About Joey Cochran

http://www.jtcochran.com

I was raised in Texas and graduated from the University of Texas at Arlington with a Bachelors of Business Administration in 2004 and completed my Master of Theology from Dallas Seminary in 2009. I served as the General Manager of Campus Dining Services for Dallas Seminary during my seminary years. I currently serve as the High School Pastor at Fellowship Bible Church Tulsa. Before joining the Fellowship Bible Church staff, I volunteered in youth ministry for ten years. I am married to Kendall, the most amazing woman I've ever met. She is a graduate of Dallas Baptist University with a Bachelors of Arts in Psychology. We are blessed with one daughter, Chloe born October 2008 and one son Asher born June 2011. I enjoy analyzing music and movies, and I also enjoy making social and cultural observations and commentary. I have an incredible passion for youth ministry, and I have a scholars heart. I really enjoy reading and studying about the New Testament, Old Testament, Theology, Pastoral Ministry, and Youth Ministry.

Posts by Joey Cochran:

Clayton Croy and Prima Scriptura

PrintClayton Croy’s introduction to New Testament exegesis explains its title, Prima Scriptura, to some degree, with a wider-angled lens on limitations of exegesis apart from contributing authorities that affect the understanding of the reader’s interpretation of the text.

For although the Bible is an authoritative source for the faith and practice of Christians, its authority does not operate in a vacuum. If it did do so, we could adopt the Reformation motto sola scriptura in the most absolute sense and largely do away with this third step. But in fact, nearly all Christian traditions employ one or more additional criteria such as tradition, reason, and experience. A more realistic motto, then, would be prima scriptura: Scripture as the primary authority, but in conjunction with and mediated by other authorities.

 

Know the Creeds and Councils by Justin Holcomb

knowthecreedsandcouncilsThis review first appeared on Lifeway’s Pastors Today web-blog.

Bibliography

Justin S. Holcomb. Know the Creeds and Councils. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2014. 192 pp. $12.99.

Category

Theology

Summary

“No creed but the Bible” is a common refrain for evangelical church leaders and members during the past few decades. Just the other day at the park a church planter shared with me this same refrain as the center of his church’s vision.

But is this a prudent philosophy? Should we really abandon two millennia of theological development and tradition? In Know the Creeds and Councils, Justin Holcomb an Episcopal priest and professor at both RTS and Gordon-Conwell – referring to the intrinsic value of Church History – graciously says, “To ignore these insights is to attempt to reinvent the wheel, and to risk reinventing it badly” (10). I agree with him.

In Know the Creeds and Councils, Holcomb sets out to bring clarified perspective of the background, content, and relevance for the essential creeds, councils, confessions, and catechisms of Christian History. In fact, each chapter is structured with that outline: Historical Background, Content, and Relevance.

Know the Creeds and Councils does not attempt to be a comprehensive guide, rather it is an accessible primer for pastors or laypersons, individuals or groups to provide a “deeper and better understanding of how the church has wrestled with major doctrinal questions and has emerged stronger as Jesus continues to build his church” (22).

This study spans Christian History, studying critical documents beginning with the Apostles Creed (ca. 140) and ending with the Chicago Statement of Biblical Inerrancy (1978), presenting synopses of crucial assemblies like the seven ecumenical councils, and examining vital reformation era statements like the Heidelberg catechism and Westminster Confession. Holcomb’s selection of source material and elucidation of church history indicates sincerity for unity and bias to produce praise of God – both admirable qualities!

Benefit for Pastoral Ministry

There is a lot to be said about the merits of Know the Creeds and Councils. If, as many think, there is an increasing biblical illiteracy of membership within broader Evangelicalism, then let’s consider briefly how emaciated people’s understanding of Church History is? This intelligible and concise primer will be a wonderful resource for combating this infirmity within churches! Community groups and bible fellowships will profit by drawing from the well of lessons learned in Church history, and the discussion guide concluding each chapter provides ideal questions to help them drink from this well.

Pastors who utilize liturgy (something I recommend) to express the gospel and provide doctrinal guardrails may use this resource to help their leadership and congregation understand the benefit of confessions and creeds. The same can be said of us today as Holcomb asserts concerning early church leadership: “By sad experience, the leaders of the church found that there were areas in the “rule of faith” that left too much open to personal interpretation” (38). Thus, we need these time-tested statements crafted to withstand confusion or corruption.

