Archive for November, 2008


Preaching Inerrancy

November 28, 2008

Andrew McGowan’s views on inerrancy have been causing a stir recently in Reformed circles. Over at Analogical Thoughts James Anderson has made an insightful critique of McGowan’s position on inerrancy. James’ basic thrust:

I believe his arguments are weak and evidence a misunderstanding of both the core claim of inerrantists and the core argument for that claim.


Here are the posts so far:


At Minimum, Biblical Exposition Involves…

November 28, 2008

1. Reading or quoting from the biblical passage to be expounded.

2. Giving the basic thrust of that passage’s message.

3. Positively demonstrating the meaning of the text by supplying relevant supporting evidence to your interpretation (historical background, literary context, grammatical support, word studies, wider Scriptural cross-reference, etc)

4. Negatively clarifying what the passage does not mean; ruling out possible faulty interpretations.

5. Drawing out the lessons of the passage for believer and non-believer.

6. Relating the passage to Christ and his gospel (setting the text within the wider framework of biblical theology).

(Note: non essentials to exposition include catchy introductions or conclusions, illustrations, numbered points, alliteration. No doubt some of these can be helpful on ocassion, but you could do exposition without them).


Abortion in the 21st century

November 28, 2008

Abortion in the 21st century – the medicine, the ethics and the law? Monday December 1st, 6.30-8.30pm, Assembly Hall, New College (The Mound, EH1 2LX), Edinburgh Scotland

At a pivotal time in the history of abortion provision in the UK, this discussion will explore the issues in order to equip and inform medical professionals, medical students, policy makers and members of the public. The evening will focus on the moral, social and psychological questions surrounding abortion today but the discussion is bound to range widely.

The keynote speakers are

* Professor John Wyatt, Professor of Neonatal Paediatrics at University College, London; contributor to the House of Commons Select Committee on Science and Technology

* Ann Furedi, Chief Executive of the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, the UK’s largest independent abortion provider; as seen on Channel 4’s “Dispatches”

The discussion will be chaired by Dr Kate Guthrie, consultant Gynaecologist and consultant in Sexual and Reproductive Health.

The evening will consist of presentations from the invited keynote speakers followed by an extended opportunity for discussion and Q&A from the audience.

Tickets: 5 pounds; 3 pounds students. To reserve tickets or for other enquiries, please email Tickets will also be available on the door. Arrive early to avoid disappointment! Doors will open at 6pm.

In association with the Trinity Forum.


The Pastor’s Evangelism?

November 27, 2008

Factors In Choosing A Sermon Series

November 25, 2008

Here at Charlotte Chapel we’re mulling over potential sermon series for next year. In no particular order, here are some factors that might carry some weight in deciding what to preach on next.

1. How long do we have for this batch of sermons (one year; three months; four weeks)?

2. What Testament did we preach from last?

3. What biblical genre have we not preached from lately?

4. What is the one greatest spiritual need in the church currently? (and what book/section of a book would best address that need?)

5. What portion of Scripture excites me at the moment personally?

6. What Scripture books/sections have I not preached on with this congregation?

7. If we’ve just preached through a relatively lighter book, what would stretch the congregation? If we’ve just waded through Leviticus, what might make for some lighter lifting?

8. Are there any clear and present theological dangers that need to be urgently addressed?

9. Is there a contemporary circumstance (9/11, credit crunch) that might call for or pave the way for a series of sermons?


Preaching Prep Procrastination?

November 25, 2008

Thanks CJ… Stuck this on the front of my computer this morning:

“No unwelcome tasks become any the less unwelcome by putting them off till tomorrow. It is only when they are behind us and done, that we begin to find that there is a sweetness to be tasted afterwards, and that the remembrance of unwelcome duties unhesitatingly done is welcome and pleasant. Accomplished, they are full of blessing, and there is a smile on their faces as they leave us. Undone, they stand threatening and disturbing our tranquility, and hindering our communion with God. If there be lying before you any bit of work from which you shrink, go straight up to it, and do it at once. The only way to get rid of it is to do it. (Alexander MacLaren, 1826–1910, Scottish preacher)

Off to study now…


Music on Monday

November 24, 2008

I could take or leave a lot of Christian contemporary music. But some of it – and I stick my head above the parapet to say this – is excellent. Over at his Knoxville blog Michael Leuhrmann has some sane recommendations: recommendations which highlight material that is good musically and theologically.






Don’t Coast

November 22, 2008

Perhaps my favorite all-time Piper videos. With many pastors nearing (they think!) retirement, this is something to be heard loud and clear!


Polling Numbers So Far

November 21, 2008

8-12 and 16-20 are neck and neck!


Workman’s New Look

November 20, 2008

So I’ve changed the banner picture of Unashamed Workman to a pulpit. Hardly original, I know!

If people miss the hammer, do let me know!


How Long Do You Take to Prepare A Sermon?

November 20, 2008

For me, 16 to 20 hours. You?

  • 1-4 hours
  • 4- 8 hours
  • 8 – 12 hours
  • 12-16 hours
  • 16-20 hours
  • 20-25 hours
  • 25-30 hours
  • 30 +

John on Job

November 18, 2008

Last Saturday and Sunday John Percival (Associate pastor of London’s only floating church) spoke at our weekend away for students. John spoke on Job.


Actually, these were the first sermons I’ve ever heard on Job, at least off-line and in-person. These four sermons were theologically stretching, emotionally taxing, applicationally rich and a good example of how to preach through Job in an overview fashion (contra John Calvin in 159 sermons!). Here are the talks given in their original St Peter’s barge setting.

If this whets your appetite, here’s how someone else did it.