The Surprising Offense of God’s Love – A New and Important Book

Jonathan Leeman has written a ground breaking book, The Church and the Surprising Offense of God’s Love  that may serve to break up the fallow ground of churches that listen.  This book shows how the very structure and nature of the church promotes love, but not in the way we normally think of it. Click here to listen to a roundtable discussion with Mark Dever and others.  Leeman writes,

"The world thinks it understands love, just like it thinks it loves God. Yet it doesn’t. It only understands idolatrous phantoms or fabrications of them, shadows that bear some of the shape but little of the substance. The local church, therefore, is called to be a three-dimensional display of true love. And the practices of church membership and discipline are precisely what help to make the local church visible and clear. They demonstrate love’s demands. They help us to know, in the apostle John’s phrase, who are the children of God and who are the children of the Devil (see 1 John 3:10). "

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Adoption as Sons

http://i481.photobucket.com/albums/rr175/HonorforONEFIlms/IMG_0070.jpgThe Bible makes it clear that God goes to great lengths to adopt children. In Galatians 3-4 Paul tells the Galatians that God gave the law to convict them of their sins and in so doing, lead them to trust in the sufficiency of Christ.  He gave so many laws. Why?  In order to show us our sins and how much we need His mercies and His parenting. Facing the realities of orphans in Haiti, now reminds us afresh of how little children without parents cry out for gospel love and they throw us back on the words of Paul to the Galatians 4:4-7,

“But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law,  to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.

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Heartbreaking Story

There is a heartbreaking story coming out of the earthquake in Haiti. A couple from the Netherlands waited five years to adopt a young boy. They arrived on the day of the earthquake, were introduced to their new son, went to their hotel to await their departure. Only four hours after their meeting, all of them died together in the hotel. Their dead bodies were found clutching one another in the rubble.

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Haiti Update – Sharing the Gospel

 

Peter Bradrick shares the gospel with men who thronged around him pleading for jobs in front of the ruined Haitian Capital.

Not only are we experiencing the sheer destruction and ruin surrounding us, but also the permeating disorder and instability that shackles the Haitian culture. These people need Christ, more than anything. Please join me in begging the Lord that He will use the heartbreaking situation here in Haiti to drive these people to their knees and show them their great need for a Savior. Revival and reformation would be the greatest rebuilding that could take place here in Haiti and would be the one thing that could turn the greatest devastation into the greatest opportunity for Haiti.

I am staggered as I see grief, despair, filth, and chaos everywhere here, and consider Christ’s amazing patience and love toward me as I understand on a whole new level what it means to be a filthy, poor, and wretched sinner before an all holy God.

 

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Snow Days in North Carolina

We have had lots of snow here and in NC, locals hole up both in and outside

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Childless by Choice

More couples are going “Childless by Choice”

msnbc.com reports on a rising phenomena – people who are decidedly against having children for personal reasons. It shows an alarming departure from the biblical idea that “children are a blessing from the Lord.” Whatever logical and personal perspectives it promotes, it is an idea that departs significantly from Christian thinking on the matter. Let me suggest that this is reflective of the church which has rejected the sufficiency of scripture for the building of christian culture. When the church rejects scripture, it loses its saltiness and thereby emboldens the wider culture to do what is right in its own eyes. The article reports that that here is a growing number of couples who do not want children. One woman explains an aspect of why she takes this position,

“Like many of the decisions we make in life, my decision to remain childless was motivated in part by fear—fear of regret. I was afraid to take the risk that I might be a bitter, unhappy, or regretful mom. Given my disinterest in the role of parent, this was a real possibility—particularly when I started hearing from parents who felt compelled to speak out, saying things like “You’re lucky not to have kids. They will break your heart.”

She declares how clearly she understood her desires for a “childfree” life.

