Church Issues Faced by the Modern Church

The posts below offer critiques, insights and suggests about some of the current issues that the modern day church faces from worldly to theological to societal.

Thumbnail image for A Facebook Comment Could Render Wheaton College’s Statement of Faith Meaningless

A Facebook Comment Could Render Wheaton College’s Statement of Faith Meaningless

A Facebook comment could render Wheaton College’s statement of faith meaningless if the member faculty council gets its way and the administration withdraws its efforts to fire Dr. Larycia Hawkins. I previously explained that Wheaton professor Larycia Hawkins was not suspended for wearing a hijab. Rather, she was suspended over the theological implications of stating that Christians and Muslims worship the same God. While Wheaton’s administration began the process of firing Hawkins, the faculty council disagrees potentially bringing more controversy on the school. In fact, Wheaton’s faculty council recommends the move to fire Hawkins be withdrawn. Now, Sarah Pulliam Bailey, writing for …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Black Baby Jesus in the Nativity Scene

Ethics: Black Baby Jesus in the Nativity Scene

What would you do Wednesday! Christmas is here and it is time to check out all the Christmas lights and decorations. You decide to head over to your local city park. The park has a huge Christmas tree and several decorations including a nativity scene. As you are walking around checking out the park’s decorations, you hear some unusual commotion by the nativity scene. Curious, you walk over to what sounds like complaining – about the nativity scene. You figure someone is upset that the city actually put up Christmas decorations. You hear a white guy shout, “But Jesus wasn’t …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for The Wheaton College Professor Suspension Is Not About the Hijab but the Nature of God

The Wheaton College Professor Suspension Is Not About the Hijab but the Nature of God

Wheaton College, an Evangelical school, recently suspended Dr. Larycia Hawkins, Associate Professor of Political Science. Two issues are in view in this suspension: 1) she wore a hijab standing in religious solidarity with Muslims and 2) she claimed Christians and Muslims worship the same God. The Chicago Tribune gets it wrong by seeming to focus on Hawkins wearing a hijab. USA Today gets it right by focusing on Hawkins’ same God comment. Wheaton College did not suspend Dr. Hawkins because she wore a hijab, but over the nature of God. Her claims that Christians and Muslims worship the same God do not …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: School Announces Students Will Engage in Religious Activity

Ethics: School Announces Students Will Engage in Religious Activity

What would you do Wednesday! Religious disagreements in public schools is a hot topic today. People get upset over various issues from a school is forcing non-Muslims girls to wear a hijab, allowing a “Walk a Mile in Her Hijab” campaign, or banning prayer. What if your child came home with a notice that, in the name of religious tolerance and understanding, all students will participate in the “John 3:16 Challenge” which has the following theme. 16 “For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Muslim Friend Attacked While Having Lunch!

Ethics: Muslim Friend Attacked While Having Lunch!

What would you do Wednesday! OK here is the scenario. In an effort to reach out to a Muslim friend in light of all the anti-Muslim sentiment, I took a Muslim friend to lunch. I hoped to get his perspective on the anti-Muslim attitudes, see if he has experienced any hate, and, most importantly, share the gospel with him. While I have only known him for five months, he has been in the U.S. for about five years. He assumes most Americans identify as Christians or have some connection to a church. We decided to meet at 11:30 to beat …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Thanksgiving Dinner is Terrible!

Ethics: Thanksgiving Dinner is Terrible!

What would you do Wednesday! Thanksgiving Day is upon us once again. This is a time of year most people will share a meal with family and friends. Thanksgiving dinner is normally a great time of food and fellowship. But what if the food at your Thanksgiving dinner was terrible? Imagine this… You are at your first Thanksgiving dinner with your new spouse and both of your families. Your spouse’s mother is hosting and has done most of the cooking at her insistence. Your spouse has bragged about their mother’s delicious cooking! So you can’t wait to dig in. The …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Syrian Refugee Family Moves Into Your Neighborhood

Ethics: Syrian Refugee Family Moves Into Your Neighborhood

What would you do Wednesday! There is a lot of division over whether or not the United States should receive Syrian refugees who have been driven from their homes by ISIS – radical Islam. While there is some balance in the discussion, much of debate seems a black and white, yes or no response. Like it or not, some of the refugees are being settled here in America. What if a refugee family moved into your neighborhood? You have just finished reading news reports that there is a vetting process in place that attempts to ensure the refugees are not radicals …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Pastor Robert Jeffress On the Paris Attacks and Radical Islam

Pastor Robert Jeffress On the Paris Attacks and Radical Islam

Dr. Robert Jeffress, Pastor of First Baptist Dallas, shares his view of how Christians should respond to the Paris terrorist attacks. He addresses the government’s role in protecting its citizens and how radical Islam (ISIS) should be bombed. In this short clip, it is not clear that Jeffress shares his thoughts on every aspect of the Paris attacks including its effect on the refugee crisis. Christians, per Romans 13, expect the government to seek justice on radicals like ISIS et al. Yet, caught in the middle are thousands of Syrian refugees who have been driven from their homes. These refugees …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Friend Lashes Out at Starbucks’ Barista for Not Saying ‘Merry Christmas’

Ethics: Friend Lashes Out at Starbucks’ Barista for Not Saying ‘Merry Christmas’

What would you do Wednesday! Recently, responses to a fake war on Christmas by Starbucks spread across social media. While a majority of Christians careless what kind of cup Starbucks uses during the Christmas season, there are some who get offended. What if one of those offended happened to be one of your friends? Imagine finding yourself in the following scenario. It is the middle of December. The Christmas season is here. You met a friend and fellow Christian at Starbucks. Upon connecting in the parking lot, you both talk about some of the current, exciting ministry opportunities. Just as you …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Jay Z: The Bible and Qu’ran Speak of the Same God

Jay Z: The Bible and Qu’ran Speak of the Same God

    The above clip is from an episode of Oprah’s Master Class which features “stories you’ve never heard from the people you thought you knew best.” Basically, the show is famous people sharing personal stories. And Jay Z shares an interesting belief about who God is. He thinks that “however you find God, that’s a fantastic thing” and “people that are reading the Qu’ran and people that are reading the Bible are really reading about the same person.” Sadly, Jay Z is wrong about God and he is influencing many. And even more with Oprah’s reach. If people simply …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Beware: John Boehner Quotes the Bible

Beware: John Boehner Quotes the Bible

Many who are first to cry separation of church and state recently celebrated a visit by Pope Francis to speak at the White House. While cheers for the Pope still echoed in the air, Speaker of the House, John Boehner, announced his coming resignation. Many of Boehner’s fellow Republicans have been critical of his leadership or lack thereof. He has been equally critical of his critics even calling Presidential candidate Ted Cruz a jackass. But beware, as Boehner begins walking toward retirement, he rips conservatives in his own party again, this time by quoting the Bible. “The Bible says beware of …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Kim Davis is Not the Problem with Evangelical Christianity

Kim Davis is Not the Problem with Evangelical Christianity

Fellow Southern Baptist, Pastor Russell Williams, gave three reasons related to Kim Davis’ case for why Evangelical Christians are losing. He begins: Since I am a pastor of a southern Baptist church please allow me to weigh in on the case of Kim Davis, the lady in Kentucky who refuses to issue a marriage licenses to a same sex couple. I am a licensed Southern Baptist Minister which means I can legally marry people (not that this makes my position more authoritative). I simply disagree with brother Williams and do not believe Kim Davis is the problem with Evangelical Christianity.  Below …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for If Chick-fil-A is Denied a Lease, Will Christians Have to Stop Sharing Their Views Publicly?

If Chick-fil-A is Denied a Lease, Will Christians Have to Stop Sharing Their Views Publicly?

Denver City Council members have placed a Chick-fil-A lease at the Denver International Airport on hold over its LGBT positions. Apparently, some council members do not like the Christian positions CFA president, Dan Cathy, shared three years ago. The backlash from Cathy’s comments energized supporters to hold a Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day giving the company huge revenues. But the Denver council members believe a moral issue is in play if they allow CFA a place in the Denver International Airport. One of the members is concerned CFA profits would be used to promote discrimination. (Despite the fact that CFA allowed itself to …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Men, You Are Only A Few Clicks Away From Being Josh Duggar

Men, You Are Only A Few Clicks Away From Being Josh Duggar

Josh Duggar has been caught in yet another sexual sin once the hacked Ashley Madison database was leaked. (His responses noted below.) On one hand, I am surprised at this revelation. On the other hand, I am not surprised because, sadly, any of us men are only a few clicks away from being Josh Duggar. It Could Have Been You Do you think you are better than Josh Duggar? Do you think nothing like that could happen to you? Think again. We live in a culture that is saturated in sexuality. Sex appeal was discovered long ago to be a key ingredient …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Customer Requests White Delivery Driver

Ethics: Customer Requests White Delivery Driver

What would you do Wednesday! For today’s scenario, you are middle management at a home improvement store. In your position, you are responsible for several stores in the district. The store managers in that district answer to you. A customer calls and places an order for $1,000 worth of flooring. The store manager gets called to the flooring department by the employee taking the order because the customer has an unusual request. The customer demands that a white driver deliver her order to her home. He explains to the customer that her request is discriminatory and he very uncomfortable with …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Same-Sex Married Couple Come to Faith and Repent

Ethics: Same-Sex Married Couple Come to Faith and Repent

What would you do? The recent SCOTUS decision to legalize same-sex marriage will bring new challenges to local churches. One of the challenges may involve a same-sex married couple who comes to faith in Jesus as in the scenario below. Similar questions have been raised about advising an unbelieving transgendered person who comes to faith. Let’s think about it! A same-sex couple made up of two men begin attending your church. You get to know them after the first two months. You have shared the gospel with them, explained Christianity, and invited them to your small group. Six months pass. …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for The SCOTUS Ruling Reveals Christian Hate for Homosexuals

The SCOTUS Ruling Reveals Christian Hate for Homosexuals

The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) recently ruled that gay marriage is a right legalizing such marriages. thereby redefining marriage. The support for this decision among professing Christians has been striking but so has the backlash. The reaction to the SCOTUS ruling from some Christian circles has revealed a kind of hatred for the homosexual community. Let me explain. Jesus commanded Christians to love others. In fact, he taught that one of the greatest commandments is to love our neighbor as ourselves. But that was the second greatest commandment. The first is to love God with all our …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Pastor Flies Confederate Flag on Church Grounds

Ethics: Pastor Flies Confederate Flag on Church Grounds

What would you do Wednesday! The recent racist and tragic killing of 9 African Americans by a white man at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston has brought up a national debate over states flying a Confederate flag. Emotions run high on all sides of the Confederate flag debate. What would you do if, upon arriving at church Sunday morning, you noticed a Confederate flag hanging from a wall-mount at the corner of the front of the church? Then, you notice your pastor standing at the front doors so you ask him about the flag. He asks that you wait for him …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Parents Disagree on Attending Son’s Same-Sex Wedding

Ethics: Parents Disagree on Attending Son’s Same-Sex Wedding

What would you do Wednesday! As the same-sex marriage debate continues among some Evangelicals, tough decisions among families are bound to arise. How about when those tough questions come between husband, wife, and child? Consider the following scenario. Five years ago, the son of Evangelical Christians finally told his parents he is gay. Today, that son is planning a same-sex wedding with his partner. His parents have strongly disagreed with his lifestyle though have always welcomed him and loved him. The son has invited the parents to his same-sex wedding. The parents are admired and known in their community for being leaders …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Should Wife Tell Her Husband About 8 Year Old Affair?

Ethics: Should Wife Tell Her Husband About 8 Year Old Affair?

What would you do Wednesday? The issue of whether or not to tell one’s spouse about an affair, past or present, is a question some in the church may eventually face. There are many facets to consider in such a situation. You might be the one hiding the affair or the one it is being hidden from. Let’s think about the following scenario which is loosely based on a real situation. It is Tuesday night and your couples discipleship group has just begun. The topic being discussed is the confession of past and present sins to one’s spouse. Also being …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Would You Rent from a Racist Landlord?

Ethics: Would You Rent from a Racist Landlord?

What would you do Wednesday! NYMag.com recently ran an article titled “‘I Put in White Tenants’: The Grim, Racist (and Likely Illegal) Methods of One Brooklyn Landlord.” Consider what you would do if you discovered your landlord was racist like the one in the article in the following scenario. You recently moved your family into a newly updated neighborhood. A new job brought you to the area along with a good school system for your kids. Plus, the house you decided to rent seemed to be in the safest neighborhood around and there was not much to choose from. One …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Trials and the World Today by Robert Hudson

Trials and the World Today by Robert Hudson

I am currently teaching through a series on the Book of James at church. We are only into the second chapter but one thing is certain, James is not bashful, he is not afraid of speaking the truth. James is the brother of Jesus and he did not believe his older half brother was his Savior until after Jesus’ death and resurrection. Reviewing James’ letter shows us that his faith was strong and he was determined that people would hear the rightful message AND how it should impact their lives. James’ faithfulness in speaking the Word of God eventually led to …keep reading »

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When Don Lemon Does Not Understand Ryan Anderson’s Arguments for Marriage

In the above clip, CNN Anchor, Don Lemon, debates Dr. Ryan T. Anderson, Fellow at The Heritage Foundation and author of What Is Marriage?: Man and Woman: A Defense, over same-sex marriage. However, Lemon does not seem to understand Anderson’s points. Specifically, Lemon does not grasp that 1) same-sex marriage is not illegal, 2) SCOTUS is deciding on redefining marriage, and 3) children do best when with their married parents. Same-sex marriage is not illegal Anderson’s point is that two people of the same sex will not be arrested for marrying each other. The “marriage” may not be recognized, but the …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Refusing Service to a Same-sex Wedding is About Marriage Not Homosexuality

Refusing Service to a Same-sex Wedding is About Marriage Not Homosexuality

When a Christian baker or florist refuses service for a gay same-sex marriage, the issue is marriage not homosexuality. Apologist Greg Koukl has made this point several times and I agree. But is the claim true? Yes! Barronelle Stutzman, for example, owner of Arlene’s Flowers, refused to provide flower for the same-sex wedding of her gay friend, Rob Ingersoll. Stutzman provided flowers for Ingersoll for years despite him being gay. The issue clearly was not simply about his homosexuality, but her Christian convictions about marriage. I would further assume that Stutzman (and other Christians of the same convictions) would have …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Should a Christian Blogger Give Away an “American Sniper” DVD?

Ethics: Should a Christian Blogger Give Away an “American Sniper” DVD?

What would you do Wednesday! I got some push back for doing an “American Sniper” giveaway on this Christian blog. I thought it might be interesting to see what others thought by doing a Wednesday ethics post on the topic. In today’s scenario, you are a Christian blogger who has not read American Sniper nor seen the movie based on the book. You get approached to offer a blu-ray/DVD pack giveaway of American Sniper. Part of the promotion is to let people know that Warner Bros. will donate up to $1,000,000 to Wounded Warrior Project®. The movie is not in anyway Christian-based, but …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Would You Tell Muslims They Are Passing Out Anti-Islamic Books?

Ethics: Would You Tell Muslims They Are Passing Out Anti-Islamic Books?

What would you do Wednesday! Today’s scenario is based on a recent true story of a Mosque giving away anti-Islamic books. Actually, they were giving away a Christian book meant to help evangelize Muslims. Let’s see what you would do. You are with a group from your church at the yearly local festival. The festival provides a place each year where local businesses, groups, religious organizations, etc. set-up booths to meet the community. The festival also has live music, food, arts and crafts for sale. There are also many giveaways. Your church has a booth with the intent of sharing the …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Participate in Gay Pride Parade or Be Fired

Ethics: Participate in Gay Pride Parade or Be Fired

What would you do Wednesday! The following scenario is based on a true story. So far, I have only heard one such story. There may be more, or similar, situations out there. And there may be more to come. How would you handle the situation? A company email arrives in your inbox about an upcoming local event. The event is a local gay pride parade which your company sees as a way to embrace diversity and gain some politically correct good will.  The email states that attendance is mandatory. You speak with your manager about getting excused from attending. You …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Unmarried Couple Requests Room from Christian-Owned Hotel

Ethics: Unmarried Couple Requests Room from Christian-Owned Hotel

What would you do Wednesday! In light of the nationwide disagreements over Indiana’s (and other state’s) Religious Freedom Restoration Act, let’s play the role of a Christian hotel owner. Consider what you would do in the following scenario. You are in your office at the hotel discussing Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act with a friend. You both agree that private business owners should have the right to refuse service to anyone whose requests would go against your Christian moral positions. In fact, since you have a Christian-owned hotel, you believe you should be able to deny a room to a same-sex “married” …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Friend Called to Online Discernment Ministry

Ethics: Friend Called to Online Discernment Ministry

What would you do Wednesday! A friend and fellow church member comes to you with a ministry idea. He recently spent quite a bit of time studying church history and apologetics. Believing God gifted him with discernment, he decides to start an online discernment ministry so he can use this gift. He wants to be known for standing up for and promoting truth! However, you have concerns from knowing him for several years and observing his Facebook interactions. You ask if he is the humility, temperament, and biblical grounds to start such a ministry. You also ask what he will …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: 50 Shades of Grey at a Sunday School Outing

Ethics: 50 Shades of Grey at a Sunday School Outing

What would you do Wednesday! Most Christians I know – every one actually – has no plans to watch 50 Shades of Grey. In fact, they do not think Christians should watch the 50 Shades of Grey movie. However, how would they, and should they, respond if they were caught in the following situation? Friday night is here and your Sunday School class is having an outing. The plan was to catch movie around 5 o’clock. The movie was to be picked out together at the theater. Then, you all would have a fellowship dinner to discuss the movie, life, your walk …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Christian Alabama Probate Judge Receives Same-Sex Marriage Application

Ethics: Christian Alabama Probate Judge Receives Same-Sex Marriage Application

What would you do Wednesday! Judge Roy Moore, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Alabama, recently defied orders from a federal judge telling Alabama probate judges not to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Moore took his stance arguing that the decision to issue Alabama marriage licenses falls under his authority. For today’s ethical situation, you, dear reader, play the role of an Alabama probate judge. You are a judge who is also a Christian with convictions that homosexuality activity and same-sex marriage are sins. You just received Judge Moore’s orders the previous day not to issue marriage licenses for …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Seminarian Knows a Church Would Not Hire Him

Ethics: Seminarian Knows a Church Would Not Hire Him

What would you do Wednesday! A friend of yours is in seminary. In fact, he is in the senior class working towards a Master of Divinity (M.Div.). One Sunday afternoon you catch up with him over lunch. The conversation turns toward ministry, seminary, etc. You ask him how long he has before finishing his M.Div. He explains it will probably take him about 1.5 years to finish given he works full-time and has a family. Then, you ask about his future plans, “What are you going to do vocation-wise once you have your M.Div.?” He answers explaining that he probably will not …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Bible College Student Can’t Get Over Fiance’s Promiscuous Past

Ethics: Bible College Student Can’t Get Over Fiance’s Promiscuous Past

What would you do Wednesday! A friend of yours is in Bible college. He is 23 years old and became a Christian when he was 20. He met a great Christian lady who is also in Bible college. They recently became engage, but he has a dilemma. His fiancée is also 23 and saved at 20. Before becoming a Christian she was a bit promiscuous. In fact, your friend was also promiscuous before coming to the Lord – maybe more so than his fiancée. The fiancée understands their promiscuous past has been forgiven and is behind them in their old life. However, …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Christian Friends Disrespect the President on Social Media

Ethics: Christian Friends Disrespect the President on Social Media

What would you do Wednesday! During the latest State of the Union speech, several of your fellow Christian friends showed a lot of disrespect toward President Obama. They took to social media sharing many sarcastic and bitter comments toward the President. You think Scripture demands is a better way to think about the President even though you do not agree with his politics. For your own thought life, you look up a few Bible verses to consider how you will think about the President. 1 Tim. 2:1-3 says that it pleases God to make “prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Pastor Asks Congregation to Donate for Best-seller List

Ethics: Pastor Asks Congregation to Donate for Best-seller List

What would you do Wednesday! Almost a year has passed since it was revealed that Mars Hill Church spent over $200,000 to put Mark Driscoll’s book Real Marriage on the New York Times best-seller list. In the following scenario, I would like to explore your reactions to your pastor directly asking for money to get his book on a best-seller list. Let’s think about it. Sunday morning announcements are about to start as you make your way to the pew. You greet some friends around you as your family settles in. Your pastor steps up to the podium. He has a special request …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Transgender Teen Refuses Christian Counseling

Ethics: Transgender Teen Refuses Christian Counseling

What would you do Wednesday! In the follow scenario, you, the reader, face questions from the parents of a transgender teen. The parents are part of your Bible study group. The teen is a boy who believes his true gender is female and wants to live as a girl. The parents have recently shared with the group their son’s growing resistance against meeting with a Christian counselor. After meeting with a counselor for a month, their son now says he will not meet with him anymore. He claims the Christian counselor is trying to change him – to keep him …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for 3 Sacred Cows in Preaching that Need to Be Tipped by Jared Moore

3 Sacred Cows in Preaching that Need to Be Tipped by Jared Moore

Guest blogger Jared Moore is the pastor of New Salem Baptist Church in Hustonville, KY. You can find him on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. Below is an excerpt from his book 10 Sacred Cows in Christianity That Need to be Tipped which is currently free on Amazon Kindle – get it while it’s free! A ‘sacred cow’ in the church is a tradition that has been exalted to a position of normalcy without Biblical warrant. It’s time for some cow tipping in the local church. Here are three sacred cows in preaching that need to be tipped. . . Sacred Cow #1 Entertaining Sermons There is …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Unbelieving Children Practice Communion in Sunday School

Ethics: Unbelieving Children Practice Communion in Sunday School

What would you do Wednesday! It is the Sunday School hour at church on Sunday morning. There is a special class for unbelieving children this morning. You take your 9-year-old son to the class deciding to stick around to see how the gospel is presented, etc. Since none of the children present professed faith in Christ, the teachers explain that Jesus is God the Son who died on the cross to save sinners. They explained sin and putting faith in Christ alone for forgiveness of sin and salvation. Then, the teachers taught on the Lord’s Supper – by practicing taking …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Transgender Student Elected to Homecoming Court

Ethics: Transgender Student Elected to Homecoming Court

What would you do Wednesday! Recently, here in Metro-Atlanta, a local CBS news headline tells a story that will most likely become more common in the days ahead. The headline reads: Transgender student at Metro Atlanta school elected to homecoming court. Some may be surprised to find out that the high school in question is in a very conservative area. In this post, I would like Christian parents to consider what they would do if they found their kids in the scenario in the above story. Your son comes home from school excited. You ask him, “What’s up?” He tells you that …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for 2 Reasons the SBC Resolution on Christians Suing Fellow Christians was Rejected

2 Reasons the SBC Resolution on Christians Suing Fellow Christians was Rejected

Below is a follow-up article by Tom Buck, Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church Lindale, explaining the results of the submission of his SBC resolution on Christians suing fellow Christians.  Last month I submitted a resolution to be considered at the SBC Annual Meeting in Baltimore concerning Christians suing fellow Christians. My motivation for addressing this issue was directly related to multiple lawsuits occurring between members of the SBC. I believed the infighting that was overflowing into the public court system was bringing shame upon the church and was a direct violation of 1 Corinthians 6:1-8. This precipitated a considerable …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for SBC Resolution on Christians Suing Fellow Christians

SBC Resolution on Christians Suing Fellow Christians

My fellow Christians, have you ever been sued? Have you ever sued anyone? A “yes” to either of those questions would not be surprising since there are millions of lawsuits filed every year in the United States. But there is a more important question. Have you ever sued a fellow Christian? Despite the fact that 1 Corinthians 6 has strong language against Christians taking other Christians to court, many do so anyway. Unfortunately, we Southern Baptists are not strangers to lawsuits. For example, in recent years a seminary professor sued the Baptist seminary where she once worked.1 More recently, a former Baptist college VP …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Congregationalism

Congregationalism

Congregationalism is one of the areas of church government Southern Baptists have debated in recent years. Many arguments over congregationalism tend to reduce to disagreements over being led by a single vs. that of a plurality of pastors. The debate further reduces to pastor/elder-led vs. pastor/elder-ruled. As you might imagine, there is much disagreement in this areas. In my estimation, the arguments are framed in light of the roles of church offices while ignoring the actual functions those offices carry out. For example, some argue for single, pastor-led congregationalism against a congregation led by a plurality of pastors/elders claiming such a church …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Son’s Scoutmaster Comes Out as Gay

Ethics: Son’s Scoutmaster Comes Out as Gay

What would you do Wednesday! Last year, the Boy Scouts lifted a ban on openly gay youth allowing them to participate in their organization. However, there is still a ban on openly gay scoutmasters. At least one scoutmaster has recently come out revealing his homosexuality. The sponsoring church were this scoutmaster serves is standing by him causing the Boy Scouts to revoked their charter. Today’s scenario deals with the situation where your son’s scoutmaster reveals he is a homosexual. A little over a year ago, your son got a new scoutmaster. He’s been a great scoutmaster for the troop. The kids love …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Church Rejects Pastor Over His Race

Ethics: Church Rejects Pastor Over His Race

What would you do Wednesday! Today’s scenario will be considered from the perspective of a deacon (though church member would work too). In case anyone is wondering, yes, the following scenario, or similar, has happened – sadly. The senior pastor has been serving in your church for 20 years. The time has come for him to retire. As a deacon, you helped put together a pastoral search committee. However, two weeks ago, before the committee could be formed, the executive pastor of the last seven years asked to be considered for senior pastor role. The executive pastor’s desire was discussed …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Millionaire Gay Couple Sues to Make Your Church Hold Their Wedding

Ethics: Millionaire Gay Couple Sues to Make Your Church Hold Their Wedding

What would you do Wednesday! In the United Kingdom a Millionaire gay couple is suing to force a church to hold their wedding. If the couple were to win lawsuit it would not directly affect the United States, but it could motivate some Americans to pursue similar lawsuits. This post offers a similar scenario American churches could face someday. What if a similar lawsuit were happening here in the U.S. and it was against your local church? What if a millionaire gay couple were suing to force your church to hold their wedding? The congregation eagerly sits in the pews waiting. …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Pastor Changes Views on Homosexuality Over Son’s Sexuality

Ethics: Pastor Changes Views on Homosexuality Over Son’s Sexuality

What would you do Wednesday! It is Sunday morning. You are at the regular worship gathering with your local church. Your pastor is preaching on the topic of grace – that we are all sinners in need of God’s grace. You sit listening. As you listening, you think about how big God’s grace is that He received and redeemed a sinner like yourself. Your mind runs through all your horrendous past sins, current sins, and recent temptations. Your lips muster a silent, “Amen!” as you humbly listen. The sermon turns to a personal of grace in the pastor’s life. He …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for 3 Tests for Assurance of Salvation

3 Tests for Assurance of Salvation

Are you sure of your salvation or could you be deceived? I’m sure this is a question with which many Christians have or do struggle. Many wonder if we can really be sure. In his book Blessed Assurance: How to Know That You Are Saved, Eric Douglas looks to God’s word in the writings of the Apostle John for the answer. He provides three biblical tests in which you can discern your salvation. First, there is the upward test of faith. This test will help us determine whether or not we have biblical faith. Everyone has faith in something; we just need …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Stop Sponsoring World Vision Children?

Ethics: Stop Sponsoring World Vision Children?

What would you do Wednesday! Consider the recent World Vision fiasco in light of a fellow Christian friend who wants to cut-off support to the three children he sponsors. When the news of World Vision’s policy change hit social media you reached out to a friend you highly respect. Since he is not big on social media so he does not often get breaking news within Christendom right away. The two main reasons you asked for your friend’s opinion is: 1) he is one of the most faithful Christians you know who is always present on Sundays, actively shares the …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Does World Vision Hate Homosexuals?

Does World Vision Hate Homosexuals?

Update: World Vision reversed its decision discussed below. I think they have answered my question that they do not hate homosexuals, but love them enough to not affirm same-sex marriage. They love God enough to have their mistake corrected by the authority of Scripture and to stand on the biblical view of marriage.  World Vision president, Richard Stearns, recently announced a policy change to accept gay same-sex married couples. Given that World Vision identifies itself as a Christian humanitarian organization, this move causes me to ask: Does World Vision hate homosexuals? Stearns would not probably not answer affirmatively calling the …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Church Members Do Not Feel Connected

Ethics: Church Members Do Not Feel Connected

What would you do Wednesday! Today’s issue is relatively common in the church as far as I can tell. So I’d like to  offer a scenario and ask the Christian blog readers what they would do. I am also curious how common the following issue actually is. Maybe (hopefully) I am wrong about its frequency. Fellow church members, a married couple, have been sporadic in attendance over the last three months. You noticed the lack of attendance and involvement when it started, but wanted to make sure it was a pattern that might continue before saying anything. You run into …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for 3 Reasons Why I Am Encouraged By Mark Driscoll’s Open Letter Apology

3 Reasons Why I Am Encouraged By Mark Driscoll’s Open Letter Apology

I am going to share a couple of reasons why I am encouraged by Mark Driscoll’s leaked open letter apology (copied below). And it is not because he and I share the same first and middle names, spelling and all. Seriously though, I was just about to close twitter when I saw a link to the letter in my twitter feed. I was going to come back to it later, but decided to click the link instead of clicking close. Not sure what to expect, I was encouraged by Driscoll’s letter. So, instead of second guessing Driscoll’s motives and picking …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for The Missing Cross of the Christian Right?

The Missing Cross of the Christian Right?

It is no secret that Conservative Christians sometimes blur the line between their faith and politics. At times you might think Jesus had changed the good news from believing in him to voting Republican. David Rogers recently shared some good thoughts about this topic in his post The Worst of “the Christian Right”. Rogers basically points out the wrong-headed call for Christians to put political strategies over biblical mandates. He also asks the essential question, “Where is the cross of Jesus here?” Is the cross of Christ often missing in the politics of the Christian right? Consider the quote below …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for A Warning for Lent from Charles Spurgeon

A Warning for Lent from Charles Spurgeon

Lent is here and more Protestants are participating. I am not a fan nor partaker Lenten activities. Fasting and other forms of self-denial for this season remind me too much of Roman Catholic piety. As a Protestant, I feel as though I am pointing fellow Evangelicals to Rome if I suggest some sort of Lenten practice. Though I am always curious what fellow Baptist Charles Spurgeon said about Lent. While Spurgeon was no fan or Roman Catholicism, he curiously did not say much (that I have found) explicitly about Lent. He did not call Lent a superstitious observance as did …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Pastor Calls Married Couples to Abstain from Sex for Lent

Ethics: Pastor Calls Married Couples to Abstain from Sex for Lent

What would you do Wednesday! The Lenten season is here for the Christians. While Lent has mostly been a tradition observed by Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox, more Protestants are participating. This year is no different except your Protestant pastor actually made some appeals from the pulpit. While not attempting to make any spiritual requirements beyond Scripture, your pastor thought a challenge or two for Lent may be good for the congregation. He thought practicing some spiritual discipline during this time may be healthy for everyone. Among the Lenten exhortations of sacrificing and self-denial, he had a very interesting suggestion for …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Church Member Requests Church Building for Gay Marriage

Ethics: Church Member Requests Church Building for Gay Marriage

What would you do Wednesday! You are on the Building and Grounds Committee for your church. This committee handles all requests to rent the church building for various events. In recent months, the committee has come together to revise the stipulations for who can rent the facilities. Now only church members may request to use the facilities. The main concern is possibly being forced to allow usage of the facilities for a same-sex marriage given the recent legal troubles of a Christian t-shirt printer, bakery, photographer, and florist. Ironically, the first request ever to use the church building for a …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Asked to Start a ‘Celebration Creation Ministry’

Ethics: Asked to Start a ‘Celebration Creation Ministry’

What would you do Wednesday! You desire to get more involved in the ministries of our church. You want to help – to serve more. In your desire as a faithful member, you set a meeting with one of your pastors. At the meeting, you ask where the church can most use your service. You tell him you’re ready to help in any place, but especially those areas where the need is high. Your pastor says he has just the place for you. You would be a perfect fit. You pastor explains that leadership has been putting together a new …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Using Movies in Evangelism

Using Movies in Evangelism

The Son of God movie will be in theaters soon. So far, this movie has not been near the spectacle Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ had been. In fact, it may be said that the lack of success of using The Passion in evangelism may be the reason Son of God is not getting much press. Maybe this lack of success means Christians should not use movies as part of their evangelistic outreach. Tim Challies wrote about this issue in his post Writing Checks to Mel Gibson. Tim was thoughtful without condemning. However, Tim quotes a follow-up Barna …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: School Serves Watermelon for Black History Month

Ethics: School Serves Watermelon for Black History Month

What would you do Wednesday! In the United States, Black History Month is observed in February – this month. The month is observed in various ways. Sometimes the so-called observance is offensive, even racist. The offence is even carried out in public schools. For example, School sorry for Black History lunch menu of watermelon, fried chicken. Today, I’d like to ask what you would do if your child’s school planned to “observed” Black History Month by putting watermelon on the lunch menu. Your child comes home with a flyer about Black History Month (BHM). The flyer was given out last week, but …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for David Platt on Sports and Idolatry

David Platt on Sports and Idolatry

I get what Platt is saying. I wish we (yes, me) would be more excited about our Sunday times of worship and fellowship. I wish we Christians would learn how to relay the excitement about our weekend fellowship just as we would after seeing the latest box office hit. Anyway… Your thoughts? Here I blog… Mark

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Illegal Alien Considers having a Baby to Stay in the U.S.

Ethics: Illegal Alien Considers having a Baby to Stay in the U.S.

