469 Posts By Hans Kristensen

  • Why you shouldn’t be a tough pastor

    I remember a church planter coming to check out my church. He said he liked my sermon and that he heard a sermon that morning which was so weak he wanted to “Punch the preacher in the frigging neck!” A friend of mine who looks like he could go bear hunting with a twig and come back with seven carcasses and who also does ultimate fighting for fun and fitness (!!!) was listening in on this conversation. After the church planter left I turned to my huge friend who could kill me in an instant and I said “What did you think of that pastor. He is tough eh?” And my friend quietly said “I don’t want a pastor who is going to punch guys in the neck. I want a pastor who loves his people. I don’t want a tough pastor I want a biblical Pastor who loves me.”

    When I look at the biblical qualities of a pastor (1 Timothy 3 etc.) and I look at what Jesus says should define us as Christians (i.e. John 13:35) the word tough doesn’t even get a mention.

    What should define us as pastors or Christians? I think my thickly muscled brother was right. What should define us is Love. We should be loving people. Think of Jesus and Paul, they both loved (e.g. John 15:12-13, 1 Thessalonians 2:7-11). In fact I think we can say their ministry was defined in large part by the fact the loved their people. But here is the most interesting thing, they were extremely tough. Both took beatings (Matthew 27:26, Acts 16:16-24), both were deserted (Mark 14:43-52, 2 Timothy 4:9-18) and people rejected their preaching (John 6:60-70; Acts 17:32-34).

    It seems to me that if we define ourselves by trying to love our people we will be tough.

    It seems as though love produces grit and toughness

    Whereas many pastors and other men who want to be tough lack love

    That is why I don’t want to be a tough pastor I want to be a loving pastor

    I want love to define me as it did with Jesus and Paul

     

  • What is a biblical man?

    Lately I have sat down with guys who are trying to prove to me how much of a man they really are.

    I know they are trying to prove this to me because they talk about eating steak, drinking, listening to heavy music, punching preachers who don’t preach sound doctrine or punching their team who are not following orders. They boast about how much they are having sex with their wives or how little sleep they get because of how hard they work etc.

    This all comes across as hollow and show boatey.

    When I hear these guys talk like this my mind is flooded with questions.

    What should a man do?

    What does the Bible say a man should be?

    If we are wrong about what a man is where did we get this distorted view of manhood?

    When I look at passages which talks about wheat men should be (Proverbs, 1 Timothy 3, Ephesians 5) and I look at Jesus I see that God is concerned with character rather than characteristics.

    God is more concerned with if we are men who love and who keep our word than if we eat steak and listen to Metallica.

    Why?

    Because God is concerned with character rather than characteristics

    A biblical man is one who loves the people around him, does what he says he will do, reads his Bible and prays, attends church regularly, fights sin, and loves Jesus. He is a man even if he is a vegan who listens to Taylor Swift, drives an automatic and does ballet in his spare time.

    Why?

    Because God is concerned with character rather than characteristics

    Conversely, you could be a guy who drinks beer or scotch, drives a ute, plays football, likes his steak with an extra side of steak, listens to metal and still be a little boy because you don’t love the people around you, you don’t do what you say you will do, you don’t read your Bible and pray, you go to church when you feel like it, and you aren’t grieved over your sin.

    Why?

    Because God is concerned with character rather than characteristics

    Are you a biblical man?

     

  • Links of the day 9/06/2011

    Here is a touching letter from a deceased soldier to his daughter

    Nicole Cottrell asks the question is it okay to be Christian, single and Sexy?

    Max Dubinsky has written a thought provoking blog entitled Jesus is for quitters: Why the church has no room for God

    Over at James Macdonald’s blog Matt Chandler answers Steven Furtick on preaching to Christians vs preaching evangelistically

    Are you Facebook friends Really friends? Steve Kryger has posted this humorous video about one guys mission to find out who his real friends are.

    Matt Chandler preached on manhood in 2008 and you can get all talks here

     

  • Guest blog: Preaching Isaiah by Barry Webb pt. 2

    Hans’ note: I had the privilege of learning from Barry when I was at Moore College. I can still remember some of the things he said in those lectures because they were profound, biblical and helped me see the beauty of the gospel more clearly. Barry is a warm, generous and beautiful man of God. If you have never read any of his work I would suggest going over to Amazon and buying anything that he has written. You will not be disappointed. These are the handout that Barry gave out when he helped my wife and the other girls who would be preaching at Moore college’s womens chapel. They were preaching on Isaiah and who better to get to talk about preaching on Isaiah than Barry Webb! If you want to read the first post click here.

