The Blog of Pastor Jude St. John

In The Trenches

One of the things I love about football is its applicability to life. So much of what happens on the football field corresponds to our experience of living. And in particular, one can draw many parallels between the game of football and our life of faith in Jesus Christ. Most of my years playing football were played “in the trenches.” That is, I was an offensive lineman who plied my trade on the line of scrimmage. That no-man’s-land of much physical violence between opposing forces which derives its name from the battle situations of the World Wars. That place which seems, as often as not, to be an experience much like our lives. I hope to communicate with you a few things that will hopefully be of some help as you fight the good fight of faith. And since I am in this battle too, you might consider that I write these thoughts as I live my life for God in the trenches. 

Books I've Read in 2019

    • John Newton by Jonathan Aitken
    • Supernatural Power for Everyday People by Jared Wilson
    • The Freedom of the Will by Jonathan Edwards
    • The World-Tilting Gospel by Dan Philips
    • Biblical Theology by Nick Roark and Robert Cline
    • Understanding the Lord's Supper by Bobby Jamieson
    • The Works of John Newton: Volume 1 by John Newton
    • Understanding the Congregation's Authority by Jonathan Leeman
    • Pierced for Our Transgressions by Steve Jeffery, Mike Ovey, and Andrew Sach
    • The Common Rule by Justin Whitmel Earley
    • The Works of John Newton: Volume 2 by John Newton
    • Heart to Heart: Octavius Winslow's Experimental Preaching by Tanner G. Turley
    • The Inquirer Directed to an Experimental and Practical View of the Atonement by Octavius Winslow
    • The Works of John Newton: Volume 3 by John Newton
    • Missions by Andy Johnson
    • The Gospel-Driven Church by Jared Wilson
    • Date Your Wife by Justin Buzzard
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  • Jun20Mon

    What should a church look like?

    June 20, 2016

    I had the privilege of attending a very edifying conference earlier this year. The conference is known as T4G, which is short for Together for the Gospel. The conference describes itself this way: “What began as a friendship between four pastors from across denominational traditions has burgeoned into a biennial conference for thousands of pastors and church leaders who, for all their differences, are committed to standing together for the main thing – the gospel of Jesus Christ.” I have watched or listened to almost all of the main sessions going all the way back to 2006. I recommend these messages for their excellent teaching. They can be accessed here: T4G.

    I am grateful for the opportunity to have attended the conference in person and was particularly impacted by one message. That message was by Mark Dever. Mark Dever serves as the senior pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, DC and also currently serves as the president of 9Marks. 9Marks describes their work declaring, “we do everything we can to help pastors, future pastors, and church members see what a biblical church looks like, and to take practical steps for becoming one.”

    That description definitely applies to the message that Mark Dever delivered at T4G2016. It was impactful for me because it articulated so much of what I believe about church. As I settle in to my role as lead pastor at West London Alliance Church, this message resonated with all that I envision and intend for our church to be because I believe Dever’s ideas about church are based on the Bible. It’s not necessarily that I agree 100% with everything that is said, but rather that the way in which Dever describes church and the challenges he presents to those listening accurately portray the ethos of church as I understand it.

    It is my hope that if you are part of West London Alliance Church you would listen and/or watch the message in order to get a sense of what I believe about our life together. You will get a feel for what moves my heart in regards to church. Please pass this on to others who attend WLA if they don't visit this blog. If you do not attend West London Alliance Church, I would still recommend this to you for your consideration.

    To access the video and/or audio from the T4G website, click here: Endurance Needed

    Or, you can watch the video here:

    "Endurance Needed: Strength for a Slow Reformation and the Dangerous Allure of Speed" — Mark Dever (T4G 2016) from Together for the Gospel (T4G) on Vimeo.

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