Archive for August, 2008

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Don Carson: Why Preaching IS Required

August 12, 2008

“Granted that ‘preaching’ or ‘proclaiming’ in the Scriptures is not restricted to something done behind a wooden pulpit between 11:00 and 12:00 on Sunday mornings, it is nevertheless hard to avoid the strength of this emphasis on proclamation in the New Testament. The reason for the emphasis lies in the message itself. God has taken action, and the good news is announced, it is proclaimed. God is not negotiating; he is both announcing and confronting.

Done properly, preaching is simply the re-presentation of God’s gospel, God’s good news, by which men and women come to know him. Thus preaching mediates God himself. Many preachers, afraid of being thought arrogant, avoid talking about preaching. They prefer to think of what they do as ‘sharing.’ In some limited contexts, doubtless there is nothing wrong with ‘sharing.’ But something important is lost if we never speak or think of preaching and proclamation. That is our job, our calling.

It is not arrogant to re-present as forcefully as we can God’s gospel; it is simply faithful stewardship. Further, if we focus on the powerful proclamation of the gospel, we shall be less likely to be seduced by siren calls to soften the sheer non-negotiability inherent in preaching.”

(Don Carson, The Cross and Christian Ministry, p 37)

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Mark Dever’s Sermon Notes

August 11, 2008

I promised I’d link to this: Joshua Harris has managed to get a hold of Mark Dever’s sermon notes. Two interesting things:

1) Dr Dever underlines the first word in every line: presumably to draw his eye down to it.
2) The columns left and right have occasional top to bottom railway-lines and exclamation marks: presumably these are the key sentences or paragraphs and the exclamation mark is a reminder to slow down and take one’s time.

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Home-work

August 11, 2008

Having spent so much time at home over the holidays, my attention has fully shifted from pastoral-work to home-work. Truly – ‘leading’ in the context of the home as husband and father is a labor as well as a joy. Setting the spiritual tone at home demands our best efforts and for it we should draw upon the best resources.

Below you’ll find a list of talks on the homefront that I’ve either listened to already or am hoping to give my attention to soon. If you have any other recommendations, please let me know.

CJ Mahaney – A Husband’s Responsibilities and How to Change
John Piper – Fathers Who Give Hope
Voddie Baucham – What He Must be (Marriage by Design)
CJ Mahaney – The Power of Example
Tedd Tripp: Loving Leadership
Danny Jones – The Leader’s Home
‘Sarah Edwards: Jonathan Edwards Home and Haven’
John Piper – Raising Children who are Confident in God
Voddie Baucham – Getting Your House in Order

(Update: my wife, Nicki, has now added some homework assignments of her own over at Titus2talk)

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‘Preaching Notes’ Series

August 10, 2008

Josh Harris has just commenced what looks to be a fascinating series on ‘sermon notes.’ Josh has managed to get a hold of manuscript notes from the likes of Tim Keller, Mark Dever, CJ Mahaney and Mike Bullmore.

It will be intriguing to see (in pdf format) the range of approaches to this – and to glean from what seasoned preachers find helpful. I’ll keep you posted.

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Flock-Fellowship on Facebook?

August 9, 2008

Following Justin Buzzard’s lead, I’ve joined Facebook. My wife convinced me that it was a good way of keeping up with people pastorally and, along with this, I noticed that some other pastors were using Facebook for this end. However, I am aware of the potential pitfalls. We’ll see how it goes.

Colin Adams's Facebook profile

From a pastoral perspective, I’m interested if any other pastors have found Facebook a helpful way of keeping up with members of their congregation throughout the week?

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Interview & Lecture Goldmine

August 8, 2008

Last week I stumbled across a gold-mine resource of lectures and interviews with the likes of Craig Blomberg, Mark Dever, David Jackman and Kevin J Vanhoozer.

The Henry Center sponsors the Scripture & Ministry lectures, which feature distinguished Christian speakers addressing issues of crucial importance for relating Scripture and ministry. This series brings together Trinity Evangelical Divinity School faculty members, pastors and community members for a time of learning and fellowship. The relationship between theologians and practitioners calls for earnest efforts to bridge the gap that all too often divides them and to encourage mutually enriching collaboration in the gospel.