    4.  General Implication for preaching from Isaiah

    4.1

    The text should not be handled in a way that denies its humanity or disconnects it from history. I assume therefore, that some attention will have to be given to the man Isaiah, his personal circumstances, and the circumstances of those to whom his words were originally directed. This means that sermons will need to have a strong exegetical base. Statements should not be taken as expressing timeless truths unrelated to the particular circumstances in which they were given. To preach with integrity the preacher will need to have settled convictions about the origins of the text and apply these consistently in his preaching.

    4.2

    The text should not be handled in a way that denies its unity. That is, particular passages should be related to their literary context, and some attention should be given to the way they contribute to the message of the book as a whole. This means that the preacher will need to have settled convictions about the basic shape of the book, its major themes, and its theological centre, if it has one. Before beginning to preach it is desirable that the preacher be able to summarise the message of the whole book in a sentence or brief paragraph.

    4.3

    Given the particular responsibility of the Christian preacher, it will be important, especially in the second half of the sermon, to trace at least some of the connections between the passage in hand and the gospel proclaimed by Jesus Christ and his apostles in the New Testament. This is where a genuinely Christian sermon on Isaiah will differ essentially from a Jewish one, or from a one which speaks merely of God and morality. Attention will need to be given here to NT quotations from Isaiah, but also to the way the broad themes of biblical theology develop as one moves from the OT to the NT.

    4.4

    Given a commitment to the inspiration and inerrancy of the Bible, the NT use of Isaiah will not be regarded as arbitrary, or as an unwarranted imposition on the original text. In tracing out the NT developments of his text the preacher will understand himself to be trying to ‘think God’s thoughts’ after him, and will try to help his hearers to do the same.

    4.5

    Given, again, the nature of the preacher’s essential task, the sermon should move from exegesis, to gospel-focused theological reflection, to application. At this point the preacher must grapple with the question of how the particular aspect of the gospel which is illuminated by the passage intersects with the present life situation of his hearers

    5. Particular issues regarding preaching from Isaiah

    5.1

    The size probably precludes consecutive exposition of the whole book, even if this were desirable in principle. Some kind of selection of passages or themes is necessary.

    5.2

    The unity of the book makes it undesirable to divide it, for preaching purposes, into the three sections normally taken as the starting point for historical-critical study (e.g. 1-39, 40-55, 56-66). This makes diversity (and a particular view of the diversity of this book) the controlling datum of interpretation, rather than the gospel. It is probably best, from a preaching point of view, to give people some way of seeing the book as a whole first (e.g. in the first sermon) and then taking up particular passages or themes in more detail in subsequent sermons.

    5.3

    Selection of passages and/or themes for inclusion in a preaching series will depend to a large extent on the convictions of the preacher about the structure of the book and its major, most distinctive themes. A series on Isaiah should, among other things, give the hearers a eel for what is Isaiah’s special contribution to the message of the Bible. Passages or themes should be chosen with this in mind, and not selected arbitrarily

    3. Planning a sermon series on Isaiah: An example

    3.1  Introductory talk or sermon:

     

    Isaiah’s Vision: God is King.

     

    • Why study Isaiah? Because of Jesus (Luke 4:14-21)
      • The world of Isaiah
      • The man Isaiah
      • The book of Isaiah
      • Why study Isaiah? To see Jesus’ glory (John 12:41)

     

    3.2  Sermons on selected passages

     

    1. The King’s Holiness Isaiah 6:1-13
    2. The King’s Wrath Isaiah 24:1-16a
    3. The King’s Trustworthiness Isaiah 37:1-20
    4. The King’s Gospel Isaiah 40:1-11
    5. The King’s Servant Isaiah 42:1-9
    6. The King’s Banquet Isaiah 55:1-8
    7. The King’s Justice Isaiah 56:1-8
    8. The King’s City Isaiah 65:17-25
    9. The King’s Mission Isaiah 66:12-24

     

    This sermon series has passages from all seven parts of the book, and touches on most of its distinctive themes: the holiness of God, the Servant as the key to God’s purposes, the new Jerusalem as the centre of God’s coming kingdom, justice as the essence of true religion, trust as the proper response to God, mission to the nations as the plan of God.

    __________________________________________________________________

    Resources

    Reid, A., and K. Morris, Two Cities: Isaiah (Sydney: Matthias Media, 1993)

    Roth, Wolfgang, Isaiah (Knox Preaching Guides; Atlanta: John Knox Press, 1988).

