Saturday, May 31, 2008

Don Carson explains how he reads 500 books a year!

Check out Denny Burk's blog here,
for a recent mp3 with Carson explaining how to read 500 books a year!

Matt 24:23-28 Beware signs and wonders

This sermon covers how signs and wonders can be a dsitraction from the glorious second coming of Jesus Christ, and why we do not agree with the ministries of Benny Hinn, and Todd Bentley.

Sermon trivia: During this sermon, some bloke walked in like he wanted a fight; Dayper and Jordan diffused the situation. Also a visitor started saying she was having an out of body experience and floating around the room. We had a very interesting Q & A time.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Tom Schreiner on perseverance and believers' baptism

Tom Schreiner recently did some talks at Oak Hill College, one day on perseverance, and one evening on believer's baptism.
I was able to attend both, which was a blessing, and I have just seen Oak Hill have posted the mp3's on their website.
You can check it out here:

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Mat 24:15-22 Only the elect are safe

Sermon tivia: After the service a gun was fired outside our door just as we were about to leave (fortunately, the gun misfired), and sadly a young woman was stabbed (not fatally). We appreciate your prayers.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Mounce's new Greek site

There is now, no excuse to not learn Greek.
Bill Mounce has recently updated his teknia website.
He has set up Moodle on it, so that now you can have an account there, and work through his text book whilst doing the following:
1) Watch videos on each chapter on-line
2) Download those videos to an ipod
3) Print out gap fill notes, to fill in whilst watching the videos.
4) Quizzes to test yourself.
5) On-line parsing exercises.
6) A forum to discuss each chapter.

This is quite amazing.

Praise God, for the work Bill Mounce has been doing so that more people can read the New Testament as God breathed it out.

Check it out here:

Matthew 24:09-14 What should we expect?

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Thoughts on 'America's pastor' Rick Warren statement part 2

Thoughts on 'America's pastor' Rick Warren statement part 1

Here is a clip from Way of the Master radio, critiquing Rick Warren's (aka America's pastor) views on preaching, prayer, evangelism, discipleship and church growth.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Mat 24:03-05 Don't be led astray

Don't be put off by the thumb nail of this video. It looks like I'm saying that we are already fully sanctified, but I'm not. Watch the video to see what I'm really saying!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Using the Greek New Testament for devotions part 11: The semantic range of conjunctions

Having been away on a number of conferences my devotional reading has been limited to English, using the Robert Murray McCheyne reading plan. During this time, I have noticed my Greek really do downhill. This week I jumped back into devotional reading of the Greek text, and have been blessed by God's wonderful word.

Today I was reading,
ESV John 18:18 Now the servants and officers had made a charcoal fire, because it was cold, and they were standing and warming themselves. Peter also was with them, standing and warming himself.

The last phrase is
ἦν δὲ καὶ ὁ Πέτρος μετʼ αὐτῶν ἑστὼς καὶ θερμαινόμενος.

(you may need to get unicode working on your computer to see this text properly.)

My translation of this was, "but even Peter was being with them, standing and warming himself."

I translated the δὲ as "but" instead of "and" (as in the USB handbook on John)and I translated the καὶ as "even" instead of "also". This translation shows how shocking it was that even Peter, was now (being - imperfect tense) outside with Jesus' enemies.

Is my translation legitmate?
It all depends on how the καὶ is functioning. It could be either an Ascensive conjunction, or a Connective conjunction. In both cases, these uses add another idea to the thought of the sentence. The main difference between the two, is that the Ascensive conjunction
expresses a final addition or point of focus.
Wallace p.670

In the context, it seems to me that the ascensive works well: Verse 18 pictures the servants and the temple police standing around the fire warming themselves, and then the final picture is, EVEN Peter, Jesus' right hand man, is standing there with them.

This is a tragic picture, that spoke to me as I read it slowly in the Greek, taking note of the word και . It reminded me of times when I have been standing with sinners, knowing in the back of my mind that I was in the wrong place. Hearing things that I knew I should not be hearing, and failing to bear testimony of Jesus Christ. All for the sake of some small benefit (such as keeping warm).

