Like so many of you, I have closely followed the news of the last few days. I’ve watched the coverage of the shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. I’ve read articles, scanned tweets, and listened to interviews. I’ve heard and watched the outrage escalate in Louisiana and Minnesota. As it always seems to occur these days, it was just a matter of time before things got worse….and then they did.
Last night, I went to bed with knowledge that something had happened in Dallas. I woke to gut-wrenching, soul-horrifying tragedy.
In the fall of 2007 at Southern Seminary, I was a first semester doctoral student and a newlywed. My preaching professor Hershael York chose the topic "African American Preaching" for our doctoral studies colloquium. Our main assignment was to choose one African American preacher and study his life, his doctrine, and his preaching. One of the names on the list was D. J. Ward. I immediately chose him.
D. J. Ward had preached in Southern's chapel service in February of 2004, my second semester of seminary, and I had been amazed by him. Here was an elder black man, one who seemed to hold to Reformed Theology, one who dressed like a Puritan, with a voice that thundered the Word of God in Alumni Memorial Chapel. I'll never forget that sermon....you can listen to it below.
It is no secret to anyone who knows me, or really any pastor my age and in my "circles", that John Piper is one of my biggest living influences. I was first introduced to John Piper's preaching and writing at the end of my college days at the University of Arkansas as I prepared to head to Southern Seminary in Louisville. No one has helped me have a higher and more biblical view of God than Piper.
Yesterday in our Crimson Cord sermon here at FBC we looked at Joshua 1-4 and we discussed how Joshua and God’s people were asked to have strength and courage that was rooted in the nature of God and the power and authority of His word, His covenant promises, and His ongoing faithfulness (Joshua 1:1-18).
But we also looked at Rahab, a prostitute whose life had been filled with immorality and pagan idolatry but who turned to believe in the might, the supremacy, and the mercy of God (Joshua 2:8-14). We looked to the New Testament which shows her as an ancestor of Christ (Matthew 1:5), a woman of faith (Hebrews 11:31), and a woman whose faith led to righteous works (James 2:25).
Ever since I moved to Georgia, people have consistently asked me what I think of Andy Stanley. I had read a few of his books and listened to a few sermons and leadership talks in seminary, but quite honestly, I didn’t know much about him. Even after moving closer to Atlanta, I've only minimally observed him and Northpoint from a distance. I've learned a bit more about the history between Andy and his father. I've realized even more his celebrity status and just how large his following is. I've also understood more clearly why people in “my circles” don't really like his preaching - there really is almost a complete absence of any substantive biblical interaction.
A better question with which to start would be “What is A foundry?” Simply put, a foundry is a workshop or factory for melting, casting, and forging metal. It is a process in which metal is melted in liquid, refined of any impurities, then poured into a mold where it cools and takes its shape. It is often then pounded out and shaped even further in more of a blacksmithing process.