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Archive for the Clarus 15 Category


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 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.

Chorus

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.

Bridge
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 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)

Mar 22

Session 9 Recap: Carson, “The Rich Man and Lazarus”

2015 | by Nathan Sherman | Category: Clarus 15

Editor’s Note: Peter Arndt is a Community Group Leader at Desert Springs Church in Albuquerque, NM. This post is a summary of D.A. Carson’s message from Sunday morning at Clarus, March 22, “The Rich Man and Lazarus,” from Luke 16:19-31.

•••••

Dr. Carson began the final session of Clarus 2015 by asking question of this parable: is Jesus saying that a simple reversal takes place in status between this world and the next? While at first glance, it appears this might be the case, but the rest of Scripture denies an idea this simplistic. Wealth in this world does not always result in suffering in the next, e.g., Abraham, Job, and Philemon.

Wealth as a means of self-justification is a major theme throughout the gospel according to Luke, and the rich man in this parable proves himself to be devoted to one master (wealth) and despising the other (God – Luke 16:11-13). He worships wealth as an idol and is blind to the suffering around him. Dr. Carson explained in the society of Lazarus’ day, the rich were to care for the poor, so the rich man failed to meet his responsibility. By not naming the rich man, who seems so important and posh, Jesus is identifying him as eternally not that important. Lazarus means “the one whom God helps,” and while it is initially difficult to see this to be true, by the end of the story, its clear who it is God helps. We can’t make our assessments of who God helps in this life alone—it’s too complex.

Their situation is reversed, in a sense, now eternally as the rich man is suffering and Lazarus is at rest at Abraham’s bosom. The rich man shows no signs of repentance—no acknowledgment of his wronging Lazarus—only a desire to relieve his suffering. Abraham speaks of how the rich man’s suffering is fitting judgment for his life and that his condition is irreversible. He appeals to Abraham to warn his loved ones of this place of torment, thinking incorrectly about what causes repentance in men. Dr. Carson observed that, as far as he can tell, there is not a hint that anyone will ever repent in hell. In this parable there is not a hint of contrition, apology, repentance on the part of the rich man—only the view that his view of the world is right over and against God’s. Just as in this life, in hell, the damned are still trying to justify themselves.

Abraham corrects the rich man by saying it is Moses and the prophet’s words that brings repentance, not messengers from the dead. This remains a poignant lesson also for this current age where men still seek signs—we have the Bible, which is all we need to bring repentance.

Dr. Carson concluded with three theological and pastoral reflections on this passage:

  1. There is a sphere of rejoicing to pursue,and there is a place of torment to flee.
  2. The things in which we take so much pride now (wealth, religious privilege, good looks, success and recognition) may actually blind us to our need for grace.
  3. God has not left himself without witness. We must listen to the witness of Scripture or we are dead.

The parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus challenges all of us to choose God’s eternal rewards over earth’s temporal treasures, for once this life is over there is no undoing of the consequences.

 

Mar 22

Clarus ’15 Photo Roundup, Sunday, March 22

2015 | by Ben Moore | Category: Clarus 15

BEN_6036 BEN_6037 BEN_6041 BEN_6044 BEN_6049 BEN_6052 BEN_6059 BEN_6078

Conference Photography by Ben Moore Photography. Contact Ben at ben236@me.com.

Mar 21

Session 8 Recap: Panel Discussion with D.A. Carson and David Helm

2015 | by Nathan Sherman | Category: Clarus 15

Editor’s Note: Scott Pilgreen is a lay leader and biblical counselor at Desert Springs Church in Albuquerque, NM. This post is a summary of a panel discussion from Saturday afternoon at Clarus, March 21, with Alistair Begg, D.A. Carson, and David Helm.

•••••

Question: Another get-to-know you question. You both have ministries outside the local church. Tell us how those began.

David Helm: Simeon Trust started as a “one-trick pony” on the back of a napkin. Simeon Trust exists to increase pastor’s confidence in preaching God’s Word.

D.A. Carson: The Gospel Coalition started in 2002, when Tim Keller and I began to wonder what it would take to constitute an organization that lay at the centered of Reformed, evangelical Christianity.

Question: How did you come to believe that the Lord was leading you to preach and teach?

David Helm: When I was 17 years old, I was met with the classic fork in the road. I was pegged to be in some form of student ministry leadership, but called my friend and told him that I was out, and I didn’t want to do the faith thing anymore. My friend then began to tell me about the road that I was heading down and that it only ended in death and destruction. Instantaneously, my conversion to Christ was united in a call to lead the church.

D.A. Carson: My dad was a pastor so I don’t remember a time when we didn’t read and memorize Scripture. My attention was on mathematics and science at the university and not much thought on ministry. Then I heard a missionary amongst the poor in Haiti preach on Ezekiel 22 stating that there was no one to stand in the gap. That was my call.

Question: Is evangelism preaching? Or is preaching limited to only Sunday morning pulpit ministry?

