Entries Tagged as 'Preaching'

What Kind of Man Are You?



I have heard it said before, “You can tell a lot about a man by what is on his I-Pod. We live in a day that is much different than that of our forerunners in the faith, in that we can listen to the sermons of men on a weekly basis even if we live far from them. In the past chapel sermons from our Southern Baptist Seminaries would have been unavailable for listeners that could not attend or would require pounds of cassette tapes delivered to their front door. Now, I can put sermons from all six of our Southern Baptist Seminaries from years at a time on a device that weighs about a pound. It is an intriguing time, so with all this technology and the ability to listen to men from all over the country I became inquisitive about what others have on their podcast folders.

Here is what I have on my I-Pod:

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Does Masculinity Matter in the Pulpit?

Doug Wilson thinks so. Over at the World Magazine blog, Harrison Scott Key quotes an article written by Wilson at Credenda-Agenda. He argues that the lack of masculinity in the pulpit has a lot to do with current church problems such as the the ordination of women. He writes that

 The reason the evangelical church feels the pressure to ordain women (despite clear texts) is that the standards used to evaluate the occupant of the pulpit (for well over a century now) have been the standards of feminine piety. This means that clergymen have been trying to live up to their reputation as the "third sex." Put another way, we have insisted upon effeminacy in the pulpit, and we are now being pressed with the next logical step.

What's the answer? How do we correct this? Well, as we all know, it is easier to detect a problem than it is to correct one. But I think that Wilson does a great job of moving us in the right direction. He continues

 Masculine preachers are not those who demand submission from others; masculine preachers are those who submit themselves. True masculinity is submissive. Right, submissive. Effeminacy in the pulpit is disobedient and rebellious. God tells the preacher to go and speak as the very oracles of God (1 Pet. 4:11). He might not feel like it. He worries that people will think he is getting above himself. He wonders if he is really called to the ministry. When tackling any lofty scriptural subject, far above him, he is frequently as disappointed with his performance as the farmer's wife was when she asked the sow to fold the linen. But how he feels does not matter. He is told what to do, and he is under authority. "If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen."

For Wilson, the issue of masculinity is not optional. It is a matter of obedience or disobedience. God has designed men (and women) to embody certain qualities that are specific to their gender. Unfortunately, Wilson doesn't unpack his understanding masculinity much further than this.

There's no doubt that this type of understanding is controversial both in our culture and, unfortunately, in evangelicalism. But this shouldn't be our greatest concern. Our greatest concern must be about what God has said. And if we are convinced that God has called men to pastor churches with a strong biblical masculinity, then we must double our efforts. And once we re-focus our efforts we are faced with another question. What does a strong biblical masculinity look like? 

What do you think this looks like? Who have you seen who has exemplified this?

The Gospel of Jesus in the Book of Exodus

red seaWhen you read the book of Exodus do you think of Jesus? When you preach and teach from the book of Exodus, do you point your listeners towards Jesus? Jude did. You probably remember when he reminded his listeners "that Jesus, who saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe" (Jude 5).

Dr. Russell Moore is following Jude's example in his latest series on the Book of Exodus at the Dean's Class at 9th and O Baptist Church. You can access the MP3's here. I have enjoyed the great privilege of listening to these firsthand and I want to encourage you to make them a priority in your life. For me, God has used them to bring about great conviction and encouragement. May God do the same for you. By the way, there is a link on the site that will help you set up a podcast for future messages.

Abraham Booth on Pastoral Ministry

Abraham Booth (1734-1806) was a longtime London pastor and leader among the British Particular Baptists in the 18th century. In 1784, Booth preached an ordination sermon for a young pastor named Thomas Hopkins. The title was "Pastoral Cautions" and the text was 1 Timothy 4:16–"Take heed to thyself." The sermon was soon printed and circulated among Baptists all over England. Among the pastors who were positively influenced by the printed sermon were Andrew Fuller, William Carey, John Sutcliff, and John Ryland, Jr.

In the sermon, Booth layed out ten pastoral cautions that are just as applicable to our contemporary context as they were 200 years ago.

