Archive for the ‘Blogs’ category

2012 Band of Bloggers Audio

April 24, 2012

I haven’t had the opportunity to talk much about the 2012 Band of Bloggers fellowship this year because of other, larger projects colliding on the same season in the calendar this year.  We had a great gathering of 350 folks (sold out) and were able to give away 17 books per person (4 of them being e-books). Each year, I struggle to muster the energy required to do these gatherings, but each time they take place, I am reminded how much of a blessing the fellowship, books, and discussions are to folks who attend.

This year, the theme was on the “underestimated resurgence” with a look back on the past six years of the “young, restless, and reformed” movement and in particular the influence of blogging and social media played a role. Six years ago, I led the first Band of Bloggers fellowship in Heritage Hall on the campus of Southern Seminary, and so it is fitting that this year we could return back to our roots with the same panel speakers (Tim Challies and Justin Taylor) and include a few others (Collin Hansen and Owen Strachan).

The audio of the panel discussion was recently released, and you can download it by clicking here. I hope that you find it helpful and edifying to your interest and efforts to engage on the Internet, and especially through the blogosphere.

New Project: Sowing Grace

October 28, 2008

This weeks marks five months that I have been on staff at Grace Baptist in Cape Coral, Florida.  This has been a wonderful and eventful journey to say the least!  Four of those past five months have been spent focusing on church planting with our church’s new church planting initiative.  On July 13,Tom Ascol shared with the church the evidence from Scripture (in particular the book of Acts) that a church cannot fulfill the Great Commission apart from being a church planting church.  He carefully walked us through the movement of the gospel by the Spirit in the early church to see how churches were established and multiplied.  Those of you familiar with this past summer will be intrigued to know that it was the following evening that he was struck by lightning.

During the month of August (and part of September), I preached through the prayers of Paul for the churches he planted during the two month period our church was praying about future developments and church planting efforts.  Since then, we have begun the initial phase of our first church plant with the vision planting several more in the years to come.

In order to faciliatate discussion, provide resources, and encourage those involved in church planting, a new blog was created called Sowing Grace.  Tom Ascol and I will be addressing issues related to church planting directly related to our church planting center but also indirectly to anyone who finds the information profitable.

For the remainder of 2008, the schedule of articles for Sowing Grace will be the following:

Sunday: Prayers of Paul for the Churches He Planted (with MSS by me)
Monday: Monday Is for Membership: Walking through Thabiti Anyabwile’s What Is a Healthy Church Member?
Tuesday: Cultivating Community Contacts (focus on being evangelistic and living missional)
Wednesday: Theological Reflection of the Early Church in Acts
Thursday: Core Values: Walking through C.J. Mahaney’s Humility: True Greatness
Friday: Fuel Friday: Resources related to Church Planting
Saturday: Excerpts from literature related to Church Planting

The goal of this website is to balance theological reflection with practical application so that church planting efforts are convictionally biblical and carefully applicational.  If you or someone you know might be intersted in Sowing Grace, please pass it on and join the discussion.

Visit Sowing Grace or subscribe to the feed.

Resurgence Redesign

August 28, 2008

Resurgence has just redesigned their website that looks fantastic.  All new media is easily retrieved at the top of the page complete with all new audio and video, and the template sets the blog front and center for easy navigation and reading.  While I normally read Resurgence via their feed, I look forward to visiting their website more often.  If you are not familiar with Resurgence, I encourage you to check them out.  They would be on my top 5 ministry websites today.

