Posted on Monday, August 13, 2007 by Todd Pruitt on 1517

Al Mohler has posted a thought provoking article (Dr. Mohler's Blog) on the connection between the health of the family and that of the church.

Posted on Monday, August 13, 2007 by Todd Pruitt on 1517

As many of you know I have almost completed my latest installment of sermons in the Luke series: chapters seven and eight. Beginning September 9th I am excited to launch a series of messages based upon the fresh purpose statement that was composed by the Strategic Ministry Planning Team. The series will follow the pattern of “7 Pillars” or core essentials of Metro East. The series will be titled “The Gospel-Centered Church.”

In November, before returning to the series on Genesis (begun December ’06), my plan is to preach some messages from the Psalms. Our last series in the Psalms was called “A Walk with Christ Through the Psalms.” This next group of messages will be an examination of prayer in the Psalms and will be called “Protest and Praise.” In preparation I have been reading John Goldingay’s two volume commentary on the Psalms. It is part of the new Baker Commentary on the Old Testament series. It is outstanding. Here is a sample from a section that Goldingay writes about “the Psalms as theology”:

“Theologically, the Psalms are the densest material in the entire Old Testament. There is a greater concentration of statements about God here than anywhere else. That reflects the fact that theology is the key both to worship and to pastoral care, and that worship and pastoral care generate theological insight.

“Doxology and theology are closely related. Doxology requires theology; glorifying God involves making many a statement about God. Conversely, theology finds one of its natural forms in doxology…The natural way to make statements that do justice to God’s nature is to make them in the form of praise. Dispassionate analytical statements about God deconstruct.

“Statements about God are also of key importance to pastoral care. First, the doxological statements to which I have just referred, the statements that are most at home in praise psalms, need to be statements that shape Israel’s worldview. Among other things, they may then issue in and support our living the right kind of life. Second, these are then the statements that Israel needs to keep in mind when trouble comes, when the temptation is to lose sight of or deliberately abandon the convictions about God that one affirmed when the going was not tough.”

Posted on Thursday, August 09, 2007 by Todd Pruitt on 1517

One of the issues I deal with most often in my role as a pastor is the reality of suffering. I am routinely confronted with questions that I cannot answer easily. Often times the answers to human suffering that are made plain in Scripture seem unsatisfactory to many people. But in moments when we are confronted with evil or suffering we do not need sentimentalism. We need the anchor of God's steady Word. We should not be surprised that sometimes the answers we find in Scripture are not entirely satisfying. After all, we are sinful people with fallen minds. God's ways are above our ways and his wisdom is beyond our full comprehension.

Desiring God has posted some challenging and comforting meditations concering suffering in light of the Minneapolis bridge collapse (Video from the Collapsed Bridge :: Desiring God).

Be blessed.

Posted on Thursday, August 09, 2007 by Todd Pruitt on 1517

“One week-night, when I was sitting in the house of God, I was not thinking much about the preacher’s sermon, for I did not believe it. The thought struck me, How did you come to be a Christian? I sought the Lord. But how did you come to seek the Lord? The truth flashed across my mind in a moment – I should not have sought Him unless there had been some previous influence in my mind to make me seek Him. I prayed, thought I, but then I asked myself, How came I to pray? I was induced to pray by reading the Scriptures. How came I to read the Scriptures? I did read them, but what led me to do so? Then, in a moment, I saw that God was at the bottom of it all, and that He was the author of my faith, and so the doctrine of grace opened up to me, and from that doctrine I have not departed to this day, and I desire to make this my constant confession, ‘I ascribe my change wholly to God.’”

Charles Spurgeon

Posted on Wednesday, August 08, 2007 by Todd Pruitt on 1517

Ray Van Neste offers some very helpful information on excellent Christian literature for children at this sight (The Children's Hour). If you are a parent I think you will find it very helpful.

Posted on Wednesday, August 08, 2007 by Todd Pruitt on 1517

Richard Dawkins, perhaps the most well known atheist in the western world right now is getting a lot of press. It is very possible that at least one person you know has read or been influenced by his latest book "The God Delusion". Christian Thinker has some good thoughts on Dawkins' famous 747 argument against the existence of God (::: christianthinker.net :::). Check it out!

Posted on Wednesday, August 08, 2007 by Todd Pruitt on 1517

Not too long ago former presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton made it known that they were interested in launching a new Baptist denomination that would serve as an alternative to the Southern Baptist Convention. Both men, members of Southern Baptist churches have been famously out of step with the conservative majority within the world’s largest Protestant denomination. Many Southern Baptists would be happy to show the former presidents the door. Their positions on homosexuality, abortion, and Mr. Carter’s appalling affection for dictators and the PLO having made them something along the lines of the crazy uncle who lives in the basement. They are, at best, a curiosity among Southern Baptists.

In this month’s issue of National Review two more famous Baptist politicians are referred to.

“Dick Gephardt started out pro-life but switched his position in time to run for president. Addressing an abortion-rights banquet, he blamed his past on the misfortune of having been raised in a ‘working class family of Baptist faith.’ John Edwards, today’s Democratic tribune of the working class, is using his religious background the same way: to protect his left flank. He says that same-sex marriage is the hardest issue he has to deal with. He is against it, he told George Stephanopoulos: ‘Because I’m 53 years old. I grew up in a small town in the rural South. I was raised in the Southern Baptist church and so I have a belief system that arises from that. It’s part of who I am. I can’t make it disappear…Do I believe they should have the right to marry? I’m just not there yet, me, I’m not there.’ Edwards has transcended parts of his past: He has said that he does not believe homosexuality is immoral. But nobody votes on that question, while same-sex marriage remains unpopular. We’re guessing that the operative word in his answer is ‘yet.’”

Posted on Tuesday, August 07, 2007 by Todd Pruitt on 1517

John Piper, who pastors in Minneapolis, has had some thought provoking meditations on the recent bridge collapse. This link (Desiring God) will take you to a response he offered to Rabbi Harold Kushner, author of "When Bad Things Happen to Good People". Kushner was recently interviewed on Minnesota Public Radio.

Posted on Tuesday, August 07, 2007 by Todd Pruitt on 1517

Al Mohler has written about Richard Dawkins new campaign to "out" well known atheists (Outing Atheists -- Richard Dawkins Launches New Campaign). His hope is that bringing more atheists into the open will help to popularize their movement. What a fun bunch of folks they must be!

Dr. Dawkins is a brilliant scientist but his latest book "The God Delusion" demonstrates the truth that a good scientist does not a philosopher make. You can read a wonderful refutation of Dawkins' book by Alister McGrath. It is called "The Dawkins Delusion." McGrath is a former atheist turned Anglican theologian and chruch historian. He holds degrees in molecular biology and theology. "The Dawkins Delusion" deserves a place in the library of any Christian who wants to be well armed with the truth in a day of rising atheism.

Posted on Tuesday, August 07, 2007 by Todd Pruitt on 1517

Andreas Kostenberger has posted some information on a few books he has been reading this summer (Summer Reading). Of special interest is his reference to the book "Misquoting Truth" by Timothy Paul Jones. For those of you who have seen, heard about, or read the best seller "Misquoting Jesus" by Bart Ehrman, this is a very helpful resource. Jones does an effective job of showing the deep flaws in Eherman's work while being very gracious in the process.

Let's be ready to give an answer to those who dismiss Christ because of fautly logic or wrong information.