Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Ethics Daily has an article covering current SBC issues, and we actually received a link. The piece takes a look at Johnny Hunt, Mark Dever, Tom Ascol, Wade Burleson and of course, Greensboro.
posted by Christie
We've added two new links.

12 Witnesses - A great site written by Art Rogers, a minster in Kentucky. He deals candidly with issues concerning Southern Baptist life, and other pertinent topics.

Little Sugar Mama - Tori, otherwise known as Charlie's counterpart and Micah's mama, is keeping us up to date on what God is doing in her life, specifially with her son. Now, everyone in their family has their own blog. It's about time.
posted by Christie
I've been doing some research this week on lapsarianism, a topic that would convince many of my need to be committed. Here is what I've discovered so far.

Lapsarianism (lapse=fall) is a term used to describe the order of God's decrees concerning election. It asks what order God decided to create humanity, allow the Fall, to elect some to salvation, and to provide salvation for humanity. Though it's asserted that the decrees were simultaneously known by the omniscience of God and simultaneously decreed by God, lapsarianism attempts to provide, not the chronological, but the logical order of the elective decrees.

Within lapsarian thought, there are three positions which basically seek to answer whether the decree to save some comes before or after the decree to permit the Fall.

1. The decree to create human beings.
2. The decree to permit the Fall.
3. The decree to save some and condemn others.
4. The decree to provide salvation only to the elect.
Infralapsarianism focuses on God allowing the Fall and providing salvation.

1. The decree to create human beings.
2. The decree to permit the Fall.
3. The decree to provide salvation sufficient to all.
4. The decree to choose some to receive this salvation.
The only difference between infralapsarianism and sublapsarianism is whether God decreed to provide salvation through Jesus Christ and then decreed to choose some to be saved, or vice-versa.

1. The decree to save some and condemn others.
2. The decree to create both the elect and the reprobate.
3. The decree to permit the Fall of both classes.
4. The decree to provide salvation for only the elect.
Supralapsarianism focuses on God ordaining the Fall, choosing some to be elected and condemned, and then providing salvation for only those whom He had elected.

Although it is kind of interesting to consider, lapsarianism in general is nothing more than speculation. For the most part, an intellectual pursuit such as this is nothing more than finite man attempting to use human reasoning and logic to define for certain what God's decision were, when really, we can never know. Whatever the case, I'm glad that in eternity my understanding of this idea won't be pivotal, because I think I'm more confused now than when I began.
posted by Christie

Monday, February 27, 2006

Christianity Today presents a very open and honest article about a woman's journey through pain, abuse, lesbianism, and eventually healing. The piece offers insight into the ever-growing issue that unfortunately, many aren't willing to tackle.
posted by Christie

Friday, February 24, 2006

As we continue to ponder the SBC in general and the IMB specifically, there are some interesting items that may be coming up in the near future. I encourage you all to be watching and praying for unity and a broader spectrum of involvement in SBC life.

Accordingly, Art Rogers has an excellent post in which he states his own speculation on one possible move to be taken at the March IMB Trustee meetings in Tampa. If he is correct, all trustees could potentially be censored and thus unable to share any view of opposition with the convention. Art's post is a must read.
posted by Rick
Around the first of the year I made a decision, not a resolution, to be healthy. There's a difference, at least for me. All former attempts at that goal had been hindered by several things, mainly me. For years, every time I tried to eat healthier, I always felt deprived. However, I finally realized that the only way I was actually being deprived was by feeling poorly and not being able to wear my clothing, due to my horrible diet and exercise habits. Almost two months have now passed, and I am approaching the best shape of my life. Instead of punishing my body with starvation that inevitably leads to binging, I've chosen to center my diet around good, lean, healthy foods - while still remaining flexible enough to eat popcorn at the movies or cake at a birthday party. I've realized that for a diet to be permanent it has to be realistic - not something I have to suffer through for a week or two, then quit and end up weighing more than I did in the first place due to muscle loss. With each action, I've counted the cost. Is eating this particular food worth the outcome? Is skipping the gym to go home and nap worth the results? I've found that every so often, the answer to those questions are yes, but overwhelmingly, the answers have been an emphatic no. I've been amazed. I've discovered that I actually like to run. Sometimes several miles at a time. I've found that I would rather drink water than soda. And that losing 10 pounds of fat and gaining several pounds of muscle makes me look almost like I did in high school. What a difference eight weeks and a drastically altered mindset can make. Resolution, decision, whatever it was and continues to be - it's been good. No, great.
posted by Christie

