Matthew R. Perry

Archive for April, 2007|Monthly archive page

Theologically-Driven Preaching (Daniel Akin)

In Church Life, For Preachers/Pastors, For Seminary Students, Leadership, Preaching on April 21, 2007 at 12:00 am

Dr. Daniel Akin, President of the Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina, has written a very helpful pamphlet on the necessity of theologically-driven preaching for the church.

(HT: Thabati Anyabwile

CAN THEOLOGICALLY DRIVEN PREACHING HELP RESCUE THE SBC?
By: Daniel L. Akin

The Conservative Resurgence gave Southern Baptist a second chance but it did not secure our future. Has there been a Resurgence? Yes. Has there been a Restoration? Doubtful. Have we experienced genuine Revival? Clearly the answer is no.

Eight Theological Essentials for Southern Baptists in the 21st Century
1) The non-negotiable of a regenerate Church (John 3; Rom. 3; 2 Cor. 5; Gal. 3)

  • First, we need to make it clear that church membership is a privilege, not a right.
  • Second, we must preach against easy believism and reject any form of a compromised gospel.
  • Third, we must be careful with respect to our own theological integrity concerning infant or early adolescent baptism that lacks a clear understanding and confession of the gospel.

2) The essential nature of believers baptism by immersion with a biblical appreciation for its significance. (Matt. 28; Acts, Rom. 6)

That baptism involved a particular member (a believer), mode (immersion) and meaning (public identification with Christ and the believing community) is grounded in New Testament witness and has been a hallmark of Baptists throughout their history.

We must see evidence of regeneration for those we baptize. The baptism of young children must be administered with the greatest possible care.

Baptism should be viewed and emphasized as a first and necessary step of discipleship and obedience to Christ. We will reject as inconceivable the idea of admitting anyone into our membership without believer’s baptism by immersion.

3) The recovery of the lost jewels of church discipline and genuine disciple-making as essential marks of the Church.

Church discipline is clearly and repeatedly taught in the New Testament, yet most do not preach on it or practice it. Jesus addresses it in Matt. 18:15-20 and Paul does so several times in 1 Cor. 5:1-13; 2 Cor. 2:5-11; Gal. 6:1-2; and Titus 3:9-11.

Theologically it is to disobey the plain teachings of Scripture and ignore the necessity of church discipline in maintaining the purity of the church.

  • First, we must preach and teach our people what the Bible says about church discipline.
  • Second, we must begin to implement church discipline lovingly, wisely, gently, carefully and slowly.
  • Third, we must apply discipline to areas like absentee membership as well as the specific list provided by Paul in 1 Cor. 5.

4) The emphasis and practice of a genuinely Word-based ministry (2 Tim. 4:1-5)For those of us who profess to believe in both the inerrancy and sufficiency of Scripture, there must be in our churches what I call “engaging exposition.”We must advocate an expositional method with a theological mindset under an evangelical mandate. It is preaching that models for our people how they should study, interpret and teach the Bible.

5) The vision for a faithful and authentic biblical ecclesiology (Acts. 2; Eph. 4; Pastorals)

  • First, there must be the 4 marks of 1) a regenerate Church membership, 2) the Word, 3) the Ordinances and 4) Church Discipline.
  • Second the local church should be elder/pastor led and congregationally governed. Here, in my judgment, there is room for flexibility in terms of patterns, structure and implementation.

As we move forward in this century, Pastors will need to give particular attention to a theology of stewardship and discipleship.

The members of our churches must move from being shoppers to buyers to investors.

6) The continued nurturing of a fervent missionary and evangelistic passion that is wedded to a healthy and robust theology (1 Thess. 1; Eph. 4:11-16; Jude 3-4; Rev. 5)

No church will be evangelistic by accident.
First, there are multiple ways churches can do missions and evangelism. That we do it is the key.

Marketplace evangelism which can reach into the workplace is an area needing attention, strategizing and training.

Youth and student evangelism needs renewed emphasis.

Theologically and biblically, we must challenge our people to evangelize without bias or prejudice, loving and going after the exploding ethnic and minority groups where we live.

