Monday, December 31, 2012

Top Ten Books of 2012. . . # 5 William Greenhill, Stop Loving the World

Moving along to the fifth best book that I read in 2012 is one that is short (73 pgs.) but packs an incredible wallop.  I am certain that the title probably stimulates a strong response that is either positive or negative.  It also is curious to note that this is a single sermon that Greenhill preached to his church.  Speaking of long sermons, this is one.  I doubt Joel Osteen will be preaching anything remotely related to this theme in 2013.  However, we who serve as pastors owe it to ourselves and to those who hear us to preach this kind of content.  I am reminded of what Paul wrote to Timothy (1 Tim. 4:16) and it is sharpened by the Amplified Version:

Look well to yourself (to your own personality), and to [your] teaching; persevere in these things—hold to them; for by doing so you will save both yourself and those who hear you

Author:  William Greenhill
Publisher:  Reformation Heritage Books, 2011.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Top Ten Books of 2012. . . # 6 Charles R. Swindoll, Saying It Well: Touching Others with Your Words

The next book that I found to be immensely helpful in 2012 was a book about preaching by Charles Swindoll.  I always enjoy reading books that are geared toward helping a man become a better preacher.  This is a book that helps prevent one from preaching “long-horn” sermons.  You may wonder what a “long-horn” sermon is and all who preach probably have to at least privately acknowledge they have been guilty of preaching a “long-horn” sermon a time or two.  A “long-horn” sermon is one that has two points and a lot of bull in between. 

Just as physicians and other ancillary medical staff members are required to have continuing education units, I believe that preachers should fall under that same mandate.  Many times preachers who have been in one place for a long time can get stale in their preaching and praying and it will affect the church they are serving.  I am certain that Saying It Well is a book that will have a measure of inspiration for those who fall into this category.  Furthermore, this book is one of those continuing education books for those who preach.   

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Top Ten Books of 2012. . . # 7 Joel C. Rosenberg, Implosion: Can America Recover From Its Economic and Spiritual Challenges in Time?

As I have been trolling through and reviewing the books that I read in 2012, it has been a bit self-revelatory concerning the books that I am now gravitating to saying were the best of 2012.  I can remember hearing various leadership gurus quote the Charlie “Tremendous” Jones thought that we will be same person we are in five years except for the books we read and the people we meet.  All of these books that I am listing in this blog series have caused me to think deeply.  In fact, most of the books that I am placing on the Top Ten are very sobering in their content.  This book by Joel Rosenberg is no different. 

Friday, December 21, 2012

Top Ten Books of 2012. . . # 8 A. W. Tozer, The Dangers of a Shallow Faith

I am continuing along with the top ten books that I read in 2012.  I purchased this book and several others in this series because of my past familiarity with the writings of A. W. Tozer.  His books are geared toward personal consecration, worship, and with a deep opposition to lukewarmness.    

Author:  A. W. Tozer (Compiled by James L. Snyder).
Publisher:  Regal, 2012.

The book itself is the work of A. W. Tozer but James Snyder was instrumental in compiling some of Tozer’s work after his death.  This book comes from a series of messages that Tozer preached in response to critical developments that he saw within the church.  Perhaps the primary theme of this book is the idea that the world is too much with the church.  He noted that the church is so intertwined with the world that instead of appearing as two, they really are one. 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Top Ten Books of 2012. . . # 9 Michael Holley, War Room

Yesterday, I started listing the top ten books that I read in 2012.  Much of the reading that I did this year was motivated by a reading contest that I got into with my boys.  The book that comes in at Number 9 was a book that I just happened to run across in a Books-A-Million in Texarkana, Texas in August.  As with many books that I have read over the years that have been very good ones were those that I wasn’t necessarily looking for.  This book fell into that category.  It actually happened to be a book that was on one of the mark-down tables when you walk in the door.  I judged the book by its title and cover and decided to read it.      

Author:  Michael Holley.
Title:  War Room
Publisher:  HarperCollins, 2011.

