Credo’s Cache

Posted by on Aug 1, 2014 in Credo's cache | No Comments
Credo’s Cache

Each week we will be highlighting important resources. Check back each Friday to see what we have dug up for you. From this week’s cache:

1. Bring Back the Holy KissBy Megan Hill - Hill says: “Last Sunday, my church celebrated the Lord’s Supper. I looked at my hand and at the cupped hands of my brothers and sisters, each of us holding a piece of bread. And I gave thanks that Jesus has given us something to touch. The sacraments are themselves a holy kiss of sorts—a visible, physical confirmation of mutual love.”

2. The Exclusivity of Treasure PursuitBy Paul Tripp - Tripp notes: “Only grace can make your heart choose the pleasure of God over the pleasure of the created world. Only grace can make you humble enough to admit your need for more grace.”

3. Waiting on CharacterBy Aaron Earls - Earls says: “So, maybe, God would like you to find some extra moments to wait. If He really loves us as He says He does, He will do whatever it takes to make us into the people He created us to be. Maybe the person He created you to be is waiting on you in that long line at Walmart.”

4. The Gospel Includes SanctificationBy Rick Phillips – Phillips says: “What a glorious gospel, the message of which is the coming of Christ and his comprehensive victory over sin for those who believe! What a celebration of his saving grace, when we not only refer to the gospel in terms of justification but when we press on to the righteous life to which we are called and equipped by the grace of Christ! How many rich themes we find in the gospel to sing the praise of the grace of Christ!”

5. N Is for NazarethBy Russell Moore - Moore notes: “The Islamic militants mean it for evil when they mark homes with ‘N’ for ‘Nazarene.’ They assume it’s an insult, an emblem of shame. Others once thought that of the cross. But in that intended slight, we are reminded of who we are, and why we belong to one another, across the barriers of space and time and language and nationality. We are Christians. We are citizens of the New Jerusalem. We are Nazarenes all.”

Matt Manry is the Assistant Pastor at Life Bible Church in Canton, Georgia. He is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Religion at Reformed Theological Seminary and a Masters of Arts in Christian and Classical Studies from Knox Theological Seminary. He blogs regularly at gospelglory.net.

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Why Christian parents should buy a Jewish Bible (Timothy R. Raymond)

Posted by on Jul 31, 2014 in Book Reviews, Timothy Raymond | No Comments
Why Christian parents should buy a Jewish Bible (Timothy R. Raymond)

I’m a big believer in family Bible reading and my family devours children’s Bibles faster than I can down cups of coffee.  Recently we’ve discovered another children’s Bible which, while somewhat unknown in our circles and unique from the rest that we own, has turned out to be a real delight to me and my family.  It’s the JPS Illustrated Children’s Bible and let me tell you why I think this kid’s edition of the first 77.2% of the Bible is likely worth adding to your library.

First, what I absolutely love about this children’s Bible is that the text is actual Bible text and not somebody’s paraphrase.  Not infrequently, when reading children’s Bibles which retell biblical stories by means of loose paraphrase, I find myself disagreeing with the interpretation underlying the paraphrase.  Sometimes when this happens I try to edit on the fly, which can result in a confusing, incoherent mess.  Thankfully, you won’t have that problem with this Bible.  The text is a simplified form of the acclaimed (both by Jews and Christians) New Jewish Publication Society translation of the Old Testament, which is, by the way, an excellent, very helpful translation (and was one of my textbooks in Bible college).  In this case, the translation is lightly edited for ages 5 and up.  I’m always more comfortable reading true Bible text to my children, and not somebody’s rehash.

