Jesus and Mark’s Gospel Prologue

Three new posts up at our pastor’s blog concerning the person and work of Jesus in Mark’s prologue and the first two sermon outlines (Mk 1.1-8, 1.9-15). Go here.

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Fighting Sin With Worship, by Tim Keller

Originally part of a sermon, and recently posted at the Desiring God blog.

If you are a Christian and you are dealing with enslaving habits, it’s not enough to say, “Bad Christian, stop it.” And it is not enough to beat yourself up or merely try harder and harder and harder.

The real reason that you’re having a problem with an enslaving habit is because you are nottasting God. I’m not talking about believing God or even obeying God, I’m saying tasting —tasting God.

The secret to freedom from enslaving patterns of sin is worship. You need worship. You need great worship. You need weeping worship. You need glorious worship. You need to sense God’s greatness and to be moved it — moved to tears and moved to laughter — moved by who God is and what he has done for you. And this needs to be happening all the time.

Go here for the whole, really, really, really good excerpt on the enslaving nature of sin and the power of worship to set us free.

Where And How Do We Draw The Line, by Kevin DeYoung

1. Establish the essentials of the faith.
2. Listen to the communion of the saints.
3. Distinguish between landing theology and launching theology.
4. Distinguish between the explicit teaching of Scripture and the application of scriptural principles.
5. Distinguish between church existence and church health.
6. Avoid foolish controversies.
7. Allow for areas of disagreement, especially regarding “conversion baggage.”

Go here for his explanations of each.

Addressing Theology With Children

The following idea has been adapted and adopted from the article at WORLD by Russ Pulliam.  The idea is simply to give you a list of fictional writings designed to engage children and their imaginations with theological and ecclesial-historical truths.  Here are some (and if you want to add some others, feel free):

1. Irenaeus of Lyons, by Sinclair Ferguson
2. Polycarp of Smyrna, by Sinclair Ferguson
3. Ignatius of Antioch, by Sinclair Ferguson
4. Big Book of Bible Truths 1, by Sinclair Ferguson
5. Big Book of Questions and Answers About Jesus, by Sinclair Ferguson

6. The Lightlings, by R. C. Sproul
7. The Barber Who Wanted to Pray, by R. C. Sproul (teaching on Martin Luther)
8. The Donkey Who Carried a King, by R. C. Sproul (gives the gospel through the donkey’s perspective, teaching humility from carrying Christ into Jerusalem)
9. The Priest With Dirty Clothes, by R. C. Sproul (illustrates the imputation of Christ’s righteousness)
10. The Prince’s Poison Cup, by R. C. Sproul (explaining Christ’s suffering for us)
11. The King Without a Shadow, by R. C. Sproul (explaining holiness)

12. Children’s Stories, by J. C. Ryle
13. Thoughts for Young Men, by J. C. Ryle
14. Boys and Girls Playing and Other Addresses to Young Children, by J. C. Ryle
15. The Duties of Parents, by J. C. Ryle (ok, this is for parents, but undoubtedly involves children!)

WORLD’s Top 10 Books of the Year, by Marvin Olasky

1. The Triumph of Christianity: How the Jesus Movement Became the World’s Largest Religion, by Rodney Stark

2. Toxic Charity: How Churches and Charities Hurt Those They Help — And How to Reverse It, by Robert Lupton

3. From Prophecy to Charity: How to Help the Poor, by Lawrence Mead

4. Coming Apart, by Charles Murray

5. The Intolerance of Tolerance, by D. A. Carson

6. We the People: A.D. 1600 to 1800, Christian History Project, Vol. 10

7. What is the Mission of the Church?, by Kevin DeYoung and Greg Gilbert

8. Gospel-Powered Humility, by William Farley

9. The Orphan Master’s Son, by Adam Johnson

10. A Life of Gospel Peace, by Phillip Simpson

Go here and here for his run-downs of the top three.  At the bottom of the second link, where the final 7 books are listed, there are links for WORLD’s reviews of all the books.

100 Quotes From You On Sanctification, posted by Jonathan Parnell

I love quotes.  I especially love good, edifying quotes.  And I really love good, edifying quotes dealing with Bible knowledge and the Christian life.  So go here for 100 quotes on sanctification gathered by Desiring God in lieu of their upcoming National Conference.

On the Nature of Divine Election

Patrick Schreiner has a put together a good synopsis of the arguments put forward by Brian Abasciano (corporate emphasis/conditional election) and Tom Schreiner (individual emphasis/unconditional election) here.

He includes the two opposing articles (Abasciano’s article is a response to Schreiner’s work some ten years before, and Schreiner’s article is a response to Abasciano’s response).  I want to highly suggest you reading them both.  They will stretch your mind, and that is good.  And depending upon what side of the debate you are on at present, I would encourage you to a cool frame and tempered, teachable disposition in reading the article that exegetes and argues contrary to your position.  As Piper has said, “it is more important to learn what they are saying than to hear what you want to hear” (paraphrase).

I will tell you, also, that after reading them both, I still land somewhat predictably and unhesitatingly with Schreiner’s position.  I won’t bother you with my own thoughts beyond that.  Just read the articles and we can talk later.  And, p.s., I don’t think this is a peripheral issue!