Nestled within the pages of Know the Creeds and Councils are accounts of virtuous leaders overcoming enemies of orthodoxy (i.e. Alexander and Athanasius vs. Arius at Nicaea, 33-39), the invisible hand of God’s grace protecting the doctrine of the Church (i.e. Augustine and the Council of Carthage, 88-94), and quests for refined articulations of God’s Word (i.e. Definition of Chalcedon, 55-58). These many accounts illustrate not just the protective dogmatic nature of the Church but also the “common thread of ‘generous orthodoxy’” present throughout church history (83). Notably, throughout Know the Creeds and Councils, Holcomb exhibits where the Church agrees across the board and how she functions ecumenically in spite of remarkable distinctives.

Rating 

Essential            Recommended            Helpful            Pass It By

Recommendation

Know the Creeds and Councils isn’t some mere fact-finding guide but a faith-forming affirmation of God’s providence over God’s people.

 

View-Worthy: 9.2.14

Preview

Screen Time, Barnabas and Noel Piper Interview, Masculine Priesthood, Life with Cancer.

Headliner

Tim Challies. Faith Hacking: Managing Your Kids’ Screen Time.

One of the big challenges for every family today is placing limits on their children’s screen time. After all, if you leave the kids on their own, they will watchTV or play iPad games from the moment they wake up to the moment you force them into bed (or my kids will at any rate). How do you motivate your kids to pick up a book or go outside? How do you govern screen time without it collapsing into constant bickering?

I found an interesting solution in Greg McKeown’s book Essentialism. This is not a Christian book, but the solution is sound and could prove very useful. He, too, is a parent and he, too, has tried to limit his kids’ access to their devices and to increase their reading.

Deal of the Day

The Pastor’s Kid: Finding Your Own Faith and Identity by Barnabas Piper

Book Review

Ian and Larissa Murphy. Eight Twenty-Eight: When Love Didn’t Give Up. Reviewed by Lindsey Carlson.

Links

Trillia Newbell. A Mother’s Influence on One Pastor’s Kid: An Interview with Barnabas Piper.

It has been said that pastoral ministry is not for the faint of heart. There are pressures that stretch and challenge pastors both in ministry and personally. Evidently these pressures can also spill over onto their children. At least that was the case for Barnabas Piper who wrote about them in his book The Pastor’s Kid: Finding Your Own Faith and Identity.  

Barnabas (31) is the son of popular theologian, author, and speaker, John Piper.  Pastor John has served in ministry in various ways but most notably as past pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, MN where he ministered for 33 years.  It is here that Barnabas derives much of his childhood memories.

But Pastor John has not served alone. Beside him, supporting and loving him along the way, has been Noel Piper, his wife of over 45 years. I asked Barnabas to tell us about his mother and how she influenced, protected, and cared for her family and specifically Barnabas as he wrestled with faith and his childhood.

Alastair Roberts. Why a Masculine Priesthood is Essential.

My thoughts about feminism, equality, and authority have provoked a considerable amount of controversy. Beyond the original discussion that sparked this off (about a month ago now), many comments have been left beneath Andrew’s post. My own post from yesterday is followed by a great deal of detailed engagement with the issues in the commentsJenny BakerHannah Mudge, and Danny Webster have all written posts in answer to my position (I have also left a comment on Danny’s post, to which he has responded). Amidst the outrage in certain quarters, there has been a lot of thoughtful engagement, for which I am very appreciative. Although it is unlikely that we will all end up agreeing, I believe that it is important to understand and engage with other perspectives—especially when articulated by intelligent, experienced, and charitable interlocutors—and that all of us will find our positions sharpened as we participate in the challenge of discourse. Hopefully, the exact location of our differences will also become clearer, perhaps even being broken down to a much less threatening size. Thank you to everyone who has pursued this discussion in this productive and generous manner.

Keith Mathison. Life with Cancer: One Year Later. (Ligonier)

One year ago this week, I received a phone call I’ll never forget. I was sitting at my desk when the phone rang. I saw on the display that the call was from my wife Tricia. I answered the phone, and I could hear her crying as she spoke the words: “The doctor says I have cancer.” I felt physically sick, but I had to keep it together in order to comfort her. We talked for a few minutes, and she gave me more details. I hung up the phone, shut my door, and I prayed. I told a few of my colleagues and asked for prayer before leaving work to go be with my wife.

Edify

Proverbs 12:23 “A prudent man conceals knowledge, but the heart of fools proclaims folly.”

“That knowledge which puffs up will at last puff down.” Joseph Caryl

Five New Testament Theologies

Finding the best books to read on a subject of theology can be a challenge. This series provides suggested resources for topics of Theology. Each title is linked to Amazon, if available. If you have another title to suggest for this area of study, please comment. I’m always happy to add another work to my library.

