May 24, 2008
There is a fascinating brief post over at the Stand to Reason blog on the results of chasing after “relevance” in our modern worship services. You can find it here http://str.typepad.com/weblog/2008/05/the-irrelevance.html
May 17, 2008
It is popular today to argue that there cannot be only one way to God. However, Scripture says otherwise. Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life, no one comes to the Father, but by me” (Jn 14:6.)
There is a great post by Justin Taylor on this topic over at the New Attitude website (you can find it here http://newattitude.org/articles/one_more_way_to_god_than_i_deserve .) Be sure to watch the 7-minute video clip of R.C. Sproul discussing this topic at the end…
Solus Christus (“Christ alone”)!!!
May 13, 2008
Speaking of false teachers… John Hendryx has posted an excellent article on the distortion of the gospel which is prevalent in the emerging church movement. It is worth reading. You can find it here http://www.reformationtheology.com/2008/05/the_emergent_church_and_the_go.php
May 12, 2008
I hear a lot of people today saying that Christians should set aside our distinctive doctrinal beliefs and simply “follow Jesus together.”
My response is usually, “How can we follow Jesus together if we don’t agree on the path He is walking?”
Doctrine matters. True, some doctrines matter more than others. For example, we may be able to disagree to some extent over whether Jesus will come back to this earth before, during or after the tribulation, but we must agree that He is coming back (I Thess 4:13-18)!!! We may disagree over the continuation of a supernatural prophetic gift today, but we must agree that Scripture is the only rule of faith and practice (II Tim 3:16-17)!!!
Most importantly, we must agree on the gospel. The gospel alone is of “first importance” (I Cor 15:1-4.) The gospel is the power of God for salvation and no one is saved apart from the biblical good news of the work of Jesus Christ on our behalf through His righteous life, sacrificial death and victorious resurrection!
Doctrine matters! We should all be striving to grow on a daily basis in our knowledge of the truth proclaimed by God in Scripture.
For a helpful article on why doctrine matters, read what Dr. John MacArthur has to say here http://www.sfpulpit.com/2008/05/09/why-doctrine-matters/
April 22, 2008
There is an article in today’s online New York Magazine which details the growing trend among atheists to form their own “churches.” You can find the article here http://nymag.com/news/features/46214/
You can find Dr. Albert Mohler’s comments on this article here http://www.albertmohler.com/blog_read.php?id=1135
Think about this… and pray regarding the cultural shifts which we see taking place all around us.
Tim Challies has posted some interesting (and convicting) thoughts on our sinful tendency to reject authority. It is worth the read. You can find the post here http://www.challies.com/archives/articles/hearing-and-heeding-gods-word.php
April 10, 2008
We live in a radically post-Christian culture. As much as we wish this wasn’t so… it is a fact of life. There was a time when we could take for granted that those around us had at least a basic understanding of biblical truth, but no longer.
Test this out for yourself. Go out and ask non-church attenders a few basic questions regarding biblical truth, such as:
1) Who was Abraham?
2) List 5 of the 10 Commandments.
3) Name 3 of the 4 canonical gospels.
Ask these questions and you are likely to get blank stares. The days living in a biblically literate culture are long past…
This becomes particularly true when you ask people to define a biblical concept, such as sin.
USA Today recently ran an article entitled “Has the Notion of Sin Been Lost?” which discussed the changing attitudes of Americans toward sin and how this affects our view of Easter. The article concludes with comments by Tim Keller and Mark Driscoll on the importance of clarifying the concept of sin to unbelieving hearers. Driscoll is quoted as saying, “Without an idea of sin, Easter is meaningless.” (Find the article posted here http://www.usatoday.com/news/religion/2008-03-19-sin_N.htm. You can also find Dr. Albert Mohler’s comments on this article here http://www.albertmohler.com/blog_read.php?id=1120 .)
Without a concept of sin… not only is Easter meaningless… but so is Good Friday… and Christmas. In fact, the whole gospel message is irrelevant if the biblical concept of sin is not understood. The good news of Jesus Christ is the fact that “…Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures…” (I Cor 15:3-4.) If we don’t understand sin… then we don’t understand why Jesus died and was buried and rose again the third day.
A major part of our evangelistic efforts in a postmodern, biblically-illiterate culture will be to speak in such a way that we inform the minds of unbelievers of biblical categories so that the gospel message is coherent to them. Granted, God is sovereign in illuminating the hearts and minds of unbelievers so that they may understand the gospel message. But typically He works through human means to accomplish this. For example: it was the Lord who opened Lydia’s heart to receive the message of the gospel, but only after it had been spoken to her by His human messenger Paul (Acts 16:14.)
Dr. John Piper has an excellent post on this subject which can be found here http://www.desiringgod.org/ResourceLibrary/TasteAndSee/ByDate/2008/2717_Preaching_As_Concept_Creation_Not_Just_Contextualization/ .
Meditate on this… and pray that God will give you insight into how to communicate biblical concepts to the hearts and minds of those who do not know Christ.
April 8, 2008
I made references to postmodern thought in my sermon on Sunday and the way in which this pattern of thought is impacting the church today. This is probably a new term for some of those in attendance at Maranatha Baptist Church, so I thought I would post a link to an excellent message by Phil Johnson entitled “A Beginners Guide to Postmodernism” which summarizes well the basic tenets of postmodern thought. It can be streamed online or downloaded here http://www.thegracelifepulpit.com/PJ-CDA14.htm
If postmodernism is a new concept for you, then you should find this message quite helpful.