Thursday, January 31, 2008

Greek course prizes!

To all of you on the Greek course, there will be prizes this Friday for those who do well on their homework!!!!!!!

These prizes are good by the way!


Wednesday, January 30, 2008

We're not delivering our mail but God's

I just heard Mark Dever give a really good illustration of what being a pastor is about.
He was saying that you expect the mail man (postman - UK) to deliver your mail, you entrust him with your message and you expect him to mail it, not to write his own letters. Similarly,
"Its not our own mail we're delivering, Its God's mail for his people ...
its not whatever we want to talk about ...
he's given us the message of his word, and he asks us to deliver that to his people."
You can watch the message here:

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Greek diagramming in Bibleworks

Hi, I posted this in response to a questions on the Bibleworks blog.

Here is an example of how I use Bibleworks to diagram the Bible text.

I've used my own method of diagramming that is the result of using a number of different models and putting them together. There's nothing special about it, its just the way my brain works.

The Bibleworks diagrammer is actually designed for a different type of diagrams, but I decided to use it this way.

The only problem is that there is not an easy way to move or resize sections.

Monday, January 28, 2008

The best counseling book I read in 2007

"Counseling: How to Counsel Biblically" John MacArthur.
I'm certainly not an expert on counseling books, but I really liked this one because it based its counseling tips on the Bible, rather than from secular psychologists.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

The most interesting book I read in 2007

This was, "Still Sovereign" edited by Schreiner and Ware.

It consists of 14 chapters concerning God's sovereignty. The chapters are written by the likes of Carson, Grudem, Piper, Packer, and Clowney to name a few.

I read this book and thought, "I can't wait to read that again!"


Friday, January 25, 2008

Best commentary I read in 2007

This has got to be D. A. Carson's commentary on Matthew in the Expositors Bible Commentary series.
I only wish I'd used this when I first started teaching on Matthew 2 years ago!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Lord don't leave me to myself

The other day I was reading about King Hezekiah, and how he sadly flopped after he had recovered from his sickness:
2 Chronicles 32:31 And so in the matter of the envoys of the princes of Babylon, who had been sent to him to inquire about the sign that had been done in the land, God left him to himself, in order to test him and to know all that was in his heart.

It says that "God left him to himself". I read this and thought, "God don't leave me to myself! I know what's in my heart, I need you to keep me from evil."

This kind of scripture makes me all the more pray,
Psalm 141:4 Do not let my heart incline to any evil!

Matthew 6:13 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

and to ask that God's hand would be upon, and cause me to humble myself, and repent,

2 Chronicles 30:11 However, some men of Asher, of Manasseh, and of Zebulun humbled themselves and came to Jerusalem. 12 The hand of God was also on Judah to give them one heart to do what the king and the princes commanded by the word of the LORD.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The NET Bible now has new binding!

I just got an email from the NET Bible people saying that they noticed on my blog I had mentioned problems with the binding. They told me that they have now got new binding and will send me a new copy for free!


Greek homework 03

Hi Greek class,
Don't forget that it is imperative that by Friday you have memorized the following:

- paradigms 7.8
- paradigm 7.10
- Noun rules 1-6
- All the vocab in chapter 7.

I look forward to this Friday!


Tuesday, January 15, 2008

How often do we preach the resurrection?

I read this today and it made me consider how little we mention the resurrection in our evangelism efforts:
the evangelistic speeches in Acts focus on the resurrection of Jesus, suggesting a corrective to today’s evangelistic message and preaching. The speeches highlight the fact and implications of the resurrection of Jesus. A case that he has been raised from the dead is rarely offered. Most often, the evangelists are interested in communicating that it is God who has raised Jesus - the verbs used, egeiro and anistemi are found with God as their subject (e.g., 2:36; 17:31) - and that God’s action in raising Jesus confirms Jesus’ identity as Israel’s Messiah and the world’s Lord and judge (e.g., 2:36; 17:31). It is because of who Jesus is now known to be, postresurrection, that people are summoned to repent and turn to God (e.g., 2:38; 17:30).

