Thursday, April 29, 2010

U of L Finally Gets One

Finally, the University of Louisville gets one over the University of Kentucky. U of L has lost in football, basketball, and in the first game in baseball.  But 1 out of 4 isn't bad I guess.  Last night, the U of L baseball team beat UK  in their second meeting of the year in a thrilling 10-9 finale.

Here is how the game was won.

HT: Card Game

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Western Recorder on Find it Here

In a recent issue of Kentucky's Baptist newspaper the Western Recorder is an article on Find it Here in the State of Kentucky.  I thought it was interesting and wanted to pass it on. 

Western Recorder - Find it Here Finds Success in KY

Repost: The Immutability of God: Its Truth and Relevancy - Introduction

All theology is practical.  Everyone is a theologian.  Therefore, right theology becomes the basis for right living making theology the most important topic to discuss.  Contrary to what many postmoderns want us to believe, orthodox theology is not out of date and irrelevant.

Brian McLaren has frequently referred to theology (especially systematic theology) as "freeze-dried."  He believes that theology as we know it is the remnant of modernism.  Through his protaganist Neo, McLaren describes theology as “shrunken and freeze-dried by modernity.”  Christianity, as a result is “diced through the modern Veg-o-matic.”*  Such theology is theology that has everything figured out.  Systematic Theology is particularly distasteful to the Emerging Church because it suggests that Scripture can be fully understood and put in a formula and systematized with the apparent assumption that the theologian can know God almost exhaustively.  McLaren writes:

This rebuke to arrogant intellectualizing is especially apt for modern Christians . . . These . . . [are] known popularly as systematic theologies . . . At the heart of the theological project in the late modern world was the assumption that one could and should reduce all revealed truth into propositions and organized those propositions into an outline that exhaustively contains and serves as the best vehicle for truth . . . In Christian theology, this anti-emergent thinking is expressed in systematic theologies that claim . . .  to have final orthodoxy nailed down, freeze-dried, and shrink wrapped forever.**

Instead of a freeze-dried theology that claims to have access to the complete truth, McLaren and others in the Emerging Church push for mystery, conversation, and community.  He writes:

[In the postmodern world] “Our words will seek to be servants of mystery, not removers of it as they were in the old world.  They will convey a message that is clear yet mysterious, simple yet mysterious, substantial yet mysterious.  My faith developed in the old world of many words, in a naive confidence in the power of many words, as if the mysteries of faith could be captured like fine-print conditions in a legal document and reduced to safe equations.  Mysteries, however, can not be captured so precisely.  Freeze-dried coffee, butterflies on pins, and frogs in formaldehyde all lose something in our attempts at capturing, defining, preserving, and rendering them less jumpy, flighty, or fluid.  In the new world, we will understand this a little better.”***

To McLaren, “freeze-dried” answers to life’s most difficult questions is inadequate in the “new world.”  What postmoderns need most, and what the Church must provide, are not answers to such questions as Why am I here?  Where does life come from?  Where am I going?  What is my purpose? How might I be made right with God? but rather encourage exploration without boundaries or limits.  The Church must aid the community to think and live in a world of fluid liquid, rather than formaldehyde.

So is McLaren right?  Should we characterize theology in this manner?  Certainly in a postmodern age there seems to be little tolerance for deep truths that seem to divide.  The problem however is that McLaren and those in the Emergent Church who try to embrace mystery are revealing their own theology.  Postmoderns may want mystery, but want mystery in a dogmatic way.  Anyone who refuses to speak of theology as a mystery are suddenly labeled old-fashioned, out-of-touch, and irrelevant.

I am starting a new series on the Immutability of God.  The reason?  Its practical and it is needed.  I have said much about the transcendence of the gospel (which theological liberalism must reject) in recent months, but in order to believe in the gospel's transcendence God must be immutable (or unchanging).

What theological liberalism attacks isn't the doctrine of Scripture, the Virgin Birth, the historicity of the resurrection, or return of Christ, what they attack is God's immutability.  They want to argue that God changes and is always changing (or evolving).  As culture changes, so does God.  God adapts to the changing times.  But this is not how Scripture defines God.  Scripture is clear:  God is immutable and is not subject to the fickle winds of humans or society.

I believe that there is no more important doctrine for the church today than this.  If we understand this doctrine correctly, we will avoid many traps in the church, and have full confidence in our faith, in our salvation, and in the God that directs the heavens and the earth.

