John Lennox: Challenger to the New Atheists

John Lennox is a mathematician and philosopher of science at Oxford, and he is a staunch defender of Christianity from the attacks of the new atheists.  He has debated the likes of Richard Dawkins.  Lennox brings sound reasoning and powerful arguments to the table as he considers the assaults new atheism has erected in the public eye.  There is quite a bit of audio material  online that is very helpful and interesting.  John’s site includes a number of interviews and debates, as well as a host of short 2 to 6 minute video clips that address a particular issue relevant to the criticisms of atheists.

JohnLennox.org

Dawkins Lennox Debate (the “God Delusion Debate”) hosted at the University of Alabama.

The Feed Trust.org. A resource of mulit-lingual Bible resources that Lennox is involved with.

BBC Interview with John Lennox, interviewer Tim Bearder.

Fixed Point Foundation.  Organization that has organized the debates between Lennox and Dawkins.

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The Convergence of Doctrine & Delight

Ray Ortlund and Sam Storms speak at this years Clarus Conference at Desert Springs Church in Albuquerque New Mexico.  The subject of the conference the relationship of doctrine with true Christian joy, delighting in God.  Sam Storms considers how we have joy in the doctrine of election, and also considers why having joy in God matters.

Clarus Conference 2009 >>>

Basics Conference 2009

Alistair Begg, John Piper and John Lennox come together in a conference that is a real treat to listen to.  This trio is a uniquely fitted group of men that shine with distinctive voices, backgrounds and convictions that resonate with combined power.  The Q&A session is testimony to this.

Each one of these men and their messages are equally marvelous and helpful.  Begg with his down to earth wisdom and pastoral insight; Piper with his rational theological power and motivation; and Lennox with his sharp discerning mind and articulate clarity.

I must point out that this conference was my introduction to John Lennox.  Lennox is a mathematician and philosopher of science at Oxford, and a Christian.  He is one of the most formidable opponents to the new atheism crowd.  The man is a wealth of wisdom.

This certainly was a great conference and I commend it highly.

Basics at Truth for Life >>>

Piper’s series that spawned ‘Finally Alive’

Finally AliveLast year John Piper published the book ‘Finally Alive’.  This book was spawned by a 16 part message series he preached in 2007  titled ‘You Must Be Born Again’.  This is a marvelous book and series that looks closely at conversion, the new birth, what it is, what man does in it, and what it produces in man.

This is a very good series and certainly worthy to have in book form.

You Must Be Born Again >>>

God, the Gospel and Your Marriage: Art Azurdia

At Grace & Truth Bible Church’s 2009 Couples Conference, Art Azurdia gave 3 stirring messages on marriage.  If you’ve not heard Art speak on marriage before, don’t miss these.  Art takes a hard look at what commonly passes for marriage instruction and shows how much of it actually undermines our marriages rather than builds it up.

God, the Gospel & Your Marriage >>>

Eric Alexander: A Life in Ministry

Eric Alexander is interviewed by the chaps at  Christ the Center regarding his long life in ministry.  This is a fascinating interview about the particular challenges that Alexander faced in taking a very Biblically weak congregation and nurturing them to strength.  He talks about his preaching style, and how he managed to preach through the entire New Testament twice in his life.

A Life in Ministry >>>

Enrusted with the Gospel 2009

What a privilege it is to be ministered to by God, through the likes of the men that are involved in the Gospel Coalition.  This years conference was focused on Paul’s second letter to Timothy.  The title should be gripping for those in ministry: Living the Vision of 2 Timothy.

It seems the headliner for Entrusted with the Gospel is Tim Keller’s message on idolatry, using Acts 19:21-41 as his text.  Tim looks at how Paul always seemed to attack the idols of the culture or place he preached before giving them the gospel.  Keller takes quite a detailed look at what constitutes idolatry and gives some very helpful thoughts and examples to help us think through this issue of idolatry. Tim points out that we live in a very idolatrous age, and even in the church we have our own systems of idolatry.

John Piper (2 Tim 1:1-12) tackled the subject of courage, as he examines the timidity of Timothy, and the boldness that Paul calls Timothy to.  Piper understands the gift that Timothy received through the laying on of hands was the white hot flame of courage to stand alone in the face of opposition.  Piper calls all pastors to be bold and courageous, because that is what Paul modeled, and it’s what the sheep need.  The sheep need bold leaders who will stand up courageously without wavering.  And Paul’s final motivation for Timothy is the fact that before the foundation of the world God chose Timothy to be his man.

Phil Ryken’s message (2 Tim 1:13-2:13) ‘The Pattern for Sound Words’

Mark Driscoll gave a very helpful look at rightly dividing the word of truth (2 Tim 2:14 -26).  Mark’s message has the flavor of coming from the battlelines as he looks at quarrels about words, irreverent babble, and ignorant controversies,  and he humbly admits some of it comes from his own hand of failing.  A significant part of his message looks at categories of people who bring quarrels, babble and controversies into the church.  These categories are quite humorous and can be helpful, but we have to take care that we don’t put people so quickly into boxes as they struggle to grow into their faith.

K. Edward Copeland (2 Tim 3:1-9) looks at the subject of godlessness in the last days when men are ever learning but not able to come to the knowledge of the truth.  His message title is verycaptivating: Shadowlands: Pitfalls and Parodies of Gospel-Centered Ministry.

Brian Chapell (2 Tim 3:10-4:5) looks at what it means to preach the Word.  Chapell has a very rich section of 2 Timothy about all Scripture being God-breathed, and preaching the Word, being ready in season and out of season.

Aijith Fernando is National Director for Youth for Christ in Sri Lanka, and he has a unique perspective having come from a country that once was very Christian while under British rule, but the new nationalist fever in Sri Lanka is seeing a new wave of persecution of the church as a move to cast off the relics of the British occupation.  New legislation in their parliment attempts to make it illegal to evangelize anyone under the age of 18.  This has some serious implications for Aijith’s work with Youth for Christ, and his subject of missions is very gripping.

Ligon Duncan (2 Tim 4:6-22) looks at the subject of Finishing Well.

Don Carson concluded the conference with a discussion of what Paul meant in 1 Corinthians 9 when he said he became all things to all men, a widely abused scripture both liberally and conservatively. Carson does a masterful exposition of the text to draw the correct understanding of what Paul was saying, and how we should shape our ministry efforts by this principle.

The Q&A session was just marvelous.  The main focus was on how 2 Timothy and a Scripture-focused ministry works itself out in the ministry of the church.  Piper, Keller and Loritts provide impassioned pleas for church leaders to stay true to the teaching and preaching of Scripture at all points, and from that flows the shape of ministry.  Loritts said it best when he said, “We have to be careful that we believe that God is articulate.”  In other words, Scripture is God’s wise and powerful articulation to his people, and it should be treated as such.  Piper said, “If Scripture bores you, get out of the pulpit.”

If you are in ministry, this conference will challenge, instruct and encourage you.

Entrusted with the Gospel >>>

Videos at Christianity Today >>>

Bruce Ware: Big Truth for Young Hearts

Al Mohler invites Bruce Ware onto his radio program.  Ware has written a book that encourages and guides parents in teaching their children systematic theology, called Big Truth for Young Hearts.  Mohler and Ware have a very enlightening conversation about Ware’s conviction and practice of teaching children systematic theology.  Al observes this is one of those books that is unusual in the market, and when you see it you can’t believe there aren’t more like it.  Mohler and Ware talk about the need for adults to give more credit to the ability of children to learn challenging theological concepts rather than watering them down to moralities.

Big Truth for Young Hearts >>>