Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Gospel


We murdered the beloved Son, Jesus Christ. His blood is on our hands. And the gospel, the good news, is that then the Father looks at us and says, "If you will take that kind offer from my Son, I'll adopt you into my family called the church. I'll give you my name, the family name of Christian. And I'll call you my beloved son as well."

This clip is taken from the sermon "The Father of a Murdered Son," preached by Pastor Mark Driscoll at the Mars Hill Church Ballard campus in Seattle, Washington, on July 10, 2011. It is the 82nd sermon in our sermon series on the Gospel of Luke.

To watch the full sermon, visit http://www.marshillchurch.org/media/luke/the-father-of-a-murdered-son

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Yes, Use Words When You Preach the Gospel


"Preach the gospel, and when necessary use words"? No. Use words. Jesus commands us to tell everyone about him, because everyone needs to know him.

This clip is from the sermon "Kiss the Feet," preached by Pastor Mark Driscoll at Mars Hill Church Ballard in Seattle, Washington on November 20, 2011. This is the 100th and final sermon in our sermon series on the Gospel of Luke.

To watch the full sermon, visit:
http://marshill.com/media/luke/kiss-the-feet

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Sermon Outline: "The Blessed Hope": Titus 2:11-14




1) Salvation From the Penalty of Sin (Titus 2:11),
  • 2 Timothy 1:8-10  

  • John 3:14-20  

2) Salvation From the Power of Sin (Titus 2:12)
  • 1 John 3:7-10

3) Salvation From the Presence of Sin (Titus 2:13)
  • 2 Timothy 4:1-8 

4) Salvation From Possession by Sin (Titus 2:14)
  • 1 Peter 2:9 
  • Romans 6:17-22   

Friday, November 25, 2011

Thursday, November 24, 2011

How Do We Detect Design in Nature? With Wiliam Dembski

Special Guest William A. Dembski answers the question "How do we detect design in nature?"

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Why can I trust the Bible? With Frank Turek

Special Guest Dr. Frank Turek brings a quick and concise answer to the question "Why can I trust the Bible?"

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Book Review: "The Road to Missional: Journey to the Center of the Church" by Michael Frost

The need for this work is summed up well in the introduction by Alan Hisrsh: He sees a disturbing trend where "the term missional is now being appropriated at a massive rate. But so very often this is being done without the foggiest idea of what it actually means and the impact that it should have on our thinking and practices" (p.11). "When everything becomes missional, then nothing becomes missional. This book speaks directly into that situation" (p.12).

Michael Frost sees his task as "an attempt to reclaim the word 'missional' from the grips of conventional churches bent on finding a new buzzword to meet the annual fixation for something new and 'relevant'".

He spends a great deal of time describing what a missional Church is and his not. A missional church then, is a church that realises this Missio Dei and has a "wholesale and thorough reorientation of the church around mission" (p16). “Mission is both the announcement and the demonstration of the reign of God through Christ. "It is our automatic response to God's reign and rule, proven through Christ, revealed through the Spirit. Therefore, any collective of believers set free from the disorder of this present age, who offer themselves in service of the mission of their God to alert people to the new unfolding order of things, can rightly be called a missional church." (38)

To contrast, he makes it clear that mission is not primarily concerned with church growth. It is primarily concerned with the reign and rule of the Triune God. If the church grows as a result, so be it.” (p24). It "is not about evangelism, It is not about sending, but being sent. Missional is like slow cooking, where disciples incarnate deeply within the communities they are in or called to be in. No quick fix. No rush to pile up numbers of conversions. No snappy 'four spiritual laws.' " (46). 

Since he recognizes that God reigns and rules through Christ, whatever you do that alerts people to the fact of the rule of God, is missional. The strength and problem with many of these contrasts is that there is a lot of room for action. While he affirms this action by both ‘announcement and demonstration’ (p35) almost all the focus and the examples are on ‘demonstration’. It would be best to look elsewhere for much of the "announcement" or content of the message.  Although Frost quotes quite extensively from various missional authors, his treatment of the Scriptural message of the "announcement" is infrequent. You need to go though twenty-five pages before the first text is cited. Interesting  Biblical treatment such as "The Cross as Metaphor/Paradigm" (p. 90ff) are few and far between. Taking concepts like the incarnation by quoting The Message that "The Word became flesh and blood and moved into the neighbourhood" (Jn. 1:14) is so offensive, that his argument for moving into the neighbourhood (proximity) (p. 123) is undermined.

