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The Value of a Mentor

In my role of teaching pastoral theology at a seminary, one lesson I continually harp on with young men preparing for the pastorate is their need for a mentor.

Many discipleship ministries such as The Navigators promote the II Timothy 2:2 Principle, “The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” Yet we should be reminded that these words were first spoken by an older minister, Paul, to a younger minister, Timothy, in the context of the church (“in the presence of many witnesses”). This mentoring is exactly what Paul gave to Timothy in their travels together and in the epistles that bear his name.

No man can receive all that he will need for a lifetime of ministry at a seminary.  For success in ministry, it is essential that young ministers have an older, wiser man to provide ongoing guidance, teaching, and training. Too many young ministers wipe out with self-inflicted wounds that might have been avoided with more counseling and coaching. I am aware there are professional sites and ministries such as this one where a pastor can go and, in a sense, […]

Browse Worthy: Adultery Preventatives

With so many moral failings throughout the land, here is some help for securing your heart and relationships.

How an Affair Really Begins – Let Tim Challies help you recognize the signs.

40 Consequences of Adultery – Pray over this list and see if you are still tempted.

Divorce for Pornography? – David Murray raised the question, and a bunch of folks raised some Cain before he closed the comment section. I appreciate his lucidity and candor.

On our latest 3GT, I asked the guys at the 44:20 mark, “Why does your wife trust you?” An interesting conversation followed that gives help in developing marital fidelity.

Reaching a Boiling Point

What do the Planned Parenthood videos, two mothers on the campaign trail, and an obscure Old Testament law have in common?

The videos from the Center for Medical Progress have roused government officials, political candidates, and the media. They can no longer obfuscate their positions like they once did. Sure, they can try to do so, but the attempts now ring hollow. The difference between those who believe that harvesting unborn baby body parts from abortion is evil and those who do not is becoming quite clear.

Look at the two mothers running for president for instance.

Carly Fiorina has spoken clearly on this matter. Though technically a stepmother, Fiorina helped raise the two children from her second marriage as her own. During her run for California senator in 2009, which she eventually lost to Barbara Boxer, Fiorina had two personal crises. She battled breast cancer, suffering through a double mastectomy and chemotherapy. In the midst of this serious health matter, her eldest daughter tragically took her life. During this awful time, she testifies that she turned back to the Lord. Her rediscovered faith appears to help fuel her passion on the issue of abortion as seen in the second presidential debate:

Despite the media’s attempts to derail her, she […]

3GT Episode 5: Rebuked by a Baptist

After a delay due to Austin moving and other scheduling conflicts, 3GT has released another episode. From the podcast notes:

And thus begins the discussion all frothy-mouthed Calvinists will certainly enjoy: the extent of the atonement.  Foodolatry surfaces in section two.  And a more somber discussion is taken up in the third section: adultery.

First segment: 22:40
Second: 22:40- 44:20
Third: 44:20-End

A Church Planting Testimony

On the evening of September 11, around two hundred people gathered as the Marion Reformed Presbyterian Church was organized by the presbytery in Marion, Indiana.  One of the highlights of the evening was the history of the work uniquely expressed by Scott Hunt, an attorney in Marion who was installed as a ruling elder in the new congregation. With his permission I am sharing this history below.


Abraham was the father of Isaac, and Isaac the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers,.. And David was the father of Solomon by the wife of Uriah,…and Josiah the father of Jechoniah and his brothers, at the time of the deportation to Babylon….and Jacob the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born, who is called Christ. So all the generations from Abraham to David were fourteen generations, and from David to the deportation to Babylon fourteen generations, and from the deportation to Babylon to the Christ fourteen generations. Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way (Matthew 1:2, 6, 11, 16-18).

It is clear from a cursory reading of God’s Word that the history of His people is important.  Whether it is the descendants of Adam in Genesis or a list of David’s […]

Two Types of Sinners

According to the Bible, several ways exist to classify sinners. First and foremost, we can simply state the universal truth.  All men are sinners!  Both the wicked and the saint alike! Romans 3:23 sums it up clearly, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” The saint has been forgiven his sin, but as Luther stated he is still simul justus et peccator – at the same time righteous and a sinner. In what follows, the church must not forget this universal truth.