What would you do Wednesday! You begin a conversation with an acquaintance of yours after worship service one Sunday morning. The lady has only been attending for a couple of months so you don’t really know her very well though you have talked to her on occasion. Even though you know you don’t know each other well there’s a certain level of trust that she has for you. She tells you that she enjoys coming to this church because the people have always been friendly and come across as non-judgmental. But she doesn’t really know anyone. Noticing she is upset, you …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Graduating Seminary Student Admits Breaking Covenant 4 Years Ago

Ethics: Graduating Seminary Student Admits Breaking Covenant 4 Years Ago

What would you do Wednesday! For the following scenario, you will be part of a seminary’s leadership. You are part of those who decide how to punitively apply the seminary’s code of conduct to students who break the rules. In this post, you think about what to do with a student who broke the moral covenant they signed when entering seminary. A particular seminary student is set to graduate in a month with his Master of Divinity (M.Div.). He visits you in your office to talk about graduation preparation. He also wants to talk a bit about his future. You …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Seminary Student Chews Tobacco in Dorm

Ethics: Seminary Student Chews Tobacco in Dorm

What would you do Wednesday! This scenario involves a fellow seminarian as you play the role of a seminary student. You are on campus for the week for accelerated classes. The classes involve plenary sessions that include Q&A at the end as well as break-out sessions held in individual classrooms. You check in and are given a dorm room with three to a room. The three of you are distance students from surrounding states. You do not know each other prior to this week. The first night, you all have some great theological conversations as you get to know each …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Duck Dynasty Rebrief: Phil Robertson Is Not My Spokesman

Duck Dynasty Rebrief: Phil Robertson Is Not My Spokesman

Below is a brief response to Trevin Wax’s article at the Gospel Coalition site titled Duck Dynasty Debrief. I am in basic agreement with most of Trevin’s piece. However, I am going to respond to a few items under the subtitle “Phil Robertson Is Not Our Spokesman.” If you have not heard of Duck Dynasty you probably have not been to Kroger, Walmart, social media, or almost anywhere on the internet in the last month or so. The Duck Dynasty brand is showing up on various products including candy, motor oil, bedding, jewelry, t-shirts, etc. Seeing the brand everywhere is …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Regift from Grandma on Christmas

Ethics: Regift from Grandma on Christmas

What would you do Wednesday! Christmas is here which means Grandma is too. Every year Grandma comes to stay with the family a few days before Christmas. She normally stays a few days into the new year. The kids are always excited to see Grandma as she comes bearing gifts! This year something different happened. While opening gifts Christmas morning, your 12 year old opens their gift from Grandma. It is a pretty, silver cross necklace. It is the same necklace the family got Grandmas for Christmas two years ago. Before your child can say anything, Grandma interjects, “I picked …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Santa Claus was Never a Savior

Santa Claus was Never a Savior

Some Christians refuse to lie to their kids by telling them about Santa Claus. Other Christians do not see harm in teaching young children about Santa to put some fun into Christmas knowing they will some day reveal the jolly truth. Yet, there is a way to tell your kids about Santa Claus with all the fiction and fun without lying to them. There are Christian parents that will not teach their kids about Santa Claus and all that comes with him. These parents worry that teaching their kids about Santa is actually lying to them in violation of Scripture. …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for What You Believe About Homosexuality Matters

What You Believe About Homosexuality Matters

One United Methodist Youth Pastor, Tyler Smither, stated his position that What You Believe About Homosexuality Doesn’t Matter. He wrote the article in light of the recent Phil Robertson GQ interview and  Frank Schaefer’s defrocking over performing his son’s same-sex marriage. Smither is wrong that it does not matter what someone believes about homosexuality. The importance of what is believed on the subject is easily seen, for example, by how it divides each side, both for and against. The big issue Smither raises is the one he uses  as the reason why one’s position on homosexuality does not matter. He asserts that calling homosexuality …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for AETV not Happy, Happy, Happy with Phil Robertson

AETV not Happy, Happy, Happy with Phil Robertson

Christian free speech is under attack again – this time from the A&E television network. A&E has suspended Duck Dynasty patriarch Phil Robertson for comments he made on homosexuality in the GQ interview “What the Duck?” Ironically, A&E’s current theme is “Be Original,” yet they shut down Robertson for not conforming. Granted, Robertson’s ideas, in a sense, are not exactly original since the started with God. While I do not fully agree with Duck Dynasty theology, we certainly agree that God created Adam and Eve, a man and a woman, as the proper order of marital and sexual relations – in that order. Of course, …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Christmas Gift for Wife or Give to Family in Need?

Ethics: Christmas Gift for Wife or Give to Family in Need?

What would you do Wednesday! Christmas is here once again. It is a great time to receive and, especially, give gifts. As much as you would like to get all of your loved ones everything they ask for, there is never enough money for everything. (And everyone probably does not need everything they ask for!) As a husband who cares for and loves his wife very much, you really wanted to give her something special this year. It has been a trying year for her, especially, with the miscarriage back in May. In fact, May is when you started slowly …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for How Important is Unity in the Church? by Larry Farlow

How Important is Unity in the Church? by Larry Farlow

Guest blogger Larry Farlow lives in Metro-Atlanta and is an elder and adult Bible study teacher at Grace Fellowship. Follow @larryfarlow Episcopal bishop, Peter James Lee once said “If you must make a choice between heresy and schism, always choose heresy.” Sadly, this has become the battle cry of large swaths of the church, Episcopal and otherwise, from the mid-20th century until today. I’ve seen echoes of this mindset recently as I’ve followed the coverage of the church trial of United Methodist minister Frank Schaefer over his support for same sex marriage. Unity at all costs. But is that as it should be? …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Man Leaves Church, Invites Former Church Members to Bible Study

Ethics: Man Leaves Church, Invites Former Church Members to Bible Study

What would you do Wednesday! A man has been at your church and in your Sunday school class for several years. He is known and liked among the people in Sunday school. Then, over a series of two months he begins having some differences with the church leadership and direction. You are one of the few people in class he confides in. You try to encourage him, but he is not as excited as he once was. He as come to a point where he is ready to move his membership to another church several miles away. Even though you tried …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ex-Gang Member Surrenders Life to Jesus Christ

Ex-Gang Member Surrenders Life to Jesus Christ

The following is by guest blogger, Tommie Scott, who is the son of one of the first Crip gang members in the United States—Big Tommie from Watts Jordan Down Projects in Los Angeles, California. He is the author of “The Tommie Scott Story: From Gangs, Drugs, and Crimes To Soldier For Christ.” His documentary may be found on YouTube. Check out his story below! We live in a world that says, “Live for the here and now!” “It’s all about me.” “It’s all about my race, my group, my social standing.” A world that says, “Just go on and gain all …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Do You Keep the Unclaimed Lost Money?

Ethics: Do You Keep the Unclaimed Lost Money?

What would you do Wednesday! One busy day while picking something up at a shopping mall, you find a green envelope full of $20 bills. The parking lot was full, but no one was around at the moment. You count the money and find that there is $1,500 total. Instead of keeping it, you do the right thing and turn it in to the police department. The police give you a receipt. They then explain that if you no one claims the money after 30 days you can bring the receipt in and claim it yourself. You wonder if this …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Sunday Considerations: Grief in Wisdom

Sunday Considerations: Grief in Wisdom

“In much wisdom is much grief; and he who increases knowledge increases sorrow.” Ecclesiastes 1:18 What kind of wisdom causes grief? What kind of knowledge is it, that increases sorrow? Perhaps it means the knowledge of the world, its vileness, its vanity, its futility, its uncertainty — to have learned that all its show is vain, and all its pleasure is fleeting. This causes grief to those who see its vanity. God’s people mourn it. And worldlings oftentimes disgusted with themselves and all around, and having nothing to sanctify the feeling — are filled with bitter disappointment. Also to know …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: They Brought Tofu Turkey for Thanksgiving!

Ethics: They Brought Tofu Turkey for Thanksgiving!

What would you do Wednesday! In light of Thanksgiving being here, I thought I would have a little fun with today’s ethics post. You are having Thanksgiving dinner for the first time with a couple from church who you are trying to get to know better. You are responsible for side dishes while they are bringing the turkey and ham. Another couple, who are long-time church friends are bringing the desserts. Thanksgiving day has arrived! You are looking forward to the wonderful sides and, especially, some good, fresh-baked turkey. You begin setting up the table as the afternoon dinner guests …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Köstenberger on Plagiarism

Köstenberger on Plagiarism

In his book, Excellence: The Character of God and the Pursuit of Scholary Virtue (Good News Publishers, 2011.), Andreas Köstenberger addresses the topic of plagiarism. He tackles the subject under the sub-title “Diligence and Vices” encouraging the reader to be diligent in their work breaking sinful vices including laziness. In part, he writes that is is a form of theft. “If you plagiarize, you are engaging in a form of theft, stealing the intellectual property of others. What is more, once a scholar’s reputation has been marred by plagiarism, it is virtually impossible to regain credibility. Even if those whom you harmed by …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Trueman on Christian Celebrity Culture

Trueman on Christian Celebrity Culture

Carl Trueman writes about the recent dust up between Janet Mefferd and Mark Driscoll in If the Top Men take over, who will ask the hard questions? He touches on the pass that celebrity Christians often seem to get versus that of ordinary Christians. Trueman points out that “celebrity culture” has “corrupted the young, restless and reformed movement.” However, such an infection goes beyond the YRR movement, as I can personally attest to as a Southern Baptist who received threats over a recent article. Ironically, I know a few men who would probably be considered celebrity Christians in certain areas of …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Being Ministers of Reconciliation Part II by Brandon Smith

Being Ministers of Reconciliation Part II by Brandon Smith

In case you missed part one, read it here: Being Ministers of Reconciliation Part I by Brandon Smith. Hope In the end, we do not know the answers to every question about how and why God saves anyone, but his Word is very clear that the proclamation of the gospel is a key component to transformation (Romans 10). People’s hearts cannot be ultimately changed for the better by new legislature, war, personal enlightenment, or secret philosophies; it can only be changed by the sin-stomping, life-altering life, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ. He is the way, the truth, and the …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Being Ministers of Reconciliation Part I by Brandon Smith

Being Ministers of Reconciliation Part I by Brandon Smith

In a world of subjective truths, tolerance, and acceptance, Christianity has become nothing more than ‘another’ religion in the eyes of many. Western culture, in particular, is grievously enamored with the idea of self-reliance, self-dependence, and self-worth. Christianity is extremely counter-cultural because it teaches the actuality of human depravity, the necessity for a savior, and an eternal focus for our temporal lives. For unbelievers at-large, this can be something that can seem intolerant and outdated, a tradition steeped in rigid tradition, and a stumbling block to the progress of the society and the world. For Christians, however, depraved humanity in …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for When Christians Disagree

When Christians Disagree

I took a short time-out to read Francis Schaeffer on the topic of Christian disagreements and love. The time-out was well spent as he offered refreshing and much needed advice. In part, Schaeffer explained how Christians must show the love of Christ through disagreements even to the point of suffering for each other. The quote below is longer than I might I normally share, but is well worth the read. What happens, then, when we must differ with other brothers in Christ because of the need also to show forth God’s holiness either in doctrine or in life? In the …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Christian Assigned to Sell Pro-Gay Marriage Apparel

Ethics: Christian Assigned to Sell Pro-Gay Marriage Apparel

What would you do Wednesday! Today, I want to think about Christians who are in compromising situations in their employment. The scenario is that you, a Christian, are working full-time at a local department store. The store is a large, national chain. You have been working there for six months enjoying the job so far. The job has benefits and flexibility. In fact, the manager knows you are a Christian who attends church on Sundays. When you were hired the manager agreed to give you Sundays off so you could worship and be with your family. Recent news named your …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Not THAT Blogger!

Not THAT Blogger!

Note: I previously stated that “if Brewton-Parker states on record that Dr. Caner is not being considered for president in any fashion, this post will be removed.” Just to be clear, I did not receive that on record statement. I have other reasons, which are below, for taking down the post. After much prayer and some counsel, I took down today’s post on Brewton-Parker’s potential presidential consideration. It served its purpose. Though Georgia Baptists still do not have clear answers, Brewton-Parker will make its decision soon enough. Let’s pray for all parties involved for God’s wisdom, guidance, and discernment. Furthermore, …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Blogger Writes Ethics Posts Based on True Stories

Ethics: Blogger Writes Ethics Posts Based on True Stories

What would you do Wednesday! A blogger writes a weekly ethics post from a Christian perspective. The ethical and moral issues covered concern the Christian life and range from individuals to family and from church in general to church leadership, etc. One day while reading the weekly ethics post you stumble upon a situation that sounds familiar. As you read, you realize it sounds familiar because the details are somewhat similar to something that happened in your own church that involved you. However, the details are vague, some changed, and nothing close to a real name of either persons involved …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Video: Robby Gallaty Teaching on Discipleship

Video: Robby Gallaty Teaching on Discipleship

Robby Gallaty’s book on discipleship just released this week which has the foreword by David Platt. The book is available on Amazon and is titled Growing Up: How to Be a Disciple Who Makes Disciples. He is also offering from freebies on his website GrowingUpBook.com for those who order the book before November 15 and for certain bulk orders. Robby recently spoke on discipleship at First Baptist Woodstock. His teaching was titled, “The comma that has put the church in a coma.” Check out the video below (he starts around 17:00) and consider getting your own copy of Growing Up: How to Be …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for The Great Charismatic Gifts Debate!

The Great Charismatic Gifts Debate!

The debate is now over, but you can watch the recording below as Dr. James White moderates Dr. Michael Brown and Dr. Sam Waldron debate the following topic: Have the New Testament Charismatic Gifts Ceased?

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Friend to Start Missionary Dating

Ethics: Friend to Start Missionary Dating

What would you do Wednesday! A single friend from church has some exciting news to tell you about his dating life. He wants to tell you over lunch after the Sunday morning worship time. You are excited to hear the news since you have been praying that he find a godly, Proverbs 31 woman. While at lunch he starts to tell you the news – his new revelation on dating. There is a woman who wants him to ask her on a date. And the attraction is mutual. However, he has been hesitant because she is not a Christian. But …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Preach Off: Making a Mockery of the Church

Preach Off: Making a Mockery of the Church

Apparently, the guys from the Preachers of L.A. TV show had a “preach off.” A preach off is like a bad version of a rap battle for preachers. It has all the workings of stand-up comedy improv without the humor. I have no idea what someone is supposed to win in a preach off. Preachers preach the gospel to feed the sheep and win souls to Jesus Christ. Scripture also warns about the content of preaching. For example: For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with words of eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Happy Reformation Day: 95 Thesis Rap Video

Happy Reformation Day: 95 Thesis Rap Video

“The Word did it all. Had I wished I might have started a conflagration at Worms. But while I sat still and drank beer with Philip and Amsdorf, God dealt the papacy a mighty blow.” ~Martin Luther~

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Divorcing Pastor Preaches on Marriage

Ethics: Divorcing Pastor Preaches on Marriage

What would you do Wednesday! It is Sunday morning and you have just found your spot in a pew. You have brought two friends with you – a couple – who is struggling with their marriage. This morning’s message is supposed to be on marriage. You thought your friends would benefit by hearing a sermon on marriage – they agreed as they work through their marital issues. The worship service progresses. It is now time for the sermon. The pastor stands behind the pulpit and makes an announcement before he begins the sermon. As has been announced over the last …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Warren Cole Smith and Pete Kaliner Discuss Steven Furtick’s $1.7 Million Mansion

Warren Cole Smith and Pete Kaliner Discuss Steven Furtick’s $1.7 Million Mansion

Warren Cole Smith was on the Pete Kaliner Show discussing the recent controversy over N.C. Pastor Steven Furtick, of Elevation Church, spending $1.7 million to build his new 16,000 square-foot mansion. Smith and Kaliner begin the show talking about pastors’ salaries in light of accountability, transparency, and living sacrificially. Kaliner brings up Furtick’s answer to critics that he makes his money from book sales and conferences. And that Furtick and his board of advisers speak at each other’s conferences and events promoting each other.Smith argues that the church is what gave pastors like Furtick their platform for success. He then points to …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Strange Fire: ‘And I See God the Father’?

Strange Fire: ‘And I See God the Father’?

Motivated by the recent disagreements over the Strange Fire Conference, Dan McGhee shared the following video on Facebook. The video is Kim Walker of Jesus Culture Music sharing a testimony of an alleged supernatural vision with Jesus Christ and God the Father. I’m sharing the video here not to promote it, but to ask – how does a Christian discern whether or not what Walker describes really happened and is of God? For example, Walker claims the following in the video. And I was in Heaven with Jesus, and I was standing there. And Jesus standing next to me. And I see God …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Pastors Refuses Baby Dedication

Ethics: Pastors Refuses Baby Dedication

What would you do Wednesday! It is Sunday morning just after announcements during worship service. The pastor stands at the pulpit and calls some families up for baby dedication as is done in some Baptist churches. Eight families go forward and are standing side-by-side facing the congregation. A young lady in her 20’s, sitting right in front of you, stands up and takes her 1-year-old baby forward. You know the lady’s first name, but don’t really know her otherwise outside of chatting on Sunday mornings. The lady stands with her baby whispering back and forth with the pastor for a …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Preaching Hell Washed in Tears

Preaching Hell Washed in Tears

A particular church in a hierarchical denomination had become well known as a graveyard for ministers. The internal conflicts of the church usually resulted in requests to transfer the pastors after a brief residence. A new bishop arrived on the scene and immediately sent to this church one of the brightest and apparently most capable ministers in the district. True to form, within a year the chairperson of the personnel committee called the bishop and informed him that the church wanted the minister moved on to another setting. “What’s the problem?” asked the bishop. “Well,” came the reply, “all he …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Charles Spurgeon: Private Prophecies and New Revelation

Charles Spurgeon: Private Prophecies and New Revelation

Charles Spurgeon has been mentioned a few times by both Christian cessationists and continuationists since Pastor John MacArthur’s recent Strange Fire Conference. Spurgeon is appealed to as a well-known and respected historic authority in this tense theological debate over spiritual gifts. Phil Johnson who has worked with MacArthur since 1981 and owns The Spurgeon Archive, addresses the question of Spurgeon and cessationism.1 Pastor Johnson’s article begins. Charles Spurgeon was a cessationist. He regarded the charismata as apostolic signs—unique gifts for a unique era. He taught (as did virtually every evangelical preacher of his era) that the miraculous gifts described in Acts and 1 Corinthians …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Video: How to Deal with Cell Phones in Church

Video: How to Deal with Cell Phones in Church

This is a funny video on how to deal with cell phones that go off during church service. Even his these things were implemented I’m sure there would be folks who would still not turn their phones off. Enjoy!  

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Thumbnail image for Can Cuss Words be Used to Share the Gospel?

Can Cuss Words be Used to Share the Gospel?

I recently challenged Christians to boldness by not shying away from biblical language when talking publicly. I made the challenge using worldliness as an example explaining What Christians Can Learn from a Carefree Cussing World.  Jake Swink asked an interesting question in the comments on that post. The question also took into account cuss words, but from a different angle. Given the current societal moral decline in this ever-changing landscape of evangelistic opportunities, I thought the inquiry was worth a look. Jake commented and asked: What do you think overall if using cuss words can be used for sharing the gospel?? …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Sunday Considerations: Sermon All Week

Sunday Considerations: Sermon All Week

“Why do you go to hear that minister preach? He is not a brilliant preacher.” “Very true,” was the sensible reply; “I know that his pulpit performances are not brilliant—but his life is a sermon to me all the week.” With a minister, as much as with the private Christian, character is of the greatest import. More than one pulpit orator has destroyed the effect of his discourses by his self-seeking egotism, or his unscrupulous practices, or his overbearing temper, or some other very unchristian trait. On the other hand, a full one-half of the power of some eminent pastors lies in their pure, unblemished piety. Everybody trusts them. …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: School to Celebrate Muslim Appreciation Month

Ethics: School to Celebrate Muslim Appreciation Month

What would you do Wednesday! It is a normal day at home. Your middle-school child arrives home from school. Your child tells you they have some information for next month’s school theme. Your child – who can’t remember – then asks the difference between an Abayas and a Thobes. “An Abayas and a Thobes?” you wonder. You take a look at the paper your child just handed you about the school theme. “Please join the school staff in encouraging your child next month as we celebrate Muslim Appreciation Month. In an effort to help society become more sensitive, understanding, and tolerant of Muslims, we …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Three Pastors Met in an Accountability Group

Three Pastors Met in an Accountability Group

Did you hear about the three pastors who met in an accountability group? One day they told one another their greatest hidden sins. The first said, “Don’t tell my congregation, but I’m an alcoholic.” The next confessed, “If my people knew I’m a compulsive gambler, they would fire me.” The third said, “I hate to admit it, but I’m addicted to gossip, and I can’t wait to get out of here!” It seems more Christians are better at talking about other things or people than about the gospel. And more talk about evangelism than actually do it. In this chapter, …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: You Find Out the Church Pianist is Gay

Ethics: You Find Out the Church Pianist is Gay

What would you do Wednesday! The church pianist has been playing during Sunday worship for the last two years. Sometimes he sings and plays the piano. He is liked by all and has been a faithful member always present and always serving others. The pianist is single. And you wonder when some lucky lady is going to catch this great servant. One night on an Evangelical Facebook page you are discussing homosexuality and Christianity. There are a few who support gay Christianity and same-sex marriage. You notice two comments that the homosexual life-style is acceptable within Christianity that are from …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Kicked Out of Church for Touching the Pastor

Ethics: Kicked Out of Church for Touching the Pastor

What would you do Wednesday! There is a mega-church in the next town over where your neighbor attends. The church has a young, hip 35-year-old pastor whose church has grown to around 10,000 in a few years. Your neighbor has been trying to get you to visit the mega-church with him for a while. He promises you the message will be good, the people friendly, and the atmosphere worshipful. You give in and decide to attend one Sunday morning with your neighbor. The Sunday morning agenda is to attend the first of three services and then go to Sunday school. …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Why Calvinist Al Mohler Wrote the Preface for Paige Patterson’s Anabaptist Festschrift

Why Calvinist Al Mohler Wrote the Preface for Paige Patterson’s Anabaptist Festschrift

Sometime last year was a report that B&H Academic was going to publish a festschrift in honor of Paige Patterson. The festschrift is now available. Edited by Malcolm Yarnell, professor of systematic theology at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, the book is entitled, The Anabaptists and Contemporary Baptists: Restoring New Testament Christianity, Essays in Honor of Paige Patterson. Some may wonder who would endorse such a book given the eternal theological in-fighting among Southern Baptists – I know I did! Well, inside the cover you will find endorsements from Calvinist Michael Haykin to the Calvinstic Daniel Akin and Russell Moore to Mennonites John Rempel and John …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Rob Bell and Andrew Wilson Debate Homosexuality

Rob Bell and Andrew Wilson Debate Homosexuality

Rob Bell and Andrew Wilson debate the acceptability of homosexuality within Christianity on the Unbelievable Radio Program. The Bell – Wilson exchange below is fascinating – fascinating because Bell never directly answers Wilson’s question about the biblical foundation for accepting homosexuality in the church. Bell makes general statements about Scriptural interpretation without naming general Scripture. Toward the end of the video, Bell makes emotional appeals about Christian fellowship around the disagreements over homosexuality. Bell says he and Wilson are brothers and would take the Lord’s Supper together. Wilson doesn’t say whether or not he would break bread with Bell. Check …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Why are Southern Baptist Churches Hemorrhaging?

Why are Southern Baptist Churches Hemorrhaging?

Guest blogger Jared Moore is the pastor of New Salem Baptist Church in Hustonville, KY. He is the author of 10 Sacred Cows in Christianity That Need to be Tipped and The Harry Potter Bible Study. You can stalk find him on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. Why are Southern Baptist churches hemorrhaging? Let’s begin by asking a couple of pertinent questions. Should Southern Baptist churches seek to be entertaining? Should churches add entertainment to their worship services as a form of pragmatism in the name of attracting lost souls? I imagine many Evangelicals would shout an emphatic “yes!” But, from Scripture, there is no evidence that …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for The Perfect Pastor

The Perfect Pastor

“He preaches exactly 20 minutes and then sits down. He condemns sin but never hurts anyone’s feelings. He works from 8 A.M. to 10 P.M. in every type of work from preaching to custodial service. He makes $60 per week, wears good clothes, buys good books regularly, has a nice family, drives a good car and gives $30 per week to the church. He also stands ready to contribute to every good work that comes along. He is 26 years old and has been preaching for 30 years. He is tall and short, thin and heavy-set, handsome. He has one …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Would You Call This Youth Leader to Repentance?

Ethics: Would You Call This Youth Leader to Repentance?

What would you do Wednesday! Your church has an active youth ministry due in part from reaching out to the many low-income families within a mile of the church. An additional 50-80 kids attend from these families.  The youth are a large part of both Wednesday evening and Sunday morning services. The downside of this thriving youth ministry is a lack of parental involvement. Some parents are reached through their kids and join the church, but a majority of the youth grow up in the church without their parents. Now, an issue comes up with one of the youth lay leaders. …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Preaching: Emotional Manipulation

Preaching: Emotional Manipulation

Of course an eager evangelist might argue that getting a person down the aisle to make a public profession is always in the “best interest” of the professing person, but the millions of inactive religious converts suggest that some of those lured down the aisle hated themselves and the evangelists the next morning. Seduction was the way of the serpent, not the way of Christ. The use of conversion statistics for personal promotion implies a scalp-gathering mentality that is for the advantage of the persuader. In a sermon contrasting the orthodox and liberals, the preacher climaxed his harangue with the …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Men Invited to Evangelize at Strip Club

Ethics: Men Invited to Evangelize at Strip Club

What would you do Wednesday! This scenario is directed at Christian men. Christian women are welcome to comment and probably have just as much insight on this topic, especially, if married to one of the men at the following prayer breakfast. Men, your alarm sounds at 6 am Saturday morning. It is time for the monthly men’s prayer breakfast at church. As much as you’d like to roll over, you enjoy the much needed Christian fellowship more than the extra shut-eye. As usual, the breakfast starts with brief prayer before eating followed by a testimony or two. After testimonies are …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Preaching: Loaded Language and Name Calling

Preaching: Loaded Language and Name Calling

Loaded language and name calling have become a fine art in American religious rhetoric where they should have no place at all. “Redneck,” “fundamentalist,” “secular humanist,” and “liberal” are almost as common as favorite biblical terms. Religious periodicals advertise conferences on “real” evangelism and for “real” women, implying of course that some are unreal. Name calling is intensified when a strong contrast is made. An example of such contrast occurred in the context of a debate within a Southern Baptist association meeting. Referring to the preceding speaker, a pastor declared that he was not surprised at the speaker’s position because …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Why Invite Unbelievers to Church?

Why Invite Unbelievers to Church?

Asking why a Christian would invite an unbeliever to church may strike some as provocative. Yet, it is a valid question. Consider a if a Muslim asked you, Christian, to come worship with him at the mosque. Wouldn’t you wonder why he thought you would consider worshiping Allah? When the church gathers for Sunday morning worship the primary audience is professing Christians. The very definition of the word church is the “called out ones” who are believers. Technically, no believers equals no church. Yet, we know there will be unbelievers in the pews on Sunday morning. Unbelievers should be welcomed …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Twins Marry Each Other!

Ethics: Twins Marry Each Other!

What would you do Wednesday! Today’s situation is unusual – beyond unusual. The scenario involves twins who married each other. Keep reading. A married couple from church who confides in you is coming to dinner. They have something very important to share. They also need your advice. It is dinner time. While at your dinner table the couple brings up a very difficult issue to discuss asking this be kept in complete confidence. They begin discussing their marital back ground. They have been together three years with the first being the dating/engagement stage. In fact, it was just last month …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Pastor Retires But Starts Another Church Down the Road

Ethics: Pastor Retires But Starts Another Church Down the Road

What would you do Wednesday! Your pastor has been serving your local church for the last eight years. One Sunday morning in the pulpit he announces that it is time for him to move on. He has enjoyed serving everyone during his time, but he believes the Lord has other plans for him for the next season of his life. He plans to retire from the pastorate in the next 60 days. He wanted to give everyone time to adjust to his coming absence and make a slow transition. Since he is only 55 years old he is not retiring …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Infant Salvation in the Baptist Faith & Message

Infant Salvation in the Baptist Faith & Message

Some Southern Baptists have been disagreeing (imagine that!) over what the Bible teaches about infant salvation. Actually, some Southern Baptists don’t like what other Southern Baptists believe or might believe (imagine that!) about infant salvation. My point is not to take sides or even express a position, but to quote below exactly what the Baptist Faith and Message 2000 – the Southern Baptist confession of faith – states about infant salvation. –         – Here I blog… Mark

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Thumbnail image for Can Christians Eat Black Pudding?

Can Christians Eat Black Pudding?

In his book, In Christ Alone: Living the Gospel Centered Life,  Sinclair Ferguson writes the following in chapter 37, “Eating Black Pudding.” It was years ago now, but I still remember the discussion. I was making my way out of our church building some time after the morning service had ended, and was surprised to find a small group of people still engaged in vigorous conversation. One of them turned and said to me, “Can Christians eat black pudding?” To the uninitiated in the mysteries of Scottish haute cuisine, it should perhaps be said that black pudding is not haggis! …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Fiancée Disagrees with You on Female Pastors

Ethics: Fiancée Disagrees with You on Female Pastors

What would you do Wednesday! A friend brought the question up on Facebook recently of marrying someone with whom you disagreed with about female pastors. I thought the subject would make an interesting WWYDW topic. You met at the local church you have both been members of for a few years. You had been courting for about a year. But the courtship is now over and you are engaged. The date set for marriage six months away. Biblical marriage counseling begins with the pastor. While the pastor explains the biblical roles of men and women in the home, the topic …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Pastor Requires Women Wear Head Coverings!

Ethics: Pastor Requires Women Wear Head Coverings!

What would you do Wednesday! As far fetched as it sounds, a Texas pastor banned weaves in his congregation. No doubt we church folks certainly do some weird things sometimes. Banning weaves in church is pretty far-fetched, but what about pastor requiring women to wear head coverings? Well…. One Sunday morning your pastor begins a new sermon series starting in 1 Corinthians 11. He explains that while preparing the series he came across a new movement – The Head Covering Movement. He began to read and dig deeply into the topic of head coverings. He came to some new – …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: National Religious Entity Not Representing Its People

Ethics: National Religious Entity Not Representing Its People

What would you do Wednesday! Let’s think about Christian leaders who are supposed to nationally represent the people  they serve, but don’t. This idea comes from a piece Mark Tooley wrote at The American Spectator  in response to Jonathan Merritt on immigration reform. The topic here is not specific to immigration reform (though it could be an issue). Rather, we want to consider Tooley’s idea that leadership may be out of step with the people it represents. For example, in Evangelical Grassroots versus ‘Grasstops’ Tooley writes: Perhaps there is an expectation, based on stereotypes about evangelical docility, that churchgoers will …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Reeder on Christians Skipping Church for Ball Practice

Reeder on Christians Skipping Church for Ball Practice

“Pastor Reeder,” they explained, “we want to honor the Lord’s Day, but our children’s sports programs are on Sunday.” We sat down and I listened to their story. Their local recreation league scheduled ball practice on Sundays. Should their families skip worship for ball practice? Should they pull their kids off the teams? Eventually they decided, appropriately, that obedience to Scripture and family worship on the Lord’s Day was far more important than team sports. That may seem like an obvious choice to some readers, but it is not the norm. In the child-driven families of today’s culture, it took …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Unchurched Christian Tries to Take Girlfriend Out of Church

Ethics: Unchurched Christian Tries to Take Girlfriend Out of Church

What would you do Wednesday! You notice that one of your friends from church recently began dating again. She has been part of your local congregation for about three years. In fact, you are in the same Sunday school class. While she has brought her new boyfriend to church a couple of times in the past two months, you don’t know much about him. After Sunday school one Sunday you ask about her new boyfriend. She says he’s a good guy and a Christian who was raised in a Christian home, etc. They are at a point where they are …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Of Genealogies and Charter Church Members

Of Genealogies and Charter Church Members

While definitions may vary slightly, a charter church member is basically someone who was an original or founding member of the congregation. In some churches, charter members are celebrated, looked up to, or held in special esteem. Often, their family members share some of this esteem. There is no such celebration of charter church members in Scripture. However, Scripture does not precisely lay out every atom of church practice. However, there are thinks Scripture prohibits and charter church membership just may fall into one of those categories. In Sunday school this past weekend we studied Titus 3. After class, a …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Get a Tattoo to Better Share the Gospel?

Ethics: Get a Tattoo to Better Share the Gospel?

What would you do Wednesday! Today’s scenario involves a Christian friend who is thinking of getting a tattoo to help them better relate to unbelievers and share the gospel. A friend comes to you Sunday morning before worship service starts. Your friend has been doing local prison ministry lately. After visiting the prison and spending time with some of the prisoners all day Saturday, your friend gets an idea. ‘Maybe I should get a tattoo to help me relate to the prisoners so they might be more open to listening to me to help me better share the gospel?’ Your …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Male Friend has Lunch Frequently with Female Coworker

Ethics: Male Friend has Lunch Frequently with Female Coworker

What would you do Wednesday! While out at lunch one day during the week you spot one of your friends from church. You walk over to his table to say hello. Spotting an empty chair with a half eaten lunch, you ask if he is having a business lunch. He is having a business lunch with a coworker. He mentions that the coworker is a manager in another department. He admits, “I am hoping to build some goodwill with the manager. So, for the past three months we have had lunch together a few times per month.” Just as you …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Anti-Calvinist Evangelist Passes Out Tracts at a Church

Ethics: Anti-Calvinist Evangelist Passes Out Tracts at a Church

What would you do Wednesday! I don’t write on Calvinism much anymore though I am a Southern Baptist who understands there is unnecessary tension over Calvinism among Southern Baptists. I think Southern Baptists can, should, and do work together for the gospel. The purpose of this is not to fan the theological flames, but the core of this post is based on a true story. A story I would not favor whether a non-Calvinist went into a Calvinist church to pass out tracts or vice-versa. So, let’s talk about it. An evangelist friend asks if you want to go pass …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Loving Matthew Vines

Loving Matthew Vines

Matthew Vines promotes the acceptance of “gay Christianity.” His approach includes changing Christian teaching on homosexuality by offering re-interpretations of long-standing biblical views on the subject. So how might Christians respond to Matthew Vines? How might the church love him? First, I am aware of two thorough responses to Vines’ interpretations promoting gay Christianity. The responses are listed below and they provide great apologetic responses worthy of study to correct Vines’ agenda and interpretations. Matt Slick at CARM offers a written response – Matthew Vines. James White at Alpha and Omega Ministries offers an audio response – Gay Christianity Refuted. …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Christian Friend Wants to Sue Pastor Over Copyright

Ethics: Christian Friend Wants to Sue Pastor Over Copyright

What would you do Wednesday! Today’s scenario is inspired by Ergun Caner’s lawsuit filed against Jason Smathers claiming copyright infringement on videos obtained by Jason from the U.S. Marines. (More on the lawsuit here: Ergun Caner Has Sued Witnesses Unto Me) However, this post is not about the above lawsuit – only inspired by it – so please comment accordingly. A friend, who is an adjunct professor at a seminary, comes to you for advice. He is thinking about suing a pastor who posted a video of him on YouTube. His goal is to claim ownership of the video and have …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Everything by Prayer?

Everything by Prayer?

In Philippians 4:5-6, Scripture tells us, “Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” (ESV) But do Christians really take everything to prayer? Do we let everyone know our reasonableness by appealing to God in prayer? Praying is normal and expected when Christians are in church, Sunday School, small groups and such. We comfortably give and take prayers and prayer requests in those settings where it would be easiest to live out the …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Should Church Reject Million Dollar Offer for Property?

Ethics: Should Church Reject Million Dollar Offer for Property?

What would you do Wednesday! Today’s scenario is inspired by the current negotiations of the city of Atlanta to buy Friendship Baptist Church. More information on the negotiations can be read in this article: Friendship Baptist rejects Atlanta’s $13.5 million offer for stadium site. In this scenario, you are a church board member. The board has just sat down to review an offer from the city to buy the church property including the land and building. The city wants the property to build a sports complex which will grow the area economically and bring many visitors. The church owns property …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Pastor Throws Fit from Pulpit!

Ethics: Pastor Throws Fit from Pulpit!

