Seen & Heard

So Pastor, What's Your Point?

“Just because a sermon has points, doesn’t mean it’s got a point.

One of the best preaching books I’ve read in the last decade is Dennis Prutow’s So Pastor, What’s Your Point? If someone like Tim Keller or Don Carson had written it, it would be a bestseller.” - David Murray, HeadHeartHand.org

Seven years ago the Alliance published So Pastor, What’s Your Point?, Dennis Prutow’s highly acclaimed book on preaching.  We’d like to offer this text to you this Pastor Appreciation Month at a discounted price for the future pastor or seasoned pastor in your life. 

The sermon preparation procedure outlined in this volume will: 

  • Help point a pastor to the main point of his text. 
  • See the importance of a solid and succinct sermon point applying God's truth. 
  • Understand how a solid sermon point and sequential outline give focus, unity, and purpose to your explanations, illustrations, applications.
  • Grasp how outlines should unfold the text and lead both the pastor and the congregation into the application of God's truth. 
  • Learn that force in preaching is born of solid preparation, passion, body language, and eye contact. 
  • Begin to discern God's active application of His covenant Word to His covenant people.

Dr. Prutow developed this procedure through years of preaching. The vital principles taught here will be invaluable for those who not only preach, but also teach God's Word in various venues. This book would be an excellent resource for seminary students, Bible teachers, public speakers of all types, as well as a refresher for seasoned pastors. 

Visit ReformedResources.org to order a copy today.


The Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals is member supported and operates only by your faithful support. Thank you.

Let the Alliance promote your Reformation Sunday event!

Will your church be hosting a Reformation Sunday event during this historic year?

Reformation Sunday is an opportunity to affirm our doctrinal convictions and to praise God for His ongoing reformation of the Church. The Alliance would like to promote your event to our members. We will share this information multiple times in hopes that the protestant church turns out to celebrate the courage it took to be protestant. Visit AllianceNet.org/JoinReformationSunday by October 10 to sign-up, and while you are there, download free resources for you and your church.

If you are looking to attend a Reformation event in your area, we’ve had a number of churches from around the world share their events with us. Visit ReformationSunday.org to see the event list.

We hope you will join us, as we not only commemorate the Reformation, but also as we proclaim biblical doctrine in order to foster a Reformed awakening in today's Church.

Soli Deo gloria.


Links

AllianceNet.org/JoinReformationSunday

ReformationSunday.org


The Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals is member supported and operates only by your faithful support. Thank you.

Why We Are Still Protestant

This year marks the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s nailing of the 95 theses to the door of Castle Church in Wittenburg, Germany.  This act in itself was relatively conventional: he was essentially initiating a debate about the use and abuse of indulgences in the Roman Catholic Church.  But the pastoral concerns of this small-town professor set ablaze Europe with the flames of Reformation.

Within a short time it was clear that Luther’s concerns had implications far beyond indulgences and relics; they went to the heart of the medieval Roman church.  In the years immediately following the publication of his famous theses, Luther had occasion to engage in other highly significant debates on some of these implications.  It was in Heidelberg in 1518 that Luther made it clear that humility was the key to salvation and theology.  In Leipzig, about a year later, Luther declared that the decrees of the pope and of the church deserved close scrutiny; some were indefensible.  

In 1520, Luther wrote treatises challenging the church’s view on the sacraments, on justification and good works, and on the relationship between the civil authorities and the authority of the church.  During the next year, Luther was summoned to appear before the Imperial Diet of Worms in a last-ditch attempt to get him to recant.  He did not.

In further years Luther would turn his attention to the translation of the Bible into German, to the thorny problem of how a congregation freed from the grip of Rome should worship and operate, and to the perennial questions related to Christian work and the Christian family.  

These kinds of questions and many more had to be addressed by Luther and the other early Reformers.  This should remind us that the reform set in motion 500 years ago this October has a number of far reaching implications.  While individual Christians might boil down the core of Protestantism to one or two major points, the reality was and is far more complex.  

