Sunday, February 28, 2010

MacArthur on Pulpit Crimes Part 2

Read these great words by one of America's Great preachers John MacArthur:

"The only logical response then to inerrant Scripture is to preach it expositionally. By expositionally, I mean preaching in such a way that the meaning of the biblical text is presented entirely and exactly as it was intended by God. Expository preaching is the proclamation of the truth of God as mediated through the preacher.

Some who are known as expositors don't even believe in biblical inerrancy. It might also be the case that most who affirm biblical inerrancy don't practice expository preaching. (Again, the most popular trend among evangelicals these days is decidedly in the opposite direction--toward preaching driven by "felt needs," and other topical approaches to the pulpit ministry.) These are baffling inconsistencies, because an inerrantist perspective demands expository preaching, and a non-inerrantist perspective makes expository preaching unnecessary.

Putting it another way, what does it matter that we have an inerrant text if we do not deal with the basic phenomena of communication, e.g. words, sentences, grammar, morphology, syntax, etc. And if we don't, why bother preaching it?"

Don't you wish preachers would stick to the God Inspired text instead of hand picking verses to fit their "style" or "tradtion". What right does a "preacher" have to change God's Inspired Word? It happens all the time. Who gave him the authority to do that? Did he get it after much study and prayer. Did the Holy Spirt "lead" him this way. Or does he not have enough respect for the Word to "Preach it as it is". Do tell preacher. I would love to hear your comments. :)

Saturday, February 27, 2010

MacArthur on Pulpit Crimes

The importance of careful, Biblical interpretation can hardly be overstated. We spend three or four years at the master seminary trying to teach men how to do this because it is the heart and soul of effective ministry. In fact, I would go so far as to say misinterpreting the Bible is ultimately no better than disbelieving it. So what do you mean by that?

Well, what good does it do to believe that the Bible is God's final and complete word if you misinterpret it? Either way you miss the truth, right? It is equally serious along with disbelieving the Bible to misinterpret it. Interpreting Scripture to make it say what it was never intended to say is a sure road to division, to error, to heresy and to apostasy. In spite of all of the dangers of misinterpreting the Scripture, today we have these casual people who approach the Scripture whimsically without any understanding of the science of interpretation and make it say whatever they would like it to say. Perhaps you've been in one those Bible studies where you go around the room and everybody tells you what they think the verse means? Or worse than that, "Well, to me this verse means," so-and-so. In the end, what you get is a pooling of ignorance, unless somebody knows what it means apart from them. The truth is it doesn't matter what a verse means to me, it doesn't matter what it means to you, it doesn't matter what it means to anybody else, it doesn't matter if it means anything to anybody else. All that matters is what does it mean? What did God intend to say? Every verse has intrinsic meaning apart from any of us and the task of Bible study is to discern the true meaning of Scripture. That's why I can come to you week after week, month after month, year after year and explain to you the meaning of the Word of God, apart from any personal experience I'm having. That's irrelevant.

The task of the interpreter is to discern the meaning of Scripture. In 2 Timothy 2:15 it says, "Be diligent," or study, "present yourself approved to God as a workman who doesn't need to be ashamed because he's handling accurately the Word of Truth." If you don't handle it accurately, you oughta be ashamed of yourself. And if you're gonna handle it accurately, you have to be diligent, you have to work hard at it. Clearly handling Scripture involves both of those things, hard work and diligence. It must be interpreted accurately, and those who fail to do that have reason to be ashamed.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Calvin on Jeremiah 6:16

