Friday, April 29, 2011

Recent themes of thought bouncing around in my pea-brain.

1) The need for biblical ecumenicity (if that is the correct word). That is, the need to be open to being friends with others who call themselves Christians who don't believe exactly as I do about the peripheral issues but agree with me on the core tenets of Christianity.

2) The error of being excessively polemical from the pulpit, as if it was our duty to find out and destroy every heresy that raises it's head to oppose the true gospel. I see this as an error of inexperienced preachers.

3) My personal need to believe that I must speak up for the gospel and believe that when I speak, Jesus has promised that "rivers of living water" will flow out from me to influence the unbeliever. Factored into this is the thought that I MUST attend a church that has an outward, missional focus, not one that has "raised the drawbridge" and is putting out the cannons to assume a defensive posture. I want to go to an offensive church.

4) There is some really bland music out there that is very insufficient for use in corporate worship both in its excessive complexity in terms of melodic rhythmn and in its lack of any depth of thought in its content.

5) The Bible is about Jesus. Not about us. That is, every book in the Bible must be preached with this in mind. Jesus is EVERYWHERE in the Bible...sometimes in the shadows, sometimes in the types, sometimes in the ordinances, sometimes displayed in the way that God dealt with the nation of Israel, but it is always about Him! Preaching becomes worship when this is kept in mind. It is mere self-help if He is forgotten. Is David and Goliath about us overcoming our problems? Or is it about the Greater David overcoming our greater problem, namely sin and death, and then us receiving the benefit, although we lifted not a single finger in the battle? Thank you Dr. Tim Keller and Dr. Edmund P. Clowney.

6) Creation, Fall, Redemption, and Restoration. These are the 4 major themes in the Scriptures and help to frame the entirety of the Holy Scriptures into an understandable and cohesive unity. I understand now why Dr. Barcellos was able to preach the gospel from Genesis 3:15.

7) Heaven will be the restoration of Pre-fall creation.

8) Grace must frame the entirety of our preaching. Grace to save us from God's wrath and judgement, grace to set us in a right relationship with Him by way of Jesus' death, grace to allow us to obey His law, and grace to forgive us when we don't!

9) The "Emergent" church, although difficult to codify, is jacked-up, and I mean JACKED-UP to the extent that some of them deny the existence of Hell and the real need for salvation from the wrath of God! They sound like Robert Schuller "re-worked". They are coming to a church near you, so HEADS UP! Listen for terms like "NOOMA" videos, Rob Bell, and the "great conversation".

10) Sola Scriptura, Sola Gratia.

11) If you have never been to the Shepherds Conference at Grace Community Church, John MacDaddy's church, you are missing out on one of the great gatherings of men who are being raised up to preach God's holy word.

12) The necessity of the community of believers. Who do you pray with? Who do you correct using God's word? Who will bring you meals when you are sick? With whom are you living out a life of radical love in front of unbelievers? Who has corrected you about something in your christian life recently? Who will be all over you if you stray from the faith? Who knows if you miss corporate worship on Sunday 4 weeks in a row? Who knows you aren't reading your Bible? With whom do you counsel when your marriage is in trouble? We need each other is the point, if you haven't got that already.

13) You need to listen to General Session #8 by Steve Lawson from the Shepherds Conference 2009. I was ready to go to seminary and enter the ministry after this sermon.

14) God, wife, kid(s), job, hobby. This is the proper and Biblical priority for life. Funny that if God is not first, you will have no idea where the other ones fit in.

15) I really have no idea if I will ever lead music again in church, although I would really like to.

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