Archive for April 2010

To My Faithful One or Two Readers   Leave a comment

I won’t be writing again until May 7 because of final exams. Please pray for me that through these exams, I would not stress out but trust that God is sufficient for it all; that I would trust that God is glorious in success and in failure, and that a heart that seeks His glory in studying is more precious than a heart that seeks an A; that I would 1 Corinthians 10:31 this thing.

But on May 7 or 8 (depending on whether I veg out or not), I’ll write about Christian Legal Society v. UC Hastings. It’s a freedom of religion case that is being argued before the Supreme Court right now.

Posted April 21, 2010 by Mitchell J. Kim in Uncategorized

Albert Mohler Radio Program   Leave a comment

I got the chance to sit in on the Albert Mohler Radio Program yesterday. I was in the production room while Dr. Mohler was doing his thing on the radio. (BTW… he talks on the radio the way he preaches… with arm movements and all.) I wasn’t planning on staying for the whole show because I had to go study. So, during one of the commercial breaks, my friends and I tried to leave discreetly. Dr. Mohler stopped his preparation during the commercial break to call us back and talk to us. I was so taken aback by his gracious hospitality and his kind and welcoming demeanor that I called him “Al.” I don’t think he thought anything of it… I hope. And, I was so taken aback that I forgot to get him to sign a baseball for me. Oh well, another time, I guess.

If you’ve never done so, you can check out some of Dr. Mohler’s regular blogs and radio broadcasts on http://www.albertmohler.com. It’s amazing to see him accent the theological underpinnings behind seemingly worldly issues. So thankful for the mind and the heart of that man. People always talk about the brilliance of his mind, but, in my interactions with people at Southern Seminary, they speak of the kindness of his heart.

Posted April 17, 2010 by Mitchell J. Kim in Uncategorized

T4G: Another Post   Leave a comment

Most of the sermons are now available for download, so I won’t waste your time with more recaps. After all, why read my summaries of these sermons when you can get a taste of the sermons yourself. One of the videos I recommend is R.C. Sproul’s sermon; while I think all of the sermons were clear and convicting and poignant, it is always a powerful thing when a pastor who has been faithful for decades (5, in the case of Dr. Sproul) looks back on his ministry.

I thought, instead of giving a recap, I’d just give a few thoughts on the conference in general. I’m not too sure whether it’ll make complete sense, because my brain is pretty fried from an overload of awesomeness. Hopefully, it’ll bless some of you and encourage some of you to come to T4G 2012.

– In T4G 2008, Dr. Piper preached on going out from your life of comfort and outside the camp, a reference to Hebrews 11. (Mucho thanks to Howard for the reminder.) This man took Piper’s message to heart, and he missed T4G 2010 because he had moved his family to Indonesia to proclaim Christ in the largest Muslim country in the world. It was an encouraging example considering that this a gathering of mostly pastors, of people who have been called into the ministry. Yet, the Lord used this conference for him, and I’m sure for others as well, to re-direct their ministerial calling. This is not only a time when ministers are encouraged and fed and rejuvenated, but a time when ministers are called into the ministry and re-called into a new ministerial direction.

– The fellowship with my brothers in Christ, some of whom I’ve never met and some of whom I’ll never see until glory, has been truly sweet. I’ve talked to random men at the conference, from lay people to youth pastors to senior pastors, and I’ve come out encouraged and edified in men who I’ll see again in glory. I’ve also had time to hang out with my roommate’s brother-in-law and the rest of his church staff. It was really cool to get to talk to an entire church staff as they are starting off at a church together, to see their challenges, their genuine love for one another and for their flock, and their hearts to learn to better steward the flock and the ministry God’s given them. Also, I spent time with my pastors and with my brothers, Jason and Howard. (If you’re on my Facebook, you can check out some of the pictures. Some are good… some are awkward… very awkward.)

