I hope you had a good week. And I hope the wind didn’t blow you away!
Here’s six timely topics for you. Thanks for reading!
- Singing Churchmen’s final concert of season
I had the privilege of hearing The Singing Churchmen of Oklahoma (SCM) last night, as the heralded group gave its final concert of the season, recognizing 60 years of Oklahoma Baptist music ministers, instrumentalists and worship leaders have been doing concerts across the state, as well as around the world.
I always enjoy hearing SCM sing. It’s a powerful sound that can stir a Christian’s heart. And they sang many choral pieces I recall from my younger years. Not to sound crotchety, but it can be rare to hear vibrant church choirs today. There are great current worship songs, but I equally love listening to a choir offering four-piece harmony while singing an inspired Christian message.
If you are unfamiliar with the SCM, visit oklahomabaptists.org/worship-music. Scroll down the page and consider ordering a well-written, well-designed history book of the 60 years of SCM.
- Priority of Preaching
My story on the Priority of Preaching Conference went live on the Messenger website this week. I never consider myself a preacher, but I have great respect for men who exegete Scripture and deliver compelling, God-inspired messages on a regular basis. I was very impressed with the two conference speakers—Rick Reed and Erwin Lutzer.
I’m slightly more familiar with Lutzer but mostly his name and his position of pastor emeritus of Moody Church in Chicago. His predecessor, Warren Weirsbe, is widely known, and before Weirsbe, George Sweeting was the pastor of Moody Church. Long ago, my dad would listen to Sweeting’s radio show on Sunday mornings. The reception wasn’t good, but Dad soaked in those sermons that Sweeting delivered.
I did not know Reed before he spoke at Priority of Preaching, but I definitely admire his endurance and willingness to drive all the way from Ontario, Canada. He chose to make the trek with his wife because they have memories of doing ministry work in Norman, while he was a student at Dallas Seminary.
There wasn’t as much personal application I took from listening to these two men give great instruction and guidance to Oklahoma Baptist pastors, but I felt it to be a privilege to sit in on these sessions. From what I could tell surveying the room, others were engrossed and considered it a privilege too.
- Wax on Christian denominations
Trevin Wax is an excellent writer and informer. Longtime DHD readers know I gush over Wax’s blogs, and the one he offered this week is a great reference for the different Christian denominations.
Check out Quick Guide to Christian Denominations. It may be helpful for you if you were wondering what different churches of the Christian faith believed and how they observe worship and have order. It’s a great summary and current. It’s definitely long, as he covers all structures and church origins. You may want to skim down to find ones you may have wondered about specifically, especially since many denominations have recently reorganized due to social issues.
- What Book of the Bible should new Christians read first?
Eden Parker gives a great perspective on how one who is new to the Christian faith should start reading the Bible. This is an important question because it’s important for a young believer to grow in their faith, which happens by studying God’s Word—as well as being discipled by an older believer, regularly worshiping and fellowshipping with a body of believers and having a daily time of prayer and Bible reading.
I agree with Parker in her presentation of a new Christian reading the Gospel of John. Many scholars have said John’s Gospel account is the easiest to follow among the four Gospel books and offers the most personal narrative of Jesus and His earthly ministry.
Parker does make a good point about suggesting Genesis be the first book a young Christian should read, as it is the beginning of the Bible, and as all Sound of Music fans know it’s a very good place to start.
I have experienced one young Christian who was eager to start reading the Bible and didn’t take my advice of starting with John but instead dove right into Genesis. Don’t get me wrong, ALL Scripture is valuable and God-inspired (2 Tim. 3:16), but some Books can be easier to grasp than others.
So yes, I’m in the camp of reading John’s Gospel first. And followed by that, a new Christian should consider reading Romans afterward.
- Check out Mohler on today’s Briefing
OK, I need to get done. I’ve taken too long on the other topics. I will briefly tell you I love today’s edition of Al Mohler’s The Briefing. The questions he answers from listeners is definitely worth listening to.
- New York Times tapers Twitter
I don’t usually recommend a secular article, especially one of the most liberal newspapers in the world. However, I did find this article by Joshua Benton quite fascinating. He reported the bigwigs of the New York Times are advising the paper’s reporters to “tweet less.”
“Reporters can still be on Twitter, of course,” Benton wrote, “but those who remain are encouraged ‘to meaningfully reduce how much time you’re spending on the platform, tweeting or scrolling, in relation to other parts of your job.’”
Why I find this article fascinating is I wonder if it has anything to do with Elon Musk becoming the major shareholder of the social medium. Musk is considered to have a conservative slant, though I think the jury is still out.
Regardless, I do think it could benefit anyone and everyone to limit overall involvement on social media. People have been under scrutiny because of old tweets and posts. Social media posts from years ago may come back to haunt, and personal viewpoints on social media can have consequences.
From a Christian perspective, always live above reproach and know you may even be held accountable for what is said 140 characters.