Here are 5 books that will launch you into studies on New Testament Theology.

1. A Theology of the New Testament by George Eldon Ladd

2. New Testament Theology: Many Witnesses, One Gospel by I Howard Marshall

3. New Testament Theology: Magnifying God in Christ by Thomas R Schreiner

4. A New Testament Biblical Theology: The Unfolding of the Old Testament in the New by G K Beale

5. New Testament Theology by Donald Guthrie

View-Worthy: 8.29.14

Preview

More Driscoll, Wife’s Role As Helper, Feminism & “Equality”, Blog/Tweet Tips from C S Lewis.

Headliner

Morgan Lee. Nine Current Mars Hill Pastors Tell Mark Driscoll to Step Down From All Ministry. (Christianity Today)

Nine of Mars Hill Church’s 65 pastors, including the lead pastor of one of its 15 campuses, have called for Mark Driscoll to step down not for six weeks but for a full year, and for church elders to play a more prominent role in restoring the health of the Seattle megachurch.

“It is time to take responsibility for our church, regardless of how much our current bylaws prevent us from exercising that authority,” they wrote in a 4,000-word letter (full text at bottom). “It grieves us that the only voice that has never been heard in all of this is the voice of the current elders.”

Deal of the Day

Letters to a Young Calvinist by James K A Smith

Book Review

Charles Duhigg. The Power of Habit. Reviewed by Tim Challies.

Links

Jen Thorn. 4 Ways to Live Out Your Role As Helper. (Time-Warp Wife)

One of the reasons many wives struggle in their marriages is because they refuse to embrace the role God has given them as helper to their husband. The word “helper” ruffles their feather and their pride demands a higher position, a more noble title. But such desires sabotage marriage and prevent us from fulfilling our calling. 

Andrew Wilson. Feminism and “Equality”.  (Think Theology)

One of my roles in life at the moment, as I see it, is to introduce people to the incisive, challenging and refreshingly biblical thought of my friend Alastair Roberts, with whom I podcast at Mere Fidelity. Unusually for a writer, he does much of his best work in dialogue with others during the comments sections of other people’s blogs, as anyone who reads the discussion below Monday’s post will have seen, and he is particularly helpful on issues relating to gender. Here, as another example, is a quite superb critique of some forms of feminism, posted in a response to the claim that complementarians should all be feminists and in favour of “equality” (which, as Alastair points out, is such a popular Shibboleth mainly because it is such an empty concept).

Nathan Bingham. 3 Tips from C S Lewis on Blogging and Tweeting.

You might be wondering where C.S. Lewis wrote on blogging and tweeting.

As far as I know Lewis didn’t write anything specifically on these two subjects, but he did write on writing. When I read these tips online recently, I was impressed by their relevance for blog posts and tweets.

These tips originally came from a letter Lewis wrote to an American girl named Joan, and can be found today published in the book C. S. Lewis’ Letters to Children.

Edify

Job 6:14 “He who withholds kindness from a friend forsakes the fear of the Almighty.”

“Kindness is a grace that all can understand.” J C Ryle

Godly Parenting Isn’t Really Godly If It Lacks Affection (ChristianityDOTcom Article)

I’ve got three kids: a five-year-old girl, three-year-old boy, and a one-year-old girl. They are in the sweet spot of life where they crave attention and affection. First thing in the morning or as soon as that front door opens at five o’clock in the afternoon, they flock to me. These moments give me delight and joy, and I know to make the most of them.

I served as a youth pastor for a number of years. During that time I heard a common refrain from teens: “I’m not sure my parents like me anymore or ever did.”

Upon exploring these doubts with students, I discovered that many felt like their parents chased after idols of career, comfort, and cash. Some had divorced parents and felt like those parent fought over who had to take the kids that week rather than who got to take them. These students were filled with pain because they never were filled with affection. Some chased after affection in the wrong places. Others were clearly heading off to the same chase after the same idols of their parents.

Now, giving your kids plentiful affection is no guarantee for their healthy, productive, or carefree life. Neither should that be the aim; that’s actually short changing them of something far better. Heaping affection has a much richer aim. That aim is to prepare them for God’s love.

When we smother our kids with the comforting blanket of love and affection, their hearts are being prepared for receiving God’s love and affection. We’re tilling the soil of their heart to prepare for the implanted Word of God. That’s the chief aim in our affection – to give them the gospel. So here are four ways to fill up your child with affection that leads them to the gospel.

READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE AT CHRISTIANITY.COM…

View-Worthy: 8.28.14

Preview

Wrong Kind of Christian, Staying Weak, My Husbands Persecution, Blessing of Rebuke.