The Prophet teaches us here that the fault of the people could not be extenuated as though they had sinned through ignorance; for they had been warned more than necessary by God. The same sentiment is found in Isaiah,
“This is your rest; but they would not hear.” (Isaiah 28:12.)
But our Prophet more at large condemns the Jews; for God had commanded them to stand in the ways, to look and to inquire respecting all the old paths. He uses a similitude: and we ought not to doubt respecting the way, since it has been shewn to us by the mouth of God. But the impiety of the people is exposed and reproved, because they did not so much as open their eyes, when God shewed them the way and allowed them a free choice: for he introduces God here, not strictly as one who commands, but as one who shews so much indulgence, that the people were free to choose the way they approved and thought best. When God deals so kindly with men, and so condescendingly sets before them what is useful and expedient, it is the basest ingratitude to reject such kindness on God’s part.
We now then understand the Prophet’s design in saying, that God had commanded them to stand in the ways and to consider what was best to be done. Consider, he says, and ye shall find rest, that is, that ye may find rest (for the copulative here denotes the end) to your souls. Here the Prophet means, that it remained only with the Jews to secure prosperity and a quiet state; for if they had obeyed the counsel of God, rest would have been provided for them: in short, he means, that they were miserable through their own willfulness; for God had set before them the prospect of a happy condition, but this favor had been despised by them, and wantonly despised, as these words intimate, And they said, We will not walk in it
We see that the people’s perverseness is here discovered; because they might have otherwise objected and said, that they had been deceived, and that if they had been in time warned, they would have obeyed good and wise counsels. In order to cut off this handle, Jeremiah says, that they from deliberate wickedness had rejected the rest offered them by God: they have said, We will not walk in it. This resolution deafly shews that they obstinately remained in their sins; so that the rest, which was within their reach, was not chosen by them.
This passage contains a valuable truth, — that faith ever brings us peace with God, and that not only because it leads us to acquiesce in God’s mercy, and thus, as Paul teaches us, (Romans 5:1,) produces this as its perpetual fruit; but because the will of God alone is sufficient to appease our minds. Whosoever then embraces from the heart the truth as coming from God, is at peace; for God never suffers his own people to fluctuate while they recumb on him, but shews to them how great stability belongs to his truth. If it was so under the Law and the Prophets, as we have seen from Isaiah, how much more shall we obtain rest under Christ, provided we submit, to his word; for he has himself promised it, “Come unto me all ye who labor and are heavy laden, and I will refresh you.” And ye shall find rest, he says here, to your souls. This passage then serves to commend this celestial truth, that it avails to pacify consciences, so that there is no perplexity nor doubt.

More Pulpit Crimes

The question preachers must answer is: do I have the right to spiritualize the text to fit my convictions or traditons. One popular text is Jeremiah 6:16 Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.
Sadly many preachers rob this great text to fit their "style" of church. They apply this text to how a person should dress, the music they listen to and Bible translations. Stop thief! How dare you change the original intent of God's Word.
Read this great commentary on this verse from Gil Rugh

Notice God's exhortation in verse 16, 'Thus says the LORD, 'Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; and you shall find rest for your souls. But they said, 'We will not walk in it.'''
This is not substantiating the validity of tradition. The thing some people cling to most in their religious worship is the way it has always been done. 'Our church has tradition,' they brag. 'It has heritage.' They do not know enough about the Bible to know whether it is biblical or not. They have placed their total faith in the traditions of the church, and they are just like unbelieving Israel. That is going to be clear in Jeremiah's next section. They have put complete faith in their traditions and their heritage. But that is not what God is talking about.

a. Exhorted to Repent

When He says, 'Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths,' He is talking about the revelation He has given in His Word. He is referring to the way that men like Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Moses had followed in faith, believing the Word of God. Israel was continuing with the traditions and religious ceremony and going to great expense to do it. Jeremiah will deal with that. But the problem is that they have left the ancient ways. They had left the heart of the whole system which was faith in God and the revelation He had given of Himself. And they are continuing these hollow, external forms and trusting their eternal salvation to external religious ceremony.

Things have not changed a bit. People are doing the same today, doing it because Martin Luther did it, because John Calvin did it, or because John Wesley did it. They continue a lot of the ceremonies and ritual, but what they have lost is the faith these men had in Jesus Christ. They are not believing in the Savior that God had provided nor proclaiming the truth of His Word. But they have continued the hollow traditions, the forms and the ceremonies. That is the difference. They need to be exhorted to return to the ancient ways. If the Presbyterians today had the faith of John Calvin, the Presbyterian church would be totally different. If the Methodists had the faith of John Wesley, the Methodist church would be totally different. If the Lutherans had the faith of Martin Luther, we would have another reformation. But what has happened? We have all these ceremonies chugging along with people placing their eternal salvation in the ceremony, ritual and form.

