Saturday, February 23, 2008

Stay Sharp Audio Available Online

Six sessions of great theological teaching and discussion with EFCA Director of Biblical Theology and Credentialing now available at

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Staying Sharp on the Doctrines of Salvation, the Spirit & the End Times (Session 1)


What makes a theologian?
  • "Prayer, meditation, and trial." - Martin Luther
  • "By theologian, I mean one who, imbued with a substantial knowledge of Divine things derived from the teaching of God Himself, declares and extols, not in words only, but by the whole course of his life, the wonderful excellences of God and thus lives entirely for His glory."..."For no one teaches well unless he has first learned well; no one learns well unless he learns in order to teach. And both learning and teaching are in vain and unprofitable, unless accompanied by practice." Herman Witsius (On the Character of a True Theologian, pg. 27-28)
  • THOUGHT - Contrast the Theology of glory with theology of the Cross.... (Martin Luther's Heidelberg Disputation, 1518). What are the implications of these phrases?
  • 2 Cor. 4; Jude 4; Titus 1:6; 1 Cor. 10 and the challenge to live the gospel in our lives, to live-out Christ's Lordship in our lives.
  • John M. Frame - "Studying Theology as a Servant of Jesus" - The best way to define theology is as the application of the whole Bible to whole of human life.

4 Features of Christian Theology

  1. Biblically Grounded = the Biblical Text
  2. Historically Informed = contribution of church history to our development
  3. Contemporarily Engaged = contextualization (are we answering the questions being asked today or those that were asked 25 years ago?)
  4. Lived-out = practical, daily, lived-out, real-world (orthopraxy)

WESLEY said...

  1. Scripture
  2. Traditon
  3. Reason
  4. Experience

See: Systematic Theology - Wayne Grudem for "How we should study Theology" p.32ff

  • With prayer and persistence
  • With humility and obedience

google....Roger Nicole "How to deal with Those Who Differ From Us"

Make our first love, Christ, and our love for the gospel second to it, then all other loves flow from there.

Concluding the Day - It was this thought: "Unity in Doctrine, Diversity in was Paul's practice thatwas flexible, not his principle. Unity in truth and appropriate principled diversity among Christians are both part of God's wonderful provision for His people."

  1. Where Scripture addresses a specific topic, we have the responsibility to study, understand and be transformed by its teaching. Whether it be matters of doctrine or principles of Christian living, we must remain committed to hearing, believing, and heeding the Word of God to us.
  2. Matters of indifference arise where the Bible specifically provides for them, or where it is silent on a particular issue. No one has the right to bind our consciences more than the Word of God.

- Greg Strand

Monday, February 18, 2008

Day 1 at Evolve

I am in Cumming, GA over the next few days for the Evolve Conference. I am here learning, connecting and representing the Evangelical Free Church of America along with a few others from our denomination. There are probably around 1000 church-planters gathered at this event of training and providing tools and best practices. This is a direct ministry of Mountain Lake Church, and the EFCA is one of its partners. MLC is about eight years old and has about 2000 in attendence. It is obviously very heavily involved in church-planting, so its impact is much much larger than its attendence indicates. By the way, many of the folks at the church became believers through the church.

I hung-out with George Klippenes, our national leader, and a few others from our National Team. We interacted with other movements leaders and with church-planters through-out the day. Coming to a conference like this makes me grateful for how far we have come; yet, it makes me realize how far we still have to go.

The 1st message of the Day was entitled - Being a Healthy Leader. The basic premise was that Being a Spiritual Leader means that we need to Disciplined Leaders. This message was by Shawn Lovejoy, founding pastor of MLC. For a great set of self assessment questions as a leader visit The question that followed was - "who wants to follow an unhealthy spiritual leader?"

