Archive for May, 2011

Are you Reformed?  I mean like black coffee Presbyterian, John Calvin fan club member, “yes, I own Francis Turretin’s three volumes of Elenctic Theology” Reformed?  If so, do you want to feel uncomfortable?

Oh, I trust you do.  Don’t Presbyterians love a good challenge?

Well, I’ve been digging around in the goldmine of workshops from this year’s Gospel Coalition National Conference, and while I will be recommending other excellent presentations in the weeks to come, Mark Driscoll’s takes the prize (so far).  Powerful message!  Very powerful!  But also controversial… if you’re a cessationist.

In this message, he examines the role of the Holy Spirit in the Gospel of Luke, paying particular attention to Jesus’ life.  With both pastoral care and punch, he challenges the Reformed to not forget the Holy Spirit.  Said another way, and perhaps a bit more accurately, he centers a cross-hair on Reformed folks and pulls the trigger, urging those of us who tend to forget the third Person of the Trinity, as well as those who tend to be theological egg-heads, to get out onto the battlefield and fight in the power of the Holy Spirit.

There was a lot of yelling in message, but I didn’t care.  It was too good to notice it.

Must Listen Factor: While the lecture was directed at pastors, anyone can benefit from it.  I’m going to go out on a limb and call this a must listen.

Difficulty: Moderate

Length: 1:02:00

To Download: Click picture and note the download tab.

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I recently saw this commercial while watching the NBA playoffs.  The thought that entered my mind, after watching this powerful commercial, was, “It’s going to get tougher… for us.”

Let us speak clearly, yet lovingly, brothers in the days to come.

You might check out James White’s recent interview with Dr. Mike Brown.  They discuss his latest book A Queer Thing Happened to America.  It’s a pretty good interview.  You can find it here: Link.

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At this year’s Sovereign Grace church planting conference (Plant and Build), I expected to most enjoy Mark Dever’s or C. J. Mahaney’s talks.  In all honesty, that’s what initially drew me to the conference.  But while their messages were solid, I must say that I was especially appreciative of Darrin Patrick’s.

I’ve never heard Pastor Darrin speak before.  Actually, I hadn’t even heard of him.  But I’m happy to report that it was a great delight to listen to him.  It wasn’t his oratory skills that struck me, which, don’t me wrong, are perfectly fine, rather it was the content of his message that most impressed me.
Using his own life as an example, he outlines a host of mistakes (both personal and ecclesiastical) made during his season of planting a church.  They are gems and should be cherished by all future church planters.  Several times I found myself feeling extremely convicted, and I’m not even a church planter.  This is due in large part to the universal applicability of sinful behavior.  We can all relate to his struggles.

All in all, I very much appreciated the genuineness and candor of his confession.  I heartily commend it to you.

Must Listen Factor:  If you are planting a church or about to plant a church, follow these steps: (1) Stop what you are doing, (2) click the picture, (3) download the message, (4) take a long walk and listen to what you just downloaded.

Difficulty: Easy to Moderate.

Length: About an hour.

To Download: Click the picture and download accordingly.

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In Matthew 8:16 we read the following: “That evening they brought to him many who were oppressed by demons, and he cast out the spirits with a word and healed all who were sick.”

If we were to read this passage in isolation from the other Gospels, the term “evening” would appear to be nothing more than an incidental fact.  It was evening when the sick were brought to Jesus.  Simple as that.

But when we look at the parallel passage in Mark 1:21-32, we receive an interesting little tidbit that sheds light on why they came in the evening.  When Jesus entered Capernaum, it was the Sabbath.  Now given the influence of the Pharisaical view of the Sabbath (certain load limits and what not), it only makes sense that the people would wait until evening, as that was when the Sabbath stipulations were lifted.

“Oh, interesting,” you say.  “Um, what’s the point?”

Allow me to introduce to you the concept of undesigned coincidences; a concept that Professor Tim McGrew unpacks in a deliciously interesting way.  The basic thrust of this approach is to demonstrate that the NT Gospels are in fact eye witness accounts.  This is done by showing how the Gospel writers incidentally touch upon a particular subject in a manner that would be very unlikely if they were simply copying another’s work.  In the example cited above, Mark indirectly supplies a fact that elucidates Matthew’s account.

Now when these examples are multiplied at length, and when they crisscross in all directions, it points heavily towards the Gospels as being both historical and eye witness accounts.

To feel the force of this argument, listen to the interview.  It’s very interesting.  I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Must Listen Factor: Moderate for most.  High for those with an apologetic bent.

Difficulty: It’s fairly straight forward.  I trust most will be able to follow the rationale.

Length: 51 minutes

To Download: Click Picture.  It takes you to the download page.

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Allah: A Christian Response – Dr. Miroslav Volf

After listening to Dr. Miroslav Volf’s recent lecture at Wheaton, “Allah:  A Christian Response,” I must say that I’m still waiting for the Christian part of the response.

What can I say?  This was real head slapper.  In a nutshell, he argues that Muslims worship the same God as Christians.  Now even if we grant that this is so, which I do not believe is the case (nor do most Muslims for that matter), one wants to ask Dr. Volf what difference it makes since Muslims are trusting in another gospel.

I mean really, why stress the point of supposed commonality if you’re going to turn right around and say, “Oh, by the way, Mohammad was a false teacher.”  All the “common ground” quickly goes out the window.

So anyway, check it out if you’re bored and desirous of becoming frustrated.

Link (See 3/24/2011)

Youth – Matt Chandler (2011 National Gospel Coalition Conference)

On a more positive note, this year’s Gospel Coalition Conference was excellent.  So far as keynote speakers are concerned, there’s not a bad message in the whole lot (Well, I still have a couple to listen to, but I would be shocked if they’re subpar).

I’ve already highlighted Tim Keller’s superb message, so let me turn your attention to Matt Chandler.  While the task of preaching Christ from the OT might not factor as heavily in his message, which is the theme of the Conference, it was nevertheless supercharged and very engaging.  Now to be fair, his text was Ecclesiastes 11:7-12:14.  That’s not exactly the most obviously Christo-embedded passage out there.  But to stress again, Pastor Chandler has a real knack for keeping people awake.  I love his passion.  And I trust you will as well.

Must Listen Factor: High.  If you need to hear a good upbeat sermon-esk message, give this a go.

Difficulty: Easy to Moderate

To Download: Click here.

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