Sunday, April 20, 2014

Christos 2014: Church leaders Conference

FBC Liberty City is hosting the Christos 2014 conference on October 6-7. This is a conference for pastors, church and ministry staff, elders, and lay leaders of various sorts. Our theme this year is "Theology, Proclamation, and the Supremacy of God's Word." We have an amazing group of national speakers lined up to encourage and challenge us to become more articulate in the great biblical and theological truths of the Christian faith. Register early HERE for discounts and free resources. Check out the video and links below.
Christos You Tube Channel

Friday, December 13, 2013

Merry X-Mas

Is using "X-mas" as a shorthand for "Christmas" taking Christ out the holiday? Many people have answered yes to this question and are quite worried. In fact, I discovered a Facebook page entirely devoted to this very concern: Its CHRISTmas.. Not Xmas... Why would u take Christ out of His holiday!?!?! 

Now, I am in no place to speak to anyone’s intentions. It is possible that we have people running around and randomly replacing "Christ" with the letter "X," though this seems like a strange and somewhat underused letter in the English alphabet to select. Nevertheless, though such dastardly motives are possible, there is a perfectly reasonable explanation for this common designation dating back to the middle ages. "X" is actually a shorthand for Christ. Let me explain: the Greek letter Chi looks very much like our English letter X. And, the Greek word for Christ is Χριστός. Notice that the first letter in this word is a Chi. It looks like an X, does it not? Mystery solved, Merry X-mas.

Are you still not convinced? Very well, below I have provided a copy of a letter originally penned in 1804 by the English Baptist theologian Andrew Fuller. Notice how he spells Christmas:


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Book Review

I want to thank Dr. Keith Jones, from the International Baptist Theological Seminary, for his review of my book Fullerism as Opposed to Calvinism in the Journal of European Baptist Studies. His candid remarks are greatly appreciated. The review can be read here or here.

The Apostle Paul and the Doctrine of Sovereignty

 (Photo courtesy of St Paul's)

12 I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel, 13 so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard and to all the rest that my imprisonment is for Christ. 14 And most of the brothers, having become confident in the Lord by my imprisonment, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.

15 Some indeed preach Christ from envy and rivalry, but others from good will. 16 The latter do it out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. 17 The former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely but thinking to afflict me in my imprisonment. 18 What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice. 
Philippians 1:12-18 ESV

I recently preached a sermon (a video of this sermon can be viewed here) over the above text. In it, I discussed how the Apostle Paul was in prison when he wrote these words. What, then, is the reason for his great optimism? Paul was convinced that God was sovereign and had a plan of redemption that transcended any trial or circumstance. Moreover, Paul, though his situation was bleak, actively embraced the theological truth of God’s sovereignty and sought to be a willing participant in God’s plan of redemption.

What does sovereignty mean? The dictionary defines it as follows: “having supreme rank, power, or authority.” This seems to be correct with respect to God. Certainly, the Bible (and reason for that matter) teaches that God—the creator of all things, infinite in knowledge and power, eternal in being—is sovereign. God has supreme rank, power and authority. We can also conclude from this truth that this great God is intentional and has a plan. 

The passage listed above is a fine example of this. Paul clearly recognized this truth. This is why he was able to rejoice even though his circumstances were poor by earthly standards. As one writer notes: “Paul had been bound but the word of God could not be bound.” Yet, these poor circumstances were the means by which God furthered His redemptive plan. God is sovereign over all, God was sovereign in Paul’s circumstances, and God is sovereign in your life. 

We want to be careful when we discuss God’s sovereignty. Some, unfortunately, speak of God’s sovereignty as though it were sheer power or omnipotence. We must always remember that God’s sovereignty can never be separate from His moral goodness. Theologians very often organize God’s various attributes into two categories: natural and moral. Natural attributes are things such as omnipotence, omniscience, immutability, etc. God’s moral attributes are things such as his faithfulness, goodness, holiness, etc. Andrew Fuller once said that God’s natural attributes are those that evoke respect and the moral attributes are those that evoke love. In the end, however, we must never compartmentalize God and his attributes. People sometimes think of God as an all-powerful ruler, or, perhaps, only as a loving but impotent deity. Whenever we compartmentalize God in this way, we misunderstand Him altogether. God is a unity and all of His attributes work together in harmony. Everything that God does as the sovereign king of the universe is done from the perspective of perfect moral goodness. If all of this is true, then be a willing participant in God’s sovereign plan of redemption. 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Thank you to Dr. Thomas Nettles--professor of Historical Theology at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary--for his review of my book on Fuller and Calvin (here and here). Dr. Nettles' honest and constructive review may be viewed on page 88 here.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

This is a flyer that is being distributed at my church; however, anyone interested is welcome. I hope to see some folks starting September 8th. Our web-site is or call 903.984.4494.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Denominationalism, Baptists, and the Bill of Rights

An appreciation for one’s denomination is not as prevalent today as it once was. Nevertheless, concerned members of the body of Christ should have an understanding and an appreciation for the heritage and contribution of their denomination. What are our distinctive beliefs? What have we contributed to the Christian community and society generally? These are important questions. Since I am a Baptist, I would like to recommend that you read a great article (here), written by Kenneth Keathley, regarding the Baptists key involvement in the adoption of our great nation’s Bill of Rights.