Thursday, August 12, 2010


Over the span of this year, I have been doing a hard study and examination of Christ-Centered preaching, and--even more--if my preaching is meeting the objectives that it promotes.

This examination began when I started to listen to the online teachings of my old Seminary Professor, Dr. Warren Gage, and observing how he showed in every passage the Personhood and work of Christ, and how it is at the center of all of Scripture. On top of this, I have recently been in regular contact with Pastor Ken Jones, who is the new Pastor at Glendale Missionary Baptist Church in Miami as well as one of the hosts of the Whitehorse Inn Radio Program. And Pastor Jones has not only been an amazing help in showing me how to develop sermons under this idea, but he also recommended that I read a VERY powerful book on the subject called "Him we Proclaim" by Dennis E. Johnson, which has been an invaluable tool.

And, through the lens of all of these resources, I have come to accept the reality that--not only is Christ-Centered Preaching the best way to interpret Scripture and develop effective sermons--it's the ONLY way!!!!

If we look at passages like Luke 24:13-27 and John 5:39, 46, we would see clearly that Holy Scripture leaves no doubt that we are to interpret it through the lens of Christ. And, this doesn't mean just sticking a reference to Him at the end of a "law-filled" sermon, nor does it mean to use Him as an example by how we can live our lives better. But what Christ-Centered preaching teaches is that we view every passage as a contribution to unpacking the Personhood and work of Christ.

For example if we were to look at Genesis 22, which is the story of Abraham and his offering of Isaac, we would notice--for instance--that when Isaac asked his father, in v. 7 , "where is the lamb for the burnt offering", Abraham tells him in v. 8, "God would provide a Lamb for the burnt offering". However, in v. 13, after Isaac is spared by the Angel of the LORD, Abraham looks over and sees a ram caught in the thickets to which he sacrifices in lieu of Isaac. Now, while the most popular interpretation of this passage has been that "God will always have a ram in the bush" or that the ram represents Christ and how he will eventually die for us, there is actually something deeper located in this text.

Notice what Abraham told Isaac is not what exactly happened. Abraham told Isaac that God would provide a lamb, but instead he sacrificed a ram. Two different types of animals! So, was Abraham wrong? The answer is NO, because God does provide a lamb for the sacrifice. So, we are left asking the question, "Where is the lamb who would be sacrificed in lieu of Isaac"? And, we find this answer in the words of John the Baptist, "Behold, THE LAMB OF GOD who takes away the sins of the world" (John 1:29).

So, Jesus is ultimately the lamb, who will be sacrificed for--not only Isaac--but for all whom God has chosen. Like the burnt offering, He would give His entire body to die, so that believers would be broken from the pangs of sin and death and--more importantly--God's anger towards these things would be satisfied. Thus, while the ram is a symbol of what Christ would do, it is ultimately an incomplete sacrifice and, honestly, not the focus of this passage. But rather, the Lamb is the true focus of the passage because it is His sacrifice that will ultimately take away the sins of the world.

As I continue my study on Christ-Centered preaching, I will post some of my thoughts on this blog, and I pray that it will be a blessing to you as it is becoming to me.

Monday, September 28, 2009


Today is the six month-a-versary for my darling wife, Debra-Anne and myself and, to be honest, it is hard to believe that this day is already here. Oh, how I wish I could freeze that day when I saw my beautiful wife walk down that aisle and she gave me the opportunity to be her companion, lover, and friend.

And, it is at this time that I would like to thank her for ten things that I have been blessed with, experienced, learned, or are learning in this short period of Holy matrimony.

1. Thank you, Debra-Anne for making me love Christ more: In the six months that I have been with you, I cannot tell how you have made the ministry God has blessed us with better. Your encouraging words, your willingness to do whatever it takes to be successful, and your inquisitiveness is so encouraging, and has done wonders in my own personal relationship with the LORD as well. Quite simply, I love you more because you have helped me love Christ more.

2. Thank you, Debra-Anne for your submissiveness: You were a woman who had a lot when we met, and you have made sacrifices in our relationship that still amazes me to this day. Thank you for loving me for who I am and not what you want me to be.

3. Thank you, Debra-Anne for your care of others: If you remember, this was the trait that led me to marry you in the first place. And being with you on a regular basis, I have seen this trait more widely, which makes my love for you grow more widely.

4. Thank you, Debra-Anne for your caring spirit: From watching your interaction with the kids at church to hearing the direction you give your Mary Kay consultants, you take such a nurturing approach towards everything. If I had to highlight the trait, in which I believe you show Christ the most, it is this--making supreme sacrifices with the goal to make others better.

