Falling Forward Friday
Well, it's the end of another week. My mother-in-law is coming to town today, so cue the ominous music and zoom in on stay-at-home Jared frantically trying to spit-polish the homestead.
Before I begin radio silence for the weekend, I thought I'd leave you with some tasty linkage, just in case you're looking for good church-related stuff to read when online.
There are always fantastic, truth-telling, readable posts at GospelDrivenLife and Gratitude & Hoopla.
(In his most recent post at the latter, blogger Bob quotes scholar D.A. Carson: "Where there is no passion for the Word of God, other passions take over." Ouch. And amen!)
If you haven't been reading Dirk Plantinga's blog, BCC Begins to Heal, you really should.
Now to highlight a couple of links that have been in the Resource section of my sidebar menu for a while . . .
The first is 9 Marks Ministries, which is the online resource center for pastor Mark Dever's "9 Marks of a Healthy Church" program. I don't agree with everything Dever and his cohorts emphasize -- not that my agreement or disagreement matters, just adding that as a disclaimer -- but there's some really, really good articles on the 9 Marks page. You'll find stuff on how a church can better connect insiders and outsiders, how preaching can be effective and biblical without watering down the gospel, how a baptistic church can have an effective elder-led government, and all sorts of other issues and topics pertinent to BCC's interest. There is even a handy topical menu on the right hand side of the articles page.
The second link is the blog of Mark Driscoll, who is the founding pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, Washington. Driscoll is a young, dynamic, and engaging teacher who really tells it like it is. He has a reputation not just for stirring things up, but also for growing Mars Hill Church from a handful to thousands in a part of the nation that is one of the most hostile to Christianity. (If you've read Donald Miller's book Blue Like Jazz you might have already heard a bit about Driscoll, as he's the guy Miller refers to as his friend Mark, "the cussing pastor.")
I am told Driscoll's "cussing" has been overstated ;-), but I do know he is one of the rare few preachers who reach seekers and believers alike with quality teaching, sound theology, and a straightforward, even blunt style. If you want the real deal -- and I think we do -- Mark Driscoll is the dude. I'd even go so far as to say it'd be cool if the guy we get to lead BCC into the future was a "Mark Driscoll type."
If you want a good place to start, check out Driscoll's Reflections on Preaching, which grew out of an interview with Preaching Today magazine. There's a lot of great nuts-and-bolts type stuff there about how this guy, who has yuppies and punk rockers, hipsters and hippies attending his services each week, goes about preparing and delivering a message.
Finally, if you just want to wade through some hardcore theology for a bit, one of the most complete indexes of online theological articles can be found at Monergism.com. There are topical menus and search boxes, and you can find articles and essays from authors as old as the early church fathers and as recent as John Piper or John MacArthur. Calvin's on there. Luther's on there. The Puritans are on there. Spurgeon's on there. A bunch of modern scholars and preachers are on there. Heck, even I have an essay on election in Romans linked in there somewhere. ;-)
Anyways, for you theology nerds -- enjoy.
So radio silence begins now and goes through Monday. I hope you have a great weekend. Maybe I'll see you at Hope Park!