Christian Websites I Recommend

Image result for uncle ben peter parkerUncle Ben once told young Peter Parker that with great power comes great responsibility. Okay, so maybe it’s the most overused superhero quote of all time, but it still rings true. Especially in the digital age. The advent of the internet has proven a powerful gift to the church. Yes, it’s broadened access to a world of evils, but it’s also broadened access to a wealth of wonderful, gospel-centered resources to equip the church.

That said, just because somebody has a slick website doesn’t make them legitimate. Just because we have this powerful tool to share the gospel, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t exercise responsible discernment to ensure we’re utilizing helpful and faithful resources.

So with that in mind, here are some of the Christian websites that I recommend to you. Now of course, a recommendation here does not mean (1) that I recommend everything every posted on every site, nor does it mean that (2) I reject everything I haven’t listed here. It simply means that I commend these resources as helpful insofar as they are faithful to Scripture and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Okay, here goes!

 

9marks.org

9Marks is a ministry of Mark Dever, the pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington D.C. It’s centered on what Dever calls the nine marks of a healthy church. You’ll find tons of helpful articles on church membership, church leadership, discipleship, and much more.

 

albertmohler.com

Albert Mohler offers fantastic cultural commentary from a Christian worldview. Be sure to check out his daily podcast, The Briefing.

 

cbmw.org

The Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood helps Christians think biblically on issues related to sex, gender, marriage, and family.

 

challies.com

Tim Challies is an independent blogger who writes a number of helpful articles focusing on things like personal holiness, local church ministry, and Christian discernment. I especially enjoy his A La Carte articles which feature a daily round-up of the Christian blogosphere. I’ve also greatly benefited from his plethora of book reviews.

 

desiringgod.org

Desiring God features the preaching and teaching resources of John Piper, among others. Few have awakened me to the glory of God’s sovereignty like Piper has, so I highly recommend the many resources from this ministry.

 

erlc.com

The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention is on the front lines of many of the ethical and cultural issues of our day. Led by Russell Moore, one of my favorite Southern Baptist preachers, this ministry is invaluable for the Christian who wants to think carefully and clearly about the toughest issues in our culture.

 

ligonier.org

This is the ministry of the late R.C. Sproul, a Presbyterian pastor who faithfully and powerfully taught God’s Word. There’s a wealth of material here.

 

thegospelcoalition.org

The Gospel Coalition is a collection of resources from a host of gospel-centered pastors, teachers, authors, and bloggers. There’s literally tons of good stuff here.

 

Okay, these are just some of my favorites. What websites have proven helpful to you?

 

Image Credit: http://marvel-movies.wikia.com/wiki/File:Uncle_Ben.jpg

 

Posted in Christian Living, Church, Culture, Theology | Leave a comment

How To Prepare for Sunday, 4/29/2018

 

 

This Sunday, we’ll be continuing our journey through the book of Colossians. Even though Christ died to set us free, Colossians 2:8-10 warns us that even Christians can return to the bondage of slavery. I hope to show you both the dangers of captivity and the way to remain free.

 

 

Here’s a few specific ways to prepare for Sunday:

1) Pray and ask God to work in you for His glory.

2) Read and meditate on Colossians 2:8-10, our text for Sunday’s sermon.

3) Below are the songs we’ll be singing on Sunday. Click on the links to learn any you don’t know so you’re prepared to sing.

You’re Worthy Of My Praise

How Deep The Father’s Love For Us

Great Is Thy Faithfulness

Revelation Song

Crown Him With Many Crowns

See you Sunday!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

How To Prepare For This Sunday, 04/22/2018

 

This Sunday, Eddie Francis will be preaching the Word to us as we continue to learn the results of confidence in Christ. you can prepare for this Sunday’s sermon by reading Colossians 2:6-7.

Although I won’t be with you on Sunday, I’ll be “with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and the firmness of your faith in Christ ” (Colossians 2:5).

 

 

Here’s a few specific ways to prepare for Sunday:

1) Pray and ask God to work in you for His glory.

2) Read and meditate on Colossians 2:6-7, our text for Sunday’s sermon.

3) Below are the songs we’ll be singing on Sunday. Click on the links to learn any you don’t know so you’re prepared to sing.

