Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Scholarship Doesn't Replace Bible Reading

I am very excited about moving to Princeton, WV and becoming senior pastor of the First Church of God on 301 Mahood Avenue.  After I preach a Sunday morning series on the Mission & the Purposes of the Church (taken from Acts 2) I will begin the most challenging and rewarding preaching assignment ever: I will preach, verse by verse, through the life-changing Gospel of St. Matthew.  

Matthew's Gospel account is for everyone, saint and sinner alike.  It answers the question, "Who is King Jesus?"

It's gonna be thorough.  I will delve into the socio-religious background of First Century Judaism.  The Messiah will be placed in the contemporary situation of his day.  We will listen to Matthew on the Apostle's own terms.  By the illumination of the Holy Spirit I believe many lives can be converted/sanctified through the preaching of the Word.

Here are just a few of the massive academic works that I will consult as I preach through Matthew:

Barclay, William.  Matthew  (The Daily Study Bible Series)
Carson, D. A.  Matthew (Two Volumes, The Expositor's Bible Commentary)
Edersheim, Alfred.  The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah 
Keener, Craig S.  The Gospel of Matthew: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary
France, R. T.  The Gospel of Matthew (The New International Commentary on the New Testament)

And many, MANY additional sources, including those on Kindle and electronic commentaries on e-Sword.

Oh, and yeah, the actual New Testament Gospel According to St. Matthew.

A preacher has to watch himself lest he is tempted to lean on the thoughts of brilliant scholars without taking the time to keep his own finger on the text.  Classic and modern scholarship is fine...but they are no substitute for studying the Bible for himself.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Roger Goodell Replacement?

Give a Smile

( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

There isn't anything to this post.  I just like the smiley guy; that's all.

Dave Benton of WCIA, Terminal Brain Cancer and Christ

What a Christian testimony! "We have a hope within our souls, brighter than the perfect day! God has given us his Spirit and we want the world to hear it! All our doubts are passed away!"

Click here to be taken to his WCIA bio.  Click here to be taken to his Facebook page.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

I'm Pastor-Elect of Princeton First Church of God

This evening I accepted the senior pastorate of the First Church of God in Princeton, West Virginia.  It's a big step and I look forward to preaching Christ in the region of the two Virginias!

First Church of God
301 Mahood Avenue
Princeton, WV  24740

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Huntington Mayor Pleads for Prayer

In a truly inspiring video Huntington, WV Mayor Steve Williams pleaded with all of the churches in the tri-state area to pray for the region during their morning worship service time on September 7th.  I don't live in Huntington; I don't know his religious beliefs or his political affiliation but I am pleased to see a civic leader publicly call for prayer.  Amen.

Mayor Steve's Prayer Request from Trifecta Productions, LLC on Vimeo.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

The Word of God Sermon

This morning I preached a sermon entitled "The Word of God" at Browns Creek Church of God.  I've uploaded it to my YouTube Page, The Church of God Pulpit.  Click below to listen to the message.  (A box fan on the platform made a continual background noise on the original recording.  Through the audio editing software, Audacity, I was able to remove the noise but it distorted my voice slightly.)

Saturday, August 30, 2014

A Little Comic Relief

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Preaching Again at Browns Creek Church of God

On Sunday, August 30th, I'm preaching at the Browns Creek Church of God!  
Morning worship begins at 10:45 A.M.  If you don't have a church family how about joining us?

From U.S. Route 60 (Coal Mountain)

Turn onto Browns Creek Road (CR-1) and drive 2.7 miles.  The church will be on your left.

From Coal River Road

Turn onto Browns Creek Road (CR-1) and drive 2.1 miles.  The church will be on your right.

GPS Coordinates to Browns Creek Church  
N 38°21.950'

2550 Browns Creek Road
St. Albans, WV  25177

Monday, August 18, 2014

The Different Titles of a Pastor

In evangelical churches most know their minister by the title of "pastor."  It's a rich word that emphasizes one facet of the minister's role in the congregation.  There are multiple titles that apply to the same minister because his job is multifaceted.  Let's examine them together:

1. Pastor ποιμήν 

"Pastor" is Latin for "shepherd."  It evokes images of tender—though sometimes tough—care for the "flock," the local congregation.

2. Elder  πρεσβύτερος   

The word translated "elder" sometimes is simply transliterated as "presbyter."  Elder speaks of the authority of one that comes with age, maturity and seniority (whether literal or figurative).  When spoken of in a ministerial sense physical age is not a consideration.

3. Bishop  ἐπισκοπή  

The King James translates this term as "bishop" though modern versions tend to use "overseer."  It speaks of one who has the authority of supervision, of oversight.  In early Christianity it spoke of pastors; as Christianity developed it then took on the meaning of a hierarchical ruler over pastors in a given district.

4. Ruler ἡγέομαι

Some may translate the Hebrew writer's Greek with an English noun, such as "leader" or "ruler."  The Greek actually is in verbal form as shown by the King James Version:

Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you. (Hebrews 13:17)

It speaks of those who rule and command with authority.

It is important to note that all of these terms for the same office—that of pastor—are terms of authority.  Far too often the American Church sees pastors as employees who are chaplains: those paid to marry 'em, bury 'em, visit 'em and comfort 'em but who have no real authority to command them.  This is a grievous error and a woefully ignorant view in light of the New Testament.