  1. "Take heed to yourself, then, with regard to the reality of true godliness, and the state of religion in your own soul"
  2. "Take heed to yourself, lest you mistake an increase of gifts for a growth in grace"
  3. "Take heed that your pastoral office prove not a snare to your soul, lifting you up with pride and self-importance"
  4. "Take heed to yourself, respecting your temper and conduct in general"
  5. "I will now adopt the words of our Lord, and say, Take heed and beware of covetousness"
  6. "Take heed, I will venture to ass, take heed to your Second-Self in the person of your wife"
  7. "Take heed to yourself, with regard to the diligent improvement of your talents and opportunities, in the whole course of your ministry"
  8. "Take heed to yourself, respecting the motives by which you are influenced in all your endeavours to obtain useful knowledge"
  9. "Take heed of yourself, with regard to that success, and those discouragements, which may attend your ministry"
  10. "Once more: Take heed that you pay an habitual regard to divine influence; as that without which you cannot either enjoy a holy liberty in your work, or have any reason to expect success"

Brothers, they simply do not preach ordination sermons like that anymore! I would heartily recommend that every pastor, seminarian, and missionary read the full text of this sermon. It is most recently printed in Michael & Alison Haykin, eds., The Works of Abraham Booth, Volume 1: Confession of Faith & Sermons (Particular Baptist Press, 2006), pp. 57-84.

As a final note, I would be remiss if I did not mention that the only book-length scholarly study of Abraham Booth was a dissertation written by R. A. Coppenger, the grandfather of our own budding pastor-theologian and soon to be "off-the-market" blogmeister, Jedidiah Coppenger.  

Faith of our Father Spotlight: Danny Akin Part 2

fatherDanny Akin is now offering a weekly podcast on his website. The site will release one sermon a week on Mondays. His sermon series through Jude will be released first, and will follow all the way through his series on the Revelation. He preached a 7-part series on Jude during Southeastern’s 2006 Spring semester. He preached the 36-part series entitled “The Great Unveiling” through Revelation when he served as teaching Pastor at Highview Baptist Church in Louisville, Kentucky. These are all expository sermons, verse-by-verse through the final two books of the Bible. I would greatly encourage you to go to I-Tunes, his website, or Southeastern’s and subscribe to this podcast.

 His website also offers many other resources for pastors, students, and laypeople, and all of them are free. There are audios to all the sermons that he has preached in chapels at Southern and Southeastern Seminaries. He also provides notes and manuscripts for all these sermons. Dr. Akin has also includes articles that he has written and lectures that he has given. He supplies notes, outlines, and audio from workshops and conferences that he has taught. These include a “20/20 Apologetics conference” presented at Southeastern and his notes that he uses to teach at Jay Strack’s Student Leadership University in Orlando. Dr. Akin has a section devoted to theological and practical issues, which includes articles he has put together on topics such as Baptism, Church Discipline, Expository Preaching, Hermeneutics, Leadership, Pastoral Ministry, Spiritual Gifts, Eschatology, Fact Sheets on topics like alcohol abuse, and notes that he provides his students in his Christian Theology class. Also, in this section are audio-series’ delivered at Wake Crossroads Baptist Church on the topics of Bible Doctrine and on How to study, interpret, and teach the Bible. 

 Finally, he has included an extensive section on marriage and family. The section includes three audio-series’ that he has preached on marriage and family: “Song of Solomon: God’s Manual for a Marvelous Marriage,” “Making the Most of Your Marriage,” and “God on Marriage.” He also includes a marriage talk he does at his seminary for married couples at orientation. Dr. Akin has produced a 40+ page manual with materials on the topic and an article that he and Charlotte wrote on the home.

 The website has a ton of resources that Dr. Akin wants to be freely disseminated; I encourage everyone to use this tool to help their ministry.

 Nathan Akin


Application: The Hardest Part of Interpretation

As a follow-up to Jon's fine post on Christocentric interpretation, I wanted to point readers to a recent blog post by Andreas Kostenberger at Biblical Foundations. The post, entitled "Application: The Hardest Part of Interpretation," offers some very sane thoughts about the oft-abused practice of making practical application in sermons. Pastors, heed this wise advice!

You Need to Listen to This!