I am not saying that there are no Presbyterians, Methodists, or Lutherans who are saved. I believe Lutherans, Presbyterians, Methodists, Baptists and others can be saved, but only by recognizing their sin and believing Jesus Christ the Son of God died for them personally and was raised from the dead because He had accomplished salvation. That is the means of salvation, not going through certain rituals, routines or ceremonies. People at this church have to be saved the same way, not by coming here and going through the ritual or routine, but by believing the message concerning the Savior, Jesus Christ.

That is the exhortation here--return to the ancient ways, what God intended when He gave that revelation to and through Moses to the people. He told them to return to that faith.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Alan Carr on Romans 12:1-2

Because many Pastors use Romans 12:1-2 to promote their brand of legalism (which deals with externals not internal issues of the heart and mind, the latter of which Paul is talking about when he uses the word "world") I would like to quote some of Alan Carr's great message on this verse from

(Ill. Paul moves from dealing with the body to dealing with the mind. Here is the root of all our problems anyway. When we can get the mind to think as it should, then the body will obediently follow along. In this matter of conquering the mind, there are two steps that must be taken.)

A. Shunning The Mold - We are commanded "be not conformed to this world." The word "conformed" means "to fashion, or to shape." It literally means "to mold". We are not to allow this world to squeeze us into its mold. We are not to allow the world to make us like it is! You see the world, and those who are controlled by its influence, are vastly different from that which God intends men to be. This is made clear by a list of some of the works of the flesh as listed in Gal. 5:19-21. There are many other concepts that could be added to that list, but those are sufficient to see that the world is diametrically opposed to God. We are to avoid being squeezed into the world's mold! We must be different and remain different!

B. Shaping The Mind - Then we are commanded to be "transformed by the renewing of your mind." The word "transformed" gives us our English word "metamorphosis". It describes the transformation a caterpillar goes through to become a butterfly. Did you know that the caterpillar and the butterfly are the same creature? What happens when the caterpillar enters the cocoon and later emerges is that the part of the insect that resides on the inside is allowed to be manifested on the outside.

That is the change God wants to effect in each of His children! You see, He moved into our hearts when He saved us. He transformed our spirit and changed us into His child. Now, He wants to transform the mind (the soulish part of man) so that the flesh might be changed. What we must remember is that this flesh will do what the mind tells it to do. It is only when the mind is changed and brought under the power of God that the flesh can be brought under control.

How is this accomplished? By surrendering the will to God. By filling the mind with the Word of God. By ordering one's life after the teachings and commands of God. By cutting oneself off from the influences of the world and by allowing the Spirit of God to control the mind.

(Ill. There are basically three types of people in the church. These types are distinguished by the way their minds operate. Let me share these three types with you and let's See which category you fall into.

1. The Sensual - This kind of individual is ruled by the physical world around them. They live by their senses. Everything comes down to how they feel, what they see, how they are affected, what they want, what they hear, etc. They may be saved, but they are living far below their potential!

2. The Soulish - These people are those who are ruled by their intellect, their will and their emotions. These folks are harder to spot than the sensual. In fact, there is a very fine line between the soulish person and the truly spiritual person. To be intellectual, emotional or to possess a strong will is not necessarily to be spiritual!

3. The Spiritual - This kind of individual is very rare in the church. These are people who are under the control of the Holy Spirit. He controls their thinking, their actions, their speech. He rules their lives. They have given over total control to Him and they have no life but that which He gives them! This is God's will for every believer - Eph. 5:18.) end quote.

Here Alan correctly uses the word "world" to describe the thought process of the lost world system. This has nothing to do with how you dress or what type of Christian music you listen to. So if a Pastor or Pastors don't like certain styles of Christian music or a way a person dresses please don't commit spiritual robbery with the Word of God and take hand picked verses out of context! Man up and let the Bible speak for itself. When Paul wrote Romans 12 he probably wasn't thinking about contemporary music or blue jeans. God help us to not abuse your Word for our convictions and traditions of men. Father forgive us. God wrote a Book don't abuse it!!!!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Legalist Bible Interpretation

Worldly Christians

Many "Pastors" use the term "world" in the Bible to justify their convictions about worldliness. Next few post will be about the term "world" in the Bible and how it is used. It would be a crime and borderline blasphemy to misrepresent the Word of God. So let's see what The Word of God has to say.

