Archive for the ‘Interviews’ Category

  1. Jon Akin Interviews David Platt

    Posted on July 24th, 2014 by Jonathan

    Jon Akin of Baptist21 interviewed David Platt on a variety of topics last month at the SBC Annual Meeting.

    For your convenience, here are some time markers for when each of the topics was covered:

    0:16 – prosperity, radical giving, and the gospel
    2:32 – the gospel and social action
    5:58 – addressing both physical and spiritual need
    7:33 – global missions vs. local ministry?
    10:44 – being part of the SBC
    13:10 – should we re-structure missions/funding models?

  2. Persecution: The Basics

    Posted on July 21st, 2014 by Jonathan

    Every once in a while, it’s good to get a refresher on concepts we generally think we understand. When’s the last time you’ve heard a good explanation of persecution?

    Below, you can listen to a good overview of what persecution is, how it may look, and why it occurs from Jonathan, the (well-traveled) Pastor of Global Disciple-Making at The Church at Brook Hills.



    When it comes to the persecution of Christians, Open Doors is also a great resource. They have a good general overview of persecution as well as country-specific information.

    ~ The goal of persecution is to silence witness. ~

  3. 11985443013_235166ccd4Lora Lynn Fanning is a wife, a mother of seven, and a member of The Church at Brook Hills, where her husband, Andrew, serves as an elder. She home-schools the children, and in her “free time” blogs at Vitafamilae

    With Mother’s Day around the corner, we asked her to answer some questions for us about life as a Christ-follower and a mother …

    What does a typical weekday look like for you?

    I get up just early enough to sneak in some Bible reading before the kids get up. Then we hit the ground running with chores and breakfast. We do school together until lunch, then I take some time to exercise and deal with my to-do list while my kids do independent schoolwork and the babies nap. We all convene again for snack (and more coffee for me) before the dinner time rush and pre-bedtime routines – AKA “the witching hour.” We do family worship right before the kids go to bed and then, depending on the kind of day we had, I either collapse into my bed and eat chocolate or head to my desk to write.

    Given your busy schedule, how do you find time for fellowship and spiritual growth?

    Coffee makes our world go round these days, so my husband and I use our twice daily coffee break as our time to sit on the porch and talk about that morning’s Bible reading or to ponder parenting. I like to read blog posts (because they’re short) and he reads books, so we swap anecdotes from our reading and challenge each other to hold everything up to the Truth.

    The magic of the Internet means I can communicate with my friends on a daily basis via text, social media, and phone. We see each other “in real life” when we can, but being able to touch base with my heart friends, no matter how far away they are, is a huge help when I’m craving adult conversation.

    Our little circus isn’t the easiest to take on the road, so we try to make our house a place where folks want to congregate. We host our small group and we also put a small ballet studio in our basement so we can host a young ballet class. The mamas congregate upstairs around the coffeemaker and I’m pretty sure the only reason any of our daughters are still taking ballet is because we mamas love our coffee talk so much.

    Scripture calls us to honor our mothers. When do you feel particularly honored by your children?

    Is “when they let me sleep in” a valid answer?

    Honestly, I wish I had a deep spiritual answer for you, but what comes to mind are the moments when my children see me as a person: when they belly laugh at my jokes, when they pat me on my shoulder while I cry, when they get excited to give me a gift because they know how much I’ll like it. I love being Mommy. But it’s nice when they see me as a human, too.

    Which is, in truth, the complete opposite of what parenting is all about. See next question…

    What’s the most frustrating aspect of motherhood? How does the gospel speak into this?

    Frustration comes from my own selfishness. I want mothering to be about ME, what I want for me and for my babies. But Jesus… He selflessly poured himself out, He sacrificed His wants, His preferences and said, “Not my will, but YOURS, Father.” He endured unspeakable affliction–much worse than my complaints of bodily fluids and missing shoes–and He was content, even JOYFUL about washing some guy’s feet because He loved his disciple, but even more so … He wanted the will of His Father more than He wanted his own way.

    This parenting gig is all about making us 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.

    What a gift to be able to trust God that much, with my most precious loves, because I know He loves them so much better than I do!

  4. This video interview with D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899 – 1981) from 1970 is made available from the MLJ Trust.

