What Is Shaping You?
Paul is concerned about what is shaping our perspective, priorities, pursuits, and opinions
“Instead of being conformed, Paul instructs us to be transformed. There’s a contrast here between something pressing in on us from the outside that causes us to be conformed and something taking place on the inside that causes us to be transformed. Where inside is this taking place? In our minds.” There’s a section... Continue Reading
Thinking Biblically about Authority: An Interview with David Wells
So many people there is nothing out there that can legitimately validate any action or belief
“As we have come into our postmodern moment, then, we find that there is no longer a narrative to life; there are only our personal stories. There is no overarching meaning to it; there are just our private moments when something becomes real. There is no Truth; there are only truths.” 1) If someone... Continue Reading
A Pastoral Letter to Myself (In the Case that I Fall)
If you should sin in such a way that you are no longer qualified to serve in pastoral ministry, please put the following counsel in practice
“Your repentance should be as public as your sin (not in the sense of parading it, but in the sense of making it evident); and, if at some point you have a public platform of which people outside your local church are aware and talking about your sin, it may need to be addressed in an... Continue Reading
Saved by ‘Allegiance’ Alone? On a New Attempt to Revise the Reformation
In this new book, Bates considers afresh the nature of salvation and the gospel
As Bates argues, the gospel can’t be reduced to the formula “Jesus died for our sins,” since the gospel centers on the truth that Jesus is King. He’s the resurrected and enthroned Lord over all, and we’re called to express our allegiance to him as our Lord. According to Bates, there are eight elements to the... Continue Reading
ABC’s ’20/20′ Contacted Me for ‘Gay Conversion Therapy’ Story, But Ignored What I Told Them
On March 10, ABC's "20/20" aired a year-long investigation on several "Christian camps" reported to be practicing so-called "gay conversion therapy"
In the first minute, the commentator mentioned that five states have banned licensed counselors from engaging in “gay conversion therapy” with another 20 considering legislation this year. The show then quickly jumps to several sensational stories where desperate parents send their children, some of whom are gay and lesbian identified, to reform schools that work... Continue Reading
A Little Book on the Christian Life
Though short in length, this little booklet is full of wisdom for guiding the Christian’s journey
“What would become that Little Book first appeared in 1539, in the Latin second edition of Calvin’s magnum opus the Institutes of the Christian Religion. At that time it was a chapter titled De vita hominis Christiani (on the life of the Christian man).” There are far more Calvinists in the world than there... Continue Reading
How a Christian Movement Is Growing Rapidly in the Midst of Religious Decline
We believe that INC Christianity is significantly changing the religious landscape in America – and its politics
INC Christianity is led by a network of popular independent religious entrepreneurs, often referred to as “apostles.” They have close ties, we found, to conservative U.S. politicians, including Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich, Bobby Jindal, Rick Perry and more recently President Donald Trump. In August of 2011, more than 30,000 people cheered wildly as the... Continue Reading
Pastors Should Beware of These Common Dangers
Though not exhaustive, I’ll list five of the most common dangers to pastors
“Relying on self proves to be the highway to spiritual calamity. Indeed, to state it again, trusting in one’s power and abilities and character to do God’s work will most assuredly give birth to a catastrophic disaster. The ministry of the Lord demands that the man of God utterly die to self — daily!” ... Continue Reading
Christ Covenant Church Calls Reverend Kevin DeYoung as Senior Pastor
Dr. Mike Ross, who has been senior pastor at Christ Covenant Church for more than a decade announced his plans to transition into new areas of ministry early in 2016
In addition to his primary responsibility as senior pastor at Christ Covenant Church, DeYoung has also been named Assistant Professor of Systematic Theology at Reformed Theological Seminary in Charlotte, beginning June 1, 2017. He was formerly a Chancellor’s Professor for the Seminary. In his new role, De Young will be a residential, voting member of the... Continue Reading
The Necessity of Godly Leadership
Nothing destroys a church quicker than unholy men at its helm and nothing grants it more strength than godly men leading even as they follow Christ.
