Accepting My Alternative Lifestyle [ Thabiti Anyabwile]

Truly, the Christian is the one living the “alternative lifestyle.” Or, we should be. Is this not what the Scripture constantly holds out to us as a description for how we ought to see ourselves and live? We are to “go out from their midst, and be separate from them” (2 Cor. 6:17). We are not to conform any longer to this world (Rom. 12:1). We may not have friendship with the world lest we make ourselves hostile to God (1 John 2:15-16). We “must no longer walk as Gentiles do” because “that is not the way we learned Christ!” (Eph. 4:17, 20). We who are in Christ are new creations (2 Cor. 5:17). In short, we are the strange ones that this fallen world does not recognize because it does not recognize our Lord.

Read here

2013 Cross Conference [Video] feat. Conrad Mbewe, Thabiti Anyabwile + more

Conrad Mbewe
Conrad Mbewe

Resources from the 2013 Cross Conference:

CROSS exists

for the global purpose of magnifying the kingly majesty of Jesus Christ. Our focus is on all the unreached peoples of the world where Jesus is not worshipped as God and Savior.

 

To that end CROSS aims to mobilize students for the most dangerous and loving cause in the universe: rescuing people from eternal suffering and bringing them into the everlasting joy of friendship with Jesus.

Jesus said that every person without faith in him, remains under the wrath of God (John 3:36). He also said that God did not send him “to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him” (John 3:17).

 

That saving faith is born through the message of Jesus’ blood and righteousness—his cross. Everyone who believes is saved. But nobody believes without a messenger.

 

World missions is the glorious gospel enterprise of going like Christ into another cultural world to rescue people from eternal suffering, and renovate their broken lives, that they might render to God the splendor of his majesty through faith in Christ.

 

There is no better reason to lose your life and no greater way to live it.

Trip Lee Kick-Off


Session 1: The Chief End of Missions: The Supremacy of God in the Joy of All Missions (John Piper)


Session 2: Beauty from Ashes: The Plight of Man and the Purposes of God (Thabiti Anyabwile)


Session 3: Five Surprising Motivations for Mission (Kevin Deyoung)


Session IV: The Death of Death in the Death of Christ-The Good News of a Bloody Cross (Conrad Mbewe)


Session V: Seeing Jesus Properly: The Lord to Gladly Obey Forever (Richard Chin)


Session VI: The Call of Christ: Inspired, Informed, Confirmed (Mack Stiles)


Session VII: The Life Worth Living for Christ is a Life Worth Losing (Matt Chandler)


Session VIII: What Do Cross-Cultural Missionaries Cross Cultures For? (Michael Oh)


Session IX: The Church as the Means and the Goal of Missions (D. A. Carson)


Session X: Mobilizing god’s Army for the Great Commission (David Platt)
http://vimeo.com/83002791

Testimony: David Sitton, To Every Tribe


Panel with Mack & Leann Stiles, Zane & Cahterine Pratt, and Mark Dever


Panel with John Piper and Mark Dever

Learn more here

Duck Dynasty: Cause for Concern [Stephen Yuille] + More [Tom Hicks, Thabiti Anyabwile, James White]

Stephen Yuille @ Deus Pro Nobis weighs in on the significance of this new controversy for religious liberty, doctrinal clarity, and Christian imitation:

The discussion that has followed grandpa’s dismissal concerns me for three reasons.

 

For starters, I’m concerned for those who don’t understand (or even care) what the fuss is all about.

Secondly, I’m concerned for those who want to downplay what the Bible actually says about homosexuality.

Thirdly (and finally), I’m concerned for those who want to make grandpa the poster-child for the Christian faith.

 

I’ve read the transcript of grandpa’s recent interview. (It made me blush.) He attempted to quote Scripture (botched it, but at least he tried). But he had no difficulty or hesitancy engaging in a discourse which was (to put it mildly) downright crude (“lacking tact or taste; blunt or offensive”), crass (“unrefined as to be lacking in discrimination and sensibility”), and vulgar (“deficient in taste, delicacy, or refinement”). Wait, I’m not finished. It was rude, tawdry, and tasteless.