What would you do Wednesday! Today’s post is a based on a true story. In fact, let’s use an actually story that has recently been making rounds. I’ve provided the text and video below. The pastor is preaching Sunday morning. He pauses and throws a fit going into the following rant. Son, don’t sleep when I’m talking. Hey, hey, hey! Don’t you lay your head ba..I’m important.  Now you might do your English teacher that way, but I’m not teaching English. I’m teaching eternal life. I love you. You know I love you. Have I convinced you that I love …keep reading »

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Christian Kindle eBooks: Free and Under $5

Currently On Sale 99¢ Wisdom & Wonder by Abraham Kuyper Baptist Foundations edited by Mark Dever Manhood Restored by Eric Mason Nothing Is Impossible with God by Rose Marie Miller $1.99 The Conviction to Lead by Albert Mohler Rooted & Grounded by Abraham Kuyper Why Believe the Bible? by John MacArthur The Three Wise Women by Christin Ditchfield The Invention of Lefse by Larry Woiwode $2.99 Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper One Small Candle: The Pilgrims’ by Thomas Fleming Beat God to the Punch by Eric Mason The People of God by Trevor Joy Brothers, We Are Not Professionals by John Piper Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus by Nancy Guthrie The Dating Manifesto by Lisa …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Pastor Forced to Resign for Unknown Reasons

Ethics: Pastor Forced to Resign for Unknown Reasons

What would you do Wednesday! One year has passed since the congregation voted to affirm your pastor. He is one of five pastors who have equal authority in the church through the congregation. But he is also functions as the preaching pastor who has preached 95% of the sermons in the pastor year. Today’s sermon was different though – the preaching pastor just resigned at the end of Sunday’s sermon. Church members were called to the planned order of business after the time of worship. One of the pastors explained that issues over the last two months have caused four …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Group of Pastors Leave 5% Tip After Meal

Ethics: Group of Pastors Leave 5% Tip After Meal

What would you do Wednesday! The Southern Baptist Convention takes place this week in Houston, TX. I was not able to go, but I have been able to listen (mostly) and follow the events on twitter. And on twitter is where I can across this tweet from “Fake J.D. Greear” that inspired today’s post. BREAKING: in advance of #SBC13, 1000s of Houston waitresses daydream about what they'll do with those extra 25 cent tips. — Fake J.D. Greear (@FakeJDGreear) June 10, 2013 I laughed. I cried. I hope the joke did not come true. I digress. We’ve talked about Christians …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Openly Gay Scout in Son’s Boy Scout Troop

Ethics: Openly Gay Scout in Son’s Boy Scout Troop

What would you do Wednesday! I thought the following scenario would be interesting since the Boy Scouts of America recently changed their policy to accept openly homosexual scouts. Your son gets home from his latest Boy Scout Troop meeting. He is dropped off by the father of a fellow scout. The father calls you over to the car to say hello. He also has a concern. He explains to you the Troop tonight was introduced to two gay scouts who, in light of the policy change, decided to open up about their sexuality. They were tired of hiding their sexuality …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for North Point Responds Concerning Andy Stanley’s Comments on Scripture

North Point Responds Concerning Andy Stanley’s Comments on Scripture

I recently posted a video of Andy Stanley providing an apologetic on addressing the objection that Adam and Eve were not historical figures. My concern is set as a question in the title of my post – Andy Stanley Separates the Gospels from the Bible? I thought the answers Stanley gave brought more confusion than clarity. Plus, the answer given to the thinking skeptic would most likely not be satisfied by Stanley’s answer. Since my post, reader Tom Garito reached out to North Point Ministries which Stanley founded in 1995. Tom received a kind reply from Stanley’s assistant. (Apparently, Stanley …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Andy Stanley Separates the Gospels from the Bible?

Andy Stanley Separates the Gospels from the Bible?

In the video below, Andy Stanley explains his apologetic approach to objections to the historical Adam and Eve. He beliefs Christians have done a disservice to previous generations of children the way they are taught Scripture all hangs together or crumbles. He begins with a personal story from his freshman English class in college. The professor potentially dismantled the faith of the Christians present after teaching on various creation myths – the story of Adam and Eve being one of those myths. Since Adam and Eve was just another creation myth the question arises of what else in the Bible …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Transgendered Person Becomes a Christian

Ethics: Transgendered Person Becomes a Christian

What would you do Wednesday! Today’s scenario is inspired by an ethics situation Russell Moore mentioned in a sermon. He made up the situation for for future pastors for an ethics test. I altered the scenario to be applicable to any Christian. Pat, a single mother, moved into the neighborhood a year ago. Since she moved in you have made friends with and invited your new neighbor to church. She has always politely declined the invitation until two months ago. Pat attended church with you twice last month and twice the current month. On the second visit Pat responded to …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Pastor Called to Church is on Third Marriage

Ethics: Pastor Called to Church is on Third Marriage

What would you do Wednesday! There are differing views within Christianity on marriage, divorce, and re-marriage. Some are black and white on these issues while others take into account when the people involved became Christians. And there are those who question whether divorce and/or re-marriage is ever permissible for pastors. That said, I thought this would be an interesting topic for today’s scenario. The situation takes place in a Baptist church which uses a pastoral search committee. The committee has agreed upon a candidate who has accepted the nomination. The next step is for the congregation to vote to invite …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Theological Tribe Handbook

Theological Tribe Handbook

Ironically, the more fervently we pursue theological uniformity, the more the Bible takes a back seat, even among people who pride themselves on having the Bible in the navigator’s seat. That’s because the lens of uniformity insists that everyone interpret difficult or controversial Scripture passages exactly the same way. There’s no room for differing opinions, blind spots, or simply being wrong. Those who don’t toe the company line are cast aside. The result is that every time a tough biblical question comes up, we have to consult the tribal manual for the “correct” answer. Instead of our answers and theology …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Who Are You In Christ?

Who Are You In Christ?

In his letter to the rambunctious church at Corinth Paul reminds us that Jesus Christ is our wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption (1 Cor. 1:30). In Philippians we can find confidence with Paul that “He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus” (Phil. 1:6). Our benefits in Christ are noted in the following chart.  Position (Standing)  Condition (State)  In heaven Spiritual Life New birth New man New nature New creature Justified Forgiven In Christ  On earth Physical Death First birth Old man Old nature Old creature Condemned Guilty In Adam Over …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Pastor Ignores Matthew 18 Over Facebook Offense

Ethics: Pastor Ignores Matthew 18 Over Facebook Offense

What would you do Wednesday! Given the widespread use of social media the following scenario is bound to happen if it hasn’t happened all ready. It’s a normal day on Facebook. Some people are sharing pictures of their kids and their food. Others complain about or praise something going on in their life. And many people share political and religious pictures and postcards – both funny and serious. On your wall, you decide to post something expressing disagreement with a relatively well-known Christian speaker. While you did not necessary disagree doctrinally, the real issue was his crass approach to the …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Duck Dynasty: Some Clarity on Baptism

Duck Dynasty: Some Clarity on Baptism

I wrote A Few More Things You Should Know About Duck Dynasty when I found out these fellows belonged to a Church of Christ – White’s Ferry Road Church of Christ. That post documents a ministry from White’s Ferry, that trains people in evangelism, explaining that people should be re-baptized for salvation who claim, “I am already saved; I was saved when I believed in Jesus” or “Were baptized to show [they] had already been saved.” I have had several conversations – online and off – on this topic. Several of my fellow Southern Baptists have concerns since the Duck …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ministry Success: Being or Having?

Ministry Success: Being or Having?

I found the following quote from Overcoming the Dark Side of Leadership very interesting in today’s church environment. I don’t understand the authors to say that having a large congregation, facilities, et al. are bad or sinful. Rather, they are focused on the desire to have those things that is the problem – the state of being vs. having. At the core of the problem is personal ambition and the insidious desire to have or possess something that is not able to be possessed-namely, success. We live in a culture obsessed with both having and success. And this desire has …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Traditionalist Baptist Seeks Pastorate of Calvinist Church

Ethics: Traditionalist Baptist Seeks Pastorate of Calvinist Church

What would you do Wednesday! Today’s post is especially for Southern Baptists as we think through how to get along as Calvinists and non-Calvinists working together for the gospel of Jesus Christ. There are some of us who believe Calvinists and non-Calvinists can serve together in a local church under the Baptist Faith & Message 2000. There are others who don’t believe such unity is, or should be, possible. Let’s think about Southern Baptist unity in terms of today’s scenario. You have a pastor friend who affirms the recent Southern Baptist Traditionalist Statement. This statement goes somewhat beyond the current …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for The Invisible Bible Verse on Judging Others

The Invisible Bible Verse on Judging Others

I recently commented in a comment stream on that wonderful social medium of gracious exchange – Facebook! In the heat of the exchange that Bible verse from Matthew 7 used its powers of invisibility again. The issue was on judging sin in others in light of loving the sinner and hating the sin. (Something from Gandhi, not the Bible.) I’m not opposed to loving the sinner and hating the sin, but I wonder if this mindset makes it easier to excuse or overlook sin. I was then given the ole log in my eye challenge. Let’s look at the verses …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Retired Pastor Pushing Advice on New Pastor

Ethics: Retired Pastor Pushing Advice on New Pastor

What would you do Wednesday! Today, dear reader, you get to be the confidant of a pastor. This pastor, who is a close friend, was recently called to a new church. This new church needed a new pastor because the former pastor retired after leading this particular congregation for 20 years. The back story is that your friend was called away from the first church he led where he served for five years. He had not planned on leaving his previous church. However, a well-known pastor who served one church for the last 20 years was about to retire. This …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ravi Zacharias on the Acceptance of Homosexuality in Christianity

Ravi Zacharias on the Acceptance of Homosexuality in Christianity

Ravi Zacharias is asked, “Is it possible for a man or a woman to live a sincere Christian life as a homosexual?” Zacharias was very interesting because frames the answer by placing sexuality in the sacred category. He does this by sharing a story of someone asking him why Christians treat racism differently than homosexuals.  

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Thumbnail image for The Need for Preparatory Conviction by Andy Hynes

The Need for Preparatory Conviction by Andy Hynes

Guest blogger Andy Hynes (@ABHYNES) is a PhD candidate at Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary. Since man was dead in sin, and unable to move in a spiritual way toward God, something must take place.  God’s electing work guaranteed the sinner’s redemption, but God never says in His Word how long that process might take.  God was not going to magically redeem or convert someone.  The process of drawing an individual to the knowledge of his sin and need for grace was a genuine step.  There was great need for preparatory acts.  Flavel penned, The Spirit knocks by the gracious invitations …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Child Forced Into Same-Sex Kiss at School

Ethics: Child Forced Into Same-Sex Kiss at School

What would you do Wednesday! This post is inspired by the recent Christian Post article, “Parents Upset After Middle School Girls Forced Into ‘Lesbian Kiss’ at NY School Read.” It’s a regular Friday evening. Nothing out of the ordinary until you sit down at the dinner table and your two kids begin an unbelievable story. Your son and daughter broke down – nervous and ashamed – that they each had to kiss someone of the same-sex in school! Apparently, the middle school they both attend, had all grades, 6th – 8th, go through homosexual sensitivity training. The goal was to …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Former Oneness Pastor Will Not Publicly Confess Trinity!

Ethics: Former Oneness Pastor Will Not Publicly Confess Trinity!

What would you do Wednesday! Today’s scenario involves a former Oneness pastor who is also a comedian. Your church has hired this comedian to come in and do a fundraising show for a mission trip. While you had heard of this comedian, curiosity lead you to do an online search about him. Your search lead you to several Christian apologetic sites which claimed that this comedian denied the Trinity. The evidence seems to clearly show this comedian is a Oneness Pentecostal. His parent church (the one that planted his current church) has clear anti-Trinitarian statements on their website. The current …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Shai Linne Responds to Paula White Ministries

Shai Linne Responds to Paula White Ministries

I recently wrote about Christian rapper, Shai Linne’s song in which he names false teachers in New Song Drops Names: “False Teachers” by Shai Linne. Some people asked Linne to explain why he considered those he named to be false teachers. I followed up with some examples of false teaches for each person Linne rapped about in Did Shai Linne Really Name “False” Teachers? Then, something you don’t see everyday happened, Paula White Ministries responded to Linne’s accusations with an Open Letter to Shain Linne from Paula White Ministries. The challenge to Linne, brought by White’s son, Brad Knight, was a …keep reading »

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Ray Comfort on the Sinner’s Prayer

Ray Comfort, E.Z. Zwayne and Mark Spence discuss the biblical foundation and use of the sinner’s prayer. Comfort is not one who favors the sinner’s prayer though is does a lot of evangelism. He uses some interesting Scriptural proof-texts to argue against using a prayer in salvation. However, I’m not sure I agree with all of Comfort’s objections as he’s laid them out though on some points I agree. I’m interested to hear your thoughts on this sinner’s prayer discussion. Watch below!

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I Care What Some of You Think, but Not All of You by Jared Moore

Guest blogger Jared Moore writes at Exalt Christ, where this article was originally posted.  You can connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (ESV) I care what you think if. . . 1. I know you love me. If I know you love me, you can say whatever you want to me. But, if you …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Interview: ThaKidd Jopp on His Letter to Lecrae

Interview: ThaKidd Jopp on His Letter to Lecrae

ThaKiddJopp (Rickey Joppy) recently released the hip-hop song My Letter to Lecrae (listen below). Joppy’s song was written out of concern for Christian rapper, Lecrae. However, some folks are concerned about Joppy’s motives or possible missteps in writing the song. So, this Saturday, April 13, 2013 at 7pm EST/6pm CST, Rickey Joppy will be on His Word His Way radio show with Saiko Woods to explain why he wrote the song to Lecrae.  Follow the link to tune-in and even call-in with your own questions and concerns. The Interview Mark: I want to make it clear to the readers that you …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Open Letter to Shain Linne from Paula White Ministries

Open Letter to Shain Linne from Paula White Ministries

Well-known ministries that are criticized for their teaching do not often respond, especially, directly and publicly. This occasion is different since Paula White Ministries has responded to the charge by Christian rapper, Shai Linne, that Paula White is a false teacher. I first wrote about and provided the audio of Shai Linne’s song on false teachers here: New Song Drops Names: “False Teachers” by Shai Linne. I followed up with Did Shai Linne Really Name “False” Teachers? providing examples of false teachings from each person Linne called out in his song. Then, DJ Wade-O dropped by to share that Paula …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Accept the Invitation to Son’s Same-Sex Marriage?

Ethics: Accept the Invitation to Son’s Same-Sex Marriage?

What would you do Wednesday! I don’t know any Christians who have faced today’s scenario of being invited to their gay son’s same-sex wedding. However, I’m sure there will be Christians who have and who will face such a dilemma. So let’s think about it…. You are a Christian who believes that marriage is something only between people of the opposite sex. You raised your three kids with this belief about marriage. This is the position on marriage from both the Bible and from a natural law perspective. Not only have you taught you kids that same-sex marriage is actually …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Did Shai Linne Really Name “False” Teachers?

Did Shai Linne Really Name “False” Teachers?

I recently posted about a new Christian hip-hop song: New Song Drops Names: “False Teachers” by Shai Linne. This song is off Shai Linne’s new album Lyrical Theology, Pt. 1: Theology which releases April 9, 2013. In the song Linne names 12 false Bible teachers which I listed in the above post. A commenter in that post suggested some evidence needs to be shown why Linne and others call these 12 false teachers. Hence, my question of whether the teachers Shai Linne named are really “false” teachers. Below I’ve provided a examples of false teachings from each of the teachers …keep reading »

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New Song Drops Names: “False Teachers” by Shai Linne

Check out Shai Linne’s new rap song Fal$e Teacher$. The beat is good, but the message is better! Shai even drops the following names as false teachers. (Be sure to check out my follow-up post where I provide examples of false teachings from these teachers: Did Shai Linne Really Name “False” Teachers?) Joel Osteen Creflo Dollar Benny Hinn TD Jakes Joyce Meyer Paula White Fred Price Kenneth Copland Robert Tilton Eddie Long Juanita Bynum Paul Crouch This song is off his new album Lyrical Theology, Pt. 1: Theology which releases April 9, 2013. Get it! Below Shai Linne talks about …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Christian Rapper Teams Up with Snoop Dogg

Ethics: Christian Rapper Teams Up with Snoop Dogg

What would you do Wednesday! A few Christian hip-hop artists have moved to secular record labels. Some Christian rappers are now performing in the same venue with secular artists. This type of affiliation is seen by some as being missional and/or as breaking the sacred-secular divide. But what happens when your son’s favorite Christian rapper goes on tour with Snoop Dogg and does a couple songs with him? Rapper X, arguably the top Christian rapper at the moment, is your 10 year old son’s favorite artist. Your son owns all four of his albums which listens to daily. Your son …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for You Aren’t Who They Say You Are by Ray Carroll

You Aren’t Who They Say You Are by Ray Carroll

Ray Carroll is author of Fallen Pastor: Finding Restoration in a Broken World. He blogs at Fallen Pastor and is a contributor to Provoketive Magazine. All of us have been called a horrible name at some point in our lives. Whether we cut someone off in traffic, hurt someone’s feelings, committed a major sin and caught the eye of the public, or someone just didn’t like us – we’ve all been called something bad. I can think of hundreds of names I’ve been called. Three years ago, while pastor of a Southern Baptist church, I committed adultery and disappointed a …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Complementarian Pastor Invited to Mother’s Pastoral Ordination

Ethics: Complementarian Pastor Invited to Mother’s Pastoral Ordination

What would you do Wednesday! Today’s scenario is difficult. The dilemma puts a Christian pastor in a situation where he must decide in favor of his family or his biblical convictions. Is today’s post based on a true story? That’s for me to know and you to guess. A pastor gets a formal invite from his father in the mail. The invite is for the pastor to bring his family to his mother’s ordination; her pastoral ordination. He closes his eyes and prays for wisdom. Chills sweep across his body. The problem is this pastor is a strong complementarian. He …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Duck Dynasty Inspired Question on Baptism and Salvation

Duck Dynasty Inspired Question on Baptism and Salvation

Last week I wrote A Few More Things You Should Know About Duck Dynasty. As a result of that post, a question about baptism and salvation came up on my Facebook page. I would love to hear some thoughts on my answer, but first, a few observations. I did not realize the huge amount of interest the Duck Dynasty post would generate. Nor did I realize there would be such silence from the more influential Evangelical wing of blogdom. Please, don’t misunderstand, I’m not demanding anyone must Say Something Right Now, or Else! as Kevin DeYoung wrote. However, it is …keep reading »

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Your Wife Needs a Bath!

“My wife and I have been married for five years and she still hasn’t learned how to treat me with respect and honor that the Bible requires a wife to show to her husband.” When I hear statements such as this one, where a husband is complaining about some longstanding character deficiency in his wife, my usual response is to ask the husband to consider his leadership. “How is it that you’ve been married to this woman for so long and she still hasn’t changed? What exactly have you done to help her with her problems?”1 So writes Lou Priolo …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Christian Cuts Unbelieving Family Members Out of Life

Ethics: Christian Cuts Unbelieving Family Members Out of Life

What would you do Wednesday! I have no idea how often something similar to today’s scenario happens, but I know it does. While catching up with one of your fellow Christians, you ask about their family.  Your friend says,”Most of them are well, but I’m not sure about my sister since we aren’t talking anymore. She’s pretty much out of my life now.” Pausing, you ask, “What in the world are you talking about?” Your friend explains that for years the relationship with their sister has not been the most fruitful. There has always been some underlying, unidentified tension, but …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Open Letter to Chuck Swindoll and Stonebriar Church on Phillips, Craig & Dean

Open Letter to Chuck Swindoll and Stonebriar Church on Phillips, Craig & Dean

Update: Praise God! Phillips, Craig, and Dean have affirmed the Trinity. Click and read their signed statement – PC&D affirm the Trinity. Dear Elders of Stonebriar Community Church, Grace to you and peace in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I pray all is well with you. In October 2009, Pastor Swindoll wrote, “We never seek a fight, but we dare not remain silent when the claims of Christ come under assault.”[1] This line is from the article No Time to Remain Silent – an appropriate title since that time is now upon us. Pastor Swindoll writes …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Popular Preacher Cancels Podcast Due to Small Audience

Ethics: Popular Preacher Cancels Podcast Due to Small Audience

What would you do Wednesday! The following scenario is based on a true event. The names have been changed to protect the guilty – and the innocent! A friend of yours is the pastor of a church plant. In addition to his pastoral duties he also hosts a podcast a couple times per week. The church faithfully supports and endorses the podcast where your friend addresses theological and cultural issues. Sometimes on the podcast another man from the church will teach the Bible. Other times, another pastor or author will be a guest where they can discuss a current book, …keep reading »

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Another Ban on Christian Prayer

Nick Provenza at The Seattle Times reports that praying in the name of Jesus Christ is no longer allowed at Longview City Council invocations. The ban was enacted due to a atheist’s complaint. LONGVIEW (AP) — Ministers should refrain from invoking Jesus Christ in invocations for City Council meetings, Longview Mayor Don Jensen said. Jensen told the Kelso-Longview Ministerial Association last month that such prayers were not acceptable because they could expose the city to a lawsuit, The Daily News reported Tuesday. “It’s not my choice to stop this, but I don’t know how we can put our citizens at jeopardy …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Finding An Envelope Full of Cash!

Ethics: Finding An Envelope Full of Cash!

What would you do Wednesday! Pamela North Holloway, a part-time Atlanta airport employee, recently founds an envelope stuffed with $7,000.1 Holloway’s story is the inspiration for today’s scenario. You work part-time, unable to find a full-time job yet. Monthly bills are piling up. Most of them going on two months late. This is the first month that your mortgage may be late. Though money has been tight, it is really only the last few months that have set you back. Unexpected car repairs, a higher than normal gas bill, gasoline prices and the like have been your nemesis. You haven’t …keep reading »

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Blog Brief: On Taming the Tongue

Quick and easy access to social media like blogs, twitter, Facebook et al. make it easy for Christians to pop-off with the fingers at a moments notice. Sometimes we may not even think about the repercussions of our words. I know because I’ve done it. After we catch ourselves we think we’ve got to be more careful with our words. We try harder. Yet, Scripture, in James 3:7-8 states, “For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Fellow Christian Recommends 50 Shades of Grey

Ethics: Fellow Christian Recommends 50 Shades of Grey

What would you do Wednesday! Today’s scenario is between two Christians who are friends and fellow church members. You catch up on each others’ lives during a regular luncheon with a church friend. You try to have lunch a couple times per month for prayer, encouragement, and fellowship. While having a spiritual conversation you ask about their spouse. Since so many marriages have spiritual struggles in this age of busyness and information overload discussions about each others prayer and devotional life within the marriage is always a topic. Today, your friend tells you that their prayer and devotional life is …keep reading »

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Video: Pastor Jeffress Speaks on Tim Tebow Controversy

Toward the end of the video Pastor Jeffress names several Evangelicals who have supported him during the controversy of Tim Tebow’s scheduled speaking appearance and abrupt cancellation. He then comments about those men who stood with him. “I am grateful for men of God like these who are willing to stand up and act like men rather than wimping out when it gets a little controversial and an inconvenient thing to stand for the truth. God bless men like that.” Now, there are some people who would say, “Well, God’s given me a different ministry. God has calle me to …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Thoughts on FBC Dallas and Welcome Back Tim Tebow

Thoughts on FBC Dallas and Welcome Back Tim Tebow

Yesterday, I wrote Farewell Tim Tebow? in response to Tebow canceling his appearance at First Baptist Church of Dallas. Today I want to say welcome back – I think. I also want to briefly address some of the charges leveled against the theology of FBC Dallas showing that the church fits into generally held Southern Baptist positions. FBC Dallas released a statement in response to Tebow’s cancellation. In part, the church wrote: Mr. Tebow called Dr. Jeffress Wednesday evening saying that for personal and professional reasons he needed to avoid controversy at this time but would like to come to …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Farewell Tim Tebow?

Farewell Tim Tebow?

A few days ago I wrote about some who called on Tim Tebow to cancel his upcoming appearance at First Baptist Dallas. The post was – In Light of Tim Tebow Invitation Baptist Church Answers Anti-Gay, Anti-Semitic Charges. Not once did I think Tebow would give in to the critics. Apparently, I was wrong. Tebow shared his reasons for canceling in four tweets. Hat tip to Denny Burk for putting those tweets together. While I was looking forward to sharing a message of hope and Christ’s unconditional love with the faithful members of the historic First Baptist Church of Dallas …keep reading »

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Ethics: Adult Toy Seller to Sing at Church Event

Thumbnail image for Ethics: Adult Toy Seller to Sing at Church Event

What would you do Wednesday! Today’s scenario is based on the true story of Kandi Burrus as reported by the Christian Post.1 According to CP, Burrus is a reality TV star, sells adult toys online and recently recorded the gospel song “Stay Prayed Up”. For the past several months your church has been planning a gospel music event. The event is well advertized, open to the public, and church members encouraged to bring friends and family. You have invited friends and family to the event some of whom include your neighbors. The whole night is planned out including coffee with …keep reading »

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Different Gospel Presentations: Who Gets Saved?

The following hypothetical conversations take place when evangelist A shares Jesus with unbeliever A while evangelist B shares with unbeliever B. The reason for this exercise are the recent assertions that Calvinists and non-Calvinists are promoting different gospels. Let’s see…. A B Evangelist A (EA) and Unbeliever A (A):EA: A, I’m glad we could meet today so I can share Jesus with you and explain how to be saved – how to be right with God. A: I told you I would listen to what you have to say about Jesus so here I am! EA: First, I want you …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Pour Yourself Into the Church?

Pour Yourself Into the Church?

Lately, there seems a strong re-emphasis on the importance of being an active, participating member in one’s local church. Some Christians are encouraged to pour themselves into their local church to be and stay connected. But is pouring yourself into the church always the right answer? Recently, I talked to a friend in another city. He and his family have been somewhat disconnected from his church family due to various life circumstances. He sat down to talk with his pastor about the situation. Upon explaining that he felt a little like an outsider and did not know most of the …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Pastor Says Tithe Even If You Can’t Met Monthly Expenses

Ethics: Pastor Says Tithe Even If You Can’t Met Monthly Expenses

What would you do Wednesday! This week’s ethics post is inspired by Dave Miller’s recent post The New Testament Standard of Giving at SBC Voices. A couple from church have been missing for a few Sundays. You wonder where your friends have been so you give them a call one Sunday afternoon. Your friends tell you that they have been struggling financially and have not been able to give 10% of their gross income; their tithe. They have fallen on financial hard times. The economy is down, the husband took a pay cut, the wife was injured in an accident …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for JHMC: Session 3 – Walking Out of Our Prisons

JHMC: Session 3 – Walking Out of Our Prisons

This is a live blog of the Johnny Hunt Men’s Conference. You can find the conference on twitter @JHMensConf_FBCW and follow the official twitter hashtag here: #JHMC2013. The conference topic is: “ESCAPE PLAN: SIN IS A PRISON; LET’S BREAK OUT!” Session 3: Unspoken: I can’t Forgive Myself (Walking Out of Our Prisons) 1 JOHN 1:8-10 If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for JHMC: Session 2 – Truth that Keeps Us Free

JHMC: Session 2 – Truth that Keeps Us Free

This is a live blog of the Johnny Hunt Men’s Conference. You can find the conference on twitter @JHMensConf_FBCW and follow the official twitter hashtag here: #JHMC2013. The conference topic is: “ESCAPE PLAN: SIN IS A PRISON; LET’S BREAK OUT!“ Session 2: “Power to Walk Free” (Truth that Keeps Us Free) Gal 5:16-18, 22-24 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep …keep reading »

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JHMC: Session 1 – Truth that Frees

This is a live blog of the Johnny Hunt Men’s Conference. You can find the conference on twitter @JHMensConf_FBCW and follow the official twitter hashtag here: #JHMC2013. The conference topic is: “ESCAPE PLAN: SIN IS A PRISON; LET’S BREAK OUT!“ Session 1: “Bible Engagement/Bible Reflection” (Truth that Frees) Psalm 19:7-14 The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple; the precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes; the fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; …keep reading »

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Blog Brief: No One is Infallible

When a preacher or teacher has made statements or engaged in actions some find questionable the response is often dismissed with – but no one is infallible! True, no one is infallible. But does that lead to the conclusion that no one is questionable? Or accountable? What, I think, is really being said when the “no one is infallible” reason is used is that “since no one is infallible we ought not question someone’s teaching or their methods.” Graceful questioning without an ulterior motive is not a bad thing. Questioning does not mean condemning, but may just be needed for …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for What if You Say the Sinner’s Prayer and Mean It?

What if You Say the Sinner’s Prayer and Mean It?

There is a lot of disagreement among Christians over the use of the sinner’s prayer. Some are quick to point out abuse of the sinner’s prayer and all together dismiss it. Others seem quick to overlook its abuse and to point out its usefulness. Personally, I have witnessed its abuse. Yet, I often wonder if we will ever find a common ground on the sinner’s prayer. But yesterday’s ethics post about the sinner’s prayer raised a question in my mind. What if someone says the sinner’s prayer and means it? Of course, then questions about the question begin. People will …keep reading »

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When Deacons Get Saved!

A deacon in our church got saved during my circumcision sermon in Genesis. He had to be elect. I love my "job". — Pastor Mark Driscoll (@PastorMark) February 5, 2013

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Pastoral Candidate Preaches Salvation through the Sinner’s Prayer

Ethics: Pastoral Candidate Preaches Salvation through the Sinner’s Prayer

What would you do Wednesday! The following scenario is based on a true story that was submitted through the contact page. What follows is the blog reader’s main concern in this church’s path to find a new pastor. The following scenario gets to the heart of the concern while not precisely describing every aspect of the situation. A deacon friend comes to you with concerns over the pastoral candidate most of the search committee favors. He is also on the search committee along with two other pastors and three other deacons. The former pastor gave a five month resignation notice …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for This Week: Join Me at the 2013 Johnny Hunt Men’s Conference

This Week: Join Me at the 2013 Johnny Hunt Men’s Conference

Join me this week at the 2013 Johnny Hunt Men’s Conference! “Escape Plan: Sin is a prison; let’s break out!” Register now for the dates below. Conference 2 February 8-9, 2013 (Contact me if cost is keeping you from registering.) I will be live blogging conference 2 this coming weekend. Check out the break out sessions at: 2013 Breakout Speakers. Johnny Hunt will be delivering the following three keynotes. KEYNOTE 1: “Bible Engagement/Bible Reflection” (Truth that Frees) Ps 19:7-14 The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple; …keep reading »

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On Theological Fighting: Proclaim Christ Instead of Grinding Out Your Theology

During the recent G3 Conference I live blogged there was a panel discussion Q&A. Questions were submitted months in advance of the conference. The first question was for Paul Washer. The question was on substitutionary atonement pitting limited atonement against general atonement. Washer’s answer modeled a great way to think in terms of Christian unity through all of our internal, and often public, theological battles. Brother Paul gave a wise answer. The submitted question. If substitutionary atonement is the true biblical doctrine, does it provide any room for a universal or general atonement as many Free-Will Baptists believe – that Jesus …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for G3: Paul Washer – Penal Substitution – The Core of God’s Saving Plan

G3: Paul Washer – Penal Substitution – The Core of God’s Saving Plan

I had to slip out and tend to some family matters so brother Len blogged this for me. Find him on twitter: @OneOver99. I appreciate his help. —- Pastors raise your hands. He read a passage about being established. He said he is blessed to be here and to hear these men preach. Some of the best in the ministry. He says pastor, if you are faithful you are worth your weight in gold. Pastor,  He will come one day…and you will see…your labor was not kn vain. The entire ocean in a cup of water. All the sand of …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for G3: Paul Washer – The Priority of Prayer for Christian Life, Ministry, and Mission

G3: Paul Washer – The Priority of Prayer for Christian Life, Ministry, and Mission

This is a live blog of the G3 Conference. I will be updating along with the speakers. You can follow the line-up at: G3 Schedule. Some of what’s written are paraphrases of quotes that I am unable to catch. Pastor, if you truly want you people to serve you then present Christ before them crucified. It is the mystery of all godliness. Truly converted people do not need a whip, but need to know the justice and mercy of God. Every minister that preached at this conference could have preached on the same text, used the same manuscript and it …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for G3: Donald Whitney – When God Turned His Back on Jesus

G3: Donald Whitney – When God Turned His Back on Jesus

This is a live blog of the G3 Conference. I will be updating along with the speakers. You can follow the line-up at: G3 Schedule. Some of what’s written are paraphrases of quotes that I am unable to catch. Open the Bible to Matthew 27. Whitney opens with thankfulness for the conference. Those who accuse Christians of simply believing in God with a blind faith are totally unaware of how many times we question God. We wonder why God is doing what He is doing. We continue to trust in Him and His sovereign care despite circumstances. Though we do …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for G3: Voddie Baucham – Doctrine Matters – Getting the Gospel Right

G3: Voddie Baucham – Doctrine Matters – Getting the Gospel Right

We hear much talk about the gospel. In some ways the gospel has become a fad. When something becomes a fad some people jump on the bandwagon and have no idea about what they are involved in. When some people say gospel they are celebrating social gospel. Others, when they hear gospel they are excited because they hear all the moral teachings of Jesus. Legalism. There’s another form of legalism going around – love God, love people. Love God, love people is actually an abbreviation of Jesus’ teaching on the two greatest commandments. The two greatest commandments are a summary …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for G3: Joel Beeke – What Really Is the Gospel?

G3: Joel Beeke – What Really Is the Gospel?

Turn to 1 Tim 1:15-17. The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life. To the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen. (1 Timothy 1:15-17 ESV) Five facets of answering the question – what is the gospel? [I lost …keep reading »

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G3: Friday Q&A Panel Discussion

Q: If substitution atonement is the true biblical doctrine does it provide any room for a universal atonement that Jesus died for the whole world without exception? Washer: I’m going to answer the question without really answering it. When he thinks about the glorious doctrine such as the atonement it upsets me that some people only think about it when they want to argue over Calvinism. The doctrine is best used proclaimed to the masses that Christ died and to call all men to repent. Even John 3:16 is not to argue a particular doctrine of the atonement but to …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for G3: Steve Lawson – The Preaching of John Calvin and What We Can Learn

G3: Steve Lawson – The Preaching of John Calvin and What We Can Learn

This is a live blog of the G3 Conference. I will be updating along with the speakers. You can follow the line-up at: G3 Schedule. Some of the words are paraphrases of quotes that I am unable to catch. Lawson explains that no man more loved or more hated or most misunderstood than John Calvin. Even so, Calvin is the most influential. To omit John Calvin from the history of western Christianity is to read history with one eye shut. Calvin stood at the top of the movement that shaped history. He has been estimated to be greatest theologian since …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for G3: Tim Challies – Mission in a Changing World

G3: Tim Challies – Mission in a Changing World

This is a live blog of the G3 Conference. I will be updating along with the speakers. You can follow the line-up at: G3 Schedule. Tim begins by rightly making fun of how the South shuts down at the mere mention of ice and snow. A preemptive shutdown he called it. Tim going to speak about how the way we communicate the unchanging gospel will change. What are the specific challenges that come to us as Christians in a changing world? We are in the middle of a massive shift in communication – computer to internet. There has been a …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Pastor Offers Money to Attend His Church

Ethics: Pastor Offers Money to Attend His Church

What would you do Wednesday? Today’s scenario may be the weirdest yet! And it’s based on a true story…or is it? You are at lunch sitting in a local restaurant with a few friends one Sunday after worship service. A pastor of another local church walks by. Though you are both Baptists this pastor is adamantly opposed to your theology which leans more on the side of the Protestant Reformers. Despite disagreements you are always cordial to each other and consider each other brothers in Christ. The pastor does not see you as he walks through the restaurant so you stop …keep reading »

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Why Do So Many Christians Live this Way?

