Infamy and The Sovereignty Of God, Dec. 7, 1941

God’s sovereign design that worked in a mysterious way even through a horrific attack.

Fifty-five years later, after a career in nuclear subs and a hitch in Sacramento on Governor Ronald Reagan’s staff, Jack and I met and became best friends, and fought the greatest battle of all–the one for his soul. We won that battle, by God’s Amazing Grace alone, and now he’s in glory with the very... Continue Reading

The Aquila Report Introducing New App — Begins Year End Challenge Campaign

Reformed Churchmen Publications, publisher of The Aquila Report, encourages readers to join it in reaching the goal of matching a challenge grant it has received.

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  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 2015, our readers donated $4,540... Continue Reading

Taking Back Christianese #6: “All Sins Are Equal in God’s Sight”

Our enthusiasm for maintaining the seriousness of sin (which is good) can lead us to make additional statements which may not be so true

First, to say all sins are the same is to confuse the effect of sin with the heinousness of sin.  While all sins are equal in their effect (they separate us from God), they are not all equally heinous. Second, the Bible differentiates between sins. Some sins are more severe in terms of impact (1... Continue Reading

Former Prescott, AZ Pastor, Tom Chantry, Charged With Child Molestation

Chantry, 46, faces five counts of molestation of a child, related to two minors, and three counts of aggravated assault on three separate minors as well.

According to the Christ Reformed Baptist Church of Hale’s Corners, Wisconsin, website, where he is listed as Pastor, Chantry moved to Arizona after finishing his seminary studies in California, and stayed for five years. He next moved to Washington and then taught at a Christian school in the Chicago area for four years, before moving to the Milwaukee suburb of Waukesha in 2006. That’s where he was arrested in July, on a warrant taken out by Prescott Police.

Are You Ready for Persecution?

Perhaps persecution is coming for all of us, but as of right now we just don’t know too many Christians who are facing persecution.

In America we have it easy, there’s no threat of death. But if and when persecution comes it will be an opportunity for Christians to be able to truly experience discomfort and perhaps it may cause us to truly value eternity rather than this life. But we don’t have to be persecuted in order to... Continue Reading

Answering Four Common Laymen Responses to the ESS/EFS/ERAS Debate

We must, to uphold the truth and majesty of the Gospel itself, confess with clarity that the mission of Christ was to become submissive—a role contrary to and not a simple corollary of His eternal Nature.

But in the end, regardless of the terms used, ESS/EFS/ERAS is indeed about ontology and ontological subordination.  “Ontology” is the study of fundamental being, nature, essence; it has to do with what makes something what it is, including what it must be to be what it is and what it cannot be and still be... Continue Reading

Regeneration: Ascribed Entirely to God Alone

This is an act of grace and mercy; no sinner deserves to receive new life from God.

Reformed theology teaches that regeneration is not conditional upon faith.  That is, we disagree with the Arminian teaching that faith precedes regeneration.  It is true that the regenerated sinner receives new life, and a new heart, and truly does embrace Christ by faith.  But regeneration is monergistic: God alone changes the dead heart.  Regeneration is... Continue Reading

He Didn’t Choose the Lamb

Why did the Lamb not choose the lamb to make his point when he instituted the Lord’s Supper at a Passover meal? Why bread?

Think of it. He could have chosen the lamb, but he didn’t choose the lamb, because he wanted it to be clear to us that there was no more shedding of blood required. That this was a never-to-be-repeated sacrifice. This was a once-for-all sacrifice. For all the symbolism of the lamb already established, there was... Continue Reading

Leaving the Screen: Restoring In-Person Relationships

How often do we let social media distract us when friends and family are sitting next to us?

I don’t intend to bind anyone’s conscience. The Lord has given each of us a unique stewardship. But recent weeks have led me to take a serious inventory of my social media use. The conclusion: I’ve all but kissed Facebook goodbye. I still have an account, partly for professional reasons, but I’m striving to minimize... Continue Reading

Problem Passages in The Message

Here are five places where The Message either adds to or loses significant meaning from the Greek text of the New Testament.

