Archive for January, 2008
Jerry Bridges’ The Pursuit of Holiness has turned out to be one of the best books I’ve read in a long time. Here’s a round-up of quotes from the book:
God is serious about holiness in the lives of His people, and He will discipline us to attain it.
In all of our thoughts, all of our actions, in every part of our character, the ruling principle that motivates and guides us should be the desire to follow Christ in doing the will of the Father. That is the high road we must follow in the pursuit of holiness.
Every Christian who makes progress in holiness is a person who has disciplined his life so that he spends regular time in the Bible. There simply is no other way.
There is absolutely no shortcut to holiness that bypasses or gives little priority to a consistent intake of the Bible.
Also included in the book is Formula: How to Know Right From Wrong:
- Is it helpful – spiritually, physically and mentally?
- Does it bring me under its power?
- Does it hurt others?
- Does it glorify God?
While reading A Case For Christ, I was impressed with D.A. Carson’s response to the age-old question: “How can a loving God send people to hell?”
Hell is not a place where people are consigned because they were pretty good blokes but just didn’t believe the right stuff. They’re consigned there, first and foremost, because they defy their Maker and want to be at the center of the universe. Hell is not filled with people who have already repented, only God isn’t gentle enough or good enough to let them out. It’s filled with people who, for all eternity, still want to be at the center of the universe and who persist in their God-defying rebellion.
Later, Carson says:
If God took his hands off this fallen world so that there were no restraint on human wickedness, we would make hell. thus if you allow a whole lot of sinners to live somewhere in a confined place where they’re not doing damage to anyone but themselves, what do you get but hell? There’s a sense in which they’re doing it to themselves, and it’s what they want because they still don’t repent.
One of the things that the Bible does insist is that in the end not only will justice be done, but justice will be seen to be done, so that every mouth will be stopped.
I think that’s my favorite answer as to why a loving God would send people to hell. They don’t repent and justice has to be done. For trying to make themselves the center of the universe, they earn an eternal trip to hell. I think I’d much rather repent, and I’m certainly glad I did!
In a few weeks, I’m going to the Resurgence Conference in Seattle. The conference is titled Text & Context, and I’ll be hearing the likes of Mark Driscoll, John Piper, CJ Mahaney and a few others. I’m pretty excited about the trip, and I’m pretty anxious for it to get here! Joining me on the trip will be Rick, Jeremy, Shane, Tim Chase & John Martin. It will be tough for that group to stay out of trouble, I’m sure.
I always enjoy traveling, and especially going to new places. Rick, Jeremy and Shane all experienced Seattle previously, so they’re veterans. Getting to see Mars Hill Church will be interesting, as will all the sights around Seattle. I’ve heard the seafood is tremendous, so I’m sure we’ll eat well. I will, of course, have my camera, so be looking forward to pictures.
Most of our trip’s logistics are already in place – plane tickets, car rental, hotel, and conference registration. All that’s left is for the time to get here and for us to all show up to get on the plane. It should be a great time!
I’ve been thinking lately about young people and Christianity. To define “young people,” I would say college to late twenties. I know there are plenty of young people in Frankfort, but they can be hard to find. Not long ago, I found out about a friend from my time at Georgetown College that had been living in Frankfort for a few years. I had no idea.
Specifically, I’d like to know how to find these young people so that we (myself and others) can invite them to The Point. We’ve considered reviving Vertex, which was a bible study geared toward young people at our former church. It still may happen, but not just yet. All of this got me thinking about how there are three basic movements going on right now among young Christians. These movements can sometimes be intertwined, and there are plenty of variations. But, for the most part, there are three basic movements:
This movement is aimed at our college campuses, and has been immensely popular. Driven by the likes of Louie Giglio, Chris Tomlin, Matt Redman and the David Crowder Band, the movement is contemporary in nature. The music from their conferences and tours have produced some of the most popular worship anthems of our time. When I think of Passion, I think hip, cool atmosphere, powerful worship, thousands of young people lifting up the name of God in a large arena, and teaching aimed at reaching the lost on our college campuses.
Of the three movements, this is the one I am most worried about. While I am far from being an expert on this movement, from what I have heard about it, I don’t like what I hear. I envision young people gathering and hearing messages and teaching that deal more with their feelings than Scripture. Sin isn’t talked about. No one gets their feelings hurt, or is made to feel uncomfortable. It’s a post-modern movement for a post-modern world. One church I know in particular that has an emerging style mimics Passion’s worship style, in terms of music. And, they do it very well. I might go for the music, but leave before the message!
While attending the Desiring God conference in 2006, I was very surprised to see a large number of young people. It was encouraging to me. When I think of the reformed movement among young people, I think we’re just seeking truth. Maybe we’ve tried an emerging church and seen the light. Maybe we’ve searched the Scriptures and seen the teachings are true. Musically, the worship preference leans more toward intellectual than emotional. Deep lyrics. The songs teach as much doctrine as a message. An appreciation of good, old hymns. The Point falls into this category, mixed with a bit of Passion’s worship style.
While there may be weaknesses to these movements, it’s encouraging to see the church do different things to reach society. I believe the traditional church had lost touch with society over the last fifty years. While society adapted, the traditional church stayed the same. Now, we’re finally seeing the church progress to do different things to reach a lost society.
