Evangelism

The posts below deal with evangelism various areas of the Christian life whether in the world or inside or outside of the church.

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 My Good Friday: When I was God

My Good Friday: When I was God

Every day was my Good Friday. Every day I was my own god. I loved my sin. Not a day went by that I was not planning another moment celebrating sin. What sins can I do tomorrow because today they were so satisfying? Which ones will fill my soul next? During the week I was a pretty good guy. I lived to make the most of myself for myself. I strived to be better both personally and in business dealings. I wanted more out of life to make the most of myself. A slight exaggeration here or there didn’t really …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Must Christian Art Be Evangelistic?

Must Christian Art Be Evangelistic?

Over at the Gospel Coalition, Alex Medina asks in the title of his post Must Art Be Evangelistic to Be Christian? Since the question is really about art made by Christians, let me re-phrase the question. Must Christian art be evangelistic? Or, a fuller version of the question from a Facebook friend, “Does a Christian who does music have to talk about Christianity or anything about the gospel in their music?” I emphasized the words “must” and “have to” above to set-up my brief answer. No, a Christian artist does not “have to” only produce evangelistic art. Evangelistic art is …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Debate: Christian Vs. Black Hebrew Israelite

Debate: Christian Vs. Black Hebrew Israelite

Brother Saiko Woods recently debated a Black Hebrew Israelite (whose name I did not catch). The debate topic was Black Hebrew Israelites & The Authority of Scripture. I’m not sure how influential the Black Hebrew Israelites (BHI) are, but there are several YouTube videos showing them in public in a few big cities. The only person I know who has had any face-to-face with BHI’s is a Facebook friend who used to be one. Check out the debate below!

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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 Free Live Debate: Bill Nye Vs. Ken Ham

Free Live Debate: Bill Nye Vs. Ken Ham

Update: The debate is over, but you can watch the recording below. The comments are disabled on YouTube, but not here if you have anything to share about the debate. Also, you can order the debate: Uncensored Science: Bill Nye Debates Ken Ham Order your DVD copy today! On Tuesday, February 4, 2014, Bill Nye debates Ken Ham on evolution vs. creation. The debate is free and will be live streamed online at 7 PM ET. Sign-up here -> Bill Nye Debates Ken Ham Live Streaming FREE*! While there may be churches in your area streaming the debate, my Sunday School class and …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Why Christians Should Study Philosophy

Why Christians Should Study Philosophy

Some Christians are opposed to studying philosophy thinking it is opposed to biblical thinking. I am not sure they grasp what they think they are against when they oppose philosophy. Therefore, I would like to share some brief thoughts on the benefits for Christians to study philosophy. First, what is philosophy? Oxford Dictionaries defined philosophy as “the study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence, especially when considered as an academic discipline.” In Philosophical Foundations of a Christian Worldview, J.P. Moreland and William Lane Craig offer a definition that philosophy is “the attempt to think rationally and critically about …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 Noah: Official Movie Trailer

Noah: Official Movie Trailer

The official movie trailer for Noah has been released. Noah stars Russell Crowe, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Jennifer Connelly and Emma Watson. It will be in theaters March 28th, 2014. The synopsis: After visions of an apocalyptic deluge, Noah, the world’s only righteous man, is chosen to undertake a divine mission to build a massive ark to save his family and all of creation before the impending rains fall and the flood waters rise. Check it out! Looks like a fantastic production with top rated actors. However, I am sure many of us will be watching closely for biblical accuracy. Whenever Hollywood …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 Imitating Church: Atheists Engage in the Sincerest Form of Flattery

Imitating Church: Atheists Engage in the Sincerest Form of Flattery

“Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery,” wrote Charles Colton in 1824. Today, Colton’s words are possibly being lived out in the most ironic fashion – Atheist ‘mega-churches’ take root across US, world reports Gillian Flaccus in the AP. The AP reports that “several hundred people” attended or, more specifically, USA Today‘s version of the story states “more than 400 attendees.” The problem is that 400 people does is not enough to meet the definition of a megachurch. The numbers to qualify as a megachurch is attendance between 1,600 to 2,000 plus. But it is a catchy headline. Not A Church Next, the biblical definition …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 The Annual Christian Debate Over Halloween Post

The Annual Christian Debate Over Halloween Post

As soon as candy in the trick-or-treat bag rings, a smile on a child’s face sings. It is Halloween again in America. Christians will discuss and debate whether or not they can or should participate in Halloween. In this post, I will offer some brief thoughts on Christians and Halloween. One thought that crosses my mind is: if Paul could eat meat sacrificed idols with a clear conscience Christians can take their kids trick-or-treating to get candy for fun. Some Christians object to Halloween regardless of whether or not some form of satanic promotion is involved. The claim sometimes made is that …keep reading »

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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 What does Duck Dynasty Really Believe About Baptism?

What does Duck Dynasty Really Believe About Baptism?

In the video below, Todd Friel on the Wretched show addresses the topic, “Duck Dynasty: What EXACTLY do they believe?” I was recently in the Wretched studio and spoke with Todd about Duck Dynasty and baptismal regeneration. He told me he was going to cover the topic. I gave Todd the name of a mutual friend who has actually spoken to the main preaching elder at White’s Ferry Church of Christ, the church were the Robertson’s are members. The We Care Ministries Todd mentions in the video is headed by Larry West who he also mentions. Just so there is no …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 My Podcast Appearance on Faith, Etc.

My Podcast Appearance on Faith, Etc.

Friend and fellow Christian blogger Joshua Breland has started a podcast called Faith, Etc. For some reason he asked me to be his first guest. Then, for some reason – I said yes. Actually, I was honored to say yes. Joshua asked me some questions about my RLDS background and life leading up to becoming a Christian. Much more could have been said, but I tried to touch on the heart of the issues in the time available. I pray the podcast edifies some in the body of Christ. If you care – or dare – to listen click the …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Preacher Arrested in Scotland for Street Preaching

Preacher Arrested in Scotland for Street Preaching

Josh Williamson, pastor of Craigie Reformed Baptist Church in Perth, Scotland, was recently arrested in Scotland. The charge? A breach of peace. Some allegedly complained he was preaching too loudly. He wasn’t even using an amplification system. The arrest was captured on video. Read the whole story at: Jailed for Preaching Jesus in Scotland! Here I blog… Mark

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Thumbnail image for How Miley Cyrus Could Really Shock the World!

