CK2:13 Be encouraged!

Download here.

Tim Keesee has a pretty amazing ministry. He travels around the world with Frontline Missions in order to encourage missionaries, to meet indigenous Christians and to find new ways to partner in spreading the gospel. Some of his journeys have been documented in the Dispatches from the Front DVDs that Tim Challies wrote about last week. Tim C says: “As soon as I saw those videos I knew that I wanted to talk to Tim, and that is just what I did in this week’s podcast.”

I’d encourage you to listen so you can be encouraged as you hear how and where the Lord is working. Tim K shares some amazing stories and tells what he has seen of the church in faraway lands.

If you want to give us feedback or join in the discussion, go ahead and look up our Facebook Group or leave a comment right here. You will always be able to find the most recent episode here on the blog. If you would like to subscribe via iTunes, you can do that here or if you want to subscribe with another audio player, you can try this RSS link.


Pastoral Picks (6/2)

The Washington Post’s Steven Pearlstein on the inevitable “revolution” coming to a school or Seminary near you.

And while on the subject of Seminaries, William Evans has a helpful article on how to choose the right one for you. Using his categories, I would describe Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary as (1) A school for pastors, (2) Catechetical, and cheating a bit on (3) I would tick both Confessional & Ecumenical. We adhere to the Three Forms of Unity and the Westminster Standards. But we also have students from all kinds of backgrounds – Continental Reformed, Scottish and American Presbyterian, Baptist, etc.

Kevin DeYoung his usual balanced self on Obedience is possible, prescribed, and precious.

Tyndale House’s Bible Study Toolbar looks well worth a try.

And Logos’s new e-book store, Vyrso (should have focus-grouped the name!) looks like a great shortcut to Christian e-books. Good prices too.

“To create something great, you have to cut it in half… keep shortening it… and really figure out what really needs to be there.” Jason Fried of 37 Signals on sermon preparation (well, not really, but it could be).

John Cleese, yes that John Cleese, on creativity and productivity.

 

Book recommendation: Al Martin’s Preaching in the Holy Spirit ($6).

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Excerpt: “It is better to preach a ragged and less than neat sermon in the power of the Holy Spirit, than to preach a neat and polished sermon without His unction” (p. 60).


CrossReference 10: He’s Coming!


Well, here’s the last of ten films on the Old Testament appearances of Christ in the Old Testament. This week we wrap up the series by looking at one of the last prophecies of Christ in the Old Testament: He’s Coming! Hope you enjoyed the journey. Hope it took you to Christ.

The first two videos will be permanently available online. (Episode 1, Episode 2). The remaining episodes will be released once a week for the next seven  weeks. Each of them will be available for online viewing for seven days.

DVD, HD download, and Study Guide available now from HeadHeartHand Media. DVD and Study Guide also available from Ligonier, and RHB.


How human was Christ’s humanity?

In our understandable zeal to defend the deity of Christ and exalt His divine glory, we can sometimes neglect or even distort the equally important truth of Christ’s full humanity. There seems to be much confusion especially around His physical, emotional, and intellectual development. Let’s just take the last of these and explore and explore it for a few paragraphs.

First, Christ’s humanity needed teaching. We are not here speaking of Christ’s divine mind – which was all-knowing. We are speaking of His finite and limited human mind. He was not born with perfect knowledge of everything. There were things He did not know – even divine things (Mark 13:32).

Second, Christ grew in knowledge (Luke 2:40). As He aged and matured, He also developed in His knowledge and understanding.

Third, Christ learned by listening, reading, and studying. Although there were undoubtedly times when the Holy Spirit revealed truth directly to His human mind, He usually learned in the normal human way – by listening, reading, etc.

Fourth, Christ’s most important source of knowledge was the Old Testament. The Old Testament was Christ’s most important book. His knowledge of it came to Him through His mother’s teaching, His own reading, and His hearing it read and preached in the synagogue.

Fifth, Christ knew the Old Testament better than anyone ever did. In His short time on this earth he studied it more effectively and with more understanding than anyone before or since. Christopher Wright has thought deeply and written beautifully about this area of Christ’s life, and introduces his own insights with this thought-provoking passage:

In the midst of the many intrinsically fascinating reasons why Old Testament study is so rewarding, the most exciting to me is the way it never fails to add new depths to my understanding of Jesus. I find myself aware that in reading the Hebrew scriptures I am handling something that gives me a closer common link with Jesus than any archaeological artefact could do. For these are the words he read. These were the stories he knew. These were the songs he sang. These were the depths of wisdom and revelation and prophecy that shaped his whole view of “life, the universe and everything”. This is where he found his insights into the mind of his Father God. Above all, this is where he found the shape of his own identity and the goal of his own mission. In short, the deeper you go into understanding the Old Testament, the closer you come to the heart of Jesus. (After all, Jesus never actually read the New Testament!). [1]

Sixth, Jesus knew everything he needed to know and never forgot anything he should have remembered. His sinlessness protected him from foolish, lazy, or sinful ignorance.

Mysterious ordinariness

Many mysteries remain in this area of what Christ knew and how He learned. For example, what effect did the fact that Christ inspired the Old Testament have on His human knowledge of the Scriptures? How much did Christ learn directly, via the ministry of the Spirit? Did His human mind ever “access” His divine mind? etc.

However, whatever answers we suggest, we must jealously guard the normal ordinariness of Christ’s maturing humanity.

In his comments on Luke 2:52, John Macarthur wrote: “Luke is saying that every aspect of Jesus’ development into full manhood (intellectually, spiritually, and socially) was ordinary not extraordinary…His conscious mind was therefore subject to the normal limitations of human finitude. In other words, as Luke says here, Jesus truly learned things. Although He knew everything exhaustively and omnisciently as God, He did not always maintain full awareness of everything in his human consciousness. The questions He asked those rabbis were part of the learning process, not some backhanded way of showing the rabbis up. He was truly learning from them and processing what they taught him.” [2]

Tomorrow we’ll look at some of the specifics of how and what Christ learned.
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[1] Christopher Wright, Knowing Jesus through the Old Testament (Downer’s Grove: IVP, 1992) Preface, ix.
[2] John Macarthur, The Jesus you can’t ignore (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2008), 29.


Pastoral Picks (5/31)

Two articles on the limitations of Technology. Timothy Dalrymple on the difficulty of Finding Spiritual Life in a Technological World.  And in Liking is for Cowards. Go for what hurts Jonathan Franzen exposes the folly of substituting relationships with technology. 

Jeff Goins on the Most Overlooked Secret to Influencing People.  My interest in this is its application to evangelism? As my friend Seth Getz puts it: “Just ask.” How many are perishing because we don’t?

Last weekend I watched this powerful example of Job 19 faith. However, this morning, I came across another side to the story, the Job 3-18 and 20-37 side, and I was even more blessed.

Jared Wilson gives us 10 Simple Things Good Pastors say.

The ever practical Brian Croft has four guidelines for pastoring women in a congregation.

Tim Challies opens up his Mac and shares some of the Applications that make his life easier.

Wish I’d read Doug Wilson’s wise article on productivity 12 months ago. Even his first point is pure gold:

The point is fruitfulness, not efficiency. You should want to be fruitful like a tree, not efficient like a machine. But this fruitfulness is a function of God’s blessing, and it is surrendered work that is blessed work. Seek that blessing, and seek it through concrete surrender. Such surrenders are not abstract. Put your Isaacs on the altar. Every interruption is a chance to surrender your work to the only one who can bless your work, particularly when the interruptions come from your kid wanting to play catch.

And my book recommendation for today is:

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Conduct Gospel-centered funerals by Brian Croft and Phil Newton.