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Rick and I have casually been looking for a new vehicle. And I stress the term casually. We might buy next month, or it might not be until December. We're just keeping our eyes open for the right thing - hopefully, a four-door sedan with at least a minimal amount of style, i.e. not a Ford Taurus (apologies to all who may drive one). Last weekend I made a huge mistake in test driving this car. It set a standard that I am afraid no other car within our means will ever match. It was actually a great deal - a 2005 with only 15,000 miles - but I think we're going to leave our options open for a little longer. We'll see what happens. I guess we could always buy Michael's Jetta.
posted by Christie

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

“When Christianity becomes just another religion, it focuses on what God requires. Just to keep people in line, we build our own Christian civilization and then demand that everyone who believes in Jesus become a good citizen.
It’s hard to imagine Jesus would endure the agony of the Cross just to keep us in line. Jesus began a revolution to secure our freedom. The new covenant that He established put its trust not in the law, but in the transforming power of God’s Spirit living within us.”

- Erwin McManus, The Barbarian Way

What a great reminder that Christianity is not about us, but rather about the Spirit of God living in and through us. It breaks my heart to watch as so many in Christendom erect their own walls of “good theology” and then demand everyone live within those walls. I am not one to throw theology by the wayside; I am not one to gloss over doctrinal essentials and distinctives; I am not one to sacrifice theology in the name of tolerance and relationship. In fact, I love a good theological discussion, even a great debate from time to time & devour a good theology book. (My love for theology goes so far – or perhaps my mind so warped – that after receiving and I-pod for Christmas I quickly filled the gigabytes with sermons of my favorite pastors as opposed to my CD collection.) Yet I am also one who believes strongly that conservative evangelicals must provide room for varying interpretations of certain doctrines and beliefs. We must learn to disagree in an agreeable manner without excluding those who differ.

As we approach the 2006 Southern Baptist Convention and continue to work through the controversies surrounding the International Mission Board, I pray we would unite under our similarities (conservative evangelicalism) and put an end to the narrowing of the parameters of cooperation in the Convention. We must unite under the banner of Christ, the inerrancy of Scripture, and the Baptist Faith & Message 2000 (our doctrinal guideline for cooperation). We must help the trustees of our convention’s organizations realize that they exist not to dictate policy & doctrine, but rather to enforce the doctrinal foundations set by the entire convention. We must also work to provide and support a framework for the exercise of principled dissent – our trustees must never feel their position threatened simply for speaking out against the majority or for bringing matters of significant concern to the attention of the convention.

If we continue current trends, the outcome is bound to be a convention full of people who look alike, act alike and think alike, but that is also much smaller, weaker, and less influential in the area of kingdom work. We must come to terms with the fact that unity and uniformity are not the same – as such, we must hold steadfast and refuse to let denominational leaders “build their own Christian civilization and then demand that everyone who calls themselves Southern Baptist become a good citizen.

I know many are working hard to make this year’s Convention the most meaningful and pertinent of the past 30 years. I pray their efforts would be met with little resistance and the outcome would be a much stronger, more stable and effectively unified Southern Baptist Convention.

