A Holy Ambition – Free to download at logos.com

Thoughts from Greg Boyd, who actually read Rob Bell’s New Book Love Wins

Thanks to Luke Norsworthy for pointing out this post on facebook. Maybe next time they will give advance copies to John Piper, Scot McKnight, and others…or they could just realize Philip’s point that what they produced was an amazingly powerful PR machine. Greg Boyd says that Bell is not a universalist but that the book raises some relevant questions and highlights God’s love for people and His hope for the salvation for all (obviously some people will choose otherwise).

Read Greg’s post here.

John Piper on Abused Women

Thanks to Kathryn B for cluing me in on this one over at Mike Cope’s blog…I am dumbfounded. So if he says things that contradict God’s will she submits to God and not to him but if he slaps her around then she must endure it until she can talk to someone at a church about it? How on earth does he separate the two like that? He is going to lose a ton of credibility on this one.

She is “simply” going to have to endure abuse “for a season”? Come on John P. You should know better. Here is the clip…

Any John Piper Fans Out There?

I ended up with the John Piper Sermon Manuscript Library (1980-2009) and don’t really need it. It has searchable manuscripts for 1125 of Piper’s sermons and is in the Libronix/Logos digital library system so you can search it, read it, browse it, etc in style. That is over 5000 pages of sermon notes and a digital copy of the ESV. Logos sells this for $69. I would put it in your hands for $30 shipped. Let me know if that interests any of you. You can find more stuff like that for sale at the Kingdom Living Bookstore.

The New Testament Scholar Two Step

Line dancing…something they can all agree on! I tossed Piper in the mix. Maybe I should do one with all the trendy young ministers. Can you imagine Driscoll and Bell dancing hip hop together?

Elf Yourself – New Testament Scholar Edition

John Piper on What One Must Believe to Be Saved

Have a look at this video of John Piper telling what he believes one must believe to be saved. To read a transcript click here.

He includes the following:

  • Believe and confess his Lordship and his resurrection
  • Recognition that we sin
  • That God exists and that he created a world where sin is a possibility
  • That God has expectations for mankind – to trust, love and live for him
  • That we fail in those three things
  • God is holy and we are not
  • God is judge
  • Deity of Jesus
  • Jesus lived a perfect life
  • Substitutionary atonement, basically – he died in my place
  • Jesus’ resurrection
  • We receive salvation from Jesus Christ’s work on our behalf

A few things I would like to point out. The first is where is baptism? When the Ethiopian asked what he needed to do to be saved Philip didn’t give this list of core beliefs he must first understand. Undoubtedly he understood many of these things. All of these things? We don’t know. But he knew enough to realize he needed God and that what he needed to do in response was to be baptized. That is biblical but it didn’t make the list. Before you say this is a list of beliefs so no wonder something we do isn’t on there. He did mention the need for faith and for confession. To be fair to Piper, I don’t know what his view is on baptism but I suspect if he had much of a view of it being a part of what God expects of us he would have included it here.

Second, notice at the end he says God causes people to believe by the work of the Holy Spirit. I would say God certainly plays a role in our faith by revealing himself to us through the Word and in some way the Spirit plays a role in our faith. But to say God causes our faith is missing out on our responsibility to believe and have faith…two things he pointed out in his answer to the original question.

Last, his list is very logical and if you really examine the core truths of the Gospel you understand why he logically pulled these points together. At the same time he is leaving out some very plain biblical teaching that doesn’t take any logic to expand upon or to be elaborated upon. Baptism really is important not just because I attend a Church of Christ and have heard that my whole life but because God clearly teaches us that in scripture. So my list would include,

“Part of God’s expected response would include repentance (not included above), belief/faith, confession, and to submit to his will by being baptized for the forgiveness of my sins.”

Wouldn’t it just make sense those things would come ahead of understanding the nature of substitutionary atonement?

