Tuesday, March 30, 2010

My Waffle Wedded Wife: Don't Get Nervous Engaged Couples

This year we will have the joy of seeing several of the couples in our church get married.  In honor of these engagements I recommend the following video of what not to do at your wedding.  This is pretty funny.

Monday, March 29, 2010

March 28, 2010 - Matthew 5:43-48: Love God as He Loved You

Here is the audio and notes from yesterdays message.  We have completed Matthew 5 and it has been a great ride.  However, this is not the entire Sermon on the Mount.  The Sermon on the Mount covers three chapters Matthew 5-7.  Starting the Sunday after Easter we will likely spend  a few weeks in the book of Haggai and then will return to the last two chapters of the Sermon on the Mount.

In the meantime, here is Matthew 5:43-48:


Saturday, March 27, 2010

Love Your Enemies: Even If He is a Murderer

Tomorrow we will discuss Jesus' command to love your enemies and pray for your persecutors.  When we live in a fairly safe community, this seems like an easy command.  As we'll see, this is not an easy task.  Imagine if you will if your spouse or parent was killed during church by a crazed murderer.  How would you respond?

That is the situation that the family of Pastor Fred Winters found themselves in.  Winters was murdered during a church service in front of his congregation.  Days later, his wife appeared on national TV on CBS offering her forgiveness to the murderer and praying that he repent and turn to Christ.

Would you have done the same?

CBS: Pastor's Wife Forgives Accused Gunman

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

March 21, 2010 - Matthew 5:38-42: I Surrender! I Surrender!

Sorry its a little late, but here is Sunday mornings audio and notes from Matthew 5:38-42.  I was blown away when I realized that the call to turn the other cheek, etc. was not about revenge or retaliation, but about surrender.  This is a text that we need to return to often.  Here is the description:

We have come full circle.  Actually, we never left the circle.  Every since Matthew 4:12ff, Matthew (though the ministry and teachings of Jesus) has exhorted Christians to do one thing:  surrender.  Now, in one of Jesus' most famous words, we are reminded that this call to surrender isn't for wimps but demands us to lose everything for Christ and we will gain what we cannot earn.


Sunday, March 21, 2010

Just War Theory: What Christians Have Had to Say

Sunday night we discussed issues of war and the Christian worldview. I laid out the traditional Just War Theory. A general search for just war theory contains a lot of secular philosophy, but I am most interested in what Christians have had to say about it. The two leading thinkers on the subject are Augustine of Hippo and Thomas Aquinas.

Here are the tenants of Just War Theory:

1. Just Cause -“All aggression is condemned; only defensive war is legitimate.

2. Just Intention - “The only legitimate intention is to secure a just peace for all involved. Neither revenge nor conquest nor economic gain nor ideological supremacy is justified.”

3. Last Resort - “War may e entered upon only when all negotiations and compromise have been tried and failed.”

4. Formal Declaration - “Since the use of military force is the prerogative of governments, not of private individuals, a state of war must be officially declared by the highest authorities.”

5. Limited objectives - “If the purpose of peace, then unconditional surrender or the destruction of a nation’s economic or political institutions is an unwarranted objective.”

6. Proportionate Means - “The weaponry and the force used should be limited to what is needed to repel the aggression and deter future attacks, that is to say, to secure a just peace. Total or unlimited war is ruled out.

7. Noncombatant Immunity - “Since war is an official act of government, only those who are officially agents of government may fight, and individuals not actively contributing to the conflict (including POWs and casualties as well as civilian nonparticipants) should be immune from attack.”

These are all taken from McQuilkin, Introduction to Biblical Ethics, 337.

I also want to point you to a good article written by Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr., President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, on Christians and the Just War Theory.

Mohler - Is War Ever Justified? A Reality Check

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Weekly Recommendation: "Death By Love"

Last night during Bible Study, we discussed Christus Exemplar and I reference one of my favorite books, "Death By Love: Letters From the Cross" by Mark Driscoll and Gerry Beshears. I highly recommend this book and have written a full review of the book some time ago. In fact, I was listening to this book the day I got hired at Goshen. So it is especially important to me.