The book primarily is about Bill Belicheck the coach of the New England Patriots.  The book is mostly about the path the Belicheck took as a coach before ending up in New England.  I have noticed over the years that when you read books about sports figures that they have an amazing amount of discipline involved.  They are almost fanatical about the preparation process before each weekly game.  They literally give themselves to their jobs in an effort to achieve success.  As I read this book, I was challenged by the fact that my own sense of discipline as a pastor pales in comparison to what these coaches have.  Even though this was a sports book, I found myself troubled and convicted by the thought that these men who coach these teams are much more disciplined, prepared, and immersed in their pursuit of a corruptible crown than I am for an incorruptible crown.  I do believe that this book stimulated some changes in my own personal disciplines to seek excellence in what I am doing in the local church.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Top Ten Books of 2012. . . # 10 Iain Murry, John MacArthur: Servant of the Word and Flock

At the beginning of 2012, I was challenged by my two sons in a reading contest of sorts.  Nate (who likes to remind me to call him Swaggy Nate) and Justin decided they would read more books than I would in 2012.  In fact, Swaggy Nate decided that the all-out prize would be a big steak going to the winner with the losers having to ante up and foot the bill.  So now the year is finished and I have long stopped counting the books I read because it wasn’t even fair to continue keeping the score.  Some of the books I read were nothing more than books that fall into the “zone out” category and were nothing but mindless drivel.  However, other books fit into the category of helping me to climb a few rungs higher in my spiritual life. 

Coming in at the Number 10 spot is a book that provided some inspiration to me in the area of preaching and the importance of loving the Bible. 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Thoughts On Spiritual Warfare--Part 2

After starting this series on spiritual warfare yesterday, I want to continue with some more thoughts about it.  I will do my best to stop writing before you get tired of reading.  I do know that I have a tendency to over-do it sometimes and you as the reader should not be penalized for that.  I trust that you will get something worth-while out of this post today also.    

To reiterate, we are in a spiritual battle and our attendance in it is not by choice.  It will continue as long as we remain faithful to our calling and active in our walk for the Lord.  While the series may seem a bit random as they are written, I would say that these are some of my own observations on the matter of spiritual warfare that has been years in the making.  The seeming arbitrary nature of this series is due to the fact that I am using my Moleskin notebook where over the last two months I have jotted down random things about spiritual warfare as they came to me.  The challenge now becomes how to take the scribblings and turn them into something profitable. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Thoughts On Spiritual Warfare--Part 1

I can remember more than twenty-five years ago reading both of Frank Peretti’s gripping books about spiritual warfare.  The first one was This Present Darkness (1986) and was followed by Piercing the Darkness (1988).  Both of the books are fictional but there were elements of each book that had core elements of truth about them.  As with all fads that come and go in the church world, there were some who went way overboard with their actions and started stalking demons and getting involved in all sorts of weird practices that they believed would bring spiritual authority to their lives.  On the other end of the spectrum were those who vociferously opposed any thing that remotely looked like spiritual warfare and they cautioned the church about the danger of seeing a “devil behind every bush.” 

In my youthful exuberance and inexperience, I got caught up with believing that Peretti’s books were the way to go and begin to follow some of his concepts about “prayer cover” and “binding and loosing.”  If you will remember during the late ‘80’s a lot of people fell under that sway of looking for the “warrior angels” that Peretti wrote about.  I begin to look for ten-foot tall angels too.  Their advice seemed to be helpful and wise especially if you were looking for the real power of God.  It seemed as to me that if you were real “spiritual” then you could see angels.  I longed to be in that number of spiritual folk.  If you were goofy and lukewarm there was not a chance that you would even see angel dust much less an angel.  It is funny looking back at some of it now about how much prayer and fasting I gave myself to trying to see an angel.    

Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Best Books on Preaching--Part 10

Part 10—Preaching That Changes Lives, Michael Fabarez, Thomas Nelson, 2002.

Continuing with this series on the best books on preaching, we get to a book that goes into a bit of different direction than some of the others.  Michael Fabarez’s book, Preaching That Changes Lives, is a book that reaches for a couple of areas of preaching.  First, he believes that preaching can indeed change lives and then he goes into the reason that it does so.  This works around the paramount issue of application.  If there are not any areas of application that the preaching brings to the ears of the hearer, a call for change, for transformation and action, then we are just wasting our breath. 

Paul said that “all Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, reproof, rebuke, and instruction in righteousness” (2 Tim 3:16).  Instruction in righteousness is the task that preaching uses to help the church to see how to walk in this world.  Preaching has to be more than just the transference of facts about God that comes from an academic track, it has to be a presentation of Truth that helps us to see above the murky, humanistic, and godless views that this world touts on an hourly basis. 

