Posted tagged ‘Blogging’

One Shining Moment

April 5, 2011

There have been some great moments over the past six years of blogging here at P&P.  The Ask Anything 9th inning rally comes to my mind.  So does the Puritan Reading Challenge.   Then again there is P2R Memory Moleskine.  And now there is one more to add, thanks to so many of you who worked the social networks of Facebook and Twitter to get the word out.

Last night, it was declared that I was the winner of the 2011 SBC Voices Blog Madness.  It was a lot of fun, and I was really encouraged to see friends and family root my little blog on.  In order to even make it to the final round, I needed a substantial comeback in the 2nd round to edge out Dr. Russell Moore much to the chagrin of some folks.  But alas, the madness is over, and I realize what a great community of folks I have to connect with online.

This little win marks six years to the month that I started blogging.  2,100 posts later, P&P is still chugging along, and it seems like now that so much of that has become biographical.  Thanks for joining me in the journey and encouraging you in the gospel. It has always been my desire to make much of Jesus here.

For all of us, the best seat is the back seat.
For all of us, the best ground is the background.

Five Years and Counting

March 18, 2010

Five years ago this week, I walked into Boyce Centennial Library to find my friend Zach Mabry getting on a Xanga blog-ring which made absolutely no sense to me.  I had heard about blogging because of what had recently happened to Dan Rather, and I knew the potential influence they would have in our culture, but I can assure you that I had no idea that getting into blogging would result in over 2,000 blogposts and still kicking five years later.  That’s just crazy.

So I just want to take a minute to say thanks to all of you who have encouraged me with your comments, emails, and personal meet-ups over the years.  I can honestly say that over 90% of the people I know in the evangelical world have come either through blogging or Twitter.  This journey has been marked by some wonderful blessings, not the least of which are the people who have entered my life and are now some of my closest friends–guys like Joe Thorn, Nathan Finn, and Tom Ascol who, through blogging became a mentor and spiritual father to me and with whom I have the privilege to partner with in gospel ministry.

During this journey, there has been the development of Band of Bloggers (now going on the 4th year), the Puritan Reading Challenge (which was engaged by over 20,000 people),  the amazing ninth inning rally to catapult my crazy regulative principle question to #1 on Mark Driscoll’s “Ask Anything” website (which turned into a sermon series and book by Crossway), and somehow making it into the top 100 church blog listing.  But more meaningful to all this has been the faithful reading of so many of you who haven’t been dialing in to the latest controversy or sexy topic but rather have embraced the metanarrative I have sought to cultivate around the gospel of Jesus Christ and the mission of the church.  To hear of how some of the things I have written have personally encouraged you or proved beneficial in your church amazes and humbles me, knowing that this is God’s grace at work.

I don’t know how much longer I will be blogging in the future, but without hesitation I can say that it has been a rich and rewarding blessing to be able to share my thoughts, learn from yours, and seek to facilitate healthy conversation on important matters in the Christian life.  So thank you. And I hope that whatever contributions I attempt to make in the future will honor Jesus, advance the gospel, build His church, and encourage His people.  Grace and peace.

2010 Band of Bloggers | Internet Idolatry and Gospel Fidelity

March 3, 2010

After having been prodded by several folks, I have been working over the past months to put together another Band of Bloggers gathering in conjunction with the 2010 Together for the Gospel Conference.  I say prodded because the amount of work placed on one person with limited time and no budget is challenging to pull off each year.  What began as a wild idea in 2006 as a seminary student has morphed into our fourth gathering with hundreds of gospel-centered bloggers being networked for encouragement, fellowship, and discussion of issues related to new media and the gospel.

The theme for the 2010 Band of Bloggers is “Internet Idolatry and Gospel Fidelity” and I have asked Justin Taylor, Trevin Wax, Jonathan McIntosh, and Jared Wilson to address this theme with short talks and a panel discussion.  I am really excited about addressing this theme and the group of guys who have agreed to lead us in thinking how our lives on the internet face idolatrous temptations such as identity, power, acceptance, etc. and how we can remain faithful to the gospel in not only the substance of what we say but the form in which we write.

The gathering will take place on Tuesday, April 13, 2010 beginning at 11:00am at The Galt House in downtown Louisville, KY.  The $25 registration simply covers the cost of the catered lunch (which is not optional), and given the large numbers of people attending T4G and relatively few places to eat, this will be one meal easy to determine. 🙂  However, due to limited space I encourage you to register early.  There has yet to be a Band of Bloggers that did not sell out.

