8WTB 2010 Week 1

This first week I managed to listen to 133 chapters for almost 10 hours and 15 minutes of audio. I have to say it is incredibly refreshing to listen to Scripture.  Here’s how my week unfolded:

Genesis 1 to Genesis 36.
From Creation to Jacob meeting Esau settling in Shechem and the generations of Esau.

Genesis 37 to Exodus 10
From Joseph being sold to the Ishmaelites, to God preparing Moses for the last plague.

Exodus 11 to Exodus 36
From the institution of the passover and final plague to the construction of the tent of meeting.

Exodus 37 to Leviticus 16
From the building of the ark and furnishings of the tabernacle to the Day of At0nement.

Leviticus 17 to Numbers 16
From instructions of making sacrifice at the entrance of the tent of meeting to Korah’s rebellion

8WTB 2010 Begun

Yesteday I began my 8 week trek through the ESV Listener’s Bible.   Rather than give daily updates, I’ll post a summary of my progress at the end of each work week. This is not to gloat, but rather to encourage others to do the same.  I listen to a lot of sermons and interviews on audio, and given that appetite, I think it only fitting that I channel that appetite to an audio reading of Holy Writ. It’s to my shame that I haven’t done this more often.

8 Weeks Through the Bible 2010

Beginning next week I will be starting an 8 week trek through my favorite audio Bible, Max McLean’s Listener’s Bible in ESV.  There are 1186 chapters, and McLean’s Bible audio version is almost 75 hours long. Over 8 weeks this breaks down to roughly 9 hours 20 minutes per week, 1 hour 50 minutes per day, which means 55 minutes each commute. That easily fits into my 1 hour 15 minute commute.

I project that my progress will look something like this:

Week 1: Genesis – Numbers
Week 2: Deuteronomy – 2 Samuel
Week 3: 1 Kings – Nehemiah
Week 4: Esther – Psalms
Week 5: Proverbs – Isaiah
Week 6: Jeremiah – Hosea
Week 7: Joel – Luke
Week 8: John – Revelation

There’s nothing quite like immersing yourself in the spoken word for an intense duration. The picture of God’s Word that emerges is priceless. I encourage you to join me on this trek.

MP3 CD at Amazon.com >>>

MP3 Download at Audible >>>The Listener's Bible - ESV (4 MP3 CDs)

Does God hate Haiti?

The earthquake tragedy of Haiti has raised questions in the mind of many about what God’s relationship to this tragedy is.  A number of Christians in the media have pointed to some pact with the Devil that Haiti made when they were trying to throw off the yoke of the French.

Al Mohler cuts through the confusion and provides a Biblical perspective to any tragedy we see.

Does God Hate Haiti? mp3>>>

With Calvin in the Theater of God Conference

Last year we saw a great many conferences and events giving attention to John Calvin and his tremendous influence in Christianity.  Calvin is one of those men who tend to polarize people, not that this is a detriment.  Most influential men, particularly preachers, do the same — just look at Paul.

Unfortunately, a great deal of the negative portrayal of Calvin is that of a superficial caricature, not a knowledgeable one. A lot of Christians have opinions of Calvin without ever having read anything he wrote. What a tragedy.  Hopefully this past year many Christians were impacted by some of these conferences and have developed an appreciation for Calvin.

Desiring God’s conference ‘With Calvin in the Theater of God’ was one of the best.

From the website:

John Calvin saw the world as a theater where the glory of God is always on display. This conference showed how the vision of God that Calvin lived and taught is relevant in all our lives for the parts we play in God’s drama. Through the teaching of each of the conference speakers, we grew in our understanding of John Calvin, and more, we grew in our understanding of God’s word, the purposes of God in human suffering, our glorious hope for heaven. The content of this year’s conference was amazingly helpful.

There’s a lot to be said about the messages, but I will limit my comments to just a few.

Doug Wilson’s message was absolutely phenomenal. He had the subject of Calvin and Scripture, and right off the bat he staked out some clear points that are worth repeating.  First, he said that after he came to understand and embrace the doctrines of grace, he spent the next year denying that he was a Calvinist, simply stating that these were Biblical truths, not Calvin’s truths. He gave up after a year when he realized that there is a difference between having a party spirit (I’m of Apollos, I’m of Cephas, etc.) and helpful theological shorthand. We all need human teachers.  Scripture teaches that.  Those who say they only need their Bibles and no human teachers are self-refuting because the Bible they say they are reading teaches that we need human teachers.

