Thursday, November 25, 2010

Esther 1-2 wordle

Wordle: Esther 1-2 NIV
We start looking at Esther this coming Lord's Day at Twynholm Baptist Church.
Interesting that the wordle of Esther 1-2 shows us how the world is often seen. The decisions of kings and nobles is in the forefront of who seems to be in control of this world.The hand of God is unseen; he is never mentioned in the whole book, but he is clearly in control.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Lausanne with Lig

On Sunday night at Twynholm we prayed for lasting fruit at the Lausanne Conference.

Here's a great little debrief from Lig Duncan

HT: Thabiti Anyabwile

Monday, November 8, 2010

Narnia Night with Michael Ward: November 19th, 2010

The Revd. Dr. Michael Ward will be speaking about C.S. 
Lewis, his imaginative world and why Narnia has been able to captivate generations of readers.
Dr. Ward is a world renowned expert on
C.S. Lewis, the author of “Planet Narnia”
and the inspiration behind the BBC Documentary, “The Narnia Code”.
He currently serves as Chaplain of
St Peter’s College, Oxford.

6:30pm Talk and Q&A for Children.
7-8pm    Talk for Adults
7-9pm    Narnia video for Children
8-9pm    Q&A, Book signing and refreshments
Venue:    Twynholm Baptist Church,
324 Lillie Road, London SW6 7PP
For more info visit 

Friday, November 5, 2010

Notes from Stuart Townend seminar on leading Corporate worship

Stuart Townend on Corporate Worship: seminar given today at Oak Hill College
The "A.R.T. of Corporate worship"


1)      The need for both objective and subjective
a.       Objective reflection on the character and work of God
b.      Subjective emotional response to those truths
c.       Great to have had in the last 30 years more songs that have an emotional subjective element... these have caused us getting excited about the experience of worship, but the danger is that my experience of worship becomes the  focus of the song, rather than the songs really being the act of worship by reflecting upon the character of God.

2)      Truth in songs
a.       Teaches us theology
                                                               i.      More people learn their theology through songs than through sermons
                                                             ii.      More likely you leave church humming a song than reciting the sermon!
                                                            iii.      So we must ask the question: what sort of picture do our songs teach us about God?
                                                           iv.      Full range of the characteristics of God: not just his love, but also his justice, his holiness etc.
                                                             v.      Look at 3 months worth of your songs sung in church: are you choosing songs that reflect the breadth of the character of God
b.      Gives a solid foundation for living
                                                               i.      Do your songs reflect the reality of the world in which we live?
                                                             ii.      Look at the life of Paul... the truth speaks into the troubles of life.
1.       For I know that these present sufferings..
2.       Consider yourself dead to sin but alive to righteousness
                                                            iii.      Songs must put the reality of the different experiences of life in the perspective of the reality of the character and promises of God.
                                                           iv.      Cf Psalm 22. The struggle between the present circumstances and the knowledge of God. “Am I going to believe God’s promises or give way to the difficulties of circumstances?”
                                                             v.      Jesus’ instruction sending out the 72... Luke 10:20... they are hugely excited about the experience that they have: Jesus says their joy should be grounded in the reality of the gospel not experience.
c.       Tells the story
                                                               i.      Faith is not routed in dislocated ideas, but in history. We have a story to tell, and so there must be songs that tell the story.
                                                             ii.      Too few songs tell the story.
                                                            iii.      Story telling songs are great in evangelistic circumstances: non-Christians can sing “From the squalor of a borrowed stable” but cannot sing “I love you Lord” without lying.
3)      Leading Congregational Worship
a.       Remind people of the basis for entering in.
                                                               i.      Not our feelings
                                                             ii.      The basis is what God has done in Christ, and who
God is.
                                                            iii.      We want to undermine the idea, “I couldn’t come to church today because I was in a mess, and I need to clean myself up before I can enter God’s presence”. No! We come to him to be cleaned up.
b.      Must start with truth-declaring songs. We mustn’t try and set a ‘vibe’ with a song, but have the truth set the mode.
c.       Must encourage an expectancy that God will be revealing himself as we come together to worship.
4)      In personal Worship
a.       Thanksgiving
                                                               i.      True worshippers of God habitually give thanks to God. Idolators are those who “neither glorify him as God or give thanks to him.” (rom 1:21)
                                                             ii.      Appreciation: not merely saying thankyou to God, but reflecting and exploring the goodness of what he gives
                                                            iii.      Declaring God’s goodness to others (Ps 40:3)
Talking more openly with others about our thankfulness towards God for his work in our lives
5)      Worship in Spirit
a.       Worship is not dependent upon place or ceremony (John 4)
                                                               i.      We can think about rituals or things that we do that ‘create’ worship
1.       “Must be quiet and reflective”
2.       “We must really be ‘going for it’ in song
3.       Lifting hands in great emotion
                                                             ii.      Going into the ‘sanctuary’, the ‘holy place where he dwells’
b.      Worship is a response of the heart
c.       Worship is on God’s terms and not ours
                                                               i.      The danger of a consumeristic ‘this is my worship preference’ approach to worship.
                                                             ii.      Those who lead worship are called to please God and serve the people, not just serve God and please the people.
                                                            iii.      This means that we will sometimes do things that will displease the congregation, but please God.
d.      Worship is Spirit-led and Spirit empowered


