Monthly Archives: January 2011

Are You a Calvinist? Here’s What I Believe. . .

John Piper has a great post on the question that I answer at least once per month, if not more. . .

The premise: Instead of saying “yes,” and allowing the generality of the term to linger, tell them what you believe! Here’s the jist:

If they say, “Are you a Calvinist?” say, “You decide. Here is what I believe . . .”

I believe I am so spiritually corrupt and prideful and rebellious that I would never have come to faith in Jesus without God’s merciful, sovereign victory over the last vestiges of my rebellion. (1 Corinthians 2:14; Ephesians 3:1–4; Romans 8:7).

I believe that God chose me to be his child before the foundation of the world, on the basis of nothing in me, foreknown or otherwise. (Ephesians 1:4–6; Acts 13:48; Romans 8:29–30; 11:5–7)

I believe Christ died as a substitute for sinners to provide a bona fide offer of salvation to all people, and that he had an invincible design in his death to obtain his chosen bride, namely, the assembly of all believers, whose names were eternally written in the book of life of the Lamb that was slain. (John 3:16; John 10:15; Ephesians 5:25; Revelation 13:8)

When I was dead in my trespasses, and blind to the beauty of Christ, God made me alive, opened the eyes of my heart, granted me to believe, and united me to Jesus, with all the benefits of forgiveness and justification and eternal life. (Ephesians 2:4–5; 2 Corinthians 4:6; Philippians 2:29; Ephesians 2:8–9; Acts 16:14; Ephesians 1:7; Philippians 3:9)

I am eternally secure not mainly because of anything I did in the past, but decisively because God is faithful to complete the work he began—to sustain my faith, and to keep me from apostasy, and to hold me back from sin that leads to death. (1 Corinthians 1:8–9; 1 Thessalonians 5:23–24; Philippians 1:6; 1 Peter 1:5; Jude 1:25; John 10:28–29; 1 John 5:16)


Read the whole thing here.

(HT: DG)

Latest 9 Marks E-Journal: “Pastoral Moves”


Here’s a taste of the latest 9 Marks E-Journal on Pastoral Moves. You can download the entire thing in PDF format here.

Editor’s Note, by Jonathan Leeman:

Quick, before you make another move, pastor, read this eJournal!

If you’re thinking of leaving your church for another, start with Michael Lawrence’s article on leaving wisely. In fact, look at Matt Schmucker’s even before you think about leaving. Have you looked yet? Okay, what about now? I’ve seen enough pastors come and go to know that Lawrence and Schmucker just might shift your paradigm.

Or maybe the process of searching has begun. Mark Dever, Bobby Jamieson, Walter Price, and Dennis Newkirk will help you to avoid common mistakes and pursue the next pastor wisely.

Then again, maybe you should not make a move at all. Jeramie Rinne and Mark Dever will tell you why. Pastor Rinne, in fact, would rather see you dead right where you are. What a pastor!



Leave Your Church Well: An Interview with Michael Lawrence
In light of his recent transition from one church to another, 9Marks asked Michael Lawrence how to candidate, interview, and say goodbye wisely.

Prepare the Church for the Next Guy
Someday your ministry will belong to another pastor. Here’s how to set him up for success.
By Matt Schmucker

Book Review: Handle That New Call with Care, by David Campbell
Reviewed by Bobby Jamieson


What’s Wrong With Search Committees? Part 1 of 2 on Finding a Pastor
Search committees are fraught with dangers and pitfalls, including risk-aversion, wrongheaded secrecy, and a beauty pageant mentality. Why? It turns out the problem is in their very premise.
By Mark Dever

What’s Right About Elders? Part 2 of 2 on Finding a Pastor
Why should elders lead a pastoral search rather than a search committee? Because they’re charged to raise up leaders and are best qualified to assess a man’s preaching and character.
By Mark Dever and Bobby Jamieson

What Not to Do When You’re the New Guy
Beginning a new pastorate is tough. So we asked a veteran pastor what pitfalls the new guy should avoid.
By Walter Price

You Might Have the Wrong Candidate If…
There are a lot of men out there you wouldn’t want to pastor your church. Here’s a few ideas of what to avoid.
By Dennis Newkirk

Tips for an Interim Pastor
The interim pastorate is a tough gig. You have the role of a pastor but not the authority. How do you do it well?
By Jonathan Leeman


Staying to the Glory of God: One Preacher’s Death Wish
It may sound morbid, but this preacher tells you exactly where he wants to die.
By Jeramie Rinne

Staying to the Glory of God: The Sibbes, Simeon, and Stott Model
What do three Cambridge, Anglican, bachelor “S’s” all have in common? They each planted themselves in one place and stayed. Here’s why you should consider doing the same.
By Mark Dever

Miscellaneous Book Reviews

God’s Glory in Salvation Through Judgment, by James M. Hamilton, Jr.
Reviewed by Stephen Dempster

Church 3.0, by Neil Cole
Reviewed by Geoff Chang

Marks of the Messenger, by J. Mack Stiles
Reviewed by John Starke