608911oSecond, the artwork in this Bible is beautiful, theologically-accurate, and actually quite didactic.  I find artwork in Bibles helpful for getting my younger children to focus on something while I read the text aloud.  This prevents them from pinching their brother or playing with the Legos they found in the crack of the couch.  But there’s nothing worse in children’s Bibles than art which is distracting, outlandish, or heretical.  When it comes to the artwork in the JPS Illustrated Children’s Bible, it not only holds my kids’ attention, but it teaches biblical truth as it does.  Just to give two examples of this, the creation account is accompanied by a 6-panel picture showing what was created on each day of creation.  Likewise, when we come to the plagues on Egypt, there is a 10-frame picture dramatizing the plagues in sequential order.  Such beautiful, accurate images, when combined with the reading of the biblical text, can aide (especially those of us who are visual learners) in better retaining God’s Word.

Lastly, my foremost reason for loving the JPS Illustrated Children’s Bible is because it includes important biblical stories not included in most other children’s Bibles.  Since we’ve worked through several other well-known children’s Bibles (some multiple times), my kids are thoroughly familiar with the standard menu of Bible stories deemed suitable for kids.  Though they are young, they could quickly recount the stories of Adam and Eve, Abraham and Isaac, and David and Goliath.  But when it comes to certain other stories, some of which are crucial in drama of redemption, they’re fearfully unaware.  This is where the JPS Illustrated Children’s Bible can fill a real void.  For what other children’s Bible includes the account of Sodom and Gomorrah (in a discreet way) or the golden calf fiasco or Balaam’s attempt at cursing Israel or King Saul and the Witch of Endor or David and Bathsheba (again, in a clear but modest account)?  I believe this is where the JPS Illustrated Children’s Bible, if used in conjunction with some of the more popular evangelical children’s Bibles, could be a huge asset to Christian families.

Now, realizing that I absolutely love the JPS Illustrated Children’s Bible, here are a couple caveats worth mentioning.  Obviously our Christian readers will want to supplement this children’s Bible with the reading of the New Testament.  My plan is to read the Old Testament from the JPS Illustrated Children’s Bible, and then go directly to reading the New Testament from my all-time favorite children’s Bible so my children are learning the whole counsel of God.  This may take a bit longer than reading through your typical children’s Bible, but at this point I think it’ll be worth it.  Moreover, I don’t understand why the length of the stories the JPS Illustrated Children’s Bible vary so considerably.  Some of the stories cover only 10 to 15 verses, while others cover several chapters.  I’ve decided to break up the longer stories into bite-sized chunks, but it would have been easier if they had done this for me.  Lastly, there are very rare occasions where the translation reflects Jewish rather than Christian assumptions (e.g., translating the Red Sea as the “Reed Sea”).  But truth be told, these are so rare that you could ignore this point all together and be fine.

I’ve already gone on record as to which children’s Bible my family would want if we were stuck on a deserted island.  But all in all, the JPS Illustrated Children’s Bible is an important addition to the Christian family’s library and one I heartily recommend.

Timothy Raymond is an editor for Credo Magazine and has been the pastor of Trinity Baptist Church in Muncie, Indiana since April 2006. He received his MDiv from the Baptist Bible Seminary of Pennsylvania in 2004 and has pursued further education through the Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation. Tim grew up outside Syracuse, NY and previously served at Berean Baptist Church, Nicholson, PA (member and teacher during college and seminary) and Calvary Baptist Church, Sandusky, Ohio (seminary internship location). Tim met his wife Bethany at college, and they were married in May 2001. Tim enjoys reading, weight-lifting, wrestling with his three sons, and attempting to sleep.

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America’s Spiritual Founding Father (Thomas S. Kidd)

Posted by on Jul 30, 2014 in Magazine-George Whitefield at 300 | No Comments
America’s Spiritual Founding Father (Thomas S. Kidd)

In the new issue of Credo Magazine, “George Whitefield at 300,” Thomas S. Kidd has contributed an article titled, “America’s Spiritual Founding Father.” Kidd (Ph.D., University of Notre Dame) is Professor of History at Baylor University. He is the author of several books, including his forthcoming work, George Whitefield: America’s Spiritual Founding Father.