    The website of the MLJ Trust has 1600 sermons from Dr. Lloyd-Jones to listen to and download. Go here to check out this great online resource for one of the great preachers of the 20th century.

    (HT: @DonWhitney)

  5. Secret Church Interview with the Erwin Brothers, Part 2

    Posted on April 12th, 2014 by Jonathan

    Yesterday, we posted part 1 of an interview with the Erwin brothers about how the gospel affects their work as filmmakers. Today is part 2…

    Be sure you check out their upcoming movie, Mom’s Night Out. Also, we invite you to join us 6 days from now for a the Secret Church simulcast with David Platt as we dive into “The Cross and Everyday Life,” a topic that will cover the affect of the cross on both work and entertainment.

  6. Voskamp_Hudson

    Sophie Quote

    Ann Voskamp and Sophie Hudson recently sat down with Pastor David and his wife, Heather, to talk about a number of topics surrounding this year’s Secret Church topic, “The Cross and Everyday Life.”  Ann is the author of One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are and she blogs at “A Holy Experience.” Sophie is the author of A Little Salty to Cut the Sweet: Southern Stories of Faith, Family, and Fifteen Pounds of Bacon and she blogs over at “BooMama.”

    Ann and Sophie each bring a unique perspective to this discussion in their respective roles as wife, mother, author, and blogger. Yesterday we posted our interview with Ann about Secret Church and how the gospel impacts everyday life. Today we put Sophie on the hot-seat.

    Sophie …

    SophieTell us a little about your involvement with Secret Church and how it has impacted you.

    Sophie:  Since we’re members at Brook Hills, I remember the first time David announced that we were going to do Secret Church. I tried to listen really carefully as he went over some of the details–it would help us identify with the persecuted church, it would be six hours of intensive Bible study, it would be on a Friday night–and because I am so deeply spiritual, my first reaction was, “Oh. Bless his heart. I just don’t know that people are going to show up for that.”

    Clearly I’ve been given the gift of prophecy.

    I ended up volunteering to help at either the second or third Secret Church, and I was blown away. For one thing I was so moved by the sight of all the college students who showed up at our church and gave up their Friday nights to study the Bible. But the biggest thing for me has been that when you get to cover that much scriptural ground in one sitting, it is utterly encouraging (and oh-so-humbling) to be reminded of the consistency of God’s character, the depth of His love, and the sufficiency of the cross. So, despite my ROCK SOLID initial reaction, now I totally get why people all over the world participate in Secret Church via simulcast. It’s an incredibly edifying and convicting and affirming six hours. There’s no agenda other than the faithful proclamation of what God reveals to us through His Word.

    And I also think that the later Secret Church gets, the funnier David gets. But that is just my personal observation.

    You’ve got a new book coming out next year … can you tell us a little about what you’re working on? 

    Sophie:  Oh, it’s pretty much exactly like Radical and Follow Me, except I added in an exegetical take on the book of Leviticus because I was feeling bored and needed a challenge.

    I kid.

    It’s actually going to be another book of Southern stories. For my last book (A Little Salty to Cut the Sweet), David planned a ten-week sermon series on it but called it off after the first week because he felt like it had more rich theological content than he could possibly cover. Actually, that didn’t happen at all–the book is mostly about God’s faithfulness to us through our families. This new one, which I think is going to be called Home Is Where My People Are, is a little more focused on friendship and how God faithfully puts the right people in our lives at the right times. It’s scheduled to be released in February of 2015, but that’s all dependent on whether or not I finish writing it. FINGERS CROSSED.

    Your focus on family fits with an issue we’ll cover in Secret Church 14–how husbands and wives treat one another. So how should the gospel inform these relationships? 

    Sophie:  So you know how you’ll be at church and you’ll see a couple in the congregation who have this amazing zeal for service and they talk about how, from the early days of their marriage, all they’ve wanted is to serve the Lord together and make His name known and leave a rich spiritual legacy for their kids? I love those couples. But that is not the story of my marriage.

    When David and I got married almost 17 years ago, we didn’t have the faintest idea about how the gospel should inform our relationship. I mean, we wanted to treat each other well and love each other well and all that, but in terms of the parallels between the gospel and marriage … I don’t think we’d have been able to articulate that, even after growing up in the church.