Our churches need godly leaders who preach not to tickle ears or to satisfy the critical listener, but aim at heart-change. Oh for men who dare to be courageous for the sake of Christ, not shrinking in the face of challenge or melting when confronted with difficulty. The church demands servants who gladly embrace the... Continue Reading
Spring Storms: Are You Ready?
Emergency preparedness experts ready us physically, but is your soul ready for them too? T
Notice the echoes of Psalm 29 at Pentecost. The mighty rushing wind and the fire that fell from heaven did not bring terror, but they led to boldness that only comes through the Holy Spirit. Thunderstorms in creation terrify the natural man, but for the Christian, every clap of thunder heard overhead ought to make... Continue Reading
Making A Pastoral Apology
A sincere apology should include three elements.
Take full responsibility. It was, after all, your decision or your action that caused the hurt. If there were reasons for your actions, state them, but do not use them as excuses. And don’t pass the blame—or even share the blame. If you’re a leader, others might have been involved in the mistake, but they... Continue Reading
Comfort Without the Clichés
Eight ways to help hurting friends
You cannot fix it. Loving the hurting opens us up to the temptation to see ourselves as the sufferer’s personal savior. But they do not need you—they need Christ. Comfort is about redirecting someone to seek what they need in Christ first and not in you. Comfort is not about always being there for someone;... Continue Reading
What Does Semper Reformanda Mean?
The part of religion that always needs reforming is the human heart.
The phrase ecclesia reformata, semper reformanda (the church reformed, always reforming) has been used so often as to make it a motto or slogan. People have used it to support a surprising array of theological and ecclesiastical programs and purposes. Scholars have traced its origins to a devotional book written by Jodocus van Lodenstein in... Continue Reading
What Hath Amsterdam to do with Princeton?
The recent controversy surrounding the reversal of the decision to award the 2017 Kuyper Prize to Dr. Timothy Keller, while disappointing, is not surprising.
Dr. Keller, as an ordained minister in the PCA, is much more aligned theologically with Old Princeton. His doctrine of Scripture would be more in-line with Old Princeton. His views on women and LGBTQ+ persons in ordained ministry would be affirmed by Old Princeton (and probably New Princeton until, obviously, more recent times). As such,... Continue Reading
Is the Bible Good for Women?
Wendy Alsup’s new book, Is the Bible Good for Women?: Seeking Clarity and Confidence Through a Jesus-Centered Understanding of Scripture, asks a different sort of question, but it’s the one we need to be asking.
Is the Bible Good for Women? doesn’t just equip women to interpret Scripture correctly; it helps us gain a right understanding of a woman’s value. God made all of humanity in his image, and his ultimate purpose for his creation is to live in a world where both man and woman are mutually responsible to each other and their Creator. Crafted in... Continue Reading
An Opening Proposition that Changes Everything
Why are there no quotes from Jesus in all of Hebrews?
“This seems rather strange for a book that so confidently states that God has spoken to us by the Son. Wouldn’t this mean that Jesus’ words are God’s words? And if so, shouldn’t the author of Hebrews be quoting Jesus right and left to make his case? The fact that the book of Hebrews doesn’t... Continue Reading
Singing from the Same Page
Singing the same songs unites us in a shared faith.
When personal words fail, how glorious is it to be able to rely on the words of Scripture and the text of a well-worn hymn to give voice to the truth of the gospel and to unite our hearts in hope. It behooves us to ensure that the people we shepherd are well prepared and... Continue Reading
How Should Pastors Want to Be Remembered When They Are Gone?
Dear brothers and fellow pastors, do not lost sight of for whom and what we labor to preach Christ and shepherd his people.
Begin now to consider how you wish to be remembered. Will you want a tombstone like John Wesley (just outside Bunhill Fields) and so many others with monuments and flowery words that articulate all you accomplished for Christ? Or, will you wish to be forgotten if it meant that Christ would not be forgotten to future generations?... Continue Reading
Prayer Changes Things: Right? Or Does It?
My good God rules, controls, and ordains all things for my good and his glory. God invites me to pray to him and promises to respond to my prayers.