Here is the introduction to Kidd’s article:

On October 12, 1740, in the fading light of a cool autumn evening, twenty-five-year-old evangelist George Whitefield ascended a platform on Boston Common. Before him stood twenty thousand people. If the crowd estimates were reasonably accurate, this was the largest assembly ever gathered in the history of England’s American colonies. (Boston’s entire population was only seventeen thousand in 1740.) Whitefield had already seen crowds this massive—even larger—in the great city of London, but the teeming New England throngs, gathered in the region’s small fishing villages and provincial towns, amazed him.

Sometimes the pressing people frightened him. There were volcanic outbursts of emotion. He regularly had to cut his preaching short, unable to be heard over the cacophonies of weeping and screeching. At the Common, Whitefield implored people to put their faith in Jesus Christ, the kind of sincere faith their Puritan forefathers embraced. It did not matter if their parents were Christians. It did not matter if they prayed or attended church or read their Bibles. Whitefield wanted to know if they had experienced the “new birth” of conversion.

Concluding the sermon, his countenance falling, he told them that it was time for him to go; other audiences needed his gospel preaching, too. “Numbers, great numbers, melted into tears, when I talked of leaving them,” Whitefield wrote. He had begun to forge a special bond with the American colonists. “Boston people are dear to my soul,” he confessed.

New Fixed Credo July 2014 CoverWhitefield, the Evangelical

Reports about this boy wonder began to appear in the colonies’ newspapers in 1739. By 1740 he had become the most famous man in America. (Remember, in 1740 George Washington was eight years old, John Adams was four, Thomas Jefferson was not even born. Ben Franklin’s fame as a printer, which did not extend much beyond Philadelphia, was enhanced considerably by becoming Whitefield’s publisher.) Whitefield was probably the most famous man in Britain, too, or at least the most famous aside from King George II.

Three hundred years after his birth, George Whitefield is not entirely forgotten, but his fame now is far dimmer than it was on that fall evening in Boston. Today Whitefield’s renown is surpassed by other evangelical contemporaries, especially Jonathan Edwards, the great pastor-theologian of Northampton, Massachusetts. Still, Christian treatments of Whitefield abound, highlighted by Arnold Dallimore’s monumental two-volume biography written in the 1970s. Most U.S. History survey courses and textbooks also mention Whitefield, thanks to two major academic biographies, Harry Stout’s The Divine Dramatist (1991), and Frank Lambert’s “Pedlar in Divinity” (1994). These biographies, as well as a surge of recent studies of the Great Awakening, have established Whitefield as a fixture in the standard narrative of American history.

Stout, Lambert, and other scholars have helped us interpret Whitefield within the framework of eighteenth-century Anglo-American culture. Lambert examined Whitefield in light of the “consumer revolution” of the eighteenth century. As the “Pedlar in Divinity,” Whitefield mastered the use of publicity, newspapers and inexpensive print to promote his preaching tours and the gospel he expounded. Stout, on a related theme, presented Whitefield as “Anglo-America’s first religious celebrity, the symbol for a dawning modern age.”

In his two recent books on Whitefield, communications scholar Jerome Mahaffey has expanded earlier proposals by Stout and historian Alan Heimert by considering how Whitefield became the “Accidental Revolutionary,” or the man most responsible for shaping an American culture primed for the Revolution. Whitefield was the “central figure” in the process by which disparate colonists became Americans, prone to think in zealous, adversarial terms about religion, rights, and liberties. Whitefield’s Awakening may not have caused the Revolution, Mahaffey argued, but it had a profound conditioning influence on Americans as the Revolution approached. Heimert memorably argued that whether Jefferson, “the enlightened sage of Monticello knew it or not, he had inherited the mantle of George Whitefield.”

Whitefield and commerce, Whitefield and religious celebrity, Whitefield and the Revolution—all of these arguments have considerable merit, but they do not really focus on Whitefield’s primary significance, or the way he viewed himself. My argument regarding Whitefield is straightforward: George Whitefield was the key figure in the first generation of Anglo-American evangelical Christianity. Whitefield and legions of other evangelical pastors and laypeople helped establish a new interdenominational religious movement in the eighteenth century, one committed to the gospel of conversion, the new birth, the work of the Holy Spirit, and the preaching of revival across Europe and America. . . .