For more:
Sermon Podcast - April 26, 2010 - The Immutability of God 
Sermon Podcast - November 29, 2009 - The Transcendence of the Gospel
Commentary - Accomodationism Breed Irrelevancy:  Why Liberalism Fails and the Transcendent Gospel Triumphs
Theology - A Fad Within a Movement:   What is the Emerging Church and Where is it Going
Theology - SBTS and McLaren:  A Response to SBTS Panel Discussion
Reviews - "Manifold Witness" by John Franke

*  Brian McLaren, A New Kind of Christian: A Tale of Two Friends on a Spiritual Journey.  A New Kind of Christian Trilogy, vol. 3, (San Francisco, CA: Joseey Bass, 2001), 130.  The context of these words regard what conservative/modernistic Christians refer to as “personal salvation.”  Neo complains that such language is exclusive and suggests that “we invite by inclusion saying, ‘God loves you.  God accepts you.  Are you ready to accept your acceptance and live in reconciliation with God?’”

**  Brian McLaren, A Generous Orthodoxy: Why I Am a Missional + Evangelical + Post/Protestant +Liberal/Conservative + Mystical/Poetic + Biblical + Charismatic/Contemplative + Fundamentalist/Calvinist + Anabaptist/Anglican + Methodist + Catholic +Green +Incarnational + Depressed Yet-Hopeful +Emergent + Unfinished Christian,  (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2004), 168, 325.

***  McLaren, Church on the Other Side, 89.  McLaren elsewhere argues, “faith has too often become for us a set of easy answers and cardboard explanations instead of a window into unfathomable mystery and a pathway into an awesome adventure” in McLaren, More Ready Than You Realize, 42.

This originally appeared on my Theology blog available here.

Monday, April 26, 2010

April 26, 2010 - The Immutability of God

Though I was not at Goshen this past Sunday, I did speak at other churches.  Sunday night I had the opportunity to speak at the church where I served as youth pastor for 5 years.  There we discussed the Immutability of God; that is that God does not change.  Though too often we consider doctrine and deep theology to be boring and irrelevant, we must realize that the opposite is true.  All doctrine is practical and everything we do reflects our theology.  The doctrine of God's Immutability is extremely practical and I encourage you guys to download and study the notes.  I was not able to record the message and so only have the notes available.  Maybe someday I will be able to deliver it again and record it then.

Here's the description:

All doctrine is practical.  That means that if we want to see real change in our lives or if we really want to live as Christ commands, then what we need is to rightly understand doctrine.  Right doctrine leads to right living.  The immutability of God (His unchangeableness) is a wonderful doctrine full of practical implications.  Without it we have no hope, no assurance, and no where to stand.


For more:
November 29, 2009 - The Transcedence of the Gospel

Sunday, April 18, 2010

April 18, 2010 - Haggai 2:1-9: And the Lord Said, "Get-r-Done"

The audio and notes from this mornings message from Haggai 2:1-9 have been posted.  I have found Haggai to be very interesting and insightful.  Let us not so easily overlook these important books of the Bible.  Haggai was an important prophet in the history of Israel and his words continue to speak to us today.  God is Omnipotent (All Mighty), He is Sovereign, and He is Provident.  Here is the description of it:

Have you ever wanted to quit? Maybe your looking behind you wishing to go back to the past.  That is what the Jews in Haggai's time wanted to do.  But God would have none of it.  In this text, we are reminded that we must move forward and "Get-r-Done" trusting in God's Omnipotence, sovereignty, and providence.


One should note that I had some problems with the audio. I think it was fixed before I uploaded it, but just in case be warned. It should be fine after about 2-3 minutes. If it skips around some I apologize.

For More:
April 11, 2010 - Haggai 1:1-15 - God's Greater Glory:  Our Highest Priority

Friday, April 16, 2010

We're Back: Together For the Gospel

I had the opportunity to attend the bi-annual pastors conference in Louisville, KY called Together for the Gospel.  The speakers are among my favorite in modern Evangelicalism.  This year the theme was on the Unajusted Gospel.  In case your interested, here are some interesting links from the conference.

To watch the videos of the conference, click here.  Here is the video of my favorite sermon from Dr. John MacArthur:

T4G 2010 -- Session 5 -- John MacArthur from Together for the Gospel (T4G) on Vimeo.

To just listen to the audio, click here.

Here also is a list of books that were given away during the conference.  Needless to say, I have a lot I need to read!

I'd like to thank the church for allowing me to go.  See ya at worship Sunday as we study Haggai 2:1-9.

For more:
Review - "Proclaiming a Cross-Centered Theology" (this is the book from the second conference)
Review - "Preaching the Cross" (this is the book from the first conference)

Monday, April 12, 2010

The Coleman Classic

This past Saturday, some of us went to the annual Derby Classic game at Freedom Hall to watch some of next years recruits.  As always, it was an exciting and entertaining game.  Here is a video of Justin Coleman who is coming to Louisville next year.  The reason I like this video is because it is the only one I have found with the soccer dunk.  Watch the video and you'll see what I mean.

