Monday, February 28, 2011

The Lord Is in the Room: An Evangelism Encouragement

For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse (Rom 1:20).

...they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them (Rom 2:15).

We interrupt our current series with a brief, but related, encouragement for personal evangelism. At the most recent Men's Theology Breakfast at our church (which concurrently meets here, here, and here every other Friday at 6am, according to this schedule) we discussed "The Necessity of Scripture," which included an encouraging and edifying discussion related to personal evangelism. Especially in relation to "general revelation":
The knowledge of God's existence and character also provides a basis of information that enables the gospel to make sense to a non-Christian's heart and mind: unbelievers know that God exists and that they have broken his standards, so the news that Christ died to pay for their sins should truly come as good news to them.

- Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology, p. 123
I have found no other truth more energizing for personal evangelism than this: Every one on the planet knows there is a holy God before whom they are guilty. All religions and philosophies are at their root, vain attempts to assuage the unrelenting guilty conscience of sinful men and women.

This is really liberating news for those of us burdened to share the good news of the only Savior! We do not have to start from scratch. Nor do we have to move conversations to an awkward starting-point to initiate the launch sequence for our stock evangelism method. We can also skip the logical hoop-jumping and philosophical gymnastics that come with assuming the unbeliever's mindset is actually rational. We just have to speak to our hearers as if they know there is a holy God before whom they are guilty and as if He too is in the room (both of which happen to be true!). How much easier and less daunting (and more biblical!) to begin with the universal knowledge of God and sin that is expressed by every individual?

For example, I recently received a haircut from "Chatty Cathy." Cathy expressed her frustration with "kids these days" and especially their perverse behavior on various social media (being a non-Facebooker, I was unable to personally relate). Yet, I do believe in the existence of human perversity and, thanks to my copy of the Bible, I know why it is so. So, rather than proceed with a discussion about kids, social media or any other less-controversial issue - hoping that the "sin" word may fortuitously pop-up - I began to discuss what I know the Lord, who was also there at the barbershop, thought about it and what Cathy intuitively knew as well.

So, here's how the conversation progressed:
    Me: "That is disturbing, for sure, but it's not really surprising, is it? I mean, we are all born as sinners and by our very nature desire that rebellious and evil pattern of life from our birth" (e.g., Ps 51:3-5; Eph 2:1-3).

    Cathy: [long pause] "You really think that everyone is born evil?"

    Me: "Yes, of course, and I obviously include myself. You don't?" [with intentional incredulity]

    Cathy: "Well... I guess I never really thought about it."

    Me: "You see, the Bible - God's Word - teaches that we are sinful by nature, which is why there is so much wickedness in our world. That is also why each one of us, including you and I, are in desperate need of the Savior from sin, Jesus Christ."

    [Gospel conversation ensues]
Needless to say, I was grateful for a rather fruitful "haircut." I left praying for the Gospel to penetrate Cathy's heart, as well as for an opportunity to follow-up as my hair will inevitably grow back.

Yet, to our immediate point, our conversation was neither awkward nor artificial; in fact, we began with a topic that she brought-up. Also, I did not capitulate to the world's sinful perspective nor avoid confrontation by wrongly assuming that we can understand anything apart from its relationship to our holy Creator. I only had to ask, since the Lord is in the room, what does He think about what Cathy just said?

I would not consider myself a gifted evangelist (I'm barely competent with interpersonal communication at all, to be quite honest), but I have found help in the reality of "general revelation." Just ask yourself, what does the Lord think about that? If someone complains about anything, that is an opportunity to talk about sin or justice. If someone expresses joy or gratitude for anything, that can be an opportunity to discuss His patience and undeserved kindness. We could go on and on...

To be clear, I do not believe in watering-down the offensive exclusivity of Christ (see immediately previous posts) nor in avoiding Christ's lordship and His command to repent and believe (e.g., Acts 17:30-31). However, I also believe that we do not have to make personal evangelism more difficult than it already is. As well intended as many evangelical "methods" are, they can also come across as manipulative, contrived, "gimmicky," abstract, and even artificial to the point of downplaying the relevance of the Gospel and turning conversations into minor speeches that are given indifferent to the actual person with whom you are speaking (that's true even of those methods that claim to be The Way).

