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Archive for January, 2012

Jan 30

Clarus ’11 Q&A with Carl Trueman and Greg Beale (Part 1 of 3)

2012 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Clarus 11

With Clarus ’12 a little over one month away, we’ve decided to whet your appetite for this year’s conference with some clips from last year’s Q&A with speakers G.K. Beale and Carl Trueman. Over the next few weeks we will release three post of five videos each from the Q&A on last year’s conference theme, “Scripture: God Speaks.

Question 1: What is the relationship between Jesus as the Word and Scripture?

Question 2: What is the relationship between the nature of God/Scripture?

Question 3: Is Scripture personal or propositional?

Question 4: Historically, what are the most essential Christian beliefs?

Question 5: How did the Bible become the Bible?

Visit the Clarus page for more information or to register for this year’s conference, “The Cross-Shaped Christian Life,” with D.A. Carson and Fred Zaspel, March 9-11.

Jan 26

Shop on Amazon, Support the Resource Center

2012 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Administrative

Did you know that when you buy a book through one of our Amazon links on this blog or at the Resources page you are supporting DSC’s resourcing ministry through the Resource Center? Did you know that there is a way to benefit DSC every time you buy anything from Amazon?

Save this DSC Amazon link as a bookmark on your browser and use it to get to Amazon. When you enter Amazon through this link anything you purchase will benefit DSC’s Resource Center.

DSC’s Resource Center serves the body at DSC by brining you some of the more helpful and more reliable biblical resources across a number of subjects, including theology, parenting, biblical manhood and womanhood, evangelism, suffering, and, of course, Bibles. Since the Resource Center is not a for-profit project, “suggested donations” generally reflect our cost, which is anywhere from 10%-40% off retail.

But the Resource Center is also a hub for resources given away at no cost, including Bibles, books for visitors to the Newcomers Reception, timely resources for those in crisis, sermon CDs for visitors, evangelistic literature, and children’s CDs to families who’s children join us at VBS.

Amazon, of course, has everything from $7.00 chocolates for your mom’s birthday, to this insane $25,999 lens for your Nikon camera, and many items at a discount. By investing in Amazon Prime account, you can get 2-day shipping for free, which we use to ensure a current inventory of books at the Resource Center each Sunday. 

Thank you for reading this blog, and thank you for supporting DSC’s Resource Center.

Jan 25

Introducing Clarus ’12, “The Cross-Shaped Christian Life”

2012 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Clarus 12

This year’s Clarus conference will take place on March 9-11. Our theme is, “The Cross-Shaped Christian Life,” and our speakers are D.A. Carson and Fred Zaspel.

Clarus is DSC’s annual theology conference weekend and is a Regional Conference of The Gospel Coalition. For a eight years now, DSC has invited out a speaker or two for a weekend of teaching to help us get our minds and hearts around an important theological truth so to better know God. This year’s theme focuses us on the question of the nature and shape of the Christian life.

In this video, Ryan explains this year’s theme, “The Cross-Shaped Christian Life”:

[RSS and email readers, click here to view this video]

Go to the Clarus page to learn more about Clarus and to register for this year’s conference.

Jan 20

The Voice of the Lord

2012 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Sermon Follow-Up

In Sunday’s sermon, “The Voice of The Lord,” we considered how Psalm 29 tells us to see the God of all power behind a ferocious storm. With vivid poetic imagery, David writes, “The voice of the LORD is over the waters; the God of glory thunders, . . .The voice of the LORD breaks the cedars; . . .and in his temple all cry, ‘Glory!'” (3-9).

Psalm 29 is like other psalms in its use of nature to communicate the manifold glory of God on display in what He has made. Psalm 8, for example, speaks of “the moon and the stars” as set in place by God’s hand (3), and Psalm 19 speaks of the sun displaying His happiness, as it “runs its course with joy” (5).

With this in mind, these photos from a recent National Geographic photo contest are really pictoral descriptions of the glory of God:


“. . .and in and in his temple all cry, ‘Glory!'” (Psalm 29:9)

HT: Zach Nielsen

Jan 18

Why Church Membership?

2012 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Community,The Church

DSC’s membership class, Knowing Christ, Knowing the Church (KCKC), is offered three times a year, and the spring session begins on Wednesday, February 1, from 6:30-8:30 PM.

