Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Female Bible Teachers, Carl Trueman, and 1 Timothy 2:9-15

Beth Moore: Photo Credit- Christianitytoday
Can female bible teachers instruct men so long as it is not during the worship service (as Carl Trueman recently argued)? What does 1 Timothy 2:9-15 actually prohibit? What about female worship leaders? What can Christian ladies in Christ's Church do today?   

What is Biblical Manhood and Womanhood and why does it matter? Should Bible-believing Christians jettison CBMW?

I believe this is the most practical and important video-cast to date; (click to listen to it here).

Monday, August 22, 2016

Are MacArthurites All Theological Clones? Setting the Record Straight.

Are MacArthurites simply theological clones who lack the necessary skills to think critically? Is the Master's Seminary a "monolithic" training center where legitimate discussion and reasonable dissent over tertiary matters is stifled among the student body? In this regard, are TMS' professors much different than say the faculty at RTS? 

Today's brief "Diversity within Boundaries" video-cast provides five personal examples that dispel a common myth about The Master's Seminary and the indebted and loyal students of Pastor John MacArthur and the TMS faculty.

(Video Summary): During my time at TMS I wrote five papers (out of hundreds of assignments) wherein I respectfully disagreed with my teachers; (all of whom I indebted to). I was never discouraged from doing this- nor was I ever graded unfairly.  Those disagreements included the following issues: 1) Dr. Snider's position on the active obedience of Christ (Matt. 3:15; Gal. 4:4). 2) Dr. MacArthur's interpretation of Titus 1:6 (faithful or believing children). 3) Dr. Grisanti's view of Deuteronomy 34, Numbers 12:3 and 'inspired textual redactors.' 4) Dr. Barrick's view on why King David was not allowed to build the Jerusalem Temple? (Holy War or Adultery) & 5) Professor Jim Stitzinger's interpretation of 1 Peter 3:18-20 (bound spirits and the victory sermon of Jesus).

After posting these videos to Facebook they are eventually saved on YouTube.  You can view this videocast here.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Police, Pastoral Ministry, and CONTEXT: Where You Work Impacts More Than You Know

    Photo Credit: mscutie817.tumblr.com
Police work, Pastoring, and Context. WHERE one works or serves as a Christian is often far more significant than many realize. 

Today's video sheds light on this neglected aspect of Christian vocation. With specific insights from police in Los Angeles and Indianapolis.  How has the BlackLivesMatter narrative impacted law enforcement serving in different cities across America?

I trust my latest video-cast will encourage many people; whether you serve in Philippi or in Corinth (1 Cor. 15:58; Gal. 6:9).  

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Faith VS Science

"The WAR on SCIENCE." If you dispute the theory of evolution you are as ignorant as those fruit cake moon landing deniers" so says National Geographic and Bill Nye the science guy.  Bill Nye also condemned the Creation Museum's new "Ark Encounter" saying after his visit that it was far worse than he imagined it would be.

Today's video asks the question, "Whose ideology is really blinded to reality and truth? Christian's should have no trouble turning the tables as we interact with the world. The unbelieving world mocked Noah for building an ark way back when and they scoffed at Ken Ham for doing so now.

Everyone places their faith in something or someone.  Who or what are you resting your faith in?  After posting these videos on Facebook I eventually transfer them over to YouTube- You can view this video-cast here.

Friday, August 19, 2016

"Bright Days, Dark Nights." Depression and Sorrow in Service to Christ

2 Corinthians is such a paradox, isn't it? On one hand Paul is so down (2 Cor. 1:8-9a, 4:8-10a) he cannot even return to Corinth (without knowing if they have first received his admonitions). Paul was certainly no wimp; perish the thought. Outside of Christ, Paul may have suffered more for the gospel and the Church than any other minister (2 Cor. 11:23-33). 

And yet Paul also talks in 2 Corinthians about the unparalleled joys/privileges of being a minister of the New Covenant (note 2 Cor 3-4). Life and ministry is sometimes both/and rather than either/or. I remember John MacArthur saying that he was so glad he did not preach 2 Corinthians early in his ministry because one cannot really capture the pathos of Paul unless they have first suffered deeply in ministry. "In the deepest pains we learn life's greatest lessons and the deepest pains in life are often inflicted by those who are closest to our heart." (2 Cor. 12:8-10). Paul's painful experiences shepherding the flock at Corinth is so much a part of the rubric of these inspired letters (1-2 Cor.). 