The missional approach often seems to be living out a "lordship" of Christ's self-sacrificial life, but it is often not careful in what it advocates. One, for example sees a renewal of "monastic practices-confession, repentance, Bible reading, prayer..." (p.79). Calling these spiritual disciplines "monastic" contradicts a missional connection with the community. Likewise, the trend to define one's self on what you don't do (don't drink/smoke/gamble/hang out with people who do) sounds more like old school "fundamentalism" than "pietism". Yet, I would agree with Frost that this kind of spirituality "outsources the need to do the daily work of keeping in step with the Spirit of the God" (p.85). Again a good point is made with a poor choice of terms: "Church people worry that the world might change the church, Kingdom people work to see the church change the world" (p.103). Perhaps using a term like "religious" would have been preferable for Christ came to establish a "church", or called out people for Himself to be agents of His Kingdom.

There seems to be a very "grass roots" feeling to the work of mission. Things like structure, leadership, doctrinal standards and accountably are woefully lacking. Seeing congregations "led by humble men and women" (p.79) perhaps even hints at the author's desire for "egalitarian" leadership.

I found myself laughing in chapter four on "triumphant Humiliation" in the description of false persecution that some feel: "Maybe when your neighbor ignores you, it's not because he hates the light of the Lord that shins from you. Maybe he just thinks you're a jerk. Maybe we get most of the rejection we do because, well, we deserve it" (p.83). This is a much needed wake up call for contemporary Christianity.

Frost missed a great opportunity to take his Christocentric Kingdom model in dealing with the topic of peace in chapter five. His treatment of reconciliation, justice and beauty only finds meaning through the cross. Understanding how the work of Christ enables reconciliation, justice and beauty truly informs these concepts. His treatment on "beauty" is so weak, that it is essentially without meaning. Yet, he did give biblical elements of reconciliation and justice. The contemporary facts for these things provides a useful link of doctrine and need.

Frost' conclusion wisely sums up his point. The main point in "The Road to Missional" is simply this: "becoming missional is not about making congregations more appealing for a new generation; rather, becoming missional is about equipping and releasing people to be the church in their neighborhoods, regardless of what style of worship they prefer of the size of the congregation. Becoming missional is all about tapping into the missio Dei in order to be a foretaste of the reign of God in Christ. This is rooted in the cross and God's shalom. And do, becoming missional is not simply a matter of language or programming ' it is a never ending process and a 'calls it followers to the disciplines of sacrifice, service, love, and grace; and a mission that delights in beauty, flavor, joy, and friendship" (146).

Yet, it does no good to try to do the "mission" of Christ and not proclaim His words while doing do. Our message may counteract our methods. This work is helpful in suggesting ways to live out the message of Christ. Yet, I fear we may quickly forget and get side-tracked if we do not continue to learn about the person and words of Christ in order to check our actions to His mission.

Rating: 2.5 stars of 5.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Baker Books (Oct 1 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801014077
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801014079
  • Product Dimensions: 22.6 x 15.2 x 1.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 227 g
"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Baker Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

How Do We Deal with Doubts? With Mike Licona

Special Guest Dr. Mike Licona returns and answers the question "How does a Christian Deal with Doubts?"

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Sermon Outline: "Called But Not Chosen": Matthew 22:1-14

1) The Invitation Rejected (Matthew 22:1–6)

  • Deuteronomy 7:6-11  
2) The Rejecters Punished (Matthew 22:7–8)

  • Isaiah 44:28-45:7
3) The New Guest Invited (Matthew 22:9–10)

  • Romans 9:25-26  
4) The Intruder Expelled (Matthew 22:11–14)

  • Isaiah 61:10-11

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Should Christians Be Surprised by Suffering? With Dr. Gary Habermas

From the National Conference for Christian Apologetics and interview Dr. Gary Habermas. The question for this episode is "Should Christians be surprised by suffering?"

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

What is the Fine-Tuning Argument for the Existence of God? (William Lane Craig)

http://reasonablefaith.org - The fine tuning argument is simply summarized in this new episode by guest Dr. William Lane Craig.

Grab a copy of Dr. Craig's new book "On Guard" to learn more about this and other arguments on how to defend your faith with reason and precision.

Recommended Book: http://www.amazon.com/Guard-Defending-Faith-Reason-Precision/dp/1434764885

One Minute Apologist Interview with William Lane Craig (playlist):
http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL4BA3DD694EE87E80

Related:
More on the Fine-tuning argument here: http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=9A91B68D2FB071C1

Monday, November 14, 2011

Leibniz's Argument for the Existence of God? (William Lane Craig)

http://reasonablefaith.org - Special Guest Dr. William Lane Craig returns with an explanation of Leibniz's argument for the existence of God.