The section quoted below was part of last night’s discipleship group meeting. The authors then asks the reader to reflect on the evidence for their own walk with Christ in relation to Luke 6:40. But the broad question of why so many who profess to be Christians, but don’t actually follow Christ as evidenced by a changed life is not addressed. When Jesus called His first disciples, they may not have understood where Jesus would take them or the impact it would have on their lives, but they knew what it meant to follow. They took Jesus’s call literally and …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Pastor Won’t Reveal His Salary

Ethics: Pastor Won’t Reveal His Salary

What would you do Wednesday! Money is a touchy subject for most people; especially, their own money. Even many Christians are adamant that they know exactly where every dime they give to the church is being spent. There are times when churches need to raise additional funds so they have a special plea for members to give. Some members give more, some give the same, and some don’t give at all. Though it might be argued that Christians in general don’t give sacrificially anyway. Today’s scenario is one in which your church needs to raise a bit of extra money …keep reading »

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When a Good Guy Writes an Inconsistent Blog Post

I love Tim Challies. That is, as a Christian brother. In fact, I hope to say hello to him this month at the G3 Conference as he travels to my neck of the woods. Last time I saw him was at the 2010 Band of Bloggers gathering. We stood next to each other talking to different people and did not get to meet. Anyway, Challies is a good guy. He has even been gracious enough to help me get votes the last two years for the Blogging Scholarship. I’m letting you know up front that I have nothing against him. …keep reading »

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Sadly, Giglio Withdraws from President Obama’s Inauguration

Jonathan Capehart is joyfully reporting at the Washington Post that Louie Giglio has withdrawn from President Obama’ inauguration.1 Just yesterday I defended Giglio from an attack by a Liberal at HuffPo. So I post with sadness that Giglio has removed himself from Obama’s inauguration. I know Christians are divided (what’s new?) over whether or not an Evangelical should participate in an event like the Presidential Inauguration. However, many of us saw Giglio giving the benediction as a great gospel opportunity. Maybe another Evangelical will replace him who is also not ashamed of the gospel. The full text of Giglio’s reasoning …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Parents to Put Child on ADHD Medication

Ethics: Parents to Put Child on ADHD Medication

What would you do Wednesday! Friends and fellow church members are contemplating putting their kid on ADHD medicine. Your pastor is very outspoken against any type of ADHD medication. In fact, the pastor has made it clear that any church member who believes their kids need ADHD medication are simply not doing their jobs as parents. Those parents lack a biblical model of discipline in the home. He has asked that any parent considering such mediation seek biblical counsel by talking to him first. Your friends explain that they decided to have their kid tested by a psychiatrist in stead …keep reading »

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Word of Faith Vs. Reformed Baptist: A Theological Dialogue

Reformed Pastor Saiko Woods and Word of Faith Pastor Fred Price, Jr. enter the theological ring with the gloves off. Woods and Price candidly discussion their theological differences both turning to Scripture to defend their theology. This discussion is a breath of fresh air given the way theological disagreements are often carried out. I wish more face to face discussion like this could take place. I mean – I’d love to see James White sit down with T.D. Jakes to discussion the Trinity. I have not had time to note some of my thoughts on the following Woods-Price discussion, but …keep reading »

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Good Christian Spouses

What is it to be a good Christian spouse? Many Christians believe they are pretty good spouses. What is a typical day for a good Christian spouse? The alarm clock sounds. It is time to get up for one or both spouses. Some Bible reading together or at least some prayer time would have been good, but hitting the snooze button a few times was necessary. It’s been a long week and it’s only Tuesday. Running late. Got to get going. Got to get to work. The spouses say their goodbyes. One spouse calls the other during the day. The …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: New Years Eve Party, Alcohol and the Pastor

Ethics: New Years Eve Party, Alcohol and the Pastor

What would you do Wednesday! Christmas has just passed and the new year is almost here. You make plans all week for a New Years Eve fellowship at your home with some friends from church. As you invite friends you make sure they understand that you will have champagne for the happy new year toast. The annual champagne toast is a reminder of the freedom in Christ there is to have a drink of alcohol. It is also a celebration of coming out of the cult of Mormonism where alcohol is forbidden based on Joseph Smith’s ‘Word of Wisdom’. Friends …keep reading »

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Top 10 Ethics Posts for 2012

In July 2010, I started the Wednesday series called “What Would You Do Wednesday!” In those Wednesday posts I try to come up with real life situations faced by Christians in order to help us think through how we might react and apply biblically based ethics. Sometimes the situations are based on actual events as people started contacting me with situations in which they have been involved. Of course, I would never reveal who is submitting these situations. Often those who submit a situation are curiously seeking advice with a wider audience than they might have otherwise. The goal is …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Christmas Tree Vs. Fellowship

Ethics: Christmas Tree Vs. Fellowship

What would you do Wednesday! The following scenario takes place during the first week of December which means Christmas is around the corner. A friend called a wanted to come over to discuss Christmas trees. While reading about Christmas trees online, as a Christian, he became uncomfortable with them. A week later he stops by your house. Since you last talked he has come to the clear conviction that Christmas trees have some sort of pagan origins; therefore Christians should not put them up to celebrate the birth of Jesus. On your living room floor he notices a box packed …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Pastor Threatens to Call Out Facebook Posts from Pulpit

Ethics: Pastor Threatens to Call Out Facebook Posts from Pulpit

What would you do Wednesday! The following situation is based on a true story. Though I don’t always note when an ethics post is based on a true story, but I thought this one a bit odd so I mention it in case anyone wonders if I just made it up. The concern stems from Facebook posts and made its way to the pulpit. Your teenage son is on Facebook. Like all good teenaged Facebook users he updates his wall often. Your son shares his feelings on his wall about various issues in life. If he is struggling, frustrated or …keep reading »

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Field Trips and Work Detail

I want to make two general observations of the attitudes exuded by Christians ministering in the church. Those Christians range from pastor to deacon to those who sneak in late and sit on the last pew. The types of ministering ranges from preaching to teaching to walking an elderly lady to her car. Some Christians give the impression that they are on work detail when ministering to others. It’s as if they force a joyless smile just to get through a laborious task. Their motivation seems to flow out of a love for God as they dutifully serve their neighbor …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Sermon Illustration Used as Real Personal Experience

Ethics: Sermon Illustration Used as Real Personal Experience

What would you do Wednesday! It’s Sunday morning just before worship service begins. As you talk to some friends, you remember the joke you read on a blog last night about a pastor, a rabbi and a priest fishing together. You begin telling the joke, but the music starts so you have to finish afterward. Worship service begins and a wonderful time of worship feeds your soul. Toward the end of sermon the preacher begins an illustration to help make a particular point. The illustration turns out to be a joke – the same joke you read last night on …keep reading »

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The Reach of Pornography in the Church

Denny Burk quotes Heath Lambert on pornography from the latest issue of JBWM. Pornography is the defining sexual sin of our day. In Christian circles adultery and homosexuality often capture more headlines, but I am persuaded that in terms of sheer numbers they cannot hold a candle to the devastation of pornography. Last year I counseled six people struggling with homosexuality and around eighteen caught in adultery and fornication. I don’t know exactly how many I helped who were locked in pornography, but the number is in the dozens. As bad as that number sounds those people are not the …keep reading »

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Not with Other Christians

“With whom is the Christian soldier meant to fight? Not with other Christians. Wretched indeed is that man’s idea of religion, who imagines that it consists in perpetual controversy! He who is never satisfied unless he is engaged in some strife between church and church, chapel and chapel, sect and sect, faction and faction, party and party — knows nothing yet as he ought to know. As a general rule, the cause of sin is never so much helped as when Christians waste their strength in quarreling with one another, and spend their time in petty squabbles.” – J. C. …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Mormon Neighbor Asks You to Help Feed People on Thanksgiving

Ethics: Mormon Neighbor Asks You to Help Feed People on Thanksgiving

What would you do Wednesday! It is Thanksgiving morning. You stand in the front yard admiring God’s creation thinking about the gospel. There is nothing to be more thankful for – nothing more important – than the gospel of Jesus Christ. The gospel that saved you and shapes your worldview. It’s going to be a great day! “Good morning,” your neighbor yells from across the yard. After exchanging a few words your neighbor asks if you’d like to come help serve food to people in need for a couple of hours. He explains that his church serves food for Thanksgiving …keep reading »

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New LifeWay Study on Selflessness and Spiritual Maturity

LifeWay Research has released a new study noted in the article below that links spiritual maturity and serving others. Ed Stetzer, president of LifeWay Research is quoted below stating, “Growth leads to service and serving leads to growth – it’s deeply connected.” Stetzer’s statement is a great summary sentence correlating Christian service and growth. Of course, there are different types of growth and service. I’m not sure exactly what kind of spiritual growth the study measured that is taking place through serving others. Maybe the areas in which spiritual growth is taking place would be worth considering if LifeWay has …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Homosexual Couple Comes to Bible Study

Ethics: Homosexual Couple Comes to Bible Study

What would you do Wednesday! It’s Friday evening. You just got home from work, pulled into the driveway, and turned off your car. Running a little late for the dinner date with your spouse, you hurry toward the house so you can turn around and get to the restaurant on time. While heading for the front door your new neighbor, whom you’ve not officially met, says hello. He notices that your are carrying a Bible (it had been left in the car). Being new to the neighborhood, he mentions the Bible and says that he wants to talk to you …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: New Friends Serve Lord’s Supper at Dinner Date

Ethics: New Friends Serve Lord’s Supper at Dinner Date

What would you do Wednesday! A new couple moved into town two months ago and joined your church. In order to get to know you better, they invited you and your spouse over for dinner. Something unusual happened during dinner. All of the food set on the table was covered; presumably to keep it warm. Your new friend, the husband, asked that you all bow your heads to give thanks for the food. He ends his prayer reading about the Lord’s Supper in 1 Corinthians 11:23-29. For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the …keep reading »

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Reformation Day Video: Post Tenebras Lux

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Neighbor Will Not Attend Church Over Racism

Ethics: Neighbor Will Not Attend Church Over Racism

What would you do Wednesday! Today’s situation deals with a white Baptist Christian who invites his unbelieving black neighbor to church. You, a white Christian, have been neighbors with a black unbeliever for the past year when he moved into the neighborhood. The two of you have built a pretty good relationship. You have borrowed tools and other items from each other. You’ve been there for each other during car problems, yard work, house sitting, etc. The level of trust has been established in many everyday areas except spiritual in issues. You have tried to talk with him about Jesus, …keep reading »

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God’s Sovereignty and Voting

A heated Presidential election is upon the consciences of many Americans. It is time to vote. Many will vote and some will abstain. Only one of the two main candidates will win. How does a Christian react if their candidate loses? How is a Christian comforted when voting – as many believe – for the lesser of two evils? As with all of life Christians trust in God. The plans of the heart belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the LORD. (Proverbs 16:1 ESV) What of the lesser evil? What if the lesser evil turns …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Sponsoring a Female Church Planter

Ethics: Sponsoring a Female Church Planter

What would you do Wednesday! The following situation is based on true events…. Your church recently made contact with a husband and wife missionary team who are back home in the U.S. to raise support. They have been missionaries in a poor country for five years. The couple is known for starting house churches in the poor country though not a lot organizational or procedural details are known. Your church has been promoting a missions theme during the current month. Every Sunday morning missionaries get to share what they are doing on the mission field for a few minutes before …keep reading »

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Matt Chandler Responds to Criticism of ‘David, Goliath and the Gospel’

In the video below Matt Chandler attempts to explain how the gospel runs through the David and Goliath story in a mere 3.5 minutes. Dr. Eric Hankins raised concerns about Chandler’s interpretive approach in the video in his recent critique of ‘Christ-centered homiletics’.1 However, back in January Mike Riccardi, using Chandler’s explanation in the video as an example, wrote a very thorough and gracious explanation of the problems with such an interpretation.2 Chandler was contacted for a response to Riccardi’s article and he replied. “Thanks for your encouragement and email.  I read Mike’s critique and agree with most of it.  The …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Paralyzed Christian Wants to Die

Ethics: Paralyzed Christian Wants to Die

What would you do Wednesday! This situation is inspired by the tragic situation of Grace Sung Eun Lee, a 28 year old paralyzed Christian, who is ready to die.1 Her parents believe removing the breathing and feeding tubes would be suicide sending her straight to hell. Today’s situation will be slightly different than Lee’s, very sad, real life situation. Six months ago a 30 year old friend was paralyzed. Your friend has been in the hospital for the last six months and is kept alive by breathing and feeding tubes. You visited your friend frequently for encouragement and prayer. Your friend’s …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for 9Marks Workshop in Atlanta: Register Today!

9Marks Workshop in Atlanta: Register Today!

9Marks is bringing a conference about the church and for the church to Atlanta, GA. The following topics will be covered: theological vision, preaching & biblical theology, gospel, conversion & evangelism, membership, discipline & discipleship, leadership, covenanting together. Each session ends with a Q&A. More info and registration below. When? Monday, October 29, 2012, 9 am – Tuesday, October 30, 2012, 12 pm. Who is speaking? – Mark Dever – Matt Schmucker – Aaron Menikoff – Zach Schlegel How much? – General Registration: $45 – Student Registration: $35 Where? Mount Vernon Baptist 850 Mt Vernon Hwy NW Atlanta, GA 30327 …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Heroes in Black and White: Precious Puritans Vs. Martin Luther King Jr.

Heroes in Black and White: Precious Puritans Vs. Martin Luther King Jr.

Christians are not immune to racial, cultural, or theological bias and blindness. Those types of bias and blindness may be more apparent in Christendom for the Puritans and Martin Luther King, Jr. – cultural and theological heroes to many Christians. Precious Dust Up The dust up over Christian rapper Propaganda’s lyrics in his song “Precious Puritans” recently brought some of these issues to the surface. Propaganda charged the Puritans, broadly defined, with certain racial moral failures charging white privilege against some pastors who quote the Puritans. Some Christians argued that Propaganda defined the Puritans too broadly and unfairly charged them. …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Too Fat to Enter the Ministry

Ethics: Too Fat to Enter the Ministry

What would you do Wednesday! A friend is told by his pastor that his weight is keeping the pastor from signing off on his seminary application. A good friend of yours approached his pastor about going to seminary and entering vocational ministry. The pastor knew of his ministry aspirations. They finally met to discuss the pastor’s approval and endorsement on the seminary application. A point in the meeting was reached where they discussed the pastoral qualifications in 1 Timothy 3. Your friend read verses 1-7 out loud. Your friend then asked the pastor if he thought there were any apparent …keep reading »

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Why Do People Go To Hell?

One answer given on twitter (HT: Ben Simpson): People go to hell not because God predestined them to go there, but because we as Christians don’t share the Gospel with them. — Steve Gaines (@bellevuepastor) October 8, 2012 While it is essential that Christians share the gospel; a few Scriptural proof-texts give another answer to the question of why people go to hell. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23 ESV) Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for 5 Essential Questions on Playing the Pharisee Card

5 Essential Questions on Playing the Pharisee Card

The folks from the excellent Lutheran radio show Issues, Etc. have allowed me to post their article “Playing the Pharisee Card”. Calling someone a Pharisee when disagreeing over Christian doctrine or methods is a great way to shut down debate. But how accurately is the Pharisee Card actually played? The article below answers the following five essential questions on playing the Pharisee Card. Were the Pharisees concerned with doctrinal purity? Were the Pharisees resistant to change? Were the Pharisees unconcerned for the lost? Why did Jesus really condemn the Pharisees? Who are the real Pharisees? Playing the Pharisee Card I …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Visiting Non-Member Friend Wants to Take Lord’s Supper

Ethics: Visiting Non-Member Friend Wants to Take Lord’s Supper

What would you do Wednesday! LifeWay’s recent survey on the Lord’s Supper practices among Southern Baptists has incited some discussion in Baptist blog world. So today’s situation is in the context of the Lord’s Supper being served in Baptist church that practices closed communion. An old friend is in town staying with you over the weekend. While catching up over dinner Friday night your friend begins a spiritual conversation. He admits something that has been spiritually weighing him down – he had some unresolved anger toward you and decided not to take communion until after this visit where he could …keep reading »

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Will the Southern Baptist Convention Dissipate in the Smoke of Reformed Theology?

“Shall the Southern Baptist Convention which was born in the fires of evangelism dissipate in the smoke of Reformed Theology?” Southern Baptist Pastor Steve Brumbelow asks.1 This question was stated in an letter sent to discourage Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (MBTS) trustees from approving presidential candidate Dr. Jason Allen. However, Brumbelow’s assuming question is historically inaccurate. Union University president David Dockery notes the strong presence of Calvinistic (Reformed) theology at the birth of the Southern Baptist Convention. At the founding of the Southern Baptist Convention in May 1845, it would have been difficult to find leaders who were not Calvinistic in their …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: a Pastor Secretly Records Conversation with Another Pastor

Ethics: a Pastor Secretly Records Conversation with Another Pastor

What would you do Wednesday! The following scenario is inspired by actual events as told by Peter Lumpkins.1 Please note that inspired by does not mean an exact, actual portrayal of said events. Rather, the scenario is loosely based on the actual event. Okay? OK! Pastor Friend calls you and tells you about an interesting conversation he just had with Pastor Blogger. Pastors Friend and Blogger just happened to be eating lunch in the same restaurant so Friend approached Blogger to challenge him on his approach to blogging. A conversation ensued. Friend tells you that the tone of the conversation …keep reading »

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Why Every Head Bowed, Every Eye Closed?

Why, when and on what biblical basis did preachers begin altar calls with ‘every head bowed, every eye closed’? Whenever I have heard an altar call being with ‘every head bowed, every eye closed’ I always wonder why? I wonder what purpose it serves to ask everyone to bow their heads and close their eyes. Is the preacher trying not to embarrass someone who may respond to the gospel? Would not the person who just believed the gospel be over joyed with their new life in Christ that they would have no shame so that bowed heads and closed eyes …keep reading »

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Does Dr. Jason Allen Meet Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary’s Presidential Profile?

The Baptist Press reported that Dr. Jason K. Allen was chosen as the nominee to be Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary’s next president,1 but does he meet their ‘Presidential Profile’? While questions have been raised about Allen’s qualifications, questions have also been raised about Allen’s theology and the Midwestern Trustees’ silence on their vetting process. Below I will briefly comment on the Presidential Profile, trustee silence and Allen’s theology. The Presidential Profile Midwestern’s website lists the “Key Responsibilities of the Next President” with the following major points which conclude with their ‘Desired Qualifications’.2 Spiritual Leadership Institutional Leadership Fundraising/Enrollment Leadership Academic and …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Beth Moore Unexpectedly Guest Preaches Sunday Morning

Ethics: Beth Moore Unexpectedly Guest Preaches Sunday Morning

What would you do Wednesday! Popular Southern Baptist author Beth Moore recently preached at Passion City Church on Sunday morning. The video of Beth Moore preaching at Passion City Church is still online. In light of her recent sermon – let’s consider how you might react if Beth Moore were to unexpectedly preach at your church on Sunday morning. The scenario. Your church has advertised for the past two months that Beth Moore is visiting soon to lead a Sunday School class. She is visiting to teach, promote a book, answer questions, etc. Several of your friends hear that Moore …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Open Forum: Should an Inability to Encourage and Show Compassion Disqualify a Pastor?

Open Forum: Should an Inability to Encourage and Show Compassion Disqualify a Pastor?

In their article, “What are warning flags to watch out for when considering a man as a potential elder?” 9 Marks ministries offers 13 warning flags. Two of the warning flags stood out in a discussion I had with a good friend in early 2011 as I was going through my seminary courses. The discussion was part of the ongoing process of understanding how one’s theology works out in real life; a road that never ends. While all of the warning flags are worthy of discussion, the two that stood out and seemed to go together well were 6 and …keep reading »

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LifeWay surveys Lord’s Supper practices of SBC churches By Carol Pipes

NASHVILLE, Tenn.— The majority of Southern Baptist churches permit anyone who has put their faith in Jesus Christ to participate in the Lord’s Supper, according to a recent survey by LifeWay Research. The survey also revealed that 57 percent of SBC churches observe the Lord’s Supper quarterly. “Denominational distinctives are often evident in how the Lord’s Supper is observed,” said Scott McConnell, director of LifeWay Research. “We sought to measure two attributes of Southern Baptists’ remembrance of Jesus’ death and resurrection: who may participate in the Lord’s Supper– with five distinct options listed– and the frequency it is observed.” The …keep reading »

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John Newton: Christians, True Patriotism and Government Involvement

John Newton (1725 – 1807), well-known for penning the hymn “Amazing Grace,” wrote a letter to a friend giving his views on Christian involvement in government affairs. Newton briefly defines true patriotism from a Christian perspective. Would Newton title his position today as – Gospel-Centered Patriotism? Dear friend, Allow me to say, that it excites both my wonder and concern, that a Christian minister such as yourself, should think it worth his while to attempt political reforms. When I look around upon the present state of the nation, such an attempt appears to me, to be no less vain and foolish, …keep reading »

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One Million Porn Free Christian Men?

Southern Baptist Pastor Jay Dennis has started a movement to address the problem of pornography in the church. The movement and website is called One Million Men Porn Free. Christian counselor Harry Schaumburg comments show the seriousness of the church’s pornography problem. For the last twenty years thousands of men from across America struggling with sexual sin have come to our intensive counseling workshop. Over half were pastors and missionaries. I wish our experience was unique. Several years ago a seminary professor told me: “We no longer ask our entering students if they are struggling with pornography, we assume every …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Pastor Uses Company for Sermon Preparation

Ethics: Pastor Uses Company for Sermon Preparation

What would you do Wednesday! Today, I’d like to find out what people think about pastors using sermon preparation companies like Docent Research. Docent will be used for illustrative purposes to show that a sermon preparation service actually exists and to show what they offer. Always curious about what your pastor is reading you browse the books on his desk while waiting to meet him. While shifting one of the books in order to get the title of another book an envelope falls to the floor. “Oops,” you mutter as you bend down to pick it up just as your …keep reading »

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The Gospel Coalition, Carl Trueman and Complementarianism

Lydia McGrew makes some observations on Carl Trueman’s response to The Gospel Coalition leaders’ recent discussion on how complementarianism relates to the gospel. …Carl Trueman, who teaches Church History at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, put up on his blog a series of posts in which he argues that, though he himself is a complementarian, a parachurch organization like TGC should not make complementarianism a foundational part of its identity by putting that position into its confessional statement. His posts can be found here and here. At first when I read Trueman’s posts and saw the video, I hadn’t noted the …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Female Pastors Volunteer at Complementarian Church

Ethics: Female Pastors Volunteer at Complementarian Church

What would you do Wednesday! Your church financially supports and hosts an after school Bible club. The club is interdenominational, but has doctrinal parameters to which volunteer teachers must agree. One of those doctrines is complementarianism which states that a woman cannot hold the office of pastor. It just so happens that two local female Methodist pastors volunteered to help with the Bible club. The pastor found out about the female pastors and explained to the Bible club director that having female pastors goes against the club’s doctrinal agreement. The pastor further explained that if the church cannot continue supporting …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Yes, a Pastor Should Have Close Friends in His Church

Yes, a Pastor Should Have Close Friends in His Church

Yes, is my answer to Dave Miller’s question asked at SBCVoices.com, “Can a pastor have close friends in his church?”1 I’ll explain why my answer is yes that a pastor should have close friends in his church even if he feels like he cannot. Note my subtle switch answering whether a pastor can have close friends in his church with whether or not he should. My answer is based on three premises: 1. pastors are members of the local church too, 2. pastors must be known for the congregation to know they are biblically qualified, and 3. pastors must be …keep reading »

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Ralph Reed: Republicans Don’t Need Southern Baptists

Ralph Reed, founder of the Faith and Freedom Coalition, had a chat with Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Political Insider, blogger Jim Galloway. Reed spoke about bigotry against Mormons coming from the left. When chatting about “anti-Mormon prejudice” Southern Baptists came up. It’s okay – Southern Baptists don’t matter much anyway. Galloway noted Reed’s position that, “Not that Southern Baptists have changed their mind, Reed said. But politically, they don’t matter as much:” ”Remember, if you’ve got a grandma sitting in the third row of an independent Baptist , white sideboard church who can’t bring herself to vote for a Mormon because …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Your Pastor Asked to Pray at Republican National Convention

Ethics: Your Pastor Asked to Pray at Republican National Convention

What would you do Wednesday! The Republican National Convention (RNC) kicks off this week. It is no secret that Mormon Mitt Romney is the Republican Presidential nominee. As with most national political events prayers will be offered. In fact, the NY Times reports that prayers at this years RNC will be given by a Jewish Rabbi, a Roman Catholic and “a Hispanic evangelical Christian, a Sikh, a Greek Orthodox archbishop and two Mormon leaders.”1 Today, think about how you would react if your Protestant pastor were invited to pray at the 2012 RNC given the above information. Your pastor has …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Wisdom from Francis Schaeffer for Baptist Infighting

Wisdom from Francis Schaeffer for Baptist Infighting

Some Southern Baptists are heavy weight champs at theological infighting. Maybe it’s time for Baptists to step outside the ring and consider another way to disagree. A quote from Francis Schaeffer below offers wisdom on how Baptists might better engage each other. In 1845, at the founding of the Southern Baptist Convention, most leaders were Calvinistic while the laity were less so.1 Today, most Southern Baptists are not Calvinists though there is a rise in Calvinistic theology in leadership and laity. Southern Baptists have worked together with Calvinist leaders and with non-Calvinist leaders. If Calvinistic Baptists were instrumental in forming …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Your Pastor Takes Away Sunday School Material

Ethics: Your Pastor Takes Away Sunday School Material

What would you do Wednesday! It is no secret that Pastor Ralph Green is dissatisfied with the new LifeWay Sunday School curriculum, The Gospel Project.1 It is also no secret that many disagree with Green’s criticisms. Green’s criticisms have inspired today’s applied ethics post. I’d like to bring a similar situation to your local church. I know that pastors and laity read this blog so there could be some interesting perspectives offered. The situation. New Sunday School classes started three weeks ago. An SS teacher brought in some new curriculum which he told the pastor about. The pastor wanted to …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Decline in SBC Baptisms: Three Critical Invitation Factors?

Decline in SBC Baptisms: Three Critical Invitation Factors?

One of the books assigned to read for one of my classes is Pastor’s Handbook by John R. Bisagno which offers a lot of practical advice. The advice is mostly pragmatic seemingly from a consequentialist perspective. That is, Bisagno writes from experience with little Scriptural support for his advice. Bisagno’s advice is not intrinsically good or bad, right or wrong, but at times questions arise when experience seems to be his authority. Previously, I commented on Bisagno’s perspective on extending the gospel invitation during corporate worship.1 Below I will comment on the three reasons he offers a partially contributing to …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for If Pat Robertson Were Jesus

If Pat Robertson Were Jesus

Be glad that Pat Robertson is not the Savior Jesus Christ, but imagine if he were. A female viewer wrote into The 700 Club with a question. This lady is a mother to three adopted children from foreign countries. She wanted to know why the men she dates always leave once they find out she has three adopted children from three different countries. Host Pat Robertson provided…an answer. “you just never know what’s been done to a child before you get that child; what kind of sexual abuse there has been, what kind of cruelty, what kind of food deprivation” …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Church Pressured to Support Burned Down Mosque

Ethics: Church Pressured to Support Burned Down Mosque

A Mosque in Joplin, MO recently burned down possibly due to arson. The St. Louis Post-Dispacth reported that churches in Joplin joined together to support a Mosque that burned down.1 Not only did churches come together to support the burned Mosque, but the article states that they will participate in an Islamic spiritual practice – iftar. They’ll be taking part in an “iftar,” which is a meal to break a fast during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.  What if a Mosque burned down in your town and your church was pressured to help? Several churches in your town, civic …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Register Today: 9Marks Workshop in Atlanta!

Register Today: 9Marks Workshop in Atlanta!

9Marks  is bringing a conference about the church and for the church to Atlanta, GA. The following topics will be covered: theological vision, preaching & biblical theology,  gospel, conversion & evangelism, membership, discipline & discipleship, leadership, covenanting together. Each session ends with a Q&A. More info and registration below. When? Monday, October 29, 2012, 9 am – Tuesday, October 30, 2012, 12 pm. Who is speaking? – Mark Dever – Matt Schmucker – Aaron Menikoff – Zach Schlegel How much? – General Registration: $45 – Student Registration: $35 Where? Mount Vernon Baptist 850 Mt Vernon Hwy NW Atlanta, GA 30327 …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: A Pastor’s Disobedient Children

Ethics: A Pastor’s Disobedient Children

What would you do Wednesday! Unfortunately, the following situation is based on actual events. Your wife and kids got to spend the day with your pastor’s wife and kids. Although four kids, ages 9 to 12, can be a handful, your wife came home surprisingly frustrated. Your wife explains that the pastor’s children were very rude and disrespectful to her outside their mother’s presence and even to their mother directly. The children were even disrespectful to their father, your pastor. Your children confirm your wife’s frustrations. After asking your children if they had fun with Jack and Diane, your pastor’s …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Excommunicated During Sunday Morning Worship?

Ethics: Excommunicated During Sunday Morning Worship?

What would you do Wednesday! Unfortunately, today’s scenario is inspired by true events. Consider the situation below. Explain why the pastor(s) should or should not carry out excommunication during the Sunday morning worship service on a church member who is under church discipline. Background Three months ago, a husband’s illicit affair was uncovered. The man admitted to a five year affair. He has been married for 15 years and has two kids. He has been in counseling with his pastors. Despite the counsel for the man to repent and reconcile with his wife, he has decided to leave his wife for …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Church Member Tries to Get Rid of Calvinist Pastor

Ethics: Church Member Tries to Get Rid of Calvinist Pastor

What would you do Wednesday! Inside a Southern Baptist Church the following is taking place at a congregational meeting. (Not Southern Baptist? Play along anyway!) The time has come for church members to speak about any praises or concerns on their hearts. One member says that he has a concern and moves to the microphone. Member: I have a concern about our pastor! He has been our pastor for three years and within the last year he started preaching out of the ESV Bible. In the last eight weeks alone he has quoted John Piper, RC Sproul and Augustine. My concern …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Pastor Leaves for a More Prominent Church

Ethics: Pastor Leaves for a More Prominent Church

What would you do Wednesday! Today’s scenario is set in a congregational meeting. Regular church business took place including announcements, comments on church life, etc. The pastor has said he has a special announcement to make, but first the deacon chairman had a few words to share with the pastor. The deacon begins, “Pastor, it has been a good eight years since you came to shepherd us. Last night, the deacon body and several other leaders in the church got together to pray over today’s meeting. We prayed for you and your family and discussed how thankful we are for …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Husbands Test Your Wives!

Husbands Test Your Wives!

Christian husbands ought to give their wives a short biblical test every now and then. This post suggests the kind of biblical test husbands may want to take their wives through. (Hint: The test is really aimed at the husbands!) I recently took my wife through this test during our devotion time. This test may be easier for wives than for husbands; try it and see. Ready? To get started you will need: a Bible or two, a blank sheet(s) of paper, and a pen or pencil. Open your Bible(s) to Ephesians 5. Pray for this time together. Read and …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Are SBC Resolutions Only Valid for One Year?

Are SBC Resolutions Only Valid for One Year?

While citing the Southern Baptist Convention website on resolutions for yesterday’s applied ethics post1 I noticed a interesting statement about resolutions. Note the following from the SBC website [emphasis added]. 21. How do I find out the official SBC stance on various issues? The Southern Baptist Convention makes official statements regarding specific issues by means of resolutions passed at our annual gatherings each June.  Southern Baptist polity views these resolutions as expressions of opinions or concern which are representative of the messengers attending the meeting, but are not binding upon any individual church or successive Convention.  Generally speaking, resolutions are …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Anti-Calvinism Resolution at the Southern Baptist Convention

Ethics: Anti-Calvinism Resolution at the Southern Baptist Convention

What would you do Wednesday! The annual Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) meeting is two months away1 so a situation that could take place during this meeting may provide an interesting discussion. In order to help those who are not Southern Baptists better participate in this topic, a few citations expressing Southern Baptist positions are provided below. Southern Baptists have prepared a statement of generally held convictions called The Baptist Faith and Message. It serves as a guide to understanding who they are.2 There is nothing in the Baptist Faith and Message that excludes Calvinists nor is the aim to do …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Leaking Confidential Meeting Details

Ethics: Leaking Confidential Meeting Details

What would you do Wednesday! The characters: You are one of twenty board members of a local Christian school. You have a friend who writes an online column for a local newspaper. The situation: Your friend has recently written critically in his online column about some of the recent decisions of the Christian school. You have mostly agreed with your friend about his concerns and have worked within your capacity as a board member to correct these recent decisions. A recent board meeting discussed some of the details about one of the school’s recent decisions. You shared those confidential details …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: George Zimmerman Secretly Visits Your Church

Ethics: George Zimmerman Secretly Visits Your Church

What would you do Wednesday! The tragic shooting death of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman that happened in Sanford, FL has taken over the internet recently.1 Passionate replies have been poured out from both Martin and Zimmerman supporters. Many in the court of public opinion have already tried Zimmerman and found him guilty of murder. Others believe that Martin may have brought the confrontation and shooting upon himself by causing Zimmerman to act in self-defense. Yet, what seems to be a minority of responders have decided to wait until all of the evidence is presented before a judge and jury …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Pastoral Search Committee Asks for Online Passwords

Ethics: Pastoral Search Committee Asks for Online Passwords

What would you do Wednesday! Today’s topic comes at the suggestion of  a Georgia pastor friend. He tweeted an article to me titled Want a Job? Fork Over Your Facebook Password, Employer Says.1 The suggestion was to substitute ‘search committee’ for ’employer’. Great idea! Sitting before a pastoral search committee during what will most likely be the final interview the committee members believe they have a bit more due diligence to conduct. On behalf of the whole committee, one member inquires. Mr. Potential Pastor, you have told us that you have both a Facebook and a twitter account. In this …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Subjectivity in Modern Preaching

Subjectivity in Modern Preaching

I was recently listening to a pastor preach on the importance of prayer in pastoral ministry. Prayer is certainly important in the life of a pastor (or any Christian). The context was that this pastor was teaching future pastors. Giving his time to such teaching is a great service. However, the text he used to make his point was Acts 1:13-14 and a few things just did not sit right with me. And when they had entered, they went up to the upper room, where they were staying, Peter and John and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Betting On NCAA March Madness Brackets

Ethics: Betting On NCAA March Madness Brackets

What would you do Wednesday! It’s March and NCAA March Madness is here! March Madness inspired me to a little blog madness for today’s ethical scenario. Of course, we all know that Christians should not only not play the NCAA brackets, but we should especially not play those brackets with money… …or should we? March Madness inspires a little office madness as the bracket sheets circulate just begging for everyone in the office to join in the fun. Bracket Bob, the person organizing the bracket sheets, asks you to participate. You really enjoy March Madness and following your own brackets …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Megachurch Wal-Mart Effect

Megachurch Wal-Mart Effect

I came across an interesting observation in a book I am reading for one of my classes. In the book Shepherd Leader, author Timothy Witmer points out what he calls the “Wal-mart effect” among megachurches. The truth of the matter is that much of the growth of megachurches is drawn from smaller churches in the region. This is what I call the Wal-Mart effect. What happens when a Wal-Mart moves to town? Many small “mom and pop” businesses are forced to close because they can’t compete with the prices, variety, and “one-stop shopping” of Wal-Mart. Likewise, small churches are depleted by …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Baptist Professor Drinking Beer in Public

Ethics: Baptist Professor Drinking Beer in Public

What would you do Wednesday! Today’s scenario involves a Southern Baptist seminary professor who is seen by a student drinking beer at a local restaurant. As always, anyone is free to comment. You, dear reader, are a seminary student out to dinner with some friends who are visiting for the weekend. While being seated at the restaurant you notice one of your professors. You also notice what looks to be a glass of beer in front of the professor. However, you remember the ethical conduct statement you signed as a student which is similar to the statement signed by seminary …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Bisagno On Extending the Gospel Invitation

Bisagno On Extending the Gospel Invitation

One of the books assigned to read for one of my classes is Pastor’s Handbook by John R. Bisagno which offers a lot of practical advice. The advice is mostly pragmatic seemingly from a consequentialist perspective. That is, Bisagno writes from experience with little Scriptural support for his advice. Bisagno’s advice is not intrinsically good or bad, right or wrong, but at times questions arise when experience seems to be his authority. Bisagno offered an interesting perspective on extending the gospel invitation during corporate worship. I am not convinced the reasoning in the advice given about extending the invitation is …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Pastor Introduces ‘Kings Way’ to Reach Muslims

Ethics: Pastor Introduces ‘Kings Way’ to Reach Muslims

What would you do Wednesday! Today’s situation is inspired by the recent Christian-Muslim relationship controversy surrounding Rick Warren. Warren has attempted to set the record straight concerning the recent reporting of his position on Christian-Muslim interaction.1 This post is not about Rick Warren although the information used below is from sources affiliated with the Christian-Muslim relationships in which Saddleback Church is involved. So we begin… During the Sunday morning announcements your pastors presents a plan to get the congregation to reach and work with their Muslim neighbors. He explains that he is inspired by what Saddleback Church is doing in …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Letter to the editor of ‘The Christian Index’ by Marty King

Letter to the editor of ‘The Christian Index’ by Marty King

Editorial not worthy of editor or Index Dear Gerald, As a former Georgia Baptist, I appreciate you and your service as Index editor. But, your Feb. 10 editorial was not your best. The level of research, organization, and writing are simply not up to what Georgia Baptists have come to expect. Let me share with you three concerns. 1. The editorial seems intent on fear-mongering, and is poorly sourced and organized. Although you admit in the article that “many great preachers and theologians have embraced Calvinism through the years,” you imply readers should be afraid of Calvinists, as evidenced by …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for The Calvinists: a Reply to Gerald Harris Part II

The Calvinists: a Reply to Gerald Harris Part II

The following is part II of a reply to Gerald Harris recently published the article “The Calvinists are here.” The article was published in The Christian Index, the Georgia Southern Baptist newspaper, of which Harris is the editor. If you have not read part I, follow this link to do so: The Calvinists: a Reply to Gerald Harris Part I. Part II begins below by interacting with Harris’ article where part I ended. The average Baptist who sits in a Sunday School class or a small Bible study group has depended on LifeWay to provide Bible study materials that are …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for The Calvinists: a Reply to Gerald Harris Part I

The Calvinists: a Reply to Gerald Harris Part I

Gerald Harris, editor of the The Christian Index, the Georgia Southern Baptist newspaper, recently published the article “The Calvinists are here.”1 There have been two immediate responses to Harris’ piece including one by former Calvinist William Birch2 and an article in the Baptist Press in which some of the people mentioned by Harris answered his concerns.3 Harris’ article seems to be pieced together without a thesis. The article seems strung together by insinuations built upon a connect-the-dots type of guilt by association. In short, there is a lot to untangle in Harris’ article. In the following response, which has been …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Leaving a Gospel Tract for a Tip

Ethics: Leaving a Gospel Tract for a Tip

What would you do Wednesday! I’m sure many Christians have handed out gospel tracts. There are a variety of tracts and some are even made to look like money. There is a million dollar bill tract which, of course, does not look real, but there are a few in lower denominations such at $10 and $20 bills that look like real money at first glance. Usually, these $10 and $20 gospel tracts look like a bill folded in half with a gospel message on the inside. Today’s scenario will involve a $10 gospel tract being left at a restaurant as …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Seminary Student Preaches Someone Else’s Sermons

Ethics: Seminary Student Preaches Someone Else’s Sermons

What would you do Wednesday! Today I’m going to pick-on set the situation within the realm of Southern Baptists since I are one. It is also more culturally acceptable to use your own as an example, right? (Don’t worry, non-Southern Baptists may also comment.) The created situation involves a seminary student who preaches someone else’s sermons. The question will be two-fold by considering the person as a student and then as a pastor. Your pastor. For this scenario, the seminary student (SS) will be using, let’s see, sermons by – eeny, meeny, miny, moe, choose a preacher and let’s go …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: the Deacons are Freemasons!

