Posts Tagged ‘Audio’

My Call to STR on “Gospel of the Kingdom”

Saturday, February 21st, 2009

I called in to the show Stand to Reason recently, to ask a question about the meaning of “the gospel of the kingdom” in Matthew 4:23, 9:35, and 24:14.  It was prompted by some comments made by a guest speaker at the Monday-night class at my church.  He said that the gospel is more than justification & sin management, and pointed to the phrase “the gospel of the kingdom”.  As he expanded on that, I agreed with what he was meant, but I was hesitant about the phrasing.  I was hesitant about actually saying, “The gospel is about more than justification.”  I know there’s something right about that, but something seemed wrong, too.  I had to think it through… What can we say is the focus of the gospel?

Note:  I was sensitized to this question by Mark Dever’s message the Together for the Gospel 2008 conference, “Improving the Gospel: Exercises in Unbiblical Theology“.  It’s a great mp3.

I really appreciated Greg Koukl’s response to my question.  He did a great job of giving a balanced answer.  If you’re interested, you can listen to the mp3.  (Go to ~25:00.  It lasts about 20 minutes.)

Listen to the call.

I’ll just add one comment:  I am amazed at how often I said “uh” or “um” during that call.  My parents have told me that I do this, after some of my phone conversations with them.  Now I’ve heard a recording.  Yikes!  I’ll have to keep working on that.

Christians & Community Service, from The White Horse Inn

Saturday, February 7th, 2009

There was some great stuff in this week’s episode of one of my radio shows—The White Horse Inn—concerning Christians, local church programs, and community service.  I’ll start with the quote, add some comments, and then mention a bit about the show itself, for anyone who’s interested.

You can listen, or read my transcription.  The quote is from  The Foolishness of God, starting at timestamp ~25:30.  (Note: If you’re reading this entry from The Future, it might be a broken link.)  In context, they’re talking about the church itself doing outreach programs in the community.  Should that be the mission of the local church?  (I’ve added some bold to the key portions.)

Ken Jones: “I’ve mentioned this before, but I have people that will ask me, because of where my church is located [in the inner city], ‘What kind of programs do you have in your church?’ [...] A few years ago, when they were having mayoral elections in the city of Compton, and again the question would come up, ‘What is your church doing?’  And I happened to notice that we had, I think, four block club presidents in our church, [...] and the person that was the moderator for the mayoral debates was a member of our church.  None of these things were done as programs or outreach from the church, but it was individuals who were members of our congregation, making the contribution to the city of Compton, as residents of the city of Compton, not as representatives of Greater Union Baptist Church.

[...]

Mike Horton: “And don’t you think, to put the best construction on it, that a lot of people when they’re doing this, they’re not saying, ‘I want our church to get the credit for this, I want it to be on the news that we did some great thing,’ but rather, ‘When a cup of cold water is being offered, I want it to be offered in the name of the Gospel.’  And in actual fact that motive is perfectly understandable, and the Church does have a diaconal, charitable role to play, but that really we should be telling people, ‘Look–certainly do that in your neighborhood, offer a cold cup of water in the name of Christ, certainly care for your brothers and sisters who are suffering in the body of Christ. But be concerned about people out there who are not just a mission field to you, but who deserve your neighborliness, your love and your friendship, just because they are bone of your bone and flesh of your flesh.  They are fellow human beings, God made them in His image.  And you can work side-by-side in the Peace Corp or in Red Cross, you don’t need to start your own evangelical world relief organization.  There are plenty of them out there already where you’re not raising money again to duplicate another bureacracy.  Go be a part of those things, and you’ll be working side-by-side with non-Christians in those volunteer organizations in a way that not only gives you an opportunity to do good to the people you’re serving, but also to explain to your non-Christian co-workers why you’re doing what you’re doing.’

Things I love about this episode:

  1. They express evangelical concerns about “social gospel“–concern that our works of service will end up replacing the gospel instead of adorning the gospel.
  2. They express the idea that proclaiming the Gospel is the primary mission of the Church.
  3. But they avoid the pendulum swing.  They don’t jettison community service.  On the contrary.
  4. They manage to challenge the evangelical tendency to serve & “love” people because we see them as a mission field.  “No, love these people because they deserve it as fellow human beings.”
  5. The message is, Get out there and be involved!

There’s more to be said–for instance, I doubt that “evangelical world relief organizations” are necessarily bad! But in general, these thoughts seem to be an important part of a mature approach.

