Logos: John Piper Sermon Manuscript Library

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One of the latest additions to the Logos library is the sermon manuscript library from John Piper. Like Keller I believe Piper through his obvious teaching gift has done a great service to the Church by cataloging their messages. Both Keller and Piper tend to preach more exegetically. When you have 30 years of messages from these two profound teachers you have many Bible passages covered.

Piper and Keller are not the first pastors to have their messages turned into a commentary, John Calvin, Matthew Henry, R C Sproul are just a few who have done this. What make Keller and Piper unique in the set of pastor theologians is they are parsing scripture from a postmodern vantage point. There are many similarities between our world now and Matthew Henry’s world. There are also vast differences.

All of Tim Keller Sermon’s? Yes Please.

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Recently I was approached by the good people over at Logos. They asked me to provide a review of some of their products. Being a big fan of Tim Keller’s preaching it was easy to decided where to start. I know what some of you may be thinking Logos is a bit pricy. I understand I have four kids and schools coming right around the corner so the Luce household doesn’t have a ton of extra cash lying around either. Here is what is great. Logos has a great iPad and iPhone app that is free. It comes we content loaded on it and they also offer free books each month you can download from their site. If money is an object you can buy some of the books they offer without buying the whole system which is very cool.

Great app to help with your child’s spiritual development.

New City Catechism

One of the things I want my kids to do is to know is to own their faith. We often fail to teach our kids about their faith because we don’t know what to tell them or how to tell them what we do know. One of the things we have been trying to do in our house is teach our kids the catechism. I love the fact that my kids can learn the basics of their faith. I believe the place in which catechism is best received is at home where it can be modeled.  Tim Keller has done an amazing job compiling questions and adding content around them that engage the whole family. It’s a free app so if you have an iPad I strongly suggest you download it today

The New City Catechism app provides a set of fun, simple, and elegant tools to memorize this catechism that has been adapted by Timothy Keller and Sam Shammas from the Reformation catechisms. The app allows kids to track their progress and view kid-friendly versions of the catechism answers. It also allows adults to see rich, expanded content, and dig into the depths of each question and answer.

Some app features:
+ Navigate 52 catechism questions and answers for adults and kids
+ Watch videos from preachers (e.g. Don Carson, Mark Dever, Timothy Keller, John Piper, etc.) exploring the catechism answers
+ Track your progress and the progress of your kids—or Sunday school class—as you memorize the catechism together
+ Show/hide answers or select between child/adult answers to help in the memorization process
+ Choose between NIV or ESV for Scripture text
+ Read a teaching from a historical preacher (e.g. Augustine, Edwards, Spurgeon, Wesley, etc.) for each question and answer
+ Pray suggested historical prayers for each question and answer

New City Catechism comprises 52 questions and answers—therefore there is only one question and answer for each week of the year, making it simple to fit into church calendars and achievable even for people with demanding schedules.

Because parents who teach their kids a children’s catechism, and then try to learn an adult one for themselves often find the process confusing (the children are learning one set of questions and answers and the parents are learning another completely different set), New City Catechism is a joint adult and children’s catechism. In other words, the same questions are asked of both children and adults, and the children’s answer is always part of the adult answer.

New City Catechism is a joint project between Redeemer Presbyterian Church and The Gospel Coalition.

(Taken from http://www.padgadget.com/ipad-app-details/564035762/6/1/2)

Signs of Political Idolatry by Tim Keller

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I’ve wanted to do a post on how we put far to much trust in politics as Christians. We go far beyond of civic duty as a citizen and end up in political idolatry. Tim Keller is half genius half man. Love how he put it so much better than I ever could. Here is a quote from the post he wrote.

Another sign of idolatry in our politics is that opponents are not considered to be simply mistaken but to be evil. After the last presidential election, my eighty-four-year-old mother observed, ‘It used to be that whoever was elected as your president, even if he wasn’t the one you voted for, he was still your president. That doesn’t seem to be the case any longer.’

It was so convicting for me personally and is something every christian should read no matter what color your state is.

Here is a link to the complete blog post.

Lifeway Kid Ministry Conference: 5 things every leader has to get right

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Here are the notes for my breakout at Lifeway’s Kids Ministry Conference.

5 Things every leader has to get right

1. Delegation – We don’t delegate because we don’t trust God with the results. We don’t delegate because our default mode is to do. If I do this my pastor will be pleased with me. If I do that God will be pleased with me.

We don’t delegate because we don’t have a half-hearted view of what eternal rewards are. What ultimate beauty is. Lewis address our self focused small minded in his book weight of glory.