7) The teaching and preaching of a 1st century biblical model for church planting (Acts 17)
The 21st century is more like the 1st century than has ever been the case in our Western culture.

We are losing America and the West because we are losing the great metropolitan areas where there is a concentration of people.

  • First, explore creative methods, but make sure that they are faithfully filtered through the purifying waters of Holy Scripture.
  • Second, be wise fishers of men.
  • Third, we must ask God to raise a new generation of godly and gifted church planters and missionaries.

8) The wisdom to look back and remember who we were so that as we move forward we will not forget who we are

The Southern Baptist Convention today is not the Southern Baptist Convention of your parents, and certainly not your grandparents.

We now have several generations who know almost nothing of William Carey and Adoniram Judson, Bill Wallace, Lottie Moon and Annie Armstrong. They do know nothing of Boyce, Broadus, and Manly; Carroll, Robertson, Frost, Mullins and Truett.

They have never heard Criswell, Rogers or Vines preach, and they are not really sure who they are.

In creative and dynamic avenues fitting a 21st century context, we need to retell the Baptist History story in a way that will grab the attention and stir the hearts of our people. And we need to do it, at least in part, from the pulpit.

Conclusion:
The North Carolina evangelist Vance Havner said, “What we live is what we really believe.”

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Brian Lara Retires from International Cricket

In Sports on April 20, 2007 at 10:06 am

When I first went to Trinidad and Tobago in 1995, it was then I first heard of Brian Lara.  In downtown Port of Spain, their entire center of town was named Brian Lara Promenade.  He holds many records in international cricket play — and is the face of Trinidad in many ways.

West Indies captain Brian Lara has announced his retirement from all forms of international cricket.

“On Saturday I’ll be bidding farewell to international cricket as a player,” he told a news conference after the West Indies beat Bangladesh in Barbados

“I’ve already spoken to the board and my players,” Lara said.

The next Super 8 game against England on Saturday will be the last time Lara wears the West Indies colours.

The West Indies selectors have nominated Ramnaresh Sarwan as Lara’s replacement for the upcoming tour of England but this is still to be formally ratified by the WICB directors. (CaribbeanCricket.com)

Here are some of his records (HT: Wikipedia — take time to read all about about him):

  • He has the highest individual score in both first-class cricket (501 not out for Warwickshire against Durham in 1994) and Test cricket (400 not out for the West Indies against England in 2004).
  • Brian Lara amassed his world record 501 in 474 minutes off only 427 balls. He hit 308 in boundaries (10 sixes and 62 fours). His partners were Roger Twose (115 partnership – 2nd wicket), Trevor Penney (314 – 3rd), Paul Smith (51 – 4th) and Keith Piper (322 unbroken – 5th).
  • He also holds the record for the highest total number of runs in a Test career, after overtaking Allan Border in November 2005. He is the only man to have reclaimed the Test record score, having scored 375 against England in 1994, a record that stood until Matthew Hayden’s 380 against Zimbabwe in 2003. His 400 not out also made him the second player after Don Bradman to score two Test triple-centuries, and the second after Bill Ponsford to score two first-class quadruple-centuries. He has scored nine double centuries in Test cricket, second only to Bradman’s twelve.

As someone who has been to Trinidad a number of times and who realizes in some small manner how much of a hero Brian Lara is, I cannot help but think that this is a big moment in West Indies Cricket as well as on the international scene.

My pastor friend, Roddie Taylor, gave me a Brian Lara jersey during one of my missions trips to Trinidad — I may just have to pull it out and wear during his last match against England. It’s been a great run!

Boone’s Creek Annual Missions Conference 2007 Taking Shape

In Uncategorized on April 19, 2007 at 8:09 pm

Each Homecoming weekend at the end of September, our church holds our Annual Missions Conference.  This year, the conference will take place on Saturday, September 22, 2007. The theme will be “From Our Neighborhoods to the Nations” and will have one representative from our Judea, Jerusalem, Samaria, and the Ends of the Earth. Last year was a tremendous success with Jim Smith (DOM, Boone’s Creek Association), Randy Foster (Kentucky Baptist Convention), J. D Payne (Missions School Professor, Southern Seminary), and David Sills (former missionary to Ecuador, missions professor at Southern). Our people left with a tremendous burden to reach Eastern Canada for Christ.

