Can I Handle The Seasons Of My Life?
I can’t handle the seasons of my life on my own, but “He who calls you is faithful; He will surely do it”
“Seasons are appointed. And we see in these verses that they are appointed by a sovereign, good God. “He has made everything beautiful in its time.” How can this be? Sure, there is abounding beauty in my life, but everything? What about suffering, adversity, and dirty dishes? The Scripture goes on to explain, “Also, he... Continue Reading
“Men were created to employ themselves”: Calvin On Gen. 2:15
Calvin has much to say about how we go about choosing something "to do"
“Calvin doesn’t hesitate to draw a universal principle from this — not that we should all, in imitation of Adam, set ourselves to farming (or even manual labor), but that we should set ourselves to doing something. “Men were created to employ themselves in some work, and not to lie down in inactivity and idleness.”... Continue Reading
An Open Letter To The False Church
For those who hear God speak them, “Away from me” will be the most pure, righteous, just and all at once terrifying words ever breathed.
“Indeed, this letter, for many who read it, will be marked “return to sender.” Such is the nature of deception. Those who labor beneath it have become so accustomed to its crushing weight that they’ve lost all sense of it. It is my humble hope and simple prayer that, if this is you, upon reading... Continue Reading
How To Talk To The Dying
The way to talk to the dying is to return them from death to the immediate experience of life
“How are you?” is not, then, the best thing to say to a cancer patient. Lisa Bonchek Adams, who lives with metastatic breast cancer and chronicles her experience in a moving and informative blog, suggests, “Is this a good day or a bad day?” The question is apt, because even though bikur holim (visiting the... Continue Reading
The Blood That Satisfies
If you are in Christ, you live because of the blood of the Lamb of God
“What did the blood of the lambs do? It turned away God’s wrath and appeased His anger against sin. It satisfied His justice. The blood of the lambs caused God to pass over each house—for a time. The blood satisfied on the night of the Passover, but each year the sacrifices of the lambs had... Continue Reading
Who am I? It’s the question I’ve asked myself over and over
“Being adopted into God’s family doesn’t mean that I no longer take pride in my heritage. I see clearly now how God has designed a rescue plan in advance to gather his children, providentially, where all my ancestors played an irreplaceable role in my salvation story and the story of our future generations. I refuse... Continue Reading
Is Original Sin A Legal Fiction?
So what do Roman Catholics — or Protestants who insist on real and personal holiness — teach about the sin of Adam imputed to new born infants?
“The magisterium has some explaining to do if you can swallow the idea that humans come into the world with the guilt of Adam’s sinful estate and then object to Protestants drawing a line between the imputation of Adam’s sin and the imputation of Christ’s righteousness. If you want to be a Pelagian about sin,... Continue Reading
9 Things You Should Know About Rabbinic Judaism
To close a small portion of the knowledge gap about our religious Jewish neighbors, here are nine things you should know Rabbinic Judaism
“In Rabbinic Judaism, the synagogue is the Jewish house of prayer. The buildings are not necessarily used for communal worship since Jewish worship can be carried out wherever ten Jews (a minyan) assemble. All synagogues contain a bimah, a table from which the Torah is read, and a desk for the prayer leader. The Torah... Continue Reading
He Is “Altogether Lovely!”
The Christian cannot say enough good about the Savior
One of my favorite passages in all Christian literature is this little summary by John Owen as he employs the expression of the bride of Christ in describing her beloved in the Song of Solomon: “He is altogether lovely.” Here it is. The Christian cannot say enough good about the Savior. An eternity of... Continue Reading
Lloyd-Jones on Scandalous Grace that Isn’t Cheap
There is a fatal tendency to put up law and grace as antitheses in the wrong sense.
Is it not true to say of many of us that in actual practice our view of the doctrine of grace is such that we scarcely ever take the plain teaching of the Lord Jesus Christ seriously? We have so emphasized the teaching that all is of grace and that we ought not to try... Continue Reading
When Childhood Has Become a Race
Goodbye busy summer, hello busy school year: What have we lost in the rush?