Fabarez spends the first two chapters writing about the power of preaching and believing that preaching can help change lives.  In chapter 3, he will greatly provoke you by seeking to determine if the preaching is changing the preacher’s life.  He starts with three very inflaming sentences:

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Best Books on Preaching--Part 9

Part 9—Expository Preaching—The Art of Preaching Through a Book of the Bible, Harold T. Bryson, Broadman and Holman, 1995

I would like to take another book about expository preaching and review it for your consideration.  This review will not be as long as the one on yesterday which was written by John MacArthur, Jr. et al.  However, I would say that Harold Bryson’s book, Expository Preaching—TheArt of Preaching Through a Book of the Bible, is almost as good.  I have greatly benefited from this book over the years.  It is another book that you can tell how much it has been used because of the dog-eared pages, highlighted areas, and scribbles in the margins. 

Admittedly there is some overlap that Bryson and MacArthur’s books have.  This is primarily in the areas of defining what expository preaching is and is not.  Bryson’s steps are a little more defined in telling a preacher how to go about preaching through a biblical book.  He gives the following seven disciplines that are necessary for a preacher to accomplish that task.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Best Books on Preaching--Part 8

Part 8—Rediscovering Expository Preaching, John MacArthur, Jr., Richard Mayhue—Editor & Robert L. Thomas—Associate Editor, 1992, Word.  Republished as: Preaching:  How to Preach Biblically, Reprint of original in 2005.

Perhaps I should have written a review of this book on the first or second day when I began to undertake the month long project of the best books on preaching.  I have to say that this book is probably my favorite of all the books on preaching that I have in my own personal library.  In my opinion, this book, and one other book on expository preaching by Harold Bryson have helped me the most in this area.  I never pick this book up without bringing something useful for me personally. 

My exposure to John MacArthur, Jr. came when I was at Texas Bible College and his commentary on 1 Corinthians was the textbook for that class taught by A. B. Keating.  It was through his encouragement that I began to read after JMac.  He also encouraged me to listen to Grace To You on one of the Houston radio stations.  JMac was on in the 11:30 PM time slot which was the time that I would be coming home from work from M. D. Anderson where I worked in the SICU.  Honestly, JMac did not even remotely appeal to me at the time because I found his verse-by-verse approach to be very boring; which was probably reflective of my low-level hunger for Scripture at the time.  I also had some obvious doctrinal differences with JMac which still exist to this day. 

Monday, July 16, 2012

The Best Books on Preaching--Part 7

Part 7—The Sermon Maker—Tales of a Transformed Preacher, Calvin Miller, 2002, Zondervan

There are a couple of things that I would like to do before I launch into the best books on preaching this week.  First, I would like to extend my thanks to Nate Whitley for giving me the idea for these series of posts on the best books on preaching.  This blog series started when he sent me an e-mail asking me to guest blog on his A Life of Study blog last month.  Secondly, I have ran across some more old J. T. Pugh preaching tapes and have listened to a couple of them over the last few days and find that Brother Pugh was an incredible preacher who had the ability to connect with any group that he was speaking to.  It is remarkable how timeless that his preaching really was.

Today I am going to pick up with a rather light-hearted but fun little book on preaching.  There are books that are extremely academic and technical when it comes to preaching.  Sometimes if you are not careful, you can get lost in all of the minutiae of the writer.  Obviously these kinds of books have their place.  Then there are others that are written in such a way that you are drawn because they follow a story line of a preacher with principles for effective preaching dropped all throughout the book.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Best Books on Preaching--Part 6

Part 6—The Preacher and Preaching, Reviving the Art, Edited by Samuel T. Logan Jr., 1986, Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing

The next book that I would commend to you is actually a compilation of various subjects dealing with preaching by various authors.  It is The Preacher and Preaching—Reviving the Art.  The book is 460 plus pages and is very provoking in some of subject matter that it chooses to deal with.  As for all the books that I recommend to preachers, I trust you will understand that just because that I have recommended it does not mean that there are things that I whole-heartedly accept and approve of.  All reading should be done with a spiritually discerning filter so that you can toss the bad and keep the good. 

The introduction in itself is a very stimulating essay written by J. I. Packer answering the question of “why preach?”  He found that when we look to Scripture itself there is a very high priority placed on preaching.  It is the plan of God for the church to continue to preach until He comes back!