Read the rest of Kidd’s article today!


To view the Magazine as a PDF {Click Here}

We live in a day when those in the church want to have their ears tickled. We do not want a sermon, but a “talk.” “Don’t get preachy, preacher!” is the mantra of many church goers today. What is preferred is a casual, comfortable, and laid back chat with a cup of coffee and a couple of Bible verses to throw into the mix to make sure things get spiritual. One wonders whether Timothy would have been fired as a pastor today for heeding Paul’s advice: “preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching” (2 Tim. 4:2). Paul gives such a command to Timothy because he knew what was to come. “For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths” (2 Tim. 4:3-4). Has that day come? Are churches filled with “itching ears,” demanding “teachers to suit their own passions”? Have we turned “away from listening to the truth”?

In a day when ears itch and truth is shown the back door, what could be more needed than men who actually preach the Word? George Whitefield (1714-1770) was one of those men. He was a preacher who preached in plain language, so that even the most common man could understand God’s Word. Yet, his sermons were incredibly powerful, often leading men and women to tears as the Holy Spirit convicted their souls. Whitefield not only preached the truth, but he pleaded with his listeners to submit themselves body and soul to the truth. He preached God’s Word with passion because he understood that his listener stood between Heaven and Hell. His robust Calvinism, in other words, led to a zealous evangelism.

This year, 2014, marks the 300th anniversary of Whitefield’s birth. These articles are meant to drive us back to Whitefield’s day, that we might eat up his theology, and drink deeply his passion for the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Contributors include: Thomas Kidd, Lee Gatiss, Michael A.G. Haykin, Thomas Nettles, Ian Hugh Clary, Mike McKinley, Mark Noll, Doug Sweeney, and many others.

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Reading Job with Christopher Ash (Matthew Claridge)

Reading Job with Christopher Ash (Matthew Claridge)

I can’t think of a better introduction to Christopher Ash’s new commentary, Job: the Wisdom of the Cross, then this promotional video for John Piper’s poetic rendition:

Christopher Ash has put John Piper’s poetry to prose in this wonderful commentary.  I often found myself with a new desire to read and study Job as I worked through Ash’s commentary. This is what the best sort of “literary criticism” accomplishes; it inspires you, moves you, and takes you back to the original text with fresh insight and appreciation. This is even more the case here, as Ash not only takes us back to Job with fresh eyes, but draws our eyes to the Christ seen through Job.

Christopher Ash works for the Proclamation Trust in London as director of the Cornhill Training Course. In addition to serving on the council of Tyndale House in Cambridge, he is the author of several books, including Out of the Storm: Grappling with God in the Book of Job and Teaching Romans. He is married to Carolyn and they have three sons and one daughter.

What are the prosperity and therapeutic gospels, and how does the book of Job address both?

Well, thank you for asking. It seems to me that perhaps the most widespread distortion of the Christian gospel woJob Christopher Ashrldwide is the teaching that if I become a disciple of Jesus, then Jesus will make me rich and healthy. If I am poor, I will become rich; if I have no job, or a poor job, he will give me a better job; if I am single, he will get me a wife or husband; if I am sick, he will make me better. And so on. This is the so-called “prosperity gospel”. When I live in a society where, by and large, we already have riches (by world standards – enough food, clean water, and so on) and health, the prosperity gospel metamorphoses into its cousin, which I call the “therapeutic gospel”. This teaches that, in addition to health and wealth, if I come to Jesus feeling empty, he will fill me; not only will he give me objective good things (money, wife/husband, children etc); he will also give me subjective benefits, lifting my spirits, making me feel better about myself.

Job pulls the rug out from under both these gospel distortions. It sets before us a conspicuously righteous man (Job 1:1,8; 2:3) who suffers prolonged and intense loss and grief, the very opposite of what these gospel distortions would lead us to expect.