HT :: Joe Thorn

Getting the Most Out of The Puritans

March 8, 2008

Andrew and Carolyn, who are two of the several hundred readers taking up the Puritan Reading Challenge, recently wrote of the joys and challenges that come from reading the Puritans. Their most recent post was a very enjoyable read, and I thought I’d provide an excerpt. Here’s what they said regarding getting the most out of the Puritans:

I am enjoying food for my soul unlike anything else I have ever read. I am literally finding that my heart is soaring with some of the truths outlined, and then is promptly being broken by my own sense of sin and smallness. These were men who knew their God, and knew God’s people; men who brought God’s Word home with force, conviction, clarity, and gravity. As such sitting with a highlighter and marking out sections which might be good for a blog series feels a little like fumbling in my rucksack for a camera, while the sun sinks behind a hill. My decision is to enjoy the view, and let God speak to me in the way He wants through these works, without marring the majesty of what I am learning by constantly being concerned about passing it on. My thoughts on these works are at best a monochrome study in the multicoloured glory of God’s grace anyway.

Reading your comments at the end of each month and checking out the blogposts from those of you in the blogosphere has been immensely encouraging for me. PRC has put a lot of demands on me personally, but the joy I get from seeing how this is benefiting folks is worth all the effort.

As The Godly Man’s Picture by Thomas Watson is now getting in full swing, I look forward to learning together and growing together in the pursuit of godliness.

22 Words

February 28, 2008

Abraham Piper.

That’s two words.

Twenty two words.

That’s Abraham Piper’s new blog.

That makes thirteen words.

You should check it out.

(Total word count: 22)

Blogspotting the Puritan Challenge 2

January 22, 2008

Here’s is roundup number two of my perusal around the Puritan Reading Challenge Bloggers. Enjoy!

* David reflects on the first two chapters, concluding, “I barely got three pages before I had to stop and really think about the implications of what I was reading and thereafter the page count between needs for meditation did not increase.” He also has some very kind words about RHB, a leading sponsor of the PRC.

* Jennifer Partin has contributed her thoughts in two good posts (here and here). Regarding the second chapter, Jennifer writes, “Feeling discouraged and weak? Are you at the end of your rope? Take heart because this chapter gives great comfort and hope!” Amen Jennifer!

* Mike Leake has continued with his thoughts and quotes from The Bruised Reed with posts on chapters two, three, four, and five. Mike begins his most recent post thus: “After reading this chapter, if I were a web designer I would craft a picture of my rear and Richard Sibbes kicking it.” I hear you Mike!

* Caleb Burnison says that reading Sibbes reminded him of Bunyan and provides five thoughtful questions for his youth. Would that more youth ministers be distilling the Puritans to teenagers!

* Andrew and Carolyn continue with their creative series with three contributions: The Compassionate Mr. Sibbes and The Contemporary Mr. Sibbes, and The Encouraging Mr. Sibbes.  Great stuff!

* Jerry (who I have noticed has quite the alliteration going on at his blog) continues to be the pace-setter with posts on chapters eleven, twelve, and thirteen (and also has included excerpts from The Valley of Vision and other Puritan literature).

* Andrew Upton has summarized, in individual posts, the first three chapters of The Bruised Reed. For a summary overview, check out his posts on chapters one, two, and three.

* Stephen Newell shares his thoughts about the purpose of Sibbes in writing The Bruised Reed.

* Kevin Rhyne talks about coming before the throne of grace, the smoking flax, pastoral care of Sibbes, and simple preaching of sound doctrine.

* A Fish Out of Water writes about Sibbes on the Spirit of God.

* Justin Nale continues to enjoy reading Sibbes as he blogs on the fourth chapter of The Bruised Reed.

2008 Puritan Reading Challenge Linkage

January 13, 2008

Many thanks to all who have helped get the word out! Below are 99 trackbacks from the announcement:

