Credo’s Cache

Posted by on Sep 30, 2016 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. Preacher’s Toolkit: How Long Should It Take Me to Prepare a Sermon?: Dave Harvey – Harvey says, “If you have read this far and remain desperate for some kind of number, I’ll tell you my sermon preparation during an expositional series typically takes 10 to 15 hours. Sadly, these numbers are higher than they were in my maiden voyages from the preaching harbor, primarily because I set sail on a topical dinghy rather than an expositional battleship. If you’re like me, you discovered early that ignorance certainly reduces prep time. Ironically, it also lengthens sermons. If preaching preparation sounds like a lot of work, then I’ve achieved an important goal for this piece. It is work—glorious, resplendent, awe-inspiring labor for both the lost and the found. But the strenuousness of the work isn’t debilitating when the One who calls you to it also empowers you for it and incites your delight in it.”

2. Five Benefits of Regular Family Worship: Tom Ascol – Ascol notes, “Over the years I have asked groups of Christian adults how many of them grew up in homes where there was regular family worship. Early on it was rare to find people (typically of my generation or older) who answered affirmatively. In recent years the number of positive responses has increased dramatically—almost exclusively with younger generations of believers. This is a hopeful and encouraging indication of biblical reformation taking place.”

3. Can You Vote Your Conscience?: Bryce Young – Young says, “What your conscience will do is convict you if you are voting out of sinful comfort or greed or fear. Or it will minister God’s approval if you act, as well as you’re able, in an effort to obey the command to honor him and love your neighbor.”

4. What is the Gift of Singleness?: Tim Challies – Challies says, “Right there, in the context of marriage and singleness, Paul insists that each Christian has “his own gift from God, one of one kind and one of another.” God gives to some people the good gift of marriage and he gives to others the good gift of singleness. But how can you know if you’ve been given that gift of singleness? You can know through a simple test: Are you married or are you single?”

5. Why Tim Keller Wrote a Prequel to ‘The Reason for God’: Matt Smethurst – Smethurst notes, “If after Making Sense of God you’re motivated to explore the rational case for Christianity, you can move on to The Reason for God. In general, I’d say that younger non-believers need to hear why Christianity makes emotional and cultural sense before they’re willing to devote significant time to weighing the more traditional, rational arguments for our faith.”

Matt Manry is the Assistant Pastor at Life Bible Church in Canton, Georgia. He writes at matthewwmanry.com.

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Barrett’s Book Notes: The Ology

Posted by on Sep 28, 2016 in Book Notes | No Comments
Barrett’s Book Notes: The Ology

91wb3xqmpblI’m always looking for biblical, theological, and fun resources to help my kids learn the great doctrines of the faith. Recently we’ve been working through Marty Machowski’s The Ology: Ancient Truths Made Ever New (New Growth Press, 2015). I really like how precise Marty is at points and my kids often find his metaphors illuminating. Marty also provides Bible references which we enjoy looking up and reading to further understand the lesson. This is a fun book for kids and one that doesn’t compromise on theological depth. And any book that can make theology fun is worth diving into.

Also, don’t miss the sing along CD Sovereign Grace has put together to go along with the book.

Here is the publisher’s description:

In the cellar of the old stone cathedral, Carla and Timothy uncover a life-changing treasure, a carefully wrapped ancient book known as The Ology. What adults might describe as a beautifully illustrated storybook of systematic theology, the kids discover to be a story of adventure, mystery, and wonder that leads them to the truth about God, themselves, and the world around them.

Truth is for kids, not just for adults! So The Ology gives kids of all ages a beginner’s theology book to help them understand who God is and how we, as his children, relate to him. Arranged within a traditional systematic theological framework, each truth in The Ology is also connected to the larger redemptive story of Scripture. The doctrine of God, for example, is presented in the larger framework of creation, where the attributes of God are more clearly on display. The Ology takes abstract theological concepts and makes them easier to understand with the use of creative examples, illustrations, and analogies. The goal is not to say everything that could be said about a theological topic, but rather to share the key thoughts behind a theological concept. The Ology is a starting point to learning theology and aims to create a hunger and desire in children to learn more as they grow older.

machowski-marty-the-ology-4Designed for six-year-olds through preteens, this flexible resource includes built-in adaptations for use with younger or older children, so that entire families can enjoy it together. Read The Ology to preschoolers, read it with grade-school kids, and let older kids discover the “hidden” truths by reading the corresponding Scripture passages for each section. However you read it, The Ology will give your children a gift that will last a lifetime—a solid foundation of life-changing biblical truth that will point them to the God who loves them and gave himself for them.