 

What does the Bible say about such speech? How are followers of Jesus to speak? “But do not let immorality or any impurity or greed even be named among you, as is proper among saints; and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks . . . Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification” (Eph. 5:3–4). As Christians, there’s no such thing as “freedom of speech.” (Wow, now that might create some controversy. But stay with me.) What I mean is that, as Christians, we’re only free to speak as our Master speaks – form and content.

 

As I write this, I recall a simple chorus I learned as soon as I could speak:

 

O be careful little tongue what you say,
For your Father up above is looking down in love,
O be careful little tongue what you say.

 

Grandpa would do well to learn this little ditty.

 

I suppose what really concerns me is the number of Christians (I pray there aren’t that many, but I fear there are) who seem to think grandpa is now the poster-child for the Christian faith.

 

At this moment, I can mention the name of lots of men – well educated in religion, theology, and history; pastors at churches and professors at seminaries; faithful husbands and fathers. Perfect men? Absolutely not! Far from it. But men who are striving by God’s grace to be conformed to the likeness of Jesus. Here’s my question: Would any of these men ever make it on a reality TV show? Hmm, I wonder. No, they would be dismissed immediately (even by many Christians) as boring, uninteresting, and irrelevant. Why is that?

 

So, what does it say about those who are gravitating to grandpa as a champion of the Christian faith? What does it say about those who know the characters ofDuck Dynasty better than the members of their own families (physical and spiritual)? What does it say about those who seek to couple the Christian faith with a reality TV show? Personally, I think it says a great deal. It’s but another symptom of the pervading shallowness, absurdity, and immaturity that passes as modern-day evangelicalism. Ouch!

Read the Full Post Here or Listen Here (10.27 min)


Other post on the recent Duck Dynasty Discussion:
Some Thoughts on the Duck Dynasty Controversy by Tom Hicks via Founders Ministries: The Blog

Duck Dynasty and the Twisted Ironies of Our Current Sexual Politics via Pure Church by Thabiti Anyabwile

Piers Morgan: Paradigm of Secular Anti-Christian Bigotry by James White via Alpha and Omega Ministries

Audio:

Video:

Updated Holy Hip Hop Roundup [James White, Voddie Bauchman, Waldron, Walker + more]

Not wanting to flood our site/rss/email with every post on this topic, Ive been updating the Holy Hip Hop Roundup throughout the week. However, since some don’t see the social media notifications that we’ve added onto the list, I though it might be good to repost this with the updated post (in reverse order by date):


Special Dividing Line with Voddie Baucham, Shai Linne, and Ivey Conerly! by James White via Alpha and Omega Ministries

Tonight [Dec. 5, 2013] @ 5pm EST James White host Dr. Voddie Baucham, Shai Linne & Ivey Conerly on discussions regarding “Christian rap.”

James White:

Hope everyone will listen and consider carefully, especially since there were points of disagreement or divergence even amongst our panel.  Great time!

Audio:

Video:


 

Jeremy WalkerAsking the right questions by Jeremy Walker via Reformation21 Blog

At the risk of being trampled by the ireful in the latest slanging match over rap and hip-hop, I wonder if I might interject? It seems to me, watching from a distance and not trying to read every contribution, that the debate quickly escalates into absolute and swingeing declarations that fail to take account of the various issues that ought to come into play. I may be wrong, but I hope I can lob a few thoughts into the debate.
I suggest that there are at least three questions that ought to be asked in assessing not just rap and hip-hop but other musical genres and forms.

 

First, and most generically, in what ways can a Christian appreciate, enjoy and embrace either a form or genre of music in and of itself, or a particular instance of that form?

 

Second, and a little more narrowly, to what extent is a certain form or genre an appropriate vehicle for the communication of distinctively Christian truth?

 

But third, and most specifically, is this question: is a certain form or genre a legitimate and appropriate means for the corporate worship of the gathered church? This brings us into a whole new realm, for it raises the issue of the artist and his or her audience and the distinctive dynamics of the saints of God gathered in one place for the purpose of worshipping God. The answers to these questions are sometimes assumed in the debate, but often they have been neither raised nor addressed. I have offered some thoughts on these matters [15 min. readout] before…

Read [9 min. readout]


 

Sam WaldronReformed Rap Ruckus: Comments from the Empty Chair by Sam Waldron via Midwest Center for Theological Studies: Owensboro, KY  [added Dec. 4, 2013]

…Being old (Well 62!) and not particularly “Facebook and blog aware,” I was alerted to this controversy first by a much younger member of my church. After viewing the video and reading Ligon Duncan’s related comments, I wrote the following email to the to my younger, but like-minded, brother in the Lord. It is slightly edited for this blog.

