Archive for November, 2007


Dever Lecturing on Preaching

November 30, 2007

This week’s Featured Toolbox was actually included in last weeks list. Worried as I am that it may have been lost in the shuffle, I wanted to ensure you didn’t miss Mark Dever’s excellent lectures on preaching. These three talks were delivered for the 2007 John Reed Miller Lecture Series.


Lecture 1 – the Symbol and Significance of Preaching
Lecture 2 – The Use of Preaching
Lecture 3 – The Art of Preaching

Other Toolbox This Week
CJ Mahaney on Biblical Masculinity and Fatherhood

Preaching in Spite of Persecution in India
I-Pod Food for Pastors
Phil Johnson pt 3 – the Word of God is precise
Breaking Writing Rules for Manuscripts
New Sovereign Grace Music Website
Crawford Loritts MP3 Sermons
Patrick Sookhdeo on the Challenge of Islam
Nine Marks Audio: Interview with Derek Thomas
Books for A Preacher’s Soul
Forum: On Choosing What to Preach Next
Elements of Good Preaching: the Life Study
Phil Johnson pt 2 – the word of God is penetrating
Phil Johnson pt 1 – the Word of God is powerful
Conrad Mbewe on Pastoral Purity
Greidanus: Six Steps to Historical Redemptive Sermons
Chuck Swindoll: Discipline in Study
Sinclair Ferguson: How the Pulpit Shapes the Pew
Steve Lawson: the God Driven Church (HT: Resolve)
Piper Responds to Witherington
Preach Like It May Be Their Last
Witherington Takes on Christian Hedonism
Good Reasons to Crossreference
Imposing Points on a Text?
Lloyd Jones Summary of Ephesians
Basic References: Recommendations
Piper: Multi site Church Models

(Workman’s Toolbox is featured each day at the top right hand corner of Unashamed Workman. Four or five links are added each day)


The Pastoral Review

November 29, 2007

Just the other week I had my annual pastoral review. Strangely -some might say – I rather enjoyed the experience! The following article therefore caught me attention: Pastoral review, process and procedures. Some of the suggestions/points it makes regarding reviews include:

A. Pastoral and personal growth is the goal.
B. The primary importance of on-going patterns of evaluation.
C. Both congregation and pastor(s) need review.
D. Focus on the future.
E. Keep a long-term perspective.
F. The need to review the person, the office, and the task.
G. Consult with your conference.
H. Deal with known conflicts first.
I. Anticipate and make decisions .

I wonder how people elsewhere are reviewed? Are there other materials that people draw upon to conduct them?


The Overview Sermon

November 28, 2007

On Sunday past, I had the daunting priviledge of preaching on four chapters of Jeremiah. Even more challenging, they were chapters 46 to 49 of the prophecy. Nine oracles of judgement upon the nations!

As well as the obvious theological and apologetical challenges such a portion poses, I also wrestled with how to preach what was essentially an overview sermon. Here are some suggestions I would give in hindsight if you must do the same:

i) Help them see the wood for the trees.
Give them the main thrust of the section. My overarching point for Sunday (which I also thought was the main point of the text!) was that God is sovereign over all nations. Whatever else the congregation didn’t understand, they could at least go home with that overarching point. An overview sermon cannot highlight every specific detail; but if it does not highlight the overarching point of the section it is undoubtedly a failure.

ii) Point out the main landmarks in the text.
I suggested near the outset of my sermon that it was going to be rather like an aeroplane coming into land. The plane is too high to see everything in detail, but low enough to see any significant structures on the ground. My proposal was that I was the fellow passenger pointing out the major landmarks, but people would have to examine things in closer detail after landing! In the case of Jeremiah 46 through 49 I pointed out that i) God knows the sins of the nations, ii) God judges the sins of the nations, and iii) God saves the nations from their sins.

iii) Spend some time doing more detailed exposition.
Do some detailed exposition. Just because you can’t cover all of it in depth, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t cover some of it. On several ocassions, we slowed down to identity smaller areas of the text. I also read most of chapter 46 so that we had some specific focus.

iv) Give them homework.
Since you are bounding over the text, and also because the congregation are relying on your study more than usual in overview sermons- be sure to encourage the congregation to look at the passage further in their own time. At one point I encouraged people to read through the four chapters identifying the sins specific to each nation. It is especially important in overview sermons that the congregation are willing to do such further study.


Calling all Highlanders to Keswick

November 28, 2007

I’m glad to have confirmed the speaking engagement below and grateful for the opportunity to go North. If you’re in the area, and for some reason fancy five sessions on Jeremiah, put it in your diary.