Over the next few weeks, across all of the websites of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals, we’ll be surveying many aspects of the Protestant cause.  Some of the articles will be historical in nature, giving further detail about the specific figures, events, and debates that shaped the early years after the break from Rome.  Some will be theological, bringing clarity to the animating ideas that drove Luther and so many others to pursue the truth of the gospel at great personal cost to themselves.  Some will be polemical, making the case explicitly that what was true then is true today.    

Our hope is that this series will renew your interest in the Reformation and its implications.  But more than renewing interest, we pray that the posts will awaken in you a greater conviction of the importance of this great work of God in the history of the church.  

Sometimes the nature of Reformed theology has been summarized by the so-called five solas of the Reformation.  These five Latin slogans could be translated as: the Bible alone; grace alone; faith alone; in Christ alone; to the glory of God alone.  Ultimately this series of articles, and every article we publish, has one final end in mind: that God would be glorified.  As we look back to God’s great and gracious work 500 years ago, may God be pleased to use this series to bring about a Reformed awaking in today’s church.  


The Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals is member supported and operates only by your faithful support. Thank you.

Just Posted - New Alliance Re:Port

Thanks to the support of our members, we have very exciting news in the fall Alliance Re:Port. Here are some highlights:

Celebrate the Reformed Resources Reboot!

Over the weekend of October 28th and 29th, ReformedResources.org, the Alliance online resource center, will undergo a major reboot! You will be pleased with its new capacity, as well as the thousands of audio, video, and print resources there! To thank you for your support and encouragement, and to celebrate the launch, we have free gifts for you. Read the Re:port to find out more. 

More than Double Your Ministry Impact this November

The Alliance will once again participate in the ExtraOrdinary Give on November 17th. Your support in years past has truly been extraordinary. Last year, members donated over $41,000 in just 24 hours. This year, the Alliance has a matching gift of $25,000 in addition to the $500,000 stretch gift from the Lancaster Foundation. So please prayerfully consider giving at ExtraGive.org on November 17th.

Dr. Boice’s Theologically Rich Daily Devotional Is Back in Print

Come to the Waters, a yearlong devotional from James Boice, has been out of print and unavailable for years. An Alliance supporter has made it available once again. The book selects from the fruit of Dr. Boice’s labor, distilling his teaching into daily readings that take you from Genesis to Revelation. This new edition is a hardcopy, library-quality book that you can enjoy for years to come.

Thank you!

It is by God’s grace that the Alliance has been able to provide excellent, trustworthy teaching for close to 70 years. Your prayers and gifts allow us to share the Gospel, engage the culture, proclaim biblical doctrine, and encourage the Church. We are blessed to partner with you. Thank you. 

Be sure to subscribe to our emails so you don’t miss any upcoming announcements. 


Links

http://www.alliancenet.org/Alliance-report

http://www.alliancenet.org/subscribe

 

The Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals is member supported and operates only by your faithful support. Thank you.

Download Caught Up: 1 Thessalonians 4 and the Truth About the Rapture by Danny Hyde

“We…will be caught up” (1 Thes. 4:17) 

Will you be "left behind?” Evangelical Christianity knows this question well. It has been inundated with the pre-tribulational, pre-millennial, secret rapture of the church for the last century. In fact, just last week Dallas Theological Seminary advertised a free ebook on social media, The Truth and Timing of the Rapture by Mark Hitchcock. In response, the Alliance is pleased to offer the free E-book Caught Up: 1 Thessalonians 4 and the Truth About the Rapture by MeetthePuritans.org editor Danny Hyde.

Tolle Lege! Take up and read!


The Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals is member supported and operates only by your faithful support. Thank you.

Knowing the Trinity, the latest book from the Alliance and Ryan McGraw

Knowing the Trinity: Practical Thoughts for Daily Lifeby Meet the Puritans contributor Ryan McGraw, is the latest book from the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals.

The Gospel is primarily about God. Part of the glory of the New Testament is that it explains the Gospel to us in terms of the glorious work of the three persons of the Trinity.

'The Trinity is the central doctrine of the Christian faith because it involves the very identity of God.  Yet many Christians are unsure as to how this is supposed to shape their Christian lives.  In the tradition of John Owen, Dr McGraw here offers a lively and accessible account of the doctrine and its practical and doxological implications for every Christian.  I think this will prove to be a very helpful volume.’ – Carl R. Trueman

Each chapter of Knowing the Trinity leads readers to meditate on God’s work and how they relate to Him in light of passages of Scripture that appeal to all three divine Persons. The study questions included in are designed to promote personal devotion or group discussion. 

