Monday, October 13, 2014

1517 Has Moved!

While I will continue to keep this site for the sake of the many helpful links, I am now blogging at the new Mortification of Spin site hosted by the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals. There I am joined by my cohorts Carl Trueman and Aimee Byrd. Hope you enjoy the new site.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Block on Worship

The latest installment of Mortification of Spin: Bully Pulpit includes a discussion of Daniel Block's excellent new book on worship - For The Glory of God: Recovering a Biblical Theology of Worship.
This week, the gang flips through the pages of Daniel Block's book, For the Glory of God: Recovering a Biblical Theology of Worship. The team concurs: Block's ideas on today's fundamental elements of worship, such as singing and prayer, are thought-provoking and worth a read. The gang discusses what true worship is - does Old Testament ritual practice have a place in worship or are we just spinning our wheels? In usual fashion, they offer their two cents on today's catchy contemporary jingles juxtaposed to the rich psalms and hymns of old.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Sunday's Sermon

On Sunday I preached part 19 in our series through the Book of Acts. It is entitled "The Killing of the Righteous One" and is taken from Acts 7:44-53. You may listen to or download it HERE.

Also, Covenant Presbyterian is now podcasting the sermons.

Christless Christianity

“All the dogma and the death and resurrection of Jesus stuff was not the attraction.”
- Bart Campolo

And that's the problem.

In an interview with Jonathan Merritt, Bart Campolo, son of Tony Campolo, explains his coming out as an atheist.

It is a sad story. But Campolo's admitted ambivalence about doctrine goes a long way in explaining his current state. In his own words it was not the doctrines or truth claims of the Bible that drew him to Christianity but the struggle for justice. While justice, being an attribute of God, ought to be prized by Christians, the gospel is the matter of first importance. And according to Bart it is not the gospel which drew him to Christianity but the appeal of changing the world. However, Christianity is not a showcase for our good works. It is not a platform from which to pursue justice. Christianity is something in which to believe. Supremely it is believing upon Jesus by whose death and resurrection we are saved.

Campolo proves the words of the Apostle Paul that if not for the resurrection then our faith is in vain.

As an aside, Mr. Merritt's final sentence in the article is practically incomprehensible.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Why the Reformed Baptize Their Babies

The latest edition of Mortification of Spin addresses an issue that attracts no small amount of controversy: Paedobaptism. Carl, Aimee, and I discuss why Presbyterians baptize their babies. The other benefit is that it's going to drive Frank Turk absolutely crazy.
This week the gang's in deep water discussing the holy sacrament of baptism - How should we treat it? Who should administer it? Why does it even matter? They reveal key exegetical defenses, share helpful resources for those on the fence, and tell what convinced them to hang up their own credobaptist views for paedobaptist ones. Come on down to the river... the water’s fine!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Sunday's Sermon

On Sunday I preached part 18 in our series through the Book of Acts. It is entitled "The Rejected Redeemer" (Acts 7:17-43) and can be listened to or downloaded HERE. We are also now podcasting our sermons.

Monday, September 29, 2014

De-Cisions, De-Cisions

In is excellent book Leading with a Limp, Dan Allender points out the isolating nature of decision making.
To decide requires a death, a dying to a thousand options, the putting aside of a legion of possibilities in order to choose just one. De-cide. Homo-cide. Sui-cide. Patri-cide. The root word decidere means "to cut off." All decisions cut us off, separate us from nearly infinite options as we select just one single path. And every decision we make earns us the favor of some and the disfavor of others...

A good leader will, in time, disappoint everyone. Leadership requires a willingness to not be liked, in fact, a willingness to be hated. But is is impossible to lead people who doubt you and hate you. So the constant tug is to make the decision that is the least offensive to the greatest number and then to align yourself with those who have the most power to sustain your position and reputation in the organization.
This is one of the reasons that leadership can be so lonely. I suggest that this is particularly true with leadership in the church. In businesses and even most non-profits the leader has a certain amount of leverage that pastors do not possess. Pastors are called to lead (or help lead) the very ones who pay his salary. It may sound carnal to be concerned about things like providing food and shelter for ones family but pastors actually do think about such things.

Everyday the pastor is aware of the fact that with each decision he makes he is alienating some of the very people he must be building bridges toward. The tension can be excruciating at times.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Mortification of Spin

On this week's Mortification of Spin, Carl, Aimee, and I are joined by Rachel Miller to discuss the Patriarchy movement.
Join a provocative conversation with Rachel Miller, editor and writer for the Aquila Report, as she enlightens us about the patriarchy movement, its driving forces, and its many dangers that have gone under the radar in reformed circles. It's all talk about headship, gender roles, and the Duggars. Listen to the team tackle sinister elements of the movement and how to approach it from a pastoral perspective. They laugh, they pry, they get serious.