TBS Bloggers

Tuesday, April 11, 2006



The new blog is up and running.

Join in the discussion!

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Public Service Announcement

Hear Ye! Hear Ye!

This evening I want to announce two important upcoming events.

1) Monday, April 10th at 10:00 AM at Thistletown Baptist Church (Kipling and Finch in Toronto).

My good friend and fellow pastor, blogger and professor Paul Martin will be presenting a very timely paper on what is called the Emergent Church. Everyone is welcome to attend. After the presentation there will be a time of discussion and a chance to ask questions. Paul has been researching the subject for some time and what he has to say will be of interest to all who are concerned about the well-being of church of the Lord Jesus Christ as we move into the 21st century. For more info check out Paul's excellent blog (kerux noemata).

2) Saturday, May 27th at Trinity Baptist Church (Appleby Line and No.2 Side Road in Burlington).

Dr. Carl Trueman, Professor of Church History and Historical Theology at Westminster Seminary (PA) will be giving three lectures for the Jonathan Edwards Centre for Reformed Spirituality. The lecture series is entitled "Credal Christianity and Christian Spirituality." The cost is $30 (advanced). For more information and to register contact Ian Clary at Toronto Baptist Seminary.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Augustine and the City of God

Just an announcement for anyone within driving distance of Toronto.

This coming Monday, January 16th, Dr. Michael Haykin will be presenting a paper on "Augustine and the City of God" at the Sovereign Grace Pastors' Fellowship. The meeting will take place at Thistletown Baptist Church, located on Kipling Avenue just north of Finch. Things get underway at 10:00 AM with the presentation, after which there will be a time of discussion with the meeting wrapping up by 1:00 PM.

Google Map Showing Location of Thistletown Baptist Church

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Together In The Way

"Growth in true holiness, is always growth together; it takes place through the nurture, work and worship of the church. Simeon the Stylite, the renowned Syrian monk who for thirty-six years sought holiness on top of a pillar, still needed the ministry of less lofty church members to service the basket tied to his rope. Not only anchorites, however, seek holiness in isolation. How many Christians see fellow-believers as obstacles rather than aids to spiritual growth? Of course, personal piety closes the door to pray in secret; but the church together seeks maturity, 'attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ'. Together we grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ (Eph.4:13, 15). In the book of Acts, Christians are called the people of the Way (Acts 9:2; 18:25; 22:4; 24:14). Like Israel in the wilderness, they travel together, following Christ along the way of the cross that leads to the Father's house. Together they find Jesus himself to be the Way, the Truth and the Life."

Edmund P. Clowney in The Church (p. 89).

In a day when so many professing Christians no longer seem to feel the need to get out of their homes to meet together with the people of God, Clowney's words come as a healthy corrective. As vital as our personal walk with God is, it is never a substitute for the corporate worship of believers, where we sing, pray, hear and study the word and enjoy fellowship together in the things of God. If we are too busy for these things we are too busy! If we have no appetite for these graces we are spiritually sick or worse!

This Lord's Day let us "consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another - and all the more as you see the Day approaching" (Hebrews 10:24-25).

Monday, November 07, 2005

Friday, October 21, 2005

A Reminder of God's Majesty

Then Daniel praised the God of heaven and said:

"Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever;
wisdom and power are his.

He changes times and seasons;
he sets up kings and disposes them.

He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning.

He reveals deep and hidden things;
he knows what lies in darkness,
and light dwells with him."

The Prophecy of Daniel 2:20-22

Thursday, October 20, 2005

In Praise of Prayer Meetings

In many churches “prayer meetings” have gone the way of the dinosaur. What I find interesting is that when I ask people why they do not attend our midweek time of Bible Study and prayer I frequently discover that many Christians are uncomfortable praying in public. Another cause of prayer meeting absenteeism are less than satisfactory experiences in the past. Meetings that go too long or are dominated by wannabe “prayer warriors” who like to hear the sound of their own voices drone on and on. There is nothing wrong with being a true prayer warrior and the church needs more of them, but that kind of intercessory combat should be reserved for the private prayer closet not the public prayer meeting.

It is unfortunate that more Christians do not see the need to gather with other Christians to pray. Ever effort should be made to eliminate or at least minimize those things that make people feel uncomfortable and to encourage them to develop new skills in this area of their lives. Prayers need not be profound to be a blessing. Simple expressions of praise, thanksgiving and confession, combined with sincere intercession on behalf of an individual or situation, can be a tremendous spiritual boost to those who are gathered together in the name of Jesus Christ.

So in spite of the potential pitfalls and past blunders I think the prayer meeting is something that should be rediscovered, revived, maintained, and promoted in our day. Historically great works of God were often preceded by humble, contrite, believing prayer on the part of those who were longing for something wonderful to happen that would extent the kingdom and glorify the Savior. After the ascension of Jesus into heaven, prior to the day of Pentecost both men and women “joined together constantly in prayer” (Acts 1:14). Still basking in the glory of the outpouring of the Spirit at Pentecost, the early church is described as a community of believers who “devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer” (Acts 2:42). Even when threatened and persecuted the early church did not stop praying. In fact the troubles they were experiencing instinctively drove them to pour out their hearts to God and as a result “the place where they were meeting was shaken… and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly” (Acts 4:31).

