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Archive for the ‘Preaching’ Category

Shepherds Conference

What follows is my notes from the evening service of the first night of Shepherd’s Conference 2014.  The speaker was Mark Dever.

Establishing the need: How are you brother pastors?

There are those here tonight in ministry who are:

  • The Resigned
  • The Hopeless

Isaiah has a Word for you.  Turn to Isaiah 34-35.

Context:  

  • Chapters 1-11 Warns Judah
  • Chapters 12-27, God’s call to repent
  • Chapters 28 onwards, Judah Judged
  • Recurring theme: Judgment and Salvation

Outline:

  • Chapter 34 Judgment
  • Chapter 35 Salvation

 

Do you feel you are about to give into fear of days ahead?

  1. Hold on, God’s judgement is coming (Chapter 34)
    • It will be universal (v.1-4)
      • Don’t forget when God waits to vindicate, He waits to vindicate His name!
      • He has more of an incentive to vindicate His name than just vindicate us!  We need to remember that.
    • It’s for us (v.5-8)
    • It’s is final (v.9-17)
      • Real description here but also pictures of future judgment
      • Look at verse 10, “forever.”
    • Application: Know that God’s judgment never ned but our trials do.
  1. Hold on, God’s Salvation is coming (Chapter 35)
    • Wilderness/desert will bcome like spring again
    • Glory of nature restored, a window of God’ glory (v.2b)
    • This include the justice of God
    • Hebrews 12 quotes Isaiah 35:4, which is the point of the whole book of Isaiah
    • God is a bigger problem one will face, and also a bigger solution than that the nations poses
    • Application: Remember the fullness of God’s goodness

 

We need to preach this “Judgment/Salvation” today.  This is not strange, rememebr Jesus’ prayer “Thy Kingdom Come,” would does that mean?

God will put an end to all injustice.

Look at verse eight, note “highway” is a highway to God.  We of course know Jesus is the Way to God.

Look at verse ten, we have singing.

Let not the enemy win, let us go through our trials in a way that glorifies God, let us rejoice in God in our suffering.

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Shepherds Conference

 

This upcoming week we will be blogging through some of the sessions from the Shepherd’s Conferences which takes place between March 5th-7th, 2014 at Grace Community Church pastored by John MacArthur.

Keynote speakers include Al Mohler, Mark Dever, Steve Lawson and Phil Johnson.

I heard also this year that Paul Washer is doing a seminar session on the Great Commission as a Theological Endeavor.

Stay Tune!

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Do you sense that your preaching has no depth, light, heat, fire, or glow that is being emitted from the pulpit?  Are you boring your audience to death?  You may present a well-intended and accurate exposition, which is the light, but is passion, which is the heat, missing?  If so, it maybe wise to take heed to Professor John Murray’s statement, “To me, preaching without passion is not preaching at all.”  J.W. Alexander statement is of help too.  Here is what he says, “The whole mass of truth, by the sudden passion of the speaker, is made red-hot and burns its way.  Passion is eloquence.”  If these statements are germane to your current situation in the area of preaching, I recommend that you read this book.  And if you are not experiencing a lack of light and heat, I still recommend this book because it is wonderfully refreshing to the soul of a preacher.

The author’s main theme in this book is in regards to “The Immediate Agency and Operations of the Holy Spirit in and on the Preacher in the Act of Preaching.”  It seems to be a long title and theme that Pastor Martin refers to often in this book.  For example, he stated: “I will seek to demonstrate that His agency (His active power) and His operations (the effects of that power) are direct and immediate in and on the preacher in the act of preaching, in contrast to those operations that come through intervening agencies.”  What he has just described is what he calls the bull’s eye topic that he seeks to unravel for the readers.

