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I read an excellent post today by Thabiti Anyabwile regarding the common complaint that traditional preaching should be rejected due to it being a monologue rather than a dialogue.  Thabiti responds (rather clearly, I might add) that traditional Protestant worship service is not centered around a monologue (i.e. preaching), but it is a dialogue between God (who speaks by His Word and Spirit through the preacher) and His people who respond back to Him in praise and worship (i.e. prayer, song, etc.)

Read the post for yourself.  You can find it here http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/thabitianyabwile/2011/02/08/whos-doing-the-talking-in-our-church-gatherings/.

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I came across a post by Dr. David Murray today commenting on some of the reasons why there is so little preaching from the Old Testament these days.  He gives the following 8 reasons:

1) Liberalism’s attack on the Old Testament.

2)Ignorance of the Old Testament.

3) Perceived Irrelevance of the Old Testament.

4) Dispensationalism’s unintentional relegation of the Old Testament to a secondary role in the life of the New Testament Church.

5) Bad examples of Old Testament preaching lead us to shy away from Old Testament preaching.

6) Good models of Old Testament preaching are hard to come by.

7) Laziness on the part of the preacher/teacher.  (Let’s be honest… Leviticus is hard to preach.)

8) Prevalence of Christ-less preaching from the Old Testament.

You can read the whole article here http://headhearthand.posterous.com/where-did-the-old-testament-go.

 

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Several people have posted this on the internet recently, but I thought it might be helpful to some of those who read this blog.  At the recent Desiring God National Conference, Francis Chan spoke regarding the importance of thinking biblically yet remaining humble.  In his message, he addressed 7 questions which we should ask ourselves before we preach or teach others.  Spend some time thinking about these before your next teaching session:

  1. Am I worried about what people think of my message or what God thinks? (Teach with fear)
  2. Do I genuinely love these people? (Teach with love)
  3. Am I accurately presenting this passage? (Teach with accuracy)
  4. Am I depending on the Holy Spirit’s power or my own cleverness? (Teach with power)
  5. Have I applied this message to my own life? (Teach with integrity)
  6. Will this message draw attention to me or to God? (Teach with humility)
  7. Do the people really need this message? (Teach with urgency)

(HT: Jonathan Parnell at http://www.desiringgod.org/blog/posts/seven-questions-to-ask-before-you-preach-or-teach-the-bible) and Andrew Jacobson.)

By the way… you can view or download the audio or video of Francis Chan’s message (“Think Hard, Stay Humble: The Life of the Mind and the Peril of Pride”) here http://www.desiringgod.org/resource-library/conference-messages/think-hard-stay-humble-the-life-of-the-mind-and-the-peril-of-pride.

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Watch as Ligon Duncan sums up the gospel for us very succinctly…

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Brian Croft over at the “Practical Shepherding” blog has posted an excellent article on how a local church should minister to a convicted sexual offender in their congregation.  Having supervised sexual offenders for several years as a probation officer prior to entering full-time ministry, this topic was of particular interest to me.  I think a lot of churches simply bury their heads in the sand and refuse to address the issue… and thereby they place others in danger of being sinned against.  This is a touchy subject, but Brian’s suggestions are excellent.  You can find his post here http://briancroft.wordpress.com/2010/09/29/how-do-you-welcome-a-man-in-your-church-who-is-an-habitual-child-molester/.  (Read down through the comments thread to find my suggestions if you are interested…)

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For a review of this week’s study, here are some helpful resources:

–          Read “Believing in Jesus” – a sermon on John 2:23-3:15.  You can find it here https://ramblingpastorman.wordpress.com/2008/09/07/believing-in-jesus-%E2%80%93-john-223-315/.

–          Read the book “Finally Alive” by John Piper.  This is one of Dr. Piper’s recent books and I found it to be extremely edifying.  It is a thorough (and readable) study of the doctrine of regeneration (i.e. new birth or being born again.)  You can purchase it here http://www.monergismbooks.com/Finally-Alive-p-18254.html from Monergism Books.  Or you can download the book in pdf format for free from Desiring God Ministries (found here http://www.desiringgod.org/resource-library/online-books/finally-alive.)  Or… if you are an audio?visual learner… consider listening to or viewing the 16-week sermon series on which this book is based (entitled “You Must Be Born Again.”)  You can find the sermons available for audio or video streaming or download here http://www.desiringgod.org/resource-library/sermons/by-series/you-must-be-born-again.  I listened to these sermons again recently and was quite blessed.  Listen to them if you have the time!!!

–          For a systematic explanation of the doctrine of regeneration, you might consider reading the following theological article by Dr. Wayne Grudem.  You can find it here http://www.monergism.com/thethreshold/articles/onsite/regeneration_grudem.html.

Homework for Week # 5: How Do We Share the Gospel? – Part 1 – Luke 18:18-27

  • Review your Scripture memory verses (Luke 10:2 and I Corinthians 15:1-4.)
  • Spend some time each day going over the 4-point outline of the gospel (i.e. God, Man, Christ, and Response) and the 4-point outline of redemptive history (i.e. Creation, Fall, Redemption and Recreation) either out-loud or in writing.
  • Engage in at least 1 gospel conversation this week with a fellow Christian or unbeliever. Regarding any aspect of the gospel.  Be prepared to talk about this in class next week.
  • In preparation for next week’s class, read Luke 18:18-27 and think through the questions below:
    • What is the setting of this passage?  (Read the context.)
    • Describe the “ruler” in this passage.  Make a list of his characteristics.  What does this tell us about him?
    • Analyze how Jesus approaches this man evangelistically by answering the following questions:
      • How does Jesus describe God?  Why is this important?
      • How does Jesus describe people?  Why is this important?
      • Why does Jesus quote from the Law?  What is He attempting to accomplish?  Is this effective?  Read Romans 3:9-20 and Romans 7:7-12.  How does this relate to what Jesus is doing here?
      • What response does Jesus call this man to?
      • What does Jesus promise this man if he responds to the gospel?  (Read Luke 18:28-30 for a fuller answer to this question.)
    • How does the ruler respond to Jesus’ evangelism?  Why is this significant for us today?
    • Think carefully about Luke 18:24-27.  What does this teach us about the response of natural man to the gospel?  How does this relate to our study of conversion last week?  (You may want to consider John 3:1-15, II Corinthians 4:1-7 and Ephesians 2:1-10.)
    • What do we learn about evangelism from this passage?
    • How can we apply the principles learned here in our evangelism? Think of some practical answers to this question and be prepared to share in next week’s class.

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Here are three pastors (Mark Dever, Mark Driscoll and James MacDonald) talking about the role of the pastor in personal evangelism.  It’s not very long and worth watching…

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