Ethics: the Deacons are Freemasons!

What would you do Wednesday! Freemasonry is not as active as it was in the past. It was already on the decline when I left the lodge 13 years ago. Although I imagine the Shriners, of whom all are Masons, are still pretty active. Freemasonry was once a concern in Southern Baptist life. In fact, the North American Mission Board’s apologetics website has a few resources on Freemasonry under “New Religions and Cults.”1 A 1993 Southern Baptist study on Freemasonry concluded with a list of items showing where Freemasonry and Christianity were not compatible. However, the report also acknowledged: That …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for TD Jakes Reviews: Elephant Room and 11 Various Books

TD Jakes Reviews: Elephant Room and 11 Various Books

First, James White weighs in on his Dividing Line radio show for two hours. There were so many listeners that the servers crashed.  Find the link and a description below. A Mega-Friday DL on TD Jakes and Elephants in the Room In any case, I addressed the TD Jakes: is he a Trinitarian? issue head on during the first hour, and then took calls on the topic for a full hour after that. The callers were wide ranging, and while none defended the ER or Jakes, they did provide some good insights. Lots of positive feedback on Twitter and FaceBook. …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Angry Apostles and the Trinity

Angry Apostles and the Trinity

On the Trinity First, Pastor Tom Chantry has provided a actual transcript of T.D. Jakes words on the Trinity from The Elephant Room 2, session 4.1 Chantry then made a follow-up post in which he shares his thoughts in the following five points.2 1. Jakes masterfully deconstructs the entire practice of theology. 2. Driscoll and MacDonald are too much in awe of Jakes’ massive numeric success to call him on this. 3. James MacDonald is angry. 4. The mega-pastors are one big lovin’ family! 5. If you aren’t defined at least somewhat by what you are against, you aren’t really …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Church Discipline Contract Issued

Ethics: Church Discipline Contract Issued

What would you do Wednesday! Today’s situation deals with the uncomfortable issue of church discipline. To make the situation more uncomfortable a church discipline contract will also be involved. The scenario is inspired by real circumstances surrounding a former Mars Hill Church member named Andrew who was issued a church discipline contract to sign.1 Imagine that you (or a friend if you wish) has just confessed and repented of being sexually involved with a fellow church member who happens to be the child of one of the church elders. The confession took place in the covenant group that you are …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for On Public Rebuke

On Public Rebuke

As far as I know, being rebuked is not something to which most Christians look forward, especially, being publicly rebuked. However, Scripture says it is good for rebuke (2 Tim. 3:16). Scripture even includes the well-known example of one Apostle publicly rebuking another Apostle (Gal. 2:11, 14). Today, there is no shortage of Christians rebuking one another online. Though direct, public rebukes in person is not often carried out. Occasionally, one might hear a public rebuke about  a particular person, but the more popular route is to address poor teaching in general leaving the teacher unnamed. In the past, I …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Prominent Pastor Plagiarizes?

Ethics: Prominent Pastor Plagiarizes?

What would you do Wednesday! The question of plagiarized sermons comes up every now and then. Whether or not one should preach someone else’s sermons has been debated in the blogosphere, too. Selling sermons must not be too bad of a business considering the eight sites listed on Sermon Source that continue to sell sermons. There are probably more than just these eight sites selling sermons. Of course, buying someone else’s sermons does not mean that they will be delivered as original work from the pulpit. However, this does happen to the extent that one pastor recently stepped down over sermon …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Church to Lose Funding Over Homosexual Adoption

Ethics: Church to Lose Funding Over Homosexual Adoption

What would you do Wednesday! The New York Times reported that Roman Catholic charities in Illinois must comply with a new requirement to “consider same-sex couples as potential foster-care and adoptive parents if they want to receive state money.”1 Catholic bishops claim that these requirements infringe on freedom of religion. Catholic charities in other cities have closed their adoption services rather than comply with the new requirements. The article also states that five Catholic Charities in Illinois get 60 – 92% of their revenue from the state. For today’s scenario, let’s move the above situation to your local church. Your …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Elephant Room II and TD Jakes’ Oneness Association

Elephant Room II and TD Jakes’ Oneness Association

Elephant Room II is only 20 days away. T.D. Jakes is still on the schedule.1 Several of us disagreed with Jakes being a participant2, including Mark Dever who withdrew3, but I did suggest some questions for Jakes.4 Although I am still not very excited about Jakes participation, I am interested in what he will have to say, especially, in his session with Mark Driscoll where the following issues are supposed to be addressed. What are the ‘majors’ of Christian doctrine that cannot be diluted or denied for a person to be a Christian? How can we help one another move …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Top 10 Posts for the Second Half of 2011

Top 10 Posts for the Second Half of 2011

The following top 10 posts are those that received the most traffic from July 2011 through December 2011. The amount of attention some of these topics received on the web at the time they happened is amazing. However, thinking over the topics now is like thinking about ancient history that happened years ago. We really do live in a soundbite society. Here today, cached tomorrow. 1. TD Jakes: Association Lacking Discernment? – A reply to James MacDonald’s defense of using discernment and association for inviting T.D. Jakes to Elephant Room II. The post includes interesting quotes from T.D. Jakes giving …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Renting to a Homosexual Couple

Ethics: Renting to a Homosexual Couple

What would you do Wednesday! The Michael Medved Show recently covered the topic of the discrimination lawsuit filed against Aloha Bed & Breakfast by a lesbian couple. The B&B owner, Phyllis Young, allegedly denied the couple a room due to her Christian views on homosexuality. The lesbian couple is suing claiming a violation of Hawaiian law by discrimination based on sexual orientation. Young is being legally represented by the Alliance Defense Fund, an organization which defends religious freedom. This should be an interesting lawsuit to follow. As a Christian, would you do the same as Young? As I understand it, Young actually lives …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Don’t Quote Me, Bro!

Ethics: Don’t Quote Me, Bro!

What would you do Wednesday! Today’s scenario is an interesting one involving blogging, although it could be applied to any online writing. The online exchange of words and ideas is amazingly fast. If a blogger has any kind of audience and he posts something that challenges that audience there is probably going to be a response. The large technology and political blogs certainly get responses, but a blog need have a huge following to get feedback. Even in the small world of Christian blogging one can get into some pretty heated discussion. So what if one Christian blogger asks another …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Pastor Opposes Tim Tebow Preaching

Ethics: Pastor Opposes Tim Tebow Preaching

What would you do Wednesday! NFL quarterback Tim Tebow gets a lot of news coverage because of the way he and the Broncos are winning football games and, more specifically, for his outspoken faith in Jesus Christ. It could be argued that his Christianity has become more of a story than the last minute wins. Today’s hypothetical scenario might bring Tim Tebow to your church. In an upcoming Sunday, your church is holding a youth outreach event that will be held after the morning service. The church youth have been encouraged to invite friends and neighbors.The whole church was asked …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: High School Football Practice Changed for Ramadan

Ethics: High School Football Practice Changed for Ramadan

What would you do Wednesday! In one of the episodes of TLC’s new TV show All-American Muslim a local high school football team changed their practice time for the observance of Ramadan.1 Ramadan is a month of Islamic fasting where “Muslims refrain from eating, drinking, smoking and sex during daylight hours.”2 Today’s scenario is based on the above true story. Your son’s high school football coach sends notice home with each player that practice is changing for the month of Ramadan. The notice is sent a month before Ramadan begins. Instead of practicing at the usually time immediately after school …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Preaching On Sin and Responsibility

Preaching On Sin and Responsibility

Sin and responsibility may not be the most comfortable topics about which to talk or preach. No one really wants to consider that they are responsible for something they did i.e. sin. It is much easier to blame sins on someone else as if they some how caused the sin and, therefore, avoid personal responsibility. It is much easier to compare one’s sin to another person’s much worse sin in order to minimize sin and personal responsibility. Is taking personal responsibility of sin minimized because of the way sin is expressed at times from the pulpit? Is the sinner a …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Pastor Admits to Homosexual Orientation

Ethics: Pastor Admits to Homosexual Orientation

What would you do Wednesday! Thanks to my friend Rhology for this week’s topic. Your main preaching pastor is about to offer a Sunday morning pastoral prayer. Before praying one of your associate pastors steps up to the pulpit to make an important announcement and asks everyone for prayers on the issue. He begins. As you all know I’ve served as a pastor here for several years. You also know that I have remained single the whole time. What I am about to tell you is not easy to openly admit. The fact is that my sexual orientation…is…homosexual. But please …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for The Gospel in the Liquor Store

The Gospel in the Liquor Store

The following true story is about a seminary student sharing the gospel in a liquor store. The student is an acquaintance and the story is shared with permission. This is all that will be revealed of this student. One of the most divisive disagreements among conservative Christians is the subject of Christians drinking alcohol. Tim Challies highlighted and commented on some of the recent disagreements about Christians and alcohol.1 Challies provides a big picture view of the subject with a caution to younger Christians to use their freedom wisely when it comes to alcohol. I pray the following story is …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ethics: Christian Converts to Islam to Marry Muslim

Ethics: Christian Converts to Islam to Marry Muslim

What would you do Wednesday! TLC’s new TV show All-American Muslim recently had an episode where a Roman Catholic converted to Islam so he could marry a Muslim woman.1 My wife and I had some interesting discussions about this situation. The Roman Catholic mother and father did not seem to be bothered as much as I suspect most people would be over their son’s conversion to Islam. Today’s scenario is along the same lines as the above situation. A married couple who is a long time member of your church comes to you with a dilemma. Their child who has …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for So You Want My Daughter?

So You Want My Daughter?

I’ve always been intrigued about why a Christian would want to date or marry a non-Christian. A solid biblical case can be made that a Christian should only date or marry another Christian.1 In a mixed dating situation the Christian is not trusting Christ nor finding Him sufficient, but is looking elsewhere to satisfy certain needs. Of course, as with many areas in life Christians fall short and there is always places in their lives where Christ is not primary. This is an admission rather than an excuse for Christians to date non-Christians. As one friend of mine said about …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Reformation Day 2011: Luther on the Power of God’s Word

Reformation Day 2011: Luther on the Power of God’s Word

Love, therefore, demands that you have compassion on the weak, as all the apostles had. Once, when Paul came to Athens, a mighty city, he found in the temple many altars, Acts and he went from one to the other and looked at them all, but did not touch any one of them even with his foot. But he stood in the midst of the market-place and said they were all idolatrous works, and begged the people to forsake them; yet he did not destroy one of them by force. When the word took hold of their hearts, they forsook …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Exterminating the Canaanites

Exterminating the Canaanites

Richard Dawkins recently explained why he would not debate William Lane Craig.1 Dawkins does not like that Craig defends God’s commands to the Israelites in the Old Testament to destroy certain people groups that were inhabiting the Promised Land. He claims that Craig has a “dark side” and that “Most churchmen these days wisely disown the horrific genocides ordered by the God of the Old Testament.” Dawkins quotes Craig on the extermination of the Canaanites and takes issue with Craig defending God’s commands for such actions. In one of my Old Testament text books I came across a perspective (shared …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for What I Wish TV Hosts Would Ask Christians

What I Wish TV Hosts Would Ask Christians

Trevin Wax has an excellent post on how he wishes the homosexuality debate would go between TV hosts and pastors.1 Trevin offers an example of good dialogue with the Christian re-directing the conversation so it is not concentrating on homosexuality. The dialogue could actually work with a dose of patience, focus and enough time. I wish the homosexuality debate would be as Trevin described too, but I also wish something else. TV show hosts like to press on hot button. Some of the on going hot button issues are just about anything on homosexuality, on whether Mormonism is Christian, or …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for An “in Christ” Mindset

An “in Christ” Mindset

Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are at Philippi, with the overseers and deacons: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. (Philippians 1:1-2 ESV) Notice how Paul begins the letter to the Philippians. He calls Paul and Timothy “servants” or “slaves” of Jesus. He then refers to the rest of the Christians at Philippi as “saints.” Paul sees them as having their identity in Christ. Paul’s approach makes me think about how those in one’s local and extended church families should be addressed. And …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Did Mark Dever Withdraw from Elephant Room 2?

Did Mark Dever Withdraw from Elephant Room 2?

I my previous post I shared that I leaned toward Mark Dever withdrawing from participating in Elephant Room 2(ER2) due to T.D. Jakes scheduled participation.1 A commenter on that post informed me that Dever’s bio, pictured above, is missing from the ER2 website. If Dever does or did withdraw from the event it should not come a surprise. In 2008 he was challenged on the issue of biblical separation. Dever answered the challenge explaining that he does practice separation. Others may be able to learn from his practice. The following quote is part of Dever’s article on separation which applies …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for What Would You Ask TD Jakes at Elephant Room 2?

What Would You Ask TD Jakes at Elephant Room 2?

The announcement T.D. Jakes participation at Elephant Room 2 (ER2) has generated much digital ink in the last week. I’ve shared some of the trouble I have with Jakes participation.1 Other Christians have provided more thorough responses than I explaining their concern over James MacDonald inviting T.D. Jakes.2 Note that no one is disputing that MacDonald can host whoever he wants at ER2 even while disagreeing with him. It is, however, too soon to know for sure whether or not ER2 will take place as scheduled. Anything can happen, right? Outside of Jakes withdrawing or having his invitation withdrawn the …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for TD Jakes: Association Lacking Discernment?

TD Jakes: Association Lacking Discernment?

It has been recently revealed that T.D. Jakes will be a participant in Elephant Room round 2.1 Elephant Room is hosted by James MacDonald and Mark Driscoll. Its format is for influential pastors to have “blunt conversations” around “differing approaches to ministry” with the purpose of modeling “loving confrontation and gracious disagreement that honors relationship and allows diversity of opinion but stands without compromise on the revealed word of God.”2 Many of us hold that there is a biblical compromise with Jakes given his fellowship with Oneness Pentacostalism and his position on the Trinity as documented in the past by …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Would You Pray at Ground Zero?

Would You Pray at Ground Zero?

An interfaith prayer vigil will be held at the National Cathedral for the tenth anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks. It seems that no Evangelicals were invited to participate along side the “dean of the Cathedral, the Bishop of Washington, a rabbi, Buddhist nun and incarnate lama, a Hindu priest, the president of the Islamic Society of North America and a Muslim musician.”1 Should Evangelicals have been invited? Carl Trueman addressing Southern Baptists seems to think that not being invited is a good thing since no invitation means no compromise.2 Mike Horton weighs in with a thoughtful response asking …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Servant Evangelism: Gimmick or Grace?

Servant Evangelism: Gimmick or Grace?

Steve Sjogren is know for what is called Servant Evangelism which, as I understand it, is a way of doing outreach through acts of kindness in hopes of sharing the gospel. At SermonCentral.com Sjogren has an article titled 94 Servant Evangelism Ideas for Your Church. The ideas he lists are certain good, kind things to do for your neighbors. How should we think about such acts in light of evangelism? When this topic comes up it reminds me of something I call Amway Evangelism. This involves churches hosting events to draw non-Christians and then at some point unexpectedly springing the …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Preaching: Young, Restless and Four?

Preaching: Young, Restless and Four?

Paul wrote to Timothy and stated, ” Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.” (1 Timothy 4:12 ESV) I don’t think Paul had a four year old preacher in mind as one way this Scripture may be applied. Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy Starting at the 1:44 mark the clip shows four year old Kanon preach: Hallelujah. I’m preaching about…I’m preaching about the one God. Like a man’s church to the man’s church of Pentecost…of Pentecost…of …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Brewing Controversy: A Respectful Disagreement with John MacArthur

Brewing Controversy: A Respectful Disagreement with John MacArthur

[The following reply is a guest post originally published on spencernix.com (hyperlink removed the site is currently hacked) by friend and fellow blogger Spencer Nix. Spencer is a north Georgia native and Lead Pastor of Isaac’s Keep in Canton, Georgia. He enjoys connecting with people and their story and living life simply and beautifully in his corner of Creation, the intersection of north Atlanta and Southern Appalachia.] Or it’s more Puritan title: Brewing Controversy: A 12 Point Respectful Disagreement to the Estimable Rev. John MacArthur over the subject of Beer, which We Greatly Enjoy and Hope He Someday Will, too. …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Alcohol: Of Greeks and Barbarians

Alcohol: Of Greeks and Barbarians

There has been enough talk about alcohol on Christians blogs lately to make readers drunk with words. While alcohol is always a favorite topic on Southern Baptist blogs1 one of the well-esteemed pastors of our day, John MacArthur, also felt the need to address the topic2. MacArthur was answered by the accused, Erik Raymond3 and Spencer Nix4 (who happens to be a friend) which resulted in another reply from MacArthur’s ministry5. In discussions like these two items always seem to come up. Item one, a point which MacArthur makes, is that the wine in biblical times was not like that …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Church Sign of the Week: King James Only

Church Sign of the Week: King James Only

This photo was taken in the Smoky Mountains while on vacation. We had just driven onto Cherokee land when we passed this church sign. So we turned the car around and took a picture of it. The church name is included in the original picture, but I cut that part out. For the record, the church is not a Southern Baptist church, but an Independent Missionary Baptist church. Enjoy!

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Thumbnail image for Surry Baptist Association-Flat Rock Baptist Timeline

Surry Baptist Association-Flat Rock Baptist Timeline

Flat Rock Baptist Church (FRBC) was recently removed from fellowship in the Surry Baptist Association (SBA) for calling a female to the pastorate. Some have disagreed with the way SBA removed them seemingly so quickly1 while others disagree with the removal at all2. The background of the situation may be found in those posts or a more direct story may be found at the Associated Baptist Press.3 I have been in contact with SBA. I wasn’t sure what or how much to say about the issue after doing some reading. After reading about the issue from Mount Airy pastor Alex …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for IMB Missionary Interview for LovingMuslims.com

IMB Missionary Interview for LovingMuslims.com

The International Mission Board (IMB) of the Southern Baptist Convention recently launched a website to encourage Christians reach out to their Muslim neighbors. The website is LovingMuslims.com and the timing of the launch was no mistake as the 10 year anniversary of 9/11 approaches. I had the privilege to send a few question to the person behind the vision for the website. That person is, Lil Brooks, the IMB Project Coordinator for Loving Muslims. Lil Brooks may be reached via the email linked here. I pray the interview is helpful and the website useful to help Christians reach their Muslim …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Mark Driscoll On Prophetic Dreams and Seeing the Future

Mark Driscoll On Prophetic Dreams and Seeing the Future

Fellow blogger (of ill-repute) and friend, Frank Turk recently wrote an Open Letter to Mark Driscoll. In the letter Turk took Driscoll to task over some of the things he said about cessationism. The summary of Driscoll’s view may be most clearly seen when he said that “cessationism is worldliness” and then sealed the deal stating, “So it goes to Atheism, Deism and this will be controversial, cessationism.” Side note: Before getting to the main issue I want to address something Driscoll said just after the worldliness comment. As part of making his assertion case for cessationism being worldliness Driscoll …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Discipleship Through Judgement

Discipleship Through Judgement

Look at the word discipleship. There within it is the word disciple, which is obviously related to the word discipline. In view of the next section on corrective church discipline, I would point out that discipleship is the other side of the coin—it is formative church discipline. These words, discipleship/discipline/ disciple, all connote ideas of training, and all training sometimes feels like punishment (cf. Heb. 12:7–11). The training in view here involves being taught to obey everything Jesus commanded. The commands of Jesus 4 often go against our instincts, impulses, inclinations, and desires. Sometimes they seem to make no sense. …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for On Frivolous Prayer and Reverence

On Frivolous Prayer and Reverence

Given the discussions on the recent NASCAR prayer both here (A NASCAR Prayer, Parody or Blasphemy?) and elsewhere the commentary below from Calvin offers helpful perspective to consider on prayer. In the first quote, Calvin addresses the state of the mind and reverence to God in prayer. Let the first rule of right prayer then be, to have our heart and mind framed as becomes those who are entering into converse with God. This we shall accomplish in regard to the mind, if, laying aside carnal thoughts and cares which might interfere with the direct and pure contemplation of God, …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for A NASCAR Prayer, Parody or Blasphemy?

A NASCAR Prayer, Parody or Blasphemy?

Below is a transcript and video of the invocation “prayer” that Pastor Joe Nelms of Family Baptist Church in Lebanon, TN (near Nashville) recently gave at a NASCAR event. I’m not sure how to respond other than to scratch my head and think of this in light of the state of American Christianity. Of course, he had to be Baptist, but atleast he’s not Southern Baptist as far as I can tell. So was Nelms offering a prayer, a parody or blasphemy? Heavenly Father, we thank you tonight for all your blessings. You said in all things give thanks so …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Popping Off Is Not Pastoral

Popping Off Is Not Pastoral

Christianity in America seems to be in a constant state of decline rather than a constant state of repentance. One sign of this decline is the way in which celebrity rather than Scripture seems to have become the lens through which certain pastors are evaluated. This type of bias undermines the witness of the Church to nonbelievers. One recent example is when well-known pastor Mark Driscoll posted a flippant comment on Facebook which gathered over 600 comments in response. Offended blogger Rachel Held Evans responded and the flame Driscoll lit spread across the online Christian community. (Note: Driscoll has replied with …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Top 10 Posts for 2011 at the Halfway Point

Top 10 Posts for 2011 at the Halfway Point

The Shack Review – I’m amazed at the visits (and sometimes comments) that this post continues to get. I may soon be giving away a copy of Burning Down ‘The Shack’: How the ‘Christian’ bestseller is deceiving millions. A Look at Passion City Church – The comments here come with some emotion and healthy discussion. I think they’ve finally started meeting regularly which is why the activity has been so high. I was even contacted to ask where “we” meet assuming I was part of Passion City. Dynamite Sermon Illustrations – I am not as surprised by this one given …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ironic Church Sign of the Week

Ironic Church Sign of the Week

The above picture was taken by one of my pastors right down the road from our church building. Can you spot the irony?

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Thumbnail image for A Response: Patriotism and Christian Worship

A Response: Patriotism and Christian Worship

Pastor David Brumbelow recently posted Patriotism and Christian Worship at SBC Voices. I will admit upfront that I disagree with Brumbelow on this topic. I’ve even written about patriotic worship in the past on more than on occasion. Christians will probably continue to disagree about this topic this side of heaven. Make no mistake that even though I disagree with Brumbelow on patriotic worship, I am not anti-American. I love America and am very thankful that I was born here. I will say the Pledge and sing patriotic songs with a warm heart. I just won’t do so during corporate …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Freedom: More Than An American

Freedom: More Than An American

Christian, what will be at the forefront of your mind during corporate worship this 4th of July weekend? (HT: John Strickland)

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Thumbnail image for Transcript and Commentary: Al Mohler On Homosexuality at the SBC

Transcript and Commentary: Al Mohler On Homosexuality at the SBC

Dr. R. Albert Mohler, President of Southern Seminary, recently answered a question from Dr. Peter Lumpkins concerning alleged comments he made about Evangelicals and homosexuality. The question was answered from the floor of the 2011 Southern Baptist Convention’s annual meeting during his report on Southern Seminary. Dr. Mohler confirmed that the statements in question were his and further expressed some of his views on the topic of Evangelicals and homosexuality. His answer has attracted much attention in parts of the internet world. For example, Al Mohler’s Response to Peter Lumpkins: The Complete Video at SBC Voices received over 350 comments …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for A Teenager On Youth Ministry

A Teenager On Youth Ministry

I’m recycling a post about a teenager named Erica who was given an assignment to write an editorial on the subject of her choice. She choose youth ministry. Youth ministry is difficult. Questions are often asked about how to best reach and minister to youth. It can be hard to get into the mind of a teenager. Adults may be surprised of the wisdom that may be found in those young, developing minds. The article offered below may be one such surprise. Erica’s editorial is republished below exactly as it was sent to a friend of mine who is also …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for The Southern Baptist Phantom Menace

The Southern Baptist Phantom Menace

Imagine for a moment that a church friend comes to you and expresses his frustration over another member of the church. Your friend mentions that he is tired of Sunday School at various times. He does not like the way things are taught sometimes or some of the methods used in the lessons. In his frustration he mentions that he may just stop tithing for a while and maybe stop attending Sunday School too. Realizing that you are in the same Sunday School class and that you sometimes teach, you think to yourself, “Who or what exactly is he talking …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Southern Baptist Church Offices, Elders et al. (Update)

Southern Baptist Church Offices, Elders et al. (Update)

Update below. A simple Google search will yield discussions concerning Southern Baptists and the subject of having a plurality of elders/pastors in place in the local church. It is understandable that there are biblical interpretive disagreements on how a church ought to fill its offices, on congregational involvement, etc. Hopefully, all local congregations seek to be biblical in setting up a church government. Various denominations have various guidelines stemming from their theological convictions. What about Southern Baptists? The official website of the Southern Baptist Convention has some faqs under the ‘About Us’ section. Question 14 asks,” What is the SBC’s …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Did the Gay Clergy Lie?

Did the Gay Clergy Lie?

The StarTribune reports that Presbyterians to allow gays to be ordained ministers. Note: Those Presbyterians would be of the PCUSA branch. I’m sure many would call them PiNO’s (Presbyterian in name only.) Thankfully, some in the PCUSA spoke against the newly affirmed policy which will now allow openly gay and lesbian members to be ordained clergy. Something caught my eye while reading the story. OK, several things caught my eye, but one thing in particular. A few quotes will be provided in order to show the point in asking – Did the gay clergy lie? First, what the new policy …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Did Mark Richt Make Me A Dawgs Fan?

Did Mark Richt Make Me A Dawgs Fan?

Being a graduate of Georgia Southern University (GSU) hasn’t really influenced me to be a Georgia Bulldogs (UGA) fan. I was actually not a fan for a few years after I got to see how poorly Dawg fans treated GA Southern fans when played against each other. See, UGA and GSU play each other every four years in what is essentially a money game. GSU is a smaller school and so UGA is expected to win, but a lot of money is raised and the smaller school gets larger than normal exposure. At the game I attended you would have …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Camping Missed It: Judgement Day is Everyday

Camping Missed It: Judgement Day is Everyday

Unfortunately, by now Harold Camping is probably a household name. A household name that is probably not widely cherished among households. Camping will most likely be known as that false Christian Judgement Day teacher until the day he dies. Since he is approaching 90 years old he probably will not be with us much longer. But is there still time for him to get it right? Yes, there is still time for Camping to get it right. I don’ t mean that his third time for predicting the end of the world later this year will be the charm. Maybe …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Sermon: Drinking Is Not Drunkeness

Sermon: Drinking Is Not Drunkeness

Eddie Exposito, a pastor friend from Louisiana, preached a sermon about the biblical approach to alcohol. The sermon, linked below, is called Drinking Is Not Drunkenness. He addresses some of the unbiblical approaches to alcohol that are prevalent today and offers a corrective, biblical view. I thought some of you would appreciate this sermon. Drinking Is Not Drunkenness

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Thumbnail image for Lord’s Day 05/08/11 Spurgeon On Mothers

Lord’s Day 05/08/11 Spurgeon On Mothers

Happy Mother’s Day! Below are some excerpts from the section “Early Religious Impressions” found in Charles Spurgeon’s Autobiography. I thought they would be appropriate for Mother’s Day. Yet I cannot tell how much I owe to the solemn words of my good mother. It was the custom, on Sunday evenings, while we were yet little children, for her to stay at home with us, and then we sat round the table, and read verse by verse, and she explained the Scripture to us. After that was done, then came the time of pleading; there was a little piece of Alleine’s …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Hell Now

Hell Now

Whatever change of trouble a child of God meets with, it is all the hell he shall have. Whatever eclipse may be upon his name or estate, I may say of it, as Athanasius of his banishment, it is a little cloud that will soon be blown over, and then his gulf is shot his hell is past. Death begins a wicked man’s hell, but it puts an end to a godly man’s hell. Think with thyself, what if I endure this? It is but a temporary hell: indeed if all our hell be here, it is but an easy …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Daily Appropriating the Gospel

Daily Appropriating the Gospel

When we look at Paul’s letter to the Galatians, we realize that it is easy for us to follow false gospels of various kinds. We need to remind ourselves that all of us follow and lean on various false gospels. Detecting them is difficult because they often are below our theological radar. Few well-churched Christians would actually claim that good parenting, punctuality, etiquette, physical fitness, and active church involvement would be a way of achieving peace with God, but we live as if these are proven ways of gaining God’s love and favor. We need to begin with an assumption …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for On the Sermon Series

On the Sermon Series

Tim Hawkins on the sermon series…

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Thumbnail image for Universalism: Rob Bell and Paul Dean

Universalism: Rob Bell and Paul Dean

Even before the release of his latest book, Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived, Rob Bell set the blogosphere ablaze. The biggest charge against Bell is that of him being a universalist. In a recent interview with Newsweek’s Lisa Miller, Bell first states, with qualifications, that he is not a universalist. Then, moments later denies the charge again. (Thanks to Denny Burk’s partial transcript.) Miller: So this sort of universalism that you are preaching that’s exclusive and inclusive… Bell: That I just denied? Yeah, that one. Okay. Kevin DeYoung does …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Advanced-Objective-Relevant Conference?

Advanced-Objective-Relevant Conference?

Beyond the Basics? Advanced, Objective, Relevant? I can across the above conference advertisement today. It looks like an interesting conference, doesn’t it? Great graphics. Would you attend? Wait! What kind of conference? A Christian conference? What do you think?  

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Thumbnail image for Is T.D. Jakes Now Trinitarian?

Is T.D. Jakes Now Trinitarian?

In light of the recent concerns over Modalism and the SBC Pastors’ Conference, it has been said that T.D. Jakes no longer holds to a form of Modalism or to a Onesness Pentecostal view of God. There are plenty of resources (I don’t have time to note them here) online and in books that document and examine the evidence for the claim that T.D. Jakes holds to a modalistic view of God rather than the Christian view of God as Trinity. But has Jakes changed his position on his doctrine of God? A quick, curious search for T.D. Jakes on …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Open Email: SBC Pastors’ Conference 2011 Doctrinal Concern

Open Email: SBC Pastors’ Conference 2011 Doctrinal Concern

Please note: Mr. Jones’ name and the link to the Potter’s House website have been removed from the Pastor’s Conference website. On Feb. 17th I sent an email to Vance Pitman, President of the 2011 Southern Baptist Pastors’ Conference about a doctrinal concern. The email is posted below and contains within it the first email that I sent on Feb. 16th to Jamal Jones who serves under T.D. Jakes at The Potter’s House. Jones is set to participate in this year’s SBC Pastors’ Conference. My concerns may be understood by reading the emails below. I thought I’d post this for …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Michael Horton: What is the Gospel?

Michael Horton: What is the Gospel?

(Source: What is the Gospel?) Horton states that the Gospel is “a very precise term. It is not equivalent to whatever is good and important in Christianity. Gospel is a very particular word, or kind of speech in the Bible. From Genesis to Revelation the Gospel is God’s promise of a Son who will crush the serpents head, forgive the sins of His people, raise them from the dead, and give them ever lasting life solely on the basis of His grace for the sake of Christ.” He also states that the Gospel “never tells us something to do. The …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for “Live the Gospel” Charles Spurgeon Advised

“Live the Gospel” Charles Spurgeon Advised

Can anyone but Christ live the gospel? Disagreements on the answer to this question can be seen from Open Letters to The Fear of Antinomianism. I wonder if the disagreements lie within what one means when challenging others to “live the gospel.” I don’t know of anyone who uses this phrase to mean that Christians should literally live Christ’s life. Nevertheless, it is interesting that Spurgeon used this phrase on a few occasions. Some (all?) of these occasions are quoted below, bold emphasis mine. To be prepared for the coming conflict, we have only to preach the gospel, and to …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for What If Governor Robert Bentley Instead…

What If Governor Robert Bentley Instead…

Newly elected Alabama Governor Robert Bentley made headlines recently while speaking at a church in celebration of Martin Luther King Day. His words were delivered right after he was sworn in as governor. There may be more of a timing issue here because though he was speaking at a church, the offending words were his stating the exclusive claims of Jesus reported as: “Anybody here today who has not accepted Jesus Christ as their savior, I’m telling you, you’re not my brother and you’re not my sister, and I want to be your brother,” Bentley said Monday, just moments into …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Church Sign: Gospel or Moralism?

Church Sign: Gospel or Moralism?

In a message this morning about post-modernism the church sign pictured above was put up as an example of what post-modernists are rebelling against in the modernist Christian culture. The question that crossed my mind is whether this picture is an example of reaching out with the gospel or with moralism?

