Do You Have a Healthy or Superficial Relationship with God?
Would you say your relationship is healthy? Is it mature? Is it deepening?
“A mature relationship with God is not sanitary and starched. It is lived in, worn, and stretched. It is not superficial or free from conflict. Let’s be honest, we have all kinds of issues–with God, ourselves, and others (by issues I mean our sin). But, because of the gospel we can be honest about these... Continue Reading
Corporate and Individual Responsibility: An Introduction
It is not truth to confess to sins for which we have no guilt any more than it is truth not to confess for sins of which we are guilty.
“What are some categories that the Bible uses to address the question of corporate and individual responsibility? The first category is a distinction between guilt and consequence. Obviously, guilt is one consequence of sin. However, there are other consequences that can be incurred by someone who has no direct guilt.” I want to write... Continue Reading
Genesis: History, Fiction, or Neither? 3 Views on the Bible’s Earliest Chapters
Hermeneutical consistency doesn’t allow one to affirm the bodily resurrection of Christ and deny other statements the Old and New Testament’s authors intended as historical fact
We must ask: is the Jesus we affirm the one who claimed that not simply the ideas but the very letters and words of Scripture matter and point to him (Matt. 5:18)? Is he the Jesus who was the word made flesh (John 1:14), who was “in the beginning with God” and through whom “all things... Continue Reading
(How) Will Millennials Change the Church?
First, apparently, by leaving it.
“Some millennials do stay with the church, however, and they will inevitably change the church because they don’t behave like the rest of us do. For example, older adults in congregations all over the country have been waiting for years for the younger generation to “step up” and take their turn running the committees that... Continue Reading
Is America Post-Christian?
Christianity as an ideal and a cultural force is no longer dominant
“What does it mean to say we are in post-Christian times? Does it mean that there are no Christians left? Of course not, that would be ridiculous. It means that we have left the historical period in which the Christian religion and its precepts were at the core of the moral imagination of the West. It doesn’t... Continue Reading
Is Same-Sex Attraction Sinful?
This is a conversation that a lot of different Christians are having in evangelicalism right now
“There is a vital connectedness to the family of God that happens for every single believer and so same-sex attracted persons should not view this as a sentence of loneliness if they are pursuing celibacy in their life.” Lambert: In our contemporary culture the problem of homosexuality is one that the church has been... Continue Reading
The Logic Of Fruit As Evidence
Those who profess the Christian faith should live in a way befitting their profession
“Where at least some of the Fathers had spoken of justification and salvation by grace through faith in something like the way the Protestants would later do, the medievals defined faith rather differently. They defined faith as sanctification. They taught that faith is a virtue, that it has intrinsic power, and that it is “formed”... Continue Reading
Foolish Sheep Under Faithless Figure Heads
Let us as broken and humbled elders repent, recommit, and worship Him well
“Some of God’s men are slack in their affection and action. They may have started well, but somewhere along the way they have grown distracted, weary, beaten-up, despondent, indifferent, or lazy. The temporal result of their ministerial failings is the sheep are not discipled well; the divine result is the Great Shepherd is displeased.” In the Bible, God... Continue Reading
A Question for Doug Wilson Fans
My question is: what exactly do you like about Wilson?
I know that every man is a sinner and that even my favorite pastors/theologians are almost certainly wrong about something. And we certainly shouldn’t dismiss every author out there because we disagree on a point or two. But is there a point at which the depth or breadth of the problems becomes significant enough that... Continue Reading
Is the Enemy of My Enemy My Friend?
With eternity in view and the gospel at stake, the enemy of our enemy must not be confused to be a friend to the gospel of Jesus Christ
At this point, very careful and honest thinking is required of us. At one level, we can join with anyone, regardless of worldview, to save people from a burning house. We would gladly help an atheist save a neighbor from danger, or even beautify the neighborhood. Those actions do not require a shared theological worldview. ... Continue Reading
The Truth about Church Websites
It became something of a hobby, cracking open my laptop, firing up Google Maps, along with various church directories, intent on finding a new place to settle down
The truth is that prospective visitors want to know what you believe. Now there’s a balance to be preserved here. If a church website details their beliefs with a host of positional papers, I get a slightly uneasy feeling. Sometimes the militant do that. But not always. My preference is to see a tight mission... Continue Reading
Is Hell Eternal Separation From God?