Between Two Worlds (Justin Taylor)
Challies Dot Com (Tim Challies)
Pure Church (Thabiti Anyabwile)
In Light of the Gospel (James Grant)
Just Thinking (William Dicks)
Jam and Books
Southside Baptist Church (Randy Alston)
Borrowed Light (Mike Leake)
Oceanside URC (Danny Hyde)
Craig’s Blog
The Silent Holocron (Stephen Newell)
Venti Skim Latte
Meditations and Musings (Jennifer Partin)
Ipsa Loquitur
Double Usefulness (Andrew and Carolyn)
Rebuild Lakeshore (Don Elbourne)
Diary of a Seminary Student (Terry Delaney)
11:36 (Sean Gould)
For His Glory (Tony Konvalin)
Six Steps + Victoria Veritatis Est Caritas (Alex Leung)
Thoughts from the Tea House
Said at Southern (Tony Kummer)
Thoughts of an NC Baptist (Justin Nale)
Nauvoo Pastor
Rock Creek Rumblings (Kathleen Hamilton)
The Purple Cellar (Lydia Brownback)
Westminster Bookstore Blog
The Submerging Influence
Gazing at Glory (Doug Smith)
Broken Wills and Saving Grace
Coffee Refills
The Abell Six
Presbyterian & Reformed
Reformation Heritage Book Talk
Scripture Zealot
Light and Heat (Brian Hedges)
Dead Theologians
Onward and Upward
Old Truth (Jim Bublitz)
Shane Trammel’s Blog
The Expositor (Mike Corely)
The Gladness of My Rejoicing (Worship Leader Ron)
Connecting with Truth (Chris Griggs)
A Cluttered Mind
Soli Deo Gloria (Kenneth Clayton)
Knit One, School Two
Grace Church Memphis
Gospel-Centered Musings (Michael Dewalt)
There’s No Place Like Home
FBC Monroe City Youth
This Bread Always (Kevin Ryhne)
Pensees (Bob Bixby)
Sojourner (Brad Williams)
The Thirsty Theologian
The Reformed Parishoner
Time Travel with the Rev’d Dr. Who
Minor Mutterings
Jacqueline’s Jabberings
Chris’ Random Thoughts (Chris Kidd)
The Mind Reformed
Trophies of His Grace (Steve Burlew)
First Baptist of Boynton Beach
A Savior Worth Singing About
Calling for Truth
Nadere Reformatie (Michael Zwiep)
Coffee with Curt
Head Theology (Michael Pate)
Deep Roots
Blog of Dan
(Dan Green)
Caveman Considers
DashHouse (Daryl Dash)
The Eastminster Pulpit (David Zavadil)
Count for Eternity
Homeward Bound (Anthony Adams)
The Voyages (Tim Bertolet)
The Language of Reformed Worship (Jordan Harris)
Marvelous Light
Doggie’s Breakfast (Stephen Dancer)
His Dog Barking (Dennis McFadden)
Back Porch Confessions (Brad Jones)
PuritanBoard (Scott Roberts)
Patrick Lacson
The Ransomed (Vaughn Smith)
Testing the Spirits
In Through the Front Door
Mama Archer (Kristine)
Zaankali’s Adventures (Jennifer Hill)
John and Caroline Brand
The Breadline (Dave Bissett)
The Thirsty Theologian (David Kjos)
Santa Poco (Calles Family)
Feeding on Christ (Nicholas Batzig)
The Fellowship of Nicea (Jeremy Writebol)
Roses and Tea (Karen B.)
Crossroads (Denton Bible Church Singles)
Call to Die (Andrew Lindsey)
Strange BaptistFire
Ambient Solace (Alicia Piecora)

I will update this post as more trackbacks come in.

Purgatorio Is Back!

January 10, 2008

After a year-long hiatus, the best Christian satirical blog is back!  Glad to see you blogging again Marc!

2007 Year in Review: Top 5-1

December 31, 2007

As the 2007 year comes to a close, I thought I’d provide a little year-in-review. For the next six days, I am going to post annotated links to the top 30 posts of this year (determined by comments, backtracks, and personal recollection) as well as some other things to note.

5. To Be a Misfit in a World of Impermanence

Reflecting on pastoral impermanence in David Wells’ book, No Place for Truth, I share my thoughts and desires for a place to minister and die.