I just prefer to proclaim the Person of Christ to real people, than to try and trap my hearers into a pre-fabricated "sales pitch." Not only does it seem more faithful to the Gospel and to Christian love... it's also, well, easier.

For more on this perspective on personal evangelism, see the "What do you say when... ?" series by those helpful folks at The Briefing. Or, just remember to ask yourself: "Since God is in the room, what does He think about that?" And pray for the courage to say it.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

A Definite Death, 1: Three Reasons for Particular Redemption

... the church of God which He purchased with His own blood (Acts 20:28).

Previous posts in this series:
We have been discussing the exclusivity of Christ for salvation and eternal life in His Father. Namely, He is the Savior and the only Savior of the world. But how does His saving work, Jesus' death and resurrection, relate to the entire world? Unfortunately, that is not a question that has received a uniform answer.

Two main responses have been given on the extent or intent of Jesus' death: (1) that He died to provide salvation for all men, its effect being contingent on their faith, or (2) that He died to effectually secure the salvation of all who will truly be saved. The former being "hypothetical universalism" - that is, He hypothetically died for the whole world, though only those of faith grasp this universal "gift" - and the latter being "particular redemption" (or "definite atonement") - that is, He died with the intention of saving all whom the Father had chosen before the foundation of the world.

To be clear, this is not a debate over the value of Jesus' death, that is a non-issue. It is infinitely glorious and immeasurably valuable to save whomever the Lord would have predestined to be saved in Him! Rather, we are asking what was the Father's purpose in sending His Son? What was the Son's intention in voluntarily laying-down His life? And what have been the effects of His death and resurrection?

Personally, I used to think this was more of a secondary issue and not one to make too much fuss over. I am increasingly persuaded, however, that this doctrine is at the very heart of the Gospel, is the doctrinal guardian of the atoning work of Christ, and is the very basis for personal assurance and confident evangelism in the Christian life. So, I guess you could say I no longer think it is secondary!

I would offer six reasons why I believe that particular (or definite) redemption is the true and necessary teaching of God's Word. (How 'bout 3 today and 3 more tomorrow, to keep this in the "blogging" range?) However, please do not confuse what follows with the best exposition of this doctrine. I would suggest the following resources to go deeper:
  • Roger Nicole Professor Nicole, who recently went to be with His Savior (who definitely redeemed him) has been a modern stalwart on the biblical teaching of the atonement. See links to several of his articles here, as well as an excellent three-part series on the atonement at the 1989 Bethlehem Pastor's Conference here (his accent makes it really fun!). A compilation of Nicole's writings is available in Standing Forth
So, that's at least a few things to read this weekend. And for now, here's three reasons why I am convinced Jesus' atonement was particular and definite:

1. Jesus’ commission from His Father had a particular or definite purpose. Why did the Father send His Son? To "gather together into one the children of God who are scattered abroad" (John 11:52). And "to purify for Himself a people for His own possession" (Titus 2:14).

If we take seriously the relationship of the Father and the Son - the very unity of God Himself ! - then we must not remove the purpose of Jesus' death from His Father's commission, which He stated Himself as "not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me" (John 6:38). So any conception of Jesus' death that is at odds with the Father's sovereign electing will must be rejected as introducing a grievous (and foreign) divide within our Triune God.

Or, put another way, how could Jesus die for those whom the Father never gave Him (and whom the Spirit would not call nor regenerate)? If Jesus is His Father's Perfect Son (and the second co-equal and co-eternal Person of the Godhead) then His death must be consistent with the Father's election. "Hypothetical Universalism," however unintended, introduces a grievous conflict within God's unity.

2. Jesus' mission had a particular or definite point of relationship. Jesus is said in Scripture to have explicitly given His life for "His people" (Matt 1:21), "for many" (Matt 20:28), "for the sheep" (John 10:11), "for his friends" (John 15:13), "the church of God" (Acts 20:28), "the body... the church" (Eph 5:23-26), and as Paul assuredly declares "for me" (Gal 2:20). Did Jesus die to make all men "savable" or did He die for "His people"? We cannot over look the impact of these and many other like statements in Scripture. Jesus gave Himself explicitly for His people. These texts cast much aspersion on the idea that Jesus died for a general potential, rather than a particular people. If Jesus did not explicitly die for particular individuals, how could Paul ever say He "gave Himself up for me" (Gal 2:20)?

