UPDATE: Timmy Brister
has posted on Dr. Page's message here
. He also captured for all eternity
Dr. Page signing my copy of Trouble With The TULIP
! But if anything, he's captured for all eternity that I need to get back in shape. ;-p
Southern Baptist Convention president Frank Page spoke at Southern Seminary's Tuesday chapel. I made a point of getting up early to go hear him. It was well worth setting the alarm. President Page preached a very convicting sermon entitled "Changing That Which We Can Change" from Philippians 1:12-20.
I say it was convicting because I wish I'd heard that sermon about 4 years ago, shortly before beginning my struggles with burnout. It is also convicting in light of the current political silliness in the SBC, as well as the theological silliness going around about Calvinism.
What follows are my impressions from his message. I am sure there are others who can offer something more indepth and of more substance, and I encourage you to read theirs as well, should they post. But here are my gleanings.
When our circumstances in life appear difficult, can we change them? When we face difficult circumstances, more likely than not we cannot change them, precisely because they have been brought upon us by the Lord. Page drew from Paul's account in this passage three things. What we can change, and ought to change, is our mindset
, our motivation
, and our methodology
Our mindset, Page said, must be one that sees all circumstances as an opportunity to glorify God. Instead of taking mindsets of despair, jealousy, etc., Paul was encouraged that he had the opportunity to glorify God in the Roman jail in which he was held. His attitude, Page said, was one that said "I will proclaim the Gospel no matter my circumstances." We ought have the same mindset as Paul--no matter my situation, I will proclaim the Gospel.
Our motives must constantly be checked, Page stressed. Why are we doing what we are doing? Are we doing it to feel good about ourselves? Are we doing it to push an agenda? Are we doing it because we are aligned with a faction? All these motives are sinful and unbiblical. Page here made a proclamation that brought several "amens:" We are all on the same team. Southern Baptists have got to understand this.
Let me write that out with the proper emphasis he gave, in pulpit pounding: "We are all (pound) on (pound) the same (pound) team (pound). Southern Baptists have GOT (POUND) to understand this!"
Page went on to say that it is not about our feelings, factions, or agendas, because we are all on the same team. Therefore our motivation must be for His kingdom and for His glory. Paul didn't care about the "whys" and "wherefores" of his opponents. The only thing Paul cared about was that they were preaching the Gospel, though their motives were not pure. We must have the same motivation as Paul, one that simply seeks to see God and His kingdom lifted up through the proclamation of the Gospel.
I think this point brought the greatest agreement among the audience. Does what we do in our ministry bring shame and reproach upon the Gospel? If it does we must not do it. We must continually ask ourselves, "Is what we are doing pure and right, and does it bring glory to God?" If it is not and does not, we must get rid of it.
The entire point is that we must have first and foremost the glory of God as our goal.
Page closed his message with a good summary: "Though our circumstances in life may never change, we can change the way we face them by checking our mindset, motivation, and methodology."
Dr. Mohler, after a few remarks, most of which I was unable to follow, led the student in a time of silent prayer which I can only assume was meant for us to reflect and meditate on Page's message to us. I prayed that the Lord would forgive me for the times in which I had not kept His glory as the main thing. I prayed that He would ever lead me to seek His glory in all things, that He would keep me on the path that He has prepared for me.
Trouble With The TULIP
Afterwards, I found Guillaume McDowell
and walked out with him. For those of you wondering if he's been thrown in jail for the illegal possession of the bottle of Welch's Grape Juice I gave him, you may rest easy. Blogger has been acting up, as he attempted to switch to Blogger Beta, and it seems the folks at Blogger have royally screwed up his blog access.
But anyway, I walked out with him, and mentioned that I was going to get Dr. Page to sign my copy of Trouble With The Tulip
. He was tickled to death and so was I! As I reached the end of the greeting line, I thanked Dr. Page for a convicting message and made sure he knew that our church was praying for him. Then he graciously consented to sign my copy of TWTT! That's right, I got a signed copy now!
Just a little while ago, I went to enter TWTT into my catalog, and discovered something interesting. Amazon.com
still lists TWTT as "out-of-print," but they only have one used copy. That in and of itself is nothing, but it was listed as $1,842.54! A used
copy! That is one expensive book! I got a real steal at $14.50 from Lifeway.
Well, that about wraps up my day. Tricia and I finally bought a bookshelf, and the bulk of my books are now put away, praise the Lord. We also took my desktop computer in for diagnostics and an estimate on the repairs. It mysteriously went kerfuffle back in March or April, maybe even as far back as February, and I've delayed getting it fixed due to finances and that little thing I had to do called getting married. Please pray that I don't lose anything, because I have a year and a half's worth of sermons on it as well as two years of schoolwork and other ministry work that I'd like to save.