How Miley Cyrus Could Really Shock the World!

Given that her name seems to pop-up just about everywhere these days – I was thinking about how Miley Cyrus could really shock the world. It seems every other day Miley Cyrus is a top twitter trend. She is one of the top searched people on Google. One of her recent music videos broke a record for most views in 24 hours. Cyrus has seemingly shocked her way to attention with her recent actions. Many fans and onlookers tuned in and continue to do so with every new sexually suggestive Cyrus performance. And everyone is shocked! But why is everyone shocked? …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Conclusion: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an

Conclusion: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an

Several weeks ago I invited to a read along in Let’s Read About the Qur’an Together! The plan is to read together – What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an by James R. White. We have finally reached the end of the read along. However, I still encourage you to grab a copy of the book and study it. Below are links to all the chapters. Today’s final post touches on White’s brief concluding chapter that is only six pages. Introduction: Why Study the Qur’an? Chapter 1a: The Qur’an and Muhammad of Mecca Chapter 1b: The Qur’an and …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 Always Remember

Always Remember

I will always remember the September 11, 2001 attacks (9/11) that took place 12 years ago today. I will always remember the big screen TV I was watching in my office as the attacks were happening. I shared this information in 2011 in Never Forget. A lot has happened in the United States in the past 12 years since 9/11. That attack united Americans – for a short time anyway. No doubt we will express feelings that we are again united on this anniversary of the attacks. During our time of mourning and recovery, religions that do not go together …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for My Sermons on Philippians

My Sermons on Philippians

The 2nd VP of the Southern Baptist Convention, Jared Moore, asked me to preach at the church he pastors, New Salem Baptist Church in Hustonville, KY, at the end of this past June. I don’t get the opportunity to preach often so I was grateful for the opportunity. (And I hope these sermons don’t give me even less opportunities to preach!) I accepted Jared’s invitation even though time was short. The Lord helped me put these sermons together in about two weeks. The folks at New Salem were wonderful hosts to my wife and I. I pray these sermons are …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Chapter 11: What Every Christian Needs to Know about the Qur’an

Chapter 11: What Every Christian Needs to Know about the Qur’an

Several weeks ago I invited to a read along in Let’s Read About the Qur’an Together! The plan is to read together – What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an by James R. White. Feel free to grab a copy of the book and join in at anytime! So far, we’ve covered: Introduction: Why Study the Qur’an? Chapter 1a: The Qur’an and Muhammad of Mecca Chapter 1b: The Qur’an and Muhammad of Mecca by Ken Temple Chapter 2: The Qur’an: A Brief Introduction Chapter 3: Allah: Tawhid, Shirk, the Mithaq and the Fitra Chapter 4: “Say Not Three”: …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for But Jesus Hung Out with Sinners!

But Jesus Hung Out with Sinners!

Sometimes Christians disagree over participating in certain activities. One Christian may be convicted that a certain activity is sin or at the very least the appearance of evil so they avoid it. Another Christian may come to a different conviction about the same activity and feel free to participate. For example, the recent news out of Oregon where Christian bakery owners felt they would not be honoring the Lord by providing food for a same-sex wedding. (An event that inspired a recent post.) Since the owners refused service to the gay couple’s wedding, some in the LGBT did all they …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Chapter 10: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an

Chapter 10: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an

Several weeks ago I invited to a read along in Let’s Read About the Qur’an Together! The plan is to read together – What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an by James R. White. Feel free to grab a copy of the book and join in at anytime! So far, we’ve covered: Introduction: Why Study the Qur’an? Chapter 1a: The Qur’an and Muhammad of Mecca Chapter 1b: The Qur’an and Muhammad of Mecca by Ken Temple Chapter 2: The Qur’an: A Brief Introduction Chapter 3: Allah: Tawhid, Shirk, the Mithaq and the Fitra Chapter 4: “Say Not Three”: …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Chapter 9: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an

Chapter 9: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an

Several weeks ago I invited to a read along in Let’s Read About the Qur’an Together! The plan is to read together – What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an by James R. White. Feel free to grab a copy of the book and join in at anytime! So far, we’ve covered: Introduction: Why Study the Qur’an? Chapter 1a: The Qur’an and Muhammad of Mecca Chapter 1b: The Qur’an and Muhammad of Mecca by Ken Temple Chapter 2: The Qur’an: A Brief Introduction Chapter 3: Allah: Tawhid, Shirk, the Mithaq and the Fitra Chapter 4: “Say Not Three”: …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Now Free: Once Persecuted Christians in the Muslim World

Now Free: Once Persecuted Christians in the Muslim World

Mike Huckabee briefly shares the story of the persecution of Marzieh Amirizadeh and Maryam Rostampour. Both women are former Muslims who converted to Christianity. In 2009, they were jailed and sentenced to death for their faith – locked up in the notorious Tehran prison, Evin. They were eventually given asylum in the United States upon their release due to international pressure. Read their remarkable story in Captive in Iran: A Remarkable True Story of Hope and Triumph amid the Horror of Tehran’s Brutal Evin Prison. Watch the latest video at video.foxnews.com Here I blog… Mark

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Thumbnail image for Chapter 8: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an

Chapter 8: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an

Several weeks ago I invited to a read along in Let’s Read About the Qur’an Together! The plan is to read together – What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an by James R. White. Feel free to grab a copy of the book and join in at anytime! So far, we’ve covered: Introduction: Why Study the Qur’an? Chapter 1a: The Qur’an and Muhammad of Mecca Chapter 1b: The Qur’an and Muhammad of Mecca by Ken Temple Chapter 2: The Qur’an: A Brief Introduction Chapter 3: Allah: Tawhid, Shirk, the Mithaq and the Fitra Chapter 4: “Say Not Three”: …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Should Pastors Try to be Uncool?

