Monthly Archives: October 2008

Practice Makes Perfect

Big thanks to my oldest son, Brayton for helping me warm up for our new Alethia interview series. We will be interviewing church leaders, pastors, seminary profs, and worship leader types to plumb their brains for insight and good counsel for pastors and future pastors.

Last week we had the joy of interviewing Tommy Dahn, pastor of Providence Baptist Church in Pasadena TX.

The week before last I interviewed two of our single adults who recently attended the Desiring God National Conference and a Ligonier Regional Conference.

Both of these interviews should be posted on our Alethia page next week. Don’t miss them!

All of this was made possible by Brayton’s help and feedback on my interviewing skills. Thanks Bray Bray!

Don’t Waste Your Laryngitis

Russell Moore:

Scattered about my desk right now are about fifteen Sugar-Free Ricola cough drop wrappers, and a lukewarm cup of some grassy herbal tea. I’ve lost my voice. Again. This has happened before, several times. The weather changes. I’m over-commanding the chords. And then it’s gone.

Millennia ago, a blessed priest named Zechariah faced a far more terrifying round of laryngitis. When an angelic being appears to him in the temple, Zechariah questioned him regarding the message of a son named John who would soon be born to the priest and his wife Elizabeth. The angel removes the priest’s voice. When Zechariah leaves the temple, the people gathered around, but he couldn’t teach, couldn’t explain. Instead, “he kept making signs to them and remained mute” (Luke 1:22).

I never paid that much attention until this morning as to why this was so significant…

Read the rest of the story

Biblical Counseling in the Local Church and the Life of the Pastor

David Powlison

David Powlison

Recently, Mark Dever has interviewed David Powlison on his life, view of counseling and book suggestions for pastors.

Click here for the audio

Oh that my wife would be able to say…

what D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones’ wife, Bethan, said when describing her husband:

“No one will ever understand my husband until they realize that he is first of all a man of prayer and then an evangelist.”

–quoted from the dust-jacket of Ian H. Murray’s D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, The Fight of Faith, 1939-1981, Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, 1990.

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ESV Study Bible: Interview with NT Editor Tom Schreiner

The New ESV Study Bible

The New ESV Study Bible

“The first print run of Crossway’s new resource, the ESV Study Bible, of 100,000 copies, sold out even before the publication date. New Testament scholar Tom Schreiner served as the New Testament editor of the study Bible.” He was recently interviewed about the content of the new Bible. Here’s a preview:

GB: What is your opinion of the finished product?

Schreiner: I am very pleased with it. With the maps and charts and all the color, it is beautifully executed. I think it is very readable. It is very pleasant to the eye and most importantly, I think the content is excellent.

GB: What aspect of this study Bible do you think will do the most to help Christians to understand their Bibles more accurately?

Schreiner: I think the most helpful thing is the notes. The ordinary Bible reader often needs help understanding, so as you go chapter-by-chapter, verse-by-verse, the notes are brief but substantive. A lot of readers don’t have time to read long commentaries, but with this Bible you get pithy, accurate, theologically-faithful notes that can help a reader grasp the content of the Scriptures, in a relatively short amount of time. It functions as a sort of mini-commentary.

Read the whole thing here.

(HT: Gender Blog)

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Worship Matters

At my church, I have the honor of walking with a few men, who are called by God into ministy and interested in being more equipped for their task in the kingdom. In our internship program this year we are reading Bob Kauflin’s new book, Worship Matters.
Below is a video clip of Bob giving a big idea of what the task of the worship leader really is on Sundays. Check it out:

You can see all of the recently posted clips by Bob here.

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The Boggling of a Tiny, Finite Mind by an Unimaginable Creator

I thought it was interesting that when Peter and John returned to “their own” in Acts 4:23, after being arrested, threatened not to speak of Jesus, and released–that they responded with corporate prayer. I found it even more interesting that 5 out of the 7 verses in that prayer desribe who God is. And even more interesting is that they began with praising God as creator. What does that mean? They said to Him: “O Lord, it is You who made the heaven and the earth and the sea, and all that is in them…”

This video will give you a little glimpse of what it means to “create” the universe. In my sermon on this text, this video was very helpful.

(HT: Justin Taylor and Roots and Rain)

“Strength in Sovereignty” Sermon Introduction

I can remember the day that I graduated from seminary like it was yesterday (May 06!). I can remember all the pictures and the handshakes…the applause and the feeling of relief. I even remember much of the sermon preached by Paige Patterson from 1 Peter 5: 1-4… “Shepherd the flock of God among you, exercising oversight not under compulsion but voluntarily, according to the will of God; and not for sordid gain, but with eagerness…not lording it over those allotted to your charge…but proving to be examples to the flock, and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory! I was so juiced to go out and lay my life down for people! It was a wonderful day!! And I am extremely thankful for my time at Seminary, although I don’t think it was the most influential time in my life in regards to ministry.

Let me tell you about another graduation*. Five young graduates of a seminary in Switzerland, all of them in the early twenties, had returned home to Lyons, France after spending a little time in Geneva with John Calvin. On their return, they were arrested and imprisoned. It was April, 1552. There was a series of letters exchanged between these five young men and Calvin. Calvin would write, urging them to be bold and keep the faith. Various appeals are made and the young men are shipped off to a dungeon in Paris, and eventually, in March 1553, they were sent back to Lyons again. During this time, they wrote several letters. In one of them, they say this: “We are bold to say and affirm that we shall derive more profit in this school for our salvation than has ever been the case in any place where we have studied . . . we testify that this persecution in prison is the true school of the children of God, in which they learn more than the disciples of the philosophers ever did in their universities. Indeed, it must not be imagined that one can have a true understanding of many of the passages of Scripture without having been instructed by the Teacher of all truth in this College, prison…”

And they went on: “It is true that one can have some knowledge of Scripture and can talk about it and discuss it a great deal; but this is like playing charades. We therefore praise God with all our heart and give Him undying thanks that He has been pleased to give us by His grace not only the theory of His Word, but also the practice of it, and that He has granted us this honor – which is no small thing for us who are vessels so poor and fragile and mere worms creeping on the earth…”

Of course, putting into practice what we believe and what we have learned is the real test. We can (and should be) be dedicated students of the Scriptures and have a right understanding of God’s Sovereignty (his total control of all things), but applying that understanding is another world all together. It applies to my family, my job, the way I think about major disasters, political elections, and especially salvation. Just like the seminary students, many of us have “class room knowledge” of who God is…but how have we done at the school of everyday life? How does our theological understanding of who God is melt into our everyday practice? Or, are we simply playing a game of charades, merely acting out the silhouette of a Christian? What happens when someone calls off the game and real life begins? I want us to take a look at a real life situation in the early church and notice the real way in which these Christians united their theological understanding with their actual lives. And it begins with a very short, yet profound prayer…

*I owe this illustration to Derek Thomas and a sermon that he preached on Acts 4:23-31 at FPC Jackson, MS.

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Piper on “A Deadly Place to Rest the Mind”

Speaking of the Television:

It is not necessary for relevance. And it is a deadly place to rest the mind. Its pervasive banality, sexual innuendo, and God-ignoring values have no ennobling effects on the preacher’s soul. It kills the spirit. It drives God away. It quenches prayer. It blanks out the Bible. It cheapens the soul. It destroys spiritual power. It defiles almost everything. I have taught and preached for twenty years now and never owned a television. It is unnecessary for most of you, and it is spiritually deadly for all of you.

(HT: Andy Naselli)

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