Soli Deo Gloria
posted by Rick
It seems that 2006 is going to be one of the most pivotal Conventions that Southern Baptist's have seen in years. Reasons such as newly enacted IMB policies, issues surrounding IMB trustee Wade Burleson, and a widely discussed presidential election, are proving to spark interest and concern among quite a spectrum of believers. We are seeing an emerging group of young leaders who are becoming interested in the future of the Convention, and the presence of many older leaders who were dramatically used to change the history of our Convention. There are pastors, church planters, missionaries and lay people weighing in on matters brought to the forefront for the first time, or maybe the first time in a long time. Although some in both camps may possess different ideas as to where we should be moving as a Convention, I pray that the end result might be one of unity for the sake of the Gospel. Although there are certain ideologies that our Convention has rightly separated over, I pray that none of the issues at hand are escalated to that level. As Southern Baptist's we have already gained a less than desirable reputation with outsiders and internal discord might likely serve to tarnish our image even more. However, sometimes conflict and disagreement can be profitable when both sides display love for one another and are committed to God and His Word no matter the cost. May our words be seasoned with grace and our actions bring glory to God.
posted by Christie

Monday, February 20, 2006

Steve McCoy at Reformissionary posted a great review on Mark Driscoll's upcoming book, Confessions of a Reformission Rev.: Hard Lessons From an Emerging Missional Church.

It's just a taste of what's to come when the book hits stores on May 1st. You can pre-order at Amazon.
posted by Christie

Friday, February 17, 2006

This past Sunday we closed the page on our fourth DiscipleNow in Hazlehurst. Despite a few setbacks, the weekend actually went off without a hitch. Our good friend Russell spoke during the Friday and Saturday night worship services led by the Jeremy Curtis Band. Russell has helped us with other events and always does an exceptional job. This year was no different. It was also neat to have Mike, one of our former youth, now a junior in college, lead the small group session for our high school guys. And also for his girlfriend, Amber, to lead our high school girls. We absolutely love having those two around our kids because they model a Christ centered relationship that most teenagers never have the opportunity of observing. Thanks Mike and Amber, we appreciate you guys more than you know.

We pray that God used the events of the weekend to draw teenagers to Himself and that the effects will last far beyond the present chapter in their lives.
posted by Christie

Thursday, February 16, 2006

I found a great resource today that I'd like to share with everyone.
If you are looking to read up on all the issues surrounding the IMB in the past few months, Timmy of Provocations and Pantings has a great post with links to the most pertinent blog entries. The post was updated on Feb 16, and contains well over 100 links.
posted by Rick

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Breaking news on IMB controversy:

"Executive committee of IMB trustees propose withdrawing motion for SBC to remove Burleson."

Read the Florida Baptist Witness article here.
posted by Christie
Today's front page of the Atlanta Journal Constitution boasts an article about megachuches entitled, Big on Worship. Their findings reveal that "virtually all megachurches share common traits of a dynamic senior pastor, emphasis on conservative values and building small groups to offset its size." The AJC highlights Woodstock Baptist Church and Northpoint Community Church, both in the Atlanta area. The report states that megachurches have increased by almost fifty percent in the last five years - and that they continue to be a phenomenon that is still on the increase.
You can read the article in its entirety by going to the Metro link and logging in.
posted by Christie
Last night while perusing the aisles of our local grocery store for a box of Kleenex, I began to ponder a thought that has haunted me literally, for years. It seems the possibility exists that the Kleenex people, and other tissue companies, dig up the most grotesque designs on earth in which to wrap around their product. Seriously, is there anywhere else that more hideous floral designs dwell within the same vicinity of each other? Are the tissue executives somehow against the production of a plain box? Are they of the assumption that only seventy-five year old grandmothers who live in the country have runny noses? We left the store without purchasing anything after deciding that a roll of toilet paper was far more stylish.
posted by Christie

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

A good friend of mine, Brett, has asked for your help in hearing some different views on a particuliar passage of Scripture. If you don't mind, check out his post and then let him know what you think...
posted by Rick
Marty Duren tagged me...

4 jobs I have had in my life:
1. Ditch digger
2. Irrigation tech
3. Youth minister
4. Minister of education

4 goals I set for this year:
1. Read books more consistently
2. Spend more time loving my wife
3. Read through the Bible as a couple
4. Continue to work on my use of the English language – trying to remove random “w’s” that have worked their way into my words.

