Wednesday, September 10, 2008

East Point Church is Online!

East Point Church is online! And I could not be happier. Being a part of the leadership for East Point Church is one of the greatest privileges of my life. We are eagerly anticipating what God will graciously and mercifully do through us. While this is good news, the bad news is that I will not be blogging at Non Nobis Domine any more. No, I will not stop blogging. East Point Church has a blog and I will blog there from now on. So come on over sometime!

Writing and reading the content of this blog has really been an encouragement and challenge for me over these few years. I thank each of you for your participation, comments, encouragements and critiques. I hope you will visit us at East Point Church so we can continue the conversation for Reformation. There is much work to be done. And while I will not be working here, do know that the labors continue as the Kingdom of God is expanding and Christ is proclaimed.

So we solicit your prayers. Our vision is for a fellowship of believers who Worship God, Preach Christ, Disciple Believers, and impact our community and world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

See ya at EPC!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

The Gospel Coalition 09

I have the distinct pleasure of being a member of The Gospel Coalition. TGC is a fellowship of Gospel ministers who desire to reclaim the Gospel as the central and defining message of the church. Every other year TGC sponsors a conference in which some central elements of the Gospel and its impact on the preacher and the church is examined. This coming year, the conference will be held on April 21-23, 2009. The theme of the conference is Entrusted with the Gospel: Living the Vision of II Timothy. Registration is open.

Here is a brief video of Tim Keller explaining one of the key elements of TGC conferences. You can find more videos on the conference at the website.

Friday, September 05, 2008


The conventions are over and I have a question, "All rhetoric aside, which convention would you have liked to attend?"

The Republican National Convention:

or the Democratic National Convention:

The Republicans can be thankful that presidential campaigns are not won or lost at conventions. If it were so, the Democrats would win in a landslide. The RNC looked and sounded like something out of the 70's.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Hip Hop and Republican?

Check 'em out.

Check out the website:

Also here is a story on the consternation of a growing number of socially conservative African-Americans. Even for black conservatives the issue is not black and white.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Out of the Black Shadows

What have I been reading lately? Well, a number of books. Perhaps the most enjoyable and stimulating has been Out of the Black Shadows: The Amazing Transformation of Stephen Lungu by Stephen Lungu. I gave the book to my son to read and before he started reading it he asked if I had read it. I said no. Everyday I would see him engrossed in the book and I realized that not only was I probably missing a good read, but I was also missing an opportunity to dialogue with my son on spiritual matters contained in the book. So I took up the book as well. He was over half way finished and I told him that I would catch him and pass him in no time. (He thinks I read fast. But I don't read real fast, I just read diligently) Sure enough, once I picked the book up, I could not put it down. The book is autobiographical and yet it is full of suspense, tragedy, trial, and triumph in the Lord.

Stephen Lungu was born to a teenage mother in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). She was forced to marry a much older man who would become Stephen's father, but she never cared for him. Likewise he did not care much for her and thought Stephen to not be his son. Eventually his mother abandoned him on the streets and there began a life of homelessness and crime. Soon Stephen became a gang leader of the Black Shadows (thus the name of the book), and a black nationalist terrorist and a hater of Christianity. One night he attends a gospel tent meeting with the intentions of setting off home made bombs. But the gospel that was preached gripped his heart and the bombs remained in the bag, though the cries of his heart were let out as he repented of his sins and trusted Christ as his Savior. Thus began an amazing life long ministry of evangelism to Africa and around the world.

This is a wonderful book and an amazing story of God's grace beyond measure. It reminds me of the power of God in the simple proclamation of the Word to drastically and dramatically change lives. If you have not, do yourself a favor and pick up this book. I am sure you will not want to put it down.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Clayton County Schools Fail

Most of you know that my wife and I homeschool our children. If you know this, it is not because I have championed the homeschool movement on my blog. It is our conviction that homeschooling best represents our values at this time and we find that it best allows us to develop the minds and character of our children according to our faith and convictions. Yet, I will be the first to admit that homeschooling is not perfect. We are not perfect parents or perfect teachers, nor do we have perfect students. Yet, for us we believe it is best and so we continue. We do not make it an issue of legalism and support the decision of other Christian to choose a different path for the education of their children. Nevertheless, I could give you list of reasons why we homeschool even as many could give a litany of reasons why they don't. However, today the list of reason for homeschooling in the county in which we live grew.

Today the sad news came down that the public schools in Clayton County GA, the county of our residence and the public school district in which we reside, have lost their accreditation. According to reports, Clayton County schools are the first in the nation in the past 40 years to lose accreditation, failing to meet eight of nine improvement mandates. (Read more).

This is tragic news, as many of the children in our neighborhood - children who spend many afternoons playing in our yard; children we have come to know well and to love are going to school everyday not knowing their future or the status of their education simply because the grown-ups, those who are suppose to be responsible, were anything but responsible and risked squandering the children's education for their 0wn personal, financial, and political gain. Though our children are not enrolled in the public schools, my heart still breaks for those who are. If this is not a strong argument for school choice, I don't know what is. I pray for the sake of these children that responsible grown-ups can get this thing together. God help them.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Banging it Out!

I come from a large family. I have 7 brothers and two sisters. In an African-American family that large you are bound to have some enigmas. Indeed we do. Meet my brother Larry. Larry is a gifted brother. He has a masters degree in English. Has taught at the college level. Has written two novels and several essays and articles for newspapers around Michigan. Here is the enigma. My brother Larry is also a convicted felon, serving life in prison for murder. I won't go into the details of his crime, but know that according to him, it was an accident and a crime of passion. He and the victim (his fiancee at the time) were the only witnesses to the crime so his account is the only one we have. Whatever the circumstances, Larry received life with the possibility of parole. Yet, even in prison he continues to muse on a variety of topics and continues to produce literature. In fact, every now and then he sends me an essay or a poem he is seeking to get into a local newspaper or off-beat publication.

This past week, I hit upon an idea. I decided to create a blog on which to publish a few of his articles. I invite you to take a peek at Banging It Out. My brother does not claim to be a Christian, though some of his writings have a spiritual element to them. Mostly, however, his writings are worldly and secular. In this they reflect his current state of mind. However, of late I have been reading a hint of morality and thoughts of the providence of God in his letters. Maybe the Lord is working on his heart. At least, let us pray that He is.