Headliner

Tish Harrison Warren. The Wrong Kind of Christian. (Christianity Today)

I though I was an acceptable kind of evangelical.

I’m not a fundamentalist. My friends and I enjoy art, alcohol, and cultural engagement.
We avoid spiritual clichés and buzzwords. We value authenticity, study, racial reconciliation, and social and environmental justice.

Being a Christian made me somewhat weird in my urban, progressive context, but despite some clear differences, I held a lot in common with unbelieving friends. We could disagree about truth, spirituality, and morality, and remain on the best of terms. The failures of the church often made me more uncomfortable than those in the broader culture.

Deal of the Day

Family Driven Faith by Voddie Baucham Jr. $2.99

Book Review

Candida Moss. The Myth of Persecution. Reviewed by Michael A G Haykin.

Links

Mark Altrogge. Why Does God Let Me Stay So Weak?

The apostle Paul knew about weakness. And he didn’t like weakness in himself – at least not initially. Paul had some kind of “thorn given him in the flesh, a messenger of Satan” that harassed him. Some believe the “thorn” was Jewish persecution; many believe it was a physical ailment or disease that affected his eyesight. They believe this since he dictated his letters, and he said it was because of a “bodily ailment” he had originally preached the gospel to the Galatians (GA 4.13). He also said the Galatians would have plucked out their eyes and given them to him (4:15). Also when he was rebuked for calling the high priest a “white-washed wall” Paul said he didn’t know he was the high priest. Yet Paul was a Pharisee who would certainly have recognized the high priest if he could see him.

Naghmeh Abedini. What I’ve Learned Through My Husbands Persecution. (True Woman)

It was only when, in 2012, Iranian authorities arrested my husband, Pastor Saeed Abedini, and put him in the worst Iranian prisons, where he was tortured for his faith, that I was awakened to the ways of my flesh.

For twenty-five years, my flesh had been throwing a tantrum cloaked in seasons of deep despair and anxious thoughts that made me always pity myself. It was during the tantrum that my eyes were finally opened to the sin that I lived in every single day of my life.

David Mathis. Embrace the Blessing of Rebuke. (DG)

One of the most loving things anyone can do for you is tell you when you’re wrong.

Call it correction, reproof, or rebuke — Paul uses all three terms in just four verses in 2 Timothy 3:16–4:2 — but don’t miss what makes it distinctively Christian, and a gift to our souls: It is a great act of love. The kind of rebuke that the Scriptures commend is the kind intended to stop us from continuing on a destructive path.

Edify

Titus 3:7 “So that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”

“God does not justify us because we are worthy, but justifying make us worthy.” Thomas Watson

View-Worthy: 8.27.14

Preview

The Childhood Race, Keg Stands, Urge to Pray, Labor Day.

Headliner

Jen Pollock Michel. When Childhood Has Become a Race. (Christianity Today)

In a July article for The New Republic, William Deresiewicz admonished parents to abandon Ivy League ambitions for their children. Having spent 24 years at Columbia and Yale, he surmises that students at our most elite universities have lost their sense of purpose.

These high-achieving students may be “winners in the race we have made of childhood.” They may have mastered “a double major, a sport, a musical instrument, a couple of foreign languages, service work in distant corners of the globe, [and] a few hobbies thrown in for good measure.” But if they are great at what they’re doing, they have no idea why they’re doing it.

Deal of the Day

Am I Called? by Dave Harvey $0.99

Book Review

Jeremy Writebol. everPresent. Reviewed by Aaron Armstrong.

Links

Kevin DeYoung. Christ Did Not Die for You to Do Keg Stands.

With most major college getting whipped into a full frenzy, I thought it would be worthwhile to dust off a few thoughts about binge drinking on our nation’s campuses. Most students won’t have to look hard for opportunities to drink over the next days and weeks (and months and semesters). They may have to go somewhere off campus to party, but the party scene comes recruiting right to them. Some students arrive at college looking to make their Party U dreams come true. Others just find themselves all alone and eager to fit in and make friends. The sad reality is that choices made in the first weeks (or even days) of college can set a trajectory that’s hard to break.

Erik Raymond. Never Resist the Urge to Pray.

As people we know that it is often wise to resist various urges that we have. We can keep ourselves out of trouble by resisting the urge to say something when we are offended. We can prevent various health issues by resisting urges to overeat or (routinely) eat unhealthy foods. We can steer clear from financial debt by resisting the urge to buy something on impulse. We can almost develop a reflex of resistance in this fallen world. This can be good for us (and others).

