Thursday, March 27, 2008
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Author: D.A. Carson
Memoirs of An Ordinary Pastor is a wonderfully entertaining book. D.A. Carson tells us about the life and ministry of his dad, Tom Carson. Tom was a pastor/missionary/church planter in French Quebec. French Quebec was mainly Roman Catholic with very few, if any, evangelical churches. Tom learned to speak fluent French so as to minister to this people group. While he ministered he faced opposition from a powerful anti-evangelical Roman Catholic Church. In French Quebec during the 1940's and 1950's the Roman Catholic Church had a strong political and social influence over the region. Some of the Evangelical Baptist ministers in Quebec were thrown in jail.
The book highlights the turmoil and depression that pastors often go through as they try to minister to their people. Tom was, as the title suggest, an ordinary pastor. Pastor Tom ministered for over 15 years at a small church that hardly ever grew. He wept over his people. He prayed for his people. He was concerned over his people's spiritual health. He was aware of his own inadequacies.
The book was a delight to read. Growing up in a home of an "ordinary pastor" I identify with Tom's son Don. I know what is like to see your dad struggle to feed his sheep and reach out to the surrounding community.
This is a book about realistic pastoral ministry. This book shows you what the majority of pastors lives are like. If your not a pastor then it will give you a glimpse of what pastors go through. Thus, it will hopefully give you more appreciation for your pastor. If you are a pastor it will encourage you as you fulfill God's calling.
written by Stephen Stanford
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
2.) Read and know your Bible
3.) Meditate over and apply the bible to your life as your ethical and epistemic authority
4.) Pray and ask the Lord for wisdom and humility
5.) Keep a regular systematic reading program. Make sure that books that pertain to theological and biblical studies are the majority of your reading.
6.) Be informed of current events by reading news papers from a variety of locations (see aldaily.com) and watch news programs.
7.) Read and be informed about secular philosophical positions
8.) Read and be informed about the history of peoples, places and ideas.
9.) Understand and be informed about positions held within both secular and biblical sciences.
10.) Have an intrest and appreciation for the Arts and other cultures.
Written by Stephen Stanford
Monday, March 24, 2008
My purpose for going to Louisville was to see the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. It is the oldest and largest of our SBC seminaries. Louisville is a wonderful town. In some ways it is very similar to Austin and in other ways different. The similiarities consist in the fact that it is a university city. There are a number of universities that are in both cities. Also, they are both overwhelmingly politically liberal. A less important similarity is that they both have a liberal PCUSA seminary.
The citie of Lousiville in distinction from Austin has many old neigborhoods and buildings. Of course in Austin there are older building and such, but most of the neighborhoods are relatively new. Louisville's neigborhoods are very nice, though. Even though the buildings are older they are well kept. The architecture was really nice. Some of the images I got driving down the street in Louisville reminded me of San Francisco.
The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary surpised me. I knew that the campus would be nice. I had seen pictures. However the campus is much nicer than I expected. The campus buildings all match and they take a neo-classical colonial architecture. Also the buildings were much bigger that I expected. The campus was absolutly fantastic.
While I was visiting the campus I was paired with professor Dr. Coppenger. I did not tell the admissions office that I was a philosophy major, but Dr. Coppenger is a Philosophy and Apologetics proffessor. We had lunch together and talked about the apologetics program at SBTS. It was interesting to be able to sit and talk to a christian philosopher becuase all my philosophy professors have been non-christians and/or explicitly anti-christian.
One of my tour guides was named Bruce. He was great. Very friendly. He answered every question I had. He was in a MDiv program with a specialization in Biblical counciling. He spent a couple of hours showing Kym and I around. At one point we toured some particular seminary apartments. Kym and I were not that impressed. However Bruce called up some friends that lived in those apartments and they invited us over. We went and I was able to chat with a random student about living in on campus and what it was like to be a seminary student. The students that I met on campus really had a high regard for the school. You could tell it was genuine. Sometimes it is the students who can give you good information of their emperiences.
That Sunday we went to Clifton Baptist church and heard Dr. Bruce Ware preach. He is a Theology professor over at SBTS. His sermon was on Isaiah 6.
I was about 95% sure that SBTS was where I was headed, however after the visit I am 110% sure.
Written By Stephen Stanford
Thursday, March 13, 2008
By Samuel Gantt
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
This is a summary of message I gave tonight at my church in Austin. It was a privilege for me to speak while our pastor is away visiting Southern Seminary with his son, Stephen. We prayed for NAMB missionaries and this message was designed to encourage our members to urgently preach the gospel. I hope that it is of benefit to you and please let me know what you think.
II Samuel 17
The text we for tonight is that famous story of David and Goliath. I will highlight a few parts of this text, but first allow me to summarize the story. Goliath taunts the Army of Israel, Challenging them to send a soldier to fight him.
There are three points of which I want you to take note.
- Saul and
was “much afraid.” (vs. 11&24.) Israel
Twice the text mentions their fear.
- David was Zealous for the Lord. (v. 26.)
His concern is not for the people, nor is it for fame and wealth. He is indignant because this fool mocked God, the living God, creator and redeemer of
- David recognized that his zeal and confidence were from the Lord. (v. 46&47.)
David gave thanks to the giver of all good things. He recognized that it is God who delivered
This week is the Annie Armstrong week of prayer for North American missions. The theme for the week, according the “On Mission” is for us to “live with urgency.” The urgency, here, is to preach the gospel. It is urgency in missions, a zeal for it. This connects to our text in that David was zealous for the glory of the Lord; the purpose of missions is also for the glory of God. So we must ask ourselves, Are we like David, are we zealous for God or are we like
by Samuel Gantt
Thursday, March 6, 2008
Moving to Louisville will be a difficult experience. I am not sure where I will work. I am not sure where I will go to church. I dont know anybody there. However I do trust that God is faithful and that he will provide Kym and I with all that we need.
Written by Stephen
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
John Piper represents a balanced position in that he emphasizes both aspects. That is exactly what Christians need to do.Furthermore Piper's Christian Hedonism (get over the name) presents an aspect of the Christian life that many people have not considered. That aspect being the fact that happiness and pleasure in doing good is an essential part of a good act. In other words if pleasure is absent, then so also is the moral good. One should not interpret the pleasure that I am speaking of in a shallow sense that excludes pain and toil.
Anyhow, not only am I a John Piper fan but I am also a Cornelius Van Til fan. He was an apologetics professor at Westminster Theological Seminary for many years. He is of a previous generation to Piper. Yet he is a Christian Hedonist himself! Anyhow consider the following quotes:
"Originally there could not possibly be any contrast between seeking happiness and seeking righteousness in the kingdom of God. A man could not possibly wish for happiness unless he also wished for righteousness. It is only after the entrance of sin that these ideas have been separated. The members of the kingdom would not think of the one without also thinking of the other."
"For the member of the kingdom there are no ulterior motives. Their motives with the realization of the kingdom itself is the glory of God. Their motive with their own self-realization is the glory of God. Their motive in seeking their own happiness is the glory of God. None of these matters can be seperated. Not one of them can be antithetical to another. He that seeks righteousness seeks to realize himself, seeks the good will, seeks happiness, seeks usefulness, seeks rewards, seeks the kingdom of God, and seeks God himself."
These quotes are taken from Van Til's book "Christian Theistic Ethics."
Written By Stephen Stanford