Friday, August 18, 2017

Skunk on a Table


Today is my last day off before beginning the fall semester, on-line, at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Tomorrow I will be working in the CVICU, then classes begin on Monday. I'm beginning my eighth class; Introduction to Hermeneutics, which will be the halfway point in obtaining a Master of Theological Studies. I thought I would take the time today to discuss a problem that I have with Facebook.

I have had a problem with Facebook for several years, because of this, I have been off of it several times. What do I enjoy about Facebook? Seeing pictures of my friends and family, also reading what they are up to. What I do not enjoy about Facebook is the tendency by some to purposely through skunks on the table. Skunks stink really bad!

I've noticed that some do this for the purpose of creating a discussion and others do it for martydom. Neither of these reasons are for love. 

"I was very glad to find some of your children walking in truth, just as we have received commandment to do from the Father. Now I ask you, lady, not as though I were writing to you a new commandment, but the one which we have had from the beginning, that we love one another. And this is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, that you should walk in it. (2 John 2:4-6)

The discusser does this, because he/she enjoys a fight. You can call it debate, but it is still fighting. The marytr does this that he may feel superior and acts like he is being attacked if anyone disagrees with the stinking post. 

Recently I had a friend who kept making blanket negative statements about evangelicals on Facebook. I commented on a couple of his post, giving a brief biblical and historical account of what an evangelical is, but because the media and others use the term evangelical broadly he would not listen to me and continued to make these blanket statements.

To clarify Evangelicalism:

  1. Evangelicals are Trinitarian Christians
  2. Evangelicals believe in the Inerrancy of scripture
  3. Evangelicals believe in the centrality of the cross
  4. Evangelicals believe in the importance of evangelism
  5. Evangelicals believe in the resurrection of the dead when Christ returns
  6. Evangelicals believe that while waiting for the consummation it is our duty to make the world a better place in the present

While I still consider this man a friend and brother in Christ I could not continue to see these post. When making a post to Facebook or any other social media sight that could be seen as controversial ask why you are making the post. Are you doing it to cause argument, or to play martyr when someone disagrees with you?

My own social media post for the time being will be limited to this blog, which I will share on both Facebook and Twitter. Brothers and sisters, let us all love one another.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

What do You Have?

Christian, what do you have? In a word Christ. Today I am studying the book of Hebrews so I picked up my favorite commentary. The Believer's Bible Commentary by William MacDonald. In it Dr. MacDonald says that the Epistle to the Hebrews is really an answer to the question, "What do you have?" (Macdonald, 2157)

Per Dr. McDonald in Christ we have:

  • "One who is greater than the prophets."
  • "One who is greater than the angels."
  • "One who is greater than Moses."
  • "One who is greater than Joshua."
  • "One whose priesthood is greater than Aaron."
  • "One who serves in a better sanctuary."
  • "One who has introduced a better covenant."
  • "One who is the antitype of the typical furniture and veil."
  • "One whose once-for-all offering of Himself for sin is superior to the repeated sacrifices of bulls and goats."

Christian, what do you have? God’s Word in His Son.

"God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much better than the angels, as He has inherited a more excellent name than they." (Heb 1:1-4)



Bibliography:

MacDonald, William. Believer's Bible Commentary: A Complete Bible Commentary in one volume. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 1995.

The Lockman Foundation. The Holy Bible, Updated New American Standard Bible. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1995.


Monday, August 14, 2017

The•Nurse•Theologian


Since 1997 I have been a Critical•Care•Cardiovascular•Registered•Nurse. Since April 2003 I have been following the Lord Jesus Christ. I am currently in graduate school at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary working towards a Master of Theological Studies. Therefore, this blog is about practical theology; living out the great commandment and great commission through faith in Jesus Christ.

I have changed the name of my blog to The Nurse Theologian, because the name matches two of my great passions in life; taking care of the sick and studying scripture. Sin is a sickness and we all are dying because of it; therefore, we are all in need. This blog will be about practical theology.