Before he gets into the details of explaining the theme or the bull’s-eye topic, Pastor Martin provides some helpful presuppositions to consider in regards to the Holy Spirit.  First the Holy Spirit is a person.  Whether it be His gifts or functions, we must always remember that they are operations of a person, not a force.   Second, the Holy Spirit is a divine person.  As the pastor so clearly states, “All that constitutes the essence of the Father’s deity and the Son’s deity can and must be equally attributed to the person of the Holy Spirit.  Hence, all the reverence, all the submission, and all the love that flows out of Spirit-renewed hearts to the Father and to the Son must also constantly flow out to this glorious divine person called the Holy Spirit.”  Third, the Holy Spirit is not only a divine person, but He is sovereign.  He possesses supreme and ultimate authority when it comes to regeneration and the dispensing of spiritual gifts.

In light of the presuppositions concerning the Holy Spirit, the writer devotes much of his material under three main headings: “1) its indispensable necessity, 2) its specific manifestations, and 3) its restrained or diminished measure.”

I will not go into details concerning the book’s details regarding this topic, but what I can tell you is that in his first main heading: “its indispensable necessity,” the writer argues that Spirit’s role is an indispensable necessity in preaching because just as how He was involved in Christ’s ministry (Luke 2:52; Isa. 61:1; Luke 3:21-22; Luke 4:1-2; Luke 4:14; Heb. 9:14), the apostles’ ministry (Acts 1:3; Luke 24:45-48; Luke 24:49; Acts 1:8; Acts 1:7-8; 1 Thess. 1:5), and the New Covenant ministry (2 Corinthians 2:14-4:18; 3:1-8; 3:5-6; Romans 8:26), He too is involved in our preaching.

Much more can be said about this book, but I will quote an excerpt from Charles Spurgeon’s book, Lectures to My Students, and a few exhortations from Pastor Martin in terms of what they have to say concerning the indispensability of the Spirit’s agency and operations that is in connection to the preaching ministry invested to the preacher by God.  Here are the wise sayings from a godly experienced pastor:

To us, as ministers, the Holy Spirit is absolutely essential.  Without him our office is a mere name.  We claim no priesthood over and above that which belongs to every child of God; but we are the successors of those who, in olden times, were moved of God to declare his word, to testify against transgression, and to plead his cause.  Unless we have the spirit of the prophets resting upon us, the mantle which we wear is nothing but a rough garment to deceive.  We ought  to be driven forth with abhorrence from the society of honest men for daring to speak in the name of the Lord if the Spirit of God rests not upon us.  We believe ourselves to be spokesmen for Jesus Christ, appointed to continue his witness upon earth; but upon him and his testimony of the Spirit of God always rested, and if it does not rest upon us, we are evidently not sent forth into the world as he was.  At Pentecost the commencement of the great work of converting the world was with flaming tongues and a rushing mighty wind, symbols of the presence of the Spirit; if, therefore, we think to succeed without the Spirit, we are not after the Pentecostal order.  If we have not the Spirit which Jesus promised, we cannot perform the commission which Jesus gave.” ~ Charles H. Spurgeon, Lectures to My Students (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, 2008), 255.

Now a word of discernment must be made.  In light of this quote, I believe what Spurgeon said about the flaming tongues should be perceived as an element that is giving the presentation of what took place and how the Spirit operated, not a model to follow because flaming tongues have ceased for today.  But that is beyond the scope for this post and that is a topic for another day. But what we can extract from Spurgeon’s statement  is that the indispensable necessity of the Holy Spirit’s operation back then in the lives of believers also operate in preaching for the sake of God’s glory and one’s edification.  Without Him, preaching will have no life.