Monday, July 09, 2012

The Best Books on Preaching--Part 5

Part 5—Thoughts On Preaching, Classic Contributions to Homiletics, James W. Alexander, Reprint 2009, Originally Printed 1864, Solid Ground Christian Books

Marching along with our series on the best books in preaching, we come to the fifth one.  Again, these are not necessarily in an order of importance but just books that I have gained some good thoughts from over the years.  The fifth book is entitled Thoughts on Preaching, Classic Contributions to Homiletics by James Alexander.  This is a book that I purchased when I went to Solid Ground Christian books in Birmingham last fall. 

This book is very unique from all the rest of the books on preaching.  James Alexander had a desire to put together a book on homiletics but he died before he could write the book.  However, someone took it upon themselves to take the private journals of Dr. Alexander and compose them into a working order in the form of a book and have them published.  I was greatly enriched reading through the various notes and paragraphs that Dr. Alexander scribbled down in his personal journals of thoughts on preaching. 

The first chapter is a called Homiletical Paragraphs.  They are numbered individually although some of the numbers may have several paragraphs under the number while others may be just a single sentence.  Here are a few examples:

Friday, July 06, 2012

The Best Books on Preaching--Part 4

Part 4—The Preacher and His Preaching, A. P. Gibbs, Reprint 2002, Originally Printed 1939, Walterick Publishers

Progressing along with our series on the ‘best books on preaching,’ we come to another accidental find.  This book has proved to be a treasure because it is absolutely loaded with material.  It came on a recommendation from Mike Gaydosh who owns Solid Ground Christian Books just south of Birmingham, Alabama.  I had purchased the works of Thomas Manton’s that comes in a 22 volume set.  When I looked in the front of those books for the publisher, I found SGCB and was very surprised that it showed a Birmingham address.  So I called the number and discovered a very friendly and hospitable man who owned the business.    

So on my way to general conference in 2011, I stopped in to Mike’s “store.”  It is actually his home but he has taken his basement and converted it into a bookstore/publishing and it is an absolute preachers’ paradise.  His forte is reprinting massive amounts of old Puritan works that have languished in old libraries that only were available to students who had access to them.  Perhaps I will do a blog on his place at a later time. 

Thursday, July 05, 2012

The Best Books on Preaching--Part 3

Part 3—Preaching With Freshness, Bruce Mawhinny, Kregel, 1997

I hope you will discover the treasure trove of books about preaching that will inspire you and help you to become better at it.  Every pastor ought to aspire to be a great preacher!  Not in the aspect of being on the conference circuit but rather to take the Bible and use it in such a way that your hearers anticipate the preaching as a very important part of worship.  Years ago, I found some good advice from H. B. London in one of his books on pastoral ministry when he said that every preacher ought to work in such a way that he literally has the knack for making the biblical characters get up and walk around in front of the congregation as he is preaching.

Reading this particular genre of books can encourage even the most tired and weary of preachers.  The first book by Lloyd-Jones was a book that addressed the soul and internal motivations of the preacher.  The second book by Rummage was a bit more technical in its approach as to planning the preaching so that you systematically cover the Word.  This next book is one that a friend of mine, Tim Kelley, recommended me to me more than ten years ago.  It actually is a very easy book to read because of the way that Bruce Mawhinney wrote it. 

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

The Best Books on Preaching--Part 2

Part 2—Planning Your Preaching, Stephen Nelson Rummage, 2002, Kregel

In the last post on the best books on preaching, I encouraged you to read the book written by David Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Preachingand Preachers.  With this post, I hope to inspire you to read a book entitled PlanningYour Preaching by Stephen Rummage.  If you have been a reader of this blog for any length of time, you will have discovered that I have been a strong supporter of expository orverse-by-verse preaching.  There is no more solid way to instruct the church and yourself in the concepts of spiritual growth than moving through the Scriptures at a steady pace.  It also encourages people to read their Bibles and it causes the minister to become adept at understanding what God has to say about things rather than our own human leanings.  If you want to know what God thinks, you have to read His Book because it is there that He has spoken! 

All of the books that I am going to review with you this month are not necessarily in an order of importance.  Also you may have to hunt them down as some of them may be older books and no longer in circulation. 