    Recommended.

    Williamson, H. G. M. “Preaching Isaiah.” Chapter 8 in “He began with Moses”: Preaching the Old Testament Today. Edited by Grenville Kent, Paul J. Kissling, and Laurence A. Turner. Downers Grove, Ill.: IVP Aca

     

  • Links of the day 8/8/2011

    Keller on your Vocation. This is Gold!

    More Keller Gold. This time on the historical Adam

    A clip from The Elephant room DVD. If you haven’t seen these DVDs they are awesome! This one has Steven Furtick and Matt Chandler talking about preaching.

    Here is a great a post on the dangers of being tired and not resting

    Relevant Magazine has interviewed Francis Chan on his new book called Erasing Hell.

    Mary Kassian and Tim Challies have written blogs about 1 Timothy 2:15

    My NBA team the Golden State warriors announced yesterday that they have hired Mark Jackson as their new head coach!

  • Guest blog: Preaching Isaiah by Barry Webb pt. 1

    Hans’ note: I had the privilege of learning from Barry when I was at Moore College. I can still remember some of the things he said in those lectures because they were profound, biblical and helped me see the beauty of the gospel more clearly. Barry is a warm, generous and beautiful man of God. If you have never read any of his work I would suggest going over to Amazon and buying anything that he has written. You will not be disappointed. These are the handout that Barry gave out when he helped my wife and the other girls who would be preaching at Moore college’s womens chapel. They were preaching on Isaiah and who better to get to talk about preaching on Isaiah than Barry Webb! I hope you enjoy today’s and tomorrows posts as much as I did.

    Preaching Isaiah

    1. 1. Assumptions about the nature of Christian preaching

    1.1

    My starting assumption is that the essential task of the Christian preacher is to preach Jesus Christ, and that the two basic resources for doing this are the Bible and the Holy Spirit. This needs to be elaborated via a theology of the Word of God and of the ministry of the Holy Spirit in relation to the Word.

    1.2

    My second assumption is that preaching (as opposed to lecturing) entails application as an essential element. Given what I have just said under 1.1, I take it that the application will have an essentially Christocentric, gospel focus.

    1.3

    I understand the role of the Spirit in preaching to consist essentially of (1) enabling both the preacher and the hearers to understand the Bible, (2) empowering the preacher to proclaim its message effectively, and (3) bringing conviction and appropriate response from the hearers. A corollary of this is that I understand good preaching to have a prophetic dimension to it.

    1. 2. Assumptions about the Bible

    2.1 The Bible as the Word of God

    I understand the Word of God to be essentially Jesus Christ himself, and secondly the gospel, which is the announcement of what God has accomplished for us in him. I understand the Bible to be the word of God in two senses. First, in that it is inspired by God and is therefore revelation given by God. Second, I understand it to be the word of God in that it is the gospel writ large, so to speak – all of it in one way or another part of a total revelation which has Jesus Christ as its focal point.

    2.2 The diversity of the Bible

    I understand the diversity of Scripture in terms of its connection with history. The revelation it contains was given through many particular people in many particular situations over a long period of time. The Bible is truly human, just as Christ was and is truly human. This means that, at one level at least, understanding the Bible requires the same attention to the particulars of time, place and style that is required for understanding any piece of human communication.

    2.3 The unity of the Bible

    I understand the unity of Scripture in terms of (1) its divine origin, and (2) its connection with Jesus Christ and the gospel. As the word of God Scripture expresses the mind of God, and must therefore be coherent. The gospel describes that unity essentially in terms of promise and fulfilment. In literary terms the unity of the Bible is manifested in its basic plot line.

    2.4 The inerrancy of the Bible

    My assumption here is that the genuine humanity of Scripture does not necessarily entail error, and that the divine inspiration of Scripture actually excludes this. There is a real analogy between the humanity and divinity of Jesus Christ and the humanity and divinity of Scripture. My basic reason for accepting the OT in particular as inerrant is that this is evidently how Jesus himself accepted it. This means that no part of the text may be dismissed as irrelevant to a proper interpretation of it on the grounds of alleged error. A commitment to inerrancy entails a commitment to a holistic interpretation of the text.

    1. 3. Assumptions about the book of Isaiah

    As part of the Old Testament canon, I assume that the book of Isaiah has all the characteristics of Scripture I have just listed.

     

  • Links of the day 7/6/2011

    This looks to be an amazing movie that will set that cat amongst the pigeons.

    Here is a great article about sex and trying before you buy.

