Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Fireproof Your Marriage!

fireproofbanner
This is why you need to bring an unsaved friend.

Porn Again Christian: a free e-book

porn again christian

Mark Driscoll @ Mars Hill Church in conjunction with the Song of Songs series he is preaching titled “The Peasant Princess. has made available a free e-book entitled Porn Again Christian


Stages of Organic Growth (or building missional teams)

In preparation for a Missional Core Teams workshop, churchplantingnovice has posted an excerpt of a slightly longer document called Stages of Organic Growth.

The Stages of Organic Growth they experienced:

Meals and Mission (1 month)

Vision and Mission (2 months)

Commitment Night

Bible Study (2 months)

Strategy and Community (3 months)

Services and Children’s Ministry

Monday, September 29, 2008

DG Conference Videos

From the last Desiring God conference:


Desiring God National Conference Audio

Check out the messages and interviews from the 2008 Desiring God National Conference. The conference theme this year was "The Power of Words and the Wonder of God."

The Tongue, the Bridle, and the Blessing: An Exposition of James 3:1-12
Desiring God 2008 National Conference
James 3:1-12
September 26, 2008
Sinclair Ferguson
Read Listen Watch Download
Download: Audio Video

Panel Discussion - Piper, Driscoll, and Ferguson
Desiring God 2008 National Conference
September 26, 2008
Various
Read Listen Watch Download
Download: Audio Video

Words of Wonder: What Happens When We Sing?
Desiring God 2008 National Conference
September 27, 2008
Bob Kauflin
Read Listen Watch Download
Download: Audio Video

How Sharp the Edge? Christ, Controversy, and Cutting Words
Desiring God 2008 National Conference
September 27, 2008
Mark Driscoll
Read Listen Watch Download
Download: Audio Video

The Life-Shaping Power of Story: God’s and Ours
Desiring God 2008 National Conference
September 27, 2008
Dan Taylor
Read Listen Watch Download
Download: Audio Video

Panel Discussion - Piper, Tripp, Kauflin, and Taylor
Desiring God 2008 National Conference
September 27, 2008
Various
Read Listen Watch Download
Download: Audio Video

War of Words: Getting to the Heart for God's Sake
Desiring God 2008 National Conference
September 27, 2008
Paul Tripp
Read Listen Watch Download
Download: Audio Video

Is There Christian Eloquence? Clear Words and the Wonder of the Cross
Desiring God 2008 National Conference
September 28, 2008
John Piper
Listen Download

John Piper: How God can use persecution

Text: Acts 7:55–8:8
Introduction:
  • Illustration: Piper tells the story of a Bulgarian pastor thrown in jail. The pastor later declared that he had a more fruitful ministry there than he could have expected in the church.
  • We can find encouraging truths in a biblical account of church persecution.
Encouraging Truth #1 is that God makes persecution serve the Great Commission.
  • Persecution launches the church into outreach.
  • By contrast, comfort, ease, and security cause spiritual stagnation.
    • Illustration: Piper cites a recent study showing that the poorest give more than the wealthiest. Hard times beget more resources than easy times, because easiness anesthetizes.
Encouraging Truth #2 is that trouble for the sake of truth brings honor.
  • Illustration: Piper imagines a dialogue among Jerusalem church members incensed that Stephen's caustic speech has caused persecution.
  • Stephen's speech brought persecution upon the church; nevertheless, Luke honored him, along with all devout people.
  • The devout will honor you, too, when your faithfulness to God brings trouble for yourself and other Christians.
Encouraging Truth #3 is that sometimes our worst enemies become our best friends.
  • First, Saul ravaged the church; later, he led it. If Saul can get saved, then anybody can get saved!
  • Acts 9:1–19
    • Illustration: Piper tells of a parishioner praying for an enemy who seems beyond hope.
Encouraging Truth #4 is that persecution brings joy.
  • Persecution brings joy because it causes the preaching of "good news."
  • Persecution brings joy because it moves us to embrace Christ, our eternal source of joy.
To see an transcript of Piper's sermon, click here.

The Journal for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (JBMW)

The latest issue of The Journal for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (JBMW) is now available from the CBMW website.

If you are not yet a subscriber to JBMW, you should be. Subscription information is posted on the JBMW page.

There are several articles that are available for download now.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Seabird - Rescue



Directed and edited by Clint Woods, this music video really raises the bar for animation and graphics videos. Woods also manages to perfectly synchronize the Seabird aesthetic with the music accompanying it.

Lifestyle Evangelism & Your Church

Facilitating EvangelismJesse Johnson@ http://www.sfpulpit.com provides some helpful ideas to encourage, and equip our people for evangelism:

Hand out free New Testaments to your congregation:

Offer an evangelism training class in Sunday School or at home Bible studies:

Take advantage of Christmas programs your church already does:

Model through your lifestyle your priority of evangelism:

Christian Views of the Economic Crisis

Justin Taylor @ http://theologica.blogspot.com provides excellent summaries of the observations on the current economic crisis. He notes an excellent commentary here by Al Mohler--who gives us an Economics 101 lesson along the way.

