Q and A with Kara Powell


Our friend, Matt Hudson, has written an insightful review of a fascinating article entitled, “Is the Era of Age Segmentation Over,” He pin points a fatal flaw in the thinking of modern evangelicalism. It always asks what’s new and what works instead of asking what saith the scriptures.

In the original Article, “Leadership Journal” editors, Marshall Shelley and Brandon O’Brien, spoke with Kara Powell about her research and its consequence for the local church. In the interview, she documents the rise of the modern youth ministry movement which proliferated age segregated worship and discipleship to be a sort of “gospel.”

Q: Where did the popular age-segmented paradigm of youth ministry come from?

A: In the 1940s and post World War II, there was a real burst in parachurch organizations focused on ministry to teenagers and young adults, such as: Young Life, Intervarsity, and Youth for Christ. In many ways, they led the way for the church in realizing that we need to focus on specialized discipleship and teaching for teenagers.

Q: Why did the church adopt this age-segmented model of ministry?

A: Jim Rayburn, the founder of Young Life, liked to say, “It’s a sin to bore a kid with the Gospel.” So he developed some amazingly creative models of youth ministry that took root and bore fruit. I think a lot of churches saw the success of groups like Young Life and started thinking, ‘If the parachurch folks are tailoring their ministry toward young people’s interests, then we can—and probably should—too.’

Read Kara Powell’s interview HERE.

Read Matt Hudson’s review HERE.

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Scott Brown Interviews with Prime Time South Florida



I had the privilege recently to do an interview with Brigitte Sylvester of Prime Time South Florida. We were able to discuss the pandemic decline in the church. Brigitte did a remarkable job with the interview. She was extremely gracious and professional. The interview highlighted some major points and also encapsulated well the vision of both the NCFIC and the upcoming Sufficiency of Scripture Conference this December. To find out more about Brigitte and her program click HERE.

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If Sports Teaches Character Then Why Do 78% NFL Players Go Bankrupt?



Sports Illistrated Magazine reports that things don’t go well financially with retired NFL Players.  Chris Chase, sums it up on Yahoo Sports:

“Within two years of retirement, 78 percent of NFL players are bankrupt or in severe financial distress. Unlike Rocket Ismail, most of those players can’t blame it on the negative karma associated with getting a bear hug from Michael Irvin.

How is this possible? The minimum salary for rookies in 2009 is $310,000. That jumps to $460,000 for two year veterans. How can men who earn so much have so little after retirement?”

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Woman Dies at 99, Leaves behind 1,400 Descendants


Here is woman in Israel who had seven sons and four daughters. Married at age 19, Rachel Krishevsky “brought up her children to see children as a great joy.” One of her grandchildren says with pride, “[Grandma] knew all of her descendants.” Imagine a family reunion with 1400 present – and as a grandmother, you know all of them!

View the entire story HERE.

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Female Pastors Double in Past Decade


George Barna has reported that there has been a dramatic rise of female pastors. He begins his report stating that prior to 1990 there was virtually no growth of female pastors serving in protestant churches. Then he states, “From the early 1990s through 1999 just 5% of the Senior Pastors of Protestant churches were female. Since that time the proportion has slowly but steadily risen, doubling to 10% in 2009.”

This trend is just one more marker for the loss of the conviction of the sufficiency of scripture within the church. This rising number of female pastors stands among many other contemporary trends which indicate that the church is becoming more and more a mirror of the world and is losing its distinctiveness. But why? No longer is she governed by bible doctrine, but by pragmatic considerations.

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Granddaughter of P51 Pilot Flies WWII Biplane



Dream became reality for my daughter Kelly Bradrick last week when she and her husband visited friends in Colorado and were gifted with rides in a fully restored vintage WWII Stearman Biplane. Kelly, author of Coming In on a Wing and a Prayer, has spent countless hours talking to her grandfather, researching, and writing about planes during WWII and this flight was the culmination of a long held dream. Thank you Bill Brown. And thank you Ben Sollenbarger of 007 Dusting. My father, Bill Brown, trained in a plane just like this to prepare to be a WWII P51 Mustang fighter pilot. My father’s story is also recorded in Doug Phillip’s film, “League of Grateful Sons.”


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For “Those Who Love Your Name”


“Let those who love your name be joyful in You.”


Psalm 5:11

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John Calvin on Church Discipline


“As the saving doctrine of Christ is the soul of the church, so discipline forms ligaments which connect the members together, and keep each in its proper place. Whoever, therefore, either desire the abolition of all discipline, or obstruct its restoration, whether they act from design or inadvertency, they certainly promote the entire dissolution of the Church.”


John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, 2 vols., ed. John T. McNeill (Philidelphia: The Westminister Press, 1960), p. 1,238 (Book IV, Chapter XII, Section 10).

