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Gospel Coalition Workshops: A Tasty Assortment

The workshops at this year’s Gospel Coalition National Conference have been good.  And a few have been outstanding.  Of the some 35 or so sessions, I’ve listened to about a third.  So maybe there’s a few more gems just waiting to be unearthed.  I’m hoping, anyway.  Regardless, here are a few stand outs.  None of them are “Must Listens,” but neither are they low to moderate.

Training the Next Generation of Pastors and Other Christian Leaders – Panel Discussion: R. Albert Mohler, Jr., Mark Driscoll, David Helm, Don Carson and Ligon Duncan

A fascinating round table discussion involving a few of evangelicalism’s bigger movers and shakers.  If you listen to nothing else, check out Dr. Mohler’s understanding of the relationship between the seminary and the church.  Start at 11:19.

John Piper Interviews Rick Warren on Doctrine

I am not a Rick Warren aficionado.  I don’t have the foggiest idea what he does on Thursday afternoon, nor do I listen to his sermons (I’ve heard one).  I’ve never read any of his books.  And I don’t follow his tweets.

This means that what I’m about to say concerning John Piper’s interview is strictly limited to what I heard in this interview.  I’m judging it solely on the basis of the content found therein.

So let’s start with the big question.  Is Rick Warren, based on what he said in this interview (3rd time’s a charm), a heretic?  No.  Not at all.  He’s a conservative, monergistic Evangelical.  And for that, I’m extremely thankful.

The Tide of Culture (It Gets Better, by Google)

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I recently saw this commercial while watching the NBA playoffs.  The thought
that entered my mind, after watching this powerful commercial, was, “It’s going
to get tougher… for us.”

Let us speak lovingly, yet clearly, brothers, in the days to come.

You might check out James White’s recent interview with Dr. Mike Brown.  They
discuss his latest book A Queer Thing Happened to America.  It’s
a pretty good interview.  You can find it here: Link.

S.O.S.

Picture yourself for a moment a few centuries ago as a passenger on a storm-tossed sailing vessel in the midst of a raging gale.  Water is deep in the hold and, despite hours of manning of the pumps by the crew, rising fast.  The captain has just issued orders that the cargo on the ship needs to be jettisoned within the quarter hour to make the ship lighter or it will sink.  You know this means stores, cannons, and anything else unnecessary needs to be tossed over the side immediately.  As yet another wave crashes over the bow, you make your way down the swaying steps to the deck below to see if you can help the crew.  Yet rather than seeing them loosing

Are We Really Just a Blank Slate? A Conversation with Steven Pinker – Al Mohler

In one of his more recent and fascinating podcasts, Dr. Mohler discusses the subject of man’s nature with well known evolutionary psychologist, Steven Pinker.

In this interview, two things are worth noting.  First, Dr. Mohler proves yet again that he is a gentleman.  He allows Dr. Pinker to present his view without interruption.  He doesn’t try to triangle the guy.  He doesn’t yell.  He doesn’t snicker.  He asks clear questions in a straight forward manner.  So if you’re looking for a debate, this isn’t the download for you.  Dr. Mohler does provide some thought-provoking commentary at the end, however.

Secondly, if you’re interested in hearing firsthand how a fairly consistent naturalistic evolutionist thinks, you’ve come to the place.  Man is a soul-less chemical bag, in Pinker’s worldview, that should behave morally. 

A Gentle Correction

I always enjoy reading Anthony Bradley, a WORLD magazine columnist.  Dr. Bradley, an Associate Professor of Theology and Ethics at The King’s College in New York City as well as a Research Fellow at the Acton Institute, provides keen insights into the church and the impact of the culture upon it.  He is often called upon by the mainstream media to give his commentary on events of the day, particularly those involving racial matters.

Yesterday he had an intriguing article on how Christians producing hip-hop music often show more theological integrity and depth in their lyrics than most of the Contemporary Christian Music being produced.  Having listened to some examples, I agree.  I’ve heard some hip-hop songs with the Heidelberg Catechism and other doctrinal statements that are theologically rock-solid.

Extinction

The startling headline grabbed my attention: “Religion May Become Extinct in Nine Nations“. Reported yesterday by the BBC, a group of researchers, using something called nonlinear dynamics, has found indication that religion is not only declining but heading toward extinction in at least nine nations

The #1 Counseling Issue

Hopefully what I am about to tell you is not true for other pastors.  Yet given the epidemic, I would not be surprised if it were so.  Over the last decade of my ministry the number one counseling issue, measured both in number of cases as well as in length of time, has been pornography and its awful impact on souls and families.  Even as of late, I have had to offer counsel yet again where a home life has been devastated by it.

God’s Word conveys to men how their wives are to be considered by them.  The most common imagery is that of a garden, a stream, or a vine created to be delightful to man and bear fruit for his enjoyment (see Genesis 3:15-24; Psalm 128:3; Proverbs 5:15-19; Song of Songs 4:12-16).