About Me

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My real name is Charlie Albright. I am the pinnacle of evil who God has flooded with His mercy. Declaring my sinful self righteous and holy in His sight! Lavishing His grace upon me by the blood Jesus shed on the cross! Carrying me through this life and giving me satiatfing joy! Anything good about me is only because of His grace!

Friday, June 27, 2008

5 Tips for Clear Writing and Talking

Posted over at the Desiring God blog, C.S. Lewis gives advice on how to write and talk clearly.

Michael Haykin: Church History

Steve Weaver posted several resources from Dr. Michel Haykin awhile back. If you intrested in church history Dr. Haykin's knowledge is invaluable.

I have hade the privilege of meeting Dr. Haykin and listening to one of his lectures he did at the Andrew Fuller conference. He is a very Godly man and intelligent in regards to church history. It is wonderful to have him on the SBTS faculty.

Doing Some House (Google Reader) Cleaning

I am presently going throuth my star item list on my Google Reader. If you in any way like me you star posts and never get back around to reading them or sharing them with others. They just sit there and get more starred items piled on top of them. So, for the next few posts I am going to be doing some house cleaning in my Google Reader. Hopeful what I share will be of some value to you. :)

Commentary List

Keith Mathison over at the Ligonier blog is giving his top five commentaries on a specific book of the Bible. If you are not looking for commentaries at the moment, it is something to keep a hold of for future reference.

So far he has given his top five for:





Monday, June 23, 2008

Joy and the Ministry

A very good, short panel discussion on fighting for joy while doing ministry with C.J. Mahaney and Jeff Purswell.

A blurb from the discussion by C.J.

Yes, if we assume the gospel, or neglect the gospel, or neglect to preach the gospel to ourselves on a daily basis, if we do not review and remind ourselves of the doctrines of grace, if we do not prepare our hearts to discern evidences of grace, all we will be left with throughout the day is an increasing awareness of sin and an increasing awareness of adversity.

Southern Baptists, the Family, and the Rule of the Appetites

Dr. Russell Moore hits another grand slam with his commentary. Here is his ending paragraph,

Could it be that Ronald McDonald and digitalized talking "Christian" vegetable cartoons are just as erosive of the family as the cultural rot we are accustomed to denouncing? Could it be that the consumer culture we mimic in our own church and denominational programs is, in reality, just as hedonistic as a truck-stop
"peep show" booth, and for the same reasons?

The Faithful Preacher

I have finished one of Thabiti Anyabwile's books, The Faithful Preacher: Recapturing the Vision of Three Pioneering African-American Pastors. The book was a collection of sermons from three African-American preachers spanning the years of 1780 to 1937. Before the sermons of the specific pastor, Anyabwile gave a brief overview of their ministry and presented what lessons we can learn from the pastor.

The basic thesis of the book is the quote I posted earlier. We as future ministers, ministers, and lay-people serving in a local church should look to the faithful and fruitful ministers that have gone before us . We are constantly presented with a new, fresh way to do ministry. This new way is sure to catch people's eyes and revive excitement. But there is no guarantee that the new technique will be effective. And in Thabiti's word's, "But who really wants to approach shepherding the Lord's sheep by trial and error?" (p. 14) Should we play with men's souls as we constantly seek out new church techniques? Instead, we should learn from those faithful men that have gone before us and have demonstrated a sound and Biblical way to minster.

That is what Anyabwile sets out to do. This is not a "Here's a five step program to how to do church." Instead it a chance to read from ministers from years past and glean the wisdom of ministry they present in their sermons.

here are some quotes from each of the pastors in the book.

Lemuel Haynes -

The solemn account that the faithful minster expects to give on another day will direct him in the choice of his subjects; he will dwell upon those things that have a more direct relation to the eternal world. He will not entertain his audience with empty speculations or vain philosophy but with things that concern their everlasting welfare. Jesus Christ, and Him crucified, will be the great topic and darling theme of his preaching. If he means to save souls, like a skillful physician he will endeavor to lead his patients into view of their maladies and then point them to a bleeding Savior as the only way of recovery. (p. 32)

Daniel A. Payne -

The end of all his studies and research into religion, science, and philosophy is to teach immortal souls and lead them to the knowledge of the truth as it is in Christ Jesus. He does not mistake sound sense, any more than he could mistake stones for bread, giving the people the former just because he has not the latter. He is more anxious to make God's people intelligent and wise than to excite their animal feelings and make them shout. He labors not to make them admire and praise himself but to make them angry with themselves, fall out with their sins, and fall in love with Christ. And this he does by all plainness of speech and fitness of simile, by arguments as strong as bars of iron, by illustrations as beautiful as the lily and the rose. (p. 100)

Francis J. Grimke -

The only thing that we need to be concerned about is to see that we carry out faithfully the instructions of the Lord; that we be true to the solemn trust committed to us; that we go on preaching the gospel; that we go teaching His word, line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little, in season and out of season, and give ourselves no concern about its future. Its future is assured. God is behind it. It cannot fail. (p. 181)

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Looking to Those Who have Gone Before Us

This is quote from the introduction of The Faithful Preacher: Recapturing the Vision of Three Pioneering African-American Pastors, by Thabiti Anyabwile. I believe that these are wise words regarding where ones looks when consulting about the workings of ministry. New ideas abound everywhere and there is no slow down to people producing them. But when it comes to the important task of ministry, where should the bulk of our ideas becoming from, Thabiti writes,

Those who have gone before us, old friends with old ideas, have left us a proven track record of faithfulness and fruitfulness. and the two do go together: where there is faithfulness, fruitfulness is bound to follow.

