanding of Early Christianity the authors address the Bauer thesis and its more recent ado...Keep Reading
I have been reading quite a lot lately about how the Bible is a story or narrative and not a book of propositions. Â I have not found this a convincing reading of the situation.Â It is, to put the matter bluntly, a false dilemma.Â The Bible is both propositional and a story.Â It is both factual and dramatic.Â Let's try a thought experiment.Â Let's ask our...Keep Reading
Over at Bring the Books, Adam Parker has a series of posts in which he reviews Craig Koester's Revelation and the End of All Things. Koetser is Professor of New Testament at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, MN. You can find a list of the books that Dr. Koester has written, together with audio resources here. What makes Revelation and the End of All Things unique is the fact th...Keep Reading
This year's pre-conference for Ligonier Ministries' National Conference centered on the biblical approach to social media. Overall it was a very beneficial conference. Ed Stetzer, Al Mohler, Burk Parsons, and Tim Challies did a good job of helping people think through how the church can best use technology for the advancement of Christ's kingdom. You can watch the videos h...Keep Reading
One important questions in theology is whether or not Adam was in a state of sonship prior to the fall. The answer to this question has direct implications on our understanding of God, the covenant of works, and the nature of soteriological blessings. Sinclair Ferguson has an exceedingly helpful article titled, "The Reformed Doctrine of Sonship" in Pulpit People: Essays i...Keep Reading
I wish I had a better sense of humor--and ability to use it in the pulpit--for the purpose of grabbing people's attention. Can a minister go too far in this? Absolutely; but there is an effective and, I believe, beneficial use of humor in the pulpit that often gets dismissed out of hand. Having listened to Mark Driscoll's sermons on the life of Jacob and Joseph, I have to ...Keep Reading
The audio and video from the June 20, 2010 worship service at New Covenant Presbyterian Church is now online. The text was Acts 9:1-22 and the title, "The Glorious Conquest." You can download and listen to the audio here. You can watch the video below: The Glorious Conquest...Keep Reading
The book of Job gives us a glimpse of the majesty of God and His works in a manner unsurpassed among the patriarchal revelation. Reformed theologians, throughout the history of the church, have drawn the conclusion that the revelation of God, recorded in the book of Job, comes from an era immediately prior to the days of Abraham. C. C. Jones, in his magnificent biblical th...Keep Reading
It was said of Thomas Halyburton, the great Scottish theologian of the late seventeenth century, that "he abhorred that unedifying converse that is spent in frequent and unseasonable jesting...so common with many, though he was abundantly facetious [humorous] in company, when and where he saw it expedient; and this way sometimes he has dropped what tended to edify. Those w...Keep Reading
I have loved the study of doctrine since I came to faith in Christ.Â I couldn't help but eagerly seek to learn all about the faith I had come to embrace.Â Yes, it is true.Â I had been raised in a Christian home.Â Indeed, in the home of a pastor.Â I am a "pastor's brat" as some like to say.Â So for almost 27 years I have made the study of God's Word and it...Keep Reading
There seems to be a connection between Jonah and Saul of Tarsus. Both were nationalistic zealots. Both thought they deserved the grace of God. Both were called to preach the Gospel to the Gentiles; and both had to be dealt with in an extraordinary manner. Jonah was three days and three nights in the heart of the earth prior to being sent to the Gentiles. Saul of Tarsus was...Keep Reading
God does not change, Bavinck said, because he is. He is independent of time and has life in himself. To say that God becomes as pantheism assumes diminishes his character. As Bavinckâ€™s analysis of Godâ€™s immutability moves forward to discuss Godâ€™s infinity his conclusions are reassuringly warm: Godâ€™s eternality is not static, monotonous, rigid im...Keep Reading
The most recent sermon audio and video from New Covenant Presbyterian Church is now online. The text was Acts 8:26-40 and the title was "Tolle Tege: Take Up and Read." You can listen to the audio here. You can watch the video below:
As the 2010 Ligonier National Conference approaches you might be interested in knowing that they will again be live streaming the conference. You can watch it here. This year's conference title is, "Tough Questions Christians Face." You can see the schedule of (including the line up for the pre-conference, "Bits, Bytes, Blogs and Bibles") here....Keep Reading
Apart from the writings of Jonathan Edwards, no other theological writings have had such an impact on the development of my own thinking as much as those of Augustine. If you have never read The Confessions--Augustine's autobiography--you are missing out on an intellectual and devotional masterpiece. There is certainly much to be criticized in the early writings of Augusti...Keep Reading
Tullian Tchividjian has a great post on the nature of God-centered worship. You can read it here. You might want to read Isaiah 6 while you're at it!...Keep Reading
The Gospel Coalition had its first Greater Columbus Gospel Coalition Conference at Grace Bible Church in Winchester, OH. Alistair Begg was the speaker. The topic was "For the Sake of the Gospel." You can download the talks below: 1) â€œWhat is the Gospel? How does it impact Ecclesiology, Philosophy, Teaching, and Discipleship?â€ 2) â€œCommunicating the Exclusi...Keep Reading
New Covenant Presbyterian Church is participating in a Reformed Worship project in conjunction with the Reformed Worship Association. We have already begun a 12-month commitment in which we will commit ourselves to lectio continua preaching, a psalm in either morning or evening worship, 4 of the liturgies from Calvin 500, and a 6-week class, explaining the distinctives o...Keep Reading
Scott Clark has posted a transcription of Tim Keller's recent lecture on creating and nurturing ecumenical "Gospel eco-systems." I encourage you to read it together with the comments at the bottom of the page. You can find it here....Keep Reading
Over at the Ligonier Ministry blog you will find a series of posts from portions of John Gerstner's primer on Roman Catholicism. In a day of doctrinal reductionism and willful naivete' in regard to false teaching, many in protestant churches do not know what the Roman Catholic church teaches. It is incumbent upon us to be a people who search diligently for truth and know h...Keep Reading
The old bishop of Galloway was highly commended by Spurgeon for his striking clarity and evangelical warmth. Cowper wasnâ€™t exactly a â€˜Puritanâ€™ â€“ he took an Episcopal bishopric after years of serving the Scottish Presbyterians. Nevertheless he maintained scripture priority over the sacrament and (expository) preaching as the means by which the Spi...Keep Reading
The sermon audio and video from the June 6, 2010 Sunday Morning Worship Service at New Covenant Presbyterian Church is now available online. The text was Acts 8:4-25 and the title, "Can't Buy Me Life." You can download the audio here. You can watch the video below:
My friend Jay HarveyÂ has an article over at Reformation 21 on the priority of pastoral ministry in the life of Augustine. You can read it here....Keep Reading
A friend of mine from the UK recently pointed out how people in the American church are so quick to put their stamp of approval upon a man or women regardless of their belief system. You've probably heard this come in the form of the following statements: "He's such a great guy," or "She's a really great person," or "I just love so-and-so." And, if you listen carefully, wh...Keep Reading
Philippians 2:5-11 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death o...Keep Reading
Time Magazine has a cover article, in the June 7, 2010 edition, on the situation that the Roman Catholic Church finds itself in with regard to the pedophilia-priest scandals. The title of the article is "Why Being Pope Means Never Having to Say You're Sorry." It is interesting to see how the watching world perceives the weaknesses and inconsistencies of the dogma of Rome. ...Keep Reading
The dying words of many of the Scottish Covenanters are recorded in James Thomson's A Cloud of Witnesses. One such record is that of the dying words of James Renwick (pronounced "Renick"). Renwick was the last of the Covenanter martyrs.Â The old Methodist ministers were fond of saying, "He who would die well must live well." Renwick is an example of one who died well be...Keep Reading