Archive | Personal

Saying goodbye to Bill Cutrer

Today I attended the funeral of a colleague and friend, Dr. Bill Cutrer. I can’t say enough about how much I admire and appreciate this man. He was a medical doctor turned seminary professor. He ran a successful OB-GYN practice in Dallas, Texas before leaving that behind for a ministry of teaching and writing. I knew him before he knew me because of a book that was given to me during my engagement to my wife. Little did I know then how much of a personal impact he would have on my family in just a few short years when I became a student at Southern Seminary. Continue Reading →

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The death of a mentor, Howard Hendricks (1924-2013)

It’s difficult to describe the sense of loss at the news today of Howard Hendricks’ death. He leaves behind an enormous footprint—a legacy of teaching and ministry that looms large over the landscape of American evangelicalism. As one of his former students, I can attest that his legacy still looms large over my own life. If I could sum up that legacy in a phrase, it would be this: He loved the Bible, and he gave his life sowing that love into the hearts of his students. He sowed it into me. Continue Reading →

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The Morning of My Years

I first heard Allen Levi’s song “Morning of My years” when I was in my twenties. The song is about turning 40. 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. It meant a lot to me then, and it still does now. Allen Levi was kind enough to allow me to share the song with you below. The album is old and a little hard to come by these days, but you can purchase a used copy here if you are interested.

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Tom Schreiner Preaches Acts 20:17-38

Thursday morning’s chapel at SBTS was a memorable one for a number of reasons—not the least of which was Tom Schreiner’s excellent exposition of Acts 20:17-38 (see above). Before Tom preached, however, Dr. Mohler recognized and prayed for someone special in the room—Tom’s wife, Dianne.

Many of you know about the severe head injury that Dianne suffered in an bike accident last August (her son Patrick wrote about it here). When I visited her in the hospital after the accident, she could not walk. She could not talk. It wasn’t clear that she could even recognize friends and acquaintances. The situation was dire. Yet when I greeted her this morning, she was walking and talking up a storm. She recognized me and asked me to pass along a greeting to my wife, whom she also remembered even though she wasn’t there. I was as astonished as I was grateful. Her recovery is ongoing, but this progress was unimaginable only weeks ago. We are rejoicing with the Schreiner’s for this answer to prayer! Praise the Lord!

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I Am the God of Wine

I have always believed it to be a great irony that a Baptist minister should be named after the Greek “god of wine,” but I am. I will never forget as a young man stumbling across a “baby names” book in my house and flipping quickly to the D‘s to find out what my name meant. And before I knew it, there it was: “Dennis: the Greek god of wine.”

I was gobsmacked. I was only ten years old, but I had been Baptist long enough to know that something was terribly amiss. As far as I knew, my teetotaling parents had given me my name, but this just wasn’t adding up. How could I be named after a banned substance? Continue Reading →

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Main Take-away from T4G 2012

My main take-away from T4G 2012 is nothing new or earth-shattering. It’s not even something that I didn’t already know. It’s something I’ve known and believed my whole life but which needed to be reinvigorated. The pursuit of holiness won’t happen by accident. I’m not going to be conformed to the image of Christ by osmosis. If I am to be sanctified, it will be a fight to the death. And that means much work, labor, and effort. Fie on passivity and quietism. The effect of God’s grace in me will be effort on my part. Where that effort is absent, so also is grace.

You would benefit from all of the fine messages delivered at T4G, but the key sermons on this particular theme for me were from DeYoung and Piper. Here are the key texts that will become the focus of my prayer and meditation in days to come. Maybe they will be for you too.

“Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able” (Luke 13:24).

“Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure” (Philippians 2:12-13).

“I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me” (1 Corinthians 15:10).

“Keep yourselves in the love of God, awaiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life” (Jude 1:21).

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Must We Preach with Passion?

The first time I heard John Piper preach I didn’t like it. It was about sixteen years ago. Someone had given me a cassette tape of Piper speaking on the topic of the supremacy of God in preaching, and in this particular message he stressed that the preacher’s delivery must be done with great passion and feeling. I disagreed with Piper. As far as I was concerned, the Bible was the point of preaching not the preacher’s delivery. I thought that Piper was promoting an anthropocentric view of the preacher’s task. I didn’t understand how Piper could be so wrong. Continue Reading →

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