Nevertheless, my brother remains an enigma. Even while in prison he continues to produce and look forward to the day when he is paroled and get a second chance at making a positive impact on society. Until then, I admire the fact that he is still banging on that keyboard.

And a little child shall lead them?

I don't think the prophet had this in mind. Speechless!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

New Life 2008 Online

The audio for this year's New Life Bible Conference is online! (click here) The theme was "The Book of Galatians: What Difference Does the Gospel Make." I not only had the privilege of participating, but even more I was challenged and encouraged by the messages I listened to from the other brothers. I know we have a tendency to overstate these things and so I won't say that this was the best New Life Bible Conference I have attended. However, I will think it.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Dropping Calls

Don't give up on God. God has not given up on you. I was reminded of this recently as I sat and spoke with a young man who is going through a tough spot right now. It seems he is going through a kind of dead zone. You know, those areas around town where we seem to drop calls and we spend alot of time saying, "Can you hear me now? Can you hear me now?" Well, it seems to him that God is not hearing him, as if most of his calls to heaven are being dropped. These dead spots in our lives can last for a little while, or they can seem to go on for long periods of time. And it may appear that God is not hearing, and our calls are not getting through. It seems we spend our time asking God, "Can you hear me now?" Here are two points of action we might consider during times like this:

1. Ask someone else for the use of their phone. We do this all the time don't we. When we seem not to have a signal, we ask someone else if they have a signal and then we may even ask to borrow their phone. In other words, ask someone else to pray for you and with you. Inform others that you don't appear to be getting through to God. Tell them to make a few calls for you. The biblical admonition to pray for one another and with one another is one of God's ways of getting us through the dead spots. It also reminds us of our need and love for one another (Jam. 5:16; Col. 4:3).

2. Keep moving - dead spots are not forever. Sooner or later, as you know, you will reach a place where you have a good signal. Don't just resign yourself to that dead spot, but keep moving until you find the area where you can make the call. God has not shut the lines of heaven to you. Nor is He out of service. Believe that He is willing and able to answer. You must keep moving in faith and trusting that one day you will get through because dead spots don't last always. Have faith in God! (Mark 11:22; Luke 12:28-32) . Be not dismayed because God cares for you! (Dt. 31:8; Isa. 41:10; 1Pet. 5:7)

Beloved, if God can raise Jesus from the dead, surely he can get you through your dead spot. So take heart and be reminded that the triumph of the gospel is also the triumph over apparent dropped calls to heaven.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

"51" Things I Love About Politics

In their latest issue, Comment Magazine published an article I wrote last year about 50 Things I Love About Politics. As I reread the list, the obvious omission was any reference to Barack Obama. Surely if I was making the list today Obama's name would be included. I am not sure what number I would give him, but I would probably say something like:

51. Barack Obama. For those of us who do not agree with his position on abortion, we wait (but will not hold our breath) for the Republican party to set forth a viable African-American candidate for president. Until then, we disagree with, but we still are encouraged by the success of Obama's candidacy.

For what it is worth, here is the article once again:

When I was asked to set forth 50 things I love about the world of politics, my first thought was that I did not have 50 things I love about politics. However, on second thought, I realized that between things I love and things I love to hate, I had more than 50 things . . .

1. The Sovereignty of God. God changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings—Daniel 2:21.
2. My mother—thirty-nine years of public service as an elected local public official.
3. The President of the United States. Without a doubt the most difficult, public, and fascinating job in the world—wouldn't want it for anything.
4. The Declaration of Independence. "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
6. The American Civil War (or "The War of Southern Rebellion"). America at its worse and yet determined to be its best . . . An awful war for a great cause . . My favourite period of American history.
7. Abraham Lincoln. The man met his moment, and no president ever met it better. (Read the entire article)

Books You Haven't Read

I must admit that I am probably the only reformed blogger who has not read Tim Keller's The Reason for God. Someone at church a few weeks ago asked me if I had read it. I said, unfortunately, no. Why? Well, its not because I am not interested. Anything Tim does is interesting to me. Tim is one of the preachers I have on my mp3 player, which I listen to as I do yard work. In fact, I have his messages, which are themed in the book. No, the main reason I have not read Tim's book is because I feel like I have. With so much about the book on the internet and so much of the book being discussed and reviewed; and video and audio messages about the book, I feel I have already read it. It may actually be the first virtual book in our collective reformed internet community mind.

For more on this idea, read this review from Comment Magazine of How to Talk About Books You Haven't Read. I am not advocating an end to reading books - no way. But I find it interesting that the internet is making it more and more possible for us to talk intelligently about books we have not read. Is this a good thing? Are we getting too much information about a book before we read it and thus not leaving much for our own investigation?

Monday, August 11, 2008

An Overlooked Gem

Do you have any books you've been hoping to read, but have not made the time to do so? I have quite a few. I often find myself consumed with a writing project, sermon preparation, research on a particular issue, or just being husband and father and thus some good-intended reading gets neglected. Yet, every now and then something in my stack of books just catches my attention and I say, "Let me just take a moment and skim this book to make sure I am not missing something I've been wanted to know." Every now and then when I do this I find an overlooked gem of a book and I don't put it down until I am finished. Recently this happened to me with the small, but insightful book Seeking God by Peter Jeffery.

Believe it or not, I have been looking for a little, non-intimidating book to give to new believers (or those who think they are) that will challenge them with their understanding of salvation and encourage them if they truly have been converted. Lo and behold, I had it on my shelf for sometime now, but did not know it. I would encourage you to get a copy of this book. It will not be easy to find (I have tried the normal book sources and they do not have it). Nonetheless, if you search the internet you can find a copy. I am pretty sure you will find your efforts worthwhile.

BTW, let me know if you find a place to get multiple copies fast. Also, do you know of any other little books that cover the nature of our salvation in a terse yet encouraging fashion?

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Christ with no Christ?

Tragically I have witnessed in the greater Atlanta area new churches spring up and experience rapid growth. These churches have been established with the understanding that they are not your mom's and dad's church, but rather are committed to a "new thing." They claim to be doing church differently. Part and parcel to this difference seems to be a different gospel proclamation. Recently I listened to a sermon from the pastor of one of these places. The sermon was not very long, less than 30 minutes (I'm cool with that if the message is clear and biblical). But the tragic aspect to the sermon was that while his words were lauded and on occasion he was applauded, the message he preached proclaimed nothing of Jesus Christ. For nearly 30 minutes he stood up before a so-called church gathering and said nothing of the person and work of Jesus Christ.

