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

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Themelios Returns

I just discovered today that my favorite Theological Journal is back in print (sort of.) I recieved a note last January telling me that Themelios would no longer be published. However, the good men over at The Gospel Coalition have decided to keep the journal even retaining the same layout and format. It is no longer a print journal but can now be found digitally at The Gospel Coalition website in three formats ipaper, HTML, and PDF download.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


About three weeks ago Shaunna (my uber awesome wife) and I noticed, that our children were not listening well, were very disrespectful and generally disobedient. I was getting tired of the constant discipline.

We started to brainstorm how we could parent more effectively when we needed to discipline . Both of us were very frustrated and during our brainstorm because the best we could come up with was harder spankings (now there is some creative parenting.) I left to go to the store and it dawned on me. We had not done family devotions in over two months. Because none of my children read yet our family devotions are their primary intake of the Scriptures.

I know in my own life that there is a direct correlation between the time I spend with God in the Word and prayer and my ability to resist and flee temptation. Of course this is true of our children as well. I was reminded that discipline has two sides. Discipline doesn't just seek to punish or correct sin but also must encourage us to follow, honor, and glorify God.

Discipline should always have as its goal discipleship and I was not thinking in terms of discipleship but behavior control. My goal as a parent must always be growth in God and I should never be content to merely curb sin. As a father I failed my children in the area of discipline and therefore failed also in discipleship.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Crazy Weekend

I have just had the most insane weekend. On Saturday I went to a John McCain Sarah Palin rally in Colorado Springs. This was my first time at a political event and I have to say I was not impressed. For starters all of those home-made signs, well. . . they are not so home-made. Volunteers make them up ahead of time and then they pass them out. I guess every political move has to be calculated and the campaign wants to control the message down to the last detail.

I realized something else while I was at the rally. I care deeply about political issues: the war, whether its wise to nationalize health care, how we can become less dependent on foreign energy. However, I could not care less about the games politicians have to play to get elected.

On the bright side we had VIP tickets and were seated about 20 yards from the stage. We went with good friends so we had a good time. The coolest people at the rally were the secret service men and women. I think I want to be one when I grow up.

(Both Pictures were taken by Kirk Speer for the Colorado Springs Gazette and were found here)

Friday, September 05, 2008

More on a Theology of Adoption

John Piper always pushes everything to its ultimate cause. So here is a very thoughtful explanation of why Christians should adopt and support adoption.

Why is it Ok for Women to Lead a Nation but not a Church?

Albert Mohler weighs in here regarding Sarah Palin and the gender issue. There are certainly going to be some Hyper-Patriarchal Christians who would have a problem with Palin Serving as VP of the United States. But does her nomination necessitate a revision of a complementarian understanding of the scriptures?

Dr. Mohler further highlights an even more fundamental issue at stake in this debate and that is the distinction between the church and the world. Should the church be a mirror of the world? Because Women can lead a country should they therefore be ordained as ministers and elders in our churches?

This cuts to the heart of debates that have been raging for years over the ordination of women. The question for complementarians is not whether women have abilities and gifts of leadership (many have excellent leadership gifts). The question we ask is, "who has God given the responsibility of leadership in the church?"

Even as we answer the question that God has given men the responsibility alone to serve as ministers and elders in the church. We recognize that God has not entirely excluded women from bearing leadership responsibility in the church. Titus 2 makes clear that women are to teach and lead other women. Further, the reality that Scripture presents, limits the role of women in so far as they are excluded from being elders. However, Scripture no where condemns women for leading in secular vocations.

I hope that the Palin nomination causes conservative Christians to think very carefully about the roles of men and women both in the church and in the world.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Sarah Palin and Complementarianism

The Counsel on Biblical Manhood & Womanhood has just published a short article about how Christian complementarians should view the nomination of Sarah Palin for Vice President.

Cultic Dangers

In an article posted at Reformation 21 Carl Trueman exposes the Danger of the Personality Cult. The title of Dr. Trueman's article is The Day They Tried to Recruit Me to the Most Dangerous Cult in the World!

In his article Dr. Trueman addresses the problem and dangers of seminary students who are drawn to the personalities of their professors. However, I do not think the issue of the personality cult is limited to seminaries. In general we all are as Calvin said idol factories and we will even turn good men into idols. Even worse is our tendency and desire to be worshipped ourselves. As pastors we are prone to the ego stroking that personality cults bring. (After all, its nice to have at least a few people who listen to what we say.) We need the words of John the Baptist "He must increase, but I must decrease" John 3:30

I would encourage all to read the article

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Adoption and the Gospel

Could there be a clearer representation of the gospel in the sphere of human relationships than adopting a child? It seems to me that adoption is a good picture of the result of the Gospel. Because of Christ's atoning work on the cross, we become children of God and co-heirs with Christ (see Romans 8:15-17). How might Christians have relationships that preach Christ? One answer would be to adopt children.

This is a video of Russell Moore, Senior Vice President for Academic Administration; Dean of the School of Theology; Associate Professor of Christian Theology and Ethics (2001) at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, explaining briefly how his theology helped him in adopting his own children.