As for Pastor Martin soul-stirring exhortations concerning the immediate agency and operation of the Holy Spirit in our preaching that gives a heightened sense of the spiritual realities, please take note of them below.  I pray that they will be helpful to you:

  • “But in the act of preaching it is as though you are given the ability to smell the brimstone and to hear the hopeless cry of the damned, and your soul feels the horrors of the pit that awaits the impenitent.  You preach the truth of hell as one who senses and feels the reality of what you are preaching.  What are these experiences?  They are nothing other and nothing less than the blessed reality of the immediate agency and operation of the Holy Spirit in our preaching, giving us a heightened sense of the spiritual realities in which we are trafficking as we preach” (20).
  • “One of the results of this blessed experience is that at times it will give an involuntary glow to the very countenance of the preacher.  No actor can produce it.  There is nothing in your notes that says ‘glow here.’  You cannot anticipate it; you cannot force or imitate it.  It may evoke an unplanned and unforced tear in the eye.  At other times it will inject an element of pathos and pleading power into the vocal cords and in many ways take a preacher totally out of himself.  My dear reader, if you are a preacher and do not find these things resonating with you in terms of things you have experienced, both you and your hearers are to be pitted.  This is why George Whitefield said, ‘I would not for one thousand worlds preach an unfelt Christ.’  This is what Whitefield was talking about” (21).

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NOTE: This book just came off the press (March 2013) and was on sale and promoted widely during Shepherd’s Conference!  I thought it would be timely to put up this review.

This was a very edifying read; one ought to purchase it for their pastor! The book makes the case that Luther must be understood as a preacher before all other roles that he had, whether it’s a theologian, professor or writer. I learned that Luther zeal for preaching was done while he was doing everything else in ministry and on any given Sunday he preached three to four sermons with the first service beginning at at 5 AM! He would preach a sermon every two days. While I have enjoyed other biographies on Luther in the past (see for instance, this recent post), what makes this particular book unique is that this book on Martin Luther as a preacher is written by Steven Lawson who is himself a powerful and passionate preacher. There’s nothing like a good preacher having the insight on another famous preacher. Lawson is not only a preacher but he has proven himself in the past to be a capable writer especially in the area of the history of preaching and this work doesn’t disappoint. For a work in which the body comes in at 122 pages, Lawson’s historical leg work is amazing with 324 footnotes total. The sources he cites indicate his familiarity with both secondary sources and English translation of primary sources on Luther. And he’s able to do this without making the book feel boring.  On the contrary, reading the book made me felt passionate about preaching especially when I got to chapter five on Luther’s passionate delivery in the pulpit. I couldn’t go to sleep until after three in the morning because I wanted to preach God’s Word as a result of reading this book!  I am a firm believer that true Christ-centered preaching that’s Biblically driven can’t be delivered as a mono-tone lecture–one must internalize the Word of God and let the Word set you ablaze with a conviction of it’s truth and power. I highly recommend the book for all readers.

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Preaching

MacArthur, John and the Master’s Seminary FacultyPreaching: How to Preach Biblically. Nashville, Tenn: Thomas Nelson, Inc, 2005.

Strengths

This book did a wonderful job in presenting the concise definition of the term: expository preaching and the detail analysis regarding expository preaching.  While reading the processes of the exegetical method, hermeneutic methods, and guidelines in preaching different genres, I found it helpful when Pastor MacArthur open up the doors into his preparation before preaching on Sunday.  What was also helpful were the explanations on how one moves from exegesis to exposition and how one delivers his exposition.

Moving from exegesis to exposition is important because as preachers, we do not want to be a data dump or sound like a commentary when we are preaching.  We must be like Martin Luther who preached to the common man.  At times, this can be difficult for expositors because there is a big temptation to go too deep because of the power and depth of the biblical languages.

I am glad Pastor MacArthur touched upon the negativity of being a data dump.  If exposition is not present, then the listeners will have trouble understanding.

What was also refreshing are insights on how to develop a good introduction, illustrations, and conclusion.  These three components are essential in delivering a powerful, illustrative, and engaging exposition.

Another component that I think is critical for expositors to know and keep in mind is the chart on page 114 of the book.  The chart lists four levels concerning the “relationships between fields of theological study.”  The first level comprises of biblical introduction, biblical languages, and hermeneutics.  Biblical introduction has to do with understanding the historical background, author, etc.    Biblical languages are key because the Bible was written in the original, not English nor any other language. Having a firm grasp on the biblical languages brings one closer to God’s Word and brings others to God’s Word.  Hermeneutics (art and science of interpretation) on the other hand, is critical too because it provides rules to interpretation.  Without proper hermeneutics, you will not have accurate exegesis.