However, there is one urge that you should never resist. This area is prayer. I believe it was Martyn Lloyd-Jones whom I first read who said, “Never resist any urge to pray.” That is great advice without much need for explanation. But let me point out a couple of reasons why.

Nick Batzig. Labor Day: Your Need for Both Work and Rest. (Christianity.com)

As we come to celebrate another Labor Day, it may be beneficial for us to step back for a moment and consider what Scripture has to say about the rhythm of work and rest—i.e. the cyclical configuration by which all the events of our lives occur. Learning the theology of work and rest is one of the greatest challenges of our own day. Many of us have adopted faulty views of work, and therefore have faulty views of rest. We are commanded to do all the work that needs to be accomplished every week in the six days that follow, and lead up to, the glorious day of rest. Then we are commanded to rest. This rhythm of work and rest is both a creational and a new-creational (i.e.redemptive) ordinance. The suffix to the 4th commandment in Exodus 20:11 and Deuteronomy 5:15 teaches us this. God commanded His people to rest one day in seven because He rested from the work of creation and because He redeemed them from the hand of their enemies. In short, we need to learn to work hard at learning to work as unto the Lord and we need to learn to work hard at learning to cease from our labors, by resting in the finish work of Christ.

Edify

Romans 8:1 “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”

“The stream of grace and righteousness is deeper and broader than the stream of guilt.” Matthew Henry

 

Banner of Truth Releases E-Books

banner-of-truth-logo

Visit Banner of Truth’s website today and you’ll be surprised to find an advertisement on their homepage carousel for e-books.

That’s right. You’re now able to read old books (and some new) in a beautiful new format. This isn’t some cheap streamlined poorly navigable product that Banner has produced. They are thoughtfully converting these classics for your enjoyment. I’ve been beta testing this product for about a month now.

I’m almost half-way through Owen’s Indwelling Sin in Believers, and I am very pleased with this e-book. The cover is just like the cover from Banner’s original edition, which for some reason is super important to me. The table of contents is navigable. The typeset is beautiful. All the normal functions that you want in a Kindle e-book are available. It’s just like you have a digital version of the print book, but now you can harness the amazing potential of Kindle’s search function. If you’ve been on the fence about getting Puritan works in e-book format due to poor e-book options, the barrier is now removed.

Banner has made the following ten titles available in EPUB or MOBI format at this time.

1. Acceptable Sacrifice by John Bunyan

2. Christ’s Glorious Achievements by C H Spurgeon

3. Discovering God’s Will by Sinclair Ferguson

4. Indwelling Sin in Believers by John Owen

5. Peter Eyewitness of His Majesty by Edward Donnelly

6. Silent Witnesses by Garry Williams

7. The Christian’s Great Enemy by John Brown

8. The Faith Shaped Life by Ian Hamilton

9. The Valley of Vision by Arthur Bennett !!!

10. When Christians Suffer by Thomas Case

And if you want both the print and e-book, you can bundle the two for a reasonable price. There is also a price break for purchasing digital versions of Banner books. Not only that, but Banner, over time, will be making many, many, many more titles available in e-book format.

Click here to visit the Banner of Truth e-book store.

The Christology of 1 Timothy (Christward Collective Guest Post)

When we introduce the subject of Christology, most minds immediately gravitate to such texts as Isaiah 53, John 1:1-14, Colossians 1:14-23, and Philippians 2:1-11; but, would you have thought of 1 Timothy as being a significant Christological work? When most think of this letter, they think of the role of church leadership or women. Rarely does the magisterial role of Christ come to mind. But let’s consider three valuable Christological confessions from 1 Timothy and see how they not only shape our understanding of Christ but also our understanding of this letter.

1 Timothy 1:15-17

The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life. To the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.

In this first Christological confession we discover the pre-existence of Christ. He is the King of the ages and immortal one. He rules over all time periods and death has no power over Him. He has always existed in rule and always will exist as ruler.

The concept that Christ “came into the world” echoes John’s similar language. I. Howard Marshall comments in the ICC, The Pastoral Epistles, “In John the language indicates pre-existence, i.e. that an existing divine being came from outside into this world, rather than that somebody simply says ‘I was born’. In the PE the context is the author’s epiphany Christology within which pre-existence is a likely implication” (398).

Why did God the Son exit His sphere and enter ours? One reason (and a crucial one in God’s redemptive plan!) is that the Son appeared in the first advent “to save sinners.” Paul’s confession that he was personally the foremost of sinners (1 Tim. 1:15) should be our confession when we think of what it cost God the Son to redeem us.

Why is this?

READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE AT CHRISTWARD COLLECTIVE…