Many Christians define Hell as eternal separation from God. However, I wonder if this is born out by Scripture.
I conclude that the formulation of Hell being eternal separation from God needs a bit of tweaking. Hell is eternal separation from the grace and mercy of God. It is not eternal separation from God entirely. I believe that people will fervently wish that they could escape the judging presence of God! Hell is a place... Continue Reading
Mars and the Majesty of Christ
Perhaps for many of us, the images and descriptions of environments literally years away from earth might cause a little anxiety.
In a Christian vision of the cosmos, the vastness of the universe around us isn’t incidental. God is designing the universe this way to reveal something (Rom. 1:20), something about himself, something about his gospel. David, king of Israel, felt small when he looked into the expanse of the night sky, a reaction the Scripture... Continue Reading
Review: Happiness by Randy Alcorn
Numerous themes are threaded throughout the book. Here are the eight most significant ones on what happiness is and is not
Alcorn’s argument is clear and compelling. The evidence he presents from both Scripture and church history is overwhelming. His promise of God-centered happiness is appealing and motivating. His helps toward happiness are practical and doable. Happiness is a book I expect to be recommending regularly. But I do have two reservations about it, which, due to the limitations of space,... Continue Reading
He Breaks the Power of Cancelled Sin
The church of Jesus Christ ought to have pastors and ministers who are actively growing in likeness to Christ.
We have no hope without the fact that by grace through faith alone God has justified us entirely upon the merits of Jesus. The contemporary grace movement gets this right. But as Phillips points out, the contemporary grace movement has a troubling habit of reducing salvation to justification only. In other words instead of a... Continue Reading
Arminianism & Its Hazards
Wherever we might find ourselves theologically, there are a number of hazards for consideration which are consequent of Arminian teaching
Bottom line: when it comes to our God’s glorious plan of salvation, we do well to step away from his throne by letting the clear testimony of Scripture speak, permitting him to choose, ordain, predestine, and foreknew whom he wishes from a hopelessly rebellious human race. Chances are you’ve discussed it lately. Who chose... Continue Reading
Eight Reasons Many Pastors Lack Confidence
Many pastors and church staff are lacking confidence to do their ministry.
They have many “bosses.” Regardless of church polity, many church members think the pastor and church staff work for them. It takes unique leadership skills to deal with this reality. They did not ask the right questions on the front end. Before they accepted the position, many pastors and staff did not have any idea... Continue Reading
How An Affair Really Begins
One of the great misconceptions about affairs is that they begin with sex, they don’t.
Through it all, John Owen’s insight remains so crucial: Sin always aims at the uttermost; the smallest sin is but one step to the biggest and most treacherous sin. That decision to neglect the pursuit of your wife, that surrendering of marital intimacy, these were only the first small, sinful steps to the destruction of your marriage. ... Continue Reading
Restoring Free Speech On Campus
Students and faculty are increasingly being investigated and punished for controversial, dissenting or simply discomforting speech.
Backed by a strong commitment to freedom of expression and academic freedom, faculty could challenge one another, their students and the public to consider new possibilities, without fear of reprisal. Students would no longer face punishment for exercising their right to speak out freely about the issues most important to them. Instead of learning that... Continue Reading
Cherry-Picking Pope Francis
While papal visits to the United States are increasingly common, what is uncommon is to see political-ideological battle lines drawn around a pope. The tendency this time is especially acute among liberals, who eagerly frame Francis as one of them—a categorization Francis has resisted. “I’m sure that I haven’t said anything more than what’s written... Continue Reading
Springtime for Liberal Christianity
The Pope has been a gift to liberals who are also Christians, to religious believers whose politics lean left.