3. Jesus’ death and resurrection was a definite substitution. Closely related to #2 above, how often do we read in the New Testament that Jesus died "for us" or "on our behalf"? This is a precious truth of the Gospel, that Jesus is our substitutionary atonement, our vicarious Savior, and His death was a penal substitution. He is the One who "knew no sin" and yet became "sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him" (2 Cor 5:21).

How can Jesus be the substitute for a potential or hypothetical mass of people? Even more, for those who will never be saved? Was Jesus the substitute for those who become forever lost? If that is the case, then He is no one's substitute! This is why I say that "definite atonement" stands sentry at the very heart of the Gospel. Without it, the whole basis of our salvation - the assurance that Jesus has suffered God's wrath on our behalf - is undone and must be revised.

In fact, I would suggest that the rejection of this doctrine is a proximate cause to evangelicalism's continued loss of penal substitution and slide toward universalism. Reject "particular redemption" or "definite atonement" and, eventually, you will lose the Gospel entirely.

That's enough for now, I'm sure. Three more definite reasons for definite atonement tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Universal Exclusivity, 2: From Every Nation

“I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me" (John 14:6).

Previous posts in this series:
There is another reason that we must confess Jesus to be the only Savior of the world. And that is the observed effect of His death in the worship of heaven. We encounter it in the transcendent vision of heaven's praise given to John the Apostle, particularly the song of the 24 elders and four living creatures before the Lamb:
Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth (Rev 5:9-10).
Note the language of international achievement in their singing! Jesus did not purchase in His death the nations of the West who presuppose something of a Judeo-Christian heritage. Nor was He slain for Israel alone. Jesus voluntarily poured out His blood for men "from every tribe and tongue and people and nation" to make them a new kingdom unto God.

Jesus is the "the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world" (John 1:29) and will deservedly receive the praise from all the nations of the earth eternally. His work was for men and women from every nation.

The exclusivity of Jesus' work and the Gospel is the very thing that establishes its universality. If He is the only Savior of the world, then He is the only way to be saved from every tribe, tongue, people, and nation. The Lord God excludes no one from the reach of His grace because of their ethnicity, culture, nation of origin or language.

It is with grief, therefore, that we must acknowledge the Church is not always faithful to the "universal religion" with which she has been entrusted:
Christians should breathe the spirit of a universal religion. A religion which regards all men as brethren; which looks on God, not as the God of this nation, or of that church, but as the God and father of all which proposes to all the same conditions of acceptance, and which opens equally to all the same boundless and unsearchable blessings...

It must be very offensive to God, who looks on all men with equal favor (except as moral conduct makes a difference), to observe how one class of mortals looks down upon another, on account of some merely adventitious difference of rank, color, external circumstances, or social or ecclesiastical connection.

- Charles Hodge, Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans [1880], p. 351
When we are encumbered with ethnic, racial, or national overtones, we betray the Gospel. Somewhat counter-intuitively, it is the "hard edge" of the Gospel's exclusivity that supports the Church's mandate to universal love for men. We serve the Savior and Lord of the world, who died for those under death from Adam and those separated into varying languages, tribes, nations, and peoples.

This, of course, raises a question that is often poorly answered - at least in many American evangelical circles. Did Jesus die for every individual in the entire world - without distinction - or was His death more particular and more definite? Far from being a tertiary point of theological trivia, it is a fount of faith, assurance, worship, and stands as a sentry at the very center of Gospel truth. But, we'll try to deal with that tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Universal Exclusivity, 1: For Adam's Race

“I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me" (John 14:6).

Previous posts in this series:
Can people be saved any other way than through the work of Christ on the cross? Are there other provisions or means by which people may be brought into relationship and eternal life with God the Father? These questions are asked of the Church in every generation and require definitive answers.

Scripture teaches that Christ's atonement on the cross is the universally exclusive means of salvation and receiving the promise of eternal life in God Himself - He is the only Savior for the entire world.

The scope or reference for Christ's death and resurrection is the human or Adamic race, mired in sin and condemned to death. Or as Wesley put it in "And Can it Be?":
He left His Father’s throne above
So free, so infinite His grace—
Emptied Himself of all but love,
And bled for Adam’s helpless race.
Two - out of many - passages that establish the universal reference and necessity of Jesus' death and resurrection are Romans 5:17-19 and 1 Corinthians 15:21-23.