"Practical theology is the application of theological truth to all of life, particularly the life and work of the church. While the other theological disciplines are oriented toward understanding God, his work in history, and his revelation in Christ, practical theology concerns our participation with God in the work of bringing that revelation to the church and the world."1

I am concerned that Christians are separating their theology from how they are living their lives. Christianity is more than a simple belief in Jesus. Jesus said repeatedly in the gospels, “Follow Me,” I found 21 passages where this is the theme. Jesus knew His sheep, because they followed Him.2

Jesus taught His disciples the great commandment3 and commissioned them to go make disciples and teach them what He commanded.4  Though I am working towards a Master of Theological Studies this blog will not be academic, it will be about observing all that the Lord has command His disciples.

1. "Writing for Practical Theology." Westminster Theological Seminary. Accessed August 14, 2017. https://students.wts.edu/resources/westminster_center_for_theolog/paper_formatshtml/practical_theology.html

2. John 10:27.

3. Matthew 22:36-39.

4. Matthew 28:16-20.

5. Ibid.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Ten Great Leaders

Manuscript for Jonathan Edwards Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God
     There are so many great leaders down through the ages of church history. I picked ten leaders that I would recommend reading. These leaderships had an impact on the life of the church during their day and the communities that they lived in to the extent that their positive impact is still felt today. Each of these ten great leaders modeled, though imperfectly, the nine qualities that define great leaders as depicted in Jeff Iorg’s book “The Character of Leadership.”1
     Irenaeus of Lyons was the consummate Pastor-Theologian of the early church. He was wholly dedicated as under-shepherd of the flock given to him and wholly dedicated to the theology of scripture refuting heresy.2
     Athanasius of Alexandria modeled the quality of security. He was both pastor and theologian who trusted the Lord when the Roman world was against him. Athanasius spoke against heresy between two ecumenical councils; Nicaea and Constantinople, all the while holding to the doctrine of the trinity and divinity of Christ. He had what Jared Wilson calls the pastors justification, because he had convicted trust and not vague belief.3
     Augustine of Hippo modeled the quality of purity. Sex was his besetting sin. He left it behind to follow Christ. He pastored the church in Northern Africa. He would become, through his writings, one of the greatest theologians in the history of the church.4
     Anselm of Canterbury modeled the quality of humility. Anselm was significant in the development of scholasticism; that one should apply reason to faith, but he did not put his reasoning above his faith.His book Cur Deus Homo was significant in linking the atonement to the incarnation.6
     Martin Luther modeled servanthood to his congregation in Wittenberg. He was Professor of Scripture at the university and at the same time he pastored the parish church, preaching three sermons a week.7 Luther’s fault in leadership was his tendency towards anger.
     John Calvin modeled the character quality of gaining wisdom. This can be seen in the changes that he made over his life in The Institutes of Christian Religion. The character flaw that lead to his early departure was his unwillingness to rest. His hard pace of reading, writing and praying took a toll which resulted in illness and death in 1564.8
     Jonathan Edwards was a leader who modeled discipline. Edwards made a list of seventy resolutions, “Never to do any manner of thing, whether in soul or body, less or more, but what tends to the glory of God.”9 The downside of Edwards was that in social situations he did not like small talk, but would rather talk on higher things, which made him appear to be unsociable.10
     William Carey was a leader who modeled courage. He has been dubbed the father of the modern evangelical missions movement. Can you imagine the courage that it would take to be the first to leave the comforts of home, family, church and country, to go to a foreign land among the heathen? 
     Charles H. Spurgeon modeled sustaining passion. During his life, he battled depression, gout, and other maladies, but continued faithfully running to the cross in every sermon. It was the infinite love of God that drove him. In one of my favorite books, All of Grace, he describes faith as being made up of three things: knowledge, belief and trust.11 It is his faith that sustained his passion.
     Carl F. H. Henry is a bit different than those previously mentioned, because he was not a pastor-theologian, he was a writer-theologian. He would launch the magazine Christianity Today. This magazine was designed to bridge the gap between academic theology and the theology of the evangelical Christian. Henry was aggressive in dealing with the issues of his day modeling the character of leadership.12




