Monthly Archives: February 2008

 

Feb

24

2008

Trevin Wax|3:19 am CT

Spurgeon's Prayer: I Am Yours

Lord, help me to glorify you;
I am poor, help me to glorify you by contentment;
I am sick, help me to give you honor by patience;
I have talents, help me to extol you by spending them for you;
I have time, Lord, help me to redeem it, that I may serve you;

I have a heart to feel, Lord,
let that heart feel no love but yours,
and glow with no flame but affection for you;

I have a head to think,
Lord, help me to think of you and for you; 

You have put me in this world for something, Lord,
show me what that is,
and help me to work out my life-purpose:

I cannot do much, but as the widow put in her two mites,
which were all her living,
so, Lord, I cast my time and eternity too into your treasury;

I am all yours;
take me, and enable me to glorify you now,
in all that I say, in all that I do, and with all that I have.

Charles Spurgeon

 
 

Feb

23

2008

Trevin Wax|3:58 am CT

Gospel Definitions: Scot McKnight

“The gospel is the work of God to restore humans to union with God and communion with others, in the context of a community, for the good of others and the world.”

- Scot McKnight, Embracing Grace

“God loves you and everyone else and has a plan for us: the kingdom community.

But you and everyone else have a sin problem that separates you and everyone else from God, from yourselves, from one another, and from the good world God made for you.

The good news is that Jesus lived for you, died for you, was raised for you, and sent the Spirit for you – so you all can live as the beloved community.

If you enter into Jesus’ story, by repentance and faith, you can be reconnected to God, to yourself, to others, and to this world.

Those who are reconnected like this will live now as God’s community and will find themselves eternally in union with God and communion with others.

Those who preach this gospel will not deconstruct the church. Instead, they will participate in what God is doing: constructing the kingdom community even now.”

 
 

Feb

23

2008

Trevin Wax|3:23 am CT

Lord's Supper: Feast or Picnic?

“For there to be a new creation, the old self must know its weakness and die to its own prejudices, tastes, class structures, and personal desires. How can we share this eschatological feast if we don’t participate in displaying God’s future, in which all will be equally fed and we will all join together in universal praise? It seems to me that if we eat the body and blood of Christ in expensive churches without care for the hungry, the sacrament is no longer a foretaste of the feast to come, but a trivialized picnic to which not everyone is invited.”

- Marva Dawn

 
 

Feb

22

2008

Trevin Wax|4:42 am CT

The Village as Second Home

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During my first few months living in Romania, the village became my second home, and one of the church families (the Miculas) became my second family.

After school on Fridays, I would travel by train to the village.

Friday nights, I would participate in a church-wide Bible study.

On Saturday mornings, we did work with the children from the church.

Saturday afternoons, we held youth services.

And of course, there were Sunday morning and evening services, with a youth service in between. I began spending Friday and Saturday nights in the village, at the Micula home.

The Micula family welcomed me with open arms. Brother Nelu and Sister Mariana had four children, three boys and a girl. Marius was my age. The twins, Alin and Florin were three years younger than me. Ela was the youngest, still in lower elementary. As the months went by, I began to feel as if I had a Romanian family. Marius, Alin and Florin were like my brothers, and Ela was like my sister. I looked forward to spending the weekends with them. It was always the high point of my week.

Adjusting to the rural conditions of the village often proved to be a challenge. Outhouses, wood-burning stoves, the absence of drinking water – I found myself adapting to a variety of new experiences, a new way of living that differed sharply from how I had lived all my life up until then. It was one thing to see poverty from a distance and to be taken by surprise. It was quite another thing to live in the poverty that you saw, becoming just like the people to whom you were ministering.

written by Trevin Wax  © 2008 Kingdom People blog

 
 

Feb

22

2008

Trevin Wax|3:11 am CT

In the Blogosphere

Registration for Band of Bloggers 2008 (right before the Together for the Gospel conference) is now open. I’m going. Are you? 

Read Timmy Brister on what churches can do in the midst of the housing crisis

Ed Stetzer on the growing and dying of denominations in the U.S.A. Stetzer believes there will be more Mormons than Methodists in 20 years. 

Tim Challies reviews Mark Driscoll’s new book, Vintage Jesus, and then defends his critique of Driscoll’s language. Reid Monaghan has a more favorable review of Driscoll’s book.

Chuck Lawless on ministering in a difficult church

Leave it to corporate America to begin commercializing Lent. It’s a shame that more people in business pay attention to this holy season than people in evangelical churches.

Wondering what God’s will is for your life? Check out this post to make sure you’re not being held in emotional bondage to “guidance.”

Top Secret Lifeway Research Project revealed

Top Post this week at Kingdom People: Liberalism’s Impotency in Dealing with Guilt

 
 

Feb

21

2008

Trevin Wax|4:15 am CT

Clinton Lashes Out at Pro-Lifers

Watch the above video and you’ll see how former President Bill Clinton responds to a group of pro-life activists in the crowd. Dismissal. Sneering. And a clear evasion of the issues at stake.