If the Bible was not inspired blog writers would certainly edit and critique large portions of Scripture. Consider Moses' burden of leading the stiff-necked wilderness generation. Or King David's lament as he talks about the deep, deep pains of personal betrayal (Psalm 55:12-14); or his deep sorrow over the guilt of his own sin (Ps. 32, 51). Israel's hymnbook (the Psalter) includes many psalms of lament. Or the weeping prophet Jeremiah (Jer. 1-2, 20; Lam. 3). I often think about the positive and negative implications of Hebrews 13:17. As with parenting it can be grievous to the soul when attempting to shepherd unruly souls over months and years... 1 Thess. 5:12-13 is an inspired mandate as much as 1 Peter 5:1-4 is. "Let them do this with joy and not grief..."

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Maintaining Doctrinal Standards and Revising Church Constitutions

On maintaining core Doctrinal Distinctives  and the careful process of revising the Constitution and Statement of Faith without splitting the church.

By the grace of God we are a Word-driven, Christ-exalting, doctrinally-minded local church (per 1 Tim. 3:15; Jude 3; Col. 1:28-29). In all things we seek to be biblically balanced and to be a body committed to grace and truth. Loving God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength is of course the Greatest Commandment of them all (Matt. 22:36-40; Rev. 2:1-7).  We are sinners saved by grace who long to please the Lord in all of our ways.

Though all biblical truth is important we embrace a theological triage approach to Christian ministry. In other words, some theological matters are of “first rate” importance. This is the inspired language the Apostle Paul uses in 1 Corinthians 15:3-4.

“The word triage comes from the French word trier, which means ‘to sort.’ Thus, the triage officer in the medical context is the front-line agent for deciding which patients need the most urgent treatment. Without such a process, the scraped knee would receive the same urgency of consideration as a gunshot wound to the chest. The same discipline that brings order to the hectic arena of the Emergency Room can also offer great assistance to Christians defending truth in the present age.”

Fundamental doctrines would include things like penal substitution, justification by grace through faith in Christ alone, the virgin birth, the bodily resurrection of Christ, the Deity of Christ, the humanity of Christ, the Trinity of Persons within the One true God, etc. To deny any of these gospel truths is to be outside orthodox Christianity (see 1-3 John, 2 Peter).

“The set of second-order doctrines is distinguished from the first-order set by the fact that believing Christians may disagree on the second-order issues, though this disagreement will create certain boundaries between believers. When Christians organize themselves into congregations and denominational forms, these boundaries become evident.”

The Bible does not establish an definitive list of second and third order doctrines, therefore, each congregation will establish their own theological identity. Some embrace a “big tent” approach to local church ministry, while others, (like FBC) are more precise in their philosophy of ministry and in their theological distinctives.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Reformed Premillenialism and Horatius Bonar

"In the nineteenth century Horatius Bonar published his Prophetic Landmarks: Containing Data for helping to Determine the Question of Christ’ Premillenial Advent, which is a solid and judicious premillennial apology.  This upholder of the doctrines of sovereign grace considered the pivotal issue regarding a right perception of prophetic revelation to be the primacy of the nature and destiny of the Jewish people in the whole eschatological scheme of things.  He wrote,

The prophesies concerning Israel are the key to all the rest.  True principles of interpretation, in regard to them, will aid us in disentangling and illustrating all prophecy together.  False principles as to them will most thoroughly perplex and overcloud the whole Word of God. (3)
This significant point will be recommended quite frequently throughout this book. Indeed at this juncture we coin the term “Judeo-centric Eschatology” since it offers such a cohesive basis for the integration of various elements of biblical prophecy, and even more so than the common premillennial resource to Revelation 20.  Given a right understanding of Israel in relation to the Christian Church, an eschatology will nevertheless result that incorporates an essentially premillennial understanding of Revelation 20."

(3) H. Bonar, Prophetical Landmaks: Containing Data for helping to Determine the Question of Christ’s Pre-millenial Advent (5th ed.; London: J. Nisbet, 1876), 228. 

