Monthly Archives: April 2012

Family Shepherds by Voddie Baucham Jr.


I chose to review this book for a couple reasons. First, I heard a message by Voddie Baucham speaking at Passion One Day from the 90’s that was inspiring and so when I saw he had written a book, I knew I wanted to read it. Second, a couple of my friends, Matt and Carolina Price, mentioned another book of his which caused me to look for other books by him. Thus, when I came across Family Shepherds, I knew I wanted to read it. I am extremely satisfied and happy that I did in fact get this book. It was both challenging and inspiring as I strive to be the leader, husband and father that God has called me to be.

The back has this to say about the book:

“It’s hard to overestimate the importance of the family and that of father’s in particular. We’ve heard it said, ‘As the family goes, so goes the nation.’ But it can also be said that ‘as the father goes, so goes the family.’”

As a youth pastor, I could not agree more with this statement. As I view families in public, it is extremely easy to notice families that have disconnected fathers and those who have non-existent fathers as well. We question why the country is going the way that it is but all we need to do is look at how men are beginning to act. You see it from celebrity fathers all the way down to “regular” fathers. Men are not taking responsibility to raise their own children; and then they wonder why their kids eventually take a turn for the worse at some point in their lives.

God has given men the position of leadership and it is in our nature to lead in one way or another. The sad thing is that most men are leading in a negative manner. Multiple studies have been done by both Christian and secular groups and they are finding overwhelming evidence of the impact that fathers have on their children. Voddie does not just present the evidence but goes in depth with ways that will challenge men to lead well and become a true man of God.

Family Shepherds is divided into 5 parts: 1. The need to equip family shepherds, 2. Family discipleship and evangelism, 3. Marriage enrichment, 4. The training and discipline of children, 5. Lifestyle evaluation.

Each section is filled with Scripture to back up his points and written extremely well to inspire any professing Christian man to step up because the church and the world need us to. However, one of the most challenging parts of this book was how Voddie constantly challenged men with knowing what they believe. No man can truly lead his family in a God honoring manner without being a student of the Word; it is not possible. For us to be Godly men and leaders, we have to be men of God’s Word, who study, read, and love it. Apart from God’s Word, it is impossible to be a Godly leader. Yes some men might become good fathers and husbands and men, but only God can lead men to become great fathers, husbands and men. We need to be able to pick out false teachings on raising children and being men. The world is constantly coming out with self-help books and “instruction manuals” that have some pretty good advice, and even when put next to God’s Word, it is hard to pick out the lies from the truth. That is why we need to be men of the Word if we are to lead our families to become disciples of Christ, so we can pick out the stuff that misses the mark of the inerrant Word of God.

This book greatly challenged me in how I am going about leading my family? How am I leading my wife and daughter into a closer walk with the Lord? Or am I going about my life just hoping they grow closer to the Lord? As men we are to lead. If we are not leading as we should, there is not much of a hopeful future. I sincerely challenge any man, whether you are a husband and father yet does not matter, to get this book. You will come away challenged and inspired to be, first off, a devoted follower of Christ and second, the leader God intended us men to be.

 

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Crossway in exchange for this review.


How Do We Respond to the Gospel

Here is another excerpt from The Explicit Gospel. Hope you enjoy it. Check out the book, I recommend it.

2. Response of Faith / How Do We Respond to the Gospel

The gospel is news, not advice or instruction, but it nevertheless demands response. So, if we look at our lives today, a question I think we have to ask ourselves is this: “How am I responding to the good news of Jesus Christ? Am I stirred up toward obedience, or is Jesus becoming cliché to me? Am I becoming inoculated to Jesus, or do I find myself being more and more stirred up to worship him, to let other people know him, to submit my life fully to him?” We have to ask these questions, because everybody responds to the gospel. We must test ourselves to see if we are in the faith (2 Cor. 13:5), because it is faith by which salvation comes. Faith is the only saving response to the gospel.

Every good gift the Father gives—every richness from Christ, every blessing from the Spirit—flows from the gospel and is received through faith.

