Some Sweet Blessings of Masculine Christianity

This is one of the most thoughtful, pastoral messages I’ve heard on the value of strong, theological, male leadership in the church.  John Piper argues compassionately for the church to move not only from female leadership, but also feminised flavored worship services.  One of the remarkable points John unpacks is that many women in leadership are craving for male leadership. Delivered at the Fidelis Foundation Pastor’s Luncheon. The structure of the message is 11 reasons why we should value Biblical manhood. 

Some Sweet Blessings of Masculine Christianity >>>

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Stand: 2007 Desiring God National Conference

The subject of this years conference is Endurance in Ministry, a very important subject since so many people and pastors appear to have very little ability to endure through the difficulties and challenges of ministry.  John Piper, Jerry Bridges, John MacArthur, and Randy Alcorn bring life long ministry experience and convictions that will encourage and educate anyone involved in church ministry.

Stand: 2007 National Conference page >>> 

Partnering with Parents

David Michael of Children Desiring God brought a very timely message for parents and Children’s ministry leaders.  Michaels provides a sober look at what should be the operating principle of any children’s ministry, and that is primarily to teach parents how to be godly parents.  We need to hear these kinds of messages over and over because we so easily forget the foundation God laid for ministry inside the family.

One thing Michaels said that stood out (just to whet your appetite) is that children should be taught to remain in the entire worship service beginning at age 4.  If we don’t, then we are training little Johnny to check out mentally everytime the preacher stands up to preach.   Michaels relates methods that help the child to pay attention, and gives testimony to the success he has seen at Bethlehem Baptist Church.

A great message that you have to hear if you are a parent.

Partnering with Parents mp3 >>>

Family-Driven Faith interview with Voddie Baucham

family-driven-faith.jpgIf I see another “Purpose- Bible-Spirit-Faith-Driven” anything I think I’ll be ill. But, I recently finished reading a book that has impacted me more than any other book I’ve read in the past 5 years, perhaps longer. The book is Family Driven Faith by Voddie Baucham. Below is a link to an interview with Voddie about this book that could challenge you.

Voddie’s focus on the Biblical truth that the family is where our Christianity takes flesh is not new. In fact, there is nothing really new about this book. What is so impactful is the seriousness Voddie brings to the table, and the direct application that squares directly against the world-culture and our church culture which we have become saturated and very comfortable with. Voddie shows how Deuteronomy 6 and Ephesians 6 are inescapable, yet somehow most churches have missed these very basic mandates.

How many Christian homes do you know that have regular family worship? How many father’s disciple their children in the Christian faith? How many families have ever tried to catechize their children? Catechism? Most of us think catechism is just for Catholics. Return to Deuteronomy 6 and you will find a mandate closer to family catechism than nothing at all.

Voddie also looks at how the average church does not support or train parents to evangelize or disciple their children. Voddie turns to an array of statistics that show how the family has greater impact in discipling children than does the youth ministry movement.

This is a very challenging book to read. I highly recommend it, even if you may not agree with how he applies everything, it will certainly sharpen you and perhaps knock off a blind spot that you’ve been carrying around for years. It did that for me. The interview will give you a good taste of what Family-Driven Faith is about.

Voddie pastors Grace Family Baptist Church in Houston, TX.

Family-Driven Faith interview mp3 >>>

Here’s a message Voddie preached in the same vein of the book.

The Centrality of the Home mp3 >>>

Reading the Psalms Messianically, Ethically & Canonically

Gordon Wenham has taken a wonderful look at the Psalms in this series. We tend to view the Psalms as stand alone bits of poetry and prayer, but Wenham helps us to see the Psalms as something more as each plays a role in the larger context.

I recently learned from one of my client’s who is an orthodox Jew that they read the book of Psalms completely through each month, 12 times a year. Some of the more diehard Hasidics read the whole book each week, 52 times a year. The Psalms plays a major role in their lives.

Wenham reminds us that in the evangelical church the Psalms constituted the entire worship of singing. It was only in recent church history that hymns have taken their place. Overall we have lost the importance of the Psalms. We have lost the theological significance they have in providing instruction on ethics, and ignore their contribution in foretelling of the Messiah.

One note I found very interesting is that the Psalms no where speak of keeping the Sabbath.

Gordon Wenham delivered this series of messages atthe Jay B. Gay lectures at Southern Seminary last year.

Reading the Psalms Ethically mp3 >>>

Reading the Psalms Messianically mp3 >>>

Reading the Psalms Canonically mp3 >>>

Praying the Psalms

Gordon Wenham delivered an insightful message about praying the Psalms to Southern Seminary last year.  Wenham argues that the Psalms have guided the worship and prayers of Christians for most of church history until recently, and we desperately need to return to them.  Contrary to our happy worship services, the Psalms bring us back to reality that Christian’s are often troubled and in deep despair before God, sorrowful over their sins, and battered by the world.

Wenham explains how it appears that Christ and the apostles had memorized the Psalms, and we see clearly in Christ’s passion our Lord’s dependence upon the Psalms, singing and praying them during the last week of his life, and his last words were directly from the Psalms. Wenham also provides a context for the usefulness of the imprecatory psalms which call God to judge and deal severely with one’s enemies.

Praying the Psalms mp3 >>>

Life of David Brainerd, Free Audio Book

The folks at Christian Audio have posted another free book, this one is Jonathan Edwards ‘Life of David Brainerd’.  Brainerd was a missionary to the Native Americans and experienced a great many trials, eventually dying at a young age of Tuberculosis.  This is a classic work, and perhaps Jonathan Edwards most widely read work.  It played a big part in the American missionary movement.

Use the coupon code OCT2007 when checking out to get it free.

Life of David Brainerd >>>

John Angell James: Pursuing the Souls of the Next Generation

David Michael presented an intriging biographical sketch on the life of John Angell James, an English preacher of the early 19th century who wrote many helpful books such as ‘A Help to Domestic Happiness’, ‘The Christian Father’s Present to His Children’, ‘Female Piety’, and ‘An Earnest Ministry.’ 

James is well known for his instruction in the home, and it is this focus that David Michael takes in his biographical sketch of James which he presented at The 2007 Children Desiring God conference.  Biographical sketches allow us not only to learn good habits and ways of thinking, it helps us to learn from failures.  There are many rich gems in this address that will challenge any parent in the way they daily lead their children to a life dependant on God.

John Angell James: Pursuing the Souls of the Next Generation >>>