Jonathan Threlfall

Thoughts on Christian theology and pastoring

  • Rare Video Interview with Martyn Lloyd-Jones: Success in Preaching, Views on Fundamentalism, and Authority in Preaching

    In this rare video interview of Martyn Lloyd-Jones, the eminent doctor-turned-preacher answers questions about his success as a preacher, his views on Fundamentalism, and why his preaching appealed to young people. I was particularly struck by his answer to the question, “What do you believe would make a successful preacher?” Dr. Lloyd-Jones replied, “I really […]

  • Roles of Tongues-Speaking in Acts: Doxological, Eschatological, Missiological and Soteriological

    There are only three instances of tongues-speaking recorded in the book of Acts: 2:1-13, 10:44-47, and 19:1-7. The most extensive instance, of course, is Pentecost. On one level, speaking in tongues at Pentecost played a doxological role since the apostles and others were were testifying to God’s mighty (salvific) works. The means (foreign tongues) and […]

  • Spurgeon: Keep to the Old-Fashioned Gospel

    While re-reading some sections of Spurgeon’s Lectures to My Students, I came across this stirring exhortation to keep Christ at the center of our preaching. I urge you to keep to the old fashioned gospel, and to that only, for assuredly it is the power of God unto salvation. Of all I would wish to say […]

  • Keller: Gospel Complexity Demands Gospel Contextualization

    This post continues my “digesting” of Keller’s book Center Church: Doing Balanced, Gospel-Centered Ministry in Your City. Is the Gospel a simple thing? Yes and no. If by “simple” you mean “understandable,” then the Gospel certainly is simple. It was simple enough for me to understand when I was a preschooler. But there’s another sense in […]

  • Digesting “Theological Vision” in Keller’s Book, Center Church

    Center Church, Timothy Keller’s recently published book, deals with a topic that is close to my heart. I love the church of Christ, and I am constantly interested in what the church should be and do. Because there is much to digest in Center Church, I have been working through it slowly. Keller’s first chapter […]

  • Jesus the Divine Servant: Suffering, Substitution, Exaltation

    Before taking Theology of the New Testament with Dr. Thomas Schreiner, I was familiar with the concept of the servant of the Lord. But my understanding was sketchy: it lacked cohesive structure. After I heard Dr. Schreiner’s lecture on this topic and studied the section in his book that deals with it, I grasped the […]

  • Boldness: The Hallmark of Spirit-Effected Preaching

    I’m taking a class that uses Sinclair Ferguson’s The Holy Spirit as one of its texts. Near the end of his chapter “Gifts for Ministry,” Sinclair argues that boldness is the hallmark of Spirit-effected preaching. A preacher myself, I found this selection to be instructive and encouraging. The hallmark of the preaching which the Spirit effects is ‘boldness’ […]

  • Cultivating a Heart for God in Your Child

    Who will your child be when he or she leaves your home? In his message this past Sunday evening, Pastor Allen dealt with that question. I was so challenged by this message that I’ve adapted it as a blog post here for your encouragement as well. If you didn’t get to hear the message you […]

  • Worship Moment: God’s Knowledge of Me vs. My Knowledge of God

    I have been using this Bible memory plan to focus on key truths about God throughout each week. The first two passages, Psalm 139:1-4 and Romans 11:33-36, form a powerful pair. Together, they contrast God’s knowledge of me and my knowledge of God. “O Lord, you have searched me and known me! You know when […]

  • The Kalam Cosmological Argument

    Unlike some philosophical literature I have been slogging through lately, William Lane Craig’s writing style is particularly interesting and compelling. I just finished reading his essay on the kalam theological argument. The argument proceeds as follows: (1) Whatever begins to exist has a cause of its existence. (2) The universe began to exist. (3) Therefore, […]