Grab a copy of Dr. Craig's new book "On Guard" to learn more about this and other arguments on how to defend your faith with reason and precision.

Recommended Book: http://www.amazon.com/Guard-Defending-Faith-Reason-Precision/dp/1434764885

One Minute Apologist Interview with William Lane Craig (playlist):
http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL4BA3DD694EE87E80

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Sermon Outline: "Victorious in Christ": Revelation 2:1-7

International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church
video




1) The Church (Revelation 2:1)

  • Acts 19:11-19
2) The Commendation (Revelation 2:2–3, 6)

  • Acts 20:28-31

  • Galatians 6:1-10 

3) The Concern (Revelation 2:4)

  • 2 John 1:1-8

4) The Command (Revelation 2:5)

  • Mark 4:21-25
5) The Counsel (Revelation 2:7)

  • 1 John 5:4-5  

Friday, November 11, 2011

Remembrance Day 2011: Canada Remembers


This November, Canadians from coast to coast to coast will come together to mark Veterans' Week.

At hundreds of ceremonies and events, we will remember and recognize the sacrifices and accomplishments of our veterans those of past missions and conflicts, and those who are still returning home today.

So, how will you remember?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

What is the Kalam Cosmological Argument? (William Lane Craig)

http://reasonablefaith.org - Hear special guest Dr. William Lane Craig walk us through the Kalam Cosmological Argument.

Grab a copy of Dr. Craig's new book "On Guard" to learn more about this and other arguments on how to defend your faith with reason and precision.

Recommended Book: http://www.amazon.com/Guard-Defending-Faith-Reason-Precision/dp/1434764885

One Minute Apologist Interview with William Lane Craig (playlist):
http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL4BA3DD694EE87E80

Related:
Defending the Kalam Cosmological Argument:
http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=916E17EE70E98A68

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Argument Ad Hominem ? (William Lane Craig)

http://reasonablefaith.org - Dr. William Lane Craig explains the fallacy of argument "ad hominem".

Grab a copy of Dr. Craig's new book "On Guard" to learn more about this and other arguments on how to defend your faith with reason and precision.

Recommended Book: http://www.amazon.com/Guard-Defending-Faith-Reason-Precision/dp/1434764885

One Minute Apologist Interview with William Lane Craig (playlist):
http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL4BA3DD694EE87E80

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

The Genetic Fallacy (William Lane Craig)


http://reasonablefaith.org - Can you invalidate someone's belief by showing how someone came to hold it? Hear special guest Dr. William Lane Craig explain the genetic fallacy.

Grab a copy of Dr. Craig's new book "On Guard" to learn more about this and other arguments on how to defend your faith with reason and precision.

Recommended Book: http://www.amazon.com/Guard-Defending-Faith-Reason-Precision/dp/1434764885

One Minute Apologist Interview with William Lane Craig (playlist):
http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL4BA3DD694EE87E80

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Sermon Outline: "The Time of God's Favor" Isaiah 49:8-16

1) God's Covenant (Isaiah 49:8-10)

  • 2 Corinthians 6:1-13  

  • Revelation 7:9-17  

2) God's Care (Isaiah 49:11-14)

  • Isaiah 42:10-12
3) God's Compassion (Isaiah 49:15-16)

  • Jeremiah 31:20-24

Friday, November 04, 2011

James Smith - My Friend, I Know Not What Your Trouble May Be

James Smith playlist: http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=096D74E48C1F1243

James Smith was a predecessor of Charles Spurgeon at New Park Street Chapel in London from 1841 until 1850. Early on, Smith's readings were even more popular than Spurgeon's!

From "Daily Bible Readings for the Lord's Household"

The habit of laying up a text of Scripture in the morning, to be meditated upon while engaged in the business of this world through the day—is both profitable and delightful. It is as a refreshing draught to a weary traveler!

James Smith - My friend, I Know Not What Your Trouble May Be

Thursday, November 03, 2011

James Smith - Our Sins Forged the Nails

James Smith playlist: http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=096D74E48C1F1243

Luke 23:33 When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

James Smith was a predecessor of Charles Spurgeon at New Park Street Chapel in London from 1841 until 1850. Early on, Smith's readings were even more popular than Spurgeon's!

From "Daily Bible Readings for the Lord's Household"

The habit of laying up a text of Scripture in the morning, to be meditated upon while engaged in the business of this world through the day—is both profitable and delightful. It is as a refreshing draught to a weary traveler!

