Receiving Criticism

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Seminary has some weird moments. One of the more awkward classes is this torturous thing called Preaching Lab. This involves about 7 students, a professor, and a video camera. Students take turns throughout the semester preaching sermons in class. Typically, there will be 2 sermons per class. (It’s usually as awkward as it sounds). Having preached a sermon, you get immediate feedback from both your professor and your fellow classmates. Then you get the added pleasure of having to go home and watch the video for self critique. The labs are actually helpful, if not painful. Friendly fire is still fire, but hey, at least it’s friendly.… Continue reading

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Why Do We Observe the Lord’s Supper?

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God appointed two ordinances to the church: believer’s baptism and the Lord’s Supper (also called the Lord’s Table and Communion). Baptism consists of the declaration of one’s salvation, of being “in Christ Jesus” by faith.

Baptism symbolizes our commitment of faith;
the Lord’s Supper symbolizes our obligation to brotherly love and to the “one anothers.”

Baptism is our Godward obedience;
the Lord’s Supper is our brotherward obedience.

The Lord’s Supper provides a picture of the full program of redemption:

  1. It requires Christ’s incarnation: “My body . . . My blood” (Matthew 26:26–29).
  2. It demands Christ’s substitutionary sacrifice: “for you” (Luke 22:19).
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Excuses….Excuses….

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I don’t know about you, but I am an excellent excuse-maker. For example, I am a master at convincing myself why I don’t need to exercise, or why I need another bowl of ice cream, or why I need to watch “this” sporting event, even if I am up late. My personal excuses, in these ways and others, are (to me!) water-tight, air-locked, drop-the-mic conclusive. To be persuaded otherwise, it would take an incredible proof or motivation ……. or just my wife giving me that “look” (and you married guys know what I am saying).

Now, this “master of excuses” I have observed in what many non-believers do when confronted with call to surrender their life to Jesus Christ.… Continue reading

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An Open Letter To Online Polemics Fans

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I get the attraction to polemics, I really do.  In fact, I am a huge fan of polemics done well; I love God and love the truth about Him and I hate when errors about Him and how He works are propagated.  I am immensely thankful for polemical works like Matt Waymeyer’s Amillennialism and the Age To Come.

The reason why I mention Dr. Waymeyer’s work is because in many ways it is archetypal of what polemics should be.  It is thoughtful in the way it seeks to accurately understand and portray the position it is critiquing.  It is focused on theological ideas not on persons or individual local churches. … Continue reading

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Ministering to the Back-Sliding

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We’ve all known someone with a solid Christian history but currently seems to be waning, apathetic, or getting lazy. You know, the person whose history was so grand you would happily read the biography. She was knowledgable, loving, gracious, obedient, endured trials, and encouraged others. But something has happened. A life once marked as mature seems to be waning. We wrestle with concerning thoughts, doubt, and “Is he really saved?” It’s like maturity has stopped and the Lord isn’t there anymore.  We wonder, “Will he persevere?” If you’re like me, you wonder, “How do I minister to this person?”

The good news for us, there is a biblical blue print for us in Hebrews.… Continue reading

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