Simeon Trust Workshop

•October 22, 2015 • 1 Comment

This was a conference I’ve heard of before, but it was different that any conference I’ve ever attended before.

It is a conference for those who are serious about the authority and sufficiency of the Bible, and just as serious about preaching/teaching it.  Most of these men were full-time pastors.  For the pastor/teacher, seminary is like medical school, but just like a doctor, a pastor must continue to refine his skills — this conference was just that for those in full-time ministry.

It is a three-day conference and it was broken into three components — “the big meeting,” “the small meeting,” and the individual time in God’s Word.  I was only able to attend for one day, and as an observer I was still able to glean many things from this conference.  There were two speakers: David Jackman and Chris Spano.  Jackman spoke first and he stressed the importance of “Staying on the line.”  He started with the question, “What is expository preaching?”  His definition was clear: “The Bible text drives the sermon!”  It is hard work but if the Bible drives the sermon then it is God Himself who speaks to His people.  The other take-away from his presentation was the fact that the Bible interprets itself.

Chris Spano then came and showed us how to stay on that line by explaining the importance of context.  He used Mark 8 and we all did it together in our “big meeting.”  One of the things he stressed was the reading and re-reading of the book to understand the purpose of the author.  He said, “Biblical context is the king but the cultural context is the prince.”  We get into trouble when we enlarge the cultural context over the biblical context.  It was so rich.  I would encourage anyone who is in full-time ministry to find a workshop and attend it.  I know for me, as soon as I get into full-time ministry I will sign up right away.  Hope to see some of you there.

Brian — D.O.C.

Divine Duo

•September 26, 2015 • 1 Comment

Did you ever see the Dynamic Duo – otherwise known as Batman & Robin? It first aired on T.V. from 1966-1968. Sometimes Batman would get captured and Robin would have to save him, but most of time, it was Batman that came to the rescue of Robin. This was done to emphasize the point – they worked best together. It just didn’t seem right if the two of them were not fighting along side each other. You can’t have one without the other and still have a Dynamic Duo.The apostle Paul also wanted to etch this theme in the minds of the Christians in Crete – you can’t have one without the other. The one difference between the Dynamic Duo and the Divine Duo is that Batman can be a superhero all by himself, but the two elements of the Divine Duo never operates separately.

In the last post I explored the first part of chapter one, verse one –“servant hood & apostleship.” The second part of verse one explores theme of the knowledge of the truth and godliness. This is the Divine Duo. This theme is one of the themes that help us understand the whole Book of Titus.

Christianity is not a religion of head knowledge only. The purpose of learning is to obey. Jesus said, “If you love me, you will obey what I command.” This helped the believers in Crete avoid false teachers; but this was written for our edification as well. When we are evaluating a Christian leader, the question is not just how much he knows, but how much he grows. Paul doesn’t only admonish us to examine our leaders, but to examine ourselves – does your biblical/theological knowledge match your biblical/theological maturity?

Brian L. Spivey D.O.C.

J.C. Ryle’s Argument for Christianity

•September 20, 2015 • 1 Comment


“The religion of Christ must have been from heaven, or it never could have prospered and overspread the earth as it has done.  It is vain for infidels to attempt to answer this argument.  It cannot be answered.  A religion which did not flatter the rich, the great, and the learned,—-a religion which offered no license to the carnal inclinations of man’s heart,—-a religion whose first teachers were poor fishermen, without wealth, rank, or power,—-such a religion could never have turned the world upside down, if it had not been of God.  Look at the Roman emperors and the heathen priests with their splendid temples on the one side!  Look at a few unlearned working men with the Gospel on the other!  Were there ever two parties so unequally matched?  Yet the weak proved strong, and the strong proved weak.  Heathenism fell, and Christianity took its place.  Christianity must be of God.”

Expository Thoughts on Matthew 4:12-25, pg.30


C.M. Granger

Killing Calvinism — How To Destroy a Perfectly Good Theology

•July 25, 2015 • 1 Comment

Killing Calvinism – How to Destroy a Perfectly Good Theology From the Inside

By Greg Dutcher

Cruiciform Press, June 2012

104 pages

This short book was convicting in many ways and multiple times. Each chapter focused on some in the Reformed tradition have allowed our Calvinism to be an idol, and Dutcher attempts to take his axe and “chop down” those idols one by one. There are eight chapters and they all shine a convicting light on several blind spots that Calvinists tend to have. Sometimes reading good theological books can replace the time a Christian should spend in discipleship. Dutcher says, when the goal is to become a theologian instead of a disciple of Christ Jesus, we have missed our way. It is like getting on the wrong train and heading in the opposite direction. By losing the urge to evangelize was a good chapter; the most convicting of all was chapter 5 – “By Learning Only From Other Calvinist.” In this chapter he thanked and highlighted people who had a major impact on his life who were not Reformed. I was so inspired by this chapter I wrote my own tribute to Ezra Nehemiah Williams.

