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Archive for April, 2011


Apr 30

Clarus ’11: Friday Recap and Photos

2011 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Clarus 11

We’re thankful for what is turning out to be a great conference. Dr. Beale began our conference by preaching from Psalm 1, which shows us that “true happiness and success come by not living our lives in the counsel of the world but in the counsel of God and Christ in the Word.” Dr. Trueman followed up by preaching on the subject of preaching. Speaking of preaching and relevance, Dr. Trueman challenged both preachers and listeners to rest their confidence in the power of the Word: “I’ll tell you what is relevant: Preparing people to die.”

Here are some photos from our first day together:

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Apr 29

Clarus ’11 is Now

2011 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Clarus 11

Today begins our three day conference on the nature and importance of Scripture. Given our theme, “Scripture: God Speaks,” we will be learning about and reflecting on what God has said about what His Word is and what God’s Word does. Like Psalm 119,  Psalm 19:7-11 not only tells us what the Word is, but stirrs our affections for God’s Word in doing so. Today especially, this is a good Scripture with which to start our day:

The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul;
the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise  the simple;

the precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart;
the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes;

the fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever;
the rules of the LORD are true, and righteous altogether.

More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold;
sweeter also than honey and drippings of  the honeycomb.

Moreover, by them is your servant warned;
in keeping them there is great reward.

May God grant us to see His Word better for what it is through our time together this weekend. May we know its perfection, its purity, and its truth. And may God’s Word revive our souls, enlighten our eyes, warn us, and be to us far sweeter than honey.

The Books and Resources Room opens at 4:30 and the first session begins at 6:15. Tickets are available online or at the door.

Apr 28

Clarus ’11 Starts Tomorrow

2011 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Clarus 11

Today is the day before Clarus and DSC is busy with movement as volunteers and staff prepare conference packets, the auditorium is prepared for our sessions, and the Youth Room is changed into our Clarus Books and Resources room.

If you’re still deliberating on whether or not to come, the following highlights will serve as reasons to join us if you are able. If you have already bought your ticket, the following three highlights will excite you for what is ahead. If you have not yet done so, we hope you will join us. Tickets are still available online. If cost is an issue for you at all, please just indicate this at the point of purchase and we will cover the cost for you. We want you there!

1) The Sessions

We will be joined by speakers, G.K. Beale and Carl Trueman, both professors at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia. These men will speak on our theme, “Scripture: God Speaks,” helping us clarify the nature and importance of Scripture for the Christian life, in the church, and in marriage. Here are their talk titles:

G.K. Beale:

  • “The Effects of Meditating on God’s Word” – Psalm 1
  • “How to Guard the Good Deposit of Scripture” – 2 Timothy 1:10
  • “The Centrality of Scripture in Marriage”

Carl Trueman:

  • “The Prophetic Word: What Preaching Is (and Is Not)”
  • “Scripture’s Authority: An Ancient Doctrine”
  • “A Clear and Present Word: Luther and the Clarity of Scripture”

If you cannot make the entire conference, find out when each of these talks will be given by viewing the Clarus ’11 conference schedule.

2) The Book Giveaways

For Clarus ’11, we’re happy to introduce a new tradition of book giveaways. Together, these titles will more than pay for the conference, and they are all titles we’d happily commend to you.

3) The Books and Resources Room

Another new addition with Clarus ’11 is the Books and Resources room. In this room, hosted in the Youth Room, we will have with us nine fine organizations. Each of these organizations will have resources and literature either for free or at a conference discount. We have invited these specific organizations to join us because we want you to know about them. They are serving the church well. In addition, by coming they also help underwrite the cost of the conference, so we’d ask that you give each of them a visit and take advantage of their presence with us. Here’s who you’ll meet:

We look forward to seeing you at Clarus for what will be a meaningful and memorable encounter with God through His word. For more information or for tickets, visit the Clarus site. Also, childcare is available throughout the conference by registration through Kayla at kayla@desertspringschurch.org.

*This post is adapted from a recent special Clarus edition of DSC’s eNewsletter, “Looking Forward to Clarus.”  Subscribe to DSC’s eNewsletter through the Comment Card provided on your Sunday bulletin, or by emailing info@desertspringschurch.org.

