Thursday, August 23

Are you a Tacit Gnostic?

Consider it for yourself here.

My friend Matt Crawford is guest blogging and has offered us this for our contemplation.

Monday, August 20


In the opening session of PTI (1), the classes were comprised of a focus on God, what He says about Himself in His Word, and the teachings of His Son, Jesus, in Matthew 5-7, commonly called ‘The Sermon on the Mount’.

In the succeeding PTI (2), we looked intensely at Christ’s life in the Gospel of John and considered the centrality of Jesus as it is portrayed from Genesis to Revelation.

In each of these sessions, several specific areas of concern were revealed with regard to the common understanding of God and His gospel. As these areas arose we were able to deal with them scripturally and with the Lord’s help pastorally.

With that said, PTI 3 may be the most crucial round so far. (it is actually the most important only b/c it is the ‘next’ one on the agenda)

The prominent understanding of Man and Sin among evangelical Christians in Ethiopia is skewed from the biblical idea of the state of man in sin and separated of God. So, this is an incredibly important round of teaching that is coming up in October.

I will attempt to spell out these particular issues more fully in the near future so that you may understand and be able to pray more specifically.

We do covet your constant and continued prayers.

Duncan on Discipleship

There are many ways and places that the Bible teaches us the importance of church membership. But one important way is in how it identifies the local church as the Jesus-appointed place for Christian discipleship. Where do we see that spelled out in Scripture?

Well, for instance, in the Great Commission! In Matthew 28:19, Jesus says "Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing . . . and teaching them." So where does Jesus say that the discipleship he commands us to foster is supposed to take place? What is the context of discipleship, according to Jesus? Where does he want you to be discipled? The answer is clear and simple. We are to be discipled in the place, in the context, in which baptism is administered. And where is that? The para-ministry? The campus Christian fellowship? Our favorite Christian voluntary organization? The small group of Christian friends who gather regularly to pray in one anothers homes. No, not primarily. These may all be good things. But Jesus answer here is different and fundamental.

His answer? In the local church. Jesus wants us to be discipled in the context of the believing community where the vows of baptism are taken and where a whole fellowship of Christians is committed to mutual encouragement and accountability - "make disciples, baptizing and teaching them," he says. In other words, real Christian discipleship is inescapably corporate and ecclesial. The discipleship and teaching that Jesus enjoins is to take place in the context where baptism is administered, right smack dab in the middle of the baptized community. Jesus says that’s the place where discipleship happens – the local church. And that’s just one reason why church membership is so important.

Ligon Duncan

Pastor's Training Institute

The Pastor’s Training Institute is a newly implemented program designed for the training and instruction of gospel ministers in Ethiopia. Beginning in April 2007 and continuing for about two years, our hope is that God will raise up His men for the planting of new churches among the un-evangelized of Ethiopia.

The curriculum consists of biblical and systematic theology taught in two-week module style classes every other month. The teaching pastors are invited from the United States to come and teach in their desired topic/subject area. Also included in the training will be relevant cultural issues and practical guidance.

There are currently 75 new ministers enrolled from the local churches throughout the country. Upon their completion of PTI, and upon giving credible evidence of meeting biblical qualifications to pastor, the men will be sent out to ‘un-reached’ villages/areas to begin a new gospel work with hopes that God will establish a church there.

Wednesday, August 8

Prayer Update - August 8

* My health does seem better and improving...thanks for praying.

* The work with the Addis Kidan and PTI 3, which begins in October. Doctrine of Sin & Man

* That God would raise up whomever He pleases to lead the teaching/preaching in PTI 3.