Radical for Jesus a New Kind of Legalism?

Today, young adults struggle with a new form of it: the pressure to live radically for Christ.

Bradley said many Christian leaders have inadvertently encouraged the radical message by calling young people to make a difference and change the world. A growing disdain for American suburbs in favor of the inner city has also contributed as has the missional church movement, which encourages people to be missionaries in their own communities.  ... Continue Reading

40 Questions for Christians Now Waving Rainbow Flags

Something to chew on before swallowing everything the world and Facebook put on our plate.

If you consider yourself a Bible-believing Christian, a follower of Jesus whose chief aim is to glorify God and enjoy him forever, there are important questions I hope you will consider before picking up your flag and cheering on the sexual revolution. These questions aren’t meant to be snarky or merely rhetorical. They are sincere,... Continue Reading

Dear Christian Friends: Remember You Are Not Home

Christians have for centuries lived in communities that did not welcome them. However, they made it and the gospel made it.

Finally, remember that Jesus never called the church to redeem culture or create a Christian America. Our job is to glorify God by declaring and demonstrating the gospel. The church is an embassy of grace on foreign soil. And we must remember that this church has been, is being, and will be built by Jesus... Continue Reading

How Should You Talk to Your Children About Same-Sex Marriage?

How does one teach about the law and the controversy, without exposing one’s children to more than they can handle?

The Bible isn’t nearly as antiseptic as Christians sometimes pretend to be, and it certainly doesn’t shirk back from addressing all the complexities of human life. If we are discipling our children, let’s apply the Scriptures to all of life. If we refuse to talk to our children about the reality of the world they... Continue Reading

4 Perfections of God’s Transforming Word

What are the particular traits or characteristics of God’s Word that render it so useful a tool and so powerful a weapon in the hand of the Holy Spirit?

Third, God’s Word is right, pure, and clean. Here is the Old Testament statement of the doctrine of biblical inerrancy. The Word is said to be right or straight because it does not deviate from perfect conformity to any just standard by which truth is measurable. The Word is pure as a pure light is clear... Continue Reading

Since It Is God’s Law…

Antinomianism downplays the law; legalism downplays the gospel.

Watson goes on to say that in a legal sense no one can obey the law because of the fall and our sinful nature.  However, he notes, in a gospel sense we can obey the law.  “Gospel obedience consists in a real endeavor to observe the whole moral law (Ps. 119:166):”   Our triune God... Continue Reading

Working Out What God Has Worked In

Yes we labor, strain and strive to reach the prize. But we do it in the power of God who works within us.

Someone once said, “We must work out what God has worked in.” Jesus saves us as a gift, and “sanctifies” us, or sets us apart for himself. We then must begin to walk out that “sanctification,” in which the Holy Spirit moves and empowers us to cooperate with him to become like Christ. Someday we’ll... Continue Reading

Why Good Works?

Those who have been given new life (regenerated) will do good works.

In our time, of course, we’ve seen the same sort of ping-ponging. We have the self-described, so-called Federal Vision movement arguing essentially the Arminian doctrine of salvation and calling it Reformed. Among the evangelicals there are antinomians arguing that the moral law no longer applies to Christians and then there are moralists (nomists) who teach... Continue Reading

The Symbolism of the Rainbow

There is rich biblical-theological symbolism in God’s act of setting the rainbow in the sky

God, by placing the rainbow in the sky, was, in a sense, aiming His weapon of war and judgment at Himself; and, as it was with the cutting of the covenant with Abraham in which God alone passed through the animals that had been cut apart in judgment, God is saying in the Noahic covenant that... Continue Reading

Why The Gay Marriage Debate Was Over In 1950

Religion, morality, even reality were now questions of self-fulfillment—making truth subjective and traditional truth claims irrelevant and meaningless.