4 movies I could watch over and over:
1. Gladiator
2. Brave Heart
3. Fight Club
4. The Minority Report

4 places I have lived:
1. Leesburg, FL – birth – 2nd Grade
2. Inverness, FL – twice 2nd-4th Grade and 7th-12th Grade
3. Deerfield, OH – 4th-7th Grade
4. North Florida/South Georgia – Graceville, FL; Tallahassee, FL; Cuthbert, GA; Hazlehurst, GA – college and beyond

4 TV shows I love to watch:
1. Survivor
2. American Idol
3. Law & Order
4. CSI

4 places I've been on vacation:
1. Seattle, WA
2. Washington DC
3. Seaside, FL
4. Yellowstone National Park - actually, Yellowstone was just a 20 hour trip, we were really on a mission trip to an Indian reservation in Idaho

4 websites I visit daily:
1. www.relevantmagazine.com - my homepage
2. www.marshillchurch.org
3. www.biblegateway.com
4. www.sbcoutpost.com

4 of my favorite foods:
1. Breyers Rocky Road Ice Cream
2. Steak
3. Grilled anything (meat, veggies, fruit)
4. Pizza

4 places I would rather be right now:
1. At home with my wife
2. Anywhere reading my Bible and a good theology book
3. In the mountains
4. At the beach

So now I'm going to tag:
1. Brett
2. Charlie
3. Anyone else interested?
posted by Rick
I ordered a few books this week, including "Becoming Conversant with the Emerging Church : Understanding a Movement and Its Implications" by D.A. Carson. I'm looking forward to its arrival so I can dig in and see what Carson has to say.

Here's the description:
"The 'emerging church' movement has generated a large amount of excitement and currently exerts an astonishingly broad influence within contemporary churches. Is it the wave of the future or a passing fancy? Who are the leaders and what are they saying? These questions signal that the time has come for a mature assessment by a respected Christian scholar. In Becoming Conversant with the Emerging Church, D. A. Carson gives both a perceptive introduction to the emerging church movement for those who may be unfamiliar with it, as well as a skillful assessment of its theological views. Carson addresses some troubling weaknesses of the movement frankly and thoughtfully, while at the same time, recognizing that it has important things to say to the rest of Christianity. Carson's treatment shows how we must not only interact with a fast-changing culture, but also how we must have our vision and practice of ministry shaped by biblical theology with Scripture as our norm."
posted by Christie

Monday, February 13, 2006

Only because Micah asked me to...

Three names you go by:
1. Christie
2. Chris
3. Kissy (by my niece and nephews)

Three things that scare you:
1. Taxes
2. Confined spaces
3. Pictures of Charles Manson

Three of your everyday essentials:
1. Flat-iron
2. Water
3. Mascara

Three things you are wearing right now:
1. Cable knit sweater
2. A ring Rick gave me inscribed with the Hebrew translation of “I am my Beloved’s and my Beloved is mine”
3. Long Lasting lipstick by Estee Lauder, color #112

Three of Your Favorite Drinks:
1. Water
2. Caramel Light from Starbucks
3. Lemon Berry Slush from Sonic

Three of your favorite songs - at the moment:
1. In Christ Alone (the one written by Stuart Townend)
2. Daughters by John Mayer
3. Diverse City by Toby Mac

Three things you want in a relationship (other than real love):
1. Someone who loves Jesus
2. A best friend
3. A good massage every now and then

Two truths and a lie:
1. I can juggle
2. I love talking on the phone
3. I have really narrow feet

Three of your favorite hobbies:
1. Reading
2. Playing guitar
3. Cleaning house

Three things you want to do really badly right now:
1. Pay off my student loans
2. Stay at home
3. Eat an ice cream sandwich

Three places you want to go on vacation:
1. Greek Isles
2. Tuscany
3. China

Three things you want to do before you die:
1. Have kids
2. Go on an overseas mission trip
3. Be a better wife

Three ways that you are stereotypically a chick/guy:
1. I don’t know anything about football
2. I don’t get jokes
3. I’m a bad driver

Three people I would like to see take this quiz:
Since Michael's already been tagged...
1. Ellis
2. Teresa
3. RyanG
posted by Christie

Friday, February 10, 2006

Due to recent controversy surrounding Chad Allen being cast to play Nate Saint in End of the Spear, Every Tribe Communications, the independent company that produced the film, issued a statement concerning the matter. I commend the folks at ETC for answering their critics. Here's a copy of their letter:

Dear Friends and Ministry Partners,
With the recent news and controversy over the casting of Chad Allen we wanted you to know our prayerful thoughts.

