Family Worship

May 2, 2010

When it comes to books about theology and the Christian life it has been said for every new book one should read two old books. Wonderfully rich theology is contained in them. I wanted to mention one such book.

Thoughts on Family Worship by James W. Alexander
Which can be read for free at the link below.

I am the worship leader in my home

One of the primary reasons worship is misunderstood, misconstrued or otherwise neglected in the church is because it is being neglected in the home. Family worship as the name communicates is the collective worship given to God by the members of one household.

It would be incorrect to say that leading in scripture reading, singing of hymns and spiritual songs or in prayer, would be in addition to the responsibilities of a husband and father. More correct would be that these activities are the outpouring of a healthy family whose leader is fulfilling his responsibility to those entrusted to his care, through family worship.

Leading and modeling

After the initial understanding of the call to family worship many efforts in such an endeavor fall short still. A great leader once said I never ask my troops to do something that I would not myself do nor know nothing about. Family worship time should be an expression and an indication of each member’s personal worship and devotion time. In most cases, neither family nor individual worship will exceed that which is modeled by the father/husband as the shepherd of his family.

Methods of family worship

The author gives a suggestion and example of how a family devotion time might be conducted. Inquiries of the family as to the particular graces extended to them throughout the course of their day for which collective praises might be rendered and or further supplications of continued grace in those matters. The father/Husband might turn the family’s attention to a hymn that has blessed his own devotion time during the week. He might teach the hymn if necessary, lead the family in singing and probe the depths of the theological truths within the hymn and consult the scriptures for edification.


In conclusion, the father/husband has a particular role in molding the worshippers entrusted to his household. This is no small task and one that he does not go at alone. God has been using the godly examples of fathers, since creation, to teach their children what an acceptable sacrifice looks like. Able learned how to prepare his sacrifice to the Lord, no doubt, through the teaching and example of Adam and it was acceptable in the Lord’s eyes.




It’s been a busy week, and I haven’t had a chance to post anything. I have come across several good posts on-line though, and since I don’t know which to link to, here’s a smorgasboard of good stuff from around the web (as usual, I found most of this stuff thanks to Tim Challies and Justin Taylor!):

  • John Piper wrote a thought-provoking post entitled, “Why I Don’t Have a Television and Rarely Go to Movies” . This post also includes a wonderful example of humbly confessing sin. 
  • Keith and Kristen Getty have released a new album of modern, celtic-style hymns. Their lyrics are saturated with Scripture and their music is beautiful! You can listen to samples and/or order the CD here.
  • Sovereign Grace Music has released another children’s album entitled, To Be Like Jesus. Read about it here.
  • Tim Challies asked John Bell, pastor of New City Baptist Church in Toronto, to share about his experience sharing the gospel with the gay community in his city. It is well worth reading – to help us think biblically about homosexuality, and to help us in God-honoring evangelism and church life. There is also some very interesting discussion in the comments, especially involving a number of men who struggle with homosexuality but turn from it because of their commitment to Christ. Read this post here
  • If you’re compiling a summer reading list, you might find these 2 posts from David Powlison to be of interest. Powlison is a bilical counselor, professor, and author, and he spent some time this week discussing some of his favorite literature with CJ Mahaney. You can read part 1 here, and part 2 here.  
  • What does Kurt Warner, a Christian who plays quarterback for the Arizona Cardinals, like most about being a professional football player? His very encouraging answer is here.   



Al Mohler:

“The times demand Christian courage. These days, courage means that preachers and Christian leaders must set an agenda for biblical confrontation, and not shrink from dealing with the full range of issues related to homosexuality. We must talk about what the Bible teaches about gender–what it means to be a man or a woman. We must talk about God’s gift of sex and the covenant of marriage. And we must talk honestly about what homosexuality is, and why God has condemned this sin as an abomination in His sight…

…And yet, even as courage is required, the times call for another Christian virtue as well–compassion. The tragic fact is that every congregation is almost certain to include persons struggling with homosexual desire or even involved in homosexual acts. Outside the walls of the church, homosexuals are waiting to see if the Christian church has anything more to say, after we declare that homosexuality is a sin…

…We cannot settle for truth without love nor love without truth. The Gospel settles the issue once and for all. This great moral crisis is a Gospel crisis. The genuine Body of Christ will reveal itself by courageous compassion, and compassionate courage. We will see this realized only when men and women freed by God’s grace from bondage to homosexuality feel free to stand up in our churches and declare their testimony–and when we are ready to welcome them as fellow disciples. Millions of hurting people are waiting to see if we mean what we preach.”

You can read the whole article, “No Truth Without Love, No Love Without Truth”, here.


