Joining Moody

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It is with gratefulness to God our Savior that I am joining the Bible faculty at Moody Bible Institute! Pam and I are excited about the opportunity to move to Chicago and serve the students and extended friends of MBI. With its distance learning programs, campuses in Chicago and Spokane, WA, and a multi-campus seminary, Evangelist D. L. Moody’s school has trained many great servants Christ who both have made and are participating in incredible works around the world. Among many amazing people who have passed through MBI’s halls of learning is Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune, founder of Bethune-Cookman University. Moody currently thrives under the leadership of President Paul Nyquist.

41w+kX5Dt9LWe also are looking forward to becoming part of Calvary Memorial Church in Oak Park, IL. Calvary prospers under the shepherding of Todd Wilson and a cache of godly elders. Gerald Hiestand, co-director of the Center for Pastor Theologians, serves as the church’s assistant pastor. (Gerald recently co-authored, Sex, Dating, and Relationships: A Fresh Approach (Crossway), and I recommend it highly.) I will be joining the staff as Minister of Adult Ministries, and Pam will join the staff as Ministry Associate for Pastoral Ministries.

Pam and I were able to spend some time with Calvary Memorial the first weekend of November. Warmly and graciously they already have welcomed us as if we are family, and the elders have laid hands on us with prayer, in love. We are eager to grow in Christ with our new church. You can get a glimpse of Calvary’s ministries by watching the video about its basketball team ministry to local high school students.Unknown

Until we land in Chicago, we will be splitting our time between our membership at Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church, Washington, DC, and my service as pulpit supply for Belcroft Bible Church, Bowie, MD! I am appreciative of Pastor Terry Streeter’s display of Christ in his expressed, kind desire to send us to our new ministries with the blessing of a church behind us.

We will miss all of our friends and family in the Washington, DC region. I hope the many of you will contact us when you are visiting Chicago! If you will be in the Windy City on a Sunday, please plan to worship with us at Calvary Memorial. For a great time to visit Moody, why not make plans to participate in the annual Founder’s Week, February 2-6? Or you can drop in a section of Introduction to the Bible during the Spring 2015 term beginning in January; I am preparing the notes. See you then!

Great Readings on MBI and D. L. Moody

Vincent, James. 2011. The MBI Story: The Vision and Worldwide Impact of Moody Bible Institute. Chicago: Moody. (Kindle version.)

Belmonte, Kevin. 2014. D. L. Moody – A Life: Innovator, Evangelist, World Changer. Chicago: Moody. (Kindle; or audio version.)

Bailey, Faith Coxe. 1937. D. L. Moody: The Greatest Evangelist of the Nineteenth Century. Chicago: Moody. (Kindle)

From the Pens of Pastors Todd Wilson and Gerald Hiestand

Ecclesial Theology and Academic Theology: Why We Need More of the Former.” (2009)

Mr. Milquetoast and Other Misconceptions About Humility.” (2014)

Real Christian: Bearing the Marks of Authentic Faith (Zondervan, 2014)

Other Related Resources

Evensen, Bruce J. 2003. God’s Man for the Gilded Age: D. L. Moody and the Rise of Modern Mass Evangelism. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

Pollock, John. 2005. D. L. Moody: Moody Without Sankey. Scotland, UK: Christian Focus.

Voddie Baucham Heading to Zambia

UnknownFrom the Grace Family Baptist Church site:

During the Semi-Annual business meeting on November 5, 2014, the GfBC Elders announced that Dr. Voddie Baucham will be moving his family to Zambia in the fall of 2015.  Dr. Baucham has been appointed as the President/Head of the Seminary at African Christiian University in Lusaka, Zambia.  Here is an abbreviated portion of the announcement that was made:

In 2007, I traveled to Zambia to preach at the Zambia Reformed Family Conference. It was my first time on the African continent, but I knew, Lord willing, it wouldn’t be my last. I knew I would return to Zambia; I just didn’t know when, how, or in what capacity. The work God was doing in Zambia was compelling, the needs there were overwhelming, and I came to see that I was suited for the work there in unique and obvious ways.

I would return to Zambia four times over the next six years. Over that time, I developed and deepened both my relationships with the Zambian Christian community, and my understanding of the work that needed to be done there. In 2012, I heard the vision for African Christian University (ACU). For the first time, my passion and desire to serve my brothers and sisters in Zambia became a tangible possibility. However, not a word was spoken by me, or by the leaders in Zambia.

