Notable & Newsworthy

Here are the links and stories for the day…

Get Dennis Johnson’s “Heralds of the King: Christ-Centered Sermons in the Tradition of Edmund P. Clowney” for 50% OFF at Westminster Bookstore

Get John Bunyan’s “The Pilgrim’s Progress” and Leland Ryken’s “A Christian Guide to Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress” for just $15 at Westminster Bookstore

Last day to get Iain Duguid’s “Esther/Ruth” and “Daniel” (Reformed Expository Commentaries), and “Ezekiel” (NIV Application Commentary) for only $20 (73% OFF) at Westminster Bookstore

Download R.C. Sproul’s “5 Things Every Christian Needs to Grow” for FREE from Reformation Trust and Ligonier Ministries

Get Iain Duguid’s “Hero of Heroes: Seeing Christ in the Beatitudes” for just $1.99 for Amazon Kindle

Get Mark Dever’s “The Church: The Gospel Made Visible” for just $2.99 for Amazon Kindle

Get Kevin DeYoung’s “The Hole in Our Holiness: Filling the Gap Between Gospel Passion and the Pursuit of Godliness” for just 99¢ for Amazon Kindle

Get Walter Brueggemann’s “Spirituality of the Psalms” for FREE for Logos Bible Software and enter to win the 24-volume collection

Get Ben Witherington’s “What’s in the Word” for FREE for Logos Bible Software and enter to win the 5-volume collection

Enter to win a subscription to Leadership Journal from The Brave Reviews

Brian Croft offers 4 questions to ask before joining a local church

Some scattered tips for not being a jerk at conferences

Jason Helopoulos on the beautiful diversity of the Church

“It is better to confess our ignorance than to indulge ourselves in frivolous conjectures.” (John Calvin)

“He who has gone to prepare heaven for us will not leave us without provision for the journey there.” (Charles Spurgeon)

Please take some time to browse the other pages on this site. You’ll find several articles, book reviews and recommendations, and even FREE e-books for your edification. Check out the Pastoral Theology page or Biblical Theology page first. Soli Deo Gloria!

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Notable & Newsworthy

Here are the links and articles for the day..

Get Iain Duguid’s “Esther/Ruth” and “Daniel” (Reformed Expository Commentaries), and “Ezekiel” (NIV Application Commentary) for only $20 (73% OFF) at Westminster Bookstore

Get Richard Phillips’ “The Masculine Mandate: God’s Calling to Men” for up to 50% OFF from Westminster Bookstore

Get Timothy Witmer’s “The Shepherd Leader at Home: Knowing, Leading, Protecting, and Providing for Your Family” for up to 50% OFF from Westminster Bookstore

Download R.C. Sproul’s “5 Things Every Christian Needs to Grow” for FREE from Reformation Trust and Ligonier Ministries

Get Walter Brueggemann’s “Spirituality of the Psalms” for FREE for Logos Bible Software and enter to win the 24-volume collection

Get Ben Witherington’s “What’s in the Word” for FREE for Logos Bible Software and enter to win the 5-volume collection

Enter to win Daniel Akin’s “A Theology for the Church” from B&H Academic

Enter to win a subscription to Leadership Journal from The Brave Reviews

Joel Beeke shares a list of twelve of his favorite Puritans

John Piper on taking the swagger out of Christian cultural influence

Albert Mohler on the Southern Baptist Convention and the encroachment of unbiblical views on homosexuality

Justin Taylor on fifty strategies for better preaching

Help the Reformed Forum finance their Reformed Theology Conference

“Through God’s marvelous provision it comes to pass, that to believers [adversities] are exercises of faith and proofs of patience.” (John Calvin)

“To make human action the cause of divine blessing is to overturn the whole nature of salvation.” (Iain Murray)

Please check out some of the other pages on this site. You’ll find several articles, FREE e-books and book recommendations for your edification. Thanks for visiting!

