Explosion, radical, risky, insane … Where are the ordinary Christians? One of the problems I have is to join the latest craze without thinking it through. Why does Biblical evangelism have to involve an explosion? Why does Biblical faith have to be radical? Why do I have to risk as a Christian? Why does God’s gracious, saving sovereignty have to be insane?
I think these words, and many like them, appeal to the worldliness of Christians. A Christian is not exploding with evangelism, radically obeying by faith, etc. A Christian is obeying the Bible and therefore pleasing God. Continue reading
I enjoy Christian music, especially when it focuses on worship. But recently one song has been grating on me, Kutless‘ “What faith can do.” I’ve expressed my reasons to my wife who shared them with some of her students. All said, it’s time to write down those reasons and explain a little more.
The lyrics of the song are clear and straight forward. The tune is kind of catchy, depending on your tastes. But the important thing is the message. Most Christians get their theology (their knowledge/understanding of who God is) from the music they listen to. As I encourage my readers to do often with my own work I’m hopeful Kutless would join me in encouraging you to read your Bible and apply what you learn about God to your music instead of the other way around (Acts 17:11). Continue reading
“Lengthening the Cords and Strengthening the Stakes: Renewing and Planting Local Churches” was the 2008 National Founders Conference title.
As their logo says, Founders is committed to Historic Baptist Principles. During their conferences they highlight those priniciples with solid biblical teaching. That proves true again in this conference. As I listened to it I kept thinking of people that I wanted to give it to.
There are nine parts to the conference. There is slightly more emphasis on church planting than church renewal/reform. Most of the presentations are exceptional. As with any conference, there are a few things that over extend themselves enough to be questionable. But as with any good conference. The encouragement, instruction and direction far outweigh what might be questionable.
Ed Stetzer gives the two main addresses, Lengthening the Cords and Strengthening the Stakes. He arrouses the need for church planting, especially among those who can propagate sound teaching. Although his sections are the ones I tended to think streched Scripture too far, He still proves that much more focus on church planting is needed in churches today.
Voddie Baucham focuses on Building a Solid Doctrinal Foundation. As much as we can separate the church planting section of this conference from the church reform part, Baucham’s lecture is heart of the church planting section.
Andy Davis’ and Don Whitney’s presentations are the highlights of the conference. They give practical, insightful, experiential application of God’s word. They focus on the reform of the church which easily translates into new church planting as well. These three messages are the reason I recommend this conference so highly.
Audio for “Lengthening the Cords and Strengthening the Stakes: Renewing and Planting Local Churches” is on the 2008 National Founders Conference title webpage.
I downloaded this series about two months ago. It is overwhelming to listen to almost 2 years of teaching in 2 months. John Piper does an exceptional job in Hebrews (as elsewhere).
The teaching is different than a word-by-word study. Piper takes the text in sections and draws out the overall teaching. It it not a series to answer every question you have about the book of Hebrews, through he does answer many (especially the hard ones). Instead, Piper acts as a pastor desiring to take his church through Hebrews, highlight the driving force of the book and encourage his congregation to read and study the book too.
The best parts, or the ones I remember most vividly, are chapter 6 (the difficult section), chapter 10′s section on the church and small groups, chapter 12′s discipline by God and chapter 13′s need to go outside the camp.
I would encourage you to listen to this series to take a mature look at some of the great themes of Scripture.