The MacArthur Vaults

If you haven’t visited the vaults at John MacArthur’s ministry website Grace to You, you should head over and take a look around.

The sermon resource section is massive, dating all the way back to 1969 — 40 years worth of preaching.  His sermons can be browsed by date, title, series, Scripture, topic and code number. 

Just like John Piper’s Desiring God site, the audio messages are also available as a print option.

Grace to You sermon vault >>>

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Men’s Fall Conference: Rick Holland

Rick Holland, the mastermind behind the Resolved Conference, delivered 4 messages for the 2008 Men’s Conference at Grace Community Church of Huntsville, Alabama.

Rick considers the qualities of godly manhood.  First he looks at the importance of sexual purity, which is an area a lot of men and Christian leaders fail.  Second he looks at humility, which is one quality which God says catches his eye.  Do you want to catch God’s eye — pursue humility and a trembling at God’s Word. Thirdly, Rick considers the qualifications of elders listed in the book of Titus.  The Q&A session was helpful and lively on a wide variety of questions submitted by the audience. 

Men Who are Pure
Men Who are Humble
Men Who are Leaders
Questions & Answers

2008 Men’s Fall Conference >>>

Ray Ortlund: 3 Lectures on Preaching

Ray Ortlund has given us a very valuable series of messages on preaching. 

Ortlund looks at Paul’s decision in 1 Corinthians to not preach with the cleverness of man.  Clever speech is rhetoric.  When Paul went to preach to a group of people, his concern was what they needed to hear.  Content was his goal. When a rhetorician goes to speak, his primary concern is who his audience is, not the content.  Rhetoric is his goal. Paul understood that the only value of rhetoric was to point audiences to his own abilities.  Above all else, God needs men who are crucifed to themselves to carry his Word to the world.

Pastors also must have a desire to see their people grow. They are not to despise their people, or complain about them, rather they must have sincere and earnest desire to see their people grow in sanctification, and flourish in their relationship with Christ.  A pastor’s congregation is his testimony to present to Christ in the last day.  What an awesome responsibility and priviledge it is to be entrusted with the care of God’s people.

Pastors must also delight in their weaknesses.  It is only when a pastor is weak that God can be glorified with his successes.  If we were strong then we would take glory away from God. When a pastor boasts, he should boast in his weakness, which reveals the strength of God.  Weakness is where we recieve power from God.

This is a very encouraging, clarifying and challenging trio of lectures.  These were delivered at this years Mullins Lectures.

Power in Preaching: Decide (1 Corinthians 2:1-5)

Power in Preaching: Desire (1 Thessalonians 1:2-5)

Power in Preaching: Delight (2 Corinthians 12:1-10)

Why Christian Institutions are Easily Lost, Al Mohler

Al Mohler recently visited Harvard’s Divinity Hall and reflects on Ralph Waldo Emerson’s address to the graduating class of 1838 which amounted to a declaration of war on Biblical Christianity.  Mohler asks the question, ‘Why do churches and denominations have a tragic record of keeping their institutions orthodox and evangelical?’  This is a sad pattern that crosses demoninational lines.

The bottom line is that in the tide of secularization, these institutions do not keep their people accountable. This is very insightful commentary by a sage of our age.

Why Christian Institutions are Easily Lost >>>

Faith By Hearing’s Christmas Gift Guide

For those of you in need of ideas for Christmas, if you’re looking for something in the audio category, allow me to offer some handpicked suggestions, both in my favorite audio content and audio mp3 electronics. All products link to Amazon.com or Amazon.ca, and Faith By Hearing will receive an affiliate commission on every sale, no cost to you.

xmas_mp3bibleFirst, two must-haves.

Max Mclean’s ESV audio Bible in mp3 format. This is the entire Bible in a very affordable version.  Max Mclean’s narration of Scripture is, in my opinion, the best Bible narration I’ve ever heard. The audio CD versions are much more expensive than this full Bible in the mp3 format.  It’s very easy to upload onto an iPod. See it at Amazon.com or Amazon.ca

The Valley of Vision, narrated again by Max Mclean.  This is a classic collection of Puritan prayers that have been a daily blessing to countess Christians since it’s publication.  Max Mclean breaths life into these prayers in this audio version. See it al Amazon.com or Amazon.ca

xmas_fofFocus on the family has done an amazing job of producing a number of audio dramas that my entire family loves. They are great for even the shortest of road trips.  My kids are forever asking us to play the next disc when we get into the van.