For those down with BoB, please consider helping us promote our gathering with embedding an ad, blog button, or banner to your website or blog.  In the coming weeks, I will be sharing on the BoB website those who are sponsoring this year’s gathering with free books and resources.  I hope to see you there!

Internet Idolatry and Gospel Fidelity”
2010 Band of Bloggers Fellowship
Tuesday, April 13, 2010 :: 11:00am

The Galt House, Downtown Louisville, KY
(in conjunction with Together for the Gospel)

REGISTER | PROMOTE | BOB DIRECTORY

Integrating Twitter with Facebook and Blog

April 30, 2009

In case some of you may be wondering why I’m writing these posts, I’ve been asked to give a little presentation today on the use of social media and online networking for church planters in SW Florida.  I don’t consider myself an expert, but if there are some ideas that I could pass along that would be helpful to a fellow minister, I’m glad to serve in that way. 🙂

What I want to bring out in this post is the process or flow between your blog, twitter, and Facebook and more specifically their integration.  My setup may be different from others, so consider this as one of perhaps several ways to integrate these mediums.

Step One: Writing

Home base is your blog.  It’s where your most substantive articles are going to be posted, your best ideas (hey, like this blogpost!) are shared, and ultimately develop a solid readership in the process.  Your blog posts should be well written grammatically, easy to read aesthetically (such as paragraph breaks, no crazy font colors, etc.), and capable of being read within five minutes (general rule is 500-1000 words; more than 1200 words need to be broken down into two parts).  You can have great things to say, but if it is not presented well, potential readers will be turned off.  Write well, format well, and present well.

(more…)

POTW :: firsthaircut

March 13, 2009

View in Flickr (see it LARGE)

View in Flickr (see it LARGE)

View in Flickr (see it LARGE)

A couple of weeks ago, we took Nolan for his first haircut.  As you could imagine from the photos, it lasted all but of maybe five minutes.  The first and last photos are a before and after shot from the backseat of the car.  Things are going well on the family front, and Dusti is now 31 weeks in on baby Brister #2.  We still haven’t decided on a name, although several friends have proudly nominated their names in honorary fashion.

Tomorrow is a big day for me.  It’s my first attempt to complete a triathlon.  I’m generally in decent shape, but I have not trained regularly at all for this race, so I’m really nervous about how my body will perform.  The race starts Saturday morning at 8:00AM, and I am in the third wave to hit the water (@ 8:15am).  Plans are to leave Cape Coral at 2:00AM and drive four hours to Orlando and arrive just in time for registration, body marking, and walking through transitions.  I believe there will be a live-streaming of the race available here starting at 7:30AM.  And while I’m tempted to live-tweet the race, I think I will pass because I will be in survival mode most of the time. 🙂

Last but not least, I’ve got a favor to ask of you.  SBC Voices (actually Tony Kummer) is putting on the SBC Blog Madness where you vote for your favorite SBC blogs.  I’m in the “Eastern Division” and have to compete against the world-renowned iMonk.  So if you would be so kind as to go over there and vote for me, I’d really appreciate it!  Have a great weekend, everyone, and I’ll try to post some pics of the race soon.

Grace and peace.

Why I Use Twitter

November 12, 2008

twitter-logo-6When Twitter first came on the scene, I was really skeptical of this medium (I still have a few reservations).  According to the Twitter FAQ page, Twitter is “a service for friends, family, and co–workers to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question: What are you doing?”

I began to tweet at the beginning of the summer (early June), and since then I have over 1,300 updates and 190 followers.  Since then, a number of friends, family, and fellow church members have joined as well.  Others that I have hardly known have developed into frequent correspondence.  Recently, I thought about writing down some of the reasons why I found Twitter to be a profitable medium, and here are six that I came up with.

1.  Networking

90% of the people I know in evangelical and Baptist circles, I know through the blogosphere.  Several them I have come to know better through Twitter, and others I am getting to know for the first time.  Twitter is allowing me an opportunity to connect with people whom I otherwise would have little to no interaction.

2.  Journaling (Instant Photo-Journalism)

twitter-logo-5I love photography, but one of the things I hate about shooting with a professional camera is all the post-production processing.  By the time I am through, the images feel outdated.  Twitter has afforded me the ability to instantly post pics via Twitpic in a photo-journalistic manner (albeit the images are not that great).  If you have a camera phone, this is really easy and fun to do.

