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Category Archives: Mark Driscoll

Give Me Five – Total Depravity

In the next few weeks I’d like to post some brief things to hand-five-pointsexplain and affirm the Five Points of Calvinism. Hopefully this will create some dialog with those who would argue against and with those who would affirm with additional resources.

When we speak of total depravity, we are speaking in terms of man’s natural condition apart from any grace given by God to restrain or transform man. Since the fall of man through Adam, the natural man (not transformed by God’s grace) has been in rebellion against God. This is supported in Romans 3:9-10.

9 What then? Are we Jews any better off? No, not at all. For we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under sin, 10 as it is written:
“None is righteous, no, not one;

In the video clip below, Mark Driscoll, Pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, Washington provides a great illustration of total depravity and God’s election.

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Step back, take a deep breath

and weigh it against the scriptures. That continuation of this post heading is from one of the rare critical comments I found as I researched “The Shack” by William P. Young. This is the newest book being heralded in the Christian community. For the most part this book is getting rave reviews. Just yesterday (June 26th) the book received 10 reviews and all but one were given the highest mark (5 stars) by the reviewer. The book has been as high as #7 of the top selling books on Amazon.com. The book is hugely popular. It currently has over 680 reviews, with 527 of them ranking it 5 stars.

As a Christian I have seen many books get heralded as the next new great thing to bring you closer to God. To mention a few: “The Purpose Driven Life”, “The Prayer of Jabez”, “Seven Promises of a Promise Keeper”, “Wild At Heart”, “The Ragamuffin Gospel”. Each of these were gobbled up by the Christian community. Are we that desperate and thirsty to know God outside of His word? Do we abandon everything we know or don’t know about who God is as written in scripture? Someone explain to me why we latch on to what a man has written above what is found in the God breathed scripture. Why do we not step back, take a deep breath, and weigh the book against scripture?

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Preaching happens

Where does good solid preaching come from? The kind of preaching where the complete gospel is proclaimed? I would contend that kind of preaching comes from the Holy Spirit of God. This is obviously not something that I, a mere lay person, have thought seriously about until now. In a message delivered to those attending this year’s Resurgeance National Conference, Mark Driscoll (pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, WA) addresses how gospel-centered, Christ-centered preaching happens.

Driscol points out that one of most significant evidences of the working of the Holy Spirit is preaching. In the New Testament we read in Matthew 4 that right after the Holy Spirit descending upon Him, Jesus began His ministry. After being tempted in the wilderness He began to preach (Matt. 4:17) , saying:

Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

At the beginning of the book of Acts Jesus tells the disciples to wait in Jerusalem for the promise of the Father. This promise we learn is the Holy Spirit. When the Holy Spirit comes in Acts 2, the disciples immediately began preaching about Jesus Christ. The same Spirit or Helper that Jesus told them about in John 15:35. 

But when the Helper comes, who I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, He will bear witness about me.

There are many more evidences of the working of the Holy Spirit, but I want to point out one more. This is found in Acts 9:17-20. Saul, who later called Paul, is wating on the Lord in Damascus, and the Lord sends Ananias to lay hands on him filling him with the Holy Spirit. In verse 20 it that immediately he (Saul) began proclaiming Jesus in the synagogues.

I am not a genius, but my lovely wife is. She is a few points higher on the IQ scale than I. But I can think logically. When the The Holy Spirit fills men = preaching happens. Praise God!!  

For a listen of the inspired sermon by Mark Driscoll click one of the links below.

Putting Preachers in Their Place to download the mp3,

or stream it here.

Soli Deo Gloria

 

What do you ask yourself when preparing to preach?

I am not a preacher, nor do I play one on TV. But I think I do know something about the subject, having listened to, and spoken with so many talented and God-gifted men in my life. I believe I can recognize good, God-centered, Christ uplifting, scripture breathing preaching when I hear it.  I am also a believer in Jesus Christ, He is my Savior and Lord. With that said, I would like to mention the responses by Mark Driscoll to the question above. This comes to us from TheResurgence web site.

1. What does the scripture say?
2. What does this mean?
3. How or why do we resist it?
  a. What will be the objections to this truth?
4. How does this apply to our missions?

I would like to focus this writing on point number three. What Driscoll says in his elaboration of this point is that preachers should prepare for the resistance of the heart. He mentions that Romans 1 teaches that:

our heart has a propensity to suppress the truth so that we might continue in the unrighteousness of our deeds

So part of the preparation would include looking at your own heart and how it may wish to resist this biblical truth. This point of preparation or even the consideration of it is very rare in the pulpit of the church today. I have heard many preach as if they are trying to cater to the propensity of the heart, or tickle the proverbial ear. Driscoll shares how the Puritan preachers of old used to prepare with objections to the resistance of the heart and apologetically defend the truth being proclaimed in scripture. This is good stuff. Mark Driscoll elaborates more on these points so I have included the video of his response below.

What do you ask yourself when preparing to preach?

photo credit

 

Anti-worship

On Sunday morning my pastor, Patrick Abendroth, has been doing a series on worship.Neyland Stadium The first three parts centered on what worship is. The fourth and fifth installments focus on the often controversial topic of music in worship. Last week Pat pointed out six of the twelve misconceptions of musical worship. The misconception point I particularly liked was number 5, “Loud Music is Unbiblical.” He pointed to passages such as Psalm 95, and Psalm 98:4, and 2 Chronicles 30:21 which states:

The sons of Israel present in Jerusalem celebrated the Feast of Unleavened Bread {for} seven days with great joy, and the Levites and the priests praised the LORD day after day with loud instruments to the LORD.

I liked this because I usually like my music loud, with drums and electric guitars. The misconception is that worship music should be somber and suppressed. I know as Reformers and Calvinists we are known for theology and doctrine but not emotion. What’s wrong with a little emotion? What’s wrong WITH A LOT OF EMOTION! Pastor Pat did ask a humbling question. Do we worship God like we do in the stadiums on Saturday’s in the fall of the year? You know…college football. (There were many Nebraska Husker fans including myself in attendance) Yes, we do get loud for that. I would like to turn that a bit. I would like to state that what might actually be going on in front of the televisions, or in the stands, is anti-worship. Anti-worship at least where God is concerned. What is anti-worship? I would contend it is idolatry. Idolatry is the worship of something other than almighty God. When we put other things before God it is idolatry. We should be concerned with the worship of God alone. Because worship does matter. It matters to God.

The audio for the Worship Matters series can be found on this audio page.

I found a brief video from Mark Driscoll at Mars Hill Church that refers to what I am talking about as anti-worship or idolatry. It’s only a couple of minutes long. Check it out.