The White Horse Inn ”is a nationally syndicated radio talk show hosted by Michael Horton, Rod Rosenbladt, Kim Riddlebarger and Ken Jones. On the air since 1990, the show features a regular roundtable discussion of Christian theology and apologetics.”  (About the hosts.)  The theme of the show in 2008 was “Christless Christianity”.  The theme of 2009 is “Christ in a Post-Christian Culture”.  They also publish a bi-weekly magazine called Modern Reformation.

Integrity & Struggle with Sin (Plus awesome mp3s! More D.A. Carson!)

Friday, January 23rd, 2009

While we’re on the subject of hypocrisy (I’m not done with the series yet), I’d like to share some awesome mp3s.

Last night in my small group, we listened to D.A. Carson answering a question about progressive sanctification, and sins that don’t seem to get better.  This was in the context of talking about pastors whose ministry collapsed in sin & scandal.  He talked about the concept of integrity in Scripture, and our struggle when we see that who we are on in the inside isn’t the same as who we try to be on the outside.  Open this mp3, and go to 1:05:20.  It lasts about 4.5 minutes.  (We listened to the second part of a 3-part answer.)

Background:  The mp3 comes from a conference for Christian ministers in South Africa.  The two speakers were D. A. Carson (the guy we listened to) and Mark Dever.  I love both of them. Here are the Q&A sessions:

Q&A Pt 1
Q&A Pt 2 <– the one we listened to
Q&A Pt 3
Q&A Pt 4

More about the two speakers:

D. A. Carson:  Probably my favorite guy to listen to.  He’s a NT professor at Trinity seminary in Illinois.  He manages to combine being very intellectual, very academic, very theological, and very pastoral.  There’s a lot of heart in what he says, and a lot of application.  (He has some really good stuff on evil & suffering.)  And he does a great job of being biblical when he’s doing theology–he’s not just talking about ideas, he’s not being dryly academic.  He’s teaching the Word.

I’ve had a link on the right to some Carson mp3s.  But there is now a massive collection of Carson mp3s available, at his page at the Gospel Coalition, so I’m changing the link.  443 files, at the moment.  It’s organized by topic.  That’s where I found these Q&As.  (If you listen to many of the mp3s, you’ll start to recognize illustrations & stories he uses a lot.  They become very familiar.  :) )

Mark Dever: He’s the pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church in D.C.  He has an organization called 9 Marks, named after his book, Nine Marks of a Healthy Church.  The description of the organization says, “9Marks wants to help local churches re-establish their biblical bearings and re-think their ministry methods. We exist to help local church pastors and leaders in the discovery and application of the biblical priorities that cultivate health and holiness in the local church.”

Anyway, they have a page of mp3s, too.  Most (all?) of the mp3s have Mark Dever interviewing someone about some topic. Or group interviews.  I haven’t listened to all of them, but there’s some pretty interesting stuff.  So, look through the files, and if you see a topic that interests you, you’ll probably profit from it.

One more recommendation about Dever:  This year, he spoke at a conference called Together For the Gospel.  The other speakers included John Piper, Albert Mohler (of SBC’s Southern Seminary), John MacArthur, RC Sproul, and CJ Mahaney (who is from a charismatic quasi-denomination called Sovereign Grace Ministries.)  There was also a guy named Thabiti Anyabwile, who gave a really interesting message on race & ethnicity.  Anyway, here are the mp3s.  There are the sessions themselves, and then panel discussions.

Update: Oh, cool!  For some reason I didn’t think to check Dever’s page at the Gospel Coalition.  They’ve got a lot of mp3s for him, too.

Baptism Resources

Saturday, August 23rd, 2008

I wrote my two entries on infant baptism because I’ve been encountering the subject in a few different places lately.  If you’re interested in thinking about the issues, you might check some of them out:

John Piper’s recent sermons

John Piper’s church, Bethlehem Baptist, is dealing with a question of church membership.  Baptism is a standard requirement for membership–so Baptist churches have to decide, “Should we allow people to become members who were baptized as infants and will not be baptized as an adult, professing believer?”  (Piper would like to widen the existing policy to allow it.)  He has recently preached on How Important Is Church Membership?, and What Is Baptism, and How Important Is It?

The latter is a pretty good basic case for believer’s baptism.  If you only have time for one thing to listen to/read, I would recommend that.

Update: Also, the former is a pretty good case for why Christians ought to be committed to a particular local body of believers.

Debates

Dr. James White (a Reformed Baptist) and Pastor Bill Shisko debated baptism a couple years ago.  I’ve listened to it multiple times since I first downloaded it last year.  It’s a fairly accessible, if you’re studying the issue for the first time.  It’s a well-structured, pleasant debate.  It has some good back-and-forth, some cross-examination, and some audience questions. I would recommend this, if you’re willing to devote a couple hours. Here are the mp3s.