Conclusion:
Today's crisis in the financial system should not be a threat to the long-term health and vitality of our economic system. There is cause for concern, but no justification for panic. Rather than hit the panic button, spend that energy thinking about how Christians should glorify God in our economic lives. We should watch the developments and debates in Washington and New York with interest, but we should investigate our own hearts with even greater urgency.
Read the whole thing.

See also this article in World Magazine by Timothy Lamer who gives an Anatomy of a Crisis: How Washington and Wall Street Got into Trouble. After explaining the six steps that led to this situation, Lamer writes:
The fundamental dynamic is this: Washington and Wall Street helped people buy houses they could not afford on such a massive scale that simply letting the lenders and debtors take their lumps would arguably do grave harm to the economy. They will take some lumps (Wall Street isn't exactly a hot job market right now), but most of the losses will be "socialized," or spread out among everyone who pays taxes. This includes those who exercised restraint during the bubble. That's how it is.

20 Resolutions on Taming the Tongue

During his message@ http://www.desiringgod.org , Sinclair Ferguson shared a list of 20 resolutions from the book of James for how to control our tongue.

1. I resolve to ask God for wisdom to speak out of a single-minded devotion to him. (1:5)

2. I resolve to boast only in the exultation I receive in Jesus Christ and also in the humiliation I receive for Jesus Christ. (1:9-10)

3. I resolve to set a watch over my mouth. (1:13)

4. I resolve to be constantly quick to hear and slow to speak. (1:19)

5. I resolve to learn the gospel way of speaking to both rich and poor. (2:1-4)

6. I resolve to speak in the present consciousness of my final judgment. (2:12)

7. I resolve never to stand on anyone’s face with the words I employ. (2:16)

8. I resolve never to claim as reality in my life what I do not truly experience. (3:14)

9. I resolve to resist quarrelsome words as evidence of a bad heart that needs to be mortified. (4:1)

10. I resolve never to speak decided evil against another out of a heart of antagonism. (4:11)

11. I resolve never to boast in anything but what I will accomplish. (4:13)

12. I resolve to speak as one subject to the providences of God. (4:15)

13. I resolve never to grumble. The judge is at the door. (5:9)

14. I resolve never to allow anything but total integrity in everything I say. (5:12)

15. I resolve to speak to God in prayer whenever I suffer. (5:13)

16. I resolve to sing praises to God whenever I’m cheerful. (5:14)

17. I resolve to ask for the prayers of others when I’m in need. (5:14)

18. I resolve to confess it whenever I have failed. (5:15)

19. I resolve to pray with others for one another whenever I am together with them. (5:15)

20. I resolve to speak words of restoration when I see another wander. (5:19)

How to be a fool, in four easy steps

Dan Phillips @http://teampyro.blogspot.com simply summarizes how to be a fool:
"How long, O simple ones, will you love being simple?
How long will scoffers delight in their scoffing
and fools hate knowledge?
23 If you turn at my reproof,

behold, I will pour out my spirit to you;
I will make my words known to you.
24 Because I have called and you refused to listen,
have stretched out my hand and no one has heeded,
25 because you have ignored all my counsel
and would have none of my reproof,
26 I also will laugh at your calamity;
I will mock when terror strikes you,
27 when terror strikes you like a storm
and your calamity comes like a whirlwind,
when distress and anguish come upon you.
28 Then they will call upon me,
but I will not answer;
they will seek me diligently
but will not find me.
29 Because they hated knowledge
and did not choose the fear of the LORD,
30 would have none of my counsel
and despised all my reproof,
31 therefore they shall eat the fruit of their way,
and have their fill of their own devices.
32 For the simple are killed by their turning away,
and the complacency of fools destroys them;
33 but whoever listens to me
will dwell secure
and will be at ease,
without dread of disaster."
(Proverbs 1:22-33)
How to be a fool:
  1. Do nothing, since folly is our natural state (cf. 1:24-25, 32; 22:15a).
  2. Don't listen to your parents, to sermons, or to wise friends (cf. 9:8a; 10:8; 12:15; 13:1; 15:12; 19:20, etc.).
  3. Don't think about Biblical blog posts that bother you (cf. 5:13; 9:7-8; 13:1b; 15:12, 31-32).
  4. Do nothing, since folly is our natural state (cf. 1:24-25, 32; 22:15a).

The Second Coming of Emergers

With all the renewed conversation about the emerging church that is blanketing the web once again, C Michael Patton @ http://www.reclaimingthemind.org enters the “conversation” in a somewhat atypical way.