The Lion and the Lamb

Come As You Are

There Is A Redeemer

The Stand

O God, Our Help in Ages Past

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Joys of a Multi-Generational Church

Image result for old youngPoquoson Baptist Church is a special place in many ways. It’s filled with generous, loving people who are hungry for the Word of God. It’s membership consists of saints who are happy to follow leadership grounded in truth. But perhaps what makes PBC so special to me is that it’s a multi-generational church. It’s not a church for young people or old people. It’s a church for all people. 
 
Last week we laid to rest PBC’s oldest living saint, a dear woman named Bonnie. Even at 95 years old, Ms. Bonnie was a regular participant in our morning worship gatherings. She attended weekly with her sister at her side, and loved to spent her Sunday afternoons talking with her son about the preaching and the music from the worship service.
 
Ms. Bonnie didn’t know all the songs we sang, and certainly didn’t like them all. As delirium began to overtake her on her deathbed, she told me she sometimes wished we didn’t use so many “ornaments” in our Sunday music. Apparently she was the old school kind, happy with a piano and a hymnal.
 
Nevertheless, Ms. Bonnie didn’t allow her personal preferences to keep her from experiencing the joy of the Lord in her worship. And she didn’t allow it to keep her from encouraging the next generation. One Sunday a few months ago she came to me and remarked just how much she loved hearing my 7-year-old son sing loudly in the worship service. That encouraging comment became the source of a deep relationship with Ms. Bonnie until her final days. In fact, I even wonder if God allowed Ms. Bonnie to live one final year (long after she was ready to go to heaven), just so she could have that special relationship with me and my son.
 
It’s wonderful to reflect on these things when eulogizing a departed saint. But how can we continue to cultivate this type of multi-generational environment in our church? Is there anything we can do to ensure this culture doesn’t die with the departed? Here’s a few suggestions:
 
1. Emphasize Biblical Discipleship
According to Titus 2, effective discipleship in the local church hinges on a multi-generational congregation. The older need to teach the younger. By emphasizing the necessity of biblical discipleship, your church will highlight the beauty and the importance of every saint, regardless of age.
 
2. Minimize Segregation
Too many churches are far too segregated for anything like Titus 2 disicpleship to take place. The babies are in nursery, the kids are in children’s church, the students are in youth group, and on and on it goes. Instead of a highly segregated worship service, churches should strive to maximize the times when everybody is together. Yes, it’ll be messy. No, it won’t be “cool.” But God will use it for your good and His glory.
 
3. Minimize Style
Often the churches with the least amount of generational diversity are those churches that maximize style. The churches teeming with young people often feature sophisticated lighting, expert stage performers in trendy clothing, adding up to a loud, bold, worship experience reminiscent of Friday night’s rock concert. The churches filled with gray-haired saints often feature throwback styles, filled with hymnals, Southern Gospel tunes, pianos, organs, choirs, and funeral home decor. The tragic result of both extremes is that by maximizing a style that appeals to one generation, another generation feels exiled. In the end, both extremes have a membership united by style over substanceAlthough it’s far easier said than done, churches should strive to downplay style so that style isn’t what unites us.
 
4. Diversify Leadership
The churches that reach both the young and the old are usually the churches where both the young and the old are given opportunities to serve and lead. Take a look around your congregation. Who’s in positions of leadership? Who’s on the stage during the music portion of your service? Who’s on your elder and deacon boards? Who’s on staff? Who’s teaching Sunday School classes or leading small groups? If the people filling these positions are primarily either young or old, you shouldn’t be surprised if the congregation begins to reflect its leadership. Young churches seeking to reach the elderly should rely on the wisdom of age in positions of leadership. Similarly, older churches seeking to reach the young should equip them to lead.
 
Christian, there’s joy and beauty in an multi-generational church. Is your church a place where a 95-year-old lady and a 7-year-old boy can worship the same God with the same song in the same room? Is it a place where a 95-year-old saint can encourage and be encouraged by a 7-year-old boy? 
 