The second book was another one of those books that I just happened to run across as I was browsing through our local Family Christian bookstore in Dothan several years ago.  Periodically when I would leave the hospital early and have a space of time before picking up my kids from school, I would go to our Family Christian store because it was just around the corner from their school.  Many books that are in my personal library now came during those times when I was waiting for them.  Many books that I have greatly benefited from are those that I just happened to “accidentally” find.  Rummage’s book is such a one. 

Monday, July 02, 2012

The Best Books On Preaching--Part 1

Part 1—Preachers and Preaching, D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Last month, Nate Whitley, over at A Life of Study blog, sent me an e-mail asking me about what I might consider to be the best books on preaching.  He invited me to write a guest blog for him on that subject.  Because we were in the middle of our camp schedule, I told him that I would get back to him after we had cleared all of our camps.  During that period of time, I was able to give some thought to this matter of books on preaching. 

Most men who are involved in the week-in and week-out preparation of preaching clearly understand the responsibility of reading.  I once heard J. T. Pugh make a statement during one of his messages that has stuck with me over the years.  He said that a young man approached him one time with the question of what it took to be a great preacher.  Brother Pugh’s reply to this young preacher resounds even many years after he spoke it.  “Young man, to be a great preacher, you will have to be a great reader!”  Obviously Brother Pugh took that advice to heart for his own life also.  Brother Pugh in his “Passing the Mantle” sermon at General Conference in Columbus in 2006 or so, made some reference to the fact that he still continued to go to the University of Texas/Odessa branch library on Mondays and work to expand his mind.  At that time, he was well into his eighties. 

So, most preachers understand the necessity to read material that will help them to expand their mind.  If you are not taking something in, not much will be going out.  First, I owe it to my own spiritual growth to be a man of reclusive devotion.  Not much advancement of spiritual life is accomplished when you are always around the buzz of life.  My belief in this is so much so that I believe that four hours of my day belongs directly to God in the process of sermon prep, Bible study, and writing.  Sometimes this is hindered by the obligations of other necessary things but I feel that rigorous discipline is necessary to keep me on track.  Secondly, I have a responsibility to those who are showing up every week to hear me preach.  The church deserves my highest devotion to the art and craft of preaching and it is through the very force of the Scriptures that I can inoculate them against the attacks of the devil.  Preaching is important!  In fact, I believe that solid biblical preaching can fix a lot of church problems, if a man is willing to hang in there with his task. 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Little Foxes That Spoil the Vine - Part 7

Song of Solomon 2:15 KJV  Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes.


General Quotes

Anonymous—Apathy is the glove in which evil slips its hand.

Elie Wiesel—The opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference. The opposite of art is not ugliness, its indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, its indifference and the opposite of life is not death, its indifference.

Martin Niemoller—First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a communist; Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist; Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a trade unionist; Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew; Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak out for me.

G. Bowes—One apathetic Christian may do untold harm to a whole church.  Pour a quantity of cool water into a pot that has boiling water and immediately the temperature change of the whole will sink.  Just so the contact of men who are indifferent with those who are fervent, deadens their fervor, and tends to reduce them to the same apathy.

Where Does It Start?   

Another of the little foxes that can spoil the vine is spiritual apathy.  We are all susceptible to this creeping little monster and if it moves into our lives it can be quite destructive.  In fact, if spiritual apathy ever gains a foothold it can spawn multiple other terrible conditions that greatly hinder the vineyard of our soul, our family, and our church.  Spiritual apathy allows our spiritual battles to almost eat us alive.  It opens us up to great feelings of being overwhelmed and frustrated.  Spiritual apathy causes us to coast and lean more on natural abilities instead of leaning on the provision of God. 

Spiritual apathy often starts in a subtle manner.  We are converted and it seems like we cannot get enough of the Word, positive spiritual fellowship, and corporate worship at church.  Our life seems to revolve around God and His house.  Our priorities are set according to spiritual events so that growth can take place.  Just being involved with the things of God creates a faithfulness, strength, and passion that open doors to a great walk with God.  We feel the joy of spiritual growth and can sense that the sky is the limit with what God wants to do with us. 

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Little Foxes That Spoil the Vine - Part 6

Thirty Sins of the Tongue to Avoid

As a conclusion to this part about the little fox of sinful speech, I discovered the old Puritan Richard Baxter wrote a book that was primarily intended for the people in the church he pastored in Kidderminster in the 1600’s.  He called it A Christian Directory and he noted that there were thirty sins of the tongue to avoid.