Some are proclaiming the death of the emerging church saying, “The emerging church is dead—at least in nomenclature, if not in spirit.” Others such as Scot McKnight, Andrew Jones, and Dan Kimball are calling this a nominal death, believing the name itself is no longer descriptive of the original intent of the group, but that the principles expressed will move on. Scot’s post had the spirit of a “call to arms” of the emerging ethos. Others, such as Brian McLaren and Tony Jones may to be holding on to its designation with some hesitant resolve (if you you will allow me to combine those two words)
.

How about a chart to describe this! (Start from the bottom).

(Click to Enlarge)

He concludes with reviews from:

1995-2003

2003-2006

2006-2008

2008-2010 (Prophetically Stated)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Pagitt on Emergence, Emergent, & Emerging

In this video, Doug Pagitt explains the relationships between the terms emerging, Emergent, and "emergence."

What The Bible Says About the Economic Crisis

Chuch Colson from "BreakPoint" notes that much of the financial crisis we are facing stems from moral failure—moral failure on the part of greedy Wall Street speculators, and moral failure on the part of ordinary Americans who bit off more mortgage than they could chew. And all of that is true.

But there is another cause of this crisis that we cannot ignore: the near-incestuous relationship between politicians and big-time government-supported financial institutions.

The campaign financing changes introduced in Canada by the Conservative government, after the past incestuous finance programs, like the Liberal Sponsorship Scandal, HRDC kickbacks etc, have averted much of this cross border failure.

Lest we become too comfortable with ourselves in Canada, iMonk @ http://www.internetmonk.com has an interesting perspective on the current economic crisis. What does the Bible say about our current financial crisis? Evangelicals who want to know how to pray for our economy and its leaders deserve to hear the Bible’s message for these financial times.

Revelation 18

18:1 After this I saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority, and the earth was made bright with his glory. 2 And he called out with a mighty voice,

“Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great!
She has become a dwelling place for demons,
a haunt for every unclean spirit,
a haunt for every unclean bird,
a haunt for every unclean and detestable beast.
3 For all nations have drunk [1]
the wine of the passion of her sexual immorality,
and the kings of the earth have committed immorality with her,
and the merchants of the earth have grown rich from the power of her luxurious living.”

4 Then I heard another voice from heaven saying,

“Come out of her, my people,
lest you take part in her sins,
lest you share in her plagues;
5 for her sins are heaped high as heaven,
and God has remembered her iniquities.
6 Pay her back as she herself has paid back others,
and repay her double for her deeds;
mix a double portion for her in the cup she mixed.
7 As she glorified herself and lived in luxury,
so give her a like measure of torment and mourning,
since in her heart she says,
‘I sit as a queen,
I am no widow,
and mourning I shall never see.’
8 For this reason her plagues will come in a single day,
death and mourning and famine,
and she will be burned up with fire;
for mighty is the Lord God who has judged her.”

9 And the kings of the earth, who committed sexual immorality and lived in luxury with her, will weep and wail over her when they see the smoke of her burning. 10 They will stand far off, in fear of her torment, and say,

“Alas! Alas! You great city,
you mighty city, Babylon!
For in a single hour your judgment has come.”

11 And the merchants of the earth weep and mourn for her, since no one buys their cargo anymore, 12 cargo of gold, silver, jewels, pearls, fine linen, purple cloth, silk, scarlet cloth, all kinds of scented wood, all kinds of articles of ivory, all kinds of articles of costly wood, bronze, iron and marble, 13 cinnamon, spice, incense, myrrh, frankincense, wine, oil, fine flour, wheat, cattle and sheep, horses and chariots, and slaves, that is, human souls. [2]

14 “The fruit for which your soul longed
has gone from you,
and all your delicacies and your splendors
are lost to you,
never to be found again!”

15 The merchants of these wares, who gained wealth from her, will stand far off, in fear of her torment, weeping and mourning aloud,

16 “Alas, alas, for the great city
that was clothed in fine linen,
in purple and scarlet,
adorned with gold,
with jewels, and with pearls!
17 For in a single hour all this wealth has been laid waste.”

And all shipmasters and seafaring men, sailors and all whose trade is on the sea, stood far off 18 and cried out as they saw the smoke of her burning,

“What city was like the great city?”

19 And they threw dust on their heads as they wept and mourned, crying out,

“Alas, alas, for the great city
where all who had ships at sea
grew rich by her wealth!
For in a single hour she has been laid waste.
20 Rejoice over her, O heaven,
and you saints and apostles and prophets,
for God has given judgment for you against her!”

21 Then a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone and threw it into the sea, saying,

“So will Babylon the great city be thrown down with violence,
and will be found no more;
22 and the sound of harpists and musicians, of flute players and trumpeters,
will be heard in you no more,
and a craftsman of any craft
will be found in you no more,
and the sound of the mill
will be heard in you no more,
23 and the light of a lamp
will shine in you no more,
and the voice of bridegroom and bride
will be heard in you no more,
for your merchants were the great ones of the earth,
and all nations were deceived by your sorcery.
24 And in her was found the blood of prophets and of saints,
and of all who have been slain on earth.”

