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Friday, September 29, 2006

Desiring God 2006 National Conference

The Desiring God 2006 National Conference officially began tonight. The theme for the conference is: Above All Earthly Powers: The Supremacy of God in a Postmodern World. Usually, everything John Piper does gets put up on his website for free, so I would check back from time to time in order to listen to the various sessions. Here is a list of speakers and their topics for the conference:

David Wells
, Professor of Historical Theology at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, will speak on "The Supremacy of Christ in a Postmodern World."

Don Carson, Professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, will speak on "The Supremacy of Christ and Love in a Postmodern World."

Tim Keller, Senior Pastor at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City, will address "The Supremacy of Christ and the Gospel in a Postmodern World.”

Mark Driscoll, the Lead Pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, will aim at the topic “The Supremacy of Christ and the Church in a Postmodern World.”

Voddie Baucham, the founder and leader of Voddie Baucham Ministries in Texas, will tackle the theme “The Supremacy of Christ and Truth in a Postmodern World.”

John Piper, Senior Pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church, will speak on “The Supremacy of Christ and Joy in a Postmodern World.”

Should be fantastic. Check it out. Order it if you have to.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Local Church Membership

Mike Mckinley, pastor of Guilford Baptist Church in Sterling, VA and writer for 9Marks ministries, writes a helpful article on whether the the Bible really teaches Church Membership as it is often practiced today.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Pastor Conferences

I have been a pastor now for just over two years. I recently found out how refreshing a good Pastor's Conference can be. This past April, I attended the inaugural Together for the Gospel Conference in Louisville, KY, and came away thoroughly strengthened to come back and pastor at Little River.

Brent and Seth, I am interested to know if there are any Pastor's Conferences which you would recommend. I am familiar with a few like the Bethlehem Conference for Pastors and the Desiring God National Conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota. I am also aware of the Shepherd's Conference in Sun Valley, California. The main issue with these three conferences is the great distance and cost to get to them.

The Together for the Gospel Conference was not too difficult to drive, but this conference only occurs every two years. I am planning on going this next year to a Weekender at Capitol Hill Baptist Church, Washington D.C. This conference allows a pastor and possibly some key leaders from your church to see the workings of a very healthy church. You can see a more detailed description above by clicking on "Weekender."

Brent and Seth, are you planning on attending any of these types of events this coming year? If so, let me know. Seth, I know you might not, given how busy you are. Brent, I know it is a little early to be thinking about these things, however, I'd like to hear your thoughts.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

The Pope and Islam

The Pope recently started a whirlwind of turmoil, when he was giving an academic address and quoted Byzantine emperor Manuel II Paleologus. The Byzantine emperor said concerning the prophet Mohammed, "Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached."

The Catholic Church response has been that Muslims have misunderstood the Pope. The Pope said the quote was not his view about the Islamic faith or Mohammed.

Dr. Albert Mohler, President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary has an informative article about the Pope's comments, and the Roman Catholic's view of Islam. What is more surprising than the Pope's comments is the inclusivistic view Rome has of Islam. Here is a link to Dr. Mohler's article. Dr. Mohler also dedicated one entire episode of his daily radio show to the issue as well.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Knowing your Members...

I just recently finished preaching through the Gospel of Mark. As most of you are aware, Mark oftentimes created what are called by scholars, "Markan Sandwiches," where he would begin one story/event and would interweave another story before he would bring the first one to its ending. For example, in Mark 6:7-13, Mark begins a story about Jesus sending out his apostles for the purpose of kingdom ministry, but vv 14-29 address the death of John the Baptist. Then in verse 30, Mark picks up the apostles returning to Jesus to report what occurred.

I was trying to give an analogy to this literary device by comparing it to the FOX television show 24, when it went to commercial. For those who have never seen it, as the show breaks for commercial, we get to view what is going on in multiple situations, and that is what Mark does when he uses the "sandwich." He tells us about two events occurring generally at the same time.

