Friday, April 29, 2016

Good, evil, and direct personal revelation

I heard a clip of a sermon yesterday by John Bevere of Messenger International. In the clip, he’s trying to say we will be tempted by evil that appears to be good. I've not heard of Mr. Bevere, nor Messenger International before today, but the way he says it is unclear, and the means by which he arrived at his conclusion is very dangerous. Here’s the clip and a transcript, and then I have a few thoughts below:
And I heard the Lord say this. So Clear. He said, “Son, it wasn’t the evil side of the tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil that eve was drawn to.” He said, “It was the good side.”

When I heard that, I flew my bible over to Genesis 3, and sure enough, this is what I read: (Genesis 3:6) When she saw—the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and desirable.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

The Baptist Catechism

Adapted from the Westminster Shorter Catechism by Benjamin Keach and Hercules Collins and published by the Association of Baptists in London with their Confession of 1689.

Q. 1. Who is the first and best of beings?
A. God is the first and best of beings. (Isaiah 44:6; Psalm 8:1; 97:9)

Q. 2. What is the chief end of man?
A. Man's chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever. (1 Cor. 10:31; Psalm 73:25-26)

Sunday, April 24, 2016

You will think you have had enough

Rev. John Brown of Haddington
"The Rev. [John] Brown, of Haddington, tutor in divinity to the Associate Synod, in a letter of paternal counsels and cautions to one of his pupils newly settled in a small congregation, wrote thus:—
"'I know the vanity of your heart, and that you will feel mortified that your congregation is very small in comparison with those of your brethren around you; but assure yourself, on the word of an old man, that when you come to give an account of them to the Lord Christ, at his judgment-seat, you will think you have had enough.'"
James Hay and Henry Belfrage, Memoir of the Rev. Alexander Waugh, 3rd ed. (London: Wm. Oliphant and Son, 1839) 64-5.

Thursday, March 03, 2016

Worship should be weighty and real

Just last week, Pastor Mark Dever of Capitol Hill Baptist Church delivered the E.Y. Mullins lectures on preaching at Southern Seminary. The talks were titled
  1. The Symbol and Significance of Preaching
  2. The Use of Preaching
  3. The Art of Preaching
All three of the talks are worth watching (the videos are linked above), but toward the end of the third talk, he makes the point that preaching should be serious. In order to counter the trend toward light, breezy, and entertainment-oriented worship services, Dever quotes the following excerpt from John Piper in Counted Righteous in Christ. The quote is on page 22 of the PDF edition. Dever begins this section of his talk at 32:50 in the video.

A small-church response to Andy Stanley

Perhaps you've heard the latest row over comments made by Andy Stanley in his sermon at NorthPoint this weekend. He's since apologized via twitter. But here's what he said:
Small churches are selfish! Churches of under 300 are not able to provide a full ministry to children and youth and are therefore inferior to big churches. We are selfish for continuing in our small church ministries.