First, in Romans 5:17-19, we observe that Jesus' saving work corresponds to the universality of Adam's "work." That is, just as Adam's sin led to death for everyone united to him (i.e., "through the one"), so Jesus' death leads to life for all united to Him (i.e., "through the One"). , but in v. 18 Paul intentionally and provocatively parallels "condemnation to all men" and "justification of life to all men" to establish Jesus' saving work as the means of redemption not merely for Jews, or any other segment of humanity, but for the entire race of Adam - all of humanity.

Note: this text does not teach "universalism," that all men will be saved by virtue of Jesus' death, whether they believe in Him or not. That would make for a rash reading. The "all" is specifically defined in v. 17 as “those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness…”, which implies that some will receive and some will not. Not to mention that Paul has already established the reality of God's just wrath (e.g., 2:5-8), as well as faith as the means of justification (e.g., 3:28; 5:1).

Secondly, in 1 Corinthians 15:20-23, we comparably observe that just as death came by Adam, resurrection-life comes by Jesus Christ (v. 21). As in Romans 5, Adam's progeny is specifically marked by death ("in Adam all die"), whereas Christ's progeny is specifically marked by life ("in Christ all will be made alive"). Again, we must note some similar cautions against a superficial reading, that life is given to those who are "in Christ" and implied exclusion in the phrase "those who are Christ's" (v. 22).

Again, Jesus' saving death and resurrection is universally exclusive - the only means of salvation for the entire race of sinners descended from Adam. Positively stated, Jesus Christ is God's answer - His only answer - for the human need of redemption. Because He "bled for Adam's helpless race," none are excluded by their ethnicity, nation or culture. That is one of the hard, but glorious edges of the Gospel.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Christianity's Glorious Hard Edges

“I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me" (John 14:6).

Over the past two weeks, I have had the opportunity to be encouraged by and to encourage in the fundamentals of biblical Christianity, that is, the exclusivity of salvation and truth in Christ. In his new (and well-done) The Christian Faith, Michael Horton describes the stripes of philosophical opposition many have posed to the Gospel truths:
Ours is not the first age to have found the doctrine of everlasting punishment difficult to accept. In recent decades, contemporary views have been classified as (1) pluralist (all religions are paths to God), (2) inclusivist (salvation comes by Christ alone but not exclusively through explicit faith in Christ), and (3) particularist (also identified, usually by critics, as exclusivism or restrictivism, holding that salvation comes only through faith in Christ).
In "Catechesis, Preaching, and Vocation" (in Here We Stand!), Gene Veith remarks on how evangelicals have in recent years stumbled over the severity of Christ's exclusivity
Classical Protestantism has always taught that Jesus Christ died to save sinners, but many contemporary evangelicals are downplaying sin, salvation, and the atonement. The new gospel replaces salvation with therapy. Sin gives way to self-esteem; the doctrine of justification by faith is replaced with the doctrine of positive thinking. This new version of Christianity recasts the Bible from the Word of salvation into a step-by-step manual for happy living. The hard edges of historic Christianity - the Bible's stern moral demands, unpleasant doctrines such as hell, Christ as the one way to salvation- are minimized in an effort to reduce Christianity to a feel-good religion. The focus of the new theology is not God, but the self. Objective doctrines are replaced by subjective experiences; worshiping a holy God gives way to entertaining the congregation. Such notions may promote church growth [i.e., numerically], but they are not historic Christianity.
Over the next few days, I'd like to do a brief review of the "hard edges" of the Gospel. For it is in these severe and sobering truths that the foundation of our mission, our perseverance in faith, our endurance of suffering, and - most significantly - our joy in His glories are found. May we see Him restore those hard edges to the flabby church of our age!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Ask R.C. Sproul Live Tonight

Tonight at 5pm (PST), Ligonier Ministries will be hosting "Ask R.C. Sproul Live."

Questions may be submitted via Twitter or Facebook... too bad we do not use either here at TPC, I wonder if he'd take a collect call?

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy 300th Anniversary to A Method for Prayer!