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Maybe labels have some use.

R.I.P. Emerging Church

Url Scaramanga @ http://blog.christianitytoday.com reviews the trend to stop using the "emerging" Church label.

rip.jpg

In Kimball’s blog post from last week he writes:

Although I am finding that the term [emerging church] has become so broad now and so confusing, it is very important to know that I am not by any means stopping being involved and pursuing the heart and mission of what the term "emerging church" originally meant. At least in how I was personally using it when I wrote the book 6 years ago.

What did the term mean 6 years ago? Kimball defined it this way:

“If you were to have asked me what the core of the emerging church is, I would have responded with ‘evangelism and mission in our emerging culture to emerging generations.’” But, according to Kimball, few people associate emerging with evangelism anymore. (He finds himself using the term missional instead.)

Today, Kimball says:

I can't defend or even explain theologically what is now known broadly as "the emerging church" anymore, because it has developed into so many significantly different theological strands. Some I strongly would disagree with.

Why has this occurred. One commentator noted:

"Emerging Church" is being dropped by people across the theological board. It's no surprise that the term has become useless, for it doesn't define what must be the most central aspect of any church movement: the God they worship. The many conceptions of God and Christianity that evolved without boundaries among the emerging churches couldn't be united on the lesser issues of evangelism and mission, as important as those issues are. And when such a thing (uniting as an "Emerging" movement) was attempted, the result was often a greater focus on people and community (the subject of evangelism and mission) rather than on God simply because of the nature of the way the movement defined itself. Beginning with defined doctrine is a much better way to make Christ the foundation--the focus--of a movement.

Dan has a new network in the works that will try to make a fresh start in the direction he originally intended when he created the "Emerging Church" term:

The still unnamed network has agreed to start with the inclusive but orthodox theological foundation of the Lausanne Covenant, and they intend to emphasize mission and evangelism. They appear to have learned from the emerging church’s mistake--define purpose and doctrine early so your identity doesn’t get hijacked.

What is the Gospel?---The NT Uses the Word "Gospel" In Two Ways

Greg Gilbert @ http://blog.9marks.org is reviewing the New Testament usage of the word "Gospel".

From his introduction:

Sometimes it uses “gospel” in a very broad way, that is, to describe all the promises that God intends to fulfill in Christ, including not only forgiveness of sin, but also everything else that flows from it—the establishment of the kingdom, the new heavens and new earth, etc. There are other times, though, where it uses “gospel” in a very narrow way, that is, to describe specifically the forgiveness of sins through the substitutionary death and resurrection of Christ. In those places, the broader promises don’t seem to be so much in view.

He then sites some of the clearest places where the Bible uses the word “gospel” in the narrow sense:

1. ESV Acts 10:36-43 As for the word that he sent to Israel, preaching good news of peace through Jesus Christ ( he is Lord of all), . . . To him all the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name."

2. ESV Romans 1:16-17 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, "The righteous shall live by faith."

3. ESV 1 Corinthians 1:17-18 For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with words of eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power. 18 For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

4. ESV 1 Corinthians 15:1-5 Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, 2 and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you- unless you believed in vain. 3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.

In the second section, he sites some of the clearest places where it’s used in the broad sense:

1. ESV Matthew 4:23 And he went throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction among the people.

(Repentance is linked with Mt4:17)

2. ESV Mark 1:14-15 Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.

3. ESV Luke 4:18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed,

4. ESV Acts 13:32 And we bring you the good news that what God promised to the fathers, 33 this he has fulfilled to us their children by raising Jesus, . . .

To summarize the two usages:
  • Broadly, as in Matthew 4, Mark 1, Luke 4, and Acts 13, it refers to all the promises made to us through the work of Jesus—not only forgiveness of sins, but also resurrection, reconciliation with both God and others, sanctification, glorification, coming Kingdom, new heavens and new earth, and so forth. You might say that in those cases, “gospel” refers to the whole complex of God’s promises secured through the life and work of Christ.
  • In the narrow sense, such as we see in Acts 10, the whole book of Romans, 1 Corinthians 1 and 1 Corinthians 15, “gospel” refers specifically to the atoning death and resurrection of Jesus and the call to all people to repent and believe in him.

There are two important distinctions:

  • The broad use of the word “gospel” necessarily includes the narrow. Therefore repent and believe!
  • Second, it’s worth noting explicitly, again, the fact that the New Testament calls the specific, narrow message of forgiveness of sins through Christ “The Gospel.

How (Not) to Raise a Pharisee

Kurt Gebhards @http://www.sfpulpit.com , the Pastor of Children’s Ministries at Grace Church, suggests a few ways how not to raise a Pharisee. Raising Pharisees
He notes that the Bible gives us some definite character traits of the pretentious pietist, and here is what they may look like in a child:

Bullet His outward behavior and adherence to rules are driven by a desire to please men, not by a love for God with all his heart, soul, mind and strength (Mk. 12:30).

