A Balanced Preaching Menu [Video]

Are you serving up a balanced diet to your congregation? In this video I give a brief summary of ten kinds of sermon (email and RSS click here to view video)

  1. Doctrinal Sermons
  2. Theistic Sermons
  3. Apologetic Sermons
  4. Controversial Sermons
  5. Practical Sermons
  6. Historical/Biographical sermons
  7. Experiential Sermons
  8. Topical Sermons
  9. Evangelistic Sermons
  10. Discriminatory Sermons

Previous videos in the How Sermons Work series here.


Check out

3 Unique Resources for Studying Kind David’s Life
The Leithart book looks especially appealing.

Drowning in Leviticus
Some encouragements for you if your annual Bible reading plan has hit the buffers in Leviticus.

25 Ways Men can be Servant Leaders
For all husbands and fathers.

20 Free Entrepreneurship Courses Online
Only after you’ve watched Economics Has Consequences (also free!).

7 Tips for Public Speaking Without All the Notes
It can be done!

Four Ways to be a Courageous Leader
Ed Stetzer: “Christian ministry often elevates people who can write and speak into positions of leadership and influence before their character is prepared to handle it. In other words, if you can write and speak, you sometimes gain influence without possessing the character to handle it.”


Children’s Daily Bible Reading Plan

This week’s morning and evening reading plan in Word and pdf.

This week’s single reading plan for morning or evening in Word and pdf.

If you want to start at the beginning, this is the first year of the children’s Morning and Evening Bible reading plan in Word and pdf.

Jason Henry, a missionary in Mongolia, has very kindly collated and produced the second year of morning and evening readings in Word and pdf.

And here’s the first 12 months of the Morning or Evening Bible reading plan in Word and pdf.

Here’s an explanation of the plan.

And here are the daily Bible Studies gathered into individual Bible books. Further explanation of that here.

Old Testament

New Testament

May God bless you and your children as you study the Word of life


How can I explain the Trinity to a child?

Last week, I took part in a Google Hangout at Ligonier’s 2013 National Conference. One of the questions I was asked was, “How can I explain the Trinity to a small child without moralistic illustrations or logical arguments that go over their head?”

If you click on over Ligonier’s blog, you can watch the hangout or read my more considered answer which goes along the following lines:

  1. Read the Bible with your children
  2. Catechize your children
  3. Encourage your children to experience the Trinity
  4. Focus your children on Christ
  5. Pray for your children
  6. Excite your children

You can also find out why Sinclair Ferguson thinks every preacher should use Velcro.


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Five Psychiatric Disorders Linked
Looks like science is getting us closer to understanding the genetic element in mental illness: “Autism, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder, bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder and schizophrenia all share several genetic risk factors, according to a major study. Versions of four genes increased the odds of all five disorders.”

Brave address to the Scottish Parliament [Video]
The Baptist pastor gave a gracious and courageous short speech to the Scottish Parliament this week. Sadly, the Scottish parliament has led the UK in advancing the homosexual agenda.

Pastor Jefress’ Response to Cultured Despisers in the Media [Video]
Another dignified and noble message from a pastor under huge pressure.

Theological Writings
Nick Batzig is compiling an index of his various articles over the years: Biblical Theology, Systematic Theology, Historical Theology, etc. Some wonderful pieces here.

An interview with Dr. John Perkins
I came across Dr Perkins when I was reading Crossing the Tracks recently. Here he talks with my friends at RAAN about growing up as a sharecropper’s son in rural Mississippi.  He fled to California after his brother was killed by a White police officer.  Following his radical conversion to Christianity he returned to Mississippi to share the Gospel and work for community uplift.

More Free Marginal University Courses
The one on the Economics of Media looks fascinating. However, if you want a really great deal, watch Economics Has Consequences for free during March. This is a cut down version of R.C. Sproul Jr DVD Curriculum, Economics for Everybody. I’m working through this with my family and it’s excellent.


Exploring our Inner Universe

The more I study the brain, the more awed, humbled, and worshipful I become.  As Tim Challies said a week or so ago, it truly is God’s Masterpiece. So relatively unexplored and understood is it, that some scientists are calling it “the last frontier.”

Recently the BBC published photos and a video of the most recent scientific research on the brain. The scanner that produced the pictures needs 22MW of electricity – enough to power a nuclear submarine! Not sure I’d subject my brain to that, but a brave BBC journalist did and the results are staggeringly beautiful. I’ve attached a few photos to this post but I’d highly recommend the video here.

When we look at these images, we must surely bow down and worship the God who created this galaxy within each one of us. But as Christians who believe that the divine curse on sin has impacted every part of the human body, we should surely also be more open to accepting that many people’s emotional or cognitive problems may also have a physical component.

Look at the complexity of these fibers and connections and consider how the fall has inevitably damaged and confused them. Add to that the evidence that our brain wiring is not fixed, but is changed by different experiences we pass through, especially the traumas of abuse, deprivation, and loss. What was once a pristine perfect electrical superhighway is now a tangled confusion of short-circuits, overloads, disconnections, and fuse blowouts. As our thoughts and emotions are processed, they sometimes come to dead-ends, they go round in circles, get diverted, and lost, etc.

That knowledge and understanding should make us more patient, more sympathetic, and more gracious in our dealings with those who suffer with depression and some other mental illnesses. There may well be a physical cause at times. There are almost certainly physical consequences.

But there is also hope in this science. Just as the brain’s wiring can be damaged by sin and painful experiences outside our control, so we must believe that the Gospel can begin to rewire us, repair us and renew our minds. It may take more than the Gospel (e.g. medications and cognitive training might help to rebuild the superhighways within) but the Gospel can surely play a large part in this physical healing too.