Monthly Archives: March 2013

We Should Study Systematic Theology for the Gospel

The Gospel doesn’t need you. You need the Gospel.

So don’t misunderstand me. We don’t study because the Gospel is weak. We study because we have been commanded to defend the Gospel. When presented in the power of the Holy Spirit, the Gospel is powerful. Consider our responsibility in Jude 3-4:

Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.

bible-jude Continue reading


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Dealing with Conflict

Working conflictI had a student ask me for tips on how to handle conflict. I thought I would share my thoughts here.

First, let’s be honest. If you haven’t dealt with a lot of conflict it has the potential to make your palms sweat, your blood pressure rise, and your brain malfunction. You must control your emotions rather than have your emotions control you. Conflict is inevitable. Handling it well can make the difference between a successful resolution or a nervous breakdown. Here are some tips.

1.         Eternal Perspective:

This is the most important part to handling conflict in a way that glorifies God. At home when disciplining the kids, it must be about shepherding their heart toward God and not satisfying your anger. At work, you have a responsibility to disciple or impart spiritual wisdom into those around you. You can help an employee improve or recognize a weakness. If you are past that point, then you can help them understand their gifts and what job would allow them to succeed. Everyone wants to succeed which sometimes means moving to a different and more satisfying job. Continue reading

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We Should Study Systematic Theology for Others (cont.)

Practical Application

Fitting White in MadagascarSpring2012

  • iPhone…check
  • bag of candy…check
  • deflated soccer ball…check
  • Polaroid Instant Camera…check.

You are ready to go. You’re going to impress everyone with your knowledge of how to draw a crowd in those African villages. Between your instant photos in villages that don’t think you are stealing their souls and your bags of candy, you’re about to become a rock star.

But, purgatory awaits—some call it international travel. Three plane flights over two days to get to your remote destination. As a seasoned traveler, you have a plan. Tylenol PM, eye mask, noise cancelling headphones, and neck cushion all tucked away in your carry on bag with a change of clothes just in case.

Finally, you land. A hot shower washes the sleep from your eyes, a film of filth gathered at 40,000 feet, and the stiffness from your knees being crammed against seats made for Pygmies. Continue reading

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Should Every Sermon Be 3 Points and a Poem?

thomaswhite preachingI hope not, and I hope to explain a better way to look at sermon development that will allow for creativity and faithfulness to Scripture.

I learned a method called the “key word” method. The method served me fine for many texts, but I found great difficulty coming up with new and unique key words, and I also found difficulty preaching narratives or parables. While at Southwestern Seminary, I learned a new philosophy of preaching that doesn’t implement a particular “method,” but allows the text to determine the structure of the sermon—we call this text driven preaching.

While examining a text, you determine whether the passage dictates a deductive, inductive, or inductive/deductive approach. I’ll explain the different approaches in another post, but it would sidetrack this discussion so just stay with me for now. My point for today is to show the differences between a text driven sermon versus three points and a poem.

Let’s briefly look at Matthew 18:21-35 the parable of the unforgiving servant. Continue reading


Filed under Text Driven Preaching, Thomas White, Uncategorized

We Should Study Systematic Theology for Others (cont.)

Theological Formulation

Jesus—the Sunday School answer to every question in church, right? You know who Jesus is. Jesus is “your homeboy.” Well if you think so, then you need to continue reading. Homeboys don’t command obedience, and the Bible calls us slaves to Christ, but you are not a slave to your homeboy.

For some, all they know of Jesus comes from sermons that have only given the subject a cursory treatment, and let’s not blame the pastors. I mean, how much can you really do in thirty minutes when the congregation expects a good story and specific application or they start playing games on their iPad?

This is why you must supplement good preaching with systematic study. Even the best text-driven sermon on Jesus could cover only one passage well. Yet just a basic systematic study should cover the four major Christological passages. These passages demonstrate that Jesus is fully man, fully God, existed for all eternity, and much more… Continue reading

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