 

It is pretty well known–at least I have made no secret of it–that I enjoy Shai Linne’s doctrinally solid raps. I have played them for college students in college classes with a good conscience and with gladness that they present the Christian religion in a different and contemporary cultural form. I think that as an art form and performance this may give them a helpfulness that other art forms and performance styles may not possess for today’s generation.

 

I certainly do not agree with many of the things the panelists said. . . . I am glad that Botkin apologized for the unfortunate things he said. I certainly do not agree with the very negative tone of the video as a whole about Reformed rap…

 

Since I wrote the above email both Scott Brown and Joel Beeke have issued apologies for aspects of their comments.  I think their apologies show wisdom and humility.  Both emphasize the distinction I am insisting on in this blog.  Let me only add that my ministry at the NCFIC conference emphasized the crucial distinction I was making at the Worship of God conference between the corporate worship of the church and other situations.  The question of whether Reformed rap may be a good and useful kind of performance art and thus evangelistic tool is very different from the question of whether any such performance art has any place in the formal worship of Christ’s church. These questions should be separated for a more fruitful discussion.

Read [4 min. listen]


scott brown

Please Forgive Me via Scott Brown Online [added Dec. 3, 2013]

During the panel discussion on rap I should have engaged such a controversial subject as this with greater discernment, explicit scriptural grounding, clarity, definition of terms (like “rap”) and precision that comes from a full grasp of the subject. These were lacking in the rap discussion. The very question itself lacked clarity and nuance which opened the door to the misrepresentations common to the broad brush. In framing the question, I failed to distinguish between the use of music in worship compared to simply listening to music. We failed to distinguish between the various expressions of the artists. I failed to correct a panelist who made an unsavory comment. Panel discussions, off the cuff are useful for certain things, but to use a surprise question to a panel to engage a broader audience on such a complex controversial topic as musical genres they may not have been knowledgeable of was unwise. I did not engage this topic with the required care. There were moments where it lacked the brotherly tone that is essential for our critiques within the body of Christ. In at least these senses, it was unworthy of our Lord. Please forgive me…

Read


 

Scott T. Brown put up An Apology on the NCFIC Blog:

A few days ago I released a video clip from a panel discussion at our conference on The Worship of God. One of the panelists, Geoff Botkin, referred to the people driving Christian rap as “disobedient cowards.” I interpreted his statement to mean that, in every culture, Christians are often cowards in the face of various elements of their cultures that are infected with worldliness. Geoff has explained to me that he did not intend to impugn the work of sincere men, and that he would like to apologize for any confusion caused by his statement. Here is his apology…

Read


 

origin_138347281Nicolas Alford, over at The Decablog, gave his own little roundup then wrote a parody entitled The NCFIC Boldly Speaks Out Against Reformed Country-Western: A Parody with a Point

I applaud the recent bold stance taken by the NCFIC against the growing popularity of a certain so-called “musical form” in the church.  For too long, we have looked the other way as Reformed country-western has gained steam.  Look around.  Our young men have hats with ridiculously large brims pulled down low over their eyes, their headphones in, slowing strumming the air as though they were out riding the countryside looking for stray steer.  Country-western “music” cannot be disassociated with the culture from which it originated- a culture rampant with the abuse of alcohol and spouses, where the jeans are too tight and every one is cryptically told to “cowboy up”- whatever that means.  The crooners of this so-called “art form” think they are serving God.  They’re not.  What these cowards don’t know is the hand which picks up the Bible must first lay down the lasso…

Read [12 min. readout]


 

holy hip hopThabiti Anyabwile did his own “Round-Up of the Holy Hip Hop Squabble” then gave his reactions:

  1. As I tweeted
  2. It’s good to see our white brothers take up arms so decisively against fellow white men in defense and confirmation of the truth.
  3. I’m glad for the restraint shown by the men who were the target of these comments.
  4. Finally, we need to be careful about extending labels in conversations like this.