4. Are We Creating a Reformed Celebrity Culture?

A little self-critique doesn’t hurt, does it?  Thinking about the rise of Reformed conferences, I reflect on how the current Reformed resurgence in evangelical and Southern Baptist life is creating a celebrity culture much like the rise of Fundamentalism in early 20th century.

3. Puritans, We Greet Thee in 2008

A relatively recent post, this idea was drafted on the way home from work as a personal challenge to be publicly shared.  Little did I know that the Puritan reading challenge would be spread by over 25 blogs and still topping the post rankings at the end of the year.  Look for more developments to come in the near future.  I am really excited about this project, and more importantly, the level of interest seen among many in the blogosphere.

2. Together for the Church

Playing off “together for the gospel,” I challenged the talking points parroted by several Southern Baptist leaders who have effectively marginalized or outsourced many young, solid Southern Baptist ministers who happened to believe in the doctrines of grace.  If the SBC is going to have a promising future, we are going to have to come together for the church and quit the political maneuvering and calculation and work together for the planting and building of churches across the country as well as the world.

1. Go and Sin Some More: A Meditation on the Life and Death of Anna Nicole Smith

Many of you can remember how much media attention the surprise death of Anna Nicole Smith received by the media.  Recognizing the dominance of this issue, I began thinking how Jesus would consider this situation.  The result was this gospel-centered meditation that made its way out of the Christian blogosphere to radio shows, atheistic forums, and Muslim websites.  The fact that this post was the #1 post of 2007 is a tribute to the idea that a commitment to gospel-centered blogging can and does draw attention–not to us, but to Christ.  As 2007 comes to a close, I pray the Lord allows me more opportunity to communicate the value of knowing Christ in our culture with passion for the gospel and compassion for those who do not know Him.

*** Top 5 Designed Blogs ***

5.  TeamPyro
4.  Irish Calvinist
3.  New Attitude Blog
2.  Joe Thorn (ever-changing)
1.  Tim Challies

2007 Year in Review: Top 10-6

December 30, 2007

As the 2007 year comes to a close, I thought I’d provide a little year-in-review. For the next six days, I am going to post annotated links to the top 30 posts of this year (determined by comments, backtracks, and personal recollection) as well as some other things to note.

10. 2:00 a.m. @ Mars Hill

The Protos Fellowship is a evangelistic community of 3rd shifters that exists to fuel gospel-centered living and missional lifestyle.  In this post, I share a conversation while training new hires at UPS regarding their need for Christ.  What was really encouraging for me was how this post held traction in the blogosphere, making me realize that posts on evangelism and sharing the gospel should occur more often.

9. On Hitting Homiletical Homeruns

The issue of pastoral plagiarism has been nicely covered in the blogosphere, but I added a twist to the discussion when Dr. Hershael York encouraged SBC pastor James Merritt to “hit it out of the park” in his address at the SBC annual meeting.  It just so happened that Merritt began his message encouraging pastors to abdicate the pastor study and buy his sermons and preach them “word for word.”  Capitalism plus plagiarism equals home run preaching, or does it?  That’s what I sought to address.

8. Why Are You Reformed? Your Top 5 Reasons

While doing some research for myself and some friends, I asked everyone who considers themselves Reformed to give their top five reasons that contributed to their “come to” regarding the doctrines of grace.  There were many excellent responses worth checking out.

7. Inclusivism: The Answer to the Emerging Question?

Scot McKnight, a leading NT scholar and sympathetic theologian of the emerging church movement, recommended Terry Tiessen’s book on inclusivism accessiblism.  Shortly after the post, Dr. Tiessen himself commented on the post, leading to a three-week debate with over twelve rounds.  Although Tiessen and myself have fundamental disagreements regarding the fate of the unevangelized, the discussion (I thought) was constructive and cordial.