Friday, August 12, 2016

Future Israel: Why Christian Anti-Judaism Must Be Challenged (Barry Horner)

Those who have embraced unconditional election and the doctrines of sovereign grace should also welcome Text-driven Premillennialism. In his pot stirring series, Why Every Self-Respecting Calvinist Should Be a Premillennialist John MacArthur mentions an insightful new book titled, Future Israel: Why Christian Anti-Judaism Must Be Challenged.   This book is part of the NAC Commentary Studies in Bible and Theology.

As I mentioned last time the introduction of Future Israel is worth the price of the book.  Today's article is the second part of a series of articles on the subject of Biblical eschatology (see part one).   Dr. Horner describes his theological journey with these helpful insights:  "More recently, a closer study of four books of the Bible has led me now to more firmly assert that the basic premillennial model of biblical prophesy, and especially as it relates to ethnic and national Israel, is closest to the truth of Scripture.  First, there was a study of Zechariah, so permeated with the ultimate triumph of the Messiah and the nation of Israel.  The prophet speaks of God’s vindication on earth when He “will become king over all the earth- Yahweh alone, and His name alone” (Zech 14:9).1  I will never forget the study of David Baron’scommentary on this book, which seemed so much more illuminating to the text than Calvin’s.

Then a close study of Romans over several years, and particularly chaps. 9-11, resulted in an indelible impression that for Paul, the converted Hebrew rabbi, Israel has n ongoing national identity, its unbelief notwithstanding.  On the other hand, it seemed as if Reformed exegesis, at least on a prima facie reading of the text, was attempting to avoid the obvious.

Thursday, August 11, 2016


photo credit: rookiepreacher.com

 (By Art Azurdia)

1) Exegetical accuracy 

2) Doctrinal substance

3) Clear structure

4) Vivid illustrations

5) Pointed textual application

6) Helpful delivery

7) Supernatural authority (Spirit-filled Preaching)

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Preaching Epistolary Literature (Azurdia)

"When interpreting/preaching New Testament epistles keep in mind that . . .

1.                  They tend to follow a standard form

                        Name of writer (e.g., “Paul”)

                        Name of recipient (e.g., “to the church of God in Corinth”)

                        Greeting (e.g., “Grace and peace to you from God our Father”)

                        Prayer wish or thanksgiving (e.g., “I always thank God for you . . .”)


        Final Greeting and Farewell (e.g., “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you”)

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Reading The Scriptures Publicly

"What you believe about the Bible is inevitably communicated by the way you read it in public:

1. The Bible Is Spirit-Inspired

The entire Bible has its source in God. It is composed of books, sentences, phrases, words, and individual letters that He has “ . . . breathed out” (2 Ti 3:16). Without using dictation, and without destroying the individuality of each human author, God has given us a book that, in its tiniest details, is exactly what He wants it to be.

Therefore, unless it is read inaccurately (or from a faulty translation), the reader is speaking and the listener is hearing the very Word of God. We are thus encountering God Himself. It’s the nearest we get to heaven during our time on earth.

Because inspiration is verbal, you must take care as to how you pronounce and express every word. Every time you open the Bible you do so in the presence of its Author.

2. The Bible Is Clear (Perspicuous)

This does not mean that every (or any) individual Christian understands everything God has revealed. It does mean that the church of Jesus Christ, in every generation, is capable of understanding the God-breathed Word. The simplest person, with the Spirit’s illumination, is able to understand the truths necessary for salvation.

It follows, then, that the Bible should be read clearly. This cannot be done, however, if you lack an understanding of what is being read. Contrarily, when the text is rightly understood it can be read with appropriate expression.

Monday, August 8, 2016

The Preacher's Resolutions (Azurdia)

Photo Credit: www.westernseminary.edu
The Preacher’s Resolutions

"Resolved, that I will ‘preach the word’—not about the word—not from the word—not with the word—affirming that it is only the exposition of the word that communicates God’s mind and conveys His power to transform.

Resolved, that I will labor to the point of exhaustion when preparing to preach.

Resolved, that I will display the redemptive indicatives that establish the basis for moral imperatives.

Resolved, that I will repeatedly acknowledge my absolute dependence upon the empowerment of the Spirit.