I want to stress that the author of The Message, Eugene Peterson, is highly respected. I hear only good things about him from those who know him. He produced The Message out of a desire to help the Bible come alive for readers. So this post is not meant to attack him, but rather to... Continue Reading

Do You Hunger and Thirst for Righteousness?

We have to have a passion to do what is right

“What does the New Testament say about Jesus Himself? That zeal for His Father’s house consumed Him (John 2:17). This graphic language means that Jesus’ passion for the affairs of His heavenly Father ate Him up. His food was to do the will of His Father.”   Some years ago, I spoke with a man... Continue Reading

8 Theses That Helps Us Think Biblically About Transgenderism

The different aspects of transgenderism call for different kinds of Christian responses

I am thankful for RTS Charlotte’s Dr. James Anderson, associate professor of theology and philosophy.  In the video below, Dr. Anderson addresses our students at a lunch-time conversation on the issue of transgenderism. It is a wonderfully clear and concise treatment of this important subject.   The debate in our culture over sexuality has been... Continue Reading

Don’t Settle For The Gospel of Self-Fulfillment

Christians who believe the gospel is more than just a word of self-fulfillment will need to be equipped to see the right and good longings at the heart of expressive individualism

“How does one come to believe that Jesus must be okay with a woman divorcing her husband and taking up with another woman— despite Jesus’s words about the permanence of marriage and its creational, male-female design?”   Elizabeth Gilbert traveled the world to find happiness, and then documented her journey of self-discovery in Eat, Pray,... Continue Reading

Why Difficulties in the Bible Are a Good Thing

God is allowed to have purposes for his Word that you wouldn’t have thought of

The classic doctrine of the clarity of Scripture does not care to deny the difficulties in the Bible, any more than the apostle Peter did when he talked about the things “hard to understand” in Paul’s scriptural writings. But God has loving purposes behind even those difficulties.   Jen Hatmaker recently launched a kerfuffle in... Continue Reading

Over 35% of Babies Aborted in 2013 Were Black: CDC Report

The abortion rate is disproportionately high among African-Americans

“The CDC report said women in their 20s accounted for more than 58 percent of abortions, recording the highest abortion rates. Women and girls aged 19 and younger accounted for 11.7 percent of abortions. CDC also found that two-thirds of abortions were performed within the first eight weeks, and nearly 92 percent by 13 weeks.... Continue Reading

Let My People Build

After 160 years of suppression, Egypt makes room for new churches

But even as they celebrated, Christians debated if they failed to fully seize a unique opportunity to pursue equal citizenship. Some wanted a unified law for both churches and mosques. Others noted the presence of loopholes that may impede church construction. For example, the “need” for a new church is tied to population growth.  ... Continue Reading

10 Books Every Christian Teenager Should Read

Here is a list of great books every Christian teen ought to read — or at least consider reading

“Please note that these are not necessarily the ten best books your teens will read in their lifetime. Not all of these books will stand the test of time as Christian classics. But each of them is suited to twenty-first century teenaged readers and together they will provide a foundation for the Christian life that... Continue Reading

Limited Atonement: A Walk Through the Basics

We need to dispense with the concept of “fairness” and begin to think in terms of God’s justice

Can fallen men change themselves?  Fallen men and women are “dead” in their sins and trespasses and are unable to do good; the supreme good, being the act of embracing Christ as LORD and savior.  This then is not a matter of “fairness”, which is a manmade construct to begin with, our situation is far... Continue Reading

Big Dreams and Blue Jeans

Why Small Towns Still Matter

I realize that the people living in small towns today are not Jesus. However, small-town believers can still do BIG things for the kingdom because Jesus has sent the Spirit to empower them too. Our small-town church has reproduced churches locally and across the globe. We are doing it out of the view of many... Continue Reading

No Little Women

The introduction to Aimee Byrd's new book

This book is for the competent women who are seeking a better way, as well as for those of you who would like to become more competent, as God has called you to be. This book is also for pastors and elders who would like every member of their church to be well equipped in... Continue Reading

The Lost Word of Motivation

Knowing that at any given moment as you seek to obey, you are actually pleasing God changes our motivation, does it not?