Typical verse. Romans 12:1-2

John MacArthur says the term "world" is talking about our minds. Not how we dress or the type of Christian music we listen to. This thought goes with the actual meaning of the word in the greek and the context of Romans 12.
John says, "You know what? It is in the mind that our new nature and our humanness find their mix, right? It is in the mind that we make choices as to whether we will express that new man in holiness or allow our flesh to act in unholiness. So if the soul is to present the body, the mind must be renewed. And notice how he presents it with a negative and then a positive. "Be not conformed to this aion," not kosmos, not world, but age, to this age. The age is the fallen unredeemed philosophy of life, Trench says it so well, "The floating mass of thoughts, opinions, maxims, speculations, hopes, impulses, aims, aspirations at any time current in the world." The whole pile of the world's stuff. Be not conformed to that. The Germans used to call it the zeist guist(?) the spirit of the age of which Satan, of course, is the prince and ruler.
How do you do it? By the renewing of what? The mind...the mind. The word "renewing" here is renovation. The renovation of the mind. How do you renovate your mind? David said it this way, "Thy Word have I hid in my heart that I might not...what's the key to a renewed mind?, it's right here, isn't it?, it's the's the's the's the Word." That's the key to the renewed mind. We've seen this so many times over and over and over in our studies. The renewing of the mind through the Word. The key is if you're going to walk worthy, you've got to know the Word of God. You've got to know the Word of God. Just a simple profound truth.
And in Colossians 1:28, Paul says we teach every man all wisdom in order to present every man perfect. A perfect life comes out of perfect knowledge. In Colossians chapter 3 and verse 10, put on the new man that is renewed in knowledge. Colossians 3:16, let the word of Christ..what?..dwell in your richly.
I'll tell you, I've seen this so many times. The renewed mind is a mind that is saturated and controlled by the Word of God. A renewed mind, a renewed mind will be expressed in a submissive will and in a body presented as a living sacrifice. It all comes in one package. You can't present your body unless you have a renewed mind because you won't have the will to do that. But when you have a renewed mind, your will will be submissive to God and you will offer your body as a living sacrifice. And the key is a saturated mind, an obedient will, body presented."

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

J.C. Ryle on Legalism

Then Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus from Jerusalem, saying,"Why do your disciples disobey the tradition of the elders? For they don't wash their hands when they eat bread."

He answered them, "Why do you also disobey the commandment of God because of your tradition? For God commanded, 'Honor your father and your mother,' and, 'He who speaks evil of father or mother, let him be put to death.' But you say, 'Whoever may tell his father or his mother, "Whatever help you might otherwise have gotten from me is a gift devoted to God," he shall not honor his father or mother.' You have made the commandment of God void because of your tradition. You hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy of you, saying, 'These people draw near to me with their mouth, and honor me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. And in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrine rules made by men.'"
Matthew 15: 1-9

We have in these verses a conversation between our Lord Jesus Christ, and certain Scribes and Pharisees. The subject of it may seem, at first sight, of little interest in modern days. But it is not so in reality. The principles of the Pharisees are principles that never die. There are truths laid down here, which are of deep importance.
We learn, for one thing, that hypocrites generally attach great importance to mere outward things in religion.
The complaint of the Scribes and Pharisees in this place, is a striking case in point. They brought an accusation to our Lord against His disciples. But what was its nature? It was not that they were covetous or self-righteous. It was not that they were untruthful or uncharitable. It was not that they had broken any part of the law of God. But they "disobey the tradition of the elders. They don't wash their hands when they eat bread." They did not observe some rule of mere human authority, which some old Jew had invented! This was the head and front of their offence!
Do we see nothing of the spirit of the Pharisees in the present day?

We learn, for another thing, from these verses, the great danger of attempting to add anything to the word of God. Whenever a man takes upon him to make additions to the Scriptures, he is likely to end with valuing his own additions above Scripture itself.
We see this point brought out most strikingly in our Lord's answer to the charge of the Pharisees against His disciples. He says, "Why do you disobey the commandment of God because of your tradition?" He strikes boldly at the whole system of adding anything, as needful to salvation, to God's perfect word.