In level two, you have exegesis.  Exegesis does not rely on the English, but deals with the Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic; and relies upon good hermeneutical principles (108).  The job of exegesis is to help bring about the meaning of the text.

The third level comprises of systematic theology, biblical theology, church history, philosophy of religion, apologetics, homiletics, counseling, Christian education, administration, missions, evangelism, contemporary society, ethics, etc. (114).

The last level is Bible exposition.  This is the level where preachers declare the Word of God to the people.  Dr. Richard L. Mayhue defines exposition in this manner,

At its best, expository preaching is ‘the presentation of biblical truth, derived from and transmitted through a historical, grammatical, Spirit-guided study of a passage in its context, which the Holy Spirit applies first to the life of the preacher and then through him to his congregation’” (9).

This is a great quote and is convicting in many fronts.  It is a powerful reminder for me that I need to work hard at getting the interpretation right, I need to rely on the Holy Spirit; and that I need to apply God’s truth to myself first before telling others to apply them.

Weaknesses

One weakness in this book is that it does not dive in depth about how to deal with New Testament narratives.  More attention was given to Old Testament narratives.  I think that speaking about the narratives in the New Testament (i.e. Gospels) would help much since many preachers will preach from the New Testament.  Also since context is important, a more detailed analysis in how to analyze a particular context of a passage would help the reader.

Quotes

Below are lists of quotes that were insightful and had an impact on me.  I pray that I go back to these quotes as a reference.

James Rosscup—

“The young preacher has been taught to lay out all his strength on the form, taste, and beauty of his sermon as a mechanical and intellectual product.  We have thereby cultivated a vicious taste among the people and raised the clamor for talent instead of grace, eloquence instead of piety, rhetoric instead of revelation, reputation and brilliancy instead of holiness” (55).

Andrew Blackwood—

“For in his study the prophet can build his altar and on it lay the wood.  There he can lovingly place his sacrifice…sermon…but still he knows that the fire must come down from God.  Come it will, if he prays before he works, and if he works in the spirit of prayer” (59).

Richard Baxter—

“Many a tailer goes in rags, that maketh costly clothes for others; and many a cook scarcely licks his fingers, when he hath dressed for others the most costly dishes…It is a fearful thing to be an unsanctified professor, but much more to be an unsanctified preacher” (68).

John Flavel—

“Brethren, it is easier to declaim against a thousand sins of others, than to mortify one sin in ourselves” (69).

Charles Spurgeon—

“Let the minister take care that his personal character agrees in all respects with his ministry” (69).

John MacArthur—

“Illumination is the work of the Holy Spirit that opens one’s spiritual eyes to comprehend the meaning of the Word of God” (78).

“Revelation refers to the act by which God makes known what is otherwise unknowable.  Theologians sometimes call it ‘special revelation”(79).

Charles Spurgeon—

“A house must not have thick walls without openings, neither must a discourse be all made up of solid slabs of doctrine without a window of comparison or a lattice of poetry; if so, our hearers will gradually forsake us, and prefer to stay at home and read their favourite authors whose lively tropes and vivid images afford more pleasure to their minds” (240).

John MacArthur—

“Faithful expository preaching demands great effort.  Since nothing is as important as the Word, no energy expended by anyone in any other field should even equal the effort of an expositor seeking to ‘rightly divide the Word’” (171).

Richard L. Mayhue—

“The element of ethos, that is, the preacher’s perceived credibility in the mind of his audience, can be markedly influenced by the kind and quality of his introduction.  This is especially true in cases where listeners have no previous acquaintance with their preacher.  As the adage goes, ‘First impressions are lasting impressions” (201).