I do not know why I asked the congregation that morning this question, but after I had given the analogy, I asked how many members had ever seen 24, AND NO ONE RAISED THEIR HAND. It was rather funny, but it did teach me to be more thoughtful in using analogies which my congregation will be familiar with.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

A Special Wednesday Night Service

Tonight, Little River BC cancelled its own services in order that we may travel up to Spartanburg, SC where 89 Southern Baptist families are being commissioned as International Missionaries. No doubt, this will be one of the most special worship services I have ever attended.

The services begin at 6:30 PM at First Baptist Church, North Spartanburg. Use this post as a reminder to pray for our missionaries who are serving the Lord around the world. I am reminded now of a question asked by Dr. Tom Nettles, who teaches at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, when he said to a Baptist History class. He asked us, "What could be more exciting than going to another country obeying the Lord's Great Commission and founding a Christian Church where one never existed among a people who have never heard the gospel?"

This is exactly what many of the missionaries who will be appointed tonight will be laboring to achieve for the duration of their earthly lives. Let us pray for them.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Shiloh Visit

Last Sunday I preached a trial sermon for Shiloh Baptist church in Seymour, TN. Immediately after I preached, the congregation voted unanimously to call me as their pastor. It was a great weekend and a very exciting time for me and my family. My last Sunday here at West End will be September 24th. We will move the following week and begin our ministry at Shiloh on October the 1st.
We are not as fortunate as some to have a palacial mansion for a parsonage, but we were able to locate a nice home to rent for a while until we are able to decide where and what we might want to purchase. We are excited about moving into a little larger house, seeing that the one we are in now is a just a little bigger than a Volkswagen.
I have decided what I will be preaching through first. I am going to begin with 1 John on Sunday mornings, The Sermon on the Mount on Sunday Night, and Selected Psalms on Wednesdays. I have recently taught through 1 John on Wednesday's with my youth and love the practicality of John's epistle. I have preached a couple of times on a few text's from the Sermon on the Mount, but I have never preached from the Psalms.
I am currently determining my goals for this first year at Shiloh. 1st goal of all is to learn the names, this seems kind of like a daunting task. Next, I would like to go through the church role and meet all the families, whether they attend or not. Third, I would like to establish a church covenant that expresses a biblical view of church membership in it. In the future (2-3 years down the road) we would require everyone that wishes to remain a member of Shiloh Baptist to sign the covenant. Please note, I realize this must be done carefully and with great gentleness, but nonetheless, I believe it is essential to ever have integrity in reporting church membership. These things among 100's of other ideas are floating through my head. I look forward to seeing exactly what you guys think and what you suggest.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Schooling Choices

As a parent of two small children, there is a fast approaching decision my wife and I must make concerning our children. How are we going to educate them? Are we going to enroll them in a public school, a religious private school, or should we home school them? These questions bring us both much anxiety.

I know we are not alone, many Christian parents are choosing alternative educational choices for their children. The public schools of our grandparents and parents no longer exist. And many young Christian parents who experienced public schooling and survived are now reflecting whether or not to send their own children into these same schools.

The Boston Herald has an interesting article on this issue. You can find it here.

HT: Mark Overstreet

Monday, September 04, 2006


One of the images in Scripture used to describe a believer's status in Christ is adoption (Ephesians 1:5). In Christ we are reckoned sons of God (Galatians 4:5). And as sons, we inherit a new found intimacy with God illustrated by the fact that we can and should address him as Father (Romans 8:15).

One of the most pro-life and Christian actions a disciple of Christ can do is adopt. Few human actions can mirror so closely what God has done for believers in Christ than adoption. As God makes us his sons, we too can give a son (or daughter) our own name and fill his life with an abundance of blessing and joy.

This article by Russell Moore is a moving testimony about his own adoption of two sons. I know it will stir your heart, and I hope it might lead you to give serious thought to adopting a child of your own.