Thursday, December 15, 2011

Reaching Men - Reformation21 Blog

Provocative as ever, Levy raises an interesting question here in 200 words.


Reaching Men - Reformation21 Blog

HT: Perks

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Less well known Carols

Putting together the Church's Carol Services over the coming weeks, I'm always on the lookout for Carols that are less well known, with beautiful words and great music.

Let's start with the Herefordshire Carol...

Great little biblical theology of Fall and Redemption. Great music by Vaughan Willams.
Sadly King College didn't sing all the verses... Here they are.

This is the truth sent from above
The truth of God, the God of love
Therefore don't turn me from your door
But hearken will both rich and poor

The first thing that I do relate
Is that God did man create
The next thing which to you I'll tell
Woman was made with man to dwell

And after that, 'twas God's own choice
To place them both in Paradise,
There to remain of evil free
Except they ate of such a tree.

But they did eat, which was a sin,
And so their ruin did begin,
Ruined themselves, both you and me,
And all of their posterity.

Thus we were heirs to endless woes
Till God and Lord did interpose
And so a promise soon did run
That He would redeem us by His Son.

And at that season of the year
Our blessed redeemer did appear.
He here did live and here did preach
And many thousands he did teach.

Thus He in love to us behaved
To show us how we must be saved.
And if you want to know the way
Be pleased to hear what He did say.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Mark Dever at his best in Q&A

Great stuff here for a Non-Christian to listen to...
Or great for someone who does Q&A with Non-Christians as a model of humble, brief, engaging and bold answering of honest objections to the gospel.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Limerick about sinless perfectionism

Preaching on Phil 3:12-20 this Sunday.
For a lighter moment on 3:12 I thought we'd have a little limerick, inspired by the time when Spurgeon came across someone who claimed to have reached sinless perfection. When Spurgeon trod heavily on his foot his perfection dissolved!

There once was a man from Tangiers
Who said he’d not sinned in ten years.
So I poked his right eye
And his foul mouthed reply
Shows he’s worse than he sometimes appears

Friday, June 24, 2011

Great new website

I've not read the book yet, but I love Mike McKinley's new website.

Here's the first of seven great little videos. Why not watch them, and choose one to pop on your facebook?

What is the Gospel? from Crossway on Vimeo.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Something to sing about!

Bob Kauflin give three good reasons that we sing in church in ways that serve the word.

1) Singing can help us remember words.
2) Singing can help us engage the words emotionally.
3) Singing can help us use words to demonstrate and express our unity.

Read the whole excellent article here

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Good summary of biblical eldership

Just preached on eldership this coming Sunday at Twynholm.

Here are a few good resources at looking at the issue further.

Good summary From Desiring God

Should a church have elders?

What is the relationship between elders and the church?

Friday, April 15, 2011

Cafe Connect

At Twynholm Baptist Church we are launching an international Student Cafe at the end of the Month.
Follow our progress here

Friday, March 18, 2011

Understanding Twynholm's Mission Field I: Rest

I have tried to encourage the congregation at Twynholm to see our natural mission field in 3 different spheres, based on that memorable 80's advertising slogan.

Work: those who work in the vicinity of our church, or with whom we work
Rest: those who live near us or near the church
Play: those we socialise with, or who 'go out' in the vicinity of our church.

On the "Rest" section, I've been encouraging the congregation to understand who lives in the area.
It is an excitingly diverse mission field in itself.

Here's the profiles of the two 'wards' right on the doorstep of the church building, and nobody living within these wards would be more than about 10 minutes walk away

The four next closest are:

Each of them would have at least some people living 5-10 minutes walk away.

Bell's book out yesterday. Deyoung already on the ball

Rob Bell's book "Love wins" came out yesterday.
The thesis seems to be "If God is a God of love the gate to heaven will always remain open" - even after the last judgement. (Matthew 25:10? cf Genesis 7:16) Eventually everyone will chose that gate. (Matthew 7:13-14?)
Kevin DeYoung has already written a substantial review that is worth reading.
Bell obviously has a following this side of the pond too, with a tour planned for the UK this spring.
What sounds like a very comforting message may instead end up patting people on the back, telling them that there is no urgency, and reassure them that all will be fine on the road, which, tragically does in fact lead to an everlasting destruction.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Rob Bell: discussion over. Love wins?

Strangely, one of the most read posts on this little read blog has been a little review I did of one of Rob Bell's little nooma vids. In the comments there I was accused of accusing Bell of not believing the good news that Jesus rescues us from the wrath of God by dying in our place upon the cross. If in 22 vids he never teaches that, I suggested that he probably doesn't believe it.
Well, there is sadly no need for speculation any longer.
From his own lips he describes that gospel, the gospel we so desperately need, as not good news at all.