Review - "Death By Love"

For More:
Where Theology and Life Intersect: A Theological Case for Christus Exemplar and Why It is Necessary - Part 1 - Introduction
Where Theology and Life Intersect: A Theological Case for Christus Exemplar and Why It is Necessary - Part 2 - This regards the doctrine of sin and depravity
Where Theology and Life Intersect: A Theological Case for Christus Exemplar and Why It is Necessary - Part 3 - Here is a discussion on the historicity of the doctrine
Where Theology and Life Intersect: A Theological Case for Christus Exemplar and Why It is Necessary - Part 4 - Here is a discussion on Humility
Review -"Religion Saves"
Review - "The Supremacy of Christ in a Postmodern World"
Review - "The Radical Reformission"
Review - "Vintage Jesus"
Theology - Churches Helping Churches: MacDonald Makes His Plea
Theology - The Myth of Adolescence: Mark Driscoll Weighs In
Theology - Does Satan Exist? Debate
Theology - Driscoll on ABC

Bonhoeffer: "By Willing Endurance We Cause Suffering to Pass

Here is yet another quote from German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer. His book, "The Cost of Discipleship" is a classic for good reason. This Sunday we'll be studying Matthew 5:38-42 regarding retaliation. Bonhoeffer makes some good points about why we as Christians refuse to retailate, but instead go the extra mile, turn the other cheek, and give our coat also.

By willing endurance we cause suffering to pass. Evil becomes a spent force when we put up no resistance. By refusing to pay back the enemy in how own coin, and by preferring to suffer without resistance, the Christian exhibits the sinfulness of contumely and insult. Violence stands condemned by its failure to evoke counter-violence. When a man unjustly demands that I should give him my coat, I offer him my cloak also, and so counter his demand; when he requires me to go the other mile, I go willingly, and show up his exploitation of my service for what it is. To leave everything behind at the call of Christ is to be content with him alone, and to follow only him. By his willingly renouncing self-defense, the Christian affirms his absolute adherence to Jesus, and his freedom from the tyranny of his own ego. The exclusiveness of this adherence is the only power which can overcome evil. -142

For more:
Free Book!: Bonhoeffer's "Cost of Discipleship"
Weekly Recommendation: "The Cost of Discipleship"
Bonhoeffer: Truth and the Cross

Wednesday Night - 1 Peter: Suffer Well . . . Like Christ

Here are the notes from last nights Bible Study on 1 Peter. It was a good discussion. Here is the description:

We can all relate to the issue of suffering. We've all been through hard times. How, as faithful Christians, do we suffer well? How do we keep from wasting our suffering? How do we bring God the glory in the midst of our suffering? Peter tells us in his first Epistle: Suffer like Christ.


For more:
1 Peter and Suffering Well in Perseverance
Christus Examplar in 1 Peter
Wednesday Night Bible Study - 2 Peter: Pete and Repeat . . .

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

1 Peter and Suffering Well in Perseverance

As I study 1 Peter for tonight's Bible study, I was struck by the following passage near the end. This is a wonderful summary of this wonderful Epistle:

Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on him, because He cares for you. Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world. After you have suffered for a little while,the God of all grace , who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you. To Him be dominion forever and ever. Amen. -1 Peter 5:6-11 (NASB)

I especially love the conclusion. When we persevere through our suffering, Christ "will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish" us.

Christus Examplar in 1 Peter

Tonight we will be looking at 1 Peter and discussing how to suffer well like Christ. Central to this is the doctrine of Christus Examplar. Unfortunately, very few Reformed, conservative Christians are willing to talk about this issue. As a result, I am in the middle of writing on the topic from a Reformed perspective. So far I have written 4 parts. Here are the links and as I continue to post more, I will link to them here.

Where Theology and Life Intersect: A Theological Case for Christus Exemplar and Why It is Necessary - Part 1 - Introduction
Where Theology and Life Intersect: A Theological Case for Christus Exemplar and Why It is Necessary - Part 2 - This regards the doctrine of sin and depravity
Where Theology and Life Intersect: A Theological Case for Christus Exemplar and Why It is Necessary - Part 3 - Here is a discussion on the historicity of the doctrine
Where Theology and Life Intersect: A Theological Case for Christus Exemplar and Why It is Necessary - Part 4 - Here is a discussion on Humility

Coming soon will be discussions on love, suffering, and other topics. The point is that when it comes to life, we must remain firm on the cross. The gospel is substitutionary and the gospel demands we live like our dying Savior.