 Job could not, you claim, be just any one of us. His suffering and trials are in a class by themselves. What role does Job play in the drama of the human story?

Yes, indeed, it seems to me that Job cannot be “everyman” for several reasons. He is exceptionally righteous (1:1,8; 2:3), exceedingly great and successful (1:3), and his sufferings are intensely deep (1:6-2:10). Far from being a picture of human suffering in general, the book tells the story of a unique man suffering with unmatched intensity. In the big sweep of the bible story it is very natural therefore to see him as foreshadowing Jesus Christ, the one absolutely righteous man on earth, the greatest human being who has lived, and the one whose sufferings were uniquely deep and grievous. Job in his extremity helps us understand Jesus in his uniqueness. Only then may we legitimately see Job as prefiguring our experience in any way, as those indwelt by the Spirit of Jesus and experiencing in our lives some measure of suffering with him (e.g. Rom.8:17; Col.1:24).

 A classic conundrum of Job is the question of his own integrity. As we listen continually to his justifications, we are very tempted to think there must be something wrong or sinful with him. Are we supposed to be quoting to Job Rom. 3:10, “there is none righteous, no not one”?

There is a tension in Job. On the one hand, we are told repeatedly that he is a righteous man. The narrator headlines this (1:1) and God tells us twice (1:8; 2:3) before reinforcing it at the end (42:7). That is to say, Job is a true believer, one who is justified by faith, and who fears and walks with God. But, on the other hand, at the end he does repent of things he has said (42:1-6). So, is Job right or wrong? His three friends accuse him of hidden sins (e.g. 22:5) and they are wrong (42:7). The answer would seem to be two truths. On the one hand, Job’s comforters say that he is suffering because he has sinned and will not repent, and they are wrong. But, on the other hand, Job himself admits that his suffering has caused him to sin in some of the things he says.

Your quotation from Romans 3:10 sheds light on this. It is a quotation from Psalm 14, in which David laments the evil surrounding him and says of these people, “They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds, there is none who does good…” and so on. But David himself trusts God and is confident that there are others who trust God (e.g. Ps.14:6 “the Lord is his refuge”). So when he says, “there is none righteous, no not one” he means there is no human being who is by nature righteous before God; but, thank God, there are human beings who are righteous before God by faith! This was true in David’s day and it was true of Job.

 I find this thesis statement throughout your commentary: “the glory of God is more important than your or my comfort.” Why is that and why is it good news?

Yes, I was greatly helped by 1 Peter 1:7 as I grappled with Job. Writing to suffering Christians, Peter says that the “various trials” they are enduring will show the “tested genuineness” of their faith. That is to say, the trials will prove that they really trust God; it is easy to say we trust God when things are going well; it is when blessings are taken away that it is seen whether we really worship God simply because He is God. When we do and our faith is seen to be tested and genuine then, when Jesus returns, there will be “praise and glory and honour” to God. It is good news to know that your and my Christian sufferings have such an exalted purpose; that our sufferings will prove that in our hearts we honour God as God. Only when we suffer can this be publicly and convincingly seen to the watching world.

 Another challenge of this book is what to do with the speeches of Job’s friends. How do you recommend we read these speeches? Any rules of thumb for how Christians can exercise discernment while reading them? Is it ok to ever quote their words as “thus saith the Lord”?

Ah, yes, this is a tricky one. After all, God says these three friends have not “spoken rightly” about God (42:7) and so we would need support from elsewhere in scripture before being confident that any particular thing they say is true. And yet these speeches are part of scripture and ought to benefit us and promote faith in Christ (2 Tim.3:15-17). It is hard to give a short answer and really you need to read my book, in which we walk carefully through each speech! The comforters say many true things – true things about God, true things about justice, true things about sin and judgment. But they are not true of Job. The critical thing they deny is the possibility of unjust suffering, and therefore the flip-side of this, which is the possibility of undeserved blessing, or grace. I have included an introductory chapter about the comforters’ theology, and in the various speeches have suggested what we can learn from them. One of the main things I have learned is to be warned, because it is so easy for our Christian culture to slip into a Job’s comforters culture, and for grace to slip out of the window.

