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Archive for January, 2010

The annual Shepherd’s Conference at Grace Community Church and The Master’s Seminary is now online

You can see it at their website here

Or you can read this entry:

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Time Session Title Teacher
1:30 PM – 2:45 PM Despise, Distract, or Develop? *Student Ministries Track*
Establishing a philosophy of student ministry
Austin Duncan
1:30 PM – 2:45 PM Don’t Couch the Truth
Biblical counseling vs. Integrationism
Lance Quinn
1:30 PM – 2:45 PM From Moses to Malachi
How to preach the Old Testament
Irv Busenitz
1:30 PM – 2:45 PM How Firm a Foundation
A philosophy of ministry built upon the text of scripture
Jesse Johnson
1:30 PM – 2:45 PM Preaching from a Pure Heart
Consecrating your heart as you prepare for the pulpit
Jerry Wragg
1:30 PM – 2:45 PM The Good Shepherd
Modeling the love of Christ in your pastoral care
Jim Pile
Rick McLean
1:30 PM – 2:45 PM You Might Be a Dispensationalist if…
Why most pastors are more dispensational than they think
Michael Vlach

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Time Session Title Teacher
2:00 PM – 3:15 PM A Doctrine Left Behind
The unintended repercussions of misunderstanding the rapture
Richard Mayhue
2:00 PM – 3:15 PM Generation Next *Student Ministries Track*
How to develop your students into disciples
Kelly Wright
2:00 PM – 3:15 PM Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs
Striving for a balanced approach to music in worship
Clayton Erb
2:00 PM – 3:15 PM Rightly Divided
Interpreting the text before you preach it
Bill Barrick
2:00 PM – 3:15 PM Search & Rescue
A practical approach for church discipline and restoration
Tom Pennington
2:00 PM – 3:15 PM The Divorce Dilemma
Where the biblical principles meet real life
Bill Shannon
2:00 PM – 3:15 PM The Prince of Preachers
A biography of Charles Spurgeon.
Phil Johnson
2:00 PM – 3:15 PM Under Construction
Identifying and mentoring spiritual leaders in the local church
Brent Small

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Time Session Title Teacher
3:45 PM – 5:00 PM As Christ Loved the Church
Shepherding your church into God’s design for marriage
Chris Mueller
3:45 PM – 5:00 PM More than a Praise Band
How our view of worship affects everything we do
Andy Snider
3:45 PM – 5:00 PM Parental Guidance *Student Ministries Track*
Partnering with and shepherding parents of teens
Chris Hamilton
3:45 PM – 5:00 PM Servants, Not Spectators
Motivating and mobilizing members into the work of the ministry
Tom Patton
3:45 PM – 5:00 PM The Art of the Sermon
Crafting an exposition that stays faithful to the text
Rick Holland
3:45 PM – 5:00 PM Thy Kingdom Come
Revelation 20 and the millennial debate
Matt Waymeyer
3:45 PM – 5:00 PM When the Nations Come to Us
A strategy for ministering to ethnic groups within the local church
Michael Mahoney

Friday, March 05, 2010

Time Session Title Teacher
10:45 AM – 12:00 PM As a Dying Man to Dying Men
Preaching with passion, preaching for change
Alex Montoya
10:45 AM – 12:00 PM Hope, Holiness and Homosexuality
A strategy for ministering to struggling Christians
John Street
10:45 AM – 12:00 PM How the Future Got Lost in History
A Premillennial perspective on the roots of Amillennialism
Nathan Busenitz
10:45 AM – 12:00 PM In Obedience to Christ
Examining the biblical teaching on baptism and communion
Jon Rourke
10:45 AM – 12:00 PM Student Ministry Q&A *Student Ministries Track*
An interactive forum on student ministry
Austin Duncan
Kelly Wright
Rick Holland
10:45 AM – 12:00 PM Walking the Thin Line
Liberty vs. legalism in the local church.
Carey Hardy
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Today is the anniversary of Roe v.s. Wade

Over at Focus on the Family, they have a two part interview with Abby Johnson, as she tells her testimony of leaving Planned Parenthood

PART I

PART II

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Over at Defending. Contending. Blog, one of the blogger name “The Pilgrim” has a great post on Mormonism in light of the passing Martin Luther King Day

Check out the link here

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Originally an article published in Grace Theological Journal

The Journal is now defunct

It can be read HERE

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John Frame, who was once a student of Cornelius Van Til, review a recent book on Natural Law as advocated from a Reformed Christian.

The review is available at http://www.frame-poythress.org/frame_articles/2010VanDrunen.htm

Definitely food for thought

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This is an article by Ray Comfort that I found here

It’s so good, I thought I might as well reprint the whole thing below

Saint Francis . . . A Sissy?
– By Ray Comfort

One hundred and fifty thousand children had been on the brink of starving to death, but thanks to the kind gift of a very generous billionaire, every child now had enough food to keep him alive. That gift had arrived in the form of one big check. The horror was now over. It was finished. It was just a matter of distributing the food using the few relief workers we had. Without them to get the food to the children, there would have been many more deaths.

Some days later, a frantic worker burst into the camp and cried, “Some of the relief workers have stopped distributing food. Masses of children are dying!

Why would the workers stop when there was plenty of food? It didn’t make sense. The distraught man said, “It’s because one of them held up a sign that said, ‘Feed the starving children. Where necessary, use food.’ That has caused some of the workers to simply befriend the starving children without giving them food. It’s insane!”