Should Pastors Try to be Uncool?

Should pastors try to be cool? was published on the 9Marks ministry website. In response, I will provide a different perspective by asking the question – Should pastors try to be uncool? 1. Being an uncool pastor is not the power of God unto salvation—the gospel is. If your evangelistic success is thought to depend on a cultivated uncool image, your trust may not ultimately be in the Holy Spirit working through God’s word; but in the ability to attract people to said image because it is outwardly different from everyone else. 2. Being disconnected to the culture is a …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Chapter 7: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an

Chapter 7: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an

Everyone was invited to a read along in Let’s Read About the Qur’an Together! The plan is to read together – What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an by James R. White. Feel free to grab a copy of the book and join in at anytime! So far, we’ve covered: Introduction: Why Study the Qur’an? Chapter 1a: The Qur’an and Muhammad of Mecca Chapter 1b: The Qur’an and Muhammad of Mecca by Ken Temple Chapter 2: The Qur’an: A Brief Introduction Chapter 3: Allah: Tawhid, Shirk, the Mithaq and the Fitra Chapter 4: “Say Not Three”: The Qur’an …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 Chapter 6: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an

Chapter 6: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an

Everyone was invited to a read along in Let’s Read About the Qur’an Together! The plan is to read together – What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an by James R. White. Feel free to grab a copy of the book and join in at anytime! So far, we’ve covered: First Discussion: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an Chapter 1a: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an Chapter 1b: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an by Ken Temple Chapter 2: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an Chapter …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Chapter 5: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an

Chapter 5: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an

Everyone was invited to a read along in Let’s Read About the Qur’an Together! The plan is to read together – What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an by James R. White. Feel free to grab a copy of the book and join in at anytime! So far, we’ve covered: First Discussion: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an Chapter 1a: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an Chapter 1b: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an by Ken Temple Chapter 2: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an Chapter …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for From Gangster to Christian Soldier

From Gangster to Christian Soldier

Below is a video introduction of the Tommie Scott story. Brother Tommie first sent me a video link of himself addressing Al Sharpton about the George Zimmerman trial. He certainly has a different perspective given his background. I then found his testimony on his YouTube channel and decided to share it. I hope his testimony blesses you! Here I blog… Mark

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Thumbnail image for Chapter 4: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an

Chapter 4: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an

Everyone was invited to a read along in Let’s Read About the Qur’an Together! The plan is to read together – What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an by James R. White. Feel free to grab a copy of the book and join in at anytime! So far, we’ve covered: First Discussion: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an Chapter 1a: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an Chapter 1b: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an by Ken Temple Chapter 2: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an Chapter …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Chapter 3: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an

Chapter 3: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an

I recently invited everyone to a read along in Let’s Read About the Qur’an Together! The plan is to read What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an by James R. White together. Feel free to grab a copy of the book and join in at anytime! So far, the following has been covered: First Discussion: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an Chapter 1a: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an Chapter 1b: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an by Ken Temple Chapter 2: What Every Christian Needs to Know About …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 Chapter 2: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an

Chapter 2: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an

I recently invited everyone to a read along in Let’s Read About the Qur’an Together! The plan is to read What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an by James R. White together. Feel free to grab a copy of the book and join in at anytime! So far, the following has been covered: First Discussion: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an Chapter 1a: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an Chapter 1b: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an by Ken Temple Today’s post covers chapter 2 “The Qur’an: A Brief …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Chapter 1b: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an

Chapter 1b: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an

I recently invited everyone to a read along in Let’s Read About the Qur’an Together! The plan is to read What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an by James R. White together. Feel free to grab a copy of the book and join in at anytime! So far, we’ve covered the following: First Discussion: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an Chapter 1a: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an Today, guest blogger Ken Temple leads the discussion through chapter 1b covering pages 36-49. Ken is very knowledgeable about Islam – much more than …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Chapter 1a: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an

Chapter 1a: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an

I recently invited everyone to a read along in Let’s Read About the Qur’an Together! The plan is to read What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an by James R. White together. Feel free to grab a copy of the book and join in at anytime! The first post covering the introduction is here – First Discussion: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an.This is the second installment covering chapter one, “The Qur’an and Muhammad of Mecca.” Due to length, I’ve broken chapter one into two parts – a and b. This post covers part a …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for First Discussion: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an

First Discussion: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an

I recently invited everyone to a read along in Let’s Read About the Qur’an Together! The plan is to read What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an by James R. White together. This post is the first installment covering the “Introduction: Why Study the Qur’an?” Under the subtitle of the chapter White quotes Imam Malik stating that whoever does believes the Qur’an is created and not from Allah and refuses to repent should have his head cut off. Quite a quote to begin with, but it does illustrate the high standing of the Qur’an within certain areas of …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Christianity: the New Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell?

Christianity: the New Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell?

Could Christianity become the new don’t ask, don’t tell in the U.S. Military? If what Todd Starnes reports in Obama ‘Strongly Objects’ to Religious Liberty Amendment is true, the answer is – yes! Starnes gives the following sample list of “Christian service members and chaplains being punished for their faith.” The Air Force censored a video created by a chaplain because it include the word “God.” The Air Force feared the word might offend Muslims and atheists. A service member received a “severe and possibly career-ending reprimand” for expressing his faith’s religious position about homosexuality in a personal religious blog. …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for What Was Awesome About Your Weekend?

What Was Awesome About Your Weekend?

It was a normal Monday. A co-worker asked about my weekend though it could have been a friendly acquaintance, office neighbor, etc. Before I could get a word out my co-worker unloaded telling me about the “best movie of year” – Star Trek Into Darkness. There never seems a shortage of new movies being released and Star Trek would have been among my top three guesses. But Star Trek was his number one. He was excited to tell me about it. He talked faster than the Micro Machines Man. I felt like I watched all two hours of the movie in 10 …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Bad Girls Club Meets the Gospel: A Sample of American Christianity?