January 2008. 25 Fri –27 Sun ‘Keswick in Buckie’ winter weekend convention, Buckie North Church, Cluny Square, Buckie. Speaker: Colin Adams of Charlotte Chapel, Edinburgh. Programme: Fri, Sat, Sun, 7.30 pm, evening convention; Sat, 10 am, Bible study. Contact: Sandra Innes, tel 01542 832852, email | Location map | [326]

(Taken from Aberdeen Christian Diary)


Preach the Gospel More Than Ever

November 27, 2007

Preachers, today’s Classic Materials is one to print out and stick to the side of your computer screen. Charles Spurgeon, ‘the prince of preachers’, on why we should preach the gospel more than ever.


“Today there is not very much gospel about; the church has given it up; a great many preachers preach everything but living truth. This is sad; but it is a strong reason why you and I should teach more gospel than ever. I have often thought to myself – other men teach Socialism, deliver lectures, or collect a band of fiddlers, that they may gather a congregation; but I will preach the gospel. I will preach more gospel than ever if I can; I will stick more to the cardinal point.

The other brethren can attend to the odds and ends, but I will keep to Christ crucified. To the men of vast ability, who are looking to the events of the day, I would say, ‘Allow one poor fool to keep to preaching the gospel.’ Beloved teachers, be fools for Christ, and keep to the gospel. Don’t be afraid: it has life in it, and it will grow: only you bring it out, and let it grow.”

(Charles Spurgeon, quoted in Ryken and Wilson, Preach the Word, p205)


Books, books, books…

November 26, 2007

Its that time of year again when I’m starting to think about Christmas presents for my wife. Given that my wife loves to read, books are invariably involved! But where to begin?

Whether you are a pastor buying for your wife, or a wife buying for your pastor husband, you’re bound to find some of links of recommendations below helpful. I have. In addition, a good place to evaluate books before you read them is The Discerning Reader.

Alistair Begg’s book recommendations
Al Mohler: Bible Story Books for Children and 10 Christian Biographies
Karalee Reinke recommends some “Books for Your Bride”
Tullian Tchividjian suggests 20 Books on Christ and Culture
Ligon Duncan, on his top 10 books
Desiring God’s biblical commentaries recommendations
RTS reading list
Nine Marks recommended books for pastors
Master’s Seminary: 850 books for Preachers
Westminster Seminary Faculty Recommendations
Steve Weaver book recommendations


More from the Reformission Rev

November 23, 2007

Previously I’ve heard mixed reviews about Mark Driscoll. But I can honestly say that I’ve been impressed by his gracious demeanour and powerful preaching on his recent visit to Scotland. Along with our senior pastor, today I had the great privilege of meeting Mark and showing him around our church building.


So this Friday I thought I would link you to a few more Driscoll resources. Once more, I cannot recommend Mark’s recent talk on the atonement highly enough. Also find below Mark’s two recent series: one on Nehemiah, the other on Philippians. The vigilant will notice that Mark’s last sermon was preached in absentia: via video recording!


The Rebel’s Guide to Joy (Acts 16; Phil 1:1)
The Rebel’s Guide to Joy in Loneliness (Phil 1:1b-11)
The Rebel’s Guide to Joy in Suffering (Phil 1:12-18)
The Rebel’s Guide to Joy in Death (Phil 1:19-30)
The Rebel’s Guide to Joy in Humility (Phil 2:1-11)
The Rebel’s Guide to Joy in Temptation (Phil 2:12-30)
The Rebel’s Guide to Joy in Conflict (Phil 3:1-11)


Nehemiah 1:1-11a
Nehemiah 1:11b-2:8
Nehemiah 2:9-20
Nehemiah 3:1-32 (Pain and Progress)
Nehemiah 4:15-23 (The Sword and the Trowel)
Nehemiah 5:1-13 (Wealth and Worship)
Nehemiah 5:14-19 (Humility and Hospitality)
Nehemiah 6: 1-14 (Diversion and Deception)
Nehemiah 6:15-7:5 (Completion, Critics and Continuation)
Nehemiah 7:5-73 (Multitudes and Money)
Nehemiah 8:1-12 (Air War and Ground War)
Nehemiah 8:13- 18 (Religion and Revival)
Nehemiah 9:1-27 (Prayer and Repentance)
Nehemiah 9:30-10:37 (Change and Covenant)
Nehemiah 11:1-36 (Urban and Missional)
Nehemiah 12:1-26 (Movements and Bricks)
Nehemiah 12:27-43 (Dedication and Delight)
Nehemiah 12:44-47 (Ministry and Money)
Nehemiah 13:1-14 (Anger and Action)
Nehemiah 13:15-22 (Work and Worship)
Nehemiah 13:23-31 (Fathers and Fighting)


Other Toolbox This Week

Piper – Multi church site model
Why to Leave a Church – #1. Preaching
An Irish Powerhouse In Preaching
Mark Dever – Lectures in Preaching
Great Themes in Puritan Preaching
Carson – Preaching the Whole Counsel of God
Piper Address to ETS on Justification