“We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in the slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea.
“We are far too easily pleased.”  C. S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory.

We often don’t delegate because we are building our own kingdom – we are far to concerned with who gets the credit rather than who gets the glory.

What I think is interesting about Gen. 2 when God creates Adam is
1. He gives him meaningful work
2. He gives him clear parameters for that work to take place
3. He gives him something that forces him to reflect his creator.

“God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing.”

2. Leading under authority – 

We lead under authority when we understand ultimate authority – When you come on staff at a church you have to submit yourself to the pastor you serve. This can only be done to the degree that you have submitted your life completely to Christ.

What does submission to authority look like?
– It’s walking and leading in humility
– It’s trusting Jesus more than your circumstance
– It’s not checking your dreams at the door of the church
– It’s not blindly following your pastor off a cliff
– Submission to authority starts with you submitting your life to Christ ultimately and as a result of that you walk in humility. You speak when you need to and be quite when you need to. Paul talks about our submission to Christ and uses marriage as an example for us.

EPHESIANS 5:22-25
22Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. 24Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.
25Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her,

The power to submit to the authorities God has placed in our life comes from our ability to fully Trust Christ above all else. – Submission to authority is not blind obedience to your pastor it manifests itself in a humility and love for the things

“But there must be a real giving up of the self. You must throw it away
”blindly” so to speak. Christ will indeed give you a real personality: but you must not go to Him for the sake of that. As long as your own personality
is what you are bothering about you are not going to Him at all. The very first step is to try to forget about the self altogether. Your real, new self (which is Christ’s and also yours, and yours just because it is His) will not come as long as you are looking for it. It will come when you are looking for Him. Does that sound strange? The same principle holds, you know, for more everyday matters. Even in social life, you will never make a good impression on other people until you stop thinking about what sort of impression you are making. Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original: whereas if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring twopence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it.
The principle runs through all life from top to bottom.
The principle runs through all life from top to bottom. Give up your self, and you will find your real self. Lose your life and you will save it.
Submit to death, death of your ambitions and favourite wishes every day and death of your whole body in the end: submit with every fibre of your being, and you will find eternal life. Keep back nothing. Nothing that you have not given away will ever be really yours. Nothing in you that has not died will ever be raised from the dead. Look for yourself, and you will find in the long run only hatred, loneliness, despair, rage, ruin, and decay. But look for Christ and you will find Him, and with Him everything else thrown in.”

C.S. Lewis

3. Connecting with families – We have to move from atmosphere of co-dependance to an environment of interdependence. –

There has been a huge push for family ministry the past decade and rightly so. Leading into the future we have to value families not as a stated value but as an actual value. The church and families alike need to admit that this co-dependent relationship is broken and doesn’t honor God. We need to move to a model that creates interdependence where families and church are dependent on each other and where they are both fully dependent on Christ alone.

When talking about connecting parents sometimes our creative ideas and the connecting themselves become an end in themselves.

We start with the wrong question. We ask how can we connect parent. We need to ask that but we first need to ask what are we connecting them to? Do the parents we are partnering with value the same things?

4. Measurement – We measure the wrong things. Measurement is a good thing what measure reveals a lot about us.

The thing that is so dangerous about measurement is it can very quickly become the thing in our life that informs every decision we make.

We can find our identity in something other than Christ. – Our tendency is to move off of the things we can’t see and start to measure our self by things we can see. We often find our worth in kids ministry by how many kids come, by what curriculum we use, by what check-in we have or by how well our spaces are themed.

A lot of the dissatisfaction we have in ministry comes from us measuring the wrong things.

We spend our time and energy on the things we measure. What you measure you get more of. What scares me is getting more of something that isn’t Jesus.

What is crazy is that we can so easily use Jesus to get what we want.

5. Priorities – Our priorities are informed by our loves. We make time for the things we love. Where we spend our times shows what is most valuable to us.

Our priorities are determined by our loves. We spend our time, our money and our energy on the things that matter most.

As a leader you will be pulled on by everyone around you if you don’t put guardrails in your life you will dive off a cliff. – What drives us? Our desire to please everyone. We want to make everyone happy. This is a pipe dream and comes from our desire to have others think well of us rather than God.

Luke 6:26
26 “Woe to you, when all people speak well of you, for so their fathers did to the false prophets.

Tim Keller on family –

If you manage your time and priorities right, people will be mad at you.
Get used to it.

Conclusion –

One of the scariest things about ministry is that we can so easily make the things of ministry the ultimate desire of our lives. We use Jesus to get the things we really want.

-Revelation 21:5,6
 5And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” 6And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end.

our life has purpose because of him.