Monday, July 25, 2005

Good Listening

I remember seeing John Piper in a Q/A time at Covenant Seminary once. Someone asked him. How can I become a great preacher? His response: Two things, 1. Study hard in seminary. Learn everything you can learn about the Bible, history, etc. 2. Listen to great preachers. Follow-up question. Who are the contemporary great preachers? Piper said, Three come to mind. 1. Skip Ryan, 2. Bryan Chapell, 3. Tim Keller.

I think this is good advice. To that end, I've amassed quite a collection of sermons, and people commonly ask me about good preaching resources. There are tons on the internet for free. I plan to keep this post updated as I find more resources.

I've mixed the sermons with other stuff, too.

My Favorites
Tim Keller, for my time, Keller is the best preacher alive.
Rob Bell, Mars Hill Bible Church in Michigan.
Fred Harrell, City Church, San Francisco.
Mark Driscoll, Mars Hill in Seattle. Mark Driscoll.

I Check Each week for these ones, too.
Matt Chandler, at the Village Church, Dallas, TX
John Piper, a Reformed Bapitist minister.
Randy Nabors, New City Fellowship, Chattanooga, TN
Dan Doriani, of Central Pres. in St. Louis, MO.
This American Life, some of the best storytelling available. I love it!
Speaking of Faith, mostly non-Christians honestly wrestling with spirituality.
Weekend America, news, culture, weather, etc.
American Radio Works
Justice Talking
Sound Opinions, Listen Critically

Don Carson Collections
Don Carson, NT Prof.
Don Carson, NT Prof.

More Good Collections
Monergism Audio
Reformed Blacks of America
Tons of Tim Keller stuff

More Good Preachers
Darrin Patrick, The Journey in St. Louis.
Kim Riddlebarger
Kim Riddlebarger
Bryan Chapell, President of Covenant Seminary
Zack Eswine, Covenant Seminary, St. Louis, MO
George Robertson, First PC, Augusta, GA
Joe Novenson, Lookout Mountain PC, Chattanooga, TN
Lance Lewis, Christ Liberation Fellowship
Scotty Smith, Christ Community Church, Franklin, TN
Mike Campbell, Redeemer PC, Jackson, MS
Thurman Williams, Newsong Community Church, Baltimore, MD
PCPC, Park Cities Presbyterian Church, Dallas, TX.
Long and Garriott, Pastors at Faith Christian Fellowship, Baltimore
Barry Henning in St. Louis, MO.
Randy Pope, Perimeter PC in Atlanta
Harry Reeder, Biarwood Pres. in Birmingham
Steve Brown, Preaching Prof. at RTS in Orlando.
Bob Stuart, Intown Community Church, Atlanta
Ray Ortland Christ Presbyterian Church, Nashville, TN
Kent Hughes, College Church
Joshua Harris, Covenant Life Church, Washington, D.C.
Tom Nelson, Denton Bible Church
Tony Campolo
All Souls Church, John Stott et al.
Gateway Community Church, Boston, Joe Marcucci
Jubilee Church, London
Capital Hill Baptist Church, Mark Dever, et al.
John MacArthur, Grace Community Church
Craig Cabaniss, Grace Church, Dallas
2nd Presbyterian in Memphis, Sandy Wilson
St. George's Tron
Christ Church of Berkeley

More Sermon Collections
Covenant Seminary
30 Good Minutes
Southeastern Baptist Seminary
Southern Baptist Seminary
Southwestern Baptist Seminary
Dallas Seminary
Westminster Seminary
Gordon Conwell Seminary
Fuller Seminary
Master's Seminary

Seattle Pacific University
Grace College
Beeson Divinity School
Sermon Audio

Good Lectures
Veritas, a goldmine of good and relevant lectures
European Leadership Forum
OKC Conference on Reformed Theology

Covenant Seminary Worldwide, download a free seminary education.
Westminster Seminary Resources
Emergent Village, some good "emergent" resources here.
Off the Map, Brian McClaren
Carl F. Henry Center for Theological Understanding
American Rhetoric, huge and awesome site!

General Listening

Car Talk, Click and Clack. Great fun, streaming only.
Mars Hill Audio, Christian critique and learning from culture, free mp3's
Issues Etc., Thoughtful radio program by the LCMS.
Pandora, my favorite music site. Easy and accurate.

What resources have you found?

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Out again, In again

For a variety of reasons, I have neglected my health for a while, again. However, I think I'm going to start another challenge with my friend Jose if he is willing. We'll do it at . I'm hoping it will start on August 1. I need to talk to Jose about it. I just got new fat calipers, so I'll be able to determine my body fat percentage and content every day. That will be helpful. I'll hope to lose this extra body fat, I think I'm about 20% fat now. I'd like to get under 12% in the next few months.

Anybody else out there interested in working together to lose fat? Take a look at John Stone's site, especially the "forum" section. I'm a senior member there and it has been tremendously helpful to me in the last 8 months or so. I've lost a bunch of fat already and I'm in better shape now than I've been in the last 10 years, though the last 6 weeks or so have been . . . not so great.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Mystery Link

Video Edition
Have fun.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Presbytery of Southern Florida

Yesterday I became a member of the Presbytery of Southern Florida, which is part of the Presbyterian Church in America. This has been quite a painful process of transferring my membership from Missouri Presbytery, but I'm glad it is over. I don't really want to think about it much now, but the story is full of interesting plot twists -- perhaps in a year or two you might ask me about it. If I still remember, it might be a good story.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

I'm very excited for this new release in a couple days. I was recently reminded, however, that many Christians are still outraged at the evil that J.K. Rowling has created. I don't understand it.