There are books that are worth reading and then there are those that are nearly indispensable. Even after 300 years, A Method for Prayer (1710) by Matthew Henry is firmly in the latter category. To be quite personally-direct, you really need to own this book, especially in the new, thoroughly-revised edition, A Way to Pray.

Though Henry is most known for his Commentary on the Whole Bible, I would suggest his magnum opus is actually the lesser known Method for Prayer. It is to complete this work that Henry left his Commentary unfinished upon his death (friends and fellow-pastors completed Romans - Revelation by utilizing Henry's drafted notes).

Ligon Duncan observes about Henry's Method:
Along with Isaac Watts’s Guide to Prayer (1715) it stands as the classic treatise in the Protestant English-speaking world for the promotion of the practice of biblical prayer, that is, praying Scripture, or praying with the intelligent use of the language of Scripture.

- The Devoted Life: An Invitation to the Puritan Classics.
Matthew Henry was a devoted pastor of the latter Puritan era, known to rise each day at 4am to spend eight hours in prayer and study (!) before undertaking his numerous ministerial labors. In his Method, Henry draws from his study of Scripture and his own personal experience in prayer to outline biblical prayer according to the themes noted in the Westminster Directory for Public Worship (another overlooked gem, edited and introduced by Ferguson and Dever).

Using a six-part model, Henry organizes an unbelievable amount of Scripture in the forms of adoration, confession, petition, thanksgiving, intercession, and conclusion. This is easily convertible to our more familiar (and simpler) ACTS model (adoration, confession, thanksgiving, and supplication = petition and intercession). His motivation was simply to deepen his readers' praying in accord with God's Word.

In 1994, Ligon Duncan edited and introduced a reprint of Henry's work - and one that is still valuable, not only for Duncan's original contributions, but the addition of 3 sermons by Henry on prayer and worship - A Method for Prayer. This edition also became the basis for, which affords several ways to utilize and search this material (including daily e-mails).

Given the benefit I have received from this work, I initially hesitated to hear of Banner's plan for a thorough revision for its 300th Anniversary of this work. If it ain't broke, why fix it, right? Well, it was never broke, but they have indeed fixed it!

A Way to Pray is a complete revising and updating of Henry's Method by O. Palmer Robertson. It is, again, simply indispensable. (Robertson, interestingly enough, was the seminary professor who originally introduced Ligon Duncan to this work when Duncan was yet a lowly ordinand). By simplifying Henry's overall organization, correcting some questionable applications of certain passages, and updating the language to modern English, A Way to Pray is, in my estimation, the single greatest aid to prayer, whether private, public, or corporate, that currently exists in the English language. And, no, that is not an overstatement.

Robertson gave his motivation for such labor in his "Introduction":
For the past fifty years this book has been my constant companion. My copy was passed down to me by my mother. It had been in use in the family for several previous generations. Almost daily I have been blessed by its use in my times of personally seeking the face of God. Next to the Bible it has been the most and the most influential book in my life. For many years I have wanted to update the language of the book so it could be accessible to future generations of believers in Christ. I wanted to pass it on to my own children and grandchildren. By now the pages of my old copy have begun to disintegrate. Every time I open it, a few pieces of page flake off. So I am grateful to God that I finally have had the opportunity to offer this revised, edited and updated version of the book. Considering the state of my personal copy, this edition comes 'just in the nick of time'.

- A Way to Pray, xiii - xiv.
And from "How to Read this Book":
The best way to read this book is while you are on your knees, not while sitting in an easy chair. Then you may proceed to read in the following way: Read a brief section of the work - a phrase, a sentence, a paragraph. Then close your eyes or life them to heaven. Rephrase what you read in your own words. If you can't remember what you read, look at the section again. Make the words applicable to your own situation.

...make this book your constant life-companion. By continuing to shape your prayers in conformity with God's own words, you will find few disappointments in your fellowship with your heavenly Father. For he is more ready to give than you are to ask, if only your heart continues to conform to his.

- A Way to Pray, xx - xxi.
This is the "prayer book" you have been looking for. I have been using this book - as Robertson suggests - for just a couple weeks now and have never had a single greater motivator to private and public prayer outside of God's Word itself.

So, seriously, buy this book (WTS | Amazon | CBD | Banner).