5. Than you, Debra-Anne for your patience: Quite simply, you have the patience of a moving tortoise--it can be long to see you get to your breaking point, but you will make sure you cover all ground before you get there. What was once a trait that drove me nuts, is one that I am learning more and more to respect everyday, especially in regards to my own life.

6. Thank you, Debra-Anne for loving my faults: I always knew I was a sinner, but in six months I have learned that marriage can show just how bad you truly are. But still--within the scope of all of this--you are still with me. Thank you for loving me just as much in my imperfections as you do in the things that please you about me.

7. Thank you, Debra-Anne for exposing me to the world: In the short time we have been together, we have had the privilege of seeing so much together. From our honeymoon in Belize and Mexico to the Mary Kay Seminar event in Dallas, these are things I wouldn't have seen (nor had as much fun in participating in) in my lifetime, if I hadn't been with you. Thank you for exposing me to new things and new people.

8. Thank you, Debra-Anne for my new family: The joy that I feel in having Ms. Scarlett as a mother-in-law, having Uncle "Horace Winston" and Aunt Hyacinth as an aunt and uncle, as well as Beth, Eric, Andrea, Uncle Larry, Aunt Lyl and the rest of the crew cannot be properly expressed. Quite simply, I am ecstatic that you have been willing to share them with me, so I can grow to love them as much as you do.

9. Thank you, Debra-Anne for your work ethic: In short, you are a WARRIOR! How you put in time at Palm Beach State, then do Mary Kay and make sure that I am taken care of, on a daily basis, is amazing. After seeing this on a daily basis, the very least I can do is take care of the laundry on my day off!!!!! :-)

10. Thank you, Debra-Anne for making me write this blog: Quite simply, if you were not who you are, I could not have written what I have. These things--as well as a litany of others--makes it easy to express my love and thanks towards you. Thank you for being my wife and allowing me to be your husband!!!!

Happy six-month-a-versary, My precious Tulip !!!!!!!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


No, I did not make a mistake in the title. Yes, John MacArthur was on TBN about a year ago and, if you know anything about MacArthur and his comments in the past about TBN and their "preachers", instantly the two coming together brings thoughts of hell freezing over.

And, much like in his Larry King appearances, MacArthur holds no punches and it was very refreshing to hear a pure Gospel message proclaimed on this network for once. However, on the flipside, this video also sent chills down my spine. Not in what MacArthur says, but from the standpoint of the audience--both in the studio and who faithfully watch TBN regularly. For instance, I sat there wondering how many viewers of this program--who had been going to church for years--were hearing the true Gospel for the first time? I wondered how many people were unaware of the fact that this could be the only time they hear the true Gospel of Jesus Christ? And, finally, I wondered how many people--who are truly not saved but under the impression they are--would go away, not moved at all by the words of the Gospel, and would return to their churches and continue under their false profession, only to find out on the last day they have been duped and will spend an eternity in hell.

Truly, I was very happy to see MacArthur on TBN and blessed by how God used Him. And my prayer is that God will use the seed of this program (and those like Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron's) to draw His elect out of darkness into the marvelous light of His Son and our Savior, Jesus Christ.

To see the videos click on below:

MacArthur on TBN 1

Macarthur on TBN 2

MacArthur on TBN 3

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

THANK YOU FATHER!!!!!!!!!!!!

Without question, this summer has been one of the most fruitful in my ministry career. Not only have I had the opportunity to enjoy the fellowship of so many godly people, but my pastor has given me the opportunity to lead the Wednesday Night Bible Study, in which I am teaching on the Doctrines of Grace and how they line up with the Sixteen Articles of the Primitive Baptist Church.

It has always been my desire to see the Church of Jesus Christ return back to the Reformed roots, especially the predominately African-American Church. And--let me tell you--through this teaching on Wednesday Night, God has been doing an awesome thing!!!!

Our congregation is responding in ways that I never imagined. They are telling their friends what they are learning, many members--who at one time were not coming to the Bible Study--are attending again, many members are desiring to further their Theological education, and--most encouraging of all--many members are enjoying a renewed passion for God and the work of salvation that Christ has done on their behalf.

It is at this time, that I would like to give a public praise to God the Father for being so wonderful in revealing His truth to His people. Truly, we serve a God who is so gracious and merciful and is truly much better to us than we are to ourselves. So, Thank You LORD for your kindness--a kindness that is so amazing and so rich in Your precious love!!!!

Friday, July 10, 2009


Today officially marks the 500th year of John Calvin's birth. And if you are a passionate believer in Reformed Theology like me, you have celebrated this day beforehand and will continue long after this day ends.

