It’s St. Patrick’s Day – Remember a True Hero of the Faith

Often a holiday gets disconnected from its meaning and roots… this is the case with St Patrick’s Day. Here is an article that summarized some of the interesting aspects of St. Patrick’s life and legacy. Author, Jerry Newcombe explains, “Unfortunately, many people only observe his holiday, March 17, by drinking themselves silly, which is totally contrary to the spirit of the man who Christianized Ireland. In fact, Patrick shows what God can do through someone who is committed fully to Him.” His famous prayer reveals what was the heartbeat of his life,

“I arise today through God’s strength to pilot me: God’s might to uphold me, God’s wisdom to guide me…Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me…”

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New Version of A Weed in the Church

Here is a new trimmed down version of A Weed in the Church. I have re-organized it for better readability and tried to refine some of the arguments since I originally wrote it.  And it is SHORTER – from 300 pages to 192.

Click Here to Purchase




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Husbands Love Your Wives – Online Webinar

Have you ever needed some detailed, practical counsel for your marriage? Have you ever wished someone would speak to the everyday matters that pop up in your marriage and family life? Have you ever heard sound teaching, but wished for more than broad theological principles? You needed someone to speak frankly. You wanted someone to show you exactly how the biblical principles applied in the real situations you are experiencing.

Come join Scott Brown, Joel Beeke, Sam Waldron, Jeff Pollard and Derek Thomas for an online book discussion on husbands loving their wives.

This six part online webinar series is based on William Gouge’s classic work, “Domestical Duties,” using the edited and modernized version by Joel Beeke and Scott Brown. This series is designed to help husbands love their wives like Christ loved the church. We will be taking critical chapters in the book that are specifically directed to husbands. 

In this second volume of the series, Building a Godly Home, William Gouge (1575–1653) does just that. His marriage counsel is focused on the everyday matters that husbands and wives experience while living together. The basis for his counsel to married couples, is his exposition of Ephesians 5:21–33, already presented in volume 1.

Gouge delivers very detailed explanations of the various parts of the husband-wife relationship. He analyzes nearly every possible aspect of married life. You will be amazed at the probing detail with which he examines these matters. He exposes the minutest parts of marriage. Yet he does not lose sight of the big picture. He goes to the heart of the matter.

Each session will focus on a particular chapter of the book. These six webinar episodes will air once a week from April 22nd through May 27 at 9-10pm Eastern time.

Session Date Topic Guest Speaker
Session #1 Tuesday April 22 Authority, pp180-195 Joel Beeke, Scott Brown
Session #2 Tuesday April 29 Gentleness, pp196-214 Joel Beeke, Scott Brown
Session #3 Tuesday May 6 Correcting, pp215-224 Jeff Pollard, Scott Brown
Session #4 Thursday, May 15 Kindness, pp225-236 Sam Waldron, Scott Brown
Session #5 Tuesday May 20 Provision, pp237-256 Derek Thomas, Scott Brown
Session #6 Tuesday May 27 Love, pp257-273 Jeff Pollard, Scott Brown

The cost of the webinar is $15.00.


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The Purpose Driven God

Have you ever felt things were out of control and dangerous for you? Think again. God is in control. There are never any emergency situations. He has ordered everything in an orderly way to accomplish His purposes. There are no accidents.

I preached a sermon on the purposes of God from Isaiah 14 yesterday. There are two promises in this text you can hang your whole life, worldview and future on. These promises show how to understand history: The history of the world, the history of the USA and the history of your life. First, God will destroy the works of the devil. Second, God will have mercy on His people and provide refuge.

You have heard of the purpose driven life. Isaiah 13-14, is about the purpose driven God. He is the God of purpose. His purpose is for the whole earth and for every micro detail of what happens on the earth. Nothing can hold Him back. This word “purpose” appears four times in our text. It is a marker for God’s intentions. See Isaiah 14:24, “Surely, as I have thought, so it shall come to pass, And as I have purposed, so it shall stand.”  And notice, v26-27, “This is the purpose that is purposed against the whole earth, And this is the hand that is stretched out over all the nations. For the Lord of hosts has purposed, And who will annul it?”

