Archive for the ‘Audio’ Category

Another great resource from 9Marks as Mark Dever delivers a sermon on the requirements for pastoral office. Download it here.


Jared Moore has put together some resources by Don Carson on the difficult doctrine of the love of God here. Although his context is American Southern Baptists it is a topic that is pertinent for all believers. The topic of God’s love and His wrath is just so important in a ministry like ours. Real people are going to a real hell. Jared writes:

The wrath of God towards sin and sinners is what makes God’s love so amazing.  All humans deserve hell, yet God reveals His love for us by giving His Son for the world.  Furthermore, there is a special love for the elect that the lost do not have.  This love should be shared instead of hidden, encouraging sinners to come and enjoy the love God has for the elect through repentance and faith in Christ.

Please take the time to read his helpful post and to download the free resources from Don Carson.

This is an older video but I have to say that when I was at the 2012 event it was incredible to be in a stadium with 9000 (mainly) men and women singing hymns to the glory of God. It was an amazingly powerful and emotional experience.

Bob Kauflin makes some interesting points about worship at the TGC events in the USA. Definitely worth clicking on! Listen out for the most bizrre squawk at 4:40..


Have a good day!

Glad to see that Scotland gets a mention!

There is a great website called which seeks to delve into some of these questions and more. Warning! Serious Scholarly Material Included.

The issue, as per usual, is all over the media once again. Hats off to the homosexual lobby for keeping this issue alive. I read somewhere that there are less homosexuals in our country than evangelicals, but whilst we all waste time fighting about hymn books and the use of drums in worship, they have mobilised behind a common cause to great effect. Many Christians are confused at worst, and ill-informed (biblically) at best when it comes to some of the nuances of the current debate.

Christianity Today have written an article showing some of the demographics and cultural changes in Evangelical Christians toward the issue (particularly the young). It is worth a look here.

The White Horse Inn have produced a thought provoking and stimulating paper discussing some of the nuances of the debate. Read it here . Consider the following quote as an example:

Same-sex marriage makes sense if you assume that the individual is the center of the universe, that God—if he exists—is there to make us happy, and that our choices are not grounded in a nature created by God but in arbitrary self-construction. To the extent that this sort of “moralistic-therapeutic-deism” prevails in our churches, can we expect the world to think any differently? If we treat God as a product we sell to consumers for their self-improvement programs and make personal choice the trigger of salvation itself, then it may come as a big surprise (even contradiction) to the world when we tell them that truth (the way things are) trumps feelings and personal choice (what we want to make things to be).

They then produced an extremely helpful follow up paper here on how to respond “Christianly” to the issue. Highly recommended! Read Part II here.

The Blazing Center take a different approach. There is a short essay here by Stephen Altrogge on what to do when people put “story above scripture”. Worth reading here.

The Gospel Coalition (Justin Taylor) have produced a series of four DVD clips and various articles and helpful resources on their site. Take your time ploughing through this lot here. Highly Recommended.

Likewise, EPM (Eternal Perspective Ministries) with Randy Alcorn have a whole host of pdf and video resources on the topic on their site here.

Kevin De Young has given 5 reasons why Christians should continue to oppose gay marriage here.

Finally, from a non-Christian perspective, The Daily Telegraph had an interesting take on President Obama’s recent announcement on the issue. Read it here.

I continue to pray for faithfulness and deep, gospel driven, biblical thought as we seek to engage with these issues and apply them to our own contexts.

I am always on the hunt for good resources when it comes to church planting. The problem we have in the UK is the lack of quality material on the topic, relevant to our context. The problem we have in housing schemes is contextualising material written for a largely middle class demographic. However, if you can think on your feet and are able to work hard at this, contextualising good material for scheme work is a nice skill to have. I recently came across the mother of all church planting websites. It is overtly American, with some links completely irrelevant to work here, but it is still worth having a hunt about to pick up any gems and helpful links and/or articles. Click here.

See here for an amazing number of resources by John.

Darrin Patrick gives a lecture on what it means to raise funds for planting a church. His advice, ‘go and learn from somebody for a coupe of years. Shut up and work.’ Nice. Listen to what he has to say here.

I just spent a week in the ‘windy city’ so called (according to R Kent Hughes) because its politicians of long ago were infamous for their long, drawn out speeches and not (as I had thought) because it was simply windy (which it was)!

Anyway, during my time there I was privileged to attend TGC 2011 with a line up that read like a who’s who of modern Christian thinkers/preachers/movers and shakers. The theme this year was ‘Preaching Jesus and the gospel in the Old Testament’. There were 9 main teaching sessions and then lots of little workshops and round table discussions interspersed over the 3 days. Here are some of my observations from a UK perspective.