Clinton argues that pro-lifers want to criminalize women and their doctors. Nothing could be further from the truth. The issue at stake is not who will we prosecute but who will the Law protect? Does the unborn child have a right to live? (Notice how Clinton turns away from the “Abortion Kills Children” sign.)

The abortion-rights arguments are beginning to lose their grip on the American public. Because of the progression of the pro-life cause, many politicians now speak of abortion as a “tragic choice” and clearly affirm the importance of reducing the number of abortions. (Hence Clinton’s contention that he did more to reduce abortion than the “hot air” of the pro-life movement.)

I encourage the Democrats who are pro-choice and find abortion “tragic” to back up their rhetoric with substantial legislation. 90% of women who see their unborn child on an ultrasound choose to keep the baby and refuse to go through with the abortion.

If Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama (and even John McCain) are truly serious about reducing the “tragedy” of abortion, why don’t they propose legislation requiring a woman to have an ultrasound before an abortion? After all, a woman should be informed about any medical procedure, especially one that may have emotional repercussions. An argument against the ultrasound law is ultimately an argument against science, against better medical advice, against the idea that a woman should be able to make a well-informed choice.

Let’s redirect some of the money that goes to paying abortions into paying for ultrasounds. We could substantially reduce abortions in no time, and without touching Roe vs. Wade. Then, President Clinton can indeed boast about resolutions that are more than “hot air.”

Will this happen? Not a chance. Eloquent words about the abortion “tragedy” translate into empty commitments to “choice.” Backed by the powerful abortion lobby, the pro-choice politicians are not advocating a well-informed woman’s right to choose. They are for restrictionless abortion.

We will not see ultrasound legislation because for many politicians, losing the support of the abortion lobby is a greater tragedy than the loss of another generation through the slaughtering of the unborn.

written by Trevin Wax  © 2008 Kingdom People blog

Related Articles:
Why We Are Pro-Life
Social Security Crisis’ Dark Side: Abortion
Do Not Kill 

 
 

Feb

21

2008

Trevin Wax|3:09 am CT

Book Review: Studies in Matthew

Interpretation Past and PresentWriting a scholarly commentary on Matthew must be a very difficult task. Matthew’s length (28 chapters) poses a problem for the scholar who wants to keep the commentary to one volume. How much attention should each verse receive? How detailed should the commentary be? How many variant interpretations need to be mentioned?

A single commentary cannot possibly answer all of the questions that the biblical text raises. That’s why supplemental books can be helpful and at times necessary for correctly intepreting Scripture.

Dale Allison’s Studies in Matthew is a supplemental book that brings together several of Allison’s essays on Matthew. The book serves as a resource for the tougher passages of the Gospel, so that one can dig deeper than the average commentary will allow.

In this volume, Allison seeks to answer various questions and problems that surface upon one’s reading of Matthew. One chapter deals with the “star” that led the wise men to Jesus. Was it a “star” in the astronomical sense, or is this a biblical allusion to an angel? Allison trots out a handful of early church interpreters in order to make his case for seeing the star as an angel.

Another chapter probes the difficult promise in the Beatitudes that the pure in heart will “see God.” What does this mean? How is this possible? How has this verse been interpreted through the centuries?

Later chapters deal with the structure of the Sermon on the Mount, how early chapters in Matthew foreshadow the Passion narrative, and how a variety of church fathers viewed Matthew’s Gospel.

Studies in Matthew is a splendid companion piece to any highly-regarded commentary of the Gospel of Matthew. It is worth consulting on a host of exegetical and interpretive issues.

written by Trevin Wax. © 2008 Kingdom People Blog

 
 

Feb

20

2008

Trevin Wax|4:33 am CT

Book Review: Culture Shift

Engaging Current Issues with Timeless Truth (Today's Critical Concerns)It may be hard to believe that Culture Shift: Engaging Current Issues with Timeless Truth is Albert Mohler’s first book. After all, few evangelical thinkers are as prolific as Mohler, both through his daily blog and weekday radio show.

Culture Shift gives the reader 20 of Mohler’s best essays, covering a wide variety of topics. Mohler speaks of the relationship between American politics and Christian faith. He spends several chapters on the relationship between Christianity and public law, exposing the myth that our nation’s laws could ever be completely “secular.” He covers many of the hot-button issues of our day, including the nation’s shifting opinions regarding abortion.

Don’t read this book without a pencil or highlighter in hand. Mohler has a way with words, and you will want to come back to some of his hard-hitting statements.

Though Culture Shift is a commendable book, I was disappointed to discover that it is little more than a “Best Of” collection of Mohler’s blog posts and essays. I expected a weighty work that transcends the immediate/urgent nature of his daily writings. It serves its purpose as a current commentary on some of today’s important issues, which means that much of the book might be out-of-date within a few years.

