He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?" - Romans 8:32

Tuesday, April 25, 2006 

Persecution in Indonesia / Spurgeon vs. Emergent

Persecution taking place in my future home, Lord willing. I can't say this has ever happened to me.

Spurgeon vs. Emergent...what can I say, I agree wholeheartedly.

Thursday, April 20, 2006 

Center of the Universe

by Scott Phillips ...worth listening to: download or hear it here

This is my best effort to transcribe the lyrics to this poignant reminder that Jesus is to be the center of the universe, not us. In light of my spirit collapsing amidst busyness, and a message from the Holy Spirit through the Word by a much admired friend from Matthew 7:24-27, I was reminded of this truth, that He is to be the center of my universe. When I do not stop frequently to commune with Him, to drink life from His Word, I'm going to take center stage, and I am only wretched, sick, feeble, and poor - my schedule being hectic is nowhere near the worst thing that could happen, yet I'm allowing it to replace not only time in the Word, but using it as an excuse to not practice and be obedient to the Word. And my only strength, joy, power, and ability comes only from Christ, the Father, and the Holy Spirit, as revealed through the living Word.

My problem is not that I live in an Ivory Tower, as written in my last post, my problem is that I am myself a white-washed tomb. Appearing clean and churchy, but dead, dry, disgusting on the inside. That the Word would bring life to this hard-hearted sinner again, and that I would return to my first Love. Be merciful to me, undeservedly, Lord God.

The SON, should no doubt, be the center of our universe.

There's only room for one of us
The Center of the Universe
And I know that you were there at first
In the center of the universe

Well I haven't seen or heard from You
In ages give or take a few
But I can't pretend I'm trying to
Long as I'm here instead of You

Well I can't remember the last time I cried
The last time I felt something moving inside me
Seems I've forgotten the fact that You died
Gave up Your own home, Stepped out from Your throne
In the center of the universe

I hope Your love is breaking in
Can penetrate this scarless skin
Melt down the ice and burn within
And take Your rightful place again

I can't remember the last time I cried
The last time I felt something moving inside me
Seems I've forgotten the fact that You died
Gave up Your own home, Stepped out from Your throne
In the center of the universe

There's only room for one of us
The Center of the Universe
And I know that You were there at first

Wednesday, April 19, 2006 

Ivory Tower

I live in the Ivory Tower; Add a brick for each page read

I scrub the walls white with each public prayer

And last nights assignment is where I get my daily bread

I live in the Ivory Tower; Add a brick for each worksheet done

I made an "A" on my paper, so "Look out St. Paul, Peter here I come"

I have a 4.0, I must have holiness second to none

I live in the Ivory Tower; Add a brick for each meeting made

I finished my reports and mentioned Jesus three times

Just don't ask me about how many people I see get saved

I live in the Ivory Tower; Add a brick for each slander suppressed

I sure am growing, I don't even hate you anymore

Aren't you lucky I'm in your presence, don't you feel blessed

I live in the Ivory Tower; Another brick just fell out

See, in public I say "TULIP" & "God is sovereign"

But when left alone to review the day, I panic and I doubt

I live in the Ivory Tower; Another brick goes tumbling down

I cannot live up to this calling

Those I call my brothers don't know me, & isolated I drown

I live in the Ivory Tower; Another brick plunges to the ground

I just had an evening with my wife, how nice

Too bad, the week's begun, now she's nowhere to be found

I live in the Ivory Tower; it's crumbling, I can get no rest

"Sorry to hear about your mom,

Excuse me now, I've got to go study for this test"

I live in the Ivory Tower; A whitewashed tomb, cold & dead inside

Too busy to repent &

So distant from your presence, by a simple video game I'm satisfied

I live in the Ivory Tower; A structure of program & of classes

Get me to graduation, so I can climb down & spread your glory to the masses

Tuesday, April 18, 2006 

Why Must We Preach Expositionally?

Here's an article from 9Marks written by my hero and pastor who led me to the Lord, David King. I've never known Christ more clearly and tangibly than I have through his life and preaching.

Why Must We Preach Expositionally?

By David King

Expository preaching – taking the point of the passage as the point of the message – is not the only way to preach the Bible, nor does God explicitly mandate it as a method. I bluntly admit this in an effort to be totally fair to Scripture. Nevertheless, in light of what Scripture says about preachers and preaching, who would want to argue that an expository approach to preaching is anything less than a necessity?