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Thumbnail image for Paul Washer: The Great Sin of the American Pastor

Paul Washer: The Great Sin of the American Pastor

Below is an excerpt of Paul Washer from the DVD Divided by Philip Leclerc. Because we have dumbed-down the gospel. Because we’re not preaching the true gospel and we are using carnal means to attract people. If you use carnal means to attract men you’re going to attract carnal men and you’re going to have to keep using greater carnal means to keep them in the church. So, what has happened is this; we have these large churches filled with many unconverted carnal people, but in those churches we also have this small group of people that honestly want Christ …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for A Grinch Alert?

A Grinch Alert?

I’m convinced that the celebration of Christmas is always going to be a point of contention somewhere. Whether it’s from anti-Christian secularists, Christians who are convicted that it is not a holiday to be celebrated or corporations that embrace the holiday season in general simply as a means for revenue. Scripture gives Christians no direct command to celebrate or not to celebrate Christmas, or the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ if you will. So why not take advantage of the holiday as Christians? People will always attempt to steal Christmas here in the U.S. It is a Federal …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Spurgeon on Impressive and Borrowed Sermons

Spurgeon on Impressive and Borrowed Sermons

Justin Taylor recently posted TGC Asks Don Carson: When Has a Preacher Crossed the Line into Plagiarism in His Sermon? Carson starts by explaining that it is always wrong to preach someone else’s sermon as if it were your own. A related question is whether it’s right or wrong for a preacher to admittedly deliver another’s sermon. While people will disagree whether or not it is proper to borrow sermons, it seems that practice is nothing new since even Charles Spurgeon addressed this topic. While Spurgeon mentions sermon borrowing directly, the whole quote below has implications for preaching borrowed sermons. “Fourthly, …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Six Megaproblems and the Gospel Ain’t One (via Barna)

Six Megaproblems and the Gospel Ain’t One (via Barna)

Yesterday, Barna posted the results of a the study – Six Megathemes Emerge from Barna Group Research in 2010. The six points are numbered below in bold. The research is based research conducted throughout 2010. I’m unsure how many polls or people in total were involved. It gives me no pleasure to read these conclusion, but I am also not surprised. There is a lot that could be said about the six points, but I will only comment briefly on each one. It seems that points 2 – 6 all fall back on the problem in point 1.

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Thumbnail image for Mad At God?

Mad At God?

Eric stormed into my office and flopped into a chair. “I’m really mad at God.” Having grown up in a strong church family, he’d met and married a Christian girl. Now he was the picture of misery. “Okay…so why are you mad at God?” “Because,” he said, “last week I committed adultery.” Long pause. Finally I said, “I can see why God would be mad at you. But why are you mad at God?” Eric explained that for several months he’d felt a strong, mutual attraction with a woman at his office. He’d prayed earnestly that God would keep him …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Contentment and Pride

Contentment and Pride

Another rule is, that those in narrow and slender circumstances should learn to bear their wants patiently, that they may not become immoderately desirous of things, the moderate use of which implies no small progress in the school of Christ. For in addition to the many other vices which accompany a longing for earthly good, he who is impatient under poverty almost always betrays the contrary disease in abundance. By this I mean, that he who is ashamed of a sordid garment will be vain-glorious of a splendid one; he who not contented with a slender, feels annoyed at the …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Evangelical Identity

Evangelical Identity

I wonder if description below would be true of evangelical Christians as they are known today. If not, I wonder if this should be the description and if it’s a place worth trying to get to. Conclusion: Evangelical Identity Evangelicals believe, first of all, the gospel as it is set forth in the Bible. The word evangelical is derived from the biblical term euangelion meaning “good news.” It is the Good News that God became man in Jesus Christ to live and die and rise again from the dead in order to save us from our sin and all its …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Ridiculous Item: ‘Jesus was HIV Positive’

Ridiculous Item: ‘Jesus was HIV Positive’

Apparently, South African pastor, Xola Skosana, has claimed that Jesus was HIV positive to raise awareness about how poorly churches treat people who are HIV positive. This report comes from the Daily Mail Reporter story ‘Jesus was HIV-positive’: South African pastor sparks outrage with bizarre claim. A bizarre claim and then some. ‘Wherever you open the scriptures Jesus puts himself in the shoes of people who experience brokenness,’ the Pastor told the BBC. ‘Isaiah 53, for example, clearly paints a picture of Jesus who takes upon himself the infirmities and the brokenness of humanity. ‘Of course, there’s no scientific evidence …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Poll: Is the Reformation Over?

Poll: Is the Reformation Over?

Reformation Day 2010, October 31, falls on this coming Sunday. In light of this, I thought this would be an interesting question to ask. Are the theological positions of the Protestant Reformation and the Council of Trent now reconciled? Or are we still divided? Does it matter? What do you think? Discussion welcomed.

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Thumbnail image for Is Your Church White?

Is Your Church White?

Is your church white? That is the disturbing question what was email to a church in Apex, NC. Ken Keathley recently shared this inquiry over at Between the Times in his post A Shocking Question. The context of this disturbing question was: We know the Lord loves all of us, but we believe in honoring the Culture the Lord gave us, so we are seeking a traditionally ‘White’ church as opposed to Multi-cultural. Is your church White? Read the whole post to find out how the pastor answered this disturbing question. A question that I’m mostly surprised about, but not …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Scientific Deconstruction of Science

Scientific Deconstruction of Science

All of us tempted to swallow this popular pill, cunningly served up with our secular education, should appreciate that the empiricists have not shown that the Creator has not spoken in his creation or in the Christ of Scripture. In the process of their argument they annihilate empirical science itself, the very thing that they have put their faith in. Science depends upon the nonempirical ideas of uniformity in nature and the predictability of future events in order to function or teach us anything. But empirical verification must apply only to a particular time, place, and entity to be examined. …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Christians Are Jerks! Update

Christians Are Jerks! Update

Jennifer Johnson on The Examiner offers more insight of this story in Local church makes headlines. She quotes the people behind the billboard, Pastor Chris Beard of Christ Covenant Church. “We actually blew up a lot bigger than we ever expected,” Beard told The Examiner. “We talked with (CNN’s) Headline News today (Oct. 15). We wanted to reach out to the community and send the message that as a church we messed up – and it looks like we’ve got people’s attention. Really, we want a chance to say that all the things people say about Christians can be true, …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Positive Thinking With Apostle Paul

Positive Thinking With Apostle Paul

For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for 9Marks at Southeastern Seminary Audio Available

9Marks at Southeastern Seminary Audio Available

On September 10-11, 2010 Southeastern Seminary held it’s annual conference in partnership with 9Marks ministries. The theme this year was biblical theology. The presenters were Mark Dever, Thabiti Anyabwile, Danny Akin, Matt Chandler and David Platt. If you’re like me, you wanted to attend, but could not. Thankfully, the audio is now available for download. I’ve linked the MP3’s below. Video is also available at the above link.

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Thumbnail image for Thomas Brooks’ Four Prime Things

Thomas Brooks’ Four Prime Things

I did some quote mining from Thomas Brooks Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices from the chapter ‘The Epistle Dedicatory’. I found Brooks’ words to be very insightful, practical and challenging. The ‘The Epistle Dedicatory’ is a letter he wrote to his congregation. He was very humble in the letter which can be seen in the prayers he asked for concerning himself. However, the quotes I chose are focus on his exhortations to his congregation of which the universal congregation may benefit. We live in a different culture and time than did Brooks. Yet, it just seems like we don’t think as …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Calvin the Evangelist

Calvin the Evangelist

Reprinted by permission of Reformed Theological Seminary. This article was first published in the Reformed Quarterly Magazine Fall 2001. There are many popular misconceptions about John Calvin. Who is the true Calvin behind the image? Will Durant, the famous author of the eleven-volume series on the History of Western Civilization, said of Calvin: “We shall always find it hard to love the man, John Calvin, who darkened the human soul with the most absurd and blasphemous conception of God in all the long and honored history of nonsense.” Even the defrocked TV evangelist, Jimmy Swaggart, has something to say about …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Rick Warren, John Calvin and Quoting Heretics

Rick Warren, John Calvin and Quoting Heretics

What ever your theological position you will find other positions that just make you squirm. And the people that make statements supporting those other position might make you squirm even more. I get that. For example, I get nervous when Protestants quote Chesterton, a man who championed the Papacy. In my mind the reader of such quotes is already on their way down the slippery slope. Everyone who reads such quotes automatically swallows all the questionable or heretical doctrine by the person being quoted. OK, not really. But the red flags go up. Like one of my favorite superheros my Spider-sense …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Did Jesus Preach Paul’s Gospel?

Did Jesus Preach Paul’s Gospel?

As I was thinking recently about faith and justification a commenter made an assertion about a conflict between Jesus’ and Paul’s gospel. I was reminded John Piper’s excellent talk from T4G 2010 where he answers the question: Did Jesus preach Paul’s gospel? The text Piper spoke on was from Luke 18:9-14 about the Pharisee and the Tax Collector. He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt: “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee, standing by …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Thoughts on Moore on Glenn Beck and the Gospel

Thoughts on Moore on Glenn Beck and the Gospel

Glenn Beck as been a recent driving force for (neo?) Conservative politics in America. His big push is to bring God back to the center of American life both politically and socially. I understand his sentiment. There is a sense in which I agree. In recent times when Glenn Beck has spoken on the issue of putting God back into American culture he mentions God, Jesus, the atonement, etc. On the surface, these sound like something Christians should embrace. And they should

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Thumbnail image for Study Your Sin

Study Your Sin

Should Christians study their sin? Do we have a tendency to take sin for granted? Each person must answer that question for themselves. The answer may become clear upon an individual’s study of their sin. It reminds me of hearing Paul Washer’s challenge, “Do you have a new relationship with sin? Because, if you don’t have a new relationship with sin, you don’t have a new relationship with God.” In light of this I’ve recently thought about a question that Christians might challenge one another with, “How is your private sin life?” Then, I came across the excerpt below which …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Don’t Waste Your Life Sentence Livestream Tonight

Don’t Waste Your Life Sentence Livestream Tonight

Don’t Waste Your Life Sentence Voices from the Louisiana State Penitentiary This video will be streamed live tonight at 7:30 CT/ 8:30 EST. Click here for the live stream location. I’m looking forward to it. If you want to know more about this powerful trailer, below is the description from the Desiring God website. The Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola, LA is one of the largest and historically one of the most bloody maximum-security prisons in the USA. In 2009, Desiring God and John Piper were invited to Angola to learn about prison life, hear from men who have been …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Driscoll: Discerning the Current Vampire-esque Teen Books

Driscoll: Discerning the Current Vampire-esque Teen Books

What books are being promoted for teens and pre-teens to read these days? Better yet, what books are they actually reading? Are there underlying spiritual issues involved? How do parents handle it? Are parents discerning enough? As a parent, I am concerned. This brings me to Mark Driscoll’s video below. I appreciate what he has to say. It’s a short clip from a recent sermon. Some have called it a rant. Love him or hate him, here he is. Do you agree?

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Thumbnail image for Themelios Journal July 2010

Themelios Journal July 2010

Volume 35, Issue 2 – July 2010 of the Themelios Journal is out! The content looks great. Lots to read. Check it out. Minority Report: Not in the Public Interest by Carl Trueman Suffering, marginalization, and the abuse of power are now the stock in trade not only of literary theorists but also of many theologians, of whom the Liberationists of the sixties and seventies are but the most obvious examples. Indeed, the influence of such academic emphases now finds its place frequently in the classrooms of Protestant theologians of more orthodox and traditional bent. B. B. Warfield on Creation …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Does Literally Carrying A Cross Spread The Gospel?

Does Literally Carrying A Cross Spread The Gospel?

‘Deeds, not creeds’ brings a connotation with it that Christians’ actions carry more weight than their verbalized beliefs.  An older, more popular version is the out of context quote of Francis of Assisi – Preach the gospel always, if necessary use words. (Some question whether he really said it or not.) There is some wisdom in these ideas, but as stand alone ideologies they don’t actual proclaim the gospel. They do more to show the effect of the gospel in changing lives. People do still need to hear the gospel. This brings me to the CNN video story below of …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Teaching The Bible: Still Unpopular, Still Essential by Phillip Jensen

Teaching The Bible: Still Unpopular, Still Essential by Phillip Jensen

Below is an article written by Phillip Jensen, founder of Matthias Media and writer of the gospel outline in Two Ways To Live. Though the article is a few years old I found it extremely relevant and helpful. Teaching The Bible: Still Unpopular, Still Essential by Phillip Jensen Yoga is to Hinduism what Billy Graham is to Christianity. The way we practice our religion will depend very much upon our theology. If God is ‘the force’, then we will attune ourselves to that force; if God is personal, then we will enter into personal relationship with him; and if God …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Art! Drama! Worship?

Art! Drama! Worship?

J.D. Greear has written Artistry, Excellence, and the Mission in which he asks – What is the role of artistic excellence in a local church’s “production”? This is not a new question in today’s culture. Nor will it be going away anytime soon. The production factor in the lives of Americans continues to increase. Millions of dollars are spent to produce special effects for movies as a lure to fish for more of the almighty dollar. But should it be a way to fish for people for the Almighty God?

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Thumbnail image for On Altar Calls And Gospel Proclamation

On Altar Calls And Gospel Proclamation

Recently, brother Les Puryear posted an article on the issue of altar calls – Differences Between Reformed and Southern Baptist Churches: Altar Calls vs No Altar Calls. Please not that Les calls himself a Calvinist, but not Reformed which is a fair position. As one might imagine from the title some debate took place in the comment section. I like Les. I’ve met him and talked to him a few times over the past couple of years. Though I want to point out that he has made a very unhelpful and inaccurate comment in concluding the above referenced article.

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Thumbnail image for A Sign of Judgment Day?

A Sign of Judgment Day?

Someone is always predicting the end of the world. It reminds me of the chorus from that Telsa song Signs. Signs, signs, everywhere there’s signs

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Thumbnail image for Will A Christian Nation Earn God’s Favor?

Will A Christian Nation Earn God’s Favor?

Dr. Michael Youssef answers the questions, “How can you say America is a Christian Nation? How can a country be Christian?” in Can there be a Christian nation? He answers that it is the individuals, not a country or culture, that are Christian. He explains that people refer to America’s Christian heritage by the moral virtues as seen in its laws and ordinances. He then goes on to write about evoking God’s response with the following:

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Thumbnail image for SB1070: Take illegal immigrant to church, get arrested?

SB1070: Take illegal immigrant to church, get arrested?

Is it possible to get arrested for driving an illegal immigrant to a church service under Arizona law SB1070? This is what E. J. Montini proposes at The Arizona Republic in his article Church, state clash coming under SB 1070. Montini begins: “The first person arrested under SB 1070 might not be an illegal immigrant, but your pastor.” Why?

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Thumbnail image for Liberty University, Glenn Beck and the Gospel

Liberty University, Glenn Beck and the Gospel

On April 23, 2010 Liberty University announced that Glenn Beck would deliver the Commencement speech for Liberty University’s Class of 2010. The graduation took place on Saturday, May 15. Beck’s speech can be viewed online at The Rightscoop. Success came early for Beck when just before his speech, Liberty conferred an honorary Doctorate of Humanities degree upon him. Beck then went on to speak to the more than 4,000 students present. The result of the Commencement speech? “Best commencement we’ve ever had,” said Jerry Falwell, Jr.,

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Thumbnail image for Black Church White Church

Black Church White Church

Below is a hip-hop song dealing with something we are all familiar with. Racial segregation on Sunday morning in our local churches. The song is from Voice’s new album Christ the King. Black Church White Church by avoice Below is the third verse of the song. Whatever version of American English you speak, whatever your

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Thumbnail image for A Memorial Day Prayer

A Memorial Day Prayer

Heavenly Father, as an American, thank you for this great country. I am not proud, but humbled, that in Your sovereignty I was born in such a Nation. Thank You for those serving in the military that you have used to help raise up and protect America. Thank you for those men and women in our military who were willing to give their lives and who gave their lives to fight to keep this country free. It is a great service to lay down one’s life for others. Father, as a Christian, this is a great reminder of the incomparable …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Mercy Ministry: Church or World?

Mercy Ministry: Church or World?

In 2006, Modern Reformation Magazine provided two articles from a series entitled Mercy Ministries: Two Perspectives. The articles were written by William H. Smith and Randy Nabors. I’ve numbered them I and II, respectively, and linked them below with selective quotes and bullet points. In article I, Smith argues that the mercy ministry of the church is primary to its members. He explains that the church’s service is to one another in word and sacrament rather than serving the world in word and deed. In article II, Nabors argues that the church needs to focus outside of its walls to …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for A note on selfishness

A note on selfishness

How many times does a mother say,”Billy, share your toys with Bobby” or “Bobby, you musn’t grab toys from Billy like that”? As Billy and Bobby grow older, they learn that such obvious acts of selfishness are socially unacceptable, so their selfish acts become more subtle, but

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Thumbnail image for My take: On fear, faith and being a sinner

My take: On fear, faith and being a sinner

The CNN Belief Blog recently published My Take: On fear, faith and being gay by Jennifer Knapp. So I thought I’d give my take. As a young boy I learned to take risks. Climbing trees and jumping ramps on a bicycle will do that to a boy. Falling down from a tree or flying off the bicycle in the air ties the stomach in knots as the ground approaches to stop the fall. But I learned to rely on myself and try harder. Climbing 10 feet up and jumping from one tree to another or jumping a ramp stacked three …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for All things to all people?

All things to all people?

First, go to Seeker-centered Buddhism and watch the modern outreach methods some Buddhists are using today. Would that inspire you to become a Buddhist? Now watch the video below. The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c God Smacked www.thedailyshow.com Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor Tea Party Would that inspire you to become a Christian? What’s the difference between the Buddhism and Christianity presented here? Does one decide based on the appeal? Name your preference? To some the appeal is apparently to find comedy material. I wonder if this means a comedy church would win …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Vindication of popular ministers

Vindication of popular ministers

How dare you speak of him that way! Do you know who he is? Do you know what he’s done for the Kingdom? Look at all the people he’s ministered to! So goes the argument. It’s been stated before. It’ll be stated again. It recently reared its head in the blogosphere. But what argument is that? The vindication of popular ministers! Take any controversy of any popular person in ministry and

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Thumbnail image for Adrian Rogers on integrity

Adrian Rogers on integrity

Ephesians 6:14a Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth (NKJV) The Girdle Of Truth – The Believer’s Integrity A soldier in Paul’s day had a leather girdle that he tightened about his waist to protect his loins and carry his weapons of warfare, such as a dagger or sword. The belt also held his tunic together so it wouldn’t be snagged. In Christian armor, it is integrity that holds everything else together. If you do not have integrity in the big and small things of your life, you are going to lose the battle. Without truth everything falls apart. …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for T4G2010: Brian Habig-Fears of the Minister (Update)

T4G2010: Brian Habig-Fears of the Minister (Update)

(Update: Audio now available see the handout below.) Brian Habig lead one of the breakout sessions at T4G2010. His topic was The Fears of the Minister. Part 1 and part 2 of an interview with Habig can be found on the T4G blog. Part 2 includes: 7) What will you be speaking on at T4G? “The Fears of the Minister.” Substitute the word “fears” with “insecurities,” and you’ll get a pretty good idea of what I plan to address. Ministers talk about Jesus Christ a lot, but we have come up with all sorts of ways to place our identity …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Sermon listening

Sermon listening

Most Christians listen to sermons weekly. And many listen to some other kind of biblical teaching during the week. How often is a second thought given about what exactly is going on in our mind when listening? In other words, how do we listen? Challies has a review of a book called Expository Listening by Ken Ramey which reminded me of my sermon notes this past Sunday. The sermon was on how to listen to preaching. I found it helpful and thought I would share some notes I took. This is just a sketch and anything that may be missing …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Quote on Southern Baptist Cooperation

Quote on Southern Baptist Cooperation

Matt over at SBCVoices wrote an interesting post called Arminio and Calvinito: Best Friends? In light of the recent Great Commission Resurgence, he lays out where some unnecessary Southern Baptist infighting takes place. Of course, the ultimate solution is the gospel. I was reminded of a quote that grabbed my attention from a book I recently read. Baptists have certainly held differing views on the nature of salvation, with some holding more of a conviction that God is sovereign in salvation while others gave greater emphasis to man’s role in the process. But when they have been at their best,

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Thumbnail image for Passing of Michael Spencer the iMonk 1956-2010

Passing of Michael Spencer the iMonk 1956-2010

Sadly, this week Michael Spencer, the Internet Monk, passed away. He was no stranger to expressing his views and stirring up conversations on them, both for and against, in the blogosphere. It is no surprise that his death is stirring up the blogosphere. This time though the conversations are that of grace and appreciation. It was in June of 2009 at the Advance09 Conference. I was upstairs talking with my good friend Russ while checking out the display tables. Then, I saw Michael walk by.

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Thumbnail image for Three Questions

Three Questions

As I consider my upcoming attendance in the 2010 Band of Bloggers, the topic Internet Idolatry and Gospel Fidelity really stick out in my mind. Why? Because it’s so easy to create idols using the internet and live in infidelity to the gospel. Is this especially so over the internet? Maybe. Which brings me to the three questions.

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John Piper and Rick Warren on the gospel

Recently it’s been stated as confirmed that Rick Warren will be speaking at John Piper’s National Desiring God Conference for 2010. I thought it would be interesting to hear each of them on the gospel. I believe the videos are a few years old. I’m curious about whether or not people think we can be comfortable with these two men at a conference together. Are the differences in the videos theologically substantial? Is one more applicable than the other? More biblical? Does the presentation and application matter that much? Any other thoughts? What can we learn from each man? John …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Hermeneutics Quiz

Hermeneutics Quiz

A good friend recently sent me this Hermeneutics Quiz. It’s a couple of years old, but interesting nonetheless. So, I took the quiz and scored it. It’s only 20 questions and it doesn’t take long. Give it a shot and let me know what you scored. It would also be interesting to hear what others think of the explanation of the scoring. My score was 48 which puts me on the conservative hermeneutic scale. The explanation starts: First, the conservative hermeneutic group scores 52 or lower. The strength of this view is its emphasis on the authority, ongoing and normative …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Heresy Two-step

Heresy Two-step

On a recent Fighting for the Faith radio program host Chris Rosebrough had Pastor Bryan Wolfmueller as a guest to help with a sermon review. During the sermon review Wolfmueller mentioned something he called a heresy two-step. It’s a process that some might use to preach heresy or some position/doctrine that that is not from the text. The way Wolfmueller identified the process

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Thumbnail image for Thinking about American Christianity

Thinking about American Christianity

What do you think of when you think of American Christianity and the American church? Just stop and think about that for a moment before reading further. Think a little more… OK, ready? Below is a quote from

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Thumbnail image for How often church attendance?

How often church attendance?

In a recent post I asked two questions in relation to the Super Bowl and church attendance. The comment thread turned into a debate over Sabbatarianism and the place of the Lord’s Day in the Christian’s life. This is understandable to a point, yet I did receive some off-line comments which would have added to the discussion. While I did not argue for either, one point stood out and brought some other questions on church attendance to mind. The term legalism came up in the above post though not as a direct charge. However, I’ve seen it argued that those …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Church attendance and the Super Bowl: two questions

Church attendance and the Super Bowl: two questions

Every year during the Super Bowl the question of church attendance arises. Should a person skip church for the Super Bowl? If he/she skips their regular Sunday evening church service are they sinning? There seem to be two main positions on this. Those who are more sabbatarian minded fall along the lines of a person is sinning if they skip their church service for the Super Bowl. Those who skip church service may be charged with antinomianism. Corporate worship is a Christian duty

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Thumbnail image for Defining Missional

Defining Missional

What exactly does the term missional mean? Attempts to answer this question can be found in books, videos, sermons, blog posts, theological ejournals, conference presentations, magazine articles, etc. Depending on who you ask will depend on the answer which may be good, bad or ugly. You get to decide which is which. Where do we go from here? Is missional something

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Thumbnail image for Poll: Does “success” mean God is honoring a ministry?

Poll: Does “success” mean God is honoring a ministry?

Many times a ministry/person is defended, regardless of their teachings, because they are popular or successful. Not only are ministries defend as such, but they also come to a place where they can do no wrong. They might be betrayed as above any type of criticism or biblical correction. Such ministries might be defended in various ways such as:

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Seeker-centered Buddhism

Buddhism’s numbers are apparently shrinking. They aren’t growing. They’re answer? Hip-hop and alcohol? “This is an old, old story, a fantasy and longing cosmology. Hey, hey, what’s the story about? It’s about the Buddha, yo. Hey brother, listen carefully! You got it? No? You don’t? Okay, baby, no problem.” That is one hip-hop (can we call it that?) verse as reported by CNN – Buddhist monks use hip hop, alcohol to attract followers. Isn’t that funny to think about and watch? I wonder where they got the idea? Think about this… Christians, is this video, and the approach itself, make …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for A letter to Francis Chan

A letter to Francis Chan

In Francis Chan’s sermon Beware of Good Liars, he reads a letter from a single mother seeking his advice. I’m curious how others would respond. I won’t comment yet. Just read it. Pastor Francis, I made a covenant promise to a ministry [a TV ministry] in January for $100 a month. I’m a single mom with

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Thumbnail image for True aim of Roman Catholic ecumenism

True aim of Roman Catholic ecumenism

Ecumenism today can be seen in social/political change in the name of the ‘greater good’. Or in doctrinal statements drafted and signed by different “Christian” sects. When dealing with such issues many Protestants speak up when it seems the Gospel is at stake. Other Protestants don’t always take to kindly to this. It seems no big deal to them to partner with others such as Roman Catholics. Some Protestants have even endorsed books by

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Thumbnail image for Was Jesus a victim?

Was Jesus a victim?

Taking the position of the victim is a popular offensive today. It is a way to turn the tables and draw sympathy from others. Kevin DeYoung posted a great article on this very subject – Why Are We So Offended All the Time? (cross-post). In his post he made the following statement. As Christians, we worship a victimized Lord. His post was very good in pointing out how the victim card is often played in today’s culture. DeYoung encouraged Christians not to be so easily offended and play the victim. Very encouraging words, but when it comes to Jesus being …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for New Year’s Unity

New Year’s Unity

On January 1, 1865, Charles Spurgeon preached a sermon entitled True Unity Promoted. Given the recent disagreements over signing The Manhattan Declaration this is a very interesting sermon on unity. In the first paragraph Spurgeon states, “It is an old saying that England never prospers so well as when the Pope curses her. I hope to see

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Thumbnail image for On serving others

On serving others

Fellow Southern Baptist and blogger Trevin Wax tweeted something today that really stuck. The world estimates your importance by how many people are serving YOU. God estimates your importance by how many people YOU are serving. First, the world does measure one’s importance by their popularity in one vein or another. Tiger Woods is a recent example of this. (I pray Tiger Woods would turn to Christ.) If Woods was just some local golf club pro no one would really care. That is, except his family and those closest to him which actually speaks on the second part of the …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Congregational Prayer Requests

Congregational Prayer Requests

Can asking for prayer ever be a burden? That might sound like a strange question. It just might be right now, but hear me out. I am not talking about prayer requests that turn into gossip. Those requests that ask for prayer for uncle Bill’s and aunt Martha’s marriage only to go on to give intimate details of the problems. No. Not those kind. The potential burden comes from people asking

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Thumbnail image for Church is boring

Church is boring

Church is boring. Right? No matter what setting one is in the same basic activities are done each worship service. Sing, pray, Scripture reading, announcements, some sort of preaching, fellowship. Did I mention singing? However a worship service is set-up it is most likely going to be similar week after week. Even if worship time is more varied people will still think it boring at times. Whether it is boredom or some other

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Thumbnail image for To Sign Or Not To Sign

To Sign Or Not To Sign

To sign or not to sign the Manhattan Declaration(MD)? That… is a good question. For the most part it seems to have been received on a positive note. There has been some push back though. For example, Albert Mohler felt the need to explain why he signed the MD. Fellow blogger Frank Turk explained why he did not sign. I will attempt to lay out my stance on this document. (Which basically agrees with those in the update below.) As it is now, I stand more in agreement with Turk. It is not that the MD is not seeking noble causes.  …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Poll: Can Evangelism Be An Idol?

Poll: Can Evangelism Be An Idol?

In An Idol Called Evangelism Dr. Roy Hargrave states that evangelism rather than the glory of God is driving many churches today. That might be too strong a position for some to fathom. Maybe unbiblical for others. It is not often that evangelism is spoken of in terms of idolatry. It is an uncomfortable question. Evangelism is very important, but people are good at making just about anything into an idol. So – Could there be a valid concern in this area? Dr. Hargrave understands that evangelism is the “highest and loftiest” in importance for fulfilling the church’s mission. The …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Trent: Let Me Be Anathema

Trent: Let Me Be Anathema

The sixth session of the Council of Trent,the Canons Concerning Justification, anathematizes me how many times? Else where in the meta Dan Phillips mentioned to me that we should have a contest. “How many Romish anathemas can you rack up?” I decided to count the number of anathemas that I am under from the 33 canons on justification. My count is

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Thumbnail image for Blog Action Day 2009: Climate Change

Blog Action Day 2009: Climate Change

Today is Blog Action Day 2009. The topic this year is climate change. The most talked about in this area may be global warming. Global warming is here to stay. The question becomes – What are we going to do about it? Global warming is here, but not necessarily in a literal sense. It exists as an assertion both politically and socially. Recently, Al Gore was asked some inconvenient questions

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Thumbnail image for Poll: Does Christian Hip-Hop Harm the Gospel?

Poll: Does Christian Hip-Hop Harm the Gospel?

My friend and brother Nathan and I have had a short twitter discussion on whether Christian hip-hop harms the Gospel. This issue came up in reference to Mark Dever’s recent interview with Christian rappers Shai Linne and Voice. I actually interviewed Christian hip-hop Artist Sho Baraka. Then, I attended the the Don’t Waste Your Life tour concert and posted a review. This should give the readers an idea of where I stand. The verdict? I do not think Christian hip-hop harms the Gospel. However, Nathan believes that the medium of hip-hop music contradicts and is inconsistent with the message of …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Gospel Then Morality: Lesson From Abortion Counseling

Gospel Then Morality: Lesson From Abortion Counseling

What can Christians learn about the Gospel and change from abortion counseling? I recently attended a fundraiser for Cobb Pregnancy Services (CPS). It was a great night of fellowship and celebration of what God is doing at this organization. A young pregnant lady gave her testimony of how God used CPS to convince her to return to Christ and keep her baby. Great news, but she

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Thumbnail image for Tullian Tchividjian to Stay at Coral Ridge: Lessons?

Tullian Tchividjian to Stay at Coral Ridge: Lessons?

Tullian Tchividjian will stay as pastor of  Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church per a congregational vote of 69%-31% this morning. “I’m staying!!,” wrote pastor Tchividjian in the title of today’s blog post about the future of his pastoral role at Coral Ridge.The pressure on this new pastor must have been unbelievable in anticipation of this vote. A great example of trusting God can be seen in a previous post saying, “I am not afraid.” in reference to today’s vote.  His mission is

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Thumbnail image for Westboro Baptist Revealed:  Evangelized, Interviewed, Reviewed

Westboro Baptist Revealed: Evangelized, Interviewed, Reviewed

If the messages on the signs are not disturbing enough, how about the people holding them? They are children! My heart breaks to see a picture like this just hoping it is a photo-shopped picture. Unfortunately, it is not. Last week I wrote Westboro Baptist To Share Hate In Atlanta to give folks a heads up. There are several recent church plants in Atlanta that are trying to save the city, so to speak, that it is sad that the Westboro folks come here allegedly in the name of Christ. It just ruins the witness of what Christians are seeking …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Poll: Should Christians Just Say No?

Poll: Should Christians Just Say No?

Should Christians feel guilty about just saying ‘no‘ when asked to do something for the church/member? When the answer is ‘no‘ is an explanation needed? Do you feel an explanation is demanded? Do you feel like you’re sinning if you just say ‘no‘? Do you feel the need to explain every detail of the last week of your life to explain why your simple answer is ‘no‘? Must we explain ourselves? I’m curious. What do you think? Feel free to share your feelings too! ~Please answer the poll below~

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Thumbnail image for Lord Kill Me If I Don’t Preach the Gospel

Lord Kill Me If I Don’t Preach the Gospel

So I’m driving. I hear “Lord kill me If I don’t preach the gospel.” What? Did I hear that right? Rewind! Again. Yep! That line really hit me. It made me think. Imagine singing that in church to the tune of Amazing Grace. This was not from a hymn though. (Maybe we can add it somewhere?) “Lord kill me If I don’t preach the gospel” is the first verse in Lecrae’s song Go Hard from his album Rebel. Lord willing, I will be at the Don’t Waste Your Life concert this weekend hearing it live. That’s right, this not-so-old yet …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Book Review: Dear Timothy Letters On Pastoral Ministry

Book Review: Dear Timothy Letters On Pastoral Ministry

Dear Timothy: Letters on Pastoral Ministry edited by Tom Ascol. Cape Coral: Founders Press, 2004. 384 pages. Many times in life we wish we had a practical “how to” guide for the various activities of which we are involved (i.e. new job, volunteer work). Dear Timothy: Letters on Pastoral Ministry edited by Thomas Ascol is a book that could certainly be characterized as a “how to” for pastoral ministry. The book is not a “how to” in the sense of giving answers for every single issue a pastor might face. However, it does cover a wide range of that will …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for John Hagee Clarifies: Jesus is Messiah

John Hagee Clarifies: Jesus is Messiah

Not long ago many people came to the conclusion that John Hagee denied that Jesus was the Messiah in his book In Defense of Israel. I was one of those people. What drove my conclusion was reading parts of the book and listening to audio of Hagee. Despite our theological disagreements this alleged belief of his was very disconcerting. Especially, given the amount of people he reaches each week. Hagee has now offered some clarification explaining that he does not deny Jesus is the Messiah. He published his response in the article

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Thumbnail image for Why Worship?

Why Worship?

As you go to worship tomorrow or whenever the next Lord’s Day is think about why your worshiping. Are you worshiping as a means to find total satisfaction in God? What might be some wrong motivations? Below I’ve reformatted a paragraph from Brothers, We Are Not Professionals by John Piper, page 240. Read this list and consider your reasons for worshiping.

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Thumbnail image for Gospel Coalition or Assertions?

Gospel Coalition or Assertions?

David Fitch has asked if we agree or disagree with his views on the work of The Gospel Coalition (TGC).  His views are expressed at Christianity Today’s Out of Ur blog post: Gospel Coalition or Expedition? How effective will The Gospel Coalition be in post-Christendom? One of the problems with Fitch’s approach can be seen in his introduction. 

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Thumbnail image for Alcholism Vs Legalism

Alcholism Vs Legalism

If you’ve read my testimony you’ll see that I grew up in a legalistic religion.  I could never be good enough.  I was the on the receiving end of the the never ending road of legalism.  Whether it was a cuss word or a beer, I was done. 

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Thumbnail image for Should “Celebrity” Pastors Offer Disclaimers?

Should “Celebrity” Pastors Offer Disclaimers?

