Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Matt Chandler, mortification and the sins of fathers

I have never met Matt Chandler. After reading some of his thoughts, I want to. He is pastor of The Village Church, located north of Dallas, Texas, and is headed for an evangelical culture shock of major proportions in a few months (he is scheduled to speak at the Desiring God conference, Feb. 2-4 and the FBC Jacksonville Pastors' Conference, Feb. 6-10).

Matt blogs at Dwell Deep and his insights are worth reading. In a post from a couple of months ago he exposes the folly of trying to gain a "platform" for broader ministry through church growth, preaching, blogging or publishing. When this becomes the goal rather than Jesus Himself, it is, as Matt writes, "hollow" and "dangerous." That is a much-needed word that transcends theological and generational divides.

More recently he has written about mortification and resolving, by God's grace, to take to our graves the peculiar sins of our fathers that have been passed down to us. Anyone who has been in pastoral ministry very long, or anyone who has thought very deeply about his or her own spiritual pilgrimage and heritage, knows that some pernicious patterns of sin tend to be generational. This is not a denial of grace, it is an acknowledgment of reality.

I identify with the conclusion of Thomas Fuller's insights into God's grace and heredity. The chaplain to Oliver Cromwell wrote,
Lord, I find the genealogy of my Savior strangely checkered with four remarkable changes in four immediate generations. (1) Rehoboam begat Abijah; that is, a bad father begat a bad son. (2) Abijah begat Asa; that is, a bad father begat a good son. (3) Asa begat Jehoshaphat; that is, a good father a good son. (4) Jehoshaphat begat Joram; that is, a good father a bad son. I see, Lord, from hence that my father's piety cannot be entailed; that is bad news for me. But I see also that actual impiety is not always hereditary; that is good news for my son.
Grace assures that my children are not condemned to repeat the sins of their father. Grace working in a father's life empowering him to mortify sin is one of God's blessings to his children.

Go check out Matt's blog and be challenged to think more carefully and live more intentionally.

10 comments:

Les Puryear said...

Tom,

I'm surprised to hear that the pastor's conference at FBC Jax has invited a Calvinist pastor to speak. Is this a first?

Les

heath lloyd said...

Why Tom, whatever do you mean? An "evangelical culture shock"?

J.D. Rector said...

Tom:

Regarding Matt Chandler's blog, "amen, amen, and amen!!" This is great wisdom coming from a young man. Wisdom and youth seem to be rare these days, but not with a man's thoughts like this.

Recently, I heard a preacher boast on his "... holiness, righteousness, and integrity" before his audience. I trembled at hearing these words thinking this brother surely doesn't know the Holiness of God or the depths of his total depravity. The closer I get to the cross of Jesus Christ, I see my own sinfulness and total depravity, immensely!

Great post and links to a wise brother.

J.D. Rector

Tom said...

Les:

I think they have had a few over the years. Voddie Baucham recently wrote about speaking there.

Heath:

Register for both conferences and I think you will get the picture. :-)

J.D.

I would tremble too, at the thought of anyone boasting in his holiness! I think Matt represents many in the rising generation who, by God's grace, will be mighty in God's Word and Spirit.

-ta

Andrew J. Nicewander said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Andrew J. Nicewander said...

Tom, while at UTA I heard Matt speak at the BGCT's Focus Conference, and the folks at the conference and at UTA's BSM loved his messages (Voddie had done the same a couple of years previous).

So, Matt and guys like him are, by God's Grace, having an influence with folks not exactly associated with Desiring God or other Calvinistic Groups, especially here in the Metroplex and in Texas.

By the way, my sister goes to The Village and loves it. :-)

Tom said...

Andrew:

Glad to hear it. Examples like this are multiplying. I feel like Mr. Beaver in the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe: "Aslan's on the move."

ta

johnMark said...

Tom,

I appreciate your thoughts and agree with you about Chandler. I thought I'd share the influence he had on my wife and I sponsoring a Compassion child.

If you'd like to read about it.

Mark

Gayla said...

I also go to The Village, and my husband and I love it there. We've been covenant members for 4 years.

It's nice to read such nice comments about Matt. He's not only a great guy, but he unapologetically proclaims the Truth of the word of God. It was there, in the new member's class, that God removed the blinders from my eyes and gave me understanding of His great sovereignty.

I could go on and on...:)

Blendah Tom said...

Tom,

I began listening to Matt back in the summer of 06 during his series on Ecclesiastes.

I attend a church in New England that follows the Saddleback / Willow Creek Model and listeing to sermons from my pastor then Matt .. I started defining stark differences in the message..

For some reason Matt's message of Grace and God's sovereignty really started to take a hold of my soul and I have really began to have a hunger for the word and also a Passion for the Great Commandment and then just leave the rest up to God.

btw.. I follow you on Twitter and enjoyed your DVD Amazing Grace..