Bullet Doing good works and having them observed by adults is more important than the action itself (Mt. 6:5).

Bullet The child is openly obedient and responsive — asking to pray before bedtime with you — while maintaining a quietly deceitful and rebellious attitude (Gal. 6:7).

Bullet He scrupulously observes the letter of the law — like religiously bringing his Bible to church — but neglects the weightier spirit of the law — like sharing his favorite toys with his siblings (Mt. 23:23).

Bullet He craves the verbal praises and tangible rewards of his parents and teachers, but cares little for the approbation of God Himself (Jn. 12:43)

Left unchecked by the grace and Word of God, by the time such a child reaches his teenage years, hypocrisy can have entrenched itself.

Bullet This teen prefers well-defined, black and white rules, for they give him a sense of certainty that God must surely reward those achievements (Lk. 18:12).

Bullet He adds a layer of rules to the Word of God (like not watching any movies, not listening to popular music, et cetera), giving the impression that he holds to a higher standard than Holy Scripture (Mt. 23:4).

Bullet He tends to propose personal preferences as, or elevate them above, divine imperatives (Mt. 15:2-3).

Bullet He pursues perfectionism (Phil. 3:6), not excellence (Phil. 3:12-14).

Bullet He separates himself from others he considers of lesser cultural morality — people whose table manners, courtesy of speech, and refinement of mannerisms do not match middle-class norms (Lk. 15:1-2).

Bullet He is judgmental — he excels at fault-finding, he loves to pick verbal fights — and the standard by which he condemns others is not primarily biblical, but personal, preferential, or traditional (Mt. 7:5). He fights against many people, against many issues, but he does not know who he is fighting for.

In his final section the notes that we can certainly teach and militate against hypocrisy in the following ways:

Bullet Instead of just dealing with external behavior issues, we should seize every opportunity to help children understand that it is their hearts that generate their actions (Mt. 15:19). In His judgment of man, God looks at the heart (1 Sam.16:7). We should never equate occasions of good behavior (professions of love for Jesus, acts of compliance, et cetera) with saving faith in Jesus. We need to go beyond fixing wrong behavior to helping the child understand that his evil heart can only be changed by the Lord in regeneration.

Bullet Emphasize the affections of NT religion. Make sure that we are not just aiming at a young person’s understanding, but that we reach for the heart and its affections.

Bullet Do not encourage children to exhibit their talents and gifts to impress others. They should be reminded that all that they are and have are gifts of grace from God (1 Cor. 4:7), and they should not regard themselves more highly than they ought (Rom. 12:3).

Bullet Teach the truth about integrity — which comes from the word for “integer” or “whole.” For a child with integrity, whichever way you turn them, they look they same. Who they are at church, is who they are in school, is who they are at home. This is what our kids should be.

Bullet Do not be afraid to share our spiritual and moral failures with children in instances where they can identify with our shortcomings. This allows us to be authentic with them. It also allows us to demonstrate our response to God when we have done wrong, and our reliance on Him to continue molding our hearts.

Bullet Be authentic in your love for Christ. Genuine desire for Christ is not easily faked. Let your zeal be a barometer by which they measure their own affection for Christ.

Hypocrisy is an insidious danger in Children’s Ministries today. It also threatens each individual home. As parents, it is our job to honor the intention of Psalm 78:4-6:

We will not conceal [the Word of God] from their children, But tell to the generations to come the praises of the LORD, and His strength and His wondrous works that He has done, that they should teach [the law] to their children, that the generation to come might know, even the children yet to be born, That they may arise and tell them to their children.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Harsh Language for False Teachers

Mark Driscoll discusses how the New Testament deals with those who are leading people astray:

Wisdom for Women from Titus 2

Justin Taylor @ http://theologica.blogspot.com notes that Carolyn Mahaney's To Teach What Is Good: Wisdom for Women from Titus 2 has become something of a classic, encouraging and edifying countless women. The MP3s and PDF outlines are available for free download at the Sovereign Grace webstore.

The description and links are below:
Here is the updated series from Carolyn's classic messages to women based on Titus 2. Topics include self-control, purity, kindness, having a love for husbands and a tender affection for children, making your home your center of ministry—and more. Carolyn teaches about how these qualities in women glorify God and draw others to the gospel.

"In an unusually compelling series of eight lectures to women, Mrs. Carolyn Mahaney explains the significance of Paul's command to women in Titus 2:3-5 … Wives, mothers, singles, widows—all will benefit from the solid instruction, touching stories, and uncommonly clear and powerful exhortation contained in Wisdom for Women from Titus 2."
—review in the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood's Update, June 2000

Message titles and speakers
Click on a message title to read its description or to download the free MP3.
  1. A Fresh Look at Titus 2
  2. Loving My Husband
  3. Loving My Children
  4. Being Self-Controlled
  5. Being Pure
  6. Being Busy At Home
  7. Being Kind/Doing Good
  8. Being Subject to My Husband

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Sermon Outline: “Deviation from the Gospel”

Galatians 2:11-13

1) The Clash (Galatians 2:11)

Proverbs 15:31-32

Proverbs 17:10

Proverbs 13:18

Matthew 18:15-22

2) The Cause (Galatians 2:12)

Mark 7:18-19

Romans 14:20-23

Proverbs 29:25

3) The Consequence (Galatians 2:13)

1 Timothy 5:19-20

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Not the best Bible summary: "The Bible in Five Minutes"

Meditation Part 2

meditation_part_2

Mark Driscoll concludes is brief overview on meditation.

