Times and Location  |  Contact  |  Calendar  |  Church Directory  |  Update Your Information  |  Subscribe  |  Give  |  Store  |  Who Is Jesus?
Home/New to DSC/About/Ministries/News/Events/Conference     Connect/Grow/Serve     Messages/Blog/Resources
Christmas Services on 12/24/17
9:00 AM and 10:45 AM

Archive for the Recommended Resources Category


Dec 30

Reading the Bible in 2017

2016 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Recommended Resources

The original title for this post was, “Reading the Bible in 2071.” I mistyped the date. But then, that’s actually how some of us might approach Bible reading. It’s something we’ll get to later. A reading plan can help with this procrastination.

Remember Jesus’ words, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4). He was talking about himself! You don’t need to read the Bible in a year, but in 2017 you can certainly read the Bible regularly if you haven’t. The New Year is a great opportunity to decide how you’ll do that.

If you’re looking for a Bible Reading plan, here’s Justin Taylor’s post from last year: “Reading the Whole Bible in 2016.” If you’re looking for more of a pattern for ongoing reading rather than a plan to read the Bible in a year, here’s a simple plan by Drew Hunter summarized in his recent Tweet: “No check-box, no guilt, Bible-reading plan: two Old Testament, two New Testament chapters per day. Finish a book, pick another.” It just might be for you.

While a read through Justin’s post should surface a good plan for you, here are a few plans to consider:

  • Chronological Reading Plan: Reading God’s Story: A Chronological Daily Bible, by George Guthrie is a unique resource. This Bible is published with a one year daily reading plan in mind, ordering the Biblical material chronologically along the Bible’s own narrative framework and includes a reading plan. George Guthrie has also published a one year chronological Bible reading plan, Read the Bible for Life.
  • The M’Cheyne Plan with Daily Devotional Commentary: For the Love of God is a two volume series of books written by D.A. Carson providing daily reading to supplement the M’Cheyne reading plan. This plan, named after its designer and Scottish minister in the 1800′s, Robert Murray M’Cheyne, takes you through the Old Testament once and the Psalms and New Testament twice in one year.
  • Several Places A Day: Crossway’s Daily Bible Reading Plan is available as a PDF form to print out as a series of bookmarks. This plan gets you through the Bible in a year, reading from several different places in the Bible each day. Crossway has published 10 reading plans to supplement the ESV, including RSS, email, audio, and print versions daily. Also, the Discipleship Journal “Bible Reading Plan,” by NavPress, takes you through the entire Bible by reading from four different places each day.
  • Just a List of Chapters: The Bible Reading Record, by Don Whitney, is a simple list of every chapter in the Bible. With this, you can read at whatever pace you like and keep track of what you’ve read until you’re through the Bible. This, of course, wouldn’t necessarily be a one year plan, but it could be. To get through the Bible’s 1089 chapters in a year, you need to read an average of 3.25 chapters a day, which comes out to about four chapters per day if you commit to reading five days each week.
  • A Plan for Following God’s Redemption Plan: The Bible Eater is a simple one-page print out with a list of every chapter in the Bible of you to read on a certain rhythm and check off as you go. This plan highlights the Bible’s chapters that are especially significant for grasping the Bible’s storyline centered in Christ.

If the Bible is new to you, or if you haven’t personally invested in knowing the Scriptures through regular reading, listen to Ryan’s sermon on Psalm 1, “If You Wanna Be Happy for the Rest of Your Life….” And if you need some help reflecting on some of the spiritual dynamics involved in our struggle to read the Bible, check our Ryan Kelly’s article, “How’s Your Bible Reading Going?.” Finally, for a list of helps in understanding the Bible as you read it, check out the previous DSC post, “Help for Understanding the Bible.”

Dec 28

You Can Read the Bible in 2016!

2015 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Recommended Resources

God has given us weeks and seasons and years on purpose. These have a way of regulating the rhythms of life. The Bible doesn’t tell us to read the Bible in a year. It just tells us, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4). You don’t need to read the Bible in a year, but in 2016 you can certainly read the Bible regularly if you haven’t. The New Year is a great opportunity to decide how you’ll do that.

