Tag Archives: Mark Dever

Mark Dever T4G 2014 Message: The Certain Victory of Christ’s Church an Encouragement to Evangelism

The following are my notes of Mark Dever’s message at T4G 2014.

Introduction

Things look bad right now. Evil presses in on every side and there is our own sin. There are issues in our churches. Biblical teaching is held up for mockery in the media. We are seen as silly. The speed of the changes are breathtaking. Christians are facing terrible persecution around the world. In Egypt, the worst persecution of Christians is being seen now then in the last 700 years.

So to be having a conference on evangelism, doesn’t this seem like a strange idea during these times? However, our struggle is not against flesh and blood. Satan likes to distract us and take away our hopes. Yet, God likes to take away our small hopes to put our bigger hope in him.

I want to begin this conference with encouraging you pastors in evangelism. Especially if many of you are coming to this conference thinking about it like going to the dentist where you pay someone to scold you about not flossing more.

I want us to turn to Isaiah 36-37 of the great public event in the lifetime of Isaiah. Do you know what I mean about the great public event? It would be like the civil war if you were living in the United States during that time. The civil war was the great public event.

Scene 1: The Assyrian Invasion

Isaiah 36:1

In 724 B.C. Assyria invaded the Northern Kingdom and destroyed them in 722 B.C. They deported the majority of society to other places and then brought Babylonians into the nation to take them over. Continue reading

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Filed under Evangelism, Pastoral Ministry, T4G 2014

Are We Planting Churches or Campuses?

I have recently been having several conversations with people about multi-site churches and it reminded me of a paper I wrote in seminary about this topic. I hope it is useful in getting us thinking about what is a church.

INTRODUCTION

I grew up outside of Washington D.C and until recently my old neighborhood was the home of some serious tobacco farming. For several years of my childhood our house was literally surrounded by a tobacco farm. I remember walking home from school and seeing farmers tilling the soil, planting the seeds, and gathering the tobacco leaves. It was clear to me that my neighbors knew what they were doing. If I asked them anything about tobacco farming they could have told me more than I ever wanted to know. Imagine if one day while I was walking home I asked each of the different farmers what they were planting in the ground. What do you think are the chances that I would have got a different answer from each of them? Each farmer may have different farming methods, but they would never even slightly disagree about what they are planting, right?

Yet, I wonder if I could say the same thing about most pastors and church planters. If I went and asked a large group of pastors and church planters what they are planting, would I get different answers from each one of them? Now, I know that defining and identifying a church is much more complicated and subjective than defining and identifying a tobacco plant. However, I am concerned that many pastors and church planters today are redefining what is a church. All you need to do is begin listening to those pastors and planters who have been advocating the recent multi-site church planting model. If you listen closely to what they are saying about the church and then compare it to what the bible says about the church the differences will be clear.

What I hope communicate in this post is twofold:

1) Provide a biblical and historical definition of the church.

2) Compare that definition with a definition of a multi-site church by quoting the men who are advocating the practice. Continue reading

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Filed under Church Planting, The Church

Is Becoming A Christian Intellectual Suicide?

The following is an excerpt from Mark Dever’s address at Georgetown University titled “Is Becoming a Christian Intellectual Suicide?”

In order to affirm the broad sweeping claim that becoming a Christian is intellectual suicide you must be certain that there are no exceptions to that claim and the reality is that there are plenty of exceptions.

Ethics

When we look at ethical issues, what sense does it make to say that John Newton or William Wilberforce were anti-intellectuals when they were leading abolitionists, but also devout Christians. What does this mean in reference to a Martin Luther King Jr.

Arts

When we turn to the arts there is the painter Michelangelo, the poet John Milton, the musician Johann Sebastian Bach or the writer, lecturer, and literary critic at Oxford, Cambridge C.S. Lewis.

Are we to assume that all of these people have committed intellectual suicide? If so, what can that mean about these men?

Political Theory

In Political theory there was Sir Thomas More and Sir Francis Bacon and Edmund Burke who all called themselves Christians. Alexander Hamilton who designed parts of the United States finance system. All of these men had their political theory affected by their faith. Abraham Kuyper was the Prime Minister of the Netherlands in the early 1900s but also a noted systematic theologian.