Dr. Robert B. Strimple (a paedobaptist) and Dr. Fred Malone (a Reformed Baptist) debated the subject at Westminster Seminary.  I think Dr. Strimple’s arguments are deeper than Pastor Bill Shisko’s–but I think Dr. White’s may have deeper than Dr. Malone’s.  Dr. Strimple presents a fairly strong case for the covenantal aspects of the paedobaptist view.   (But this debate has less interaction between the two, so I think it’s less useful in some ways.)  Here it is:  The Proper Subjects of Baptism

Some blog discussions

Sparked by Piper’s sermons, there has been some discussion lately in the blogosphere.  Frank Turk (aka centuri0n) has had some entries, with some challenging discussion in the comment sections.  (You’ll find some comments by me.) You can check them out at:

  1. First Up, Lutherans
  2. Kobra Konquest
  3. Corresponds to What?

Segment from Issues, Etc.

Here’s the segment that I mentioned in the previous entry, from Issues, Etc.

“Answering Objections to Infant Baptism” with Pastor Tim Pauls

History of Bible Interpretation

Saturday, December 29th, 2007

I just listened to a neat episode of Theology Unplugged, from folks over at Reclaiming the Mind Ministries. It’s a half-hour broadcast called The History of Interpretation Through the Reformation. If you go over to the entry in their blog (link below), you can listen to the broadcast through streaming audio. (Meaning, you don’t have to download a file to listen–you can listen with a player in your browser.)

They give a sketch of how people interpreted the Bible in the early church, how things developed into the authoritative teaching structure of the Roman Catholic Church, and how things changed at the Reformation. (They promised that in the next episode, they’ll talk about German higher criticism. Isn’t that exciting? :) )

The History of Interpretation Through the Reformation

P.S. In the previous episode, they talked about the way Matthew uses the Old Testament to point to Christ in ways that sometimes seem like inventive exegesis. (As in, did the OT writer really intend that verse to point to the Messiah? What’s going on?)

Knowing the Biblical Storyline, Postmodernism, and Metanarratives

Tuesday, September 18th, 2007

This post will be a book recommendation along with three particularly good excerpts. I’ll include some thoughts they sparked on the importance of thinking about the gospel in terms of the Bible’s overarching storyline–or in other words, in terms of the overarching storyline of human history. (This indicates some potential weaknesses of Four Spiritual Laws-type approaches, with post-moderns in particular.)

Last week I received my copy of Telling the Truth: Evangelizing Postmoderns, edited by D.A. Carson. It came out of a conference held in 1998 at Trinity Evangelical School; each of the speakers contribute a chapter based on his message. Carson says in the preface:

We decided that anyone invited to speak at the conference must be actively engaged in evangelism. This was not the sort of conference where we wanted mere theoreticians, no matter how capable. We also decided that we needed not only to hear thoughtful cultural analysis but also to probe some of the most important turning points of biblical theology, to listen to the experiences of those who are proving fruitful in contemporary evangelism, and to glean something from those who are thinking hard both strategically and practically.

Based on the first five chapters, I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in postmodernism and evangelism. (Really, I recommend it if you’re concerned about witnessing to anyone in our culture, postmodern as it is.) The chapters are relatively short and self-contained, so it’s something you can tackle at your leisure piece-by-piece. The level of the essays vary; some are at a high academic level, others are more accessible. But all are written somewhat as introductions. (If you don’t already have some familiarity with postmodernism, I would recommend starting by listening to at least the first of three talks given by Carson in a series on the subject.)

One must-read (and short) chapter is Why Should Anyone Believe Anything At All, by James W. Sire. That’s the title of a presentation he’s given at many universities, and in his essay he explains the layout of his presentation and how it usually goes. I think it looks powerfully effective for getting people to a point where they’ll look into Christianity for themselves. (more…)

My Christian Radio Shows

Friday, August 31st, 2007

There are a few Christian radio shows that I listen to regularly, all available for downloading online. I’ve found them each to be in some measure informative, interesting, edifying, encouraging, educational, and/or profitable. (Of course, that doesn’t mean I always agree with everything they say. I have disagreed with all of them. It means I appreciate them enough to listen to them.) In the order in which I discovered them: (1) Stand to Reason, with Greg Koukl, (2) The Dividing Line, with James R. White, (3) The Narrow Path, with Steve Gregg, and (4) Iron Sharpens Iron, with Chris Arnzen.

Keep reading for a nutshell description of each show and links to their online archives.

(Feel free to leave a comment with your own recommendations for good Christian radio available online.)

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