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Archive for the ‘Must Listen’ Category

I just finished listening to this year’s Desiring God National Conference, and I must say that it was excellent!

While each speaker spoke with passion and shed light upon the church’s present mission, I was particularly moved by Michael Ramsden’s message Courage, Christ, and Finishing the Mission.  It was vibrant, engaging, and a-typical.  Mr. Ramsden has been the European Director of RZIM Zacharias Trust since its foundation in 1997.  He is also Director of the Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics and Lecturer in Christian Apologetics at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford.  But more importantly, he is an experienced evangelist and a servant of Jesus Christ.  His challenge should be heard.

Regarding the other sessions, I would encourage you to listen to the interview with Greg Livingston and David Sitton.  Anytime you can hear from a veteran missionary, you need to do so.  Doubly so with two missionaries!

Lastly, the panel discussion was good and should find its way on to your IPod.  Piper’s message was excellent as well, but if you are only going to listen to one message, do download Michael Ramsden’s.

All of the messages can be obtained here:

http://www.desiringgod.org/resource-library/conference-messages/by-conference/2011-national-conference

P.S.  A Caution: Listening to these messages may cause you to suddenly pack your bags, leave the country, and die for Christ.

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It is a raw, emotionally tearing book, and even though it has been years since I last read it, certain sections have stayed with me.  I am referring to Elie Wiesel’s book, Night.  As a survivor of the Holocaust (I am told that Wiesel is in the photo above), Mr. Wiesel speaks to the absolute evil that destroyed his faith in God.  In one of the more chilling moments, he said,

“Never shall I forget that night, the first night in camp, that turned my life into one long night seven times sealed.

Never shall I forget that smoke.

Never shall I forget the small faces of the children whose bodies I saw transformed into smoke under a silent sky.

Never shall I forget those flames that consumed my faith forever.

Never shall I forget the nocturnal silence that deprived me for all eternity of the desire to live.

Never shall I forget those moments that murdered my God and my soul and turned my dreams to ashes.

Never shall I forget those things, even were I condemned to live as long as God Himself.

Never.”

Suffering is a profoundly challenging subject, and over the course of several years, I’ve shared with you many different lectures exploring the issue.  Many of these have fallen short, and I have griped plenty enough about them.  Today I want to offer what I think is the best explanation to the problem of evil; an answer, that when you get right down to it, explains why it is so.  It doesn’t grapple with the branches on the tree, but it goes right to the very root system itself, the ultimate bedrock, or the place where we can dig no further.

The answer is given in the space of about ten minutes in a message by John Piper.  It occurs at about the 30-35 minute mark.  The message is called “The Echo and Insufficiency of Hell.”  You can also find the entire theme unpacked, but without the crucial quote, in “The Suffering of Christ and the Sovereignty of God.”  Both are excellent.

The answer won’t answer all your questions, in fact, it will raise many more.  But I do believe that it is the answer.

For the first, go here: Link

For the second, go here: Link

For another excellent message I recently had the pleasure of hearing, check out Dr. Mark Garcia’s, “I Believe in Monsters: God, Horrendous Evils, and the Christian Faith.”  It is a carefully crafted gem.  http://reformedforum.org/rfs8/

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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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Ok, I have a confession.  Portal 2 came out this week.  If you don’t know, it’s a PC game.  But not just any old PC game.  It’s one of the coolest games ever, and I’ve been looking forward to it for some time now.  So yeah, needless to say, my boys and I have been hanging out in front of the computer these past few evenings, teleporting and what not.  

What does this mean?  It means that I’m going to keep this review short and simple.  Really short and simple… the game isn’t finished yet 🙂 

So you ready?  Here goes:  Tim Keller’s message “Getting Out” is a fantastic, Gospel rich, must listen sermon.  If you want a superb example of how to preach Christ from the OT, here you go.  It’s a gem. 

Difficulty: Moderate   

Must Listen Factor: It’s a must listen!  Everyone will benefit from this message.

Length: 52 minutes.

To Download: Click picture.

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Dr. Al Mohler recently gave the fourth annual Gaffin Lecture at Westminster Theological Seminary, and I must say that it was absolutely brilliant.  Picking up a quote from Oliver Wendell Holmes, “I would not give a fig for the simplicity this side of complexity, but I would give my life for simplicity on the other side of complexity,” Dr. Mohler provides a penetrating analysis of Western thought.    

While some may have a hard time following his message at points, as he does stroll through the halls post-modernity and neo-orthodoxy, as well as modernism, highlighting not only the key thinkers, but their ideas, I suspect that most will still be able to grasp the main points of his lecture.

Trust me when I say this.  The last ten minutes are worth the price of admission.  His critique of fundamentalism, as well as evangelicalism, is powerful.  And for many, the antidote he proscribes will prove very surprising.

Lastly, his critique of Christian liberalism is spot on, which is exactly what you would expect from a modern day Machen. 

Difficulty: Moderate to Advanced. 

Must Listen Factor: If you are at all inclined towards academia, which is just a nice way of saying that you’re not an intellectual bumpkin, then this is a must listen.  Very good message.    

Length: 1:07:00

To Download: Go to Westminster’s Audio Login here.  Sign up if you haven’t already.  Once logged in, click audio.  Search his name or the title.  Download accordingly.

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I’m going to come right out and say it: This message is tremendously insightful. 

If you want to understand more fully and more deeply the theological maxim “We become what we worship,” hesitate no longer and download this message.  And if you didn’t know that we resemble what we worship, download this message!

A brief caution is in order.  I almost stopped listening to it.  During the first couple of minutes, I was like, “Oh, ok, another Romans 1 sermon.”  But I hung with it, and it surprised me.  So don’t give up.  It isn’t what you might expect. 

Difficulty: Easy to Moderate

Must Listen Factor: Must Listen (Young children probably shouldn’t listen, however).

To Download: Click Picture.

Additional Resources: If you want to read a book that delves deeply into the truth that we become what we worship, check out G.K. Beales’ work on the subject- “We Become What We Worship – A Biblical Theological of Idolatry.”  Now look, it’s a fairly dry read, but it’s solid.  And it’s not meant for the uninitiated.  You should really enjoy reading theology before buying this one.  But if you’re willing to mine, you’ll dig up some gems.  

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Think Neil Armstrong, Shackleton, Lewis and Clark…

The Mailman!

For what is the mailman, if not a dashing adventurer wrapped in blue?  Does he not daily brave the sidewalks of America, that place where the average citizen roams wild, unhindered and real?  Does he not tackle blizzards, endure tempests, wrestle frothy-mouthed dogs, overcome mobs of sticky children, and yes, successfully navigate those bizarre and unique spaces most commonly known as lawns?

Yes, the mailman does it all.  But few have chronicled his tales of adventure… that is, until now!

In a style that’s decidedly humorous, not encyclopedic, quirky, but not in need of psychiatric care, letter carrier, Austin Brown, recounts fifteen years of postal life as a mailman.  The doors are thrown wide open, and like the contents of a fragile parcel, the mysteries of postal life are shattered, revealing the inner workings in all their brilliant glory.  So step into a world not unlike a Norman Rockwell painting, but one where the neighborhood dog is firmly latched on the mailman’s leg. 

It’s an experience you won’t forget.

Buy the book not only for a good laugh, but in order to help a great cause, as a substantial portion of the proceeds will go directly to the Be The Match foundation, an organization dedicated to helping people find life saving bone marrow matches. 

For more information about the book and how you can give the gift of life, visit:  www.walkingwiththemailman.com or www.bethematchfoundation.org

Order your copy through Amazon today!

Order it here: Link.

 

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