For more:
Reviews -"Death By Love"

Monday, March 15, 2010

March 14, 2010 - Matthew 5:33-37 - "Allergies to Toast, the Gospel, and Integrity"

Here is the audio and notes from Sunday morning. I hope it helps. Everything is free. Here's the description:

"Do not lie." If your like me, that is probably the least important commandment. But to Christ, our integrity is a gospel issue. If people don't believe me when I speak of earthly things, how will they believe me when I speak of heavenly things? Jesus comes to set the record straight.


For more:
Bonhoeffer: Truth and the Cross

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Bonhoeffer: Truth and the Cross

I've been studying Sunday mornings text Matthew 5:33-37 regarding oath taking, truthfulness, and integrity and came across the following quote from Dietrich Bonhoeffer in his book, "The Cost of Discipleship," that I thought was powerful:

In this question of truthfulness, what matters first and last is that a man's whole being should be exposed, his whole evil laid bare in the sight of God. But sinful men do not like this sort of truthfulness, and they resist it with all their might. That is why they persecute it and crucify it. it is only because we follow Jesus that we can be genuinely truthful, for then he reveals to us our sin upon the cross. The cross is God's truth about us, and therefore it is the only power which can make us truthful. When we know the cross we are no longer afraid of the truth. We need no more oaths to confirm the truth of our utterances, for we live in the perfect truth of God. There is no truth towards Jesus without truth towards man. Untruthfulness destroys fellowship, but truth cuts false fellowship to pieces and establishes genuine brotherhood. We cannot follow Christ unless we live in revealed truth before God and man. -138-139

What is so interesting about this is how Bonhoeffer connects truth telling to the cross. If people do not know if we are telling the truth on life's most trivial issues, how can they believe us when we give them the message of the gospel?

For more:
Free Book!: Bonhoeffer's "Cost of Discipleship"
Weekly Recommendation: "The Cost of Discipleship"

Wednesday Night Bible Study - 2 Peter: Pete and Repeat . . .

Here are my notes from last nights Bible study of 2 Peter. It was a good conversation. I love Wednesday nights and I encourage everyone to attend. Here's the description:

Things that are most important are worth repeating. Peter in his second letter reminds his readers of the essentials of the gospel in order to make them aware of the challenges that they will face after his departure. If you could write one letter prior to your death, what would it be? Here is Peter's answer.


"Christ Christ Baby!": Why I Do Not Seek to be Relevant

Whenever Christians try to be more relevant than more faithful to the gospel, we do things like this. Enjoy (and weep!).

H/T: A Little Leaven

Monday, March 8, 2010

March 7, 2010 - Matthew 5:31-32 - The Gospel and Divorce: What Does the Bible Say?

Here is yesterdays morning sermon on divorce. Sunday night we went into more detail on the subject of divorce from a Biblical perspective. I don't have any notes or audio on it however.

Audio Download

Saturday, March 6, 2010

February 28, 2010 - Matthew 5:27-30 - America's Pastime: Our Lust for Lust

Here finally is the audio from last Sunday's message on Lust. Sorry it has taken so long, but I had to re-record the message. So the following audio is not from Sunday, but from later on in the week. I rerecorded it because I thought the subject was too important to miss. I hope it helps.


Find it Here in the News

Today marks the beginning of of the Find it Here campaign for Goshen. The Courier-Journal has written an article regarding the campaign of the Kentucky Baptist Convention to reach eveyr home in the state. Let us pray that God does a mighty work through this campaign. We are seeking repentance among sinners. Let us pray for His glory to be known through our service.

Couier Journal - Southern Baptist Plan Door to Door Evangelism

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Wednesday Night Bible Study: 1 John

Here are the notes for 1 John. Hope their helpful. We had a great conversation.

