Weekly Wraps (Apr.4-10)
Tim Challies on reading widely, Tullian Tchividjian on gospel math, Phil Johnson on street preaching, and et cetera. I’ve also included a Together for the Gospel (T4G) video of Matt Chandler and C.J. Mahaney. It’s powerful and inspiring.
1. Why Christians Should Read in the Mainstream (Tim Challies) – Challies writes on the benefits of reading widely. Maybe I should begin looking for books outside the Christian genre.
2. Giving Thought to Gospel ‘Math’: Why Jesus + Nothing = Everything (Tullian Tchividjian) – It’s my first time to see Tchividjian preach. He makes a compelling case on why the gospel is also for believers. He says that “there is a growing realization that the gospel is not simply for people outside the church, but for people inside the church as well.” (3:25).
3. Street-Preaching (Phil Johnson) – Last Monday, I encountered an “open-air” evangelist in the train I was riding. I was listening to his message but I couldn’t assess if the gospel he is preaching is accurate (all I heard from him repeatedly is that “God loves them” [the commuters]). I wasn’t able to hear the whole message, for I have to go down in one of the stations. I’m just hoping his message is accurate, and people get to understand the gospel. Honestly, I’m a skeptic to open-air preachers. But Johnson, in his blog, allowed me to see street preaching from another perspective.
4. What are You Doing Here? Discovering God’s Faithfulness in the Midst of Our Failure (Corey Abney) – Abney preaches for the Southern Seminary chapel service. Preaching on 1 Kings 19, he says that we must put our faith on the Victor, not the victories, and depend on the Scriptures, not the spectacular, for sustaining faith in ministry.
5. T4G 2010 — Session 8 — Matt Chandler (with C.J. Mahaney) – Chandler shares how God is sustaining him in the midst of suffering, then Mahaney gives advise—practical ones—on how to prepare the church for suffering, as well as how to comfort them in the midst of it. Best of all, he reminds everyone that the best way to prepare the church for suffering is by preaching the gospel. Here are some noteworthy statements from Mahaney:
The most effective way to prepare your church for suffering is to preach the gospel to your church…There is no superior way to prepare your church for suffering, or to comfort your church in the midst of suffering, than with the gospel. (37:07)
The great mystery is not why do I suffer. The great mystery is why would sinless Son of God suffer as my substitute on the cross for my sins, receiving the wrath that I deserved, so that I might be forgiven and declared righteous. That is the great mystery of mercy. And that mystery can and will make all the difference in the midst of these severest forms of suffering. (38:59)
I can’t help but include this picture of pastors praying for Chandler:
May God heal Chandler and may He continue to work mightily in his life, family, and ministry, all for the fame of His Name.