2008

T 4 Free question #2 WINNER

March 7, 2008

The winner of our question why the local church is better than a pastors conference IS

moving to New Jersey soon,

but now resides in Franklin, TN.

Reid Monaghan is the winner!

And the winning entry was:

Top Ten Reasons Local Churches are better than pastors’ conferences:

  1. It is OK your pastor is not named “John” or “Mark”
  2. Deacon cage matches – learning to forgive and be forgiven
  3. You have to be rich to go to conferences – the poor are welcomed in local churches (hopefully)
  4. The Lord’s Table
  5. Scripture – You find out God has given many teachers to his church – beyond the 7  guys who are invited to every reformed conference
  6. All mission is local
  7. Where everybody knows your name and they’re always glad you came – (again, hopefully)
  8. Pot-Lucks
  9. Special music – or not
  10. People meeting Jesus

T 4 Free question #3

March 5, 2008

For this next question, we may have to post a number of the top answers. Still, we’re looking to give a free T4G registration to the top answer. And the question is…

What is the most awkward/unexpected/funny moment you have had when interviewing for the job of pastor?

Contest rules:

  1. Post your answer in the "comments" section.
  2. Your answer must be accompanied with a working email address.
  3. Each question will remain open for 24 hours.
  4. The winner’s name and answer will be posted sometime afterwards.
  5. Winner receives free registration for him/herself or a friend.
  6. Responses must be in 100 words or less.

Winner of T4Free #1

March 3, 2008

A lot of you (maybe around 200?) sent in a lot of answers.  I have to tell you they clustered around the following:  Jesus Christ ("I am of Christ"), Paul, a great one on one of the disciples on the road to Emmaus, various other people from Scripture, Luther, Calvin, (a few Sibbes, thank you!), Edwards, Whitfield, Spurgeon and Lloyd-Jones.  I would love to tell you more about the entries, but I’m working on some talks I’m supposed to give out at Golden Gate Seminary, and in Sacramento on Wed. & Thurs of this week, so I can’t do that.  Just know that we appreciate all the entries and hope that God will use the speakers we DO have to bless and encourage those who gather at T4G.

Now, on to the winner.  The winner is Joey Asbury of Greenwood, Indiana.  He said that he wasn’t at T4G 06 but recently watched the videos on Ligonier.  (Thanks, Ligonier!)  And that he’ll look forward to coming this year.

And here is his entry:  "I would like to hear George Whitefield preach for two reasons. 

1. Whenever I hear the term “Together for the Gospel” I think of the great quote by Whitefield.

"Father Abraham, whom have you in heaven? Any Episcopalians? No! Any Presbyterians? No! Have you any Independents or Seceders? No! Have you any Methodists? No! No! No! Whom have you there? We don’t know those names here! All who are here are Christians."

2. I would love to hear a man who could preach a Spirit-filled gospel message to 5,000 without the aid of a microphone."

Well, in heaven.  But isn’t it wonderful to sharpen our gratitude for some of the faithfulnesses that God has shown us in servants past.  Let’s pray that God make us fruitful servants in our own time.

T 4 Free #2

March 3, 2008

Time for more fun.


For a free registration to Together for the Gospel 2008, here is today’s question:

Why are local churches better than pastors’ conferences?


Here are the slightly revised contest rules:

  1. Questions will be posted on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.
  2. Post your answer in the "comments" section.
  3. Your answer must be accompanied with a working email address.
  4. Each question will remain open for 24 hours.
  5. The winner’s name and answer will be posted sometime . . . hmmm . . . afterwards.
  6. Winner receives free registration for him/herself or a friend.
  7. Responses must be in 100 words or less.

We’ll try to post the winning entry from the first question soon!

Ummm . . . There Have Been a Lot of Answers,

March 2, 2008

So I/we will need a little more time to sort through these!   We’ll get back to you . . .  Soon!

Thanks for your understanding!

T 4 Free

February 29, 2008

Hey Friends,

Time for some fun! For the next few weeks, we’re going to give away a free T4G 08 registration on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays to whomever gives the best answer to a question we post.

