Posted in Bible, Christianity, Christology, Jesus, Jesus Christ, Pastor, Preachers, Reformation, Reformed, SHEPHERD'S CONFERENCE, Theology, tagged Christ, Christianity, Christology, Jesus, Shepherd's Conference on March 19, 2017|
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Shepherd’s Conference (a conference for Pastors and Preachers) was a few weeks ago with the celebration of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation and the theme of “We Preach Christ.” Some of you who were not there still was able to enjoy the General Sessions because the Conference graciously livestreamed them. However the various seminar sessions are what some people are looking forward to whether you were in the conference or not since they were more specific and occurred simultaneously with other seminar sessions. Since there are 19 of them they are something that’s going to take some to time for me to listen through!
I know the official Shepherd’s Conference website says “Media Coming Soon” but the Audio MP3s of the seminar sessions can be downloaded by clicking on the title of the sessions below:
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Charles Spurgeon. The Need of Decision for the Truth. Scriptura Press, December 11th 2015. 23 pp.
This was originally a chapter in Charles Spurgeon’s classic, Lectures to My Students. Although it was originally preached and written in the 1800s the content of The Need of Decision for the Truth is relevant even for the twentieth-first century. In the beginning of the book Spurgeon talks about how people in his “present age” seem to think “Some things are either true or false, according to the point of view from which you look at them. Black is white, and white is black according to circumstances; and it does not particularly matter which you call it.” I was amazed to read these words in the book’s opening paragraph for that describes our time so accurately as well! It reminded me that the attack on truth is nothing new, and truly the Bible is right when Ecclesiastes says that there is nothing new under the sun. The rest of the book is focused on the importance of truth and the manner of Christian truth-bearing.
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So you want to be a Pastor or be full time in the ministry? I think a “must read” for those who are wondering if they are called to the ministry is from chapter two of Spurgeon’s book, Lectures to My Students. I’ve recommended serveral different guys this chapter in the last month or so. It has come to my attention that this chapter has also been adapted into a short kindle booklet which is nice if one wants a short document on their kindle library rather than the entire volume of Lectures to My Students. This is a convicting message by Spurgeon and it spoke powerfully to me before I entered the ministry and now currently in ministry. I also enjoyed Spurgeon’s exposition on the bad reasons why people entered ministry. Readers shouldn’t miss his story of the self-professing “best applicant” that tried to entered Spurgeon’s Pastor’s college and Spurgeon’s account of the interview.
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Posted in Book Review, Charles Spurgeon, Christianity, Ligoner Ministries, Pastor, Pastoral Ministry, Preachers, Reformed, Reformed Baptist, Theology on November 4, 2014|
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This book is part of a series by Ligonier Ministries called “A Long Line of Godly Men Profile.” I’ve enjoyed other books in this series and this one also live up to my expectation. The author Steve Lawson himself is an excellent Reformed preacher which makes the book insightful since this is a biography of a preacher by a preacher. In the beginning of the book Lawson made an interesting point of the line of godly men in the Reformed tradition: “If John Calvin was the greatest theologian of the church, Jonathan Edwards the greatest philosopher, and George Whitefield the greatest evangelist, Spurgeon surely ranks as its greatest preacher” (1). Spurgeon is often called today “the Prince of Preachers,” who faithfully preached the Gospel with much power of the Holy Spirit for nearly four decades.
This biography is not just about time and dates in Spurgeon’s life but a biography of his theology. After the first chapter on Spurgeon’s life and legacy, the rest of the chapters was on how his theology drove Spurgeon’s ministry. I especially appreciated the chapter on Sovereign grace in Spurgeon’s preaching and also the chapter on Spurgeon’s evangelistic fervor.
I learned several things from the book about Spurgeon’s life that I did not know previously. For instance, I did not know Spurgeon did not have any formal theological training, having not attended any seminary or degrees yet he was quite theologically astute. Before reading the book I knew Spurgeon was a ferocious reader and I now further appreciate Spurgeon’s tenacity in self-education! I saw as application for preachers today is to continuously grow in one’s theology and not just resort to thinking one need not grow just because of one’s “success” in ministry or because of a theological degree one has attained in the past.
I’ve also learned that Spurgeon founded the Pastor’s College at the age of twenty two, which is all the more remarkable given his lack of formal theological education. The book also mentioned how for the first fifteen years of the school Spurgeon himself covered the cost of the school by the sales of his weekly sermon. There is something encouraging to see a man who is so committed to training up godly and biblical pastors that he puts his own money and time into it.
I was also much encouraged by Spurgeon’s example when I learned how often Spurgeon preached during the week. Lawson stated in the book that Spurgeon preached as much as ten times during the week. My favorite quote from Spurgeon in the book is the following: “We find ourselves able to preach ten or twelve times a week, and we find we are the stronger for it…‘Oh,’ said one of the members, ‘our minister will kill himself.’…That is the kind of work that will kill no man. It is preaching to sleepy congregations that kill good ministers” (14).
I recommend this book for all Christians, given how Spurgeon is so widely read still today. I especially recommend this book for Pastors to be rekindled as a preacher to have a Gospel focus like Spurgeon. Sometimes historical theology can be quite edifying when we want examples of godly men and virtues of guys who are closer to us than those who are far removed from our time. The author did a good job balancing honoring Spurgeon while not idolizing him, and Lawson is able to do this in the book by looking at Spurgeon’s theology, which points us towards Jesus, the Gospel and the Bible.
Purchase: Westminster | Amazon
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