John MacArthur—

“Preaching is expository in purpose.  It explains the text.  Preaching is logical in flow.  It persuades the mind.  Preaching is doctrinal in content.  It obligates the will.  Preaching is pastoral in concern.  It feeds the soul.  Preaching is imaginative in pattern.  It excites the emotion.  Preaching is relevant in application.  It touches the life” (236-237).

John MacArthur—

“Proper communication in preaching involves taking people through a logical, systematic, and compelling process” (237).

In regards to how long a sermon should be, he states, “As long as it takes to cover the passage adequately!  I do not think the length of the sermon is as important as its content.  At times I have preached fifty minutes and it has been ten minutes too long.  Other times, I have preached an hour and twenty-five minutes and it has been just right.  The important thing is to cover the main point so that people are convinced of its truth and comprehend its requirements.  If you have nothing worthwhile to say, even twenty minutes will seem like an eternity to your people.  If you are interesting, they will stay with you.  Do not mistake persuasion for long-windedness, however.  If you preach longer than you should, you will sacrifice persuasiveness” (277).

 

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Here are some great sermons regarding the Pharisee and the tax collector preached by Pastor H.B. Charles and Pastor John MacArthur.  I encourage you to listen to the messages and perhaps share the messages with family or friends who have been whisked by the deceiving works righteousness religions.  I have many family and friends who are immersed in the business of the works righteousness religions such as Catholicism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, etc.  It really grieves me that they are deceived in works righteousness; and it is my prayer that the Gospel will free them one day.  May sinners who are deceived in sin, one day have the heart of the tax collector, by truly repenting from his or her sins of self-righteousness.

In this video, you will hear the terms such as justification and atonement being used.  These are some very important terms described from the Bible that sets Christianity in stark contrast to other religions.  With that said, here are the videos down below.

The message from Pastor H.B Charles is very encouraging; and stirred my heart for the lost.

The message from Pastor MacArthur is filled with potent truths that exposes the depths of the text concerning the Pharisee and the tax collector.

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Here is a great and convicting sermon by Voddie Baucham, who is a father, husband, pastor, author, professor, conference speaker and church planter.  He currently pastors at Grace Family Baptist Church.

Also, please feel free to check out his blog site:

Blog Site

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Pastor Austin Duncan preaching about the importance of church membership and the local church.  This is an important message for church lovers and church critiques.

Here is a sample dose from this message,

If we expose our own sin, God will cover it up. If we cover our sin, God will expose it.” ~ Austin Duncan

Just because God is for you doesn’t mean he’s about you.” ~ Austin Duncan

There is no such thing in the early church as a Christian who is not part of a church body.” ~ Austin Duncan

In Acts coming to Christ meant being added to the church body.” ~ Austin Duncan

The word membership isn’t in the Bible but the concept is everywhere in Scripture.” ~ Austin Duncan

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Here is a good sermon by John MacArthur regarding the true church and the Catholic Church.  May this video be a rebuke to Christians who think that the Catholic Church is a biblical church.

There is only one head of the church – its not the Catholic Church, but God alone.

 

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Strengths

This book is not filled with boredom.  Almost every page is filled with insights and excitement.  Every category that Dr. Montoya covered is significant to expository preaching.   His figure of speeches used to convey his message, make it easy to follow.  This really added color to the material, which makes it easy for me to retain the information.

A big area that I felt was important was his explanation of body gestures.  This is an important area in preaching.  He explained it well.  This will help me much in preaching.  I highly recommend this book for those interested to learn about passionate preaching.  Whether you are a beginner or seasonal preacher, this book is a must have.

Weaknesses

I think that having a couple of questions at the end of every chapter for reflection would help challenge the reader’s thoughts concerning passionate, expository preaching.

With that said, here are some good quotes that ministered to me.

