How Pop-Evangelicals Undermine God in Sanctification

9 11 2006

tire-slash1.jpgI have found that I have personally become quite exercised about some of the various methods and practices that are employed within the popular American evangelical community. Sometimes I have, through introspection, wondered if my offense was based upon my preference and these evangelicals’ divergent view of ministry. In other words, I wondered if my issue was chiefly my offense or God’s.

So in effort to have clean hands, a clear conscience and pure motives I examined this, and tried to understand what in the world contemporary evangelicalism is doing. And you know what? I’m offended. But now more than ever I feel that my offense is rooted in the attack upon God’s method for accomplishing his own end.

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Is Mr Rogers the NT model for preachers?

31 10 2006

mr-rogers.jpgOn Sunday night my favorite Senior Pastor exhorted the flock here at Omaha Bible Church to be demanding of their pastors. In our study of 2 Timothy we are learning about specific non-negotiables for the pastoral ministry.

In chapter 2 pastors are commanded to ‘be strong in the grace of the Lord Jesus’. Pat took this opportunity to question what strong does and does not look like. In typical form Pat (who previously exhorted preachers to look less like Richard Simmons and more like Arnold Schwarzenegger) contended that preachers should be noted for strength and conviction rather than a pasted smile, polyester zip up sweater, theological puppet shows (drama), while always being concerned with being everyone’s friend and calling everyone and everything ‘special’. Well this quote aside Sunday night was an encouraging sermon within a great study on an awesome book, so therefore, consider it recommended.

Another killer quote: “Daintiness would slur a sermon just as a pink ribbon would make a cannon appear rediculus”

> listen > download

note: before anyone gets loose with the ‘but Mr. Rogers was a decorated war hero with 200 confirmed kills in Korea’ comments, please read this. Fred was not a war hero, he was a nice guy who wore sweaters and did puppet shows. But I did read somewhere that Rick Warren was a Navy Seal…(joking!)

Show me your veins not your legwarmers!!

10 10 2006

This past Sunday evening our Pastor was exhorting us unto gospel faithfulness from the book of 2 Timothy. Amidst a very encouraging and convicting message there were some awesome quotes. These were a couple of my favorites (pretty close to a quote anyway)…in the context of kindling a holy boldness to gospel fidelity:

..We need pastors that are more like Arnold Schwarzenegger and less like Richard Simmons!..

rsimmons.jpg vs. arnie_1.jpg

and another:

..Why is it that there are so many male pastors who act like women and female pastors (who should not be pastors) who act like men?! It is a shame that some female pastors are more manly than some male pastors…

You may listen to or download the sermon from our website.

The message was more than a couple quotes, but rather a very encouraging look at the value of the gospel and our subsequent responsibility to remain faithful to its proclamation.


Excitement & Alarm with Today’s Reformed Camp

14 09 2006

An exciting and alarming by-product over the increased excitement in reformed theology is the intense individual identification with the reformed theological framework. Of course this is exciting because reformed theology is by in large biblical. However, there are some contemporary trends that are alarming.

For example, when I hear a sermon by a well known contemporary preacher quoting Calvin, Luther & Spurgeon more than the Bible I become concerned. I listen to a guy referring to what Calvin said as if it is authoritative and binding in my life. I need to listen to what Calvin (or anyone for that matter) says because it reflects what God says.

Reformed heroes are not our authority the Bible is. I know that guys do not intend to do this but they end up elevating the dead guys with nice lettuce (hair) to a position of authority, thereby circumventing one of the great Solas of the reformation (Sola Scriptura). And in so doing we create our own little protestant Magisterium. Again I know this is not the intention but what else am I to conclude when guys repeatedly appeal to men as their authority to make their homiletical points?

The preacher is called to ‘preach the word’ (2 Tim. 4.2). This is done by giving the meaning of the text (according to God) to the hearer with personal application. This is not accomplished by quoting and interacting with theologians for 45 minutes while giving a courteous tip of the hat to the text by simply reading the passage.

So to preachers: are you primarily providing and reinforcing theology or are you primarily there to operate on hearts by giving your hearers the word of God?

And to those who sit under the preaching ministry of another: Are you primarily there to learn more about the reformed heritage and concepts or are you primarily there to have your heart operated on by the sacred scalpel of truth (Heb. 4.12)?

The faithfully preached word will provide and reinforce theology and illicit passion in the life of the Christian. My fear is that, even with good motives, some today are not being clear and faithful with the Bible as their ultimate authority and means by which we are sanctified. So I challenge myself and others to ensure that our theology and emotions are derived from the text and not the other way around.



5 Deadly Ism’s

13 09 2006

I highly recommend a sermon delivered by my pastor this weekend entitled “5 Deadly Ism’s”. Pat walked through these 5 theological danger spots in a very helpful manner.

The (free) audio is available here: listen or download.

Faithful pastors warn the church of impending dangers; there is a biblical precedent for this as demonstrated by the Apostle Paul (Acts 20.28ff; 1 Tim. 4).

1st Deadly ISM: Pragmatism

2nd Deadly ISM: Mysticism

3rd Deadly ISM: Antinomianism

4th Deadly ISM: Legalism

5th Deadly ISM: Pelagianism

Below is a brief summary:

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“Grace to You” archive available

8 09 2006

Travis Carden has archived every Grace to You broadcast (the radio ministry of John MacArthur) all the way back to September, 2005. The page offers free Mp3 downloads and complete transcripts of each message. This is definitely a helpful resource for all who enjoy expository preaching.

Great John MacArthur Audio

28 08 2006

mac.jpgIf you have not already heard this audio make it a priority to do so. Of particular interest is MacArthur’s radio interview with Pat Abendroth when John visited Omaha Bible Church.

Here are direct links to the radio interview: listen download