5.31.09 gbcvic sermons

All Nations Included [Romans]

Rm 3.29-30

The second ‘certain advantage’ of justification by faith is that there is no distinction between Jew and Gentile, no one has an advantage with God because of who his parents are. There is one God who justifies both Jew and Gentile the same way, by faith. We must therefore submit ourselves under the One God, and proclaim the One Message, to all the World, including the people on your own street, whom  you may or may not like.

Evangelizing Children (2)

For our Bible Study session, we begin a discussion on the subject of Evangelizing Children. We are basing it on an article published by Grace Community Church of Sun Valley, CA. We have certain distinct differences with this ministry, but nevertheless find the materials they produce and the preaching ministry of their pastor, John MacArthur to be very beneficial.

The second session of our study continues to look at three more pitfalls to watch out for in evangelizing children.

Walking by This Rule [Galatians]

Gal 5.15-6.16

With this message we conclude our look at the Christian and his relationship to the flesh and the world. The thrust of this message is to describe what the Spirit-walk looks like. Essentially, the life lived in the Spirit is a life lived in service to others and in submission to the Word through the teaching of godly teachers. This is contrary to the way the Judaizing false teachers lived, but exactly the way the apostle Paul lived. This rule, Paul’s rule, is our model for Spirit-filled living.

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We had a great day today, more new visitors, with some hope that they will return, always a welcome prospect.

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doctrinally sound? NOT

Exactly! What I have been saying with respect to the blasphemer is that he is not doctrinally sound. The repeated disclaimer for not completely rejecting the blasphemer and refusing to refrain from all recommendation of him is that he is ‘doctrinally sound’. Sound doctrine doesn’t produce blasphemous behaviour. And close scrutiny, says Dave, will show that the ‘sound doctrine’ isn’t really all that sound.

So what is behind the seemingly compulsive qualification of so many who write disclaimers1 for the blasphemer to include, “Well, he’s doctrinally sound”?

Could it be…

[Read more…]

Notes:

  1. P.S. I can’t wait for Dave’s entry for me in his new “Disclaimerpedia”. I am sure it will be a doozy. []

maturity

Thinking about maturity … for no particular reason??

Here is the opening of the Wikipedia article on psychological maturity:

Maturity is a psychological term used to indicate that a person responds to the circumstances or environment in an appropriate manner. This response is generally learned rather than instinctual, and is not determined by one’s age. Maturity also encompasses being aware of the correct time and place to behave and knowing when to act in serious or non-serious ways.

It says maturity is not determined by one’s age. True enough. Some people never seem to grow up. If that were true of someone at, say, 39, what would be the hopes for the future? (That’s twice 18 plus three more years.)

If a pastor exhibited ‘immaturity’ after 13 years of ministry … not just occasional immature actions, but constant, regular, daily, outrageous immaturity, what would you say?

How long would you wait for maturity to make its appearance?

Is your wait ever likely to be rewarded?

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the pleasure of anger

I just completed the first volume of The Collected Letters of C. S. Lewis, a set I picked up a few weeks ago. The set is the first two volumes of three, the third just came out recently in hardback and isn’t yet included in the paperback version. The books are about 1000 pages each, so it is quite a task to read, but I found the reading so fascinating, I couldn’t put it down. Even the early letters,when Lewis was still a boy, reveal keen intellect and interesting insight (and breadth of reading).

The first volume also reveals the mind of a totally lost man. His conversion comes at the end of the first set of letters, but one has to say that he exhibits the pride and malice of a lost man in all his educated sophistication through the years prior to his conversion.

I’ll not debate the quality of his conversion, certainly he uses terms unfamiliar to us. It is quite clear that a real change took place in his life and he left us with many valuable works as a result.

In one of his letters, he makes an interesting observation about the pleasure of anger.

The pleasure of anger — the gnawing attraction which makes one return again and again to its theme — lies, I believe, in the fact that one feels entirely righteous oneself only when one is angry.

[Read more…]

is tetreau ghosting for dave?

Note this line taken from a new rating system explained here:

FINO—fundamenalist in name only

This can only mean one thing…

[Read more…]

a bit more on the ‘exodus’

An article from Associated Baptist Press discusses the movement away from ‘Conservative Evangelicalism’ that appears to be happening in that ‘other camp.’

Stetzer said the Social Gospel was based on a "post-millennial" theology that believed it possible to establish God’s kingdom on Earth. A main reason it lost influence, he said, was introduction of philosophies and theologies that moved some mainline churches away from positions that conservatives viewed as orthodox Christianity.

Today’s younger evangelicals are different, he said, in that they reject teaching that undermines fundamental tenets of Christianity and instead "believe they are placing an emphasis on fulfilling all of the commands in Scripture and ministering to others rather than an eschatological imperative."

