Ministry Update

With great thankfulness in my heart, I have an exciting announcement to make! I have just accepted a call to serve as Interim Assistant Pastor at Brooklyn Chinese Baptist Church (BCBC) in Brooklyn, NY. I will be driving up and moving into my apartment on Thursday and Friday, December 8-9. My primary responsibility there will be to pastor the English-speaking congregation, preaching weekly and leading the other weekly services (Bible study and prayer meeting). I will also have additional teaching, outreach, and administrative responsibilities. My first sermon as Assistant Pastor will be Sunday, the 11th.

I have visited BCBC several times over the last few years, even preaching there this past April. I have a number of connections in the church and with other ministries in NYC, so this is not a blind move. Nevertheless, moving to NYC will present some unique and interesting challenges. My apartment is small, but it’s a short walk to the Church. I will be moving to New York in the middle of winter, so that represents a whole set of challenges by itself.

I am excited to begin this new work! This opportunity is an answer to prayer. I invite you to pray with me as I begin this new phase of ministry. Pray that I would be sensitive to God’s word. Please pray that I would be diligent and obedient to God’s will. Please pray that I will adjust to the new environment, and that I will be quickly integrated into my new Church. And please pray for me and for the English congregation as I preach next week.

Over the next year, I will be sending regular email updates with prayer requests and information about the ministry. If you can commit to praying for me, or if you just want to receive regular updates, please email me to let me know. You can also subscribe by clicking the link below.

Thank you for your continued prayer support. Merry Christmas and happy holidays to you all!

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John Stott on Preaching

In The Art and Craft of Biblical Preaching, John Stott defines biblical exposition as "open[ing] up the inspired text with such faithfulness and sensitivity that God's voice is heard and his people obey him."[1]

Stott's article goes on to explain his definition. The bible is inspired and yet needs someone called by God to interpret it. The preacher is called to be sensitive to both the ancient text and to the modern listener. In preaching God's voice is heard and challenges people to respond.

He proceeds to address this question—How should we respond? Here is his answer:
  • If God speaks to us about himself and his own glorious greatness, we respond by humbling ourselves before him in worship.
  • If God speaks about us—our waywardness, fickleness, and guilt—then we respond in penitence and confession.
  • If he speaks to us about Jesus Christ and the glory of his person and work, we respond in faith, laying hold on this savior.
  • If he speaks to us about his promises, we determine to inherit them.
  • If he speaks about his commandments, we determine to obey them.
  • If he speaks to us about the outside world and its colossal spiritual and material need, then we respond as his compassion rises within us to take the gospel throughout the world, to feed the hungry, and to care for the poor.
  • If he speaks to us about the future, about the coming of Christ and the glory that will follow, then our hope is kindled and we resolve to be holy and busy until he comes.

[1] John Stott, "A Definition of Biblical Preaching," in The Art and Craft of Biblical Preaching, ed. Haddon Robinson and Craig Larson (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2005), 24-29.

In Jesus Christ

The following is part five of a sermon delivered on October 30, 2016—Reformation Sunday—at First Baptist Church of Mulberry, FL.
Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 5:1)
My last point is, we have peace with God In Christ. We have peace with God In Christ.

Everything I’ve said up to now—you have been justified, you have been justified by faith, and you have peace with God—is applicable to you if and only if you are found in Jesus Christ. Let me take just a minute to review where we’ve been.

Books by Christians on other subjects

While we are on the subject of science, let me digress for a moment. I believe that any Christian who is qualified to write a good popular book on any science may do much more by that than by any directly apologetic work. The difficulty we are up against is this. We can make people (often) attend to the Christian point of view for half an hour or so; but the moment they have gone away from our lecture or laid down our article, they are plunged back into a world where the opposite position is taken for granted. As long as that situation exists, widespread success is simply impossible.

We must attack the enemy's line of communication. What we want is not more little books about Christianity, but more little books by Christians on other subjects—with their Christianity latent. You can see this most easily if you look at it the other way round. Our Faith is not very likely to be shaken by any book on Hinduism. But if whenever we read an elementary book on Geology, Botany, Politics, or Astronomy, we found that its implications were Hindu, that would shake us. It is not books written in direct defense of Materialism that make the modern man a materialist; it is the materialistic assumptions in all the other books. In the same way it is not books on Christianity that will really trouble him. But he would be troubled if, whenever he wanted a cheap popular introduction to some science, the best work on the market was always by a Christian.

The first step to the re-conversion of this country is a series, produced by Christians, which can beat the Penguin and the Thinkers Library on their own ground. Its Christianity would have to be latent, not explicit: and of course its science perfectly honest. Science twisted in the interests of apologetics would be sin and folly. But I must return to my immediate subject.

• C. S. Lewis, “Christian Apologetics” in God in the Dock: Essays on Theology and Ethics, edited by Walter Hooper, 89-103, (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1970), 93.
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