The music and the quality of the video is distracting, but it'll have to do.

Also, I encourage all Louisville fans to read this article about the new U of L coach Charlie Strong. I am liking him more and more.

HT: Card Chronicle

April 11, 2010 - Haggai 1:1-15 - God's Greater Glory: Our Highest Priority

Here is the audio and notes from yesterdays message.  We will be in the book of Haggai for three more weeks.  So I encourage everyone to become familiar with this wonderful short book.  Haggai is the shortest book in the Old Testament behind Obadiah (which is only 1 chapter).  Yesterday we talked about making God's greater glory our highest priority.  Let us do that!  Let us be that sort of church.  Let us Consider Our Ways.

Here's the description:

What's on your list of priorities?  Working hard, making it to your kids game, fixing dinner, going to church, and getting good grades?  These are important things.  But their not the most important things.  Haggai is writing to a people who are distracted by important things but have neglected their highest priority:  God's greater authority.  Too often Christians do the same thing.  Let us not confuse important things with the most important thing.  Let us live for God's greater glory and all other priorities will fall into place.


As always you can view previous messages and notes through the sermon player (always available on the left hand column of this page) and through the sermon podcast (also available on iTunes).

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Is God Jealous?: Oprah Weighs In

Anybody who knows me knows that I am not a fan of Oprah especially when it comes to her theology.  Oprah is a postmodern, relativistic, New Ager that denies all doctrines of sound theology.  The following video illustrates this well.

Tonight we'll be discussing the jealousy of God.  Yes God is jealous.  In fact, He says that His name is Jealous (Exodus 34:14).  One of the hurdles that Oprah has struggled with in the Bible is its description of God as a jealous God as illustrated in the following video.  Before you watch know that the video is essentially an advertisement, but it does do a good job showing Oprah's radical and dangerous theology.  Watch especially her webcast starting a little after the 2 minutes and fifty seconds mark.  It is there she talks about God being jealous.

For more:
Oprah and Universalism 

Friday, April 9, 2010

7 Miles: Matt Chandler and Explaining Away the Resurrection

One more post on the resurrection.  This was just too good.  A website took a sermon by Matt Chandler (an influencial pastor in the SBC) and put it to music and made a video out of it.  The sermon discusses the ridiculous theories that people have explaining away the resurrection.  Its pretty good.

HT:  Tim Challies

Thursday, April 8, 2010

A Helpful Timeline Chart for Haggai

This Sunday we will begin a new series on the book of Haggai before returning to the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7).  If your like me, when it comes to the Bible (especially among the Minor Prophets) you get confused with all of the dates, events, and names.  Haggai is no different.  It is important when we read the prophets to know that there is a historical context and Haggai is centered on that historical context.

Therefore, I came across a helpful timeline chart that shows what happened before the prophecies of Haggai.  To make it better, the producer of the chart placed in the dates of when each of Haggai's four messages were produced.  I hope this chart helps you as much as it has helped me.

To view the chart click here.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Wednesday Night Bible Study - Philemon: Be Reconciled

Here are the notes for Philemon.  It was a good discussion and I strongly encourage everyone to come out on Wednesdays.  Here's the description:

Philemon is one of those letters than many overlook.  For one, many don't understand why it is in the Bible.  But once we look carefully at the text, it shows us how the gospel meets us in the real world.  It is a letter of reconciliation, forgiveness, and love and it is a message we all need to heed.

Philemon:  Be Reconciled

For more:
Slavery, Philemon, and the Gospel:  The Challenges the Book of Philemon Raises

Slavery, Philemon, and the Gospel: The Challenges the Book of Philemon Raises

Tonight we'll be studying the book of Philemon in our ride through the Bible backwards.  One of the major challenges that Philemon raises is that of slavery.  Nowhere in the book does Paul condemn the institution of slavery even though the two main characters in the book are a runaway slave and the master. 

The New Testament itself seems silent on the issue.  I have recently commented on some words from John MacArthur in his book, The Freedom and Power of Forgiveness, where he briefly deals with the issue.  To read that post, click here.

The Power of the Gospel in Bringing Social Change:  Perhaps We Need to Refocus Our Efforts 

9Marks on Deacons

The book we are reading for the men's breakfast each month is written by Dr. Mark Dever, founder of 9 Marks ministry.  Their website is full of great articles and audio on ministry, church, etc.  Recently they published a number of articles on the role and responsibilities of deacons and I thought I would share it with everyone.  Hope you enjoy.

9Marks - Ejournal:  Deacons

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

April 2010 Newsletter Now Available Online

Due to being out of toner on our copier, I was unable to pass out this month's newsletters this past Sunday.  I will instead pass them out next Sunday.  In the meantime, you can access the newsletter online if you want to.  As always the lastest newsletter is made available on the left column.