I don’t know what to make of this as far as CEs are concerned, but I wonder if the movement leftwards away from fundamentalism isn’t part of a broader movement leftwards in general. This appears to be occurring all over Christendom and is a ‘sign of the times’ more than anything else.

If there is a connection, it suggests to me that there is really nothing wrong with Fundamentalism per se, but we are in ‘the apostasy’ and the faltering footsteps from within our own ranks may be part of a general movement.

I offer this as a suggestion not as conclusion, lest any should misunderstand.

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more on the ‘exodus’

In a recent post, all five of my readers (plus a few others!) discussed reasons why it appears that many younger people are departing from fundamentalism. I was struck by the excellence of the answers. Some of the reasons given were surprising to me.

Today, Ellis Murphree posts a blog with his take on the subject. His answers are similar to what was posted in the comments section to my post.

I attempted to summarize the reasons my commenters gave in an excel spreadsheet. My categories are pretty subjective, but help me to think through what was said.

The reasons some might be leaving that didn’t surprise me are these:

  1. Personality issues: these are what flow from the ‘pastor as dictator’ big BaBtist model of church leadership
  2. Standards issues: these are reasons that flow from the complaints over alleged legalism and Pharisaism
  3. Versions issues: clearly this battle has soured some on fundamentalism in general (unnecessarily so IMO)
  4. Calvinism/Puritanism: while I earlier agreed with the notion that this isn’t the issue, it is a factor, but perhaps not exactly as one might expect
  5. Lack of innovation/deadness: This may be a true charge to some extent, but seems more of an excuse than a reason – if there is a lack of innovation… innovate!

Now, two reasons in particular really surprised me:

[Read more…]

Dr. Luke on mobs

Does this passage remind you of… oh, I don’t know… anything in the current ecclesiastical scene?

Acts 19:32 So then, some were shouting one thing and some another, for the assembly was in confusion and the majority did not know for what reason they had come together.

Maybe it’s just me…

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So… who is DMD referring to?

Our friend Dave references “a blogger” who answered his question regarding appreciating Piper without having one’s fundamentalist convictions questioned. That blogger, according to Dave, answered the question:

Here’s his answer: “So I would answer the question, No.”

He carries on discussing this as if that is all there is to the answer. He never links to the unnamed blogger so that you can read the context and judge for yourself if DMD is representing him fairly (bad netiquette, Dave).

As you know, it is possible that Dave could be referring to my answer given on this site. We don’t know for sure, because the quoted portion above isn’t exactly like my answer.

However,  Dave does offer a quote from the comments section that is word for word from my comments:

And I really think it may be unbelievable because in the comment section that follows, the same man writes, “Well, I am not saying don’t appreciate the good that such men do, although we may debate what is good and what isn’t.”

So … let’s make these points:

  1. It really isn’t legitimate to attack another blog without providing links so that readers can evaluate context.
  2. It has never been my position that it is wrong to use or appreciate the work of men with whom I would not join in ministry partnership with.
  3. My complaint on this point is that so-called fundamentalist educators, pastors, leaders have been guilty in recent years of unreserved enthusiasm for men with serious ministry flaws. My answer to Dave’s question wasn’t a bare “No” as he suggests. I gave reasons for it which he conveniently ignores.

I’d be interested if Dave would have the courtesy to deal with the entire argument, not misrepresent what was said for his own purposes.

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5.24.09 gbcvic sermons

Boasting Excluded [Romans]

Rm 3.27-28 – Boasting is (and has always been) a symptom of the world we live in. Our culture even thinks pride is a good thing, as long as it isn’t ‘abused’. In the gospel, Paul finds one of its benefits is that all boasting is ‘shown the door’, excluded. The great blessing of the gospel is that no one has anything to boast of in their salvation – they simply believed God and God gets all the credit for all the changes that came as a result.

Evangelizing Children (1)

For our Bible Study session, we begin a discussion on the subject of Evangelizing Children. We are basing it on an article published by Grace Community Church of Sun Valley, CA. We have certain distinct differences with this ministry, but nevertheless find the materials they produce and the preaching ministry of their pastor, John MacArthur to be very beneficial.

The first session of our study begins with a look at some pitfalls to watch out for in evangelizing children.

How Crucifying the Flesh produces the Fruit of the Spirit [Galatians]

Gal 5.19-23 – How do you produce the fruit of the Spirit? Can you produce it by disciplining yourself more in love? Or joy? Or self-control? We look today to see how it is that when we repent of sin and the works of the flesh and turn to God and submit to his will and ways, the result is joy and peace and all the manifold fruit of the Spirit. In other words, when we truly crucify the flesh, we find the fruit of the Spirit in the new walk of the Spirit. It is something that the Spirit produces in our lives by grace through faith.

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