Consider, first of all, the issue of AUTHORITY. Is authority in preaching intrinsic to the messenger or to the message? It is true that God has invested his messengers with authority. For example, the Scriptures bear witness to prophetic, apostolic, and pastoral authority (cf. 2 Kgs. 17:13-18; Matt. 10:14-15; Heb. 13:17). Yet the messenger’s authority is dependent upon faithfulness to God’s word, as is seen in the execution of false prophets (Deut. 18:20), in the rebuke of an apostle who acted contrary to God’s truth (Gal. 2:14), and in the requirement of church leaders to hold to the truth (Tit. 1:9). We must conclude that authority in preaching comes from the message rather than the messenger. Sidney Greidanus draws the inescapable conclusion:

If preachers preach their own word, the congregation may listen politely but has every right to disregard the sermon as just another person’s opinion…. Accordingly, if preachers wish to preach with divine authority...they must submit themselves, their thoughts and opinions, to the Scriptures and echo the word of God….Preaching with authority is synonymous with true expository preaching.1

Expository preaching not only accords with the issue of biblical authority but with the twin issue of biblical IMAGERY. The one who handles Scripture is likened to a herald, a sower, an ambassador, a steward, a shepherd, a workman. As John Stott insightfully observes, "What is immediately notable about these six pictures is their emphasis on the ‘givenness’ of the message. Preachers are not to invent it; it has been entrusted to them."2 In other words, the preacher must preach God’s message and not his own. Any approach to preaching that subjugates God’s message to the whims of the messenger is an approach that is suspect at best and negligent at worst. Though expository preaching is not a foolproof safeguard against mishandling Scripture, it is undoubtedly one of the safest approaches to honor God’s message as he gave it.

A third issue to consider is that of biblical INERRANCY. You do not have to believe that God preserved his word from error during the process of inspiration in order to believe in expository preaching, but you will find little wind in your sails otherwise. The doctrine of inerrancy is a gale force wind that fills the sails of expository preaching. If "all Scripture is breathed out by God" (2 Tim. 3:16), if "men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit" (2 Pet. 1:21), if "every word of God proves true" (Prov. 30:5), if present tense verbs and plural nouns are critical (Mar. 12:26; Gal. 3:16), then ought not the preacher be concerned to preach God’s message as given? John MacArthur states the point beautifully:

Inerrancy demands an exegetical process and an expository proclamation. Only the exegetical process preserves God’s Word entirely, guarding the treasure of revelation and declaring its meaning exactly as He intended it to be proclaimed. Expository preaching is the result of the exegetical process. Thus, it is the essential link between inerrancy and proclamation.3

Finally, expository preaching answers the call to biblical FIDELITY. This point has been implied throughout the above remarks but must now be brought center stage. The preacher must consider how best to be faithful to the following commands:

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth (2 Tim. 2:15).

Devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching (1 Tim. 4:13).

All Scripture is breathed out by God….Preach the word (2 Tim. 3:16; 4:2).

These verses make clear what we have already established: the Bible is the subject matter for preaching. But do not these verses also suggest an approach to preaching?

In 2 Timothy 2:15, for example, the worker who is unashamed is the one who rightly divides the word of truth. Certainly rightly dividing the word implies more than forming a sermon by selecting random verses based on a preconceived point. Or take 1 Timothy 4:13, which sequences Scripture reading, exhortation, and teaching. Presumably this command means that a Scripture passage is to be read, and that the congregation is then to be taught and exhorted according to the meaning of the passage (cf. Neh. 8:8). And what of 2 Timothy 3:16 – 4:2, which begins with a statement about all Scripture and climaxes with a charge to preach it? Surely the all is meant to have some bearing on preaching, implying not merely that the preacher is to use the Bible in preaching but that he is to use all of it (cf. Acts 20:27).

What approach to preaching is most likely to honor these commands? The approach that is driven by the divine message rather than the human messenger. The approach that is not confined to the boundaries of the preacher’s creative limitations but that expands to include all of God’s revelation. The call for biblical fidelity in preaching is best answered by expository preaching.

Even though expository preaching is not explicitly commanded in Scripture, what the Bible says about preachers and preaching necessitates such an approach. As a church member, give me a preacher who burns with God’s message rather than his own. As a preacher, let me one day stand before God an unashamed messenger who trembled before God’s word.

Recommended reading:

Chapell, Bryan. Christ-centered Preaching: Redeeming the Expository Sermon (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1994).

A superb treatment of expository preaching that deals with philosophical, practical, and theological issues. Especially valuable is the section on preaching Christ, a topic that is neglected in many preaching textbooks.

Greidanus, Sidney. The Modern Preacher and the Ancient Text (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1988).

A comprehensive, scholarly defense of expository preaching that pays careful attention to distinctions in genre.

Stott, John R. W. Between Two Worlds: The Art of Preaching in the Twentieth Century (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1982).