Once self-fulfillment becomes the end towards which individuals are moving, then there is no longer any fixed council or direction to govern any particular individual’s choice—only what a person claims will lead to his personal betterment, as only he is entitled to determine. Individual autonomy and self-indulgence trump all else…. Having enshrined individual autonomy as... Continue Reading

Lessons Learned From The Civil Rights Resolution At The 2015 PCA General Assembly

Five encouraging observations and lessons on how the PCA GA handled the Civil Rights Resolution

How then do we add feet to our repentance regarding the Civil Rights era, while maintaining this purely spiritual mission and authority?  That is what we will need to work out in the year to come in our sessions and presbyteries.  I might suggest that we begin by looking to the book of Philemon as... Continue Reading

Episcopalians Approve Religious Weddings For Gay Couples

The Episcopal General Convention in Salt Lake City on Wednesday (July 1), Episcopalians voted to allow religious weddings for gay couples.

On Tuesday, the House of Bishops had approved the resolution, 129-26, with five abstaining, and it was overwhelmingly passed by the House of Deputies, the voting body of lay people and clergy, on Wednesday… The Episcopal Church is the U.S. branch of the global Anglican Communion, and before the vote, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby had... Continue Reading

A Summary of PCA Statements on Homosexuality

A brief overview of actions on sexuality taken by past PCA General Assemblies

In light of recent decisions by some denominations to approve ordaining openly homosexual individuals to the ministry, to allow ministers to officiate and bless same-sex marriages, and because of the public debate on legalizing same-sex marriages, it is appropriate to note that not all denominations have taken these actions. And since one of these denominations... Continue Reading

The Multi-Dimensional Love of Christ

Christ's love is unlike human love

One multi-year study did find that over 60% of all songs in the Top 40 were love songs. Not surprising really, given how wonderful an experience it is to love and to be loved. However, a large number of love songs, perhaps the majority, lament the difficulties and disappointments of human love.   Quite a... Continue Reading

Dear Pope Francis: Here Are Five Times Weapons of War Saved Christians

The Pope has been protected by the Swiss Guard since the 1500s; those guys pack an array of high-powered contemporary weaponry to gets the job done.

One the most famous naval engagements in history pitted forces of the Holy League, Christians supported by Pope Pius V, against the invading Ottoman Turks. It was the first major victory for a Christian naval force over a Turkish fleet, a victory driven, by, among other things, technological advances in weaponry.   This week, Pope... Continue Reading

Cheers to the Magna Carta

It’s the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta,

The Magna Carta talks of rights, but these are not Lockean Natural Rights, given to individuals through the unmediated powers of their Creator. Quite the contrary, the opening articles of the Magna Carta clearly assert that rights come from God (not “the Creator”) to the king who then bestows them, not to individuals, but to communities. All... Continue Reading

When Leaders Fall, All Are Punished

Heaven is not thrown into crisis with a scandal, however shocking or hard the fall.

The immorality of leaders has been a reality among God’s people for as long as God has had a people. The temptations for leaders are as real as they are for the rest of us, but the consequences are more severe. When a leader falls, all are punished. Not punished for the pastor’s sin, but by his sin. It’s fair, then,... Continue Reading

Don’t Expect a Flood of Gay Marriages

Gay marriage is not primarily about gay marriage, it is mainly about silencing gay consciences and Christians.

If I hated God and despised Christians, I’d be an ardent supporter of same-sex marriage. What better way to express enmity against God and His people? That’s a major reason why so many homosexuals who will never marry, and why so many heterosexuals who have no interest in same-sex marriage, wanted it legalized and mandated... Continue Reading

What Churchgoers Should Do If Churches Lose Tax Exemption Status

6 Ways to Remain Faithful No Matter the Cost

Do not use this as an excuse to shy away from the opportunity to speak into the political system. Certainly, such a decision is not the desired outcome. And we could easily decide to give up. But it is a mistake to completely abandon the opportunity this governmental structure gives us. It is an opportunity... Continue Reading

The Church in Exile

The Christian church on earth is always, in a sense, in exile.