HT: Tim Challies

We’re all different. This is seen in our strengths: one is athletic, one is “artsy”, and another is mathematical. One is “task oriented” and another is “people oriented.” And it is seen in our greatest struggles: one is prone to anger, one has to fight off laziness, one struggles with strong temptation to alcoholism, one has a difficult time with gossip, one fears man and longs for the praise of his peers, another struggles with lust, and another, with homosexuality… None of these tendencies make the related behaviors excusable. Sin is sin. But the born again Christian is commited to repentance – to turning from sin and pursuing the life God has called us to…

This article, written by a Christian who struggles with same sex desires but is committed to battling them, is well worth the read. Don’t be put off by his terminology – when he refers to “homosexual Christians” he’s referring to people like himself, who struggle, but are commited to turning from those sinful desires. As he explains in his article, these people, like all of us, need the church: the loving, supporting, faithful, compassionate help of other Christians. Will we be that for each other? We must! It is what God calls us to.   

Read the article here.


HT: Justin Taylor

I’ve mentioned Vodie Baucham on this blog before… he’s always great food for thought, always presents his views unashamedly, and though you probably won’t always agree (and might find your feathers a tad ruffled here and there), he’s bound to challenge and convict you, and sharpen your thinking. 

His new book, “What He Must Be… If He Wants To Marry My Daughter” was already on my “to read” list. After reading a review of it this morning, I’m looking forward to it all the more. I’m anticipating finding it a phenomenal tool both for parents striving to prepare their sons for manhood and/ or striving to help their daughters develop a clear portrait of what really matters in their choice of life partner, and a very helpful read for young men and women as they prepare for life and the prospect of marriage as well… 

To read the review I just read (by Frank Turk, of the “Pyromaniacs” blog), click here. This man is not easily impressed, but he’s very enthusiastic about this book. Here are a few blurbs from his review:

“… get into this book and grab a robust view of the role of a husband and a father — both from the perspective of what you personally ought to be in your family, and what you ought to seek out in and mentor into young men who think they want something to do with young women, especially the young women in your family.”

“This is a book about reclaiming the role of men in our families, our churches and our society — and I say, “Lay it on, my friend!””

“… it is a deeply pastoral book — seeking to make disciples of men, to be doers of the word and not just hearers only. Read this book, and then read it again, and then tear out the chapters and make little booklets of them so you can share them in small groups, and then start teaching this stuff to your sons so they can be this kind of men. And then teach it to your daughters so they kind find these kind of men.”

“This book is worth every penny, and you will read it more than once.”


newsweek1Justin Taylor writes, “Here’s the tease for Lisa Miller’s new Newsweek cover story on The Religious Case for Gay Marriage: “Opponents of gay marriage often cite Scripture. But what the Bible teaches about love argues for the other side.”” I encourage you to read the rest of Justin’s blog post (which links to other responses to the Newsweek article and includes a video on the subject). Read it here. Al Mohler’s comments on the supposedly biblical arguments employed in the article are helpful too. Read them here.


Al Mohler’s article on this subject is interesting and worth the read. Read it here.


HT: Justin Taylor  

John Piper has written a booklet entitled, “What’s The Difference?: Manhood and Womanhood Defined According to the Bible”. It is available for free on-line (to download the booklet in PDF format, click here.) This is the description of the booklet from the Desiring God website: 

“In what ways are men and women essentially the same? In what ways are they essentially different? And how do these differences affect our roles in the home, the church, and society?

Adapted from chapter 1 of Recovering Biblical Manhood & Womanhood, this booklet takes a positive, sensitive look at these important questions.”

(If you click here and scroll down the page, you’ll find a table of contents with links to PDF files for every chapter in the extensive, encyclopedic, Recovering Biblical Manhood & Womanhood book, edited by John Piper and Wayne Grudem)

I think Piper has done an excellent job in this booklet. I encourage you to read it!

~ Donovan

Is a woman VP biblical?

October 9, 2008

Below, you’ll find links to a few blog posts addressing this issue, and they are good food for thought… My goal in this post is to get us thinking about much more than whether or not Palin can biblically be a VP… My hope is that we’ll think rigorously through what the Bible has to say about God’s design for men and women – something that is immensely practical for each of us. Other weighty questions arise too – such as the authority of Scripture, how to rightly interpret Scripture, and how to rightly look to Scripture in questions about “gray areas”…

A little “glossary” help before you read the posts below: A “Complementarian” is a Christian who believes that God created men and women as equal in dignity and value, but designed, and intended by God, to fulfill different roles. This is the position of our church. An “Egalitarian” is a Christian who believes there should be no distinction between men’s and women’s roles.     

Click on the links below to read these posts (if you only have time to read one post, read the one by Al Mohler):

  • “Palin Can Serve Family and Country”  by Al Mohler

Click here.

  • “Does Sarah Palin Present a Dilemma for Complementarians?”

By David Kotter, for the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood

Click here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4

I will post a few thoughts of my own soon.


I think many Christians have been so excited about a pro-life, dynamic, Christian VP candidate, that they haven’t even given this question a second thought. I think we absolutely must wrestle with what the Bible says about this issue, as objectively and sober-mindedly as possible – just as we must wrestle with what the Bible says about any issue. Even if we emerge with the same belief, it is infinitely better to hold that belief, based squarely upon Scripture, than it is to hold a belief and be unsure of whether Scripture supports it.   

I’ll post more on this subject in the next few days. As an introduction, watch this CNN interview with Voddie Baucham and Margaret Feinberg (the first part of the video is unrelated – start watching around 55 seconds):