Archive for the ‘Interviews’ Category

  1. This week, the ERLC is hosting their 2015 Leadership Conference on The Gospel and Racial Reconciliation. Be on the look out for resources from them on this timely and important issue in the days ahead. As David Platt contends in his latest book, Counter Culture, racism is a gospel issue.

    In the video below, Trillia Newbell (consultant on Women’s Initiatives for the ERLC) talks about how ethnic diversity is tied to the gospel.

  2. “And such were some of you.”

    Posted on March 10th, 2015 by Jonathan

    In 1 Corinthians 6, Paul lays out a somber warning for the believers in Corinth: the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God. Who are the unrighteous? Paul gets specific.

    Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Cor 6:9-10)

    Thankfully, by God’s grace, Paul didn’t stop there.

    And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. (1 Cor 6:11)

    And such were some of you. The Corinthians had undergone a fundamental transformation from sinner to saint, and “by the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and the Spirit of our God,” they stood now guiltless before God.

    This gospel testimony, true of all believers, is clearly seen in the life of Christopher Yuan. Christopher lived as a promiscuous gay man until he met Jesus in prison, where he was serving time for dealing drugs. Listen to the story of God’s great mercy in his life and be encouraged by God’s amazing grace.

    Homosexuality and sexual immorality are discussed in David Platt’s latest book, Counter Culture. Go to to find out more about it and to get involved in gospel ministries that deal with such issues.

  3. Top Five Guest Posts of 2014

    Posted on December 31st, 2014 by Jonathan


    Below are our five most viewed guest posts of the year. Most of them were interviews, one of them was an original post, and all of them were made possible by individuals who carved out time to help us put good, quality, helpful content on our blog. A big thank-you to each one.

    Enjoy . . .

    1. Lora Lynn Fanning: “This Parenting Gig is All about Making Me More Like Christ”
      “Every nose I wipe and every midnight puke-fest refines me a little more. And as He makes me more like Him, I learn to want what He wants–for myself and for my children. I am learning to want holiness for my babies over their safety or sleeping through the night. All my worries and fears as a mom fade in the face of my desire for my kids to love Jesus: To know how selfless and good He is, how much better at loving their every breath He is than their weak mama.”
    2. Ann Voskamp and Sophie Hudson: “On the Cross and Everyday Life” – PART 1 and PART 2
      “I need a cross-centered life if I am going to live the Christ-filled life. The cross is the sign of God’s lavish, unfathomable affection for us, and we need the cross daily because of these two realities: 1) How else can I remember that He loves me? 2) How else can I remember how to die daily? We need a place of execution in our lives if we’re ever to rightly execute a life of faith.”
    3. J.D. Greear: “On the Gospel and Everyday Routines”
      “True, devoid of the gospel, such disciplines will become legalistic and empty. But the entire purpose of daily disciplines is to give us an opportunity to think about, and meditate on, and move within the gospel. Practicing spiritual disciplines is like cutting furrows that faith in the gospel can fill with new life.”
    4. Anonymous: “He’s Got Missionary Wives in His Hands”
      “Would we, by faith, see the things Jesus has done in the past (1 Cor. 15:3), things he’s doing “above” even now (Heb. 8:1), and things he will do in days to come (Isa. 45:23). Let us take courage as we consider God’s particular, far-reaching, steadfast love, which he shows to us in these concrete ways . . .”
    5. Kevin DeYoung: “On Busyness and the Christian Life”
      “It’s no accident that Luke was inspired to put the Mary-Martha story at the end of chapter 10, after the sending out of the 72 disciples for powerful ministry and after the parable of the Good Samaritan. It’s the Lord’s way of telling us: look, you can cast out demons, you can preach, you can heal, you can stop by the side of the road to help the sick and dying, but if you don’t spend time with me, you are neglecting the very thing I want most from you: to sit at my feet.”

    Honorable Mentions:
    Psalm-Shaped Parenting (by Scott James)
    Mack Stiles on Evangelism: Teaching the Gospel with the Aim to Persuade
    Gloria Furman on The Cross and Busy Moms
    An Intro to Spiritual Disciplines with Dr. Donald Whitney

  4. David Platt Interviews Mark Dever

    Posted on November 6th, 2014 by Jonathan

    In case you missed the original posting of this video, here’s David Platt talking to Mark Dever about various aspects of making disciples. This is the first of their eight-part conversation in which they talk about everything from agnosticism to preaching to evangelism. Enjoy.

    Here are parts two, three, four, five, six, seven, and eight.