Notable & Newsworthy

Here are the links and stories for the day…

Get R.C. Sproul’s “Acts: You Will Be My Witnesses to the End of the Earth” (St. Andrews Expositional Commentary) for 50% OFF from Westminster Bookstore

Get Iain Duguid’s “Esther/Ruth” and “Daniel” (Reformed Expository Commentaries), and “Ezekiel” (NIV Application Commentary) for only $20 (73% OFF) at Westminster Bookstore

Get Richard Phillips’ “The Masculine Mandate: God’s Calling to Men” for up to 50% OFF from Westminster Bookstore

Get Timothy Witmer’s “The Shepherd Leader at Home: Knowing, Leading, Protecting, and Providing for Your Family” for up to 50% OFF from Westminster Bookstore

Enter to win some autographed books by Mike McKinley from 9 Marks, The Good Book Company, and 20 Schemes

Enter to win a stack of books by Kevin DeYoung, Greg Gilbert, Tim Chester, and Duane Litfin from Crossway, Rethink Mercy, and 20 Schemes

Get the Southern Baptist Theological Seminaries’ “A Guide to Expository Ministry” for FREE

Get Kevin DeYoung’s “Crazy Busy” for just $3.99 for Amazon Kindle

Get Charles Quarles’ “Buried Hope or Risen Savior?” for just $0.99 for Amazon Kindle

Get R.C. Sproul’s “How Then Shall We Worship?: Biblical Principles to Guide Us Today” for just $2.51 for Amazon Kindle

Get R.C. Sproul’s “Pleasing God: Discovering the Meaning and Importance of Sanctification” for just $3.03 for Amazon Kindle

Get R.C. Sproul’s “God’s Love: How the Infinite God Cares for His Children” for just $3.03 for Amazon Kindle

Get R.C. Sproul’s “The Promises of God: Discovering the One Who Keeps His Word” for just $3.03 for Amazon Kindle

Get Paul Tripp’s “Broken-Down House: Living Productively in a World Gone Bad” for just $1.99 for Amazon Kindle

Get Tedd & Margy Tripp’s “Instructing a Child’s Heart” for just $1.99 for Amazon Kindle

Get Tedd Tripp’s “Shepherding a Child’s Heart” for just $1.99 for Amazon Kindle

Problems within the Reformed Church in America cause many to leave the denomination

A superb article by Nick Batzig on the dangers of theological controversy

Various Southern Baptists share their eschatological and millennial views

Download the new Journal of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood for FREE

Rebecca Vandoodewaard shares some wise biblical counsel for raising daughters

“We must think right thoughts of God if we would worship him as he desires to be worshiped, if we would live the life he wishes us to live, and enjoy the peace which he has provided for us.” (B.B. Warfield)

“When men talk of a little hell it’s because they think they have only a little sin and believe in a little Savior.” (Charles Spurgeon)

Please take some time to browse the rest of this site (you’ll find a number of pages in the tabs above). There are a large number of articles, FREE e-books, and book recommendations for your enjoyment. Check out the Pastoral Theology page or Apologetics page first. Soli Deo Gloria!

Notable & Newsworthy

Here are the top stories and links for the day…

Get G.K. Beale’s “The Temple and the Church’s Mission: A Biblical Theology of the Dwelling Place of God” for 56% OFF from Westminster Bookstore

Get Richard Phillips’ “The Masculine Mandate: God’s Calling to Men” for up to 50% OFF from Westminster Bookstore

Get Timothy Witmer’s “The Shepherd Leader at Home: Knowing, Leading, Protecting, and Providing for Your Family” for up to 50% OFF from Westminster Bookstore

Get 5-packs of New Growth Press’ minibooks for only $8 (over 50% OFF) at Westminster Bookstore

Enter to win a stack of books by Matthias Media from 20 Schemes and The Philip Center

Enter to win some autographed books by Mike McKinley from 9 Marks, The Good Book Company, and 20 Schemes

Get Kevin DeYoung’s “Crazy Busy” for just $3.99 for Amazon Kindle

Get Jeremiah Burrough’s “A Treatise on Earthly-Mindedness” for just $2.99 for Amazon Kindle