We are from the time we are schoolchildren that "those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it." Maintaining an ignorance of history will not result in replication of greatness and earlier success. Those who learn from history, who wisely consult those who have gone before, are the only ones who have a real chance at succeeding and avoiding pitfalls. Faithfulness and fruitfulness in ministry require wisdom, hard work, time, and the providential blessings of God, all of which are enhanced by a humble study of our predecessors. (p. 14)

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

To Christ the Lord Let Every Tongue

To Christ the Lord let every tongue
Its noblest tribute bring
When He’s the subject of the song
Who can refuse to sing?
Survey the beauties of His face
And on His glories dwell
Think of the wonder of His grace
And all His triumphs tell

Majestic sweetness sits enthroned
Upon His awful brow
His head with radiant glories crowned
His lips with grace overflow
No mortal can with Him compare
Among the sons of men
Fairer He is than all the fair
That fill the Heavenly train

He saw me plunged in deep distress
He fled to my relief
For me He bore the shameful cross
And carried all my grief
His hand a thousand blessings pours
Upon my guilty head
His presence gilds my darkest hours
And guards my sleeping bed

To Him I owe my life and breath
And all the joys I have
He makes me triumph over death
And saves me from the grave
To Heaven the place of His abode
He brings my weary feet
Shows me the glories of my God
And makes my joy complete

Since from His bounty I receive
Such proofs of love divine
Had I a thousand hearts to give
Lord, they should all be Thine
A thousand men could not compose
A worthy song to bring
Yet Your love is a melody
Our hearts can’t help but sing!

Words by Samuel Stennett
©2001 Laura Taylor Music.
Taken from RUF Hymn Book

Monday, June 16, 2008

God's Immutable Love

God's love never changes. That is one truth that brings such wonder and gladness to my heart. If you know me, my love changes. One day I might have more love for you than the next. It is not because I mean to be unloving, I am just a frail human being. But God's love for you has always been the same. Every time you go into His presence His love and affection for you is constantly abounding above imaginably! Think of this, the same intenseness of Christ's love shown to you when he uttered the words, "Father forgive them," on the cross has never changed. He loves you right now as intensely as he did then. Christ's love is immutable!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

The "Good" in the Good News

I was thinking about the question posed by people regarding talking about the wrath of God in a gospel presentations (or anything that makes people feel bad. Calling people “sinners”, for example). the question posed is this, “We are command to tell people the good news of Jesus Christ. Now, all that stuff about wrath and sin is not all that “good” to some people. So how can we tell people about the good news if we tell them so much bad news (wrath, sinner)?”

I believe that problem with this question is that it defines the meaning of what is a good message according to a cultural context. What is good differs from culture to culture. The same message can be affirmed in one culture while causing people to tear their hair out in frustration in another. So to force the message of Christ to be defined by a cultural understanding of good is just letting the culture tell you what to preach. Our message that we have been entrusted with is filtered through a grid of acceptability. If, indeed, what we preach is considered “good” to the hearers.

This can prove detrimental to the gospel message which we are commended to preach. Here in America it seems to work just fine to lay off the bits about wrath and hell. I mean, those are uncomfortable subjects. Isn't it best to just tell people about how much God loves them by sending forth His Son to die on a cross and be resurrected in three days for them? To bring up the part of them being rebels against the living God and the only thing that their rebellion is going to accomplish is an eternity in hell is just going to make them feel down cast. So, we think it is best to lay off the the wrath part since it really is not that good of news to people. But lets say that one day while sitting down on one side of a park bench you turn and see an older man on the other side. You begin conversing with him out of friendliness. You'all talk about normal things at first: what both of you do, where each of you live, etc. during the conversation you come to find out that he is Jewish. Thus, you begin to move the conversation towards a more religious direction. It is not much longer until you bring up the fact that you are a Christian. “Oh,” he says, “I have heard about Christianity but have not had the privilege to talk an actual follower.” This, of course, excites you tremendously, but before you start explaining your beliefs he makes the following comment, “What I do know about Christianity is that you believe that the Messiah died on a cross. Now let me tell you, I shutter in my soul to think that God's messiah would die in such a fashion. I cannot bare the thought of such an atrocious idea!” What are you going to do? Obviously, the news that the messiah did in fact die on a cross is not good news for him. In fact it will probably close his ears to where ever else you are going to say.

