Report of M03: Terry Virgo - God is Turning a New Page for His People

Joshua 1:1-9

  • I felt very drawn to this passage as I was preparing.
    • We have a sense that God is turning a new page for us
    • He is using many ways of communicating this to us, some of them quite unusual
    • God loves our new initiatives, but when he does something new, it is altogether different.
  • We will look at some principles from Joshua 1

2. It requires fresh faith

  • Joshua is going to have to start this new era by doing a miracle
  • Our God is fundamentally a supernatural God. If we are going to work with him we have to be part of this
  • God says “Behold I have given you Jericho” —but they have not taken the city yet!
  • Our training programs often focus on providing information, but it is more important to provide a call to faith
  • We are called to faith exploits. God wants us to get to know him and to put on show how trustworthy he is.
  • Cross the Jordan! Come on a journey of faith! Challenge your people to faith so they have stories of what God has done!
    • (At this point he told some stories of people in his church.)
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Live Blogging at Newfrontiers Brighton Leadership Conference 2007

I am at the Brighton Leadership Conference right now and will try and post a report of each session as soon as it has happened. So far we have had sessions from Stephen van Rhyn, Rob Rufus and Terry Virgo. All three of them were excellent and as soon as I can get time on an internet connection I will upload the reports.

>> See this link for a listing of TOAM conference blogs

Why Psalm 90 is not in the least bit depressing

Today I preached on Psalm 90
At first sight this seems like a very depressing Psalm:

  1. Yes, we are consumed by your anger,
    and by your wrath we are terrified.

Not very encouraging. Let's see how it continues...

  1. You have set our iniquities before you,
    our secret sins in the light of your presence.

...But it gets worse:

  1. All our days pass away under your wrath,
    we finish our years with a moan.

    [literal translation]
  2. The length of our days is seventy years
    or if we have strength, eighty;
    yet their best is but trouble and oppression;
    for they quickly pass and we fly away.

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Are the commands of Jesus just legalism in another form?

I believe in grace, not legalism. Today I preached on the sermon on the mount in Luke. I came face to face with the problem that Jesus preached a lot of commands, and ended the sermon saying that those who kept the commands would be preserved and those who didn't would be destroyed (the house on the sand).
How come Jesus didn't say "I love you and nothing you can do will make me love you more or love you less"? Instead he gave us a set of commands that are even harder to keep than those of Moses, and said things like "Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him." (John 14:21). I don't believe that we are loved on the basis of our performance, but this is what it sounds like Jesus is saying.

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The Kingdom and Healing

This evening I preached on The Kingdom and Healing. This wasn't a polemic against cessationists, but an attempt to get a better understanding of how healing worked in the ministry of Jesus and his disciples. It came out of my own desperate study to improve in this area. As I grappled with chapters 9-11 of Luke I found a flow of ideas which was helpful to me. In the (rather short) sermon I simply went through these chapters and pulled out this theme.

My rathier brief notes on the Kingdom and healing as well as the audio are uploaded here.

Review of TT5-1 Sam Poe - Engaging with Oral Culture

Newfrontiers Leadership Conference 2006 - Training Track 5-1

I found this a fascinating session, but I had one important reservation which I will explain in a moment. Sam argues that the way we communicate with those who have an oral culture is fundamentally different with those from a literate culture. He gives many examples taken from life and makes his points clearly. What gives this subject added relevancy is his statement that

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The Atonement debate

I have just been reading the article by Adrian Warnock on "Word Alive and Spring Harvest to Separate After 15 Years Because of the Atonement". I think that even 10 years ago no-one would have dreamed that this could happen. The situation reminds me of a Ph.D. thesis written by Paul Wilson and summarized in this paper: Central Canadian Baptists and the role of cultural factors in the fundamentalist-modernist Schism of 1927: "Culture wars" are not a new phenomenon.

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Review of TT6-3 Colin Baron & David Stroud - Church planting and the gift of leadership: how to make a church plant thrive

Newfrontiers Leadership Conference 2006 - Training Track 6-3

This session was so useful (especially for me in my current situation) that I decided to make much more detailed notes. I think that most of his points are of value to any church leadership, not just those who are church planting.

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Let Conscience Speak by David Fountain

My father wrote this booklet as a series of articles in 1973, but it remains one of the best studies available of the Biblical teaching on the conscience. I have just had it typed and uploaded it to http://loveintruth.com/dgf/conscience

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The Resurrection

On Sunday I preached on the resurrection*. As I was preparing for it I was very stirred by some things that Richard Gaffin wrote in his "Redemption and Resurrection: An exercise in biblical-systematic theology". I am captivated by the idea that the resurrection is a fragment of the future that has invaded the present reality. It is our very first sight of that awsome new creation that one day will rise from the ashes of the present heavens and earth.

Here are some quotes (and please don't be put off by the academic language:

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