“The assumptions people often make about the voluntarily childless troubled me because they didn’t come close to capturing my complex motives. I was not motivated to remain childless because I didn’t like kids or because I wanted to spend my money on cars and diamonds instead of cribs and diapers. I was motivated to be childfree because there was so much about my life that I enjoyed and so much that I still wanted to do, experiences that I felt I would have to delay or forgo if I had children. I remained childless because I valued my freedom to do the things I thought I could do well and happily, things I had dreamed of doing all my life.”

This of course is a direct assault against the biblical idea that calls mankind to, “be fruitful and multiply.”

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Peter Bradrick in Haiti for the NCFIC Contacting Churches and Pastors

 

The NCFIC has sent Peter Bradrick to report from Haiti on the situation as we seek work through churches in the country. We will be trying to follow his footsteps during this time. Please pray for him as he travels with Doug Phillips. They will be flying out early in the morning on Saturday and will return in six days. We will be providing updates from Peter on this blog as we get them. We plan to have a period of evaluation and then later in the year send teams there to work and preach the gospel, working through churches.

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My New Grandson – Loyal Cromwell Bradrick

 

 

I am delighted to report that my grandson, Loyal is home from the hospital and making all kinds of waves in our world. Peter and Kelly, Loyal’s parents, are like Moses and Zipporah who named their children, Gershom and Eliezer for specific godly purposes (Gen 18:3-4). What a blessing it is to have a “Loyal Cromwell” in the family.

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Verses on the Sweet Sovereignty of God

This will do your heart good. Here are lots of verses on the Sovereignty of God

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On Preaching to Children

Our church in Wake Forest consists of approximately 70% children. I like what Luther and D. Martin Lloyd-Jones says about this,

Martin Luther: “A preacher should have the skill to teach the unlearned simply, roundly, and plainly; for teaching is of more importance than exhorting…When I preach I regard neither doctors nor magistrates, of whom I have above forty in the congregation. I have all my eyes on the servant maids and the children. And if the learned men are not well pleased with what they hear, well, the door is one.”

D. Martin Lloyd-Jones: “the wise preacher keeps his eye on the simple and the children. If a great and learned man feels that he does not get anything out of the message he is condemning himself. He is condemning himself in the sense that he is not spiritually minded, that he is not able to receive spiritual truth. He is so ‘puffed up’ and blown up with his head knowledge that he has forgotten that he has a heart and a soul. He condemns himself, and if he walks out, well, he is the loser.”

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Don’t Get Caught Doing Well On What Should Not Be Done At All

It matters where you put your energy, and modern churches expend enormous energy trying to make Sunday schools and youth programs work. Here are two thoughts about this. First, a proposition to ponder: the practice of comprehensive age segregation is not found anywhere in scripture. Second, a principle to consider:

Don’t get caught doing well that which should not be done at all.

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Expository Listening on the Lord’s Day

Here is a helpful piece on Tim Challies Blog that may help you tomorrow on the Lord’s Day in your local church

Richard Baxter:

Remember that all these…sermons must be reviewed, and you must answer for all that you have heard, whether you heard it…with diligent attention or with carelessness; and the word which you hear shall judge you at the last day. Hear therefore as those that are going to judgment to give account of their hearing and obeying.

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Come to the Family Economics Conference – March 5-6

 

 

Use the discount code NCFIC and you will receive a $50.00 discount.

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SOS Conference Albums Still Available Online

Sufficiency of Scripture Conference Audio Albums are available online. We have both the full 36 message conference collection in CD and MP3 albums.

Click HERE to purchase them.