Practically, there are some steps that can be helpful for Christian meditation:

1. Pray for the Holy Spirit to teach you Scripture, convict you of sin, and give you a heart to lovingly obey Jesus.
2. Memorize a word, verse, phrase, chapter, or scene of Scripture that bites you.
3. Write it out in your own words, seeking to grasp the full meaning of what is said.
4. Ask yourself what is revealed about God.
5. Repent of any sin that the Holy Spirit convicts you of.
6. Pray for anyone or anything that the Holy Spirit brings to mind.
7. Determine what God would have you to do in obedience to His Word.

Summary

Meditation is not complicated or mysterious. It can be done anywhere at any time by anyone with a heart to know God better and become more like Jesus. The result is that God the Holy Spirit will honor our time and make the written Word become for us a living Word that transforms our hearts, minds, and lives.

An "Apologetics" conference that is needed

Ingrid Schlueter @ http://www.sliceoflaodicea.com has been reflecting in light of an apologetics conference at Southern Evangelical Seminary. He notes that Christians are largely lampooned today, not because of Jesus Christ, but because of the garbage done in His name.

In thinking about a new conference he notes:

maybe they shouldn’t call this a National Apologetics Conference. I think it should be called a National Apology Conference. They could line up Christian “leaders” and lay people who could spend hours apologizing:

1. We’re sorry for treating Jesus Christ as a life-enhancement product.

2. We’re sorry for funding and listening to crooks and liars on TV and sending them money.

3. We’re sorry for attending churches where live motorcycle stunts are performed onstage.

4. We’re sorry for having 3rd rate ethics while claiming to follow Christ.

5. We’re sorry that neighbors had to call the police because our church sound system blew out their windows.

6. We’re sorry for supporting a deranged “evangelist” who kicks people in the stomach to cure their cancer.

7. We’re sorry for wearing/selling/buying stupid T-shirts that blaspheme God and thinking that would impress non-Christians.

8. We’re sorry for spending billions of dollars on music downloads and CD’s of our favorite Christian pop stars and funding their demise.

9. We’re sorry for blowing off Sola Scriptura and returning to medieval mysticism.

10. We’re sorry for buying books from heretical wolves like Brian McLaren who deny hell, the substitutionary atonement and the Second Coming.

11. We’re sorry for adopting hindu worship practices as a Christian means of encountering God.

12. We’re sorry for buying trash like The Shack that redefines the Trinity and introduces goddess theology to evangelicals.

13. We’re sorry for following the Rupert Murdoch-sponsored Pied Piper into his latest church campaign because we refuse to think biblically.

You get the idea. Maybe the National Apology Conference idea will catch on. I won’t hold my breath.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Heaven, Hell, Sin... This Is What The Bible Says


From "Way Of The Master" Season 3
Heaven, Hell, Sin... This Is What The Bible Says... James White, James Kennedy, Ravi Zacharias

Meditation-Part 1

meditation_part_1

Mark Driscoll @ http://theresurgence.com provides a helpful overview of Christian meditation. He notes:

Christian meditation differs greatly from non-Christian forms of meditation practiced in Eastern religions. Christian meditation is not passively emptying one’s mind, looking inward for guidance, or detaching oneself from the world. Christian meditation is actively filling one’s mind with Scripture to hear from God and subsequently being transformed by God to effectively serve Him in the world.

He notes passages in the Psalms:

Psalm 1:1–4 Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.
Psalm 19:14 May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.
Psalm 77:11–12 I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago. I will meditate on all your works and consider all your mighty deeds.
Psalm 119:97 Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long.
Psalm 119:99 I have more insight than all my teachers, for I meditate on your statutes.

From the New Testament:

Philippians 4:8: “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”

Luke 2:19 “Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart”

In short:

Christian meditation is prolonged, focused, thoughtful, and prayerful deep thinking on the truths of who God is and what God has said and done according to Scripture. Past church leaders have simply called this meditation Scripturanum, or “meditating upon Scripture.”


Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Sharia Law in U.K.

From www.timesonline.co.uk:

Islamic law has been officially adopted in Britain, with sharia courts given powers to rule on Muslim civil cases.

The government has quietly sanctioned the powers for sharia judges to rule on cases ranging from divorce and financial disputes to those involving domestic violence.