Dr. Montoya—

Preaching is passionate because it deals with the very nature of God and the expression of His love for humanity.  The attitude in the study and the attitude in the pulpit are similar yet different.  The study is the discovery of the truth, and the pulpit is the sharing of this truth.  The simmering of the week boils over in the pulpit on Sunday.  How can we preach such magnificent truths as though they were common and mundane (13)?

Charles Spurgeon—

We must regard the people as the wood and the sacrifice, well wetted a second and a third time by the cares of the week, upon which, like the prophet, we must pray down the fire from heaven.  A dull minister creates a dull audience.  You cannot expect the office-bearers and members of the church to travel by steam if their own chosen pastor still drives the old broad-wheeled wagon (14).

Dr. Montoya—

As a minister matures, his passion should increase.  Have you ever noticed why older preachers command such attention?  It is because they have lived the truth (16)!

Dr. Montoya—

My own experience bears this out.  I am by nature shy and inhibited, and during my early years I possessed a high degree of stage fright.  Yet God has allowed me to go beyond this weakness and to develop a degree of passion in my preaching.  If there was hope for me, there is hope for other timid souls (17).

Dr. Montoya—

Artificial elements do not give life to a dead sermon offered by a preacher devoid of the Spirit (23).

Dr. Montoya—

Spiritual power comes when we realize our utter unworthiness to preach and our total dependence on God for everything.  God despises a proud heart and opposes the proud.  Instead, He chooses to honor those who honor Him (1 Sam. 2:30).  We experience our driest and deepest valleys when we rely upon our own strength (24).

Dr. Montoya—

We should look to the prophet Isaiah to seek a similar vision of the exalted and holy God (24).

Dr. Montoya—

A story is told of a young preacher who proudly went up to preach and soon after made a mess of his delivery (24).

Dr. Montoya—

We must take care take care of how we ascend to the pulpit if we desire God’s power in our preaching.  As the Holy of Holies was not available to all—unless they were qualified and entered in purity and reverence—so should it be with the pulpit.  We dare not assume the role, treat it as profane, and expect God to bless.  He will not!  The psalmist in Psalm 24:3-6 lays down the qualifications needed for an ascent to the holy hill of the Lord: clean hands, a pure heat; a true soul (25).

Dr. Montoya—

Psalm 15 states the same requirements.  Here the psalmist qualifies the one who may “abide in God’s tent” and who may “dwell on His holy hill” as one who walks with integrity and works righteousness, speaks truth in his heart, does not slander with his tongue, does no evil to his neighbor, does not take up a reproach against his friend, despises a reprobate, and honors those who fear the Lord (25).

Dr. Montoya—

The key to spiritual power is to keep short accounts with God (26).

Dr. Montoya—

The pulpit can be a great help in keeping us from habitual sin if we acknowledge its sanctity and the need for personal holiness as a requirement for our entrance into it to declare God’s Word (27).

Dr. Montoya—

Men of God sin, and men of God must confess their sins (27).

Let me add that the pulpit is no place for the confession of our personal sins to God.  We should do that in our study or in our closets.  Such show of hypocrisy—that we would use the sacred desk as a pretense for humility and holiness—must be sorrowfully loathsome to God.  We must be personally well acquainted with the cross of Christ—the fount of cleansing is for us first.  Alexander Maclaren has rightly written, ‘It takes a crucified man to preach a crucified Savior’” (27).

Dr. Montoya—

Holiness must also be maintained through a constant and living communion with God.  If we are to be leaders of worship, then we must be true worshipers as well.  If we are to speak for God, then we must be those who speak with God.  If we are to lead souls to heaven, then we must be those who descend from heaven with God’s Shekinah around us” (27).

Dr. Montoya—

Here is where so many of us fail.  We do not practice what we preach.  Yet we wonder why the power has departed from our preaching  (27).

Dr. Montoya—

The key to spiritual power is to keep short accounts with God (26).

George Mueller—

I saw more clearly than ever that the first and great and primary business to which I ought to attend every day was to have my soul happy in the Lord.  The first thing to be concerned about was not how much I might serve the Lord,…but how I might get my soul into a happy state, and how my inner [life] might be nourished (27).

