Blog Posts by Jonathan Parnell

Preaching About Racial Diversity in Mono-Ethnic Contexts

Jonathan Parnell

Why should pastors preach about racial diversity if they're in contexts made up of the same ethnicity?

John Piper gives four reasons:

  1. Christians everywhere should have a global mindset.
  2. Distant from diversity tends to disguise racism issues.
  3. World conflicts are ethnically oriented and we should care about them.
  4. To be a faithful expositor, pastors must deal with what's in the text.

Get the book, Bloodlines: Race, Cross, and the Christian

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Ramez Atallah on Pastoring with Vision, Creativity, and Courage

Jonathan Parnell

Ramez Atallah, general secretary of the Bible Society of Egypt, spoke at the 2012 Conference for Pastors on ministering with vision, creativity, and courage. Download the audio and video.

Memorable Quotes

  • "Obligated, eager and not ashamed — these should characterize a church with the gospel."
  • "When I came to understand the gospel for the first time, I knew that this is what my peopled needed."
  • "A Christian leader has…
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What Does It Mean to Be a Pilgrim?

Jonathan Parnell

The gospel turns people into pilgrims. It comes with a culture-correcting force that creates aliens and exiles of the world.

Drawing from a 1733 Jonathan Edwards sermon, John Piper offers seven descriptions of what this looks like:

  1. Pilgrims are not diverted from their aim.
  2. Pilgrims are to hold the things of this world loosely.
  3. Pilgrims become like what they hope to attain.
  4. Pilgrims will not be satisfied with anything less…
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Love That Jesus Calls the Weak

Jonathan Parnell

I want to be like Jonathan Edwards, don’t you? The guy was amazing. He was a polymath, an incomparable scholar, “probably the greatest America mind ever” (as they say). Writing a treatise on spiders was like a few rounds of Angry Birds to him. He was the pastor-theologian. A school president. A missionary to unreached peoples. A leader in a movement that changed America. He was a giant.

Paul Talks

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Darrin Patrick on Being and Building Men

Jonathan Parnell

Darrin Patrick's message at the 2012 Conference for Pastors was on being and building men in the local church. He expounded Galatians 5 and walked through the on-the-ground work of killing sin and living in the Spirit. Download the audio and video.

Memorable Quotes

  • "When you become a leader of men, you plug your life into an ampiflier and everyone hears it."
  • "You don't obey for your acceptance, you…
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Crawford Loritts on Lessons Learned from His Father

Jonathan Parnell

Crawford Loritts' message included practical insight and a short exposition of Galatians 5 on what it means to live and walk by the Spirit. Download the audio and video.

Memorable Quotes

  • "Manhood is not a private matter. It is a public thing. A man aspires to be the desired destination at which others arrive."
  • "This summarizes my dad: Stepping up, never walking away, if it belongs to you, you…
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Doug Wilson on Leading in the Home

Jonathan Parnell

Doug Wilson's first message at the 2012 Conference for Pastors was about the role of fathers in leading the home. Download the audio and video.

He noted six things to learn about fatherhood in the baptism of Jesus (Matthew 3:16–17),

  1. When Jesus was baptized, his father was there.
  2. The Father made his presence felt.
  3. The Father made his presence known by speaking.
  4. The Father's statement identified with his son.
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When God Speaks to Us

Jonathan Parnell

The Bible is clear. While we can't exhaustively comprehend it all, the divine authorial intention communicated through the human authors is suffuciently clear for all purposes of salvation (WCF 1.7).

But why is Scripture clear? Here's one of the most basic and solid arguments:

John Frame writes,

Since Scripture is God’s word, it is his communication to us. In Scripture, God speaks, not primarily to himself or to the angels,…

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Similarities and Distinct Emphases of John Piper and Doug Wilson

Jonathan Parnell

Joe Rigney, Instructor of Theology and Christian Worldview at Bethlehem College and Seminary, has assembled a list of resources from John Piper and Doug Wilson that characterize their similarities, influences, and distinct emphases.

C. S. Lewis

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Pastoring with Vision, Creativity, and Courage: Quotes from Ramez Atallah

Jonathan Parnell

Session 6, Ramez Atallah on "Pastoring with Vision, Creativity, and Courage in Hard Places" —

  • "Obligated, eager and not ashamed. These should characterize a church with the gospel."
  • "A Christian leader has to have a vision — he must see things other people don't see and empower them to capture it and incarnate it."
  • "When I came to understand the gospel for the first time, I knew that this was…
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Leading the Church: Quotes from Doug Wilson

Jonathan Parnell

Session 5, Doug Wilson on "Father Hunger" in Leading the Church —

  • "Remember the good newsness of the gospel. The gospel is outside of us. It is for us, but is external to us."
  • "We must always remember the gospel because we are tempted to forget the gospel in throughout the busyness of ministry."
  • "We are privilege to carry around our sin the same way David carried Goliath's head."
  • "The…
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Being and Building Men for the Local Mission: Quotes from Darrin Patrick

Jonathan Parnell

Session 3, Darrin Patrick on "Being and Building Men for the Local Mission" —

  • "When you become a leader of men, you plug your life into an ampiflier and everyone hears it."
  • "There's nothing more destructive for people who are trying to know God than legalism."
  • "You don't obey for your acceptance, you obey from your acceptance."
  • "You don't measure your maturity by comparing yourself with others. You judge maturity…
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Lessons Learned from His Father: Quotes from Crawford Loritts

