8 Advantages of Heart-changing, Expository Preaching

savingGary Millar and Phil Campbell, Saving Eutychus: How to Preach God’s Word and Keep People Awake  (Kingsford NSW, Australia: Matthias Media, 2013), 40–41:

Expository preaching:

  1. does justice to the biblical material which makes it clear that God works through his word to change people’s lives—as it ‘uncages the lion’ and allows God’s word to speak. [Read more…]

3 Reasons I Don’t Enthusiastically Recommend the History Channel’s “The Bible: The Epic Miniseries”

epicAdapting a book to film is tricky. Sometimes books-to-film turn out surprisingly well (e.g., The Gospel of John—my favorite “Bible” film). Often they don’t (e.g., the recent Narnia films).

The History Channel aired The Bible: The Epic Miniseries throughout March 2013. About 100 million people watched all or part of the series. (I bought the series on DVD after reading two reviews.)

On the one hand, this series will doubtless serve as a means to a good end for some viewers:

  1. Some people think that the Bible is a boring old book filled with irrelevant or misguided rules. This series may spark an interest in the Bible that will compel them to actually read it. That’s good.
  2. Some people think that the Bible is a collection of unconnected or loosely connected short stories. This series may help people view the Bible as one big story with turning points: from creation to the fall to Noah to Abraham to the exodus to Israel and then climaxing with Jesus. That’s good.
  3. Some people are relatively unaware of what the world of the Bible was like culturally. This series may help people better understand what the political scenes were like or how people typically dressed or what various places may have looked like. That’s good.

On the other hand, the series could be far better. While watching it with my wife, we became increasingly disappointed with it. I was planning to watch it with my children but not anymore. I don’t enthusiastically recommend it for at least three reasons: [Read more…]

Should Churches Require All Members to Affirm Pretrib and Premil Views?

Short answer: No.

Longer answer: I tried to unpack this in a radio interview on 7/14/2009: Are Millennial Views Essential? I had recently highlighted (1) Tom Schreiner’s move from an amillennial to a premillennial position and (2) Mark Dever’s argument that it’s a sin to sever cooperation with other believers over certain types of eschatological issues.

Even longer answer: Peter Hubbard, teaching pastor of North Hills Community Church in Taylors, South Carolina, wisely walked his church through this issue in September 2009. [Read more…]

Why You Should Not Be Dogmatic about All of Your Convictions: Lloyd-Jones on Silk Stockings, Baths, Radios, and More

David Martyn Lloyd-Jones was one of the greatest English preachers of the twentieth century, and I esteem him highly.

But when he was 24 years old, he shared some convictions (i.e., firmly held opinions) in March 1924 in a way that I suspect he later regretted. This is instructive for the rest of us.

  • I cannot possibly understand a man who wears silk stockings or even gaudily coloured socks; rings, wrist-watches, spats, shoes instead of boots, or who carries a cane in his hand.
  • The modern method of installing a bath in each house is not only a tragedy but it has been a real curse to humanity. . . . [Read more…]