Trip to Russia and Ukraine

September 15, 2008

Please be in prayer for me as I depart for Russia and the Ukraine this Wednesday (September 17) and will be returning on October 3. This is my first trip as part of the Slavic Gospel Association and trust that this will be an eye-opening time for me. While the above picture shows the touristy side of Moscow, I will be traveling in the rural communities meeting people serving in churches as pastors and ministry leaders in far less touristy settings. Pray for our brothers and sisters in the Commonwealth of Independent States that the Lord would bless them in their ministry. Pray that I would grow and be challenged in my own faith and excited to share the stories of what God is doing in this spiritually hungry place!

Indwelling Sin and Salvation

September 5, 2008

Black as night inside my chest,

The colour of my heart.

Deceit and evil above the rest,

Each and every part.

My actions I do not approve,

My deeds cloaked in sin.

Darkness envelops every move,

The darkness that’s within.

Indwelling sin motivates me,

To serve only myself.

Inclination from God to flee,

Cast upon the shelf.

One cure for the depraved heart,

A substitute is needed.

Holiness from Him to impart,

For me He interceded.

Christ Jesus is the only way,

To remove the night.

Go to Him on knees and pray,

Turns the black to white.

Trust in Christ and His death,

He paid the penalty.

Atonement on His every breath,

From the night, flee.

2nd Annual Andrew Fuller Center for Baptist Studies Conference MP3’s Available

September 5, 2008

The audio is now available in MP3 form from the 2nd annual Andrew Fuller Center for Baptist Studies Conference. The theme was The English Baptists of the 17th Century. Be sure to listen to all of the messages especially that of Al Mohler! But you would enjoy them all! You can find them here.

Andrew Fuller (1754-1815) – New Resource

September 5, 2008

Issue 9 (Spring 2008) of Eusebeia: The Bulletin of the Andrew Fuller Center for Baptist Studies is now available in print form. This included many of the papers presented at the 1st annual Andrew Fuller Center for Baptist Studies conference held at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in 2007. These articles focus on “reading Andrew Fuller” and deal with his theological influences from men like Owen to Edwards. Included also are articles on Fullers’ view of the atonement and the relationship between John Ryland Sr. and Jr. and John Erskine. The table of contents are as follows:

3 From the editor


“A Great Thirst for Reading”: Andrew Fuller the Theological Reader
Michael A.G. Haykin

27 Andrew Fuller:  Heir of the Reformation
Jeffrey K. Jue

53 John Owen and Andrew Fuller
Carl R. Trueman

71 Andrew Fuller’s Reading of John Gill
Barry Howson

97 The Influence of Jonathan Edwards on Andrew Fuller
Thomas J. Nettles

117 “Sense of the Heart”:  Jonathan Edward’s Legacy in the Writing of Andrew Fuller
Chris Chun

135 Christ’s Absolute Determination to Save:  Andrew Fuller and Particular Redemption
Jeremy Pittsley

167  Andrew Fuller’s Ordination Sermons
Nigel Wheeler

183 The Letters of John Erskine to the Rylands
Jonathan Yeager

To purchase a copy of the journal or subscribe to it contact Steve Weaver at andrewfullercenter [at] sbts [dot] edu.

To Russia with Love – September 2008 SGA Newsletter

September 5, 2008

Greetings friends,

Below you will find the link to my brand new newsletter, To Russia with Love. Each month I will release the newsletter to keep people up to date on my work with the Slavic Gospel Association. Please especially pray for my upcoming trip to Russia and the Ukraine from September 17 to October 3. Next month I will post highlights and pictures from that trip. Enjoy the newsletter and please pray for the Lord to bless His harvest!

September 2008 Newsletter – To Russia with Love

Toronto Pastors Fellowship

September 4, 2008

The new year of the Toronto Pastors Fellowship is upon us! As someone who has attended the monthly meetings in the past you will find this time challenging and encouraging. Be prepared to be instructed by some of Toronto’s best pastors and theologians and ready to enjoy sweet fellowship with others. The first meeting will be on September 22 (I must miss it as I will be in Russia). Paul Martin, Pastor of Grace Fellowship Church in Toronto will be speaking on Pastor, Mentor the Young Men! An ardent spokesperson and practitioner of mentoring future church leaders, this promises to be a most excellent event!

So, be there and grow in your walk with Christ as you experience iron sharpening iron with other ministry leaders! For more information, visit the Toronto Pastors Fellowship website.

J. Budziszewski interviewed in World Magazine

September 4, 2008

World Magazine is in my opinion, the best Christian magazine on current events and news. Marvin Olasky in the most recent issue (September 6) interviews J. Budziszewski, a Christian professor at University of Texas and author of How to Stay Christian in College and Ask Me Anything.

