Archive for the ‘Grace Abounding’ Category

SBC Resolution Seeks Regenerate Church Membership

June 19, 2008

I am very pleased to see the Lord’s gracious work in moving the Southern Baptist Convention to take such a positive step toward maintaining a regenerate church membership and seeking to exercise restorative church discipline in the process. Read the “Complete text of amended membership resolution” here. Pray the local bodies will follow in this wise biblical counsel.

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Welcome Luke Allen Rogers!

June 12, 2008

We are rejoicing in our gracious God’s gift to us as a family, our first child, Luke Allen Rogers, who came at 8:45pm, Tuesday, June 10, 2008. He weighed 7 pounds 15 ounces and was 20 and one half inches long.

Waiting with Great Thanksgiving

May 25, 2008

photo by BB Rogers Photography

My wife and I are expecting our first child on June 13 (give or take two weeks). As the day draws nearer, it seems like there is an increasing amount of opportunities for thanksgiving to our great God in this precious gift of life. This, of course, only testifies to my former blindness. Opportunities for thanksgiving are increasing only because I did not see them before and the Lord has graciously been opening my eyes to behold his abundant kindness in the conception of and anticipation for this child. Not only has he done so through the reading of his word, but also and more recently through the love expressed from the body of Christ. They have lavished us with prayer, clothing, time, money, and other gifts that will aid in the rearing of our baby. Furthermore, I have had the opportunity to watch a network of love amongst the women in our local church body (Redeemer), who often go to great lengths to supply clothes, equip with wisdom, and encourage in the word my wife and each other during pregancy and after they have given birth. What a joy to be a part of this time, and even more, to have my eyes opened.

“So Boaz took Ruth, and she became his wife. And he went in to her, and the Lord gave her conception, and she bore a son” (Ruth 4:13).

“Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward” (Psalm 127:3).

“…giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ…” (Ephesians 5:20).

Plans & Purposes for PhD Work

May 4, 2008

A dear friend of mine, Jon, made a motion that I should write a post regarding my future plans and purposes in PhD work. My brother has now seconded that motion, and so, below you will find five answers to the questions Jon asked me to share. Having known Jon, and his thoughtfulness and persistent prayerfulness, I am sure this motion has a far wider purpose than just to inform one person of our plans, but to unite a body of brothers and sisters around us in prayer and encouragement to bring about the Lord’s purposes in us all for his church and the world.

Where will you be living for the next couple of years and why? (i.e. Where are you studying your Ph.D.?)

Starting in August, I will be pursuing a Ph.D. in New Testament studies with a minor in Old Testament. According to Southwestern’s recommended course of study, this degree will take me another 4 ½ years to complete. Rachel and I are both excited about remaining at this institution and humbled by what the Lord has placed before us. 

What would you like to study in the Ph.D. program and why?

I wish to pursue the Ph.D. in New Testament because I am deeply interested in research of the New Testament documents, biblical Greek, and issues surrounding New Testament theology. In accomplishing my M.Div. at Southwestern, I spent all of my electives on courses in or related to the New Testament. Each semester I grew not only in my knowledge of the field, but in my love for God’s new-covenant revelation in Christ, the authority of the apostolic witness and hermeneutic, and the fascinating continuity of the Bible’s complete narrative beginning with and carried throughout the “Old” Testament into the New. Pursuing the Ph.D. will increase my critical and analytical capabilities, so that I might better specialize in the areas of my interest, and so that I might be more qualified to teach at the seminary or university level. 

Lord willing, how do you plan on serving the church with this Ph.D.?

My future goals in respect to this education consist of equipping myself with the available training to be a professor of New Testament, who then equips pastors, teachers, and laymen/women in both the academic and local church settings, that they might do the work of the ministry truthfully and with great zeal.

Lord willing, after finishing my doctorate, I plan to become a professor in an academic context whereby I will be able to influence the Christian and secular academies at both local and continental levels through lecturing and writing. I also have a strong desire to impact local church bodies in at least three ways: (1) by protecting the church from various interpretive and/or theological issues in scholarship that may cause harm to confessional Christianity; (2) by not only teaching church members the Scriptures, but also teaching them to read the Scriptures well for themselves on coherent biblical and systematic grounds; and (3) by encouraging and strengthening their faith through the occasional opportunities to preach in various church meetings and broader conference settings.

As of now, I hope that the results my research interests will serve as a corrective to the decades of scholarship that have, in a sense, taken the discipline of New Testament Theology out of the hands of the church and placed it into the hands of (unbelieving) critical scholars. In addition, hopefully my interests in the New Testament’s use of the Old–or perhaps the hearing of the Old Testament in the New–will also encourage members of the body of Christ (esp. pastors and teachers) to enjoy the first two-thirds of their Christian Bible as much as they do the last. It would be a delight to see members of all ages in the church grounded in and guided by a “whole-Bible” biblical theology, in and by which they might behold Christ, the Son of David, the son of Abraham, all the more clearly.