[1] Jeff Iorg, The Character of Leadership: Nine Qualities that Define Great Leaders (Nashville, TN: B& H Pub. Group, 2007).
[2] Justo L. González, The Story of Christianity (New York: HarperOne, 2010), 84.
[3] Jared C. Wilson, The Pastors Justification: Applying the Work of Christ in Your Life and Ministry (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2013), 149.
[4] Justo L. González, The Story of Christianity (New York: HarperOne, 2010), 241-252.
[5] Ibid, 369.
[6] Kevin J. Vanhoozer and Owen Strachan, The Pastor as Public Theologian: reclaiming a lost vision (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2015), 77.
[7] John D. Woodbridge, Church history the rise and growth of the church in its cultural, intellectual, and political context (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2013), 109.
[8] Jason G. Duesing, Seven summits in church history (Nashville, TN: Rainer Publishing, 2016), 65-66.
[9] Ibid, 83.
[10] George M. Marsden, A short life of Jonathan Edwards (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 2008), 142.
[11] C. H. Spurgeon, All of grace (New Kensington, PA: Whitaker House, 2003), 59.
[12] Jason G. Duesing, Seven summits in church history (Nashville, TN: Rainer Publishing, 2016), 111-114.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

America and Evangelicals 


I have noticed a recent rash of post on social media against Evangelicals, especially those Evangelicals who support and defend there neighbors in America. I see this as troubling to say the least, because it is contrary to the law of Christ.

In the year of our Lord 1968 I was born to my parents Richard and Carole Peek a citizen of the United States of America. This was not by accident for the Lord is sovereign. My family has been citizens of the U.S.A. since its inception. In fact, my family was among the first settlers to the Virginia Colony in the 17th century.

In April of 2003 I was born of God. I was drawn by the Holy Spirit to follow my Lord and savior Jesus Christ. Therefore, I am a citizen of the kingdom of God, but presently abide in the kingdom of man. 

I am also a veteran of the U.S. Army. I took an oath upon my enlistment to protect and defend the constitution of the U.S.A against all enemies foreign and domestic. I served during my enlistment domestically at Ft. Knox Kentucky and Ft Polk Louisiana. Foreignly in the countries of Panama and Korea. 

Church history matters, therefore, listen to what I must briefly say with regards to Evangelicals in America: In the early days of the reformation there were Lutherans, Reformed and Anabaptist. When the reformation came to England, the church of England (Anglican) became protestant. In Scotland Presbyterianism was a branch of the Reformed. Within England there came to be puritans who wanted to purify the church, there were non-separating puritans and separating puritans, the pilgrims were separatist. Eventually there were other separatist like Particular Baptists.

Out of the enlightenment Liberal-Protestantism was born. Fundamentalism was a rejection of liberal-Protestantism. Fundamentalist hold to the supernaturalism of the scriptures while liberals do not. Liberals hold to a social gospel while fundamentals focused on individual sin. Evangelicals are found in-between these two extremes. Like fundamentals evangelicals are orthodox in their beliefs: 

  1. Evangelicals are Trinitarians
  2. Evangelicals believe in the Inerrancy of scripture and its supernaturalism
  3. Evangelicals believe in the centrality of the cross
  4. Evangelicals believe in the importance of evangelism

Any who would deny these tenets are not historical -evangelicals. In addition, evangelicals desire to change the world, this is the reason they are involved in politics. Gregory Thornbury in his book on Carl F. H. Henry and classic evangelicalism said,

Evangelicals have been fascinated by political involvement in part because they believe that it is a way of bringing all things in subjection to the lordship of Christ. They want to change the world…By addressing the political, social, economic, and intellectual questions of the age, God’s people have an opportunity to share the gospel that not only makes us right with God, but also makes human flourishing possible. This was the vision of classic evangelism. (G. Thornbury, Recovering Classic Evangelicalism, 161, 164)

Evangelical Christians are not the enemy. Evangelicals seek to honor God, exalt Jesus Christ, and seek the good of our neighbors whether they be sheep or goats. I am an Evangelical born again Christian, a citizen of the kingdom, who was born at the sovereign will of God in America. I am also a veteran of the U.S. Army. My hope is that this blog post be taken to heart, because I love my brothers and sisters in Christ and love all my neighbors in America.