This year, the line-up looks just as promising because I know the Lord is at work in these men:

Please be in prayer over this — and if you can, plan on attending.  It takes place from 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. 

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Boone’s Creek Annual Missions Conference 2007 Taking Shape

In Uncategorized on April 19, 2007 at 8:09 pm

Each Homecoming weekend at the end of September, our church holds our Annual Missions Conference.  This year, the conference will take place on Saturday, September 22, 2007. The theme will be “From Our Neighborhoods to the Nations” and will have one representative from our Judea, Jerusalem, Samaria, and the Ends of the Earth. Last year was a tremendous success with Jim Smith (DOM, Boone’s Creek Association), Randy Foster (Kentucky Baptist Convention), J. D Payne (Missions School Professor, Southern Seminary), and David Sills (former missionary to Ecuador, missions professor at Southern). Our people left with a tremendous burden to reach Eastern Canada for Christ.

This year, the line-up looks just as promising because I know the Lord is at work in these men:

Please be in prayer over this — and if you can, plan on attending.  It takes place from 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. 

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Cincinnati Bengals’ Player Domata Peko Shows Character

In Uncategorized on April 19, 2007 at 9:33 am

From the Cincinnati Bengals‘ Website:

Meet Domata Peko, the Bengals’ fourth-round pick from last season who is emerging as a fine defensive tackle stingy against the run and athletic on the pass. But on Sunday a few minutes past noon, his biggest stop in the offseason came at the intersection of Kentucky Route 18 and Turfway Road in Florence, Ky., when he pulled an elderly man out of his Blazer that had flipped onto its roof.

Click here to read the rest of the article.

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Cincinnati Bengals’ Player Domata Peko Shows Character

In Uncategorized on April 19, 2007 at 9:33 am

From the Cincinnati Bengals‘ Website:

Meet Domata Peko, the Bengals’ fourth-round pick from last season who is emerging as a fine defensive tackle stingy against the run and athletic on the pass. But on Sunday a few minutes past noon, his biggest stop in the offseason came at the intersection of Kentucky Route 18 and Turfway Road in Florence, Ky., when he pulled an elderly man out of his Blazer that had flipped onto its roof.

Click here to read the rest of the article.

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Around the Blogosphere: Good Reflections on the Shootings at Virginia Tech

In Uncategorized on April 17, 2007 at 11:00 pm

Tim Challies, Prayer for Blacksburg:

Like you, I was horrified to hear of yesterday’s violence at Virginia Tech. And like you, I had immediate flashbacks to the Columbine shootings which, though they happened eight years ago, seem fresh in my mind. It was awful to see the pictures of bleeding students being carried from the campus and to see the death count rising and rising. It was awful to hear of people jumping from windows or cowering for hours in darkened classrooms, wondering if they would ever make it out. What apparently began as an act of violence against a girlfriend soon escalated into an outright massacre. My heart went out to the people of Blacksburg as they begin their attempts to come to terms with this horrific event.

Desiring God Blog, What’s at the Heart of the Murders?:

While others are already making the Virginia Tech massacre a political issue and looking vehemently for someone to blame, let us remember that “the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick” (Jeremiah 17:9).

Our hearts and the murderer’s.

No x-ray machines, revised gun laws, or fired college presidents will solve the problem. We need new hearts (Ezekiel 11:19, John 3:3). We need Jesus.

Another entry from Desiring God Blog, “What to Say About Virginia Tech“:

After the Columbine shootings, John Piper wrote up 21 ways to love and comfort the hurting
by trusting wholly in God’s sovereignty over all things. He revised
them after 9-11. I posted this a couple months ago, but I want to again
in light of the Virginia Tech incident that is still developing. As lovers of an all-powerful
God, let us be prepared to love people in their pain by empathetically
and mercifully pointing them to a God who is in control.