Bad Girls Club Meets the Gospel: A Sample of American Christianity?

The video below is an interaction between pastor Jon Speed and Rocky, a cast member of the reality TV show Bad Girls Club. Speed originally shared the video in his post asking the question – Is Rocky Your Convert, Pastor? Brother Speed encountered the reality star while street preaching. Speed points out in his post what Rocky claims to believe and the easy believism that goes along with her profession. Before you get too upset with Rocky, please read Speed’s P.S. in his post where notes that he spent 20 minutes explaining the gospel to Rocky. What I fear about …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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Good Friday: What Evil Has Jesus Done?

Herod had just sent Jesus back to Pilate. As Jesus stood before Pilate for a second time, Pilate addressed the chief priests, the rulers and the people. He explains to them that upon examination neither he nor Herod found Jesus guilty of the charges against him. Therefore, Pilate was only going to beat Jesus and release him, but that was not good enough. But they all cried out together, “Away with this man, and release to us Barabbas”—a man who had been thrown into prison for an insurrection started in the city and for murder. (Luke 23:18-19)1 Much like today, …keep reading »

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Church? No Thanks, Hypocrite!

People often dismiss the church because they claim Christians are hypocrites. And all non-Christians have a perfect symbiotic relationship between belief and practice, right? Wrong, but Christians need a better answer than, “You do it too!” A comment about Christians being hypocrites came up yesterday while teaching Sunday School. I was teaching from James 3 on taming the tongue. The gist of the comment was that if Christians would tame their tongue (through the power of the Holy Spirit) and stop gossiping, etc. unbelievers would not call us hypocrites. Generally speaking, are Christians really hypocrites? I don’t think so. First, …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 Jesus is My N*gga?

Jesus is My N*gga?

I recently questioned the words used in Sho Baraka’s song “Jim Crow aka N*gga Island”. Imagine my surprise when I find out this morning that Sho is not the first Christian to use n*gga in a hip-hop song. (I’m using “hip-hop” loosely. Read on.) While tuning in to Power Talk, my favorite black talk radio show, the host and callers are discussing a recent YouTube video (embedded below) called “Rappin’ for Jesus” aka “Jesus is My N*gga”. What?! I listened closer. I even called in. The host asked for input about the song wondering if the song would be acceptable …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 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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Christmas Like Clouds and Wind

Like clouds and wind without rain is a man who boasts of a gift he does not give. (Proverbs 25:14 ESV) Gray clouds darken the sky. Gusts of wind moves trees like an invisible force. The sun is hidden yet still there. Check the weather report, put on a rain coat, grab an umbrella – prepare. Your hair blows wildly as you walk to the car, but everything else is in place in case you have to change plans. You’re prepared; prepared for rain. Rain is a glorious life-giving, life-sustaining act of nature – God’s nature. As a Christian, you …keep reading »

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Is Erick Erickson Right on the Evangelists’ Failure?

Conservative political blogger and talk radio host Erick Erickson, in his article “The Evangelists’ Failure“on RedState.com, shares what he sees as one of Evangelical America’s biggest failures. Erickson is more than a conservative political pundit. He is also an Evangelical of the Presbyterian persuasion. I have listened to Erickson many times on the local radio station while sifting through Atlanta traffic. He is a sharp, insightful, and fair brother. Based on some of the information he provides to his listeners, he is also politically well-connected. I appreciate brother Erickson’s insights on culture and politics, but I’m not convinced of his conclusion …keep reading »

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Genius the Movie Featuring John Lennon

Living Waters ministry has put a new video called Genius. Check it out below!

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How Do You See Other People?

Apparently, the “Get Service” video below has been around since 2007 or so. I saw it for the first time yesterday. It offers an interesting perspective on self-centeredness and thinking about other people. As a Christian, this video hit home for me in light of the gospel. For example, driving everyday in Metro-Atlanta offers a buffet of frustration from inconsiderate and illegal driving – if I choose to eat from that platter. Unfortunately, some days I eat well to my own sinful demise. I can’t control other peoples’ driving or anything else for that matter. But I can control myself and …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Where Are You?

Where Are You?

On a recent Saturday morning, some of us from Sunday School class got to live out our faith a bit. A struggling, single mother needed a new roof on her house because it was leaking. That Saturday morning she received a new roof. She also received the gospel of Jesus Christ. Both were our pleasure. She knew the gospel and professed to be a believer. We kept talking to better understand her situation and how we could pray for her. She was hurting economically like many people right now. She was also hurting spiritually like many people right now. There …keep reading »

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Todd Friel Graciously Answers Critic During Open-Air Preaching Event

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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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When a Roman Catholic Comes to Your Door

Dr. R. Scott Clark, a professor at  Westminster Seminary California, recently had a home visit from two Roman Catholics. Saturday morning a Roman Catholic laywoman and a male companion (who stood behind her with his rosary saying prayers) came to my door on behalf of St Mary Church in Escondido. She asked if there were any Catholics in the house. I said, yes and no. Yes, we confess the holy catholic faith of the Nicene Creed, the Definition of Chalcedon, the Apostles’ Creed, and the Athanasian Creed but no, we are not Roman Catholics, we reject the papacy. I told …keep reading »

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Calvinism Undermines Evangelism, Right?

If I have heard it once, I’ve heard it a thousand times: “A Calvinist evangelist? Isn’t that an oxymoron? Calvinism undermines evangelism.” This accusation has been repeated so many times that few make the effort to argue it. Instead, it is simply assumed. Never mind that some of the church’s greatest evangelists have been Calvinists. One need only be reminded of men such as George Whitefield, David Brainerd, or “the father of modern missions,” William Carey. “Yes,” we are told, “these men were great evangelists and Calvinists, but that is because they were inconsistent.” But is this true? The fact of …keep reading »

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Election Thoughts: Christians Live Among Evil Choices

During this 2012 Presidential election cycle many Christians feel they are left with only two voting choices: a liberal, professing Christian and a non-Christian, Mormon. Therefore, many Christians feel they are left with a choice to vote for the lesser of two evils. Other Christians will not vote at all or choose a third party candidate effectively giving their vote to one party or the other. The overlooked issue? Christians often daily choose between the lesser of evils. Even though Christians often choose between the lesser of evils it seems that this dilemma only matters during Presidential election time. Two …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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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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How the Southern Baptist Convention Works

Check out the slideshow from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary explaining how the Southern Baptist Convention works. Find a few more files at the NOBTS website.