Our Lord and Savior (on the eve of His betrayal) said to His disciples,

This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. You are My friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you. You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you. This I command you, that you love one another. (John 15:12-17, NASB)

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

The Heavy Stone

George Whitefield Rock, West Brookfield, Massaschusetts

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth with His two hands: His Word and His Spirit.1 God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”2 

The Lord God declared to the man, that the penalty for sin is death.3 Sin is lawlessness; sin is doing what you know to be wrong and not doing what you know to be right.4 The Lord God commanded the man to not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.5 The man ate,6 “and so death spread to all men because all sinned.”7

“The Lord, the Lord God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth; who keeps lovingkindness for thousands, who forgives iniquity, transgression and sin; yet He will by no means leave the guilty unpunished, visiting the iniquity of fathers on the children and on the grandchildren to the third and fourth generations.”8

It is the nature of God to forgive sin and it is the nature of God to by no means leave the guilty unpunished. This creates a paradox, because if God forgives sin He cannot punish the guilty, because if He punishes the guilty man He does not forgive his sin. How can God forgive sin and by no means leave the guilty unpunished? “Could an omnipotent being (God) create a stone so heavy that even they could not lift it?”9 The amazing answer to this paradox is given to us in the Epistle to the Romans:

as it is written,
" There is none righteous, not even one;
There is none who understands,
There is none who seeks for God;
All have turned aside, together they have become useless;
There is none who does good,
There is not even one."
"Their throat is an open grave,
With their tongues they keep deceiving,"
"The poison of asps is under their lips";
"Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness";
"Their feet are swift to shed blood,
Destruction and misery are in their paths,
And the path of peace they have not known."
"There is no fear of God before their eyes."
Now we know that whatever the Law says, it speaks to those who are under the Law, so that every mouth may be closed and all the world may become accountable to God; because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin.
But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed; for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
Where then is boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? Of works? No, but by a law of faith. For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law.10



1 Cf. Gen 1:1-5 & Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyons.
2 Gen 1:27-28.
3 Gen 1:17.
4 1 Jn 3:4.
5 Gen 1:16-17.
6 Gen 3:6.
7 Rom 5:12.
8 Ex 34:6-7.
9 Averroës, 12th century Aristotelian philosopher.
10 Rom 3:21-28.