  5. Mid-Term Field Report: “Because Jesus Is Worth It”

    Posted on September 24th, 2014 by Jonathan


    Have you ever been “missing in action” when a loved one needed you? Karina has. And from her critter-infested home in Thailand, she can testify to the pain it causes . . . but she can also testify to the joy of loving and obeying Christ.

    Karina was sent out by The Church at Brook Hills to serve mid-term (anywhere between two months and two years), teaching English to kindergarteners. We hope that her example will encourage and challenge you to love Jesus far more than anything else. According to Karina, even though such love is sometimes hard, “Jesus is worth it.”

    Here’s what Karina had to say . . .


    What has been the most surprising aspect about serving in this new context?

    It never fails to surprise me just how many other creatures I share a home with. We’ve had infestations of ants, termites, geckos, mosquitos, roaches, tokays, snakes, lizards, spiders (anywhere from really small to as big as my face), snails and rats.

    What has been the most difficult part of your time there?

    The most difficult part is managing my classes. I teach anywhere from 27-39 students. That’s 39 three-year-olds. So to keep them all focused and on task is a bit challenging, to say the least.

    Can you give us your highlight of the trip?

    In April my mom and good friend were able to visit me. We were able to celebrate Songkran (the water throwing festival). It’s basically the ice bucket challenge all day for three days, and everyone plays. It’s the best festival ever.

    What advice would you give to people considering going mid-term?

    Go. And try to learn as much language beforehand.

    What advice would you give to friends, family, and church members in terms of how they can support workers like you?

    Please pray for us daily. I can’t say it enough. Pray, pray, pray, pray, pray. Also, little notes of encouragement are great too. It can get pretty lonely overseas, so it’s always a pleasant surprise to find a personal email waiting for you in your inbox.

    What is one big takeaway that the the Father has taught you in your experience as a mid-term worker?

    Luke 14:26 has really taken on a new meaning to me since being here. “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.” I only thought I knew what that meant, but now I know what that means. Being a disciple of Jesus means missing weddings and baby showers of my dearest and oldest friends. It means being away from family in illness. It means missing birthdays, graduations, and other celebrations. It means people may not think you love them because you are away when they “need” you the most. And it’s hard. Especially on the rough days, and the enemy tempts you to think it’s not worth it. But it is worth it, because Jesus is worth it.

    What is one thing you have learned from the national brothers and sisters that you are partnering with?

    They are so selfless, generous, and some of the most joyous people I have ever met.  They don’t let their circumstances dictate their emotions. They may not have much, but they will sacrifice for you.

  6. John Piper Interviews David Platt

    Posted on September 18th, 2014 by Jonathan

    Several years ago, John Piper sat down with David Platt to ask him some questions about missions and his heart for the unreached. This 30 minute video gives a great glimpse into who David is and what he’s about.

    (HT: Desiring God)

  7. Mid-Term Field Report: “Utilize The Time”

    Posted on September 17th, 2014 by Jonathan

    As many of us are leaving summer behind to return to school or get back into a regular routine at work, Matt is doing no such thing. Life is different for him. Matt lives in Central Asia and was sent out to serve mid-term by The Church at Brook Hill. Mid-term is described as a period of anywhere between two months and two years. For him, school looks more like learning a foreign language, and monotonous routine . . . well, there’s not much of that.

    We asked Matt some questions about his life in Central Asia. Our hope is that his words might challenge those of us tempted to simply survive the next test or deadline. Our lives are intended for more than intention-less routines driven by purposeless attitudes. When we realize that God desires to use us to bring the nations to Himself, and when we hear of brothers and sisters whose devotion to Christ means harsh persecution, we see everything differently. The reality is, we have so much more to live for than the weekend.

    Here’s what Matt had to say . . .


    What has been the most surprising aspect about serving in this new context?

    Time and time again, my team and I have been surprised at how quickly God answers the prayers of us and our supporters back home, and His answers to these prayers are often even better than we knew to ask for! We shouldn’t be afraid to ask Him to act in big ways to help us reach lost people. He desires and is worthy of the worship of all peoples and is actively working in hearts and lives all across the world.

    What has been the most difficult part of your time there?

    It has been difficult being part of a new team re-engaging a minority people group that has not been worked with for several years. Due to the difficulty of gaining access to our people’s homeland, we are in the process of establishing a business in a nearby country where there is a significant population of our people. This poses many challenges such as learning a minority language with few immersion experiences, balancing business and ministry responsibilities, and justifying to the community why we as Western businessmen spend so much time with this minority people and are learning their language.

