Three Exceptional Resources

I feel like I’ve not had a lot of important things to say here in recent days. I’m glad, however, to point to others who are saying important things. Here are 3 exceptional resources—one to watch, one to hear, and one to read:

Dispatches from the Front1. Watch Dispatches from the Front. I had heard of it when it blew up on blogs and websites last month, and I found it riveting and inspiring to watch myself. I was moved to tears several times, both by the need of the world outside the States and by the joy of seeing Christ’s name exalted and His work extended among believers in such difficult places. We’ll be watching it as a church soon, and I’ve ordered 5 copies (along with 5 copies of Piper’s Let the Nations Be Glad and Doran’s For the Sake of His Name) to give as gifts to people at TCBC who I think should be considering missions more earnestly. (I recommend that you do the same! Order several copies, not just one.) By God’s grace, I believe the Dispatches series could be used of the Lord to thrust many onto the mission field. I pray so! (As an aside, I’m a guy that loves words, and I think Tim Keesee is an artist. He communicates with eloquence and passion. I praise the Lord to see such giftedness wed to such devotion in a man.)

john macarthur2. Listen to MacArthur’s 2009 Resoved message, The Sanctifying Shepherd. In the message, MacArthur speaks to thousands of young people on what a sanctifying pastoral ministry looks like. Pastors, you want to be a pastor like this. Non-pastors, you want to find a pastor like this. I’m burdened to see people and churches develop a strong and biblical philosophy of ministry, and this message will be a great aid in that process!

Mortification of Sin3. Read John Owen on sanctification in The Mortification of Sin. As I’ve noted a number of times, I’m reading it with some friends at Andrew Henderson’s site, The Puritans Society. Stop being intimidated by Owen and join us. Sure, he’s deep, but the chapters are usually only 3-8 pages in length and well worth the 15-20 minutes required to read them. I read chapter 8 this morning and was blow away by it. Owen makes several crucial points regarding why we often fail to see progress in addressing particular besetting sins:

  • We don’t see progress in defeating scandalous sins (say lust, or drunkenness, or outbursts of anger) because we don’t desire to see progress in defeating all sins (say pride, gossip, laziness, selfishness). “Selective sanctification” (my wording) is not something God will endorse or enable. God doesn’t want us to advance in solitary issues, but to seek Him with our entire hearts.
  • God may allow us to struggle with what we consider to be scandalous sins (again, like lust) in order to gain our attention to other sins which are equally or even more grieving to him (again, like pride). So failure to defeat one sin may actually be a chastening for failure to address other sins.
  • The desire to address an embarrassing sin while leaving more private and respectable sins alone indicates that my motivation isn’t hatred for sin as sin and love for Christ, but self-love. I don’t want deliverance from sin because it offends God, but because it offends and shames me, which is a wicked and insufficient motive.

“Hatred of sin as sin, not only as galling or disquieting, a sense of the love of Christ in the cross, lie at the bottom of all true spiritual mortification.”

  • If God doesn’t have my heart (again, evidenced by hatred of all sin, not just scandalous sin), He won’t likely allow me to see victory over the one sin that is driving me to Him. To do so would be counterproductive.

“Says God, ‘Here is one, if he could be rid of this lust I should never hear of him more; let him wrestle with this, or he is lost.'”

It’s all excellent, eye-opening stuff. You can read chapter 8 of Owen here, and you can join the discussion here. I urge you to do so!

I hope you’ll profit from all 3 resources, as I have.


4 Responses

  1. thanks Chris,
    I am currently listening to ‘sanctifying shepherd’ upon your recommendation. I wish I could hang out with you more…I will just have to glean wisdom/friendship from afar by reading your site. Keep up the great work! Things at Heritage are going excellent! I am so pumped about our “Launch” service on the 27th of September. I just finished writing/amending our constitution/statement of faith…can i send it to you for inspection?
    Great memories on the course!

  2. Dustin,

    Send it. Nothing I’d rather do than talk through it with you. You want those documents to be your philosophy on paper, so they matter a lot!!

    Excited to see what the Lord does there, Dusting. Point people Christ-ward!


  3. thanks man,
    I will send it to you today…I appreciate your thoughts, wisdom, and help.
    That MacArthur message is fantastic! It is a good reminder to simply remain faithful to ‘hold fast the word of truth’…It is such a blessing to preach the Word of God and yet what a responsibility!

  4. […] it down.) And while you’re ordering it, get a few extras to give out as gifts (as I suggested here, as well). Maybe the Lord will use it to awaken an unsuspecting reader. Soul-stirring […]

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