Archive for December, 2006


My Wife – King for a Week?

December 31, 2006

Tim Challies (the world’s most famous Christian blogger) has selected my wife’s blog Titus 2 Talk for his King for a week. To read the full explanation of this end of year honour click here.


Workman’s Toolbox – 30/12/2006

December 30, 2006

Only two days till this blog goes out daily. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry! For an explanation of Unashamed Workman’s format, click here.

Our Saturday feature, Workman’s Toolbox, is already up and running however. Here, I simply direct you to anything of interest to preachers around the blogs. If you have any suggestions for future weeks, do feel free to drop me a note:

*An interesting article by Tim Bayly about “pulpit presence” (HT: Expository Thoughts)
*Bob Kauflin with yet another thoughtful post – this time about the importance of “evaluation” and how to accept constructive criticism.
*Find here a link that lets you hear the whole of the OT in Hebrew. (HT: Justin Taylor)
*Piper has finished Romans! This last sermon is a cracker.

* Tony Reinke over at Shepherd’s Scrapbook will be focusing on John Calvin for the next five months.
* John MacArthur has a stimulating three part series on “What doctrines are fundamental?” Parts one, two and three.
* The folks over at New Attitude explain “humble orthodoxy” in their own words.

* Tim Challies writes a typically balanced post, reflecting on today’s execution of Sadaam Hussein.
* Listen to Alistair McGrath’s excellent lecture: Is God a Delusion? Atheism and the Meaning of Life
* The ESV blog has two new bible reading plans for 2007
* Pastor Steve Weaver is writing his ThM on one of the lesser known particular Baptists, Hercules Collins. Read Steve’s introduction to Hercules’ life.
* Blogotional has an interesting post on “The ecclesiastical ladder of success.” (HT: Adrian Warnock)
* John Piper puts many of us husbands to shame again, with a beutifully written


One Thing A Pastor Must Do

December 28, 2006

Over at his blog Pure Church Thabiti Anyabwile has been writing a thoughtful series for pastors entitled “What a Good Pastor is to Do.” With time on my hands, I’ve been reading through his posts, a couple every day. Its been a rich time, reflecting on the kind of pastor I am becoming and how far I still have to go. Thanks Thabiti.

Perhaps you don’t have time to read the whole 11 part series. But if you can read just one post, I’d recommend What a Good Pastor is to do, part 7. Here is the opening excerpt:

If you had to boil pastoral ministry down to one thing, what would it be? I know… I know…. You can’t easily boil it down to one thing, even the things we’ve looked at so far from 1 Timothy defy such a question. But if you could, what would it be?

A case could be made for “set the believers an example” in all of life. Jesus tells His disciples that He has set them an example that they should follow what he has done (John 13:15). Elsewhere, the apostle Paul makes that famous statement in 1 Corinthians 11:1 — “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.” He tells the Philippians the same thing (Phil. 3:17). And in verse 12 of 1 Timothy 4, Paul says to Timothy be an example in speech and conduct. Perhaps being an example is one way of describing a good pastor. What does a good pastor do? He lives as an example.

Another way of bottom-lining what a good pastor is to do, though, is to consider what function the example plays. In being an example, at the root, a good pastor is teaching. A good pastor is to teach. “Command and teach these things” (v. 11). And that’s what Paul comes to again in 1 Tim. 4:13 – “Until I come, devote yourself to the pubic reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching.” A good pastor is devoted to teaching.

In the remainder of the article, Thabiti unpacks the three main ways to instruct others: through the public reading of Scripture, exhortation and teaching.

To read the rest of the article click here. If you’re interested in the rest of the series, find the links below.
– part one
– part two
– part three
– part four
– part five
– part six
– part seven
– part eight
– part nine
– part ten
– part eleven


Heart Check

December 26, 2006

Getting away from ministry for a short breather? What better opportunity to get check up on the ‘heart’ of your ministry. Download this thoroughly edifying sermon by Bryan Chappel on the subject, “The Pastor’s Heart.”


A Christ-Exulting Christmas To All

December 24, 2006

Like many of you, I’ll soon be signing off for a couple of days (after a Christmas Eve and Christmas morning double header!). But as a Christmas treat, I thought I’d drop you a link to one of Charles Spurgeon’s great Christmas sermons. A Christmas Question was preached on 25th December 1859 from the New Park Street Pulpit.

