Saturday, 30 October 2010

The Baptist Confession of Faith (1689)

"This ancient document is the most excellent epitome of the things most surely believed among us. It is not issued as an authoritative rule or code of faith, whereby you may be fettered, but as a means of edification in righteousness. It is an excellent, though not inspired, expression of the teaching of those Holy Scriptures by which all confessions are to be measured. We hold to the humbling truths of God's sovereign grace in the salvation of lost sinners. Salvation is through Christ alone and by faith alone."

C. H. Spurgeon

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Paul Mallard @ Airdrie Baptist


Looking forward to this. you can hear some of Paul Mallard's sermons on the Gospel Coalition site here.
Update: Theme title for the weekend: "The Greatness of God and the power of His Word"

Monday, 18 October 2010

Disagreeing in love

Multiple Sites: Yea or Nay? Dever, Driscoll, and MacDonald Vote from Ben Peays on Vimeo.


Well today I’m posting a video which at first glance has no real relevance to my own context. I don’t know of any multi-campus churches in the UK, certainly not in Scotland. It’s never been a topic for discussion or debate in my own circles.  

What this video, and some of the other recent Gospel Coalition videos do offer though, is a real, robust, discussion. A willingness to land a few punches, and take a few, that we might see who’s position can take the strain and stay standing. Another good example of this is Driscoll, Harris and Francis Chan discussing Chan’s decision to leave Cornerstone, which relates to my blog post here.

I’ve found this willingness to disagree and debate, in the context of Christian love and genuine mutual respect very refreshing. Modelling this kind of robust yet gracious discussion could prove to be a real blessing to the church. I’m not convinced that ministers are well enough equipped to deal with such discussions with their own deacons\elders. We may not end holding hands and singing Kumbaya but our relationships can be strengthened by such dialogues, if they are handled well.

For what its worth on the issue of multi-campus, I’m leaning towards Dever. I thought some of Driscoll’s points were pretty weak. I’m an introvert too, and without doubt far less able to process numerous thoughts at the same time than he is. Nevertheless even with me there is a dynamic at work between the congregation and myself as I preach. I can sense when I’m losing them, even if I often lack the capacity to get them back! More importantly when I’m preaching to them, I’m praying for them. I’m looking them in the eye, praying for them, and pleading with them as I preach to them.

I also worry that multi-campus may serve to lead people into thinking that real fellowship with real people isn’t essential. If a video-linked (big-name) preacher is just as good or better than an ordinary preacher, preaching within a fellowship he knows and loves and lives with, then why not just go the whole way- stay home and stream a great service to the comfort of my bedroom? 

Wouldn't that be a whole lot easier?

Friday, 8 October 2010

Spurgeon on grace and faith


"By grace are ye saved, through faith" 
                                 (Ephesians 2:8 )

THINK IT WELL to turn a little to one side that I may ask my reader to observe adoringly the fountain-head of our salvation, which is the grace of God. "By grace are ye saved." Because God is gracious, therefore sinful men are forgiven, converted, purified, and saved. It is not because of anything in them, or that ever can be in them, that they are saved; but because of the boundless love, goodness, pity, compassion, mercy, and grace of God. Tarry a moment, then, at the well-head. Behold the pure river of water of life, as it proceeds out of the throne of God and of the Lamb!

What an abyss is the grace of God! Who can measure its breadth? Who can fathom its depth? Like all the rest of the divine attributes, it is infinite. God is full of love, for "God is love." God is full of goodness; the very name "God" is short for "good." Unbounded goodness and love enter into the very essence of the Godhead. It is because "his mercy endureth for ever" that men are not destroyed; because "his compassions fail not" that sinners are brought to Him and forgiven.

Remember this; or you may fall into error by fixing your minds so much upon the faith which is the channel of salvation as to forget the grace which is the fountain and source even of faith itself. Faith is the work of God's grace in us. No man can say that Jesus is the Christ but by the Holy Ghost. "No man cometh unto me," saith Jesus, "except the Father which hath sent me draw him." So that faith, which is coming to Christ, is the result of divine drawing. Grace is the first and last moving cause of salvation; and faith, essential as it is, is only an important part of the machinery which grace employs. We are saved "through faith," but salvation is "by grace." Sound forth those words as with the archangel's trumpet: "By grace are ye saved." What glad tidings for the undeserving!