The Chronicles of Narnia — C.S. Lewis’ classic series is brought to life with drama, sound effects and a great cast of voices.  We’ve had our copy for over 2 years now. My children have listened to this series multiple times, and to this day continue to ask for it.  We have also given this as a gift to other families who have children and they have often remarked at how much they love it.  You can’t miss with this gift if you have children. See it at Amazon.com or Amazon.ca

Les Miserables — This is my personal favorite, another dramatized audio adaptation (not the musical).  The story of Jean Val Jean is engaging and will have a greater appeal for adults and older children.  If you’re looking for something for yourself, this would be the first thing I would suggest. See it at Amazon.com or Amazon.ca

Ben Hur and Billy Budd are also two other audio dramatizations that will appeal more to older children and adults. If you enjoy Les Mis, then these would be two you want to add to your collection. See Ben Hur at Amazon.com or Amazon.ca. See Herman Melville’s Billy Budd at  Amazon.com or Amazon.ca

xmas_pilgrimsprogressPilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan, narrated by Max Mclean.  If you haven’t ever read Pilgrim’s Progress Max Mclean’s audio version may be just the ticket for you.  Bunyan’s book is a classic and has never been out of print.  Historically it has out sold all other Christian books, second only to the Bible. See it at Amazon. com or Amazon.ca

xmas_boseOn the hardware front I recommend getting an mp3 iPod speaker system.  Many of them are portable and most offer excellent sound quality.  They are very handy for listening to you iPod anywhere in your home or work place.  The Bose SoundDock is one of the top recommendations for sound quality.  It also recharges your iPod while seated in the dock.  For those of you, like me, who have concerns about using your earbuds too often, this is a needed accessory. See it at Amazon.com

xmas_ipod

And finally, if you don’t yet own an iPod, there are a wide variety to choose from to suit your needs.  Although there are many other mp3 players on the market, I will always buy iPod. I have no complaints about my iPod, which is now 5 years old and still going strong in the coldest of weather as I commute to work everyday. It works easily with iTunes on Windows or Mac.  I can’t recommend it more highly.

The iPod classic holds a massive 120 GB, which is great if you plan to use it as an audio storage device and use it with a sound dock.   See this at Amazon.com

The iPod nano is perfect for those who don’t need a lot of storage. With either the 8 GB or 16GB versions, you will be able to hold the entire Bible plus much more.  For most people 16GB will be more than adequate storage.  See it at Amazon.com

The iPod touch is all about functionality.  There is no internal drive like the iPod classic, rather it has Flash memory in 8, 16 or 32 GB.  32 GB is about all you really need for an iPod unless it’s being used to store a huge collection of audio.  The touch has video, games and even Wifi connectivity.  In fact, it’s almost an iPhone, and you might wonder what the difference is?  Not much.  The touch does not have phone capability.  It’s advantage over the iPhone is it 32 GB option. See it at Amazon.com

Liverpool Preacher: Stuart Olyott

A visitor recently turned me on to an old preacher from Liverpool named Stuart Olyott.  Olyott is a good old-fashioned preacher of the Word in the Reformed tradition, and very enjoyable to listen to.

Stuart Olyott pastored a church in Liverpool for many years, and also did itinerant work and church planting in Switzerland and France. It’s on the backs of unsung faithful men like Stuart Olyott that the Gospel is proclaimed throughout the earth.

Stuart Olyott at Know Your Bible Recordings >>>

Calvin: Of Prayer and the Christian Life

The free audio download at Christan Audio this month is an excerpt from Calvin’s Institutes. If you’ve never read the Institutes, this would be an excellent introduction.  Calvin’s Institutes has always been intimidating to me.  The book is big (2 volumes in some editions), and Calvin is old, and I assumed it would be a dry and difficult read.  What I discovered to utter shock was that Calvin was entirely readable and incredibly pastoral — exactly opposite of what I expected.

So, here, you can be introduced to what is arguably the greatest Christian book every written.  To get the audio book for free enter NOV2008 in the coupon box during check out.

From Christian Audio —
“Let the first rule of right prayer then be, to have our heart and mind framed as becomes those who are entering into converse with God.” So begins John Calvin and his treatise on prayer. These seminal writings are from his Magnus Opus The Institutes of the Christian Religion. Prayer as Calvin describes it is not giddy, and he goes on to give Scriptural definitions of proper thought, engagement, and attitude.

Christian Audio free download page>>>

Keller & Clowney: Preaching Christ in a Post Modern World

Tim Keller and Edmund Clowney together taught a class called ‘Preaching Christ in a Post Modern World’, and is now on iTunes as part of Reformed Theological Seminary Worldwide.  This is going to keep me busy for some time. You can download the entire course, including Q&A sessions, a total of 35 audio files.

Preaching Christ in a Post Modern World on iTunes >>>

You can find the handouts for this course on Google Docs (thanks Mark), or on Scribd.

A Brief History of Trinitarian Thought

Carl Trueman joins the panel at Christ the Center to discuss the history of Trinitarian thought touching on the contributions of the Nicean Creed, the Chalcedonian formula, the Cappadocian Fathers, Athanasius, Augustine, Aquinas, Jonathan Edwards, Karl Barth, Van Til, and John Owen.  Trueman, who is something of an expert on Owen, spends some time looking at Owens understanding of the Trinity, particularly looking at how Owen differentiated how we commune with each member of the Trinity.  This is an important discussion as it demonstrates that the Trinity is not something for the theologians, but rather it has great impact for all believers.

A Brief History of Trinitarian Thought page >>>