Sure, we’ve got work to do. But I’m thankful that, by God’s grace, Poquoson Baptist Church is a multi-generational church.
——————————————————————————–
© M. Hopson Boutot, 2018

Image Credit: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-27207219

Posted in Church | Leave a comment

How To Prepare For This Sunday, 04/08/2018

This Sunday, we’ll be continuing our series through the book of Colossians. We’ll be zooming in on verses 28-29 of Chapter 1, and what Scripture can teach us about faithful preaching. Although a sermon about sermons might seem dull to you, watch this week’s video here to see three reasons why this should matter to every Christian.

Here’s a few specific ways to prepare for Sunday:

1) Pray and ask God to work in you for His glory.

2) Read and meditate on Colossians 1:24-29, our text for Sunday’s sermon.

3) Below are the songs we’ll be singing on Sunday. Click on the links to learn any you don’t know so you’re prepared to sing.

Blessed Be Your Name

Lead Me to the Cross

10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord)

Blessed Assurance

All Glory Be to Christ

See you Sunday!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

How To Prepare For This Weekend (3/30 – 4/1)

 

This Friday we’re gathering at 7 PM for our annual Good Friday service. This is an important gathering in the life of our church, as we remember Jesus’ crucifixion and celebrate the Lord’s Supper. I hope to answer one question from Matthew 26:36-46what was the cup that Jesus prayed would pass by Him?

 

 

Here’s a few specific ways to prepare for Friday Night:

1) Pray and ask God to work in you for His glory.

2) Read and meditate on Matthew 26:36-46, our text for the sermon.

3) Below are the songs we’ll be singing on Friday. Click on the links to learn any you don’t know so you’re prepared to sing.

Hallelujah For The Cross

Above All

The Wonderful Cross

I Stand Amazed (How Marvelous)

 

Then Sunday morning we will gather at 10:30 for our Easter Service. As we gather as a church body and celebrate the resurrection of our Savior, I want to present A Tale of Two Thieves from Luke 23:32-43. I hope to show you the incredible faith of the thief on the cross.

 

 

 

Here’s a few specific ways to prepare for Sunday:

1) Pray and ask God to work in you for His glory.

2) No other worship gathering in the life of PBC brings more guests into our midst than Easter Sunday. Pray for those who will be our guests this Sunday.

3) Read and meditate on Luke 23:32-43, our text for the sermon.

4) Below are the songs we’ll be singing Sunday morning. Click on the links to learn any you don’t know so you’re prepared to sing.

Christ Arose

Christ The Lord Is Risen Today

That’s Why We Praise Him

What A Beautiful Name

There Is A Fountain

See you this Weekend!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

How To Prepare For This Sunday, 03/25/2018

This Sunday we’re continuing our study in Colossians by considering how confidence in Christ should change the way we think about ministry. Last week we answered the questions what is a minister? and who is a minister?; this Sunday we’ll answer the final question, how should we minister?

Here’s a few specific ways to prepare for Sunday:

1) Pray and ask God to work in you for His glory.

2) Read and meditate on Colossians 1:24-29, our text for Sunday’s sermon.

3) Below are the songs we’ll be singing on Sunday. Click on the links to learn any you don’t know so you’re prepared to sing.

Hosanna (Praise Is Rising)

His Mercy is More

The Lord is Gracious and Compassionate

Great Are You Lord

All Glory, Laud, and Honor

See you Sunday!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

How To Prepare For This Sunday, 03/18/2018

This Sunday we’re continuing our study in Colossians by considering how confidence in Christ should change the way we think about ministry. For months we’ve unpacked reason after reason to be confident in Christ from Colossians 1. Beginning in verse 24, Paul shifts towards the results of confidence in Christ. But he doesn’t begin by telling the Colossians (and by extension, us) how our lives should look different. He starts close to home, explaining the way his confidence in Christ affects his own ministry. Over the next two Sundays I want to ask four questions about ministry from Colossians 1:24-29

what is a minister?

who is a minister?

how should we minister?

why should we minister?

Here’s a few specific ways to prepare for Sunday:

1) Pray and ask God to work in you for His glory.

2) Read and meditate on Colossians 1:24-27, our text for Sunday’s sermon.

3) Below are the songs we’ll be singing on Sunday. Click on the links to learn any you don’t know so you’re prepared to sing.

