Union University recently hosted The Word Within the Word Conference, and Don Carson was the plenary speaker, giving 3 messages. There are a great many messages by other speakers that have very interesting topics, yet I would like to highlight Don’s marvelous contribution. Don incredibly helps us to see how our entire Bible is threaded together by these critical passages that consider the superiority of Christ, and the priesthood of Christ. As Don says, these passages deal with things we Western Christians are completely incoherent about.
Psalm 2:7 & Samuel 7:14 in Hebrews 1
Psalm 95 in Hebrews 3 & 4
Genesis 14 & Psalm 110 in Hebrews 7
Carson tackled similar subject matter last year in a series of messages entitled ‘Why Does Hebrews Cite the Old Testament Like That?’ However, in those messages Carson focused on 4 verses in Hebrews 1 and two verses in Hebrews 5. While there is a bit of crossover, this series is more sweeping in scope, and builds upon the previous series, even though Don may not have intended that. Highly recommended.
Word Within the Word Conference >>>
Jon Payne is interviewed at Christ the Center about how we must consider and conduct our worship. Payne recently published a small book with D. G. Hart on the same subject titled ‘In the Splendor of Holiness.’ This is a small, easy to read book that was written for Jon’s congregation, not for academic study. Though short, it’s too the point.
Payne gives careful arguments for why we must not just consider the message, but also the methods we use in our worship. He looks at many aspects to a worship service including the call to worship, Scripture reading, singing the Psalms, and the importance of the benediction. Very eye opening challenges, and helpful explanations. If you are a pastor or worship leader you won’t want to miss this.
Payne is pastor of Grace Presbyterian Church in Douglasville, Georgia.
Reformed Worship >>>
Michael Horton delivered 3 messages at the Spring Theology Conference of the Reformation Society of Oregon at Estacada Christian Church. These messages are related to his forthcoming book: The Gospel-Driven Life.
Gospel-Driven is the positive sided companion book to his previous book Christless Christianity. Horton’s thesis is that the contemporary evangelical church has moved the Gospel from the headlines to the back page of the paper. This hasn’t been an intentional move by the church, but it has happened as we’ve focused on minor issues.
There are two points I found very interesting. First, Horton helpfully illustrates the contemporary Gospel message as every Christian being the main actor of a movie with Jesus as the supporting character. This is false Christianity. True Christianity sees the believer as the supporting character and Jesus is the main character.
Second, Horton quotes statistics which reveal the younger generation not being impressed with visuals and entertainment in the church. They are bombarded with that all week and when they get to church they’re ready for theology. And trends now show that once a flock of believers get a taste of strong expository preaching then nothing on the light side satisfies.
Horton’s goal for this series is to answer the question raised in Christless Christianity–“What do we do now?”
The messages are:
The Front Page God
The Promise-Driven Life
Feasting in a Fast Food World
Q & A
Peter Grainger is pastor of Charlotte Chapel in Edinburgh. As he worked through the book of Mark the crucifixion of Jesus coincided during Easter season.
Colin at Unashamed Workman says this about this 5 part series:
Peter Grainger’s conclusion to Mark’s gospel back in 2004 was unquestionably the most memorable Easter preaching I’ve heard in person. For several weeks running where there wasn’t a dry eye in the house.
Thanks to Colin for the link to these powerful messages.
Peter Grainger on Mark at Unashamed Workman >>>
You can find more sermons by Peter Grainger at Charlotte Chapel >>>
As Wayne wraps up his 5 year long series of lectures going through his excellent Systematic Theology, he looks at the varying views of the millennium, final judgment, hell, and the new heavens and new earth.
Wayne spends little time on the Post-millennial view because it’s based on very few and very weak proof-texts. Amillennalism takes more time since this is a very popular view in many reformed circles. There is also a helpful discussion on Preterism and Dispensationalism. Wayne spends on entire message looking at premillennialism, which is the view he holds.
Final judgement and eternal punishment take up another lecture, followed by a look at the New Heavens and the New Earth.
Christian Essentials >>>
Sinclair Ferguson and Eric Alexander join together for the Scottish Reformation Conference. This is a wonderful and glorious trio of messages by two well seasoned preachers.
Eric Alexander tackles the subject of the Glory of Christ. He begins by suggesting that contemporary evangelicalism has a weightless understanding of the character of God. Alexander is heavily influenced in this message by John Owen’s classic ‘The Glory of Christ.’
Sinclair takes 2 Corinthians chapters 3 and 4 for the texts of his two messages, The Glory of the New Covenant and The Glory of Christian Service. Both messages are very impactful and marvelous. In ‘The Glory of Christian Service’ Sinclair stresses the need for pastors to build up the flock. We are great at tearing down and criticizing, but we are weak in building up. He examines the life of Paul and the ministerial convictions of Paul as models for us.
In ‘The Glory of the New Covenant’ Sinclair takes a refreshingly, clarifying look at the relationship of the Old Testament to the New. He emphasizes that the Old is the incomplete covenant, and requires the New Testament to fully understand the Old.
These are 3 great messages that you will want to take some time to ponder, and perhaps listen to again.
Scottish Reformation Conf sermons >>>
Somehow I’ve missed this post in the chronology of Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology series. This message on the purity of the church looks at church discipline, which is not an unloving act, nor a promotion of disunity. Church discipline seeks the churches purity, not only of the church itself, but the purifying chastening of God in the life of the unrepentant.
The Purity and Unity of the Church mp3 >>>
Is Western culture being abandoned by God? John MacArthur looks at Romans chapter 1 and explains how God abandons sinners to their own lusts, and as such society follows in the abandonment. A very timely pair of messages for our age.
Abandoned by God part 1 mp3 >>>
Abandoned by God part 2 mp3 >>>
Carl Trueman spoke at the 2007 Reformation Heritage Conference at Grace Presbyterian Church in Douglasville, Georgia.
I must say I learned some big things about Luther, particularly regarding his view on transubstantiation in the Lord’s Supper. Trueman does a good job of putting it into context and then explaining how Luther was able to embrace this error.
If you have any interest in Luther or the circumstances surrounding the Reformation you will want to give these your attention.
The German Reformation >>>
Darryl Hart builds a case for rethinking our ecclesiology. Currently we have 3 kinds of churches: doctrinal, cultural, and pietists. Hart argues for a 4th category which he calls confessional. These were delivered in 2005 at the Reformation Heritage Conference.
Session One: “Where Are We Now?: An Evaluation of Reformed Christianity in America” Click Here
Session Two: “The Appeal & Disappointment of Evangelicalism: Is Reformed Christianity Evangelical?” Click Here
Session Three: “Putting the Reformation back in Reformed Christianity” Click Here
American Reformation Heritage >>>