If you’re looking for a Bible Reading plan, Justin Taylor posted today his annual survey of options, “Reading the Whole Bible in 2016.” If you’re looking for more of a pattern for ongoing reading rather than a plan to read the Bible in a year, here’s a simple plan by Drew Hunter summarized in his recent Tweet: “No check-box, no guilt, 2015 Bible-reading plan: two Old Testament, two New Testament chapters per day. Finish a book, pick another.” It just might be for you.

While a read through Justin’s post should surface a good plan for you, here are a few plans to consider:

  • Chronological Reading Plan: Reading God’s Story: A Chronological Daily Bible, by George Guthrie is a unique resource. This Bible is published with a one year daily reading plan in mind, ordering the Biblical material chronologically along the Bible’s own narrative framework and includes a reading plan. George Guthrie has also published a one year chronological Bible reading plan, Read the Bible for Life.
  • The M’Cheyne Plan with Daily Devotional Commentary: For the Love of God is a two volume series of books written by D.A. Carson providing daily reading to supplement the M’Cheyne reading plan. This plan, named after its designer and Scottish minister in the 1800′s, Robert Murray M’Cheyne, takes you through the Old Testament once and the Psalms and New Testament twice in one year.
  • Several Places A Day: Crossway’s Daily Bible Reading Plan is available as a PDF form to print out as a series of bookmarks. This plan gets you through the Bible in a year, reading from several different places in the Bible each day. Crossway has published 10 reading plans to supplement the ESV, including RSS, email, audio, and print versions daily. Also, the Discipleship Journal “Bible Reading Plan,” by NavPress, takes you through the entire Bible by reading from four different places each day.
  • Just a List of Chapters: The Bible Reading Record, by Don Whitney, is a simple list of every chapter in the Bible. With this, you can read at whatever pace you like and keep track of what you’ve read until you’re through the Bible. This, of course, wouldn’t necessarily be a one year plan, but it could be. To get through the Bible’s 1089 chapters in a year, you need to read an average of 3.25 chapters a day, which comes out to about four chapters per day if you commit to reading five days each week.
  • A Plan for Following God’s Redemption Plan: The Bible Eater is a simple one-page print out with a list of every chapter in the Bible of you to read on a certain rhythm and check off as you go. This plan highlights the Bible’s chapters that are especially significant for grasping the Bible’s storyline centered in Christ.

If the Bible is new to you, or if you haven’t personally invested in knowing the Scriptures through regular reading, listen to Ryan’s sermon on Psalm 1, “If You Wanna Be Happy for the Rest of Your Life….” And if you need some help reflecting on some of the spiritual dynamics involved in our struggle to read the Bible, check our Ryan Kelly’s article, “How’s Your Bible Reading Going?.” Finally, for a list of helps in understanding the Bible as you read it, check out the previous DSC post, “Help for Understanding the Bible.”

Jul 25

Quotes on Sexual Identity and Union with Christ

2015 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Recommended Resources

Rosaria Butterfield has a neat story. Perhaps you’ve heard of her book, The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert: An English Professor’s Journey into the Christian Faith. Butterfield was a practicing lesbian engaged in the rigorous intellectual defense of that lifestyle and identity. The Lord saved her and this book is her story.

She has a new book that’s worth checking out, Openness Unhindered: Further Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert on Sexual Identity and Union with ChristThe Gospel Coalition has done us the favor of pulling together 20 quotes from this new title. Here they are:

“Why is sexual sin so hard to deal with? Because often sexual sin becomes a sin of identity.” (4)

“I honed the hospitality gifts that I use today as a pastor’s wife in my queer community.” (15)

“If God is the creator of all things, and if the Bible has his seal of truth and power, then the Bible has the right to interrogate my life and culture, and not the other way around.” (17)

“The internal mission of the Bible is to transform the nature of humanity. That is why unbelievers know it is a dangerous text.” (18)

“Adam’s fall rendered my deep and primal feelings untrustworthy and untrue.” (21)

“We never know the treacherous path that others take to arrive in the pew that we share Lord’s Day after Lord’s Day.” (22)

“The image of me and everyone I love suffering in hell crashed over me like shark-infested waves of a raging sea. Suffering in hell not because we were gay, but because we were proud. We wanted to be autonomous. . . . I counted the costs and I did not like the math.” (23)

“This was the first of my many betrayals against the LGBT community: whose dictionary did I trust? The one used by the community that I helped create or the one that reflected the God who created me?” (25)

