Showing posts from January, 2011

Book Recommendation--Why Johnny Can't Preach

One of the most important things that a pastor does is to preach. The longer I am involved in ministry the more I realize how crucial that solid biblical preaching is to a local church. I have not come to this particular thought overnight but rather a process of about fifteen years. I am constantly in the hunt to look for books, MP3’s, seminars, and journal articles that will make me a more effective preacher. I am often surprised at how infrequently that preachers read books that sort of fall into the “how to” mode of preaching. I have recently purchased a book that I have had on a wish-list of sorts for almost a year now and have not been disappointed in its ability to deliver some hard facts about our generation of listeners and the preachers who preach to them. Why Johnny Can’t Preach by T. David Gordon is a must read for all preachers. The sub-title of the book is The Media Have Shaped the Messengers. It is a little over 100 pages and can be read through in an evening.

Resources for Reading the Bible In 2011--Memorizing Scripture

This last post to encourage you to read the Bible through in 2011 will be the most challenging one of all. It perhaps brings back those fears you had when you were in high school and you had a major gaffe when you were trying to quote “Mending Wall” by Frost or some ancient line of Shakespeare’s in front of the whole class. Frankly, I associate memorization of any sort with all sorts of torment particularly after Gerald Bryant, my old A&P teacher in college, who much against our will forced us to memorize the Kreb’s Cycle and the ins and outs of Frank Starlings law. Add to that the forced labor of Ellen Borland exhorting us to memorize Hamlet’s soliloquy and my fleeing from these sorts of modes of education are highly warranted. However, I have to think that memorizing Scripture does not even nearly fall into the same category. In fact, Don Whitney in his fine book on the Spiritual Disciplines stated that our whole attitude would change about memorizing Scripture if we wer

Resources for Reading the Bible In 2011--Different Translations

Before getting into recommending the various translations for 2011, my thoughts drifted back to 1990 or 1991 during my TBC days in Houston. Every year the campus would have a progressive dinner for all of the married couples. The staff and faculty of the school would host the couples in their homes and we would spend 30-45 minutes before moving on to the next course of the meal. When we got to the Griffin’s home, we all walked in and Brother Griffin greeted us. The girls gravitated to the kitchen with Sister Griffin and all the guys went in the den with Brother Griffin. He took his seat and one of the fellows asked, “Brother Griffin, what are you reading now?” His reply was met with a few loud guffaws and a few open mouths of surprise. He told us that he was reading through Nave’s Topical Bible and had almost finished with the “H’s.” We could hardly believe that he was serious but he was as serious as the proverbial heart attack. Brother Griffin’s normal plan of reading the

Resources for Reading the Bible In 2011Reading Plans and MP3 Downloads

One thing that generally comes with the New Year is a commitment to read through the Bible. Where is the best place to start? Old Testament? New Testament? What is the best translation? Can I do it? What are some things that will keep me accountable? Of what importance are all the genealogies? How do I stay motivated? Why can I never make it all the way to the end? Why do I get distracted with other things? All of these questions and a few others have been asked of me over the years. Where to start? The easy way to do it is to start with Genesis and don’t stop until you get to Revelation. A good general rule of thumb to remember is that reading through four chapters a day will get you from beginning to end in a year’s time. Obviously by doubling to eight, you can make it through in six months or by reading sixteen chapters a day you can make it in a quarter. Another way to add a twist to it is to take the Psalms and read five of them a day although when you get to Psa