Archive for August, 2008

Be careful if you “love preaching”

“There are some preachers who so loudly declare their love of preaching that it is unclear whether it is their own performance and their love of power that has captured them or their desire to minister to the men and women who listen to them” (D. A. Carson, A Call to Spiritual Reformation, 82).

Serve the people

The Apostle Paul and ministry:

“This is not someone intoxicated with ideas but unconcerned about people. Nor is it someone who is content to minister at a distance–through the books he has written, perhaps, or through younger emissaries. No, this man’s ministry is not designed first and foremost to produce ideas, books, or junior colleagues, but to serve the people of God; and to this he is passionately committed. And that passion shapes the prayers he utters on their behalf” (D. A. Carson, A Call to Spiritual Reformation, 82).

disOrder of Worship

Baptism Series Next Week

Just wanted to give you a heads up that I will be posting a four-part series on baptism in Acts 2:38 starting Tuesday of next week. Although the series will be adapted from my book A Biblical Critique of Infant Baptism, it will not focus directly on the issue of baptizing infants, just baptism in Acts 2:38. If this is a verse you have struggled to understand, I invite you to tune in. In the meantime, have a great Labor Day weekend!

Free Commentary at LOGOS–free.html

Follow the link to download your free LOGOS commentary.

Dispensationalism, the Church, and the New Covenant

For those of you dispensationalists out there who are wrestling with the question of the relationship between the church and the New Covenant, here is an excellent online resource. The article is “Dispensationalism, the Church, and the New Covenant” by R. Bruce Compton, and it was published in the fall of 2003 issue of Detroit Baptist Seminary Journal. Compton concludes that the church presently participates in the soteriological blessings of the New Covenant, but the covenant will be fulfilled in a future restoration of the ethnic nation of Israel at the second coming of Christ. Regardless of where you land on this issue, or whether or not you end up agreeing with Compton’s conclusions, you will find his discussion of the subject and his exegesis of the relevant passages to be very helpful. Definitely a must-read on this issue.

If It Ain’t Baroque, Why Listen to It?

Ever since I first listened to Handel’s Water Music in December of 1992, I have been hopelessly hooked on classical music from the Baroque Period. Put simply, I’ll take Bach over Beethoven any day.


Anyway, this brings me to a question for you preachers out there: What do you most like to listen to while you study Scripture in preparation for Sunday’s messages? My personal favorite is something that was recommended to me about two years ago by my mentor in all things cultural, Paul Lamey, and that is Simply Baroque II. On this CD, cellist Yo-Yo Ma performs some brilliant pieces composed by Luigi Boccherini and Johann Sebastian Bach. I’ve never listened to the prequel Simply Baroque—also performed by Ma—but Paul assures me that the sequel is superior. So take up and listen!


And how about you? What kind of music accompanies you in your study as you seek to rightly divide the Word of God? Any recommendations?

So when do you contact a local area pastor?

So when do you contact a local area pastor with reference to one of his members attending your church?  Do you express the same level of charity across all denominational lines?  Do you simply wait until someone expresses interest in membership or do you move more proactively than that?  This scenario is not as common today because so many Christians move around from congregation to congregation like a kid at 31 flavors (church shopping). 

Let’s hear from you pastors as to how you address these opportunities.  What are the advantages and the disadvantages of this approach?

Faith and Politics

Pastors:  What, if anything, are you going to say to your people before the upcoming election?  Or maybe said differently “what have you said or taught on thus far?”  Do you ever preach a topical sermon on an issue like abortion as John Piper does each year?  How do you address issues without having people assume you are trying to support a specific candidate or party.  (footnote: I wish more Democrats were pro-life and pro-family and that the issues they’re debating were not issues at all).  One of my modern day heroes of the faith is John MacArthur but this is one issue we (Pastor John and I) do not agree on 100%.  What say you?

Hologram pastors

This taken from Please click on the link for the full length article.

“Most Sunday mornings at Buckhead Church in downtown Atlanta, one person is conspicuously absent: the senior pastor, Andy Stanley. A nationally known evangelist, Stanley is usually 20 minutes away at North Point Community Church, the suburban megachurch he has led for 13 years. To the 6,000 or so faithful at Buckhead, he appears only on video, his digital image projected in front of the congregation in life-sized 3-D. The preacher is a hologram.

As the Wall Street Journal noted earlier this summer, American megachurch pastors are starting up video-based branches overseas to spread their faith, and their faces, to places where evangelical Christianity is just taking hold, using Starbucks as their model for rapid expansion. But here at home, where houses of worship are already as plentiful as suburban strip centers, the same strategy of high-tech franchising is emerging, despite objections from many Christians that it’s the wrong way to reach new converts.

An estimated 2,000 to 2,500 U.S. congregations now operate multiple campuses, and many of them, like Buckhead Church, are so-called video venues. The Leadership Network, a Christian nonprofit that follows these multisite churches, says there will be 30,000 of them within a few years. Already, the most ambitious pastors are predicting that, thanks to video, they’ll have branded outlets nationwide and more than 100,000 followers—twice as large as the country’s biggest megachurch today. Gigachurches are the way that next-generation celebrity evangelists are building their empires.”

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