We learn, in the last place, from these verses, that the religious worship which God desires, is the worship of the heart. We find our Lord establishing this by a quotation from Isaiah, "This people draws near to me with their lips, but their heart is far from me."
The heart is the principal thing in the relation of husband and wife, of friend and friend, of parent and child. The heart must be the principal point to which we attend in all the relations between God and our souls. What is the first thing we need, in order to be Christians? A new heart. What is the sacrifice God asks us to bring to him? A broken and a contrite heart. What is the true circumcision? The circumcision of the heart. What is genuine obedience? To obey from the heart. What is saving faith? To believe with the heart. Where ought Christ to dwell? To dwell in our hearts by faith. What is the chief request that Wisdom makes to every one? "My son, give me your heart."

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Thomas Schreiner on Legalism

“Legalism has its origin in self-worship. If people are justified through their obedience to the law, then they must merit praise, honor, and glory. Legalism, in other words, means the glory goes to people rather than God.” – Thomas Schreiner

Legalism is primarily a God-ward thing. It’s a way of making and keeping yourself acceptable to God. From this flows the legalism that is directed towards one another It’s a way of scoring sanctity points in our fellowships, and exerting what one postmodernist called a “truth regime” - it’s about pride, power and control. It simultaneously glorifies man and “unsecures” man. Thus its true opposites are grace and faith. Anonymous

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Driscoll on Legalism

“Legalists love to act like God by making rules. Legalists love rules about the rules. Legalists love rules about who gets to make the rules about the rules. Legalists love rules about who gets to enforce the rules made by the people whom the rules appointed to make the rules about the rules. Legalists really love rules about who gets to interpret the rules that rule. Legalists get perfectly euphoric when they get to enact the rules by punishing people who break the rules as interpreted by those appointed by the rules. In the end, legalsts want to rule through rules and wield their rules like weapons to divide the church body into bloddied parts.” (Mark Driscoll, Vintage Church pp. 143-144).

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Your Body is a Temple

19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s. 1 Corinthians 6

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Calvin on Saving Faith part 3

3. Saving faith is NOT ignorance cloaked in religious humility.

Calvin goes straight after the Roman Catholic Scholastic community here. The Scholastics promoted an “implicit faith,” that sinners could remain ignorant of the details of theology but saved because they were submitted under the authority of Rome’s teachings. Thus faith becomes more about ignorance cloaked in empty humility rather than true faith in the Gospel. Faith in the specific truth of the gospel was not necessary. Calvin responded that, “this fiction not only buries but utterly destroys true faith” (545).

At length Calvin wrote,
“Faith rests not on ignorance, but on knowledge. And this is, indeed, knowledge not only of God but of the divine will. We do not obtain salvation either because we are prepared to embrace as true whatever the church has prescribed, or because we turn over to it the task of enquiring and knowing. But we do so when we know that God is our merciful Father, because of reconciliation effected through Christ (2 Cor. 5:18-19), and that Christ has been given to us as righteousness, sanctification, and life. By this knowledge, I say, not by submission of our feeling, do we obtain entry into the Kingdom of Heaven. For when the apostle says, ‘With the heart a man believes unto righteousness, with the mouth makes confession unto salvation’ (Rom. 10:10), he indicates that it is not enough for a man implicitly to believe what he does not understand or even investigate. But he requires explicit recognition of the divine goodness upon which our righteousness rests. … But on this pretext it would be the height of absurdity to label ignorance tempered by humility ‘faith’!” (545).