Correct me if I am wrong, but did not Paul say, "We preach Christ and him crucified?" Can we preach Christ and not mention Christ? Can we proclaim the faith and not proclaim the Author and Finisher of that faith?

Robert Smith in Doctrine that Dances writes:

As Jesus admonished that the Scriptures be searched because they testify of Him (John 5:39), preachers of Christian doctrine make Christ the heart of their preaching. If the Bible is read backwards, one will see that Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, was slain from the foundation of the world (Rev. 13:8). This means that in the mind of God, Calvary was a forethought and not an afterthought. God did not react to the fall of Adam and Eve, but rather He pre-acted before the the fall of Adam and Eve. The Old Testament proclaimed that Christ is coming. The New Testament announced that Christ has come and will come again. (p. 23)

raeme Goldsworthy in Preaching the Whole Bible as Christian Scripture writes:

Is it possible to preach a Christian sermon without mentioning Jesus? I want to avoid simplistic answers here. Perhaps I can put it another way: Why would you even want to try to preach a Christian sermon without mentioning Jesus? Is there anywhere else we can look in order to see God? To see true humanity? To see the meaning of anything in creation? (p. 115).

While the temptation in preaching will be strong to proceed directly from, say, the godly Israelite to the contemporary believer, this method will inevitably produce distortions in the way we understand the text. There is not direct application apart from the mediation of Christ....While, no doubt, the direct approach will produce nice thoughts and, to a limited extent, even edifying ones, we simply can not afford to ignore the words of Jesus that the Scriptures testify to him. (p. 116)

Christ without Christ? Friends, where there is no Christ, there is no church. This is a sad and growing trend around here. May we stand firm upon the gospel of Jesus Christ. And may we preach it from every text of God's revealed Word.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Sublimely Ridiculous!

There is the ridiculous, and then there is the sublimely ridiculous. After looking at this clip, is there any wonder why we need more churches. When this too often is the alternative, we must be all the more urgent to establish churches where God, not gimmicks, is the focus; and where people come to hear the gospel and not watch the goofy.

Too funny not to laugh. Too sad not to cry.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

15 years - Like a Rock!

Today my wife and I celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary. By God's grace we are beginning to learn something about this thing called marriage. One of the things that we have learned is that there is much yet to learn. Yet, through it all, my wife and her love has been like a rock. And thus, my tribute to her is taken from Like a Rock by Bob Seger (a personal favorite):

15 years now
where they go?
15 years
I still love her so.
I sit and I wonder sometimes
How she still loves me.

Sometimes late at night
Oh, when we're bathed in the moonlight
She comes to me and makes it right
And I recall
I recall

Like a rock
I see it in her face
Like a rock
Even in my mistakes
Like a rock
Her love is still great
Like a rock

Like a rock
She's there thru thick and thin
Like a rock
She's a lover and a friend
Like a rock
And I'd do it all again
Like a rock

Oh, Like a Rock!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

The Grip of God's Grace

This week in Bible Study we examined the glorious doctrine of The Preservation of the Saints. Here are a few of the points we examined as we thought through the Bible's teaching that believers are secure in the glorious grip of God's securing grace. When thinking about the nature of our salvation, consider:

  1. The God of Salvation. Who is He that saves? Is salvation based in the Word of God? Will God go back on His word or forego His promises? Jonah 2:9; Jer. 31:3; 32:40; Isa. 43:3; Rom. 10:8-10; 2Cor. 1:20-22

  1. The Goal of Salvation. Why does God save us? What is the goal of salvation in this life? How are we to understand the term “eternal life?” Isa. 43:7; 45:25; John 3:16; 5:24; 6:47, 51.

  1. The Grip of Salvation. Do we hold on to God or is God holding on to us? In other words, “Who’s holding who?” Should I understand my salvation in my own hands or in the hands of God? Matt. 18:12-14; Jn. 6:39-40; Jn 10:27-30; Rom. 8:35-39.

  1. The Grace of Salvation. Can I out sin the mercy and grace of God? Does not the blood of Christ redeem me from all my sin? Rom. 5:17, 20-21; 8:31-34; 1Jn. 1:7.
We sang one of my favorite hymns, which sums up this beautiful doctrine so well:

A Debtor to Mercy Alone by Augustus Toplady

A debtor to mercy alone,
Of covenant mercy I sing;
Nor fear, with Thy righteousness on,
My person and offering to bring.
The terrors of law and of God
With me can have nothing to do;
My Savior's obedience and blood
Hide all my transgressions from view

The work which His goodness began,
The arm of His strength will complete;
His promise is yea and amen,
And never was forfeited yet.
Things future, nor things that are now,
Not all things below nor above
Can make Him His purpose forego,
Or sever my soul from His love.

My name from the palms of His hands
Eternity will not erase;
Impressed on His heart it remains
In marks of indelible grace.
Yes, I to the end shall endure,
As sure as the earnest is given
More happy, but not more secure,
The glorified spirits in heaven.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Come Ye Sinner

Have you ever felt like not getting out of the bed on Sunday morning? I have. In fact, this past Sunday was one of those days. It had been a long and exhausting weekend. I had been going non stop day and night since Thursday and the restful moments were few during that time. When Sunday morning had finally rolled around I was exhausted. And as I looked at the clock and knew it was time to get up, I prayed, "Lord, give me one reason why I should get out of this bed and go to church this morning." As I lay there waiting on an answer, the words to this song came to my head, "Come ye sinners, poor and needy, weak and wounded sick and sore." As those words began to rang in my head, when I reached the chorus I heard myself say, "I will rise and go to Jesus, He will embrace me in his arms." There and then the Spirit of God confirmed in me that to the company of the believers and to the Table of the Lord was where I need to go.

One of the rich benefits of having the Lord's Supper every week is that you don't have to wait any longer than a week for the experience of being nourished by His presence in administering the sacraments. And so, as I rose I knew that I would meet Jesus and not only would he embrace me in his arms, but he would nourish my soul through the bread and the cup. And I could not wait!

