Filed under John’s notes

Holy Week Bible reading guides

Palm Sunday is approaching! To add a personal dimension to your time in the Bible, why not read the events of Jesus’ last week, during the commemoration of His last week? Below are two reading guides that take the gospel accounts of the Holy Week and divide them in a chronological fashion according to the … Continue reading

Sermons from Jeremiah

Sermons from Jeremiah

Jeremiah was a man who, from a young age, was called by God to preach a message of peace to an ironically deaf audience. In a city on the verge of annihilation, filled with people starving and diseased and desperate, Jeremiah preached the gospel … and was hated. Over 40 years of ministry, God never allowed Jeremiah to alter his message so that it might sell better to a people in pain, and save him from the pain his hearers inflicted on him. Jeremiah preached for many years, the one message with the power to save. Continue reading

Resources on sanctification

“[Philip ] Melancthon’s experience is common among many Christians I know today. Many of them, such as Melancthon did 400 years ago, are looking for assurance of their salvation in all the wrong places. They tend to think that their standing before God – now that they are Christians – is based on their own … Continue reading

Audio from Sound Words Conference

The audio from the Sound Words Conference (read more) has been posted over at Church in the Wildwood. John’s talk was Gnosticism: Special Knowledge for the Initiated, outlined below: A. Historical survey of gnosticism. B. Biblical doctrines in conflict with gnosticism. C. Contemporary expressions of gnosticism.

More sermon resources

A few weeks ago I recommended some resources on 1 and 2 Timothy to accompany my own preaching series. There I encouraged some sermons from notable pastors (Sinclair Ferguson, Ian Hamilton, Lig Duncan, etc.), but I want to add to that list the sermons of Pastor Edward Donnelly. I have only just heard of Pastor … Continue reading

Resources: 1 & 2 Timothy

As I make my way through 1 and 2 Timothy (Holding Faith), there are some online resources I find myself going to pretty regularly. I am not very adept at navigating online resources in my field; while I’m not ancient (not quite, anyway), I do have a lot to learn from younger theologians who know … Continue reading

Baptist backgrounds

Many folks at Faith have backgrounds in churches that, if not “Baptist” by name, at least hold to or claim Baptist theology. I have hosted a lot of out-of-state visitors this summer and many of them comment on the number of Baptist churches in Anchorage. There are many! Michael Dewalt, at Gospel-centered Musings, has written … Continue reading

Bible Reading plans (redux)

In a post about acquiring theological knowledge, I suggested using Bible reading plans as a way to keep on track with personal Bible reading. I still think that Justin Taylor does a good job of organizing the best reading lists in one place. Here are his 2012 suggestions. As for my personal recommendation, I would … Continue reading

Watch “What is Reformed Theology?”

Ligonier has just made available, for free viewing, Sproul’s lectures on the basics of Reformed theology. In 1997, these talks were published in a book, What is Reformed Theology? I believe that this book, along with William Edgar’s, Truth in All Its Glory, are the two best introductions to Reformed theology in print. So, I am very … Continue reading

“He descended into hell.”

This phrase, “he descended into hell,” is the subject of several questions I receive when we confess the Apostles’ Creed as a part of our Sunday morning worship at Faith (see the introduction to this post). Part of the confusion stems from the fact that the phrase is, well, shocking. The picture of Jesus walking … Continue reading

What is legalism?

I have just finished Derek Thomas’ short work, How the Gospel Brings Us All the Way Home, in which he considers what Romans 8 teaches us about sanctification. At Faith, we enjoy exploring how the gospel fuels our Christian growth on a moment-by-moment basis. Derek’s book is very helpful. You should also consider Part Three of … Continue reading

Winter Theology Conference 2012

We want to encourage you to mark your calendars for the evening of Friday, January 27 and the morning of Saturday, January 28. In addition, we will have a special Fellowship Meal on Sunday, January 29 immediately following our worship service (see the Faith calendar and our Facebook page).

Rob Rayburn’s Tabletalk article on the church

Since Pastor Rob will be visiting us in January, I want to provide opportunities for those who do not know him, . . . to get to know him. An essay of his appeared in the book, The Hardest Sermons You’ll Ever Have to Preach (see my original post). Also, he has recently written an … Continue reading

Theology … at 6:00am?!