The first time I ever heard of Saint Francis of Assisi was back in 1965. It was during the surf movie “The Endless Summer.” Four surfers who were chasing the sun discovered the perfect wave, at a place in South Africa called “Cape Saint Francis.” The sight of the perfect wave excited me beyond words.

The Unspeakable Gift

The next time I heard of him was when I heard that he said “Preach the Gospel at all times. Where necessary, use words.” That statement upset me beyond words, because it was a philosophy that I knew sounded deeply spiritual . . . to those who were spiritually shallow. It made as much sense as “Feed starving children. Where necessary, use food.”

On 16 July 1228 Francis of Assisi was pronounced a saint by Pope Gregory IX. That’s a long time ago, so it’s a little late for questions, but if I could I would like to find out why anyone would say such a strange thing? Was it because he was fearful to use actual words to preach the truth of the Gospel? Or was it because he thought that people would see that he had good works and hear the message of salvation without a preacher, something contrary to Scripture’s “How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?” (Romans 10:14).

Whatever the case, 800 years since Francis we have many who profess faith in Jesus, and are no doubt using this popular philosophy to justify being speechless. To them salvation truly is an “unspeakable” gift.

Recently someone told me about a conference where 100,000 Christians gathered to worship God. When I asked if they were exhorted to go out and preach the Gospel to every creature, it was no surprise to me that they weren’t. Instead, they were exhorted to live a life of worship. Again, that sounds spiritual, but you can’t worship God without obedience to His Word, and His Word commands us to preach the Gospel to every creature.

I regularly meet those who think they can obey the Great Commission without using words. When they hear the Gospel preached that are usually offended and say things like, “I appreciate what you are saying, but I don’t like the way you are saying it.” With a little probing, they are the relationship folks, who think preaching the Gospel means building relationships with the lost, and never mentioning words like “sin,” “Hell,” and “Judgment Day.” They think that real love is to withhold the Bread of life from those that are starving to death. Remember that Jesus said, “Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels” (Mark 8:38, italics added).

According to the dictionary, a “sissy” is “a timid or cowardly person.” From what I understand of Saint Francis, he was no sissy. He was a loving man who was not afraid to use words when he preached. He wasn’t frightened to preach repentance to a sinful world. However, there have been times when I could have been called that name. I have felt the grip of fear and have wanted to drop words such as sin, Hell, repentance and Judgment Day when I have preached to sinners. I don’t want to come across as being unloving or judgmental, but I fear God more than I fear man. So when God’s Word tells me to use words, I use words, despite the consequences.

Listen to the Apostle Paul’s sobering warning to his hearers: “Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men. For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God” (Acts 20: 26-27). Perhaps he spoke about being free from their blood because he was familiar with God Himself warning Ezekiel of his responsibility to warn his generation: “When I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life, that same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand.” (Ezekiel 3:18, italics added).

When someone thinks that they can feed starving children and not use food, that’s their business. But when their philosophy spreads throughout the camp, it becomes an unspeakable tragedy. If we become passive about the Great Commission because we are more concerned about ourselves than the eternal well-being of others, we may be able to hide our motives from man, but not from God. He warns, “Deliver those who are drawn toward death, and hold back those stumbling to the slaughter. If you say, ‘Surely we did not know this,’ does not He who weighs the hearts consider it? He who keeps your soul, does He not know it? And will He not render to each man according to his deeds?” (Proverbs 24:11-12).

There’s an interesting irony to this story. After a little research I came across a quote about the famous saying. It is from someone who had been a Franciscan monk for 28 years–and had earned an M.A. in Franciscan studies. He co ntacted some of the most eminent Franciscan scholars in the world to try and verify the saying. He said, “It is clearly not in any of Francis’ writings. After a couple weeks of searching, no scholar could find this quote in a story written within 200 years of Francis’ death.” (1.)

So if it wasn’t Saint Francis who said not to use words, who was it? Who is it that would like to see the truth of the Gospel hindered from being preached to every creature? That doesn’t need to be answered.

The time is short. The laborers are few. Please, cast off your fears and equip yourself to preach the Gospel with words. They are necessary.
______________________
(1.) http://www.americancatholic.org/Messenger/Oct2001/Wiseman.asp

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Dr. Michael Vlach is an assistant professor of Theology at The Master’s Seminary.

In this series for lay people, he goes over how to study the Bible.

How to Study the Bible (Intro): The Need for Help

How to Study the Bible (Part 1): Intro to Studying the Bible

How to Study the Bible (Part 2): Bible as Human and Divine Book

How to Study the Bible (Part 3): Determining Context

How to Study the Bible (Part 4): Overcoming the Culture Gap

How to Study the Bible (Part 5): Interpreting Narratives

How to Study the Bible (Part 6): Interpreting the Epistles

How to Study the Bible (Part 7): Interpreting Parables

How to Study the Bible (Part 8): Interpreting the Legal Sections

How to Study the Bible (Part 9): Interpreting the Psalms

How to Study the Bible (Part 10): Interpreting Wisdom Literature

How to Study the Bible (Part 11): Interpreting Biblical Prophecy

How to Study the Bible (Part 12): Interpreting Figures of Speech

How to Study the Bible (Part 13): Interpreting Types

A Proposed Method for Studying a Book of the Bible

Twelve Helpful Resources for Studying the Bible

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