This past summer, I returned to Zambia with my wife and our seven youngest children. It was then that Bridget sensed God’s call as well. Subsequently, we began to discuss the matter with my fellow elder, Stephen Bratton and two key Zambian leaders, Conrad Mbewe and Ronald Kalifungwa. There was little doubt that the timing and opportunity seemed right. We committed the matter to prayer, started having conversations with others who could offer wise, biblical counsel, and concluded that this is indeed the Lord’s providential hand at work, and we would do well to follow.

I have been offered the position of President/Head of the Seminary at ACU. The school opens next fall, and our plan is to move to Zambia at the end of next summer. There are, however, several issues that must be addressed between now and then.

In the meantime, I would ask that you would pray for me and my family as we consider what is by far the most challenging act of faith and obedience we have ever considered. Pray for our elders as we work to position GfBC for a healthy transition. Pray for our Zambian brothers and sisters as they trust God to do something beyond their limited resources and ability. Pray for ACU, the Seminary and the ministers who will train there, and for the impact they will have in Zambia, across Africa, and beyond.Please continue to pray for Voddie and his family as well as Grace Family Baptist Church as we begin working toward this transition.  We will continue to post information as it becomes available.

Thank you, Voddie, and the Bauchams, for your humble obedience to the Lord, your example of Christ, and your love for the lost. You are a blessing to the kingdom of Christ. May you, brother Conrad, and fellow believers in Zambia reach all of Zambia and surrounding regions with the Gospel, and may your ministry strengthen the church there, North America, and the world.

Schedule of Preaching and Teaching Through the End of 2014

imagesNovember

9th at Belcroft Bible Church, Bowie, MD, 10:30am

15th (Saturday) at Kettering Baptist Church Men’s Conference, Largo, MD, 1pm

16th at Belcroft Bible Church, 10:30am

23rd at Waldorf Vineyard Church, Waldorf, MD, 10:00am

December

2nd at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary for Chapel, Wake Forest, NC, 10am

7th at Forest Park Community Church, Baltimore, MD, 11am

14th, 21st, 28th at Belcroft Bible Church, Bowie, MD, 10:30am

I am looking forward to the fellowship with each of these congregations and the campus.

Also in December, I begin teaching, “Theological Interpretation of Media,” for Capital Seminary and Graduate School. The course runs December 8, 2014 – February 1, 2015, with a break for the Christmas season.

Last Month

I am grateful to Pastor Terry D. Streeter for inviting me to provide a workshop on, “The Mechanics of Finding the Central Idea of a Passage,” to his preaching staff at Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church on October 31. What an enjoyable time we had together! There was such camaraderie and a fun-loving spirit among their team. Thank you, for welcoming me with humility and joy.

I also am grateful to Pastor Jim McCaffrey of Transforming Life Church in Pasadena, MD for inviting me to preach to his congregation each of the four Sundays in October. Transforming Life Church is an assembly committed to prayer. TLC, I appreciate the kindnesses you showed to our family last month. Please save me some doughnut holes.

 

The Lord’s Grace and Mercy in Jonah’s Prayer

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When my life was fainting away,

I remembered the LORD,

and my prayer came to you,

into your holy temple.

(Jonah 2:7 ESV)

The mercy and grace of God to Jonah is so breathtaking it almost makes your heart skip a beat. Jonah is going down to his death underneath the sea. He deserves to drown due to his rebellion toward the Almighty and his apathy toward the unbelief of the pagan sailors. Before his lungs burst, he is able to eek out a prayer to the Lord. He is certain that the Lord will hear him.

  • It is grace that he knows that the Almighty both can and will hear him in spite of his rebellion.
  • It is grace that there is a Temple in which the Lord, above the Ark of the Covenant, makes his presence known to his people.
  • It is grace that the Lord condescends to hear – from his Temple – Jonah’s words of repentance and contrition, as He initially promised in Deuteronomy 30, five centuries before Solomon made his Temple dedication-requests for mercy in 1 Kings 8, and more than six centuries before Jonah cries out from the depths.
  • It is grace that the Lord crushed Jonah in such a manner that He could learn that the Lord’s mercy will extend as far as the bottom of the sea. Jonah gets a hugely memorable experience of God’s eternal, covenant love.
  • It is grace that God gave Jonah the faculties to mentally calculate something like, “Lord, you are in your Temple, and you said that if someone cried out to you that you would hear. If there is any way you can rescue me – mercifully, mightily, miraculously, and majestically – please forgive my rebellion and come save me, for salvation belongs to you.”
  • It is grace that this experience reveals the holiness of God to Jonah – “your holy Temple” (Heb. היכל קדשך) – and thus Jonah’s sinfulness before this holy God.