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A Christian Presuppositionalist Explains ‘Why I Believe’

My friend Brian Knapp who writes at Choosing Hats takes the presuppositionalist approach to defending the Christian faith.  (Actually, Choosing Hats is dedicated to presuppositional apologetics.) Brian recently engaged an unbeliever online and was encouraged to write a brief about the engagement. Brian then wrote an article titled, “Why I Believe” explaining why he is a Christian from a presuppositional perspective. So tell me about yourself. You aren’t a Christian, correct? Do you believe any sort of god exists? It seems like you are saying it is at least possible that the Christian God exists, the one described in the Bible. …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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Thumbnail image for Fire Church Too Nice – LGBT Group Cancels Protest

Fire Church Too Nice – LGBT Group Cancels Protest

On Sunday, August 26, 2012, a LGBT group cancels protesting Fire Church in Concord, NC. A local NC LGBT group set out to protest at Fire Church in Concord, NC. Fire Church is pastored by Scott Volk and is home of Dr. Michael Brown. Brown is a Christian apologist who is no stranger to LGBT issues. Many in the gay community are probably aware that Brown wrote A Queer Thing Happened to America: And What a Long, Strange Trip It’s Been and has addressed the pro-homosexual lifestyle numerous times on his radio show, The Line of Fire. The LGBT group …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 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 Free Book Comparing the Methods of Charles Finney and John Nevin of Promoting the Gospel

Free Book Comparing the Methods of Charles Finney and John Nevin of Promoting the Gospel

Free on Kindle eBooks right now: Theology Drives Methodology: Conversion in the Theology of Charles Finney and John Nevin by  Karl Dahlfred. Don’t have a Kindle, but like free eBooks? That’s okay, there is a Kindle app for your Mac, PC, etc. – Free Kindle Apps. This looks like a very interesting book. The description states that Dahlfred examines the different theologies of Finney and Nevin and explains how their beliefs affected their methods of sharing the gospel. Finney’s beliefs led him to use high-pressure revival meetings to induce conversions. Nevin’s beliefs led him to emphasize preaching, catechism, and pastoral …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for What do LGBT Rights Group Equality Illinois and Westboro Baptist have in Common?

What do LGBT Rights Group Equality Illinois and Westboro Baptist have in Common?

LGBT Rights Group Equality Illinois wrote a petition against Chick-Fil-A and plans to have a “Kiss-In” where “LGBT supporters will show their disdain for Chick-Fil-A’s policies with public displays of affection in front of their restaurants.”1 The infamous ‘god hates fags’ Westboro “Baptist Church” that seems to protest just about anything American that draws attention to themselves.2 What could these two opposing groups possibly have in common? A few thoughts. Both act against God’s word. Both are intolerant of opposing views. Both need the gospel. OK, what else?  

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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 Is Tim Tebow a Religious Hypocrite?

Is Tim Tebow a Religious Hypocrite?

In his article, “Tim Tebow Trivializes Religion” Bill Press uses Jesus’ words in Matthew 6:5 to call Tim Tebow a hypocrite. 1 In light of Press labeling Tebow a hypocrite he also wishes that Tebow would “STFU”.2 Press, a Roman Catholic, attended a Catholic university and earned a degree in theology.3 The 71 year old Press, then, would be considered an older more learned man than Tebow who, it seems, should have some wisdom to share. Did someone say hypocrisy? In Matthew 5, Jesus did say: “And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love …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 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 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 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 Anders Breivik Needs to be Crucified

Anders Breivik Needs to be Crucified

After Anders Breivik went on a killing spree various media sources identified him as a fundamentalist Christian. Many Christians rejected that claim, not only because of his actions, but because of the words he wrote in his manifesto. I even quoted Breivik’s manifesto in Was Anders Breivik a Christian? to refute the claim that he was any kind of Christian. Defending the name of Christ in light of those claiming Breivik was a believer was the right thing to do. Yet, in defending Christ many of us missed an opportunity in the moment. Of course, Breivik is still being talked …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 Presuppositional Apologetics Month at Monergism

Presuppositional Apologetics Month at Monergism

The monthly focus at Monergism.com is Presuppositional Apologetics. Some resources are given on the introductory page. The resources include articles apologetic articles by: Cornelius Van Til Greg Bahnsen Doug Wilson John Frame Tim Keller They offer more on Presuppositional Apologetics at the bottom of the page. You may also want to check out a blog run by some friends of mine that focuses on Presuppositional Apologetics called Choosing Hats.

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Thumbnail image for Mini-Movie: Bahnsen vs. Stein on the Laws of Logic

Mini-Movie: Bahnsen vs. Stein on the Laws of Logic

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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 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 An Illustration On Urgency: Starring Satan

An Illustration On Urgency: Starring Satan

Below is a great illustration I ran across on urgency. I thought I’d share it. The story of told of three apprentice devils being trained by Satan. ‘What are you going to try today?’ asks the leader. The first apprentice replies, ‘I’m going to tell them there is no God.’ ‘Well,’ says Satan, ‘you can try. A few fools will believe you. But the universe shouts the existence of God. There is evidence all around and you’ll not do very well. Indeed, even in the secular twenty-first century you may find your self witnessing the slow death of atheism. Any …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 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 Robbery Ends After Talk of Jesus

Robbery Ends After Talk of Jesus

Wow! Christians seem to have a tough time talking about Jesus in everyday causal settings, but at gunpoint? During a robbery? I wonder how many others would react this way. Makes me wonder a lot of things… Are you convicted? (HT: Ray Ortlund)

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Thumbnail image for Mack Stiles: Is Jesus the Only Way to Heaven?