This book aims to show that the Trinity is the foundation of all biblical doctrines, the lifeblood of the church, and the heart of Christian experience.

Knowing the Trinity is available at our store ReformedResources.org in paperback. Also available as an eBook. Be sure to get a copy.

'John Owen’s Communion with God stands out as the classic exploration of the devotional dimensions of the doctrine, and Ryan McGraw seeks to do the same more briefly and on a more popular level. McGraw begins by pointing us to Ephesians 2:18—“Through him we both have access to the Father, by one Spirit”—and then spends the rest of his time unpacking the related implications. A worthy introduction to a theme often overlooked.' - Fred Zaspel


The Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals is member supported and operates only by your faithful support. Thank you.

Luther, and the Creative Power of the Word

The Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals and WFIL 560 AM have had a long partnership. In addition to broadcasting The Bible Study Hour with James Boice and No Falling Word with Liam Goligher, they are one of the sponsors of this year’s Philadelphia Conference on Reformed Theology taking place in Bryn Mawr April 28-30. Advance registration ends on April 23, we encourage you to attend. 

WFIL’s most recent issue of their magazine FaithTalk features articles on the Reformation including “Luther, and the Creative Power of the Word” by Carl Trueman. Carl, co-host on Mortification of Spin, will be joining us as a conference speaker at PCRT. His article is shared here with permission. 


The importance of Luther to the Christian faith cannot be overstated. For many today, he is probably a figure who looks larger as a symbol of defiance or a heroic rebel against a corrupt church and decadent theology.There is much truth in such images. His stand at the Diet of Worms was a remarkable act of courageous defiance. And his theology represented nothing less than a self-conscious attempt to overthrow the medieval thought which he had been taught and replace it with a comprehensive understanding of God and the gospel as refracted the incarnate and crucified Christ.

Yet there is more to Luther. Indeed, perhaps his greatest contribution to the faith, and one that we can still learn from today, is his understanding of God’s Word. When we hear this term, our modern evangelical minds typically go to the contemporary debates about inerrancy, infallibility, interpretation and the like. Certainly such questions are legitimate. But for Luther the central point about the Word of God was its creative power. God’s speech is the means by which he does things – makes, destroys, blesses, curses.

The idea of the Word as creative is particularly evident in Luther’s Lectures on Genesis.  In reflecting upon Genesis 1, Luther is constantly mesmerized by the fact that God’s Word is what brings creation into being, what makes one type of creature out of material which cannot naturally do such – as in birds emerging from the waters on the fifth day. God says and it comes to be. The Word is a powerful, creative force.

This, of course, underlies his most famous of doctrines: justification by grace through faith. Unlike medieval notions of justification, where God’s declaration that the believer is righteous is rooted in some quality intrinsic in the believer, Luther famously makes this a matter of extrinsic declaration. Sinners are righteous because God has externally declared them to be so, no matter what their actual, real outward condition might appear to indicate. I may be a thief and a liar but, if I turn and put my trust in Christ, I am clothed in his righteousness and God’s Word will declare me innocent.  And this ties in with his understanding of the love of God. As he said in the last theological thesis of the Heidelberg Disputation in 1518, the love of God does not find but creates that which is lovely to it. How does it do so? By the Word.

I would suggest that this is one aspect of Luther’s theology which both pastors and congregations can benefit from meditating upon. For the pastor who preaches, the idea that when he declares God’s Word he is not simply describing a state of affairs but is actually confronting people with God’s Word in a manner that can and must transform them should surely be an awe-inspiring, exciting, and humbling thing. In the pulpit, Luther did not think he was simply explaining the Bible. He was blessing those who turned to Christ and cursing those who turned away from him, carrying some to heaven and shutting the gates of paradise to those who simply hardened their hearts. And congregants should go to church with a sense of expectation. They go to church not simply to learn the Bible better – they can do that by sitting at home and reading good commentaries. No, they go to hear God’s Word in all of its powerful, untamable creativity.   

