Monthly Archives: October 2007

Dr. Paige Patterson on Evangelism and Contextualization

You’ve got to check out this interview, conducted by my fellow elder Jim Hamilton of Dr. Paige Patterson. I found this interview very helpful as a young pastor who thinks about these things often. Here’s a noteworthy section that I hope will cause you to read the entire interview.

One of the most unusual things I remember in Fayetteville was my morning Bible Study, which I did for awhile for pagans. No Christian was allowed. You had to be a confessing pagan to be allowed to come to it. In a way, it was funny because whenever somebody would be saved they would have to stand in front of the group and explain this and tell them how much they had enjoyed being a part of it, but now they were going to move on into the church and so they wouldn’t be coming to the group any more. Those are the kinds of blessings from God that you always remember and can never forget.

Thanks Jim for taking the time to draw these great insights out of Dr. Patterson’s well of testimony to God’s greatness!

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The Fog of False Teaching

If one thing has been clear to me as we have walked through 1 and 2 Samuel these past months, its been this: God’s glory will be displayed and His wise purposes will all come to pass! This week at Redeemer, we will press pause on the captivating narrative of David’s life, to put ourselves back into the tattered shoes of the old man locked up in a Roman prison for his commitment to seeing God’s glory displayed and His purposes come to pass through the Gospel. However, even though the circumstances and genres are much different, we will see how the battle for the display of God’s glory rages on in the church at Ephesus and in our daily lives.

This Sunday we will be considering 2 Timothy 3:1-9, as Paul warns Timothy about The Fog of False Teaching. Paul lists multiple characteristics of the false teachers in Ephesus and the results of their ministry of deception. In fact he makes a connection between the magicians in Pharaoh’s court and these false teachers peddling their self-exalting doctrines. Apparently it is a common thing to have a “form of godliness” that gives the appearance of happiness and success. However, just as the magician’s serpents were swallowed up, so will “their folly become obvious to all.” There is only so long that these false impressions will hold water. They may prove effective for a time and the mask may cover up difficulties in the short term, but there will come a day when the mask comes off and all is laid bare before a holy God! Are you aware of deception in your life? Are there things that seem harmless on the surface that when considered further may be poisonous to your soul? Remember that your enemy is indeed crafty and deceiving. Is there a sense of God’s power in your life or is it all a show? Are you prone to learn and learn and learn without actually gaining true knowledge that manifests itself as a changed life? How will you navigate through the fog that so often blurs our path?

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God Always Wins…

How do you respond to losers? How do you respond when you win? What determines your loyalties? What governs your strategies? These were the four questions that we were challenged with last week as we saw an amazing foreshadowing of a man who was cursed, mocked, and stoned for things he did not do. We were reminded that Jesus bore the penalty for the sins that he did not commit. Does the reality of the cross change the way you respond when you are clearly wronged?

This week at Redeemer we will consider how Yahweh Defeats the Counsel of Ahithophel from 2 Samuel 17. This week we will see David’s prayers answered as Ahithophel, this “wise” counselor, is thwarted by the Almighty. David’s companion, Hushai, displays his loyalty to Yahweh’s anointed by warning the true king of the coming danger. Will David receive the warning in time? How will Absalom’s strategic, forceful takeover turn out? What will prove to win the day, impressive might or trust in the God who saves?

Join us this week as we are confronted with the power of One who will not be intimidated by worldly powers, or wisdom. Are you trusting in your own counsel, or your own plans? It seems like Absalom’s revolt is going quite well, but is it? Are you sometimes fooled by apparent success, only to find out that the fruit from all your labors is rotten? What determines your loyalties? What governs your strategies?

Jesus is the Victor!

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How Do Sinners Respond to Evil?

How do circumstances impact your journey of faith? Have you been through anything lately that reminded you of a particular consequence for a past failure or sin? Do you treat people differently because they are nice to you, or because they are typically rude and unresponsive? Is there consistency in your attitude of service, or do people avoid talking with you during challenging times in your life? Circumstances will always be changing and there will always be valleys waiting just around the corner of recent victories. David understood what it meant to be victorious in battle and in the eyes of Almighty God. He also knew, perhaps more closely, the valleys in life that seem unending and dark.

