Archives for October 2009

our Wednesday service

I have been posting our Sunday service summaries here since we started this blog. We haven’t been recording our Wednesday studies, but some have inquired about our notes (we are going through the Psalms). Also, we had a few who were unable to attend this last week, so we decided to record last night’s study.

I thought I would post the summary for this Wednesday in case anyone is interested. I may publish the notes to our previous studies in the Psalms later, but for now we will put them up going forward. I am not sure if I will put the weekly summary up on oxgoad, but if you would like to follow our church RSS feed, you can find it at

The Psalms have been an especially blessed study for us. I am not offering my normal preaching style for these studies, it is more of a question answer session. We are trying to help our people learn how to read the Psalms for themselves. So I ask questions about key details I want our folks to see so they can get the flow of the psalm and a bit of the emotional impact of the poetry.

Here is this week’s installment:

O God, do not remain quiet [Psalms]

Ps 83

Psalm 83 is the last of the psalms of Asaph, probably written by members of the Asaph choir. The psalm calls on God to thoroughly rout the enemies surrounding His people. The prayer looks far beyond the original circumstances to the final miraculous victory God will provide for Israel when he overthrows all enemies, ushers in the kingdoms and causes the nations to seek Him.



the independent Baptist model… specifically rejected

So says David Hankins, executive director of the Louisiana Baptist Convention. A bit more context:

To individuals who may foresee a confederation of churches "that have a common heritage and a common theology but no common methodology," Hankins said: "With all due respect, that is the independent Baptist model that Southern Baptists have specifically and decidedly rejected….

"While Southern Baptists prize local church autonomy, we are not hyper-local church practitioners who believe in no extra-congregational ecclesiastical structures. We find no contradiction in believing in both. We believe the current structure of Southern Baptists is appropriate for Southern Baptist ecclesiology, life and work…. It fits who we are and what we want to do. And I believe Southern Baptists, by and large, want it to continue."

You can read the entire article here: “Cooperation ‘key’ to resurgence; offers strategy to strengthen CP”. The comments come from an address given to the Great Commission Resurgence Task Force.

It is true that arguments can be made concerning cooperative efforts like the SBC Cooperative Program, but this particular address seems to belie the unanimity, cohesiveness, and commitment of all Southern Baptists to the idea.

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just an observation…

If a conference is billed as a conference on preaching, why is it that so many of its speakers are obviously reading a prepared manuscript? Jonathan Edwards notwithstanding, it does seem that preaching should at least sound extemporaneous, don’t you think?


separation over essentials – an analogy

The doctrine of separation insists that Christians must separate from professing Christians who deny essential doctrines. This is the fundamentalist position. Some have a problem with the notion of ‘essential doctrines’ because it suggests that other doctrines are ‘non-essential’. That really isn’t the case, as Dave helpfully explains here:

The problem is that the word essential is sometimes used as simply meaning important, and, thus, non-essential would mean unimportant. But that’s not what the word essential means in the statement above (or normally when people use it in contexts like this). If something is essential it relates to or constitutes the essence of something. As the dictionary states, “essential implies belonging to the very nature of a thing and therefore being incapable of removal without destroying the thing itself or its character.” So, to speak of the “essential doctrines of the faith” is to talk about those doctrines which cannot be removed without destroying the faith itself or its character.

This understanding of ‘essential’ is … essential!

It isn’t that any doctrines or teaching of God from the Bible is unimportant. But the thing that makes a doctrine essential is that if someone doesn’t believe it, he is not a Christian.

I thought I might offer an analogy as a further explanation.

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09.10.25 gbcvic sermons

Access Into This Grace [Romans]

Rm 5.2

Besides peace with God (Rm 5.1), the blessings of justification include the blessings of permanent access to permanent standing in the presence of God and the hope of eternal presence in perfect communion with the glorious God who made us. This is something worth boasting about!