Genuine and saving faith is an explicit (though imperfect) trust in Jesus Christ. That is, the Gospel must be clear so that sinners can see their sinfulness, see the beauty of the Savior and rest in His sufficient work by faith alone. Telling ignorant sinners to simply submit implicitly to the beliefs of the church without concern for individual clarity agitated Calvin (as is should agitate us). One of the most beautiful biblical pictures of this truth is the meeting between Philip and the Ethiopian Eunuch in Acts 8:26-40. The Gospel expects personal and explicit faith.
Never does church membership, affiliations or religious humility overcome ignorance of the Gospel message. Saving faith is explicit.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Calvin on Saving Faith part 2

(from shepherds)

2. Saving faith is NOT a mere faith in God.
God dwells in an unapproachable light (1 Tim. 6:16) and we need One (Christ) to come and reveal the Father to us. That Paul called sinners to believe in Christ is proof enough that saving faith in God is to be found by saving faith in Jesus Christ (Luke 10:22; John 8:12, 14:6; Acts 20:21, 26:17-18; 1 Cor. 2:2; 2 Cor. 4:6). We know God through the One He has sent (John 17:3) because Christ “is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature” (Heb. 1:3). Peter writes, “He (Christ) was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you who through him are believers in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God” (1 Pet. 1:20-21). Calvin concludes, “we must be warned that the invisible Father is to be sought solely in this image” (544). Knowing Jesus Christ, the Word of God (God’s very self-disclosure), matters to faith. Vague faith in a deity will not suffice.

Monday, February 15, 2010

John Calvin: What Saving Faith is "Not"

1. Saving faith is NOT a mere conviction that the Gospel is true.
The centerpiece of the Gospel sits in the middle of the table. But looking at the Gospel message is not faith. This is a grave danger in Calvin’s mind. He writes “we must scrutinize and investigate the true character of faith with greater care and zeal because many are dangerously deluded today in this respect. Indeed, most people, when they hear this term, understand nothing deeper than a common assent to the gospel history” (543). It is dangerous, Calvin says, to be content with a faith that simply believes the “gospel history” is true.

Several chapters later Calvin returns to this concept in detail,

“Of course, most people believe that there is a God, and they consider that the gospel history and the remaining parts of the Scripture are true. Such a judgment is on a par with the judgment we ordinarily make concerning those things which are either narrated as having once taken place, or which we have seen as eyewitnesses. There are, also, those who go beyond this, holding the Word of God to be an indisputable oracle; they do not utterly neglect his precepts, and are somewhat moved by his threats and promises. To such persons an ascription of faith is made, but by misapplication, because they do not impugn the Word of God with open impiety, or refuse or despise it, but rather pretend a certain show of obedience” (554).

Sinners’ hearts are deceptive and this craftiness is revealed by sinners who are content with a “common assent to the gospel history.” It is one thing for the Cross to be true, still yet another altogether to say the Cross was intended to fulfill MY Law requirements, and give ME the perfect righteousness of Christ. He died for ME! A sinner may continue under the condemnation of the Law even though he believes in the historical accuracy of the Cross. It is possible to believe in truth and only shudder under greater condemnation (Jam. 2:19).

HT: Shepherd's Scrapbook

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Jersey in the Rafter- #50

Miss this guy. Never be another like him!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Word of the Day



Translated from the Greek word hilasterion, meaning “that which expiates or propitiates” or “the gift which procures propitiation”. It means “satisfaction” or “appeasement,” specifically towards God. In the New Testament, propitiation is the work of Jesus Christ on the cross by which He appeases the wrath of God who would otherwise be offended by our sin and demand that we pay the penalty for it. The concept of propitiation is often associated with the idea of a substitutionary atonement.

(HT: reclaiming the mind)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Monday, February 8, 2010

"Keep your hands off my Doritos"

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Tebow Pro Life Commercial

The message was so understated and Tebow’s part in it was so short, that I’m guessing most viewers probably didn’t even know what it was about.

(HT: Denny Burke)

Friday, February 5, 2010

Chan on the Holy Spirit

"As believers, we ought to experience this same kind of astonishment when the Holy Spirit enters our bodies. We should be stunned in disbelief over becoming a 'new creation' with the Spirit living in us. As the caterpillar finds its new ability to fly, we should be thrilled over our Spirit-empowered ability to live differently and faithfully. Isn't this what the Scriptures speak of? Isn't this what we've all been longing for?