Mack Stiles: Is Jesus the Only Way to Heaven?

In the Atlanta area this weekend! Is Jesus The Only Way to Heaven? with Mack Stiles Mack Stiles, the CEO of Gulf Digital Solutions in the United Arab Emirates, will be speaking at Mount Vernon Dialogues this weekend. He is the author of

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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 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 Metro Atlanta Apologetics conference with James White

Metro Atlanta Apologetics conference with James White

Christianity – A Faith Worth Defending Dr. James White James White will be giving a FREE Christian apologetics conference in the Metro Atlanta area. The details are below. I plan

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Thumbnail image for I am Tiger Woods

I am Tiger Woods

‘I am Tiger Woods’ is a popular slogan repeated by several kids in a Nike commercial. Given Woods’ recent transgressions that phrase is even more true today. Except the adults are missing. GASP?! It’s true, as I mentioned in another article, Tiger Woods and the Cross, he is just like the rest of us. I am not talking about the money or the golf. I am talking about the transgressions. The sin. Woods’ sin might look different in manifestation than yours, but your sin is still sin. Even the slogan ‘I am Tiger Woods’ can push people to idolatry and …keep reading »

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Tiger Woods and the Cross

Tiger Woods makes news. Usually it is a victory or an amazing golf shot. Sometimes it is a loss. Recently, the news has been about loss. Maybe the biggest loss of his career. Unfortunately, this loss is not a golf tournament. While it is uncertain if this will cost Woods’ any future sponsor earnings, this loss affects Woods’ family. It may cost him his family. The loss is Woods’ integrity in his marriage covenant. He betrayed his wife and kids with extramarital affair(s). This loss is not like a loss where Woods’ did not perform as well as somone else. …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Comfort in God’s Sovereignty and Goodness

Comfort in God’s Sovereignty and Goodness

My good friends John and Shannon Jordan are going through one of those unexpected trials of life. On October 31 their six year old son Gideon was diagnosed with a brain tumor. They started a Facebook group (link at the end) for prayers and updates on Gideon. In less than a month, over 1,800 members joined the group. This group allowed people to pray, keep up with Gideon’s progress and even gave a way for people to donate to the Jordan’s to help them financially. The bad news is that

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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 Q&A with Atlanta Church Planter Leonce Crump, Jr.

Q&A with Atlanta Church Planter Leonce Crump, Jr.

The name Leonce Crump, Jr. may be familiar to some as All-American Oklahoma Sooner wrestler, Sooner defensive tackle or professional football player for the New Orleans Saints. Today, Crump can be found in Atlanta, GA not as a sportsman, but as a churchman. This godly man has a heart for Jesus to match his 6’ 4” former heavyweight wrestling frame. Crump is in the process of planting Renovation Church in downtown Atlanta. He was gracious enough to make some time for lunch and to answer some questions for me. Mark Lamprecht: Describe how you came to vocational ministry. Leonce Crump, …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 Great Night: Don’t Waste Your Life Concert

Great Night: Don’t Waste Your Life Concert

It was an awesome night! We took some of our youth group and they really enjoyed it. One of my pastors even attended who is a few generations removed from the hip-hop era. It was a good night of Christ-centered music and fellowship – it was the Don’t Waste Your Life Tour. The Don’t Waste Your Life Tour Atlanta took place Saturday night August 29. The artists accomplished sharing their music and, more importantly, sharing the Gospel. As Sho Baraka expressed the music and its content, the quality of the night’s music was excellent and the content Christ-centered. The diversity of the crowd certainly showed the …keep reading »

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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 Interview with Christian Hip-Hop Artist Sho Baraka

Interview with Christian Hip-Hop Artist Sho Baraka

Sho Baraka shares his insights about his mission and the Don’t Waste Your Life (DWYL) Tour. DWYL is a hip-hop tour. This is no ordinary hip-hop tour; it’s a mission for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. While growing up in California Sho Baraka was exposed to hip-hop early on. He was involved in what some might call the stereotypical view of hip-hop culture which involves gang life and violence. He started rapping in high school until that fell apart and he experienced death and imprisonment of friends. This all took place before Jesus Christ saved him from his sins through the Gospel. Sho’s life …keep reading »

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Thumbnail image for Michael Horton Interviews Robert Schuller

Michael Horton Interviews Robert Schuller

A Conversation with Dr. Robert Schuller* The following are highlights from a two hour discussion between Dr. Robert Schuller and Dr. Michael Horton on the White Horse Inn radio broadcast, Nov. 1992. Michael Horton: Would you be willing to address your congregation as a group as sinners? Robert Schuller: No I don’t think I need to do that. First of all, my congregation is a very mixed audience. MH: But our Lord’s audiences were mixed with disciples and unbelievers both. RS: Oh yes, but I’ll tell you, the audience is quite different that I talk to than what the Lord …keep reading »

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De-baptism Thoughts

The title of a recent USA Today article says it all Atheists choose ‘de-baptism’ to renounce childhood faith. I’m not sure that Hemingway could have said it better. When a person becomes a Christian they repent and believe the Gospel. There is a renunciation of the previous life and a proclamation that we belong to Jesus. I imagine this is why we see this reverse of events as far as these de-baptisms go. This is actually another borrowing of the Christian worldview by atheists. Of course, they had another religious element, a de-sacrament.

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Who Is Watching Your Life?

Ride to Live, Live to Ride is the motto you’ll find on biker t-shirts.  It’s really a cool saying.  The motto can be changed to reflect whatever is primary in your life from riding motorcycles to sports to your job.  In reality the motto is about self.  The primacy of me we might say.  So what do you say?  How about something better? 

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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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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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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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Considering Death

Do you consider death?  After death?  It’s not the most comfortable thing to think about even for Christians.  It’s even tougher to talk about.  There is one such talk that you want to hear,  Rachel Barkey’s.

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Angels and Demons A Novel Idea

The folks at Westminster Seminary have shined some light for truth.  They’ve put together a great new site responding to the movie “Angels and Demons” based on Dan Brown’s novel.  The site is The Truth About Angels & Demons.