The Inheritance of Sin (2) [Basic Theology]

We continue our lesson on inherited sin with a look at the penalty for it, the transmission of it, the remedy for it, and some attacks against the doctrine. The teaching of the Bible is that man inherited his sin nature from his father, Adam, that he is thus totally depraved, corrupt in every part of his being, and in desperate need of righteousness he cannot produce or obtain by his own efforts.

Keeping Constant against Error [1 Timothy]

1 Tim 1.1-7

In this message, we look at ground we have already covered in 1 Timothy. We emphasize a major theme of the book, calling pastors and leaders to a vigilant ministry against error and foolish teaching that might crop up in the church. The opening paragraphs are an echo of Paul’s farewell message to Ephesus, Ac 20.28-31. His urgency to Timothy is an urgency every member of the church needs to receive and share: put a stop to error and false teaching creeping into the church.


some objections

In response to the recent MACP presentation on separation, I posted some questions. Today, I’d like to post a few objections. That is not to say I object to the basic concepts concerning separation as presented, I thought that was quite helpful. But I do have some objections to particulars and I think they should be noted.

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some questions

Since Dave Doran’s blog has no comments and he sometimes comments here, I thought I’d ask some questions.

I have listened to the audio of his first two presentations at the recent Mid-America Conference on Preaching. I have to say that in general I am in agreement with what he is teaching about ecclesiastical separation. We may differ on some points of application, but as to philosophy, biblical grounds and motivation, I think Dave has it basically right. (I am sure he is relieved to know I think so!) I would encourage anyone to listen to the audio for their own instruction.

But I do have some questions:

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should early Fundamentalism have embraced the flappers?

One could come to that conclusion by reading Kevin Bauder’s latest. He is continuing his unproven thesis:

My thesis has been that the early Fundamentalist movement was deeply influenced by Common Sense Realism, populism, and sentimentalism.

And is now asserting:

Because of these three influences, the Fundamentalist movement was never dedicated purely to defending the faith. To some extent, its defense of the faith always presumed and included a defense of the ideals of Common Sense, populism, and sentimentalism.

As evidence he cites the example of Billy Sunday, who, he says, was defending Victorianism as over against the ‘flapper’ lifestyle of the Jazz Age. If this defense of culture is truly a characteristic of Fundamentalism, should Fundamentalism instead have embraced the Jazz Age culture?

I don’t think that is where Bauder would want to go, but would such a conclusion be out of place, given his arguments?

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denominationalists perspective

Most of my focus is on the independent Baptist perspective, but I ran across a recent conference that might be of interest from the perspective of denominationalists. The conference was called “Southern Baptists, Evangelicals, and the Future of Denominationalism”. It was held at Union University, October 6-9. You can read summaries of each session here and access the audio here.

Here are a couple of quotes that might be of interest to fundamentalists:

David Dockery:

Fundamentalists were unable to discern the difference between those who denied the deity of Christ and those who engaged in card-playing.

Can you feel the love?

Duane Litfin:

Evangelicalism broke free from the ghetto of fundamentalism, remaining mostly fundamentalist in theology, while demonstrating openness to intellectual and cultural engagement.


let’s check out of movements?

Dave Doran gives us more concerning the fragmentation and death of the fundamentalist movement as such. There is a good deal of truth to his observations concerning the lack of unifying goals and the center of biblical focus for Christian unity and ministry.

He concludes:

The center of God’s will for this dispensation is in the local church (1 Tim 3:15). That’s where the unity of the Spirit is to be preserved in the bond of peace (Eph 4:3). The local church has been charged with the task of carrying out the Great Commission (since baptizing is an ordinance of the church). The movement that ought to matter most to us is one that aims to plant churches that will reproduce in every place where the name of Christ has not been named, and that movement must spring from local churches in order to be biblical. Sign me up for that movement.

I once met a preacher who told me that he wasn’t much for going to conferences and getting known. He just preferred to stay home and “hoe corn” (he pastored in the Midwest).

So in light of this non-movement movement sentiment, I wonders:

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