Perhaps you are not a member at DSC and intentionally so. You aren’t certain membership is important for Christians or important for you specifically. Or maybe you are a member, but you’ve never really thought about what the Scriptures say about the nature of the church and our relationship to one another as Christians.

All of us could take church membership more seriously, and for that reason, Nine Marks ministries has a helpful video and summary in answer to the question, “What is church membership?”

[RSS and email readers, click here to view this video]

In KCKC, we explore the foundation, nature, and purpose of what is at the heart of God, His Word, and God’s plan of salvation: the church of Jesus Christ. She has been purchased by the blood of Christ for a display of God’s glory.

Here are some of the questions we explore in the class:

  • What is the foundation of the church?
  • Why the church?
  • What is the church?
  • What does the church do; what are its purposes?
  • What are the distinctives here?
  • How does DSC operate; how is it led?
  • Why join a church and what does it mean?
  • How do I get involved?

For more information about DSC’s membership class, visit the KCKC Page. To sign up, fill out a Communication Card on Sunday, email info@desertspringschurch.org, or call the church office at 505.797.8700. This class is not just for those pursuing church membership, but for anyone interested in getting better acquainted with DSC or the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Jan 11

Fear, Worry, and the God of Rest

2012 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Quote,Sermon Follow-Up

In Sunday’s sermon, “No Fear / Know God,” Ryan preached from Psalm 27, addressing at length the subject of fear and worry.

The Psalmist preaches to himself about the goodness of God and the greatness of His salvation, even in, as Ryan put it, life’s “worst-case scenarios.” Though unlikely, God’s salvation is great if even an army were raised up against us. What could be worse than that?

In the course of his sermon, Ryan cited a helpful book on the subject of fear and worry by Ed Welch, Running Scared: Fear, Worry, and The God of Rest. About Psalm 27, Welch writes,

Worry scans the universe looking for more worries to accumulate; it needs to be directed to what is most important.…Beauty is just what worry needs. Worry’s magnetic attraction can only be broken by a stronger attraction, and David is saying we can only find that attraction in God himself. (pp. 152, 154)

Welch warns against the danger of worry and shows how we are transformed from worriers to trusters:

Worry is dangerous. It is not to be trifled with. When you find worries, anxieties, and fears, pay attention. . .

At this point, we know that worry and fear are more about us than about the things outside us. They reveal what is valuable to us, and what is valuable to us in turn reveals our kingdom allegiances. We also know that God is patient and compassionate with us, and he gives grace upon grace. Though alert to our divided allegiances, he persists in calling us away from fear and worry, persuades us of the beauty of the kingdom, and gives more than we can imagine.

With this in mind, his words should sound attractive, and we should be more and more inclined to listen. We should still like to abolish anxieties quickly, but we are learning that God values strong foundations and gradual growth, and such foundations are established as we feed on him and his words. As we meditate on Scripture and make it our own, we should anticipate slow but steady change. Worriers should be experts in a handful of passages. (pp. 95, 147)

To be sure, God is more valuable than anything we could lose in this life, and He works through our troubles to strengthen us in that conviction.

Jan 9

Current Trends in Healthy Churches

2012 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Recommended Link

Thom Rainer is CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources and a reliable commentator on trends within evangelicalism.

Last week, Thom published a two-part article, “Trends in Healthy Churches in 2012” (Part 1, Part 2). Here, Rainer is not setting out what he thinks should be trends in healthy churches, or trends he looks for in order to identify a healthy church. This list is his informed opinion based, in part, on research conducted within the United States among churches that are firmly committed to the gospel.

Here are Rainer’s 12 “Trends in Healthy Chuches“:

  1. The churches have a high view of Scripture.
  2. A large number of church members read the Bible daily.
  3. The churches have a priority and focus on the nations.
  4. The churches have a missional community presence.
  5. The congregations have membership that matters.
  6. The members are evangelistically intentional.
  7. These healthy churches have pastors who love the members.
  8. The churches allow their pastors to spend time in sermon preparation.
  9. There is clarity of the process of disciple making.
  10. These churches do less better.
  11. The process of discipleship moves members into ongoing small groups.
  12. Corporate prayer is intentional and prioritized.

Stated this way without explanation, this list is only so helpful. Check out Part 1 and Part 2 of Rainer’s article his expansion and and explanation of each point.

The take away is simple: to praise God that these trends are taking place within the church, and to pursue more fervently these priorities here at DSC.