March 1, 2013

Outside the Gate – 3/1/13

by Mike Riccardi

outside_the_gateSo last week I was intending to corral a collection of links from “Outside the Gate,” as we say over here at The Cripplegate. Then Eric Davis wrote an excellent three-part evaluation (one, two, three) of Tope Koleoso’s message at the Desiring God conference at the beginning of February. I thought it would have been weird to direct attention away from that issue, and so instead I posted a roundup of The Cripplegate’s posts on the issue of the continuation or cessation of the miraculous spiritual gifts.

And even though I know that a couple of weeks is like 3 years in blog years, I wanted to highlight a few posts from around the blogosphere that I thought were noteworthy. If you’ve already seen them before, be sure to ask your waiter for a refund.

Jonathan Leeman has provided an excellent review of Tim Keller’s new book, Center Church. “Let me attempt just that by putting my own cards on the table,” writes Leeman. “I think Keller is a gift to evangelical churches for whom we can thank God, and he has something that his critics should hear. And I think that Keller’s emphases leave certain imbalances in place that his fans fail to recognize, but that they would do well to avoid. … More than Keller probably realizes, Center Church encourages pastors to build their churches from the boardroom table of pragmatism.”

In the context of our mini-series on presuppositional apologetics (one, two, three), our friend Fred Butler brought our attention to Clifford McManis’s new tome, Biblical Apologetics: Advancing and Defending the Gospel of Christ. In his review, Fred hails it as the best book on apologetics period.

Over at PyroManiacs, Dan Phillips has been on fire lately (see what I did there?). First, he offered some pointers on how to shut down gossip and its nasty kin. “Gossip kills churches. If you’re reading this blog at all, odds are I don’t want your church to be killed! So here’s what you do.”

Then, on Tuesday, Dan put the cookies on the bottom shelf as he commented on the most offensive verse in the Bible. My favorite part: “God is Creator and Lord, and so He is ultimate. That means we are created and subjects, and therefore derivative and dependent. So we are not free to create meaning or value. We have only two options. We can discover the true value assigned by the Creator and revealed in His Word, the Bible; or we can rebel against that meaning.”

chain links

What are the top ten reasons that our kids leave the church? “We all know them, the kids who were raised in church. They were stars of the youth group. They maybe even sang in the praise band or led worship. And then…they graduate from High School and they leave church. What happened?”

This has largely flown under the radar, but I found it super interesting to listen to a discussion on justification between Reformed Baptist and presuppositional apologist, James White, and N. T. Wright, of “New Perspective” infamy.

And while I’m thinking about the brothers at Alpha and Omega Ministries, don’t miss Episode 2 of “No Compromise,” as James White, Phil Johnson, Carl Trueman, and Mike Abendroth discuss hearing the voice of God and Christian mysticism.

And of course, for those of you who won’t be able to join us on the Grace Church campus for the Shepherds’ Conference, the general sessions will all be livestreamed at Even though the site doesn’t look “livestream ready” at the moment, it will be in time for the conference, which begins next Wednesday, the 6th, at 10:00 AM PST. Don’t miss it!

Mike Riccardi

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Mike is the Pastor of Local Outreach Ministries at Grace Community Church in Los Angeles. He also teaches Evangelism at The Master's Seminary.
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  • Matt Waymeyer

    Hey man, let’s have dinner tonight. We can get dressed up and bring our wives and go somewhere fancy.

    • What a great idea! I know a great place out in Simi Valley! 😉

      • Matt Waymeyer

        Book the reservation and we’ll see you there!

  • Scott Welch

    I may be stretching things a bit, but I think everyone who is even considering going into ministry should take Dan’s offensive verse and Top ten articles and read them together.