6. “‘I Found Jesus”: Exegeting a Popular Confession in a Popular Culture

After having been charged with dog-fighting, football superstar Michael Vick made the public confession, “I Found Jesus.”  The following week Vick was the most famous professing Christian in the world through the influence of pop culture and magnification of media.  In this post I sought to understand just what people mean when they say that they have “found Jesus”.

*** Top 5 Resource-Related Blogs ***

5. Reforming My Mind – Paul Schafer
4. Andy Naselli
3. ColossiansThreeSixteen (Brent Thomas)
2. In Light of the Gospel (James Grant)
1. Between Two Worlds (Justin Taylor)

2007 Year in Review: Top 15-11

December 29, 2007

As the 2007 year comes to a close, I thought I’d provide a little year-in-review. For the next six days, I am going to post annotated links to the top 30 posts of this year (determined by comments, backtracks, and personal recollection) as well as some other things to note.

15.  Saving the SBC

At the end of the eventful week that was San Aton (SBC’s Annual Meeting), frustrated and discouraged I shared my reflections on what had occurred in the previous two weeks. Saving the SBC, of course, is a play off of Saving Private Ryan–of which there is an excerpt. I deal with the question, “Is it worth staying in and trying to reform the SBC?” and subsequent matters including the kind of leaders I am hoping the will arise in the future.

14.  Toward a Missional SBC Part 2

In part one, I shared my personal story of coming to understand and live a missional lifestyle, and in this post I deal with the missional matrix of church, culture, and mission, advocating a recovery and reorientation to the gospel in every area of our lives.

13.  New ‘New Measures’

I have grown up and around many modern-day “new measures” used to connect with and bring in lost folks during church services. In this post, I recall several of these new ‘new measures’ that, in the legacy of Charles Finney, are actually hindering the work of true conversion rather than aiding it.

12.  Blog Appraisals

There are thousands if not millions of blogs starting up every day. Evangelical Christianity (among others) has greatly benefited from the blogosphere. In this brief article, I provide some personal standards to appraise blogs/bloggers when deciding if I am going to (or how often) read their writing.

11.  The Fleecing of the SBC

We are all familiar with “The Fleecing of America” on the nightly news, but are you as familiar with the fleecing of the SBC’s Cooperative Program? This post takes a look at one state convention (Indiana) and reveals that $40 million over a decade produced a net loss of 4,000 members and a decrease in 25 churches. More information is included, not the least of which is the state of unregenerate church membership at a convention level.

*** Top 5 Preacher/Preaching Blogs ***

5. Expository Thoughts
4. Church Matters
3. Steve Weaver
2. Thabiti Anyabwile
1. Colin Adams

2007 Year in Review: Top 20-16

December 28, 2007

As the 2007 year comes to a close, I thought I’d provide a little year-in-review. For the next six days, I am going to post annotated links to the top 30 posts of this year (determined by comments, backtracks, and personal recollection) as well as some other things to note.

20. John Piper Ruined My Vacation

Coming back from a brief trip to Florida, I shared my experience with sea shells, and how Piper’s words, “Don’t Waste Your Life” have been etched in my soul.

19. LifeWay, the Lord’s Day, and the Local Church

In March, there was a big hubbub over LifeWay having their employees work on Sunday in order to not upset their customers and do inventory.  I brought up the issue LifeWay being both a business and a ministry.  Future posts included excerpts from John Dagg, Jonathan Edwards, and Joel Beeke.

18. The First Word of the New Testament Matters

At the beginning of September, Southern Baptist churches using LifeWay curriculum began a study in the book of Matthew.  To my surprise, one of the most significant portions of the New Testament got skipped–the genealogy of Jesus.

17. From Resurgence to Re-formation to Reformation: A Generational Vision for a Denomination Halfly Reformed

On Reformation Day, I posted an article in concert with Challies Reformation symposium where I discuss the need not only for structural reform (macro/convention) but ecclesiological reform (micro/local).  I lay out some specific areas where I believe reformation is necessary and urge my generation Southern Baptists to realize that the Conservative Resurgence isn’t enough.