SOS Conference Audio Album — the full 36 message set includes the following messages:

Scott Brown: Do not Learn the Way of the Gentiles – Defining the Sufficiency of Scripture

• Douglas Phillips: The Defining Battles in the War Against the Sufficiency of Scripture

• Ken Ham: Our Declining Church and Culture: The Genesis Connection and How to Continue a Godly Heritage

Paul Washer: The Sufficiency of Scripture and the Gospel

• Dr. Voddie Baucham: The Sufficiency of Scripture for Manhood and Womanhood

• Douglas Phillips: The Sufficiency of Scripture and the Heart of the NCFIC

• Dr. Andrew Davis: Scripture is Sufficient for Personal Sanctification

• Dr. Joesph Morecraft: The Regulative Principle of Worship in the Old Testament
• R.C. Sproul, Jr.: Scripture is Sufficient for Suffering

• William Einwechter: English Bibles and the Sufficiency of Scripture

• Jeff Pollard: Scripture is Sufficient for Women’s Ministry Part 1: Teachers of Good Things

• Douglas Phillips: The Sufficiency of Scripture for the Laws of Nations

• Steven Breagy: Scripture is Sufficient for Child Discipline

• Dan Horn: But How Could a Loving God Say…?

• Dr. Andrew Davis: The Sufficiency of Scripture for Building Faith and Transforming Character

• Paul Washer: Scripture is Sufficient for Personal Evangelism

• Geoff Botkin: Applying the Sufficiency of Scripture in the Botkin Family

• Dr. Joe Morecraft: The Regulative Principle of Worship in the New Testament

• Kevin Swanson: The Sufficiency of Scripture for Family Life

• William Einwechter: God’s Law or Chaos

• Jeff Pollard: Scripture is Sufficient for Women’s Ministry Part 2: Keepers at Home

• Dr. Joseph Morecraft: Is the Sufficiency of Scripture a Bible Doctrine?

• Scott Brown: Scripture is Sufficient for Ministry to Youth

• Kevin Swanson: The Sufficiency of Scripture and Family Integration

• Paul Washer: The Sufficiency of Scripture for Evangelizing the Nations

• Dr. Joseph Morecraft: The Sufficiency of Scripture for Church Discipline

• Dan Horn: The Sufficiency of Scripture for the Importance of the Sabbath

• Dr. Andrew Davis: The Sufficiency of Scripture for Habits of Obedience

• Dr. Voddie Baucham: Youth Ministry

• Kevin Swanson: Scripture is Sufficient for Your Educational Decisions

• Douglas Phillips: The Sufficiency of Scripture for Culture and Aesthetics

• Dan Horn: Scripture is Sufficient to Define and Govern the Church

• William Einwechter: Scripture is Sufficient for Times of Spiritual Decline

• Paul Washer: The Importance of Biblical Family Life for the Spread of the Gospel

• Dr. Voddie Baucham: The Sufficiency of Scripture in the Disciple-Making Ministry of the Church and the Home

• Scott Brown and Douglas Phillips: Closing Charge
 

 

 

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Free Online Elder Discipleship Webinar

Please accept our invitation to a Free Online Elder Discipleship Webinar, January 19, 8:00-10:00 pm, on love in the church and Jonathan Edwards’ Charity and Its Fruits . Scott Brown, Dan Horn, Jason Dohm and Abe Van Wingerden will be on the line. We are offering this to give men a chance to see what it is like to participate in our webinar. If you like to participate for the rest of the year, then you can register here.

What are the Elder Discipleship Sessions are like?

Here is what those who participated in our first Online Elder Discipleship Webinar said,

“I would highly recommend the program based on my experience. This is the kind of thing I was hoping for, since my situation makes it difficult to travel to the ‘live’ events around the country.”


“This is a great way for busy men to spend time interacting with others that want to make Christ Lord of their lives and then to help reform the church to glorify God.

“The first session was a blessing in many ways: it was encouraging to see all the men signed up and listening, I enjoyed the input from all the leaders and felt that they all had a lot to add to the conversation, I liked the idea of an ‘antagonistic’ point of view from one of the leaders…

What an opportunity to collaborate with other men from across the country who are thirsting and hungering to know and love the Lord our God more.

Knowing that there are other brothers who are willing to wrestle with the Word and interact with one another for the purpose of understanding and obeying it is tremendously encouraging!

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