Friday, June 23, 2017

A Slave of Jesus Christ

My name is Mike and I have written this blog post that you may know a little more about me. I am a slave of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God; He bought me at a high price. (cf. 1 Cor 7:23)
In the year 2003, Darlene and I started attending a local Baptist Church because our son Daniel had been participating in their youth group. In April, 2003, during a church-wide reading of a book called, The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren, I was drawn to follow the Lord. I do not attribute my salvation to this book, however, the Lord did use it to bring me to repentance and faith.
After reading that book I began to read the scriptures daily and I prayerfully sought to follow the Lord in obedience. It was when reading the word of God, particularly, the Gospel According to John, that the blinders came off and the Lord gave me a new heart. I was literally born again through the testimony of the Holy Spirit (inward call) and the testimony of the prophets and apostles (outward call). The early church Pastor-Theologian, Irenaeus of Lyons (130-202 A.D.) said that God guides His sheep with His two hands: His Word and His Spirit.1
My given name is Michael Brian Peek, but people call me Mike. I am the eldest son of Richard and Carole Peek, I was born May 4, 1968 in Richardson, Texas. I am husband to Darlene, we were married June 30, 1990 in Mansfield, Louisiana. I am father to Daniel James Peek whom the Lord gave me to adopt on November 4, 1992. I am father to Bethany Rachel Peek, born to us on July 20, 1993.
Since 2012, Darlene and I have fellowshipped at Sylvania Church in Tyler, Texas. We are a Reformed Southern Baptist Church (SBC). We are Particular-Baptist; for an explanation, read the 1689 London Baptist confession.
I graduated North Garland high school in 1987. I spent the first 5 years after high school, before going to college, in the U.S. Army. I was stationed in the country of Panama, Ft. Knox, KY (where I meet Darlene), Ft. Polk, LA, and lastly the country of Korea. After discharge from the Army I went to college. I graduated in 1997 and became a Registered Nurse. My profession for the past 20 years has been cardiovascular-critical care (ICU) nursing. I am currently in graduate school at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary working towards a Master of Theological Studies.
Now why would a Registered Nurse want to take seminary classes? When someone hears that I am taking seminary classes they ask, “Are you going to be a pastor?” This is not the reason that I am taking seminary classes. Why then?
At the beginning of the year 2010, I was lead to share my faith in Jesus Christ with others, but did not know how. I began reading about others who were sharing their faith in Jesus Christ. One of the books that I read was, Give ME A J! by Author Blessitt, but his methodology amounted to getting someone to repeat a prayer. I then came to read The Way of the Master by Ray Comfort and became interested in Ray’s teaching on how to share your faith with others. This eventually lead me to open-air preaching and my first Super Bowl outreach with Sports Fans Ourtreach International, January, 2013 in New Orleans, LA.
I could have continued as I was doing; reading the Bible daily, listening to preaching on Sundays and reading other books during the week. However, I understood that if I am to truly tell people what the Bible is saying about God (Father, Son and Spirit), about man, about salvation, about the church and about the judgment; I must undergo a formal-structured discipleship program which is what seminary is.2
I believe that God’s justification of man is declared in scripture alone.3 Justification is a gift, you cannot earn it.4 Justification is given by the grace of God alone (God did not have to give it to anyone). God said to Moses, “I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show compassion on whom I will show compassion.”5 Justification is received through faith alone, in Christ Jesus alone, and is for the glory of God alone.6 The apostle Paul said, “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.” Therefore, I am compelled to go out and preach the gospel.
I spent a three-year period, 2012-2015, memorizing the entire Gospel According to John word-for-word. I now use my memorization of it to publicly promote the reading of the Gospel According John. I do this by reciting 1-3 chapters in open-air, then I give copies of the book away to passerby’s. I do this for three reasons, all of which comes from the Gospel According to John:
1.      It is the Word of God who draws His sheep and gives eternal life to them. Jesus said, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand.” (Jn 10:27-28, NASB)
2.      There must be both an inward-call (testimony of the Holy Spirit) and an outward-call (testimony of the apostles) before faith occurs. The apostles were the ones who witnessed Jesus life, death and resurrection; therefore, it is their witness that must be proclaimed. Jesus said to His disciples, “When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify about Me, and you will testify also, because you have been with Me from the beginning.” (Jn 15:26-27, NASB)
3.      The Gospel According to John is an eye witness testimony about Jesus, written by the disciple whom Jesus loved. (cf. Jn 21:20-24)
My Sunday school teacher, Paul McClung, D. Min, in his practical commentary on Jonah said, “Men of God today must preach Jesus. Jesus means ‘salvation is of the Lord.’ If salvation depends solely upon God, only God is able to save and accomplish what is needed for salvation. Man can only be saved by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.”8




1 Justo L. González, The story of Christianity (New York:
HarperCollins, 2010) 85.
2 Jason Duesing, A Conversation with Dr. Jason Duesing, Vimeo, accessed January
2017, https://vimeo.com/116191698.
3 Cf.
Romans 3:21-26.
4 Cf.
Romans 3:10-20.
5 Exodus 33:19, NASB.
6 Cf.
Romans 3:21-26.
7 Romans 10:17, NASB.
8 Paul D. McClung, Jonah: Salvation is of the Lord, (Paul D. MClung, 2016) 75.