When I originally started my blog, it was intended to be a journalistic update of my life and our family.  When it turned into an issues/topic driven blog, I minimalized the personal touch.  Twitter allows me to communicate with friends and family more about the ins and outs of my life, how they can pray, etc.  With the iPhone, I am able to Twitter in almost any location and any time of the day.

3.  Learning (A La Carte News)

Another cool thing about Twitter is the ability to get news and information about things from those in the Twitter network.  I guess you could say that it acts like a live RSS Reader of sorts.  I also post links and info to others I find important or worth reading.  In addition, I sometimes post quips or notes from my study that I hope are encouraging to those who “follow” me (much of which later finds its way on the blog).

4.  Plugging (Blog Redirection)

I use Twitter to plug new blog posts (from P&P & Sowing Grace) and Flickr pics when they are posted.  The ability to shorten URL’s through SnipURL, TinyURL, ln.cr, and is.dg, makes it easy to maximize the 140 characters and provide a brief annotation about the link.  I usually generate 10-15 visitors from the Twitter plugging (not much, but I’ll take it).

5.  Listening (Dialogue)

One of critiques about Twitter is how narcissistic it feels.  I think, in general, this is true.  But Twitter can also be a great listening medium.  For instance, while drafting this post, I asked those who Twitter why they chose to do so, and I immediately received over a dozen responses.  I find that I learn a lot by listening to the responses of others in a two-way conversation where I am the inquirer and they are the informers.

6.  Laughing

twitter-logo-1I’m for the most part a pretty intense and serious-minded person, but I really enjoy a good laugh.  The commentary of friends, the goofy pictures, the witticisms, and totally random statements often serve as a pick-me-up or timely decompression valve.  For instance, here’s one that I thought was hilarious (Kevin has the weirdest and funniest tweets of anyone I know).

A little over a month ago, I created a Twitter account for Grace Baptist (we currently have 27 members on Twitter) as well as a Facebook group.  I use Twitter to make announcements, remind them of upcoming activities/events, provide urgent prayer requests, review outline from previous Sunday’s message(s), plug blogposts from church blog(s), express thanksgiving and appreciation, and share message title and text for upcoming sermons.

There are several applications I use in conjuction with Twitter.  Here they are:

Twitter/Facebook Integration – Tweets automatically posted on Facebook status
Tweetdeck – Desktop Interface for Twittering (nice because I have multiple accounts)
Twitpic – Photo sharing on Twitter
Twittelator – iPhone third-party application for Twitter
Tweet Scan – Twitter Search tool
TweetStats – Analyze statistics on Twitter

A new website called Twitip was created by Darren Rowse, author of Problogger, is a great resource for anyone wanting to get additional information about Twitter.

I am not a social media expert, nor do I pretend to know what the future holds for blogging and/or Twitter.  My guess is that those who used blogging as an internet journal will likely turn to Twitter, while those who use blogs as their main source for commentary and substantive dialogue will use Twitter to enhance their blog impact.  One thing that blogging has that Twitter does not is the SEO (search engine optimization).  Traffic to Twitter is basically inherent, while a well-established blog can generate accidental and intentional traffic from various sources, not the least of which is Googling. Nevertheless, it is accurate to say that blogging has taken a hit in 2008 while social media applications like Twitter and Facebook have seen exponential growth.

Some notable friends on Twitter include: Tom Ascol, Joe Thorn, Andy Crouch, Ed Stetzer, Thom Rainer, Steve McCoy, Jared Wilson, Daniel Montgomery, Mark Driscoll, Ligonier, Desiring God, and Tim Challies. There many other good Twitterers, but these are some you might recognize.

If you are looking to start, this post by Problogger might be helpful.  If you would like to connect with me on Twitter, here are the links:

* My Twitter (@timmybrister)
* GBC Twitter (@gracebaptist)

For those of you who do Twitter, why? What benefits are you receiving from this medium?  Has it replaced your blogging (if you have one)?  Any other reasons why you Twitter that I have not mentioned above?

500,000

September 11, 2008

Thank you for reading my blog.

For the Time Being . . .

July 20, 2008

NOTE: For regular updates on Tom Ascol’s health condition, please see the comments section of this post.

