F.A.Q

The following are some of the Frequently Answered Questions by me regarding my faith, my ministry and my life.

What kind of a Christian are you?

I am quite tired of labels as all labels are loaded with baggage. I use them cautiously and only if I am sure I would be heard in the same way as I understand these labels. I generally define myself as an Evangelical Christian. By that I do not mean Evangelical in the sociological sense, but in the theological sense. By it I mean I am a gospel Christian. As Leon Morris puts it, "An evangelical is a gospel man, a gospel woman. "Evangelical" derives from 'evangel' : "gospel". By definition an evangelical is someone concerned for the gospel. This means more than that he preaches the gospel now and then. It means that for him the gospel of Christ is central. It is, of course, his message and he preaches it, constantly. But it is more than a subject of preaching. The gospel is at the centre of his thinking and living." This is what I consider to be my theological identity. I have learned through the years that to find my identity in a secondary doctrine than in the fundamental doctrine of the gospel only produces an elitist and arrogant spirit. Secondary doctrines are very important, however identity should always be found in the gospel. Hence I answer so. As far as secondary doctrines go, I am Reformed in doctrine.

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 do you mean by gospel-centered 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 and expounds the results of it. 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 anoints each believer with His power and gifts enabling them to serve Jesus. He is inevitable as God the Father and Jesus the Son is. I use the word Pneuma-Centric to specify how central the Holy Spirit is for the vitality and vigour of my Christian life and ministry.

What is the difference between being gospel-centered and pneuma-centric?

By gospel-centered, I mean the gospel is the center around which all of my theology, life and ministry is oriented; in other words it speaks of the center of a structure. By pneuma-centric, I mean the Holy Spirit is the center from which all of my theology, life and ministry receives life and power; in other words it speaks of the center of a dynamic. Both are not essentially different as the gospel is the power of God unto salvation(Rom.1:16). Though not different, a logical distinction is made between them to emphasize both the aspects and loose none.

What is your take on Charismatic beliefs?

Charismatism has been an area which I have been studying for quite a while now, 8 years to be precise. I have been into 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 Cessationist to exegetically open but cautious and finally to confessional Cessationism. Through my study and in the providential leading of God, I have become a Cessationist.