On Sunday i continued my sermon series on preaching. I covered a number of different texts but dealt primarily with 1 Tim 4:13ff. At the conclusion of my sermon I mentioned just a few of the reasons why Biblical preaching is so hard to come by these days (see below).
Biblical exposition will cease:
#1 When church growth becomes more important than spiritual growth (Eph 4:12, Col 1:28-29).
#2 When the community takes control of the pulpit (John 3:20).
#3 When people are big and God is small (Prov 29:25 vs 2 Tim 4:1)
#4 When uncalled men occupy the pulpit (1 Tim 3:1, 4:14).
#5 When undisciplined men fill the pulpit (2 Tim 2:15, 1 Tim 4).
My new ministry at FBC, Freeport is up and running. Thank you very much for your prayers and support. This church has many hungry people who have been longing for the pure milk of the Word (1 Pet 2:2) for some time now. The deacon board is united in purpose and have been very supportive of me. It is great that i don’t have to come here and face the same challenges that young Timothy did (age discrimination in Ephesus, 1 Tim 4:12) with my deacon board. By that i mean, these deacons believe God’s hand is upon me and my ministry and therefore are not going to make me “earn” my leadership stripes. I have been allowed to come in and simply do what God has called me to do: namely feed, lead, and shepherd the flock of God. God’s hand of providence was surely in our recent move. Let me encourage you readers who are either elders/deacons or lay people to follow this model if you decide to call a younger man as your next Sr. Pastor. If you question whether or not the person you are candidating is mature enough to be your Sr. Pastor then do not hire him. It won’t be fair to him if he has to come in as a “pastor in training.” I have been blessed to be able to come here and not worry about dealing with those type of pressures (esp. with regards to my leadership team). That in effect has allowed me to focus in on doing the many things God has called me to do in this particular local church.
In my new ministry position i am charged with the great and high calling of bringing God’s Book each and every Sunday. This has been a passion of mine for 8 years now. Up to this point God has not given me a opportunity to PREACH the Word on a consistent basis. I have had many opportunities to teach but not to consistently herald the Word of God as a preacher. In my morning sermon i preached from 2 Tim 3:13-4:5. My goal in this first sermon was to define and defend the concept of Biblical preaching (which is under attack from those within the “church” these days). I then provided 6 reasons why i am wholly committed to Biblical Exposition.
So now that some of you have logged your books in the last post, now is your chance to update your list with any comments or must-read quotes (in the comments). Here is my offering for July (be sure to see the quote at the end from the Warren Buffett biography).
- Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands by Tripp (very good, helpful on practical matters and less so when it delves into the realm of biblical theology)
- Buffett: The Making of an American Capitalist by Lowenstein (insightful and sad, the richest man in the world has crafted his own religion)
- Future Israel by Horner (without equal, must be reckoned with rather than ignored)
- The Complete Compost Gardening Guide by Pleasant and Martin (really good. I never thought I would admit here that I love my compost heap. Why don’t you garden? What’s your problem? Do you know where your tomatoes come from?)
- Christ and Culture by Carson (good, not sure Carson has really progressed beyond Niebuhr’s original)
- The Random Walk Guide to Investing by Malkiel (great primer on investing which I would translate as one aspect of stewardship)
- Minority Report by Trueman (witty, insightful, infuriating, arrogant, and brilliant, I expect nothing less from a Brit-“It’s just a flesh wound”)
- The Wages of Spin by Trueman (more of the same)
From the Warren Buffett biography above I found the following, which comes in a section discussing some of the “positions” which Buffett holds both politically and socially. The richest man in the world has used the bulk of his philanthropic ventures to finance “population control.” The following quote could have been uttered by Dr. Theo Morell in 1940’s Nazi Germany but it happened here in what some persist in calling a “Christian nation.”