    But here’s why it’s so cool that God doesn’t leave us where He finds us. By His grace, He has shown both of us that the gospel is not just the foundation of our marriage; it is the purpose of our marriage. We die to ourselves and love each other and sacrifice for each other and lovingly confront each other and support each other, not so that we can be happy, but so that God can be glorified. That doesn’t mean that marriage is daily misery that we endure, because the kicker to this whole thing is that there is such joy and contentment in lovingly surrendering and submitting yourself to another person. Marriage has been one of the most sanctifying experiences of my life, no doubt about it, but by the same token it has been such a privilege to see the Lord do amazing things in the life and heart of my husband. I am unspeakably grateful for that.

    As for parenting: How much time do you have? Every moment of parenting parallels something in my relationship with God. I can’t think about how much David and I love our son without thinking of one of my favorite hymns: “How deep the Father’s love for us, how vast beyond all measure; that He would give His only Son, to make a wretch His treasure.” For me, motherhood has exposed every insecurity I have, every tendency to compare and keep score and feel like all the other mamas have everything under control and I’m the only train wreck in the bunch. But what I’ve learned is that I don’t have to be a perfect mama with a perfect child in order to be in the center of God’s perfect will. Motherhood is messy and wonderful and difficult and glorious; I will never get over how the Lord teaches us as we teach the little ones He’s entrusted to us. Yes, it can be a hard road to travel sometimes, but let’s not miss that the road leads us to healing, redemptive places.

    We’re also going to be talking about sports, and it’s no secret that you’re a huge sports fan—Mississippi State to be exact. So what are the dangers and blessings of sports as you see it? 

    Sophie:  Well, I’ve always been very level-headed and even-keeled where sports are concerned.

    And now I’m just gonna sit here and wait for some lightning to strike me (!)

    Listen. I love me some sports. My daddy and I always went to Mississippi State games (football, baseball, basketball – you name it) when I was growing up, and even now that is my favorite thing to do as a family. Just this morning, in fact, I felt a little giddy when I realized that the SEC baseball tournament is just a little over a month away because our family just enjoys the fire out of it.

    Given all of that, I am all too aware that sports can take on a significance in my life that is neither merited nor healthy. It’s so easy to get caught up in the stories and the games and the drama, especially living here in the heart of the SEC. So I am forever asking the Lord to help me keep that part of my heart and my life in check. It gets tricky with kids’ sports, too. As parents, we can take something that’s so good for our children–being on a team, sacrificing for teammates, learning to work with others–and taint that thing with our pride and our egos and our expectations.

    I have learned (and I am still learning) that there’s a big difference between enjoying something and elevating it to god-like status in my life. If sports are a hobby, that’s awesome. But if sports are an idol, that’s troublesome. Sometimes that means that I have to distance myself from the message boards, and I’ve pretty much quit listening to sports radio altogether. That’s not because those things are bad; that’s just because my preoccupation with those things can start to create a barrier in my relationship with the Lord and change my priorities in a way that’s not necessarily wise.

    All that being said, there can be so many blessings that come from sports. There are physical benefits from playing and participating, and sports are the source of so many of our favorite family memories. I just have to be careful to keep those things in perspective and remember that there is no place in Scripture where Jesus rang a cowbell and screamed, “Hail State.”

    As a wife and mother, why do you think this particular Secret Church topic is so crucial?

    Sophie:  It’s everything, isn’t it? I mean, I can have all the head knowledge in the world, I can quote Scripture and sing hymns and memorize the entire book of Psalms, but if I’m not lovingly putting the gospel into practice in my everyday life in terms of how I care for and respond to my family and co-workers and neighbors and people who don’t know Jesus, then some part of my so-called cross-centered life is out of line (I just re-read that last sentence and thought, Um, that’s pretty much the gist of 1 Corinthians 13, and really, Paul says it so much better). Sometimes I think I learn more about where I am in my walk with Christ when I’m standing in line for a car tag than when I’m spending the weekend at a women’s retreat, because the daily stuff is where I see the places in my head and my heart that aren’t fully surrendered (Can we please talk about the opportunities for sanctification that are available to us in the carpool line? Or at Chuck E. Cheese?). Our day-to-day routines are where the sacred and the ordinary intersect, so how we view the gospel absolutely affects how we walk it out in all the different areas of our lives.

