Frequently Answered Questions

These are some of the questions that people have asked me the most.

What kind of a Christian are you?
I just want to be a Christian and if you seek the definition of it, then I say it means all that the Bible means with the word 'Christian'. However I am aware of the variety of doctrinal convictions present in Christendom and this question on what kind of a Christian you are is basically seeking to know one's theological persuasion. In that respect I am a Reformed Evangelical Baptist. 'Reformed' speaking about my firm conviction in God-centered soteriology, 'Evangelical' speaking of my conviction in personal conversion, infallibility of Scriptures and more importantly of being centered on the Evangel or the  gospel, 'Baptist" speaking of my conviction in a Baptistic Ecclessiology. In certain circles, I prefer to use the historical name for such Christians, namely Particular Baptists. However I mostly go by the label of an Evangelical Christ-follower.

What do you mean by Reformed Theology?
Reformed theology refers to the Reformed teachings of the Protestant Reformers in general, but more specifically and what I mean by it is the faith in the absolute sovereignty of God in all things. It is also called Calvinism. The Reformed tradition was advanced by several theologians such as Martin Bucer, Heinrich Bullinger, Peter Martyr Vermigli, and Huldrych Zwingli, but it bears the name of the French reformer John Calvin because of his prominent influence on it. The underlying conviction of a Calvinist is his firm belief in God's great purpose as that of glorifying Himself. Thus the purpose of God in creation, redemption and judgement is the glorification of God. All other purposes held dear by other systems of theology are auxiliary to this one goal of God.

I just want to make two clarification here. There are many who belong to Reformed denominations who criticize Baptists who are Reformed in soteriology. However I do not just have a soteriology that is Reformed. I embrace Covenant theology (and thus deny dispensationalism) when it comes to seeing the structure of Redemptive History in the Bible. My eschatology is also what is commonly held by Reformed Christians- Amillennialism Hence I am very much a Reformed Christian as any who belong to historic Reformed denominations, of course with a decidedly Baptist bent.

Second is to those outside the Reformed camp. To them I want to say that though Reformed theology undergirds everything I do, I do not find my identity in it. In other words, I do not find my identity in being a Reformed Christian. Rather my identity is in the gospel of our Lord Jesus. In short, you will find me talking more about the gospel than about the specifics of Reformed theology. For that is what Reformed theology did to me, it made me passionate about being gospel-centered. So I am not that typical angry Calvinist out there who seems to be stuck with the tulip. My heroes are all men who standing on the pillars of Reformed theology made much of the gospel - men like Whitefield, Spurgeon and Lloyd-Jones. 

What is your main goal in life and ministry?
To proclaim the riches of Christ by being radically gospel centered in both my preaching and life. Through life and ministry especially preaching, I want to make known the perfection of Jesus in His gospel, till my hearers hold Him dear, cherishing in His beauty and glory alone. That is the motive of my ministry - by the grace of God, make worshippers who through the gospel know something about the worthiness of God and are compelled by His majesty, His awe inspiring holiness and glory to pay any price to see Him worshipped and glorified in their life. That is success for me in ministry. Also I long to be like that more and more, as I am used by Him to make others like that. So the bottomline is - Till Christ be held dear by His saints, I know no rest. 

What is your stress in preaching?
I have not always been like this. However I have now come to place where I am deeply convinced about how preaching ought to be done. I now seek to be gospel centered in all my preaching. I believe the center of the message of the Bible is the gospel. In other words, every doctrine in the Bible has its center in the gospel. The gospel is thus the hub of the wheel of all biblical doctrine. Canonically speaking every single book either points to or expounds the gospel. The trajectory of Old Testament is one of prophetically looking forward to the coming Messiah. While the New Testament speaks of these prophetic expectations as being fulfilled in Lord Jesus. Seeing this structure enables a preacher to speak of God's good news from any portion of the Bible. Thematically speaking, every theme in the Bible is ultimately controlled by the central theme of the Bible namely the gospel. If you want to be a biblically faithful preacher then you cannot take any theme spoken of in the Bible and preach something that is contrary to what the gospel declares. Thus every single theme is to be interpreted and understood in light of the gospel. Thus doctrinally, canonically and thematically I believe the center of the Bible is the gospel. The implications of this on preaching are enormous. However at this point, I will say one is not a faithful preacher unless he is as gospel centered as the Bible is. Thus my stress in all my preaching is to be gospel centered. 