When we arrived at church, I asked the worship leader for a favor. I asked if we could sing Come Ye Sinners as our opening hymn. He looked at me curiously, yet agreed because he knew I must have a good reason for such a request. Indeed I did. I wish I could play for you the sound of the saints singing this hymn on this past Sunday. It was a wonderful preparation for our Communion time.

While I don't have us singing it on yesterday, here is the late Elder DJ Ward leading the singing of it at the Sovereign Grace Conference last year. While it probably won't minister to you like it did me yesterday, it surely will remind you that Jesus is still inviting us to come and find rest and strength in Him (Matt. 11:28-30).

Come, ye sinners, poor and needy,
Weak and wounded, sick and sore;
Jesus ready stands to save you,
Full of pity, love and power.

I will arise and go to Jesus,
He will embrace me in His arms;
In the arms of my dear Savior,
O there are ten thousand charms.

Come, ye thirsty, come, and welcome,
God’s free bounty glorify;
True belief and true repentance,
Every grace that brings you nigh.

I will arise and go to Jesus,
He will embrace me in His arms;
In the arms of my dear Savior,
O there are ten thousand charms.

Come, ye weary, heavy laden,
Lost and ruined by the fall;
If you tarry till you’re better,
You will never come at all.

I will arise and go to Jesus,
He will embrace me in His arms;
In the arms of my dear Savior,
O there are ten thousand charms.

View Him prostrate in the garden;
On the ground your Maker lies.
On the bloody tree behold Him;
Sinner, will this not suffice?

I will arise and go to Jesus,
He will embrace me in His arms;
In the arms of my dear Savior,
O there are ten thousand charms.

Let not conscience make you linger,
Not of fitness fondly dream;
All the fitness He requireth
Is to feel your need of Him.

I will arise and go to Jesus,
He will embrace me in His arms;
In the arms of my dear Savior,
O there are ten thousand charms

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

A Great Cowper Quote

One of my favorite pastimes is listening to books. I do understand that some folks don't have the constitution for such things, but I thoroughly enjoy it and my children have picked up on my habit and find it a most enjoyable exercise as well. I think I may enjoy them enjoying it as much as I enjoy it myself.

The book I am currently listening to is John Newton: From Disgrace to Amazing Grace by Jonathan Aiken. Newton is one of my heroes. His insight and experience with the grace of God is well known and encapsulated in his immortal words "Amazing Grace How Sweet the Sound." One of Newton's dearest friends was William Cowper. Cowper was even more the poet than Newton. From Cowper we have received the timeless treasure "God Moves in a Mysterious Way - His Wonders to Perform..."

During the Abolition of the Slave Trade movement in late 18th century England, Newton published Thoughts Upon the African Slave Trade, a first hand account of the wickedness and cruelty that was the detestable occupation. William Cowper was also asked to join in the fight against slavery by composing a poem that would prick the consciences of the people against the trade. I love Cowper's response. He said: "I can not contemplate the subject without a degree of abhorrence that affects my spirits and sinks them below the pitch requisite for success in verse."

I feel ya bro.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Experiencing the Presence of God

We are currently in a series on Worship by the Book at our church here in Atlanta. Along this theme, here is an excerpt from the chapter on Biblical Worship from Experiencing the Truth:

It is amazing to me that so many churches have implemented two distinct worship services. In this approach, the church hopes to appeal to the often conflicting worship styles of the parishioners. For those of an older generation or taste, they offer what is known as the traditional worship. The other service is geared toward those of the present generation or who have a more contemporary taste. This is referred to as the contemporary worship service. More and more churches are implementing this two service approach in the hopes of attracting, or better yet, keeping more people. While this is not a particularly prevalent occurrence among predominantly Black churches, we should be weary of this modern trend and seek to head it off before it reaches our doors.

How deprived we are if all of our songs and forms are contemporary and new. And yet how shallow and inadequate is our worship if all we have are contemporary music and lyrics. We must remember that Christianity is a “forward remembering” faith. In other words, while we are always looking forward to what God has promised us in the grand consummation, we are always remembering what He did for us at the cross. While we are always proclaiming the glories of the returning King, we are also remembering the glories of the resurrected King. Therefore, let us not jettison the past in favor of the present, and let us not neglect the present in favor of the past. Rather let us embrace them together, even in our worship. How enhanced our worship would be if we made sure that we included such songs as Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee sung to the magnificent arrangement of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, as well as Fred Hammond’s Bread of Life, with its irrepressible urban beats. How glorious and worthy of our God and reflective of heavenly realities would our worship be if we were more diligent in making sure we have something old, something new, yet always careful to maintain all things true.
Admittedly, this is no where near an exhaustive treatment of the subject of worship. The Bible has a lot more to say about the who, what, why, and how of worship than most of us realize. Nevertheless, I do hope you have been able to get a glimpse into how Reformed theology could and should impact a worship service within the predominantly African-American context. I remain convinced that Reformed theology and the African-American Christian experience are not irreconcilable or antithetical. When properly understood and applied together they can form a vision of Christianity, even Christian worship, that would call the angels down to investigate these God-exalting, soul-stirring, hands-lifting, mind-renewing, life-empowering, grace-enabling, sin-overcoming, mercy-receiving, humility-mongering, servant-leading, righteousness-hungering, Bible-believing, Christ-worshipping, eternity-anticipating Christians, who happen also to be Black (p. 104-105)

Friday, July 18, 2008

Another Reformed Blogger

I am always thrilled to learn of brothers and sisters in the blogosphere holding down Reformed convictions. Today I was blessed to learn of another. I'm Speaking Truth... is from a brother who was in the Word Faith movement for 12 years (and you said you did not believe in purgatory). Thankfully, God has graciously led him out and into the more profitable and God-honoring way of historic, biblical, Christianity. And to top it off, he is a fellow Atlantan. God knows we need all the help we can get in this cauldron of false and foolish teachers.

So go over and encourage this brother to keep speaking truth with love as a good Calvinist should :-).

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

A Dream Deferred

Langston Hughes once asked the question,

What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
Like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore--
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over--
like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?

Sadly we are seeing it as the children of Martin Luther King, Jr take to the courts to settle their squabbles over money. In the house of Dr. King it would seem that the dream is drying up like a raisin in the sun.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Decline Continues...