That said, I’m glad this book exists. I realize that not everyone follows Dr. Mohler’s blog and radio show, so these essays will be new to most people. Nowhere else can you find some of Mohler’s best work in book form. I look forward to passing this book along to some of my family members who will enjoy Mohler’s perspective on current events.

Related Articles:
Powerfully Praying for Albert Mohler
Mohler on Asking Jesus into Your Heart

written by Trevin Wax  © 2008 Kingdom People blog

 
 

Feb

19

2008

Trevin Wax|4:28 am CT

O Brother, Where Art Thou? How Older Southern Baptists Can Mentor the Younger Generation

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A few weeks ago, I offered some thoughts on the Generation Gap in the Southern Baptist Convention - specifically, how we might better involve younger leaders in the Convention matters. One of my suggestions was that we “get together” and that older leaders reach out and actively mentor younger leaders. Just how can this be done?

1. Start with occasional meetings and see where they go.

Most young pastors I know would be thrilled to spend time with an older pastor. Developing a mentoring relationship will not happen overnight. But once-a-month meetings would be a step in the right direction. Having the telephone/email line of communication open will also help.

For young pastors or older pastors a little gun-shy of committing too much too soon, a one-time meeting isn’t a bad idea either. Not every mentoring relationship is going to click. The one-time meeting might be a good start because there is no commitment beyond the initial meeting. If additional meetings follow, great! If not, the one-time meeting is not a failure.

Don’t be scared away from the idea of adding weekly/monthly meetings to your already-filled-up plate. Meet when you can and let God use the counsel of godly men to help you in life.

2. Meet with pastors in your area across generational lines.

At the state level, one can meet with pastors from the same area or pastors of all ages who are interested in similar ministries. Many states can and should take the initiative to link pastors up with other pastors. If you are a pastor looking to mentor younger people or you are a pastor looking to be mentored, call your state convention. Find out when pastors are meeting. Find out what you can do to initiate some pastoral friendships.

3. Start mentoring now.

If the younger generation is going to avoid seeing a Generation Gap in fifty years, we must begin mentoring people now. If you are a pastor established in a local church, bring on an associate that you can pour yourself into. If you are a young pastor in a small church and have served several years, meet with and encourage a younger pastor in a small church who is just getting started. If you are a fourth-year Masters of Divinity student, meet with and encourage a first-year student or a college student.  As younger leaders, we must not make the mistake of waiting to be mentored by others. We need to be actively mentoring those who are coming up behind us. That way, when we are in our forties and fifties, mentoring will be second-nature, an integral part of our overall ministry.

4. We Need Mentoring on the National Level.

Several years ago, Jimmy Draper saw the need for young leadership and started the Younger Leaders’ Summit. Draper’s initiative was a good start, but much more should be done. If the Convention hopes to see a resurgence of interest by the young leaders of the Convention, the Executive Board should reach out and mentor young men who show promise as leaders of tomorrow. Every man occupying a position of leadership within the Southern Baptist Convention should be mentoring younger leaders. If the Convention is to continue on for the good of God’s Kingdom, we must be investing our time into each others’ lives, not just our money into the organizational structures.

5. Let’s take each other seriously.

I mentioned in my previous post about the Generation Gap that our future ministry will be impoverished if we Timothys prefer to spend all our time with Tituses and not the Pauls of the SBC. Not all young leaders want to be mentored. But many do. The younger leaders hope the older pastors will reach out.

If a younger pastor tries to initiate a mentoring relationship with an older pastor and is rebuffed, he will probably not try again and instead assume that all older pastors are apathetic to the upcoming generation. If an older pastor seeks out a younger pastor and is rebuffed, the older pastor will be less discouraged and will probably move on easier to the next guy. Older leaders generally have the wisdom to recognize younger pastors who are hungry and teachable.

6. Let’s Cheer Each Other On

Consider how refreshing and encouraging it would be for a younger pastor to have two or three older pastors cheering him on as he seeks to shepherd his people! Consider how encouraging it would be for an older pastor to see the fingerprints of his own ministry on the lives of two or three younger men that he has mentored – men who are now cheering him on as he approaches the finish line! Why miss out on the opportunity to learn from each other? Let’s join hands across the denomination and invest in each others’ lives. We will be the better for it and God’s Kingdom will be too.

Related Articles:
Bridging the Generation Gap in the SBC
Evidences of Grace in the SBC

written by Trevin Wax  © 2008 Kingdom People blog

 
 

Feb

19

2008

Trevin Wax|3:38 am CT

Gospel Definitions

What is the gospel?

We claim to preach it. We want to live according to it. We have been commissioned to spread it.

I am currently collecting “Gospel Definitions” from a wide variety of scholars, pastors, teachers and authors. Expect to see a “Gospel Definition” appear once every few days on this blog.

The fact that I quote someone’s “Gospel Definition” does not necessarily indicate my approval of the definition.

I hope that as our generation wrestles with the important issue of clearly defining “the gospel,” this series will be of some help.