Rulings issued by a network of five sharia courts are enforceable with the full power of the judicial system, through the county courts or High Court.

Previously, the rulings of sharia courts in Britain could not be enforced, and depended on voluntary compliance among Muslims.

God’s High Call for Women

From the Grace Church elders’ distinctive on “The Role of Women.”

God's High Calling for WomenAlthough women have traditionally fulfilled supportive roles in serving the church and gained their greatest joy and sense of accomplishment from being wives and mothers, the feminist movement has successfully influenced many women to abandon these divinely ordained roles.

Unfortunately, this movement has made headway even in the church, creating chaos and confusion regarding the role of women both in ministry and in the home. Only in Scripture can God’s intended design for women be found.

The Old Testament and Women

In the creation account of Genesis 1, God’s first word on the subject of men and women is that they were equally created in the image of God (v. 27). Neither received more of the image of God than the other. So the Bible begins with the equality of the sexes. As persons, as spiritual beings standing before God, men and women are absolutely equal.

In Genesis 2, there is a more detailed account of the creation of the two equal human beings that reveals differences in their God-given functions and responsibilities. God did not create the man and the woman at the same time, but rather He created Adam first and Eve later for the specific purpose of being Adam’s helper. Eve was equal to Adam, but she was given the role and duty of submitting to him. Although the word “helper” carries very positive connotations — even being used of God Himself as the helper of Israel (Deut. 33:7; Ps. 33:20) — it still describes someone in a relationship of service to another. The responsibility of wives to submit to their husbands, then, was part of the plan from creation, even before the curse. The first books of the Bible establish both the equality of men and women and also the support role of the wife (see Exod. 21:15, 17, 28–31; Num. 5:19–20, 29; 6:2; 30:1–16).

Throughout the Old Testament, women were active in the religious life of Israel, but generally they were not leaders. Women like Deborah (Judges 4) were clearly the exception and not the rule. There was no woman with an ongoing prophetic ministry. No woman was a priest. No queen ever ruled Israel. No woman wrote an Old Testament (or New Testament) book. Isaiah 3:12 indicates that God allowed women to rule as part of His judgment on the sinning nation.

Jesus and Women

In the midst of the Greek, Roman, and Jewish cultures, which viewed women almost on the level of possessions, Jesus showed love and respect for women. Though Jewish rabbis did not teach women and the Jewish Talmud said it was better to burn the Torah than to teach it to a woman, Jesus never took the position that women, by their very nature, could not understand spiritual or theological truth. He not only included them in His audiences but also used illustrations and images that would be familiar to them (Matt. 13:33; 22:1–2; 24:41; Luke 15:8–10) and specifically applied His teaching to them (Matt. 10:34ff.). To the Samaritan woman at the well (John 4), He revealed that He was the Messiah and discussed with her topics such as eternal life and the nature of true worship. He also taught Mary and, when admonished by Martha, pointed out the priority of learning spiritual truth even over “womanly” responsibilities like serving guests in one’s home (Luke 10:38).

Although men in Jesus’ day normally would not allow women to count change into their hands for fear of physical contact, Jesus touched women to heal them and allowed women to touch Him (Luke 13:10ff.; Mark 5:25ff.). Jesus even allowed a small group of women to travel with Him and His disciples (Luke 8:1–3), an unprecedented happening at that time. After His resurrection, Jesus appeared first to Mary Magdalene and sent her to announce His resurrection to the disciples (John 20:1–18), despite the fact that women were not allowed to be witnesses in Jewish courts because they were considered liars.

In Jesus’ treatment of women, He raised their station of life and He showed them compassion and respect in a way they had never known. This demonstrated their equality. At the same time, however, Jesus still did not exalt women to a place of leadership over men.

The Epistles and Women

In the Epistles, the two principles of equality and submission for women exist side by side. Galatians 3:28 points to the equality, indicating that the way of salvation is the same for both men and women and that they are members of equal standing in the body of Christ. It does not, however, eradicate all differences in responsibilities for men and women, for this passage does not cover every aspect of God’s design for male and female. In addition, there are many other passages that make distinctions between what God desires of men and what He desires of women, especially within family and within the church.

The Family

While Christian marriage is to involve mutual love and submission between two believers (Eph. 5:21), four passages in the New Testament expressly give to wives the responsibility to submit to their husbands (Eph. 5:22; Col. 3:18; Titus 2:5; 1 Pet. 3:1). This voluntary submission of one equal to another is an expression of love for God and a desire to follow His design as revealed in His Word. It is never pictured as demeaning or in any way diminishing the wife’s equality. Rather the husband is called to love his wife sacrificially as Christ loved the church (Eph. 5:25) and to serve as the leader in a relationship of two equals.

While husbands and fathers have been given the primary responsibility for the leadership of their children (Eph. 6:4; Col. 3:21; 1 Tim. 3:4–5), wives and mothers are urged to be “workers at home” (Titus 2:5), meaning managers of the household. Their home and their children are to be their priority, in contrast to the world’s emphasis today on careers and fulltime jobs for women outside the home.