For the past week or so, I have been wrestling where to go with the blog in writing series as well as keeping up with Blue Collar Theology and the 2008 Puritan Reading Challenge (among other things). One of the desires I have is to share with you the journey I have been on that has taken me from a full-time seminary student/part-time 3rd shifter to full absorption into gospel ministry in the local church. All but the last two months of my blogging tenure has been spent in a seminary environment, and as a result, a considerable number of people who read my blog are fellow seminarians who will likely be serving in a ministerial context of some sort. Perhaps my journey, and retelling of some scenes along the way, could be profitable not only for the seminarians who are also making that great leap but also for the churches who would be receiving them.

But due to God’s providence, I have been led to a point where I understand that the place my blog is supposed to go is nowhere. At least not for the time being.

Many of you know already about the situation with Tom Ascol, whom I serve alongside here at Grace Baptist Church. Allow me to give another brief update on his condition. The last couple of nights have afforded Tom greater lengths of sleep time, which has been really good. However, the process has continued to be incredibly painful. The nerves in his body are beginning to regenerate at various parts of his body, and when they do, it is like great jolts of pain shooting to that area. So for instance, at one moment it could be his ankle, then later his hip, and a moment later his arm. It cannot be predicted when or where those jolts of pain come as the nerves regenerate, and so at any moment, things can turn from a moment of rest to restless pain. As I mentioned in the comments of my earlier post, the doctors are giving promising reports, expecting Tom to make a full recovery. But it will take time, and it will demand a change of pace and a season of rest. Please continue to pray for Tom and the Ascol family as I know they are really grateful for your support and prayers.

As you might imagine, Tom will not be able to receive email or phone calls for the immediate future. While I encourage you to comment and share your thoughts and prayers either in the comments here or on Tom’s blog, I do ask on behalf of Tom and the family that calls and emails be left to matters of necessity. I will be receiving all of his email, so I will be sensitive to respond to all matters that merit his (or his family’s) attention. I do ask that, given the circumstances, grace would be afforded to myself and others who will be attempting to administrate these tasks in a timely manner (he receives quite a bit more email than I do!). For all you Facebook users, you can also leave a message on his wall, or perhaps you could catch Tom twittering in the days ahead (though I would not expect him to).

Next Sunday, I will likely be preaching to our people on “God’s Providence and Our Pain” as I think it would be appropriate that we hear from Scripture on what God is doing here and how we can respond in faith to our loving and faithful Lord. If I may ask, please pray for me in the days ahead as well. I will be preaching and teaching 13 times over the next six weeks will be quite demanding, especially for a young novice like myself. 😉 Much of that will be a series on the prayers of Paul for the churches he planted–seeking to know what specifically Paul prayed and how prayer impacts church planting. Lord willing, our church will begin the early phases of planting a church about 45 minutes east of where we are located.

Lastly, we are finally at the point of closing on a home here and are expecting to moving in at the end of this week. This is a big praise, but the season of living in suitcases in homes of members has been immensely rewarding and encouraging. I know Nolan will look forward to having his own room! 🙂

As a result of all that God is doing here and the circumstances I find myself, (immediate) future blogging plans will be kept to updating you on the situation with Tom’s health and perhaps posting some stuff I have benefited from in my study. I embrace with joy the plans the Lord has for me in serving His people and look forward to allotting the overflow to spill out here. It is a privilege for me to serve God, His church, and our beloved pastor, and I thank you again for remembering us in your prayers.

SBC Bloggers, Ascol in USA Today

June 4, 2008

In a recent article in USA Today, Cathy Lynn Grossman writes about SBC bloggers:

The six candidates range from conservatives backed by the leaders of the denomination’s sharp turn toward doctrinal strictness in the 1970s to younger pastors who take a less hard-line stance and are promoted by bloggers.

The winner will succeed Frank Page, who won in 2006 with the help of bloggers.

Then, on regenerate church membership and a quote from Tom Ascol:

Also on the agenda: proposals to more accurately count membership, which may, or may not, be 16 million.

“We need accountability. You can’t find half the SBC on our rolls. Everybody knows it,” says Tom Ascol, pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Cape Coral, Fla.

“It’s a spiritual point,” says Ascol, author of one of the proposals. People who don’t “follow the faith sincerely” should not be counted just to pump up the numbers. “That consumerist mentality is devastating the church.”