It is grace to us that we have the story of Jonah, the sign of Jonah, and the antitype of Jonah in Christ. His mercy to us on the Cross and in vacating the grave is greater than being rescued from drowning at the bottom of the sea.

 

A resource highlighting the grace and mercy of God: Richard D. Phillips’ commentary on Jonah.

 

Teaching Theology of Media

imagesI am looking forward to teaching Theological Interpretation of Media for Capital Seminary and Graduate School in late December. For many years I have enjoyed informally applying Hirsch and Johnson’s hermeneutic(s) to TV and film in a session or two of courses on biblical interpretation. Now we will have an entire course to consider ideas in the likes of The Matrix, 24, Inception, and No Country for Old Men (and comparing the portrayal its main theme to similar portrayals in Saving Private Ryan and Meet Joe Black). The goal of the class is to develop a personal theology of media. I am thinking a list of affirmations and denials might be good. Maybe the class can develop a Chicago Statement on Biblical Analysis of Popular Media and Use of Media Technology.

When the Lights Go Down (Westbow Press, 2014), by my colleague, Mark Eckel, will be available in time for the course. Works by Phil Ryken and Paul Munson too will aid us in thinking Christianly about media.

Charles Barkley and Boomer Esiason on Andrian Peterson

imagesCharles Barkley, thank you for putting Boomer Esiason in his place on The NFL Today today. You are right: The Minnesota Vikings’ Adrian Peterson went too far in his discipline of his son to the point of abusing him. This should not happen to any child; this should not be tolerated by the NFL. Yet spanking a child, even with a long, spinley-thin branch of a tree, is common to African American life in our history (even though I have not experienced or administered such).

While walking through the wake of a friend’s loved one yesterday morning, the positive pictures of President Barak Obama hanging in the church reminded me that ethnic culture affects everything. I could not imagine seeing a picture of the President displayed anywhere in an evangelical church of one of my non-African American counterparts. However, I was not shocked to see the Barak Obama calendar, advertisement for a youth jobs fair sponsored by an African American member of Congress, or flyers related to the Sunday School literature produced by an African American publisher present in the foyer of this African American congregation.

Neither was I shocked to hear the lawyer of  Adrian Peterson say, ““He used the same kind of discipline with his child that he experienced as a child growing up in east Texas.” This is not a statement whose contents should be dismissed as obvious – i.e., most people tend to discipline their children the way in which they were disciplined. Instead, the lawyer was making a statement that portrays Peterson within the context of common African American life.

Unfortunately, the call to “revisit” the issue of corporate discipline is misguided by comparisons of “1964” and “the South” to “now” and alternative parenting methods (of discipline) in use today. In reply to these calls, Denny Burk as a good post.

R. R. Reno on Ferguson, MO in First Things

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R. R. Reno on Ferguson:

It pains me to admit it, but I see nothing new in the tragic events in Ferguson, nothing new in the protests, which often blended into festivals of destruction, nothing new in the extensive coverage and the calls for our nation to confront racism. It’s an old script, often replayed.

 

Policeman Darren Wilson’s shooting of Michael Brown may have been unwarranted and even criminal. A thorough investigation is needed to see that justice is done. Whatever the outcome of that investigation, we should not turn our eyes from the fact the killing of a black teenager is a daily occurrence in America. They are six times more likely to be killed than young white men. “Young black man dies in gunfire. Mother mourns.” A journalist on the city beat writes these words again and again and again.

 

Those deaths sometimes trigger protests. Here in New York a black man, Eric Garner, was killed when a policeman put him into a chokehold, leading to a series of protests. But they’re rarely as explosive those in Ferguson. And even when they are they rarely end up changing much. Perhaps that’s because we’ve all—black and white—decided to accept the fact that the culture of poor blacks is violent, dangerous, and dysfunctional. The best we can do is keep the violence under control with aggressive policing and incarceration.

Read the whole thing here.