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eJournal on Church Discipline from 9 Marks

9 Marks has provided a number of helpful articles on the subject of church discipline.


The editor states, “Church discipline is just such an uncomfortable act of tough love, which is why 9Marks would like to spend two issues of the eJournal considering this important topic. In this issue, Wyman Richardson and Greg Wills help us to count the cost of practicing or not practicing church discipline. Ken Sande offers some legal counsel. And Kevin DeYoung, a pastor in mainline Protestant land, offers words of warning to evangelical land, a land where tough love increasingly has to shout to be heard.”


In one of the articles by Gregory Wills, we read, “John Dagg stated, “When discipline leaves a church, Christ leaves with it.” What is the answer?”

This “eJournal” offers a treasure trove on this important area of church l

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Father and Son Retreat in Washington



2009 Father and Son Retreat in Rimrock, Washington.

Eight of us* traveled to the rugged mountains of Washington State for a father and son retreat. It was delightful to see fathers with their sons, allocating time for training their sons and enjoying one another.

Retreats like this bring hope for future generations.

Using Proverbs eight as our daily devotional, the whole theme of the camp was making the Word of God your compass. Fathers and sons received instruction in land navigation from a very gifted communicator – former Army Infantry Officer Troy Hacking – and were sent into the wild to find their way via their compass.

Our teaching sessions focused on biblical fatherhood and sonship by recognizing the divine pattern for fathers and sons established in heaven by God the Father and His Son. With this as a foundation, I proposed that the purpose of fathers and sons in the world is to provide a living picture of the gospel. I identified various attacks of the devil against sons to drive them apart (in a message entitled, “The Seven Tests of David Brown”), and showed how to tell if you are winning or losing the battle for the heart of your son. Peter Bradrick connected very powerfully in a message that challenged young men to become principled and fearless warriors for Christ.

*Our team included: Scott Brown, Peter Bradrick, Ron Whittaker and his son Tyler, and NCFIC interns: Brandon Arnette, Thomas Dellinger, Jonathan Langford and Stephen Sides.

Westside Baptist Church, (This is were I spoke on Sunday)

Christian Heritage, (The host of the Father/Son Retreat)


Dad trivia…

Peter speaking…

Around the campfire…

Ron and Tyler…

The zip line…

The fathers and sons…

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The Divine-Deli-Cafeteria Religion and the Sufficiency of Scripture

This week Newsweek released a story that shows us how far the American mind has drifted from looking to scripture for answers. As we are quickly closing in on the date for the Sufficiency of Scripture conference in December, I am mindful of the various influences that have banished this kind of thinking from American culture. The compromised church, the fruits of public education, the addiction to age segregation, the collapse of the family in America have created a completely different world than our founding fathers conceived.

Newsweek magazine sums it all up by saying, “We Are All Hindus Now.” (Click HERE to view full article)

Newsweek declares that, “America is not a Christian nation,” even though we were founded by Christians. The magazine says that we now think more like Hindus than Christians. Citing the Rig Veda (Hindu scripture), “Truth is One, but the sages speak of it by many names.” This means that all paths lead to God whether Christian, Hindu, Muslim, Wicca or otherwise.

The article goes on to say that Americans no longer accept the Christian proposition that Jesus spoke, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the father except through me.” Today 65% embrace the idea that “many religions can lead to eternal life”-including 37% of white evangelicals. America embraces, what Stephen Prothero calls, “the divine-deli-cafeteria religion.” He says it is “very much in the spirit of Hinduism.”
Prothero puts his finger on the pulse of American thinking – pragmatism. He says, “It isn’t about orthodoxy. It’s about whatever works.”

Further, Newsweek reminds us that our views of death and dying are rapidly changing. Whereas we previously believed in the sacredness of body and soul, now more of us believe in reincarnation and cremation. Today, a whopping 24% of Americans believe in reincarnation – up from 6% in 1975.

The author ends the article revealing the real issue that is being attacked – the gospel itself. She quotes Diana Eck, professor of comparative religion at Harvard, saying that all of this rejects the Christian doctrine of the resurrection. This is the fatal flaw and the final blow of the American mentality that rejects scripture as the only guide. It denies the resurrection of Christ, the credence of which all of Hindu thought seeks to destroy.

One element of the importance of the sufficiency of scripture is this: When you abandon it, the gospel is eventually abandoned. This is one of the hard lessons of the seeker sensitive movement turned “emergent.” Now, without scriptural foundation, instead of Christianity, you get the divine Deli “cafeteria religion.” To understand how to rebuild the foundations that have been destroyed, come and learn what it means to trust the Word of God as applicable to every area of life at the Sufficiency of Scripture 2009 Conference in Cincinnati this December 10th through 12th. Or, as the NCFIC interns have dubbed it, “S.O.S.”