I have recently discovered some research into Harry Potter that demonstrates just how Christian these books are. Rowling is a Presbyterian. Her children are baptized in the Church of Scotland. Take a look at this link, HogwartsProfessor. If you delve deep enough, you'll find the Latin meaning of all sorts of Harry Potter names and places. Another good review, here. Basically, tons of references are made throughout the series to Christian Medieval symbolism. Symbolism that arose through Christian art, literature, arcitecture, etc. If you don't understand these themes and symbols (like I didn't), Harry Potter is just a good story. I've come to realize, though, that Harry Potter is a good story because it is the good story, told in a different way. Let me give you a taste of some of the symbolism you'll find better documented in the websites (and links they provide to books and articles, etc.).

Gryffindor -- "Griffin" plus "D'or" (French for "of gold.") A griffin is a half lion, half eagle; master of earth and sky, the human and the divine. A griffin is a symbol for Jesus, the God-man.

Unicorns -- also a common symbol for Jesus -- pure and powerful, could only be tamed by a virgin just as Jesus could only be incarnated by a virgin. In the first Harry Potter, drinking a unicorn's blood would give life.

Draco Malfoy -- "Draco" means "dragon" or "serpant" in Latin, while "Malfoy" means "faith in evil" in French.

Neville Longbottom -- "Neville" means "no village" and his last name is pretty self explanatory, long at the lowest place. Remember, Neville is an orphan who is picked on a bunch, but later finds strength in his great weakness.

Alchemy -- this can be pretty complicated, but basically, think of it as an ancient idea of turning lead into gold. It was thought to be a magical or spiritual kind of "chemistry." Medieval Christian writers would talk about alchemy in relationship to our souls. Our souls are turned from lead into gold by a spiritual kind of "chemistry" that only God can do. Preachers would weave this into sermons as a picture of the soveriegn transformation God works in our hearts. Alchemy was (and should be) a reminder that this world is not all physical, it is also spiritual.

This is but a taste of what awaits you if you are interested enough to follow my links and explore what lies behind those doors. Discover Harry Potter again for the first time.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Denial of Death

I will be preaching at Key Biscayne Presbyterian Church again on July 31, Sunday morning. I think I'll talk about death. I see a lot of death in the hospital. I think I need to read the Denial of Death by Ernest Becker, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction in 1974, a very influential book. Here's a few quotes to give an idea:

Of all things that move man, one of the principal ones is his terror of death. [page 11]

This is the terror: to have emerged from nothing, to have a name, consciousness of self, deep inner feelings, an excruciating inner yearning for life and self-expression—and with all this yet to die. It seems like a hoax. [page 87]

The idea of death, the fear of it, haunts the human animal like nothing else: it is a mainspring of human activity—activity designed largely to avoid the fatality of death, to overcome it by denying in some way that it is the final destiny for man. [page ix]

This is the most remarkable achievement of the Christian world picture: that it could take slaves, cripples, imbeciles, the simple and the mighty, and make them all secure heroes, simply by taking a step back from the world into another dimension of things, the dimension called heaven. Or we might better say that Christianity took creature consciousness—the thing man most wanted to deny—and made it the very condition for his cosmic heroism. [page 160]

I've got my work cut out for me. Looking forward to it.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Hurricane Dennis

The first big storm of the 2005 season. It missed us, and I'm glad -- we got some pretty aweful weather, but no casualties. However, Dennis was the most deadly storm in Cuba in 40 years. As a new resident, I am learning the beauty and beast that is the weather in South Florida. As I drove to work on Friday morning, I saw one of the most beautiful sunrises I've ever seen -- beatiful sunrises have become a regular part of my mornings, but this one was particularly amazing. That evening, the rain and wind from Dennis was another site to behold. The contrast was striking.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Mystery Link

Further proof that most people need better supervision.

You'll need audio for this one.


Thursday, July 07, 2005

WIR -- Counted Righteous in Christ, by John Piper

Counted Righteous in Christ: Should we Abandon the Imputation of Christ's Righteousness, by John Piper, Crossway, 2002.

Get the entire book (and others by John Piper) for free online, here.

In this book, Piper is attacking a particular view of justification which is commonly held by many evangelical Christians. He argues persuasively and exegetically from the Bible and this read will be difficult for many. His audience is well-informed, studious, Biblically literate Christians.

He argues against the popular view that our faith is the basis of our salvation. Caedmon's Call adresses the same issue when they sing, "My faith is like shifting sand, changed by every wave; my faith is like shifting sand, so I'll stand on grace." He's right. Our faith does not save us. Our faith connects us to God's grace, and his grace saves us. Let's not focus on our faith, whether we have it, whether we don't. After all, most of the folks in the Bible stories that are praised for their faith also had poor faith at many times in their life. Grace leads us to faith, not faith to grace. I wish Piper would have made that more plain, but that was not his point in this rather narrowly focused, but very helpful book. Piper is always worth reading, but don't pick this one up unless you are very interested in the exact topic of the role faith vs. the role of grace in our salvation. If so, this is a great place to start.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

WIR -- The Hispanic Challenge

The Hispanic Challenge: Opportunities confronting the church
by Manuel Ortiz

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Terrific book. Much better than average. I've read lots of books that had titles like this, and usually, I don't finish them, but Ortiz is terrific. Published in 1993, I thought it might be quite dated now (and the statistics definately are), but no -- the historical perspective of Mexican-Americans, Puerto Ricans and Cuban-Americans is worth the price of the book and the time of reading -- and that's just a part of it. Anyone (Hispanic or not) interested in thinking about ministering to Hispanic people needs to start with this book. Very helpful.

Thanks to my pastor, the Rev. David Moran for recommending and lending me this book, but I'll have to buy my own copy now.