  • A beginner’s book of systematic theology in the form of a beautifully illustrated storybook

  • Clearly explains life-changing theological truths with everyday examples and simple language that kids can understand

  • Takes abstract theological concepts and makes them easier to understand with the use of creative examples, illustrations, and analogies

  • Designed for six-year-olds through preteens, with built-in adaptations for use with younger or older children, so that entire families can enjoy it together.

The Ology is a book of systematic theology written especially for six-year-olds through preteens. The author, who has six kids of his own, has intentionally created a vivid resource, full of analogies and word pictures that help kids grasp difficult theological concepts and understand how each truth is connected to the larger redemptive story of the Bible. Built-in adaptations and activities help parents with younger or older kids make the material accessible and engaging for the whole family.

Matthew Barrett is Tutor of Systematic Theology and Church History atOak Hill Theological College in London, as well as the founder and executive editor of Credo Magazine. He is the author of several books, including Salvation by GraceOwen on the Christian LifeGod’s Word Alone: The Authority of Scripture,  and Reformation TheologyCurrently he is the series editor of The 5 Solas Series with Zondervan. You can read more about Barrett at matthewmbarrett.com.

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Feature articles: Doctrine Matters

Posted by on Sep 26, 2016 in Magazine-Doctrine Matters | No Comments
Feature articles: Doctrine Matters

The new issue of Credo Magazine just released last week. In this issue, “Doctrine Matters,” several pastors and theologians come together to highlight just how important doctrine is for the church. Check out the following featured articles:

David Garner: “You Are What You Think: Tearing Down Popular Theological Fallacies”

Scott Sauls: “Does Theology Really Make a Difference in the Pastorate?”

Jeremy Kimble: “Think God’s Thoughts After Him: An Apologetic for Doctrine”

Matthew Barrett: “Calling All Theologians…Seriously, Anyone?”

Raymond Perron: “Watch Your Doctrine: A Letter to a New Pastor”

Read these articles today!

Read as a PDF

c5c-02 (1)Say the word “doctrine” in church and you will get some strange looks. Say it again and you will find yourself sitting all alone. For many Christians today doctrine seems miles removed from real life in the church. Doctrine is for academics that spend their time speculating in their ivory towers. It’s the stuff of the head, but Christians are to be concerned with matters of the heart. Plus, shouldn’t we just stick to reading the Bible anyway?

Perhaps this will come as a surprise to some, but the Bible is doctrine’s number one fan. In fact, for Jesus and the apostles doctrine was everything. It really mattered. Entering the kingdom of God, a proper understanding of the gospel, and a real relationship with the living God all hinge upon one’s doctrinal beliefs concerning the character of God, the heinousness of sin, the divine identity of Christ, and the nature of the cross.

Doctrine is so important to the biblical authors that Paul told Titus to teach only what “accords with sound doctrine” (Titus 2:1). And when Paul spelled out the qualifications to become an elder in the church, an ability to teach biblical doctrine was at the top of the list. “He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it” (Titus 1:9).

In this issue of Credo Magazine, several pastors and theologians help us understand just how much doctrine matters for the Christian life and for the church. We will discover that doctrine infiltrates the songs we sing, the sermons we preach, and the way we counsel each other as disciples of Christ. We will learn that nothing could be more critical to a right relationship with God and others than sound doctrine. Whether we realize it or not, doctrine is a way of life. The Christian life depends entirely upon sound doctrine. In short, doctrine matters.

Contributors include Leland Ryken, Scott Sauls, David B. Garner, Jeremy Kimble, Matthew Barrett, Raymond Perron, Fred Zaspe, J. V. Fesko, Brad Bitner, and many others.

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Credo’s Cache

Posted by on Sep 23, 2016 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. Blessed Are the ‘Man-Boys’: Paul Maxwell – Maxwell says, “‘Man-boys’ are the next generation of Christian men. And Scripture either has a full enough picture of masculinity to capture both aspects of masculinity, or it demonizes the ‘boy’ and worships the ‘man.’ God does neither by requiring both. Blessed are the man-boys, for theirs is the kingdom of God.”

2. They Unchurched the Church: Erik Raymond – Raymond notes, “It breaks my heart to consider this perspective. I think of an unbeliever going to church, a Christian church, and walking away disappointed because it lacked a seriousness, weightiness, and gospel content. It was so practical that it was irrelevant. What in the world are we doing?”

3. 7 Reasons Why Faithful Church Attendance Matters: Jonathan Romig – Romig says, “If you’re a church leader, consider writing regular church attendance into your covenant or requirements for membership, then encourage your members to keep covenant. Ultimately, this is not done for the sake of an institution or organization, but for the sake of our souls. We want to know and love Jesus, and he gave us his bride, the church, out of his deep love for us. Let’s go to church!”