We did not know Chad was gay when we offered him the roles of Nate and Steve Saint. We learned just before he accepted the roles, and then faced the decision of whether we should love him and include him in the journey, as well as honor our commitment. Producer Mart Green shared, "I would not have hired Chad had I known everything about him. But God had to work around me.”

We’ve chosen to tell true stories that raise the question of what it can mean to live what the Bible says is true. The story is what we want the worldwide audience to experience and discuss, and it is the only thing we are promoting.

We stand by our decision to include Chad Allen. We are a film company that desires to be a safe place for all people, and an adventure for those who know Christ.

If this issue has caught you by surprise in any way, and you feel betrayed for not knowing then we sincerely apologize. We have been walking through this process with many Christian leaders and we were not attempting to hide anything. We do not agree with Chad Allen on homosexuality, and we do not advocate any compromise to God’s Word. The STORY is the star. We invite you to experience End of the Spear and then judge for yourself the message you are left with.

Bearing Fruit Communications
Every Tribe Entertainment
posted by Christie

Thursday, February 09, 2006

For years now, the presidency of the Southern Baptist Convention has been "decided" at First Baptist Jacksonville's annual Pastor's Conference. And infact, the presidency has gone uncontested since the early 90s. Many are aware that this year, Dr. Jerry Vines called for Dr. Johnny Hunt to serve the position. Certainly, I don't agree with polity issues surrounding the method of electing our president, yet right now, there is something that is bothering me even more. At the 2005 SBC Pastor's Conference, Johnny Hunt preached a sermon on the doctrine of election that received much applause from the viewing audience, but garnered plenty of criticism from others. Below are several alarming statements Dr. Hunt made during his discourse: (emphasis is mine)

“By the way, aren’t you grateful, that there’s hope? Listen to me carefully, it's important we understand this Convention. There’s hope for everyone in Jesus. Everyone. Everyone. Not a select group. Everyone. Someone says, ‘Pastor you believe that you’re the elect?’ I sure am. Everybody that gets in is the elect; and He’s elected all of us. I believe everyone can be saved. Anyone can come to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Someone said, 'I don’t think you ought to preach like that.' Well, I just hope no one gets saved that’s not supposed to. I’m serious. We better get away from that and get back to the Book and invite everyone to come to Christ! Just preach it! Invite everybody! Tell everyone!”

While I admire Dr. Hunt's passion to share Christ, there are obviously several serious errors in the above declaration. And I'm not arguing that we need a Reformed president, however, Dr. Hunt's sermon (although I do not believe it was on purpose) went far beyond Arminianism and advocated Universalism. I'm quite certain if you sat down with Dr. Hunt and further delved into his thoughts, you would find that he isn't a Universalist or Pelagian, and that he really loves Jesus. Yet his words cause me great concern. Dr. Hunt chose to use one of his biggest platforms last year to utter some disturbing and downright heretical comments. Whether he intended to convey what he did, or not, I'm still left with a lot of questions as I consider the fact that he will probably be President Hunt this time next year.
posted by Christie
Micah is quite the lucky guy. He's had the priviledge of being our 10,000th visitor, and now our 13,000th. What are the chances? I think he might be planning this. Or maybe lightning does actually strike twice in the same place.
posted by Christie
Heath, a friend from college, is contributing his thoughts on a community blog, Pure Worship. I'll add him to my links.
posted by Christie
Here are a few church names I created from the Resurgence site.

