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Tuesday, May 26


May 23

Claus ’15 Recap: Assembling Under the Word

2015 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Clarus 15

Nehemiah 8 gives us an artfully told story of Israel at one of her best moments: a moment at which she was assembled under the Word with expectancy, attentive listening, a response of weeping and repentance, and a deep joy in God. Ezra had a book in his hands. That’s why the people gathered. That’s why they made a platform for him to stand on. That’s why they responded as they did. As Alistair Begg recently put it, “The expectation of the people was tied not to the ability of Ezra, but to the book that he held in his hand.” So it should be for the church.

An important part of our life in the Word together as Christians is weekly preaching. Yet, for as much time as we spend listening to preaching as Christians, we could afford to think longer and harder on the subject. What exactly is preaching? What does preaching do? How should we do it and hear it?

These are the kinds of questions we considered this year at Clarus with Alistair Begg, D.A. Carson, and David Helm. Our theme was, Assembled Under the Word: Preaching and the Church.

Below, you’ll find videos from each of the conference talks, including links to audio and blog summaries. Click here for photos from this year’s conference, here for songs we sang together, and here to download the song, “Your Word.” This is a new text written for and recorded live at this year’s conference.

Alistair Begg

“Assembled Under the Word” – Nehemiah 8 (videoaudio, blog recap)

“Preaching In and Out of Season,” – 2 Timothy 3:16-4:8 (videoaudio, blog recap)

D.A. Carson

“Why does Jesus Tell Stories?” – Matthew 13:10-17, 34-35 (videoaudio, blog recap)

“The Parable of the Good Samaritan” – Luke 10:25-37 (videoaudio, blog recap)

“The Rich Man and Lazarus” – Luke 16:19-31 (videoaudio, blog recap)

David Helm

“Preaching: God’s Strategy” – Acts 17:16-34 (videoaudio, blog recap)

“Preaching: God’s Speech” – Acts 17:16-34 (videoaudio, blog recap)

Panel Discussions

A Panel Discussion with Alistair Begg, D.A. Carson, and David Helm (videoaudio, blog recap)

A Panel Discussion with D.A. Carson and David Helm (videoaudio, blog recap)

Wrap-up posts from previous Clarus conferences:

May 15

Commencement and Contentment, Joblessness and Joy

2015 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Recommended Link

This time each year, many among us are graduating from something: from a grade, from high school, or from college.

But while the path through school is often predictable and well worn, the path to a job is not always so predictable. Not in every way, but in some ways the experience of going through school is insulated from the economic pressures of the changing world around us. If we work hard—sometimes very hard, depending on the degree, our own abilities, and our other obligations—and play by the rules we’ll likely come out the other side with something to show for it. But finding and keeping a job can be quite different.

For those who have lost a job or who are looking for a job, two articles hit the web this week on the occasion of commencement. The articles address graduates, but I’m highlighting paragraphs specifically suited to those who are struggling in their search for work. Of course, the entire articles are worth your time.

The Joy of Graduation and the Crisis of Joblessness,” by Marshall Segal

If you’re feeling discouraged and abandoned by God while looking for work, you have a friend in the apostle Paul. He also experienced an intense period of hopelessness and despair. He writes, “We were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead” (2 Corinthians 1:8–9).

Now, Paul was facing death, not joblessness. So the differences are real, but the principle is the same. God intends for our neediness to bring us to our knees. A good Father would never watch his kids suffer for the sake of suffering. He might wait to rescue them, though, if he knew it would eventually bring them a better and longer lasting peace, strength, and joy. We all desperately need to learn the futility of self-reliance and the reward of relying wholly on God. Go to him with your questions, your restlessness, and your heartache.

Dear Graduates, a Glorious Commencement Awaits,” Bethany Jenkins

The key to surviving disillusionment, I said, is found in accepting God’s providential care. As Proverbs 30 says, “Give me neither poverty nor riches, feed me with the food that is needful for me, lest I be full and deny you and say, ‘Who is the LORD?’ or lest I be poor and steal and profane the name of my God” (vv. 8-9). The secret to contentment, in other words, is found in seeking God’s face, not our hands. It trusts the Planner, not the plans.

Commencement is a beginning. It launches graduates into “the real world,” which is full of disconnects that breed disillusionment—beauty and brokenness, debt and riches, joy and suffering. In this age, it will always be the best of times and the worst of times.

For more on the topic of faith and work, swing by The Gospel Coalition’s Faith and Work channel. For good print resources on the topic of vocation, swing by the Book Nook for a copy of Greg Gilbert’s, The Gospel at Work: How Working for King Jesus Gives Purpose and Meaning to Our Jobs,  or Kevin DeYoung’s, Just Do Something: A Liberating Approach to Finding God’s Will or How to Make a Decision without Dreams, Visions, Fleeces, Open Doors, Random Bible Verses, Casting Lots, Liver Shivers, Writing in the Sky, etc.

