Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Great Deal on Some Classical Music

The 99 Most Essential Masterpieces of the Classical Era for $1.99. I've bought a few of these deals as an inexpensive way to develop a reasonably broad range of some classics. Some experts may argue that these recordings aren't the best available, but I've never been disappointed, and you can't beat the price with a stick.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Some Interesting Tweets and Other Things of Less Significance

1. Sometimes who makes a point is as compelling as the point itself:
Kauflin: Sunday AM musical skill is meant to increase congregational participation, not overpower it.
. . . and . . .
More Kauflin: If people need vibey intros, [guitar] effects, cool licks & low lights to engage w/ God, we're misleading, not leading them.
His second statement, in particular, is a helpful repudiation of the belief common among charismatics and Pentecostals that our worship atmosphere (for lack of a better term) is able to invoke a manifestation of the Holy Spirit.

2. Once you reach the conclusion that there's no need for a pastor to preach to an assembled congregation in their presence, this is a minimal and rational step:
Driscoll: Pre-recording 2 sermons today. Allows me to go to Zac’s baseball tourney with my family rather than not seeing them on Father’s Day.
3. And finally, some of you may have heard some people trying to figure out what's wrong with the young'uns and what should be done about it. I'd just like to suggest that there is no problem worth solving, to which "you need to have a Facebook" is a solution.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Contrasts in Pastoral Transitions

John Piper (age 65) discusses the issue—challenging because it's "not in the Bible"—with Tim Keller (60-ish) and Don Carson (64) . . .

. . . and describes Bethlehem's ongoing process as well as his personal intentions:
My proposal to the elders—and it comes from Noël and me, not just me (we have talked a lot about this, as you can imagine)—is that I transition from pastor for preaching and vision to a fulltime writing and BCS teaching and mentoring and wider speaking role on June 30, 2014—three years from now. And that we be very intentional and prayerful and thoughtful about a successor in those years.
John MacArthur (who turns 72 on Sunday) reflects briefly on the same topic as he concludes a decades-long project of preaching through the New Testament:
I want to let you know that I'm not planning a retirement. I've told the elders, as long as I make sense, leave me alone. [audience laughter] When I don't make sense, just try to convince me that I don't make sense. [audience laughter] That's the problem, isn't it, so, drag me out of there.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Direct Mail Levity

James MacDonald's new study:

And from BJU:

A dude. Wearing jacket and tie. On the lawn. Reading a book on separation. To two girls.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

SALE: Biblical Theology Series

Just an FYI here. This series is worth getting to know. I've read or am generally familiar with just a few volumes, but those have been extraordinarily helpful. I'd recommend this one in particular.

Couple caveats: 1) If you're completely new to biblical theology, they may not be the best place to start, and 2) These prices are better than usual and cheaper (from the ones I checked) than Amazon, but they're not going to blow your doors off. Still, if you want to pick up a couple, this seems like the time to do it.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Sloppy Talk About the Church's Mission

Previously, I've alluded to those who suggest that the Church's mission must be equivalent to Jesus' mission. Two primary concerns: 1) Often, they make the argument in a dismissive way, as if anyone who thinks the issue demands substantive discussion or nuance is obtuse. 2) They're wrong, and a sure implication of getting this one wrong is a redefinition of the Church's mission, often resulting in the marginalization of gospel proclamation.

I appreciate how Michael Horton addressed the issue, and I particularly appreciate that he addressed it in the context of a conference examining the implications of the gospel for all of life. Horton:
Our mission is qualitatively different from God's mission. God sends us on a mission, but it's a different mission than the mission he sent his Son on. It's different from the mission he sent his Spirit on. The Son could redeem the world. We can't. Again, loose talk—loose talk in the Church today about our redeeming activity in the world. WE should never, ever sully that wonderful word by saddling it to us as the subject of the verb. When it comes to redeeming anything, we are not the subject of the action. Jesus Christ is. Jesus is the unique, only, exclusive Redeemer of the world.

"Well, we're extending his redemption." No, we're not. There is no extension. He accomplished it once and for all. "Well, we are extensions of his incarnation." No, we're not. We're members of his body. I wasn't born of a virgin. I didn't suffer under Pontius Pilate. I wasn't crucified. I wasn't raised on the third day.

We preach not ourselves but Christ, and we are his ambassadors! Paul says, "Let's get that right. We are not the message. We're the messengers." So our mission is qualitatively different from God's. But because he finished his mission in his Son—his mission of redeeming—and he sent his Spirit to open the hearts of those to whom we speak, we have a mission that is guaranteed success.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

In the Interest of Fairness and Honor, Where It's Due

Previously, I've obliquely pointed out the irony of a militantly separatist institution naming a dorm after Bibb Graves.

Well, Bibb's been expunged. I (and people better-connected than I) am unaware of any public explanation, but I'm assuming that a thoughtful insider did some good work. Thanks to you, and all who advanced this decision.