Monthly Archives: August 2007

In the Blogosphere

Mega-church co-pastors announce their divorce

Devin Hudson, Las Vegas church planter asks “Is the Gospel enough?”

Why Was Mother Theresa Sad?

What Shopping Carts Have to do with the Gospel

Jared Wilson’s Gospel “Rant” – I like this guy.

Top Post this week at Kingdom People: 15 Must-Read Books on Worship

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Love Your God With All Your Mind: Concerns

Though J.P. Moreland’s book Love Your God with All Your Mind is mostly helpful in its diagnosis and prescription for effecting change in the area of intellectual engagement, it contains several missteps that hurt its overall appeal.

First, Moreland occasionally places unrealistic expectations upon churches and ministers, expectations that do not have as much to do with Moreland’s goal as he thinks they do. One striking example is the first step in “Recapturing the Intellectual Life in the Church:” no senior pastors (190-191)! Moreland claims that the Bible teaches churches to have a plurality of elders, not one senior pastor. He then adds several reasons why this is not only biblical, but better for growing healthy churches.

Perhaps Moreland is right in his understanding of the biblical call for eldership. But this can hardly be the first step in “recapturing the intellectual life in the church.” It might take many existing churches several years or even a decade to make such a large shift in polity. Does Moreland think that this step is so crucial as to be first? Can there be no intellectual life in the church under a different polity?

Moreland is unrealistic to demand such a large change and also naïve to think that a change in polity will naturally lead to greater intellectual accountability. Many churches with a plurality of elders are plagued by the same kind of anti-intellectualism as those with a senior pastor. Frankly, Moreland fails to establish how this polity contributes to anti-intellectualism in the …

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Why You Should Love God with Your Mind

J.P. Moreland’s Love Your God with All Your Mind calls evangelical Christians to cultivate the intellect as an act of worship to God. Moreland decries the anti-intellectualism prevalent in the current evangelical climate and encourages Christians to begin actively developing a Christian worldview that can engage and challenge the current philosophies dominating the scientific and academic world. Today and tomorrow, I will lay out the dominant themes of Moreland’s book, list areas of agreement and concern, and offer several practical insights for future ministry.

Love Your God with All Your Mind focuses on three major areas of Christian practice.

Moreland begins by exposing the anti-intellectualism of the Church today and the areas in which Christians have deserted intellectual engagement. Though the book begins with a chapter on the “loss” of the Christian mind (19-40), Moreland continues to weave this theme throughout the rest of his work.

Whereas the beginning of the book focuses on the fact that Christianity has largely abandoned the cultivation of the intellect, later chapters flesh out the ways in which this mindset reveals itself in practice. Moreland points to the embrace of rhetoric over logic, the use of buzzwords instead of thoughtful definition, and the appeal to “felt needs” as signs of intellectual emptiness (129-130). He also asks tough questions about why the impact of Christianity on society is not proportionate to the great number of professing Christians (188).

Moreland does not leave us with the simple challenge to begin developing a Christian mind; he also shows us what that mature …

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15 Must-Read Books on Worship

1. Worship: Adoration and Action – D.A. Carson
  (Wipf and Stock Publishers) 1992
 This collection of essays reminds us of the biblical underpinnings for worship, as well as giving us some practical advice for worship services. A terrific companion to Carson’s Worship by the Book.

2. Worship in Spirit and in Truth – John Frame
  (P&R Publishing) 1996
 Frame’s biblical insights into the nature of worship help us avoid the worship wars that plague North American churches. He grounds his book in the abstract principles of the Word, but also offers terrific practical advice to worship leaders and worshippers in general.

3. The Divine Hours – Phyllis Tickle
  (Doubleday) 2000
 Phyllis Tickle draws on the Book of Common Prayer and the early church fathers as she compiles this terrific source of psalms, prayers and readings for those interested in fixed hourly prayers. The written prayers here are a terrific supplement to one’s prayer life.

4. Unceasing Worship: Biblical Perspectives on Worship and the Arts – Harold Best
  (Downers Grove: Intervarsity) 1993
 Best reminds us that worship encompasses all our life and not just what we do on Sunday morning. Christians are always worshipping, even if our worship is not always directed towards God.