Warning.  Caution.  Disclaimer.  These are popular words.  We see them on everything and everywhere today.  They are good, bad, indifferent and life saving.  Should we have something of those words at our Christian conferences where “celebrity” pastors and theologians speak?  Maybe. There are many good, Gospel-centered conferences offered these days.  I was at one of the last week.  The Advance09 Conference.  I even took notes.  I did think about the issue of the men speaking, who speak often, and if some sort of spiritual caution or reminder is in order. Two men more qualified than I have broached the topic.  …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Advance09 Makes Local News

Advance09 Makes Local News

How awesome is it to for a Christian conference to make the local news?  The final day was good.  I’m too tired to write out any notes.  I hope to have some final reflections on the event soon.  I was certainly blessed by the messages and fellowship.  Check out the news story. There’s about 2,900 miles between Mike Anderson’s home in Seattle, Washington, and Durham. But something drew him here this weekend. “I think God’s doing some things that are pretty special right now,” he said. “He’s both focusing on theology, which lots of times has been kept in the …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Advance09 Day Two

Advance09 Day Two

Today was day two at Advance09 here in Durham, NC.  It was another good day.  To catch up you can find all of the uploaded audio for you to download here: Advance09 Session MP3’s. Order of Events

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Thumbnail image for Advance09 Day One

Advance09 Day One

I’m having a great time at the Advance09 Conference.  A great time of learning and conviction.  I’m rooming with a brother named Kris from NC who also put some notes up. I’m going to give you today’s line-up and some highlights from my notes.  You can go over to DesiringGod.org and download The First Three Advance09 Messages. The Line-Up Mark Driscoll – What is the Church? Tyler Jones – Decline and Resurge Bryan Chapell – Communicating the Gospel Through Preaching Matt Chandler – Preaching the Gospel to the De-Churched Q&A Panel

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Thumbnail image for Memorial Day 2009 Worship Service

Memorial Day 2009 Worship Service

It was a mostly normal Sunday morning.  My wife and I left for church wondering if it would happen.  It did.  The Pledge of Allegiance was said.  The National Anthem was sung.  Everyone stood.  We sat.  It was uncomfortable, I admit.

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Thumbnail image for Uncommon Prayer Requests

Uncommon Prayer Requests

It’s Sunday morning.  Sunday School has started.  It’s time for prayer requests.  What do you think about?  What is your prayer request going to be?  The common habit is to ask for healing for illness, disease, broken limbs, etc.  These are good prayer requests.  However, we can expand our prayer lives. There are greater things to pray for while not neglecting hurting and suffering.  The Kingdom of God is much bigger.  Bigger than us. I want to offer some other ideas for prayer requests.  Often these requests are uncommon as your focus is elsewhere.  I offer these for encouragement.  As …keep reading »

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When I Hear Southern Baptist

What do you think when you hear “Southern Baptist”?  This was the question from Thom Rainer, president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources, that came across Twitter last week.  My answer in Twitter fashion was: @ThomRainer ‘Southern Baptist’? 1-my church.Then sad-easy believism, weak Gospel overshadowed by “conservative” politics but much potential. Dr. Rainer weighed in on his son Sam’s blog breaking down the Twitter replies at When You Hear Southern Baptist, You Think… and Tony Kummer also gathered some additional replies at Southern Baptist Branding.  Below are the replies Wordled by Thom Rainer. Apparently, my answers weren’t as popular as …keep reading »

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Proposition What? Rick Warren Did Not Lie

If  you watch this video: News & Views 10/23/2008 Part 3 (Prop 8 ) at about the 30 second mark you will hear the following. “We support Proposition 8 and if you believe what the Bible says about marriage, you need to support Proposition 8.” If you read this transcript Interview with Pastor Rick Warren (Aired April 6, 2009) you read: PASTOR RICK WARREN, DELIVERED PRAYER AT OBAMA’S INAUGURATION: Yes, you know, Larry, there was a story within a story that never got told. In the first place, I am not an anti-gay or anti-gay marriage activist. I never have …keep reading »

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Wisdom From A Teenager On Youth Ministry

A teenager, named Erica, was recently given an assignment to write an editorial on the subject of her choice. Her topic? Youth ministry.  Below is the editorial exactly as sent to a fellow blogger who is also a family friend of Erica.  Did I mention that she is only 15? Wow! ——————————————————— A new phenomena is going on in churches these days. Picture this: You enter into the youth group of a church on a Sunday or Wednesday night. You see at least fifty kids around. Some are off talking or playing a game, but most are in a circle …keep reading »

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Ask John Piper: Pornification of the Pulpit

John Piper is taking questions again: Ask John Piper a Question on Twitter (Note: you don’t have to use twitter, check the link.) My question via twitter is: @desiringgod #apj Pastor John, what did you think of Phil Johnson’s recent sermon on “Pornification of the Pulpit”? Why ask this?  If you aren’t familiar with this “controversy” go and listen to Phil Johnson’s sermon from almost two weeks ago at the Shepherd’s Conference.  Download it here: Sound Doctrine; Sound Words Titus 2:7-8. Phil Johnson tackle some of the current issues surrounding some of the language and imagery used in the pulpit …keep reading »

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9 Marks Journal: Young Pastors

Church members: read these articles to help see where you may be a problem and how you may help with the solution for your pastor and the health of your local church. The latest 9Marks eJournal is out.  The topic is young pastors and it looks very good.  It’s good for the church to understand what pastor’s go through in their own lives in the pastoral role.  It’s nice to see my pastor writing for 9Marks again.  A portion of the editor’s note. “Clear vision but little depth perception.” That’s how I’ve heard Mark Dever characterize young pastors. Young pastors see their doctrine …keep reading »

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How Is Your Marriage? Deal of the Week

When Sinners Say “I Do”: Discovering the Power of the Gospel for Marriage by Dave Harvey looks like an excellent book.  This week Westminster Bookstore has the book for only $8.37 which is 40% Off.  You can purchase it at Westminster Bookstore online and read excerpts, an author interview and endorsements.  Check out the table of contents below. Chapter 1 What Really Matters in Marriage 17 Chapter 2 Waking Up With the Worst of Sinners 33 Chapter 3 The Fog of War and the Law of Sin 45 Chapter 4 Taking it Out for a Spin 61 Chapter 5 Mercy …keep reading »

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Apostle Paul On Inauguration Day

There’s been mixed reviews of Rick Warren’s Inauguration Day prayer (a transcript) for President Barack Obama.  The reviews have been critical and grateful.  Like the mixed reviews I have mixed feelings.  I don’t want to talk about my reaction though.  I read what Mark Driscoll said and thought about one of Driscoll’s points. If you want to criticize him, of course you can. But remember, if you lived your life under the scrutiny that he does, you would likely be even easier to criticize. (Source) I have other issues concerning what Driscoll wrote, but to the above I thought, “scrutiny?”  …keep reading »

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Santa Nicer Than Jesus?

The last post with quotes from Michael Horton is similar to these below from Dr. Packer.  They both deal with a misunderstanding and even neglect of who God is.  Below Packer points out that the severity of God is passed over in favor of viewing God as only delivering goodness.  In all of the things taught to kids about Santa Claus it all boils down to being good and get something or be bad and get nothing.  Even Santa has standards of “bad” with the standard being a type of moralism.  The “bad” from Santa never really comes since most …keep reading »

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Christian Criticism

I’m not very good at receiving compliments as my wife can attest.  I’m equally not very good at receiving criticism.  I suppose this makes me like a wooden dummy that just spits out information where people are listening or not.  Thankfully, the Lord sanctifies me and conforms me more and more to be like Christ.  I’ve grown in these areas, but I still have much growing to do. Funny thing is, I don’t really mind the criticism…later on.  In other words, it’s the initial receiving that can give me a hard time.  This makes a really good case for keep …keep reading »

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Christless Christianity Q and A With Michael Horton

On October 31 Michael Horton appeared live on washingtonpost.com’s Viewpoint.  Horton was answering questions about his new book Christless Christianity that was released on November 1.  The book has been doing well selling over 7,000 copies and the live chat at Viewpoint was the best so far.  This is great news!  It would be nice if a book like this would have some impact in the same way Warren’s Purpose Driven Life.  For some reason though, I just don’t think I will be driving by various churches with Christless Christianty Study displayed on their signs. If you’re unsure about getting …keep reading »

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Horner vs DeMar on Endtimes, Israel, Replacement Theology

This is part of the Grace Reformation Church Forum 2008. Topic – Orthodoxy:Unity and Diversity in the Midst of Christ’s Church Introduction of Saturday Speakers Dr. Barry Horner on Matthew 24 – Is it Future or Fulfilled Dr. Gary DeMar on Matthew 24 – Is it Future or Fulfilled Matthew 24 Forum Dr. Gary DeMar on Replacement Theology, Promises Fulfilled, or Future Israel? Dr. Barry Horner on Replacement Theology, Promises Fulfilled, or Future Israel? There is also a session on baptism.  Tom Schreiner vs. David VanDuren. (HT to JT) For what it’s worth… Mark

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John 3:16 Conference, Together for the Gospel and Poor Arguments

One of the concerns raised by Steve Lemke at the John 3:16 Conference (J316C) is the current trend of baptists organizing conferences with Presbyterians.  As I lived blogged, Dr. Lemke mentioned that when baptists team up with Presbyterians is causes confusion.  As Lemke explained in an email to Ed Stetzer one aim of this conference was to respond to the Building BRidges conference and the Together for the Gospel (T4G) conference.  My understanding is that the remark about baptists and Presbyterians working together and causing confusion is a reference to T4G.  Lemke’s remark about confusion over who is baptist vs. …keep reading »

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A Seminary Student’s Thoughts on the John 3:16 Conference-Update

Update: Todd Burus shares a great letter written prior to the conference. Read it: Calvinism in the SBC- An Open Letter to Johnny Hunt and Jerry Vines One of the people I was at the John 3:16 Conference with is a seminary student working towards an M.Div.  He attends an SBC seminary and was asked to give his thoughts on the conference for one of his classes.  He’s allowed me to post his brief thoughts below. Note: Thanks to Peter for influencing me to make this clarification.  The paragraphs below are a brief overview of my friend’s initial thoughts that …keep reading »

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Southern Baptist Pastors: A Must Read Letter

Open Letter to All Pastors of Churches in the SBC Dear Pastor, Let me first clarify that this letter is for Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) pastors in general. I am well aware that what you are about to read does not include all pastors – at least not in totality. …What is really so remarkable about the question of SBC decline is not the decline itself, but rather the simple answer that is so obvious no one will talk about with any seriousness openly in the SBC. Read the whole thing!

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John 3:16 Conference 60 minute Q&A

John 3:16 Conference live blogging links in order Welcome Part 1 Part 2 (T) Part 3 (U) Part 4 (L) Part 5 (I) Part 6 (P) Part 7 And the downloadable handout from Dr. Allen with updated cleaner charts thanks to Tony Byrne. UPDATE: James White and Phil Johnson have answered David Allen concerning the charge that James White is a hyper-Calvinist according to Phil Johnson’s definition. —————————————————————————- Paige Patterson had to leave early so Malcom Yarnell is sitting in for him on the panel. The format is one question for TULIP from a Calvinist and a non-Calvinist. 1. Total …keep reading »

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John 3:16 Conference Charles Stanley – John 3:16 to the World

Dr. Stanley starts telling that he grew up in a pentecostal holiness church.  He wasn’t raised with the belief that we can have assurance of salvation.  He then came to understand in the substitutionary sacrifice of Christ. Stanley doesn’t like this new move of talking about raising up “leaders” and such.  Instead we need to grow godly men.  He tells the story of his salvation and that he just loved Jesus.  He didn’t have a theological description.  He asks, how can you be saved and be lost?  Referencing those who don’t believe in eternal security. The world is looking for …keep reading »

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John 3:16 Conference Ken Keathley – Perseverance of the Saints

Quote from I.H Marshall – 2 Tim. 1:12 – Two components – One is presently saved – you can know that you are saved – One who in a state of grace will remain in the state of grace –>This is the perseverance What is the basis for assurance? Asahel Nettleton says “I think it possible I may get to heaven.” – Quotes D.A. Carson WTJ. 54. 21. – “Arminianism and Calvinism meet in strange and sad ways.” Three views on knowing if we are genuinely saved? Roman Catholic: Assurance is not possible; Canon 15 at the Council of Trent; …keep reading »

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John 3:16 Conference Steve Lemke – Irresistible Grace

Desires to go forward in unity. Those these discussions are appropriate. References Dordt and it being a response to the Remonstrance. Reads some long quotes of God’s grace that man has not saving grace within himself, etc. that we can’t do anything that is good. All good deeds must be ascribed to the grace of God in Christ.  Then, tells everyone that this was the Remonstrance and what the Calvinists were reacting against. We should not confuse hyper-Calvinists and Calvinists just as we should not call Arminians pelagian.  We should all do better with these labels. SBCer’s are not Pelagians …keep reading »

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John 3:16 Conference David Allen – Limited Atonement

Dr. Allen starts with John 3:16.  He plans on quoting only Calvinsts to prove his case against limited atonement.  Calvinists are going to be “shocked.” What two things to these men have in common – Calvin, Bunyan, Bullinger, Watts, Brainerd, Hodge, Edwards, Shedd, Barnes, Strong, etc. etc.? (I couldn’t get them all)  Dr. Allen wants to be firm but fair.  Answering the questions of must a Calvinist hold to the L, did they all hold to it and does Scripture teach it. He mentions Tony Byrne at theologicalmeditations.com  who is a four-point Calvinist.  Dr. Allen gave a six page hand-out.  …keep reading »

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John 3:16 Conference Richard Land-Unconditional Election

Dr. Vines starts the morning explaining that disagreeing is not a bad thing. He has many Calvinist friends with whom he disagrees. He claims man can still make a choice and that though depraved not so much to as to say our capacity to chose is ruined. He does not mention God’s grace and how He acts in our “choice” in salvation.  (He mentions that Ergun Caner might be here.) Dr. Land Congruent Election: Understanding Salvation from An Eternal Now Perspective We believe in an infallible word of God that does not contradict itself. We must seek knowledge and insight …keep reading »

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John 3:16 Conference Jerry Vines-John 3:16

Dr. Vines, as far as I can tell, is preaching the same message on John 3:16 that he preached at SBTS chapel earlier this year.  You can listen here: “The Inexhaustible Love of God” (John 3:16).  Since you can go and listen I may not say too much on this.  We’ll see.  From what I remember there is nothing contrary to what a Calvinist would believe in Dr. Vines sermon. God’s love is global.  If you’ve not heard this sermon Vines goes through the greek and some historical understandings of love, world, God, etc. He does mention that some hyper-Calvinists …keep reading »

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John 3:16 Conference Welcome Message by Johnny Hunt

As I blog through the John 3:16 Conference I will try to follow the schedule. Jerry Vines introduces the conference and Johnny Hunt.  He says this conference is designed to be a biblical and theological response to five point Calvinism. Johnny Hunt gets a show of hands and about 90% of the attendance are pastors and the rest lay people.  He starts with reading Psalm 119:33-40.  He emphasizes the “teach me” and “make me” in the verses.  We come to hear and obey the word of God.  Not intellectually, but to learn and apply it.  God grants the content and …keep reading »

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John 3:16 Conference Questions

As many of you know (or maybe not) I will be attending the John 3:16 Conference this week.  The very last item on the schedule is a 60 minute Q&A. So… I’d love to hear from blogdom out there as to what questions you’d like answered.  Maybe, just maybe I could get to ask or submit some of them for you.  I don’t know the set-up for everything yet so we’ll see. I may also get the chance to live blog the conference. Hopefully, this conference will build rather than tear down. Mark p.s. I recently reviewed a sermon from …keep reading »

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A Healthy View of Church?

“Because people like me come from professional backgrounds, and we want churches that reflect our backgrounds. I don’t want to be opening my home to people. I don’t want to get involved in people’s lives. I don’t want needy people in my church. Before people like me went into Christian ministry, we were lawyers, doctors, businessmen. And when we get involved in ministry we bring those values with us. We want to lead growing churches with professional people, church administrators, healthy budgets. We want church to be a well-run organization with polished presentations.” Chester, Tim, and Steve Timmis. Total Church. …keep reading »

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Reformation Day 2008: Protestant Courage

I remember several years ago while talking to a Roman Catholic about doctrine.  Though she had just left the convent and would no longer be in process to become a nun, she was a devout Roman Catholic as far as I could tell.  She left the convent and married a friend of mine.  We were all having dinner and I don’t quite remember what exactly we were talking about, but I can tell you how the conversation ended.  After a few minutes of dialogue, in her frustration, she finally said, “We’re Catholic, we don’t use the Bible!” Today, I fear …keep reading »

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Christianity Without Christ?

What happens when we take Christ out of Christianity?  That’s the question Michael Horton asks in his new book Christless Christianity.  This book follows this year’s theme of “Christless Christianity” on the White Horse Inn radio show.  I was excited when I first got the email about the book.  Then I read that this discounted offering includes a two DVD set as well which has four sessions.  I imagine that this package could be an excellent small-group (or large) resource.  For more information including audio and sample video go to the Christless Christianity website. Is it possible that we have …keep reading »

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Issues Etc vs KFUOAM Stats

Recently, on the Issues, Etc. Radio Program, Pastor Todd Wilken, the host, and Jeff Schwarz, the producer, went over answers to questions as to why their radio show was canceled. Those answers were given by David Strand, the LCMS Executive Director on the Board for Communication Services. Issues, Etc. is a great radio show. One of the best out there dealing with world issues, etc. from a conservative theological perspective. If you listen to the Q&A as reviewed in the show (listen below), you will hear the admission that there really was no way to track the “success” of Issues, …keep reading »

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Are Megachurches Healthier?

Are megachurches healthier than smaller churches?  According to the Institute for Studies of Religion at Baylor University as reported by the Washington Post 1 the answer seems to be yes.  According to the article megachurch congregations tithe more, are committed to attendance and build better relationships.  This seems to be contrary to how many people envision life in a megachurch. Unfortunately, I’ve been unable to find the actual study so all there is to go on is highlights from the study as told in the article.  I attended North Point Community Church with Pastor Andy Stanley for a while and …keep reading »

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The Shack Is Only Fiction?

I wanted to take a few moments to respond to some of the comments from one of my posts The Shack Review. Interesting review. Unfortunately, I think it not only misses the point of the book but seems to find criticism for the sake of criticism. Advice to Christians to be discerning is excellent. However, understanding must accompany discernment. The review seems short on understanding. Criticism is found for the sake of being accurate as to how God has revealed Himself through Scripture.  It seems that those promoting and praising The Shack seem to be short on understanding discernment.  Even …keep reading »

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The Metaphorical Safety of The Shack

So far I have two reviews of The Shack posted.  One, The Shack Review, by a dear brother and fellow church member Wayne Elliott.  The other, Uncovering The Shack, by local yet widely known Pastor Michael Youseff. Now, I have another dear brother who I recently had a good Southern Baptist dinner with.  For folks not in the know, that’s Wednesday night dinner in the fellowship hall.  This brother understood the nuances and concerns of The Shack.  He kept this in mind while reading The Shack and, therefore, enjoyed the book without worrying about heretical persuasions.  I certainly appreciate this …keep reading »

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Should A Woman Be Vice-President?

There’s been some discussion from the conservative Christian perspective as to whether or not Sarah Palin should be able to be Vice-President due to the fact that she’s a woman.  I would just like to high-light some good posts addressing this subject. Jason Robertson over at Fide-O writes about Work From Home Moms. Christians who have sound theology have a high-view of the family. Thus the prospect of Sarah Palin becoming VP and possibly even the President of the United States has caused some Christians to ask if that is such a job a mother should want. It is a …keep reading »

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Uncovering The Shack

My fellow church member bro. Wayne whose review of The Shack I recently posted informed me of another review of The Shack.  Michael Youssef, pastor of Church of the Apostles, one of our neighboring churches, has reviewed The Shack in a recent sermon. Dr. Youseff’s review, Uncovering The Shack, can be downloaded directly on mp3 here.  There is also an iTunes feed if you’re interested.  He actually stopped in the middle of a sermon series to review this book because he thought it was that important. Dr. Youseff begins, “In the 33 years since I’ve was ordained to the ministry, …keep reading »

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Roman Catholic Baptist?

Peter Smith of the courier-journal out of Louisville gives us an interesting story morning Married, ex-Baptist minister to become Catholic priest.  Sad, but interesting story about former baptist pastor David Harris converting to Catholicism.  So why the question “Roman Catholic Baptist?”  Smith’s story begins. David Harris never considered his conversion to Catholicism six years ago to be a rejection of the Baptist faith that nourished him from childhood in Eastern Kentucky. How does a man with an M. Div. from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary  come to this conclusion?  I understand that there are areas in our seminaries that need improvement, but …keep reading »

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Sin Sells But Who’s Buying?

Sin sells, but who’s buying?  If we were to answer this question based on the recent success of Katy Perry today vs. Katy Perry Hudson several years ago, I’d say that many are buying.  Just consider the two Christianity Today articles from back in 2001 and today in 2008.  It seems as though Hudson, though appealing in her music, came and went.  While Perry spent some time at no. 1. Who cares, though, right?  I do for one.  And, well, her parents apparently do according to the recent Christianity Today article linked above.  Quoting the artist’s mother. I hate the …keep reading »

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Faith and Reason

Without faith reasoning becomes impossible.  So do I believe this on the basis of reason or faith?  Well, it all depends on how you want to state it.  I believe it on the basis of faith, but faith which saves reasoning and, therefore, it’s the most reasonable thing to do.  So that’s my reason for having faith.  Is my intellect my ultimate authority then?  No, faith and the word of the Lord is.  And my reason for holding to that is, reason itself is destroyed if you don’t. Do you have faith or do you have reason, Dr. Bahnsen, for …keep reading »

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“The Shack” Review

A friend from church wrote a brief review of The Shack that touches on some key points as to why we should be cautious about this book.  Or maybe even disregard it all together.  He gave me permission to share this review. SHACK ATTACK – OR A CALL TO DISCERNMENT? “Discernment is not simply a matter of telling the difference between what is right and wrong; rather it is the difference between right and almost right.” -Charles Spurgeon At the encouragement of friends, I recently read The Shack by William P. Young. A national bestseller widely embraced by some churches …keep reading »

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Sermoneutics

I would like to introduce you to my first official sniglet, sermoneutics. sermoneutics (ˈsər-məˈnü-tik) – n. The art of interpreting Scripture in a sermon by giving its meaning as an abstract, peripheral idea that is not the main point of the text. My motivation for the above word is Dr. John Walton’s post Hermeneutics and Children’s Curriculum. He lays out “five basic fallacies that appear repeatedly.” 1. Promotion of the trivial 2. Illegitimate extrapolation 3. Reading between the lines 4. Missing important nuance 5. Focus on people rather than God This is a very good article that I hadn’t seen …keep reading »

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Beckwith The Protestant Roman Catholic

The much awaited book by both Roman Catholics and Protestants is here.  It is none other than former President of the Evangelical Theological Society, Dr. Francis J. Beckwith’s new book Return to Rome: Confessions of an Evangelical Catholic. Quite the title, huh?   This is the reason this book will appeal to both Catholics and Protestants.  We all want to see, “What happened?”  Most likely, Catholics will want to see what they can learn from Beckwith’s journey that will help them evangelize Romanize Protestants.  We Protestants will want to know how to keep such a “return” from happening and address …keep reading »

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Talk to Ravi Zacharias

Our friend Chris Arnzen, host of the Iron Sharpens Iron Radio Show, is having Christian apologist, Ravi Zacharias as a guest. As I understand listeners will be able to call in with questions and a downloadable mp3 will be available after the show. He will be speaking on the theme of his book NEW BIRTH Or REBIRTH? JESUS TALKS WITH KRISHNA . WHEN: Monday, July 14, 2008, 3-4 PM est WHERE: Listen Live by clicking here CALL WITH QUESTIONS: 1-631-321- WNYG (9694)] CLICK HERE for full details. SDG, Mark p.s. What are the odds that I call in and get …keep reading »

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What Hymn Is This?

Below is a song that is full of biblical theology.  Is it a hymn?  What kind of song do you think it is?  I recently got the current album of this musician from iTunes. Can you guess where lyrics below come from? TRIUNE PRAISE LYRICS VERSE 1 Praise God the Father, the Immortal Creator (1 Cor. 8:6) For Your glory you made us (Is. 43:6), You’re the Sovereign Orchestrator (Eph. 1:11) All that You decree will most surely come to happen (Is. 14:24) You’re awesome as can be and Your glory none can fathom (Ps. 104:1) Nothing could ever stain …keep reading »

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Of Cavalier Attitudes

I was recently left a very cavalier comment by a pastor.  You may read it here.  I will leave the comment for now although I don’t really want to clutter that particular page with such exchange.  So I will reproduce the comment here with some interaction.  I will try not to trade insult for insult though my wife was none to happy about the comment. I do not like the cavalier way you approach the Bible and Christian issues. I am Dawson Morrison Pastor of Mountain Home Baptist Church in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. People like you run around collecting up unholy …keep reading »

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Patriotic Worship

Brother Stan has posted some great thoughts over at the Reformed Baptist Fellowship blog about patriotic worship services. A typical patriotic service might include a presentation of the American flag, singing of patriotic hymns, and a message centered around the Christian roots of the United States and a call to return to them. Are these services God-honoring? Are they wise? Read the whole thing: Three Hymns for the Red, White, and Blue: Thinking About Patriotic Worship Services I’ve always cringed when patriotic songs have been sung during a time when the congregation comes together to worship God.  We have six others …keep reading »

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Dangers Church Members Face

As church members we are often in danger particularly when we don’t understand how to live. From being overly concerned about how we look to over analyzing the words we use in prayer to getting caught up in the snare of thinking that we don’t spiritually measure up to everyone else, we have a tendency to act no different than the unsaved. We so easily slide into the double-standard of holding others to biblical standards of behavior while ignoring how much we ourselves violate them. And sometimes we even create our own standards that not only God Himself has given …keep reading »

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Views on homosexuality

LifeWay has just released research on views of homosexuality from a telephone survey.  The groups included in the survey were Americans in general, Roman Catholics, Protestants and another called “born-again, evangelical or fundamentalist Protestants.”  I’m not quite sure of the distinction of the last group from the Protestants. A quote from the article by friend and Research Director, Ed Stetzer. “Almost a third of Americans and almost half of those who do not attend a place of worship – the people we are trying to reach – say our view of sexual morality would negatively impact their decision to visit …keep reading »

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SBC Membership Resolution Passes

My good friend John Jordan called me this morning from the Convention floor to tell me that the resolution on regenerate church membership passed.  He said it was just wonderful to be there and watch the support for the resolution as the amendments were initially not being fully supported. As resolutions go, whatever it ends up meaning and however it ends up working it passed. On Regenerate Church Membership and Church Member Restoration WHEREAS, The ideal of a regenerate church membership has long been and remains a cherished Baptist principle, with Article VI of the Baptist Faith and Message describing …keep reading »

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Deeper Conference in Atlanta: Paul Washer

UPDATE:  Paul Washer in Atlanta/Woodstock audio here! No, the above video isn’t from the Deeper Conference. It’s the famous (infamous?) shocking youth message that Paul Washer delivered. It’s a kind of preaching that you don’t hear so much of and it’s good for the soul. If you’ve never heard or watched the above I encourage you to do so. On October 17 – 18, 2008 here in the Atlanta area the Deeper Conference will be held at First Baptist Woodstock. I appreciate all the men and their topics to be presented. But there is just something a little unique about …keep reading »

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Courage to Be Protestant: Marketing the Gospel

“That is where this gospel really parts company from the way in which products and services are marketed in our modernized world. These products and services are nothing more than products and services. They are simply there for our use. The gospel is not. The gospel calls us not to use it but to submit to the God of the universe through his Son. A methodology for success that circumvents issues of truth is one that will rapidly emancipate itself from biblical Christianity or, to put it differently, will rapidly eviscerate biblical faith. That, indeed, is what is happening because …keep reading »

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Dawkins Converts Corner

Richard Dawkins has a place on his website called Converts Corner. He states: Please write in to Converts’ Corner if you have lost your religion (or have been encouraged to come out of the closet) as a result of reading The God Delusion or other Dawkins books. If you read through the stories it seems there is an underlying common theme. People aren’t actually looking for a reason to believe in God, but for reason not to. If someone is buying a book that seeks to establish and encourage atheism to help convince themselves further, I propose they are already …keep reading »

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Who Are They Really Angry At?

In James White’s debate this weekend against Muslim apologist Jalal Abualrub, Mr. Abualrub said the following: So don’t think you can come here and act you’re angry, because we are angry. Because Allah doesn’t have a son. He told you so. Jesus never said I am Lord, I am divine, I am the God, the Creator, worship Me as you worship God, the Holy Ghost is God. While driving last night I mentioned this to my teenager. I always ask her if she remembers Dr. White. She remembers him well and usually calls him, “that Dr. White dude!” So I …keep reading »

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Tim Keller on the Laura Ingraham Show

Today, Tim Keller was interviewed on the Laura Ingraham Show about his newest book The Reason for God. I only picked up the conversation towards the end so I will have to go back and listen to the podcast. I usually enjoy her show when she engages politics and such although sometimes that stuff just wears me out. She wears me out in her talk about the Pope, mass, confession, etc. Laura asked Dr. Keller about the pope’s book Jesus of Nazareth and he said he appreciated some aspects of it as I recall. She was mentioning common Christian themes …keep reading »

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Who said that?

No googling or wagering! We are to copy the views and virtues of the men who found they could remain under the Pope, and especially of one who actually died for the supremacy of the Pope. We are to throw away practically every rag of thought or theory that was held by the people who did not remain under the supremacy of the Pope. This same person did actually write something very prophetic at the same time as the above. Something that seems to be playing out very strongly right now. The genuine Protestant creed is now hardly held by …keep reading »

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Young Life: Doctrine Divides Staff?

There has been an internal disagreement that has caused all 10 staffers of Young Life at the Chapel Hill, NC office to leave voluntarily or otherwise. It seems that more than disagreements were heating up as the article on CT Gospel Talk was having a server overload earlier. You may also read an article about this subject over at The Christian Century just in case CT goes down again. The dust up is over six non-negotiables on the manner the Gospel is presented put out by the Young Life leadership. Their is a link to the Non-Negotiables of Young Life’s …keep reading »

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Straight Answers from a Mormon

Today many Mormons in the public eye answer theological questions using phrases that sound evangelical.  Such as referring to Jesus using phrases like “personal  Saviour” as Mormon presidential candidate Mitt Romney did in a recent press conference.  This has caused at least one uninformed mega-church leader, Joel Osteen, to say he accepts Mormons as Christians.  The scariest part about Osteen is the massive influence he has.  Language used like this just seems to be a way of hiding one’s true beliefs whether intentional or not. When researching the faith of Mormons some common objections are their belief about who God …keep reading »

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Joel Osteen and becoming a better Mormon?

Our friends Steve Camp and James White has recently pointed out Joel Osteen’s answer to whether or not a Mormon is a true Christian. They’ve documented and said what needs to be said on the topic. The transcript reads as follows: WALLACE: And what about Mitt Romney? And I’ve got to ask you the question, because it is a question whether it should be or not in this campaign, is a Mormon a true Christian? OSTEEN: Well, in my mind they are. Mitt Romney has said that he believes in Christ as his savior, and that’s what I believe, so, …keep reading »

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The Story of Jesus’ Birth by Martin Luther

I. The Birth of Jesus Christmas Text: Luke 2:1-14 The Story of Jesus’ Birth 1. It is written in Hag 2:6-7, that God says, “I will shake the heavens; and the precious things of all nations shall come.” This is fulfilled today, for the heavens were shaken, that is, the angels in the heavens sang praises to God. And the earth was shaken, that is, the people on the earth were agitated; one journeying to this city, another to that throughout the whole land, as the Gospel tells us. It was not a violent, bloody uprising, but rather a peaceable …keep reading »

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The Assembly Interview: A Pastor with a Church in Need

I met a couple of pastors, Charlie Scalf and Adam Fann, at the Southern Baptist Building Bridges Conference a few weeks ago. They pastor a church called The Assembly Baptist Church in downtown Johnson City, TN. I met them through my good friends John and Shannon Jordan who I have known for several years. I also got to meet the Jordans’ pastor, Reggie, who you will read about below. Reggie was nice enough to buy us all Tom Schreiner’s newest book on baptism. After spending a few days with sitting with and eating with these guys I got to know …keep reading »

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Paul Washer Highlights: Conviction

This video is called “Paul Washer Jam” and it’s a great short video of clips. This is not your everyday preaching. Talk about conviction!

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Modalism Revisted: Phillips, Craig & Dean

Modalism probably hasn’t been a hot topic lately, but there is some new (to me at least) and concrete information on Phillips, Craig and Dean’s position on their position on the Trinity. If you search and read the various apologetic websites you’ll find how tough it was for many to get straight answers on their position on the doctrine of the Trinity. The PC&D website, for example, doesn’t have a statement of faith. Taking a look at their church websites doesn’t make finding their beliefs too much easier. On Dan Dean’s The Heartland Church I can find no statement of …keep reading »

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WDJD

The WWJD acronym took Christian marketing by storm, had it’s 15 minutes of fame and still lingers and reappears at times. In my experience, most of the time when “WWJD” is brought up it’s in the context of being kinder, gentler and nicer to those around us. Or to a certain situation currently being dealt with. It’s not necessarily a bad question to ask, but is it the right one? The title “WDJD” isn’t a misprint, but a new acronym for “What did Jesus do?” Why the new question? I believe it’s needed because that is what Scripture is focused …keep reading »

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Hard but true words from John Piper

In other words, in this research the term “born again” refers to people who say things. They say, “I have a personal commitment to Jesus Christ. It’s important to me.” They say, “I believe that I will go to heaven when I die. I have confessed my sins and accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior.” Then the Barna Group takes them at their word, ascribes to them the infinitely important reality of the new birth, and then blasphemes that precious biblical reality by saying that regenerate hearts have no more victory over sin than unregenerate hearts. The New Testament Moves …keep reading »

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Vote for Timmy’s question for Mark Driscoll

If you don’t mind, would you give your votes to Timmy Brister’s question to Mark Driscoll at his Ask Anything blog. Go here to vote and give him the 10 votes you’re alloted per day. His question is: Do you believe that the Scripture not only regulates our theology but also our methodology? In other words, do you believe in the regulative principle? If so, to what degree? If not, why not? Please and thank you, Mark

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Darrin Patrick on the Emerging Church at Covenant Seminary (Update II)

It looks like the audio of part 1 (are there more parts?) of Darrin Patrick on the Emerging Church is now available. The interview is part of the Fall 2007 Francis A. Schaeffer Lectures entitled A Dialogue on the Emerging Church. The MP3 is available. I haven’t heard it yet, but I look forward to it. I know at least one friend was waiting for this audio to be available. Update: Part two is now up at Darrin Patrick’s church website though it’s not up at Covenant Seminary just yet. It is also available in MP3 format and it’s called …keep reading »

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Southern Baptists and a Great Commission Resurgence?

Beyond Calvinism This post will refer to cleaning our house beyond Calvinism though it stems from talks from Calvinism. Last week I attended the Southern Baptist Building Bridges Conference and Dr. Danny Akin in his presentation said we need a Great Commission Resurgence. Tim Rogers who I had the pleasure of meeting at the conference has a good summary of Dr. Akin’s position. I think Denny Burk summarized the main point very well and we we should all take heed. If you care at all about the future of Southern Baptist cooperation, you must not miss this message. It was …keep reading »

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The Final Apologetic

At the recent Southern Baptist Building Bridges Conference I sat and listened to Tom Ascol deliver one of the closing sermons. He mentioned Schaeffer’s “Final Apologetic” in reference to those of us of different theological perspectives should love and treat each other. He is part of this topic by Schaeffer to reflect on. The Final Apologetic But there is something even more sober. And to understand it we must look at John 17:21, a verse out of the midst of Christ’s high priestly prayer. Jesus prays, “That all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me …keep reading »

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Heaven, it’s easy!