    Thom Rainer has written a great blog about leadership

    Carson, Piper and Keller talking about marriage

    A great post by Ally Spotts called Two words that could ruining your (dating) life

    Michael Hyatt has written a great post about the difference between a sin and a mistake

    Here is an amazing post by Thabiti Anyabwile about Lebron James and church

    John Dickson and Diaa Mohamed talking about Jesus in Islam and Christianity

    This Kid is AMAZING!

  • Top posts for May

    I am surprised that anyone reads my posts. But am extremely thankful that people do read my blog.  Here are the top five blogs for the month of May

    1. The most popular post was Kate Brown’s amazing post on How the Gospel shapes my life as a single woman
    2. Runner up was my angry and sarcastic post entitled How to be a really cool worship leader
    3. Coming in third was Kat Oxley’s great post on How the gospel shapes my life as a newlywed
    4. Fourth was a post on Why I don’t Podcast
    5. And lastly was my post on How to come out of Bible College a normal human being

    Coming up in the month of June. We have a bunch of guest posts. Including two guest posts by Barry Webb on preaching Isaiah which are gold!

    Thanks for reading and posting about the blog

     

  • Live your life for what counts

    I read an article today called The top 5 regrets people have on their deathbed.

    It was a sobering read.

    When I think of regrets in life I always think of the Resolutions of Jonathan Edwards. If you have never heard of the resolutions, they were written by Edwards in his late teen years and they are well worth taking the time to read them. Each of the resolutions is a decision that Edwards has made to improve his life in the light of the gospel. Of the seventy resolutions, some resolutions deal with his thought life, some with his actions and some deal with how he used time. If we take them all together we get the bid idea that Edwards wants to live every minute of his life for Jesus.

    Here are my favourite of Jonathan Edward’s resolutions:

    4. Resolved, Never to do any manner of thing, whether in soul or body, less or more, but what tends to the glory of God, nor be, nor suffer it, if I can possibly avoid it.

    5. Resolved, Never to lose one moment of time, but to improve it in the most profitable way I possibly can.

    6. Resolved, To live with all my might, while I do live.

    7. Resolved, Never to do any thing, which I should be afraid to do if it were the last hour of my life.

    16. Resolved, Never to speak evil of any one, so that it shall tend to his dishonour, more or less, upon no account except for some real good.

    17. Resolved, That I will live so, as I shall wish I had done when I come to die.

    24. Resolved, Whenever I do any conspicuously evil action, to trace it back, till I come to the original cause; and then, both carefully endeavour to do so no more, and to fight and pray with all my might against the original of it.

    28. Resolved, To study the Scriptures so steadily, constantly, and frequently, as that I may find, and plainly perceive, myself to grow in the knowledge of the same.

    41. Resolved, to ask myself, at the end of every day, week, month, and year, wherein I could possibly, in any respect, have done better.

    52. I frequently hear persons in old age say how they would live, if they were to live their lives over again: Resolved, That I will live just so as I can think I shall wish I had done, supposing I live to old age.

    Read Number 52 again

    52. I frequently hear persons in old age say how they would live, if they were to live their lives over again: Resolved, That I will live just so as I can think I shall wish I had done, supposing I live to old age.

    We all know of old people with regrets who wish they had done things differently. If we were to ask Edwards what he thinks the key to living life in such a way as to die knowing that you have live life to the fullest I think he would say two things:

    1. Live every moment for Jesus

    2. Be in every moment

    When I think about these two things I ask myself the following questions:

    1. Am I taking my cues about who I am from Jesus or something or someone else?
    2. Are there things in my life that I know Jesus wouldn’t approve of?
    3. How am I using my time?
    4. Am I coasting through life or attacking it?
    5. Of the moments in my day am I really there or am I punching the clock?
    6. Are my relationships where they need to be?

    How are you doing with your life?

    Are you living every moment of every day for Jesus?

    Are you in every moment?

    Are you in every conversation?

    Or are you just punching the clock waiting till death or the return of Jesus?

     

  • Links of the day 6/6/2011

    The sister of billionaire Warren Buffet, Doris Buffet, is giving it all away. Here is a video of an interview where she explains why.

    Here is a harrowing article on Child Brides

    Rachel Held Evans is spending the next year trying to live as a biblical woman. This infuriated me!

    Is your church in need of new songs? If so, check out Bob Kauflin’s song list from the New Word Alive conference

    Kevin Deyoung wrote an inspiring piece entitled The Most Urgent Need in the Church

    12 ways to glorify God at work

    Piper has written a thought provoking piece about our tone in preaching