5. For All God’s Worth: True Worship and the …

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Jesus – Lord of All

“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me.”
- Jesus, to the disciples before the Great Commission (Matthew 28:17)

Standing on the mountaintop, just before He gave His followers what Christians call “The Great Commission,” Jesus declared that all authority in heaven and on earth had been given to Him. In other words, He is Lord over all.

Early in His ministry, Jesus rejected Satan’s tempting offer to walk the path of earthly glory that promised world power and authority without the shame of the cross. Jesus willingly chose to “set his face” toward Jerusalem, the city where He would die. He knew that the cross lay at the center of God’s plan to redeem His world. Through the Resurrection, Jesus conquered death itself, not by returning to His old existence, but by passing through death and out the other side. His Resurrection is the foretaste of what awaits all believers on the Last Day – the transformation of our earthly remains into glorified bodies.

“Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made this crucified Jesus both Lord and Messiah!” proclaimed Peter in the climax of his Pentecost sermon. Jesus is the true Lord of the world. “Our God reigns!” proclaimed the psalmist. Christians everywhere echo that phrase, with a crucial addition – “Our God reigns… through Jesus!” When we confess Jesus as Lord, we are agreeing with His own affirmation: all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to …

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Litany of Humility

O Jesus meek and humble of heart, Hear me.
From the desire of being esteemed, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being loved, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being extolled, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being honored, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being praised, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being preferred to others, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being consulted, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being approved, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being humiliated, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being despised, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of suffering rebukes, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being calumniated, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being forgotten, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being ridiculed, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being wronged, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being suspected, Deliver me, Jesus.

That others may be loved more than I,
  Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be esteemed more than I,
  Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That in the opinion of the world, others may increase, and I may decrease,
  Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be chosen and I set aside,
  Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be praised and I unnoticed,
  Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be preferred to me in everything,
  Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may become holier than I, …

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Lean on Me

I know this song has been out almost a decade, but I still love it… especially the line “Tell me how can I love Jesus when I’ve never seen his face, yet I see you dying and I turn and walk away?”

Where else can you hear Kirk Franklin, Crystal Lewis, Mary J. Blige, Bono, and R. Kelly in one place?

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3 Sentences that Pack a Punch

“Globalization isn’t just an aggressive stage in the history of capitalism. It is a religious movement of previously unheard-of proportions. Progress is its underlying myth, unlimited economic growth its foundational faith, the shopping mall (physical or online) its place of worship, consumerism its overriding image, “I’ll have a Big Mac and fries” its ritual of initiation, and global domination its ultimate goal.”

Brian J. Walsh & Sylvia Keesmaat, from Colossians Remixed

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In the Blogosphere

Albert Mohler on “Asking Jesus into your heart”

Wayne Grudem, John Piper, Ligon Duncan, Sam Storms – all having healthy, heated discussion on baptism and the Lord’s Supper.

Does sola Scriptura necessarily breed disunity? James White answers the myth that Protestantism has over 30,000 denominations.

A parable for the seeker-sensitive

Josh Harris on evangelism, commitment to the church, and discipleship

Part 2 of our interview with Derek Webb is now available online at SaidatSouthern

Top Post this week at Kingdom People: Let Grace Abound, Fellow Seminary Students

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Book Review: Believer's Baptism

What is the biblical case for believer’s baptism? What biblical support do paedobaptists point to for their belief in infant baptism? What is the relationship between the old and new covenants? What did Alexander Campbell, one of the first voices of the Restoration movement, actually think about baptism?

These questions and more are answered splendidly in Believer’s Baptism: Sign of hte New Covenant in Christ. A host of well-known Baptist scholars have collaborated to provide a resource for all who seek to better understand the biblical underpinnings for believer’s baptism.

The book begins with three important New Testament scholars mapping out the New Testament teaching on baptism. Andreas Kostenberger writes about baptism in the Gospels; Robert Stein describes baptism in Luke and Acts; Tom Schreiner treats baptism in the epistles. Throughout the summary chapters, the authors maintain a steadfast commitment to taking the text seriously and demonstrate a willingness to question popular assumptions about believer’s baptism.

Steve Wellum writes a chapter on baptism and the relationship between the covenants that is well worth the price of the book. The force of the paedobaptist argument comes from a misunderstanding of the nature of the two covenants. Wellum persuasively argues against infant baptism and shows how the practice stems from a misinterpretation of the different covenants.

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