The Preaching Course, Charlotte Baptist Chapel

Colin Adams, pastor of Charlotte Baptist Chapel in Edinburgh, Scotland, recently held it’s first Preaching Course and it’s worth a listen.  Although the audio isn’t available for all the sessions, a few are. The material is foundational, and there are many nuggets of very helpful advice for sermon preparation. Colin’s blog, Unashamed Workman, is also another very helpful blog for preachers and teachers.

Digging Into the Text pt 1 – Colin Adams
Digging Into the Text pt 2 – Colin Adams
Preaching Different Genres – Peter Grainger
Commentary Capers – Colin Adams
Very Basic Sermon Components – Colin Adams

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Psalms: Thinking and Feeling with God, John Piper

John Piper spent 6 weeks going through a selection of Psalms in a very powerful series of sermons.  The theology and practical Christian life application that comes from this is priceless.  I would love to see John Piper produce a sermonic commentary on the entire book of Psalms.  He has a gift for making them come alive.

Songs that Shape the Heart and Mind: Psalm 1
Spiritual Depression in the Psalms: Psalm 42
A Broken and Contrite Heart God Will Not Despise: Psalm 51
Bless the Lord, O My Soul: Psalm 103
Pour Out Your Indignation Upon Them: Psalm 69
Declare His Glory Among the Nations: Psalm 96

Psalms: Thinking and Feeling with God page >>>

Biblical Leadership seminar with Alexander Strauch

Alexander Strauch gave a 4 message seminar to Desert Springs Church on the subject of Biblical Leadership.  If you are in ministry and haven’t yet heard Strauch on eldership or church leadership, this will be a good seminar to get into, even if you are a congregationalist or have no elders.

Biblical Leadership series >>>

John Piper on the Life and Legacy of William Tyndale

At this years New Attitude Conference, John Piper brought to life the work and world of William Tyndale, and reflected on his amazing achievements.  Tyndale translated the New Testament and parts of the Old into English, and was violently opposed by the Roman Catholic church, which lead to his execution by strangulation and being burned at the stake.

Tyndale’s English translation found it’s way into the King James Bible (after his death) and also properly translated various words and phrases that had skewed the Latin translation to support the Roman Catholic ecclestiastical system and Roman Catholic understanding of the gospel.

One very interesting section of Piper’s message draws a parallel between Tyndales opponent Erasmus and post-modern “Christian” writers of today:

There are elitist, cool, avant-garde, marginally evangelical writers and scholars today for whom what I’m about to read here which is written to describe Erasmus and Moore is amazingly parallel:

 

“Not only is there not only no fully realized Christ or devil in Erasmus book, there is a touch of irony about it all with a feeling of the writer cultivating a faintly superior ambiguity, as if to be dogmatic, for example about the full theology of the work of Christ, was to be rather distasteful.” [reference not cited]

 

[Begin new quote] “I just feel that in book after book today. That to be robust and strong and full about what Christ achieved “feels rather distasteful.” By contrast William Tyndale is ferociously single-minded. The mater in hand, the immediate access of the soul to God without intermediary is far too important for hints of faintly ironic superiority. Tyndale is as four-square as a carpenters tool. But in Erasmus account of the origins of his book, there is a touch of the sort of layering of ironies found in the games with personae.”

End of quote from Daniell. [from David Daniell, William Tyndale: A Biography]

 

It is ironic, and this a warning, I hope you will hear, from a ‘dad-like’ guy for you, it is ironic and sad that today supposedly avant-garde Christian writers strike a cool, evasive, imprecise, artistic, superficially reformist pose of Erasmus and call it ‘post-modern’ when in fact it is totally pre-modern, because it is totally permanent. It happens in every single age. It’s a clever way of writing for unsuspecting people like you who don’t have a lot to measure it by, because your roots aren’t deep yet in church history and in reading things from the 19th and 18th and 17th and 16th and 15th century so that when you open up this contemporary post-modern thing you say, “What in the Sam Hill is new about that?” Don’t be dupped. Be thoughtful. Be a thinker. Go deep. Know your history.
This is an excellent message that you won’t want to miss.