Apr 26

Getting to Know Carl Trueman, Part 3

2011 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Clarus 11

Back in February, John Starke, at The Gospel Coalition Blog, interviewed Carl Trueman with a few questions about his reading habits: When do you read? What genres do you enjoy? What’s the mixture you aim for of new books and old books? What are you reading right now?

Here’s Dr. Trueman’s answer:

I do not read much theology these days, only what is required to keep abreast of my field, to prepare for sermons, or for book reviews. Most theological matter, even the good, is poorly written; and, if we are honest with ourselves, most of it has been said better before. Therefore, I do not waste too much time on it.

I spend most evenings reading. I prefer the company of books and family over most else. At the moment, I am reading Michael Korda’s Hero: The Life and Legend ofLawrence of Arabia; and, on my Kindle for travelling, I have Steven Englund’s Napoleon: A Political Life. Next in line is Roy Hattersley’s The Great Outsider, his new life of David Lloyd George. I love biography, particularly those of political leaders or intellectuals, though by and large not of Americans. I do not find the sense of the tragic in politics or intellectual life here which I find in Europe. Of course, history in general, and biography in particular, are vital for broadening perspectives, developing skills of critical social, cultural, and psychological analysis, and helping the reader to sympathize with others.

In terms of novelists, I love fiction, especially Thomas Hardy, Joseph Conrad, and Emily Bronte. These authors’ use of language, and their sense of the tragic is powerful. Hardy’s Jude the Obscure is an almost unbearable book to read for its bleakness; yet utterly beautiful and brilliant. On the lighter side, I love Raymond Chandler, and psychological thriller writers like Ruth Rendell, Ian Rankin, and Henning Mankell. Barry Hines’s A Kestrel for a Knave is possibly the most moving book I have ever read; and Flann O’Brien’s The Third Policeman the funniest.

I do not read much poetry, with the exceptions of Shakespeare’s tragedies, Yeats, Blake, and Housman. I also like to read Vergil in the original to keep my Latin sharp. Poetry moves too deeply to be read too often.

I love reading good essayists. Reading good prose is absolutely basic to being able to write the same. Thus, I return again and again to the masters of the genre: George Orwell and William Hazlitt. These men knew the power of prose. Short stories too: Hemingway, for his distinctive, terse way of describing dramatic events; and M. R. James, for his ability to create suspense and fear using only a pen. Both men show how powerful the written word, in the right hands, can be.

I believe it important to read good commentary on current events. I read the quality British press online; check Slate every day; and have paper subscriptions to both The Spectator, the classic British conservative weekly, and Private Eye, the satirical magazine. I do not read American dailies. They annoy me: I want them to be like the newspapers back home; but, for me, there is something indefinable missing.

If you have yet to purchase your ticket for Clarus, you can do so online.

Apr 25

Clarus ’11: Schedule

2011 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Clarus 11

As we look forward to Clarus, now just under a week away, we’re posting the schedule so you can prepare for the weekend ahead.

Note the addition of times for our new Books and Resources Room. Plan now to come early and stay late to browse discounted books and resources for you, your family, and your ministry. We will be joined by 9Marks Ministries, The Biblical Counseling Coalition, Christian Focus Publishers, Matthias Media, New Growth Press, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Westminster Theological Seminary (PA), and White Horse Inn.

Friday, April 29

4:30 PM Books and Resources Room open

6:15 PM – 6:30 PM Singing

6:30 PM – 6:45 PM Welcome and Introduction

6:45 PM – 7:45 PM Session 1 with G. K. Beale
“The Effects of Meditating on God’s Word” – Psalm 1

7:45 PM – 8:00 PM Break/Singing

8:00 PM – 9:00 PM Session 2 with Carl Trueman
“The Prophetic Word: What Preaching Is (and Is Not)”

9:45 PM Books and Resources Room closed

Saturday, April 30

8:00 AM Books and Resources Room open

8:45 AM – 9:00 AM Singing

9:00 AM – 10:15 AM Session 3 with G. K. Beale
“How to Guard the Good Deposit of Scripture” – 2 Timothy 1:10

10:15 AM – 10:30 AM Break/Singing

10:30 AM – 11:30 AM Session 4 with Carl Trueman
“Scripture’s Authority: An Ancient Doctrine”

