I’m not sure if it is original to him, but I have heard Alistair Begg tell pastors that sermon preparation should involve at least four components:
- Think yourself empty
- Read yourself full
- Write yourself clear
- Pray yourself hot
Anyone who has spent time preparing expository sermons knows the wisdom of this advice. If I might be so bold, I would add a fifth component I have found very helpful during my own sermon preparation:
Continue reading “Uncommon Sermon Prep Advice”
The question in the title of this post assumes that somebody will disciple our children. Our kids are being discipled every day. Discipleship is about teaching, influencing, and showing someone else how to live as a particular kind of person. As my children get older, they have an increasing number of influences on their lives. Friends, classmates, songs, books, music, media, teachers, relatives, movies, all have a platform in one form or another with my children. Some of these influencers are better than others, but none of them is as vital or persuasive as me. That may sound arrogant, but I think it’s biblical. God has designed and commissioned fathers to lead their households (Eph 5:22–23; 6:1–4). God has entrusted us with the authority to lead our families and disciple our children in the truth. Children look to dad (and mom) for answers to life’s questions, and they typically trust us more than anyone else on earth. What I say to my children as their father carries more weight than what they hear from anyone else outside of the home. God has designed it this way. The cry of “Daddy!” is the deepest instinct of our hearts. Continue reading “Dads, Who Is Discipling Our Children?”
One of the good things about being sick for a week was that it gave me extra time to listen to great Christian songs. How have I missed this one my whole life? Stricken, Smitten, and Afflicted makes me shudder and rejoice at the same time. Or in the words of Psalm 2:11, I “rejoice with trembling” as I listen. Here is the song from the T4G conference. The lyrics are below. I encourage you to sing along.
Continue reading “Stricken, Smitten, and Afflicted”
We sang this powerful song today in our gathered worship.
We have been trying to introduce more Psalm singing into the regular rhythm of congregational worship at Crossroads Church. “From the Depths of Woe” is a beautiful song by Martin Luther and it is based on Psalm 130. The lyrics are below. Continue reading “From the Depths of Woe”
With the news of R. C. Sproul’s death, many in evangelicalism are paying tribute to him today. I have profited immensely from Dr. Sproul’s teaching over the years, so I wanted to offer my own expression of thanks to God for the life and ministry of R. C. Sproul. He was a gift to the church of Jesus Christ.
I believe my first introduction to R. C. Sproul was through his video series titled Knowing Scripture. I was in Junior High at the time, and my home church was watching Dr. Sproul during our Wednesday night Bible studies. His teaching was dynamic; his personality was friendly, his presentations were clear and easy to understand. Continue reading “It is Hope Enough: Robert Charles Sproul (1939–2017)”
I am in the process of summarizing the book Assured by God: Living in the Fullness of God’s Grace for The Gospel Coalition. This book has been more theological, warmly devotional, and, therefore, rewarding than I anticipated. Each chapter is written by a different author and full of glorious gospel richness. Continue reading “No Greater Joy or Contentment”
I recently had the opportunity to be a part of a Reformation conference at Christ Presbyterian Church in honor of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. The title of my message was “Martin Luther: A Conscience Captive to the Word of God.” I explored a few of Luther’s convictions about Sola Scriptura and the circumstances of his life that led him to those convictions while making application to us today along the way. Below is a copy of my manuscript. Continue reading “Martin Luther: A Conscience Captive to the Word of God”
I have been enjoying my study of Martin Luther’s life and writings as I prepare for my talk at the Reformation Conference (to be held at Christ Presbyterian Church in Magna on October 28th at 9:30 am). I have spent much of my time in preparation looking at Luther’s magisterial book The Bondage of the Will. In this book, Luther decisively refutes humanist Catholic scholar Desiderius Erasmus and his semi-pelagian, synergistic view of salvation. Erasmus was the most revered scholar in the world, but in the realm of theology, he was no match for Luther. In the words of Michael Reeves, “Erasmus was like an ant attacking a rhino” (61). Continue reading “Would The Pioneer Reformers Own Modern Protestantism?”
This is a good word from my younger and wiser brother, Sam Emadi. His article is titled, “Why You Will Join the Wrong Church.” How can he be so sure? Read to find out and what he says to do about it.
Are you thinking through the issue of when to baptize children? Here is a position paper I wrote on this topic for Crossroads Church. I hope it is of help to parents and pastors.
Childhood Baptism and Church Membership
“Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them (Ps 127:4).” At Crossroads Church, our quiver is overflowing! God has blessed our church family with many children and the number of children continues to grow. We have been entrusted with the important task of ministering to these little ones with the utmost wisdom, care, and intentionality. We recognize that God has given parents, especially Fathers, the primary responsibility for the spiritual oversight of their children (Deut 6:4–9; Eph 6:1–4). Therefore, we believe it is the local church’s responsibility to come alongside parents to equip parents for this important responsibility. As parents instruct their children in the truth of God’s word, we believe that God will work through this means to convict children of sin and, Lord willing, bring them to salvation. Continue reading “Childhood Baptism and Church Membership”