What are your prayer requests in balancing family, work, studies, and serving the local body at Redeemer?

Partnering with us in prayer, beseeching the Lord of glory on our behalf, is probably the most important thing you can do in coming along side of us in this ministry. The task is very demanding of both time and energy. At times this can also become spiritually draining, especially since I will be interacting with other scholars, whose worldviews often contradict that of the Gospel’s. You can pray these things for me: (1) that I remain discerning in all the Lord sets before me in the program; (2) that I do not grow weary but do grow in thanksgiving for the strength God daily gives; (3) that the Lord be magnified in how and what I write; and (4) that the Lord would daily humble me before himself in prayer and devotion to his word. More importantly, pray (4) that I remain faithful to my responsibilities as a husband to Rachel; (5) that I grow in an understanding and application of what it means to love Rachel as Christ loves the church; (6) that our sights might be fixed upon Christ daily so that he remains the center of our marriage; (7) that the Lord would grant us wisdom in raising a child starting in June; (8 ) that we would both devote ourselves to instructing him with the Gospel, teaching him to love righteousness and hate sin; and (9) that we might remain faithful to the needs, goals, desires, and ministries of the Redeemer Church body.

What will you buy your wife and kid(s) when you have your Ph.D. diploma in hand to serve as their “diploma” for “their half of the Ph.D.”?

This was a good one, and a hard one. I did not know how to answer it being it is so far away. I asked Rachel what she would like to do. Here is her answer: “I would like a month vacation with no reading and writing (except reading for fun), at the beach or out in the country, with perhaps provided house-cleaning.” Hmmm…If this were to take place, I may go through scholastic withdrawals. 🙂

A T4G Phone Call

April 16, 2008

My younger brother, Brandon, just called me from the T4G Conference (see previous post). Did he call to rub it in that he is there while I am here? No, not at all; he called to tell me how much he wishes I was there sharing in the conference with him. O what great encouragement I receive from him and the fellowship we share in Christ. It is truly a joy to be “together for the Gospel” with my younger brother; and it is my prayer that as a result of this conference, more brothers might be united for the sake of the Gospel across all spectrums (family, race, etc.). Thanks for the phone call, Brandon.

Baby’s Coming Soon!

April 13, 2008

Well, my wife has been doing a fantastic job keeping tabs on her blog with our preparation for the baby, who, Lord willing, shall be born into the world sometime in June! There she has some pictures of a stuffed elephant (which she crocheted), a baby blanket (which she crocheted), and the offic-ery (i.e. office/nursery). She is amazing and very gifted, as you will observe from the blog (and her life)! The Lord continues to use her in helping me to become a godly husband, and now an expectant father. What a blessing! Stop by her blog to check out the progress sometime.

Accurate Diagnosis; Appropriate Treatment

March 29, 2008

My wife (now 29 weeks pregnant) and I spent this past Friday and Saturday in the Lamaze birthing classes at Harris Methodist Hospital. We considered the information taught a blessing from the Lord as we continue seeking His wisdom in making decisions concerning the birth of our first child. In this class, the instructor mentioned that her personal goal as a nurse was an “accurate diagnosis” of her patients’ problems and an “appropriate treatment” of those problems. Though she was not intending anything Christian, I thought to myself: “What fitting words for the Gospel, revealed to us in the Scripture.” The Scriptures give us an accurate, the most accurate, diagnosis of humanity’s problem: sin and rebellion against God; physical and spiritual death; slavery to the devil and the kingdom of darkness. At the same time, the Gospel, clearly proclaimed in all Scripture, gives us an appropriate, the only appropriate, treatment of this problem: Jesus Christ came into the world to die for sinners; he was raised from the dead for their justification; he now sits at the right hand of God interceding for his own; he sent his Spirit into the world to convict people of sin and righteousness and cause them to be born again unto a new life, so that they might be transferred into the kingdom of light, embrace the Gospel, turn from wickedness, and worship the one, true, living God; further, he will come again in glory to finally save his own, judge the wicked, and establish his kingdom, the kingdom of peace, forever. Read the word of God. Let it (Him) inform you of who you truly are and what (Who) you desparately need.

“…but these have been written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the son of God; and that believing you may have life in his name” (John 20:31). 

The Patience of God in My Wife

February 14, 2008

Yesterday evening, we had a members’ meeting at our home church. Rachel and I left earlier than normal because I had fixed some tables for the church and wanted to put them together beforehand. I began putting them together rather quickly being that I wanted to be finished before the meeting. She offered to help me with one piece of the project and I told her what she could do while I bolted them together.

