Friday, August 31, 2007

Mark Driscoll Quote

I found a number of resources helpful in preparing this sermon for Sunday. Mark Driscoll was particularly helpful as he once was involved in the emergent church movement and has made a conscience decision to break from the emerging church for theological reasons.

Mark wrote an article about the emerging church, and I have included this quote in our worship bulletin.

American Christianity finds itself in one of those pivotal moments where history is being written for better or worse and we could see anything from a revival like the Jesus
Movement of a previous generation or the decline of the Church as has already happened throughout Europe. Time will tell, and ultimately the decision will be made by thousands of pastors who shepherd their flocks and the dozens of pastors who shepherd those

The only hope is a return to the true gospel of Jesus Christ as revealed in Scripture. The gospel must be unleashed in the world through the Church for the transforming salvation of sinners and their cultures. If the gospel is lost, as I fear it already has been among some Revisionists, then tomorrow will be a dark day for the truth about Jesus. - Mark Driscoll

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Discussion on the TFTG Blog

One of my blogs that I suggest to check out on the right hand side is the Together for the Gospel blog. Check out the August 21 entry by Ligon Duncan, a fellow PCA minister. The debate is on the fencing of the Lord's Supper, which incidentally I am leading a discussion on next week at our monthly prayer gathering as presbyters..

The issues is that Baptist require membership in a church like Presbyterians before someone can be admitted to the Lord's Table. The problem is that a Baptist membership requires a baptism as a believer. That means that Presbyterians who were baptised as infants can not participate.

Anyhow, here is a quote from Ligon Duncan I found interesting....

When Sam Storms says: "the claim to be 'Together for the Gospel' rings a bit hollow to me when some would decline to fellowship with others around the Lord's Table because of their disagreement on the proper recipients of baptism." — I take the concern expressed seriously.

And, for the record, John Piper, Wayne Grudem, Al Mohler, Mark Dever and Sam Storms would be welcomed with open arms as members at First Presbyterian Church, Jackson, Mississippi where I pastor. They would be joyfully invited to the Lord's Table too.

The point Ligon Duncan is making, and to a degree I have heard John Piper say something similar is this: Tim Keller, Ligon Duncan & R.C Sproul can all come to John Piper's church in Minneapolis and preach and teach and be warmly received. But they can not take communion at the church. For Piper in particular, he is deeply troubled by that reality.

Anyhow, read the blog, it is interesting, and I am sure the discussion will continue

For a great summary, check out Justin Taylor's blog, very helpful as it provides a timeline how the discussion begun.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Quote from Dr. Gordon Fee

As I have stated, we are wrapping up our time in First Corinthians. A big help this past year was Dr. Gordon Fee's Commentary on First Corinthians. If you are going to preach or teach on First Corinthians, you need to get this commentary.

Anyhow, last Sunday I ended the sermon with this quote from Dr. Fee's Commentary that I thought summed up both chapter 16 and the entire book rather well.

“Thus the letter ends on a note similar to its beginning, full of the same tensions between what they are by grace and what they yet need to become in terms of obedience to Christ. They are greeted with warmth, and assured of Christ's grace and Paul's love. Along with him they await the coming of the Lord. They should continue to greet one another with the kiss of love. However, they are not yet fully there, so even here there is the word of warning. Christians must continually live in the tension between the “already” and the “not yet”; what they must not allow themselves to do is to excuse themselves from obedience because they are not yet fully there. The grace of the Lord and the hope of his coming should cause all to heed the words of this letter so as to be watchful and to do all things in love.” - Dr. Gordon Fee

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

This Sunday: The 21st Century Corinthian Church

This Sunday we are doing something a little different.

This Sunday we will be looking at the Emergent Church Movement in North America. It is my opinion, that the Emerging Church has a lot in common with the 1st Century Corinthian Church.

Like I said, it will be a little different but I think it will be interesting. Normally I preach expository sermons, but there is no law that I can not at times depart from the norm. Come and check it out this Sunday!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Key Verses in First Corinthians

I should have done this BEFORE, but here are some key texts from First Corinthians that would be good to memorize.
1 Cor 1:18 For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

1 Cor 1:24 but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.

1 Cor 2:2 For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.

1 Cor 2:11 For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God.

1 Cor 6:19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? 20 For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.