Your Name

For The Cause

Jesus Messiah

Defender (Call Upon The Name)

O Worship The King

See you Sunday!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

How To Prepare for this Sunday, 03/11/2018

This Sunday, we’re continuing our study in Colossians by rejoicing in the truth that Jesus is our Savior. I hope to ask four questions about our salvation from Colossians 1:21-23

we’re saved from what?

by what?

for what?

now what?

 

 

Here’s a few specific ways to prepare for Sunday:

1) Pray and ask God to work in you for His glory.

2) Read and meditate on Colossians 1:21-23, our text for Sunday’s sermon.

3) Below are the songs we’ll be singing on Sunday. Click on the links to learn any you don’t know so you’re prepared to sing.

Hear Our Praises

He Knows My Name

There Is A Redeemer

Worthy Is Your Name

Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus

Come As You Are

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Does the Bible Support Evolution?

Image result for theistic evolutionI’ve read plenty of scientific arguments for theistic evolution, the belief that God used evolutionary processes for the creation of the world. However, the textual arguments for evolution are scant at best. In other words, the Christian desiring to cling to evolutionary theory is forced to cling to science and loosen his or her grip on Scripture. Which probably explains why those who argue for theistic evolution tend to devote ample time towards exegeting scientific data and little time towards exegeting Scripture.

As I understand the debate, the crucial point is whether death existed before the fall. If evolutionary theory is correct, death did not arrive with the advent of sin, but existed for eons prior to the fall of man. But can such a view coincide with Scripture? Here’s a list of exegetical questions that (as far as I can tell) have not been satisfactorily answered by those proposing theistic evolution.

Genesis 1:27 — What does it mean that “created man in His own image”? Did He simply breath a soul into the evolved form of what we call “man”? If so, what were all of Adam’s pre-human ancestors? Less than human? Were they then not worthy of dignity, respect, and protection like humans are?

Genesis 1:31 — When God declares His creation “very good” does that include death?

Genesis 2:19-20 — How could Adam name “every” land animal and “every” bird if many of them were already extinct?

Genesis 6:19-22 — Why would God take such an interest in preserving all species if He had already allowed so many species to die to extinction? Why not just preserve the “essential” species?

Exodus 20:11 — if the creation days are meant to be poetic devices referring to ages, why does Moses go back and forth between day-ages and literal days in the same text?

Leviticus 16:1-34 — If animal death can be considered “very good,” why would God use animal sacrifice to illustrate the seriousness of sin?

Proverbs 12:10 — Is God unrighteous for tolerating millions of years of animal death and calling it very good?

Isaiah 11:6-9; Isaiah 62:25-26 — why does the eternal state have no animal death if animal death can be described as “very good”?

Romans 8:20 — How was creation subjected to futility if not through the introduction of death and suffering because of the fall?

Romans 8:21 — What will creation be set free from if not the pain of death as the result of sin?

Romans 8:22 — what is creation groaning about? Was it groaning before the fall? If not, why not?

1 Corinthians 15:21 — What does it mean that by man came death? Was this only true for humans and not their pre-human ancestors or other creatures in the animal kingdom?

1 Corinthians 15:25 — Death is Christ’s enemy! How can their be a “very good” world where one of Christ’s enemies is wreaking havoc on His creatures? And how is it that such an enemy exists apart from sin?

1 Corinthians 15:26 — Death is mentioned as man’s enemy. Is it not the enemy of the animal kingdom too? If death in the animal kingdom is “natural,” why is it an enemy for the human race? If this enemy called “death” is not the same “death” that overcame the animal kingdom for millions/billions of years, has the latter “death” not been defeated? If it has been defeated, on what basis? In other words, will a similar death befall the animal kingdom in the eternal state? If so, how are the above passages in Isaiah to be understood?

 

Conclusion

These texts and more present (in my mind at least) a damning argument against theistic evolution. The theory has apparently insurmountable difficulty reconciling the existence of death prior to the Fall of Man.

 

PostScript: I am aware of the arguments from theistic evolutionists that “plant death” surely existed prior to the fall. But it must be said that Scripture has no category for “plant death.” Plants are living to be sure, but they are not sentient creatures. The Scriptures are clear that the life is in the blood (Leviticus 17:11).


© M. Hopson Boutot, 2018

Image Credit: https://pointofview.net/viewpoints/theistic-evolution/

Posted in Theology | Tagged , , | Leave a comment