My 14 year old son, Jack, was sitting next to me just before I stood up to preach at Redeemer Fellowship in St. Charles, Illinois this past Sunday. Just as I was getting up I gave him a bulletin and told him to use the space on the front to take notes. I thought it would be fun to see what he wrote. This is what he gave me after. It's very cool. I had a version on Instagram, but I thought I should make it bigger and more readable.
Joe Thorn has a good post up today about backsliding, how it's not something we talk about much nowadays, and what are the marks of it. Here are some of the marks (from Richard Owen Roberts) that Joe lists. Read the whole post.
3. When the biblical knowledge possessed or acquired is treated as external fact and not applied inwardly, backsliding is present.
9. When aspirations for Christlike holiness cease to be dominant in your life and thinking, backsliding is there.
15. When the slightest excuse seems sufficient to keep you from spiritual duty and opportunity, you are backslidden.
18. When there is no music in your soul and no song in your heart, the silence testifies to your backsliding.
25. When your tears are dried up and the hard, cold spiritual facts of your existence cannot unleash them, see this as an awful testimony both of the hardness of your heart and the depth of your backsliding.
Though we have never done so before, Redeemer’s elders are excited to include spoken word in our worship gathering this Sunday. The main reason we are happy to include it is because spoken word, in this context, is an earnest appeal to look to Christ. Thomas will bring a theologically rich, compelling, confrontational, message to God’s people based on God’s word. And the fact that it is poetic in nature is not a hit against it, but a strength. God loves poetry and has given us much of his word in that very form.
It's a very comprehensive post on what spoken word is, how it conveys truth, he gives some video examples and more. Joe also answers these questions (questions I had too) in his post...
- Isn’t this just entertainment?
- Isn’t this merely trying to attract people through an act?
- Isn’t this worldliness?
Go check out "Spoken Word in the Church" from Joe Thorn. Comment there with your thoughts and questions. Interesting topic.
5 Ways Wives Can Encourage Their Husbands | Jared Wilson
When you nitpick and nag, you give mouthpiece to the accuser who wants your husband to know not only does he not have what it takes, he is worthless because of it. So find ways to constructively criticize and help him repent, but more than that, tell him what you like about him, how you find him attractive or admirable, how you respect him or are impressed by him. Outdo him in showing honor (Rom. 12:10).
On the surface, the Reformed and evangelical world seems divided between "Cultural Transformationists" and the "Two Kingdoms" views of these things. Transformationists fall into fairly different camps, including the neo-Calvinists who follow Abraham Kuyper, the Christian Right, and the theonomists. Though different in significant ways, they all believe Christians should be about redeeming and changing the culture along Christian lines.
Pencil Does Not Fade | Joe Thorn
A cursory search on the internet shows most people stating as fact, “Writing in pencil will fade over time.” Rather than trust the opinion of some random dude on Yahoo Answers who hasn’t even read an article on the subject, I thought I would ask some people who could give me better direction. So I contacted the National Archives. They were happy to answer my questions quickly and provide helpful references. After a few email exchanges with people who spend their time in historic documents, here is the bottom line for those wondering if writing in pencil will fade.
Graphite pencil is a very stable material. It does not fade in light. It does not bleed in water unless other dyes were added.
Mark Dever - Reading Sibbes Aloud | After purchasing the 7 vol Works of Richard Sibbes I was reminded that Mark Dever, who literally wrote the book on Sibbes, has read aloud a number of Sibbes sermons. A nice idea, and worth checking out.
Over 17 years ago I started listening to The White Horse Inn radio program. In fact, while in college a group of students would cram into a dorm room and listen to Mike Horton, Rod Rosenbladt, Ken Jones, and Kim Riddlebarger talk through theology, Scripture, evangelical culture, and church life. We felt like theoloigcal insurgents at our Bible College, but we were really just theology nerds. The WHI is still one of the most valuable things I listen to, now as a podcast, so I was humbled and excited to get an invitation to talk to Mike Horton about my book, Note to Self. You can check out our conversation at the WHI website...
If you aren’t listening to the show, you need to make it a regular part of your diet. You have enough sermons, and broadly cultural podcasts streaming into your ipod, but there isn’t much else out there like this. And, while you’re adjusting your theoloigcal intake you should also subscribe to Modern Reformation magazine. Seriously, get on that. As a subscriber you have online access to all the back issues.
It's a great interview. Great job, Joe! And you should get the podcast. I never miss an episode.
Note to Self by my best friend, Joe Thorn, is already temporarily out of stock at Amazon. You can order there and they will have more soon, or get the Kindle edition, or you can go to WTSBooks.com and buy it, where I hope it's still in stock.
You will be getting copies for your friends after you read it. It's one of the best books on working out good theology in the practical stuff of life that I've read. And he doesn't need to be my best friend for me to say that.
“I know of no other book that deals with the issue of preaching to yourself directly, and I can’t imagine another book will come along to fill this void better than Note to Self. Pastor Joe Thorn offers a richly pastoral, theological, and practical guide for thinking through the Christian life. After reading Note to Self, you will not only have Joe’s notes on how to preach to yourself on issues related to God, others, and yourself, but also you will have a model for practicing the discipline on your own.”