May 1

New Live Recording of “Your Word”

2015 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Clarus 15

This year at Clarus we learned a new song, “Your Word,” written for the conference and recorded live. That live recording is now available at DSC’s Bandcamp page here.

Enjoy these new words based on Psalm 119, and train your heart to trust God’s Word by singing them throughout the week.

“Your Word (Psalm 119)”
By Drew Hodge

Verse 1
Let my cry come before you
Help me to understand your Word;
Let my plea come before you;
Deliver me Lord by your Word.

My lips will pour out praise
for you will teach me.


My tongue will sing your Word,
for all your words are true
all your words are true
My heart will trust you Lord
in everything you do,
everything you do.

Verse 2
Let your hand always help me
Teach me to always choose your Word;
I long for your salvation;
I have delighted in your Word.

My soul will live and praise
for you will teach me.

When I have gone astray,
seek your servant
Let me not forget your Word.

For links to lyrics, chord sheets, and audio for the songs we sing each Sunday, check out the DSC Music Blog, updated each Monday.

Apr 24

Video Testimonies from Baptism Sunday, April 19, 2015

2015 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Baptism Video Testimonies

This past Sunday we had the joy of witnessing the baptism of twenty-one brothers and sisters between our two Sunday services. In case you missed one or both of the services, here are the video testimonies from our brothers and sisters who were baptized.

As we listen to these testimonies, praise God for his gospel’s work among us, and remember these words from the Apostle Paul in Romans 6:3-4 for all of us who are in Christ: “. . . all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.”

9:00 AM Service, Group 1

9:00 AM Service, Group 2

10:45 AM Service, Group 1

10:45 AM Service, Group 2

For more videos like these, Click here for DSC’s YouTube Baptism playlist.

Apr 17

Recap from TGC National Conference: “Coming Home”

2015 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Gospel

Over the past week, several of DSC’s leaders and some others from around DSC made their way to Florida for The Gospel Coalition’s National Conference. The theme for this conference was focused on our future hope: “Coming Home: New Heaven and New Earth.”

Summaries of each day—including photos, videos, and quotes—are posted on TGC’s site: Day 1, Day 2, and Day 3. Full sermon audio and video will be available in the weeks ahead, but for now, here are several short sermon clips from the conference.

Tim Keller — “Why Circumcision?

John Piper — “If you write it, put your name on it.”

Voddie Baucham – “The federal headship of Jesus.”

Mark Dever – “America’s safety belt.”

Ligon Duncan – “We shall be like Him.”

Philip Ryken – “Get back to the garden.”

Apr 10

What Was God’s Ending to the Book of Mark?

2015 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Sermon Follow-Up

On Easter Sunday, Ryan preached a sermon on Jesus’ resurrection that took us to the end of the Book of Mark. As some of you might remember, Ryan’s sermon ended with Mark 16:8, twelve verses short of the end of the book as it appears in many of our printed Bibles.

Ryan explained why Mark’s gospel account really ended in verse 8 and not later. And this is why some translations put these verses in a footnote, or preface them, as the ESV does, with these words: “Some of the earliest manuscripts do not include 16:9-20.” As Ryan pointed out, no manuscripts before 800 A.D. include this portion of Mark.

This may present some hearers with a problem: are we taking away from God’s Word?

We certainly wouldn’t want to do that. The short answer is, no, we’re not. Mark 16:9-20 wasn’t God’s Word. The is the general consensus of Bible commentators, translators,  scholars, students of theology, and pastors. So, no need to be alarmed.

If you’re interested in understanding the background to this conclusion, there’s a very clear answer at the site, gotquestions.org, in the article, “Should Mark 16:9-20 be in the Bible?.” I don’t know much about this site, and perhaps it’s not the place to go for anything you might like to know. But in this case it does a good job of answering this question.

Question: “Should Mark 16:9-20 be in the Bible?”

Answer: Although the vast majority of later Greek manuscripts contain Mark 16:9-20, the Gospel of Mark ends at verse 8 in two of the oldest and most respected manuscripts, the Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Vaticanus. As the oldest manuscripts are known to be the most accurate because there were fewer generations of copies from the original autographs (i.e., they are much closer in time to the originals), and the oldest manuscripts do not contain vv. 9-20, we can conclude that these verses were added later by scribes. The King James Version of the Bible, as well as the New King James, contains vv. 9-20 because the King James used medieval manuscripts as the basis of its translation. Since 1611, however, older and more accurate manuscripts have been discovered and they affirm that vv. 9-20 were not in the original Gospel of Mark.