Read [6 min. listen]

Handling Our Hearts & Mouths with Members Who Question Us [Thabiti Anyabwile]

Thabiti Anyabwile explains how, upon not getting “his way” in an elder vote, “a member questioned me about something they found problematic with the church […] They knew my preferences and would not accept “the elders have decided” as an answer. They wanted to know why I hadn’t pushed a certain change–a good change.”

pointing-fingers-tom-cadrinIt concludes:

It was good for me to “lose” the vote to my fellow elders. In fact, it wasn’t a loss at all but a victory over my own ever-present pride, a victory for the leadership of my fellow elders, a victory over Satan’s use of good things to tempt us into evil things, and a victory for the entire church in protection against a future tyrant who will not listen to or submit to anything or anyone but his own desires. That’s what bothered me. This sheep hadn’t seen these victories–nor had I seen them until Tuesday morning– and was unintentionally tempting me to the destruction of the leadership and potentially the church. All with an appeal to something good that I desired.

 

I wish I had had the presence of mind to look the member in the eye and kindly say something like, “You do realize you’re asking me to disobey the elders, don’t you?” I would hope a well-placed question like that would signal that I, too, am accountable to the elders as a whole. I would hope a question like that would signal to the member that they should not contemplate rebelling against spiritual leadership. Rather, we should submit our desires–especially our good desires–to the leading of the Lord through the leadership of the elders as a whole. Submission isn’t submission until we’re denying ourselves something we want, giving up one good alternative in favor of another good option we wouldn’t choose for ourselves.

 

Ninety-nine percent of after church conversations are filled with laughter, loving concern and encouraging conversation. It’s the one percent that tests our Christian character and our leadership skill. We’re not only shepherding the sheep in those moments; we should also be tending our own hearts.

Read the entire post [5 min. readout]

Tom Ascol on Piper’s new poem “The Calvinist” Read by Anyabwile + more

Thought this was relevant given today’s podcast. Tom Ascol:

This poem by John Piper has been put into a video to make it more memorable. It is moving in it’s depictions of a mind and heart gripped by grace. Some may be offended or put off by the title. I suppose that can’t be helped, but John Piper gets it. And those who love the gospel as understood and expressed in the historic, biblical categories that have been nicknamed, “Calvinism,” will also get it…

Read the poemWatch the video:

Holy Hip Hop Roundup [Anyabwile, Alford, Brown, White, Waldron] Updated Dec. 3rd & 4th

holy hip hopThabiti Anyabwile did his own “Round-Up of the Holy Hip Hop Squabble” then gave his reactions:

  1. As I tweeted
  2. It’s good to see our white brothers take up arms so decisively against fellow white men in defense and confirmation of the truth.
  3. I’m glad for the restraint shown by the men who were the target of these comments.
  4. Finally, we need to be careful about extending labels in conversations like this.

Read [6 min. listen]


 

origin_138347281Nicolas Alford, over at The Decablog, gave his own little roundup then wrote a parody entitled The NCFIC Boldly Speaks Out Against Reformed Country-Western: A Parody with a Point

I applaud the recent bold stance taken by the NCFIC against the growing popularity of a certain so-called “musical form” in the church.  For too long, we have looked the other way as Reformed country-western has gained steam.  Look around.  Our young men have hats with ridiculously large brims pulled down low over their eyes, their headphones in, slowing strumming the air as though they were out riding the countryside looking for stray steer.  Country-western “music” cannot be disassociated with the culture from which it originated- a culture rampant with the abuse of alcohol and spouses, where the jeans are too tight and every one is cryptically told to “cowboy up”- whatever that means.  The crooners of this so-called “art form” think they are serving God.  They’re not.  What these cowards don’t know is the hand which picks up the Bible must first lay down the lasso…

Read [12 min. readout]


 

Scott T. Brown put up An Apology on the NCFIC Blog:

A few days ago I released a video clip from a panel discussion at our conference on The Worship of God. One of the panelists, Geoff Botkin, referred to the people driving Christian rap as “disobedient cowards.” I interpreted his statement to mean that, in every culture, Christians are often cowards in the face of various elements of their cultures that are infected with worldliness. Geoff has explained to me that he did not intend to impugn the work of sincere men, and that he would like to apologize for any confusion caused by his statement. Here is his apology…

Read


scott brown

Please Forgive Me via Scott Brown Online [added Dec. 3, 2013]

During the panel discussion on rap I should have engaged such a controversial subject as this with greater discernment, explicit scriptural grounding, clarity, definition of terms (like “rap”) and precision that comes from a full grasp of the subject. These were lacking in the rap discussion. The very question itself lacked clarity and nuance which opened the door to the misrepresentations common to the broad brush. In framing the question, I failed to distinguish between the use of music in worship compared to simply listening to music. We failed to distinguish between the various expressions of the artists. I failed to correct a panelist who made an unsavory comment. Panel discussions, off the cuff are useful for certain things, but to use a surprise question to a panel to engage a broader audience on such a complex controversial topic as musical genres they may not have been knowledgeable of was unwise. I did not engage this topic with the required care. There were moments where it lacked the brotherly tone that is essential for our critiques within the body of Christ. In at least these senses, it was unworthy of our Lord. Please forgive me…

Read


 

Three Dividing Lines This Week by James White via Alpha and Omega Ministries [added Dec. 3, 2013]

Thursday at 5pm EST I will be joined by Dr. Voddie Baucham, Shai Linne and Ivey Conerly to discuss the recent explosion of discussion regarding “Christian rap.”

 


 

Sam WaldronReformed Rap Ruckus: Comments from the Empty Chair by Sam Waldron via Midwest Center for Theological Studies: Owensboro, KY  [added Dec. 4, 2013]

…Being old (Well 62!) and not particularly “Facebook and blog aware,” I was alerted to this controversy first by a much younger member of my church. After viewing the video and reading Ligon Duncan’s related comments, I wrote the following email to the to my younger, but like-minded, brother in the Lord. It is slightly edited for this blog.

 

It is pretty well known–at least I have made no secret of it–that I enjoy Shai Linne’s doctrinally solid raps. I have played them for college students in college classes with a good conscience and with gladness that they present the Christian religion in a different and contemporary cultural form. I think that as an art form and performance this may give them a helpfulness that other art forms and performance styles may not possess for today’s generation.

 

I certainly do not agree with many of the things the panelists said. . . . I am glad that Botkin apologized for the unfortunate things he said. I certainly do not agree with the very negative tone of the video as a whole about Reformed rap…

 

Since I wrote the above email both Scott Brown and Joel Beeke have issued apologies for aspects of their comments.  I think their apologies show wisdom and humility.  Both emphasize the distinction I am insisting on in this blog.  Let me only add that my ministry at the NCFIC conference emphasized the crucial distinction I was making at the Worship of God conference between the corporate worship of the church and other situations.  The question of whether Reformed rap may be a good and useful kind of performance art and thus evangelistic tool is very different from the question of whether any such performance art has any place in the formal worship of Christ’s church. These questions should be separated for a more fruitful discussion.

Read [4 min. listen]


 

Jeremy WalkerAsking the right questions by Jeremy Walker via Reformation21 Blog

At the risk of being trampled by the ireful in the latest slanging match over rap and hip-hop, I wonder if I might interject? It seems to me, watching from a distance and not trying to read every contribution, that the debate quickly escalates into absolute and swingeing declarations that fail to take account of the various issues that ought to come into play. I may be wrong, but I hope I can lob a few thoughts into the debate.
I suggest that there are at least three questions that ought to be asked in assessing not just rap and hip-hop but other musical genres and forms.

 

First, and most generically, in what ways can a Christian appreciate, enjoy and embrace either a form or genre of music in and of itself, or a particular instance of that form?

 

Second, and a little more narrowly, to what extent is a certain form or genre an appropriate vehicle for the communication of distinctively Christian truth?

 

But third, and most specifically, is this question: is a certain form or genre a legitimate and appropriate means for the corporate worship of the gathered church? This brings us into a whole new realm, for it raises the issue of the artist and his or her audience and the distinctive dynamics of the saints of God gathered in one place for the purpose of worshipping God. The answers to these questions are sometimes assumed in the debate, but often they have been neither raised nor addressed. I have offered some thoughts on these matters [15 min. readout]before…

Read [9 min. readout]

We’ll continue to add more from fellow 1689rs as/if they come out.