The second message of the day was by a very strong young preacher named Steven Furtick, founding pastor of Elevation Church in Charolette, NC. This church was started 2 years ago and has grown to nearly 3000. or His biggest point was taken from the life of Joshua 10:14-17 and the challenge was that we must not move to mimmick others, but we must follow God from our own hearts, from our own design. No more Mr. Potato Head churches, we need leaders and churches who will follow God audaciously.

During one of the other training sessions, I attended one on giving and on Capital Campaigns. I learned several of the myths of giving, the biggest being that we should not be afraid to ask people to give to God, for from Matt. 6:19-20, we are reminded that where people's hearts are, there will there treasure be also. If we are truly spiritually concerned for people, we need to be concerned with what they treasure. Often times, people are just waiting to be asked.

I am looking forward to day 2 of this event. God is certainly beginning as great movement in our land, we certainly need it, and it is a privilege to share in it.

A Few pics below!

Friday, February 1, 2008

Link to Acts 29 "Preaching the Mission" by Mark Driscoll

Go here to view the notes and listen to the message by Mark Driscoll. The one actually given at TEDS has not been uploaded yet, but the content is basically the same.

Reflections on ACTS 29 at TEDS

I've just returned from an immensely busy but very good week at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. On Monday, the National Church Planting team met and considered several of the issues coming at us in the world of Church-Planting.

Monday Night I had a wonderful time meeting with the Meauxs and Buerhles as we considered next steps necessary for them to uproot their families and to move to Cleveland. The real desire of their heart, while they appreciate our NEO effort, is to have ONE church family in Cleveland that will become their family as they begin to move toward planting in the next few years. I am really high on John and Matt and their families. What they want is what we really want for all our church plants (in essence a healthy mother - whether it is one that actually gives birth or one that adopts them). These couples aren't necessarily looking for money or people, but relationship, encouragement, affirmation.

Tuesday and Wednesday, Acts 29 presented its form of Bootcamp...Ed Stetzer, Mark Driscoll, Mark Dever, Darrin Patrick, Scott Thomas. My conclusion is that all of our planters should do this bootcamp first, then the EFCA's. Actst 29 really gets at the heart and motives more deeply than our's, but it doesn't provide the nuts and bolts that the EFCA's does. Mark Driscoll presented the BEST SEMINAR ON BIBLICAL PREACHING that I have EVER HEARD. It will probably show-up at I want to get his permission to share the outline, then link you to the podcast. Some of what he discussed really relates well to my first blog on Preaching and Life-Transformation. I look to discuss more of this in my next blog post.

During these bootcamp, I connected with Frank and Kerri Tallerico of Bigelow Church in Portsmouth, OH. Frank is the Sr. Pastor where Brian Evans is the associate. Frank and Kerri sat through our assessment with Brian and Tripp. That experience left them wondering what they really needed to do to become a church-planting church, so they came to Acts 29 as step in that process. I am looking forward to the possibility of connecting with them as they further unpackage this.

On Tuesday night our team met with the Acts 29 team and several TEDS Profs. As we shared, I was struck by the fact that many of our leaders are aware of the need to become more personally involved in living a gospel missional life. Additionally, we considered the changing landscape of the church and church-planting. Our theme was really "Reaching-out Without Selling-out". One of the interested points was that of micro-niche ministry which reaches very specific segments of society. We also talked about the need of networking across denominational and "para-church" boarders for the sake of the gospel. Also announced was the fact the Ed has joined the TEDS faculty as Associate Prof. Later that night, Mark Overmyer and I spent time with Ray Chang and some of his associates further discussing these issues.

Wednesday - Jim Hagen flew in and we conducted two assessment interviews with Mark and Kendra Petras and Nate and Teri Childers. More to come about these folks and their potential ministries. These interviews mixed with more Acts 29 and even more connections for church-planting in the Allegheny District made for an extremely long day, but a very very productive and fruitful one.

Thursday was a driving and phone day, and now I need to decompress a little, do reports, and get ready for the next flurry of activity to come. Thanks for your Prayers.