In addition, the fourth-century church fathers Eusebius and Jerome noted that almost all Greek manuscripts available to them lacked vv. 9–20, although they doubtless knew those other endings existed. In the second century, Justin Martyr and Tatian knew about other endings. Irenaeus, also, in A.D. 150 to 200, must have known about this long ending because he quotes verse 19 from it. So, the early church fathers knew of the added verses, but even by the fourth century, Eusebius said the Greek manuscripts did not include these endings in the originals.

The internal evidence from this passage also casts doubt on Mark as the author. For one thing, the transition between verses 8 and 9 is abrupt and awkward. The Greek word translated “now” that begins v. 9 should link it to what follows, as the use of the word “now” does in the other synoptic Gospels. However, what follows doesn’t continue the story of the women referred to in v. 8, describing instead Jesus’ appearing to Mary Magdalene. There’s no transition there, but rather an abrupt and bizarre change, lacking the continuity typical of Mark’s narrative. The author should be continuing the story of the women based on the word “now,” not jumping to the appearance to Mary Magdalene. Further, for Mark to introduce Mary Magdalene here as though for the very first time (v. 9) is odd because she had already been introduced in Mark’s narrative (Mark 15:40, 47, 16:1), another evidence that this section was not written by Mark.

Furthermore, the vocabulary is not consistent with Mark’s Gospel. These last verses don’t read like Mark’s. There are eighteen words here that are never used anywhere by Mark, and the structure is very different from the familiar structure of his writing. The title “Lord Jesus,” used in verse 19, is never used anywhere else by Mark. Also, the reference to signs in vv. 17-18 doesn’t appear in any of the four Gospels. In no account, post-resurrection of Jesus, is there any discussion of signs like picking up serpents, speaking with tongues, casting out demons, drinking poison, or laying hands on the sick. So, both internally and externally, this is foreign to Mark.

While the added ending offers no new information, nor does it contradict previously revealed events and/or doctrine, both the external and internal evidence make it quite certain that Mark did not write it. In reality, ending his Gospel in verse 8 with the description of the amazement of the women at the tomb is entirely consistent with the rest of the narrative. Amazement at the Lord Jesus seems to be a theme with Mark. “They were amazed at his teaching” (Mark 1:22); “They were all amazed, so that they debated among themselves” (Mark 1:27); “He healed the paralytic, and they were all amazed and were glorifying God saying, ‘We’ve never seen anything like this’” (Mark 2:12). Astonishment at the work of Jesus is revealed throughout Mark’s narrative (Mark 4:41; 5:15, 33, 42; 6:51; 9:6, 15, 32; 10:24, 32; 11:18; 12:17; 16:5). Some, or even one, of the early scribes, however, apparently missed the thematic evidence and felt the need to add a more conventional ending.

For more reading on the subject of the reliability of our New Testament documents, see the article in the ESV Study Bible, titled, “The Reliability of New Testament Manuscripts.”  For a helpful commentary on Mark, check out Mark in Zondervan’s Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament series, or Mark in the NIV Application Commentary series. Ryan has found both helpful for understanding Mark as a whole.

Apr 6

Songs from Clarus ’15

2015 | by Drew Hodge | Category: Clarus 15

Psalm 119:172 says, “My tongue will sing of your word, for all your commandments are right.”

We heard the voice of God at Clarus ’15 as His Word was preached, prayed and sung.

Below is a list of the songs used at this years conference. You will find chord charts, lyrics, and mp3’s. May God use these songs to tune your hearts to sing His praise!

Friday Night:

  • “Come Thou Fount” (pdfmp3)
  • “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God” (pdfmp3)
  • “Your Word (Psalm 119)” (pdf)
  • “Lord, We Come to Hear Your Word” (pdfmp3)
  • “How Firm a Foundation” (pdfmp3)
  • “Speak O Lord” (pdfmp3)
  • “Blessed Assurance” (pdf)

Saturday Morning:

  • “Your Word (Psalm 119)” (pdf)
  • “Jesus the Name High Over All” (pdfmp3)
  • “Come Thou Almighty King” (pdfmp3)
  • “O Church Arise” (pdfmp3)
  • “Oh How Good it Is” (pdfmp3)
  • “Be Thou My Vision” (pdfmp3)

Saturday Afternoon:

  • “All Creatures of Our God and King” (pdfmp3)
  • “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God” (pdfmp3)
  • “Tis So Sweet” (pdf)
  • “Lord, We Come to Hear Your Word” (pdfmp3)
  • “Your Word (Psalm 119)” (pdf)
  • “Come Thou Fount” (pdfmp3)
  • “How Firm a Foundation” (pdfmp3)

Sunday Morning:

  • “Your Word (Psalm 119)” (pdf)
  • “Come Ye Sinners” (pdfmp3)
  • “Grace Greater Than Our Sin” (pdfmp3)
  • “We Give Thanks” (pdfmp3)
  • “Lord, We Come to Hear Your Word” (pdfmp3)
  • “And Can It Be” (pdfmp3)