 The book of Job challenges our assumptions that suffering necessarily is the result of sin. But this leaves us in a conundrum, because sometimes it can be. Are we ever allowed or justified to suggest that unrepeated sin might be the immediate source of someone’s suffering?

Yes, Jesus himself suggests this when he warns the man he has healed to “Sin no more, so that nothing worse may happen to you” (John 5:14). But we need to be careful. Job’s comforters accuse him of secret sins for which they have no evidence (for no evidence exists). This is quite different from pastorally pointing out sins for which there is evidence. And yet even here, it is not given to us to know the individual connections between sin and suffering, any more than riches and health is necessarily evidence of moral goodness. We need to exercise great care. Above all, we need to search our own hearts more than we accuse others (Mt.7:3-5).

 The Book of Job famously ends with God actually never explaining to Job why he suffered. Indeed, God’s answer is itself a series of questions. What are we to make of this?

Job has spoken as if he could run God’s world better than God. God’s speeches focus first on the wild parts of the universe, the parts that are clearly outside Job’s control. And then finally on this strange and terrifying monster, serpent, beast called Leviathan (Job 41), who is a vivid storybook way of speaking of the devil or Satan. The central message is that God alone may be trusted to be sovereign even over supernatural forces of evil in the universe. This is a huge claim, that there truly is one Sovereign God who rules the universe and is so great and wise that he can even use supernatural evil as one of his agents in governing the world. The devil is, in Luther’s vivid phrase, “God’s Satan”.

 I really appreciated your commentary on each of the individual speeches in the book. You’re right. Its tempting to preach Job in just four or five sermons with one (maybe) covering all the speeches in the middle. Do you recommend spending more time on the speeches of Job?

Yes, I do! When I first preached Job, I think I took 7 sermons. By the time we came to the end, I wished I had planned for 10. I think it is not difficult to preach 10 sermons on Job without loss of momentum or interest. The advantage is that there is time to soak ourselves in some of the poetry and to have time to feel and engage emotionally as well as intellectually with the speeches. However, I am not recommending 42 sermons on Job, one for each chapter; that way, many people will never get to listen to Romans, John’s Gospel, or Isaiah!

 Matthew Claridge is an editor for Credo Magazine and is Senior Pastor of Mt. Idaho Baptist Church in Grangeville, ID. He has earned degrees from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is married to Cassandra and has three children.

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Sunday’s Sermon (Schreiner, Barrett, Zaspel)

Posted by on Jul 28, 2014 in Sunday's Sermon | No Comments
Sunday’s Sermon (Schreiner, Barrett, Zaspel)

Three of Credo Magazine’s main contributors include Thomas Schreiner, Fred Zaspel, and Matthew Barrett. Each of them are professors, but they are also pastors. So each Monday morning we will be highlighting their “Sunday’s Sermon” on the blog to provide you with encouragement throughout the week and an opportunity to study God’s Word.
 

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Restoring the Influence of Religion

Posted by on Jul 28, 2014 in Jeremy Kimble | No Comments
Restoring the Influence of Religion

Much has been said recently by politicial pundits regarding cases concerning religious liberty. It does appear that many liberties that have been taken for granted in the history of our country are being eroded by a secular humanist worldview that seeks to make naturalism and “tolerance” the religious mores of our day. As Christians we can and certainly should seek to speak out in the public square for the sake of religious liberty, and many are doing just that. And as we seek to speak intelligently to the masses in this forum and press for freedom, may we also be praying for revival and proclaiming the gospel. Wilberforce reminds us, in his words and deeds, that we can champion these kinds of rights at a political level, but if the Christian worldview attained through the acceptance of the gospel is not happening in our culture, it will come to little good. May we be vigilant then, as we get on social media and news channels to champion religious liberty, to all the more vigorously plant churches, proclaim the gospel, instruct in Christian worldview and ethics, and pray for revival to come through the work of the Spirit.