I think that what immediately struck me was the vastness of the place. Even though there were around 6000 attendees from around the globe it didn’t feel overcrowded in the slightest (apart from in Starbucks – wry grin to self!). Another thing that struck me forcefully was the ‘different flavour’ of the main speakers. It was, without a doubt, a white, middle class, intellectual gathering but there was certainly a diversity of methodological ecclesiology (or ‘doing church’), if not theology. Here are some thoughts on the main speakers:

* Tim Keller. He spoke on Exodus 14:5-31. Excellent message which is what you would expect from Tim. Standout quote: ‘we are not saved because of the quality of our faith but because of the object of our faith’. Listen here: Tim Keller

* Alisdair Begg. He spoke on Ruth. I didn’t take that many notes on this one. He was full of little anecdotes and funny stories. I do remember that he stood out as the most naturally ‘pastoral’ of the speakers. Listen here: Alisdair Begg

*James Mcdonald. He spoke on Psalm 25. I must confess that I wasn’t really expecting much from this session. He seemed a bit gimmicky with his on stage props and ‘pop up’ phrases on the screen. However, I found myself being drawn in by what he had to say. His title was simply: ‘When you don’t know what to do’. Worth a listen for all those who sometimes struggle in their Christian walk. Listen here: James McDonald

*Matt Chandler. He spoke (sort of) on Ecclesiastes 11:9-12:8. He spoke on the two imperatives of: (1) Rejoicing and (2) Remembering. I think what impressed me most was, firstly, his ability to communicate and, secondly, his powerful testimony of how he was suddenly struck down with a brain tumour. The prognosis is not good (the survival rate is something like 2 or 3 years) but he spoke with such passion and committment that I didn’t mind that his sermon didn’t flow in logical sequence. Very powerful! Listen here: Matt Chandler

*Albert Mohler. He spoke on John 5:31-47. He pinpointed 4 witnesses to who Jesus was and why he came. He finished off by reminding us that Christ is in the Old Testament everywhere. A very ‘full’ message in comparison to others (his seminary credentials are very evident) and extremely enjoyable. Listen here: Albert Mohler

*Don Carson. He spoke on Psalm 110. His title was, ‘Getting excited about Melchizadek’. Well, it got me excited because I have to preach on Hebrews 7 in two weeks! He was as deep and intense as I expected, although, surprisingly, more accessible than I imagined. I took more notes from him than any other speaker because his message was more biblically ‘dense’ than the others by a long margin. Still, I have to work out how to simplify it for my guys in Niddrie. I am not sure that the term ‘pre-incarnate visitation of the Christ’ is going to be catchy enough for my crew! Listen here: Don Carson

There were also some helpful round table discussions. In fact to catch up on anything else I may have missed see: The Gospel Coalition

There were a couple of observations that I made which I have yet to fully digest. My main concern was feeling ‘uncomfortable’ by the hype and celebrity hysteria that followed a few of the more popular main speakers. Queues of hundreds would form around them begging for autographs and photos. I watched with interest as poor Matt Chandler was trying to get out of the building and was constantly stopped by people wanting his photo. I must say he was very patient with them. I watched other people literally chase speakers down the hallway in order to get at them. I don’t know if it was just an American cultural thing or if I am just a sour faced git (probably a bit of both)! However, I couldn’t help but be reminded of the words of John the Baptist in John 3:30: ‘He must increase but I must decrease’. I am not making a judgement call on whether these guys chase after this stuff. It just made for uncomfortable viewing at times.

Secondly, it was also fascinating listening to some of the views on church planting. Every time I got into a discussion about our work in Niddrie, invariably the first question was: ‘are you being successful?’ By that they (by and large) meant were we seeing many people come to Christ? This worldview was further cemented into the cultural ‘pysche’ from the platform (and in general conversation) when stories of how so and so grew their church from one dog and a woman in a wheelchair to 9000 members in 3 weeks – this idea of ‘success’ being constantly inferred. I am not saying that it is not a legitimate barometer of success but is it the only one? Interestingly, I met a man who was a bi-vocational pastor of 17 people and had been doing it for more than 13 years. I get the feeling that such persevering, self sacrificial ministry would have been applauded by some but written off as failure by many. I couldn’t help thinking about Noah who built his ark in faith and preached faithfully for over 100 years and he saw squat in terms of ‘successes’. In many places today he would have been written off as not ‘planter material’ or ‘outdated’. Maybe he could have built a bar on the ark (better yet a Starbucks) or invited Lecrae for a bit of hip hop to attract the ‘yoof’. I don’t think he would have been invited to give any inspirational talks at many conventions! Yet there he is bold as brass in Hebrews 11 commended for his ‘faithful obedience’.  I haven’t made any concrete conclusions about this stuff – just thinking aloud.

It was a wonderful time though. I had a great time with a couple of men from the church. One I don’t get to spend nearly enough time with and the other was one of my assistants. I met up with some friends (old and new), felt challenged by the Lord, inspired by the speakers and I bought a shed load of books. Happy days!