I would like propose a weekly gathering at 6:00am to read and discuss Protestant Reformed theology. What I have in mind is spending time in Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology. Yes, I know 6:00am is tragically early. Yes, I know “theology” is a bad word today. Yes, I know Grudem’s book is 1000 pages (so long, in … Continue reading

Singing the Shorter Catechism

As most Faith people know, we use the Westminster Shorter Catechism for our Jr. High Sunday morning instruction, our House to House visit devotionals, and also in our worship services as a confession of faith. I was speaking with Daniel Harper (our Jr. High teacher) on Sunday and he informed me of the recordings of … Continue reading

Talking about sanctification … responsibly

Kevin DeYoung has written a simple post regarding a difficult topic. At Faith, we believe that, in regeneration, God operates alone. That is, the basis of a person’s conversion is the enabling work of Holy Spirit applied to that person’s heart. This is monergistic (work of one) regeneration, described here: “We are made partakers of … Continue reading

New work from Rob Rayburn

Because Robert Rayburn, pastor of Faith Tacoma, will be visiting us in January 2012 for our winter theology conference, I thought some might be interested in his latest publication. I have yet to read the book, but based on the comments of Zach Nielsen and Justin Taylor, it looks fantastic. Bryan Chapell of Covenant Theological Seminary has gathered a … Continue reading

Jeremiah’s life and culture

As I return to the book of Jeremiah on Sunday (Jeremiah 25.1-14), I thought it might be helpful to republish a timeline of Jeremiah’s life (see the PDF). I created this quite a while back, but it has been updated and various errors have been corrected. A timeline like this can be very helpful. Remember, … Continue reading

Acquiring theological knowledge

Doesn’t everyone have a specialization of some sort? Sometimes our vocations drive this; it may be that your vocation demands that you read and study to keep abreast of your field, be it the Journal of the American Medical Association or the Canadian Cake Decorators Guild. But it may also be that your hobbies and … Continue reading

Who is Nick Batzig?

The session has invited Rev. Nick Batzig to join us for our Spring Theology Conference in May, 2012. He will be joined by Burk Parsons and, while the topic details have not been finalized, we’ll be hearing from them a rationale for every Christian being a theologian and doing theology. Nick is the church planting … Continue reading

Who is Rob Rayburn?

The session has invited Rev. Robert Rayburn, and his wife, Florence, to join us for our Winter Theology Conference in January, 2012. Exact dates are not available yet, but the topics have to do with the state of contemporary Evangelicalism in America and the distinctive of Reformed theology. Rob has been the pastor of Faith … Continue reading

Who is Burk Parsons?

The session has invited Rev. Burk Parsons to join us for our Spring Theology Conference in May, 2012. He will be joined by Nick Batzig and, while the topic details have not been finalized, we’ll be hearing from them a rationale for every Christian being a theologian and doing theology. Burk Parson is the associate … Continue reading

What’s “new” about Calvinism?

Last summer I sat down and wrote A New Calvinism timeline.  Reading Collin Hansen’s, Young, Restless, and Reformed: A Journalist’s Journey with the New Calvinists, inspired me to collect a variety of events in recent history and put them together in one place. You can read the timeline, but I wanted to touch on the matter … Continue reading

Reformed (not Lutheran)

When asked what it is that Faith believes, I answer this by saying that we are orthodox (our beliefs are what all Christians in every age have professed), we are Protestant (we hold to the five traditional mottos of the Protestant Reformation), and we are Reformed. All of this can be seen here, but it … Continue reading

John Stott (1921-2011)

On July 27th, at the age of 90, Reverend John R. W. Stott went to be with God. If you are unfamiliar with John Stott, you can find biographical information about John Stott through John Stott ministries. I highly recommend, though, reading the synopses of Justin Taylor and that of Adrian Warnock. The obituary by Christianity Today’s … Continue reading

Is church membership a biblical idea?

On Sunday, January 9th, I preached a sermon from Hebrews 10.24-25 called, “Is church membership a biblical idea?” You can view the manuscript of the sermon (in PDF form) here.