For some reason when both my sons were born I contemplated the very first thing I would say to them. I wanted to make my words count. I knew they would not understand, remember, or know what I was doing. They were only minutes into the world. But still I wanted to say something I would remember, something that would set the tone for how I would raise them. I figured using something God already said would be better than anything I could conjure up.
So I held both my sons in my arms the day they were born (one three years ago, one eight months ago) and I whispered into their ear, “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1Corinthians 10:31). That was it. I will never forget those two days. I hope one day they will whisper the same to their sons or daughters. I hope that the consuming passion of their lives is the glory of God in all things.
By the way, I wrote this post because this week my wife taught our three year old this same verse. He quoted it back to me when I got home on Wednesday. Thats a start!
Can Christians Use Birth Control?— The effective separation of sex from procreation may be one of the most important defining marks of our age–and one of the most ominous. This awareness is spreading among American evangelicals, and it threatens to set loose a firestorm. Keep Reading. . .
Sexual By Design With Doug Wilson—Douglas Wilson, of Christ Church, Moscow, Idaho, was invited to Indiana University by Clearnote Church to talk about sexuality from a Biblical perspective. Bloomington Indiana is home to the Kinsey Institute, started by Alfred Kinsey who is famous for his experiments in sexuality. The videos below are the full lectures, as well as the very long Q&A that followed. A large crowd of “dissenters” gathered to demonstrate their disapproval of Wilson’s message in word in action. Keep Reading. . . (Warning! Explicit language by opponents!)
Twelve Lessons of Fatherhood (1-6)—I once did an interview for an online publication, and one of the questions was: “Who has been the greatest leadership influence in your life?” Without hesitation, I wrote: “My three sons: Sam, Art, and Jess.” Keep Reading. . .
Anatomy of Church Conflict—Keep Reading. . .
The queen of the South will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and behold, something greater than Solomon is here. (Matthew 12:42)
- The Queen of Sheba testified to Solomon’s wisdom in this world, but she will rise at the judgment to condemn people for not listening to Christ’s superior wisdom (Matt. 12:46).
- Solomon taught his disciples to wait for God to repay the wrongdoer, but Christ himself will repay them (Prov. 24: 12; Matt. 25 :41-46; Rev. 2:23; 22:12; cf. Rom. 2:6-8; 2 Thess. 1:8; 2 Tim. 4:14; 1 Pet. 1:17; Rev. 20:12-13).
- Solomon depended on God to discipline those he loves, but Christ himself disciplines those he loves (3:11-12; Rev. 3:19).
- Solomon taught that those who share with the poor will be rewarded by God, but Christ identifies himself with and as the poor and as the one who rewards those who sacrifice for them (Matt. 25:31-45).
- Solomon focused on health and wealth now and minimized present sufferings; Christ focused on present suffering for righteousness and maximized future, eternal glory (3:1-10, 34; Matt. 5:3-12; 25:1-13)
- Solomon offers eternal life opaquely, but Christ by his resurrection brought immortality into the full light of day (8:35; Matt. 25:46; 2 Tim. 1:10).
- Solomon motivates his disciples to please their parents, but Christ, while upholding the honor of parents, teaches his disciples to love the triune God more (10:1; 19:13; 23:22-25; 27:11; 29:3; Matt. 5:45; 7:21; 10:32, 33, 35, 37; 15:4; 23:9; 25:34; Luke 9:60).
- Solomon’s wisdom is a bubbling brook, but Christ offers streams of water from within (18:4; John 7:38).
- Solomon offers a banquet of food and drink, but Christ himself is the Christian’s food and drink (Prov. 9:1-3; John 6:53).
- No human ascended into heaven to comprehend the whole, but Christ both descended from heaven and ascended into it (30:4; John 3:13; 6:33).
- Solomon depended in part on the sayings of others, but Christ speaks as the authoritative Son of Man from heaven (Prov. 22:23; Matthew12).
- Solomon calls on his disciples to write his teachings on their hearts, but Christ sends his Spirit to write God’s word on their hearts (Prov. 3:3; 2 Cor. 3:3).
- Solomon calls for obedience, but Christ’s Spirit empowers his elect to obey (Prov. 1:20-21; Rom. 8:1-8).
- Solomon anticipates a future ideal king (16:10-15), but Christ is the Messiah (Matt. 27:37).
- Solomon pointed to atonement by showing reliable love to others, but Christ showed such reliable love to his own that he died to atone for their sin (Mark 10:45; 2 Cor. 5:14).