It did not take me too long before I caught up to her on the last table. I noticed (as my patience was growing thin) and Rachel told me that she was unable to finish this one aspect on her own. So, knowing that I might be able to do it for her, she simply stepped aside. Now frustrated that she could not do it, and that the one who offered help was now asking me for help, I took the matter of the entire project into my own hands with a sigh, fixed the last table, put it up quickly, and took her with me to the meeting. In a matter of about twenty seconds (twenty seconds!), I had made a project for the church, even one that I got to do with my wife, a very rushed, impatient, get-it-done-now-before-the-meeting-starts time together.

During the meeting I pondered what had just taken place. The Lord quickly revealed my rebellion against him and sin against my wife. Moreover, I was struck by the fact that my wife proceeded to pour out her love to me despite my impatience. As I grew impatient, she abounded with patience. As I sighed with ingratitude, she offered to help pick up my trash off the floor. As I “took charge” in haste and frustration, she quietly continued making herself available with a servant’s heart. As I rejected the opportunity set before me to serve my wife, she did so to me with gladness (regardless of whether or not she was able to finish the task). Without question, the Lord had again poured out his mercy on me, and so, through the patience of my wife.

I am very grateful for the Lord opening my eyes to the error of my ways and the blessing he has granted me in Rachel. Through his patience in and of itself, and in her towards me, I will trust that he continue to work repentance and sanctification in me as her husband. For from him and through him and to him are all things (including my merciful wife), to him be the glory forever!

Prostitute Rahab’s Salvation and the Irruption of God’s Reign

January 28, 2008

A year ago, I had the gracious privilege of translating the ninth chapter of Exodus for a paper in a Hebrew class. Primarily, I dealt with Exodus 9:13-16 in order to gain a better understanding of God’s purpose in Pharaoh to reveal his mighty power and manifest his covenant name in all the earth (click here to read that paper). Again and again, the text of Scripture testified that all of God’s sovereign acts in the hardening of Pharaoh’s heart, the sending of the plagues upon Egypt, and the delayed deliverance of his people had a unique design behind them. In line with the narratives of Creation (Gen 1:1ff), the Flood (Gen 6-7), the tower of Babel (Gen 11), the call of Abraham (Gen 12), and Joseph’s captivity-turned-rule in Egypt (Gen 37-45), the Exodus (esp. chapters 1-15) demonstrates the irruption (not erruption) of God’s kingdom and its establishment on earth. Exodus 9:13-16 shows how this happens through God’s purpose to make known his mighty power and redemption in association with his covenant name.

Now I am translating Joshua, and what struck me yesterday was that this very theme running through the Exodus narrative (and through the entire Pentateuch!), becomes front and center in the narrative of Rahab the prostitute hiding the Israelite spies (Josh 2:1-24). Why had she helped the spies of God’s covenant people? Here is her answer: “I know that the Lord [Yahweh] has given you the land, and that the terror of you [Israelites] has fallen on us, and that all of the land have melted away before you. For we have heard how the Lord [Yahweh] dried up the water of the Red Sea before you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan, to Sihon and Og, whom you devoted to destruction. When we heard, our hearts melted and no courage remained in any man any longer because of you; because the Lord [Yahweh] your God, he is God in heaven above and on earth below” (Josh 2:9-11).

Rahab’s response to the inbreaking of God’s rule is breathtaking. In the Exodus, the Lord desired to make his mighty power known. Here, we find Rahab testifying that she indeed fears the Lord. What is more, in the Exodus, the Lord purposes to make known his covenant name (i.e. Yahweh) in all the earth. Here, we find Rahab testifying that she not only trembles before Yahweh, but believes Yahweh himself is GOD! Indeed, he is God of heaven and earth, a rejection of the Canaanite gods, and a confession of the God of Israel. According to the New Testament, this places Rahab in the covenant community, those who have the same faith of Abraham (Matt 1:5; Heb 11:31; Jas 2:25).

We find, then, that in the Exodus narrative, God is not only placing fear in the hearts of people, such as Rahab, but associating his covenant name with the salvation and deliverance of his covenant people, even those Gentiles who trust him. Thus, the fear of the Lord is surely to be associated with the One who is mighty to save, a testimony consistent with the entire Old Testament and which looks forward to the Messiah, his cross, his resurrection, and his return. The New Testament says this Messiah’s name is Jesus. Rahab’s barriers of being a Canaanite and a prostitute are no challenge for the triumph of his cross and resurrection. She feared and trusted in the one true God who brought so great a salvation in his Son. Are you? 

Men’s Retreat: Purity In This Present Evil Age

January 15, 2008

Purity Conference at Redeemer Church

Please click here in order to contact Redeemer Church concerning more information on the retreat (e.g. registration; cost; father-son opportunities; etc.).