POTW :: Benchmark

March 22, 2008

View in Flickr (see it LARGE)

View in Flickr (see it LARGE)

Two photos: one from last week and the other from yesterday evening. Actually, the top photo was my favorite from my shots of the snow as I really liked the feel of it. The funny thing about it was that I was riding down the road with my window down when I took this shot (not recommended). The second photo is from downtown Louisville when I was checking my gear before taking photos for a friend (graduation time). Actually, it was pretty fun as we walked through downtown a little, taking shots here and there and finally ending up back at the waterfront park (which right now is water-logged park after all the rain!). I will be posting some photos from yesterday’s excursion on Flickr soon.

The month of March marks two 3-year anniversaries for me. First, this month marks three years that I have been blogging. In real life, that is not very long, but in the blogosphere, I think I am old enough to be grumpy and hard of hearing. But alas, after all these hours clocked in on the laptop, the faded letters and lasting imprints of my palms remind me of the investment made on this small corner of the evangelical blogosphere. Seriously, I have learned a ton, met some wonderful people, and been given some amazing opportunities to encourage and help other believers love Jesus and grow in their relationship with him. I really look forward, Lord willing, to being a greater influence for the glory of God, the building of His church, and the stewardship of the gospel of which we have been entrusted.

The second 3-year anniversary is my friend with Dan Canales. Funny thing, if you look closely at today’s header, you can see Dan in the lens (he took the photo). Actually, Dan is the one responsible for getting me into photography and taught me everything I know. As of yesterday, he has also gotten me into cycling (no Dan, I will not join you for your 112 mile bike ride today – sorry brother). But three years ago, God allowed me to get Dan into Jesus, and the past three years has been a wonderful time of growing in the Lord together (Dan was the first person God put into my life at UPS). Tomorrow, Dan is going to be baptized at Sojourn here in Louisville, and I, Dusti, and Nolan are super excited about going to Sojourn tomorrow to celebrate what God has done in the life of our dear brother. Times like this, I feel a little like John who said, “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.” I am even more excited now, three years later, than the day I witnessed the grace of God arrest and change the life of my brother. Knowing that our days are few here in Louisville, this anniversary is bitter sweet, but I know that God will continue this work and raise up folks to accomplish his purposes.

My heart is full, and there is so much to say about life these days. Really exciting, really busy, really good. All because of Jesus, who died and rose again for my sin and to bring me to God. Everything counts because of the resurrection. I just pray that I live like it.

Live-Blogging Tips

March 16, 2008

Over the past couple of months, I have been receiving some random requests for tips on live-blogging conferences.  First, I want to tell you that I am not the guru on live-blogging; that would be the other Tim–Tim Challies.  Second, these tips are merely suggestions and do not reflect a consensus or common opinion of other bloggers.  Therefore, take these tips for what they are worth.  🙂

Before the Event:

1.  Determine your approach, style, or philosophy of live-blogging.  Do you want to write a brief summary paragraph, reporter style commentary, or a more dictatory note-taking approach?  Challies would be more reporter style commentary, and I would be more dictatory.  I chose this route because of the benefit the posts would be in search engine optimization and future interest among online searchers.

2.  Get all available information on the event/conference.  This includes the conference schedule, speakers, topics, etc.  By this I mean to develop a folder where you have stock images of speakers, links and resources on the topic(s), and other pertinent information at your disposal.  Be sure to have biographical sketches of the speakers available, either from the conference website or from other sources.

3.  Make all necessary headers, banners, and blog buttons beforehand to use to accessorize your content.  I usually have one customized header and one banner (placed at the top of each post).  The button can be used to direct people to your posts via a tagged URL link.

4.  Make sure that you have wi-fi available at the conference.  There have been times when the network was locked, and I did not have the key to access the network, even though it was there.  Not good.

5.  Prepare all posts in a draft mode with appropriate titles that represent the session but also work well with search engine optimization.  Each draft should have all appropriate tags and categories already inserted, along with the banner image across the top.  It is best to be consistent with the titles as well as the structure of the content.

6.  For equipment, make sure you have access to an outlet.  For your sake, carry an extension cord in case you are not near one.  Also, if your laptop has a cooling fan below on the bottom, then a cooling fan base would be really helpful to not only keep your laptop running efficiently but also make it easier to type.

7.  If you are taking pictures, set up an online place for people to view your pics.  In my case, I create a Flickr set on my Flickr page for all conference pictures and refer readers to that album as it is regularly updated during the conference.   You will also want to do the same thing on your computer (that is, create a folder for all the images to be downloaded).