James Smith - Our sins Forged the Nails

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

James Smith - Our Great Lesson


James Smith playlist: http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=096D74E48C1F1243

James Smith was a predecessor of Charles Spurgeon at New Park Street Chapel in London from 1841 until 1850. Early on, Smith's readings were even more popular than Spurgeon's!

From "Daily Bible Readings for the Lord's Household"

The habit of laying up a text of Scripture in the morning, to be meditated upon while engaged in the business of this world through the day—is both profitable and delightful. It is as a refreshing draught to a weary traveler!

Psalm 32:8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.

Job 36:22 God is exalted in his power. Who is a teacher like him?

James Smith - Our Great Lesson

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

John Newton - He is my Beloved

John Newton playlist: http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=F44544DEAD10B5D2

John Newton - (1725-1807), Evangelical divine and hymn writer

Newton was born in London July 24, 1725, the son of a commander of a merchant ship which sailed the Mediterranean. When John was eleven, he went to sea with his father and made six voyages with him before the elder Newton retired. In 1744 John was impressed into service on a man-of-war, the H. M. S. Harwich. Finding conditions on board intolerable, he deserted but was soon recaptured and publicly flogged and demoted from midshipman to common seaman.

Although he had had some early religious instruction from his mother, who had died when he was a child, he had long since given up any religious convictions. However, on a homeward voyage, while he was attempting to steer the ship through a violent storm, he experienced what he was to refer to later as his "great deliverance." He recorded in his journal that when all seemed lost and the ship would surely sink, he exclaimed, "Lord, have mercy upon us." Later in his cabin he reflected on what he had said and began to believe that God had addressed him through the storm and that grace had begun to work for him.

For the rest of his life he observed the anniversary of May 10, 1748 as the day of his conversion, a day of humiliation in which he subjected his will to a higher power. "Thro' many dangers, toils and snares, I have already come; 'tis grace has bro't me safe thus far, and grace will lead me home." He continued in the slave trade for a time after his conversion; however, he saw to it that the slaves under his care were treated humanely.

In 1750 he married Mary Catlett, with whom he had been in love for many years. By 1755, after a serious illness, he had given up seafaring forever. During his days as a sailor he had begun to educate himself, teaching himself Latin, among other subjects. From 1755 to 1760 Newton was surveyor of tides at Liverpool, where he came to know George Whitefield, deacon in the Church of England, evangelistic preacher, and leader of the Calvinistic Methodist Church. Newton became Whitefield's enthusiastic disciple. During this period Newton also met and came to admire John Wesley, founder of Methodism. Newton's self-education continued, and he learned Greek and Hebrew.

He decided to become a minister and applied to the Archbishop of York for ordination. The Archbishop refused his request, but Newton persisted in his goal, and he was subsequently ordained by the Bishop of Lincoln and accepted the curacy of Olney, Buckinghamshire. Newton's church became so crowded during services that it had to be enlarged. He preached not only in Olney but in other parts of the country. In 1767 the poet William Cowper settled at Olney, and he and Newton became friends.

Cowper helped Newton with his religious services and on his tours to other places. They held not only a regular weekly church service but also began a series of weekly prayer meetings, for which their goal was to write a new hymn for each one. They collaborated on several editions of Olney Hymns, which achieved lasting popularity. The first edition, published in 1779, contained 68 pieces by Cowper and 280 by Newton.

Among Newton's contributions which are still loved and sung today are "How Sweet the Name of Jesus Sounds" and "Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken," as well as "Amazing Grace." Composed probably between 1760 and 1770 in Olney, "Amazing Grace" was possibly one of the hymns written for a weekly service. The origin of the melody is unknown. Most hymnals attribute it to an early American folk melody. The Bill Moyers special on "Amazing Grace" speculated that it may have originated as the tune of a song the slaves sang.

Newton was not only a prolific hymn writer but also kept extensive journals and wrote many letters. Historians accredit his journals and letters for much of what is known today about the eighteenth century slave trade. In Cardiphonia, or the Utterance of the Heart, a series of devotional letters, he aligned himself with the Evangelical revival, reflecting the sentiments of his friend John Wesley and Methodism.

In 1780 Newton left Olney to become rector of St. Mary Woolnoth, St. Mary Woolchurch, in London. There he drew large congregations and influenced many, among them William Wilberforce, who would one day become a leader in the campaign for the abolition of slavery. Newton continued to preach until the last year of life, although he was blind by that time. He died in London December 21, 1807. Infidel and libertine turned minister in the Church of England, he was secure in his faith that amazing grace would lead him home.

John Newton - He is my Beloved