If you need anymore proof as to the legitimacy of Thabiti's thesis in The Decline of African-American Theology or further justification for our writing Experiencing the Truth, here it is:

Without a doubt the lines between the sacred and the secular, the holy and the profane have been so blurred as to not even exist in most religious African-American context. This saddens me because I am a son of the predominantly African-American Baptist Church and continue to believe there is hope, though there is so much to the contrary.

Now some will defend this brother and claim that he is being relevant and contextual. I would beg to differ and say that he is being common and vulgar (in the classical sense of the word). You see, it takes no great effort or spiritual insight to appeal to the fleshly desires and tendencies of people. Appealing to them at their base level will always garner a positive and enthusiastic response. Yet, the call for us as Christians is to realize that our hearts and minds are not to be set on things below, but on things above (Col. 3:1-2).

Most people have a hard enough problem trying to deal with indwelling sin and resist the tempting allurements of the world day-to-day, not to have the same tempting allurements presented to them on Sunday morning as worship.

Friends, according to Scripture our minds are to be renewed (Rom. 12:1-2), not just rearranged.
(HT: PureChurch)

Friday, July 11, 2008

CJ and the "Bruthas"

CJ Mahaney is making some good reading recommendations these days. Perhaps he is compelled because Thabiti welcomed him into the "bruthahood" at the Together for the Gospel Conference. Or perhaps, and more likely, he is finding these books worth his and everyone's time. You decide.

Voting for Obama? Why?

Why are Christians (of various ethnicities) going to vote for Barack Obama for President? The reasons are many. Why should Christians not vote for Barack Obama? The reasons are equally compelling. Eric Redmond has offered some helpful insights into why many Bible believing Christians (as if there was another kind) will cast their ballot for the Senator from Illinois. He writes:

While it might seem a contradiction for Christian African Americans to vote for Senator Obama, each of us votes with many contradictions in both the righteous and selfish hopes of having the best possible earthly government and society. (Read more...)

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Truth in Signs and Shirts!

On vacation I came across some very telling signs and shirts:

Apparently terrorist threats in America is not a new thing.

I thought this was a fitting description of the Reformed blogosphere.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

New Gospel Coalition Website

I have the privilege of being a council member of The Gospel Coalition. The Coalition has launched a new website that seeks to be the one stop shop for all things members of the Coalition. I like it because one can find a wealth of sermons and articles from many of the coalition members at one place. Now I can listen to many of my favorite preachers by simply logging into one website. What a wonderful resource. Ben Peays and the other faithful laborers at the Coalition have done us all a wonderful service. So bookmark this page. It will surely prove to be a resource well worth your time.

Drive-In to Jesus

I could be wrong and just a bit obtuse, but something just does not seem right about any of these pictures. What do you think?

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Back from Vacation!

As you have probably noticed, I have been away for quite some time. Well, thankfully, my wife and I (and some dear, close friends) just returned from a week long vacation to northern Michigan at the Garland Resort. The time with my wife and friends was a most roborant experience. Here are a few of the memories we will long enjoy:

Thursday, June 26, 2008

New Life from Antigua

This past weekend was the annual New Life Bible Conference sponsored by New Life Fellowship Church. I know we are given to hyperbole when it comes to these things, but I must say that this year was the most encouraging. The preached word was effectual and my heart was warmed with every message. The subject was of the utmost importance - What Difference Does the Gospel Make - and the brothers handled it with clarity, passion, and reverence. It would have been enough just to sit for those three days and hear the word of God expounded and applied. But those of us who were able to stay over for the Lord's Day Worship on Sunday at New Life were even more blessed to hear the fiery and faithful preaching Dr. Hensworth Jonas from Central Baptist Church in Antigua.

If you are not familiar with Dr. Jonas and the good work they are doing at Central Baptist Church, I want to strongly encourage you to become familiar with him. He is truly a renaissance man and has an unashamed heart for all things gospel. His church and ministry are reaching many throughout Antigua and Barbuda. You can hear his sermons, watch some of their television broadcast and latest video, and read all about the work of East Caribbean Baptist Mission.

Dr. Jonas is a refreshing reminder that God's glorious work of reformation is not unique to the United States. But Christians of African descent are preaching and experiencing these truths all over the world. Thank God for men like Hensworth Jonas.

Soli Deo Gloria!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Traces of the Trade

There is a new documentary set to run on PBS this week titled "Traces of the Trade: A Story from the Deep North." In it, a woman reveals that her New England family's wealth and prestige was in the trafficking of human beings (you can view the trailer here).

According to the official synopsis:

In the feature documentary Traces of the Trade: A Story from the Deep North, filmmaker Katrina Browne discovers that her New England ancestors were the largest slave-trading family in U.S. history. She and nine cousins retrace the Triangle Trade and gain a powerful new perspective on the black/white divide... From 1769 to 1820, DeWolf fathers, sons and grandsons trafficked in human beings. They sailed their ships from Bristol, Rhode Island to West Africa with rum to trade for African men, women and children. Captives were taken to plantations that the DeWolfs owned in Cuba or were sold at auction in such ports as Havana and Charleston. Sugar and molasses were then brought from Cuba to the family-owned rum distilleries in Bristol. Over the generations, the family owned 47 ships that transported thousands of Africans across the Middle Passage into slavery. They amassed an enormous fortune. By the end of his life, James DeWolf had been a U.S. Senator and was reportedly the second richest man in the United States. (Read more).

This looks to be interesting. Check your local PBS listing for air times.

WTSBooks' New Category

Westminster Books has a new category. It is books dealing with the African-American Church. Check it out.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

More Blessed to Give...

Apparently someone believes in it being Christmas all year long. Our brother Lance is giving away copies of some good books. To find out how you can get them, go here.

Friday, June 20, 2008

New Life Opened Last Night!

The 2008 New Life Bible Conference finally began last evening and man, are we glad. Every year we highly anticipate the coming of June and the start of the conference and every year we are not disappointed. This year was no exception. We began our probe through the Epistle to the Galatians by examining "What Difference Does the Gospel Make." Louis Love opened with an introductory message giving an overview and the background to Galatians and delivering introductory remarks about the chosen theme. I had the pleasure and privilege of examining chapter 1 and encouraging the people with the Gospel-centered beginnings of Paul's letter. Tonight we will hear Galatians 2 with Stephen Love, and Galatians 3 with Thabiti Anyabwile.