This week at Redeemer, we will be considering David’s Enemies, from 2 Samuel 16. It’s hard to image what David is going through. His son has seemingly evacuated him from his throne and now he is on the run. He first meets up with a fellow who seems to be seeking out the best for David. We learn later that Ziba was actually deceiving the king for his own gain. David then meets up with someone who is cursing him and throwing dirt and stones at him! What a welcome! Despite the zeal of his companions, David exhibits mercy and recognizes that much of what this foul man accuses him of is in fact true. David has been humbled and broken by his sin and is ready to seek the Lord’s justice, instead of his own.

I wonder how you react when someone wrongs you? Do you immediately begin to think of the shortcomings of that person, or the ways in which you are spiritually superior to him or her? How should we respond to those who hate us and hurl insults at us for the sake of the Gospel? Many believe that this incident inspired David to write Psalm 7. Take note of David’s introspection when he is cursed in Psalm 7:3-5:

O LORD my God, if I have done this, if there is wrong in my hands, 4 if I have repaid my friend with evil or plundered my enemy without cause, 5 let the enemy pursue my soul and overtake it, and let him trample my life to the ground and lay my glory in the dust. Selah

How do you respond to your enemies? Consider the words of the Lord Jesus, who said:

“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. (Matt. 5:11-12)

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Ross King’s Houston House Show

The people in Billy Newhouse’s living room disagreed with the title of Ross King’s new album, Perhaps I’ve Said Too Much, this past Thursday night. In fact, when he’d said “this is the last one,” people just kept sitting there staring at him (in a good way). They wanted more!

It was a great night. Ross is a dear friend and a gift to the Church. He’s especially a gift to his local church where he serves as an elder. He’s also a gift to Christians everywhere. My children have been raised on Ross King music and my 4 year old son has still not forgiven me for leaving him with a babysitter.

If you haven’t had a chance to buy the cd, you can do so here. As always Ross will cause you to think clearly about what it means to follow Jesus. This is so helpful when we (I am) are so inclined to replace him with other things that are more tangible.

If you want to hear more about the house show, you can visit the blog of our hosts: Billy and Stephenie Newhouse. Billy has said a few words and linked up some videos as well. You can also view two of those videos below:

View this montage created at One True Media
Non Religious Me

View this montage created at One True Media
Light of the World

We were so blessed to be with Ross and Craig last week. If you’d like to know more about the House Tour, visit this blog that is dedicated to giving updates and reports on the various shows. Jim Hamilton has also linked up the words to the song called “Happy” here.

May the Lord continue to bless his ministry and call others to trust in our only true anchor!

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Absalom’s Revolt

Have you ever had a sentence or a phrase just stick in your mind, year after year? Perhaps someone encouraged you at one point and you still remember how much those few words meant to you. Perhaps someone was extremely harsh and their words haunt you day after day. I wonder if David was haunted by the prophetic words of Nathan as he proclaimed ” Now therefore, the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised Me and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife (1 Sam. 12:10).”

Perhaps these words echoed in David’s mind as he ran away from the threat of destruction, from his own son. This is the situation in which we find ourselves, this Sunday at Redeemer as Jim Hamilton considers Absalom’s Revolt from 2 Samuel 15. This week we will see Absalom’s plan to take over Jerusalem seemingly come to fruition as the mighty King David flees. I wonder if David had known all that would happen as a result of his sin if he would have still sent for Bathsheba that day? I wonder if we consider the consequences of our sin? Do we see our sin, as David eventually does, as only against God? What does it mean if we continue in unrepentant, unchecked sin, day after day? Is there hope?

Join us this week as we look to God’s word for hope during a dark part of Israel’s history. God is still sovereign, refining his people, preparing them for a true King who could not only be righteous, but who would be righteousness for them!

Vessels for Honorable Use

My latest sermon, The Making of a Noble Instrument, from 2 Timothy 2:20-26 is available here.

Let me know what you think…

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Prince Caspian in Theaters on May16, 2008!

Narnia Picture

The newest installment of the Chronicles of Narnia is scheduled to be released in May. You can see all the details here.

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