The Church

From the very beginning, women fulfilled a vital role in the Christian church (Acts 1:12–14; 9:36–42; 16:13–15; 17:1–4, 10–12; 18:1–2, 18, 24–28; Rom. 16; 1 Cor. 16:19; 2 Tim. 1:5; 4:19), but not one of leadership. The apostles were all men; the chief missionary activity was done by men; the writing of the New Testament was the work of men; and leadership in the churches was entrusted to men.

Although the Apostle Paul respected women and worked side by side with them for the furtherance of the gospel (Rom. 16; Phil. 4:3), he appointed no female elders or pastors. In his letters, he urged that men were to be the leaders in the church and that women were not to teach or exercise authority over men (1 Tim. 2:12). Therefore, although women are spiritual equals with men and the ministry of women is essential to the body of Christ, women are excluded from leadership over men in the church.

Men and women stand as equals before God, both bearing the image of God Himself. However, without making one inferior to the other, God calls upon both men and women to fulfill the roles and responsibilities specifically designed for them, a pattern that can be seen even in the Godhead (1 Cor. 11:3). In fulfilling the divinely given roles taught in the New Testament, women are able to realize their full potential because they are following the plan of their own Creator and Designer. Only in obedience to Him and His design will women truly be able, in the fullest sense, to give glory to God.

Feminine By Design - The Twelve Pillars of Biblical Womanhood

Puritan Fellowship has a book review of Feminine By Design - The Twelve Pillars of Biblical Womanhood by Scott T. Brown.

They summarize:
Written in plain and easy to understand language it is a thought provoking book that communicates Biblical truths which have long been abandoned by much of the professing church which has instead chosen to embrace feminism.

In each chapter (which could also be used for a daily devotion or woman's group), Scott Brown explores a key Bible passage in the area of the Biblical Womanhood.

1. An Image Bearer. Genesis 1:26-27.

2. A Woman Not a Man. Genesis 2:21-23.

3. A Disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ. Deuteronomy 6:7.

4. A Member of the Church. Acts 2:39.

5. A Demonstration of Unfading Beauty. 1 Peter 3:3-4.

6. A Helpmeet. Genesis 2:18.

7. A Trustful and Submissive Wife. Ephesians 5:22-24.

8. A Keeper At Home. Titus 2:5.

9. A Domestic Entrepreneur. Proverbs 31:10-31.

10. A Fruitful Bearer of Children. Genesis 1:27-28.

11. A Teacher of the Next Generation. Ephesians 6:1-4.

12. A Godly Mentor. Titus 2:3-5.

Purchase Feminine By Design - The Twelve Pillars of Biblical Womanhood by Scott T. Brown for just $10 HERE.

The "Therapeutic Gospel"

Boundless has two articles on the "Therapeutic Gospel" by David Powlison:


The Therapeutic Gospel: Part 1
In this new gospel, the great evils to be redressed do not call for any fundamental change of direction in the human heart. Instead, my deepest problems are merely limited to what has happened to me.




The Therapeutic Gospel: Part 2
God gives good gifts. But he also gives the best gift, the inexpressible Gift of gifts.

How to Outline a Book of the Bible

James Grant provides a helpful, basic method on The Literary Structure of 1 and 2 Thessalonians:

Step 1: First Reading

Read the letter for your first impressions. Answer some of the following questions:

  1. What is the general tone or atmosphere of the letter?
  2. What are Paul’s purposes for writing the letter? Does he seem to have one over-riding purpose in writing?
  3. What are you personal impressions of the book? Which parts or topics interest you the most?

Step 2: Second Reading

The Greek text of 1 Thessalonians consists of 18 paragraphs (thought units) that together merge to communicate Paul’s message. Read each paragraph and then assign a title to each (a paragraph title is a summary in your own words of the central idea in the paragraph). The paragraphs are: 1:1; 1:2-10; 2:1-12; 2:13-16; 2:17-20; 3:1-5; 3:6-10; 3:11-13; 4:1-2; 4:3-8; 4:9-12; 4:13-18; 5:1-11; 5:12-22; 5:23-24; 5:25; 5:26-27; 5:28.

Step 3: Outline the Book

Go through the letter again (in comparison with your paragraph titles) and see if you can find any paragraphs that are of similar content. Construct a master outline of 1 Thessalonians based on your study thus far.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Sermon Outline: “Affirmed in the Gospel”

Galatians 2:1-10


1) Paul’s Coming (Galatians 2:1–2)

Acts 15:1-7 ,10-11, 12

Philippians 2:16

2) Paul’s Companion (Galatians 2:3–5)

Acts 15:13-14

Romans 6:18

3) Paul’s Commission (Galatians 2:6–8)

Acts 15:22-29

2 Peter 3:15-16

4) Paul’s Commendation (Galatians 2:9-10)