Reforming our Understanding, Derek Thomas

Derek Thomas delivered a series of 4 messages at the Oklahoma City Conference on Reformed Theology in October of 2007.  The subjects of the messages cover Reforming our Understanding of God, Justification, Evangelism and Holiness.  A final Q&A is also available.

Derek draws deeply from church history and the Reformers, and also takes a considerable amount of time to review the New Perspective of Paul.

Reforming our Understanding page >>>

The Pursuit: Every Man’s Call to Biblical Masculinity

C. J. Mahaney is joined by other Sovereign Grace pastors, including Mark Alderton and Rick Gamache, to examine the subject of Bibilical masculinity.

C. J. takes us into Philippians 4 to examine in a clear and masterful way how both the believer and God have a part in actively working out our sanctification.

In the Pursuit of Genuine Repentance, Craig Cabaniss brings us to face how our repentance is far too often remorse for our circumstances rather than a true lamentation before an offended God.

There are a great many other messages in this series.

The Pursuit (church resource page) >>>

There are a lot of messages in this series.  You have to scroll down until you see a message with the graphic ‘The Pursuit’ next to it.  Unfortunately, these messages are not all collected on one easy to access page.

Healthy Hearing Habits

I’ve recently become concerned about the impact my iPod use is having on my hearing.  I listen to sermons approximately 2 hours per day during my commute by bus and subway.  Last week I began to notice a funny sensation in my ears after taking the ear buds out when I arrived at home.  My ears were closing down like they do when exposed to loud noise.  I suspect my ears were in protection mode, but the ear bud was getting the sound by. It wasn’t until I had them out that I realized what was happening.

After doing some research on the web and speaking with a doctor from my church, I have adopted some new healthy hearing habits:

1.  Only use one earbud at a time. 
Listening to sermons doesn’t require stereo or great detail.  If you use one earbud at a time you will decrease the potential damage to your ears by half.  If one earbud isn’t cutting through the background noise, see 2.

2.  Don’t use earbud with loud background noise. 
As background noise increases, such as in a subway car or walking along a busy road, you have to increase the sound which does more damage to your ears (60 db is max, though I have no idea how you measure such a thing on an earbud).  When background noise increases, shut the iPod off rather than increase the volume.

3.  Change your earbuds for a fully enclosed set of headphones. 
Not all studies show that there is any difference in damage between earbuds and headphones.  But what headphones do is to cut more background noise which keeps your volume down.  They’re not the most stylish things, but I do have more respect for the commuters who wear those big, silly, bulky headsets now.  I may end up being one of them.  I just want to investigate a bit more.

4.  Pay attention to the kind of preacher you’re listening too, and be prepared.
Some preachers speak with a wide range of volume and intensity (John Piper) and others speak with a low range of volume (Wayne Grudem).  High range preachers require a more work to balance the volume through a message.  It might be advantageous to purchase earbuds that have a volume control on the wire.

5. If you find yourself in mental drift, just shut off the iPod.
Sometimes I have commutes where my mind is preoccupied with concerns of the day and often find myself drifting and rewinding the audio to catch what I missed.  If you find yourself doing this, just save your ears and shut off the iPod until your attention is better used.

6.  If you drive invest in a convertor.
There are many simple and affordable solutions to connect your iPod directly into your car stereo. If you have a tape cassette player, there’s a cassette like device that loads like a cassette and plays like a cassette, but it’s plugged into your iPod.

Here are two articles I found that provided helpful perspectives on this subject.

Hearing Health >>>

USA Today>>>

David Wells talks about his book The Courage to Be Protestant

Al Mohler interviews David Wells on his radio program.  Dr. Wells talks about his latest important book, ‘The Courage to Be Protestant’, and what motivated this work. The Courage to Be Protestant is a summary of his four amazing books beginning with ‘No Place for Truth.’  This is one book every Christian should read and consider.  Wells and Mohler talk about the non-doctrinal nature of the church today, the loss of an informed evangelicalism, and the destructive nature of marketing methodologies.

David Wells interviewd by Al Mohler page >>>