    Can you give us your highlight of the trip?

    One of the biggest highlights so far has been growing closer as a team and becoming more like a family.  Being part of such a small team, we spend a lot of time together, and the Lord has used that in teaching us more of what it means to be the body of Christ. Praying, worshiping, and having fun together, holding one another accountable, and being united in a common vision has helped us to encourage one another during the difficult times and overall thrive in our first year on the field.

    What advice would you give to people considering going mid-term?

    Utilize the time before you leave the U.S. to establish routines of engaging lost people where you are currently. Often times, we get caught up in enjoying the benefits of Christian community so much that we rarely put ourselves in places where we are surrounded by the lost. Going mid-term is a weird balance between a sprint and a marathon; the routines you are able to establish before arriving on the field will help you to make the most of the time you have in your new context.

    What advice would you give to friends, family, and church members in terms of how they can support workers like you?

    The way that is most obvious and yet often over-looked is to actively pray for that person, their ministry, and their people. Be proactive in asking for ways to pray for that person and in regularly praying for their boldness and evangelism opportunities. Also, we love hearing from friends, family, and supporters about what is happening back home and how we can be praying for them.

    What is one big takeaway that the the Father has taught you in your experience as a mid-term worker?

    I often feel like I am sitting on the front row watching Him prepare the harvest of these people in a way in which only the Creator of the universe is able! In our first month on the field, He answered our prayers by providing a language teacher, national believer, and friend all with a single person whom He had burdened to return to his family and country (at the risk of his life) to help reach his people with the gospel of Christ. The things we’ve seen happen over the past year are more than coincidences; no doubt the Lord is doing the same type of things in unreached people groups all across the world!

    What is one thing you have learned from the national brothers and sisters that you are partnering with?

    Extreme persecution is normal, expected, and worth the risk for the believers in this part of the world. Coming from a place, like the U.S, where it is “safe” to be a Christian, it is still difficult to fully understand what these national brothers and sisters experience everyday in living and dying for Christ. That being said, the Lord is using these terrible acts to bring others to faith, grow the church, and advance the gospel of Christ to the most difficult to reach people and places in the world.

  8. David Platt’s Personal Testimony

    Posted on September 1st, 2014 by Jonathan

    In Ephesians, Paul tells us that “even when we were dead in our trespasses, [God] made us alive together with Christ” (Eph 2:5). Going from death to life is at the core of every conversion story, and in the sense that there is certainly no such thing as a boring resurrection, no one has a boring testimony. Still, some transformations are more dramatic than others. And while it can easily seem that God’s grace is more profound in the saving of a Paul-former-Saul than it is in the saving of a scripturally-reared-Timothy (2 Tim 3:15), this is not the case. Boring testimonies are boring because God’s graciously made them that way (so they aren’t really boring at all).

    In the video below, David Platt describes the amazing grace of such a testimony as he gives glory to God for a family and church that led him to Christ as a child.

  9. 2 Comments

    Conversion, Evangelism, and the Sovereignty of God

    Posted on August 18th, 2014 by Jonathan

    This past June, Ed Stetzer sat down with David Platt, Trevin Wax, and Frank Page to talk about election, human responsibility, and God’s sovereignty. The panel participants hold a range of beliefs on these issues, which made for an interesting (and often entertaining) discussion.

    It is evident from this panel that there are real and important theological differences among Christians who hold the Bible in high esteem. At the same time though, it is also clear that, regardless of where someone stands on issues like election and free will, there is a deeper bond of unity among Christians and a more central purpose for their lives. The focus for much of the conversation was on what the panelists agree to be more important than their differences: proclaiming the gospel to the lost.

    Click HERE for the audio, and be challenged and encouraged as you listen and learn.

    For more, Ed Stetzer and Trevin Wax have posted some thoughts about the panel on their blogs.

  10. Mack Stiles is a businessman who also leads a student ministry in the United Arab Emirates. He’s currently an elder at Redeemer Church of Dubai, and he spent many years previous as a church planter. David Platt, who had the honor of writing the forward for Stiles’ recent book, Evangelism: How the Whole Church Speaks of Jesus, said: “I truly cannot think of anyone better to write a book not just on cultivating the discipline of evangelism as a Christian, but on creating a culture of evangelism in the church.”

    He was gracious enough to answer a few questions for us on this topic . . .



    Mack, you define evangelism as “teaching the gospel with the aim to persuade.” Why do you put it this way, and how is this a corrective to many of the evangelistic constructs in our church culture today?