LOVE WINS. from Rob Bell on Vimeo.

This is an advert for his new book "Love wins" that has not yet been released. But how does it win, if it doesn't deal with our greatest problem... making ourselves subjects of God's good and perfect judgement?

I guess he will tell us in the book; but I fear that it will not be such good news after all.

Others have blogged about this

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Carson on the "therefore" of Matthew 6:25. Why should we not worry?

Because transient earthly pleasures do not satisfy and do not last; because moral and spiritual vision is easily distorted and darkened, because a choice must be made between God and money, because the kingdom of God demands unswerving allegiance to its values, therefore do not worry, and in particular do not worry about mere things.
But let us consider a more subtle connection.... Jesus has been minimizing the ultimate significance of material possessions; and no doubt not a few among his hearers find themselves wondering "but what about necessities?"... Jesus answers that just as earthly possessions can become an idol which deposes God by becoming disproportionately important, so also can earthly needs become a source of worry which deposes God by fostering distrust."

Monday, February 14, 2011

“If Only . . .” Living with Regrets | CCEF

Good article here on how "living with regrets" can be a kind of inverted pride.

“If Only . . .” Living with Regrets | CCEF

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The uncontested ruler

I think this will be the conclusion to this morning's sermon on Matthew 6:19-24

There are celebrations in Cairo this weekend as President Mubarak has stepped down.
But we have to admit that it is unclear as yet whether whoever follows him will be any better.
One day there will be an uncontested ruler.
There will be no more protests against his rule, not because the citizens of the kingdom have no freedom, but because we will all be able to see perfectly; we will see perfectly that he is the perfect ruler; that he is the one in whom we find our purpose. That he is the one for whom we were made. That he is the one who alone is of infinite and lasting value. That he may for ever be our treasure.
Do you treasure Him?
Do you see everything in His shaddow?
Is He your master?

Friday, February 4, 2011

Carson on our propensity for hypocrisy. Matthew 6:1

“We human beings are a strange lot. We hear high moral injunctions and glimpse just a little the genuine beauty of perfect holiness, and then prostitute the vision by dreaming about the way others would hold us in high esteem if we were like that. The demand for genuine perfection loses itself in the lesser goal of external piety; the goal of pleasing the Father is traded for its pygmy cousin, the goal of pleasing man. It almost seems as if the greater the demand for holiness, the greater the opportunity for hypocrisy.” 

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Brief Theology of Work

This morning we have a mens breakfast at Twynholm where I'm speaking on a biblical view of work, so I've been going over some old notes.
This is a little theology of work I wrote a few years ago.
Sometime soon I'd like to revise it, expanding the section on "Frustration and Redemption" by looking in more depth at the "Work of Christ" in Redemption. But I hope it is useful in its present form.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Matthew 5:21-32. Further Reading on Anger, Lust and Divorce

Three very helpful articles available by David Powlison.Part 1 Part 2 Part 3
Great book on Resolving Personal conflict: The Peacemaker, by Ken Sande.

Good book on Lust for men and women: Sex is not the problem, Lust is by Josh Harris
Helpful online book on pornography for men: Sexual detox: a guide for guys who are sick of porn by Tim Challies

Divorce, by John Murray
Good book for those who grew up with divorce understanding ways in which it might have affected them, and taking them to the gospel. Child of divorce, Child of God by Kristine Steakly. She also has a blog.

Marriage (obviously closely related to lust and to divorce, as the former is a distortion of what was intended for marriage and the latter is trying to escape God's good plans for marriage). In recent years there have been several excellent books written on marriage.
Chrisopher Ash, Married for God
Gary and Betsy Ricucci, Love that Lasts
Dave Harvey, When Sinners Say, "I do"

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Don Carson on anger: ours and Jesus'

“Our problem is that we burn with indignation and anger, not at sin and injustice, but at offence to ourselves. In none of the cases when Jesus becomes angry is his personal ego wrapped up in the issue. More telling yet, when he was unjustly arrested, unfairly tried, illegally beaten, contemptuously spat upon, crucified, mocked; when in fact he had every reason for his ego to be involved, then, as Peter says, ‘he did not retaliate; when he suffered he made no threats.’ (I Peter 2:23) From his parched lips came forth rather those gracious words, ‘Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing’ (Luke 23:34) ”

The Sermon on the Mount, 46-47.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Great Reading for the Sermon on the Mount

Just started preaching on the Sermon on the Mount yesterday.
Sermon available here

Three great books to recommend to accompany the series

Small: Don Carson
Medium: John Stott
Large: Martyn Lloyd-Jones

If you come to our Sunday evening Services over the next couple of weeks there will be some copies of some of these books being given away for free for those who are quick a sticking their hand in the air at the appropriate moment!