No doubt there are those reading this article who find my own position to be one of cultural surrender. Should we not be taking to the streets and the ballot boxes in order to take back what is ours? It might well be that thoughtful political engagement by individual Christians will slow the tide of... Continue Reading

Russell Moore’s ERLC Posts a Flawed “Evangelical Declaration on Marriage”

Here are at least five problems that I see with the statement

Far from Christians being too outraged and too panicked over the last two decades, many Christians, especially among ‘elite’ evangelicals, have exhibited a dearth of outrage and alarm, so as to appear reasonable to the broader culture. Many elite evangelicals have contended that the homosexualist push in the country was only one of many issues... Continue Reading

Now’s the Time To End Tax Exemptions for Religious Institutions

The Supreme Court's ruling on gay marriage makes it clearer than ever that the government shouldn't be subsidizing religion and non-profits

So yes, the logic of gay-marriage rights could lead to a reexamination of conservative churches’ tax exemptions (although, as long as the IRS is afraid of challenging Scientology’s exemption, everyone else is probably safe). But when that day comes, it will be long overdue. I can see keeping some exemptions; hospitals, in particular, are an... Continue Reading

When Everything Seems to Be Changing

There is one thing that never changes and one thing we can always hope in: our unchanging God.

Things will continue to change. Both in our world and in our daily life. Some of those changes will feel like a tiny ripple and others will crash into our life and turn it inside out. But no matter what changes we face, we don’t have to fear. We don’t have to hide. Because our anchor is our... Continue Reading

Monogamy is No Joke

The Christian understanding of monogamy has a shared goal of holiness. It is to picture Christ’s love for his church.

I agree with Marceau that “MONOGAMY IS NO JOKE.” I may even join her in using all caps. It’s an honor. It is our godly context for sexually intimate relationship and family while we await something even greater on the new heavens and new earth. Because God is faithful, I can be faithful. But this... Continue Reading

Theories of the Atonement: What Happened on the Cross?

Without the concept of penal substitution undergirding all of these other pictures of the atonement, we fail to do adequate justice to the full-orbed biblical picture of Jesus as the sin-bearing, wrath-propitiating Substitute for sinners.

Throughout church history, there have been various views and theories that conceptualize the nature of Christ’s work on the cross. Because the atonement runs to the very heart of the Gospel, it’s important for us to know how people throughout the history of the church have understood the work of Christ, and to be able... Continue Reading

Blindsided

"Unity brings us truth," Pastor Harrell of City Church in San Francisco has declared

“Hundreds of evangelicals were caught off guard in March when their church leaders, without any open discussion, announced that sexually active homosexuals could become members. How did that happen, and what steps can members of other churches take to forestall such surprises?”   Two days after Valentine’s Day in 1997, City Church—an attempt to build... Continue Reading

Theological Fidelity: An Interview with David Garner

What does it mean for a pastor to be a pastor-theologian?

“Theological contemplation is never private domain. The preacher doesn’t function autonomously; in fact, his work is, in a very important sense, shared and uncreative. As a contemporary spokesman, the preacher preaches the historic deposit of faith, following thousands who have gone before him with a view to the untold thousands that will follow.”   Tabletalk:... Continue Reading

The Body Politic is Queer

If our culture continues to "evolve," it will one day implode. May faithful believers be there when that happens.

Hopefully, places like City Church in San Francisco, who have recently embraced same sex marriage, will realize the full implications of that decision before queerness starts to define their entire belief system. In some ways, apostate Oneist churches are showing the way for the culture. If the body of Christ is queer, so will be... Continue Reading

We … and Our Fathers Have Sinned (Daniel 9:8)

As one who grew up in the Southern Presbyterian Church, I must confess my own as well as my people’s sins.

I have also learned these lessons from my elders in Augusta. They have taught me how important public confession of past sins—especially by a majority—is to racial reconciliation. What may feel to us to be something small, something that does not cost very much, communicates integrity and a desire for genuine relationship. As we as... Continue Reading

How to Read More Books

With summer here, here are some personal discoveries that were helpful to me

“This past year I have attempted to become more intentional with my reading. In previous years I have read a lot but I would not say that I read well. My reading lacked a detailed attack plan. As a result, sometimes reading happened and other times it did not.”   “How can I read more books?”... Continue Reading