Sunday, July 27, 2008

July Roundup: Top 10 Reads of the Month

The Dark Knight; Triperspectival Leadership; Tribal vs. Missionary Mindset?; On Soteriological/Messianic Interpretation and Christocentric Hermeneutic by John Owen; Church Size Culture; Do Our Indicatives Sustain Our Imperatives? Making Much of God; The Only People Who Get Better; Gutsy Guilt; On replacing dead orthodoxy with anti-intellectual activism or moralism; and Dr. House gets something right.

1. CT Review on "The Dark Knight" Excerpt: "There is hefty story material here. Can decent people walk in a land of indecency without being crushed, tainted, or turned? At what cost should good men fight evil? How do you stop a terrorist with no limits, no real motive, and no rules?"

2. Triperspectival Leadership:
Session 2: Applications of Triperspectival Leadership & the Church - A session of how triperspectivalism effects the church, case studies and application done by David Fairchild & Drew Goodmanson. (If you're not familar with John Frame or would like an introduction to the topic, listen to Session 1 first: Foundations of Triperspectivalism & Leadership (Prophet, Priest & King) - This session is a theological introduction to triperspectivalism done by David Fairchild.)

3. Tribal Mindset vs. Missionary Mindset
from by "On Earth as it is in Heaven" by Tullian Tchividjian
excerpt: There’s a major difference between having a tribal mindset and a missionary mindset. The highest value of a tribally minded person is self-protection. They ask questions like: Since I feel the safest around those who are just like me, how can I protect myself from those who are different than I am? So they intentionally surround themselves with people who think the way they think, like the things they like, and despise the things they despise. As a result, they live with a sense of superiority, looking down on those who are not like them (for half my life I was convinced that surfers like me were far cooler than anyone on the face of this earth).

In contrast to a tribal minded person, the highest value of a missionary minded person is not self-protection but self-sacrifice. A missionary minded person is a person that exists, not primarily for himself but for others. She is a person that is willing to set aside personal preferences in service to those whose preferences are different than hers. Missionaries are people who are willing to be inconvenienced, discomforted, and spent for the well-being of others. The Gospel of Jesus Christ demands that we be missionary minded, because the gospel is the story of God sacrificing himself for others.

The work of God the Son reconciling us to God the Father is to result in the reconciliation of people to one another. When we come to God through repentance and faith in Christ, one result is that we come into a new relationship with God’s people—many of whom are quite different than we are (some of my closest friends today are people who I would have never hung out with in high school). In Romans 10, Paul argued for the Gentiles’ place in God’s redemptive plan when he said, “For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call upon him” (Rom. 10:12). Also, in Galatians where Paul decried certain Jewish leaders for teaching that the sign of circumcision was a condition for justification, he said, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal. 3:28). And then in Colossians 3:11, Paul addressed class distinctions which were threatening to divide the church by declaring the new creation in Christ—a newness in which “there is no distinction between Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and freeman, but Christ is all, and in all.” In these ways, Paul affirms a foundational reality that always accompanies true Gospel belief: When God makes us one with Christ he also makes us one with each other, removing the barriers of separation erected by our society."

4. Christ, the scope of scripture, beginning to end
"Christ is the image of the invisible God, the express image of the person of the Father; and the principal end of the whole Scripture, especially of the Gospel, is to declare him so to be, and how he is so." - John Owen

Without a soteriological/Messianic interpretation of all of scripture, in the mind of Owen, subsequent Scripture makes no sense. A Christocentric hermeneutic is the foundation of proper biblical interpretation.
Read the entire entry>>> HT: Midwest Center for Theological Studies/HBC Missions Conference 2008
I love John Owen, and boy is this some GOOD reading, or what???!!!!? Love it.

5. Church Size Culture and Process Managing Church Growth by Tim Keller

6. Sean Michael Lucas on Watching Joel Osteen
"I couldn't help but think about John Piper's question from God is the Gospel (and other places): do you delight more in the fact that God makes much of you in the Gospel or that the Gospel frees you to make much of God? "

7. The only people who get better
“The only people who get better are people who know that, if they never get better, God will love them anyway.”
—Steve Brown, A Scandalous Freedom (West Monroe, LA: Howard Books, 2004), 68-69
ht: Of First Importance

8. The Father’s purpose and Son’s purchase
“The great gospel imperatives to holiness are ever rooted in indicatives of grace that are able to sustain the weight of those imperatives. The Apostles do not make the mistake that’s often made in Christian ministry. [For the Apostles] the indicatives are more powerful than the imperatives in gospel preaching. So often in our preaching our indicatives are not strong enough, great enough, holy enough, or gracious enough to sustain the power of the imperatives. And so our teaching on holiness becomes a whip or a rod to beat our people’s backs because we’ve looked at the New Testament and that’s all we ourselves have seen.

We’ve seen our own failure and we’ve seen the imperatives to holiness and we’ve lost sight of the great indicatives of the gospel that sustain those imperatives. Woven into the warp and woof of the New Testament’s exposition of what it means for us to be holy is the great groundwork that the self-existent, thrice holy, triune God has — in Himself, by Himself and for Himself — committed Himself and all three Persons of His being to bringing about the holiness of His own people. This is the Father’s purpose, the Son’s purchase and the Spirit’s ministry.”
- Sinclair Ferguson, message from the 2007 Banner of Truth Conference, Our Holiness: The Father’s Purpose and the Son’s Purchase.
(HT: Tony Reinke via Of First Importance)

9. Gutsy Guilt by John Piper, via

"Rejoice not over me, O my enemy; when I fall, I shall rise; when I sit in
darkness, the Lord will be a light to me. I will bear the indignation of the
Lord because I have sinned against him, until he pleads my cause and executes
judgment for me. He will bring me out to the light; I shall look upon his
vindication." (Micah 7:8-9)

This is what victory looks like the morning after failure. Meditate on it long and hard when I am gone. Learn to take your theology and speak like this to the devil or anyone else who tells you that Christ is not capable of using you mightily for his global cause. Here is what you say ..." (Read More>>>)

10. To Know AND Love God
"Too often, evangelicals today replace dead orthodoxy with anti-intellectual activism or moralism rather than with theologically vital spirituality. " -- David Clark, To Know and Love God: Method for Theology, pp. 208-209. HT: Stand To Reason
Mystery and Knowledge are not mutally exclusive
The obnoxious doctor on the TV series House makes a wise observation: "It's not a mystery if it stops being a mystery once it's known."
HT Melinda at Stand to Reason. She continues, "We don't have to give up on knowledge to preserve mystery. We can delve deep for knowledge, pursue truth, strain to understand as much as we can, stretch our minds, come to beautiful conclusions about God - and still be in awe."

Let me know which of these you enjoyed most or liked the least.
I really would be interested in knowing. Bye for now! Deb

Sunday, July 6, 2008

St Roch Community Church NOLA - PCA Church Plant

This is a video of the church plant where we worked on Wednesday and Thursday of our mission trip. Pray for them as they continue to rebuild the church and reach out to build relationships in the local community. This is a PCA Church Plant being developed by Desire Street Ministries.

We had a chance to meet quite a few of the neighbors and one thing that really stuck out for me was that the church does just as much work on nearby homes as they do on their own property. For every hour we spent installing insulation or digging ditches at the church itself, we had people painting, planting, scraping and repairing local homes of people who are not yet members of the church. Everyone can plainly see that as the St. Roch body is being built up, so is the local surrounding community -- which is an awesome testimony.