Our prayers don’t alter God’s sovereign plan. It’s not like we pray and God says, “Woah, hey now! Didn’t expect that one. Okay, gotta change things quickly. Time to shift things around. Let’s see, I’ll put this here and this here and…” God isn’t the ultimate project manager, trying to juggle the lives of 7... Continue Reading
When I find it hard to love with long-suffering, I must remember Christ and his long-suffering love toward me.
This nuance or deeper meaning to “Love is patient” makes me look at the love I have for others in a new way. It’s easy to love those who treat me well, but those who don’t? That’s hard. It’s hard to love those who let me down time and time again. Those who disappoint me... Continue Reading
Why I Love the Psalms
Throughout history, the book of Psalms has been treasured by many Christians in many places.
In the ancient and medieval periods, the Psalms were studied and sung very frequently, especially by monastics. The great Athanasius (296–373) said, “I believe that a man can find nothing more glorious than these Psalms; for they embrace the whole life of man, the affections of his mind, and the motions of his soul. To... Continue Reading
10 Mistakes Churches Make with Special Needs Families
How can churches better serve the special needs community?
What mistakes do Churches make when it comes to special needs families? Inaccessibility: Difficult to access main sanctuary or other facilities and services. Inflexibility: Resistance to adjust service times and format, youth activities. Impatience: Frustration with inevitable service disruptions, but also staying with the family through difficult seasons. Insensitivity: Comments, conversations, and decisions that unintentionally wound special needs (SN)... Continue Reading
9 Ways the New Covenant is better than the Old
It is easy for believers to lose sight of how privileged we are to participate in the New Covenant.
In the New Covenant we have confidence to draw near to Christ in service of his people. In the Old Covenant, the qualifications for ministry in the temple were largely external, and consisted of various washings and sacrifices—shadows, really. In the New Covenant, the qualifications for spiritual service are raised. While you would think this... Continue Reading
Pastors Staying Put
Pastors too are called to be content where God puts them – urban, suburban, or rural.
“If you wish to benefit your flock spiritually, and, at the same time to gain spiritual and theological strength yourself, regard them as your beloved people; try more and more to take an interest in them, and resolve, in the fear of God, to stay as long with them as Providence shall make it your... Continue Reading
Why Pastors Should Work Hard to Write Well
Pastors should work hard to become clear, competent writers
“You may not realize it, but pastors have to write every day. I’m sure every pastor has a love/hate (mostly hate?) relationship with email. There was a day last week when I wrote 53 emails. Many of those were short, but I hope none of them was sloppy.” Pastors should work hard to become... Continue Reading
Atheists At Risk of Dying Out Due to Belief in Contraception, Study Claims
The findings fly in the face of popular discourse - and scientists’ predictions
“Although one might argue that just because someone has religious parents it doesn’t necessarily mean they will grow up with the same beliefs, further studies have shown that religion does in fact appear to be heritable. And it appears both nature and nurture play a role – it may seem obvious that how you’re brought up... Continue Reading
Boy Scouts 1948 Versus Boy Scouts 2017
Scouting has capitulated to the late-modern war against nature and forfeited its most basic mission
We used to recite the Scout oath at all the formal gatherings. Of course it has all the problems of any civil religion. In the 1960s and 70s, when I was reciting the oath we all knew what honor, God, country, and “morally straight” signified. One of the books I loved most as a... Continue Reading
The Surprising Power Of Little Things
It’s the cumulative effect of little things that shape our future
“There’s two ways I should respond to the power of little things. First, this reality should prompt a deep dependence on the sovereignty of God. I can’t control or manipulate the little things, but He can. Chance events or random circumstances aren’t chance or random at all in light of God’s perfect work in the... Continue Reading
You Can Take the Curmudgeon Out of Presbyterianism…
Shouldn’t New Calvinists trust the God-ordained means of grace?
“To keep it straight, the Gospel Coalition attracts and promotes Calvinists (think Tim Keller and the PCA) who do not minister as Calvinists, that is, Calvinists who look the other way when it comes to worship and the ministry of the word. To be sure, New Calvinists care about ministry, but their concern is for... Continue Reading