- Solomon himself failed to obey his wisdom, but Christ is the perfect example of his (3:2; 25:26; 1 K. 11:9-10; Luke 2:52; Heb. 4:15).
- Solomon lost his kingdom, but Christ builds his (1 K. 11:10; Matt. 16:18).
- Solomon called on his disciples to feed their enemies, but Christ died for his enemies (25:21; Rom 5:8).
(Taken from Bruce Waltke, Proverbs 1-15)
Gallery of Top 50 CS Lewis Quotes—After A Month Of Work, Here Is The Full Gallery.
Are You Missional?—In the book Live Sent: You Are a Letter, Jason Dukes lays out 10 questions to help Christians discern whether or not they are operating with a missional mindset. I’ve adapted and explained them below. Challenging words!
Trevin Wax is Managing Editor of The Gospel Project at LifeWay Christian Resources. If you surf around the Christian blogosphere you’ve likely heard of The Gospel Project. I recently asked Trevin a few questions about the new curriculum. Here is our conversation.
Greg B: What is The Gospel Project (TGP)?
Trevin Wax: The Gospel Project is a new Sunday School / small group curriculum developed by LifeWay for all age groups.
Greg B: In what ways is TGP unique or different from other curriculum LifeWay has published in the past?
Trevin Wax: Each line of curriculum at LifeWay has its own starting point. Small groups that cherish a book-by-book approach to the Bible will consider Explore the Bible to be a natural choice. Classes that want to begin with life application will probably gravitate toward Bible Studies for Life. Churches that want a more systematic, theological approach to the Bible will gravitate toward The Gospel Project for its emphasis on biblical and systematic theology.
Greg B: Where did the vision for TGP originate?
Trevin Wax: For many years now, churches have been asking LifeWay to develop more “in depth” curriculum. As the leadership team at LifeWay began to think through what an in depth curriculum would look like, they continued to come back to the centrality of the gospel and the need to focus our attention on Christ and how He is the focus of the Bible.
Greg B: What is your role in the development of TGP?
Trevin Wax: I am the managing editor. I oversee all the content from each team (kids, students, adults). I also recruit writers and work with them through the editing process of their lessons. At the same time, I am involved in multiple areas that deal with this curriculum, from technology to marketing, etc.
Greg B: How many churches are currently sign-up for TGP? Are these mostly Southern Baptist Churches?
Trevin Wax: We’ve got more than 12,000 churches reviewing the materials. Many are SBC. Many are not. I don’t have the breakdown in regards to percentages though.
Greg B: The popularity of TGP seems to be growing at a rapid pace. What are some reasons, in your opinion, for this?
Trevin Wax? There’s a strong desire to be explicit about the gospel when we study the Scriptures together. People seem to be hungry for a curriculum that connects the dots of the Bible’s grand narrative as well as showing how Jesus is the Hero of the story. This approach of re-focusing our attention on Christ as we study the Scriptures is long overdue, even though there is great precedent for this approach throughout Baptist history.
Greg B: What are some of the challenges you and your team have faced developing TGP?
Trevin Wax: It is a lot of work to get a curriculum off the ground. It doesn’t happen without great teams, great people, and great vision. I’d have to say that the biggest challenge was when we united all the age groups under one name. There were a lot of shifts that took place at that time, but the teams adjusted well and we kept our eyes on the end goal. Because of the great work from all involved, a potentially difficult transition was made much smoother.
Greg B: If you could name one thing you are most excited about with TGP, what would it be?
Trevin Wax: We’ve provided a resource that helps put participants in a posture to have an encounter with the living Jesus as they study the Scriptures. Missional passion comes from knowing and loving Jesus. Though a curriculum can’t do everything, it can make sure to point people toward Him. And that’s the most exciting thing to me.
Greg B: I am sure you’ve received both positive and negative feedback about TGP. What can you share that might be encouraging and clarifying?
Trevin Wax: Positive feedback has far outweighed anything negative. People have been gracious in their vocal support of the project. There have been some who were concerned that we invited a couple of non-Southern Baptists to give us advice at the outset. And some have accused us of pushing one theological position to the exclusion of others in Baptist life. Once the curriculum comes out, I believe the critics will see that our agenda has been to point people to Christ and that this is what we’ve accomplished.
Greg B: What are a few of your prayers and goals for TGP?
Trevin Wax: That Christ would be exalted, His people edified, and a great number of churches would be on fire with evangelistic fervor as they go through this material.