As a taster, I wonder how many Christmas morning services conclude with an appeal like this?:

The God who made the earth has become a man, and the man is about to expire. Hear him! He cries, “It is finished!” and he gives up the ghost. The atonement is finished, the price is paid, the bloody ransom counted down, the sacrifice is accepted. “It is finished!” Sinner, believe in Christ. Cast thyself on him. Sink or swim, take him to be thy all in all. Throw now thy trembling arms around that bleeding body. Sit now at the feet of that cross, and feel the dropping of the precious blood. And as you go out each one of you say in your hearts,

“A guilty, weak, and helpless worm,
On Christ’s kind arms I fall,
He is my strength and righteousness,
My Jesus, and my all.”

God grant you grace to do so for Jesus Christ’s sake. May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Ghost, be with you all, for ever and ever. Amen and Amen.

Brothers, preach Christ! And have a Christ-exulting Christmas!


More for the Toolbox

December 23, 2006

Welcome to this blog if you are a first time visitor! You can click here for an explanation of the blog format from January 1st. In the meantime, some links that may be of interest to preachers:

* Bryan Chapell’s superb homiletics classes are now available over at Biblical Training.
* Recently I enjoyed listening to “Martyn Lloyd Jones: reflections on his ministry with his family” over at Nine Marks.
* Talking of Lloyd Jones, Pyromaniacs Phil Johnson has a sinus infection, but gets a pick me up from the doctor.
* Find parts 2 , 3 and 4 of Steve Weaver’s insightful series: How I prepare an Expositional Sermon.
* Steve McCoy reviews the ESV reverse Greek Interlinear

* Tim Keller on why we can “never get beyond the gospel.” (HT: Justin Taylor)
* Blue Fish has a great post about why we need friends who love the cross.
* Thabiti discusses why he is a “heresy hunter”
* Matthew Hall talks about Philip Jensen’s views of the changing face of Christianity.
* John Piper and Bob Allen discuss the value of art in the church.
* Wayne Grudem on why he is rethinking his compromise on baptism. (HT: Justin Taylor)

* Milton Stanley, whose blog I read, tells this week of how he has been “sacked” by his church.
* Amazing Grace the movie: see the trailer here. (HT: Justin Taylor)
* Over at my wife’s blog, her friend Catriona graciously gives Santa the boot with two excellent posts (part one; part two).
* Evangelicals Now: why the stakes are high on UK campuses.
* I had to link to this excellent William Booth quote over at Revolver

For a more general list of sermons on the Web, click here.


Preaching Online

December 21, 2006

In view of the full launch (see introductory post) of Unashamed Workman on January 1st, I’m compiling a list of links to some of the best preachers accessible online. Here’s my list so far:

– Eric Alexander sermons
– Alistair Begg at Truth for Life
– James Montgomery Boyce with the Bible Study Hour
– Don Carson sermons free and at cost
– Bryan Chapell sermons
– Mark Dever and others at Capitol Hill Baptist
– Ligon Duncan sermons
– Sinclair Ferguson at First Presbyterian Church
– Josh Harris, CJ Mahaney and others at Covenant Life
– David Jeremiah at Turning Point
– Tim Keller free and at cost
– John MacArthur at Grace to You
– Dick Lucas sermons
– Martyn Lloyd Jones weekly broadcast
– John Piper at Desiring God
– Philip Ryken: listen or watch the service
– Vaughan Roberts sermons
– John Stott sermons
– Chuck Swindoll at Insight for Living

If you have any additional suggestions, please let me know.


Straight Talk on the Gospel

December 20, 2006

I couldn’t resist posting you a link to a recent Alistair Begg interview on American television. I think its a great example of gracious, yet unshirking answers to the hard questions about the exclusivity of the gospel.


Advent Preaching

December 19, 2006

Today, a couple of quotes about Advent preaching:

“The first rule in advent preaching is to resist every temptation to say something new and clever about Christmas. Instead, try to say the old truths in a fresh way and wrap each series in an exciting new package.” (Warren Wiersbe)

“For any pastor, just to survive one Christmas is demanding. But to survive one Christmas after another and still have something fresh to say is a true challenge. I speak here from experience. For I have served in two churches for twenty five years…To my mind the secret to preaching at Christmas – as indeed to preaching at any time of the year – is to be found in expository preaching. For expository preaching enables the preacher to remain fresh. When we conscientiously expound God’s Word, we discover that there are always new truths to impact. But left to our own devices, we soon run out of bright ideas.” (Paul Beasley-Murray)

Daily posting commences on January 1st 2007. See the introductory post to Unashamed Workman here.