"But instead of living this way, we've created a whole brand of churches that do not depend on the Spirit, a whole culture of Christians who are not disciples, a new group of 'followers' who do not follow. If all God asked for were faceless numbers to fill the churches, then we would be doing alright. Most of us would feel pretty confident. But simply having a good speaker, a service that is short and engaging, a good venue, and whatever else we add to the mix does not make for a 'good' or 'successful' church. God intended for His bride, those who claim His name, to be much more than this." Francis Chan

As a Pastor what Book should I Read

What books do you recommend for Pastors?
1.The Bible
– I understand the need for books on leadership, theology and history. My hope is that you would feast on the scriptures, feel the angst and awe and be overwhelmed by the Gospel of our great God and King. This book is life changing and sufficient.

Matt Chandler

As a Pastor what Book should

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Theological Word of the Day


(Latin a-, “from” + se, “itself”)

Attribute or property of God describing his self-existence and non-contingency. In other words, God is the only absolutely independent being. His existence and well-being are not dependent upon any being or circumstance. He is the final and primary cause of all things, therefore, there is no cause that precedes him. He is in need of nothing.
Scripture Reference: Ps. 50:10–12; Acts 17:23–26, Ex. 3:14

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Just reminding you Valentine's Day is coming soon!

The set up: the three guys are competing to see who can be the most romantic with their wives. The women are trying hard not to be impressed.

(HT: Kevin DeYoung)

Good Quotes on Preaching

I was born to fight devils and factions. It is my business to remove obstructions, to cut down thorns, to fill up quagmires, and to open and make straight paths. But if I must have some failing I would rather preach the truth with too great a severity than to ever once act the hypocrite and conceal the truth!" -Martin Luther (cf, 2 Timothy 1:6-18)

"The keys of the Kingdom are a sacred trust from Christ to His church. Those keys symbolize custody of the very entrance to the Kingdom. He has placed the church in the world and commanded us to preach the gospel so that we can stand as a beacon to point the way to that Kingdom. If we compromise His Word or camouflage the gospel, we cease to be that beacon, and we forfeit the only authority we have to use the keys of the Kingdom.

When the church is faithful to God and His word, however, we actually enact heaven's decisions here on earth. We can speak with authority to an unbelieving world. When heaven is in agreement with us, the issue is settled in accord with the highest possible authority. But if we compromise God's Word, we forfeit the very source of our authority. That is why it is so crucial for the church to deal seriously with God, to handle His Word with integrity, and to stand apart from the world. And that is what we mean when we pray, "Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven" (Matt. 6:10)." -John MacArthur, "Ashamed of the Gospel" (cf, 2 Timothy 4:1-5)
Steven Camp

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Be tough Preachers!

“Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe Prov 29:25
Here is an excerpt of a classic article from Steve Brown in which he encourages pastors to develop a mean streak. This article is needed.

I spend a portion of my time teaching seminary students, and one of the pastoral traits I urge my students to develop is, for lack of a better term, a "mean streak." All too often in American churches, pastors have become sitting ducks for neurotic church members (and they are a small minority). If people don’t like the way a pastor parts his hair or ties his tie, they feel free to tell him. If they don’t like his wife’s dress because it clashes with the curtains in the church, they tell him. You wouldn’t believe the comments on my beard I have received over the years! Some people feel free to criticize and correct pastors on things for which they’d never think of criticizing anyone else.

Not long ago I was talking with a pastor in serious trouble with his congregation. He was being second-guessed and ridiculed in a shameful way. As we talked, it became apparent this young man needed to develop a mean streak to survive. He told me he felt he had been called to love his people, to understand them even when they were cruel and abusive.

"While you should be loving and kind," I said, "it’s equally important to be honest and strong. Why don’t you bring the people making those comments before the ruling body of the church and have them justify their disturbance of the peace and unity of the church, or leave."

The young pastor’s reply was interesting: "Steve, I know that’s what I should do, but I’m just not made that way. I feel my ministry is to pour oil on troubled waters, not put a match to it." Needless to say, that young man is no longer in the ministry. He didn’t have enough oil for all the troubled waters, so he is now selling insurance.

Former professional football player Norm Evans told me once about a massive freshman lineman—six foot five—with whom he played. In the lineman’s first game, the opposing lineman kept pulling this man’s helmet down over his eyes. The young lineman went up to the coach and said, "Coach, he keeps pulling my helmet down. What should I do?"

The coach smiled and said, "Son, don’t let him do it."

(HT:A brick in the valley)