    For more information or to register for Secret Church 14, “The Cross and Everyday Life,” go here.

  7. Voskamp_Hudson

    Ann Voskamp and Sophie Hudson recently sat down with Pastor David and his wife, Heather, to talk about a number of topics surrounding this year’s Secret Church topic, “The Cross and Everyday Life.”  Ann is the author of One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are and she blogs at “A Holy Experience.” Sophie is the author of A Little Salty to Cut the Sweet: Southern Stories of Faith, Family, and Fifteen Pounds of Bacon and she blogs over at “BooMama.”

    Ann and Sophie each bring a unique perspective to this discussion in their respective roles as wife, mother, author, and blogger. We decided to post their answers in two parts – Ann’s post is below and Sophie’s will appear tomorrow. In this first post, we asked Ann several questions about how the gospel impacts her everyday life.

    So Ann…

    What are you working on these days? (family, church, writing, etc.)

    Anna VoskampAnn:  There’s the raising and teaching of our 6 exuberant kids, including 4 teenagers, and then there’s the attempt to go deeper with the families in the small group that we host and lead. I’m also studying Scripture and writing the next book out of that time of studying. But you know, as our family has been reading and memorizing the book of John this year, I keep returning to John 6:29 (Amplified Bible): “Jesus replied, ‘This is the work (service) that God asks of you: that you believe in the One Whom He has sent [that you cleave to, trust, rely on, and have faith in His Messenger].’” Jesus is saying that our realest work always is, no matter what we’re doing with our hands, to trust Him. Unless I choose again and again today to trust Jesus, what I am practicing is atheism, not faith. So no matter what the work is, the real work is to trust God and His unwavering, ultimate goodness and the complete and saving work of Christ on the cross. That’s the work everyday: I. Trust. You. Jesus.

    You’ve previously been involved with Secret Church through live-tweeting. What makes the topic “The Cross and Everyday Life” so important?

    Ann:  I will never forget the words David Platt preached the Sunday I was at Brook Hills, only a few weeks before Christmas. He said, “Your only hope for joy, your only hope for peace, your only hope for comfort, your only hope for strength and your only hope for love in this life … is found in the cross of Jesus Christ. Your only hope in this life is found in the brutal, bloody, humiliation of a naked man on a wooden post. My hope is that you go out of this building clinging to the cross of Christ.” And THAT is the crux of everything. Sometimes I wonder if we see the cross simply as our door into God’s presence instead of regarding it as our only air in God’s presence. We don’t get over the cross, but rather we spend a lifetime allowing God to get the cross into us. Christ said it on the cross: It is finished, and Christ finished it, but I am never finished with the cross. 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. Bottom line: If my life isn’t cross-centered, my life is off-centered, and the warping spin leaves me sick. My life needs centri-faith force and the centrality of the cross is the force that holds together my universe. Grace is my gravity and the Cross is my cosmos. If everything in my world is spinning out of control, is it because I’ve lost the centrality of the cross? The Cross isn’t just the kindling that ignites our Christian life … the cross is the very fuel of all of our life. If the the cross of Christ isn’t your everyday fuel, the fire you warm your heart around, then you grow cold. Your faith goes nowhere. So God never moves us beyond the cross; He moves more deeply into the cross, and then we are so moved by this grace that we move out into the world.

    In One Thousand Gifts you’ve written about being grateful for God’s everyday gifts. How do you see this idea overlapping with this year’s Secret Church theme? How does gratitude fit in with the gospel?

    Ann:  I read in Scripture that the gospel shapes us in two fundamental ways, much like what we see happening at the gathering of the Last Supper:

    1) The shape of the Christ-life is eucharistic — Jesus takes the bread and does what? He gives thanks, eucharisteo in Greek (the original biblical language). So the shape of the Christ-life is firstly eucharistic, full of gratitude for the incomprehensible grace of the constant goodness of God, thankfulness for the saving grace of Christ, endless gratefulness for the relentless love and companionship of Jesus and His tender sanctification of our souls. Because of Christ, the call on our life is nothing short of wholesale gratitude.