If you have never been to a New Life Bible Conference, all I can say is that you must come and see. I don't just say that because I am a yearly participant. Rather I confidently say it based upon the testimonies of others who have come. Consider the testimony of Steven Renkema.

Steve came to the conference for the first time last year. He came as a representative of Reformation Heritage Books, who was gracious in providing a book table for the conference. Steve came to the conference as the primary book vendor. He left as a friend and a gratefully encouraged and challenged attendee. This year he is back and has expressed the same anticipation that I did in the beginning of this post. At the Reformation Heritage Book Blog, Steve wrote:

But of all the conferences that I attended last year my favorite, by far, was the “Godly Life” conference hosted by New Life Fellowship Church just north of Chicago.

You must read the entire post by Steve. You can do so here.

We are thankful for Steve coming to the conference again. We are thankful for the wonderful
resources Reformation Heritage Books sends. Most of all we are thankful for the friendship and mutual encouragement we have been blessed to develop. We invite you to come and be encouraged as well.

Monday, June 16, 2008

"Experiencing the Truth" is Available

Experiencing the Truth: Bringing the Reformation to the African-American Church is available from Crossway Books. Take a look at some of the content and place your order here.
For those of you who are attending the New Life Bible Conference, this week there will be some copies available.

In case you're interested, here are some of the initial comments from some friends.

Experiencing the Truth gives great acclamation to black (African-American) church worship, black preaching, and the black Christian experience, rightly showing the strength of Reformed theology for each of these traditions. It also provides a rapier diagnosis of a churchgoing people whose tryst with liberation theology has birthed a practice of Christianity that is too badly deformed to produce a kingdom of God-like presence in the African-American community. The authors offer a careful narrative of orthodox Christianity with a faithful and proper emphasis on the Reformed confessions, creeds, and solas so that African-American believers can find themselves tied to a pre-Middle Passage Christianity without sacrificing their own identities to the heroic personalities of the Reformation. I am excited about a book that would dare to suggest the “irrepressible urban beats” of Fred Hammons’s Bread of Life and van Dyke’s Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee sung to an arrangement of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony could be used together to enhance our corporate worship experience! Carter, Jones, and Leach have wed the African-American Christian experience with the Reformation so graciously that that those proud to be the ethnic and religious descendants of Dubois, Douglas, and King can relish equally in their spiritual heritage from Calvin, Luther, and Edwards. The analysis, synthesis, and directives of this collaborative treatise may represent one of the most important works since the now classical observations of Frazier, Lincoln, and Mamiya, for in this work the authors call us to be a church where our need for God can be fulfilled rather than a religious organization that meets people’s self-serving desires. I hope Experiencing the Truth will be an impetus to move the African-American church from the self-deprecating darkness of theological liberalism into the divinely nourishing the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ." —Rev. Eric C. Redmond, author of Where Are All the Brothers? Straight Answers to Men’s Questions about the Church.

“In the midst of so many socially driven critiques of the African-American church, finally we have a book that is theologically robust, historically engaging, and at the same time remarkably easy to read. The authors show no fear as they tackle the tough issues (i.e. preaching, singing, worship, to name a few) facing the African-American in particular and the evangelical church in general. Carter, Leach, and Jones demonstrate their in-depth knowledge of the African-American church and their doctrinal prowess by offering not only sobering critiques but substantial biblical solutions rooted in the historic doctrines of the church. It is not very often a book of this nature is published. I say get it, read it, and discuss it. Any serious conversation about the church of Jesus Christ will include many references to
Experiencing Truth: Bringing the Reformation to the African-American Church.” —Louis C. Love Jr, Pastor of New Life Fellowship Church, Vernon Hills, Illinois

“A long line of people offer advice about the church—her ills, her hopes, her needs, and her prospects. But most diagnoses and prescriptions rely on the pundit’s own store of knowledge. In
Experiencing the Truth, Carter, Leach, and Jones provide a biblical diagnosis and a biblical prescription for what ails the African-American church and much of the larger church world as well. From theology to preaching to worship and Christian spirituality, these veterans of the church and pulpit apply the scalpel of truth to every major area of church life. They helpful remove the diseased tissue and bandage the strong muscle of the church. Anyone who cares about seeing the cause of Christ advanced in the local church will delight in this volume and be helped in that cause.” —Thabiti Anyabwile, Senior Pastor, First Baptist Church of Grand Cayman

Friday, June 06, 2008

Glory Road: Ken Jones

Ken Jones is the pastor of Greater Union Baptist Church. He also co-host of The White Horse Inn.

He gave the following answers:

1. What was the first book you read that introduced you to Reformed Theology? Institutes of the Christian Religion, John Calvin

2. List the five most influential books in your Reformed theological journey. The Institutes of Christian Religion
, John Calvin; Death of the Death in the Death of Christ, John Owen; Knowing God, J.I. Packer; On the Existence and Attributes of God, Stephen Charnock; Chosen By God, R.C. Sproul

3. List three preachers and/or teachers who were most influential in you journey.
Michael Horton
Rod Rosenbladt
Kim Riddlebarger
James Montgomery Boice
R.C. Sproul

4. If you could give one book to someone interested in Reformed theology, what book would you give? The Death of Death in the Death of Christ, John Owen

5. What doctrine distinquishes Reformed Theology? The Sovereignty of God

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Fiction is Dead

In 1951 no one thought the New York Giants could ever catch, much less beat the Brooklyn Dodgers. The Giants won an unbelievable 37 of their last 44 games. They had to do this in order to force a three game playoff with the mighty Dodgers for the National League pennant. They split the first two games, with the Dodgers winning game two by the score of 10 - 0. The third came saw more of the Dodger domination. Going into the bottom of the ninth, the Dodgers held a 4 - 1 lead. Then the history of baseball changed for ever, as Bobby Thompson hit what some have called the greatest and most improbable homerun in Major League history. In the bottom of the ninth with one out and two men on base, Bobby Thompson hit what is known as "the shot heard 'round the world." A three run homerun and as legendary announcer Russ Hodges said, "THE GIANTS WIN THE PENNANT!!! THE GIANTS WIN THE PENNANT!!!"

Afterward, the sportswriter Red Smith wrote in description of the event, "Now it is done. Now the story ends. And there is no way to tell it. The art of fiction is dead. Reality has strangled invention. Only the utterly impossible, the inexpressibly fantastic, can ever be plausible again."