“Charlie Munger [Buffett’s partner], who was equally Malthusian, articulated this mind-set at a party for Keith Russell, a doctor who had been a Munger-Buffett ally in the Belous abortion rights case in California. After some of Russell’s patients presented a toast to the many babies he had delivered, Munger rose, glass held high, and solemnly declared, “I want to toast Dr. Russell for the thousands of babies he didn’t deliver.” Pg. 346 Buffett
Since we have hit a Summer lull in blogging I thought it might be interesting to hear what everyone is currently reading this month. Let us hear from you. My list is below and the more I look at it the more weird it becomes. At any rate, tell us what you’re reading (in addition to regular Scripture readings and studies for teaching/preaching). If this goes well, we might do this again next month.
- Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands by Tripp
- Buffett: The Making of an American Capitalist by Lowenstein
- Future Israel by Horner
- The Complete Compost Gardening Guide by Pleasant and Martin
- Christ and Culture by Carson
- The Random Walk Guide to Investing by Malkiel
- Minority Report by Trueman
- The Wages of Spin by Trueman
We absolutely love the fact that we can come here and write brief essays and post items that we believe deserve a hearing. It is only rarely that someone who disagrees with us (which we don’t mind) raises their disagreement to an unchristian level. It is disagreement that sharpens thought but when we are told that what we believe is “of the devil” then we are no longer under the assumption that we are Christian brothers and sisters having a conversation. Folks who say such things have shown that they are beyond the minimal reach of this blog and should seek help as soon as possible from their church’s leadership.
This blog is almost three years old and along the way we have made mistakes and misteps, usually in the comments of sporadic posts. However, a while back I decided to put that sort of sophmoric behavior behind us and press on with posts that we collectively thought might prove useful to some. So with this in mind I want to ask everyone to take a deep breath and step back from their computers for a while. If blogging “makes” you angry then blogging is not your problem, your heart is your problem. If a person can’t get over the fact that we do not necesarrily follow the status quo of their theological world then our blog will only continue to disappoint them.
In the end this is not a blog democracy. All the contributors here are pastors, husbands, fathers, and citizens and we refuse to let the behavior of some affect any of the relationships with those institutions. All the men who write here are accountable to elder boards, churches and the closest of relationships, their wives. We would ask our readers to respect that before questioning the calling and wisdom of men they do not know and have never met.
It is a joy to write about the things we love and have devoted our lives to for many years. When I began this blog I simply hoped that this would be a clearing house for anything that might encourage and aid we who preach the Word. I hope we will not lose sight of that goal.
In light of all the recent discussion here at Expository Thoughts on the future of Israel, I thought I would provide a few links for those who may want to do some further reading on the subject. Each of the following deals with the salvation of of Israel as predicted in Romans 11:
On a separate note, even though I don’t post many articles or comments here at Expository Thoughts or elsewhere, the blogosphere has been consuming too much of my time lately, especially in light of what I’ve got on my plate right now. So I’ve decided to take a sabbatical from the blogosphere (both reading and contributing) until at least the end of the summer. Just thought it wouldn’t be polite to leave the room without saying goodbye.
Have a great summer.
In response to the recent posts on the land promises to Israel, Expository Thoughts reader Joe asked: “Did the leaders and teachers of Israel look for a literal fulfillment in the flesh concerning a fleshly, earthly restoration of the national government of Israel? Did Jesus oblige them?” To which Hip and Thigh blogger Fred Butler responded:
The apostles certainly did. In Acts 1:6,7, they specifically asked Jesus, “Lord, will you at this time RESTORE the kingdom to Israel?” Note what Jesus stated, “It is not for you to know the times or the seasons which the Father has put in His own authority.” This would had been the perfect opportunity to correct their “fleshly” inclinations about the Kingdom when in fact it was suppose to be only spiritual, but Jesus doesn’t. He says it is for the Father to know the time and the seasons of such things.
Well said. For more on Acts 1:6-7 and the restoration of Israel, see here. By the way, if you don’t read Fred’s blog, you really ought to. I’ve often thought that he has nailed the genre of blogging in a way that few others have been able to.