Buy a whole pack of highlighters before reading this book. Except for the dusty section on technology, Stott’s book is a fantastic introduction to expository preaching and its connection to contemporary life.

1. Sidney Greidanus, The Modern Preacher and the Ancient Text (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1988), 12-13.
2. John R. W. Stott, Between Two Worlds (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1982), 136.
3. John MacArthur, Rediscovering Expository Preaching (Dallas: Word, 1992), 34-35.

David King is the pastor of Concord Baptist Church, a Southern Baptist congregation located in Chattanooga, TN. He is married to Natalie and has a daughter named Casey. David is a graduate of Beeson Divinity School in Birmingham, AL, and is currently enrolled at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY, where he is pursuing his doctorate in preaching.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006 

Adoniram Anniversary

I won't have time to post tomorrow, so briefly, I want to pay homage to my all time hero of the faith outside of those faithful men of the Bible, Adoniram Judson. Tomorrow, April 12, is the 156th anniversary of Adoniram's death. Never has a man outside of Scripture impacted me such as his life and his death. The debt I owe to this man is indescribable, so much so that to try and post my thoughts on him would be petty and in vain.

As usual, Piper says it best. It was at this pastors conference where I heard Pastor Piper speak that the Holy Spirit overwhelmingly convicted me that I was to die to self, and obediently serve in a distant land:

Life is fleeting, brothers. In a very short time we will all give an account before Jesus Christ, not only as to how well we have shepherded our flock, but how well we have obeyed the command to make disciples of all nations.

Many of the peoples of the world are without any indigenous Christian movement today. Christ is not enthroned there, his grace is unknown there, and people are perishing with no access to the gospel. Most of these hopeless peoples do not want you to come. At least they think they don't. They are hostile to Christian missions. Today this is the final frontier. And the Lord still says, "Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. . . . some of you they will put to death. You will be hated by all for my name's sake. But not a hair of your head will perish" (Matthew 10:16; Luke 21:16-18).

Are you sure that God wants you to be a pastor in this comparatively church-saturated land? Or might he be calling you to fill up what is lacking in the sufferings of Christ, to fall like a grain of wheat into some distant ground and die, to hate your life in this world and so to keep it forever and bear much fruit?

Judson wrote to missionary candidates in 1832:

"Remember, a large proportion of those who come out on a mission to the East die within five years after leaving their native land. Walk softly, therefore; death is narrowly watching your steps."

The question, brothers, is not whether we will die, but whether we will die in a way that bears much fruit.

We celebrate his death because of His life.

Monday, April 10, 2006 


some good discussion going on over at 3rd Ave Bapt Church

Friday, April 07, 2006 


Mike Davis Named UAB Men's Basketball Coach
Alabama native returns home to guide Blazers

April 7, 2006

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- Mike Davis has taken the reins of the UAB men's basketball team as the native Alabamian and former head coach of the Indiana Hoosiers was named today as the fourth head basketball coach in the program's 28-year history. Interim Athletic Director Richard Margison made the announcement today in the Green and Gold Room at Bartow Arena.

"Mike brings a tremendous amount of energy and success to our program," Margison said. "His ability to recruit, play a demanding schedule and his style of play have proven to be a winning formula that I know our fans will appreciate and support."

Davis has been the head coach for Indiana University the past six years, compiling a 115-79 record. Additionally, his teams were 7-4 in the NCAA Tournament, including a run to the national championship game in 2002.

"UAB is a program that has been in the national spotlight and I look forward to the opportunity to make that spotlight shine even brighter," Davis said. "The support the fans and administration have shown for this program is tremendous. I and my players will do everything we can to grow that support and demonstrate it is deserved."

"Mike has a history of recruiting excellent young men who perform well not only on the basketball court, but also in the classroom and in everyday life," said UAB President Carol Garrison. "I am confident he will take our program to unprecedented heights."

Davis is a native of Fayette, Ala., and played collegiate basketball at the University of Alabama, where he was a four-year standout. After playing in Europe and in the Continental Basketball Association, Davis began his coaching career in Birmingham at Miles College in 1989. After one season, he headed to Venezuela, coaching the country's national team for two summers as well as professional teams there. He returned to the United States to coach in the Continental Basketball Association for five years, garnering the league championship once.

He then joined the University of Alabama staff as an assistant coach for two years (1995-97) before heading to Indiana and serving three years as an assistant (1997-2000) before taking over the program.

Davis is married to the former Tamilya Floyd. The couple has one son, Antoine. Additionally, Davis has another son, Mike Jr., and a daughter Lateesha. Davis earned a degree in telecommunications from Thomas Edison College in Trenton, N.J. He is 45.