The Word of God preached for blessing and for cursing – that is the heart of Luther’s practical and theological Reformation. 


Carl Trueman is a co-host on the Mortification of Spin podcast, professor of Church History at Westminster Theological Seminary, and pastor of Cornerstone Presbyterian Church. He has an M.A. in Classics from the University of Cambridge and a Ph.D. in Church History from the University of Aberdeen and has taught on the faculties of theology at both the University of Nottingham and the University of Aberdeen. He has authored a number of books, including The Creedal Imperative and Luther on the Christian Life: Cross and Freedom.


The Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals is member supported and operates only by your faithful support. Thank you.

Trinity audio featuring the teaching of Liam Goligher now available

In the summer of 2016 the subject of the Trinity was brought to the forefront on MortificationofSpin.org, particular through blog posts by Liam Goligher and Carl Trueman. The discussion ran like wildfire across the evangelical blogosphere throughout 2016, bringing the doctrine of the Trinity to national attention.

In response, Dr. Goligher preached a series of sermons on the Trinity from Hebrews 1. This doctrine is not easy to understand or to preach.  Yet the Trinity is the most foundational of all Christian beliefs, because it speaks of the God we worship as he revealed himself to finite minds.

These sermons are now available on CD and MP3 at ReformedResources.org thanks to a partnership between the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals and Tenth Presbyterian Church. Listening to them several times, one still finds new angles, new insights into the shape of this battle; new understandings of the implications for every aspect of our faith. The trumpet call has sounded. Time to polish swords and put on helmets, to empty the armory of God of all its state-of-the-art equipment for this battle.

Contemplation of the Trinity opens fresh vistas of spiritual knowledge as Christians read Scripture for themselves. They will find TRINITY ideal for their own devotional study.  Also consider a set as an Easter gift to your favorite young pastor or pastor-to-be. 

MP3 Audio Set of All 8 Sermons:  $8.00

CD Audio Set of All 8 Sermons:  $12.00 (75% off regular price)

Discounted Price good until May 1, 2017 on ReformedResources.org.

 


The Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals is member supported and operates only by your faithful support. Thank you.

When you shop, Amazon gives

AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support the Alliance every time you shop on Amazon, at no cost to you. Bookmark and visit smile.amazon.com, designate the Alliance as your charitable organization. It’s that simple!

On Thursday, March 16, Amazon will donate 5% (10 times the usual donation rate!) of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals. Get started at smile.amazon.com/ch/23-1352120.


The Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals is member supported and operates only by your faithful support. Thank you.

No Little Women

Aimee Byrd, co-host of Mortification of Spin and the Alliance’s Director of Women’s Initiatives, is passionate about encouraging women in the church to grow in the wisdom and knowledge of the Lord. Her latest book No Little Women: Equipping All Women in the Household of God (P&R Publishing, 2016) “aims to help the whole church by examining the initiatives for a group that fills over half of our congregations – the women.” Don’t miss that point, this is a book written for women in the church and church officers, as well as laymen.

Some questions addressed in No Little Women are:

  • How Does God describe women?
  • Should the church have women’s ministries?
  • How does the church minister to every member?
  • Are women in the church being properly equipped in the Word?
  • Can men learn from women?
  • What is our responsibility in sitting under the Word?

A women’s sphere of influence is vast – home, church, work, and beyond.  It is important for the Church to invest in them and equip them to be discerning; recognizing bad doctrine and understanding that theology has practical application in their everyday lives. Aimee shows in this book how strengthening women in the church strengthens the whole Church.

"Women are our most committed resource for doing the work of the kingdom, and they deserve our best thinking and support. . . . Aimee Byrd writes with wit and wisdom, biblical clarity and theological maturity."
– Liam Goligher, Bible teacher, No Falling Word

P&R Publishing has graciously given the Alliance a number of copies to give away. Enter the drawing by December 21, US addresses only. One entry per household. Or you may purchase a copy from our store ReformedResources.org.
 


The winners of Reformed Dogmatics by Geerhardus Vos were:

  1. Reece E., Tucson, AZ
  2. Howard Q., North Potomac, MD

The Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals is member supported and operates only by your faithful support. Thank you.