Get Donald MacLeod’s “From Glory to Golgotha: Controversial Issues in the Life of Christ” for just $2.99 for Amazon Kindle

Get Charles Quarles’ “Buried Hope or Risen Savior?” for just $0.99 for Amazon Kindle

Get R.C. Sproul’s “How Then Shall We Worship?: Biblical Principles to Guide Us Today” for just $2.99 for Amazon Kindle

Get R.C. Sproul’s “Pleasing God: Discovering the Meaning and Importance of Sanctification” for just $3.03 for Amazon Kindle

Get R.C. Sproul’s “God’s Love: How the Infinite God Cares for His Children” for just $3.03 for Amazon Kindle

Get R.C. Sproul’s “The Promises of God: Discovering the One Who Keeps His Word” for just $3.99 for Amazon Kindle

Get Paul Tripp’s “Broken-Down House: Living Productively in a World Gone Bad” for just $1.99 for Amazon Kindle

Get Tedd & Margy Tripp’s “Instructing a Child’s Heart” for just $1.99 for Amazon Kindle

Get Tedd Tripp’s “Shepherding a Child’s Heart” for just $1.99 for Amazon Kindle

Nick Batzig on the third use of the law and the finished work of Christ

10 things older church leaders need to hear from young church leaders

R.C. Sproul Jr.’s list of 10 fiction books for home school teenagers

Preaching in order to whet peoples appetite for the Word of God

Jesus and His Church are the best help for the poor

Richard Barcellos on the Lord’s Supper as a means of grace

“It is far more important, and will do you far more good, to read a smaller number of Christian books which have been well-tried and have proved their value than to develop the Athenian spirit which is attracted to anything so long as it is new.” (Sinclair Ferguson)

“As the painter intermixes bright colors with dark shadows; so the wise God mixes mercy with judgment.” (Thomas Watson)

Please take the time to browse the rest of the site (see the tabs above). You’ll find FREE e-books, articles, and book recommendations to help you grow. Check out the Pastoral Theology page or Systematic Theology page first. Soli Deo Gloria!

Notable & Newsworthy

Here are the top links and articles for the day…

Get Matthew Barrett’s “Salvation by Grace: The Case for Effectual Calling and Regeneration” for 70% OFF at Westminster Bookstore

Get 5-packs of New Growth Press’ minibooks for only $8 (over 50% OFF) at Westminster Bookstore (ends 05/28)

Get Kevin DeYoung’s “Crazy Busy” for just $3.99 for Amazon Kindle (sale ends 05/31)

Get Charles Quarles’ “Buried Hope or Risen Savior?” for just $0.99 for Amazon Kindle

Get R.C. Sproul’s “How Then Shall We Worship?: Biblical Principles to Guide Us Today” for just $2.99 for Amazon Kindle

Get R.C. Sproul’s “Pleasing God: Discovering the Meaning and Importance of Sanctification” for just $3.03 for Amazon Kindle

Get R.C. Sproul’s “God’s Love: How the Infinite God Cares for His Children” for just $3.03 for Amazon Kindle

Get R.C. Sproul’s “The Promises of God: Discovering the One Who Keeps His Word” for just $3.99 for Amazon Kindle

Get Paul Tripp’s “Broken-Down House: Living Productively in a World Gone Bad” for just $1.99 for Amazon Kindle

Get Tedd & Margy Tripp’s “Instructing a Child’s Heart” for just $1.99 for Amazon Kindle

Get Tedd Tripp’s “Shepherding a Child’s Heart” for just $1.99 for Amazon Kindle

Get J.I. Packer’s “Finishing Our Course with Joy: Guidance from God for Engaging with Our Aging” for just $4.99 for Amazon Kindle

Joel Beeke shares some family worship advice for busy fathers

An excellent article by David Hall on the Sermon on the Mount

Aimee Byrd on the importance of progressive sanctification in the life of the believer

Mike Ratliff on the doctrine of total depravity/inability

10 tips for Christian leaders who don’t want to be self-promoting jerks online

A missionary who died thinking he was a failure was pioneer in Congolese missions

“The miseries and difficulties that a man meets with in this world, will exceedingly sweeten the glory of that other world.” (Thomas Brooks)

“Scripture does not give us data to interpret; it is itself the interpretation of reality, the shaper of a distinct worldview.” (Herman Bavinck)

Please take the time to visit some of the other pages on this site (you’ll find them above in the tabs). There are a number of FREE e-books, articles, and book recommendations for your edification. Check out the Systematic Theology page or Historical Theology page first… enjoy!