16. An Open Letter to Morris Chapman on Biblical Eldership

Dr. Chapman was interviewed by the New Orleans Center for Theology and Ministry, answering questions on various parts in Southern Baptist life.  I disagreed with his assessment of biblical eldership and took the painstaking task of providing hundreds and hundreds of texts, dozens of resources, and historical confessions to make my case in this open letter.  The issue of biblical eldership continues to be a divisive issue in the SBC, and the answers provided by Dr. Chapman were, in my mind, unfortunate.

*** Top 5 Ministry Blogs ***

5. Reformation 21
4. Parchment and Pen
3. Pulpit Magazine
2. The Resurgence
1. Desiring God

Check Out Grace Church and Their Gospel-Driven Pastor

October 17, 2007

This morning I received an email from my friend Mark Lauterbach of their new church’s website. If you do not know who Mark is, let me encourage you to take some time and listen to some of his sermons. When I think of the gospel-centered life, the first person I think about is Mark. He and Grace Church are passionate about the gospel and find it to be the sum and substance of all they do. Grace Church is a Sovereign Grace church that is doctrinally solid, missionally focused, and distinctively Reformed.

If you are in the least be interested in the gospel-centered life, Mark’s blog is one you will definitely want to subscribe to. You can also subscribe to their sermon podcast.

Drs. Mohler and Page on the SBC and Blogs

September 18, 2007

Just a quick note.  I was able to catch most of Dr. Mohler’s radio show today.  His guest was Dr. Frank Page, current president of the Southern Baptist Convention.  Drs. Mohler and Page discussed a number of issues including inerrancy, culture of Christianity, politics, and SBC bloggers.  The last item might be of particular interest given recent events in the SBC blogosphere.  You can listen to the radio show by clicking here or download it as well (MP3).

Of Holiness and Mortification

August 31, 2007

This week has been a convergence of great resources on holiness and mortification of sin. I thought I’d post the articles that I have been checking out.

Joe Thorn:
Thoughts on Pride

Mark Moore:
The Key to Sanctification

Erik Raymond:
Temptation, Resisted and Repulsed

John MacArthur:

How to Kill Sin in Your Life (Part 1)
How to Kill Sin in Your Life (Part 2)
How to Kill Sin in Your Life (Part 3)

Tim Challies:
Reading Classics Together (Holiness)
Reading Classics Together – Holiness (Introduction)

The Resurgence:
Let Us Walk by the Spirit (by John Piper)

In addition to these great articles, I received my quarterly Free Grace Broadcaster yesterday. The Fall 2007 issue is focused on “Mortification.” In this little booklet are the following excerpts:

“The Doctrine of Mortification” by A.W. Pink
“The Nature of Mortification” by John Flavel
“Identifying Beloved Lusts” by Benjamin Needler
“Only a Christian Can Mortify Sin” by Horatius Bonar
“Directions for Mortification” by John Owen
“Mortifying Sin by the Holy Spirit” by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
“Dangers of Not Mortifying Sin” by Ezekiel Hopkins
“Gospel or Legal Mortification” by Ralph Erskine
“How May I Know If I Am in a State of Mortification?” by Christopher Love

I know. It’s hard to believe that that many great excerpts can be put in one booklet, but this is not unusual for the great folks of Mount Zion. Long before messages and media were available for free on the Internet, Mount Zion Chapel Library was handing out books by the dozens and pamphlets by the thousands (when I told them I was heading to Argentina for a mission trip, they gave me a case (100 copies) of Tozer’s The Pursuit of God in Spanish to pass out!). I still have numerous free copies of Horatius Bonar’s Words to Winners of Souls that I love to give to folks, and I would be remiss to fail to mention that it was at Mount Zion that I was first introduced to the Puritans.

If you have not benefited from the ministry of Mount Zion Chapel Library, let me encourage you to check out their website and support them by promoting their sacrificial work.