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Women in Combat – Morality Circumvented

It is hard to ignore the sad state of a nation that has lost its sense of the beauty and glory of womanhood and the necessity of an estimable treatment of women that includes protection. In the church and family these issues are of enormous importance. This collapse of love for the opposite sex always follows the collapse of biblical patriarchy. Albert Mohler writes about what is happening behind the scenes and public statements, on the matter in his article, “A Quiet Circumvention of Morality – Women in Combat.” He writes,

“A nation’s moral character is revealed in the way it fights its wars. This report, filled with documentation, reveals that our nation’s moral character is now being redefined before our eyes. If it is true that a majority of the American people affirm their readiness to see women “join combat units, where they would be directly involved in the ground fighting,” the American people are demonstrating their disregard for the moral wisdom of the ages. The nation is forfeiting the responsibility of men to act as protectors of women, and acquiescing to the failure of men to fulfill their duty.”

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Scott Brown on Moody Radio’s Prime Time America

Paul Butler with Moody Radio just interviewed me on our new book, Family Reformation: The Legacy of Sola Scriptura in John Calvin’s Geneva and in honor of his show, today we are again offering personally signed copies for 50% off.

Go to Paul Butler’s blog to listen to the interview HERE.


Signed Copy 50% off Sale ends tomorrow night August 13th.

Click HERE to purchase.

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Parenting as Cultural Resistance

Neil Postman, one of the truly insightful secular social commentators of the 20th century, was correct when he said that parenting was “Cultural Resistance.” In one of his books, “The Disappearance of Childhood” he outlines the devastating influences of our culture on childhood. At the end of the book he asks a question, “is the individual powerless to restrict what is happening?” He says,

The answer to this, in my opinion, is “No.” But, as with all resistance, there is a price to pay. Specifically, resistance entails conceiving of parenting as an act of rebellion against American culture. For example, for parents merely to remain married is itself an act of disobedience and an insult to the spirit of a throwaway culture in which continuity has little value. It is also at least ninety percent un-American to remain in close proximity to one’s extended family so that children can experience, daily, the meaning of kinship and the value of deference and responsibility to elders. Similarly, to insist that one’s children learn the discipline of delayed gratification, or modesty in their sexuality, or self-restraint in manners, language, and style is to place oneself in opposition to almost every social trend. Even further, to ensure that one’s children work hard at becoming literate is extraordinarily time-consuming and even expensive. But most rebellious of all is the attempt to control the media’s access to one’s children. There are, in fact, two ways to do this. The first is to limit the amount of exposure children have to media. The second is to monitor carefully what they are exposed to, and to provide them with a continuously running critique of the themes and values of the media’s content. Both are very difficult to do and require a level of attention that most parents are not prepared to give to child-rearing.

Nonetheless, there are parents who are committed to doing all of these things, who are in effect defying the directives of their culture. Such parents are not only helping their children to have a childhood but are, at the same time, creating a sort of intellectual elite. Certainly in the short run the children who grow up in such homes will, as adults, be much favored by business, the professions, and the media themselves. What can we say of the long run? Only this: Those parents who resist the spirit of the age will contribute to what might be called the Monastery Effect, for they will help to keep alive a humane tradition. It is not conceivable that our culture will forget that it needs children. But it is halfway toward forgetting that children need childhood. Those who insist on remembering shall perform a noble service.

Neil Postman, The Disappearance of Childhood, (1982; repr,. New York: Vintage, 1994), 152-153

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Arraign it, Accuse it, Spit on it – Hatred of Sin

What kind of reactions should we have toward our sin? Thomas Goodwin says this,

Work in your hearts a hatred of sin… If a man had killed your friend, or father, or mother, how would you hate him! You would not endure the sight of him, but follow the law upon him. Send out the avenger of blood with a hue and cry after thy sin; bring it afore God’s judgment seat, arraign it, accuse it, spit on it, condemn it and thyself for it, have it to the cross, nail it there, if it cry I thirst, give it vinegar, stretch the body of sins upon his cross, stretch every vein of it, make the heart strings crack; and then when it hangs there, triumph over the dying of it, show it no pity, laugh at its destruction, say, Thou hast been a bloody sin to me and my husband, hang there and rot. And when thou art tempted to it [sin], and art very thirsty after the pleasure of it, say of that opportunity to enjoy it, It is the price of Christ’s blood, and pour it upon the ground. … Shall I live upon that which was Christ’s death? Shall I please myself in that which was his pain? Shall I be so dishonest, so unkind, as to enjoy the pleasure for which he endured the smart?

—Thomas Goodwin (1600—1679), Christ the Mediator in The Works of Thomas Goodwin (RHB), 5:294.

I found this excellent quote on Miscellanies Blog.

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