Steven Walton, “Book of Acts,” in Dictionary for Theological Interpretation of the Bible, Kevin J. Vanhoozer, Craig G. Bartholomew, Daniel J. Treier, and N. T. Wright (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2005), 31.

Monday, January 14, 2008

God's speed

I was reading this today:
2 Chronicles 29:35 Besides the great number of burnt offerings, there was the fat of the peace offerings, and there were the drink offerings for the burnt offerings. Thus the service of the house of the LORD was restored. 36 And Hezekiah and all the people rejoiced because God had prepared for the people, for the thing came about suddenly.

The background to this passage is that King Hezekiah wants to restore the temple, after the craziness of his dad King Ahaz. This is a major reform, and it happened within 3 weeks! This is not attributed to Hezekiah's speed, but to God's speed.

I found this so encouraging to read today, because it makes me realise how quickly God can do a great work in my country, in my city, in my council estate, in my church, in my family, and in me!

Praise God for His speed!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Greek Class: Greek vocab tip

Well done everyone who was at the first Greek class this week, you all did very well.
When you do your homework this week, you'll notice that you have some vocab to learn. There are a number of different ways to learn vocab, but here's one tip that may suit you:

In your text book there are two columns, one for Greek, and one for English.

Use a piece of card (or a ruler) to cover up the English column.

Read the Greek work out loud, and then try to say out loud the English word whilst it is still covered up.

Check your answer by uncovering the English word.

If you get it wrong, then cover up the word again and try again.

When you get it right, move onto the next word.

Keep on repeating the process until you have been through the whole list about 15 times.

Then try again a bit later on in the day.

This was the way I learned a lot of Latin vocab back in the day, and it worked really well for me. It may work for you, it may not - everyone's different, but at least give it a try.


Friday, January 11, 2008

Best book I read on Church life in 2007

This was "The Deliberate Church" by Mark Dever and Paul Alexander. I read this right after reading "Nine marks of a healthy church" by Mark Dever. Both were excellent and inspired me with the direction of our church. I'd say that "Nine marks ...." is an excellent book for lay people to read, and "The Deliberate Church" is an excellent book for church leaders to read.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Heidelberg Catechism: Lord's Day 12

Q31: Why is He called "Christ," that is, Anointed?
A31: Because He is ordained of God the Father and anointed with the Holy Ghost [1] to be our chief Prophet and Teacher,[2] who has fully revealed to us the secret counsel and will of God concerning our redemption;[3] and our only High Priest,[4] who by the one sacrifice of His body has redeemed us, and ever lives to make intercession for us with the Father;[5] and our eternal King, who governs us by His Word and Spirit, and defends and preserves us in the redemption obtained for us.[6]

Q32: But why are you called a Christian?
A32: Because by faith I am a member of Christ [1] and thus a partaker of His anointing,[2] in order that I also may confess His Name,[3] may present myself a living sacrifice of thankfulness to Him,[4] and with a free conscience may fight against sin and the devil in this life,[5] and hereafter in eternity reign with Him over all creatures.[6]

6. 2Ti 2:12; Eph 6:12; Rev 3:21

DF Questions:

a) Read Deu 18:15, Acts 3:22 In what way was Jesus a prophet?

b) Read Ps 110:4, Heb 7:21 In what way was Jesus a priest?

c) Read Ps 2:6, Luke 1:33, Mat 28:18, Rev 19:!6 In what way is Jesus a King?

d) Read 1 John 2:20, 1 John 2:27, Acts 2:17 In what ways do we partake of Jesus’ anointing?

e) Read Rom 12:1, Rev 5:8-10, 1 Pet 2:9 In what ways are we priests?

f) Read 2 Tim 2:12, Rev 3:21. How will we reign with Jesus?