His purposes are both fulfilled in the immensity of His grand scheme,  covering the whole sweep of history in its big picture. The timelines, the personalities, the wars, famines, political schemes, all events and weather. Yet His purposes also order the most minute details of the people and the feelings and the actions of the most insignificant person… In this grand scheme of God, there are always three personalities in the story: God Himself, the devil, and human beings. Yet, there are three unstoppable forces that rule:

1. God’s thoughts

2. God’s purposes

3. God’s hand

These are the subjects of Isaiah 14.

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Iain Murray on Handling differences in the Body of Christ

Alexander Strauch in his book If You Bite and Devour One Another quotes Iain Murray, who “helps to put our differences in balanced perspective.”

“At the same time it is essential to recognize . . . that differences of understanding among Christians are never to be allowed to transcend the truth which makes them one in Christ. God would use our defective understandings and mistakes to humble us and to make us the more diligent in seeking to know the truth. The devil would use the same weakness to alienate believers from one another and to destroy Christian love and sympathy. . . . He would have issues not foundational to salvation so elevated in importance that the larger Christian unity disappears and contention threatens to ‘destroy the work of God’ (Rom. 14:20). This ploy Satan used with effect at the time of the Reformation and again in the Puritan period, for it is not Laodiceans [Rev. 3:14-22] but those with the strongest attachment to Scripture who are most likely to be tempted in this way. From the harm done by the dogmatism of controversies over secondary issues the devil then tempts other Christians, who observe it, to abandon contending for the faith altogether. The best remedy then for divisions among Christians is for all to put first the living and teaching of the gospel. . . . When Christ is put first, when making disciples of all nations is the first priority, division is far more likely to occur where it should occur, between believers and the world.”

Strauch, Alexander (2011-05-06). If You Bite & Devour One Another (Kindle Locations 1982-1984). Lewis and Roth Publishers. Kindle Edition.

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Not About the Gospel, But The Gospel

“People have often asked me, “What is the secret of your success?” I always answer that I have no other secret but this, that I have preached the gospel, — not about the gospel, but the gospel, — the full, free, glorious gospel of the living Christ who is the incarnation of the good news. Preach Jesus Christ, brethren, always and everywhere…”

From, p138 Broken Hearted Evangelist, by Jeremy Walker

The quotation was taken from Charles Spurgeon’s message entitled, “Sermons Likely to Win Souls.”

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David Platt – The Church Owes Apology For Professional Youth Discipleship

Here is an excerpt from David Platt’s excellent sermon, “The Gospel and Parents,” delivered at his church a few years ago. In this message Platt apologizes for the ways we have done youth ministry:

This is where I need to as the pastor of an American church in the 21st Century especially; I need to apologize to you as parents. We live in an age of professionalism where we are tempted to hire out even parental responsibilities. We want our son to excel in sports and so we hire a professional to train him in certain skills. We want our daughter to get into the best college and so we hire a tutor who will help her get that SAT score up. (more…)

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Shepherding the Flock of God – St Louis Meeting

Today we gathered with 20 men from the region around St. Louis who are shepherding in churches. Three men delivered messages. I centered my focus on Ezekiel 34. Jim Zes, directed us to Psalm 145 and helped us understand a critical aspect of shepherding: focus on God. Marcus Serven spoke about three aspects of pastoral ministry: 1. Preaching, 2. Prayer and 3. Shepherding which was his main focus. He identified three practices Calvin learned from Bucer: First, teaching from house to house. Second, declaring the whole counsel of God. Third, letter writing.

Here are some further thoughts I shared on the matter of the Good Shepherd from Genesis to Revelation, “For Sheep Scattered on a Cloudy and Dark Day.” (more…)

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I Love This Song

We have been singing this song in Church lately… What God Ordains is Always Good

What God ordains is always good:
His will is just and holy;
As He directs my life for me,
I follow meek and lowly.
My God indeed in every need
Knows well how He will shield me;
To Him, then, I will yield me.
To Him, then, I will yield me. (more…)

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Do You Have Assurance of Salvation?

Here is an audio message on Assurance of Salvation:

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Every pastor has had to answer earnest questions by those who are struggling with doubt of their salvation. It is all too easy to “heal the wound lightly,” or lead someone to be deceived about the wound. We have a responsibility to “comfort those in Zion,” as well as to disturb those who ought to be disturbed. John MacArthur calls assurance of salvation “the birthright and privilege of every true believer in Christ.” This assurance is not only possible but should be the normal experience for any believer in Christ.

