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Archives for October 2015

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The Heart of the Reformation

Saturday, October 31, 2015 marks the 498th anniversary of the day that Martin Luther nailed the 95 theses to the door of the Schlosskirche (Castle Church) in Wittenberg. Having set in motion the greatest movement since the days of the apostles, Luther--together with the other magisterial Reformers--would go on to write some of the most foundational systematic doctrinal fo...

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Particle Board Preaching

I sometimes put myself through the extremely painful experience of sitting down and listening to the sermons of pastors outside of my own ecclesiastical circle in order to hear what is being taught in growing churches--both in surrounding areas and abroad. More often than not, what I hear is not Christian preaching. Rather, what I hear is moral advice, life management coac...

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Jesus: The Measure of a Man

If asked what it means to be a man, many would naturally point to the MMA fighter, to one of the grizzly members of the show "Deadliest Catch" or to some extraordinarily gifted athlete. Others would unhesitatingly appeal to the studious and successful man--the doctor, the lawyer, the CEO or the engineer. The more machismo, the more man. The more money, the more matur...

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Grown-Up Churches in an Age of Adolescence

Outside the walls of the church, companies constantly placard plastic surgery and age-defying creams before our eyes, in magazines and on commercials, to convince us that they will make us look at least as attractive as we did when we were in our early 20s. Bank commercials tell us that if we just make the right retirement decisions we will be climbing mountains and surfi...

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Overcoming Discouragement in Ministry

Once a month, I have the great privilege of meeting with a number of extremely wise and godly ministers alongside of whom I minister in the PCA. We either discuss a topic or share with one another certain things that are going on in life or ministry. Recently, we shared with one another the ways in which we have learned to deal with discouragement in ministry. Here are a ...

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Grace is a Person

There has been no small debate in recent years over the nature of saving grace and the role that it plays in the believer's life--both in the role that it plays when individual Christians fall and fail as well as in what role it plays in motivating and animating the Christian's obedience. I have found so much of what has been written to be extremely confusing at best and d...

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The First Great Request

If you could ask God for anything--and you knew that He would grant that for which you asked--what would it be? Money, power, security, long life, influence, etc.? If we're honest, that's what most of us are inclined to ask for. However, when God came to Solomon and told him to ask for whatever he wished and it would be granted to him, Solomon asked for the most precious ...

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Vos on Old Testament Theophanies

In his short but profound work, Eschatology of the Old Testament, Geerhardus Vos set out to answer various questions about the Old Testament theophanies and their meaning. What is a theophany? Why did God act in such a way as to reveal himself in human and/or angelic form to specific individuals? Why did the theophanies occur at the particular times at which they did in t...

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Preaching the Proverbs

I have seriously been considering the prospect of preaching a sermon series through the book of Proverbs at New Covenant. However, every time I've mentioned this to close friends in ministry, I've received the same discouraging response: "I don't know if I'd do that. I think that it might be too hard to preach a series on Proverbs." I certainly agree that it would be ha...

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Handling Contentions in the Church

Most of the New Testament was written with a view to dealing with sin and controversy in the church. I have often taken comfort from the fact that the churches planted by the Apostles were fraught with contentions and controversy--it is a reminder that such challenges and controversies are not necessarily on account of poor leadership. We can be sure of one thing--if contr...

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Four Gospels?

God doesn't do anything arbitrarily. We may not be able to grasp His intentions in full or even in part, but we can be sure that everything that He does is full of eternal purpose and Divine wisdom. The secret things may belong to God, but those that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever (Deut. 29:29). Those revealed things have to do with all that God has...

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