April 2010 Newsletter

Listen to the Gospel of John Online for Free

Our friends over at Crossway Publishers (they publish some excellent books) have posted an audio version of the Gospel of John on youtube.  Remember that we were suppose to go through John's Gospel on our own time in just a few weeks.  To help with that, you can now listen to someone else read the book one chapter at a time.  You can't beat that.

To listen to the audio of John's Gospel, click here.

Here is chapter 1:

See also:  The Gospel of John Reading Plan

Monday, April 5, 2010

April 4, 2010 - Mark 15:1-15: I Am Barabbas and So Are You (Easter 2010)

Here is the audio and sermon notes from the Easter message.  I hope everyone had a excellent Resurrection Sunday.  Amanda and I are exhausted but we enjoyed the day nonetheless.  Here is the description:

Was the cross necessary?  Perhaps no other question is more important than that one.  Why did Jesus have to bear the cross?  Couldn't have God redeemed man, showed His love, and forgiven our sins another way?  When we understand the exchange of Barabbas for Jesus, we then understand the necessity of the cross and penal substitution.


For more:
Easter 2009 Message - John 20:19-31 - From Doubting Thomas to Eternal Life - audio
Easter 2009 Message - John 20:19-31 - From Doubting Thomas to Eternal Life - notes  

Sunday, April 4, 2010

"In Christ Alone" by Keith and Kristin Getty

I was excited to hear my favorite song on Resurrection Sunday performed, "In Christ Alone" originally composed and written by Keith and Kristin Getty.  In honor of that I thought I would post their original version of it.  I really enjoyed how our church mixed the piano and the saxophone with the incredible lyrics to this incredible song.

HT: Deyoung, Restless, and Reformed

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Matthew Thus Far: Matthew 1-5

Since the Sunday after Thanksgiving we have been walking through Matthew's gospel verse by verse and last week finished chapter 5.  Starting next week we will be doing a short series on the book of Haggai and then returning to Matthew and finishing up the Sermon on the Mount.  In the meantime I want to post all of the links from Matthew 1-5.

December 6, 2009 - We Are the Reason for the Season:  The Necessity of the Virgin Birth 
December 13, 2009 - Matthew 1:1ff - Was not recorded.
December 20., 2009 - Worship the King:  The Folly of Misplaced Allegiance 
December 27, 2009 - Repentence:  Costly Grace 
January 10, 2010 - Matthew 4:12-20 - Follow Me:  The Call to Surrender and Leave 
January 17, 2010 - Matthew 5:1-12 - If Your Joyful and You Know It . . . 
January 24, 2010 - Matthew 5:13 - Stuck Between Salt and Manure:  The Call to Preserve the Gospel 
January 31, 2010 - Matthew 5:14-26 - Its Dark in Here:  The Call to be the Light of the World 
February 7, 2010 - Matthew 5:17-20 - Medium Rare is Unbiblical or What Do Christians Do with the Law
February 14, 2010 - Matthew 5:21-22 - I Am a Murderer . . . And So Are You 
February 21, 2010 - Matthew 5:23-26 - Resetting What Was Broken:  The Necessity of Reconciliation
February 28, 2010 - Matthew 5:27-30 - America's Pastime: Our Lust for Lust 
March 7, 2010 - Matthew 5:31-32 - The Gospel and Divorce:  What Does the Bible Say?
March 14, 2010 - Matthew 5:33-37 - Allergies to Toast, the Gospel, and Integrity
March 21, 2010 - Matthew 5:38-42 - I Surrender!  I Surrender!
March 28, 2010 - Matthew 5:43-48 - Love God as He Loved You

How Much Do You Hate Others?:  The Necessity of Being Fishers of Men 
In More Detail:  Repost of Beautitudes 
Light of the World:  Pentecost Weighs In 
Augustine's Pears:  Lust's Lust 
Bonhoeffer:  Truth and the Cross 
Bonhoeffer - "By Willing Endurance We Cause Suffering to Pass 
Just War Theory - What Christians Have Had to Say 
Love Your Enemies:  Even If He is a Murderer

For more:
The Last Week of Jesus: From Triumphal Entry to Triumphal Grave Series
Fruitie-Tales: Living By the Fruit of the Spirit

Basic Christianity Series
Revelation Study

Thursday, April 1, 2010

God's Wonderful Surprise: The Glorious Resurrection

As everyone knows, this Sunday we will celerbate the resurrection of our Lord.  In the spirit of that wonderful event, I encourage everyone to watch the following video.  The video comes from a book that Amanda and I read to Elijah called the Jesus Bible Storybook.  We highly recommend it.

HT: Justin Taylor