  • How sure can you be of your salvation?
  • Have do you counsel people who have tumultuous wrestlings and anguish over their assurance of salvation?
  • Can you be assured of your salvation, and not actually be saved
  • Are there people who think well of themselves and have great assurance
  • Is it sinful to have doubts about your salvation?
  • What do you do if you have seasons of doubt?
  • How do you interpret doubts?
  • Do doubts indicate other spiritual infirmities or neglects?
  • Do doubts condemn you to hell?

This message on the assurance of salvation answers these questions, using the Baptist Confession of 1689 as a guide.

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2014 Men’s Advance Feb. 28 – March 1


2014 Men’s Advance: Manly Courage

With Scott Brown and Dr. Marcus Serven

February 28 – March 1, 2014

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:9 (more…)

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St. Louis Church Leaders Meeting

This year, as I am traveling to different geographies I will be meeting with small groups of local church leaders in order to be together for fellowship, discussion, and prayer. On February 28th we will be coming together for a lunch meeting in St. Louis, Missouri where I will also be giving a a message on shepherding. This meeting will be sponsored by Reformation Christian AssemblyCome join the NCFIC and other church leaders in your area for a gathering of fellowship, encouragement, prayer and instruction.

If you would like to also attend The Men’s Advance click this link:

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Weekend Roundup: Church and Family in the News

Nine Things You should Know about Marriage in America

When it comes to marriage, “times, they are a changin’.” Fewer people are getting married, more are living together for a long time before marriage, and they get married much later than ever before. This week is “National Marriage Week”. Here are nine statistics and a revealing graph, which might surprise you about marriage in America.

Nine Lies in the Not Yet Married Life

Today is Valentine’s day, a day when much of the United States celebrates a utopian concept of love and romance. John Piper has a pointed article for singles and how they should think about Valentine’s Day. He writes “As much as God loves marriage, he didn’t design it to bear the burden of our eternal purpose and happiness…The free and full life is found in Christ and played out in Christ-likeness..”

Common Core Opponents tell Legislature that Children are Not Common, Not Cars

For those of us who have been fighting to restore the biblical elements of the discipleship of youth notice this: In response to Michigan initiative Common Core (a system designed simply to prepare students to get good grades in college) HSLDA lawyer Michael Donnelly asks legislators “Is education about the creation of ‘college-ready’ children who go on to post-secondary education and then enter the ‘global workforce’ as a competitive advantage? Are these the motivating goals of education?..The Common Core system treats teachers like assembly line workers, schools like factories, children as raw material and parents as shareholders. You don’t want that kind of a system.(more…)

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Irregular Dispassionate Church Attendance

I am always concerned when I find people who take church attendance lightly.  There are often many reasons for this. One of those reasons is what could be called family idolatry.  Jeff Pollard delivered a message about this here.  Kevin DeYoung has written a helpful piece on, what he calls The Scandal of the Semi Churched.

The Scandal of the Semi-Churched

This is  one of those posts I’ve wanted to write for awhile, but I wasn’t sure how to say what I think needs to be said. The danger of legalism and false guilt is very real. But so is the danger of disobedience and self-deception.

I want to talk about church members who attend their home church with great irregularity. These aren’t unchurched folks, or de-churched, or under-churched. They are semi-churched. They show up some of the time, but not every week. They are on again/off again, in and out, here on Sunday and gone for two. That’s the scandal of the semi-churched. In fact, Thom Rainer argues that the number one reason for the decline in church attendance is that church members don’t go to church as often as they used to. (more…)

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When the Lord is in Your Midst

At church we have been studying Isaiah. On Sunday, we were in chapter 12 which takes us into the world of the joyful praises of His people for their salvation. The anger of God has been propitiated and they are joyfully drawing water from the wells of salvation. This first section of Isaiah (chapter 1-12) ends with the joys of those who experience “The Holy one of Israel,” in their “midst.” One thing running through their lives, demonstrates the impact of true salvation among them – joy.  But it is not a groundless joy. It is not an empty joy. It is based on tangibles. It is based on the details of the facts of their deliverance, and the ongoing refreshment that He provides as they draw water from the wells of salvation.

What happens to individuals and churches when they truly embrace Christ?  Isaiah 12 tells us.

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