5 Things to Do Before Leaving Your Church [Thabiti Anyabwile] + When is it Legitimate to go?

Thabiti-Anyabwile3Thabiti Anyabwile:

Leaving a local congregation should be one of the most difficult decision we face. It should be filled with the recollection of our love for the saints, their love for us, our service together in the name of our Lord, and our sorrows and joys in the faith. A church is family and we ought never feel it easy to leave family–even an unhealthy family.

 

But we do sometimes find ourselves at that crossroads. When we’ve decided to leave, there are at least five things we want to do before we go.

 

1. Share Your Thinking/Reasons with the Leaders
2. Resolve Any Outstanding Conflicts
3. Express Your Appreciation for the Church’s Ministry in Your Life
4. Say “Goodbye” to Friends and Family
5. Be Honest with Yourself about Your Own Efforts, Motives and Failings

Read [8 min. readout]

Also, in the comments he answers the question “At what point (if any) is a desire for change in preference of ministry style (musical, philosophical, etc.) become a legitimate cause for finding another place to worship?”

Upcoming [Feb. 2014] Book: “Captivated: Beholding the Mystery of Jesus’ Death and Resurrection” [Thabiti Anyabwile]

Captivated Beholding the Mystery of Jesus’ Death and Resurrection Thabiti Anyabwile

Description:

The Bible implores us to take a long look at Jesus, forcefully beckoning us to “come and see” through profound questions connected with Jesus’ death and resurrection. These questions drive us to consider not just the events themselves but also their meaning as we take a long look beneath the surface and find more of the never-ending treasures of Christ. In Captivated, Thabiti Anyabwile invites you to set aside your early lessons on politeness and stare (yes, do stare) into the mystery of the cross and empty tomb.

 

Table of Contents:

Introduction

1. Is There No Other Way? (Matthew 26:42)

2. Why Have You Forsaken Me? (Matthew 27:45-46)

3. Where, O Death, Is Your Victory? (1 Corinthians 15:55)

4. Why Do You Look for the Living among the Dead? (Luke 24:5)

5. Do You Know These Things? (Luke 24:17)

 

Details:

Publisher: Reformation Heritage Books
Pages: 100
Binding: Paperback
Available: February 2014

 

Author:

Thabiti M. Anyabwile is senior pastor of First Baptist Church, Grand Cayman in the Cayman Islands. Pastor Anyabwile and his wife, Kristie, have three children.

[source: RHB]

2013 Bolton Conf. “Christian’s Confessions & Living as Christ’s Church” VIDEO Feat. Thabiti Anyabwile & Trueman

BoltonConferenceCover

Thabiti Anyabwile:

I had the privilege of sharing speaking responsibilities with Carl Trueman. Carl delivered three talks on the importance of creeds and I had the honor of preaching three sessions on Christian love. I highly commend Carl’s talks for their articulation of the theological, historical, and practical importance of confessions of faith.

 

You can see videos of the sessions here. You’ll also find last year’s talks from Greg Beale and Ralph Davis on the Old Testament.

Videos:

First Session: Carl Trueman, Why Confessions?

Second Session: Thabiti Anyabwile, The Church: Saints loving Christ

Third Session: Carl Trueman, Confessions and the Reformation

Fourth Session: Thabiti Anyabwile, The Church: Saints Loving Saints

Fifth Session: Carl Trueman, The Contemporary Scene and Confession

Sixth Session: Thabiti Anyabwile, The Church: Saints Loving Sinners

Q and A Session: Questions and Answer Session

Why You Should Care about the ‘Strange Fire’ Discussion – Thabiti Anyabwile

Strange-Fire

Thabiti Anyabwile:

Well, the “Strange Fire” conference is underway. The twittersphere is lit up like a Christmas tree and the partisan battle lines are drawn deeply in the theological sand. As far as I can tell, you’re likely to fall into one of four positions:

 

1. Cessationist

 

2. Continuationist

 

3. Saddened

 

4. Could care less

 

I understand the first three categories. If you’re in group 1 or 2, you likely have biblical reasons for why you are. Hopefully you’ve wrestled with the biblical text, the well-formed thoughts of others–both pro and con, and you’ve landed as best you can on what you think is biblical ground.