Al Mohler, President, Southern Seminary, “Facing the Reality of Evil“:

The unspeakable evil of the killings at Virginia Tech bring us once again face to face with the reality of human evil. Christianity faces this challenge honestly, and acknowledges the horror of moral evil and its consequences. The Bible never flinches from assigning responsibility for moral evil. Human beings are capable of committing horrible acts of violence, malevolence, cruelty, and killing.

These are just a few.  Our hearts are with the fellow students as well as the parents of those who are burying their sons and daughters at such a tender age — where they sent them off to find a better life and grander opportunities. 

James 4:13-16  

Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”—  [14] yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.  [15] Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.”  [16] As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. 

All of them had plans for graduation — but we just don’t know when it will end.  May we take time to “examine ourselves and test to see whether we are in the faith” (2 Corinthians 13:5). 
   

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When Being on Facebook (and a Former Youth Pastor) Breaks Your Heart

In Uncategorized on April 16, 2007 at 8:47 pm

Facebook is absolutely booming! One cannot help but be intrigued by this community of people who have their profiles updated, pictures uploaded, walls to be written on, relationship statuses to be changed, and basically a portrait of their lives right there for all their friends to see. Through Facebook, I have actually caught up with some from my former churches in Florida and Kentucky to see what they are up to. As a youth pastor in Florida from 1998-2001, most of them are in college right now getting a good education …

… in more ways than one, it seems.

I don’t envy youth ministers. When I was a youth minister, I struggled. Not because I didn’t enjoy teaching them and being with them — on the contrary, those years were some of the best years of ministry ever. We did the usual youth ‘thing’: lots of games, relevant studies, great times of fellowship (hangin’ out, in youth speak).

Yet, I am heartbroken at what I see — mainly in the photo albums. One former youth has a profile pic of him drinking some alcoholic beverage from some woman’s cleavage. Another had a picture giving the dude taking the picture a double middle-finger. Too many find themselves with alcoholic beverages in hand. Many of them who are/were faithful at church both past and present have pictures up which convey a totally opposite mindset — quite worldly, marching in lock-step with the world’s philosophy.

What is so sad is that all of us have seen those in our churches who claim to know Christ (some whom we have even baptized!) are on Facebook, MySpace, Xanga, hi5 and other community sites like this using crass language to communicate, using questionable pictures to put on display the latest ‘good time’ they had.

You know, even though I believe that God is in control and that I know I cannot make people obey (nor should I try to make them), my flesh still fights feeling like a failure. Did nothing I taught them sink in? Were they gathered there simply because it was a fun thing to do rather than to learn about the things of God and how to live for him? Did I fail to show them that the only true satisfaction found in life is to have Christ not just as Savior but also as Lord — and that all other pursuits are a waste?

I still love those ‘kids’ — though they aren’t kids anymore. And my heart also prays they will find Christ as their true north — their true joy!

I am thankful that some have surrendered to the ministry, others are in Christian work, others are using their faith in Christ to minister in their secular work.

I just pray that the pages on their Facebook profiles are just a passing phase and that Christ will come back to the Center of who they are. In the meantime, I will pray … and hope … and hurt for them as they walk through this valley. Of all the things I thought Facebook would give, I never thought a broken heart would be on the list.

And yet … .

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Mohler’s Top Ten Biographies

In Uncategorized on April 16, 2007 at 10:06 am

Al Mohler writes in today’s blog:

Reading the biographies of persons whose lives represent a significant influence on the Christian church is especially enriching. Each of the biographies listed below invites the reader into an adventure that is both literary and theological. These are ten of the biographies I consider most important from recent decades. They are listed in chronological order rather than by ranked importance.

Click here to read his list.

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Mohler’s Top Ten Biographies

In Uncategorized on April 16, 2007 at 10:06 am

Al Mohler writes in today’s blog:

Reading the biographies of persons whose lives represent a significant influence on the Christian church is especially enriching. Each of the biographies listed below invites the reader into an adventure that is both literary and theological. These are ten of the biographies I consider most important from recent decades. They are listed in chronological order rather than by ranked importance.

Click here to read his list.

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