Monday, August 11, 2008

River City Redemption Is Closed...New Location!

Please click over and bookmark the following two new blogs-River City Revolution Church's blog (, updated every weekday by the leadership team and my personal blog (, which will also be updated every weekday as well.

Thanks so much to all of you (close to 1300) who checked out the blog over the past year. I've received emails from viewers from Philly to L.A. It was a lot of fun and very cathartic. The new blogs will be even better.

Thanks again and God bless!

Friday, August 8, 2008

New Revolution Post and New Blog

My bro, Pastor Justin, will upload a new post over at Revolution today. Be sure to check it out.
Also, as you know, I'll be shutting this blog down soon but I am opening a new personal blog that will largely contain my own thoughts as I struggle to prepare to preach every week or so at Revolution (fortunately for all Revolution attendees, I will periodically turn the pulpit over to my bro, Pastor Dave Dunham). Feel free to check out the new blogs. Links are below.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

New Revolution Post and Why Metal Rules!!!

Ryan Rolfe, leader of The World Most Dangerous Praise Band, has a new post on worship music at the Revolution blog. I love Ryan but he does slight the awesomeness of metal, and although he clearly holds a majority opinion, in my opinion, it is darn near an unforgivable sin!
Now, I am certainly biased. I have been a metalhead since roughly 1983! The first album I ever bought was Def Leppard's "Pyromania" followed by Quiet Riot's "Metal Health." Motley Crue's "Shout at the Devil" led me to heavier stuff and by 1987 Metallica and Guns N' Roses made all the hair metal stuff sound girlish.
I then dove headlong into stuff like Pantera and dug deep into the past for stuff like both Ozzy and Dio era Sabbath, Maiden, Priest, Motorhead, etc. All awesome!
After a while I became concerned with the amount of time and money I was putting into my metal collection which included dozens of tee-shirts, festivals and literally thousands of CD's. So, because it was becoming an idolatry issue, I began to sell off my CD collection BUT I still love metal, so what is a Christian metalhead to do? Back in the day the heaviest Christian stuff I could find was Stryper...go ahead and throw up in your mouth, I won't be offended. Luckily, Christian metal has come a long way and you can find pop metalers like Disciple, Pillar, Skillet and nu-metalers like RED and Flyleaf and rap metal like KJ-52 and even Christian metalcore like Living Sacrifice, As I Lay Dying and, of course, Demon Hunter!!!
Now many people do not consider metal "real music." Shame on them. Some of the world's greatest musicians play (or played) metal (i.e., Geezer Butler, Neil Pert, Dimebag Darrell).
Moreover, the reason I never "outgrew" metal is that everything else is so tame! And what I love about Christian metal is that it has stones! Now, we worship a big, mighty, holy God who creates, judges, destroys and all this set to acoustic guitars with soft melodies just don't seem to do it justice.
So, everyone is entitled to an opinion (I guess!) but I will continue to fly the flag for metal because it has real the Almighty!!! However, Revolution services will largely be metal-less. Sad for me.
All that being said, my bro Ryan is a great musician. We are blessed to have him on board and you will dig his post which can be found here:

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The Best Bible in the World!!!!

The greatest Bible in the world is the English Standard Version (In my mind, I sound a little like Will Ferrell as Ron Burgandy when I say that) and the study Bible hits bookstores this October BUT if you just can't wait (and who can????) then you can download the entire audio version of the Gospel of John over at Crossway (the 2nd greatest publisher in the world next to Banner of Truth).

If you are a core group member of Revolution then you should know that if God blesses our new church then I'll be preaching through the Gospel of John starting in January with the able help of Pastor Dave Dunham. Link is here.

Also, check out Eron Elswick's latest post ("Is Jesus Crazy?") over at the Revolution blog.

Why Plant A Church?

I get asked the question from a lot of church people, "why are you planting a new church?" The question assumes that all existing churches need to do is institute a new program or offer a different kind of service but study after study demonstrates that the unchurched and the dechurched will not enter existing churches for various reasons. Thus, the most effective way to reach both the lost and those that loathe the church is to plant a new church and that is why Revolution kicks off August 31st. Now, if we just find a building to hold it in...

Before I forget, be sure to check out Dave Dunham's new post over at the Revolution blog:


Monday, August 4, 2008

New Revolution Post

New post over at the Revolution blog re: the 2008 Xenos Summer Institute with links to MP3s by Mark Driscoll, D.A. Carson, Gary Breshears and Mark Mittleberg. All of the speeches are worth a listen. Check out Revolution at

Friday, August 1, 2008

Narrative Over And Against Proposition?

As I was refreshing my memory re: all things Emergent for last weekend's sermon, I began re-thinking the old narrative v. propositional antithesis that many, if not all, of the leaders in Emergent trumpet.

If I'm speaking a foreign language it is essentially this--modern Christianity is beholden to a theology that is alien to Scripture and the 1st century Church. The Bible is a story not a powerpoint presentation and the modern church has turned it into a list of propositions or "Do you believe A?" and "Do you believe B"? and if you don't believe "A" and "B" and on and on then you are not really a Christian. In protest, Emergents argue that the Bible is really about living out the story contained within. In other words, its not so much affirming the belief that Jesus existed and preached the Sermon on the Mount and that the Gospels faithfully record the words as it is to live out the commands to "turn the other cheek" and "give to whoever asks of you", etc.

Now, on the one hand, Emergents have a point and it was one that easily snared me as a seminary student nearly ten years ago. The modern church has indeed turned a lot of the faith into a true/false test instead of a way of life or, to use Donald Miller's phrase, separated truth from meaning i.e., we affirm something as true but it doesn't truly mean anything to us because we don't live as if it were really true.

Yet, on closer examination Emergents have simply swung from one extreme to the other when they truly need to find a solid middle ground.

The Bible is largely made up of narratives but not exclusively and a good portion of Scripture, like the Epistles (Romans-Jude) contain propositions flowing out of the narrative. In fact, such a move is inevitable. You cannot engage any story without being confronted with a proposition. The very frame of the story confronts us with a demand to acknowledge its truth or falsity. Even schlock like Rambo IV (which was friggin' awesome by the way) demands that the audience side with Rambo or the Burmese army and the moment you have made such a decision a number of propositions flow from such a commitment. Paul saw this. So, did Peter, James, John, Jude, etc.

Thus, Emergents pose a false antithesis. The proper way is to embrace both the living out of the story of Jesus while affirming the truths He explicitly taught us and those He gave to the Apostles, such as Paul, who Scripture affirms, is Jesus' own chosen instrument (Acts 9:15).

This is the balance you find in the Great Commission (Matt 28:16-20). Read it. Pray over it. Meditate upon it. It is a command to live a certain way but that way includes setting forth certain propositions.

16 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17 And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. 18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matt. 28:16-20 ESV)