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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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Shut Up Christians!

The movie is actually called Speechless: Silencing the Christians.  Just watch the video and ask yourself – Is there a pro-homosexual agenda at work?  If so, is it affecting families, our nation, and religious freedoms? In the video you will also see reference to and quotes from the book After the Ball: How America Will Conquer Its Fear and Hatred of Gays in the 90’s by Marshall Kirk and Hunter Madsen which does seem to spell out a pro-homosexual agenda. What do you think? Is there an agenda? Mark

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A Story of Conversation, Witnessing and Theology

In light of my recent post on contextualization, I wanted to share something interesting that happened on the way to work last week. I got to talk to an unbeliever where I interjected theology into our conversation.  This opened the door to witnessing.  OF course, theology and witnessing should go hand in hand, but I’m making distinctions to remind folks to not be afraid of theology.  Don’t be afraid to think about it nor speak about it. The Scene As I pulled out to drive to work I saw a man leaving my neighborhood. It looked like the same man …keep reading »

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Talking Theology with Non-Christians: Contextualization

Mention the word contextualization today and that spark ignites a fire among the evangelical crowd.  Christians do need to be able to communicate with non-Christians.  There may be some forms of what people call contextualization that go too far though.  Whatever you call it I believe Van Til expresses well our need to bridge the communication gap.  While Van Til is speaking within the realm of apologetics proper the quote below is applicable for all Christians when engaging non-Christians. Men in general do not use or even know our theological terms.  But, to the extent that they are educated, they …keep reading »

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Get Outta My Face! – Book Review

A review of Get Outta My Face!: How to Reach Angry, Unmotivated Teens with Biblical Counsel by Rick Horne. Wapwallopen: Shepherd Press, 2009, 176 pages. The book is divided into three main parts:  I. What You Must Understand to Connect with You Teen, II. What You Must Do to Help Your Teen and III. How to Make the Changes Stick.  These parts are further divided amongst 11 chapters.  There is also a handy Helpful Reminders appendix that summarizes each of the three sections as a quick reference guide. This might seem like a lot of information to cover in only …keep reading »

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A Christmas Meditation

The Fall of Man Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. But the LORD God called to the man, “Where are you?” He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.” And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?” The man said, …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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Jesus and Santa Claus

Does evangelicalism have a problem of treating Jesus like He is Santa Claus?  The quote below from Dr. Horton are not addressing this, however, I believe they are applicable to this topic.  In a way, I think Santa Claus gets more respect.  At least with Santa the morality of being good or bad is in view.  Granted, this morality is ultimately about serving self with the consequences being either getting something you want or not.  On the other hand, Jesus is just supposed to give all you want regardless of what God commands in His holiness. As we lose a …keep reading »

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A Calvinist Helping Missions?

Dear Readers, I still need your help in being sponsored and this is the last week! This Friday, November 21st, I will be joining 30 other men to help raise money for the Sandy Springs Mission in Atlanta, GA.  I found out last week that this mission will most likely run out of money in March 2009. What this mission does Sandy Springs Mission ministers to children in our community by: after-school programs (designed to help increase the literacy rate among low-income families) helping these young people learn to – read – write – communicate effectively (to help them thrive …keep reading »

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A Calvinist Missionary and Other Notables

When it comes to missions and evangelism in the Southern Baptist Convention today’s hot button is Calvinism and it’s resurgence among younger Southern Baptists.  Is the concern that Calvinism does and will stifle missions and evangelism in the SBC valid?  The answer seems to depend on who you ask.  Regardless of theology, it’s a Gospel issue and  a sin problem.  One of my dead horses is a concern of pelagianism which I’ve mention recently. So what does a Calvinist missionary say ON BEING A SBC CALVINIST (& MISSIONARY)? Patterson gave me Calvinism When I entered The Criswell College in 1990, …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 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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Deeper Conference, First Baptist Woodstock: Paul Washer

In a previous post I blogged about the Deeper Conference.  I didn’t get to attend as I’d hope, but below is one of Paul Washer’s presentations that is quickly becoming very popular. Play the audio above or download MP3 here. Enjoy! Mark

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Blog Action Day 2008:Poverty

What is poverty?  How do we fight poverty?  Can we do more?  How do we do more?  What is particular day all about? What is Blog Action Day? Today thousands of bloggers will unite to discuss a single issue – poverty. We aim to raise awareness, initiate action and to shake the web! (click the banner for more info.) The Issue Like many things the answers to the above questions depends on who you ask.  I imagine the most basic elements that define poverty would be people who don’t have enough food and water on a daily basis with maybe …keep reading »

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BICR About the Gospel

The Problem Think about a time when you’re at work or some other place you frequent with non-Christians.  They know you’re a Christian and you get into a discussion about religion.  It feels really good to be thought of and accepted as a Christian.  You feel like you can fit in without hiding your faith. Then, you’re asked, “What’s this Gospel I always hear Christians’ talking about? I always hear, Gospel this, Gospel that and was wondering.”  You freeze and think for a moment!  Maybe you think of John 3:16 and what you’re actually going to say, but you still …keep reading »

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And If Obama Is Elected

Change! Change is what we keep hearing about that Obama will bring if elected president. I’m hoping for change too. I hope I at least to get a little change back from my income taxes due to the poor Congressional policies, unethical business practices and irresponsible consumers that led to this huge bailout. And what will happen if Obama is elected?  Steve Hays has given the correct answer below.  It’s just too good of a line to let go without honorable mention.  Especially, since Triablogue moves so fast.  To hear some people talk you might think this isn’t too far …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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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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Fox in the Pew Forum

There seems to be some disagreement between FOX News FOX Forum contributors Cal Thomas and Father Jonathan Morris.  The disagreement stems from the recent Pew Forum report on Religion and Public Life.  The disagreement is over the position which came out in the Pew Forum report as follows: Most Americans agree with the statement that many religions – not just their own – can lead to eternal life. Cal Thomas was upset, and rightly so, that the majority of conservative evangelical Christians believe this statement.   Jonathan Morris responded to Thomas and he, wrongly, doesn’t agree.  Morris is more in …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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James White Speaking in Atlanta

Dr. James White of Alpha and Omega Ministries will be speaking in the Atlanta area Saturday, June 7th, 7pm at the Aletheia Foru. The topic is: How Islam Defines Itself Through a Denial of Christian Belief. Full details here.  And a flyer. Lord willing, I will be attending. Mark p.s. James White will also be preaching on Sunday, June 8th at Hickory Road Baptist Church. This is what we looked like last time he was in town.