Jonathan Parnell

Session 2, Crawford Loritts on "Lessons Learned from His Father" —

  • "Greatness is not pop or fad. Greatness has a staying power."
  • "Manhood is not a private matter. It is a public thing. A man aspires to be the desired destination at which others arrive."
  • "This summarizes my dad: Stepping up, never walking away, if it belongs to you, you do something with it."
  • "There is a correlation between being…
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Leading the Home: Quotes from Doug Wilson

Jonathan Parnell

Session 1, Doug Wilson on "'Father Hunger' in Leading the Home" —

  • "Begin with gospel, walk in the gospel, end with the gospel."
  • "Fatherhood in the home and pastoral care in the church are analogous activities. This makes sense only if they are related activities."
  • "When Paul considers the leadership of the church he doesn't first refer to a rigorous MDiv program."
  • "Is there anything that the Father has which…
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This Week's Sermon: "Let's Be Rich Toward God"

Jonathan Parnell

Jesus tells us a story about a fool in Luke 12.

This fool was a rich man — a productive farmer who built big barns to store his increase. And there's nothing necessarily wrong with that. We need productive farmers in this world.

But if it's not riches that makes this man a fool, what is it?

Expounding this story and giving personal application, John Piper explains the heart matter…

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Christianity Without Discipleship Is Christianity Without Christ

Jonathan Parnell

Dietrich Bonhoeffer:

Discipleship means adherence to Christ, and, because Christ is the object of that adherence, it must take the form of discipleship.

An abstract Christology, a doctrinal system, a general religious knowledge on the subject of grace or on the forgiveness of sins, render discipleship superfluous, and in fact they positively exclude any idea of discipleship whatever, and are essentially inimical to the whole conception of following Christ.

With an abstract…

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Speaking to Muslims About the Crucified Christ

Jonathan Parnell

John Piper writes,

Jesus said, “I know that you do not have the love of God within you. I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not receive me. If another comes in his own name, you will receive him” (John 5:42–43).

When Jesus says, “receive him,” he means receive him for who he really is: the divine, eternal Son of God who lays down his life for…

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Ed Stetzer on Spiritual Warfare

Jonathan Parnell

Theology Refresh is a podcast for pastors and Christian leaders designed to sharpen our grasp of key doctrines used in everyday ministry. Each podcast is around 15-minutes (or less), which is the time it takes for the average daily commute.

The latest discussion is with Ed Stetzer on spiritual warfare.

It's a mistake to dismiss the battle that's going on around us. God is sovereign, reigning over all, and his…

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Eight Ways to Approach Scripture

Jonathan Parnell

J. C. Ryle was a man of the Word.

The first bishop of Liverpool, and subject of John Piper's biographical message at next week's Conference for Pastors, wanted his people to read the Scriptures. And we want the same thing, for ourselves and for you.

To help us out, Erik Kowalker recently compiled a list of tips straight from Ryle's book Practical Religion. Here are eight profitable ways…

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Do You Feel Called to Teach?

Jonathan Parnell

In 1977 John Piper organized some advice for a group of college students who were considering a career in teaching biblical and theological studies.

The counsel includes the goal of teaching, the difficultly in teaching, and the personal traits that might make you fit for such a vocation.

Here's the list of those five personal traits:

  1. You have to be a good explainer.
  2. You have to believe in the value…
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Putting the "Christian" in Christian Friendship

Jonathan Parnell

Is there anything distinctive about Christian friendship? What’s different about how two fellow followers of Jesus relate to each other, compared with two friends who don’t identify with Christ? Romans 15:2 helps us consider one essential component of what puts the Christian into Christian relationships.

“Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up.”

Who Is Our “Neighbor”?

"Neighbor" can be used very broadly (as…

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WORLD Magazine Article on Desiring God in China

Jonathan Parnell

The following article appeared in the January 14 issue of WORLD Magazine. To learn more about WORLD, check out www.worldmag.com. You can also read it on the iPad or Kindle.

________

Web of Grace

CHINA | A burgeoning presence on the internet is helping Christians spread the Word in China | by Angela Lu

China's Christian surge is likely to continue in 2012, with teaching via the internet contributing…

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Eight Ways to Live as Pro-Life Christians Under a Pro-Choice President

Jonathan Parnell

Pastor John:

Here is my answer to the question, "How do pro-life Christians honor a pro-choice president?"

1. Humbling ourselves

We will honor you, Mr. President, by humbling ourselves under the mighty hand of God (1 Peter 5:6) and acknowledging that we are ourselves sinners and in need of mercy and forgiveness from God. We are not infallible. We are open to new light on this and every issue. We…

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It’s the Christian's Duty to Speak the Truth

Jonathan Parnell

Pastor John:

Christians — people who bank their hopes on Jesus and spend time with Jesus and obey Jesus — should stand up in public and tell God's truth as they see it without worrying that secular listeners may not even agree with our most basic assumptions.

Isn't it amazing how Peter and John respond to the rulers [Acts 4:13–20]! The rulers tell them to get out and not to…

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