4. What is Preaching, Anyway?: Jared C. Wilson – Wilson says, “We are aiming for awe of God. Preaching advice is a poor means to that end. We want the Lam to be beheld, so we must hold him up high and long. We proclaim not helpful hints but eternal visions. We can’t do this if we are making the Bible’s words serve our words. Biblical preaching trusts that the Bible can be set loose to work its power.”

5. The Abuse of Authority in Prosperity Gospel Churches: D. A. Horton – Horton notes, “Throughout the duration of my service in the pastorate, I’ve regularly encountered believers bearing scars from wounds caused by church leaders. On a few occasions, these grievances occurred because the person ran to escape accountability for their sinful actions. But most of the time, these injuries happened because of their former leaders’ abuse of authority.”

Matt Manry is the Assistant Pastor at Life Bible Church in Canton, Georgia. He writes at matthewwmanry.com.

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Video Interview: God’s Word Alone (Matthew Barrett)

Posted by on Sep 21, 2016 in Matthew Barrett | No Comments
Video Interview: God’s Word Alone (Matthew Barrett)

Today’s an exciting day: my new book, God’s Word Alone: The Authority of Scripture, which is the third book to release in the 5 Solas Series, releases on Amazon! So Zondervan just released a video in which I highlight what this 5 Solas Series is all about and how it can be useful in light of the many challenges evangelicals face today. Here’s what I had to say:

 

 

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New issue is here! “Doctrine Matters”

Posted by on Sep 19, 2016 in Magazine-Doctrine Matters | No Comments
New issue is here! “Doctrine Matters”

The new issue of Credo Magazine is now here! “Doctrine Matters.”

Read as a PDF

c5c-02 (1)Say the word “doctrine” in church and you will get some strange looks. Say it again and you will find yourself sitting all alone. For many Christians today doctrine seems miles removed from real life in the church. Doctrine is for academics that spend their time speculating in their ivory towers. It’s the stuff of the head, but Christians are to be concerned with matters of the heart. Plus, shouldn’t we just stick to reading the Bible anyway?

Perhaps this will come as a surprise to some, but the Bible is doctrine’s number one fan. In fact, for Jesus and the apostles doctrine was everything. It really mattered. Entering the kingdom of God, a proper understanding of the gospel, and a real relationship with the living God all hinge upon one’s doctrinal beliefs concerning the character of God, the heinousness of sin, the divine identity of Christ, and the nature of the cross.

Doctrine is so important to the biblical authors that Paul told Titus to teach only what “accords with sound doctrine” (Titus 2:1). And when Paul spelled out the qualifications to become an elder in the church, an ability to teach biblical doctrine was at the top of the list. “He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it” (Titus 1:9).

In this issue of Credo Magazine, several pastors and theologians help us understand just how much doctrine matters for the Christian life and for the church. We will discover that doctrine infiltrates the songs we sing, the sermons we preach, and the way we counsel each other as disciples of Christ. We will learn that nothing could be more critical to a right relationship with God and others than sound doctrine. Whether we realize it or not, doctrine is a way of life. The Christian life depends entirely upon sound doctrine. In short, doctrine matters.

Contributors include Leland Ryken, Scott Sauls, David B. Garner, Jeremy Kimble, Matthew Barrett, Raymond Perron, Fred Zaspe, J. V. Fesko, Brad Bitner, and many others.

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Credo’s Cache

Posted by on Sep 16, 2016 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. Dad Enough to Sing: David Mathis – Mathis says, “Spontaneous singing around the house and in the car shows our kids the overflow of joy in our hearts. But how do you cultivate a habit of song that will overflow into spontaneous moments? Through creating some structure that brings song regularly into your family’s life. It could be singalong songs in the car, or at bedtime or mealtime. Structure and spontaneity aren’t enemies here. Structure produces spontaneity.”

2. Be Careful Not to Minimize Your Sunday: Erik Raymond – Raymond notes, “What are we saying about the other Sundays? So let’s say there is nothing happening except an ordinary Sunday gathering at a Christian church. There are no big announcements, just the regular stuff. You know, people show up at a place, the Word of God is read and people are called to worship, people sing hymns that exalt God and stir hearts in praise, people pray and confess sin, the gospel is applied, people give sacrificially to the work of the gospel, a man stands up and proclaims the very Word of God, and the Lord’s Supper is shared in the community of believers.”

3. Ministry Demands Theology: Joe Thorn – Thorn says, “To lead and serve God’s people demands that we feed them the truths of God’s word; that is applied theology! For the most part I find myself busy helping people to see the person of God, the will of God, the works of God, and the glory of God.”