– Please pray for Matt Chandler. Pray for healing to his brain, for comfort for his family, for the salvation of his two children (who are both under the age of 7), and for a full and faithful ministry (whether it be 5 more month,  5 more years, or 50 more years). For those of you who don’t know about Matt Chandler, he’s the senior pastor at The Village Church outside of Dallas, TX. He was diagnosed with brain cancer this past Thanksgiving. You can find plenty of videos on him on youtube, and you’ll be greatly encouraged by his trust in the sovereignty of God in the face of death.

– After singing with these men (and some women), I am so excited to sing with them all in glory. That’s gonna be SICK!!! Marantha, come Lord Jesus.

Posted April 15, 2010 by Mitchell J. Kim in Uncategorized

T4G: Thabiti Anyabwile   Leave a comment

I first heard Thabiti Anyabwile speak at the last T4G conference. (I listened to it online, not live.) Since then, Anyabwile has become one of my favorite teachers, through sermons, blogs, and books. On Tuesday night, Anyabwile spoke to us about the issue of engaging the culture. The passage he used was a long one, Colossians 1:24-3:4. In it, he found four points about pastoral ministry that address whether we should engage the culture and how we should engage the culture.

1) Pastoral purpose
He asked us to consider Paul’s purpose in his ministry, and look at our main purpose. “How do we grab their ears by the Word and press them up into Christ? That is our task.” He warned us about straying from that purpose; instead, be rooted to the gospel and proclaim it. He gave a great illustration of this through the apostle Paul. Paul lived in a complex time with many societal issues… including slavery. And yet, he never made a plea to the government or to society to end slavery. Instead, what Paul did was to address the church and tell them how they are to be different from the lawful. Paul recognized that it was only the church that could think in two categories: “consistent with the gospel, inconsistent with the gospel.”

2) Pastoral philosophy
“When it comes to our philosophy… Are we captured by Christ? Or are we captured by worldly philosophy and tradition? Is it the world’s philosophy we hear, or is it Christ’s gospel we hear and attend to?” Anyabwile took that to it’s logical end and said, “If we adopt the world’s philosophy, we’ve just switched grounds.”

3) Pastoral practice
Our practices should look fundamentally different from the rest of the world because “every human culture is fundamentally apostate.” He said that our churches should be multi-ethnic, but they should not be multi-cultural. That is because we do not adopt a particular human culture, but we adopt Christian culture. He gave the example that, unfortunately, we’re all too often like the NFL Pro Bowl teams. We all wear the same jerseys, but our true allegiances are with another team, and it’s represented with our helmets. (Hope that illustration made sense.)

4) Pastoral perspective
“The only way to be of any earthly good is to be increasingly heavenly-minded.” Look up to Christ and look out to Christ.

Posted April 15, 2010 by Mitchell J. Kim in Uncategorized

T4G: All I Have Is Christ   Leave a comment

One of the sweetest blessings so far at T4G has been the richness of the music we’ve been singing to our God. Bob Kauflin has been so great in the way he’s led 7,000 men with just his voice and a piano. The sound of 7,000 voices singing out songs of praise has, at some points, given me goosebumps. And I’ve been so blessed by the depth of the theology in the hymns we’ve sung. Here was one that we sung last night during John Piper’s session.

I once was lost in darkest night, yet thought I knew the way.
The sin that promised joy and life has led me to the grave.
I had no hope that You would own a rebel to Your will.
And if You had not loved me first, I would refuse You still.

But as I ran my hell-bound race, indifferent to the cost,
You looked upon my helpless state and led me to the cross.
And I beheld God’s love displayed, You suffered in my place.
You bore the wrath reserved for me, now all I know is grace.

Hallelujah!
All I have is Christ.
Hallelujah!
Jesus is my life.

Now Lord I would be Yours alone, and live so all might see
The strength to follow Your commands could never come from me.
O Father, use my ransomed life in any way You choose,
And let my song forever be my only boast is You.

Hallelujah!
All I have is Christ.
Hallelujah!
Jesus is my life.

Posted April 15, 2010 by Mitchell J. Kim in Uncategorized

T4G: R.C. Sproul   Leave a comment

Dr. Sproul reflected on 50 years of faithful ministry. He has not only been a unashamed minister of the unadjusted gospel, he has been a warrior of the gospel fighting against all sorts of adjustments and heresies. Amongst the greatest attacks on the gospel he’s encountered are: the synthesis of the gospel, and the improvement/adjustment of the gospel. These two points are related, so I’m just going to make some points on it.