For what purpose, parents might ask, have we banished boredom? And for what price have we filled the nooks and crannies of the everyday, cramming out the teachable moments as we sit in our house, and when we walk by the way, and when we lie down, and when we rise (Deut. 6:7)?Will someone finally ask... Continue Reading
“Men were created to employ themselves”: Calvin on Gen. 2.15
We tend towards one of two extremes in our attitudes towards work: either we make too little of it, or we make too much of it.
If Adam’s “earthly life” was in fact temporary, so also was the job he was given. In other words, even in a sinless world, work would have given way to that eternal rest, worship, and fellowship with God which was from the very beginning prophetically imaged in humankind’s weekly rest, worship, and fellowship with God.... Continue Reading
4 Ways To Live Out Your Role As Helper
One of the reasons many wives struggle in their marriages is because they refuse to embrace the role God has given them as helper to their husband.
We are not called to help our men become the perfect specimen of a husband. We are called to help him become the man God has called him to be. Namely holy and mature in Christ. You are your husband’s helper. This is not a demeaning position, but a high calling–the calling to be a... Continue Reading
Why Does God Let Me Stay So Weak?
Why is it so hard to put sin to death? Why do we struggle and fail so much?
The more we realize our weakness, then when anything good happens through us, we know it is the power of Christ, not us. When we have tried again and again to conquer a sin, become aware of our own weakness in the battle, then finally conquer it, we know it was by Jesus’ grace and... Continue Reading
Opposing Views on Homeschool Regulation
HSLDA responds to policy recommendations from a group advocating for more government oversight
Should states regulate homeschoolers more closely? Would that help prevent rare instances of neglect—or establish a dangerous precedent of government interference? An article in the Sept. 6 issue of WORLD explores the question of abuse among homeschooling families. Although available evidence suggests abuse and neglect are less common than average among homeschoolers, the Coalition for... Continue Reading
‘Worship Wars’ Have Died Down But Some Christians Are Focused on ‘Coolness’ Instead of Genuine Ministry
Worship Pastor & Recording Artist Lincoln Brewster Weighs in on 'Authentic' Ministry
“And it really is true, it’s who we are. We will worship. The problem is, we worship everything. It’s a focus issue most of the time. Even in the case of hymns, many people worship the hymns. There [are] church splits and worship pastors getting fired, all kinds of craziness because of songs. Even if... Continue Reading
Dear PBS, I don’t think there’s a compassionate way to murder infants
PBS has decided to air a 90 minute pro-late term abortion propaganda piece
Look behind those abortion clinics, PBS. Whose bodies are in the hazardous waste containers? Whose corpses are incinerated by the thousands? Whose heart is injected with poison? Whose spinal cord is snipped? The abortionists? Or the babies? You answer that question, and then tell me who needs the humanizing around here. Dear PBS, This... Continue Reading
A Review of Bird’s “Evangelical Theology”
I’m glad I own Bird’s Systematic Theology, and think it is a helpful contribution to theology, even though it has some serious weaknesses of which our readers should be aware.
I do have notable concerns about several theological positions Bird advocates. First, and most importantly, Bird departs from historic Reformed theology in the areas of covenant and justification. Major red flags here: he rejects the covenant of works and disagrees with imputation in justification (he likes the term “incorporation” – i.e. union with Christ). Second,... Continue Reading
Ashes And Good Theology
Good theology doesn't deny the reality of ashes; rather it affirms the undiminished love of God in the face of a diminished and fallen creation
Our faith is in a God who is good, and good all the time, even when buildings burn and we lose hope in structures and lose faith in human beings who set the fires. Our faith is in a God who is good in the midst of pestilence, and war, and the brutality of authority... Continue Reading
5 Reasons Your Church May Be So Small
Large or small, your church needs to worship the Lord, care for the flock, and strive to serve Jesus well
I pastor a small church. I love small church life. I love the familiarity, the closeness, and the pace of life in small churches. We’re in a small town/rural community. We’re striving to repent of our self-righteousness. We’re trying to make sure our worship and our church life is accessible to new people. Our leaders... Continue Reading
Kindness and Repentance
We’re not doing much with repentance. What does it mean and where does it fit in our lives?