Some people are hard to please, always critical, pointing out the flaw. Maybe you think of God like that—Like someone who has asked for an obscure out of print book as a present, that you can’t find anywhere on the web, and you have searched high and low in second-hand bookshops—you know they will be... Continue Reading

Evangelical Pastor Theologians Outline Christian Vision of Sexuality

People in our culture need to hear from the church an overarching “positive, compelling vision of God’s plan for sexuality"

To win hearts and minds, our task is “not simply to persuade minds but also imaginations” by showing not just the truth, but also the beauty of the Christian vision. And even as a self-described “low-church, free-church evangelical,” Wilson urged a rediscovery of relevant church tradition, and bemoaned American evangelicalism’s tendencies towards “a way of... Continue Reading

The Children Are Still Listening

In an election deemed one of the nastiest in recent times, our children heard hateful things said about women.

In each iteration of one of the greatest Hollywood hits of a past generation, Agent 007 (James Bond) treats women as mere sexual objects. Our Hollywood entertainers and popular journalists have made totally banal a constant pornographic vision of sex. During the elections, Lady Gaga publicly offered free oral sex to any who voted for... Continue Reading

Seven Points on Spiritual Gifts (J. Bridges)

God gives all his people gifts to use for the service and enrichment of others.

“Gifts are sovereignly bestowed by God.  You possess the gifts you have because the sovereign God of the universe wanted you to be that way.  He ordained a plan for your life even before you were born, and He has gifted you specifically to carry out that plan.  Never disparage your gift.  If you do,... Continue Reading

More Mercy in Christ than Sin in Us

David understood, better than any, the multifaceted way in which God's grace worked in his life with regard to his ongoing battle with sin and his experience of a guilt-laden conscience.

Believers, as we struggle in our souls for nearness to God, a restored sense of His favor and delight and new manifestations of His presence and power, we must learn to cry out to God from the depths–acknowledging God’s holiness, our sin and rebellion, what our iniquities deserve and the great mercy of God in... Continue Reading

Welfare, Weber, And A Work Ethic

Being in favor of work is not merely a cultural or generational bias. Work is a creational good

From a biblical-theological perspective, “work” in the context of Genesis 2 may have a somewhat more specific sense, but the covenant of works has not yet been instituted. Certainly Adam was to cultivate the garden and to guard it as God’s prophet, priest, and king—a calling which Adam failed to fulfill thus plunging himself and... Continue Reading

The Story Of Redemption

A digest of some spiritually stimulating redemptive-historical meditations from Scripture.

The Tabernacle was the mobile dwelling place of God–a tent covered in skin. When Jesus came, the Apostle John tells us that “He tabernacled among us.” Jesus is the enfleshed, mobile dwelling place of God. In Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.   Nothing serves to strengthen our faith so much as... Continue Reading

A Plea To Pastors: Don’t Cancel Church On Christmas

I hope it’s not too late to make you reconsider your decision to cancel church on Christmas.

I’m enough of a Puritan to think that December 25 is Sunday before it’s Christmas. It’s the Lord’s Day. It’s a resurrection morning. It’s the day on which Christians have gathered for 2,000 years to sing the Bible, preach the Bible, pray the Bible, and see the Bible in the sacraments. It’s the day of the... Continue Reading

If We Aren’t Being Attacked For Our Faith As Christians, We’re Doing Something Wrong

Our culture has attempted to divide Christianity into two groups: bad Christians and tolerable, if not good, Christians.

It’s not just about gay marriage or abortion or any other specific issue. They hate Christianity because it is Christianity. They hate it simply for being true, just as Christ was crucified simply for being God. Those who hate truth and hate God will lash out at the closest things to Him.   A lot of... Continue Reading

Religions Dead and Living

Can we see in “Church Going,” a provocative poem, a model for Europe’s future religious evolution?

What exactly is the remaining pull of a place that is notionally holy? And if, as seems obvious, religion is in such sharp decline, what will be the ultimate fate of such places when they fall into disuse and ruin? Might they be objects of superstitious terror, unlucky places? Or will they be special and... Continue Reading