Saturday, May 29, 2010

Pray for Ray David Glenn

My wife grew up with Ray David Glenn. Today he is an evangelical Anglican Priest in a 'hold out' congregation (i.e. they are sticking to the Bible and the gospel). In 2001 he married Rhonda, a then talk show host on CTS. One month ago, Rhonda was diagnosed with a brain tumour, and this past week, she passed away. Rhonda leaves a loving husband, and a 7 year old son named Matthew. Pray for this family in mourning. Below is a remembrance video.

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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

One for Kids, One for Adults: Two Free Worship Album Downloads

The other day I saw this link to two free worship albums available for download from The Village Church, where Matt Chandler pastors.

The first is a five song album for kids. Here's the description from their web site:

The Village: Kids - "Jesus Came to Save Sinners"

"Jesus Came to Save Sinners" contains five original songs that teach children about the character and nature of God and His plan to save sinners through Jesus Christ. These songs correspond with the five foundational truths - Jesus Came to Save Sinners, God is Good, God is in Charge of Everything, God Wants to Talk with Us, God Made Everything - taught each weekend in our preschool ministry, The Little Village. The mission and vision of The Little Village is "to partner with parents to build a firm spiritual foundation for their children." Our hope is that these songs will be an effective tool in engaging your children with the truth of who God is as you endeavor to obey the biblical call to bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. (Ephesians 6:4)

The second is a full album by the worship team of the Village Church. Again, here's the description:

The Village - "Village Worship"

Released in 2005, this album contains many of the songs from The Village Church weekend services. The purpose of the CD is to draw you to the feet of God. We pray that as you listen, you would worship in spirit and in truth, with your heart and your mind, making much of God with your affections and your knowledge of the Word. The songs speak of God's great splendor, the wonderful grace of Jesus, the peace that God brings to one's life, and they plead with God to overwhelm our lives with His presence and splendor. They proclaim to our King that He indeed is better than all and that we look forward to the day when He returns once again for His people. May His Name be praised!

I've really been enjoying the latter, and my four year old has been loving the former. Again, both albums, along with download instructions, can be found here.


Thursday, May 20, 2010

Engaging Secular People With the Gospel

Last night I had the privilege of leading a 'Discovery Group', a small group of people who are exploring the person and claims of Jesus with me on Wednesday nights. This, by far, is my favourite time of my week as a pastor (yes, even more than preaching!!). What a privilege to create a non-threatening environment where people can ask their questions, voice their objections, and encounter the real Jesus. I pray that God uses this group and future ones like it to lead many to Christ!

This afternoon I had the privilege of reading a very helpful article called, "Deconstructing Defeater Beliefs: Leading the Secular to Christ", by Tim Keller. I really work to be shaped by a variety of pastors/theologians, but I find myself coming back to John Piper and Tim Keller more than anyone else. Keller's cultural engagement and apologetics are second to none. No one engages post-modern people with the gospel, makes them want to hear it, shows them the inconsistencies in their world view, and then shows them the truth and beauty of the gospel, better than Tim Keller. I highly recommend that all Christians read his best selling book, 'The Reason for God' and then buy a stack to give away to their secular friends. In the article I read this afternoon, Keller explains the rationale behind his book. Here is a teaser by Keller:

Every culture hostile to Christianity holds to a set of 'common-sense' consensus beliefs that automatically make Christianity seem implausible to people. These are what philosophers call "defeater beliefs". A defeater belief is Belief-A that, if true, means Belief-B can't be true.

Christianity is disbelieved in one culture for totally opposite reasons it is disbelieved in another. So for example, in the West (as we will explore below) it is widely assumed that Christianity can't be true because of the cultural belief there can't be just one "true" religion. But in the Middle East, people have absolutely no problem with the idea that there is just one true religion. That doesn't seem implausible at all. Rather there it is widely assumed that Christianity can't be true because of the cultural belief that American culture, based on Christianity, is unjust and corrupt. (Skeptics ought to realize, then, that the objections they have to the Christian faith are culturally relative!) So each culture has its own set of culturally-based doubt-generators which people call 'objections' or 'problems' with Christianity.

When a culture develops a combination of many, widely held defeater beliefs it becomes a cultural 'implausibility-structure.' In these societies, most people don't feel they have to give Christianity a good hearing – they don't feel that kind of energy is warranted. They know it just can't be true. That is what makes evangelism in hostile cultures so much more difficult and complex than it was under 'Christendom.' In our Western culture (and in places like Japan, India, and Muslim countries) the reigning implausibility-structure against Christianity is very strong. Christianity simply looks ludicrous. In places like Africa, Latin America, and China, however, the implausibility structures are eroding fast. The widely held assumptions in the culture make Christianity look credible there.

(In what follows, Keller explains and interacts with the most common Western Defeater beliefs, and then presents the gospel on the culture's own terms!!.) You can read the whole thing here.

Friday, May 7, 2010

George Veenvliet - June 13, 1947 - May 4, 2010

This past Tuesday, my friend George passed away suddenly. George was a 'Barnabas' to me and many others in the Binbrook Baptist Church family and beyond. In the last few days I've been oscillating between shock and grief and a stoic 'get it done' work mentality in planning the funeral. Please pray that Christ would be exalted through our church's Sunday morning worship service where I plan to preach on Barnabas, and at the funeral on Monday, where I plan to preach on Lamentations 3. George was a beautiful Christian whose life displayed the gospel in so many ways.

Below is the newspaper write-up:

George VEENVLIET VEENVLIET, George Went to be home with the Lord on Tuesday, May 4, 2010, in his 63rd year. Beloved husband of Florence. Loved father of Tara and Heidi. Loving Grandpa of Addison and Keira. Will be sadly missed by his 3 brothers and 3 sisters. George was a stone mason in the Hamilton area for over 40 years, and a member of Binbrook Baptist Church. Friends will be received at the DONALD V. BROWN FUNERAL HOME, 36 Lake Ave. Drive, Stoney Creek on Saturday from 7-9 p.m. and Sunday from 2-4 p.m. No visitation Sunday evening. Funeral Service will be held at West Highland Baptist Church 1605 Garth Street, Hamilton on Monday, May 10, 2010 at 1 p.m. Interment Mountview Gardens. In George’s memory, donations to Binbrook Baptist Church would be appreciated by the family. Online condolences may be sent at