 

I understand the third group, too. You may be in either group, but you’re mainly dejected at the sight of Christian leaders you respect “going at each other” over a vitally important but secondary issue. You’re wondering why it has to be this way. You’re feeling more and more like Rodney King. It’s not that you think Christians can’t or shouldn’t disagree. You perhaps feel Christians shouldn’t disagree this way. Not your heroes.

 

It seems to me the last group has the weakest position. “I could care less” and “let’s move on already” can’t really be justified by any of the Bible’s teaching. After all, what’s really being debated is how we walk with God. If we could care less about that, then we couldn’t care less about God himself. So this post is really a simple plea to folks tempted toward category 4 to care more.

Read the rest or listen to the six minute readout.

[Free E-book Friday] John Calvin: A Heart for Devotion, Doctrine, and Doxology (Contributors include Thabiti Anyabwile & Tom Ascol)

From Ligonier Ministries:

During the month of October, Reformation Trust is giving away the eBook edition of John Calvin: A Heart for Devotion, Doctrine, and Doxology. In this book Burk Parsons, editor of Tabletalk magazine and co-pastor at Saint Andrew’s Chapel, has brought together an impressive group of pastors and scholars to reconsider Calvin’s life and legacy. Contributors include Jay Adams, Eric Alexander Thabiti Anyabwile, Joel Beeke, Jerry Bridges, Sinclair Ferguson, Robert Godfrey, D. G.Hart, Michael Horton, Phillip R. Johnson, Steven Lawson, John MacArthur, Keith Mathison, Richard Phillips, Harry Reeder, Philip Graham Ryken, Derek Thomas, Thomas Ascol, and others.

 

In twenty succinct chapters, these men examine Calvin the man; his work (as a Reformer, a churchman, a preacher, a counselor, and a writer); and his teachings (on subjects as diverse as the Holy Spirit and prayer). What emerges is a multifaceted portrait of a man whose contributions to Christian thought and Christian living were significant indeed, a man whose life, work, and teachings are worthy to be remembered and studied even in the twenty-first century.

free-ebook_620_JohnCalvinAHeartFor

1. The Humility of Calvin’s Calvinism   Burk Parsons

2. Who was John Calvin?   Derek W. H. Thomas

3. Calvin’s Heart for God   Sinclair B. Ferguson

4. The Reformer of Faith and Life   D. G. Hart

5. The Churchman of the Reformation   Harry L. Reeder

6. The Preacher of God’s Word   Steven J. Lawson

7. The Counselor to the Afflicted   W. Robert Godfrey

8. The Writer for the People of God   Phillip R. Johnson

9. The Supremacy of Jesus Christ   Eric J. Alexander

10. The Transforming Work of the Spirit   Thabiti Anyabwile

11. Man’s Radical Corruption   John MacArthur

12. Election and Reprobation   Richard D. Phillips

13. Redemption Defined   Thomas K. Ascol

14. Transforming Grace   Keith A. Mathison

15. A Certain Inheritance   Jay E. Adams

16. The Believer’s Union with Christ   Philip Graham Ryken

17. The Principal Article of Salvation   Michael Horton

18. The True Christian Life   Jerry Bridges

19. The Communion of Men with God   Joel R. Beeke

All download options:

The Importance of Your Gag Reflex When Discussing Homosexuality and “Gay Marriage” by Thabiti Anyabwile

Over at the  Pure Church blog, Thabiti Anyabwile wrotes a post titled The Importance of Your Gag Reflex When Discussing Homosexuality and “Gay Marriage”. It concludes:

What we’re really talking about when we talk about “homosexuality” is not just sex gone wrong but wrong sexual behavior. Deep down we all–Christian and non-Christian, heterosexual and homosexual–know it’s wrong. The knowledge of that moral wrong repulses us because we’re moral beings, made that way by our Creator. In a Romans 1 “suppress the truth in unrighteousness” world, it becomes the Christian’s responsibility to help people acknowledge what they really know but are really suppressing. Our apologetic task is to bring to the surface what has been written on the conscience and cannot be not known. We need to do this with as much kindness, insight, warmth and fairness as the gay journalist in the private boardroom ten years ago. And we need to do this soon.

