A Better Jerusalem

What is the place of the state of Israel, and the city of Jerusalem, in the consummate purposes and plan of God?

While recent developments concerning the city of Jerusalem has given us reason to revisit this subject–it would do us good to be settled in our minds about the fact that all who are united to Jesus by faith have been made children of Abraham and heirs of God (Gal. 3:29). Believers are the citizens of... Continue Reading

Chuck Anderson, Long Time Covenant College Professor, Called Home to Glory

Charles W. Anderson, 92, beloved professor emeritus of biblical studies at Covenant College, died on December 5, 2017.

He joined the faculty of Covenant College in 1964, when Covenant relocated from St. Louis, Missouri, to Lookout Mountain, Georgia. He continued to teach biblical studies and other subjects at the College until his retirement in 1993. He coached teams in basketball, cross country, and soccer during part of his tenure. He was known as... Continue Reading

Our Pagan Children

In our search for identity, we need to meet Jesus, the true source of human identity, the revelation of God in human form. Only he can keep our kids from paganism.

The Bible’s view of sexuality is not small-minded moralism, unloving discrimination, heartless violence, or cruel bullying. It is a theistic understanding of the universe, deeply founded on the personal being of God Himself. This is ground zero for everyone. Homosexuality, lesbianism and transgender are “unnatural,” (Rom 1:26) and out of order with the physical cosmos.... Continue Reading

Cyrus, the Lord’s Anointed

Because God is fully sovereign we should expect Him to act in ways we have not anticipated because His decree controls what happens.

Isaiah knew that the Jewish exiles would find it almost impossible to recognize Cyrus, who did not truly know the Lord, as a savior. Thus, the prophet spends much of today’s passage asserting God’s sovereign right to do with His creation as He pleases. Just as it would be foolish for clay to question the... Continue Reading

The Baptism Scandal in the Reformed Churches

Why do many local Baptist churches baptize more adults per year than some entire Reformed denominations?

Now I’m guessing that all of my Reformed brethren who think someone who newly professes faith in Christ needs a couple of months of new member classes before earning the right to be baptized might have a problem with baptizing converts who six weeks earlier had been part of a mob bent on murder. Yet,... Continue Reading

Are Images Of Jesus Allowed?

The Scripture does not give a description of Jesus.

One group affirms the plain confessional view as summarized above in WLC #109, which prohibits any representation of God. Another group would object to depicting him in corporate worship, but would allow pictures of him in children’s Bibles and Sunday School material. The last group would hold that images of Jesus are not problematic since... Continue Reading

German Court Orders Government To Create Third Gender

Germany’s highest court has taken up the gender question, ruling earlier this month that officials must create a third gender option for official records, or do away with gender altogether.

The Federal Constitutional Court found the current law—requiring birth registers to have either “male” or “female,” or be left blank—unconstitutionally discriminates against those born with ambiguous sexuality. The ruling came on the heels of Germany legalizing same-sex marriage in October.   (WNS)–While the European Union debates marriage, Germany’s highest court has taken up the gender question,... Continue Reading

The Aquila Report Renews Annual Challenge Campaign

Give The Aquila Report to Everyone in Your Church for Less than $20? Sponsor 100 readers for $5; 200 readers for $10; 400 readers for $20; or 1000 readers for only $50

A foundation has generously given The Aquila Report a grant of $7,000. We want to use this grant to challenge our readers to match with this gift with your gifts. As in past years, the foundation gave us permission to use this gift as a way to encourage our readers to support The Aquila Report. In 2016, our readers donated... Continue Reading

Weighed in Wikipedia’s Balances And Found Wanting

Internet encyclopedia erases entry for notable paleontologist after he advocates intelligent design.