It is a great book and I recommend it to all my Reformed brethren. It is a quick read, but worth every bit of your time.

Brian L. Spivey D.O.C.

What Do You Expect to See on a Beach?

•July 10, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Series: “ Divine Duo”

For the next couple of blog post I want to explore a very small book in the New Testament – The Book of Titus.

Recently our family took a trip and spent time on a beach. There are things that just naturally go together. Sand is a natural thing to see on a beach. A paved street, a freshly cut lawn, or high-risers do not belong on a beach. There is sand, sand, and more sand. An ocean and sand naturally go together. In the Book of Titus, we learn that some things just naturally go together.

The book of Titus is an epistle written by Paul to his companion Titus. Paul left Titus on the Island of Crete to establish local churches. Paul provides him, and by implication us, with a divine blueprint of how to establish a New Testament church. In each chapter of this short book, Paul mentions at least three major Christian doctrines. But before he writes about these doctrines, he describes himself and his mission.

(1) Paul was a servant. This is a foreign word in our society, but the writer of 14 New Testament books described himself as a servant. This opening is a reminder of Jesus words: “But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave.” (Matt 20:27). This is essence of Christianity.

(2) Paul was an Apostle. Paul was sent. Jesus Christ sent him.

What should we expect to see from a Christian leader? Servanthood.

Servanthood and Christian leadership go hand-in-hand. It naturally goes together. A Christian leader who is not striving for greater servanthood is like a beach with high-risers. You wouldn’t go to that beach would you? You would stay far away. Then let us stay far away from leaders who are not first of all servants.

Brian Spivey – D.O.C.

Reflections About Resurrection Sunday

•April 8, 2015 • 1 Comment

It started with a question, “If an outsider were to observe our family for four years, which holiday would she likely say is the most important to us? Based on our actions and our joy, which holiday requires more of our time, creativity and effort, the INCARNATION or the RESURRECTION? Christmas or Easter? I waited…

Two of the six loudly responded, “Christmas!” The other four nodded their heads in agreement. After family devotion was over it was time for some serious REFLECTION.

Matthew dedicates just seven verses to the Birth of Jesus, Matthew 1:18-25. Luke dedicates thirty-two verses, Luke 1:26-38, and 2:1-21, which includes the birth announcement. That’s about forty verses. The miracles surrounding the birth of Christ are: (1) an angel appearing to Joseph (2), an angel appeared to Mary (3), an angel appeared to the shepherds and (4), a multitude of heavenly host praising God. Matthew dedicates thirty-one verses to the death, burial and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. There are thirty-six verses in Mark, and forty-two in John. Luke dedicates seven-nine (79) verses for the death, burial and Resurrection of Christ. When we just contrast the numbers, 188-40, there is no comparison, there are more verses dedicated to the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. The miracles that accompanied the death and Resurrection: (1) Darkness over the land from 12pm-3pm (2), the curtain of the temple was torn from top to bottom (3), the earth shook (4) the rocks split (5), the tombs were opened (6) the saints was raised and went into the holy city and appeared to many (7), another great earthquake happened (8) an angel rolled back the stone (9) the linen clothes were lying there AND (10) Jesus appeared to His disciples.

Just a simple reading the New Testament reveals that there are more miracles and more scripture verses that accompany the RESURRECTION than the INCARNATION.

Our devotion started with a question, but ended with REPENTANCE. I repented and apologized. The New Testament emphasizes the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ more than the incarnation and I should also.

The incarnation is important, but the Christian hope is enveloped in the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Do you place more effort in celebrating Christmas and neglect Holy Week? We are starting to plan for Holy Week 2016; will you join us?

Brian L. Spivey

The Lost World of John H. Walton

•March 29, 2015 • 2 Comments

John H. WaltonLydia McGrew from What’s Wrong with the World (an excellent blog, by the way) has done a three part review of John H. Walton’s The Lost World of Adam and Eve and a review of The Lost World of Genesis One.  They are well worth your time, clear, helpful, faithful to Scripture, well reasoned.  Let me know what you think.

The Lost World of Genesis One

The Lost World of Adam and Eve, part 1

The Lost World of Adam and Eve, part 2

The Lost World of Adam and Eve, part 3

C.M. Granger


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