• We receive righteousness through faith (Rom. 3:22).
• We are justified through faith (Rom. 3:30; Gal. 2:16).
• We stand fast through faith (Rom. 11:20).
• We are sons of God through faith (Gal. 3:26).
• We are indwelled by Christ through faith (Eph. 3:17).
• We are raised with Christ through faith (Col. 2:12).
• We inherit the promises through faith (Heb. 6:12).
• We conquer kingdoms, enforce justice, and stop the mouths of lions through faith (Heb. 11:33).
• We are guarded through faith (1 Pet. 1:5).

We live through faith, and we die through faith. Everything else is garbage. Even works of righteousness, if not done through faith, are works of self-righteousness and therefore filthy rags. Be very careful about going to church, reading your Bible, saying prayers, doing good deeds, and reading books like this through anything but faith in the living Lord. Because the result of all that is belief in a phony Jesus and inoculation to the gospel. You can end up knowing the jargon and playing pretend. Be very careful. Watch your life and your doctrine closely (1 Tim. 4:16). Some of you are so good that you’ve deceived yourselves. God help you.

Taken from The Explicit Gospel by Matt Chandler copyright 2012. Used by permission of Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, Il 60187, www.crossway.org.


The Gospel: Distinguishing between Content and Implication

Hey everyone, this post  is an excerpt from Matt Chandler’s new book The Explicit Gospel. Over the next couple days I will be posting a couple excerpts from the book to give you a taste of what it is about. I highly recommend you pick it up when it is released as it will be a great and challenging read for any Christian.

 

1. The Gospel: Distinguishing Between Content and Implication

Distinguish between the gospel’s content and the gospel’s implication is crucial. As we rightly see the gospel as encompassing God’s work, through the culmination of Christ, of restoring all things, we can be tempted to see our good works, whether preaching Scripture or serving meals at a homeless shelter, as God’s good news. This is a temptation that honing in on the ground gospel can help us identify and mark out. We need to rightly divide between gospel and response, or we compromise both. D. A. Carson writes:

The kingdom of God advances by the power of the Spirit through the ministry of
the Word. Not for a moment does that mitigate the importance of good deeds and
understanding the social entailments of the gospel, but they are entailments of
the gospel. It is the gospel that is preached.7

We can exercise this delineation by continuing in Acts 2:

They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the
breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many
wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were
together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and
belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day,
attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their
food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the
people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being
saved. (Acts 2:42–47)

All the things that prompt people to mistakenly say, “This is the gospel,” can be found in this passage. What we actually see in Acts 2:42–47 is the beautiful fallout of the proclamation that precedes it. This list tells us the hearers’ response to the gospel. Why did they start living in community? Because the gospel had made them a people. Why did they begin to share their goods with one another? Because the gospel had made them a people. Why are they now on mission? Because the gospel had made them a people. Why are they seeing signs and wonders? Because the gospel had made them a people. All of these workings are outworkings of the gospel.

If we piggyback the work of the church onto the message of the gospel, we don’t enhance the gospel. It is just fine without us; it doesn’t need us. Furthermore, doing that results in preaching the church rather than preaching Christ. “For what we proclaim is not ourselves,” Paul writes, “but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake” (2 Cor. 4:5).

Believing the news that God is holy, that you are a sinner, and that Christ has reconciled you to God by his life, death, and resurrection is what justifies you. This is our foundation, our root. The things that we read in Acts 2:42–47 are the fruit. They show the building of the home, but they are not the foundation.

If we confuse the gospel with response to the gospel, we will drift from what keeps the gospel on the ground, what makes it clear and personal, and the next thing you know, we will be doing a bunch of different things that actually obscure the gospel, not reveal it. At the end of the day, our hope is not that all the poor on earth will be fed. That’s simply not going to happen. I’m not saying we shouldn’t feed and rescue the poor; I’m saying that salvation isn’t having a full belly or a college education or whatever. Making people comfortable on earth before an eternity in hell is wasteful.

 

Taken from The Explicit Gospel by Matt Chandler copyright 2012. Used by permission of Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, Il 60187, www.crossway.org.