1 John: Truth and Love

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The History of Freedom Hall

For you Cardinal fans, here's a great video about the history of Freedom Hall. Many of you may know that Friday is the last game that the men's team will play in the historical building. Interestingly, the last game will be against the number 1 team in the nation. It would be awesome to go out by defeating the Syracuse powerhouse.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Some More Light Reading: On Lust, Marriage, Pornography, and Cohabitation

I wanted to point everyone out on an article I wrote on the porn industry and how the recession is affecting it. The news isn't as good as one would think. Click here to read it.

The Great Recession or the Recession that Made Us Great?: Pornography and the Frugality of Lust

I also want to point everyone to a recent article written by Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr., President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, regarding marriage, divorce, and cohabitation. Mohler always writes must-read articles and this is certainly one of them. Thanks to our culture's easy access to divorce and the high rate of divorce, many are beginning to live together before getting married. Mohler shows why this is a problem. To read it, click here.

Permanence Before Experience - The Wisdom of Marriage

Also, remember the list of books I recommended earlier.

Monday, March 1, 2010

February 28, 2010 - Matthew 5:27-30 - America's Pastime: Our Lust for Lustt

I haven't uploaded the audio yet, but in the meantime, the notes are available. I will post the audio when I can get them uploaded. I've had some trouble with the audio and aren't 100% sure I will be able to upload it.


For more:
Some Light Reading: On Lust
Augustine's Pears: Lust's Lust

Goshen on ITunes

Just wanted to let everyone know that the Goshen Baptist sermon podcast is now available on ITunes. I just subscribed to see if it worked and it does. So if you have ITunes, you can now download Goshen's sermon podcast.

Free Book!: Bonhoeffer's "Cost of Discipleship"

One of the books I reference each week and have mentioned during church before is Dietrich Bonhoeffer's classic, "The Cost of Discipleship." This was one of the best books I read in seminary and I highly recommend it. Bonhoeffer, executed under Hitler's reign, writes against "cheap grace" and takes his reader through Matthew's Gospel. He spends much of his time in the Sermon on the Mount which we find ourselves walking through each Sunday Morning.

Bonhoeffer's book is available for free online this month in audio form. I have downloaded it and will listen to it frequently. But remember, it is only free during the month of March. Use the coupon code MAR2010. The book is available here.

Some Light Reading: On Lust

I just wanted to pass along some of the reading I did last week on the issue of lust, sexual sin, fornication, and pornography. There are a few books and articles that I will not list do to its content, but this is a good list to get you started:

Joshua Harris - Sex is Not the Problem (Lust Is): Sexual Purity in a Lust-Saturated World - this was the best and most important book I read. I highly recommend that everyone (young and old) read this book.

David Akin - God on Sex: The Creator's Ideas about Love, Intimacy, and Marriage - This is a great book on Song of Solomon.

Craig Gross - Dirty Little Secret: Uncovering the Truth Behind Porn - This is more of a book about revealing the darkness of the porn industry. Its a call for Christians to respond to the pornography problem especially addiction.

Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr. - Desire and Deceit: The Real Cost of the New Sexual Tolerance - Everything Mohler writes is worth writing.

Stephen Arteburn - Every Man's Battle - This is standard reading on the issue of fighting lust.

Emerson Eggerich - Love and Respect: The Love She Most Desires, the Respect he so Desperately Needs

CJ Maheny - Sex, Romance, and the Glory of God: What Every Christian Husband Needs to Know - This is a must read for every engaged and married man. Its a short and very important book.

Jim Burgen - What's the Big Deal About Sex? Loving God's Way - This is by far the easiest read on the issue of sex available, especially for young people. The author covers every major topic from a biblical perspective. I read this when I was a teenager and we went through it when I was a youth pastor. Plus, Amazon has used copies starting at a penny!

Richard and Sharon Phillips - Holding Hands, Holding Hearts - Recovering a Biblical View of Christian Dating - This is the most comprehensive treatment of what the Bible says about dating. Highly recommend.

Mark Driscoll and Gerry Breshears - Death By Love: Letters From the Cross - this is one of my favorite books of all time. Though it isn't about sex or lust, the authors take real life issues (including sexuality) and show how the cross shows us how to deal with them.

This should get you started. More could be added and I may add more later. Hope this helps!

The Perfect Church Sign

If Goshen had a church sign, this is what I would put on it:

h/t: Kevin Deyoung