Despite Bechly’s numerous professional accomplishments, including a sizable list of scientific publications and the notoriety of having numerous species named after him, a group of anonymous editors at Wikipedia decided to erase his page from the internet encyclopedia because he is not “notable” enough.    (WNS)–Wikipedia has deleted a paleontologist’s page because he weighed Darwinism in... Continue Reading

Seeing Is Not Always Believing

Scripture records occasions when even God’s people experienced disbelief after seeing miracles

“Though God has not promised to act in the same miraculous manner today as He did in the days of old, we can expect Him to move in our behalf. We don’t merit righteousness before our Father by our obedience, and the Lord’s grace is so vast that He regularly blesses us in spite of... Continue Reading

Alone, But Never Alone

Whenever the lines that distinguish these two dimensions of saving grace are blurred, it is salvation itself that becomes the casualty

“If we lose sight of the distinctiveness of justification as, according to Martin Luther, the mark of a standing or falling church, and allow it to become confused with sanctification, then the focus of faith is inclined to shift from Christ to self. This has been borne out in Catholicism historically as much as in... Continue Reading

Fill Believers, Not Buildings: Why Success in Ministry Isn’t a Numbers Game

Tather than judging our churches by what we can see, let’s trust God

“The measure of a pulpit ministry isn’t its width, but its depth. Blinded by pride and the idolatry of success, we too often equate God’s blessing with a large congregation and failure with empty seats. But our greatest desire as pastors should be that our hearers hearts are formed to the image of Christ.”  ... Continue Reading

What Sexual Theft Says About You

A letter to a would-be adulterer

You don’t really believe God when he declares that you may “be sure your sin will find you out” (Numbers 32:23). If you think you can get away with it, just because you succeed (at least for a while) in hiding it from your contemporaries, as David did, you are acting as if God doesn’t... Continue Reading

Studying the Confession: The Doctrine of Assurance

The struggling believer can come and receive grace, encouragement, strength and victory!

Yet so many believers today haven’t been taught this, much less do they believe it!  Yet, believers have the tools they need.   The Westminster Confession of Faith … What is it? Is it a document that presents cold intellectual faith?  Dead Orthodoxy as it seems to some… Is it a historical artifact that has... Continue Reading

5 Reasons We Switched from Small Groups to Sunday School

Small groups are rarely times of Bible teaching, but Sunday school is

“The main way to plug into the church is to plug into the church—the whole church. For years we took on the role of matchmaker. But the role of church leaders is to equip the saints for the work of the ministry (Eph. 4:11–13). As we embrace our call, by God’s grace and his Holy... Continue Reading

Why Every Healthy Church Emphasizes Preaching and Teaching

Over and again, Jesus proved that his word had the power to heal and to give life

“When God gives life—either physical or spiritual—he does so through the power of his Word. This means pastors who want to have a life-giving ministry have no viable option other than the preaching and teaching of Scripture. Yes, small groups, fellowship, and various programs can be good tools for discipleship and evangelism. But none of... Continue Reading

Why Is Parenting So Incredibly Hard?

The devil lies and he enjoys around-the-clock access to our kids

Our culture thinks of children as innocent and impressionable; blank slates awaiting the external influences of education and culture. The Bible says something very different: “Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline drives it far from him” (Proverbs 22:15 ESV).   I had a rough day as... Continue Reading

God the Redeemer

As a result of their disobedience, our first parents plunged themselves and their posterity into inconceivable ruin and misery.

But the Bible speaks of another Adam—the last Adam—Jesus Christ, the Son of God. He succeeds where the first Adam failed. He comes and does what the first Adam failed to do. He comes and rescues and renews our race from the ruin that resulted from the rebellion of the first Adam. The last Adam... Continue Reading

Choosing Our Limitations: Thoughts on Community

Any definition of community without a concern for place is incomplete—and ultimately harmful.

A shared place is one of those things in life we don’t get to choose for ourselves (at least at the beginnings of our lives). In the age of highways and fifteen-hour flights across the world, it is easy to forget that we aren’t afforded the luxury of choosing where we are born—and that, for... Continue Reading

Metaphors for a Minister of the Word

This essay will bring forth seven metaphors that speak of the minister of the gospel and his work.

No one really desired to be a shepherd. It was hard, lonely, dirty, and lowly work. Shepherds had no fanfare and received no accolades from the masses. But shepherds had one driving duty: to care for the sheep that were entrusted to their care. Predators could lurk and swiftly attack so shepherds had to be vigilant... Continue Reading

Doctor Fired for Refusing to Do Abortions Wins Major Court Case

The case marks the first legal victory for freedom of conscience in Norway.