4. Why I’m Trying to Preach Shorter Sermons: Josh Buice – Buice says, “I would like to see my preaching range decrease to around 40-45 minutes for a Sunday morning sermon and 35-40 minutes for a Sunday evening sermon. The purpose in the goal is not merely pragmatic, it’s actually based on a desire to see the people I shepherd grow in grace. If my sermon is too long, they may find themselves considering the clock rather than the Word of God. If I can preach a well prepared sermon – packed with the necessary truth – in a shorter time frame, it may allow for deeper consideration and evaluation of the truth rather than the clock.”

5. Getting Off the Cul-de-sac: Sean Nolan – Nolan notes, “Over time, I’m convinced, if we spend enough time outside of the cul-de-sac, even the bigger pools, diving boards, and slides will lose their glitter as they are outshined by the beauty of souls longing for a Savior. If we make disciples where Jesus was previously unknown, we also mature in our own discipleship, for it requires courage and strength foreign to human nature. The courage and strength to reach out to those who might not know our Savior, but the honesty to admit there was a time when we didn’t know him either.”

Matt Manry is the Assistant Pastor at Life Bible Church in Canton, Georgia. He writes at matthewwmanry.com.

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Barrett’s Book Notes: ESV Bible Atlas

Posted by on Sep 14, 2016 in Book Notes | No Comments
Barrett’s Book Notes: ESV Bible Atlas

unnamedI have been really impressed with Crossway’s ESV Bible Atlas by John Currid and David Barrett (and no, I have no relation to David Barrett just in case you were wondering). This is an outstanding resource that will be enormously helpful not only to Bible scholars but any Bible reading Christian as they try to picture the biblical world. Notice some of the features of the book:

“Capitalizing on recent advances in satellite imaging and geographic information systems, the Crossway ESV Bible Atlas offers Bible readers a comprehensive, up-to-date resource that blends technical sophistication with readability, visual appeal, and historical and biblical accuracy.

All the key methods of presenting Bible geography and history are here, including more than 175 full-color maps, 70 photographs, 3-D re-creations of biblical objects and sites, indexes, timelines, and 65,000 words of narrative description. The atlas uniquely features regional maps detailing biblically significant areas such as Egypt, Mesopotamia, Italy, and Greece. It also includes access to online maps and illustrations and a removable, 16.5 x 22-inch map of Palestine.

This carefully crafted reference tool not only sets a new standard in Bible atlases but will help ESV readers more clearly understand the world of the Bible and the meaning of Scripture.”

John McRay, Professor Emeritus of New Testament and Archaeology, Wheaton College Graduate School, says this about the book:

“During the 44 years I served as a college professor I used many good atlases. However, I have never seen one comparable to this in the breadth of material, the depth of coverage, and the outstanding quality of its impressive and abundantly illustrated maps and photos of Bible lands.”

Honestly, the book is beautifully done. It also includes a CD at the back so that you can view some of the Atlas on your computer.

I would encourage you to view this very colorful and attractive sample chapter. By the way, the book is currently 36% off at Westminster bookstore.

If you would prefer an atlas that is more concise, be sure to check out the ESV Concise Bible Atlas. Crossway has made available the chapter on the book of Exodus here.

Matthew Barrett is Tutor of Systematic Theology and Church History at Oak Hill Theological College in London, as well as the founder and executive editor of Credo Magazine. He is the author of several books, including Salvation by GraceOwen on the Christian LifeGod’s Word Alone: The Authority of Scripture,  and Reformation TheologyCurrently he is the series editor of The 5 Solas Series with Zondervan. You can read more about Barrett at matthewmbarrett.com.

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Facing the Canon: Alister McGrath

Posted by on Sep 14, 2016 in Audio | No Comments
Facing the Canon: Alister McGrath

J. John has interviewed Alister McGrath on how he came out of atheism and became a Christian. Here is the video below, as well as a description of the interview:

Dr Alister McGrath, a former atheist who is now one of Christianity’s foremost scholars, is currently Andreas Idreos Professor of Science and Religion at the University of Oxford.

After initial academic work in the natural sciences, McGrath turned to the study of theology and intellectual history, while occasionally becoming engaged in broader cultural debates about the rationality and relevance of the Christian faith. As a former atheist, McGrath is respectful, yet critical of the movement. In recent years, he has been especially interested in the emergence of ‘scientific atheism’, and has researched the distinctive approach to atheist apologetics found in the writings of the Oxford zoologist and scientific populariser Richard Dawkins.

 

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Sunday’s sermon: One last time (Gal. 6:11-18), Thomas Schreiner

Posted by on Sep 12, 2016 in Sunday's Sermon | No Comments
Sunday’s sermon: One last time (Gal. 6:11-18), Thomas Schreiner

Credo Magazine contributors Thomas Schreiner, Matthew Barrett, and Fred Zaspel not only teach in the classroom but preach from the pulpit. So each Monday morning we will be highlighting one sermon they have preached in order to provide you with encouragement throughout your week and with an opportunity to study God’s Word.
 

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