What is your conviction regarding the Holy Spirit?
Holy Spirit is God Himself, the third person of the trinity who is the blessed gift of the Father to every regenerate child of God in Christ Jesus. He is our Guarantee, our Comforter, the Spirit of truth leading us into all the truth and the power of God dwelling within us to conform us to the likeness of Christ. Without the Holy Spirit there can be no Christian life, for it is He who regenerates us to repent and believe the gospel and it is He who illuminates our hearts and minds with the Word of God and it is He who sanctifies us. He is inevitable as God the Father and Jesus the Son is. 

What is your take on Charismatic beliefs?
Charismatism has been an area which I have been studying for quite a while now. I have been in pretty much every theological position you can take on this issue. As I have studied, I have gone from an ignorant memeber of a Charismatic church to intellectually leaning towards Cessationism to exegetically considering open but cautious. The study is still on but I am fully convinced that a consistent upholding of sola scriptura, this side of the completion of the canon is only justifiable by embracing Cessationism. All other positions functionally belittle Sola Scriptura and settle for Prima Scriptura. 

What do you think is the need of the hour?
I am not a man of God to give an authoritative answer, but from whatever I have learned and seen makes me say that the need of the hour has always been to preach Christ and Him crucified. Every evangelist should preach it till men are gloriously born again of the Spirit of God. Every pastor should preach it, till church men boast not of themselves but of God and His grace. Every teacher should preach it till the disciples of the Lord are glorious worshippers of the Lord. Till sinners be born from above let us preach one message – Christ and His perfect work on the cross. Till the Church gloriously worships God and zealously makes Him known, lets preach Christ and Him crucified.

In your fourteen year pilgrimage, what is the greatest lesson that you have learned?
God is great and I am not.

He is both wonderful and terrifying, kind and severe, just and merciful, the alpha and the omega, the beginning and the end, the Great I Am. The perfections of God are eternal and is well able to bring forth both glorious adoration and great trembling.

What are your disciplines as a preacher that has helped you the most?
As soon as I got saved, God taught me how to pray and how to study the Bible. These two are my most precious disciplines not just as a preacher but as a Christian. I want to be a man soaked in prayer and equally immerse myself in the word, so that what I think is in Scripture and what I speak is in Scripture and thus what I preach is also scriptural.

What do you think about youth ministry and given another chance, will you get involved in it?
In the Bible, there is no distinction made in ministry based on age groups. There is no 'Youth Pastor' in the Bible. I believe the word of God is for everyone of all ages. So yes I would accept any ministry brought to me by God. However I will not resort to today's popular methodologies employed in youth ministry which is basically frothy and fun oriented. Young people have all the fun in the world, why should they be then given fun in God's house? They should be given what they get no where else in the world – the pure word of God. Young people should hear pure doctrinally sound truths of the Bible and get ignited with it. They should treasure Christ more than anything else. More than music or sports, they should make much about Christ. I remember going to a youth gathering and boys there were taken up with IPL and EPL whereas girls were taken up with their favourite (self-help) televangelists. Most of them do not have a proven conversion experience and the youth minister is trying in vain to disciple these goats, who are yet to become true sheep. Sound preaching is the answer. It is not preaching on self-esteem or self-worth that we need. All those are crooked preaching. Young Christians should hear the word on God. They should be humbled by His majesty, awed by His glory and encouraged by His sovereignty. Then they shall be humble, worshipping, hopeful Christians. If I am allowed to do that, I am ready for any ministry.

Name some leaders who have influenced you the most in your life?
Other than the Apostles in the Bible, if I am to name some who have been the most influential in my life then it would include John Owen and Charles Spurgeon for sure.