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In 2005, I posted about how to ward off sickness, as suggested by my college band director, Pete LaRue. In four years of being around him in college, the only time I knew him to be sick wasn’t really a sickness – he had kidney stones one semester. I generally adhere to these five easy steps to follow, and I’ve stayed in relatively good health over the last several years. I only wanted to revisit this post because I’m currently trying to prevent some chest congestion from getting any worse. After downing lots of orange juice in the last twenty-four hours, taking some Advil for a headache, and some Mucinex for my chest, I’m feeling pretty good.
My good buddy, band mate and brother in Christ, Bert Lace, is posting a series of articles on the Young Earth vs. Old Earth debate. While I haven’t done much in-depth study on this topic, I tend to lean more toward a young earth position. If you’ve never read much on the subject, I encourage you to keep checking Bert’s blog as he posts these articles. Of anyone I know personally, he is the most studied and learned person on the subject. I’m looking forward to what he has to say!
Well, it’s not quite official in terms of paper and ink, but I’m moving. I took a final look at an apartment tonight, and I’m sold. Or, rented? Anyhow… I will be calling the property manager tomorrow to set up a time to sign the lease and get a key. I informed Brad O. tonight.
As of February 1st, I’ll be living down on the St. Clair Mall in downtown Frankfort. I’ve had my eye on the building for a couple of years now. Before I buy a house, I wanted the chance to live downtown in these particular apartments for a while. I’ll be living two floors above Jeremy & Julia in #404.
If anyone has any of the following, and would like to get rid of it, let me know:
- Washer & dryer
In my quest to blog more often this year, I find myself running into a problem. I have more to blog about than I have time to blog. I was hoping to get a couple of posts up this past weekend, and that didn’t happen. As I sit here typing this, I’d love to write those couple of posts, but it’s before work, and I don’t really have time. So, I’ll write quickly about a couple of random things.
The loops at church yesterday went fairly well, with a couple of minor issues. GarageBand only lets you open one song file at a time. This become an issue when transitioning from song-to-song in our worship set. I had to close one song and open the next song and this created the one thing we try to avoid in our worship sets – the “awkward pause” or dead space, until I was able to get the next loop going.
The other issue involved one of the loops dropping out for a split second during the intro of a song. We were able to stay in time with the loop, and I’m not sure many people noticed that it even happened. To alleviate both of these issues in the future, I’m going to try mixing down the loops to 6-8 minute WAV files and just play them from iTunes. I’m thinking this will solve both issues.
Jeremy and I went to Louisville last night and attended a service at Sojourn. They are another Acts 29 church (like TPCC). It’s always interesting to attend another church. Inevitably, it leads to critiquing what you like and don’t like, compared to your church. We went to their latest service (they have four on Sundays). The crowd was overwhelmingly young (nearly all 20s and 30s). It seemed like a very artsy, intellectual crowd. I would hope that, in the future, The Point could have more young people attending, like Sojourn. The praise band was very folksy in style, with acoustic guitar, keyboard, cello and percussion. Their building has an art gallery in the foyer, which is nice. The atmosphere of where they gather for services has an intimate feel – low ceilings, soft lighting. Sort of a modern, industrial feel to it. If you’re looking for a church in the Louisville area, check out Sojourn.
If there’s one thing that drives me up the wall, it’s vehicle maintenance (pun intended). Lately, it seems my trusty 1997 Honda CRV has been ailing. A few months ago, my exhaust went bad. It’s slowly starting to annoy me to the point of wanting to get it fixed. Last week, my radiator went bad. This week, it seems I have an oil leak.
As shocking as this might sound, I’m not a gear-head when it comes to cars. I care nothing about cars and have no desire to learn more about cars. Sad, but true – and much to the chagrin of my father, who is very knowledgeable about cars. I just want the thing to get me from point A to point B with as little hassle as possible. I don’t have to have a fancy car, but just dependable.
The CRV has 105,000 miles. It’s a Honda, so it should be able to run for a good while longer without any major issues – at least 50,000 miles I’d say. But, I’m starting to get tired of putting money into it. The question is whether or not I want to pull the trigger on getting a new(er) vehicle. Decisions, decisions…
A little random blogging for today…
I’m really enjoying Jerry Bridges’ The Pursuit of Holiness right now. I should have it finished by this weekend, so expect a full review then. The interesting part of the book has dealt with our part in pursuing holiness. We often hear “let go and let God,” but we have to do our part as well. There’s a fine line between doing our part and legalism, though. Bridges explains our part very well.
Music I’m Enjoying Right Now
I’m really enjoying a couple of albums right now – Kristian Stanfill’s Hello and another album he’s a part of (along with other artists), North Point Live. Both can be found on iTunes. Other songs I’m enjoying right now are “Mighty to Save,” and “From the Inside Out.” Good stuff.
Sunday’s TPCC worship set will feature loops on four of the five songs. I’ve decided to use GarageBand for the loops, since it comes with tons to choose from. It took me less than an hour to find the loops. Another testament to the ease of using a Mac. As a side note to this, I’ve compiled a list of songs that have been done by the TPCC band. My goal is to make loops for every song. We may not always run the loops through the house mix, but if I can have them in my in-ears, we can always go the same tempo. Next up would be loops for JMB, but our music doesn’t really lend itself to loops. I might just come up with click tracks we can use for our in-ears during a concert.