 

The pro-gay campaign has successfully duped many in the country and around the world into suppressing their conscience, turning the other way with the help of polite terms and phrases. And because we want to be “nice” and “liked” (who doesn’t?), we have ignored these things or willingly accepted the terms of the discussion presented by the other side. We’ve stopped gagging–at great cost.

 

I don’t know if the tide will wash out on so-called “gay marriage.” But if it does I suspect it’ll happen because our moral conscience is aroused by sober consideration of the behavior we’re now viewing on prime time television, celebrating on court house steps, and teaching in public schools. Time for us to wake up and shift the discussion back to what this has been about all along. The good news is our conscience will side with what we already know to be right–even the conscience of those who oppose the truth will testify against them.

Read the rest or listen to 15 minute readout.

UPDATE: Aug 24, 2013Follow-up post based on responses he was getting the article above. [16 min. readout]

Oct. 25-26, 2013 Bolton Conference “The Christian’s Confessions & Living as Christ’s Church” Feat. Thabiti Anyabwile & Carl Trueman

A conference hosted by the New England Reformed Fellowship @ Pleasant Street Christian Reformed Church: 25 Cross Street, Whitinsville, MA.

Theme

bolton conf 2013

The Christian’s Confessions and Living as Christ’s Church

What is your only comfort in life and in death? What is the chief end of man? What, then, must a Christian believe? These are familiar questions to those who have had the privilege of being under the influence of a family or church that welcomes the heritage of confessional Christianity. Every believer has a confession or they could not be a Christian: If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. (Rom.10:9) But Christian confession means more than an expression toward personal salvation; it is a body of doctrinal truth, an orderly understanding of what Scripture teaches about God, creation, providence, man, sin, Christ, law, grace and everything else that has to do with pleasing God in this life and the next. And every Christian doctrine has a history, often hard fought and at a cost, including martyrdom. The 450 year old Heidelberg Catechism has stayed in continual use, as has the Westminster Assembly documents and their Congregational and Baptist versions. Indeed, we who profess the reformed faith stand on venerable, broad shoulders.

But we also are or should be members of a local church. How should our church life flesh out what we confess? What is the spirit and behavior of a congregation that reflects such glorious truth, toward one another and toward those outside who so desperately need what we have been privileged to hear and believe?

Please join us for this year’s conference, which will address the importance of knowing what we believe and practicing it, individually and as churches. Please also tell others about the conference. Perhaps you can offer to bring someone who should be introduced to the humbling pleasures of what we call the reformed faith.

Speakers

 

Carl R. TruemanCarl R. Trueman

Carl is Paul Woolley professor of church history at Westminster Seminary in Philadelphia. He received his MA at Cambridge University and his doctorate at University of Aberdeen in 1991. After two periods of teaching at Aberdeen and a five-year stint in between at the University of Nottingham, he came to Westminster in 2001. Carl is also pastor of the Cornerstone Church (OPC) in Ambler, PA and also a prolific writer, having published many articles and books. He has recently written on his subject for our conference entitled The Creedal Imperative. Many follow Carl’s blog site for wide-ranging commentary, book reviews, trend analysis, etc. Carl is married to Catriona and their two sons, John and Peter are away in college.

 

Thabiti Anyabwile

Thabiti Anyabwile

Though senior pastor of the First Baptist Church in Grand Cayman on Grand Cayman Island since 2006, Thabiti is a native of Lexington, North Carolina. He received both B.S. and M.S. degrees from North Carolina State University. He served previously as an assistant pastor at Capitol Hill Baptist in Washington, DC. Thabiti has been the featured speaker at the New England Center for Expository Preaching, at other venues in the US and elsewhere. He is the author of The Life of God in the Soul of the Church and The Gospel for Muslims. Before their conversion to Christ, both Thabiti and his wife, Kristie had converted to Islam. They have two daughters, Afiya and Eden, and a son, Titus.

 

More details. Schedule.