Pornography and Wiring the Brain with a Side Note On Video Illustrations in Preaching

David Philips has a great post on what pornography does to the brain. He goes on to draw application to ministry and the need for using more visual images in preaching. Maybe that could have made a separate post? On the flip side of Philips’ application in regard to images in preaching you have John Piper’s view that overuse of video and images might actually be a detriment to preaching. In his now often cited article at Out of Ur he said,

“I think the use of video and drama largely is a token of unbelief in the power of preaching. And I think that, to the degree that pastors begin to supplement their preaching with this entertaining spice to help people stay with them and be moved and get helped, it’s going to backfire…. It’s going to communicate that preaching is weak, preaching doesn’t save, preaching doesn’t hold, but entertainment does.”

I think there is a balance to be found here. It is clear that images do communicate powerfully and well timed images or video illustrations can greatly supplement a sermon and drive the point home. Obviously, if we rely on these week in and week out over and above the Word we are going to have problems.

There have been several really great comments on this post. I wanted to point out what James said here but please read the rest…they are excellent thoughts that bring great balance to the conversation.

“Can visuals rob power from the preaching? Yup. If poorly used, video, drama, and images can make a sermon feel more like a TV show than the exposition of the word of God.

But, when the sermon comes first, like Tim said, and the sermon can stand alone (if necessary), then visuals can add an emotional, transformational impact to the sermon. Putting in a movie clip that helps to illustrate a point or gets people thinking about the sermon topic can help train people to think such thoughts whenever they watch TV and movies. Piper is afraid of contaminating preaching with entertainment. I say we contaminate entertainment with preaching by training people to see their world through the eyes of Jesus.

Who’s with me?”

John Piper’s Response to President Obama Regarding Abortion

Have a look at this powerful post and video by John Piper. He makes some really good points. I sure hope someone *cough* is listening.

Here is the link.

Christian Sermon Links

Here are the links I have compiled to 67 different Christian ministers and scholars. The majority of these are from the church of Christ and some from Christendom in general. What links would you add? Who has has helped you grow in your faith who has their sermons online? Feel free to add suggestions in the comments. The additions will be reflected in the link at the top of Kingdom Living.

Alister McGrath
Andy Stanley – Northpoint
Ben Witherington III

Bill Williams
Bobby Valentine – Palo Verde Church of Christ
Brian McLaren – Cedar Ridge Community Church
Brian McLaren – Allelon
Brian Nicklaus
Craig Blomberg
Chris Seidman – Farmer’s Branch
Curt Sparks – Overland Park Church of Christ
D. A. Carson
Dallas Willard
Dallas Willard – Veritas
Dallas Willard – Allelon
Dan Holland – Metro Church of Christ
David Shannon – Mt. Juliet CofC (Mt. Juliet, TN)
David Young – North Boulevard CofC (Murfreesboro, TN)
Don McLaughlin – North Atlanta Church of Christ
Erwin McManus – Mosaic
Eugene Peterson – Allelon
Faith Comes By Hearing
Gary Bradley – Mayfair
James Dunn
Jeff Walling – Providence Road Church of Christ
Jim Woodroof
John Alan Turner
John Dobbs
John Ortberg
John Piper
John Risse – North Boulevard Church of Christ
John Scott – Saturn Road Church of Christ
John Stott
John York
Joseph Shulam
Karl Barth
Larry Crabb
Mark Hurt – Cordova Community Church
Mark Taylor
Marva Dawn
Max Lucado
Mike Cope – Highland Church of Christ (Abilene, TX)
Mike Winkler – Madison Church of Christ
Miroslav Volf
N.T. Wright
N.T. Wright – Allelon
Noel Whitlock – College Church of Christ (Searcy, AR)
Parker Palmer
Philip Cunningham III
Prentice Meador
Ravi Zacharias
Rick Atchley – Richland Hills Church of Christ
Rob Bell – Mars Hill Bible Church
Rubel Shelly
Stanley Hauerwas
Tim Bulkeley
Tim Spivey – Highland Oaks Church of Christ
Tim Woodroof – Otter Creek Church of Christ
Tony Campolo
Trey Morgan
Wade Hodges – Garnett Church of Christ (Tulsa, OK)
Walt Leaver – Brentwood Hills Church of Christ
Walter Brueggemann
Wheaton College Chapel – miscellaneous
Will Willimon & Others
William Lane Craig
Wolfhart Pannenburg