1)      God is a God of self-Revelation
a.       Revealed in Creation
b.      Revealed in Christ
c.       Revealed in Word
d.      Revealed in our lives
e.      The danger is that we so rely upon the means of revelation (songs, scriptures etc) that we do not look to the Spirit of revelation to use those means that he would reveal the Father and the Son.
2)      Looking for God’s revelation..
a.       In our preparation:          praying for God’s help as we put the song together
                                                               i.      Matt Redman, prefers the term “Lead worshipper” rather than “worship leader”. The Holy Spirit is the “worship leader”.
                                                             ii.      Thinking and praying through the journey of a service that would flow and allow the Holy Spirit to be working.
b.      In our leading: the need to be flexible to what the Spirit is doing, so that we can follow what the Spirit is revealing to his people
c.       From God’s people.
                                                               i.      In a context where others may lead in prayer or prophecy, being ready to be flexible as to how to move on from there with songs rather than thinking that their contribution is a diversion from the journey the Spirit is taking people upon.


1)      Unconsciously: the experience of worship affects us – we come out of church experiencing and being more patient, more Christlike.
2)      Renewing of minds. (Romans 12:1-3)
3)      Sharpening of our consciences
4)      Preparation to receive the word of God, so that when the preacher stands and preaches, our hearts are ready to receive.

Other comments in the Q&A
-          Important to realise that ‘worship leading’ is delegated responsibility from church leadership. There is a need for the elders to have knowledge and responsibility for what goes on in the Sunday service, so that if the worship leader gets a phonecall over Sunday lunch saying “why did we sing that song?” the worship leader can say, “the pastor said it was fine, so you need to speak to him.”
-          Really important to work with the musicians you have rather than try to ‘create a sound’ that you may not have. 

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

How Members Can Serve the Church on Sunday Morning

Great little list of things that every church meember can do to serve more faithfully every Sunday...

How Members Can Serve the Church on Sunday Morning

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The circularity of atheism and the argument of irrefutable testimony

There is a huge amount of circularity in much atheistic thinking.

It goes something like this.

1. It is fair to assume that there is no God because there is no compelling evidence [though they often prefer to use the lower case 'g' - perhaps we should refer to "richard dawkins"]
2. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is not compelling evidence for the existence of God because it is not from reliable sources
3. The sources are unreliable because they believe in the possibility of the miraculous
4. Miracles can only happen if there is a God.
5. Therefore the miraculous cannot happen because it is fair to assume that there is no God

Thus the assumption that there is no God a priori rules out any evidence to the contrary.
Dawkins, for example says "‘accounts of Jesus’ resurrection are about as well documented as Jack and the Beanstalk’.'" Yet, I have never heard of him seriously interacting with those accounts. I would love to hear Dawkins attempt to try to refute the historicity of the gospel accounts.

