Ad Gloriam Dei

"Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." - 1 Corintians 10:31

"Let us pursue the things which make for peace and those by which one may edify another"- Romans 14:19

"As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend." - Proverbs 27:17

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Davey Whitla on MP3

Mary was sick today and I had to stay home from church to look after her. I went onto for something to include in our worship and found a sermon by David Whitla amongst all the sermons by the excellent Gordon Keddie (buy his books!) in the Southside (Indianapolis) RPCNA section.

The sermon was on Christ's restoration of Peter, and Mary and I were greatly profited by it. We couldn't find any faults in it. (More astute minds may differ!) It was very well-executed (well-structured, clear communication, faithful and accurate exegesis, good application, very pastoral) and spiritually edifying.

For those who know David, or others who don't, here is the link:
Christ, The Restorer of His People (John 21:15-19) by David Whitla


Blogger Timothy said...

"We could not find any fault with it..."

That line just gets under my skin... It's the Word being preached... not a Broadway performance... Remember, HE takes the most imperfect vessels and uses them for His glory. Some of them can't preach their way out of a homiletics course... But He still uses them... while those who are perfect in content and deliver are fruitless trees...


Tuesday, June 13, 2006 7:07:00 pm  
Blogger Timothy said...

Sorry if that came across as harsh. Did not mean to. But you get my point...?

Tuesday, June 13, 2006 7:08:00 pm  
Blogger Timothy Davis said...


Feel free to criticise.

We keep a score card on all the preachers we hear. We'd better not share your scores with you, but we thought you could improve your artistic merit if you threw in a few double-axles (U.S.: axels) ;)

No, seriously, we know where you're coming from. Some people just spend all their time judging preachers and jump on them at the drop of a hat. (I've had to rebuke a few people in the past for their criticisms of unnecessary pastors.)

We're not looking to be critical when we hear preaching. We look to be edified. We try to overlook shortcomings and focus on God's truth being expounded. Just because a man has faults, doesn't mean we write him off. (Who hasn't faults? Even the best of preachers don't deliver perfect sermons all the time.)

However, when an inexperienced and young school teacher preaches that well, the flawlessness stands out when compared with many long-experienced pastors. We can't help but notice good preaching when we hear it and praise the man who puts the effort into doing such a good job.

David is probably more aware of his flaws than we are. God ultimately gifts the man and gives him grace to be faithful, and to Him be the glory alone.

Sadly with some preachers it is a complete torture to hear them. Although God may use them, those who are called to be preachers should be gifted for the task. If they aren't (they "can't preach their way out of a homiletics course"), then they shouldn't be there.

We all fail in many ways and certainly all the vessels He uses are earthen, but some vessels were never designed to hold the treasure of God's Word to minister onto His people.

Some men end up in the ministry (or degrade in their ministry) and aren't prepared to review if they are called, to the detriment of God's people and the withering of God's vine in that locale. A dreadful business indeed! I have seen congregations wither away through inadequate men and it is a terrible thing!

My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment. (James 3:1)

Such men need spoken to and believers, esp. elders, need to graciously correct them. Sessions, presbyteries and theological seminaries need to have the courage to tell men they aren't gifted.

By the way, I have yet to meet the man who preaches well (from a Reformed and Biblical perspective) who is fruitless. You don't need to have revival every day to be fruitful! Obviously some men try to be merely eloquent or entertain; this isn't good preaching.

P.S. We thought you preached well when we heard you. We were glad that Grace has a good preacher. Mary and I expected the previous incumbent to be really good (after all the positive comments) and were disappointed with his performance. We didn't express it at the time, assuming it was a once-off, but subsequent events have shown that the majority of the congregation thought he wasn't up to much either. The session did the right thing in graciously pointing out his failings. Sadly he didn't examine himself objectively and humbly take the criticism.

We should all strive for excellence in our callings "ad gloriam Dei".

Tuesday, June 13, 2006 10:21:00 pm  
Blogger Timothy said...

Hi Timothy
Thank you for the reply. I do agree with you on many points... pastors should strive to do their best in every sermon because it is the means of grace God uses for our edification.

In fact, I agree with what you said... it's just the initial line sounded a bit critical, even though that was not your intention.

I do agree that we need to be careful about who we ordain for the pulpit. That is why I am Presbyterian. And there are many who should not be in the pulpit at all... but outside of my Presbytery, and inside as well, we must trust in God for that to take place, and pray for a revival in the pulpits as well as the pews.

Thanks for the compliment. I do appreciate that.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006 4:30:00 pm  
Blogger Timothy Davis said...

P.S. Some congregations decline due to demography, esp. in inner city and rural areas (what we in Ireland call the "rural exodus"). Other congregations don't progress as they should under faithful men due to sin in the people. Nevertheless, in my experience such faithful men still see some fruit for their labours.

Thursday, June 15, 2006 7:38:00 am  
Blogger Timothy Davis said...

"criticisms of unnecessary pastors"? Maybe it should be "unnecessary criticisms of pastors"! ;)

My wife is in a fit of giggles and I think I'll have to apply shock therapy very soon to get her out of it. Oh no, it's getting worse! Help! Now tears are running down her face. (Tears of laughter, of course!)

Friday, June 16, 2006 7:20:00 pm  

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