With the cross looming before him, Jesus told his disciples that in the days ahead, based on what he was about to accomplish, that they would experience a new intimacy and power in prayer. “Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete” (John 16:24). While these words were primarily intended for them they do speak of blessings which are for all God’s new covenant people. Because our own needs and the needs around us are very great we need to begin by asking our Lord to teach us to pray. We need his help to enter into to all that the Father has treasured up for us in him.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Something To Think About This Thanksgiving

Psalm 75:1-10 (A Psalm of Asaph) English Standard Version

We give thanks to you, O God; we give thanks, for your name is near. We recount your wondrous deeds.

“At the set time that I appoint I will judge with equity. When the earth totters, and all its inhabitants, it is I who keep steady its pillars. I say to the boastful, ‘Do not boast,’ and to the wicked, ‘Do not lift up your horn; do not lift up your horn on high, or speak with haughty neck.”’

For not from the east or from the west and not from the wilderness comes lifting up, but it is God who executes judgment, putting down one and lifting up another. For in the hand of the LORD there is a cup with foaming wine, well mixed, and he pours out from it, and all the wicked of the earth shall drain it down to the dregs.

But I will declare it forever; I will sing praises to the God of Jacob. All the horns of the wicked I will cut off, but the horns of the righteous shall be lifted up. Amen.

How thankful we should be for Jesus who has come to our rescue and who lifts us up by his great grace!

Friday, September 30, 2005

Student Blogs

It should be noted that some of the TBS students have blogs, as Kerux has previously noted. I've added a links section for them on the TBS Blog, so that any who read it can check them out.
The additions are:

Friday, September 23, 2005

Do the Next Thing

Elizabeth Elliot once gave this advice to young mothers feeling overloaded with diapers, dishes and delinquent Dads: "Do the next thing." What she meant was that panic and despair don't wash plates.
The Cowboy recently posted an excellent article comparing seminary work to mountain climbing. I like that analogy! Nobody climbs a mountain fast - but they climb it successfully as they keep on moving one limb at a time up the face.
Smart people are rare - and so are hard-working ones. But they often look the same. My advice is to learn to keep a good list of what you need to do, then finish one thing and go on to the next.
It ain't rocket science - but maybe if we spent more time "doing" than stressing "about" doing, more would get done.
Besides, there's nothing like that great feeling of scratching off your list: Learn more Greek vocab!

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Personal Library Cataloging Tool Online

For pastors, scholars and students, the advent of a free online cataloging tool for personal libraries is a welcome sight.

See LibraryThing for more information. (Thanks to Justin Taylor and Joe Carter).

Climbing the Mountain

As we near the end of our second week of classes, the students are beginning to see the mountain of work that lies ahead of them. Over time, students will often question whether climbing this mountain of work is spiritually and pedagogically profitable. With so much material to cover, they can feel as if they are retaining little of it, and merely 'skimming the surface'.

Is there a good reason for demanding so much from students? We must affirm that it is good to make such demands if only to prepare students for the greater demands of ministry. Although the readings and papers required are not the same kind of demands that a pastor may face, the necessity of spiritual disciplines upheld and affections kindled in the face of demands is an appropriate parallel.

For example, does a pastor get an extension for his sermon due on Sunday, simply because he had a couple of late night phone calls that week? Is the pastor excused for his prayerlessness because his ministry is too demanding?

Likewise, students who face the mountain of schoolwork are provided with a spiritual, as well as intellectual challenge. They must fight to keep their hearts warmed in devotion to Christ and his Word, in the midst of a familiarity with these things that tempts them to contempt.

The complaints from students are beginning to come, but the testimonies to God's gracious provision for them will also be coming. Climbing the mountain of schoolwork requires growth in faith, and seminary education is all about such a business.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Principal's Chapel

I would like to take a brief opportunity to express my thoughts on today's chapel service. It was a spiritually uplifting time and I very much felt the Spirit of God among us. The songs were very appropriately chosen and the musical accompaniment that Kitty provided on the piano was a great help. Especially on the last hymn, it added to the power of the message we had just heard. My soul was truly worshipping as I sang.
Ben Inglis' choice from the Valley of Vision was perfect for leading in corporate prayer. I would love to do that again. Ryan Case's reading from Amos was also very good, you can tell that he has had some experience in church worship services! It was a long passage, but my mind (and heart!) was engaged right the way through.
Of course, Dr. Haykin's sermon was also quite good. I thank the Lord that He visited us with power today through the preaching of His Word. What a reminder that by fearing God we need not fear anything or anyone else! Praise the Lord!
Let us all be reminded to pray for our chapel services so that each one is like today's. They are a great opportunity for us, during the week, to keep ourselves grounded in Christian experience. All too often we can become bogged down with our homework, fieldwork, social life, etc. But when God meets us as He did today, we can be refreshed to engage the work that He has called us to do.