“I still felt like a lesbian in my body and heart. That was, I felt, my real identity. But what is my true identity? The Bible makes clear that the real and the true have a troubled relationship on this side of eternity.” (25)

“Repentance is not just a conversion exercise. It is the posture of the Christian. . . . Repentance is the threshold to God.” (27)

“Jesus met sinners at the table, but he did not join them in their choice sins. He sat with them, but he did not sin with them. And we ought not expect Jesus to sin with us today.” (31)

“I want you to know from what country I emigrated, and in which country my citizenship permanently and eternally resides. I’m not a native speaker of this country. No real convert is. I will always speak in broken godliness, as new paradigms reread old feelings.” (37)

“There is another term, though, that competes for my allegiance. It is sola experiencia—my personal experience shaping and selecting those parts of the Bible I judge relevant for me.” (44)

“My new affection was not heterosexuality, but Jesus. . . . I was converted not out of homosexuality, but out of unbelief.” (50)

“You can’t bypass repentance to get to grace. Christ is manifest in our humility, not in our disobedience.” (61)

“Jesus sweated blood. He withstood the test. He ran the whole race. We cannot make such claims. We have not been tested that hard, or humiliated that comprehensively. We are in the ABCs of the kindergarten of the school of temptation. By not falling into temptation, Jesus ran the whole race, while I collapsed in the first mile.” (82)

“If you are in Christ, temptation is not about some essential truth or inherent wisdom about us—and therefore should not become a term of selfhood, self-representation, or identity. It is about warfare.” (82)

“How do we make an identity out of temptation? By collapsing what you desire with who you are. By collapsing what tempts you or what trips you up with who you will become. . . . God’s revealed purpose for my identity always nails me to his cross.” (83)

“God is calling us to so greatly love others that we do not desire for them anything that might separate them from God.” (87)

“Loyal fellowship of believers is not an ‘add on’ to good doctrine. Fellowship of believers is often the vein through which the Savior’s blood pumps us whole and well.” (90)

“Christians are called ‘saints’ in the Bible. We who bear Christ’s spilled blood are a royal priesthood. Any category of personhood that reduces a saint to the sum total of his or her fallen sexual behavior is not a friend of Christ. . . . Making an identity out of sin patterns is itself a sin.” (114, 123)

Jun 19

Building Lives with Sexual Integrity – Audio and Video Available

2015 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Recommended Resources

On Saturday, May 16, we hosted a Saturday Seminar for men, titled, Building Lives with Sexual Integrity.

Buildings need structural integrity to stand and to withstand the pressures that weigh on them. Cultures, communities, churches, and families need sexual integrity to thrive. When a building has structural integrity all kinds of wonderful things can happen inside that building down generations. When a building fails structurally devastation follows. The consequences are even greater when it comes to sexuality. Sex makes and also destroys lives. We need God’s Word to enjoy and yield it well.

Sexual integrity is not a topic relevant only for men, of course, but men bear a particular responsibility as men in this area and we wanted to place a target for this material squarely on them.

If you missed it or if you’d like to listen in as a lady, the audio and video for each talk is available below. Click here for the student notes.

Session 1 – “The Laws for Sexual Integrity” (audio, video)

Session 2 – “The Vision for Sexual Integrity” (audio, video)

Session 3 – “The Blueprint for Sexual Integrity” (audio, video)

Feb 6

Wisdom for Moving and Finding a Church

2015 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Recommended Resources

As a church in a city like Albuquerque we have the blessing of fellowship with believers who have relocated here from around the country. This also means we say goodbye to people from time to time who relocate elsewhere.

If the time comes for you or someone you know to move, hopefully the question of finding a church comes up right away.

In his article, “Two Factors to Consider Before You Move,” Deepak Reju offers these two points of counsel:

1. If you are considering moving, make sure there is a good church in your new location before you make the final decision to move.

If the local church is one of the key sources for your spiritual growth (Eph. 3:10; 4:11-13; Heb. 10:24-25), why would you take a risk and go some place without knowing first if there would be a good church near you?

