News, Links and Resources

Thanks to the people who commented on the previous post. I appreciate their insight.

I've caught up with a few good articles, resources and books over the last few weeks. Here are a few worth looking at:

Led By the Spirit, by Jim Elliff, is a brief but very helpful booklet on how to discern the will of God. It is available via the publisher ( or via Amazon.)

A great article by John Piper on the will of God can be found here. Also, Dr. Piper had a recent article on the Pope Benedict remarks about Islam here.

An excellent online Bible program from the makers of the NET Bible is worth bookmarking.

Young, Restless, Reformed looks at the resurgence of Reformed Theology, and at conferences such as the Together for the Gospel conference that was held in April.

Do you do any research writing? Check out Ottobib - an online bibliography formatter.

The Missions Atlas Project has a great interactive site that might be helpful to those of you who do work with your church missions program. Thanks to Ron Smith, our Student Pastor, for pointing this out to me.

I was asked to point out a link to a site that provides information on retreats for Pastors. Maybe someone will find the opportunity to take some time aside from the demands of ministry.

Commentaries, Quotations and Sermon Preparation

I've been around computers long enough to remember paying $450 for a hard drive that would hold a whopping 50 megabytes of data. That's right. 50 megabytes. That hard drive ran WordPerfect, a database program, a spreadsheet and a few utilities on an MS-Dos (non-graphical) operating system. Plus it held the various data files that I created with those programs. I was thinking about the small capacity and huge financial outlay for that initial hard disk drive this afternoon when I picked up a 1 gigabyte memory stick for $16. Times have changed.

Many pastors and Bible students use an electronic library and/or the internet for their study. I have, over the last decade, accumulated a pretty substantial collection of books to use with my Logos Bible software. In fact, I've been able to purchase a few sets that have enabled me to pack up the hardbound editions and get them ready to be sent to pastors who lost their libraries in the hurricane last fall. Some may debate the wisdom of parting with a paper copy, and to be honest, the more empty spaces on the bookcases in my office are kind of hard to see, but it was hard to hang on to both paper and electronic versions of the same book when there are guys who are doing without. Plus, if the Communists ever do invade, I probably would be better of grabbing my laptop than trying to stuff a few choice volumes in a backpack as I ran for the hills.

But the fact remains that Bible study is done with both electronic and print resources. And I'm wondering what system or process other pastors use to pull info out of print-and-paper books. I am preaching from Romans still, and have 10-12 commentaries on Romans in print, plus several others in electronic format. Pulling a quote from an electronic resource is a piece of cake, but I'm wondering how other guys treat their printed resources. It is easy to underline, but of course, you need to be able to remember what you underlined. Do you type out or write out info that you find in a commentary or other reference? How do you keep track of information you've found so that you can go back and use it (directly or indirectly) in your sermon prep? I have a method, but I'm finding it kind of tedious.

Any suggestions?

Back at It

I haven't posted in a couple of weeks. Part of that time was spent at the New Jersey shore with my wife, my daughter and son-in-law and their two kids, who are the cutest grandchildren in the world. And then the inevitable return-to-action from a week off.

I began a series on Romans in the winter of 2005, and then what was a brief time-out from the book after chapter 5 turned into the full summer and fall. I picked up the series again in January, and had planned to finish Romans by Christmas this year. While I was away I spent a good amount of time in Romans 12, and it appears that we'll finish Romans 12 by Christmas. It is hard to apologize for walking so slowly through this great chapter when each phrase begs for explanation and application.

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I'm glad to see Jon Trainer back at it at Personal Trainer. I find Jon a good source for links and info, and read his site often. Jon took a break from blogging because of some carpal tunnel issues. He's a good guy and has lots to contribute.

Is there any more perversely enjoyable way to end the week than Purgatorio's Divine Vinyl that appears each Friday? I just can't get enough of this stuff.

The League of Reformed Bloggers has been updated. David Wayne at JollyBlogger keeps this list, and it can be found here. I haven't (just can't) read each of the blogs, but for those who are reformed in theology, it is a good base for both theological and practical material.

I think I owe Milton Stanley a tip of the cap for pointing to this series on Gospel Centered Congregational Worship. Good stuff!

D.A. Carson and Tremper Longman have their respective commentary surveys coming out in new editions. I find them invaluable.

Dead-center right-on hit-the-nail-on-the-head article by Dan Phillips on the issue of inerrancy. Those of us who are 40+ have seen what Philips is talking about actually happen.

The Shepherd's Fellowship (John MacArthur) has put their Pulpit Magazine and blog online for all to see.

A blog I recently discovered is one called The Shepherd's Scrapbook. Tony Reinke is in the middle of a series on studying the Puritans.