Consequence Free

I had an unusual and unexpected experience on Sunday–one that struck me as rather significant. I have been doing quite a bit of preaching at Grace Fellowship Church and elsewhere and knew that Sunday marked the last time I would have to prepare a fresh sermon until the end of the calendar year. Somehow this made me feel like I would be crossing a finish line when the service came to a close. It was a milestone I was looking …

A Preacher’s Prayer

As I mentioned a couple of days ago, I have the privilege of preaching at Grace Fellowship Church this morning. I awoke feeling tired and worn, believing that fatigue is God’s means of rebuking me, of calling me to depend on him instead of myself. So I turned to the Valley of Vision, looking for a prayer that I could make my own. Here is how that book ministered to me today. My Master God, I am desired to preach …

Become a Patron

A Ministry of Unity

My morning reading today took me to the fourth chapter of Ephesians. This is a chapter that deals primarily with the topic of unity within the body of Christ. Through the first three chapters of the book Paul has been laying the theological framework for the life of good works he describes in the final three chapters. The first topic he discusses in this regard is unity. He encourages believers to live together in humility and patience, bearing with one …

Banner of Truth Conference (IV)

Last night I grabbed a few of the newest Banner books from the rather well-stocked bookstore here at the conference. This morning Rick Phillips preached his second message on the book of Hebrews, this was entitled “Outside the Camp.” It was based on Hebrews 13:9-14: “Do not be led away by diverse and strange teachings, for it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not by foods, which have not benefited those devoted to them. We have …

The Extraordinary Ordinary

Theologians sometimes speak of the ordinary means of grace, a term that refers to the preaching of the Word, the sacraments (or ordinances, if you prefer, as most Baptists do) and prayer. These three means are to be the foundation of the church’s activity. They are simple measures and ones that can often be overlooked. We tend to encounter these means on a regular basis and for that reason these ordinary means of grace can really begin to feel, well, …

Twin Lakes (II)

Ligon Duncan kicked things off with an explanation of this fellowship (they do not refer to it as a conference), the reason it exists and what they mean by continually referring to “the ordinary means of grace.” The Twin Lakes Fellowship is a ministerial fraternal committed to connecting gospel ministers and elders with one another. Duncan quoted Jonathan Edwards who said that when God prepares His church for a significant blessing, He brings together a brotherhood of ministers. These people …

Veneration Gap

A week ago Suzanne Sataline published an article in the Wall Street Journal entitled “Veneration Gap: A Popular Strategy For Church Growth Splits Congregants.” The article examines several examples of churches that have experienced great trial and turmoil as a result of attempting to become Purpose Driven. The article does not seem to be an attempt to prove that Purpose Driven principles are inherently evil or that they always cause conflict. Rather, it seems that Sataline is attempting to show …

The Benefits of Ignorance (Part 2)

Yesterday I wrote about my inflamed duoduwhatzit and the untrained doctor who is going to be removing it for me. This was only a parable, of course, and likely not a very good one at that. Yet it stimulated some good discussion for which I am grateful. I thought I would take the opportunity this morning to clarify my feelings on seminary education. But let me begin somewhere else. People who serve in the military will all be able to …