Today’s question is 

If you could have anyone from history join the cast of speakers at T4G, who would it be and why?

Here are the contest rules:

  1. Questions will be posted on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.
  2. Post your answer in the "comments" section.
  3. Your answer must be accompanied with a working email address.
  4. Each question will remain open for 48 hours.
  5. The winner’s name and answer will be posted sometime after that 48 hour period.
  6. Winner receives free registration for him/herself or a friend.
  7. Responses must be in 100 words or less. 

Any takers?

Christianity and Power

February 21, 2008

Often we hear people say that Christianity dispenses with the very idea of power. That power is not a category deployed in the Christian life. That the true Christian eschews the exercise of power. This is wrong. And clearly unbiblical.

Yes, Christianity objects to the worldly concept and usage of power, but it does not object to the idea of power itself. The Gospel is power. Truth is power. The Spirit empowers.

No, power is a vital category in Christian life and experience. It is just that the power is of an utterly different kind, of a different origin, operates by a different standard, is based on a different dynamic, acts with a different motive and aims to a different end than does worldly power.

Response From a Reformed Charismatic

February 20, 2008

Excellent post my friend!

My response will be even more brief.

I completely agree with you!

And for further study on this important topic I recommend:

"The Morning I Heard the Voice of God" by John Piper

"Thou Our Guide" chapter 20 in Knowing God by J.I. Packer

"Gudiance" chapter 6 in God’s Plan for You by J.I. Packer

"Finding the Will of God" by Bruce Waltke

The Bondage of "Guidance"

February 20, 2008

This will be brief.  The way many Christians practice seeking God’s will before they make a decision amounts to spiritual and emotional bondage.  Christ has died to give us liberty and freedom (Rom. 6; Gal. 5; I Peter 2).  We can only know the truth about God’s will by what His Spirit reveals to us.  He has revealed God’s mind authoritatively in His Word.  We should give ourselves to study what He has revealed.  Personal reading, meditation, sermons, friends and books are all available to us to help us to better understand God’s revealed will.

I do believe that God’s Spirit will sometimes lead us subjectively.  So, for instance, I am choosing to spend my life here on Capitol Hill because my wife & I sensed in 1993 that that is what God wanted us to do.  However, I realized then (and now) that I could be wrong about that supposition.  Scripture is NEVER wrong.  I was free in 1993 to stay in England, or teach at a seminary, either of which would have been delightful opportunities.  I understand that I was free to make those choices.  But I chose, consulting Scripture, friends, wisdom, and my own subjective sense of the Lord’s will, to come to DC.  And even if I were wrong about that, I had (and have) that freedom in Christ to act in a way that is not sin.  And I understand my pastoring here not to be sin.  So I am free.  Regardless of the sense of leading I had.

Most decisions I’ve made in my Christian life, I’ve made with no such sense of subjective leading.  Maybe some would say that this is a mark of my spiritual immaturity.  I understand this to be the way a redeemed child of God normally lives in this fallen world before the fullness of the Kingdom comes, Christ returns, and immediate, constant, unbroken fellowship with God is re-established.

A subjective sense of leading–when we’ve asked for it (as in James 1:5 we ask for wisdom) and when God freely gives it–is wonderful.  The desire for such a subjective sense of leading, however, is too often, in contemporary evangelical piety, binding our brothers and sisters in Christ, paralyzing them from enjoying the good choices that God may provide, and causing them to wait wrongly before acting. 

Beware of the bondage of "guidance."

Sweet Reminders Bode Well

February 4, 2008

Short videos at the T4G website are being posted of highlights from the 2006 T4G.  Thank God for His kindnesses to us.  Watch these as they show up.  Send them to friends as encouragements and short reminders.  The CJ clip that’s just been put up reminds me very much of the whole talk, and challenges me even now as I’m writing this.  Pray for our gathering again in Louisville.  We can’t assume that because the last gathering was so blessed by God that this one will be.  Let us pray.  And remember.