At one point Olasky asks: “How do you respond to a student contemplating the evil in the world and asking, ‘Why won’t He just fix things?'” Budziszewski responds with a profound point:

“Would it be good for us if He did? Sometimes we need to suffer one consequence of sin in order to recover from a different consequence. One pain is medicine for the other. For instance, suppose every wound you gave your relationship with your friend healed instantly. In that case, would you even think about the wound you caused your soul—about the bleeding hole you made in your worthiness to be trusted? Surely not, so sorrow may do you good. This illustrates how suffering should mean something different to us Christians. It can unite us more closely to Christ.”

Book Review: Beyond Amazing Grace

September 4, 2008


Beyond Amazing Grace: Timeless pastoral wisdom from the letters, hymns and sermons of John Newton. Compiled and edited by J. Todd Murray. Darlington, England: Evangelical Press, 2007, 282 pp., $17.99, paperback.



In historical study, it is always highly recommended that students turn to primary source material instead of relying solely on secondary material. Reading things in the author’s own words is incredibly important when attempting to understand their thinking. Therefore J. Todd Murray (Worship and Music Pastor, The Bible Church of Little Rock) has done the church an every helpful service by collecting and editing some of the works of the famous John Newton. The Evangelical leader in the 18th century is still as an important figure today as he was then. The man who brought us the hymn, Amazing Grace, and mentor to the great abolitionist William Wilberforce, has much to teach us as he served as a pastor for so many years. This collection of his “pastoral wisdom” then from his letters, hymns, and sermons is incredibly important today.


The book is divided into five main sections, each focusing on a different area. Part 1 is “So great salvation” where Murray compiles material devoted to Newton’s own conversion, the love of God, sovereign grace, and the assurance of salvation. Part 2 is “Growing in holiness” and focuses on progressive sanctification, battling remaining sin, and God’s purposes in trials. Part 3 is “Spiritual disciplines” and here Newton expounds on reading and meditation, prayer, personal worship, family worship, evangelism, and knowing the will of God. Part 4 is “Pastoral ministry” and is where Newton focuses on the pastor and his work and nuggets of wisdom from the great pastor to those in the ministry. Finally, Part 5 is “Hope beyond the grave” where Murray compiles information on the loss of a loved one and Newton’s last days.


The strength of this book is Murray’s careful attention to editing and compilation. While many could simply turn to the multi-volume set of Newton’s works or various editions of his letters or the Olney Hymnal, it is a great service to have these fine selections of Newton’s works compiled here in a thematic order. To study out Newton’s thoughts on areas like prayer or the work of the ministry is something that every believer will be blessed. Murray’s notes too are very helpful as he allows some of his personal feelings about Newton’s writings to come out and help to personalize our own reading of this Evangelical leader. Finally, this book could easily be used as a personal devotional as Murray includes suggested Scripture readings for each section. Each section is not overly long which makes it perfect for some careful meditation as readers learn from this godly man.


We live in an era of historical anemia. More Christians know about modern day celebrities than they do of heroes of the past. My prayer is that more people will turn to books like Beyond Amazing Grace and learn and grow from those who went before us. May Newton become accessible and life changing for a whole new generation!



For Believers in bivio

September 3, 2008

I was scheduled to present a paper at the annual ETS meeting this year in Rhode Island, but again with a new wife and a new ministry, I do not really have the time or the finances to make the trip. But instead of wasting some great material from John Gill on the Sufficiency of the Scriptures, let me reproduce a brief exerpt from his sermon titled “The Scriptures: The Only Guide in Matters of Faith” (Preached at the Baptism of several persons in Barbican, November 2, 1750).

About the way of Salvation; if that is the affair the doubt is concerning, look up to the way-posts, look into the word of God, and read what that says; search the scriptures, for therein is the way of eternal life; life and immortality, or the way to an immortal life, is brought to light by the gospel. The scriptures, under a divine influence, and with a divine blessing, are able to make a man wise unto salvation, and they do point unto men the way of it: it is not the light of nature, nor the law of Moses, but the gospel-part of the scriptures which direct to this; there will shew you, that God saves and calls men with an holy calling, not according to their works, but according to his purpose and grace; that it is not by works of righteousness done by men, but according to the mercy of God, that men are saved; and that it is not by works, but by grace, lest men should boast (2 Tim. 1:9; Titus 3:5: Eph. 2:8,9). That it is a vain thing for men to expect salvation this way; that it is a dangerous one: such who encompass themselves with sparks of their own kindling shall lie down in sorrow: and that it is a very wicked thing; such sacrifice to their own net, and burn incense to their own drag. These will inform you that Christ is the way, the truth, and the life; that he is the only true way to eternal life; that there is salvation in him, and in no other: the language of them is, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved: these words, Salvation alone by Christ, salvation alone by Christ, are written as with a sunbeam on them; just as the way-posts, set up in places where two or more ways met, to direct the manslayer when he was fleeing to one of the cities of refuge from the avenger of blood, had written on them in very legible characters, refuge, refuge.

John Gill (1697-1771)