Archive - March, 2012

Break-Out Session at Ligonier Ministries National Conference

My break-out session from the Ligonier Ministries National Conference is now available. You can watch the video or listen to the audio or download it for free.

The topis is Thriving at College.



Driscoll Steps Down from TGC Council

D.A. Carson and Tim Keller report:

Pastor Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill Church in Seattle has recently announced he is stepping down from the Council of The Gospel Coalition. Mark let us know in advance of his intentions, part of a major reorganization of his priorities and a changing of the guard in Acts 29. We are saddened by his departure but understand that all busy people must establish priorities.

The Council is grateful to Mark for his contributions to TGC during the past decade. In the months and years ahead, we will certainly be praying for him, his family, and the ministries he influences.

They go to post a short letter from Mark Driscoll about the decision.

Jason Meyer: Candidate to Succeed John Piper at Bethlehem Baptist Church

Justin Taylor reports:

Tonight the elders at Bethlehem Baptist Church unanimously voted to present Jason Meyer as their candidate to succeed John Piper, pending congregational approval. The announcement from executive pastor Sam Crabtree can be read here.

[The above links may not work if traffic is high.]  Technically, Jason is a candidate for Associate Pastor for Preaching and Vision. If approved by the congregation on May 20, then at some point in the future (possibly a year or two down the road), there will be a second congregational vote to establish him as Pastor for Preaching and Vision (i.e., remove the “associate”). David Mathis writes a helpful post on Piper’s transition. And John Piper has posted a response to the following questions.

How do you feel about Jason’s candidacy?

What was your role in choosing and testing Jason Meyer?

Why are you stepping down from your pastoral role?

What will you do?

What will your relationship to Bethlehem be?

How do you feel?

Note that John Piper’s current role (as Pastor for Preaching and Vision) is to remain during the season in which Meyer, if approved, would hold the Associate Pastor for Preaching and Vision position.

Update: On May 20,  Jason Meyer was affirmed by the congregation by a vote of 784-8. 

Update on Trayvon Martin Case

I previously posted on the death of Trayvon Martin, calling it a tragedy. I stand by that description– when is a young man’s death not a tragedy? However, since that time, additional details regarding this case have come to my attention, and the waters seem murky at best. Given that many in the media seem to be rushing to judgment, I just wanted to join those who are calling for caution. If found guilty, Zimmerman should be held accountable. But he is also entitled to the presumption of innocence, and deserves physical safety as the facts of the case are sorted out. Briefly (and incompletely):

1. On the one hand, according to the Orlando Sentinel, Zimmerman called the cops 46 times between January 2011 and Feb. 26. It seems he might have used racial epithets (along with expletives) in his 911 call. This, along with the fact that he followed Martin the night of his death–against the counsel of the Sanford police department–suggests he may have had an inflated view of his neighborhood watch duties, or was simply too quick to judge.

2. On the other hand, Zimmerman had severe injuries at the time of Martin’s death, suggesting a physical altercation had taken place. And Martin had been suspended from school for marijuana at the time of his death, though the slain teen had no criminal record.

[What would be more relevant, I think, than the marijuana suspension is if Martin had a history of anger leading to violence or if he was high on drugs at the time. Zimmerman claims Martin punched him and then “jumped on top of him and began banging his head on a sidewalk.”]

I don’t claim to be following this story closer than others. My only goal in adding this update is to join those who are calling for a fair, careful, and balanced evaluation of the relevant data. May those in positions of authority exercise their duties with wisdom and without partiality.

Time For The Talk: Leading Your Son Into True Manhood

I read this fantastic book in preparation for some messages I gave at Riverbend Community Church in Ormond Beach, FL a few weeks ago. I think every father of a young son should buy it and read it while his son is still a young boy. It will equip him to do something very challenging and absolutely crucial in our day: Lovingly, biblically and effectively communicating to his son the changes that come with puberty, the dangers associated with the world’s distortions of God’s good gift of sexuality, and how to glorify God as a man. Today only, it’s on sale for $6.98 – 50% off.

Ted Tripp’s blurb says it well:

“According to researchers over 60% of boys from Christian homes never receive “The Talk”. Many dads want to have “The Talk” but feel so ill-equipped that they never get to it. Dads (and Moms) Steve Zollos has come to your rescue. This book is comprehensive, insightful, biblical, gospel centered and above all doable.”

– Tedd Tripp, Pastor, Conference Speaker, author of Shepherding a Child’s Heart

The publisher’s description:

Time for The Talk will help fathers walk their sons through one of the most important conversations of their lives. “The Talk” is much broader than just a talk about sexuality; it’s a conversation about manhood, about right decisions, about Christ. Time for The Talk will assist you in giving your son what he needs to steer through the moral and spiritual confusion of this world and make wise, godly, character-forming decisions. You will be equipping him to enter true manhood—a passage that many young men today never make. This book not only provides a complete framework for discussing the key areas of manhood that every boy should learn from his father; it also guides you into developing a relationship based on truth and love that will endure for life.

Check it out.

Albert Mohler Interviews President Jimmy Carter

President Jimmy Carter recently came out with a study Bible. It is called NIV Lessons from Life Bible: Personal Reflections with Jimmy Carter.

Dr. Albert Mohler recently interviewed President Carter on his views of the Scripture. I’ve not yet heard it, but I look forward to doing so. Denny Burk reports that it is “an interview, not a debate (though Dr. Mohler’s registers disagreement with him on some point during the conversation).”

Read the transcript or listen to the audio.

Ligonier National Conference: The Christian Mind

A couple of weeks ago I had the privilege of giving a break-out session at the Ligonier National Conference. My session was on Thriving at College, and the theme of the conference was The Christian Mind. The entire conference is now available online for free streaming.

The video of the Q&A session (on topics ranging from evolution, politics, and pornography) is also online.


Celebrity Pastors and the Roots of American Evangelical Dysfunction

A good word from Phil Johnson on three leading historical figures in the church, Cotton Mather, Henry Ward Beecher, and Frank Norris. An excerpt:

Three centuries. Three celebrity pastors. Three completely different ministry philosophies. And yet there are so many similarities. Reading these three books in relatively close succession drove home the point for me that evangelicals historically haven’t been very good at differentiating between men who have character and men who merely are characters.

Read the whole thing.

Trayvon Martin, Race, and the Gospel

John Piper weighs in on the tragic slaying of Trayvon Martin, as he prepares to go to New York City this week for a public conversation with Tim Keller, moderated by Anthony Bradley, about the gospel and race. Piper writes:

What has enflamed this situation are the pieces that simply don’t add up. Zimmerman is a hundred pounds bigger and ten years older. He had the gun, not Martin. Reportedly he has been arrested before on assault charges. As he was following Martin in his truck, he called 911 and was told “we don’t need you to do that.” The police were on the way. But Zimmerman followed him anyway. His comments on the 911 recording (I listened to them) suggested possible racial frustration that “they always get away.” Martin’s call to his girlfriend suggested he was troubled by being followed. Not all the witnesses corroborate Zimmerman’s story.

Continue Reading…

Economics For Everyone

Ligonier Ministries and Compass Cinema are working together on what looks like an excellent new video series on Economics and Christianity. The first lesson is below. Head over to EconomicsForEveryone to see what they’re up to. Seems like more will be coming this summer.

This is sorely needed in our day–a day in which many young Americans consider socialism to have greater biblical support than capitalism.  (See this excellent book on the matter.) In this first lesson, I really like the way that Dr. R.C. Sproul, Jr. connects the study of economics to the generation of wealth—which in turn provides the means for promoting the gospel throughout the world.


HT: Justin Taylor

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