“Let true Christians then, with becoming earnestness, strive in all things to recommend their profession, and to put to silence the vain scoffs of ignorant objectors. Let them boldly assert the cause of Christ in an age when so many, who bear the name of Christians, are ashamed of Him: and let them consider as devolved on Them the important duty of suspending for a while the fall of their country, and, perhaps, of performing a still more extensive service to society at large; not by busy interference in politics, in which it cannot but be confessed there is much uncertainty; but rather by that sure and radical benefit of restoring the influence of Religion, and of raising the standard of morality.”

Jeremy Kimble (PhD, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary) is Assistant Professor of Theological Studies at Cedarville University. He is an editor for Credo Magazine as well as the author of That His Spirit May Be Saved: Church Discipline as a Means to Repentance and Perseverance and numerous book reviews. He is married to Rachel and has two children, Hannah and Jonathan.

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Credo’s Cache

Posted by on Jul 25, 2014 in Credo's cache | No Comments
Credo’s Cache

Each week we will be highlighting important resources. Check back each Friday to see what we have dug up for you. From this week’s cache:

1. Jesus, Eunuchs, and the (Almost) 30-Year-Old VirginBy Chelsea Kingston - Kingston says: “In a world where hedonism and gross individualism hold sway, the prominence of what a friend and pastor calls ‘the sexual fulfillment myth’ is no big surprise, really. And so, in a way that our culture finds almost impossible to comprehend, celibacy in singleness demonstrates a most visible sign of authentic Christian witness.”

2. Choosing Grace Over OutrageBy Scott Sauls - Sauls notes: “Having received such grace, Christians have a compelling reason to be remarkably gracious, inviting, and endearing in our treatment of others, including and especially those who disagree with us. Let’s be known by what we are for instead of what we are against.”

3. Jesus Repulses, Jesus DrawsBy Tim Challies - Challies says: “When we preach Jesus today, we preach for a response. And there is always a response. Jesus repulses and Jesus draws. But an encounter with Jesus never accomplishes nothing.”

4. What a Difference Six Years Can MakeBy Kevin DeYoung – DeYoung says: “Public opinion has shifted. Tolerance has become militantly intolerant. Every institution and every nation has its orthodoxies to enforce, and it looks like conservative religious persons are the new heretics. No debate is necessary. We haven’t lost the argument on marriage as much as arguments are no longer allowed. To say what our President used to say–and said explicitly while running for President–is quickly becoming unacceptable in polite society.”

5. Marriage for the Common GoodBy James K. A. Smith - Smith notes: “Well, we might get a society a lot like our own. It would be a society where ‘private’ interests are pursued to the exclusion of the common good, as if the two are in competition and the wider community is a threat. A society where marriage is romanticized, which is why they so often fail. When we expect marriages to be extensions of idealistic weddings, we’re not only setting ourselves up to fail, we are abandoning the call to ‘household,’ to curate open homes where others are welcome and from which we lean out to serve the good of our neighbors.”

Matt Manry is the Director of Discipleship at Life Bible Church in Canton, Georgia. He is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Religion at Reformed Theological Seminary and a Masters of Arts in Christian and Classical Studies from Knox Theological Seminary. He blogs regularly at gospelglory.net.

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New issue: George Whitefield at 300

Posted by on Jul 22, 2014 in Magazine-George Whitefield at 300 | One Comment
New issue: George Whitefield at 300

The new issue of Credo Magazine is now here: George Whitefield at 300. Here is the magazine, followed by a description of this issue and those who have contributed.


