Off to MN for the DG conference

28 09 2006

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I am headed up to MN to the 2006 Desiring God conference this weekend. It should be a great trip and a great time with friends. I’m really looking forward to the preaching; Carson, Wells, & Piper all in the same weekend… awesome! I may drop a couple of updates while up there…we’ll see.

So if you are going say hello. I’ll be the 30 year old white guy in jeans with a Bible. 8-D

::erik::





Announcement…

28 09 2006

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Omaha Bible Church is pleased to announce our upcoming church conference schedule…

don-whitney.jpgDon Whitney will be the featured speaker at our 2007 church conference. Don is a professor at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY. You can learn more about Don and his ministry on his website BiblicalSpirituality.org.

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Additionally, D.A. Carson will be our featured speaker in 2008. Dr. Carson is a professor at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, IL.

God has been kind to us here in Omaha allowing us to be impacted by such gifted and faithful men in recent years. We have enjoyed Dr. John MacArthur, Dr. James White, Dr. Steve Lawson, and this year we have Kris Lundgaard coming. It is exciting to benefit from God’s manifold grace!





Thinking Biblically about Terrell Owens

27 09 2006

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NFL Pro-Bowl wide receiver Terrell Owens (T.O.) has reportedly attempted suicide. Reports also indicate that the flamboyant Dallas Cowboys star recently confided in friends that he was depressed. The depression had apparently come to a head late Tuesday as Owens reportedly intentionally overdosed on his pain medicine.

As I read the reports and heard the ESPN guys trying to make sense of this scenario they kept on asking why? Why would T.O. attempt suicide? What would push him to such extremes? After all, this is the guy who is arguably the most dominant man on the planet at his position, the man who has an extraordinary physique, unlimited potential, a $25 million contract, numerous promotional deals and the ear of all of the media every time he speaks. Why is he so behaving so ‘irrationally’?

From a biblical perspective T.O.’s actions (if they are confimed as true) are not surprising. They are extremely sad, but not surprising.

Biblically we understand sin to be rebellion from God. At the very core of this rebellion is the struggle for sovereignty. In sin we reject God’s sovereignty and seek our own. What ensues is a life of manipulation, or trying to orchestrate and control life’s circumstances. This shameless self-promotion often tears down others while trying to promote self. This is why we as sinners lie, cheat, slander, yell at people, boast in ourselves and our great exploits, tear down others and their accomplishments, and blame others for everything. Manipulation is a constant realization of a lack of sovereignty and the attempt to gain it, at the expense of anyone or anything else.

And really when you look at T.O.’s career in the NFL you see a steady string of manipulation. This is consistently seen whether he is publically calling former 49’er quarterback Jeff Garcia gay, shouting down Eagles coach Andy Reid, signing a football with a sharpie after a touchdown, mocking Ray Lewis during a game, blaming the Super Bowl loss on Donovan McNabb, or recently blaming his injuries on the coaches for ‘over using him’. This most recent action is really no different. Suicide is a futile and sad attempt of hopelessness in effort to ultimately control his circumstances.

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2006 Omaha Bible Church Conference

26 09 2006

Omaha Bible Church’s annual conference is on October 14. Author Kris Lungaard will be the featured speaker. Kris is the author of the helpful book entitled The Enemy Within. This book is a contemporary update of John Owen’s landmark works Indwelling Sin in the Believer and The Mortification of Sin.

If you read this blog you are invited! For more information and registration click here.

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Audio for Mohler / Patterson debate…err…discussion

26 09 2006

The audio is available here for the discussion between Al Mohler and Paige Patterson surrounding Calvinism. The discussion seemed to be directed at achieving common evangelistic ground rather than outlining and debating doctrinal distinctives, which apparently is pretty denominationally necessary at this point. Anyway, I was under whelmed but I know that some folks have been looking for this.

A couple of points to note:

-Patterson unabashedly states that he is a universalist in terms of the atonement’s potential.

Mohler chastises Calvinists who drive across the state to debate an Arminian but won’t walk across the street to evangelize their neighbor. <amen!>

-Patterson says that he and Mohler essentially agree “although we differ a little bit, when we get down to the nitty gritty…”

The whole thing seemed strangely ironic. The men fundamentally disagree about God’s design in the atonement and the way in which he applies it (in other words the gospel) however they came across as if they were on the same page in regards to the gospel. I wish they would have interacted a bit on the disagreements and let the text talk, however this apparently was not the intention.

(HT: Tim Challies)





Devotion :: Psalm 123

26 09 2006

In this brief snapshot into the life of the Psalmist we see him and his peers being surrounded by the songs of scoffers and doubters. In the midst of their chorus of contempt we are given a great model of faithfulness.

When we are in the midst of resistance and difficulty it is common and even natural to look at and measure our surroundings for help and relief. Further, we often find ourselves looking inward, at ourselves for the relief that is necessary.

In the model of faithfulness however, we see something different from the Psalmist:

Psalm 123:2 Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their master, As the eyes of a maid to the hand of her mistress, So our eyes look to the LORD our God, Until He is gracious to us.

The Psalmist models exactly what the essence of faith is, simply looking away from ourselves and depending fully on God. Just as a servant has come to know of the faithful character of his master so too we who have been blessed by God have come to anticipate and relish our Master’s continual gracious condescension to us.

This exercise that we see from the Psalmist is so pivotal for us as believers. We get to participate in spiritual cardio as we massage our hearts to depend upon God for his manifold mercies. Just saying the words of this Psalm forces you to question whether you believe them or not!

Psalm 123:1 To You I lift up my eyes, O You who are enthroned in the heavens!

Do you look to him who is “enthroned in the heavens”?

How good is it believer that ultimately you are not looking to the hands of earthly masters for your care and consolation but you are looking to the One who is enthroned in the heavens!?!

Through the blood stained cross of Jesus Christ you have a sure and faithful advocate who is able and willing to console and encourage you in the midst of the scoffing crowds. And even more, scoffing is providentially used to draw us into greater dependence and appreciation of our wonderful Savior.

 

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The Gospel is Powerful

22 09 2006

I have been thinking much here recently about the gospel and its power. There are so many facets of the gospel’s power, however, I have been focusing specifically on its power in regeneration, particularly in the realm of evangelism. This is partly because I am teaching a class on evangelism and have become increasingly impressed with the glorious power of God in the gospel.

It is helpful to remember the sinner’s state outside of Christ as being totally depraved, helplessly dead, spiritually toe-tagged, if you will. Ephesians 2 is a great place to see this picture:

And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, 2 in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. 3 Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.

Mankind is not afflicted with a case of the spiritual sniffles, but rather is completely and utterly spiritually dead, you may rightly say unresponsive to the things of God.

So what are you, the evangelist, to do? According to God, humanity is completely and helplessly dead (spiritually) and if this was not bad enough we do not want any help!! If your goal is the glory of God and the rebirth of sinners, then will spiritual chew tablets flavored to the tastes of our hearers be sufficient to make alive the dead? What is the remedy for such a miserable and hopeless plight?

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