Wilson’s second introductory point is that Calvin never separated God from Scripture, as so many do today. People often look at Jesus condemning the Pharisees for searching the Scriptures and missing Jesus.  The implication they draw is that we should not be bibliologists at the expense of devoting oneself to God.  But this is a misunderstanding of what Jesus said.  Jesus wasn’t condemning them for diligently searching the Scriptures to find him, he was condemning them for missing him in the Scriptures — for being unregenerate and self-serving.  Their Scripture reading in and of itself wasn’t wrong, rather the way they approached it was wrong.

John Piper concluded the conference with a look at how the theater of God supremely glorifies God. Everything in this world around us is part of God’s theater, and it is all designed to give him glory. John takes us to Romans 9 to explain that even the unregenerate were created for a day of destruction, and this too gives glory to God.

The panel discussion spent some time looking at what has historically been one of the black marks on Calvin, and that being the execution of Servetus. Mark Talbot provides some very important information often overlooked about Calvin and Servetus, and it becomes pretty clear that Calvin had nothing to do with Servetus being burned at the stake, and in fact did what he could do to prevent the execution of this troublemaking heretic.

Piper spends time explaining how he understands tragedy and what God is saying to a people through any tragic event — a loud “repent before something happens to you.” Just as tragedy speaks, so does peace and blessing, in the kindness of God, just as his severity speaks. A timely reminder as my listening coincided with the earthquake distaster in Haiti.

This is a fantastic conference you shouldn’t miss.

With Calvin in the Theater of God >>>

Counterfeit Gods and Tim Keller

Christ the Center interviews Tim Keller about his book Counterfeit Gods. This is a great little book that will help you think about idolatry in your life.

Keller answers  a wide range of questions, and spends quite awhile indirectly talking about how he started Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York and the struggles he and his wife faced.

Counterfeit Gods >>>

You Can’t, But You Must! Dan Phillips

You may know of Dan Phillips from the Pyromaniacs blog.  Well, here is one of his sermons that he preached at Soaring Oaks Presbyterian Church in Elk Grove, California.  His text is Matthew 26:41.

Dan’s message is very conversational, and meanders quite a bit, but the ending is powerful. Here are some quotes to give you a flavor.

Do you think you are a match for Satan?…Do you have any clue of what Satan is? Satan is devoted 24/7 to just tempting little morsels like you and me. And he’s been doing it thousands of years….he’s merciless. He’s powerful beyond what you can imagine. Are you a match for that? Are you that smart? Are you that strong? Have you ever fought a battle of that nature with your own strength and wisdom and come off the winner?

Are you a match for the seduction of sin? Do you have any idea of what sin does?… Sin comes into your mind with an effective self defence system. The moment a person loves and embraces a sin, and makes it tbeir own, a process starts going in his brain that destroys his power of thinking an dmoral sense. Sin is impervious to facts, and logic, and Scripture, as long as a person loves it and clings to it. Every person who sins thinks that he’s noble, and thinks his sin is different. And if you try to him from the Word of God about it, he will hate you, and think you don’t understand him. And he will feel like a martyr because his sin is different. It’s special, because he’s special. Because sin comes in with that sulphuric whiff of Hell that made Lucifer into the devil–of pride…an attempt at deicide….do you have any idea of the rationalizing power of your passions?

Buckle up your seat belt!

You Can’t, But You Must >>>

David McWilliams on Galatians

Galatians: A Mentor CommentaryChrist the Center interviews David McWilliams about his recent commentary on Galatians.  McWilliams is pastor of Covenant Presbyterian Lakeland.  Guest Glen Clary brought this commentary to the attention of the boys at the Reformed Forum.  He had preached through Galatians at his church and said that two commentaries stood out among the others:  Martin Luther’s, and David McWilliams’.

McWilliams commentary is written not for the scholar, though it deals with scholarly level material.  It was written for the working pastor, and has some helpful organizational features.  The layout for each interpretive section is structured first with an interpretation of the passage, followed by a brief interpretation of the crucial components of the passage.  After that, the main section that deals with the interpretation of the passage is covered.

McWilliams is a systematic theologian by training, and he brings this skill set to this commentary.

David was kind enough to present a list of other works on Galatians that he believed to be stellar.  They include works by Leon Morris and Martin Luther.

McWilliams on Galatians >>>