11:30 AM – 1:30 PM Break for Lunch / Books and Resources Room 0pen

1:30 PM – 3:00 PM Panel Discussion

3:00 PM – 6:00 PM Afternoon Break / Books and Resources Room open

6:00 PM – 6:15 PM Singing

6:15 PM – 7:15 PM Session 5 with G. K. Beale
“The Centrality of Scripture in Marriage”

7:15 PM – 7:30 PM Singing

7:30 PM – 8:30 PM Session 6 with Carl Trueman
“A Clear and Present Word: Luther and the Clarity of Scripture”

9:15 Books and Resources Room closed

Sunday, May 1

9:00 AM – 10:15 AM Corporate Worship with G. K. Beale Preaching
“Receiving and Resounding God’s Word” – 1 Thessalonians 1:6-10

10:45 AM – 12:00 PM Corporate Worship with Carl Trueman Preaching
“Like Sheep without a Shepherd” – Mark 6:30-44

Apr 22

Sermon Follow-up: “An Unlikely Chain of Events”

2011 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Sermon Follow-Up

Ryan’s sermon on Good Friday, “An Unlikely Chain of Events,” was taken from Matthew 26 and 27. As Ryan said, if we weren’t already familiar with the twists and turns in these chapters some twenty things would be shocking and strange to us. It’s important for us to see these twists and turns with fresh eyes so that we might rightly marvel at the beauty, glory, power, and victory that lies beneath the surface of these seemingly odd events.

Here are Ryan’s twenty points along with four concluding reflections.

Twenty “oddities” found in Matthew 26 and 27:

  1. He prayed to be delivered (Matthew 26:39)
  2. His disciples slept while he prayed (Matthew 26:40-45)
  3. One of the twelve, Judas, turned him in (Matthew 26:14-16; Matthew 26:47-50)
  4. Another, Peter, tried to kill for him (Matthew 26:51-53)
  5. Shortly after, Peter disavowed him Three Times (Matthew 26:72-75)
  6. All of his disciples fled (Matthew 26:56b; Matthew 26:31)
  7. His religious/national leaders wanted him dead (Matthew 27:1)
  8. He gave no defense at his trial (Matthew 26:62-63a; Matthew 27:12-14)
  9. Pilate’s wife had bad dreams about Jesus (Matthew 27:19)
  10. The crowd chose to free a notorious criminal instead (Matthew 27:15-17; Matthew 27:21-23)
  11. He was caught in the middle of a political pickle (Matthew 27:20; Matthew 27:24)
  12. He couldn’t carry his own cross (Matthew 27:32)
  13. He was mocked, humiliated, and beaten (Matthew 27:27-30; Matthew 27:37; Matthew 27:39-40)
  14. He was crucified with common criminals (Matthew 27:38; Matthew 27:44)
  15. He was forsaken by his Father (Matthew 27:46)
  16. Nearing his death the sky went dark (Matthew 27:45)
  17. The temple curtain tore in two (Matthew 27:51a)
  18. There was an earthquake (Matthew 27:51b)
  19. There was a group-resurrection (Matthew 27:52-53)
  20. One of his captors believed (Matthew 27:54)

What conclusions can we draw from all this?

  1. If you were making up this story to try to start a political movement or a new religion, you wouldn’t include most of these 20 things. Some stories are too strange to not be true!
  2. Scripture says that, in all of these seemingly odd events, God was orchestrating affairs to bring Jesus to the cross (Acts 2:22-23).
  3. In God’s wisdom, he has chosen to bring power out of weakness and wisdom/salvation out of foolishness (1 Cor 1:21-24).
  4. In all these events one thing keeps coming up: no one is passing the test – not the religious establishment, not the governor, not the masses, not even the closest disciples. No one passes the test…except Jesus.

Apr 22

Getting to Know Carl Trueman, Part 2

2011 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Clarus 11

Carl Trueman has a number of videos sprinkled throughout YouTube, many of which are brief 5-10 minute teaching videos on various subjects, including  John Owenconspiracy theories, or even trivia on historical theology and 70’s rock.

In this video, Dr. Trueman answers questions about Scripture in an interview ahead of a conference at Oak Hill College.