Dr. Montoya—

A sermon is not an exercise in exegesis, but a declaration of a truth to move us to moral action (46).

Dr. Montoya—

Every preacher should be a theologian.  He should know his doctrine because every sermon is a doctrinal sermon—an unfolding of some divine truth revealed in the Scriptures (47).

Dr. Montoya—

It is our burden for others that creates passion in our preaching (56).

Dr. Montoya—

When were you last so overwhelmed by your love for your congregation that your words went forth mixed with tears (62).

Dr. Montoya—

Teaching with authority is learned from Christ—not from the scribes (74).

Bibliography

Montoya, Alex D., and MacArthur, John. Preaching With Passion. Kregel Pubns, 2007.

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Speaks for itself.  Well done illustration.

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Few days ago I just reviewed this book.

Thanks to Lynda O. for pointing that the internet has a free copy of this work on PDF.

You can download a free PDF copy by clicking HERE.

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Though this blog is mainly one that is about Presuppositional apologetics and theology, in continuing with Van Til’s point that there should be a close relationship between apologetics and evangelism, I think it is worth the time for Christian apologist to cultivate their Christian life towards being an evangelist and soul winner.  To that end, I review the following work:

This classic is a good read for the soul. This work asks some probing and convicting questions for the preacher and the pastor whose responsibility is to see men know the Gospel and Jesus Christ. There are sins of commission (sins that involves our active participation) and sins of omissions (sins when we do not do what we are obligated to do). There were times when I read this book I had to pause, search my soul before God, repent, pray to God and also heavily burdened to pray for others. This work is good enough and short enough that every minister should read this work annually. This is the first time I read a work by this author and the impression I get from this work does incline me to consider reading other titles by the same author.

You can purchase this short work here.

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I thought this was a good lesson for all those who like baseball, of how really one’s ministry should not be one sided…

From Yahoo Sports

Jarrod Saltalamacchia(notes) has absolutely destroyed the pitching he’s seen so far at Triple-A. He’s batting .343 in 18 games for Oklahoma City with five doubles, three homers, and an on-base percentage of .400.

You might recall that Saltalamacchia began the year as the Texas Rangers starting catcher, then hit the disabled list with a back injury just two games into the season. Considering the current state of the catching position in Arlington (Matt Treanor(notes) is hitting .209), you’d think that Saltalamacchia would be welcomed back.

His bat is ready, but the rest of him isn’t. Saltalamacchia is struggling with his throws — not his across-the-diamond throws to second base, but his 60-foot tosses to the pitcher’s mound.

In Salty’s last game, Tuesday night at AT&T Bricktown Ballpark, 12 of his throws back to the pitcher landed either short of the mound or in center field. He had five errant throws in the first inning alone.

“He’s just got to keep playing until he gets it right,” RedHawks manager Bobby Jones said. “I don’t know what else to do. It’s a shame. It’s definitely what’s keeping him here. He’s blocking the ball well and swinging the bat well. He’s just got to figure it out. It’s a shame.”

[…]

Saltalamacchia said, “Everything feels good. My throws have been good down to second. We’ve been working on different arm angles, getting on top of the ball more rather than getting on the side. So everything’s going smoothly and we’ll see where it goes.”

Pastors need to work every facet and skill in their ministry and not be an expert of one thing.  If a player can only swing a bat, but can’t play outfield, no matter how good he can bat, he’s a liability.  Similarly, if a Pastor can be the best preacher or the best apologist, but has no skill of shepherding, unable to counsel, inability to model what he preaches, or love God’s flock, the guy is a liability in the ministry…even if it turns out his pitch of the Word of God is excellent.

I hope this points hit home.

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This is a great clip

Open Air Preaching is Biblical!

There is a way of doing this…in a manner and attitude that is Biblical!

This is what we need

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