Triumphant Intercession Tabernacle
Holy Ghost Worship Headquaters
Shekinah Dominion Fellowship

They kind of have a nice ring, don't they?

However, none of these even hold a candle to a real life church I used to pass every day in southwest Georgia, Holiness Glorious Community Church of Jesus Christ of the Apostolic Faith, Inc.

Now that's a mouthful.
posted by Christie
A final Pastor's Conference post...

One of the most surprising statements of the weekend came from none other than Jerry Falwell, of Liberty University. Falwell, widely known for his right-wing rants and political activism stressed the need for Christians to learn to disagree agreeably. "Just because you don't like someones viewpoint doesn't mean you can't get along," he stressed. "Those of you who only see me on Hannity & Colmes or Larry King Live probably think there are many people from the left wing that I hate. That simply is not true. Just a few weeks ago, I was out west and stopped by Larry Flynt's office to pay him a friendly visit. Sure, the guy's a dirt bag, but we can still get along." He then continued to tell us how he and Ted Kennedy agreed on "nothing but motherhood" but are still friends and when Ted and his wife are in Lynchburg, they eat dinner at Falwell's home, and while in Washington, he eats at the Kennedy home.

This all shocked me. For some reason, I can't see Flynt and Falwell just hanging out. Nonetheless it was a much needed statement in the midst of our Convention's current polarization and one I greatly appreciated.
posted by Rick

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

We've now returned to the grind and find ourselves back in Hazlehurst. With a little time to digest the events of the conference, I find a concerning commonality among many of the speakers. It seems nearly all of the sermons that we heard, at some point or another, contained an anti-Calvinist/Reformed theology comment.

The most prominent came from Junior Hill, while stressing the responsibility of the minister to win souls. He told a story of a recent service in which six individuals accepted Christ. He then followed with a statement to this effect: Now Calvinists would tell you that was not all that important, if they didn't get saved that night, they could have left there and would have gotten saved at another time - but I don't subscribe to that theology [followed by many amens, whoops, and hallelujah's]. Who knows - had they left the church that night without accepting Christ, they may have never had another opportunity presented to them. (Notice this is not a direct quote)

This makes me just a little uneasy and has left me wondering if the next assault will be on those who subscribe to Reformed Theology.
posted by Rick
Some good things did come out of our trip to the Pastor's Conference.

- We ran into several folks from college: Dr. Jumper, Jon E., Jacob H., and a few others whose identification slipped my feeble mind. (I searched desperately for many a name tag, but often to no avail.) It was great getting to hear about the things God is doing in their lives - some were in seminary, others just beginning new ministries, or adjusting to their kids being in college. Although time had separated us, a connection still remained. We even visited the BCF booth and picked up the usual peanuts, but also a key chain and insulated coffee cup. Ah, the priviledges of being an alum.

- We met the new pastor of our former church for lunch and through that were able to get an overdue update on many of our old friends. We were happy to learn that in a very segregated southwest Georgia, our previous church hosted the entire high school football team
(which is almost 100% black) for a steak dinner. Although tons of racial barriers still exist, I commend the desperately needed effort. They also invited us to the 175th church anniversary celebration in July and we made definite plans to attend.

The above events, and others, made the treck to Jacksonville worthwhile.
posted by Christie
Any former BCFers definitely need to check this out!
posted by Christie

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Tonight makes it official - or so I'm assuming. After calling Dr. Paige Patterson, Judge Paul Pressler and Bailey Smith onto the stage, Dr. Vines gave a discourse on the importance of the conservative resurgence and briefly described the role that both Pressler and Patterson played. He then asked Smith to join him in flanking these two men as he presented them to the conference. After a rousing standing ovation, Vines announced that it was a miracle to have a conservative elected in that first year and they hoped they would be just as proud to announce Johnny Hunt as the next president of the SBC.