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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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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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Before You Die: Hip-Hop Outreach

I thought this was creative, interesting and very well done. I’d be interested in hearing how this is received in all communities including hip-hop and non hip-hop as well as by believers and unbelievers. Mark (HT: Lionel)

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Prayers Needed: The Katrina Aftermath

My very good friend Russ has asked for prayers in his Rebuilding Lakeshore post. The damage in this area is more than many of us realize. I guess if it doesn’t serve the political interest of certain groups nor sell articles and papers then those whose lives were drastically affected aren’t so important anymore. I have friends that have spent much time there since Katrina hit. Sadly, I’ve not had the opportunity to get over there and help. Yes, shame on me. If anyone wants to help in any way that you I’m sure you can just get in touch …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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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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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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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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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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Building Bridges: Southern Baptists and Calvinism

I’d just like to answer Nathan Finn’s question about who is going to the National Founders Conference. Lord willing, I will begin my drive tomorrow morning. As to the other part of Nathan’s question I’m not sure what my attire will be. The edgy Calvinist look, traditional SBC CR 1970’s look, my regular business casual or the meanie Calvinist highlander attire. 🙂 Hopefully, many of us bloggers and have some edifying fellowship. Ciao, Mark

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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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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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A Sinner’s Testimony

I’ve had many clicks on the ‘My Testimony’ link at the top of my blog. It’s been empty for a while until now. I’ve written about the beginning of my journey. I say beginning because my testimony ends where my new life in Christ began which is when I came to faith in Jesus Christ. I didn’t type, edit and re-type in any capacity. I just sat down and wrote it out. I just pray that it brings glory to God and, I say humbly, blesses the reader. My Testimony Believing the Gospel is the most important event that has …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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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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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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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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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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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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Sharing the Gospel with Buddhist

In my recent post about sharing the Gospel both Laura and Paul comment with some interesting real life examples.  Laura touched on some of the things I’ve thought about when looking to put together some type of servant evangelism projects.  As we reach out as a church to build and help people out in some way how are we going to share the Gospel?  Are we even going to share it?  Is the evangelism part missing if we dont’ share the Gospel?  I agree with Laura that we need to say “something” when were helping hurting and lost people. Paul …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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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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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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Ideas on Sharing the Gospel

I’m going to admit upfront that I don’t share the Gospel as much as I can or should.  I’m going to guess, correct me if I’m wrong, that this is common amongst the brethren (I don’t mean inviting someone to church).  We have a hard enough time living the Gospel much less actually sharing it which is the very reason we need it.  Voddie Baucham said in a sermon that Christians think they can just “live” the Gospel to a point that people around you will see your example and eventually ask you for it.  Yeah, Voddie didn’t buy that …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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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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Timely sermon: Rolfe Barnard’s The God Nobody Is Mad At

Friend and fellow georgian, Pastor David King suggested this sermon. You can read it or listen to it or both if you like. The opening paragraph of the sermon reminds me a lot of how the Gospel is given today. I went to a big Bible Conference, Southern Baptist Fellowship last week; and one more time I had to go and begin to cry to God. I am in one of my periods of agony, I am either up or down. I want to speak on the God that nobody is mad at. My impressions during the solemn time of …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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Blog Bites: The Gospel and a Baptism

I was talking with friend Frank today as we normally do when we get to actually talk. We touched on all kinds of subjects and I thought of something that I would really like to see. I explained to Frank that what I would really like to see if only once in my life time is the Gospel command followed immediately by repentance and baptism in front of the whole congregation. I could just imagine the Gospel going out from the pulpit in a Whitefield, Edwards or Spurgeon-like style. What an awesome sight just thinking of it in terms of …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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Islamic Calvinists: Flattery through imitation?

First, I want to say that this is truly not flattery as they are not imitating Calvinism merely stealing the name. Second, I am glad, but surprised that the anti-Calvinists out there haven’t used this information to try and discredit Calvinism. Give them time though. III. ISLAMIC CALVINISTS A. Max Weber in Kayseri No visitor to Kayseri could fail to notice that this is both a deeply religious society, and one where change and modernisation are eagerly embraced. There is a large new mosque in the centre of the university, and an even larger one in the industrial zone, where …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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Chaplain suspended for sharing the Gospel

The Washington Nationals suspended a volunteer chaplain and distributed an apology from outfielder Ryan Church yesterday, two days after Church was quoted in a front-page Post article as suggesting that Jews are headed for eternal damnation. Note the first paragraph, “suggesting that Jews are headed for eternal damnation.” And the problamatic issue as reported in the same article: An article in Sunday’s paper about Baseball Chapel quoted Church as saying that he had turned to Moeller for advice about his former girlfriend, who was Jewish. “I said, like, Jewish people, they don’t believe in Jesus. Does that mean they’re doomed? …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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Thumbnail image for Just got back from visiting with Dr. James White

Just got back from visiting with Dr. James White

What a wonderful weekend with great fellowship and bright sweaters. Saturday we received apologetic teaching against the Da Vinci Code and post modernism. Then, we had a some great fellowship over dinner at Pastor Randy’s house. Sunday morning arrived and Dr. White taught Sunday School as well as preached the sermon while our friend Colin(cds) played wonderfully on the piano. In Sunday School we learned ways to defend the Deity of Christ against Jehovah’s Witness’ using their own NWT. Then Dr. White gave a great sermon on John 6. We finished the day off with a luncheon at the church. …keep reading »

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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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