A few of the treasures:

November 7, 2007 | Reverend David Jackman: President of the Proclamation Trust and Director of The Cornhill Training Course – “Our Business is Growing: Developing the Preacher and His Skills” play audio

Scripture and Ministry Series Interview | play audio, play video

January 30, 2008 | Dr. Mark Dever: Senior Pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church, Washington, DC – “Re-ordering Friendship, Love & Enmity: A Biblical Reflection on Church Membership” play audio

Scripture and Ministry Series Interview | play audio, play video

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25 Popular Google Searches

August 5, 2008

Great the things you find when you sift through your site stats. I guess I should personally thank Martin Luther for sending so much traffic to my blog.

unashamed workman 3,577
martin luther 2,747
alistair begg 2,017
tim keller 1,603
voddie baucham 1,362
luther 994
highlands 867
sermon preparation 468
athlete 411
george whitefield 368
stress 350
powerpoint 334
vaughan roberts 322
timothy keller 286
ephesus 285
unashamedworkman 257
john piper 243
john stott 216
derek prime 214
the reformation 198
bible 198
preaching 193
colin adams preaching 151
thabiti anyabwile 149
charles spurgeon 110

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20 Unashamed Partners

August 5, 2008

I’m taking the second and final week of my holidays this week. Posting will be slim pickings. As I take a breather, I’m aware that this blog only functions because of many partners: both readers and fellow bloggers who link to this site make Unashamed Workman more than a one-man-show. Out of interest, I uncovered yesterday the 20 highest ‘referrers’ to Unashamed Workman since this website has been running.


1. Justin Taylor (Between Two Worlds)

2. Tim Challies
3. Thabiti Anyabwile (Pure Church)
4. Nicki Adams & Co (Titus2talk)
5. Milton Stanley (Transforming Sermons)
6. Pyromaniacs
7. Bible Exposition.net
8. Steve McCoy
9. David Bish (Blue Fish)
10. Paul Lamey & co (Expository Thoughts)
11. Scott Hamilton (Resolve)
12. Scotwise
13. Justin Buzzard
14. John MacArthur & Co (Pulpit Online)
15. Erik Raymond (Irish Calvinist)
16. John Brand (Encouraging Expository Excellence)
17. Valiant For Truth
18. Grace in the Community
19. Jeffrey M Hill
20. All of Grace

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Workman Watch: Dever on Job

August 4, 2008

Apparently congregations don’t need to posses the patience of Job to hear helpful preaching on his name-bearing book. Mark Dever has just completed a Job overview in four sermons.

Job’s Trials (Job 1 -2)
Job’s Questions (Job 3)
Job’s Friends (Job 4-37)
Job’s God (38-42)

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‘Special Ocassion’ Speaking

August 1, 2008

Somewhat related to the fact that I’m conducting a wedding tomorrow, Friday’s Featured Toobox is not a weblink but a book recommendation. “How to Speak at Special events” may sound like you’re average secular speaking manual; in fact, its a Christian Focus publication from which I’ve gleaned helpful advice for those important – if irregular – opportunities.

The multiple authorship has an Australian feel: the likes of David Cook, John Chapman and Simon Manchester all bring their own particular style and expertise to individual chapters. Structure-wise, the first two thirds of the book (covering the broad headings “Preparing Yourself” and “Preparing Your Material”) is the kind of fare you’d find in most books on preaching: how to interpret, apply and illustrate the biblical text. The final third of the book, however, is the gold mine. “Special Events” are covered including ‘preaching at a wedding or funeral’, ‘speaking about sensitive issues’, ‘children’s talks’, ‘preaching to adolescents’, and ‘how to prepare an evangelistic talk.’

Due to the specificity of advice and wise counsel of the authors, I find myself returning to this book’s short chapters again and again. Not least if you are still fledgling in special ocassion speaking, you should consider getting your hands on this primer.

ps. Simon Manchester’s chapter on weddings – no doubt for my encouragement (!) – begins thus: “In my experience this is the most difficult of the ‘hatch, match and despach’ events. There is little gratitude (as in the case of a child’s dedication or baptism) and there is little humility (as in the case of a funeral). Many of the people are in the prime of life and may well come to the wedding dressed to impress and with a few drinks under the belt already. Often the couple are re-marrying or have been living together so that everyone comes with a sense that God’s ways don’t matter much anyway – here may be a couple who are refusing God’s will but, nonetheless, the old minister is doing exactly what they want. (There are Christian weddings that are reverent and delightful but it’s worth being ready for anything).” (How to Speak At Special Events, pg 106). Phew! And am I glad that tomorrow I’m doing one of the latter, ‘in brackets’ ones!

Other Workman’s Toolbox This Week
International Critical Commentary Online
Packer’s Doctrines for the Next Generation’s Attention
Caleb Kolstad is Preaching on Preaching
Plundering the Archive
45,000 Great Preaching Illustrations
Check this Out: Thinkmap Visual Thesaurus
Don’t Waste Your Kids
Dr Reimer Interviewed about Ezekiel and ESV Study Bible

Recap – ‘Spurgeon is the Man’ week
Interview: the Next President of Gordon Conwell
Wow: My Good Friend David Reimer…Guest Blogging on JT?!
Children’s Devotional Challenges
Spurgeon and Studying