Throughout history, and even within the last 50 years, there have been numerous worldviews and philosophies that have pitted itself directly against the Christian gospel. Friedrich Hegel’s dialectic idealism (which stated that there was an antithesis for every thesis, and the only way to come to truth was to form a synthesis) brought within Christian thought an idea that compromise and synthesis was necessary–that the gospel needed to be adjusted with changing times and more intelligent minds. From this Hegelian school of thought, there arose ideas such as liberation theology (which sought to snythesize Marxism and Christianity) and theo-tanantology (which argued that since God was spiritual, language could not adequately make any statement about God) and and neo-gnosticism and open-theism (which synthesized Christianity with philosophy and a humanistic understanding of free will) and the breakdown of sola fide (through attempts such as “Evangelicals and Catholics Together”).

Many within the church have made such syntheses; they have, as Francis Schaeffer said, “lost its sense of antithesis.”

Sproul rebuked such adjustments, such attempts to make the gospel more palatable for modern society. He said, “None of these syntheses are satisfied to declare from one generation to the next that which is received from the apostles–the unvarnished Word of God that doesn’t need to be made more palatable by guilding it with the brass of pagan philosophy.”

The biggest threat to the gospel is the fidelity of the ministers of that gospel to the message of that gospel. Don’t try to improve the gospel because it’s not your gospel–it’s God’s gospel. Don’t try to improve the gospel because… well… you can’t improve upon the one true gospel of Jesus Christ, in which a sinless God becomes man and dies on the cross in order to save sinners from the wages of their sin if they would but come to Him as Lord and Savior.

Next up is Al Mohler…

Posted April 14, 2010 by Mitchell J. Kim in Uncategorized

T4G: Mark Dever   Leave a comment

I am going to try to post some brief notes from each of the sessions at the Together for the Gospel 2010 Conference. The theme of this year’s conference is “The Unadjusted Gospel.” (These will be just brief notes that, I hope, will merely whet your appetite to listen to the sermons yourselves when they are available online. Whether you’re a pastor or a lay person, these will bless your soul.)

Dever, speaking on Ephesians 3:10, preached a sermon entitled “How Does Your Church Make The Gospel Visible?” The main part of Eph 3:10 states that the “manifest wisdom of God [will] now be made known” through the church. Mark had four main points regarding the purpose of the church is spreading the gospel message.

1) Consider God, and how His nature and character are to be displayed in the church
God’s holiness, His love, and His authority are on display through the local church. On the holiness of God, Dever stated, “Distinct lives point to a distinct God. The lives of the members of our congregation should point to the holiness of God.” And he also preached on how the love of God and the authority of God are not in conflict, especially because the authority of God is gentle, caring, and patient.

2) The local church is intended to tell us the truth about human beings
The local church should be a place where humility, due to a correct understanding of our depravity, is on display. The local church should not be a place where people who have it all together gather to talk about their own righteousness, but it should be a place where people recognize their sinfulness and regularly practice confessing their sins to one another to ask for forgiveness.

3) Our church should make visible our Savior, Jesus Christ
Dever stated this point very clearly and succinctly in one portion of his sermon: “We have been loved in the most extraordinary way. Our local church is supposed to be a picture of that kind of love that confuses the categories of love to those around us.”

4) Local churches should teach and model a right response to the gospel
The local church should regularly be examples of repentance and of faith.

“Jesus’ evangelism plan is the local church… Help your church be a better church. Help your church be built on the Word… Our churches are meant to be the proof of the gospel… The church is important because it is tied to the Good News itself… It’s what the gospel looks like when its played out in the lives of its people.”–Dever

(The others will be up tomorrow because it’s 2 AM and I’m kinda tired now. Hope you are blessed by this short taste of Dever’s provocative and encouraging message.)

Posted April 13, 2010 by Mitchell J. Kim in Uncategorized