    I love this question, because it’s really one of the critical heartbeats of the book.

    When I look out at the evangelical community, be it church, or individual believers, or evangelistic outreach ministries, or even missionary efforts, there are so many ideas about evangelism.  Most all of them, at least the ones I know, want to be rooted in the scriptures, most all of them are good hearted, nobody wants to offend non-Christians, all of them want to see fruit, but more often it seems that good hearted people don’t always have the big picture view about sharing our faith, and consequently they can spin into error by over or under emphasizing one part of evangelism over another.

    The reason I’ve found this definition so helpful is that it’s really a boiled down, biblically rooted summary of the big picture concerning evangelism.  So, it focuses on what we share (the gospel) and how we share (teach), the way we share (our aim), and the goal for sharing (persuade), such that each word in the definition is important.

    It’s not a perfect protection, but it guards us against sharing other things besides the gospel, sometimes the way testimonies are given for instance.  Sometimes I’ll hear a “testimony” and it has everything to do with how greatly they sinned, and almost nothing to do with the gospel.  We want to share such that anyone has the information they need to come to Christ.

    There’s so many things a big picture view guards us from . . . it guards us from manipulative methods that have more to do with sales techniques, or forgetting that evangelism is not only about numbers . . .  that is our aim is to persuade, but God is the one, the only one, who can actually convert someone.

    My only disappointment with this definition is that it took decades for me to put it together. :)

    The second chapter of your book talks about what a “culture of evangelism” looks like. What does that mean and why is it significant?

    A culture of evangelism is really about everyone working together to “teach the gospel with the aim to convert.” There is great joy to be a part of a community that is “on game” for a common goal of sharing the faith.  A culture of evangelism is really an intuitive concept; ultimately it’s about the church focusing on being a healthy gospel centered, church, while supporting a culture of people who are sharing their faith.  So it’s not the professional pastor, or the evangelism specialist, or those with the gift of evangelism, but the whole church speaking about Jesus.

    It’s important to note that biggest danger to a true culture of evangelism is the evangelistic program.  It’s similar to a culture of evangelism (or another way to say it is that it mimics a culture of evangelism) in a way because the entire community pitches in together for a program, but it’s not everyone sharing their faith.  Just for the record, I participate in occasional evangelistic programs, but the best evangelism is when the church is filled with people all sharing their faith.  The way I say it is that programs are to evangelism as sugar is to nutrition: small amounts are okay, too much will kill you. The big danger about sugar is that you can eat it and think you’ve eaten, but you haven’t had a real meal; the same is true about evangelistic programs, you can do one, but it doesn’t mean that you’ve really shared the gospel yourself.

    Could there exist a culture of evangelism apart from the local church? Why is the local church so important when it comes to evangelism?

    I think any ministry can have a culture of evangelism.  Campus ministries should, mission agencies should, social programs should . . . but the best culture of evangelism is in the church.  We need to remember that Jesus didn’t forget the gospel when he built the church.  The gospel is inherent in what we do as church, at least in a biblical church: the gospel is in our songs, in our prayers, in the sermon, in the practice of baptism and communion . . . it’s all there.  And primarily there in how we love one another.  Think about it – Jesus says the love we have for one another in the church is a statement that we are truly converted. And when we are unified in the church, we show to the world that Jesus is the Son of God. Love confirms our discipleship. Unity confirms Christ’s deity (Jn 13:35, Jn 17:20-21). That’s a powerful witness that best happens in a convented  community called the church.

    How would you encourage someone who wants to become better at sharing Christ with people?

    This may be the easiest question.  And as tempted as I am to say that the way to become better in evangelism is to read my book, really the way to be better in evangelism is to do it.  We need practice.  It’s like marriage.  For all the books written about marriage, the best way to learn about marriage is to get married.

    The second thing is to risk.  Everywhere I go people want to know why they aren’t having opportunities to share their faith, and my answer in most situations is that they take more risks.  Talk to the mom next to you at soccer practice, let people know at work about your Christian life, get your courage up at school and see if a friend would read the gospel of Mark with you.  It’s no good waiting around until the culture gets easier . . . it’s not going to anytime soon.  And it gets harder in life, too.  But God rewards risk.  It’s really tied up in faith.  I tell people that if you can’t risk you better find another god to love besides Jesus.   If you think about it, we are really risking our life that the message of the gospel is true.  And if it’s true, it’s worth risking what others think about us to share that truth.