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Peet's for the People

From the sublime to the mundane... but not entirely without merit. Why not love someone else for the glory of God in Jesus by getting 'em a cup of Peets? Until February 20th, it is free!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Calvinist Crossing

More M'Cheyne to come, DV. We have been regrettably delayed by illness and those pesky demands of real life and ministry which continually interrupts our time on the internet!

Until we return with more M'Cheyne, here's some interesting links on life in the church for your consideration...

A La Carte. Appreciated Challies' brief introduction to today's A La Carte:
Super Bowl this, Super Bowl that. It’s tough to get too excited about the Super Bowl when your church has an evening service that overlaps kickoff. And when you don’t have cable. And when you don’t have a favorite team. And I’m okay with this (especially after catching some video of that unspeakably awful half-time performance).
Ditto, Tim, I am okay with this too. Actually, I pray for the day when God's church in our age is so revived that Christians look to the Lord's Day with a holy greediness of its blessings(see next link) and say at the end of the day, "Oh, there was a game today?"

A Phrase to Retire. Great reminders from Kevin DeYoung that the Church - and her means of grace - are God's gifts and not just arenas of our giving to God.
Amen to evangelism. Amen to services that recognize the presence of non-Christians. Amen to poking long-time believers to serve in ways besides the reading of books. But boo-hoo to chiding church members for wanting a church that loves them, teaches them, and watches over their souls. The phrase sounds prophetic and I understand the good intentions, but there is simply no biblical warrant for saying to God’s people “church is not for you.” Better to say ala the Apostle Peter: “Church is for you, and for your children, and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God calls to himself.”

Mom Always Shovels the Drive. Part biopic and part exhortation from Tim Challies. If you are fathering a son, read this! Reminded me of an exhortation I recently heard from an older professor to single men: "Serve the single mothers in your church! Put down the video games and take her kids to the park, so she can have a break and you can invest some time in another's faith." Great stuff.

Evangelize by Loving Christians. Terrific synopsis of Stiles' work, Marks of the Messenger, by Andy Naselli. Turns out that John 13:34-35 is not only true... but it just might work!

Why Facebook (and Your Church) Might Be Making You Sad. Insightful and helpful article by Russell Moore. Grateful that we sang, "The Lord is Angry," during corporate worship yesterday.
By not speaking, where the Bible speaks, to the full range of human emotion—including loneliness, guilt, desolation, anger, fear, desperation—we only leave our people there, wondering why they just can’t be “Christian” enough to smile through it all.

Where Have All the Presbyterians Gone? Another one from Russell Moore, but a recent article in WSJ, with poignant indictments and encouragements. Reminded me of the constant need for fidelity and sobriety in the church, without defaulting into dead traditionalism.
But there are some signs of a growing church-focused evangelicalism. Many young evangelicals may be poised to reconsider denominational doctrine, if for no other reason than they are showing signs of fatigue with typical evangelical consumerism.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

John Piper on Rober Murray M'Cheyne

"Fruitfulness in this life is not quantifiable in years." That gem, with which John Piper summarized the life of Robert Murray M'Cheyne, is worth an hour of meditation and is the motivation for praying for increasing fidelity and discipline with the time we have been given.

Piper strove for the bottom of M'Chenye's life and ministry with "Living and Dying in the Morning of Life: Robert Murray M'Cheyne." (You can read, listen, and eventually watch the session at that link).

He identified the center of M'Cheyne's power and impact as an acute awareness of the preciousness of Christ and the painful shortness of life and even how that was conveyed in his own personal preparation and discipline:
You need not have less fruitfulness if you take the time to get that training, and like McCheyne, you may have more. Fruitfulness in this life is not quantifiable in years. He only had seven years left when he was done with school. But with everything he had learned form Chalmers and with immersion in the Greek New Testament and the Hebrew Old Testament and with a radical commitment to holiness and evangelism, and with a band of friends, those seven years were worth seven decades.
Piper did an excellent job explaining M'Cheyne's passion for personal holiness and proclaiming Christ, highlighting many of my favorite excerpts from M'Cheyne's writings along the way (they go by quickly in audio / video, so it is worth reading Piper's manuscript).

Of course, how much can you say in an hour? So much was left untouched. We'll try to point-out a couple lessons and passions of M'Cheyne that didn't make it into Piper's talk yesterday.

NB, see the previous post for suggested biographies and free resources on M'Cheyne.