Thursday, April 06, 2006 

In Word and Deed

I spent an hour and a half this morning interviewing a pastor/church planter in Manchester, NH. It was extremely beneficial & I clearly identified with his theology and methodology. He even took the time to pray with me over the phone.

One of the things that particularly struck me about his church and vision was that he sought to show the community Christ through word and deed. The reason this struck me so heavily is that it is rarely done. His is a PCA church plant, so reformed in theology. Usually, if your theology is solid, you lack in practical love, evangelism, and mercy and justice to the "have nots" of society. However, if you reach out to the "have nots," & do as the Bible commands in provision, love, and nurture, those churches typically end up being weak in doctrine & theology, high on man and low on God. I've never understood why the two had to be divorced, particularly since it seems so logical that the 2 would go together. We are flawed beyond depravity and I think our sin nature takes us pridefully to whichever side we're more bent towards, and we have to put ourself in a camp or a "side" and look down on those not on our "team."

Thus, a bunch of like-minded people get together and form a local church - of a particular breed. Now, to me, one of the most beautiful, glorious things about the church, is the fact that as a singular body, it is made up of many, many different parts and functions. I also think, in more proof of man's sinfulness, we tend to despise those within our own body who are not like us. All the fingers look at the elbows and say "why don't the grab more stuff like we do, what's wrong with those people." For example, you may have a heart for the hispanic population in your town, and even though another woman may be discipling 10 young ladies that you don't know about, you may despise the discipling woman & begin to feel like you are the lone ranger in your church, the only who is actually godly and cares about hispanics, and before long, you alienate yourself and become bitter. It should be a beautiful thing that different people, with totally different backgrounds and personalities can be united, and yet still be distinctly made, under the blood of Christ.

I even find myself swinging the pendulum to both extremes. When I am on short term mission trips, I find that love, cross-culturally, speaks much louder than truth, in part, because we cannot speak the same langauge. So I could babble on and on about the Trinity in english and they'd be at a total lost. However, if I come and clean their well out and give them fresh water, and hug them, they know that I'm communicating love. However, when I am talking with those of my same language here in the states, I am much quicker to go to a verbal presentation of Christ and the Gospel, though if they are hostile, it could quickly be void of love. I firmly believe that the man who's well I cleaned out, even though he know my love, is still in dire straights because my love cannot give him repentance and faith in Christ, and to the hostile guy on the street who I'm giving the Gospel to, if he feels like a project, a case study, and doesn't feel or see the love of Christ for His soul through me, then I may very well be turning him off.

So back to the local church, we tend to act in either word or deed, but not both. But the church itself is supposed to be a body, meaning many diverse parts with different functions working under one Head, Jesus. That doesn't mean we're going in a million different directions. It means that the arms are pumping, the legs are moving, the feet are landing, the muscles contracting, as we jog down the straight and narrow to the way that leads to the everlasting.

I'm saying that Jesus did things in Word and deed, and we also as individuals and as local congregations should too. Look at Matthew 5-7: Jesus going at in in Word. Look at chapters 8-10: Jesus going at it in deed.

MATTHEW 9:35-38

And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction. [36] When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. [37] Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; [38] therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest."

Here you see Jesus at work in Word, then follows it up in deed. I'm saying to do BOTH.

If you have not love, or for that matter, mercy, compassion, or justice, then you are just a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And - if you don't do things in word, what makes you any different from a philanthropic Muslim or Hindu or atheist?

Monday, April 03, 2006 

Clearer Claims about Church

In my last post I discussed the church, albeit briefly and just off the cuff. I addressed a huge subject with just a few words and so realize that I may have left much unsaid and also where I was silent, may imply things which I did not intend to communicate. I've come across several things since posting that have helped to fuller express what I was intending to say more clearly than I wrote. I am in full agreement with all the statements below:

From Aaron Menikoff of 9Marks and Third Avenue Baptist in Louisville, Ky:

When the members of Third Avenue Baptist Church gather together, we know that something tremendous is happening. We approach God aware that however imperfect our union may be, it is an affirmation that Christ’s promise to Peter holds—the gates of Hell shall not win. There is the church—she remains and will persevere.

Please know that our church is not a building; we are not a schedule of events; we are neither the latest program; nor the coolest hangout. We are a church of men and women united in, by, and for Christ. We seek to live every day with a quiet confidence before our Father in heaven; confessing that His glory is more important than our comfort and the authority of His Word supersedes our will.

More than anything, know we are well aware that our wisdom—the cross of Christ—is foolishness to our world. Who really believes Christ died for the ungodly and that eternal salvation is found through faith in Him? By the grace of God, we do. This is our story, our song. Every good gift is from above, but some gifts are better than others. The best gift of all is the church for which Christ died.