Notable & Newsworthy

Here are the links and articles for the day…

Get Sidney Greidanus’ “Preaching Christ from Daniel: Foundations for Expository Sermons” for 50% OFF at Westminster Bookstore

Get 5-packs of New Growth Press’ minibooks for only $8 (over 50% OFF) at Westminster Bookstore (ends 05/28)

Enter to win a stack of books from Christian Focus and 20 Schemes

Enter to win a stack of books from Baker Publishing and Tim Challies

Take a survey and enter to win some autographed books and a $250 Gift Card to Lifeway from Thom Rainer

Get Calvin Miller’s “Letters to a Young Pastor” for FREE for Amazon Kindle

Get Kevin DeYoung’s “Crazy Busy” for just $3.99 for Amazon Kindle (sale ends 05/31)

Get Charles Quarles’ “Buried Hope or Risen Savior?” for just $0.99 for Amazon Kindle

Get R.C. Sproul’s “How Then Shall We Worship?: Biblical Principles to Guide Us Today” for just $2.99 for Amazon Kindle

Get R.C. Sproul’s “Pleasing God: Discovering the Meaning and Importance of Sanctification” for just $3.03 for Amazon Kindle

Get R.C. Sproul’s “God’s Love: How the Infinite God Cares for His Children” for just $3.03 for Amazon Kindle

Get R.C. Sproul’s “The Promises of God: Discovering the One Who Keeps His Word” for just $3.99 for Amazon Kindle

Get Paul Tripp’s “Broken-Down House: Living Productively in a World Gone Bad” for just $1.99 for Amazon Kindle

Get Tedd & Margy Tripp’s “Instructing a Child’s Heart” for just $1.99 for Amazon Kindle

Get Tedd Tripp’s “Shepherding a Child’s Heart” for just $1.99 for Amazon Kindle

Get J.I. Packer’s “Finishing Our Course with Joy: Guidance from God for Engaging with Our Aging” for just $4.99 for Amazon Kindle

Check out Ligonier’s $5 Friday sale featuring Richard Phillips’ “What’s So Great About the Doctrines of Grace?”

Tim Keller and D.A. Carson on the recent shake-ups at The Gospel Coalition

John Murray on justification and good works

David Helm on the dangers of the lectio divina approach to biblical interpretation

David Murray on evangelism according to the book of Proverbs

The benefits of developing a robust Christology

Tim Keesee on the advance of the gospel around the world

“You can drift into sin, but not into righteousness.” (Leon Morris)

”The kingdom of heaven is worth infinitely more than the cost of discipleship.” (D.A. Carson)

Please visit some of the other pages on this site (located in the tabs). You’ll find some excellent articles, FREE e-books, and book recommendations. Check out the Pastoral Theology page or Systematic Theology page first. Thanks!

Notable & Newsworthy

Here are the links, articles and videos of the day… enjoy!

Get Alan Cole’s commentary on Galatians (TNTC) for 50% OFF

Enter to win a stack of books and commentaries from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and 20Schemes

FREE video lectures on Pleasing God by R.C. Sproul

Child sacrifice with a smile

Michael Kruger reviews Bart Ehrman’s “How Jesus Became God”

Robert Briggs’ video lectures on Directives to Young Preachers

Robert Gagnon on the Bible and homosexuality.