Resolved, that I will allow the cross to not only determine the content of my preaching, but the manner in which I communicate it.

Resolved, that I will give careful attention to my private and public walk with God, knowing the congregation never rises to a standard higher than that being lived by the preacher.

Resolved, that I will fervently pray for the regeneration and sanctification of those to whom I preach.

Resolved, that I will preach with humble gratitude, as one privileged to be a herald of God.

Resolved, that I will preach solely for the pleasure of God and not the approbations of people."

By Professor Azurdia.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

The 'Telos' Statement in Preaching

Telos statement in preaching  by Art Azurdia

"The telos is a succinct statement of summary that is ruthlessly bound to the Spirit-intended purpose of a selected text. 

The telos does not incorporate the potential implications, applications, and theological inferences of the selected text.  This is not to say that these potential implications, applications, and theological inferences cannot or should not be mentioned in the actual sermon (which, more properly speaking, is an issue to be determined when considering the sermon’s unity). 

When constructing a telos the expositor must never impose his own purpose on the text.  Such is imposition, not exposition.  Once again, the telos is a disciplined statement of summary that confines itself exclusively to the truth contained in the pertinent text (or, perhaps, asks a question that the truth of the text answers).

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

The Do's and Don'ts of Teaching Parables (MacArthur)

If you want to have John MacArthur as a preaching professor on a regular basis there is only one D. Min program in the world you should enroll in (and that's TMS).  Drs. John MacArthur and Steven J. Lawson are the regular teaching faculty for the Master's Seminary Doctor of Ministry program.  This is one of the reasons why the revamped Doctoral of Ministry track at TMS now has 60 pastors/missionary students.  During one of Dr. MacArthur's final lectures this past summer he talked about the Do's and Don'ts of Preaching Parables.

“The word ‘parable’ (parabole) appears forty-eight times in the Synoptic Gospels (seventeen times in Matthew, thirteen in Mark, and eighteen in Luke).  It is entirely absent in John’s Gospel and is missing in the rest of the New Testament...”[1]  The word comes from two Greek roots: para (beside) and ballo (throw).  Literally, it means "to place alongside."  It suggests a comparison between two things that are alike in some way.

Regardless of what passage or genre one is studying, employing a consistent hermeneutic is the most important component of faithful interpretation.  The student of Scripture must never depart from the grammatico-historical hermeneutic in effort to manipulate the God-intended message of the text, for the meaning of Scripture is the Scriptures (2 Tim. 2:15).  According to MacArthur, Tim Keller misrepresented the major thrust of Jesus' Good Samaritan parable in his best-selling book The Prodigal God.  This kind of thing is not uncommon when it comes to parables.  Many apparently believe you can make parables say anything you want them to say; so long as your conclusions are biblical.  This is simply not true!

Monday, August 1, 2016

Make Much of Christ: Proclaim the Four Gospels (John MacArthur)

Photo Credit: godsbreath.net
In the final summer D. Min lecture at TMS Pastor John MacArthur shared a brief word on making much of Christ especially as we preach through the four gospels.  In this lecture MacArthur noted that the gospels are historical narratives written with a theological purpose.  In view of this, MacArthur recommended that we all read Dr. Abner Chou's opening chapter (Did God Really Say...?  Hermeneutics and History in Genesis 3) in What Happened in the Garden.  In this chapter Chou demonstrates that history is the ground of theology.  "The biblical writers do not see history as merely a means of communicating theology; rather, they see history as the means of actualizing theology" (p. 29).  In the gospels Divine truths about God, Christ, Man, the Kingdom, and Salvation are taught.  The historical Gospels are especially Christological which makes them a treasure trove for preaching and Christian worship.

MacArthur went on to say that one of the most theologically rich chapters in the Bible is John 3 which highlights the doctrine of Divine regeneration ("the new birth").  Jesus' doctrinal instruction in John 3 does not compliment Billy Graham's book title, "How to be born again" as the new birth (regeneration) is monergistic (a work of One).  God alone can make dry bones come alive.  He alone can bring a spiritually dead sinner (Eph. 2:1-10) to life again.  In short, don't miss the rich theology of Christ as you work your way the four gospels!