Monthly Archives: August 2010

The End

Well, it’s been a good ride.

After a long blogging run on this site, I’m calling it quits.  I enjoy blogging and will do so in other places, but I no longer desire to keep my own site running.  This has been a hard decision for me; I’ve prayed about it a good bit and talked it over with some.  In news that will rock the blogging community right to its foundations (to use a great Matt Labash line), I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s time to end this humble little blog.

I have wrestled over the course of blogging with the forum.  I like it.  But it does have some weaknesses.  It strikes me that right now, at this point in my life, I would probably rather be part of a group-blog or an institution (maybe The Gospel Coalition, B&H, BibleMesh, Gospel Coalition–something like that) instead of my own deal.  Individually-run blogs do great things.  However, I do want to guard against pride in my own heart and against being a “personality.”  You can have an individual blog and not fall prey here; you can have an individual blog and not be a self-promoter.  But I can also see how I myself can be tempted in these areas.  Franky Schaeffer–no theological role model of mine–has some strong words on the nature of self-promoting evangelical culture that have resonated with me.

On top of theological stuff, there is also the weight that comes with being responsible on a constant basis for content.  Sometimes it’s good to take weight off, even when–hopefully–you’re working towards kingdom ends.  That’s another problem area for many of us, myself included, and so I’m taking an opportunity to step back.

I don’t like personal public declarations like this; it’s rather silly.  Who cares?  But it seems wise to say something after five years of blogging.  Many folks have been kind to read and interact with this blog; thank you kindly for doing so.  I’m sincerely grateful.  This has been fun.  I appreciate the encouragement, sharpening, and mutual pursuit of the magnification of Christ in all things.  I’ve made friends through this blog, had stimulating discussions, and have gotten to participate in a very small way in ministry.

I’m not sure whether I’ll take the blog all the way down or leave it up.  Not sure right now what’s better.  There is also the possibility of an unretirement at some point.  I love basketball, so I’m well familiar with such a decision.  No plans for this, of course.  Considerably less people will fret about my decision than did with Michael Jordan, I’m guessing.

Anyway, enough prattling.  Thanks for reading this–and I’ll hopefully engage with you in other places, all for the greater glory of Christ.

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By the way, James Grant just kindly published an interview on the Essential Edwards Collection.

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New England Pastors: Duncan and Anyabwile in May 2011

Great news for New England–just got this from Dave Ricard of the New England Center for Expository Preaching:

“I was informed tonight that Ligon Duncan has agreed to join Thabiti Anyabwile at Island Pond Baptist Church for NECEP 2011 Pastors’ Conference on May 2-3, 2011.

Pastors will be given first priority for seating since this time is designed specifically for them.

Pastors can pre-register here.  Note:  This does not reserve seats.  It simply gives those who pre-register first notice when registration begins. (There are already 40+ people pre-registered for next year.)”

I’m glad to hear this from Dave.  If you’re in New England, make sure to sign up and mark this on your calendar.  It would be worth driving a good while–whether on I-95 or far from it–for the excellent teaching and fellowship (and the chance to meet Dave Ricard).

Also, if you are interested in an internship in this region, look here and think seriously about the NECEP, which is accredited by numerous seminaries.

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Mike McKinley and the Wimps of Church Planting

You might have heard about Mike McKinley’s recent book on church planting: Church Planting Is for Wimps (Crossway, 2010).  If you haven’t, it’s a great read.

Mike is the senior pastor of Guilford Baptist Church in Sterling, Virginia.  In God’s grace, he oversaw the revitalization of the church.  Church Planting Is for Wimps is the story of how that all happened.  Though the book is ostensibly about church planting/revitalization, it is an encouraging account of church life and Christian ministry.  I don’t think you would need to be a pastor to enjoy it and profit from it.  Uplifting stories about God’s work through His local church can be hard to find–particularly doctrinally savvy ones–but this text is exciting, easy-to-read, and quite funny.

My favorite section of the text involved McKinley’s account of how his church, planted from Capitol Hill Baptist Church of Washington, DC, reached out to local Hispanics.  At one point, McKinley and his wife hosted a dinner for a number of folks from their diverse neighborhood.  One of them told the couple as he left the house that he had never been inside an American home except to work.  That was a stunning story, one that shows just how wide natural divides are–and how incredible the power of the gospel is.  I was deeply challenged by this and other stories from McKinley’s experience.

McKinley is a punchy, clear writer.  The text reads effortlessly and clocks in at a short 128 pages.  Once in a while Mike tosses out a line that will startle some readers.  I didn’t exactly understand the book’s title; is McKinley ribbing church planters–arguing that revitalization is the way to go–or is the title indicating that all of us are wimps and thus need to step out in faith to do things for God?  I wasn’t sure.

Church Planting for Wimps is a fun, edifying book that offers some of the best “church planting” theology I’ve seen.  Mike’s story and his teaching will encourage, chasten, and bless you.  If church planting is for wimps, reading about church planting is for everyone.

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Find excerpts here, and a TGC Reviews interview with McKinley here.  He’s worth listening to.  You can also hear his preaching at the church website.

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Another Essential Book to Add (!)

Turns out the book sale mentioned yesterday isn’t the only piece of literary news right now.  I caught this in a web search yesterday–it will be of interest to many readers who peruse this little blog:

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home_book: The Essential Sampler Quilt Book – by Lynne Edwards – David & Charles. http://bit.ly/9Vy1X0 (expand)
I could scarcely type the words out, I’m so excited about this one.  Remember–you heard it here first.
Also, be careful what you search for.

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Essential Edwards Collection Sale Extended to Wednesday at Midnight

Because the sale of the Edwards books picked up a little steam last week, Westminster Books is kindly extending their 50% off sale of the collection to Wednesday, August 4 at 12pm.  Buy the books before midnight tomorrow and get them for $22.50, or $4.50 a book.  They won’t be on a sale like this for a while.

Here’s the official WTS Books tweet:

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wtsbooks: Essential Edwards Set is back in stock and we are shipping backorders! Tomorrow is the last chance for 50% off http://bit.ly/cxD24A

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