During the Event:

1.  Arrive early and be prepared.  This means checking for wi-fi, outlets, adequate space, etc.

2.  Have multiple tabs available in your browser for your posts.  Examples would be: one tab for ESV Concordance to hyperlink all Scripture texts, one tab for Google searches on books or other stuff to link in the content, one tab for your photo page, and one tab for reviewing your content uploaded thus far.  I normally have my dashboard on two tabs: one for typing, and the other for editing.

3.  Open a non-rich text editor such as Notepad to copy and paste your content as a means for backup.  Every 5 minutes, I copy and paste my entry into Notepad in case I loose the content (which has happened on at least two occasions in the past!).

4.  Create a Word document to dump your completed post after each session.  Eventually, your entire live-blogging posts will be compiled into this one Word document which can be saved and converted also into a PDF for upload on your blog at the end of the conference.  Doing this during the conference saves time (compared to doing it afterwards).

5.  Organize the body of your text with the flow of thought, providing easy-to-read paragraphs and sentence structures.  Cluttered content or long paragraphs discourage readers, and they can easily get lost.  Subtitles or subheadings are also helpful.

6.  Remember to spell check and grammar check your posts at the end of each session.  It will not be perfect, but you do want it to be presentable. Included in this review is correcting and code or formatting errors that might have occurred.

7.  Add any hyperlinks that might be helpful to readers, such as books or resources mentioned by the speaker, including Scripture references.

8.  If you are writing and photography, you need to determine the best time to take photos.  You will only have a brief time to do this, and I suggest that you take photos during the time when illustrations or stories are given, for two reasons: first, it is incredibly difficult to live-blog illustrations and stories; second, it is during this time the speaker is most animated and connected with the audience.  The best photos are often taken during these brief moments.

9.  In my case, provide a brief paragraph of personal commentary in conclusion to each session, sharing your thoughts and reflections on the message.  While the body of the content is “their” words, this is an opportunity to give “my” word on the session.

10.  Some general advice: Type fast; be thorough; be accurate; cover yourself (backup); get plenty of rest; don’t waste your time.

After the Event:

1.  Dump images into folder and begin editing.  Post 10-15 images at a time, giving adequate exposure to each session.

2.  Turn Word document compilation into a PDF to be uploaded on your blog.

3.  Make a compilation post of all preceding blogposts.

4.  Share your thoughts on the conference.

5.  File live-blogging posts and images away both on your blog and on your computer.

______________________________

I will say that many if not all of them I learned while live-blogging and trying to figure out the best way that works for me.  There may be a better way to do it, so I encourage to look around on the Internet.   For some examples of my live-blogging experience, go here.  If you’ve got any tips or helps for live-blogging, feel free to share them in the comments section below.

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

2007 Year in Review: Top 25-21

December 27, 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.

25. Connellism vs. Calvinism: You Be the Judge

John Connell, a Georgia Baptist pastor, developed a theological framework called “Connellism” to rebut the rise of Calvinism in his area. His theology was taught to students at their school, in particular, students whose parents attended Presbyterian and Reformed Baptist churches. This post is my coverage of the situation, along with my thoughts.

24. Boyce’s Vision, Mohler’s Report, and My Reflection on Reform

As stated in the title, I reflect on Dr. Mohler’s report on Southern Seminary which, in part, became the foundation for my series on Blue Collar Theology. It also sparked a discussion on the relationship between the seminary and the local church, their similarities and differences, and what the future will be like for both of them.

23. The Outsourcing of the SBC

On the eve of the annual meeting of the SBC in San Antonio, I wrote this piece due to the developments which were causing many young Southern Baptists to think of leaving the convention to serve elsewhere, foster new partnerships, and network through other means in our post-denominational world.

22. An Outsider Look at Unregenerate Church Membership

An article based on an excerpt from David Garrison’s book Church Planting Movements (not personally recommended though the quote is quite good). Several bloggers picked up on this post as the discussion on integrity in church membership continues to be a front-burner issue in the SBC.

21. Jamesonian Snickering and Snoring

A rather recent post on a moderate Southern Baptist editor who took the opportunity to deride the “Building Bridges” Conference with unbecoming rhetoric and unfortunate caricatures.

*** Top 5 SBC Blogs ***

5.  Micah Fries
4.  Said at Southern
3.  Ed Stetzer
2.  Tom Ascol
1.  Nathan Finn