- The Reformed Pastor
- 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, April 24, 2009
The messages from the Gospel Coalition are available for download.
Tim Keller: The Grand Demythologizer: The Gospel and Idolatry
John Piper: Feed the Flame of God's Gift: Unashamed Courage in the Gospel
Mark Driscoll: Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth. And here is the written list of who negative people and positive people are, that Mark refers to in his message.
K. Edward Copeland: Shadowlands: Pitfalls and Parodies of Gospel-Centered Ministry
Bryan Chapell: Preach the Word!
Phil Ryken: The Pattern of Sound Words
Hopefully the other message will be up soon. You can find all of these sermons here.
Update: Justin Taylor has posted all the messages at his site.
Monday, April 13, 2009
I have recently received the CD "Songs of a Pious Heart" by Blake Hicks. It is Fantastic(!) to say the least. In the CD Blake Hicks attemptes to communicate some of the theological richness found in St. Augustine's "Confessions." from his site,
You can buy the CD off his site or buy the MP3s from Amazon.
Blake's goal for this project was to use music to capture and convey the grace of God in the life of St. Augustine. During his first masters degree at seminary, he was assigned to read The Confessions of St. Augustine for a course in church history. From the outset, he was less than enthused. Largely unfamiliar with the theological writings of the early church, Blake had yet to see the value in reading such an antiquated work, especially one originally written in Latin. The whole thing just seemed sort of disconnected.
Then he read it.
What Blake found in reading that book was phenomenal. He saw the beauty of the gospel on display through a very genuine, very personal testimony. He saw the wonder of the grace of God in triumph over the power of sin through superior joy. While he did not embrace all of Augustine's theological positions (especially on matters like the sacraments) he did very much identify with Augustine's description of the bondage of the will. And even more so, he marveled at the description of sin's dismay in light of the supreme joy of knowing God. So much so that he began writing songs about it. With a tight schedule and an even tighter budget, Blake began to record those songs in his apartment. The result of that is on his newly released album, "Songs of a Pious Heart: A Tribute to the Confessions of St. Augustine."
You can buy the CD off his site or buy the MP3s from Amazon.
Friday, April 10, 2009
And they cried out again, “Crucify him.” And Pilate said to them, “Why, what evil has he done?” But they shouted all the more, “Crucify him.” So Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd, released for them Barabbas, and having scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified.
And the soldiers led him away inside the palace (that is, the governor's headquarters), and they called together the whole battalion. And they clothed him in a purple cloak, and twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on him. 18 And they began to salute him, “Hail, King of the Jews!” And they were striking his head with a reed and spitting on him and kneeling down in homage to him. And when they had mocked him, they stripped him of the purple cloak and put his own clothes on him. And they led him out to crucify him.
And they compelled a passerby, Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to carry his cross. And they brought him to the place called Golgotha (which means Place of a Skull). And they offered him wine mixed with myrrh, but he did not take it. And they crucified him and divided his garments among them, casting lots for them, to decide what each should take. And it was the third hour when they crucified him. And the inscription of the charge against him read, “The King of the Jews.” And with him they crucified two robbers, one on his right and one on his left. And those who passed by derided him, wagging their heads and saying, “Aha! You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save yourself, and come down from the cross!” So also the chief priests with the scribes mocked him to one another, saying, “He saved others; he cannot save himself. Let the Christ, the King of Israel, come down now from the cross that we may see and believe.” Those who were crucified with him also reviled him.
And when the sixth hour had come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” And some of the bystanders hearing it said, “Behold, he is calling Elijah.” And someone ran and filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on a reed and gave it to him to drink, saying, “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to take him down.” And Jesus uttered a loud cry and breathed his last. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And when the centurion, who stood facing him, saw that in this way he breathed his last, he said, “Truly this man was the Son of God!” (Mark 15:13-39)
Thursday, April 9, 2009
want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel, so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard and to all the rest that my imprisonment is for Christ. And most of the brothers, having become confident in the Lord by my imprisonment, are much more bold to speak the word without fear. (Phil 1:12-14)
What are the purposes of my circumstances? Why do I live now, in this time, in this place, with this status?
My initial response would probably be something of the Lord’s working. He is sovereign and determines the boundaries of our lives. He chooses where we are born, who we are born to, and what genes and cultural influences mix in us to mold our inclinations.
That is a good answer for sure! But if I am honest with myself I live as if there are other reasons. There is the pride that makes me want others to look upon me with laud and honor. So I am where I am to make myself into the greatest bible teacher and servant the world has yet to see. There is my selfishness that is only concerned with my well being. My friends and gifts are all around me for the purpose of making my life happier and more satisfying. But if they ever cease performing this task I have little use for them. And both of these evil characteristics flow from the idolatry of “me”. My fame, my well being, is the doctrine of this religion that wars against the worship of the one true living God.
But what thanks flows from my heart to Him who has mercifully and graciously took up His sovereign sword of salvation against this religion! And on the cross He struck the death blow to this religion! And now I war against the last futile attempts by the religion of “me” to rule me. But while its defeat is sure, it is putting up one monstrous fight! I still desire fame and well being.
But I am thankful that there is an in break of a new kingdom and the desires it brings are beautiful and satisfying. And I saw these desire in the text quoted above. Here was the Apostle Paul in the midst of an unpleasurable circumstance. Imprisoned for the sake of the gospel, he was living in a place where the old religion of “me” would cringe to be. But because of a new king, a new One to worship Paul’s desires reflect a heavenly existence.
First Paul is enthralled by the advance of the gospel by His circumstances. There was no worship of himself, all he saw was the fame of his new King spreading, and it pleased him! So much that he was glad to remain in this situation as long as the fame of King Jesus grew.
And then second, Paul’s heart was now for other people. Why? Because the one he now worshiped displayed His unparalleled mercy to people. God is involved with the salvation of particular persons. And So Paul’s concern is to see people mature in Christ. Even though His selfishness screams injustice at his circumstance, his heart jumps at the sight of people becoming bold of the Savor.
Oh, may I be like Paul who hates his old religious ways and joyfully worship my new King and so be conformed to His ways. So that, in whatever circumstance I am placed, my desires would reflect His desires to see His named glorified in the salvation of sinners and my heart satisfied in such glorification.