This passage reminds me of Psalm 1, and the need to not stand with the sinners, not to sit with them.
This passage makes me want to cling to Jesus all the more tighly. To trust in him, and ask him to protect from evil, and temptation, and for the Holy Spirit to enable me to be a bold witness.

To Jesus be the glory,

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

How to not lose your Greek

Dave Black has posted some good advice on his blog

Whenever I cook Chinese food I use an old cast iron pot we've had forever. The secret of cast iron cooking, I think, is the buildup of grease and oil from all the times it's been used. Why do many students who have successfully negotiated the treacherous shallows of beginning Greek drown in the depths of the ocean? It's the lack of "buildup," perhaps. I think Greek gets better and better with the buildup. A newly-acquired language soon becomes a close friend and constant companion. I have established a discipline in my life of reading my Greek New Testament at least once a day. Occasionally I will preach and teach from its pages. No one can really know their Greek without reading it constantly, though many try. Just a few minutes a day may make the difference between using your Greek and losing it. That's why on Tuesday I will be offering all of my Greek students the opportunity to join the prestigious "Five Minute Greek Club." Now, there are two things you need to know about this club: there are no dues, and we never meet. But if you do sign up, you agree to translate two verses daily from your Greek New Testament throughout the summer months. The reward? That'll be up to the Lord Jesus. If you do complete the program, however, send me an email and I'll give you a firm email pat on the back in response.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Matthew 23:29 - 24:03 Judgment

I'm gonna start putting up our Sunday sermons on the blog each week. We've been going through the gospel of Matthew for the last 2.5 years. At the moment we're in Matthew 24.
This video starts in Matthew 23, and I really think that it is important to know Matthew 23 before we start exegeting Matthew 24.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

T4G 2008 Highlight 2: Piper's preaching advice

At the T4G conference I had the privilege of being able to attend John Piper's table talk after one of the evening sessions.

I was able to ask Piper a question about preaching, and he gave me a very helpful answer.
My question was about what I should do when I've written my sermon, its very late Sat night 1-4 am., and I don't think the sermon is very good. Should I keep working on it, or should I go to bed.

Piper said that the important thing is to make sure that you have the truth of the text, and then some general application, and then go to sleep, and ask God for gifts.
By ask God for gifts, he meant asking God to give you the words to speak when you preach, words that will apply to the congregation.

I found this very helpful advice.
The way I apply this now is that I feel happy to go to bed, as long as I have exegeted the text properly, and have a general application.

This is a real blessing for me, because as some of you know, I do not get much sleep!


Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Thursday, May 08, 2008

T4G 2008 Highlight 1

I know its taken me a while to write about T4G, but I've been away since then, and like to take time to reflect before I post anyway.

This was a great conference, but the highlight for me was spending time with my friend Shane, and his friends from Bethlehem Institute (John Piper's Bible college). We had some great conversations, and great food.


Friday, May 02, 2008

Heidelberg Catechism: Lord’s day 15

Q37: What do you understand by the word "suffered"?
A37: That all the time He lived on earth, but especially at the end of His life, He bore, in body and soul, the wrath of God against the sin of the whole human race; in order that by His suffering, as the only atoning sacrifice, He might redeem our body and soul from everlasting damnation, and obtain for us the grace of God, righteousness and eternal life.

Q38: Why did He suffer "under Pontius Pilate" as judge?
A38: That He, being innocent, might be condemned by the temporal judge, and thereby deliver us from the severe judgment of God, to which we were exposed.

Q39: Is there anything more in His having been "crucified" than if He had suffered some other death?
A39: Yes, for thereby I am assured that He took upon Himself the curse which lay upon me, because the death of the cross was accursed of God.

DF questions:

a) How many times did Christ suffer for sin? (1 Pet 3:18)

b) In what way were the sufferings throughout Christ's life essential to his saving work? (Heb 2:17-18, 5:7-10, Rom 5:19)

c) What is significant about Jesus being sentenced to death by Pontius Pilate? (John 19:4, Luk 23:13-15, 2 Cor 5:21)

d) Ultimately, whose idea was it for Pilate to sentence Jesus to death, even though he was innocent? (Acts 4:27-28).

e) Why is it important that Jesus was crucified, rather than stoned? (Gal 3:13-14)