You can learn to read the New Testament in Greek

“It’s all Greek to me!” no longer has to be a phrase meaning “I don’t get it!”

English translations of the Scriptures are great, but there is nothing that can quite substitute for being able to read the New Testament in Greek. You see things the English doesn’t convey. Sometimes the way you interpret a text will be enlightened. Again, there really is no substitute.

Of course, you might be intimidated at the mere thought of trying to learn New Testament. If that’s the case, I understand.

But Dr. Robert Plummer of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary has done us a great favor by starting a new web site — Daily Dose of Greek. Each day he is going to go over one verse in Greek in a little two minute video. That’s going to help people like me, a pastor who hasn’t had a real Greek class in years, brush up on things.

But the best part for you is that Dr. Plummer has included twenty-five lectures that go along with Dr. David Alan Black’s Learn to Read the New Testament Greek, 3rd ed. (which you can get here, and even cheaper here for a Kindle).

Dr. Plummer Daily Dose of Greek Intro from Daily Dose of Greek on Vimeo.

The best part of the new web site is that all of the lectures and videos are FREE.

Let me repeat that. FREE.

In other words, you can learn how to read the New Testament in its original language. You can know God’s word better.

All it takes is a minimal monetary invest, and the effort to watch, read, and take it all in. It will be worth it. Check it out!

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Fal$e Teaching: Rick Joyner goes to heaven

The apostle Paul couldn’t talk about seeing heaven in 2 Corinthians 12, but Rick Joyner can. Apparently he’s been several times.

A sermon I preached on purported visits to heaven may be helpful.

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Marching orders for a backslidden church

Amen, Phil Johnson. And thank you.

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The puzzling evangelical affinity for C.S. Lewis

C.S. LewisI have long wondered why evangelical Christians — and especially respected pastors and leaders of evangelical Christians — seem to have a love affair with all things C.S. Lewis. I remember reading some, if not all, of The Chronicles of Narnia as a child and liking them. In fact, my own son has the seven book series and enjoys them as well.

Even so, I believe there is more than enough cause for caution when reading Lewis, especially his non-fiction writings. He clearly had inclusivistic leanings, meaning he was more than a little iffy on the exclusivity and necessity of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Similar concerns exists for his beliefs about the inspiration and inerrancy of Scripture, the doctrine of eternal punishment (hell), and even baptismal regeneration.

That’s why I encourage you to listen to this twenty-five minute interview from No Compromise Radio with Michael Beasley, author of Altar to an Unknown Love: Rob Bell, C.S. Lewis, and the Legacy of the Art and Thought of Man. I have not yet read his book, but I found this interview compelling.

Based upon my own readings of Lewis I’ve always wondered why other believers are so quick to recommend him and assume him to be orthodox, so easily looking past some pretty glaring doctrinal errors. This interview reaffirmed my thoughts. I hope it gives you something to think about.

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Updated [15 Sept 2014 – 11:30am]: And like clockwork I got an email from Lifeway this morning plugging this book. So see what I mean?

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Five questions on being a pastor

One of the high school students in my church is taking a class in which they were to interview someone they thought was successful, so they chose me. Stop laughing.

Seriously, I was glad to help out and the little exercise, which consisted of five questions sent to me, which I then filled out on Pages, turned out to be fun, interesting, and (I hope for you) beneficial. This is an edited version of what I sent. I’ve even made a couple of additions. Let me know what you think.

1. What made you decide to become a pastor?

Old School Me preaching at Pleasant View Baptist Church, where I was Pastor from 2007-2010.
Old School Me preaching at Pleasant View Baptist Church, where I was Pastor from 2007-2010.

Well, I could tell you that I heard the still small voice of God in my head “calling” me to do this, but that’s not really how it works. [Added note: That really isn’t how it works. Show me the biblical precedent for being “called” as a pastor and it’ll be a first. Read more about this here.]

In 1 Timothy 3:1 Paul writes, “If any man desires to be an overseer [a pastor], it is a fine work he desires to do.” I decided to do it because I wanted to. I desired it. The reason for that begins in the summer between ninth and tenth grade. Being a child of divorce, my youth minister had a great impact on my life. I looked up to him, I loved the Lord, I wanted to serve Him with my life, so I wanted to do what my youth minister did — have the kind of impact of others he had on me.

Fast forward a few years and I had not done anything in quite some time to act upon what I knew in my heart I was meant by God to do. I moved to a new town, started going to a new church, and the pastor there preached the word of God in such a way that things I had never even thought about in the past started making sense. “Of course that’s what the Bible is saying there… Of course that’s what it means” is what I’d say over and over again.

Going back to 1 Timothy 3:1, I desired to do this job because I wanted to have an impact on peoples’ live the way my youth minister affected me, and I wanted to open the word of God to people the way that pastor did for me as well. It all boils down to what the Bible says a pastor is to do — preach the word and shepherd (lead/care/guide/feed) the sheep. That’s what those men did for me. That’s the desire God gave me for others. I only pray, by God’s grace, I do that and will continue to do that. Continue reading Five questions on being a pastor

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