Continue reading

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Filed under 9 Marks, Apologetics, Campus Outreach, Evangelism, Sermons

T4G 2012 Panel – Inerrancy: Did God Really Say?

(Listen to the audio of this panel HERE.)

Al Mohler read the affirmations and denials of T4G on inerrancy

John did you see inerrancy lost in your seminary at Fuller?

Piper: No. It happened while I was in Germany.

Simon, is this just a reformation thing?

Gathercole: No. We see inerrancy taught in Augustine very clearly.

Is there a unified thought in Christian history on inerrancy?

Duncan: Yes. I appreciate the honesty of some recent authors who even argued against inerrancy, but they at least agreed that Christians have always believed this in history.

Peter what do you believe about the bible?

Williams: I want to add more than inerrant and inspired and authoritative. Words like historical and clear. Continue reading

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Filed under 9 Marks, Pastoral Ministry, Scripture, T4G 2012

T4G Panel – Contextualization: Lost In Translation?

(Audio of the panel can be found HERE.)

Matt how do people do Contextualization in Dallas?

Chandler: There are churches who say that just because of _____ this does not make you a Christian.

Kevin how are you doing at Contextualization in your church?

Deyoung: We are not known for that. I’m sure we do something even if we are not really thinking about Contextualization. But I hope we are talking to people and loving people and listening to them. I am more concerned with learning my people more than learning the culture. Every time I do illustrations it is contextualization though.

How about you Thabiti?

Anyabwile: Well what does the word mean? I study to be as plain as I can because there are 30 nationalities in our church.

Chandler: I think that is Contextualization. My style and dress are at least what is meant by Contextualization but it can mean more.

Anyabwile: I think that is just communication. We need to know our audience.

Mohler: We need some parameters. We need to not be offensive in the wrong ways. Contextualization came from missions conversations then came to evangelical pastors here thinking how they reach their cities. But we cannot ever think about these things saving people.

Chandler: We have to exegete culture in order to not be offensive. In Acts 17 Paul names the unknown God to reach those in Athens.

Mohler: The issue is when we get into the culture and learn about their idolatry and participate in it in order to reach people. What really concerns me is that liberals do what they do because of missions. They want to do things that will make sense to people. But where does this make sense. The word of the cross is foolish. Jews demands signs and Greeks seek wisdom. The gospel is alien in every culture.

Deyoung: Piper has reminded us that we need to create categories for people.

What book would you recommend people to read on this topic?

Chandler: I would be hesitant to recommend without knowing the person.

Deyoung: Anything by David Wells like “The Courage to Be Protestant”

Mohler: We just need to realize we are all products of culture with so much of what we do but we cannot bend on moral or theological truths.

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Filed under T4G 2012, The Church

T4G 2012 Adult Education Panel – Discipleship In Groups: Methods & Models

What is the purpose of Sunday School hour?

Dever: It is not the main education of the church. The Sunday Sermon is for that. It is not the primary discipleship of the church. One on one discipleship does that. It is a platform for discipling very specific topics.

Kelly: Our community groups do the pastoral care of the church. Sunday School is more teaching and education is the primary purpose.

Chandler: We do a hybrid. Twice a year we do 8 week courses but primarily we get people in small groups. Continue reading

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Filed under 9 Marks, Discipleship, Pastoral Ministry, T4G 2012, The Church

T4G Panel – Gay Marriage: Now What?

What is marriage?

Mohler: Genesis 1-2 and Ephesians 5. We have to go to scripture to define marriage. It reflects God and the gospel. It is cross cultural and the most fundamental institution.

Should we expect marriage laws to be overturned?

Mohler: It took centuries for a complete moral revolution. No they peobably will not be overturned. Therefore we need know what we think about marriage because this issue is not going away. It will effect pastor’s membership and Christian schools and universities. They are going to be articulated and put in credal form. We are going to have to train children about what marriage is.

Are you encouraged by what you see in this topic?

Mohler: One out of six Americans live in an area where same sex marriage is legal.

Dever: In the church this subject is a subset of membership and discipline. Continue reading

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Filed under 9 Marks, Pastoral Ministry, Sexuality, T4G 2012