Monday, October 29, 2007

Mark Driscoll: A "Short List" of Books for Missional Church Planters

Mark Driscoll shares the following with his Acts 29 Church Planters:

Disclaimer: The following books comprise a brief list of resources that we have found helpful for our church planters. In endorsing each of these books we are not saying that we agree on every point, but rather find the book as a whole helpful. Some of the authors that our planters gravitate toward include members of our Acts 29 board such as Mark Driscoll and Ed Stetzer, along with current writers such as Ravi Zacharias, Tim Keller, John Piper, DA Carson, Wayne Grudem, Bruce Ware, Leon Morris, Alister McGrath, and John Frame. A previous generation of writers we like includes Francis Schaeffer, JI Packer, and John Stott. We also like a lot of dead guys, including the Puritans.

Short List for Missional Church Planters:

Books on Mission/Gospel
The Gospel in a Pluralist Society, Leslie Newbigin purchase
The Open Secret, Leslie Newbigin purchase
The Missional Church: A Vision for the Sending of the Church, Darrell Guder purchase
The Church Between Gospel and Culture, George Hunsburger purchase
The Radical Reformission, Mark Driscoll purchase
Breaking the Missional Code, Ed Stetzer purchase

Church Planting
Planting New Churches in a Postmodern Age, Ed Stetzer purchase
Planting Growing Churches for the 21st Century, Aubrey Malphurs and Joe Aldrich purchase
Starting a New Church, Ralph Moore purchase
Planting Missional Churches, Ed Stetzer purchase


Systematic Theology, Wayne Grudem purchase
Integrative Theology, Gordon Lewis & Bruce Demarest purchase

Church Government
Biblical Eldership, Alexander Strauch purchase
Elders and Leaders, Gene Getz purchase
Nine Marks of a Healthy Church, Mark Dever purchase
Confessions of a Reformission Rev, Mark Driscoll purchase

Light and Heat: The Puritan View of the Pulpit, Bruce Bickel purchase
Christ Centered Preaching, Bryan Chapell purchase

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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

John Piper - Valuing Biblical Manhood

I mentioned I had lunch with Dr. John Piper (and a collection of other pastors) last week. Today he has posted his notes from his presentation. There is also a link to the audio. I really recommend that you give this a listen. Valuing Biblical Manhood Audio (click to download). Below are John Piper's notes that he spoke from. Thank you Dr. Piper for your leadership on this subject.


Last week at a lunch for pastors, I gave a message you can listen to called "Some Sweet Blessings of Masculine Christianity." I drew out eleven benefits of valuing biblical manhood. Here is my outline:

By “masculine Christianity,” I mean (though words are inadequate):

The theology and the church and the mission are marked by over-arching male leadership and an ethos of tender-hearted strength and contrite courage and risk-taking decisiveness and readiness to sacrifice to protect and provide for the community—the feel of a great, majestic God making the men lovingly strong and the women intelligently secure.

In this ethos…

1. Men are freed to have feminine traits without being effeminate and women are freed to have masculine traits without being tomboys. (The most admirable women have masculine traits and the most admirable men have feminine traits: Lopsided masculinity and femininity are not as admirable.)

2. Men are more properly attracted to the Christian life when it does not appear that he must become effeminate to be a Christian. (Dominance of female leadership undermines the proper sense of a man’s call to be a leader, protector, and provider.)

3. Women are more properly drawn to a Christian life that highlights the proper place of humble, strong, spiritual men in leadership. This more properly feels freeing and safe. It feels like a place where the men in her life might learn to take initiative without being domineering.

4. We are freed to celebrate strong, courageous women of God who love the biblical vision complementarity, without and sense of compromise. The men are so clearly strong and secure in their leadership that they are not threatened by women who are spiritually mature and effective in ministry.

5. Men are awakened to their responsibilities at home to lead the family and protect the family and provide for the family. A clear definition of manhood helps a man take responsibility.

6. Youth leaders and parents will catch a clearer definition of how to answer the question of a boy: “Daddy, what does it mean to grow up and be a man and not a woman?” And a clearer definition of how to answer the question of a girl: “Mommy, what does it mean to grow up and be a woman and not a man?”