Katarzyna Jachimowicz,  an experienced family doctor who moved from Poland with her family to the municipality of Sauherad in Norway in 2010 to respond to the country’s shortage of medical professionals, became the first medical professional in Norway sacked for exercising her conscience rights.   A Polish Catholic doctor who lost her job for refusing... Continue Reading

Where Evangelism Fails

The emphasis fell on the divine offer, not the human response: “I offered them Christ.”

This “supply-side” focus (rather than “results-driven” ministry) is so healthy, clarifying, and joy-giving. As an evangelist, nothing brings home to me the graciousness of my Lord so much as offering him to others. The givenness of Jesus is so tangible when you lift him up before people and say: “Turn and receive this Lord; he has given... Continue Reading

The Puritan Passion for Philosophy and Science

The Puritans’ enthusiasm for natural theology “went hand in hand with their adamant insistence that ministers not only be trained in the Scriptures and in systematic theology but also...the study of logic, philosophy and the classics.”

One of the consequences of the Puritans’ commitment to natural theology was their unusual degree of interest in science. Instead of being opposed to it, the Puritans, says Marshall, were “markedly enthusiastic about the study of the natural world” and as a result they “befriended science.”   Yesterday I highlighted my surprising recent discovery that ”the... Continue Reading

Jesus, the Shema, and the Glorious Trinity

“Hear, O Israel: The Lord is our God; the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.”

The text was of great significance during the New Testament period, a significance that seems understood between Jesus and His interlocutors. Students of the Bible who read the New Testament with an ear for the Shema will find references to it elsewhere among the new covenant writings. For instance, the Apostle Paul develops the Shema in 1 Corinthians 8:6... Continue Reading

Services Shaped Like an Hourglass

We begin our service distracted, narrow our focus to Jesus Christ, then broaden our gaze to living in this world for God’s glory.

It struck me this past Sunday, that our most effective services are shaped like an hourglass. We begin “wide,” progress to “narrow,” and then return to “wide.” We begin distracted, burdened with the cares of the week that has gone by, deeply aware of the sins we have committed, perhaps scared or sorrowful or shaken.... Continue Reading

Unlatched Theism: An Examination of John Frame’s Response to “All That Is in God”

James Dolezal’s book, “All That Is in God,” defines the basic differences between classical Christian theism and what he calls “theistic mutualism.”

Classical theism is the biblical doctrine of God, and that is why it is the doctrine of God that one finds in our creeds and confessions. That is why it is the doctrine defended by orthodox Christian theologians from the early church to the twentieth century. I also believe that Dolezal has demonstrated conclusively that... Continue Reading

Help for the Beat-Up Pastor

If you are feeling beat up, here are some words of encouragement to refresh for your weary soul.

This must be our comfort. God does see, and he will bring to light what is hidden. When the factions are arising, and the inbox is filling up, you may be tempted to think that no one sees what you are genuinely trying to do. You may be tempted to throw in the towel because... Continue Reading

A Review: “Bind Us Apart”

Interracial marriage proposals two centuries ago.

Guyatt, as his subtitle suggests, shows that most anti-slavery Americans during the late 18th and early 19th centuries were segregationists: They typically wanted gradual emancipation with ex-slaves then moving to Africa or lands west of the Mississippi. That’s well-known among historians. But Guyatt also reports on a gutsy minority who thought the road to racial... Continue Reading

Stop Misrepresenting Masterpiece Cakeshop

Can the state compel American citizens to affirm and advance ideas and messages they find reprehensible?

The actual facts of the case are crystal clear. Jack Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, refused to custom-design a cake to help celebrate a gay wedding. As a Christian, he finds same-sex unions to be unbiblical and immoral, and he wasn’t willing to use his artistic talents to advance a message he holds to be... Continue Reading

Canada Rejects Christian Couple For Adoption

Their biblical beliefs on sexuality and gender conflict with the government’s official position.

During the home study, the social worker who managed their case asked them about their beliefs regarding homosexuality. The couple said they held Biblical views on marriage and sexuality but would unconditionally love and respect a child questioning his or her sexuality or gender. The social worker noted their answers in her report and otherwise... Continue Reading

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