Monthly Archives: May 2010

Books Recently Completed

I have enjoyed reading all three of these books.  And I highly recommend all of these books for other Christians to read.  I would however note that Memoirs of Ordinary Pastor will be particularly helpful for pastors.  This post is not in any way a book review of these books, but to just give a taste of what lies within these works.

Packer writes on the wisdom of God, “God’s wisdom is not, and never was, pledged to keep a fallen world happy, or to make ungodliness comfortable.  Not even to Christians has he promised a trouble-free life, rather the reverse.  He has other ends in view for life in this world simply to make it easy for everyone.

What is he after, then?  What is his goal?  What does he aim at?  When he made us, his purpose was that we should love and honor him, praising him for the wonderfully ordered complexity and variety of his world, using it according to his will, and so enjoying both it and him.  And though we have fallen, God has not abandoned his first purpose.  Still he plans that a great host of humankind should come to love and honor him.  His ultimate objective is to bring them to a state in which they please him entirely and praise him adequately, a state in which he is all in all to them, and he and they rejoice continually in the knowledge of each other’s love–people rejoicing in the saving love of God, set upon them from all eternity, and God rejoicing in the responsive love of people, drawn out of them by grace through the gospel (pp 91-92).”

Don Carson (son) recalls an interaction with his father, Tom.

“One Saturday we were both weeding a flower bed.  I was in first year of high school, I think, and going through my first poetry-writing phrase.  I wrote for my own amusement but sometimes printed the results in the school newspaper.  Observing the worms as I was hoeing, I thought it would be fun to write a poem in the first person from a worm’s point of view.  I composed it in my head on the spot: a worm appreciating the warmth of the sun, squeezing through particles of dirt, etc.  My last two lines were, ‘I saw the spade flash in the sun: / Woe is me! I am undone.’  I thought it was hilarious and could hardly wait to print it at school.  I interrupted my weeding long enough to recite it proudly to my father.  He kept on weeding, said nothing for a miunte or two, and then quietly asked, ‘Are you quite sure you want to print a poem that applies to a worm the deepest reflections of the prophet Isaiah when he was afforded a vision of the transcendent God in all his glory?’ (p 74)”

Marshall and Payne write, “We will be arguing that structures don’t grow ministry any more than trellises grow vines, and that most churches need to make a conscious shift–away from erecting and maintaining structures, and towards growing people who are disciple-making disciples of Christ…When planning ministry for the year ahead, there are two broad approaches we could adopt.  One is to consider existing church programs (such as Sunday meetings, youth work, children’s ministry and Bible study groups) and then work out how such programs can be maintained and improved.  The other approach is to start with the people in your church, having no particular structures or programs in mind, and then consider who are these people God has given you, how you can help them grow in Christian maturity, and what form their gifts and opportunities might take…In the course of doing so, it may become apparent that some programs no longer serve any worthwhile purpose.  It may also become apparent that a program is no longer viable because the people who once made it work are no longer available.  So the program can be done away with.  This might be painful for those attached to them (it takes guts to shoot a dead horse!), but new ministries will begin to arise as you train members of your congregation to use their various gifts and opportunities (pp 17-18).”

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Posted by on May 18, 2010 in Uncategorized


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Street Preachers Arrested for Preaching the Gospel IN THE USA

First, a Christian street preacher was arrested for preaching the Bible on the streets of England.  Now, two Christian street preachers were arrested in San Antonio for preaching the gospel.

HT: For His Renown

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Posted by on May 14, 2010 in Uncategorized


Steve McKinion on the SBC and the GCR

Here is a sample:

GCR-type SBs see little need for yet another conference on how to grow your church through Sunday School (or Bible study formerly known as SS).  Why are CP dollars, they wonder, supporting local staff who consult with churches when networking is a much more relational, natural, and, it is argued, effective way to brainstorm, inform, and transform.  If these SBs are already building organic networks with other SB churches that help them do the work of the Gospel better, then why give sacrificially to programs and initiatives that have outgrown their usefulness.  Becoming Gospel-driven in their churches has led them to be Gospel-driven in their cooperation.

A movement is afoot among the churches of the convention.  Christians have become consumed by the Gospel and are therefore consumed with the Mission of the Gospel to the nations.  They will no longer support denominational efforts that do not reflect that priority, just as conservative SBs refused to continue to support a denominational bureaucracy that was inconsistent with their view of the Bible.

Check out the rest of the article here.

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Posted by on May 4, 2010 in Uncategorized


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My Great Commission Resurgence Thoughts

The Video above is a panel discussion about the Great Commission Resurgence (GCR) at Southeastern Theological Seminary.  The panel, made up of various GCR members, addresses various concerns that are being made concerning the first draft of the GCR released some weeks ago.

Basically much of the heat centers around a dissolution of contracts between the North American Mission Board (NAMB) and Southern Baptist State Conventions.  NAMB sends back a portion of its Cooperative Program dollars to the State Conventions for various mission endeavors within each state.  So as you can imagine, many of the State Conventions are not high on the GCR.  One only needs to read Baptist Press editorials or state paper articles to see their opinion about the current GCR proposals.

Additionally, in my opinion, the increase of articles in the past three months focused on how young pastors are embracing the Cooperative Program and the increase of articles highlighting CP ministries is no accident.  It seems to paint the picture that those who are aligning themselves with the GCR initiative are not pro-CP.  This is completely false.  I am pro-CP, but this does not mean that the CP does not need to be re-examined and revised when necessary from time to time.

Some will say one-liners like “if it (the CP) has worked well for (fill in the __) number of years then there is no need to change.”  The problem with this is for years states have adjusted the amount of dollars they send to the Southern Baptist Convention.  The CP then has been adjusted in the past, so it is not out of the norm for present day adjustments to be made.

The basic rememdy, I keep hearing from the State Convention side is just give more money.  That is the solution according to many.  Sorry, but this isn’t going to work.  It is not compelling enough.  When organizations like the NAMB keep having trouble at the top and there is little consistency with its leadership, churches are not excited to give.  When I hear Al Gilbert (on the panel) say that Baghdad, Iraq has approximately the equivalent population as the State of North Carolina and at the same time the International Mission Board is cutting back its missionary appointments because of a lack of funding, I am left very frustrated. 

When I hear that a very significant portion of NAMB appointed missionaries are being sent to work in the south where the majority of our churches exist, I am frustrated.  It is past time for our churches and our entities to start putting together strategies for reaching the unreached places of our country and our world.  And if it means taking away funding from State Conventions in the South, then I think we must. 

If one puts forth a compelling vision and a good track record of faithful ministry, then people will come aboard and give more money.  However, if the status quo is maintained, the SBC will continue to fade.  I agree with Danny Akin, when he states that if hard changes are not made soon, in 10-20 years much more difficult changes will be upon us, and we will be forced to change.

While I do not think the first draft of the GCR proposal went far enough in its recommendations, I believe it would be a step in the right direction.

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Posted by on May 1, 2010 in Uncategorized


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