Family Christian is selling this little number for $9.99. Isn’t that great? I really hesitated to include the link, but I did least someone think I made this up. The marketing of Christianity is unbelievable today. I told my wife and she was disgusted. She wondered how someone could say this and added that dying to self isn’t easy. I agree with her, of course. I don’t really even know what “Heaven is easy” actually means, but I do think it’s the wrong message to send in such a simplistic manner. How easy was Christ’s death on the cross? Not …keep reading »

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Southern Baptists Building Bridges: Reflections

The Building Bridges Conference was a great experience. By now most people probably know that the audio is online at Lifeway.com and presentations are available at Ed Stetzer’s blog. I would have gotten to this sooner, but I could not get my friends router to connect with my wireless card. I decided not to try to live blog once I found out the audio would be available online. I am thankful for this since I could not do justice to the actual presentations. Not to mention the limited space that I needed to keep my laptop plugged in. I know …keep reading »

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Georgia Baptist Blogging Resolution

Last week in Augusta, GA I was a messenger to the Georgia Baptist Convention. Two resolutions passed one on appreciation and another on blogging. Fellow Georgia Baptist blogger Roger Ferrell recently commented on this resolution over at sbc IMPACT! I pretty much agree with his observations. I also appreciate that Timmy Brister has chimed in as well. The resolution on blogging is below. Resolution on Blogging Submitted by Rev. Wayne Bray and Rev. William Harrell Beulah Baptist Church, Douglasville, GA WHEREAS, the American people have the distinct privilege of freedom of speech as provided by our United States Constitution, and …keep reading »

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The Gospel and Evangelism: 60 Seconds

In Mark Dever’s book The Gospel & Personal Evangelism he writes on at the end of chapter 2 page 42-43. In our church in Washington, I always ask our prospective members to tell me the gospel in one minute or less. How would you do that? What would you say the message is? I’ve thought about this since I read it and what I would say. This was also missing from this blog so I added it under a tab up top. Below is my attempt to answer Dever’s question. Got 60 Seconds? The one and only God who is …keep reading »

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Muslim-led Interfaith Service Unwelcome

Fox News reports. A Muslim-led interfaith Thanksgiving service in Austin, Texas, was forced to move to another location at the last minute after a Baptist church objected to non-Christians worshipping on its property. Apparently Hyde Park Baptist Church didn’t realize that “interfaith” meant different religions rather than different Christian denominations. When the leadership realized they essentially said “no” and definitely didn’t want non-Christian prayers promoted on their facilities. I thought “good for them” and I still do. It’s their right to make that decision. But then I thought…what if the pastors asked for their own time to share the Gospel …keep reading »

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Piper, Justification, ETS and Theories

A theological issue came up on Justin Taylor’s blog in his blurb about ETS from Christianity Today’s interview about ETS’s annual convention. In the interview, Francis Beckwith and the upcoming papers at ETS are mentioned about which I had my own blurb. The topic that came up on Taylor’s blog, of course, was justification and rightly so. His short post has so far generated 89 comments. In these comments James White and others get some uncomplimentary responses from Beckwith himself, other Roman Catholics and at least one protestant, Michael Bauman. Okay, now we’re caught up. At the ETS meeting we …keep reading »

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Does Justification Matter at ETS?

Earlier this year Frank Beckwith stepped down as president of the Evangelical Theological Society (ETS). His actions were the right thing to do as he returned to the Roman Catholic Church, IMO. But maybe I and others who agree with me were wrong. Upon reading CT’s short q&a State of the Society with ETS’s current acting president, Hassell Bullock, I can’t help but wonder if it would really matter had Beckwith stayed in office. When asked about the current debates on justification and the hopeful outcome. Since the doctrine of justification was the “watchword” of the Reformation, and thus the …keep reading »

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John MacArthur’s Truth War

I picked up The Truth War by John MacArthur on CD. So far I’ve only gotten through the first of three CDs. For the folks who think MacArthur is somehow mean and unloving maybe listening to him read his book will change your mind. For that matter, just listening to his sermons should help understand his demeanor. I think sometimes when people write things we don’t like or agree with that we develop a certain tone in how we read to ourselves in these instances. My understanding is that John MacArthur is not writing out of hate with a tone …keep reading »

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MO Southern Baptists: Towards an Unbiblical Position

The annual Missouri Baptist Convention just wrapped up.  Tim Townsend of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that there was talk and debate about the topic of, what else, alcohol.  Now I don’t know if alcohol was taking over the Missouri Baptists, but apparently, Rodney Albert of Hallsville Baptist Church has a great quote that made the article. “2007 was the year Missouri Baptists became soft on alcohol abstention,” he thundered to loud applause. “We must fight the alcohol fight and keep it out of the convention.” Boy, that’ll preach!  It sounds good and probably got the emotions flowing, but is …keep reading »

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Reformation Day 2007: The Sinner’s Justification

Today, we don’t hear as much about sin from the pulpit as was once popular. I’m not talking about just preaching hellfire and damnation either. I’m talking about our actual biblical stance as a sinner before a holy God. I know it’s not PC to talk about sin in such a way because it’s not peaceful, welcoming nor comforting to the unbelieving world. As the world listens we must tell them we are sinners just as they are while pointing to the cross. And there is nothing good in any of us to earn favor with God, but they, like …keep reading »

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Seeker-obsessed Willow Creek Repents?

Recently, the net was buzzing about the article Willow Creek Repents? with mixed feelings. I was happy at first and then unsure. Now, BlogOManiac PyroManiac, Phil Johnson, has responded to a criticism of the style of his criticism towards Willow Creek. I, like others, think Willow Creek is just going to replace their old programs with new ones. Aside, that is, from telling or training the more mature believers to be “self-feeders” which doesn’t seem to be biblically warranted. Of course, this has been the complaint all along that all the “programs” and ministry haven’t been biblically warranted. So did …keep reading »

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Rain

Rain. We try not to go out in it or drive in it if we can help it. We put on special water proof clothes and use umbrellas to keep from getting wet from it. But at the same time we can’t live without the water it brings. Water is a sustainer of life and even the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ gives “living water” which brings eternal life. Like many here in the U.S. land of plenty who take this living water for granted dare I say we also take our everyday water even more for granted. How often …keep reading »

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The Weight of Gluttony No More

Not long ago I posted Southern Baptists and the Weight of Gluttony.  And God has blessed me from that post through a commenter named Jane.   She went through the course I listed in the above mentioned post and has a great testimony I thought should have it’s own entry and I don’t want to take away from that by saying too much.  For your consideration I do want to provide two recent articles reporting on the effects of obesity: The Global Problem of Obesity and Brits Find Obesity Deadlier Than Smoking. Let’s read Jane’s testimony that she has graciously allowed …keep reading »

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Mike Corley blogs Emergence Conference

Over at The Expositor Mike Corley has two brief posts on the 2007 Emergence Conference he just attended in Austin, TX.  Mike gave his insights about days one and two.  He was challenged by an emailer to give specifics of his criticisms.  Mike plans on doing this on his radio show Monday which I hope I can catch. I  appreciate what Mike has posted and hope that he will offer some good gracious insights to think about in this area.  I’m really surprised there aren’t many comments on his blog. I wouldn’t mind hearing the conference myself, but it seems …keep reading »

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Bush vs. Carter: Theological Differences?

Very recently at Emory University former President Jimmy Carter gave a talk about faith. The difficulties of being theologian and chief international religious conflict came up. On the topic of international religious conflict, President Carter referred to his term in office. “I was president once, in ancient times,” he joked, adding, “I had some difficult discussions at Camp David with people of different faiths, but we acknowledged that we were all children of Abraham.” The recently President Bush had an interview with Al Arabiya at the White House. Well, first of all, I believe in an almighty God, and I …keep reading »

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Southern Baptists, Investing and Morality

The ChristianNewsWire has an interesting story Investments In and Profits from Abortion and Pornography Loom Large for Protestants/Catholics Alike that reveals investments in companies that are somehow involved in immorality. The world’s two largest “ultra-conservative” denominations currently invest hundreds of millions (if not billions) of dollars in companies that profit from and/or promote what their own doctrines describe as two major sins – abortion and pornography. As Southern Baptists, should we be concerned? Take a look at GuideStone’s portfolio holdings and sort through them if you wish. You will find companies like Johnson & Johnson that are named in the …keep reading »

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Worship and the Theology of the Cross In One Sentence

I just want to share some thoughts as we prepare for the Lord’s Day. Why are we going to worship the Lord tomorrow or any other day? Are we going to get an experience out of it like a trip to the zoo? Are we to seek an emotional experience like you get at the end of watching Old Yeller? Sinners that we are I believe these attitudes can creep in and we can think like that which is a reason that our journey doesn’t end when by God’s grace we come to faith in Jesus Christ. It begins. At …keep reading »

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Joel Osteen’s AIROST: Your Best Flight Now

Now this is too brilliant not to post here, especially, given my recent post about Joel Osteen which included his “confession”. AIROST: Your Best Flight Now This is my airplane: I am seated where I am supposed to be; I have what I’m supposed to have; I can do only what the flight attendants say I can do. Today, I will be flown above the clouds. I’ll boldly confess. My mind is alert; my heart is calm; I will never be the same. I am about to leave the leave the ground, take to the skies, and take wing on …keep reading »

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Habits resulting in death?

We all have habits both good, bad and indifferent.  One of my habits that may fit into any of those catergories on any given night is that while channel surfing I see someone like Joel Osteen “preaching” so I stop and listen.  I did this last night and just in time to hear Joel’s “This is my Bible..” confession.  So I got to hear about how people are basically good and it’s just our bad habits that we need to change. Osteen mentioned a list of “habits” that most Christians would normally understand to be “sins” as my wife reminded …keep reading »

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Southern Baptists and the Weight of Gluttony

As the annual Southern Baptist Convention meeting draws near a resolution on gluttony may be proposed and I hope it is.  This resolution is written in the spirit of and response to last years Resolution 5 on alcohol.  There have been various responses around the blogging world and then some which you can easily search and find. If it is appropriate to go beyond Scripture and bind the conscience of people by prohibiting even a glass of alcohol then sure we can address the real problem of gluttony and obesity in the Convention.  Our missionaries must meet certain body mass …keep reading »

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Rick Warren Vs. John Piper on the Gospel

First, I think Godtube is cool and I hope WordPress will allow their videos to be posted. I went there to see Dr. White’s videos he posted. And I also wanted to see the site after hearing about it in a news report today. I got to browse around a little. Then, I read centuri0n’s post on Rick Warren. He got the material from Adrian Warnock who also posted on Warren. Which brings me back to browsing around Godtube and this comparison. In this video, John Piper talks about the Gospel for about six minutes. In this video, Rick Warren …keep reading »

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Engage: Scot McKnight at North Point

Last Saturday I spent the morning at a seminar called Engage. It took place at North Point Community Church where Andy Stanley pastors. I got to listen to Dr. Scot McKnight speak about engaging the culture. He has blogged about the event too. First, I want to say that Scot McKnight is a man of great hope. This was apparent because he is obviously a huge Cubs fan and, well, that should explain the aspect of hope. Upon arrival everyone got nice name tags and a shoulder bag with a copy of Dr. McKnight’s Embracing Grace: A Gospel for All …keep reading »

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Mark Driscoll on the White Horse Inn

The latest White Horse Inn show features and interview with Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, WA.  The guys on the WHI are known for addressing theological issues head on.  The interview was nice and cordial and it would be interesting if Driscoll were on again to tackle some more questions. Give it a listen. Mark

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N.T. Wright and Leonard Sweet and A Radio Show

It looks as if the local Atlanta Christian talk radio station 970 & 1400 AM WNIV will have at least two special guests on next week. Leonard Sweet and N.T. Wright will be interviewed on these stations on the John Young Show. Currently, there is no show archive, but the show repeats a few times over the weekend. So all of you who are not local to Atlanta you will have to listen online. I don’t know the order of the interviews and if I remember right I think John Eldridge is also going to be interview. Agree or disagree …keep reading »

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What if the Super Pastor left?

I ran into an old friend the other day.  We caught up a little bit about our churches and some of the churches in the metro Atlanta area.  He brought up a certain church that has three campuses in addition to its main church location.  The campuses will play videos of sermons from the main church pastor.  My friend thought that he might be tempted to stay home and watch a sermon on TV as a good alternative to attending one of the campuses. Then, he asked two interesting question, “What if the pastor left?  What would happen to those …keep reading »

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How do Americans view Mormons?

I wish the unfavorable numbers were higher, but they are better than expected as “46 percent of Americans say they have an unfavorable opinion of the Mormon religion.” So reports The Christian Post according to this article which references a Gallup poll of 1,018 people. Now get this.  Liberals are more likely to have an unfavorable view 62% vs. 45% of conservatives.  So who is the real liberal here anyway?  My suspicion is that far too many conservatives align themselves first with conservative political ideologies superseding their religious convictions. Even so, my guess is that Romney still has as good …keep reading »

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An Idol Called Evangelism booklet now out

Last year I learned of a sermon from James White’s blog called An Idol Called Evangelism.  This sermon is by Pastor Roy Hargrave of Riverbend Church.  A few folks blogged about it including Jeff Fuller and friend Howard Fisher. Well, now the  talked about booklet is out and can be ordered online.  Here is the description of the book. Dr. Hargrave contends that many current evangelism methods have become manipulative, man-centered, and are rapidly producing false converts.  In fact, these unbiblical, modern-day evangelism methods have seemingly become more important than the gospel itself.  They have become more important than the …keep reading »

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Will Anglicans Become Roman Catholic?

The Timesonline has reported that Churches back plan to unite under Pope. It looks as though this path may be offered as a solution to the liberalism that plagues the Anglican church. The Anglicans will attempt to resolve their differences today by publishing a new Anglican Covenant, an attempt to provide a doctrinal statement under which they can unite. So some in the Anglican leadership are willing to forgo their stance on the canon, salvation, justification, Supererogation, purgatory, etc. as less important than uniting over the ordination of homosexuals and women? This doesn’t add up for me. I am no …keep reading »

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The Altar Question: Southern Baptists and Others?

I have mostly heard and seen this in Southern Baptist churches. I am not talking about altar calls where unbelievers are being called forward which is another topic for another time. I am talking about going forward to pray and/or renew your commitment to Christ. I have asked about this practice before on this and other blogs with no real answer. Emotionally, I can understand the purpose this may serve. This practice can really get one emotionally charged up and feel like really doing better this time. This is my observation through watching as well as hearing from others. Often, …keep reading »

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So this is Christmas

The Baptist Press has reported Poll: Americans want to see ‘Merry Christmas’ in stores.  This is preferred to simply saying ‘Happy Holidays’.  Wonderful, right?  Yes, maybe, but why?  I really wish the poll had included a “why” section.  I would like to hear the reasons.  I want to make a couple of general observations and then appeal to the Christian with a few things to think about.      Selling Christ What is it that a store is celebrating?  Whether a store is advertising with ‘Merry christmas’ or ‘Happy Holidays’ what they mean is ‘Come shop with us’.  I’m sure there are …keep reading »

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Pro-abortion: Honoring Christ’s Teachings or Obama’s?

In many news and blog articles Rick Warren is being criticized for having Senator Barack Obama speak at Saddleback’s AIDS Conference.  The controversy involves Obama’s pro-abortion position which is in opposition to Warren’s position and, of course, against the biblical position.  I want to take a look at a brief response by Obama from an article reporting Rick Warren’s defense of having him speak at Saddleback’s AIDS conference. “Many people of faith have strong views about abortion, and I deeply respect their beliefs,” Obama said in a statement. “While we will never see eye-to-eye on all issues, surely we can come together …keep reading »

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Calvinists are Evangelical

Below is a response I sent to The Christian Index in reply to a reader’s recent submission entitled Evangelical Calvinism is an oxymoron. Let’s see if it gets published. Calvinists are Evangelical I can’t believe some who professes to be Protestant know all that the original Protestants professed. If Southern Baptists wish to continue to call themselves Protestant and embrace the five solas shouldn’t they embrace infant baptism? No, and this is not a good position from which to argue. Much the same approach was used in a previous letter from Nelson Price arguing that Calvinists don’t know all John …keep reading »

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Thanksgiving Day 2006

As I thought about making a Thanksgiving Day post I really wasn’t sure where to go with it.  I have so much to be thankful for, but it’s so much easier to look at all that I “want” that I don’t “have” rather than looking at all that I “have” that I don’t “need”.  Isn’t that the American way?  It’s beyond the American way it’s the sinful human way.  Poor me!  Isn’t it all about me?  No, we know better than that.  It’s a shame that it takes one national holiday called Thanksgiving Day to make us slow down, reflect and be …keep reading »

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Church Fundraising: How?

I have given a few passing thoughts lately to church fundraising. I know there are times when churches need money just to meet their normal budget since the congregation doesn’t normally give well. However, I am speaking more of raising money for extra projects like new building additions, rennovations or a new multi-million dollar sanctuary with two escalators. Okay, maybe the escalator comment is too much…maybe not if it’s true.  Okay, I’m not telling any church how they should spend their money.  I am just making a few observations.  It seems that there are some modern day Tetzel’s selling new …keep reading »

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Jesse Mercer’s Eternal Concerns of a Slave

In Nathan Finn’s recent post 19th Century Baptists, Slavery, and Christian Civility: Some Lessons from the Past in he tells of a new book he is about to publish entitled Domestic Slavery Considered as a Scriptural Institution.  Read his post for more information.  It’s looks to be an interesting read and will shed some light on two opposing positions from the past.  I agree with Nathan that such a form of slavery in the early U.S. was sinful, much like the kind that continues today in places like Sudan. Upon reading Nathan’s post I thought about a book I recently …keep reading »

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Volunteering for Dave Ramsey

I spent this Saturday from 9am to 8pm (7-8 was dinner) volunteering for a Dave Ramsey Live event at First Baptist Woodstock.  Some will see the irony in the location.  Anyways, my wife and I donated our time for this event.  It was long and tiring, but more than that it was fun and rewarding. We arrived, signed in and changed into our cool, free “I see debt people” t-shirts.  Then we went to an introduction presentation and onto more specific training.  But not before Dave himself walked in and said a few words to us.  You’d be surprised how relaxed and …keep reading »

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Being More Holy: Forward to the Altar Steps

Is there something more spiritual about going forward, kneeling down and praying on the steps around the pulpit (sometimes called the altar)?  It sure seems like there is.  My wife and I recently experienced this call.  After a very sharp appeal to the emotions in reference to serving God and prayer there was a strong persuading for all to come forward, kneel and pray.   Now my wife, having grown up in Baptist churches, was very familiar this type of appeal.  Her observation was that visiting evangelists do this type of thing so that people remember him.  It can later be …keep reading »

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Agreeing with Al Sharpton about the Gospel

You read that right! Al Sharpton and I agree about an aspect of the Gospel. There are not many times that Al Sharpton and I fully agree. And since I’ve never heard him preach nor speak clearly about theology this was a suprise to me when I discovered this last night. There was a story on the local Fox network last night about preaching. The story featured in interview with Creflo Dollar of World Changers Church. I suppose “church” is a very broadly defined term these days. So Fox got an exclusive interview that Creflo, if I remember rightly, has …keep reading »

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Hollywood and the Gospel

ScrippsNews has a short interview called The gospel according to Stephen Baldwin. The article starts  Actor Stephen Baldwin (youngest of the acting Baldwin brothers) has become an impassioned Christian after living the wild Hollywood lifestyle. In his New York Times best-selling book, “The Unusual Suspect: My Calling to the New Hardcore Movement of Faith” (September 2006), he explains how his life turned around.  I read the article and think, “Is this the best we’ve got in Hollywood?”  Then I wonder if more people in the church think like this than not.  The church is full of clichés such as “the …keep reading »

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Arab Vision, Is Ours Clouded?

I recently listened to and spoke with missionary and one of the founders of Arab Vision. It seems as though we, as local churches, are neglecting the Arab world in our missions and evangelism. If I remember correctly, something like only 22% of the Arab world has heard the Gospel. If I am wrong please correct me. I will also try to find the number. Regardless of that number the Arab people have been ignored. The very place where the church father Augustine pastored hardly has any Christians left. You can read more about some of these issues on Arab …keep reading »

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Does God want you rich?

Okay, so I am taking this from Melvin Jones’ post over at Pulpit-pimps.org and I thank him for posting it. It’s funny and sad in that it describes these prosperity preachers perfectly. Maybe I am suprised that an album like this hasn’t actually been made yet. It would go along perfectly with the whole “name it, claim it, put it on the wall and frame it” theology that goes along with most of the prosperity preachers.

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Article Rich with Sadness and Poor Theology

The Miami Herald’s article A rich Jesus? Debate flares over his finances gives us the same ole story about the WoF prosperity “gospel”. The article states: But when the Rev. Creflo Dollar looks inside that manger, he doesn’t see a poor baby. He sees a baby born into wealth because the kings visiting him gave him gold, frankincense and myrrh. He sees a messiah with so much money he needed an accountant to track it. He sees a savior who wore clothes so expensive that the Roman soldiers who crucified him gambled for them. Same song with the same performers …keep reading »

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Deal and sermon of the week

Deal of the Week Tom Ascol over at Founders Ministries has blogged that James P. Boyce’s Abstract of Systematic Theology is back in print.  Not only that, but for a limited time it’s available for only $12.50 plus $3.50 for postage and handling which will be priced at $29.95 once this deal expires.  You can get 534 pages worth of historic Southern Baptist theology delivered to your door for a mere $16.00.  If anyone can spare the cash maybe one can be sent to your pastor, church leaders, Ergun & Emir Caner, Jerry Falwell, Paige Patterson or even our new …keep reading »

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Spurgeon for Today

Controversy is never a very happy element for the child of God: he would far rather be in communion with his Lord than be engaged in defending the faith, or in attacking error. But the soldier of Christ knows no choice in his Master’s commands. He may feel it to be better for him to lie upon the bed of rest than to stand covered with the sweat and dust of battle; but, as a soldier, he has learned to obey, and the rule of his obedience is not his personal comfort, but his Lord’s absolute command. The servant of …keep reading »

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Southern Baptists the coffins are here and Voddie’s got the hammer!

Do you want to here the straight truth about what’s going on in the SBC? Inflated baptismal numbers? Unregenerate members? Actually preaching the Gospel? Church discipline? Want to hear about “the dance”? You can hear about all of these things and more at this years Eastern Evangelism Conference in Hampton Voddie Baucham brings it. My buddy Frank turned me onto Voddie’s sermon on The Centrality of the Home which is also excellent. To make it easy here is the link to Voddie’s sermon. Not only does Voddie drive the final nail in the coffin, but he drives it in with …keep reading »

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Reformation Day Reflections 2006

The famous quote attributed to Johan Tetzel, “As soon as the coin in the coffer rings, the soul from purgatory springs” probably doesn’t mean much to many in the church today. If it weren’t for my own studying and reading, as a layman, it probably wouldn’t mean much to me either. The struggle today is similar to that of Luther’s day in that it is internal though not necessarily against Rome. Oh, there is still a battle with Rome, but few people in the pews even know the difference between Protestantism and Roman Catholicism. The battle is so far off …keep reading »

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Blog bites: Voddie Baucham at the Piper Conference

First, listen to all of the conference: Desiring God Conference 2006. I am working my way through and am listening to Voddie this morning. He said something that we should think about as Christians. He was address the question of “Why are we here?” It will make us reflect on God’s grace and love and just make you wonder. Voddie said But I’m not going to answer the question until you ask it correctly….You’re not asking the question properly….How do I ask it properly?…Here’s how you ask that question properly…You look me in my eyes and you ask me this …keep reading »

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The Segregated Life

In my previous post I encouraged folks to see the movie The Second Chance which touches on race relations in the church and neglect of those needing Christ in our own backyards. In the blog world I came across something that goes on the black community that I don’t know much about. It is a very telling video produced by 16 year old Kiri Davis called A Girl Like Me. (HT: Marty Duren) Quote about the film. For my high-school literature class I was constructing an anthology with a wide range of different stories that I believed reflected the black …keep reading »

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The Second Chance on dvd: watch it

Last night my family and I watched a movie I rented upon recommendation from a friend at church. He said it was a great movie so I made a special trip to Blockbuster and rented it. They actually had several copies and only two were in. The movie is called The Second Chance starring Michael W. Smith and Jeff Obafemi Carr. Yes, that Michael W. Smith and regardless of what you think of his music, watch the movie. What’s it about? Well, go to the website and read. You will find “Same faith. Same city. Different worlds.” Segregation Sunday in …keep reading »

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Blog bites: Warrenism Splits Church

Yes, that’s Warrenism named after Rick Warren. I wondered if anyone had used that term before so just Google it and see. When I say Warrenism splits church I am referring to a story by Suzanne Sataline in the Wall Street Journal entitled A Popular Strategy For Church Growth Splits Congregants. It was only a matter of time that the seeker driven methods get critiqued in the media, but I would not have guess that it would make the Wall Street Journal. I don’t even know if the evil theology of Calvinism has made it that big. My favorite quote …keep reading »

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Southern Baptists & the Alcohol Resolution: How?

There have been numerous bloggers writing on Resolution No. 5 On Alcohol Use in America from this years Southern Baptist Convention. The first “RESOVLED” of this resolution says, “RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Greensboro, North Carolina, June 13-14, 2006, express our total opposition to the manufacturing, advertising, distributing, and consuming of alcoholic beverages;” My question is how is total opposition to alcohol to be expressed as said above aside from urging that “no one be elected to serve as a trustee or member of any entity or committee of the Southern Baptist Convention that …keep reading »

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Lord’s Day Reflection

Last week I bought John Piper’s DVD set Blazing Grace. We’ve been watching it as a family and he really breaks down God’s glory and sovereignty in a way that my teen daughter or anyone else for that matter can understand. I mentioned it to the youth minister and he wants to borrow it when we’re finished watching it. It would be great if he ended up using it for the kids. In the first lesson Piper is telling the youth about God declaring His glory throughout creation. And how God is God centered which he touches on more in …keep reading »

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Rome and Evangelicalism: Cults with the Same Gospel?

On a recent program of Issues, Etc. that is worth listening to host Todd Wilkin said something very interesting. The show is from Tuesday, July 25 entitled “Audio Open Lines: The Journey Home Broadcast Featuring a Roman Catholic Convert from Lutheranism”. Actually he said many true and interesting things. I want to quote one here and ask “What say you?”. He says this around 45 minutes so you can get the full context. This is in response to a caller’s question and Paul in Galatians. If I am going to call Rome a cult then I am going to have …keep reading »

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Frank Page and Alcohol Use: Heart of the Disagreement

First, I don’t believe anyone has been clearer nor dealt as exegetically with the issues in this debate in the SBC of alcohol abstinence vs. moderation than the material by ConcernedSBCer. This issue has been dealt with on this blog without using the iron fist in the lace glove technique. Brad Reynolds has quoted an article by new SBC President, Frank Page. Read the article for yourself. I don’t believe there is really anything new in it. One comment did stand out to me as I read Dr. Page’s article. I have bolded the part below. Personally, I believe that …keep reading »

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Worship Your Way

Brother Frank* posted some good thoughts DGM’s interview with Mark Driscoll. I read his post and then a little later read an article from the Boston Globe entitled New approaches to worship emerge. Please be aware that I am in no way affiliating Mark Driscoll to the likes of denomination nor practices listed in the article. Brian McLaren, however, gets an honorable mention. Read the whole article, but my thoughts lately have been more along the lines of the practice portrayed in the opening paragraph. The first difference you would notice between the 9 a.m. “first worship” at Wellesley Congregational …keep reading »

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James White to debate Caner brothers…possibly

Yes, it’s true that the brothers Caner, Emir and Ergun, may be debating James White and (someone else). Can’t say who that someone is yet, but I hope the time can be “found” by him. There are two potential locations for the debate. Though I may not be at liberty to say as everyone may not be on the same paige. Yeah, I am using the current blog debates to get a few blog hits since I’ve fallen so far behind. Don’t blame me blame centuri0n. I always do. I certainly hope this debate takes place and is a very …keep reading »

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Grace No More

In a recent Barna Group article the title One-Quarter of Self-Described Born Again Adults Rely On Means Other Than Grace to Get to Heaven says it all. It’s an interesting read. The article states Overall, 80% of adults in the U.S. call themselves “Christian.” In comparison, the phrase “a committed Christian” is embraced by two out of every three adults (68%). The words “born again Christian” are adopted by just less than half of the population (45%). Why should these three descriptions have different connotations? I do understand to a point since we do use qualifiers in language. But c’mon! …keep reading »

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The McCainian Lutheran Nicene Creed

After reading Steve Hays answer to Paul McCain’s claims about Calvinism I wanted to attempt to apply his Lutheran hermeneutic to the Nicene Creed. I will use the method McCain complains that Calvinism does not use, but should. My attempt below, though tongue in cheek, should provide an interesting read and comparison. McCain’s complaint is basically that there is not enough Jesus in Calvinism. Jesus is not heard about enough. His position is, in summary “Where’s Jesus?” What if we applied this to the Nicene Creed? We believe in one God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and …keep reading »

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Keeping Christ in Christmas so we can sleep in?

I just Googled “Christ out of Christmas.” With quotes I got 88 results and 1,950 without quotes. There has been much talk of companies taking Christ out of Christmas. Talk done by governments, news organizations, department stores, etc. Many of these places are replacing the Christmas tree with “Holiday” tree or have rules which forbid employees from saying “Merry Christmas”. This has frustrated many Christians and been deemed unfair. I don’t really like it either, but it’s not as if these organizations actually had Christ in Christmas as it were. He’s been missing as the center of attention for quite …keep reading »

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Moore, Pearce, Camp and a Lecture

I read through Steve Camp’s The Top Ten Turkey Awards of 2005 and his post Double standards. Number eight on the list is Russell Moore (the Henry Institute and Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) for having Roman Catholic Joseph Pearce speak at the Gheens Lectures. Dr. Moore is, however, a very solid theologian. These lectures are not tough to track down so you can listen to them. Russell Moore actually posted about the whole event here. Dr. Moore makes no bones about Joseph Pearce being a professor at Ave Maria University is in the blog post. So he isn’t trying to …keep reading »

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Purpose driven crystal meth?

Earlier this year Brian Nichols was in custody at the courthouse in downtown Atlanta and about to go to trial on rape charges. Nichols got free, killed four people and escaped. He ran to a suburb and ended up at Ashley Smith’s apartment. Smith talked him into giving himself up and allegedly used Rick Warren’s book The Purpose Drive Life to get through to him. A couple of excerpts: For some reason, the one with the gun untied her and let her go get the book, and like a kid sharing something newly discovered, Ashley ran and got The Purpose …keep reading »

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SBTS, Mohler & Moore: Alcohol &

First, I want to thank my good friend Russ for pointing me to this issue over at Steve McCoy’s blog. And thank you, Steve and all the others for the good and brotherly insight and engagment on this issue. Dr. Russ Moore opens with a wonderful prayer and thanks all for being there and being part of the forum. He talks about the importance of the issue with which I agree. He starts off positioning the issue from the cultural perspective and questioning how we should best handle alcohol. He touches on the effects alcohol has on today’s culture and …keep reading »

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The report is that the White vs. Crossan debate went well.

No, unfortunately I wasn’t there and nor was I able to go on the cruise this year. James White briefly mentioned the debate on his blog and a few others commented on it in #prosapologian. During last night’s debate Dr. White told Dr. Crossan that he’d make a great Calvinist. I heard the expression on Crossan’s face was priceless. Only for Crossan to go on to say, “”I don’t think I’ve ever been called that before.” Reports are that all went better than planned from the Christian perspective of James White’s side. It seems that Dr. Crossan had not been …keep reading »

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The Albert Mohler Program

I listened to The Albert Mohler Program episode entitled The Pope: Taking the Measure of the Man. This is just a part of the program where he answers a caller’s question about the Pope’s salvation. Mohler said some interesting things and did not sacrifice the truth in order to be politically correct. Dr. Mohler said that we are justified by faith alone and not faith plus works or anything else. And that the only righteousness that will save you is the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ. While defending sola fide he also said that we don’t believe we are saved …keep reading »

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Responding to unbelievers and taking communion

My words will be in regular text formating while the words from the article will be in blockquote and intalicized. Dear J. R., Thank you for your letter and insightful questions. I will attempt to answer your first question in this weeks ATP, and the other two over the next week (or two). The first question from the link is: Pastor Sofia, I have been attending GCCC for 8 months now. I have a few questions that I would like you to clarify for me. 1) I have noticed that before communion is distributed, it is not stipulated that this …keep reading »

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Ravi Zacharias at the Mormon Tabernacle?

This past weekend Zacharias spoke at the Mormon Tabernacle. It was a joint effort together with Greg Johnson’s Stand Together Ministries. I don’t know a whole lot about this ministry, but from what I’ve read it seems too “ecumenical” towards Mormons if there can be such a thing from the Christian perspective. So far the only article I have found on this past weekend is from the Salt Lake Tribune. I hope to get a copy of Ravi’s presentations once available. As the article states this is the first time in 105yrs. that someone other than a Mormon spoke at …keep reading »

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CRI, Roman Catholics and Salvation

Hank Hanegraaff recently wrote an article entitled Catholics and Salvation. Whenever I hear Hank or CRI talk about Roman Catholics I am reminded of the debate I have between Dr. Bob Morey and Elliot Miller called The Ecumenical Debate. Elliot Miller was and maybe still is (I don’t know) the editor-in-chief of The Christian Research Journal which is CRI’s magazine. Dr. Morey is a Reformed Protestant who can be found at http://www.faithdefenders.com/. Dr. Morey’s position was (is) that Rome is a false church with true teachings and Miller took the opposite position. It’s an interesting debate and Morey really came …keep reading »

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Justification Debate Update White vs. Wilson

Special thanks to Richard Barcellos, managing editor of the Reformed Baptist Theological Review, for the debate update. Again, this is Rich working from memory and not from the mouth or keyboard of Dr. White. Below are Rich’s highlights of the debate (with permission). The debate went as expected; no surprises. Both men were cordial and even humorous at times. Wilson stated from the outset that he is a Calvinist, believes in the five solas, justification by faith alone in Christ alone, and the imputation of the active and passive obedience of Christ. In Wilson’s opening statement, he argued from Heb. …keep reading »

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Justification debate update

There is to be a new update sometime tomorrow on this blog. After talking with Rich it was decided that a little more thought out review is in order since the first was done first thing in the morning after the debate off the top of ye ole head. I want to make sure that whoever reads this knows that this is one attendee’s view of the debate who is working from memory and not from the mouth or keyboard of Dr. White. Until then… Thanks for understanding, Mark

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40 Days of a new Reformation?

During Rick Warren’s recent appearance on the Today Show he made the following statement. “I believe that we are possibly on the verge of a New Reformation in Christianity and another Great Awakening in our nation,” said Warren. “The signs are everywhere, including the popularity of this book.” Interesting that the popularity of Warren’s The Purpose Driven Life (PDL) is our gauging of whether or not a “new Reformation” is coming. I would prefer a resurgence of something like an increase Bible sales and theology books if we were to use books to gauge a new Reformation. I guess since …keep reading »

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Church History

Recently, I have been thinking about the role that Church History plays in Biblical authority, sola scripture, etc. And also, how do the classic creeds and confessions of Christianity play into this. In the January issue of the Reformed Baptist Theological Review there was a great article by Sam Waldron entitled The Meaning of Sola Fida for Luther. Recent discussions among Christians on the doctrine of justification by faith alone are numerous, which is a good thing, and this article was very interesting. I would like to reproduce a section here from Mr. Waldron’s article. “Church History is not able …keep reading »

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Morning has broken

I listened to a couple songs from Derek Webb’s new House CD today on the way to work. This CD is several of his songs with a few previously unreleased which are recorded live in front of small “house” audiences. Listening to Derek introduce his previously unreleased song I Repent was interesting. I listened to the song and reflected. The man has a way with words. Then, I listened to Derek talk about Wedding Dress and how the song speaks to how unworthy he is and how he struggles to believe. That song is something else. I know a lot …keep reading »

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