mgpcpastor's blog

reports, reviews, thoughts, news (and fun) posted by Gary Ware


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The Bible Living In Its Native Habitat (via William Willimon)

From William H. Willimon on the Biblical Word:

…Scripture is not merely a helpful resource for preaching, it is the genesis of preaching, the rationale for preaching, the substance and the means of preaching. When we preach from the Scriptures, to the congregation, the Bible is living in its native habitat. It is functioning as it was intended. When the Bible is given over to scholars in some college department of religion who are subservient to the academy rather than to the church, it is often made to answer questions that are of little interest to the originating intentions of Scripture itself.

William H. Willimon, Proclamation And Theology, Abidingdon Press, pg 26.


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Every Story Casts His Shadow

I have no idea what The Gospel Project Chronological is, but this video is excellent.
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Captain Context (via Adam4d)

An answer to a question by one of our local political candidates last week made me think of something similar to this.
source: Adam4d.com (which seems to be consistently improving.)



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Listening To God

Borrowed from Judy Rowland’s Facebook feed.
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Cross Talk by Michael Emlet – Kindle Edition Available Free For Limited Time

Cross Talk by Michael Emlet is currently available free in its Kindle edition at Amazon for a limited time.
Thanks to Gospel eBooks for the notice.

The blurb:

CrossTalk-210x300An Antidote to “Take Two Verses and Call Me in the Morning”
Your friend just left his wife. You catch your child posting something inappropriate on the Internet. Someone in your small group is depressed. A relative was just diagnosed with an incurable disease.
When those you know and love experience trouble, you don’t want to hand out pat answers or religious platitudes. Instead, you want to offer real hope and help from God’s Word. You know it’s true, but how does an ancient book, written thousands of years ago, connect with our twenty-first century problems?
In CrossTalk: Where Life and Scripture Meet, Michael R. Emlet gives you the tools to connect the Bible to your life and to the lives of your family, friends, neighbors, and coworkers. You will learn to understand people and God’s Word in ways that promote gospel-centered, rich conversations that help you and those you know grow in love for God and others. This book will make the whole Bible come alive to you. Instead of platitudes, you can offer a cup of living water to those who are struggling in this broken world.


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Don’t Let The Reformation Become History (via Phillip Jensen)

Tomorrow is Reformation Sunday, the closest Sunday to October 31, the date on which Martin Luther posted his 95 theses about disputed practices within the church. Protestant Churches use the date to commemorate and give thanks for the broader events of the period of the entire reformation. The year marks the 496th
Less and less churches seem to acknowledge the date, let alone the historical circumstance. In an age which is uncomfortable with disputation and disagreement the reformation runs the risk of becoming an embarrassment in excess, more a case of two parties with contrasting emphases rather than one being wrong and the other right.
Particularly when issues like Scripture alone; faith alone; grace alone; Christ alone; and Glory to God alone are becoming more confused in church life and practice.

Phillip Jensen writes about the first order importance of the Reformation as a time when the church rediscovered something that was lost.
An excerpt.

The Reformation did more than reform the abuses of organized religion. It was a recovery of the gospel that transformed the very nature of the church. Thus it became the foundation for our Protestant pattern of church life. We cannot truly understand ourselves without a proper grasp of the events of the Reformation. Through the work of Martin Luther, Ulrich Zwingli, John Calvin and many more, the great doctrines of salvation were once more hammered out and explained to the people. Their hymns and prayers, books and translations taught their own and subsequent generations the great doctrines of God’s grace in saving us through the death and resurrection of His Son, and of the Spirit’s work in regenerating us to repent and put our faith solely in him. It was a gospel understanding that freed us from priestcraft and religiosity, from false doctrine and authoritarianism. During the 16th century a new flowering of Christian understanding, scholarship, evangelism and conversion reformed the church.
It all came at a dreadful cost as people were persecuted and martyred for their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. We owe it to the memory of those who died for our freedoms to never lose sight of the Reformation. It was because of martyrs like William Tyndale and Thomas Cranmer that we have our Bible in English, as well as the Anglican Prayer Book and Articles of Religion. They, together with many others, died to bring these privileges to us. We forget them at our peril.

Read all of Don’t Make The Reformation History at Phillip Jensen.

So, give thanks for the Gospel clarity recovered through the Reformation tomorrow, but more essentially, demonstrate that thanks by holding to those central tenets of faith recovered at such great cost to so many.


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What Do We Mean When We Say ‘God Told Me’? (via Nancy Guthrie)

As we’ve been discovering at MGPC through our examination of Hebrews, God speaks today, and we all know what He says to us by reading the Bible.
Nancy Guthrie explains why Christians are blessed to have all of God’s Word available to us, and why the notion of everyday personal revelation by God apart from the Bible is not as biblical as some would assume.

When someone begins a sentence with “God told me . . .” I have to admit a silent alarm goes off somewhere inside me—unless the phrase is followed by a verse of Scripture. I know that many see this as the way the Christian life is supposed to work—that if we are really in fellowship with God we will be able to sense him speaking to us through an inner voice. But I’m not so sure. And it’s not because I think God is incapable of or uninterested in speaking to his people today. In fact I resist this language precisely because God is speaking to his people today. He speaks to us through the Scriptures.
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But many of us want something more, something different. We read the Scriptures and witness God speaking to individuals in amazing ways throughout the history of redemption. Job heard God speaking from the whirlwind. Moses heard him calling from the fiery bush. Samuel heard him calling in the dark. David heard him speak through the prophet Nathan. Isaiah felt the burning coal and heard assurance that his guilt was taken away and sin atoned for. Saul and those traveling with him on the road to Damascus heard Jesus asking why Saul was persecuting him. Prophets and teachers at Antioch heard the Holy Spirit tell them to set apart Barnabas and to send out Saul. John felt the glorified Jesus touch him and heard his assurance that he didn’t have to be afraid.
Many of us read these accounts and assume that the Bible is presenting the normal experience of all who follow God. But is it? Graeme Goldsworthy speaks to this question in his book Gospel and Wisdom. He writes, “Every case of special guidance given to individuals in the Bible has to do with that person’s place in the outworking of God’s saving purposes.” He adds, “There are no instances in the Bible in which God gives special and specific guidance to the ordinary believing Israelite or Christian in the details of their personal existence.”

Read the rest of Why Do We Say ‘God Told Me’? at The Gospel Coalition.