Understand and remember what the sins of the tongue to be avoided are.   And they are very many, and many of them very great: the most observable are these:
1. The first among all sins of commission is that of blasphemy, which is the reproaching of God: to speak contemptuously of God, or to vilify him, or dishonor him, by the denying of his perfections, and to debase him, by false titles, doctrines, images, resemblances, as likening him to man in any of our imperfections; anything that is a reproaching of God is blasphemy.
2. Another sin of the tongue is, false doctrine, or teaching things false and dangerous as from God. If any falsely say, he had such or such a point by divine inspiration, vision, or revelation, that makes him a false prophet. But if he only says falsely, that this or that doctrine is contained in the Scripture, or delivered by tradition to the church, this is but to be a false teacher.
3. Another of the sins of the tongue is, an opposing of godliness indirectly, by false application of true doctrine, and an opposing of godly persons for the sake of godliness, and objecting for no good reason against particular truths and duties of religion; or defending those points and practices which would subvert or undermine religion: a secret endeavor to make all serious godliness seem a needless thing. There are many that seem orthodox, that are impious and malicious opposers of that truth in the application, which themselves do notionally hold, and positively profess.
4. Another great sin of the tongue is, the profane deriding of serious godliness, and the mocking, and jesting, and scorning at godly persons as such; or scorning at some of their real or supposed imperfections, for their piety sake, to make them odious, that piety through them might be made odious. When men so speak, that the drift and tendency of their speech is to draw men to a dislike of truth or holiness.
5. Another great sin of the tongue is, unjustly to forbid Christ’s ministers to preach his gospel, or speak in his name; or to stand up against them and contradict, resist, and hinder them in the preaching of the truth; and, as Gamaliel calls it, ” to fight against God,” Acts 5:39.
6. Another sin of the tongue is, profane swearing, either by God or by creatures: and also all light and irreverent use of the name and attributes of God.
7. Much more is perjury or forswearing a most heinous sin, it being an appealing to God, the author and defender of truth, to bear witness to an untruth, and to judge the offender; and so a craving of vengeance from God.
8. Lying also is a great and common sin of the tongue.
9. Another sin of the tongue is, hypocritical dissembling, which is worse than mere lying: when men’s tongues agree not with their hearts, but speak good words in prayer to God, or conference with men, to cover evil intentions or affections, and to represent themselves to the hearers as better than they are.
10. Another is, ostentation or proud boasting, either of men’s wit and learning, or greatness, or riches, or honor, or strength, or beauty, or parts, or piety, or anything that men are  proud of.’ As the faithful “do make their boast in God,” Ps. 34:2; so the “workers of iniquity boast themselves against the righteous, and the proud do triumph and speak hard things,” Ps. 44:2-4. “Even against the Lord,” do they boast, in their boasting against his people, Ezek. 35:13.
11. Another sin of the tongue is, unseasonable speaking of common things when holy things should be preferred; as on the Lord’s day, or at the time of public worship, or when the company, occasion, or opportunity call for holy speeches: worldlings are talking, as Saul, of their asses, when they should talk of a kingdom, 1 Sam. 9:10.
12. Another common sin of the tongue is, a tempting and persuading others to sin, enticing them to gluttony, drunkenness, wantonness, fornication, or any other crime; as men that ”not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them,” Rom. 1:32.
13. Another is, a carnal manner of handling the sacred things of God, as when it is done with lightness, or with unsuitable curiosity of words, or in a ludicrous, playful manner, especially by the preachers of the gospel themselves; and not with a style that is grave and serious, agreeable to the weight and majesty of the truth.
14. Another is, an imprudent, rash, and slovenly handling of holy things; when they are spoken of so ignorantly, unskillfully, disorderly, or passionately, tending to dishonor them, and frustrate the desired good success.
15. Another sin of the tongue is, the reviling or dishonoring of superiors; when children speak irreverently and dishonorably to or of their parents; or subjects of their governors; or servants of their masters, either to their faces, or behind their backs. “They are not afraid to speak evil of dignities”’ 2 Pet. 2:10; Jude 8.
16. Another is, the imperious contempt of inferiors, insulting over them, provoking and discouraging them. Eph. vi. 4, “Fathers, provoke not your children to wrath.”