Workman’s Toolbox

December 16, 2006

If you are new to this blog, read the introductory post for a word of explanation. Daily posting will begin on January the 1st, 2007. Otherwise, a few links for you. These will usually appear in a Saturday feature called Workman’s Toolbox.

* John Piper has almost completed his eight year series on the book of Romans. Desiring God lines up some of the highlights.
* I came across a great article at The Founder’s blog on “Preaching the Big books like Jeremiah.” Needless to say, a great encouragement since Jeremiah is our next preaching series!
* Expository Thoughts begins a series which will no doubt be valuable on “Guidelines for Studying Proverbs.”
* Over at Africa bound, there’s a good introduction to the value of Expository Preaching: What is Expository Preaching?
* Mark Driscoll on preaching and teaching Jesus from Scripture (HT: Justin Taylor)

* Wayne Grudem’s interesting interview with Adrian Warnock continues with “Things we can agree to disagree about.”
* A friend of mine over at the Conventicle on how calls to detract the doctrine of substitionary atonement could have been better curbed if more of us read John Owen.
* Horatius Bonar on the centrality of the cross over at Shepherd’s Scrapbook.

* A really helpful article by Bob Kauflin on “Preparing for and Evaluating Sundays.”
* Unveiled Face reviews “Gospel-centred Hermeneutics” by Graeme Goldsworthy.
* Pure Church has carried a superb series of posts on the topic: “What a good pastor is to do.” Here is the first of the series of 8. Find the rest on Thabiti’s blog.
* Tim Challies comments on a new film chronicling the life of William Wilberforce.
* My wife’s blog on why you might want to buy a goat for a loved-one’s Christmas.
* i-tunes Time Alone with God. Intrigued? Click here.
* This clip of a memorized reading of Hebrews 9 and 10 has been knocking around the blogsphere for a while now, but its really worth watching if you haven’t seen it. (HT: A Pilgrim’s Life)
* How do you fancy Christmas with the Puritans? Dr Kostenberger gives us the lowdown.
* Any post titled No More Youth Pastors, must at least be worth a read! Actually, some challenging points to ponder.


Unashamed Workman Launches

December 11, 2006

This is the very first post on this new blog, and so it seems reasonable to explain the format of Unashamed Workman. The overarching theme is, of course, preaching; and I’d like us to consider it in as wholistic a manner as possible. Therefore, we’ll cover everything from why we preach, to what we preach, to life outside the pulpit (yes, there is such a thing!).

I plan to blog at least once a day, Monday through Saturday, leaving Sunday a rest day in blogland. No doubt many of you will be toiling in preaching and prayer on that day.

Each day of the week will have a basic theme:

Mondays: “Beyond the Workshop” – Since Monday is also my day off with family, it seems an apt time to reflect on all matters relating to the kind of preacher I am, such as my personal relationship with God, my wife and children.

Tuesdays: “Classic Materials” – On this day we’ll enjoy an extended quote from any one of the ancient (mostly) or modern lights in preaching. Expect plenty of Jones, Spurgeon, Whitefield, and Edwards here.

Wednesdays: “Under Construction” – Since like many of you, I’m involved in preparing and preaching regular sermons, I’ll be reflecting on things I’m working through with regards my methods and manner of preparation and delivery.

Thursdays: “Workman Watch” – In any craft, skills are often learned as we watch and learn from experts in the trade. Every week, I try to listen to at least a few sermons online, and I’ll be reviewing a sermon each week from a variety of modern preachers to see what I can learn.

Fridays: “Work ethics” – Here I’ll be looking for a month at a time at some of the great debates in preaching. For example, I may take a month of Friday’s to look at what different people have decided about use of manuscripts as opposed to extemporary preaching. Or we may spend a whole month pondering how best to preach from prophetic literature.

Saturday: “Featured Toolbox” – On Saturday, I’ll link to anything I’ve found on a given week that might be of benefit to preachers. This will be “around the blogs” with an eye open for things helpful to expositors.

Daily posting will begin on the first of January 2007. Do contact me if there are any topics you’d like discussed.