July 18, 2012

Outside the Gate – 7/18/12

by C-Gate Links


outside_the_gateLinks of interest from outside of The Cripplegate:

  • Bill Blankschaen has stopped singing in your church, and he’s happy to tell you why. A humorous excerpt: “What ever happened to the previous 2,000 years of church music history? Oh, I know, every so often you toss a token ‘hymn’ (meaning within just the last century or so) into the mix. But even then, it’s a remix that requires melodic jujitsu to keep up with the quicker pace and fancier chord progressions.”
  • From a couple different angles lately, I’ve been hearing some long-awaited outspoken critique of the meme (falsely) attributed to Francis of Assisi. Preach the Gospel at all times. It will be necessary to use words.

  • God designed the world system of nations to be a check on evil and injustice. It is always refreshing to be reminded of times in our country’s past where our nation used our military power for precisely that reason. NY Times’ Eric Margolis describes our country’s intervention in the Balkans to protect Muslims from genocide as “one of America’s finest hours.
  • Frank Turk recently posted a three-part series on biblical evangelism from Acts 2 (one, two, three). His conclusion, in which he answers a commenter’s question, along with the comment thread on that post, is a great read on the central role of the local church in evangelism.
  • Panel discussions and Q&A’s are always my favorite part of conferences. This Q&A session between John MacArthur, Steve Lawson, and R. C. Sproul at the 2012 Ligonier West conference is one of the better Q&A sessions I’ve ever heard (especially a few seconds before 11:00).chain links
  • A few years ago when MacArthur warned about the encroachment of the “Prophet, Priest, or King” approach to pastoral ministry, not many people understood what he was talking about. This new post from Resurgance shows that as that approach to identifying your spiritual gift has continued,  it has only gotten sillier.
  • The July/August edition of the 9Marks e-journal looks at the role of mercy ministry in the local church. With contributors ranging from Mike McKinley to Kevin DeYoung to Tim Keller, it provides some well-rounded interaction on the mission of the church and its relationship to serving the poor.


C-Gate Links


  • Romabella50

    Don’t tell me 9Marks is going down the Keller road: yuck.

    • AStev

      I have found that 9Marks consistently offers sound, biblical perspectives… often quite convicting.    I don’t see any reason why that should change simply because they’re looking at a topic in this issue that may threaten certain cherished political idols.

    • I appreciate your concern for sure. But my take on those articles was Dever wanting to give Keller a chance to explain himself, as it were. The articles from the 9 Marks guys show that they are not convinced by his presentation. 

  • AStev

    I understand frustration with shallow, lame music, but one should be cautious.   Not singing because the lyrics are heretical is one thing.   Not singing because one doesn’t like the musical style is an anti-gospel sentiment.

  • Nvyf14

    Concern that 9Marks has listed Tim Keller as a contributor to their article on mercy ministry. If you think Keller is “evangelical,” “reformed” or even a “protestant” give a listen to his words from a message he gave on contemplative spirituality available on YouTube by searching for “Keller promotes Roman Catholic meditation” Here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sFQ2Crgvhxc   

  • “Preach the Gospel, if necessary use words” is like saying “wash always, if necessary use water”.

  • Andy Snider

    I just had a conversation with someone recently who was also suggesting that “you can’t live out the gospel.” I don’t know if this is a trend lately or what, but I’m going to have to get this out of my system before I can continue with what I’m supposed to be doing today…

    Disclaimer: I love most of what I’ve heard Voddie Baucham say, which isn’t a huge amount, and I love even more the way he says it. He is SO one of the good guys. However:

    The Baucham excerpt works (just barely– I mean, how many lifestyle evangelism advocates really believe you don’t eventually have to say words?) if kept in the very narrow context of refuting the mythical saying of St. Francis. But more broadly, it’s just not a good idea to say “you can’t live out the gospel, because the gospel is news.” Baucham’s narrow definition of the gospel as “news” doesn’t fit with the way the NT itself talks about the gospel. For example, the gospel is God’s power to save (Rom 1:16), it creates new relationships (“I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel” 1 Cor 4:15), it bears fruit and increases (Col 1:6), shapes lives (“let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ” Phil 1:27), and can be disobeyed (Rom 10:16).

    If we apply Baucham’s rhetorical device to these verses, I think we’d have to say things like “the gospel can’t bear fruit — news doesn’t bear fruit,” or “you can’t disobey the gospel because news can’t be disobeyed.” And in light of these various ways of speaking of the gospel, his distinction between “living in light of the gospel” vs. “living out the gospel” seems very nitpicky.  

    See, the gospel is not merely a message that is proclaimed. It certainly IS that, but it is more. That message is a fundamental statement of reality–past, present, and future (as in “on that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus” Rom 2:16). I fear that for the sake of making a correct critical point (about lifestyle evangelism), Baucham possibly sets up a theologically reductionistic way of thinking about the gospel. We should have the liberty to speak exegetically of the “ευαγγελιον” as the apostolic proclamation of the good news of what God has done in Christ, and ALSO of “the gospel” as the life-changing, world-changing, all-encompassing redemptive reality that is the Lordship of the resurrected Christ. There need not be conflict between these two: the latter subsumes the former. Doesn’t it?

    Thank you. I feel better now.

    • And I always feel better after reading one of your comments. You should do that more often 🙂

  • INC

    Last year a friend of mine who is in a charismatic church posted a link to Seven Things I’ve Always Wanted to Say to Worship Leaders by J. Lee Grady. I thought he had some excellent points. Here’s the list. It’s self-explanatory, but details are in his column.,
    1. Give us something to shout about!

    2. Please give us content.

    3. Spare us the concert.

    4. Don’t run a song into the ground.

    5. Please don’t burst my eardrums.

    6. Show us the lyrics.

    7. Honor the Word.
    I also think it’s time to stop calling them worship leaders and call
    them song leaders. The preaching of the Word of God is also part of our
    worship. In fact, the Reformers considered it to be the high point of
    the worship service. Another thing I’d like to see changed is for the
    songs not to be bunched together; I miss having the pastor comment on
    the meaning of a song or pray between songs. When the songs are all back
    to back, I feel as if the purpose is to pump up the congregation rather
    than to worship God. There’s not time to think about what each song is
    saying. It can also be very moving to a have a hymn or song at the end
    of the sermon that reflects it; the congregation sings a response to the
    Word of God.

    • INC

      I didn’t include the link!
      Spurgeon has some great words to say on singing in his commentary on Psalm 81: http://www.spurgeon.org/treasury/ps081.htm

      One reason I love music and songs written throughout the
      history of Christianity is because as I sing, I know I’m singing
      something that has been sung by Christians living years before me who are now with
      the Lord Jesus.

      It is such an important part of our worship together as a church. The words and the music both
      matter. Repetition of the same words over and over may build up
      emotionalism, but they don’t express the emotion of the heart. Dreary
      tunes, no matter how fine the words, will not help us give voice to our

      Singing and music are a physical, mental, emotional and spiritual
      expression of praise, gratitude and our relationship with God. Music is
      such a
      marvelous gift of God to us. He can use it so profoundly to touch and
      pierce the heart.

      When I taught a women’s Bible study in the evening, I learned how
      singing together helped us so much by marking a change of pace from the
      day’s events and work. Music was invaluable in helping us to quiet our
      hearts and minds and focus on the Lord before beginning the study.

  • Michael Delahunt

    Wow…loved that Q & A – kind of like what a Q/A with Knox/Henderson/Rutherford might look like in my mind.