17. Another sin of the tongue is, idle talk and multitude of useless words; a babbling loquacity, or unprofitableness of speech; which is speech that does not edify.
18. Another sin is, foolish talk, or jesting in levity and folly, which tends to possess the minds of the hearers “with a disposition of levity and folly like the speakers. Eph. 5:4, “Foolish talking and jesting are things not convenient.” Honest mirth is lawful; and that is the best which is most sanctified, as being from a holy principle, and about a holy matter, or to a holy end: as “rejoicing in the Lord always,” Phil. iv. 4. ” If any be merry let him sing psalms,” James v. 13.
19. Another sin is, “filthy speaking, Eph. 5:4; obscene and ribald talk; which the apostle calls “corrupt or rotten communication,” Eph. 4:29; when wanton, filthy minds do make themselves merry with wanton, filthy speeches. This is the devil’s preparative to whoredom and all abominable uncleanness; for when the tongue is first taught to make a sport of such filthy sins, and the ear to be delighted in it, or be indifferent to it, there remains but a small step to actual filthiness.
20. Another sin of the tongue is, cursing; when men wish some mischief causelessly or unwarrantably to others. If you speak but in passion or jest, and desire not to them in your hearts the hurt which you name, it is nevertheless a sin of the tongue, as it is to speak blasphemy or treason in a passion or in jest; the tongue must be ruled as well as the heart. But if really you desire the hurt which you wish them, it is so much the worse. But it is worst of all, when passionate, factious men will turn their very prayers into cursings, calling for fire from heaven, and praying for other men’s destruction or hurt; and pretending Scripture examples for it; as if they might do it unwarrantably, which others have done in other cases in a warrantable manner.
21. Slandering is another sin of the tongue; when out of malice and ill will, men speak evil falsely of others to make them odious or do them hurt: or else through uncharitable credulity, do easily believe a false report, and so report it again to others; or through rashness and unruliness of tongue, divulge it, before they try it, or receive either just proof, or any warrantable call to mention it.
22. Another sin is, backbiting and venting ill reports behind men’s backs, without any warrant. Be the matter true or false, as long as you either know it not to be true, or if you do, yet vent it to make the person less respected, or at least without a sufficient cause, it is a sin against God, and a wrong to men.
23. Another sin is, rash censuring, when you speak that evil of another, which you have but an uncharitable surmise of; and take that to be probable which is but possible, or that to be certain which is but probable against another.
24. Another sin is, railing, reviling, or passionate, provoking words, which tend to the diminution of charity, and the breach of peace, and the stirring up of discord, and of a return of railing words from others, contrary to the love, and patience, and meekness, and gentleness which become saints.
25. Another sin is, cheating, deceiving, overreaching words; when men use their tongues to defraud their neighbors, in bargaining for their own gain.
26. Another sin of the tongue is, false witness bearing, and false accusing; a sin which cries to God for vengeance, who is the justifier of the innocent.
27. Another sin of the tongue is, the passing an unrighteous sentence in judgment: when rulers absolve the guilty or condemn the just, and call evil good and good evil, and say to the righteous, “Thou art wicked,” Prov. xxiv. 24.
28. Another sin of the tongue is, flattery; which is the more heinous by how much more hurtful. And it is most hurtful, 1. When it tendeth to delude men in the greatest things, even the state of their souls. 2. Flattering is pernicious when it tendeth to the hurt of many; as when rulers are deceived and perverted by it to the destruction of the people and themselves.’ Prov. 26:28, “A lying tongue hateth those that are afflicted by it, and a flattering mouth worketh ruin.” See 1 Thess. 2:5; Ezek. 12:24; Ps. 12: 2-3.
29. Another sin is, a jeering, mocking, deriding, or scorning at others, either for their infirmities of body or mind, or for their virtues, or through envy and malice, or pride, or a custom of deriding, scornful speech. Especially when sinners scorn at the reproofs and counsels of the godly, and cast them all back into their faces with contempt; for he that “reproveth a scorner getteth himself a blot,” Prov. 9:7-8- “A scorner loveth not one that reproveth,” Prov. 15:12.
30. Another tongue sin is, idolatry or false worship; the praise of idols, or praying to them, or making songs, or speeches, or disputes for them; as also the false worship of the true God. These among others are the sins of the tongue to be avoided. No wonder if there be yet more, for the ” tongue is a world of iniquity,” James 3:6.

A Prayer Pouring Out of Psalm 119

--> I am presently preaching through the stanzas of Psalm 119 and it has been a spiritually enriching exercise.   Toda...