Dr. Robert Smith, Professor of Preaching at Beeson Divinity School, preached twice here this week at SEBTS. Both sermons were incredible! The first text he preached was Jeremiah 20:7-18, entitled "Two Inescapable Realities." 2 Corinthians 12:1-10 was his second message entitled, "The Awful Grace of God."  Those titles should be enough to grab your attention. Awful grace? oh yeah. The audio will not do justice to the actual delivery. Nevertheless, you will be blessed by both the content and example of faithful preaching. As an African-American preacher, Smith chooses his words deliberately with much imagery and imagination (I say this because I am persuaded that the African-American pulpit normally excels in utilizing vivid, descript language in an effective manner). He preached extemporaneously (without notes), which was amazing considering the amount of Scripture and various poems and hymns he quoted. Moreover, Smith not only was faithful to the text he preached (immediate context), but also communicated the overarching message of Scripture (the canonical context). Along these lines, in his first sermon, Smith preached Christ from Jeremiah 20 in an exemplary fashion. Download these sermons for your mp3 player or listen online. You won't be disappointed!

Dr. Mohler on Lite Preaching

picWe have been talking about preaching on Sbcwitness the past few days. Dr. Mohler’s past two blogs have covered some of the growing preaching trends and thoughts in the culture. The titles of these blogs are “Does God Want Us to Be Rich? TIME Looks at Prosperity Theology” and “The Problem of Preaching to Felt Needs”.  Check these out at Albert Mohler.com.


Ray Van Neste on Pastoral Plaigarism

Since we are talking about preaching this week, particularly our favorite preachers, I think it is a good idea to stop for a minute and note something we should never do: plaigarize our favorite (or any other) preacher. Plaigarizing the sermons of other preachers is lying and cheating, period. Witness readers should check out this recent article by Dr. Ray Van Neste, associate professor of Christian Studies at Union University. Dr. Van Neste has some sound words regarding the shamefully common practice of pirating someone else's sermon.

The Best Kept Secrets in the SBC

I've been thinking recently (always dangerous) that one of the reasons we started SBC Witness was to foster a healthy sense of cooperation among Southern Baptists, especially in the younger generation. The way I see it, you cannot have cooperation without conversation, so I thought I would throw out a topic for conversation and invite everyone else to enter that conversation. Think of this as an opportunity to stroke your inner Emergent. :-) Seriously, this should prove to be a healthy conversation and Lord willing its a conversation that will prove edifying to everyone who participates. Let's talk about your favorite preachers and why you like them so much.

Specifically, I would love to know who your favorite Southern Baptist preacher(s) is who "nobody" has ever heard of. Maybe he is the pastor of a small or relatively-unknown church. Maybe he is a professor. Maybe he is a uniquely gifted student. Maybe he has been a faithful servant who has spent his whole ministry out of the limelight. Maybe he is an up-and-coming leader who will not be unknown forever. But whoever he is, I would love to hear about him and what makes him such a good preacher. As far as the rules of the conversation go, they are pretty wide open: any suggestions are valued, though I ask that it not be an individual who has a wide following. No megachurch pastors, people with prominent media ministries or SBC institutional leaders; tell us about someone we may not know about.

I will go ahead and begin this conversation by telling you about three of my favorite preachers that nobody has ever heard of, at least nobody outside of this part of North Carolina or southeast Georgia. Allan Moseley and David Hogg are two professors at Southeastern Seminary. Dr. Moseley is the dean of students and teaches Old Testament. Dr. Hogg teaches church history. Both men are also members of Christ Baptist Church in Raleigh, where Dr. Moseley serves as senior pastor and Dr. Hogg serves as an elder and preaches on most Sunday evenings. Both of these brothers can flat preach. As an added bonus, their preaching styles are very different, providing Christ Baptist with both quality and variety in their pulpit. You can listen to their sermons here.

Another of the best preachers who nobody has ever heard of is John Clough, my childhood pastor at Central Baptist Church in Waycross, Georgia. Dr. Clough became the pastor of Central right before my family joined the church my freshman year of high school. Prior to that time we had been members of a liberal, mainline church where we were regularly fed "sermonettes for Christianettes." Things were not much better for Central: for several years they had teetered on the edge of becoming a moderate Baptist church. Until Dr. Clough came, that is. Dr. Clough preached expositionally through books of the Bible. He preached about sin. He taught that the Bible was totally truthful and absolutely sufficient. The church suffered numerical loss under Dr. Clough's leadership; 11 moderate/liberal families joined a sister church in town on the same Sunday and about 300 people left during his five year pastorate. But numbers never tell the whole story and God used Dr. Clough's preaching to cleanse Central Baptist of some unhealthy elements and to return the church to its roots as a Bible-believing, evangelistic Southern Baptist congregation.

So who are your favorite preachers who nobody has ever heard of?