Sabbatical 2017

Sabbatical 2017
Mt 11:28

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Desiring God 2008 Conference - Day 2

After some sweet worship this morning, we heard from Bob Kauflin in Session #3. He gave a beautiful talk on worship and what part corporate singing plays in our desire to honor God. His talk was based on the question, "Why Does God Tell His People to Sing?" Bob is Director of Worship for Sovereign Grace Ministries and has written "Worship Matters".

Why does God tell us to sing? Here's the gist of Kauflin's answer:

God Himself sings (Zeph 3:17, Heb 2:12, Eph 5:19) Music and the word belong together in that music serves the word and the word serves music in three ways:

1. Singing can help us remember words. So the church should use melodies that are effective and we should sing words God wants us to remember (Col 3:16), our lyrics should be a reflection of our teaching.

2. Singing can help us engage emotionally with words. As such, we need a broad range of emotions in our songs. We must also differentiate between being emotionally moved and spiritually enlightened. Singing should be an emotional as well as a spiritual event.

3. Singing can help us use words to demonstrate and express our unity. This requires other people. Singing together binds us together but we must be clear that it is the Gospel that unites us, not the music. In Eph 2:4, Rev 5:9-10, God's people are united by the focus of their worship, not the style of their music.

This was a powerful teaching on worship. I would highly recommend that we all take time to listen to it here. You can listen online or download it for your iPod.

Session #4 was led by Mark Driscoll, Pastor of Mars Hill church in Seattle, author and head of Acts 29 Ministries. Mark's talk was "How Sharp the Edge". In it, he gave a brilliant defense of the use of sarcasm, humor and satire in battling against the enemies of the Gospel. Here are his main points:

Christians are to:

1. Feed the sheep (each other) with gracious kindness (Eph 4:32)

2. Rebuke the swine (Isaiah 3:14-16, Amos 4:10, Amos 6:4-6, Ezek 16:36 ff, Ezek 23:18-21). God uses harsh words to describe bad things (Prov 22:13, Prov 19:24).

3. Shoot the wolves (false teachers). "With the wolves, you shoot. With the sheep, you weep", (Matt 23:13-36, Phil 3:2, Col 2:8, Col 2:18, 1 Tim 1:3-7, 1 Tim 1:19, 1 Tim 4:1-2, 1 Tim 4:7, 1 Tim 6:3-5, 2 Tim 2:14-18, 2 Tim 2:23, Titus 1:10-14, 2 Peter 2:1-3, 2 Peter 3:16, 1 john 2:18). Paul does this in Gal 5:7-12, Gal 5:13-14. He even names names in 1 Tim 1:19-20, 2 Tim 2:17 and 2 Tim 4:14.

4. Bark at the dogs or, in other words, mock religious types. The Bible uses humor to show the hypocrisy of religious people (Ex 32:24, Isaiah 64:6, 1 Kings 18:27, Isaiah 44:15-17, Matt 15:14, Matt 11:6, Philippians 3:8)

Driscoll has been criticized roundly for his style of preaching. What we heard today was theologically sound, Scripturally accurate and passionately delivered. His critics should listen to this talk, in particular the end in which he contextualizes his ministry. It's worth the time. You can hear it here.

The Session #5 speaker was Daniel Taylor, Professor of Literature and Writing at Bethel University and author. His talk was based on the concept that propositional truth needs stories to provide a check and application. We are all called to a life of faith and faith is a story in which we are all characters.

His talking points were based on the proposition that "The single best way of conceiving of faith and the life of faith is by seeing it as a story in which you are a character". Faith is a story in that:

1. Stories are God's ideas. His story s the Great Story.

2. It fits how we are made and how we relate to each other by telling our stories to each other.

3. Stories engage our entire being, intellect and emotions. No one believes anything important without engaging the intellect. Our beliefs cannot be separated from our life experiences which are captured in stories.

4. Stories are about choices and consequences.

5. Stories have the power to change us.

6. Stories are directive, they tell us how to change.

7. Stories are strong and complex enough to contain pain, suffering, failure and mystery.

8. Stories call us to action.

9. Every human being needs a Master Story that repeats over and over, telling us why we are. For Christians, that story is the Gospel.

You can listen to Taylor's talk here.

Here are some shots from around the conference today:

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