Tuesday, September 30, 2008

ABC World News Tonight at Southern Seminary

ABC's World News Tonight broadcast a segment from Southern Seminary trying to understand the issue of why many conservative Christians think it is ok for a woman to be president of the United States while also thinking it would be sinful for a woman to be a pastor of a church.

The segment is available here.

World News Tonight doesn't quite know what to think or say to a complementarian understanding of gender. It's not patriarchy, its not egalitarianism, its not feminist, they simply do not have a category for it.

Albert Mohler was interviewed in this segment, his thoughts about the segment are posted at albertmohler.com

Monday, September 29, 2008

Faith Baptist Church 2008 Men's Conference

I am very excited to announce our Men's conference this year. Our Church will be holding the conference on October 25th 2008 and our speaker will be Donald Whitney.

Two Books by Donald Whitney have had a huge impact on my life. First, book that impacted me was his Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life, I find my self going over this book again and again helping me maintain spiritual health in my life. Secondly, Donald Whitney's little booklet on Family Worship also caused me to take seriously the call to lead our family in devotion and worship together.

I am hoping I will be able to take Professor Whitney's class on spiritual disciplines during the upcoming J-term at Southern Seminary.
The topic of the conference is "Responding Biblically to the Increasing Pace and Complexity of Life" This topic is based off of Donald Whitney's book Simplify Your Spiritual Life. I hope that God really blesses the men of our church through this conference.
Dr. Whitney has a very helpful website here

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Family Worship

In response to my post on discipline a few weeks ago Brynn asked good questions about what we do in our family devotion or family worship time. I thought that this being such an important and so often neglected subject, I should treat it in a few posts.

First, I must confess and have already confessed here that I am not the greatest model of faithfulness in leading my family in worship or devotions (praise God that he is rich in mercy). I am a Youth Pastor which means that our schedule is often hectic and our children routinely stay up way past their bedtimes because of my job and church related activities.

That said, this is no excuse for not having a regular family devotion/worship time. I should never want to miss the opportunity to bless my children, my wife, and myself through reading the Bible, singing praises to God, and praying for the Holy Spirit's work in our lives.

Here are some practical tips I have learned in starting and maintaining regular family devotions/worship in our home.

KEEP IT SIMPLE! KEEP IT SIMPLE! KEEP IT SIMPLE! Did I mention KEEP IT SIMPLE (read, sing, pray). This is the most important rule to remember. We don't need to do more than these simple elements.

-Keep it age appropriate (don't read the KJV if you have small children find an age
appropriate Bible)

- Be filled with joy as you minister to your family

- Have a set time to do it (right after dinner, before bed, after breakfast what ever will work
best for your family is the right time)

- Involve each person in the family (our children lead the singing)

-Seek out a person in your church to hold you accountable for doing family worship
-In the immortal words of those NIKE commercials "Just Do It"

I am putting in a side-bar for resources on family worship and I will cover the resources we use in a future post.

Monday, September 22, 2008

2008 Reading List

Part of the reason I decided to start blogging had to do with my 2008 reading goals. I thought blogging might provide some accountability and incentive. I found myself with shelves full of books that I wanted to read but never did. As a youth pastor there always seems to be something more important to read.

At the start of 2008 I compiled a list of books I wanted to read this year. I have added more than a few to my 2008 list and I have yet to remove any. I still have a little over three months to go. I doubt that I will make it all the way through my list. However, the benefits have been enormous. I have been far more disciplined in my reading.

Through my reading God has blessed me as I have wept my way through sections of books and was challenged by others, I have been encouraged, and convicted of sin, I have made new friends, and carried on conversations with some of the godliest men in church history. Above all, I find myself loving Christ more now than I did nine months ago. Thank you God for books.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

John Piper on the Gospel

John Piper answers the question what is the gospel.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Biblical Theology Resources

Just stumbled across a great website devoted to the subject of Biblical Theology. Check it out Beginning with Moses

Monday, September 15, 2008

What is the Gospel?

As The United States drifts into post-Christian spirituality Christians must stop assuming the gospel. Many contemporary prophets have sounded the alarm but the mainstream Evangelical churches in the U.S. has not responded. In a recent interview OS Guinness made the point that many American churches have so adopted worldly practices for structure and leadership that the Holy Spirit could leave the church and the church could continue on for another 50 years or so and no one would know that he left.

We have moved our focus from the transcendent God and the Work of the Spirit through the gospel and put our focus programs and buildings. The Holy Spirit and the gospel can be removed from a church while the church continues on with its programs and building projects. Gospel-less, Spiritless churches send people to hell while assuring them of heaven.

That is why we can never assume the gospel. We must always revisit God's plan of redemption. It must form the base and ground of all that we do. Churches, pastors, elders, deacons, songs, curriculum, books and church budgets, all must be evaluated according to the gospel. But to do this we must know what the gospel is.

Here is Mark Dever explaining the gospel. I hope to add videos along these lines. I took this off The Gospel Coalition website.

For more on the dangers of assuming the gospel, my pastor Bob Buchanan has written an excellent post on his blog here