D.A. Carson: If you are declaring the gospel, it is preaching even though it may not be expositional. Preaching is not tied to Sunday morning, but one of the main reasons for the church is to sit under God’s Word. However, this also happens in the best family devotions, as well.

David Helm: As preaching pastors, I think that it would be good for us over the next 15 years to find multiple venues for preaching the gospel. We need to find ourselves in more strategic and interpersonal dialogues.

Question: It seems like the sermons in Acts are pretty short. Why do modern preachers preach so long?

David Helm: For one thing, those sermons in Acts are summaries. We don’t have all that was said and preached, we just have the bones and main points.

D.A. Carson: Growing up in French Canada, I can remember preaching for an hour and a half and people still wanting more. There are different cultural expectations and variations in gifting that can contribute to the length of time in preaching.

Question: What in the broader evangelical culture is concerning?

David Helm: I’m not concerned about anything. God knows how to grow and take care of His church and He will be faithful to do so. There is an army of men who are being mobilized in the preaching of the Word, and most of the things that feel concerning end up dying away anyway.

D.A. Carson: In the New Testament, Paul often points out things that were concerning, so it is good to point these things out today as well. Among other things there is a lot of health and wealth prosperity teachings, a whooping up of joy instead of true joy in the Lord, and a rising level of Biblical illiteracy.

Question: What in the broader evangelical culture is encouraging?

David Helm: There is a hunger for the Word of God everywhere. Young people are rising up who are handling the Word incredibly.

D.A. Carson: There is more church planting going on all over the world and not just in white, suburb America. Things are happening in France and Japan that are very encouraging. I am far more encouraged by the spread of the gospel than I was 15 years ago.

Question: Is there possible tension on the one hand for a desire for one’s pastor to preach with more power and clarity and passion but remaining content with whom God has given as your pastor?

D.A. Carson: There is danger is thinking that we should pray for our pastors who are not preaching well. The New Testament model is to pray for things that are working.

David Helm: Appreciate your pastor for the temperament he has, pray that he would be confined and shaken by the text, and pray that he would have a greater command of the text.

Mar 21

Session 7 Recap: Carson, “The Parable of the Good Samaritan”

2015 | by Nathan Sherman | Category: Clarus 15

Editor’s Note: Tim Bradley is Pastor for Biblical Counseling and Family Ministry at Desert Springs Church in Albuquerque, NM. This post is a summary of D.A. Carson’s message from Saturday afternoon at Clarus, March 21, “The Parable of the Good Samaritan,” from Luke 10:25-37.

•••••

Dr. Carson began by stating that while the parable of the Good Samaritan is likely the most well-known parable in our culture, it is also one of the most misunderstood. Many believe the parable essentially teaches “Christianity is all about being nice to your neighbor,” but Carson repudiated this as the main teaching of the parable. He stated that most do not understand the context and therefore misunderstand the parable. In winsome fashion Dr. Carson reflected upon his own father who taught him, among other things, “a text without context becomes a pretext for a proof text.” In light of this Carson explained both the immediate and extended context of the parable, so that we may truly understand Jesus and the hope of the gospel.

The Parable In the Immediate Context

The immediate context is a Jewish “lawyer-theologian” asking Jesus a question in order to “test” Him. The lawyer asks, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” He is attempting to discredit Jesus by his question, but Jesus answers the lawyer’s question with a masterful question of His own, which leaves the lawyer trapped. The lawyer knows he does not measure up to the standard given in his own answer, and that he cannot go and do this as Jesus has now told him he must do. In response to the lawyer’s second question, Jesus tells this parable to set up his own next question.

Carson explains there is much context to be understood in the parable itself, especially about the actions of the Samaritan, who got down from his beast to care for the man, took him to an inn, cares for him further, and provides for all his costs of healing and care in order to save the beaten, half-dead, naked man from death and slavery. Carson states Jesus is taking the OT law and forcing it upon the heart. In the end, He asks the lawyer which man in the parable was a neighbor to the robbed man. Being trapped again with the impossibility of this, and having difficulty with even mentioning the Samaritan, the lawyer answers in a general way by stating, “The one who showed mercy toward him.” And Jesus again tells him to go and do likewise.

The Parable in the Extended Context

The larger context of this parable must be understood by understanding that the book of Luke turns in 9:51, and that from this point in Luke’s gospel Jesus is “on the way” to Jerusalem and the cross. This means that the parable must be understood as being under the shadow of the cross. Jesus’ undeterred determination to get to Calvary and finish His work is critical to understanding this parable. Jesus is saying the ultimate answer to the lawyer’s question is that there is only one thing that is really needed—to become My disciple on the way to My cross. Jesus and His gospel is the answer to the question.

Three Pastoral Reflections

Carson concluded with these three pastoral reflections:

  1. If we are to think of eternal life as inherited, then we must see clearly that we cannot possibly earn this inheritance.
  2. Who is the Good Samaritan? Jesus is the one who rescues the dead and damned, pays for it all, rescues them from slavery, and is often hated by the ones he cares for.
  3. Clearly Jesus expects His followers to live as he does.  The gospel of Jesus justifies us, but it also transforms us.