Graduate Book List

April 30, 2010

Graduation celebrations are just around the corner and many of you will be on the lookout for a nice gift to give in honor of your graduate. Here is a list of some of the books that the pastoral staff will be giving in honor of our graduates this Sunday:

Doctrine: What Christians Should Believe (Mark Driscoll & Gary Breshears)

Forgotten God: Reversing Our Tragic Neglect of the Holy Spirit (Francis Chan)

Dug Down Deep: Unearthing What I Believe and Why It Matters (Joshua Harris)

Counterfeit Gods: The Empty Promises of Money, Sex and Power, and the Only Hope That Matters (Timothy Keller)

Worldliness: Resisting the Seduction of a Fallen World (C.J. Mahaney)

Welcome To College: A Christ-followers Guide for the Journey (Jonathan Morrow)

The students won’t get all of these books, so there are still some ideas left on the table for you!

Checking the Pulse…

April 28, 2010

I realize we are not doing a great job keeping the blog current. I think our last post was mid-March, so I’ve resolved to do better in the future.

Paul told Timothy, “Declare the whole counsel of God’s Word.” When you preach expository sermons (verse-by-verse) then you must let the text dictate the point of your message. In other words, the meaning of the text within its context must be is the point and application of the message (sermon). This is a very different approach to Scripture than picking a topic (money, sex, anger, etc) and then picking a verse or verses to support the topic. While expository preaching is, in my estimation, the best way to preach and teach the Bible, the unintended consequence may be that you fail to address issues that are pertinent to the life of the congregation (I doubt this would happen if a pastor preached expository sermons in one congregation over 20+ years, but this is, unfortunately, not the norm in ministry). This may happen depending on which texts or books of the Bible the pastor chooses to teach. For example, if you never preach from Genesis 1-3 you will miss out on important issues related to masculinity, femininity, sexuality and gender roles.  Not every text or book of the Bible addresses every issue that is pertinent and necessary for our  maturity in Christ, though it should be noted that the Bible as a whole does deal with all that we need as it pertains to life (in Christ) and godliness (2Peter 1:3).

Recently Pastor David and I have been discussing issues and/or topics that have not been addressed as regularly as perhaps they should in our teaching. Issues such as divorce, hell, sex and sexuality (including homosexuality), marriage, masculinity, femininity, etc.  I don’t think this is for a lack of courage or conviction about these issues, as much as it is just something that has just happened as we’ve set our teaching trajectory. Call it a blind spot if you will.

So I’m wondering, what cultural/biblical issues, doctrines or books of the Bible do you think we need to focus on in the near future? You can leave your thoughts in the comments section.