Do you see the problem when you let the culture or the person define what is the good that our message should bring? Now, not only are you removing the truth of God's judicial wrath but if you are consistent, you have to remove the very fact that Jesus died on a cross! So that the message you are bring could be good in the listeners ear. So now we have gone from removing a few attributes too removing the very essence of the gospel! If we, indeed, say that the hearers are the determiners of the nature of the good we bring we are capable of having the very essence of the gospel removed from our message.

That is why the nature of the good in the gospel is not based in a culture's take on what makes them feel good but in the immutable and glorious character of God. That must be the nature of the good in our news. Our news is good because we tell of the nature and workings of our God who is Himself good. God came, in the flesh, to reconcile a world that rejects Him though He made the world and the very people that rejected Him. That is a good action. But what about wrath? It is telling that this is even a question. Yes! God's wrath is good! It is righteous! It is holy! God does the right thing by punishing evil and wickedness.

The proclamation that God's wrath will be poured out on those who do evil is good news. When ever you are told that someone did the right thing you always take it as good news. Well, God punishing those that deserve punishment is a good thing. For every tyrannical dictator, every child kidnapper, and every raper, will be punished according to what they did. What kind of news would it be if you heard that God just looks past evil atrocities? If you hear of a judge that pardons the clearly guilty, do you take that to be good news? No! Good news is hearing that the Lord of the universe will render all accounts settled in the end. Justice with be served. Evil will be punished. This is good news!

The problem that we face is that the people in this culture do not see themselves as evil. They consider themselves to be good people that slip up now and then. Now, they would say, there are some really bad people out there that God should punish. But, God will just see all the good things that I have done and see that they out weight the bad things in my life. The very idea that God's wrath should be over them personally is not only far from their minds, it is offensive. I mean, God being wrathful on a “good” person? What is up with that?

See, once again, that when we let the culture define what is the good in our gospel we end up letting the culture shape the gospel itself? God's righteous judgment against wickedness is removed because telling people the truth that they are indeed wicked is offensive. Therefore we end up failing to tell people the very truths that they need to hear. The very philosophical and ideological problems that are hostile in people's minds to embracing the gospel go unchallenged. If people do not believe that they need saving they will not look for a savior. The good that the unconverted want is not always the good that they should have. At times it is not even good. We cannot let sinful people tell us what good is.

So, the good of our gospel is God. His nature and His deeds. Man in his rebellion is always going to be offend by some, if not all, aspects of the message we bring. We must, however, present boldly, clearly, confidently, tenderly, humbly, and passionately the full gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Let Me Dwell on Golgotha

Let me dwell on Golgotha,
Weep and love my life away!
While I see Him on the tree
Weep and bleed, and die for me!

That dear blood, for sinners spilt,
Shows my sin in all its guilt:
Ah, my soul, He bore thy load,
Thou hast slain the Lamb of God.

Hark! His dying words; “Forgive,
Father, let the sinner live;
Sinner, wipe thy tears away,
I thy ransom freely pay.”

While I hear this grace revealed,
And obtain a pardon sealed;
All my lost affections move,
Wakened by the force of love.

Farewell world, thy gold is dross,
Now I see the bleeding cross;
Jesus died to set me free
From the law, and sin, and thee!

He has dearly bought my soul
Lord, accept, and claim the whole!
To Thy will I all resign,
Now, no more my own, but Thine.

by John Newton

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Pursuing Manhood

From the Spring Journal of Biblical Manhood & Womanhood, Ray Van Neste, in his article Pursuing Manhood, challenges us young men to grow-up. Not physically, but to grow-up with regards to true Biblical manhood.

Here is his concluding remarks,

The everyday labor with my family is far more heartening and joyful to me than any of those other things. This will have far more impact in God's Kingdom. The everyday, inglorious work I do, the tasks of teaching, training, and changing diapers-that matters far more. For those of you who will marry, this is where you are headed. Manhood is embracing everyday responsibilities, living out commitment, being willing to sacrifice, so that your cultural engagement really happens in your family. The most significant culture you are involved in is your own home, your own church, living out practical godliness . . . with dirt and other items under your fingernails, so to speak. It is godliness in the everyday sphere of life. This is real manhood being lived out.

I was challenged in my own life in reflecting what areas I need to become more of a man. I believe that we as Christian men must always fight to retain what God calls manhood against what our culture presents as manhood.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Messages from NA

I know that this is late, but here are the messages from NA.

C. J. Mahaney's message on adoption was the best of the conference. If you have time to listen to just one then listen to C. J.'s

45 Ways to Waste your Theological Education

I found this list by Derek Brown very convicting. How important it is that all of us (myself very much included) in ministry training at an institution to not waste the time given to us.

Pictures from NA 08

I hung out with my friend Alex Leung for most of the conference. Since I was just coming from Boyce I was part of an official group. If I was not with Alex I was with people from Immaneul or Boyce.
I finally got to see some Rebelution and Internet friends. This is David Ketter at the top and Justin Davito below.

Alex and myself were able to get some photos with Joshua Harris and C.J. Mahaney.

(I know that it looks like I have a massive overbite in the picture with Joshua. I was laughing when the picture was taken and my bottom lip just ended in a bad place.)