Thursday, October 25, 2007

Writing and Talking

I have had the privilege and pleasure of writing a little bit. Over the short span of my life, I have had the privilege of having several articles published as well as a book. Lord willing, there will be another book published sometime next year. However, while I thank God for the opportunity and ability to write, I am no where near the writer I hope to be. I have much to learn and I pray by God's grace to learn it and share it with others. Yet, because I have written, many people assume I have all the answers to their writing woes. The fact is, I am ever learning my self.

Today, I was reminded of the words I often tell my son when he is writing. I tell him to write like he talks. And then when he does. I tell him not to write like he talks. Sounds confusing? My son thinks so too. Actually Dave Zimmerman of IVP clears up the confusion for us in article "Writing, Talking, and Best Practices: An Editor's Diatribe" (HT:JT). Dave writes:

There are at least two principles in writing a book:
1. Write like you talk.

2. Don’t write like you talk.
Most people can get one or the other right. The challenge—and, on the face of it, the impossible task—is to get both right. more

Monday, October 22, 2007

Miami on My Mind

As the Miami Pastors Conference is quickly approaching, I just wanted to remind everyone who has not registered to get registered. This year promises to be great. According to recent reports, registrations are up and ahead of last years pace. It promises to be the best attended of these conferences and the subject matter could not be more needful and relevant. There will also be a workshop for ministry wives as the conference continues to grow and invite all to come. To get the latest on the conference and to register go here. With Miami on my mind, don't be surprised if I don't have more to say as the time draws near.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Living Reformed

Michael Leach recently did an interview in which he discussed what Reformed theology means for everyday living. He summed up the distinctives of the Reformed life as living:


You can listen to the entire interview here.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Faith and Foreclosures

Atlanta is a most religious city. It has more megachurches per capita than any other city in America. It is home to some of the more infamous prosperity preachers, bishops, prophets, and prophetesses. Most of them are living large or desiring to do so. Thus, their places of worship are filled with men and women who desire to live even as their preacher or bishop is living. Unfortunately, this has caused many, too many, to over extend themselves and find themselves in serious financial straights. It is also causing me to wonder if there is not a connection to the popularity of these prosperity preachers in Atlanta and the serious increase of foreclosures in the Atlanta area.

According to an article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, foreclosures in the Atlanta area are up 49 percent from a year ago. The total estimated value of properties entering foreclosure in metro Atlanta was $1,076,975,783. I can not help but wonder, how many of these people are the victims of some unbiblical and greed-ladened preaching over the years. I wonder how many of these people sit in places where the preacher has told them over and over again that they can claim whatever they name. I wonder how many of these people have been hoodwinked into believing that all they needed was faith and the house and everything else could be theirs. It saddens me to know that so many of these people call themselves Christians and go to church with a sincere desire to know what the Bible says, only to be sold a bill of goods and to be robbed first of their money and then later of their faith.

Friends, I am not a prophet. Thus, I can not say dogmatically what God is saying to the Atlanta area and the rest of the country through the loss of so many homes and the prospect of financial pain. However, I do know that we, who claim to hold to the faith once and for all delivered, must continue to preach the faithful, God-exalting, self-sacrificing gospel of Jesus Christ. As more and more people are brought crashing down because of the empty worthless promises of the prosperity gospel, might we be found preaching the true faith and thus have a place for them to land - if God so wills.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Easy Listening Preaching

Last evening 60 Minutes aired their interview with Joel Osteen. Osteen shared his philosophy of ministry and teaching. Undoubtedly, Joel seems to be a very likable and affable guy. And with a name like "Joel" who wouldn't like him. However, Michael Horton was also interviewed briefly for the segment and he shared his insightful commentary on Osteen's ministry and philosophy. Horton said that Osteen's preaching, if one used a music analogy, could be called "easy listening." I think that is an accurate and kind assessment, though Horton did later refer to Osteen's teaching as heresy. If you missed it, you can watch the broadcast online here.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Who is Jesus the Christ?

Here is a sista who seems to get it. She seems to indict all of our fadish notions and cuts to the heart of the matter, namely, who is Jesus. Might we be encouraged to know that all have not bowed the knee to the inticing gods of this present church age, though far too many have.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Lance Makes An Offer You Can't Refuse

The Miami Conference is quickly approaching. We are anticipating another year of growth and grace with this much anticipated and needed conference. It is quickly becoming a mainstay within the burgeoning Reformed African-American community. If you have not already, make arrangements to be there. As an added incentive our brother Lance Lewis is making an offer few, if any, should refuse. Lance is offering a scholarship, which includes registration and hotel. This is a magnanimous gesture by him and I pray that someone will put it to good use.

Thanks Lance.

Friday, October 05, 2007

The Sermon on the Mount

We just completed a nine-month long series on the Sermon on the Mount. The sermon preparation was a challenge to my spiritual growth and an encouragement to my soul. The sermons I had the privilege of preaching to the congregation were first preached to me times and again. I am thanking God for giving me opportunity to study in depth and to preach this wonderful passage of scripture. I am particularly grateful for those from whom I learned much in the process. Besides the many commentaries on Matthew, here is a list of books we found particularly helpful over these months.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

The Very Right of God

Eric Redmond has posted an excellent piece on the prerogative of God and the interpretation of Luke 13:1-9. This passage received much attention in light of the not-too-long-ago tragedy of the bridge collapse in Minneapolis. Eric writes:

"As a pastor who loves his people, I can only preach of a God who is free to do all things as the Eternally Good God. I cannot promote a God who is limited by anything or who grants unrestrained freedom to creatures that are sinful. To do so would make for a worse calamity than the collapse of a bridge. We would instead collapse upon ourselves the very right of God to be God".

You can read the entire piece here.