Last night, as I watched Barack Obama win the Democratic Nomination for President of the United States, I could hear Russ Hodges say, "Obama wins the Nomination! Obama wins the Nomination!" I also could not help but think that for the first time in my life we can say the art of fiction is dead. An African-American has a serious chance at winning the White House. What we thought was impossible and fantastic has become reality. This morning as I read Thabiti's blog (a must read today), I was also reminded that we have come a long ways in this country. And though you may not agree with the politics of Obama, you should at least smile that our country is learning to live out its creed.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Experience the Truth Interview

By Faith Magazine has an interview with me on our book Experiencing the Truth: Bringing the Reformation to the African-American Church, which is due out next month. You can read the interview here.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Glory Road: Sherard Burns

Sherard is the Pastor for Christian Education at Glendale Baptist Church in Miami, FL. His survey questions were answered as follows:

1. What was the first book you read that introduced you to Reformed Theology? Chosen By God, R.C. Sproul

2. List the five most influential books in your Reformed Theological journey: Chosen By God, R.C. Sproul; The Institutes of Christian Religion, John Calvin; Reformation Thought, Alistair McGrath; The Death of Death in the Death of Christ, John Owen; Christ of the Covenant, O. Palmer Robertson

3. List three preachers and/or teachers who were most influential in your journey. Lehman D. Bates, R.C. Sproul, John Piper

4. If you could give one book to someone interested in Reformed theology, what book would you give? Chosen By God, Sproul

5. What doctrine would you say distinquishes Reformed theology? The doctrine of God's atoning work - Limited Atonement

Monday, May 26, 2008

Glory Road: Anthony Bradley

Anthony Bradley is Assistant Professor of Apologetics and Systematic Theology at Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis, MO. He is also a Research Fellow for the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty in Grand Rapids, MI. He can also be found sharing his thoughts on his popular blog The Institute.

And his survey answers said:

1. What was the first book you read that introduced you to Reformed Theology? Putting Amazing Back Into Grace, Michael Horton

2. List the five most influential books in your Reformed Theological journey: The Institutes of Christian Religion, John Calvin; Puritan Race, Virtue, Vice, and Value 1620-1820: Original Calvinists' True Believers Enduring Faith and Ethics Race Claims, Joseph R. Washington, Jr.; From Creation to Consummation, Gerard Van Groningen; Christ-Centered Preaching, Bryan Chapell; Van Til's Apologetics: Readings and Analysis, Greg Bahnsen

3. List three preachers and/or teachers who were most influential in your journey. Cornelius Henderson, David C. Jones, Gerard Van Groningen

4. If you could give one book to someone interested in Reformed theology, what book would you give? As Far as the Curse is Found, Michael Williams

5. What doctrine would you say distinquishes Reformed theology? The doctrine of Creation, with emphasis on the covenant story of God's sovereign redemption of all creation.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Glory Road: Thabiti Anyabwile

Thabiti Anyabwile is the Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church of Grand Cayman in the Cayman Islands. He is also blogger at Pure Church, where he goes by the name Fellow Elder. These are his answers:

1. What was the first book you read that introduced you to Reformed Theology? Knowing God, J.I. Packer and Great Doctrines of the Bible, D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones.

2. List the five most influential books in your Reformed Theological journey.
Knowing God,
J.I. Packer; Great Doctrines of the Bible, D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones; Bondage of the Will, Martin Luther; What Is Reformed Theology (previously Grace Unknown), R.C. Sproul; Chosen But Free, Norman Geisler (I read as a defense of the non-Reformed view. Its weaknesses pushed me more conclusively to a Reformed understanding)

3. List three preachers and/or teachers who were most influential in you journey.
R.C. Sproul
John MacArthur
Mark Dever

4. If you could give one book to someone interested in Reformed theology, what book would you give? What is Reformed Theology, R.C. Sproul

5. What doctrine would you say distinguishes Reformed theology?
The centrality of the doctrine of God sets Reformed theology apart from other perspectives. It’s not that the glory, sovereignty and centrality of God are somehow unique ideas to Reformed theology, for other systems would in their own ways acknowledge these issues. And it’s not as though Reformed theology has found an inventive niche here that makes this a marketing advantage. Rather, God is central in the entire body of Scripture and Reformed theology most accurately perceives that truth and puts God at the center of its theological outlook.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Glory Road: Reddit Andrews

Reddit Andrews III is the Senior Pastor of Soaring Oaks Presbyterian Church in Elk Grove, CA. His answer to the aforementioned questions are:

1. What was the first book you read that introduced you to Reformed Theology? Lectures to My Students, C. H. Spurgeon

2. List the five most influential books in your Reformed Theological journey.
Knowing God, J. I. Packer.
Systematic Theology, Louis Berkhof.
The Biography of D. Martyn Lloyd Jones, Ian Murray.
The Works of Jonathan Edwards
Our Reasonable Faith, Herman Bavinck.

3. List three preachers and/or teachers who were most influential in you journey.
Leroy Bailey, Jr.
Gary Cohen
D. Martyn Lloyd Jones
John Piper
Allan Joseph

4. If you could give one book to someone interested in Reformed theology, what book would you give? Systematic Theology, Louis Berkhof.

5. What doctrine would you say distinguishes Reformed theology?
The Glory of the Sovereign God, as opposed to the supposed free will of man.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Glory Road

I currently have the pleasure of working on a new book project entitled Glory Road: Our Journeys into Reformed Christianity. It is a wonderful project and we are eagerly anticipating its publication in the near future. I say "we" because I have enlisted the help of some good friends and faithful co-laborers in the gospel. These men have agreed to contribute to this book and I for one could not be more happy and excited. As I have been editing the chapters, I found myself strengthen and challenged as they shared their unique insights and perspectives on Reformed Theology. I believe this book will be a must read, not because I am editing it but because of the men who are contributing to it.
Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls...(Jer. 6:16).
Part of their contributions has been the answering of a few survey questions. The questions were as follows:

  1. What was the first book you read that introduced you to Reformed Theology?
  2. Besides the Bible, list the five most influential books in your Reformed theological journey
  3. List three preachers and/or teachers who were most influential in your journey?
  4. If you could give one book to someone interested in Reformed theology, what book would you give them?
  5. What doctrine would you say distinguishes Reformed Theology?
Over the next few days I hope to post their responses.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Character not Color

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr's now famous dream, that we would be judged, "not by the color of our skin, but by the content of our character" apparently has come home to roost at his alma mater. This year the esteemed Morehouse College will graduate for the first time a white student as valedictorian.
From his first day at Morehouse College — the country's only institution of higher learning dedicated to the education of black men — Joshua Packwood has been a standout. Read more.
Congrats to Joshua Packwood for a job well done.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

It's Going Down!