7. The meaning of masculinity and femininity in singleness will be clearer and a lifetime of singleness without sexual intercourse will be more understandable and livable. (The definitions of masculinity and femininity in What’s the Difference? are not marriage-specific.)

8. The corporate worship teams are not dominated by women and the songs chosen are not dominated by a one-sided feel of intimacy or majesty. The presence of masculine men and strong theology and music give the corporate worship a feel of strength that helps men discover and express the fullness of the emotions toward God that God calls for.

9. The God of the Bible will be more fully portrayed and known than where the tone is more feminine. The God of the Bible is overwhelmingly powerful and authoritative and often violent. He is Lord and King and Master and Sovereign and Father and Ruler. His tenderness and gentleness and patience shine in their beauty because of appearing in this dominant light. Women need an ethos of this kind so that they can relax and be more of their nurturing selves without fearing that they must work to create the ethos of God’s grandeur lest it be lost because the men are not speaking it and modeling it.

10. Preaching is more readily prized. Preaching is “expository exultation”—a forceful acclamation of the greatness of God and a passionate appeal for full-blooded response to him. The fear of strong preaching is part of the effeminizing of the church, and the full range of the way God is and appears on the Bible is not known where preaching is simply casual and conversational.

11. A wartime mindset and a wartime lifestyle will feel more natural. And that is what the world needs from us—a readiness to lay our lives down for a great and global cause making all the sacrifices necessary to push the word of Christ into the most inhospitable places.

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Sunday, October 21, 2007

Take some time this week...

So often we religious people walk amid the beauty and bounty of nature and we talk nonstop. We miss the panorama of color and sound and smell. We might as well have remained inside our closed, artificially lit living rooms. Nature's lessons are lost and the opportunity to be wrapped in silent wonder before the God of creation pass us by. We fail to be stretched by the magnificence of our world that is saturated with grace and beauty.

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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Dr. John Piper - "Some Sweet Blessings of Masculine Christianity"

I had lunch with Dr. John Piper today. He sat next to me and we discussed how meal groups operate at CrossRoads Church. He was a gracious listener and briefly shared his passion for how small groups are great tools for connecting people in Christian community.

Following lunch, Dr. Piper gave a message to 45 of us titled "Some Sweet Blessings of Masculine Christianity". The session was recorded, and will be available on Desiring God's web site soon. I'll link to it when it become available. Below are my notes from this message. There was a period of follow up questions that were very insightful. The very last question of the day (if it was recorded) was by me asking Dr. Piper to share his thought on how there has been some progress made in churches across the country in regards to complimentarian issues via groups like Bethlehem Baptist, Desiring God Ministries, Sovereign Grace Ministries, and the Acts 29 Network, but that there has been little progress made in academic circles. Dr. Piper specifically lamented how this has played out at Bethel Seminary. A very interesting and passionate response.

In one of the more humorous moments of the afternoon, Dr. Piper tried to avoid saying he doesn't like girly-men leading worship songs, to then only say it anyhow. It was rather funny!

My note are pretty good, though in spots Dr. Piper was too interesting and engaging for me to remember to write things down, or he spoke too quickly for me to keep up. Hopefully when I listen to it again I'll catch everything I missed writing down. This is a message I really think Mark Driscoll would have enjoyed hearing.

"Some Sweet Blessings of Masculine Christianity"

Foundations: Genesis 1 & 2, Ephesians 5, 1 Timothy 2:12, Luke 6:13
-The foundations are all some key verses in understanding Dr. Piper's views on Complementarity.
-Being clear on manhood and womanhood gives clarity on homosexual issues
-The role and influence that TV and movies play in our culture is significant because a person could not find a biblical world view from them. They are also not governed by a biblical world view.
-Fatherlessnss is a tragic destroyer of men and women
-Without a father, navigating the role of manhood is nearly impossible for young men.
-Page 9 paragraph 2 from "50 Crucial Questions" was read to us by Dr. Piper
-Dr. Piper gave a lengthy definition of Masculine Christianity that I was unable to fully catch. It was something about how the theology and the church and the mission are marked by an overarching manhood that is found in scripture

