Month: October 2007

Historic Evangelicalism

Michael Patton is labeling himself as an “Historic Evangelical.” You can read why here.

And if you’re not familiar with where he blogs {Parchment and Pen}, you oughta be…

Michael and I started seminary the same semester and he finished in 2 1/2 years…it took me 5 1/2 years…I still have issues…but go check his blog out, he’s way smarter than me.

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Heaven: A Place?

A couple of interesting items related to Heaven:

First, for those of you who are interested, you may want to check out Doug Pagitt’s interview on Way of the Master. To me, he doesn’t sound as if he understands orthodox Christianity {at all}. Listen for yourselves {the interview starts about 5 minutes into the segment}. You can find the link here. I’m not sure what Pagitt believes, especially about Heaven…{since we’re on the topic}.

Second, John Piper has recorded a 7 minute portion from one of Jonathan Edwards’ sermons on Romans 2:10 concerning levels and degrees of happiness in Heaven. I was first tipped off to this idea from Edwards in a sermon by Sam Storms “Joy’s Eternal Increase: Edwards on the Beauty of Heaven.” I’ve listened to this sermon numerous times. And everytime it ends, I find my life rebuked on so many fronts. Absolutely one of the best messages on Edwards and Heaven. I can’t say it strong enough- you need to listen to this message!

You can listen to John Piper here

You can find the Sam Storms message here

You can read Edwards sermon on Romans 2:10 “The Portion of the Righteous” here…{the part on levels of happiness in Heaven is near the end of the sermon}.

Who Knew? Prayer, Scripture, and Community Really Works! Willow Creek Repents!

While I have never agreed with their basic philosophies of ministry, I commend Willow Creek’s honesty about something they’ve recently discovered {and I hope it serves them well with their future ministry}. Actually, it was there under their nose the whole time, they just didn’t see it {in their Bibles}. It appears that they have discovered that programs, paychecks, and properties have not helped their church members grow spiritually. They’ve now realized that prayer, Scripture, and the church community actually assist in spiritual growth and discipleship!

You can read about it here.

You can watch Bill Hybels and Greg Hawkins talk about it here.

It appears that Jesus was really on to something…no powerpoints, no shiny business cards, no billboards, no fancy website, no slick programs, etc. Just the Word of God, prayer, and a few disciples and He changed the world. Who knew?

7 Abominations In My Heart

I was emailed these words from my good friend Ross {of Charcoal Fires fame}…

I find to this day seven abominations in my heart: (1) Inclinings to unbelief. (2) Suddenly to forget the love and mercy that Christ manifesteth. (3) A leaning to the works of the law. (4) Wanderings and coldness in prayer. (5) To forget to watch for that I pray for. (6) Apt to murmur because I have no more, and yet ready to abuse what I have. (7) I can do none of those things which God commands me, but my corruptions will thrust in themselves, ‘When I would do good, evil is present with me.’

These things I continually see and feel, and am afflicted and oppressed with; yet the wisdom of God doth order them for my good. (1) They make me abhor myself. (2) They keep me from trusting my heart. (3) They convince me of the insufficiency of all inherent righteousness. (4) They show me the necessity of flying to Jesus. (5) They press me to pray unto God. (6) They show me the need I have to watch and be sober. (7) And provoke me to look to God, through Christ, to help me, and carry me through this world. Amen.

John Bunyan- Grace Abounding To The Chief of Sinners.

My Top 5 Favorite Books

I thought I’d post my top 5 favorite theological books that if I was stranded on an island and I didn’t have a Bible that I would want to read again and again. Also, I would recommend these to any Christian. Enjoy…

In no particular order:

1} Let the Nations Be Glad!- The Supremacy of God in Missions by John Piper.

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The best book that I have ever read on missions and evangelism. It doesn’t get any better than the opening paragraphs-

“Missions is not the ultimate goal of the church. Worship is. Missions exists because worship doesn’t. Worship is ultimate, not missions, because God is ultimate, not man. When this age is over, and the countless millions of the redeemed fall on their faces before the throne of God, missions will be no more. It is a temporary necessity. But worship abides forever.

Worship, therefore, is the fuel and goal of missions. It’s the goal of missions because in missions we simply aim to bring the nations into the white-hot enjoyment of God’s glory. The goal of missions is the gladness of the peoples in the greatness of God.”

You can read the first chapter online here.

2} Recalling the Hope of Glory: Biblical Worship from the Garden to the New Creation by Allen Ross

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This is the best book that I have ever read on biblical worship. Especially insightful into what worship looked like for the Old Testament believer. If someone read this book, I have no doubt that they would have a better understanding of the big picture of the Bible and the infinitely glorious Triune God who is revealed within {Dr. Ross also has the best commentary on Leviticus! I actually debated which book of his to put here in this slot!}.

3} Of the Mortification of Sin In Believers by John Owen

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This classic work by Owen can be summed up in this infamous phrase: “Be killing sin or it will be killing you.” This is a must read for every Christian. You can read it for free online here.

4} Father, Son, and Holy Spirit: Relationships, Roles, and Relevance by Bruce Ware

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As mentioned a few posts ago, this book on the Trinity can transform the relationships in your life. Seeing how the Godhead works together in unity is fascinating! Embracing the doctrine of the Trinity might just transfrom our marriages and church community!

5} The End For Which God Created the World by Jonathan Edwards

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If you dive into this book, you will be treading deep, deep waters. However, your life will not be the same. Although, this is hard reading, you will emerge from these waters with a keener sense of the glory of God.

If you want to get a nice introduction to this book, you can purchase John Piper’s book “God’s Passion For His Glory: Living the Vision of Jonathan Edwards (With the Complete Text of The End for Which God Created the World).”

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This book is half Piper explaining the background to Edwards’ book, and the other half of the book is Edwards dissertation “The End For Which God Created the World.”

So there’s my top 5 books. If you read any of these I can assure you that it will be well worth your time…

Joel Osteen Is A Gospel Preacher Like Col. Sanders is An Army Officer.

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Internet Monk gives a great wrap-up to last night’s 60 minutes interview with Joel Osteen. His best quote was the title to this post: “Osteen is a Gospel preacher like Col. Sanders is an army officer.” That about sums it up. I am grateful that they also interviewed Dr. Michael Horton. He wrote several articles after taping his interview which you can find here.

You can also read the whole thing at 60 minutes. Personally, I don’t believe Osteen understands the gospel according to Jesus, nor does he preach it.

Here’s an excerpt that made me very uncomfortable:

“To become a better you, you must be positive towards yourself, develop better relationships, embrace the place where you are. Not one mention of God in that. Not one mention of Jesus Christ in that,” Pitts remarks.

“That’s just my message. There is scripture in there that backs it all up. But I feel like, Byron, I’m called to help people…how do we walk out the Christian life? How do we live it? And these are principles that can help you. I mean, there’s a lot better people qualified to say, ‘Here’s a book that going to explain the scriptures to you.’ I don’t think that’s my gifting,” Osteen says.