Tag Archives: Growing in Christ

Deepening the Next Generation: The New Macedonia Baptist Church Family Conference 2012

The New Macedonia Baptist Church in Northeast Washington, DC, kindly invited me to lead a workshop at their Family Conference 2012 entitled, “Big Truths for Little Kids—Preparing the Next Generation to Advance the Kingdom of God.” In the workshop I speak on the benefit of using historic catechisms in order to discuss the truths of Scriptures with our children daily. I wish that I could convince all Christian parents to do such. Part of the intent of the historic catechisms is to train families in the faith so that children will continue in the practice of the faith as part of their daily lives. This would be repeated over and over again in successive generations.

I gave examples of how to utilize the catechism from Starr Meade’s, Training Heats, Teaching Minds (P&R). I have found this work extremely beneficial in bringing my own children along in the faith, or, as our church covenant says, “[educating] religiously our children.” As noted in the class, once we do the daily reading of the catechism, the devotional help by Meade, and the reading of the Scriptures, my children ask all of the questions. Much of what I do is facilitate a discussion about the truth. As a parent, you do not need to know all Biblical and theological things in order to lead your children to deepen in their faith. You simply need grace from Christ to pray and be faithful.

This year the Redmonds’ used the Heidelberg Catechism for the first time, after many years of using the Westminster Shorter Catechism. We almost have finished the entire Heidleberg. I also would recommend it for daily family times centered around the word of God.

If you need more argument for the importance of daily teaching of our children the truths of the faith, I would recommend J. I. Packer and Gary A. Parrett’s, Grounded in the Gospel: Building Believers the Old Fashioned Way (Baker). If your real fear in training your children is that you do not know enough Bible and theology to answer potential questions from them (and your real problem is not that you simply do not wish to make the effort to faithfully meet with your family responsibly – cf. Dt. 4:9; 6:1-9; 11:19; Psalm 78:1-8; Eph. 6:4; 2 Tim. 3:15), I would recommend too Packer’s, Growing in Christ, Concise Theology, 18 Words, and the Knowing God Devotional Journal. You could make each of these works part of your own daily, personal Bible study for all of 2013. You would greatly increase in your knowledge of God in Christ, and your joy in him, by giving only fifteen minutes a day to such an endeavor. Your family and your church will benefit greatly from your growth too. I would recommend these works also for those who have no children to raise, but simply wish to grow more in the faith.

The Gospel and Personal Change: Christ Formed in You

Yesterday I received a copy of Brian Hedges’, Christ Formed in You: The Power of the Gospel for Personal Change. In skimming the book, it looks like a very exciting and promising tool for aiding the believer in personal and corporate sanctification and spiritual formation. Immediately I can see that this work will be beneficial to the task of faithful, Christ-centered pastoral counseling (as opposed to many eclectic and integrative forms of “Christian” or “pastoral” counseling that do not give enough attention to the pervasiveness of sin in the soul and the power of Christ and his church for inward, God-fearing, spiritual change). Congrats to Brian on the book! Also thanks go to Tedd Tripp and Shepherd Press for seeing this work through to publication.

Product Description

The central claim in Christ Formed in You is that it is God s purpose to change us by progressively making us more like Jesus, and that this happens only as we understand and apply the gospel to our lives. In the pages that follow we will explore the transforming power of the gospel from several angles. Part One focuses on the foundations for personal change. We will look at God s ultimate goal in transforming us (Chapter One); the key to transformation, which is the gospel itself (Chapter Two); and the application of the gospel to our lives in three specific ways (Chapters Three, Four, and Five). Part Two then takes up the pattern of personal change. We will explore the captivating beauty of gospel holiness (Chapter Six); with its demands that we both kill sin (Chapter Seven); and grow in grace by the power of the Spirit (Chapter Eight); and the quest for joy that motivates us in this pursuit and strengthens us in the battle for holiness (Chapter Nine). Part Three of the book focuses on the means of personal change, the tools God uses to transform us. These final three chapters, while building on the foundation of the gospel discussed earlier in the book, are the most practical. We will learn how God uses spiritual disciplines (Chapter Ten); suffering (Chapter Eleven); and personal relationships in the body of Christ (Chapter Twelve) to conform us to the image of Christ. In each of these chapters, my aim has been to connect the dots between the gospel, the goal of Christlikeness, and the specific aspect of spirituality under discussion.