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Showing posts from January, 2011

Task Force takes first steps to advance Great Commission in California

Here's the press release from our first SBC Focus 21 Task Force Meeting last weekend. Please continue to keep us in prayer...

BAKERSFIELD—The Focus 21 Task Force, approved to study how California Southern Baptists can best fulfill the Great Commission, had its inaugural meeting Jan. 14-15 at Valley Baptist Church in Bakersfield.

Glen Paden, retired pastor and president emeritus of California Baptist Foundation, said all 12 members of the task force were present for the meeting and “spent time getting acquainted and agreeing on ground rules” by which the task force would operate.

“I don’t believe there was a single member of the task force who knew everybody else. It is amazing how God can take a group of people, weld them together and make them worthwhile. The task force has some incredibly gifted people on it which will serve this task force and California Southern Baptist Convention well.”

Paden said the “broadness of our task – the Great Commission – almost makes a specific age…

One flesh: God's design for sex in marriage

Last Sunday morning, I preached on a delicate subject, but one pastors cannot be silent on: sexual intimacy in marriage. I did my best to be discreet and appropriate for a broad audience, yet not shy away from what the Bible teaches on this subject. We had some recording problems, so I thought I'd attach the full manuscript below...

“One Flesh: God’s Design for Marriage, Part Two” 1 Corinthians 7:3-6 Pastor Stephen Jones Sunday, January 9, 2011
You’ve probably heard of Corrie Ten Boom. She and her family were Christians living in Holland during World War II, and are best known for hiding Jews from the Nazis. Eventually, her family was taken to a concentration camp, where her sister and father both died. I highly recommend her book The Hiding Place, which you can find in our church library. It's a beautiful story of God's providence in the midst of chaos and suffering.

In that book, she recounts the train rides she would sometimes take with her dad – a time she alw…

Book review: Politics According to the Bible

The Bible and politics. Do these two words even belong in the same sentence? For Wayne Grudem, the answer is an unequivocal 'yes.' And I agree. If we believe the Bible speaks to every matter of life, then surely it has something to say about politics. In fact, it might surprise us to see just how MUCH God's Word has to say about this subject.

If you're looking for a handbook that introduces you to the U.S. Government and contemporary political issues from a Christian perspective, then a great place to start might be Politics According to the Bible.

In part one, Grudem lays down some basic principles of government and society, dealing with issues like Christian involvement, influence, rule of law, worldview, and the role of the courts. In part two, Grudem applies these principles and turns to specific issues like the sanctity of life, marriage, family, economics, environment, national defense, and first amendment rights.

This is not a comprehensive political theology, …

A review of the HCSB Study Bible

Today, I finally had a chance to browse through a copy of the new HCSB Study Bible.

The HCSB Study Bible is 2272 pages long (plus a few maps). As expected, the translation is the Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB) version. It ranks well and rivals the ESV in both exegetical accuracy and literary quality. Some of its unique features are:
Its translation of yahweh as "Yahweh" (instead of LORD) in the OT when referring to the personal name of God (e.g. Ex. 3:15)The translation of doulos as "slave" instead of "servant" or "bondservant" in the New Testament (e.g. Rom. 1:1)The translation of christos as "Messiah" in the New Testament, whenever referring to the Jewish expectation of the Messiah (e.g. Matt. 16:16)Capitalized pronouns when referring to GodThe use of contractions in direct discourse (e.g. "let's go" in Mark 1:38)A wonderful feature called bullet notes (small bullets next to key words that may be unfamiliar, poin…