However, the Scriptures do make other distinctions regarding sinners. They can be labeled according to the types of sin they commit, such as adulterers, liars, murderers, etc. (I Cor. 6:9-10; Rev. 22:15). Also, the ungodly can be classified with respect to their disobedience to the Word, where they can resist it immediately, receive it joyfully at first then fall away, or let it be choked out over a period of time (Matt. 13:3-9; 18-23). Another way to view sinners, somewhat akin to Dante’s hellish circles in his Inferno, is to think of them with respect to the degree of depravity they have reached. All men are sinners, yet people to various degrees become hardened and fall further into the depths of sin, with some even reaching the […]

Browse Worthy: Drunk with the Blood

The tenth video from the Center for Medical Progress on Planned Parenthood’s dealing in and profiting from the body parts of aborted fetuses has been released. Notice as you watch these videos that as the powerful figures within Planned Parenthood are discussing how “everything we provide is fresh,” they are often doing so as they drink wine and liquor. As the prophets warned, a nation is in trouble when its leaders are drunk with blood and power.

One hopeful impact of these videos is that Republican presidential candidates have been emboldened to speak more strongly against abortion. Unlike the tepid stances by candidates in previous campaigns, a number of current candidates are mincing no words.

A Timely Piece of Humble Pie

Wow! What a great weekend I have had! After teaching at the seminary Friday morning, a friend drove me out from Pennsylvania to Indiana for the organizational service of the Marion Reformed Presbyterian Church. A daughter work of the Kokomo congregation I formerly served, it was a joy to preach to a full sanctuary gathered to celebrate this long-awaited exciting occasion. After rich fellowship, we jumped back in the car and drove through the night, as I had to speak the next morning at the Westminster Conference at the Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary. Again, I was blessed as people interacted enthusiastically on the theme of experiencing our union with Christ. Yesterday we enjoyed worship in the morning, then in the evening I opened God’s Word from Ezekiel 3 on the need for the saints to be watchmen in the kingdom of God.

In the midst of these wonderful opportunities that can go to one’s head if not careful, the Lord gave me a timely humility check. Some young adults were over at our home yesterday, and informed me that a video portion of my son Trevor’s wedding from two years ago was on YouTube. I had no idea. With kudos to Kevin DeYoung who always […]

Qualities of Urgency in Preaching Seen in Peter’s Pentecost Sermon

Martyn Lloyd-Jones once stated to preachers, “You are not simply imparting information, you are dealing with souls, you are dealing with pilgrims on the way to eternity, you are dealing with matters not only of life and death in this world, but eternal destiny. Nothing can be so terribly urgent.”

With that quote in mind, what does urgent preaching look like? With over half of its content sermonic, the Biblical record contained in the Acts of the Apostles would support the thesis that true preaching is urgent preaching.  Using Peter’s message at Pentecost as a paradigm, we can see urgent preaching would appear to possess at least these seven qualities.

1) A yearning to glorify God for his salvation (Acts 2:17, 22, 36). Peter makes it clear throughout his message that salvation is the work of God from beginning to end.

2) An aim in the message to touch hearts as well as minds (Acts 2:14, 22-23, 29, 36-37). When those gathered at Pentecost heard this message, they were “cut to the heart,” which is clearly Peter’s aim.

3) An eschatological sense that the gospel is the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy. Eleven of the twenty-three verses of Peter’s sermon are Old Testament quotations, which add […]

Browse Worthy: Kim Davis

Yes, Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk refusing to sign marriage licenses for same sex couples, is doing the right thing. Here are four good reasons why, stated by others clearly and logically.

“Kim Davis Broke an Illegitimate, Evil Law, and God Bless Her for It,” says Matt Walsh.

According to Mike Huckabee, she is asking the appropriate question. “Under what law am I authorized to issue homosexual couples a marriage license?” A Supreme Court ruling is not the law.

Douglas Wilson quotes Thomas Jefferson who said, “When Injustice Becomes Law, Resistance Becomes Duty.” He then explains why “it is a shame that a 18th century Deist has a better grasp of the relationship of righteousness to government than do two and a half busloads of 21st century Reformed seminary professors.” Ouch!

And as David Murray says, “We Don’t get to Choose Our Martyrs.”