To view the Magazine as a PDF {Click Here}

Credo July 2014 CoverWe live in a day when those in the church want to have their ears tickled. We do not want a sermon, but a “talk.” “Don’t get preachy, preacher!” is the mantra of many church goers today. What is preferred is a casual, comfortable, and laid back chat with a cup of coffee and a couple of Bible verses to throw into the mix to make sure things get spiritual. One wonders whether Timothy would have been fired as a pastor today for heeding Paul’s advice: “preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching” (2 Tim. 4:2). Paul gives such a command to Timothy because he knew what was to come. “For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths” (2 Tim. 4:3-4). Has that day come? Are churches filled with “itching ears,” demanding “teachers to suit their own passions”? Have we turned “away from listening to the truth”?

In a day when ears itch and truth is shown the back door, what could be more needed than men who actually preach the Word? George Whitefield (1714-1770) was one of those men. He was a preacher who preached in plain language, so that even the most common man could understand God’s Word. Yet, his sermons were incredibly powerful, often leading men and women to tears as the Holy Spirit convicted their souls. Whitefield not only preached the truth, but he pleaded with his listeners to submit themselves body and soul to the truth. He preached God’s Word with passion because he understood that his listener stood between Heaven and Hell. His robust Calvinism, in other words, led to a zealous evangelism.

This year, 2014, marks the 300th anniversary of Whitefield’s birth. These articles are meant to drive us back to Whitefield’s day, that we might eat up his theology, and drink deeply his passion for the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Contributors include: Thomas Kidd, Lee Gatiss, Michael A.G. Haykin, Thomas Nettles, Ian Hugh Clary, Mike McKinley, Mark Noll, Doug Sweeney, and many others.

Here are some of the Feature Articles to get you started:

Credo July 2014 Kidd Slider

Credo July 2014 Gatiss Slider

Credo July 2014 Haykin Slider

Credo July 2014 Nettles Slider

Credo July 2014 Clary Slider

Credo July 2014 Whitefield Slider

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Sunday’s Sermon (Schreiner, Barrett, Zaspel)

Posted by on Jul 21, 2014 in Sunday's Sermon | No Comments
Sunday’s Sermon (Schreiner, Barrett, Zaspel)

Three of Credo Magazine’s main contributors include Thomas Schreiner, Fred Zaspel, and Matthew Barrett. Each of them are professors, but they are also pastors. So each Monday morning we will be highlighting their “Sunday’s Sermon” on the blog to provide you with encouragement throughout the week and an opportunity to study God’s Word.

 

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Watch Over Your Own Heart

Posted by on Jul 21, 2014 in Jeremy Kimble | One Comment
Watch Over Your Own Heart

Ministers of the gospel are told to “Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in these things, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers” (1 Tim. 4:16). This verse could just as easily apply to any Christian, especially the phrase “keep a close watch on yourself.” Knowing that our hearts are prone to wander after idols and worldly ambitions, we must guard our hearts with all diligence. William Wilberforce, well known Christian abolitionist in Britain, notes that we must be aware of our own depravity, which will mark us with a humility and conscience that will keep us continually fleeing from sin and pursuing righteousness. May we be a circumspect people who continually preach the gospel to ourselves as we pursue repentance and righteousness in all things.

“Let him then, who would be indeed a Christian, watch over his ways and over his heart with unceasing circumspection. Let him endeavour to learn, both from men and books, particularly from the lives of eminent Christians, what methods have been actually found most effectual for the conquest of every particular vice, and for improvement in every branch of holiness. Thus studying his own character, and observing the most secret workings of his own mind, and of our common nature; the knowledge which he will acquire of the human heart in general, and especially of his own, will be of the highest utility, in enabling him to avoid or to guard against the occasions of evil: and it will also tend, above all things, to the growth of humility, and to the maintenance of that sobriety of spirit and tenderness of conscience, which are eminently characteristic of the true Christian.”

Jeremy Kimble (PhD, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary) is Assistant Professor of Theological Studies at Cedarville University. He is an editor for Credo Magazine as well as the author of That His Spirit May Be Saved: Church Discipline as a Means to Repentance and Perseverance and numerous book reviews. He is married to Rachel and has two children, Hannah and Jonathan.

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