Let’s try again

Well let’s see if we can get this blog going again. Time constraints at home, work, church and with family have limited my time to give any proper attention in thinking and writing to a blog. The goal here is to regularly (hopefully weekly – more often when possible) post on issues of discipleship, culture and theology.

With God’s blessing and good providence we will reach our goal.

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T4G Reflections

Well I was not able to post during the Together for the Gospel conference as I had hoped since I had no connectivity where I was staying. I could have made a few quick posts from my Iphone during the event but as any of you know who own an Iphone, the keyboard is not very user friendly for long or substantial posts.

I have never been one to build something up, use over the top adjectives in describing events or things, but words absolutely fail me when it comes to describing the T4G 2010 conference. If you will allow I will seperate my thoughts today and the next few days into a few categories; Fellowship, Preaching, Worship, Service, Love and Potential Impact.

This years theme was, “The Unadjusted Gospel”; the focus was on those things that cause us to adjust the Gospel to culture, to man, etc and divert our attention many times to “good” things but not the best thing, The Gospel.

For the overview I will say this had to be the single, greatest worship time that I have ever had or experienced in my life. Again, those of you who know me will note that I am not an “experience” driven person, I am skeptical of “experiences”, but that being said; I have never in my entire life been so moved by the preaching of the Word, the fellowship of the saints, the overall worshipful attitude in song and word, the collective loving, service attitude of the attendees and desire for God’s glory as I was this last week.

The word, awesome, does not begin to describe, it is a good start but it is not enough.

I will give a little more detail in the categories listed above in the coming days, I may throw in a few highlights from the sermons and the interaction we saw among the speakers as well.

A couple of interesting facts about this particular conference. The attendees came from numerous denominations and several countries all focused on one thing, being Together for the Gospel. The three main groups of attendees were Southern Baptist pastors, Presbyterian Church in America pastors and Sovereign Grace Church pastors – for each of these groups this was the single largest gathering of their pastors that will occur this year! In all there were 7000 attendees at this years event, that is up 2000 from the conference in 2008 and from the first conference in 2006 which had approximately 1500 in attendence. Why are those numbers so significant? Well you see the guys who are behind this event don’t advertise other than by word of mouth. You have pastors and church leaders rallying around the gospel for three days, returning to their homes and churches, then beginning to flesh out this passion for the gospel in their ministries and asking others to return with them two years later.

Is this a work of God? Well, numbers alone is no measure, but I would ask you to consider the other areas that I will review and after that, you decided. As for me? Well without tipping my hand, yes I believe this is a work of God, in fact the thought I had while there and driving home was that this may well be the beginning a second reformation. One like we saw in the 16th century, one driven by a return to the gospel, not one of “deeds” as some are calling for today but one power in the Holy Spirit, driven by the realization that this world is lost, that mankind is bound for a Christless eternity, they are spiritually dead and without hope, their blindness is so dark and pervasive that they don’t even realize they are blind. They don’t need purpose in life, they don’t need prosperity, they don’t need power or prestige, they need the Gospel. And as Dr. John Piper prayed, there were 7000 in Louisville who had not “bowed the knee” to the “Adjusted Gospels” of our day.

More to follow,

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A Fresh Start (again)

The beauty of learning how to blog, how to maintain one and what the purpose for a blog is that you can begin, end and begin again as often as needed in order to “get it right”. In a sense that is what I am doing here at Gospel and Grace. As my Grandmother used to tell me, “Third times charm”, we we will see if that holds true.

I will “revive” Gospel and Grace beginning on Tuesday the 13th of April in conjunction with my attendance at this years Together for the Gospel conference in Louisville Kentucky. I will be attending not only the main conference but the pre-conference on reaching Asian Americans and the Band of Bloggers conference as well.

I will post updates throughout the three days of the conference.

All of that being said the question is properly raised, what is the purpose of Gospel and Grace? Why does this blog exist? Will it even be read by anyone?

What is the purpose of Gospel and Grace? Simply put, it is designed to be a forum where I can “discuss” and think out loud, along with in put from readers, about how we live a life of Grace in this Genesis 3 world and that in all things we have the focus of the Gospel in all things. Another way of putting it would be to say it is to think biblically about living a Great Commission life in 21st century America.

Why does the blog exist? Can I not live the Gospel and Grace without the blog? Well, sure I could. But what G and G does is provide me the opportunity to learn from a wider cross section as well as giving me the opportunity to develop my writing skills which also serves to help me think about issues more clearly and biblically.

Will anyone read the blog? You know everyone I hope that there are many who will drop by and visit the site, find what is written to be helpful and God glorifying, add their comments and recommend the site and return themselves. But if it happens that no one reads then so be it, the benefit to those who I teach and for whom I write lesson material will be immeasurable.

May God be Glorified.


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New Edition of the MacArthur Study Bible

There was an official announcement at the annual Shepherds Conference held at Grace Community Church in Sun Valley California this week of a new edition of the MacArthur Study Bible.

This edition will be based on the ESV text and joins the previous editions which came in the NKJV and NASB.

Crossway Publishing has set up a website exclusive to this edition at: www.esvmacarthurstudybible.com

There you will find a video by Dr. MacArthur regarding the new edition. It appears that this will hit the market sometime this summer.

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Filed under Bible Translations, ESV, John MacArthur, MacArthur Study Bible, Shepherds Conference

What is a Disciple?

There is no small amount of ink (liquid and electronic) spent on the subject of discipleship these days. Entire ministries are built around the concept of promoting, training and developing disciples. Conferences are held to discuss and develop strategies on being disciples in various contexts. We have added adjectives to disciple in an attempt to qualify and clarify what we mean by the word disciple. Words such as radical, missional and kingdom just to name a few. We have discipleship classes, Disciple Now weekends, study courses, magazines, websites and books ad nauseaum. But at the end of the day I fear that the average Christian, the “person in the pew”, the man, woman and youth that must go live at the “shoe leather” level still is left wondering, “Just what in the world is this discipleship stuff anyway?”.

So over the next few weeks we will spill a little more e-ink on the subject. I want to see if we can look afresh at the subject and answer a few basic questions, questions like:

1. What is a disciple?
2. What does a disciple do?
3. Who should be a disciple?
4. Why be a disciple in the first place?
5. How do I become a disciple?

Not necessarily a complete list but a start. Join me for a few weeks, add your ideas to the discussion and together let us learn a little more about following our Lord and Savior, Jesus.

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