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Best Systematic Theology I read in 2007

"Systematic Theology" by Wayne Grudem.
This is very accessible, the layout is friendly, and it is easy to understand.
Grudem takes a devotional approach whereby each chapter ends with reflective questions (that could also be used in a group setting), and finally with a hymn that is matched to the topic.

BTW I should point out that although I have put this under the title of "read in 2007", I have not read the whole of this book yet.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Greek homework 01

Don't forget the Greek class starts this Friday! 8-10pm

Definate names on the list are:
Dayper, Jordan, Shane, Anne, Neil, James, Ben.
I'm still hoping to hear from a couple of others.

We will be covering the first 4 chapters of Mounce on Friday, so come prepared, having read Mounce up to page 21.

The best way to go through these pages is to:

1) Watch the corresponding video on the Mounce CD-Rom
2) Read the corresponding pages
3) Watch the Cd-Rom video again.
4) Read the corresponding pages again.
5) Attempt the corresponding exercises in the workbook.

You might find some of it confusing, you might even feel like you are not understanding what you are reading, but do your best, and on Friday we will do enough exercises for it to all make sense.

Happy studying

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Best Biblical Theology book I read in 2007

Graeme Goldsworthy's "Gospel and the Kingdom" was very easy to read, and showed how the theme of the Kingdom goes right through the history of the Bible.

I would strongly recommend this for pastors and Sunday school teachers who wonder how to teach Old Testament narratives without preaching moralism.

Friday, January 04, 2008

The book that brought me closest to God in 2007

Reading, "Chosen for life" by Sam Storms was an amazing experience for me.
It's a doctrinal book, but for me it was also a very devotional esperience.
I don't think reading a book has ever drawn me so close to God before (Except for the Bible obviously).
I hope that I will find more books like this in 2008.


Thursday, January 03, 2008

Greek Course Students, please contact me!

Calling all Greek course 2008 students.

I'm concerned that some people think they are on the Greek course, but have never actually contacted me.

For this reason, I would like everyone who thinks they are starting the Greek course next Friday 11th January to email or phone me asap, and confirm that they are actually on the course.

Hopefully this will avoid any possible disappointments or misunderstandings.

Many thanks

The Best Exegetical work I read in 2007

Without a shadow of a doubt this was John Piper's, "The Justification of God."
This inspired me to become better at exegesis.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

What abour fasting to start off 2008?

Just a suggestion here. Fasting might be a great way for you to start 2008.
It could be a great time of seeking God's guidance for the future, and also of enjoying God, realising that we do not live by bread alone, and that God is more satisfying than any food we will ever eat!

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

The most shocking statistics I read in 2007

I received a letter from Dallas Theological Seminary which said,
Surveys by the highly respected Barna Research Group show that one out of every three "born-again Christians" in America believes the Jesus Christ actually sinned during his life! That He was not-not-physically resurrected. And that faith in Christ is not needed to go to heaven.
This is very sad, and shows not only that there is a serious lack of good biblical teaching in many churches, but also that many people who go by the name of Christians are happy to create their own religion, one that is not based on the historical facts of Christianity.
In 2007, I saw a number of well known people denying both the historicity of Jesus, and the Bible's way of salvation. Often this is done in a subtle way where some of the following excuses are,

"Well, I don't want to judge anyone's heart."
"Well, let's just say, What if we did find out that Jesus was really just a man, would that make any difference?"

It is very saddening to me that people listen to this kind of stuff, rather than the testimony of the apostles.

ESV 1 John 4:1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit,
but test the spirits to see whether they are from God,
for many false prophets have gone out into the world.
2 By this you know the Spirit of God:
every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God,
3 and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God.
This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already.
4 Little children, you are from God and have overcome them,
for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.
5 They are from the world;
therefore they speak from the world,
and the world listens to them.
6 We are from God.
Whoever knows God listens to us;
whoever is not from God does not listen to us.
By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error.