Truly, Calvin was one of the most influential men in the history of Christianity. His teachings on Soteriology, commonly called the Five Points of Calvinism, has been beloved by Reformed Christians for centuries and is at the root of our Theology. Also, his writings in the Institutes of the Christian Religion is one of the best Systematic treatise on Scripture ever produced.

And even though, when it comes to Calvin, there is no "gray area" (people either love him or hate him), no one can deny the impact that Calvin has had or will have on Christianity for years to come.

So, speaking for all Christians who love the unadulterated truth of God's Word, I want to say HAPPY POSTHUMOUS BIRTHDAY, JOHN CALVIN!!!!!

Thursday, July 9, 2009


In my last post, I mentioned a conversation that I had with a fellow Minister in Chicago yesterday. And, within an hour and a half of conversation, we discussed several topics (one being the basis of the article below). But perhaps the most interesting part of our conversation dealt with the need--if any--of Reformed Theology in the church today.

In one of his comments, he mentioned, "that a church does not need to be Reformed, but it can be Biblical". Now, being a Reformed believer and knowing wholeheartedly that Reformed Theology is Biblical Theology, one has to wonder how such a claim can be made?

For instance, if Reformed Theology teaches that God elects men to salvation before the foundation of the world, and Scripture teaches the same (Ephesians 1:4; 2 Thessalonians 2:13), and any other system teaches the opposite--that would make that system unbiblical right? If Reformed Theology teaches that Christ's death was for a particular people, and the Scriptures support that claim (Matthew 1:21; John 10:11) , then wouldn't another system of belief be unbiblical? Finally (because I can go on forever with this), if Reformed Theology teaches that God is Sovereign and the Scriptures do as well (Isaiah 46:10; Daniel 4:32), then wouldn't anything else be unbiblical?

Now obviously, I may come off as biased here, but I truly believe that Reformed Theology is THE theology of the Bible, and I have the Scriptures and church history to prove it. So, for someone to believe that there are alternate truths out there that can conflict with the theology and still be right, is erroneous, or--dare I say--unbiblical!!!!!!!


Just yesterday, I had a discussion with a fellow Minister in Chicago about my future endeavors in ministry. And--if you know anything about me--you know that when it comes to this topic, I can be extremely direct in some areas--especially when it comes to issues that I find as real problems in the church today. And generally, when I bring up these particular issues (especially when it deals with the state of the black church), they are either met with a hearty "Amen" or with a strong "Anathema".

So naturally, I was not surprised when we discussed issues that I had with the black church today, that it didn't go over very well with him. For example, I mentioned that one of the things that bother me about today's black church today was the "enslavement of traditions" over and beyond the primary foci of the church as a whole. And when I explained to him what I meant, he accused me of not respecting the traditions of the church and said that it would be difficult for me to find a future pastorate with this mindset.

Now, I must admit that when I became Reformed back in 2001, there were some of beliefs within the scope of the black church that I laughed at and ridiculed then that I do not criticize (at least not as much) now. Some of these things include the doctrinal depth of the songs, the devotion service, the anniversaries for every department in the church, and the heavily accepted Charismatic teachings that are so widely accepted amongst our people. However, while I have either softened my stance or see these things from a different angle, I have to honestly admit that my feelings overall have not changed. In short, what I told my fellow Minister yesterday is the same way I felt back then and will feel throughout the duration of my ministry career.

As a black church, we must realize that we must line up EVERYTHING we do against the written Word of God. In short, the Bible must be our guide in all matters of worship. Just because we desire a worship that is more emotional, more social driven, and highlights our cultural identity, does not mean we have the freedom to disregard God's Word in bringing it about. We are not immune to doing things the way God wants just because we have been a people of struggle. So, while I will be the first the state that I see nothing inherently wrong with wearing white on first Sundays, having three of four types of choirs, wearing a robe in the pulpit while preaching, and lining the hymns in worship, if these things become the staple principles for a church in lieu of the solid teaching of God's Word, the right administration of the sacraments, and the practice of self-discipline--the church is in error! No questions asked!!!!!!

So, if Scripture tells us we must teach God's Word with seriousness and careful instruction, then our focus should not be on trying to get the crowd up by "hooping" or"singing" during our messages. If the Bible tells us that one of the qualifications for an Elder is to be"the husband of one wife", we should not go on crusades to ordain women as pastors. In short, we don't get an "out" in our worship practice based on our historical plights or traditions.

And, from a personal standpoint, if these beliefs prevent me from receiving a pastorate in a black church, I am willing to accept the consequences. Because to quote Martin Luther: "My conscience is captive to the Word of God, and to violate conscience is neither right nor safe"!!!!!!