J.I. Packer e-book sale at Crossway

Thabiti Anyabwile interviews a single African-American woman who has been serving in the 10/40 window for the past 15 years

“Christ did not die for any upon condition, if they do believe; but he died for all God’s elect, that they should believe, and believing have eternal life. Faith itself is among the principal effects and fruits of the death of Christ.” (John Owen)

“Cold prayers are as arrows without heads, as swords without edges, as birds without wings. They pierce not, they cut not, they fly not up to heaven. Cold prayers always freeze before they reach heaven.” (Thomas Brooks)

Please take some time to peruse the various pages on this site (Exegetical Theology, Systematic Theology, Pastoral Theology, etc.)—you’ll find book recommendations, FREE e-books, articles and more!

Notable & Newsworthy

Here are the headlines and links for today:

Albert Mohler on the infanticidal culture of death and a recent viral abortion video

Carl Trueman on miserable Christians and the place of lament in worship

Andy Naselli gives some helpful advice for preachers

Kevin DeYoung on facilitating a prayer meeting/service

Zack Eskwine’s “Recovering Eden: The Gospel According to Ecclesiastes” is only $5 for a limited time

Teacher impedes upon student’s right to read his Bible during free time at school

The Works of Charles Simeon are available to read online at Theology on the Web

The SBC International Missions Board has a lot of FREE missions resources at their site

Steve Weaver wants to help you get “The Reformed Theology of Benjamin Keach”

Kenneth Gentry is selling the 5-Volume Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible for $50

Please browse the various pages on this site (you’ll see tabs at the top of this page) for more information. You’ll find book recommendations and articles on subjects like Systematic Theology, Biblical Theology, Apologetics, and more!

A Reader’s Review of Saving Eutychus

As a rookie preacher with a total of two sermons under my belt, I am always keeping an eye out for the best resources on the subject to help my preparation and proclamation. I have read a few other books on preaching in the past, but this is the first book I actually read during sermon preparation. I am thankful to Cross Focused Reviews for the opportunity to review “Saving Eutychus: How to Preach God’s Word and Keep People Awake” by Gary Millar and Phil Campbell.

This book is especially helpful for people like me—”young” guys who are just getting their feet wet. It is immensely practical and very helpful with regard to the technical aspect of sermon writing and delivery . Since I’ve never been to seminary and/or attended homiletics courses, I have very little experiential knowledge about preaching. My understanding of preaching comes from Scripture and the faithful men who have both taught me about it and shown by example what it is to preach.

“Saving Eutychus” is named after the young man in Acts 20:9 who fell to his death from a third-story window after drifting off to sleep during a lengthy sermon from the apostle Paul. While “keeping people awake” is one of the results the authors hope to obtain through helping preachers, it is just the tip of the iceberg. Millar and Campbell seek to offer practical advice to preachers in order for them to improve their preaching in a number of ways.

In chapter one, Gary Millar reminds us that preaching is not about the preacher and his own ability—it is about the Lord Jesus Christ and relying on His Spirit. He exhorts the preacher to make prayer a priority; not just in his personal life, but in the corporate assembly of believers in the local church.

Millar then explains, in chapter two, what “preaching to the heart” is and why it is important. After offering several examples of how Scripture speaks to the heart of man through preaching, he presents an argument for expository (passage by passage) preaching: “This approach ensures that your preaching will be both predictable and unpredictable. It will be predictable in the same way that the Bible is predictable. At the core of our preaching will be the same message—what God has already done for us in the Lord Jesus Christ. People can count on us, week after week, for the same thing: the Bible carefully, thoughtfully, engagingly explained… And yet, at the same time, our sermons should be deliciously unpredictable. Why? Because we have such fantastic source material, inspired by God Himself, to change people’s hearts.” (p. 39)

Clarity is the subject of chapter three, and Phil Campbell’s advice is excellent. He recommends the preacher master natural scripting. By this, he means to write “exactly the words you’d naturally speak” (p. 45) when drafting the sermon. Cambell then provides his “top ten tips for being clearer” (pp. 50–60… and also in Appendix 2b on p. 168), which is a great resource:

1. The more you say, the less people will remember.

2. Make the ‘big idea’ shape everything you say.

3. Choose the shortest, most ordinary words you can.

4. Use shorter sentences.

5. Forget everything your English teacher taught you.

6. Am I repeating myself?

7. Translate narratives into the present tense.

8. Illustrate the obvious.

9. Talk about real people.

10. Work towards your key text.

Campbell uses chapter four to tease out the implications of “making the ‘big idea’ shape everything you say” and this very well might be the most important chapter in the book. He shares his personal sermon preparation techniques, which I found to be most helpful. He explains, “The big idea of a passage most often emerges when you spot the repetitions in the text and follow the chain of logic between them” (p. 67). After writing out the passage with notes (he dedicates 2/3 of a page to Scripture and the remaining column for ideas that emerge), he takes a look at everything and processes the information. He writes, “I look back over my visual map of the passage and retrace the logic. I try to summarize the flow of the passage by looking through the words and ideas I’ve highlighted” (p. 69). The author closes out this section by offering practical tips for developing application.

In chapter five, Gary Millar encourages us to preach the gospel (with special attention to the Old Testament). He does a great job of pointing out the importance of gospel-centered preaching and offers advice on using a biblical-theological approach:

1. Follow the plan.

2. Move to the fulfillment.

3. Expose the problem.

4. Highlight the (divine) attribute.

5. Focus on the action.

6. Explain the category.

7. Point out the consequences.

8. Describe the ideal human character.

9. Satisfy the longing.

Chapter six, in my opinion, is the second most helpful chapter in the book (although the incessant praise for Mark Driscoll is a bit nauseating). Here, Phil Campbell addresses delivery. I have a feeling I will be coming back to this chapter several times in the future as I continue to mature as an expositor. He introduces what he calls the “delivery sphere” which diagrams the volume, pitch, and pace of the preacher. This imaginary sphere is a helpful mental tool that reminds the preacher to mix things up in order to obtain and retain attention. If there’s one thing that will help keep people awake during preaching, it is variation and agility in the delivery of the sermon.

The last couple chapters of the book point out the importance of critique. In chapter seven, Millar presents common problems that preachers face which make peer review necessary. Included on his list are, “getting the idea wrong” (pp. 113–114), “self-indulgence” (pp. 114), “not preaching the gospel” (p. 114), “not preaching the gospel to people’s hearts” (pp. 114–115), “insensitivity” (p. 115), and “trying to be too clever” (pp. 115–116). In chapter eight, Campbell takes the reader through crafting a sermon, which leads into Appendix 1 (a critique of Phil’s sermon by Gary… and a sermon by Gary critiqued by Phil). The book closes with Appendix 2, which provides the reader with helpful resources for preachers: A sermon feedback form (unfortunately, under the “duration” section, the authors only refer to sermons being too long and make no mention of them being too short), Phil’s top ten tips checklist (which is listed above), and the Dynamic delivery diagram worksheet (referred to previously).

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. The authors provide a fair amount of practical advice and technical pointers to help preachers improve their sermon preparation and delivery. As I receive more opportunities to fill the pulpit in the future, I will strive to implement some of their ideas in my own sermon preparation and delivery. This is a book I will be turning to repeatedly as I seek to faithfully preach God’s Word. “Saving Eutychus” is sure to be an encouragement and an exhortation to countless preachers—rookies and veterans alike.

For more on this subject, please visit Matthias Media.

Recommended reading:

Effective December 1, 2009, Federal Trade Commission guidelines state that bloggers receiving any kind of compensation should disclose that information clearly on their blog when posting a review of the product… that being said: I RECEIVED A FREE COPY OF THE BOOK.

 

Tuesday with Tripp

THE FRUIT OF GOOD PREACHING

“With all the glory and power of the public preaching of the Word, I am convinced that, too often, something is missing. A significant part of God’s plan for the proclamation of the Word lacks the prominence that it should have in the public moment of exposition. This remarkable weekly moment of truth declaration must be shaped by a recognition of the church’s call to both a public and private ministry of the Word. Good preaching should create a community of counselors.” (Paul Tripp)

For more on this subject, please visit the Pastoral Theology page.

 

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