Author Archives: Kevin DeYoung

Two Questions that May Greatly Improve Your Church’s Ministry

Sometimes the best thing you can do for your church is the simplest thing: just ask the right questions.

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Monday Morning Humor

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Books, Bio, and Such: Ryan Kelly

During the summer I’ll be posting micro interviews on Fridays (mostly). I’ve asked some of my friends in ministry–friends you probably already know–to answer questions about “bio, books, and such.” My hope is that you’ll enjoy getting a few more facts about these folks and getting a few good book recommendations.

Today’s interview is with Ryan Kelly, teaching and preaching pastor at Desert Springs Church in Albuquerque, N.M..

1. Where were you born? Like the Journey song says, “born and raised in south Detroit.” Well, actually, it was Allen Park – a quiet little city just south of Detroit.

2. When did you become a Christian? I professed faith for many years before, but I believe it was at the age of 17 that the Lord gave saving faith.

3. Who is one well known pastor/author/leader who has shaped you as a Christian and teacher? John Owen. Among the living, I’d say John Piper and Don Carson are tied for their influence.

4. Who is one lesser known pastor/friend/mentor who has shaped you? Well, this person is certainly not unknown to many, but is lesser known than Piper or Carson. Fred Zaspel has been a dear friend and mentor for many years, especially in my early (and lonely) days of pastoral ministry.

5. What’s one hymn you want sung at your funeral? Friends are Friends Forever. Just kidding — Crown Him with Many Crowns.

6. What kind of nonfiction do you enjoy reading when you aren’t reading about theology, the Bible, or church history? Mainly secular …

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What a Difference Six Years Can Make

Conservative religious persons and conservative religious institutions could be embarrassingly wrong about gay marriage. But if they are, they haven’t been embarrassingly wrong about it for very long.

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Insider Movements: Why Should I Care?

If you care about the church and care about missions, you can’t afford to be ignorant about Insider Movements.

That’s why I’m happy to introduce Dave Garner as today’s guest blogger. Besides being a friend and a man I greatly respect, Dave is Associate Professor of Systematic Theology at Westminster Theological Seminary and Pastor of Teaching at Proclamation Presbyterian Church (Bryn Mawr, PA). With a keen theological mind and overseas ministry experience, Dave has been a strong voice in the PCA warning about the dangers of the Insider Movement Paradigm in missions.

The issues are complex, but Dave has provided an outstanding summary of the main concerns. Take a few minutes to read the post, and consider passing it along to your pastor, missionaries, or missions committee. Be sure to look into the links and the resources for further study.

—Guest Post by Dave Garner—

Introduction: The Real Work Begins

Because missions belongs to Christ, missions belongs to the Church. Under Christ’s loving headship, members of Christ’s Church must bear faithful witness to the Lord and Savior. In keeping with that calling, ignorance about missions we supply and support is both dangerous and culpable.

Taking a commendable step forward to greater effectiveness and accountability in worldwide missions, the 42nd General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in America, overwhelmingly endorsed the recommendations of the Study Committee on Insider Movements (SCIM). The most critical recommendation calls the Church to study the report on Insider Movements, “SCIM Part 2,”[1] so that congregations …

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Monday Morning Humor

Jason Helopoulos suggested we celebrate the church remodel with a real special music number performed by the pastors. Maybe something like this. We still have a few weeks to practice.

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Books, Bio, and Such: Mark Dever

During the summer I’ll be posting micro interviews on Fridays (mostly). I’ve asked some of my friends in ministry–friends you probably already know–to answer questions about “bio, books, and such.” My hope is that you’ll enjoy getting a few more facts about these folks and getting a few good book recommendations.

Today’s interview is with Mark Dever, senior pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, DC and president of 9Marks.

1. Where were you born? Madisonville, KY

2. When did you become a Christian? In high school

3. Who is one well known pastor/author/leader who has shaped you as a Christian and teacher? Richard Sibbes

4. Who is one lesser known pastor/friend/mentor who has shaped you? Larry Trotter

5. What’s one hymn you want sung at your funeral? The Sands of Time Are Sinking

6. What kind of nonfiction do you enjoy reading when you aren’t reading about theology, the Bible, or church history? American history

7. Other than Calvin’s Institutes, what systematic theology have you found most helpful? Berkhof (I love its concision!)

8. What are one or two of your favorite fiction authors or fiction books? Tolkien and Twain come to mind (as well other authors one might encounter in the public schools of Kentucky in the 1960s)

9. What is one of your favorite non-Christian biographies? Grant’s Memoirs

10. What is one of your favorite books on preaching? David Helm’s Expositional Preaching

11. What is one of your favorite books on evangelism? Mack Stiles’ Evangelism

12. What is one of your favorite books on …

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The Eight Steps of Sin

Sin nibbles at our soul in small steps.

Eight steps, to be precise, according to John Witherspoon in his sermon on Hebrews 3:13 entitled “The Deceitfulness of Sin”:

1. Men enter and initiate themselves in a vicious practice by small sins.

2. Having once begun in the ways of sin, he ventures upon something great and more daring; his courage grows with his experience; and he gives himself more liberty to walk in the ways of his own heart, and the sight of his own eyes.

3. Open sins soon throw a man into the hands of ungodly companions.

4. In the next stage, the sinner begins to feel the force of habit and inveterate custom.

5. The next stage in a sinner’s course is to lose the sense of shame; and sin openly and boldly.

6. Another stage in the sinner’s progress is to harden himself so far, as to sin without remorse of conscience.

7. Improved sinners often come to boast and glory of their wickedness. It is something to be above shame; but it is more still to glory in wickedness and esteem it honorable.

8. Not to be content with being wicked themselves, but to use all their art and influence to make others so too. This is to be zealous in sinning, and industriously to promote the interest of the infernal cause. How often do we find those who have no fear of God before their own eyes, use their utmost endeavors to extinguish it before others, to laugh down qualms of their consciences, …

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Monday Morning Humor

Amen and amen.

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Books, Bio, and Such: Michael Horton

During the summer I’ll be posting micro interviews on Fridays (mostly). I’ve asked some of my friends in ministry–friends you probably already know–to answer questions about “bio, books, and such.” My hope is that you’ll enjoy getting a few more facts about these folks and getting a few good book recommendations.

Today’s interview is with Michael Horton, J. Gresham Machen Professor of Theology and Apologetics at Westminster Seminary California, Editor-in-Chief of Modern Reformation (MR) magazine, and President and host of the The White Horse Inn radio broadcast.

1. Where were you born? Los Angeles, California

2. When did you become a Christian? I can’t recall a time when I wasn’t.

3. Who is one well known pastor/author/leader who has shaped you as a Christian and teacher? James M. Boice

4. Who is one lesser known pastor/friend/mentor who has shaped you? Kim Riddlebarger

5. What’s one hymn you want sung at your funeral? Psalm 23—or, if by then there are no Psalters in the Western world, How Sweet And Awful

6. What kind of nonfiction do you enjoy reading when you aren’t reading about theology, the Bible, or church history? Various histories (of technology, the role of hermeticism in the founding of modernity, etc.) and books on secularization theory (pro and con).

7. Other than Calvin’s Institutes, what systematic theology have you found most helpful? It’s a toss-up between Bavinck, Berkhof and Hodge. But since Berkhof’s ST is a summary of Bavinck’s work, I’ll go with Bavinck.

8. What are one or two of your favorite fiction …

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