How far to go with them is the question that awaits the pope in Rome this fall, and that hangs over the springtime for liberal Christianity his pontificate has nurtured. How it’s answered, and what follows, will determine whether we’re watching something genuinely new and fresh emerge — or whether, after the cheering ends, the... Continue Reading
5 Facts About Planned Parenthood’s Congressional Testimony
Richards provided a number of misleading claims, inaccurate statements, and downright falsehoods.
Coalfire Systems, a highly accredited forensic analysis and cybersecurity company that does work for Fortune 500 companies, issued a report Monday which found that 10 full-footage videos the Center for Medical Progress recorded while undercover at Planned Parenthood facilities and related locations “are authentic and show no evidence of manipulation or editing.” Earlier today... Continue Reading
Church membership nowadays is falling into disrepute, but it is an important component of the Christian's life.
Church membership nowadays is falling into disrepute. Understandably so, because both the leaders and the people have lost their bearings of the need to strive for holiness. The church has become more like a social club than a fitness center. Simply having a gym membership does not promote physical fitness, nor does simply being a... Continue Reading
Think the Church’s Precarious Cultural Situation is Unique? Think Again
When you are living in Babylon, not bowing is the foundation of all other cultural engagement.
In fact, it is a return to normal. Of course, I don’t mean normal in the history of America. In the American experience, the pundits are right: this is an unprecedented cultural shift. But, in the history of God’s people, this present situation is not at all unusual. Indeed it has often been the norm;... Continue Reading
Does Hebrews 12:4 Teach Sanctification Through Works?
The argument is being made that Hebrews 12:4 teaches us that sanctification is resisting sin, which involves our free cooperation with grace, ergo sanctification is not by faith alone (sola fide).
It seems evident from Hebrews 12 that our obedience is the logically and morally necessary product of our faith, our union with Christ, and that gracious sanctification. Certainly we do struggle against sin. Certainly we do freely exert ourselves against sin and toward godliness but we do so as those who are being graciously sanctified... Continue Reading
Some Thoughts on the Reading of Books
A few suggestions on what and how to read
Maintain regular reading projects. I strategize my reading in six main categories: Theology, Biblical Studies, Church Life, History, Cultural Studies, and Literature. I have some project from each of these categories going at all times. I collect and gather books for each project and read them over a determined period of time. This helps to... Continue Reading
Accidental Saints: Finding God in All the Wrong People is the follow-up to Nadia Bolz-Weber's memoir, Pastrix
Let me say it candidly: Bolz-Weber has no business being a pastor and, therefore, no business writing as a pastor. She proves this on nearly every page of her book. Time and again she shows that she is woefully lacking in godly character. Her stories, her word choice, her interactions with her parishioners, her temper,... Continue Reading
Reaching a Boiling Point
What do the Planned Parenthood videos, two mothers on the campaign trail, and an obscure Old Testament law have in common?
In light of these videos, clearly both of these mothers are heating up the rhetoric to express their views. They reflect that the very nature of the subject is bringing to the surface the rawest of human emotion. Culturally things appear to be reaching a boiling point. We need to pray that the Lord has... Continue Reading
Adding To and Taking Away From the Gospel
There are two ways the truth of the gospel can be distorted - adding to it or taking from it.
For example, the Roman Catholic Church, the New Perspective on Paul, and legalism in its many forms add to the gospel. Even if there is an acknowledgement of what Christ has done, it is not all sufficient to make us right with God. However, liberal theology takes way from the gospel by teaching that we... Continue Reading
Why Evangelicals and Catholics Cannot be “Together”
Here are some of the reasons protestants and Roman Catholics will never agree (based on the RCC’s teaching)
The Bible Says that Christ Died Once and For all (1 Peter 3:18). He does not need to continue dying like the animals in the Old Testament sacrificial system. He is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. The only reason he would need to continue dying would be if we... Continue Reading