1 Cor 7:20 Each man must remain in that condition in which he was called.

1 Cor 9:1 Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are you not my work in the Lord?

1 Cor 9:23 I do all things for the sake of the gospel, so that I may become a fellow partaker of it.

1 Cor 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.

1 Cor 10:31 Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

1 Cor 12:14 For the body is not one member, but many.

1 Cor 13:4 Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant,

1 Cor 14:3 But one who prophesies speaks to men for edification and exhortation and consolation.

1 Cor 14:40 But all things must be done properly and in an orderly manner.

1 Cor 15:21 For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead.

1 Cor 15:55 "O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR VICTORY? O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR STING?" 56The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; 57but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Cor 16:13 Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. 14Let all that you do be done in love.

Sermon: 1 Corinthians 16

We are finishing First Corinthians on Sunday and I must say I am sad about it. We will look at the final chapter, and then have some final thoughts on the book as a whole.

Friday, August 24, 2007

a bit of jet lag

So many of you probably already know this, but for the last 2 weeks the Wakefields travel to the West Coast.

1st Stop => Northern California. We visited Allison's family and were spoiled rotten. The highlights for the family was eating sushi poolside and the Winchester Mystery House. That Sarah Winchester was one crazy woman. If you don't know the story I encourage you to look into it.

2nd Stop => Vancouver. It has been 3 years since we left Vancouver and it was too long. We visited with old neighbors, church friends and profs at Regent College where I went to school. The time flew by and we could have stayed a lot longer. The highlights included the Party at the Wongs and hanging out at the pool with our former neighbors.

It was 10 days of go go go, but now that we are home we are going full tilt in preparation for the fall. I am still suffering from a bit of jet lag, but it was worth it. We hope to be back in Vancouver next year, Lord willing!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Williamstown, Stockbridge & Northampton (part 2)

After overnighting in a hotel, the next morning both Allen & I lectured in a hotel conference room in preparation for touring Northampton, MA.

We made our way to the Forbes Library, a wonderful institution, and gained access to the historical artifacts room where folks were treated to a rare viewing of Jonathan Edwards & Solomon Stoddard's writings. Solomon Stoddard was JE maternal grandfather. After viewing the original documents, we departed on foot to the place where the church was located at the time of Edwards, and then walked up to "The Manse", Solomon Stoddard's home which is well preserved and is now a private residence.

We walked back to the library and travelled by car to the Bridge Street Cemetery where we visited a number of grave markers of historical significance ( Solomon Stoddard, David Brainard, Jerusha Edwards, etc...).

The weather was delightful and everyone enjoyed the tour very much. I think the visit to both libraries was the real treat. I was feel a bit overwhelmed before the trip, but after doing it, I found it refreshing and fun. I look forward to taking more people on a historical tour in the future!

Williamstown, Stockbridge & Northampton (part 1)

I had meant to blog about this before the trip, but oh well, better late than never.

On August 10-11, of this year, Allen Tomlinson, minister of First Congregational Church in Merrimack and myself led a small group on a historical tour of the above towns in Massachusetts.

We caravaned through Southern VT, to Williamstown, MA where I lectured on the Haystack Prayer Meeting of 1806, a significant event in world missions in Missions Park, Williams College. In Missions Park, there is a monument marking the exact spot where those 5 men prayed during that fierce thunderstorm on a hot Saturday Afternoon in August.

From Williamstown, we travel south to Historical Stockbridge and visited the 1st Congregational Church where I lectured on Jonathan Edward's Ministry in Stockbridge. From there we visited the library, which has a reading desk of Jonathan Edwards, very cool. We also visited the local cemetery, and sundial that marks the spot where Jonathan Edwards home once sat.

It rained most of the day, but I feel most folks found the historical sites interesting and fun.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Praying for Anna Flemming

Hey folks....I am sure many of you have realized I was serious when I said I would not be blogging much this summer. Now that we are getting to mid August, I am feeling up to blogging a bit more.

Anna Flemming is the daughter of Scott Flemming, a PCA minister in Western Pennsylvania, where I hail from. Anna has been diagnosed with a rare form of cancer that is very aggressive and has a 50% survival rate.

Soctt & his wife's testimony through this is amazing and I thought I wold encourage all of you to pray for the Flemming family and to keep track of the progress on the blog they set up.

The title of the blog is "God's Grace with Anna", very fitting given the circumstances.