Author Archive | Denny Burk

The Cajun Night Before Christmas

If you have never heard of The Cajun Night before Christmas by Trosclair, well, you’re about to! It’s a mainstay where I am from, and my dad read it to us every year on Christmas Eve when I was growing up. Even now, he reads it to my children whenever the family is together for Christmas.

The video above is a great introduction to this Christmas classic. The only thing that would make it better is if we could get Coach Orgeron to record his own reading. That would be epic.

I have a good friend with an English accent who picked this book off the shelf in my home one time while he was visiting. He regaled my entire family with his own hilarious attempt at a cajun accent. I won’t embarrass him by revealing his name, but I will say that it rhymes with Cam Tallbarry.  ?:^)

Anyway, I love this rendition of the old story. For me, it’s all the feels. When I came across the video tonight, I just had to share it. I hope you like it too.

God’s Glory Revealed in Christ: Essays in Honor of Dr. Tom Schreiner

Jim Hamilton, Brian Vickers, and I recently co-edited a Festschrift for our Doktorvater Tom Schreiner. The book is titled God’s Glory Revealed in Christ: Essays in Honor of Tom Schreiner (B&H, 2019).

The week before Thanksgiving, the publisher was kind enough to host a banquet in San Diego where we were able to present this volume formally to Tom. It was a special moment for all of us who love Tom and who have been touched by his friendship, scholarship, and ministry.

I am really grateful for all of those who agreed to contribute. It really is an all-star line-up including D. A. Carson, John Piper, Albert Mohler, Simon Gathercole, and many others. The book is comprised of essays dealing with biblical theology, and it is now available from Amazon and other outlets. I hope you’ll check it out. The table of contents is below. Continue Reading →

Spurgeon urging men and women to be “all at it”

Over the weekend, I saw an excerpt from C. H. Spurgeon’s sermon “All at It” being passed around on social media. It is a sermon well worth your time to read if you haven’t already. Spurgeon’s text is Acts 8:4-5, 35:

4 Therefore, those who had been scattered went about preaching the word. 5 And Philip went down to the city of Samaria and began proclaiming Christ to them… 35 And Philip opened his mouth, and beginning from this Scripture he preached Jesus to him.

The overall point of the sermon is that it wasn’t merely the apostles who were called to evangelize the world but all Christians. All are supposed to be at the work of evangelism (thus the title “All at It”). Spurgeon is really careful in his exposition, noting that the words in the New Testament for “preach” are used differently than how they are often used today. He explains, Continue Reading →

Greet one another with a holy kiss…

I am preparing a sermon on the final chapter of 1 Corinthians for church tomorrow. In my reading, I came across an insightful bit of commentary from Richard Hays on verse 20, where Paul commands: “Greet one another with a holy kiss.” Hays explains:

There is no indication here that Paul thinks of it as anything more than a sign of greeting among people who love one another. In the context of the community’s divisions at Corinth, however, the holy kiss would necessarily serve as a powerful sign of reconciliation among people who had previously been estranged. It is easy to interpret this brief imperative (“Greet one another with a holy kiss”) as a perfunctory gesture, until we try to visualize the Corinthians actually putting it into practice in a community where conflict has prevailed. Within our divided denominations can we envision the members of opposed factions and caucuses coming together and embracing in a holy kiss? As usual, Paul’s call to love is simple, radical, and embodied.

-Richard B. Hays, First Corinthians, 291

What a good word. I don’t believe that a kiss is the right way in our culture to signal the love that Paul calls for in this letter. Nevertheless, the need for simple, radical, embodied love is as acute today as it ever was. This text calls God’s people to meet that need.

The Morning of My Years

I first heard Allen Levi sing “Morning of My years” when I was in my twenties. The song is about turning forty. After hearing the lyrics for the first time, I remember hoping that this would be my perspective when it came time for me to turn that page.

And now that I’ve turned that page some years ago, I still think about this song every year at my birthday. It meant a lot to me then, and it still does now. It represents hopefulness for the grace to age like wine and not like milk. Lord, have mercy on me, the sinner.

The song first appeared on an album that is a little hard to come by these days, but you can purchase a digital copy here if you are interested. You can also stream the song for free from BandCamp. Press the play button to listen below.

Continue Reading →

Iron Sharpening Iron: Continuing the Conversation with Sam Storms

I want to thank Sam Storms for his gracious and direct interaction with my response to his earlier essay. I want to reiterate again how grateful I am for Dr. Storms and his long ministry and faithfulness to the Lord’s work. I have been a direct beneficiary of it, and I am truly in his debt. My hope and prayer are that our ongoing dialogue will be a faithful example of iron sharpening iron (Prov. 27:17).

Storms says that I have largely missed the point of his article arguing that women can be pastors. As I understand it, he has argued that the title pastor is a gift not an office—much less an office of senior governmental authority like elder/overseer. For this reason, women can have the gift of pastoring and hold the title pastor. Storms concludes: Continue Reading →

Can Women Be Pastors?

Sam Storms has written a brief article making a complementarian argument that would allow women to serve as pastors.1 He argues that pastoring is a gift not an authoritative office in the church. While all elders need to have the gift of pastoring, it does not follow that all “pastors” must be elders. After doing a brief survey of biblical texts that employ “pastor” terminology, he surmises:

It stands to reason that all Elders must, in some sense, be pastors. But nothing in the way this verb is used should lead us to believe that all pastors must be Elders. No text asserts the latter.