    2) We see how, at the Last Supper, the shape of the Christ-life is secondly cruciform. The shape of our lives should be cross-like, full of cross-like sacrifice. Jesus took that bread, gave thanks for it, and then broke it and gave it. How does our everyday life look like Christ did in that moment of breaking the bread, symbolic of His body, and of giving Himself away? How do we, on a daily basis, embody the cross, the sacrificial love that we’ve experienced, and then pass it on to a hurting world? If our lives don’t look eucharistic, full of gratitude, or cruciform, sacrificially shaped like the cross, then how will we bring the good news to the world?

    What do everyday routines and responsibilities look like for you as the wife of a farmer, a mom to six, a homeschooler, and a writer?

    Ann:  Gritty. Loud. A bit of a crucible. A gift. We have 6 kids, 8 to 18. All the kids work for 2-3 hours each morning in the barn doing barn chores, taking care of hundreds of sows and piglets. Then they come in for breakfast, then morning routines, which fold into math, Latin, grammar, and spelling. After lunch, we have read-alouds covering literature, history, science, Shakespeare, poetry, and then piano practices. I write in the margins, the fringe hours, early morning, late at night.

    TableBy far, the routine that most anchors our days and shapes us is that we eat around the table together three meals a day, and we never, ever leave the table without chewing The Real Bread. If you sit down to eat, you never leave the table without eating Words — you have time for Real Food. Because we just came to realize that the food served on plates … is actually dead food. The food we eat has to be kept in the fridge like a corpse, or it would rot. The food we serve on plates is dead food. But when we eat Scripture, we eat the only real food, for Christ is Living Bread. We are eating He who sustains all things, body and soul. When we eat His Words, we eat of the eternal Word. Deuteronomy 8:3 says, ” … man does not live by bread only, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord” (Amplified Bible). The Word of God is what is living and active; it’s a Word that can revive the hungry, and when we eat the Book, the cells in the body, they rejuvenate, enlivened with the true strength. Eating Scripture three times a day as a family around the table … that’s the everyday routine, the one spiritual habit that has most changed us. A body, famished, needs to eat and there’s only one way to eat life. This was actually so paramount to us that we had a table built for our family (by the same carpenter who built the house I grew up in). The table was built out of barn beams and it has eight drawers around all around it, so each person has a drawer at the table with their Bible in it. So when we are done eating, each child opens his/her drawer and takes out real food and we read Scripture together around the table. Because really, to live Christ-centric is to live Word-Centric.

    –Stay tuned for tomorrow’s interview with Sophie Hudson. For more information or to register for Secret Church 14, “The Cross and Everyday Life,” go here.

  8. Secret Church Interview with the Erwin Brothers, Part 1

    Posted on April 8th, 2014 by Jonathan

    Andy and Jon Erwin are followers of Christ. But they are also filmmakers. They made October Baby and are currently working on another feature-length film called Mom’s Night Out, in theaters this Mother’s Day weekend. In the short video below, they were gracious enough to tell us how the gospel led them to the entertainment industry and how it affects their work as filmmakers. Entertainment and work are two of the many topics that will be covered this Good Friday at Secret Church 14, “The Cross and Everyday Life.” There’s still time to register and participate in the simulcast!

    Stay tuned in the coming days for more from the Erwin brothers on “The Cross and Everyday Life.”

  9. Some Questions to Ask Before Leaving a Church

    Posted on April 7th, 2014 by David Burnette


    Pastor David talks about when it’s appropriate to leave a church.

  10. Janet Parshall Interviews Pastor David

    Posted on April 2nd, 2014 by David Burnette

    In the Market wtih Janet Parshall

    We’ve mentioned before that Moody Radio will soon be airing a new broadcast featuring the teaching ministry of Pastor David called “Radical with David Platt.” The show is scheduled to begin on May 5th, 2014.

    The 15-minute audio clip below contains Janet Parshall’s interview with Pastor David concerning the sufficiency of God’s Word and the upcoming Secret Church simulcast. The interview appeared on Moody’s “In the Market with Janet Parshall” (April 1, 2014).

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    – For more information about Secret Church 14, “The Cross and Everyday Life,” or to register for the upcoming simulcast on Good Friday, April 18th, go here.