I know the Romans outline, it always sounded to me like law first then the relief of the gospel. But I know now it’s bigger than that. Could it be that what’s missing today in our church isn’t ‘not enough Hell’ but ’not enough kindness of God’? We still use that word repentance but... Continue Reading
Taking Friendship To A New Level
God is relational. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit co-exist as a perfect, mutually-loving, mutually-supportive, in-covenant community; we are created in God’s image and we need relationships, too
Whereas “modern” friendship asks, “What can this person do to make my life better?” a Gospel-centered friendship asks, “What can I do to make this person’s life better? What can I do to ‘enhance her glory,’ to help her be and become all she can be, as the person God created her to be and... Continue Reading
I Increasingly Find Conflict Between My Faith and Some Conservative Discourse
In the past several months there have been three incidents that have solidified for me that my faith and my politics are starting to collide
I’m a conservative before I’m a Republican. I was once even an elected Republican. But before I’m a father or husband, I am a Christian. My politics have to be balanced by my faith. That faith requires me to put faith, hope, mercy, and grace ahead of much, including a lot of short term political... Continue Reading
How To Become More Productive: Classic Insights From Adam Smith
Labor becomes more productive when it is divided.
Problem-solving is the essence of work. You can become more productive by welcoming the problems you face and inventing, discovering, or creating solutions to them. Adam Smith notes that many machines were invented by “common workmen” who channeled their frustrations into practical solutions. In Book 1, Chapter 1 of The Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith asks us... Continue Reading
Facebook Fortune Cookies
Facebook fortune cookies: bad theology around the water cooler of modernist and postmodern conversations
In a world of many voices, it is said, each not only has an equal right to be heard, but each is equally right. For the postmodernist it is arrogant to claim that one can absolutely know absolute truth. Yet, for the modernist Christian, he presents the claims of Christianity through apologetics, propositions, and “timeless... Continue Reading
As we pray in Christ’s name, we do so at the invitation of God, with the assurance that if we seek and ask, we will find and receive
In the model of so many prayers recorded for us, we come before God lifting our eyes to His glory, reciting His character, recounting His awesome deeds. We move on to lay out our concerns, casting our cares upon Him. Then we conclude with plaintive, desperate, importunate expressions beseeching our God. Now therefore, O... Continue Reading
After Evangelical Virgin Guys Marry, Then What?
Evangelical leaders have touted “virginity pledges” as a way for teens and young adults to “save themselves for marriage.” But what happens after the wedding day?
According to a researcher at the University of Washington, young adult men who took the pledge and had male friends who held them accountable before marriage find themselves suddenly adrift and unable to talk to trusted friends — and sometimes even their new wives — about sex. (RNS) For decades, evangelical leaders have touted “virginity pledges”... Continue Reading
The Prompting to Worship: the Father’s Love for Us
When we believe in the Father’s love, we know we can always come to God, have access to Him, and grow in love for Him
“Crucial to our communion with God is the knowledge that the same Father who shall judge the world in righteousness, chooses to set his love upon us. It is true that God the Son took the just wrath of God the Father on the cross, but it is equally true that it was the Father... Continue Reading
The Danger of ‘Measurable Outcomes’
Ten million ignorant assertions, even when magnified and accelerated in a hundred million tweets and “likes,” still never add up to truth or wisdom
“We are in the age of gargantuan numbers, truly instant information, ceaselessly hyperactive social media, when the worldwide web has become a flood-driven Niagara of raw, uninterpreted information and emotion that pounds down on us by the minute with its ceaseless roar and its drenching deluge. Who can hear themselves think, let alone make sense... Continue Reading
When God Sings About You
When God prays and intercedes for us, He also exults over us with singing — loudly!
“God is honored by singing. God is honored by shouting. God loves to see his people rejoicing and exulting with all their heart. And how does he respond to the harmonic adoration of his people? He too joins in with songs of love and affection, and the focus of his love songs are his radiant... Continue Reading