Because a pastor is not the same thing as an elder and is not an authoritative office, Storms argues that women can be gifted pastors serving in the local church. Storms then asks the question: Continue Reading →

Praise and Prayer for Kanye

Over the weekend, I had a chance to listen to Kanye West’s new album and to watch some interviews with him. It’s an amazing thing to watch because everything I’ve seen points to a radical conversion to Jesus Christ. In an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel last week, Kimmel asks West, “Would you consider yourself to be a Christian music artist now?”

West responds, “I’m just a Christian everything.”

That is certainly clear in the lyrics of West’s new album “Jesus is King.” The track “Selah” has a line that gets to the heart of West’s conversion: Continue Reading →

What can happen when a transgender child transitions…

Like many of you, I have been watching the news out of Texas about a mother who was just awarded sole custody of her gender-confused child. The details of this custody battle are disturbing. Here’s the gist of it from Lifesite News:

A jury in Dallas, Texas has ruled against Jeffrey Younger, the father who is trying to protect his seven-year-old son, James, from chemical castration via a gender “transition.” This means James’ mother, Dr. Anne Georgulas, will be able to continue “transitioning” him into “Luna,” and now has full authority to start him on puberty blockers and eventually cross-sex hormones.

The jury’s decision likely means that Mr. Younger will be required to “affirm” James as a girl, despite his religious and moral objections, and will also be forced to take a class on transgenderism.

The judge in the case is supposed to render a final decision on related matters tomorrow. In the meantime, the Governor of Texas Greg Abbott has weighed-in, saying that he has ordered his attorney general to look into the case.

It remains to be seen what can be done about this. It looks very much like the mother of this boy is going to have her son put on hormone blockers to prevent puberty and who knows what else after that. Perhaps surgery?

How have we come to the place as a society that the recommended medical treatment for a gender dysphoric child means destroying a healthy body to conform it to a gender-confused mind? Why not conform the gender-confused mind to the healthy body? The transgender propagandists have no good answers to those questions. And the reason is that there are no good answers to those questions.

I’m convinced that one of the reasons that this madness has been mainstreamed is that people by and large do not understand what actually happens to children who fully “transition.” Not only are they put on hormone blockers to prevent puberty (which results in chemical castration). More and more of them are opting for gender reassignment surgery. And it is here that we need to understand precisely how these children’s bodies are mutilated in service of transgender propaganda.

Dr. Michael Laidlaw is a board certified endocrinologist who has described the gruesome reality of these gender reassignment surgeries. In an article about transgender teen Jazz Jennings, Laidlaw describes how Jazz’s surgery will lead to the destruction of perfectly healthy sexual organs. Laidlaw writes:

Jazz will need to have his child-sized penis surgically destroyed to create a false vagina.

What type of surgical procedure(s) is Jazz considering for the treatment of gender dysphoria? Typically, surgery turning a male into a trans-female involves dissecting the penis, turning the skin inside out, and placing it into a surgically created cavity to create a false vagina. After surgery, a dilator has to be placed in this artificial vagina to keep it from collapsing.

But Jazz has a problem. Since he still has a small child-sized penis (because of puberty blockers), he does not have enough skin to line the false vagina. Potential remedies include sewing in a section of intestine along with the penis skin to make the false vagina. In one episode, Jazz is actually offered two different surgeries: one surgery to create the false vagina and a second surgery two months later to attempt to form the labia. The need for two dangerous surgeries instead of one is directly related to the effects of puberty blockers.

Is this really what people think is good for children and gender-confused adolescents? It’s madness, and yet there it is. Unless and until people see the destructive nature of medical transitions, we are going to have a hard time getting people to see the urgency of the situation—not just in Dallas, Texas but also in countless communities across the United States.

If you thought the spirit of Molech died with the ancient near east, think again. Here we have parents and healthcare providers prescribing the amputation of healthy body parts in service of an ideology that is completely foreign to the design of the human body. And yet they are somehow convinced that this is is good for the child.

You tell me. What is good? To conform a troubled mind to a healthy body? Or to conform a healthy body to a troubled mind (through surgical mutilation)? Is this child’s male body lying to him about his gender identity? Or is this child’s mind lying to him about his gender identity?

The answer to these questions is obvious, but you wouldn’t know it from the jury verdict in the Texas case. Pray for this family and for this child. They are going to need it.

UPDATE: Great news out of Dallas. Lifesite News reports:

The judge presiding over the case of Jeffrey Younger, the father who is trying to protect his seven-year-old son, James, from chemical castration via a gender “transition,” ruled today that the parents will have joint guardianship over James, which includes making joint medical decisions for the child.

Judge Kim Cooks of the 255th district ruled that parents will have joint managing conservatorship and will make joint medical decisions for the child.

 

“…while doctors strip our children of their healthy reproductive organs”

I just read the heartbreaking words of a mother of a transgender child—words that were delivered recently at a demonstration outside the Supreme Court. In this speech, she testifies about what transgender propaganda has done to her daughter. The propaganda has created “standards of care” that are harmful to children. Read for yourself what this mother describes: Continue Reading →

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