What do you care about? What are you devoted to? In a world chock full of passing delights, tasty but never satisfying, may your heart find rest in Christ and His church.

From Greg Gilbert of 9Marks and Third Avenue Baptist:

I applaud the emphasis many people are putting on community in the church these days. It has been far too long that the church has been seen as less a congregation of God’s blood-bought people and more a once-a-week theatre production. But community can never be emphasized at the expense of God’s Word. In fact, true Christian community cannot exist unless the Bible is at its center. There are many communities in the world, but the Christian church’s distinctive, godly character comes from its members’ unflagging commitment to hearing, preaching, and reading the Word of God. That is where its strength, its life, its vibrancy, and its attractiveness come from. Displace the Word of God from its central position in the church, and you destroy the very foundation of the community God intended to exist. from -Gilbert's book review of Banks' book, Paul's Idea of Community

Also from Greg Gilbert of 9Marks and Third Avenue Baptist:

I don’t have anything against a church meeting in a house. Sometimes that’s a simple necessity, and besides, the building isn’t the important thing anyway. So go ahead and meet in a house if you want—just don’t fool yourself into thinking that will change the world. The only thing that will change the world is the gospel of Jesus Christ lived out by loving, passionate, Spirit-filled churches—no matter where they meet. -Gilbert's book review of Simpson's book, Houses that Change the World

Saturday, April 01, 2006 

What is Church?

Our church planting course has really been stretching me - getting me outside my comfort zone but not for the sake or newness or innovation, but to step away from tradition and step into the Scriptures. One comment our professor made has been especially recurring in my thoughts. He said, "if you were to take a sheet of paper, draw a line down the center of it, and write all the essentials of what it takes to actually be considered a church Biblically, and then all the nonessentials on the other side, how much of what is known as 'church' would fall in the nonessential category?"

That's right, it doesn't take a steeple, a building, powerpoint, organ, guitars, pulpits, fellowship halls, programs, youth centers, vans, choir robes, nurserys, or pews to be a church. I still haven't gotten over how much the nonessentials would outweigh the essentials side of my paper as I consider his question. Amazing isn't it? Even if we know this, we don't recognize it. Just recently I heard someone "dreaming big" about 'church' - it was a dream to add an educational facility on our already huge millions of dollars campus. I'm not saying it's wrong necessarily, but it's easy to to just write a check and show up to a building. It's much harder to die to self, love and esteem others higher than you, and take up your cross daily in with our brothers and sisters in Christ and in full submission to our Father. That has more to do with church than brick and dry walls do.

So what is a church? According to our professor, a simple, definition could be:
A group of Christ-followers who understand themselves to be a function, in their particular geographic area, as His called out ones.

If this is so, why do we tally our sanctification based on how many times a week we are "at church" (gross misuse of the word)? Does the Bible ever talk about being at church every time the doors are open? Not that I know of...mainly because assemblies of saints gathered in homes - daily - not multi-million dollar structures that cost tens of thousands to run each year. So, church is people, not stuff or events. Perhaps our theological ignorance of this practically has to do with why we stink so much to the world. It is one thing to offend by holiness - it is quite another to offend by hokiness.

Are we living as called out ones? Are we gathering with one another - not just under the same roof, but investing in one another, praying for one another, encouraging one another, sacrificing for one another - if we can't do it with our brothers the world will see and take note that we indeed cannot love the Father whom we have not seen when we do not love those in our fellowship whom we have seen - and if we cannot do it with our brothers, what makes us think we can do it with the world? The label of hypocrite would be one we would have to own and tattoo on our foreheads.

The lost, the saints, our affluent nation is empty, not knowing why, and are starving for authenticity - real relationships, and that cannot come until we are real with our King, and stop giving the lies of Satan our affection, and Kiss the Son, who will then fill us with His love that can overflow and spill out to our brothers - then the world will take note and see and they will know we are Christians by our love, and desire a relationship with our Father who gave us His Son that we may be a family, His Bride of one, the Church, covered under the blood of Christ.

It would do me good, and I could imagine, quite a few of us, if we'd get back to the Biblical basics and re-evaluate what church is, or should I say, who church is, and start living as a body and a bride, with our Head and our Husband leading the way through a world that He came to seek and save.

About me

  • I'm DR
  • From Exiled
My profile


The Bible Challenge

Test your knowledge of the Bible

This Day in History
Powered by Blogger
and Blogger Templates Visit www.esv.org to learn about the ESV Bible 9Marks Ministries
Locations of visitors to this page