Don’t make your decision to move based solely on criteria like:

  • This new job will be good for your career.
  • Education will give you better job prospects in the future.
  • You’re dissatisfied with your current job so you need to move on to somewhere else.
  • You’ve outgrown your current house, so you want to move to a bigger one.
  • You want a bigger home just because you can afford it.
  • You are about to start having kids and want to move closer to your family.
  • You would rather live in a city or the country or where the pace of life is different.

2. Consider, at some point in your life, committing to a church long-term.

If you’ve found a church where you are growing spiritually, then you’ve found a good thing. Why give it up? If you stay in your church over the long-term, you have the benefit of:

  • Getting to know the leadership of the church much better and allowing them to get to know you.
  • Getting to know the local community better (which will help your evangelism).
  • Sitting consistently under preaching that is benefiting you spiritually.
  • Building a kind of depth to relationships, which you achieve over 10 or 20 (or even 30) years that you don’t get if you move every 5 years.
  • Being known by others who have had the chance to see your needs, challenges, and sin patterns over time, which in turn enables them to speak meaningfully into your life and care for you in a way that those you just met couldn’t.
  • Earning trust among leaders in the church so that you might be assigned various responsibilities.
  • Earning trust among leaders and others generally that you might be speak into their lives in significant ways.
  • Having the opportunity to minister to the children of others as they grow from infancy to adolescence to adulthood, and having the ability to help form in those children’s minds a model of godly adulthood.
  • Building greater unity within the church by growing up with the church.
  • Providing a kind of stability in the church by staying and giving an example of commitment through thick and thin.
  • Being sanctified through being at the same church during different seasons . . .
  • Witnessing long-term spiritual growth—what it is like for God to make people more like himself over decades.

If in God’s providence and for good reasons you are headed to a new place, check out the TGC Church Directory, the 9Marks Church Search, or the Acts 29 Church Finder. There are other networks and ways to find a fine church, but these are three that we recommend regularly.

Finally, here are four things to look for when you’re getting to know a church either through a visit in person or to their website:

  • What do they believe? This is available on most church sites or at an information counter.
  • What’s their diet? Check out their sermon archive to see if they preach topically or through books of the Bible in an expository fashion.
  • How are they led? Are they led by biblical qualified elders/pastors?
  • What’s important to them? This takes some perceptivity, but, for example, are they engaged in the spread of the gospel locally and abroad?

You won’t find a perfect church in DSC, and you won’t find one anywhere else. Each church will have its areas of strength and it’s areas of needed growth. In the Lord’s wisdom, every Christian and every local gathering is a work of his grace in process. But perhaps these links and counsel will help you find a good fit if and when it comes time to move.

If leaving DSC is hard, then you’ve done it right. That says as much about God’s grace to commit you to this church as it does the body you’ve grown to love. Wherever you land, involve yourself with that same love and commitment.

Jan 31

24 Free eBooks from Desiring God

2015 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Recommended Resources

On the DSC Blog we regularly link you to helpful articles, books, and resources around the web. Never have we linked to 24 in one click. Today that is about to change.

Click here for 24 Free eBooks from Desiring God.

Jonathan Parnell explains a recent trickle of eBook resources made up largely from the sermons and writing of John Piper.

Over the past two years, the team at desiringGod.org has published a series of ebooks made available to our readers free of charge. The ebooks range from material written by John Piper, individual biographies, and multi-author volumes, with each one downloadable in three electronic formats (PDF, MOBI for Kindle, and EPUB for iBooks and other readers). Some also include a paperback option as well. With our most recent release of Killjoys, the total number is now 24. Check out the full list below, and enjoy.

All 24 are described and available here, but here are a few examples along with their descriptions:

Disability and the Sovereign Goodness of God, John Piper

Disabilities are a reality. They break into our lives in various forms: as the product of genetic misalignments in the womb, as the result of tragic accidents, as the byproducts of infectious disease, and from the degenerative effects of old age. And no church is immune. Every church leader must be prepared to answer very hard questions about the goodness and sovereignty of God.

Take Care How You Listen: Sermons by John Piper on Receiving the Word, John Piper

Take Care How You Listen is an ebook on listening well. It is comprised of five unedited sermon manuscripts from the preaching ministry of John Piper. We pray this resource will serve your personal reflection as you heed Jesus’s command to “take care how you listen” (Luke 8:18).