Greg B: Thanks for the time Trevin. I am praying for great things to happen through this new resource. May Christ be magnified and the church be edified to reach a lost world.
The Sinners Prayer and SBC—The following is a personal note from pastor David Platt about the recent discussion surrounding the issue of the “sinner’s prayer” in the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC). This is the first of two scheduled posts on this subject. Following pastor David’s comments expressed below, there is a link where you can download the entire manuscript of his sermon at the most recent SBC Pastors’ Conference in a PDF.
20 Ideas For Dating Your Wife—Men, you need to come up with your own ideas for how to date your wife. You know your wife better than anyone else. Only you know how to best cultivate and guard the woman God has given you. But, sometimes it helps to build off other people’s ideas in order to form your own … My prayer is that the power of the gospel would drive how you date your wife and implement these ideas.
The Real Mommy Wars—As a part of American jargon, the “mommy wars” have raged for more than 20 years. The term was coined in the late 1980s by Child magazine to describe the tension that existed between working and stay-at-home mothers. Since then, numerous books and articles have been published about the so-called mommy wars, feeding the talk show circuit and fueling blogosphere brushfires.
Kids and Screen—On average, preschool children spend 32 hours a week with screen media.
I just returned from the Annual Meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention. If you follow the happenings of the SBC you probably know that the issue of Calvinism among Southern Baptists has been the topic of many blogs, articles, Tweets, and conversations. The latest stats show that Calvinism is growing somewhat rapidly in the SBC. Many celebrate this fact while others lament it.While the tone of the Convention seems to be we are all going to work together for the cause of the Gospel, many I am sure still have major problems with the growth of Calvinism in the SBC.
My intent here is to simply ask why. To be honest, I don’t know the answer. I am sure many exist. But over the past five years I have attended Desiring God, The Gospel Coalition, and Together For The Gospel, all of which are known for being predominately Calvinistic conferences. I have met with numerous pastors, professors, church planters, and seminary students who embrace (with all their nuances) the doctrines of grace. Many of them are Southern Baptists. And while I cannot speak for every Calvinist or New Calvinist (as some are calling them) in the Convention, I can speak for many of them. Here are a few convictions that seem to come up in our conversations.
They love the Gospel. These guys, and gals, have a deep passion for the Gospel. They love to learn about it, read about it, and tell it to others. The Gospel wakes them up in the morning. The Gospel is worth everything to them.
They love the Scriptures. They have a passion for the Bible. They want to see it preached, upheld, and defended. They are committed to the exposition of God’s Word and to the application of its content. Do they enjoy debating particular doctrines and positions on certain texts? Yes. But who doesn’t? Its the Bible. This Book is a hard book. They want to know what it means.
They love evangelism. An accusation against Calvinism is that Calvinists minimize evangelism. First of all, that is bad history. Second, I have never in my life (honestly) met a Calvinist who did not believe in the urgency and necessity of evangelism. I am sure they are out there, friends have told me. I can’t wait to meet one, we have much to talk about! The Calvinists I know have a deep burden for personal evangelism, church planting, and global missions. Their Calvinism motivates their evangelism.
They love the church. They have a commitment to the local church as the means by which God will change the world. They have a high view of membership, the ordinances, and church discipline. Do they have problems with the church they were a part of growing up? Sure. But again, who doesn’t? Every generation looks back at the one previous and laments some of its characteristics. Overall however, most of the Calvinists I’ve talked with love the Bride of Christ.
They love Jesus. If anyone thinks Calvinists are stale, dry, ivory tower high brows, I’d invite you to attend one of the conferences I’ve listed above. The worship is filled with energy, passion, depth, emotion, joy, and gratitude. Encountering God is one of the greatest passions of these men and women. Do they like John Calvin? Sure, he’s pretty cool. But Jesus Christ, His glory, His Name, and His exaltation above all things leaves Calvin in the dust. And I’m pretty sure Calvin would be okay with that.
Of course exceptions to what I’ve said here certainly exist. There are men and women whose convictions on election and the atonement lack grace, wisdom, and compassion. Some think they have the corner market on God and can explain Him at whim. There are Calvinists who do not passionately engage in evangelism and call everyone to repentance and faith. Many I am sure are more concerned with the 5-points (or 4!) than they are with Jesus and the proclamation of the Gospel.
May their tribe decrease!!!
But if what I’ve said here is true of the Calvinists in the Southern Baptist Convention, is there really that much to be worried about?