Dr. Piper then gave 11 Sweet Blessings from Masculine Christianity.
He started each point with "In this ethos...
1) are finally freed to have feminine traits without fear (and women are freed to have masculine traits as well).
2) are more properly attracted to the Christian life when they don't have to be effeminate.
3)...womn are more properly drawn to the Christian life (because they feel it is a safe environment for them to be who God created her to be, and that they will be encouraged to live out who they were created to be).
-Dr. Piper noted that carnal men and women don't like God's order here.
4)...freed to celebrate strong and courageous women of God who love the biblical call of complementarity
5) are awakened to their responsibilities at home - to provide, protect and to lead their household
6)...youth leaders and parents will be able to answer what it means to grow up as a man and not as a woman, and as a woman and not as a man.
7)...the meaning of masculinity and femininity will be clearer in singleness and a life lived out in celibacy, making celibacy more livable in our sexually skewed world.
8)...the corporate worship teas are not dominated by women, the songs chosen are strong and not effeminate.
9)...the god of the Bible will be more fully known - as a God who is powerful and violent in many of His dealings (see the OT or the book of Revelations!)
10)...preaching is more readily prized
-expository exultation
-fear of strong preaching is part of the effeminization of the church
11)...a war time mindset and lifestyle will feel more natural
-we need to be warriors for Christ charging the gates of Hell. We must fight a strong enemy with strength.

This was followed by the Q&A session. A fantastic afternoon, and hopefully audio will have turned out well so that everyone else can listen to this message. Fidelis Foundation was a great host for this, and I appreciate Bethlehem Baptist Church for opening their doors to allow this to happen.

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Learning from Dr. John Piper

This afternoon over lunch I have the opportunity to sit at Dr. John Piper's feet at Bethlehem Baptist Church and learn from him (along with a few other local pastors). I am really looking forward to it. This is a service provided by the Fidelis Foundation to some local pastors, and I am greatly appreciative of it. We get together roughly quarterly for lunch and discuss things related to Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. This is where I first heard Dr. Wayne Grudem speak as well.

I expect it will be a fairly intimate setting today, though there likely will be a lot more pastors in attendance than usually are. I've seen Dr. Piper preach a good number of times, but it always came in the context of his church, so it was me and a thousand or so other people, and in that setting I feel some of the nuances are lost. Today I will get to see his passion up close for the first time, and that is very interesting to me. He is undoubtedly a very passionate man of God. I pray that I too may grow to be this passionate about the local church and God's Word.

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Preaching this weekend at Colony Park Church...

This coming weekend (Oct. 21st) I will be preaching at Colony Park Church in Edina. Should be interesting and I am really looking forward to it. This church has gone through some turmoil recently, and I am filling a temporary gap for them.

Edina is a fairly affluent suburb just Southeast of Minneapolis. The congregation is fairly small but committed from my understanding.

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Friday, October 12, 2007

Spiritual Gifts Evaluation

Pastor Phil Print has asked our congregation to take a spiritual gifts inventory. He will be preaching on some related issues in the week(s) to come. Below is my results. You can also take this test at

Spiritual Gifts Evaluation - Results

Here are the results from your evaluation!

Click on the name of any gift for a detailed description of the typical traits and characteristics associated with that gift. They are provided not as an exclusive description, but as a means of helping you better understand or confirm your spiritual gifts. If you feel that a particular category does not closely describe you, review the characteristics of your second spiritual gift; it may be a better match.

Each gift score is out of a total possible of 12.

Teaching 12
Leadership 10
Administration 10
Faith 10
Words of Prophecy 9
Word of Knowledge 9
Service 8
Pastor 8
Helps 8
Exhortation 8
Apostleship 8
Word of Wisdom 8
Martyrdom 8
Hospitality 7
Evangelism 7
Giving 7
Discernment 6
Intercession 5
Missionary 4
Mercy 4
Miracle Working 3
Healing 3
Gift of Tongues 0
Interpretation of Tongues 0
Celibacy 0

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