Later in the evening Dr. Hunt delivered a message which included much of his personal testimony, encouragement to pastors and calling all of us back to the task of personal evangelism. All in all it was what you'd expect, a very presidential message.
posted by Rick

Monday, February 06, 2006

We arrived yesterday at FBC Jax around 4:00 p.m., checked into our hotel and caught the shuttle to the conference - nothing like free, unsolicited theological treatises being offered just loud enough for the entire bus to listen in. Once we arrived at the downtown campus, we started making our way across three city blocks to the sanctuary. On the way, we ran into Dr. Jumper of BCF - someone we haven't seen in over 4 years.

After arriving in the colossal sanctuary, riding an escalator and climbing a flight of stairs, we finally decided on some seats in the balcony where our view would not be impeded by any of the cameras - or their numerous operators...

Interesting SBC side note: On the way to our seats, we met a former associate of our pastor - that had been at the conference since opening night on Thursday. He quickly brought us up to speed on all the events of the weekend - including the fact that after Dr. Jerry Vines retires, he will be moving to Woodstock, GA where he will keep an office at First Baptist Woodstock. He then went on to announce - "because 'they've' decided that Johnny Hunt is going to be the president of the SBC this year and as such will have to do alot of traveling, now Dr. Vines will be able to fill in for Johnny during the evening service while he is out doing his thing as president." So, I guess it's decided, no need go to Greensboro?!?!

to be continued...

posted by Rick

Saturday, February 04, 2006

We're going out of town for a few days and should be back sometime Wednesday.
posted by Christie

Friday, February 03, 2006

We're really excited for our good friend Mike, who plays lead guitar for the Jeremy Curtis Band. The guys have just launched their website and begun recording in preparation for their first tour this summer. They're an amazing group of talented fellas who lead a passionate worship service. If anyone is looking for a band to play at an event, they definitely come recommended. They're playing for our DiscipleNow next weekend and we can't wait.
posted by Christie
You can read Rick's letter, concerning the IMB controversy, that was published in the Christian Index, here. And also his letter to the Florida Baptist Witness, here.
posted by Christie

Thursday, February 02, 2006

At the Resurgence blog, you can check out Mark Driscoll's shameless plug of his new book, Confessions of a Reformission Rev.: Hard Lessons From an Emerging Missional Church. The table of contents is included, boasting chapters entitled, "Jesus Our Offering Was $137 and I Want to Use it to Buy Bullets," "Jesus If Anyone Else Calls My House I May Be Seeing You Real Soon," and "Jesus Could You Please Rapture the Charismatic Lady Who Brings Her Tambourine to Church." There's also a sample section of the book about whether or not your church will be "attractional, missional, or both." Don't get too interested though, Confessions of a Reformission Rev. isn't due out until May 1st.
posted by Christie
Somehow, Newsweek columnist Susannah Meadows didn't quite understand all of Jerry Falwell's sub-cultural jargon, thus leading to the following correction in the article she penned about Evangelicals mastering the art of college debate.

"Correction: In the original version of this report, Newsweek misquoted Falwell as referring to 'assault ministry.' In fact, Falwell was referring to 'a salt ministry' — a reference to Matthew 5:13, where Jesus says 'Ye are the salt of the earth.' We regret the error."
posted by Christie

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Although I've recommended it before, if you haven't read John Piper's article, "What We Believe About the Five Points of Calvinism," you're definitely missing out. Whether you're sympathetic towards Reformed theology or not, Piper's work would be well worth your time. He explains the doctrines of grace in simple, yet profound terms that give us a glimpse into the heart of God and the Gospel.

While re-reading the article yesterday, I came across an especially profound quote from Charles Spurgeon:

"I have my own private opinion that there is no such thing as preaching Christ and Him crucified, unless we preach what is nowadays called Calvinism. It is a nickname to call it Calvinism; Calvinism is the gospel, and nothing else. I do not believe we can preach the gospel...unless we preach the sovereignty of God in His dispensation of grace; nor unless we exalt the electing, unchangeable, eternal, immutable, conquering love of Jehovah; nor do I think we can preach the gospel unless we base it upon the special and particular redemption of His elect and chosen people which Christ wrought out upon the Cross; nor can I comprehend a gospel which lets saints fall away after they are called."
posted by Christie