Monday, May 5, 2008

A Bible-Saturated, God-Exalting Weekend

Last Friday night and Saturday my Dad and I had the blessing of attending a short but excellent seminar taught by Jeff Noblit, from Anchored in Truth Ministries. Dr. Noblit pastors a church of about 1000 in northern Alabama. One of his "Timothys" pastors Village Park Baptist Church in Sedona, where this seminar was held.

You can read a bit about Jeff Noblit's background and why he is different from most pastors in the US on this page of his site.

You can listen to the messages from the seminar on my church's Message page. (Village Park does not have a web site at this point.)

A brief recap of the messages and why I liked them:

The first message, "God helps those who cannot save themselves", is based on Romans 5:6-10. It is an excellent joy-inducing explanation of how sinful we really are, and how gracious God is to even mess with us. Even though I have heard most of this stuff before, for some reason I love to be reminded, and to see new glimpses of God's incredibleness. Dr. Noblit used some very helpful and memorable illustrations to make it easier to understand.

The second message, "The Law -- it cannot save" is based on Hebrews 10:1-4. In it, he explains how our natural tendency, like Cain, is to present our works to God and expect Him to accept us because of them. How foolish! Our works are all tainted by our sinfulness. It's like using dirty water to wash the floor.

The third message, "The invitation" is based on Isaiah 55. In it, he balances out the "divine sovereignty" aspect of being saved (which he had focused on heavily in the first two messages) with the "human responsibility" side. What is our part in receiving reconciliation to God? Even though you may think "I know all this stuff", the way Dr. Noblit explains stuff is different from the way most US pastors do it. There are important reasons for this.

The fourth message, "The Bible Driven Church" is based on Matthew 16:13-24. Dr. Noblit shares the "purpose statement" he formulated for the church he pastors, and how each part of it is based on Scripture. It gives a lot of helpful insights about how the church should be focused and structured.

The final installment is a short and informal time of Questions and Answers. You'll hear my father and I ask several of the questions. (Boy, do I really sound that squeaky?)

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