Exposing the Dark Work of Abortion, John Piper

We are children of the light. Abortion is a work of darkness. The apostle Paul said, “Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them” (Ephesians 5:11). This short book is a collection of three sermons John Piper preached on abortion, aiming to help us speak out.

Preparing for Marriage: Help for Christian Couples, John Piper

Getting to know that special someone includes learning about family and friends and schooling and athletics, favorite pastimes, books, movies, life’s best moments and worst, the brightest places in our background and the darkest. But what about theology? Ever think to ask about that? This short book offers some help.

Andrew Fuller: I Will Go Down If You Will Hold the Rope!, John Piper

In October of 1792 the Baptist Missionary Society was formed in the home of Andrew Fuller. For the next twenty-one years Fuller served as the leader of this organization, raising funds, writing periodicals, recruiting missionaries, and sending personal letters to those on the frontlines. He longed for unreached peoples to hear the gospel and championed the important (but often overlooked) foundation of doctrinal clarity.

Good: The Joy of Christian Manhood and Womanhood, John Piper

For this multi-contributor volume, we teamed up with the Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood to produce a fresh articulation of God’s good design in creating men and women. This resource — the collaboration of 14 contributors — seeks to cast a vision for manhood and womanhood that is rooted more in beauty than mere ideology, more in gladness than mere position.

Dec 31

Help for Reading the Bible in 2015

2014 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Recommended Resources

Reading the Bible regularly is a really good idea. It’s even more important than eating regularly. As Jesus said, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4).

If you’re looking for a Bible Reading plan, Justin Taylor posted today his annual survey of options, “How to Read the Whole Bible in 2015.” If you’re looking for more of a pattern for ongoing reading rather than a plan to read the Bible in a year, here’s a simple plan by Drew Hunter (my baby brother) summarized in his recent Tweet: “No check-box, no guilt, 2015 Bible-reading plan: two Old Testament, two New Testament chapters per day. Finish a book, pick another.” It just might be for you.

While a read through Justin’s post should surface a good plan for you, here are a few plans to consider:

  • Chronological Reading Plan: Reading God’s Story: A Chronological Daily Bible, by George Guthrie is a unique resource. This Bible is published with a one year daily reading plan in mind, ordering the Biblical material chronologically along the Bible’s own narrative framework and includes a reading plan. George Guthrie has also published a one year chronological Bible reading plan, Read the Bible for Life.
  • The M’Cheyne Plan with Daily Devotional Commentary: For the Love of God is a two volume series of books written by D.A. Carson providing daily reading to supplement the M’Cheyne reading plan. This plan, named after its designer and Scottish minister in the 1800′s, Robert Murray M’Cheyne, takes you through the Old Testament once and the Psalms and New Testament twice in one year.
  • Several Places A Day: Crossway’s Daily Bible Reading Plan is available as a PDF form to print out as a series of bookmarks. This plan gets you through the Bible in a year, reading from several different places in the Bible each day. Crossway has published 10 reading plans to supplement the ESV, including RSS, email, audio, and print versions daily. Also, the Discipleship Journal “Bible Reading Plan,” by NavPress, takes you through the entire Bible by reading from four different places each day.
  • Just a List of Chapters: The Bible Reading Record, by Don Whitney, is a simple list of every chapter in the Bible. With this, you can read at whatever pace you like and keep track of what you’ve read until you’re through the Bible. This, of course, wouldn’t necessarily be a one year plan, but it could be. To get through the Bible’s 1089 chapters in a year, you need to read an average of 3.25 chapters a day, which comes out to about four chapters per day if you commit to reading five days each week.
  • A Plan for Following God’s Redemption Plan: The Bible Eater is a simple one-page print out with a list of every chapter in the Bible of you to read on a certain rhythm and check off as you go. This plan highlights the Bible’s chapters that are especially significant for grasping the Bible’s storyline centered in Christ.

If the Bible is new to you, or if you haven’t personally invested in knowing the Scriptures through regular reading, listen to Ryan’s sermon on Psalm 1, “If You Wanna Be Happy for the Rest of Your Life….” And if you need some help reflecting on some of the spiritual dynamics involved in our struggle to read the Bible, check our Ryan Kelly’s article, “How’s Your Bible Reading Going?.” Finally, for a list of helps in understanding the Bible as you read it, check out the previous DSC post, “Help for Understanding the Bible.”