Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Lazy Pastor

Why spend hours in the study when you could be putting in valuable ministry time on the back nine? Any topic; any text; any time. Thousands to choose from. Written by the hottest gurus of mindlessly-entertaining inspirational self-helpism in the industry. Endorsed by Joyce Meyers [via her ghostwriter], Bishop Shelby Spong, Leonard Nimoy, Bob Barker, Dwight K Shrewt, Dr Phil, Every woman panelist on “The View” [except Barbara Walters], Joel Osteen, Joel Osteen’s hair dresser, Joel Osteen’s dermatologist and skintone consultant, Joel Osteen’s cosmetic dental technician, and both Bob and Larry from Veggie Tales.

“Sermondrivethrough.com: Just print and preach!”©

Monday, November 28, 2011

Just what the Doctor Ordered ...

Every young pastor should make a point to study and develop a specific expertise on one book of the Bible, one area of theology, and one pastor from Church history.

- Martyn Lloyd-jones [paraphrased]

Monday, November 14, 2011

On the Memorization of Texts ...

Here is a wordcount list of some worthwhile speeches/sermons I've compiled for comparison:  See any glaring omissions? Please let me know.

41 - Theoden's "Ride to Gondor" Speech
78 – Luther’s “Here I Stand” speech
92 - Aragorn's speech before the Black Gates [film version]
111 – Apostles’ Creed
225 – Nicene Creed
267 – Paul at Mars Hill [before being stopped short by the crowd – Acts 17]
271 – Mark Antony’s [Shakespeare’s] ‘Friends, Romans, countrymen’ speech
278 – Lincoln’s Gettysburg address
407 – Shakespeare’s Saint Crispin’s Day speech
478 – Benjamin Franklin’s Call to Prayer at the Constitutional Convention
523 – Peter’s Pentecost sermon [Acts 2]
648 – Paul’s sermon to Agrippa [Acts 26]
657 – Athanasian Creed
896 – Paul’s Epistle to Titus
1,028 – Patrick Henry’s “Give me Liberty” Speech
1,236 – Stephen’s sermon to the Sanhedrin before his martyrdom
1,320 – The Declaration of Independence
1,382 – JFK’s – “Ask not” Inaugural Address
1,666 – MLK’s “I have a dream” speech
1,666- Paul’s Last Epistle [2nd Timothy]
1,928 – Olivet Discourse [Matthew 24-5]
2,304 – James’ Epistle
2,412 – Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount [Matthew 5-7]
2,423 – Psalm 119
2,743 – Luther’s 95 Theses
2,854 – The Didache [R-D Trans]
4,144 – Westminster Shorter Catechism [w/o proofs]
4,246 – Gallic [French] Confession
5,330 – C.S. Lewis’s “The Weight of Glory” sermon
5,933 – Sozhenitsyn’s “A World Split Apart” Harvard Address
6,069 – Washington’s farewell address
6,696 – Spurgeon’s “Hairs of Your Head” Providence Sermon
6,897 – The letter to the Hebrews
7,184 – Jonathan Edwards’ Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God
8,180 – 12 Commandments from Shepherd of Hermas [R-D Trans]
8,375 – Heidelberg Catechism [w/o footnotes or proofs]
9,078 – Belgic Confession
12,123 – 1646 Westminster Confession of Faith w/ Footnotes/Proofs
13,143 – Clement’s Epistle to the Corinthian Church
15,406 – Westminster Larger Catechism
23,918 – Athanasius’ On the Incarnation
33,760 – 2nd Helvetic Confession [w/ headings and proofs]
~80,000 – Torah [5 books of Moses]
169,751 – English New Testament

In the NKJV Romans has 9495 words [7111 in the Greek]; 16 chapters; 433 verses. It takes roughly 60 minutes to read/recite them all.

Tips for memorization:

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Who are You? 2 Views ...

In the Darwinist worldview, you are the descendant of a tiny cell of primordial protoplasm washed up on an empty beach three and a half billion years ago. You are the blind and arbitrary product of time, chance, and natural forces. You are a mere grab-bag of atomic particles, a conglomeration of genetic substance. You exist on a tiny planet in a minute solar system in an empty corner of a universe. You are a purely biological entity, different only in degree but not in kind from a microbe, virus, or amoeba. You have no essence beyond your body, and at death you will cease to exist entirely. In short you come from nothing and are going to nowhere.  
By contrast, in the Christian worldview, you are the special creation of a good and all-powerful God. You are created in His image; with capacities to think, feel, and worship that set you above all other life forms. You differ from the animals not simply in degree but in kind. Not only is your kind unique, but you are unique among you kind. Your Creator loves you so much and so intensely desires you companionship and affection that he has a perfect plan for you life. In addition God gave the life of His only son that you might spend eternity with Him. If you are willing to accept his gift of salvation, you can become a child of God.

- Randy Alcorn
[photo: desiringgod.org]

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Opiate of the Morally Corrupt: why unbelief is so appealing

“I had motives for not wanting the world to have meaning; consequently assumed it had none, and was able without any difficulty to find satisfying reasons for this assumption…. The philosopher who finds no meaning in the world is ... concerned to prove there is no valid reason why he personally should not do as he wants to do…. For myself, as no doubt for most of my contemporaries, the philosophy of meaninglessness was essentially an instrument of liberation. The liberation we desired was simultaneously liberation from an certain political and economic system and liberation from a certain system of morality. We objected to the morality because it interfered with our sexual freedom.”

-Aldous Huxley
Confession of a Professed Atheist, Report: Perspective on the News, vol. 3 (June 1966), p. 19

[blog title taken from a chapter title by Dinesh D'Souza.  He calls this the 'pelvic revolt against God'.]

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Our Little Church Project

A few weeks ago, in the first sermon of a series on the book, our pastor threw out a challenge to the congregation of Christ Reformed: memorize the entire book of Romans. This really struck me.  Most similar memorization efforts I've seen have been insultingly simple or individualistic.  So I've decided to spend [probably the next year] working on this challenge.  My strategy/tool list at this point is:

Get the book on audio from 2 sources.
Print two copies and have them laminated.
Tailor my Greek studies to the book of Romans.
Read the book regularly.
Write the book regularly.
Study through the book using Haldane's commentary as a guide [and possibly others].
Outline the book.
Chart the book based on a network of ideas and already-familiar verses.
Lastly, I plan to exercise twice a week through the winter.
[The best thing you can buy for longterm memory aid is running shoes, or so they say.]

I'm also reading a book on memorization training entitled Moonwalking with Einstein.  It was recommended to me by my friend and fellow-CREC pastoral trainee, Tony Aguilar.  Hopefully I'll be able to pick up a few tips/tricks from that resource as well.