- Ed Stetzer, President, LifeWay Research
“Note to Self is a gospel-guided smart bomb scoring a direct hit on our strongholds of emptiness. But the explosion it detonates is life giving. It clears the way for Christ to enter in with powers of salvation where we really need help.”
- Raymond C. Ortlund Jr., Lead Pastor, Immanuel Church, Nashville, Tennessee
“I am thoroughly engrossed with Joe Thorn’s personal meditations on preaching the gospel to oneself. He combines a clear biblical knowledge with an excellent grasp of doctrine from a historical Reformed perspective and is able to press home a rich application of each aspect of truth to the development of personal holiness. These applications are not trite, but arise from knowledge of the church’s best soul doctors. My wife and I have been reading this each evening and have profited greatly. Each chapter can be managed in less than five minutes but provides an evening’s worth of rich reflection.”
- Tom Nettles, Professor of Historical Theology, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
“Martyn Lloyd-Jones once said that most of your unhappiness is due to the fact that you are listening to yourself instead of talking to yourself. Joe Thorn brings this truth to bear on a new generation in Note to Self. It’s filled with pastoral concern and practical advice packaged as brief notes. I’ve been looking for a book like this my entire Christian life, and it’s every bit as good as I hoped it would be. I’m buying a copy for everyone in my church.”
- Steve McCoy, Pastor, Doxa Fellowship; blogger, Reformissionary
“Joe Thorn’s gift to our spiritual well-being is a contemporary, practical example of what the Puritan pastor Richard Baxter called ‘discursive meditation.’ At once both convicting and exhilarating, Note to Self is a great resource for cultivating the godly habit of preaching to oneself.”
- C. Ben Mitchell, Graves Chair of Moral Philosophy, Union University
“Joe Thorn has not only given us a good piece of writing, he’s given us a great idea! Note to Self is a series of brief notes in which Joe preaches the gospel to himself on a wide range of topics. The notes offer memorable insights on our view of God, others, and self. Everyone should write ‘notes to self.’ Read this book and learn firsthand how to write the gospel into every nook and cranny of your life!”
- Jonathan Dodson, Lead Pastor, Austin City Life, Austin, Texas; founding leader, The GCM Collective; author, Gospel-Centered Discipleship
“I talk to myself. Joe Thorn wants me to talk to myself more. And I need that. Regardless of one’s theological view of Law and gospel, these biblical repasts are a good chew.”
- Jim Elliff, Christian Communicators Worldwide
“Joe Thorn is my favorite kind of pastor—a theologian and a shepherd. Even better, he is a serious follower of Jesus Christ. Listen to him ‘talk to himself’ and you will discover that he is doing more listening than talking. Read Note to Self and it will help you to hear God’s Word and discern the gracious moving of his Spirit in your own life.”
- John Koessler, Professor and Chair of Pastoral Studies Department, Moody Bible Institute
“Joe Thorn has written a series of devotions that are concise and clear but also profound and penetrating. This is just the sort of resource that frazzled and frayed people (like this pastor!) need to read to come back to center and be refreshed by the wonder of the gospel and the beauty and majesty of the Lord Jesus Christ.”
- Chris Brauns, author, Unpacking Forgiveness; Pastor, The Red Brick Church, Stillman Valley, Illinois
“Note to Self teaches you a skill that will permanently change your life: the skill of preaching to yourself. This is a forgotten habit in our day, and Joe Thorn winsomely models how to resurrect this lost art. Note to Self models what I want to see more of in my life and in the lives of the people I pastor. Practice what this book preaches and your life will be different.”
- Justin Buzzard, Lead Pastor, Garden City Church, San Jose, California; blogger, BuzzardBlog
“It’s not enough to simply call people to the gospel. We must help them make the connections between the gospel and their everyday living. Joe Thorn’s Note to Self is gospel proclamation and application at its best. I will put this in the hands of my people."
- Daniel Montgomery, Lead Pastor, Sojourn Community Church, Louisville, Kentucky
I'm reading Joe Thorn's new book, Note To Self, right now. Go pre-order it. I'm really liking it. Helpful for my soul.
Ryan Adams & The Cardinals: III/IV is $3.99 today. (21 tracks)
My family is headed tonight to the Crossway Books premier book reception and art exhibition for the publication of the FOUR HOLY GOSPELS (leather or cloth), featuring paintings by the renowned artist Makoto Fujimura. Check out some of it. More in a mini-documentary...
Before visiting the exhibition we are eating at the new Wheaton Chick fil-A and perusing books at Richard Owen Roberts Booksellers. We are leaving early as I'm going to try to meet with Mr. Roberts for a bit. He is a well-known speaker, writer, and editor specifically on the issue of revival, which is what I'm preaching on. He was also interim pastor of the church I currently pastor and I have received good advice during sit-downs with him before. So I'm going to look for books on revival and speak to an expert on the subject. It's going to be a great night!