One of the things I find so compelling about the gospel accounts of the resurrection is that the disciples are not presented as people who think that things like resurrections happen! As D.A. Carson points out, they are not sitting in the upper room on Friday evening saying, "I'm so excited, I can't wait until Sunday." They are despondent, disillusioned and fearful. They were as surprised by the resurrection as I think Dawkins would be. So much so that when 10 of them try to persuade the one who wasn't there that Jesus is alive, he says that  he will not believe unless he not only Sees Jesus, but puts his fingers in the nail marks and his hand in Jesus' rather unique wound in his side. As it happens, seeing is enough.

Through history there have been many who have said that they would not believe unless they saw with their own eyes: but then for them, in the end, hearing has been enough: hearing about Thomas who should have believed on the testimony of 10 eyewitnesses, but didn't.

As much as we can, let's start moving our conversations with Non-Christians away from the details of irreducible complexity and intelligent design to irrefutable testimony.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

First two preachers' classes outlined

Here are the outlines of the first two preachers' classes. The first is pretty much 9Marks material.

Session 1: What is expository preaching

  1.  Introduction to the Class
  • What is the format of the class?
    • Reading a sermon from a well-known preacher
    • Seminar
    • Workshop
  • Why have the class?
    • What is preaching?
    • Why is preaching so important?
    • What’s missing from much preaching?
2. Defining Expositional Preaching

"An expositional sermon is a sermon in which the point of the Scriptural text is the point of the sermon applied to the life of the church today."

3. What expositional Preaching includes
  • The Bible
    • Books of the Bible
    • The Whole Bible
    • Testaments and Genres.
    • Scope.
  • The Bible’s Storyline
  • The Gospel
    • God
    • Man
    • Christ
    • Response
    • Seeing the Gospel through the lens of the text and the text through the lens of the gospel
  • Systematic Theology
  • Worldviews
  • Evangelism
  • The Preparation of the Saints

Session 2: Why Expository Preaching?

Intro: The alternatives seem so appealing!
  • There are basic truths that need teaching
    • Better to have Doctrinal sermons?
    • May seem to “teach the whole counsel of God” more quickly and thoroughly
  • There are obvious issues that need addressing
    • Better to have Topical sermons?
    • May seem more obviously relevant to people
    • May seem to deal with issues in the church quicker
  • The difference between food and medicine
    • Expository preaching tends towards a balanced diet; doctrinal / topical preaching may have quicker effects, and is therefore sometimes useful, but provide a bad overall diet.
Five reasons to make expository preaching the main diet of a congregation.
A. Expository preaching preaches the whole bible
  • 2 Tim 3:16-17
  • Acts 20:17-31
B. Expository Preaching understands the limits of the preacher
  • Preachers are ignorant, God is omniscient
  • Preachers are foolish, God is wise
  • Preachers are sinful, God is perfect
  • Preachers are under authority, the bible carries God’s authority
C. Expository preaching encourages Berean listening
  • Acts 17:10-12
D. Expository Preaching models faithful bible reading.
  • We read the bible
    • To understand it
    • To have it ask us questions as much as we ask it questions Job 38:1-3
E. Expository Preaching keeps the church healthy
  • the testimony of church history

    Wednesday, October 20, 2010

    Pray for gospel witness in Fulham after stabbing outside our church

    There have been a series of stabbings in Fulham over the last year. On Sunday night, during our evening service, a 15 year old boy was stabbed right opposite our Church building. He's now fighting for his life. Pray for him and pray that the gospel would shine brightly in Fulham