I want to thank Collin Hansen for his recent and much-anticipated book Young Restless and Reformed. In it he detailed the rise and impact of Reformed theology among a new and energetic generation of evangelicals. Colin detailed the impact of such men as John Piper, RC Sproul, CJ Mahaney, Mark Dever and others. Surely we can not truly assess the contributions of these men to the growth of reformed theology in our time. Their impact on me alone has been tremendous. I enjoyed reading Collin's well written account of how Reformational truth is spreading. However, if you read Collin's book you would get the impression that the impact is on young white evangelicals and very little impact is being made among other cultures and ethnic groups. Yet, I for one want to say without fear of contradiction that there is a growing move among young (and older) African-Americans toward the historical and biblical truths of Reformed theology. No, it is not a tidal wave. We won't expect CNN to do an expose on Young, Restless, Black, and Reformed (we'll leave that to Lionel Woods). Nevertheless, all evidence points to the reality that Reformed theology is growing among African-Americans, and I for one could not be more pleased, grateful, encouraged, and challenged.

Brothers and sisters, I honestly believe that a move of God is going down among African-Americans and I am challenged by our responsibilities to be faithful stewards of this move. Our calling is to do all we can to make sure this move does not end with this generation, but is faithfully and emphatically passed on to the next. How do we do this? What are some of the ways in which we can be faithful stewards of this dispensation of God's grace? Here are four ways (I am sure there are many more):

1. Write. As Reformed African-Americans we must write books, articles, booklets, songs, and testimonies on who we are and what God has done and is doing. We must not fear writing on theological subjects that have already been covered by our esteemed brothers of lighter skin tone. Most truth is worthy of being said again. Besides, the historic reformed truths need to be stated in our voice so as to demonstrate that they don't belong to just one ethnic group. Also, surely God desires to testify to the whole body of Christ the glories of his grace through us and thereby encourage our brothers and sisters of different cultures. Unfortunately, we didn't have a large corpus of theological and pastoral material, which was passed down to us. Yet, let not that be said by the generation that comes after us. We must write. To this end, at the New Life Bible Conference in June (I will have more to say about this later), I hear that there will be quite a few offerings from the brothers:
Faithful Preacher by Thabiti Anyabwile
Experiencing the Truth by Anthony Carter (with Michael Leach and Ken Jones)

And I hear more is on the way. Praise God!

2. Plant and Reform Churches. Church planting continues to be God's means of spreading the message and impact of the gospel. A movement that does establish faithful churches is a movement destined for extinction. So we must plant churches. To this end, here in Atlanta I am leading a team of people in the planting of East Point Church. In fact, this evening we are having our first public meeting in which we are inviting all to come out and hear our vision for a church in the city with a passion for gospel truth and gospel living. Also in Atlanta there is planned the Issachar Fellowship, led my man Dhati Lewis. Prayerfully this church plant will be coming to our fair city in the next year or two. This is exciting news! We need more. Yet, not only must we plant churches, but we must also be willing to assume existing churches and do the work of bringing reform to them. This is being illustrated to us by such men as Eric Redmond at Hillcrest Baptist Church and Roger Skepple at Berean Bible Baptist Church. These men are not alone in there reforming efforts. I know there are many others around the country doing the same. We must make sure we continue this labor.
3. Hold Conferences. The gathering of a people for mutual challenge, encouragement, and edification is not only necessary, it is also biblical (Heb. 10:25). One of the ways in which we can fulfill this command is the regular holding of Church and Bible Conferences. Not only does it continue the integrity and accountability of theology, but it encourages the brothers and sisters to know that they are not alone. We already have some good ones going, namely New Life Bible Conference in the Chicago area and the Miami Pastors' Conference in Miami, FL. Both of these are quickly establishing themselves as bulwarks in the movement. Let us remember to attend and support them. Also, let us plan more around the country. Surely the west coast and Texas can use some.
4. Train Disciples. The health and strength of any movement ultimately lies in its ability to disciple the next generation. We must make sure we are developing ways and means by which we are introducing others, particularly those younger, to the faith we profess. If we are not successful in passing the torch of theology and faith to our sons and daughters, we can not - we must not - claim success or faithfulness at all. Therefore, we must identify those among us who have giftedness and a heart for the ministry. And once identified, we must encourage them, train them, and provide them opportunities to serve and to hone their gifts. Let us never begrudge the younger minds or doubt their sincerity, as it too often happened to some of us. But let us strongly encourage them and challenge them to go above and beyond what we are doing.

Brothers and sisters, it's going down! I pray we will be faithful stewards and that future generations will look upon this time and thank God for our labors and be challenged to labor all the more.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Books I'm Reading (or have recently read)

I have been reminded that I have not listed a current reading list lately. Actually my overall blogging has been slow because of my preoccupation with church and writing responsibilities. Yet, my continuing education continues. A couple of books that have recently contributed to that education are:

Questioning Evangelism: Engaging People's Heart the Way Jesus Did by Randy Newman. I really like Newman's approach. Admittedly, it is not for everyone because not everyone is as engaging as Newman. But for those who can be, this is an excellent resource.

For Us and Our Salvation: The Doctrine of Christ in the Early Church by Stephen Nichols. Nichols is one of my favorite writers. I tend to read all that I can by him.

Galatians by Philip Graham Ryken. Ryken is a good writer and preacher. With the New Life Conference quickly approaching, books on Galatians are at the top of my list. (BTW: Do all the pastors at Tenth Presbyterian Church have to use their middle name? Just wondering.)

Doctrine that Dances: Bring Doctrinal Preaching and Teaching to Life by Robert Smith. This is my casual reading. I am slowly but rewardingly making my way through this one.

Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin. Lincoln once said, "How do you destroy an enemy? You make him your friend." Lincoln embodied this and it is what set him apart as a politician and a man. I love reading and learning about Lincoln.