    Tuesday, October 19, 2010

    Great quote from Augustine on variation in style in preaching

    51. But we are not to suppose that it is against rule to mingle these various styles: on the contrary, every variety of style should be introduced so far as is consistent with good taste. For when we keep monotonously to one style, we fail to retain the hearer's attention; but when we pass from one style to another, the discourse goes off more gracefully, even though it extend to greater length. Each separate style, again, has varieties of its own which prevent the hearer's attention from cooling or becoming languid. We can bear the subdued style, however, longer without variety than the majestic style. For the mental emotion which it is necessary to stir up in order to carry the hearer's feelings with us, when once it has been sufficiently excited, the higher the pitch to which it is raised, can be maintained the shorter time. And therefore we must be on our guard, lest, in striving to carry to a higher point the emotion we have excited, we rather lose what we have already gained. But after the interposition of matter that we have to treat in a quieter style, we can return with good effect to that which must be treated forcibly, thus making the tide of eloquence to ebb and flow like the sea. It follows from this, that the majestic style, if it is to be long continued, ought not to be unvaried, but should alternate at intervals with the other styles; the speech or writing as a whole, however, being referred to that style which is the prevailing one.

    Read more here

    Thursday, October 14, 2010

    Preaching class at Twynholm Baptist

    Next Wednesday sees the second of our monthly Preachers' Classes here at Twynholm.

    Here's the outline of the course we are planning

    Year 1
    Expository Preaching I: What?   
    Expository Preaching II: Why?
    Expository Preaching III: Imposters
    Sermon Preparation: Overview
    Sermon Preparation: Understanding the Text I
    Sermon Preparation: Understanding the Text II
    Sermon Preparation: Biblical Theology
    Sermon Preparation: Key Sentence
    Sermon Preparation: Outlines

    Year 2
    Sermon Preparation: Explanation and style
    Sermon Preparation: Application I
    Sermon Preparation: Application II
    Sermon Preparation: Illustration
    Sermon Preparation: Introduction
    Sermon Preparation: Conclusion and Prayer
    Self Preparation: Prayer
    Self Preparation: Fear
    Sermon Delivery: Passion and Exhortation
    Sermon Delivery: Use of Notes

    Year 3
    Sermon Delivery: Face, pace and space.
    Sermon Delivery: Ten ways to be boring.
    Sermons within the life of the congregation
    Preaching as a sinner standing in the place of God
    Planning an Expository Series
    Doctrinal Preaching
    Evangelistic Preaching
    Topical Preaching
    Conversational or Narrative Preaching?
    Concluding Reflections

    Make-up of each session
    Reading An extract from a great sermon
    Workshop (One person presents short sermon or outline. We all give feedback)

    Tuesday, October 5, 2010

    Friday, September 3, 2010

    New 9Marks ejournal tackles the difficult subject of Hell.

    Challenging titles here...

    Dashed Line

    By Mark Dever
    Our culture sneers at fear, as if there really is nothing to fear but fear itself. Yet Jesus told people to fear hell, and pastors today should do the same.
    By Kevin DeYoung
    The doctrine of hell is ballast for our ministries, which will help us sail straight toward our most urgent task: proclaiming the gospel.
    By Sinclair Ferguson
    Hell is an awful and overwhelming reality. Yet where Scripture speaks, pastors must not be silent. Here’s some practical help for this demanding calling.


    By Greg Gilbert
    Some think that by minimizing or ignoring hell, they are making God more glorious and more loving. Far from it! The horror of what we have been saved from only intensifies the glory and wonder of our salvation.
    By Andrew David Naselli
    The New Testament graphically and horrifically describes hell, which raises a thorny question: how should we interpret those dreadful images?
    By James M. Hamilton, Jr.
    Hell glorifies God by vindicating his holiness and faithfulness to his word, demonstrating his infinite worth, and magnifying his mercy and love toward the redeemed.

    By Gavin Ortlund
    This article contains brief reviews of seven key books on hell.

    Audio Interviews
    Dashed Line
    with David Jackman
    Can you “make” a preacher or is preaching simply a gift? Find out in this interview with David Jackman, founder of the Cornhill Training Course.
    Posted on September 1, 2010
    with Carolyn McCulley
    Carolyn McCulley discusses feminism, ministering to singles, Christian social action, and what it means to be a “crush catalyst.”
    Posted on August 1, 2010

    New Translation
    Dashed Line
    The Korean translation of In My Place Condemned He Stood by J.I. Packer and Mark Dever is now available here: