What Is the Will of God for My Life?
What does the Bible say about God’s leading?
“The secret things” belong to God, not to us. “The secret things” are not our business because they are not our property; they are His. However, God has taken some of the secret plans of His mind and removed the secrecy, and such things do belong to us. He has taken the veil away. This... Continue Reading
Daddy Needs a Vacation
I crave quiet, low-key, relaxing days that allow me to lie still and read and pray and ponder
“My children may need a vacation, but I need it more. I work harder than they do. I have greater responsibilities. I carry more stress. I have accumulated a lot more mileage. This leaves me with a deep need for rest.” I need a vacation. Over the years I’ve learned to identify the signs. I’ve... Continue Reading
Southern Honor and Evangelical History: An Interview with Robert Elder
Church discipline, however unevenly practiced, was an acknowledgement of an enslaved person’s moral agency, something the Southern legal system didn’t acknowledge
“Nobody had written a full-length study of it, but most recent histories agreed that early evangelicals challenged the South’s honor culture, especially the violence, drinking, and rigid hierarchies or gender, race, and class that were integral to it.” I recently had a chance to interview Robert Elder, assistant professor of history at Valparaiso University,... Continue Reading
Women Face The Draft After Lawmaker’s Protest Amendment Backfires
The House of Representatives likely will take up the next National Defense Authorization Act and with it a controversial proposal to require women to register for the draft.
At a recent conference of conservative activists, retired Army Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin said historically, women have not been included in the draft for two reasons. First, they were ineligible for frontline combat positions. Secondly, “it runs counter to the values of America. It runs counter to our ethos, and that is that we don’t... Continue Reading
Prophets, Prostitutes and Politicians
It is clear that we live in a shallow, confused and increasingly distorted society
“If one set of servants of God are not fulfilling their God appointed duty – what about the others? The church of Jesus Christ and especially those who profess to be leaders within it? Where have all the prophets gone? In the week that I read about all the above events I happened to be... Continue Reading
Why Married Sex Is Social Justice
It’s not only a solid biblical model — it’s also good for human flourishing
“What possible logic is there in criticizing something as appealing as extramarital sex? These are questions that teenagers want answers to. They will make sacrifices, but they need to know that the sacrifices make sense. Our rules and norms in local churches must be presented as rules and norms that will lead to our children’s... Continue Reading
The First Church of Secularism and Its Sexual Sacraments
This new orthodoxy regards sexual acts as inviolable
“In the new dispensation, traditional restrictions and attitudes are viewed as judgmental, moralistic forms of socially sanctioned aggression, especially against women and sexual minorities. These victims of sexuality have become the new secular saints.” Surveying some of the sweeping social changes out there — from the legalization of same-sex marriage last year, to the... Continue Reading
Christian Iraqi Population Shrinking With Persecution ‘Worse Than Under Saddam Hussein’
Minorities in Iraq, including Christians, are facing a "catastrophic" reality
“The Christian population was as many as 1.4 million in Iraq back in 2003 during the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein, but that number has dwindled since. In October 2015, Aid to the Church in Need said that only 300,000 Christians were left, but MRG says that number is now down further to somewhere between 50,000 to... Continue Reading
As Seemed Best to Them…
It is incumbent on us to avoid a one-size-fits-all approach to disciplining our children because each of our children are different.
While the Bible speaks both directly and indirectly to every aspect of parenting, it does not give us a detailed checklist that–if husbands and wives would simply consult in each and every interaction with their children–would guarantee a favorable outcome. On account of this, quite a number of parachurch ministries (e.g. NCFIC and the formerly influential Vision Forum) have, in... Continue Reading
Methodism’s Prohibition Bishop & Lesbian Bishop
The United Methodist Church’s Western Jurisdiction has defied church law regarding sexual ethics by electing as bishop an openly avowed lesbian married to another woman.
For many liberal United Methodists, LGBTQ affirmation is the primary justice cause of the day demanding church affirmation. Political social justice advocacy has been a theme of liberal Methodism and much of Mainline Protestantism since early in the 20th century, with a presumed univeralism/syncretism that doesn’t prioritize evangelism or discipleship. Instead, the church’s primary calling... Continue Reading
All Our Works Excluded
When it comes to being right with God – being declared righteous by God and accepted by him – all our works are completely excluded.
“The effective cause (causa efficiens) of justification is God, more accurately God the Father, and still more accurately His grace and righteousness. The meritorious cause is the obedience of Christ the Mediator (causa meritoria). The instrumental cause (causa instrumentalis) is faith worked in the heart through the Holy Spirit and then put into action. The... Continue Reading
From a Bloodthirsty Lion to a Blood-shedding Lamb
Faith neither fights nor flies but rather repents and casts all on the Savior’s mercy.
This glimmer of comfort enables you to lift your eyes heavenward. And there you sense the root cause of all your troubles—the face of your God, justly angered by your backsliding and compromising. Eyes meet. Time stands still. Fight or flight? Or faith? I will go and return to my place till they acknowledge... Continue Reading
The Church of Jesus Christ: True Israel
The church of Israel in the Old Testament and the Israel of God in the New Testament is one body of the Lord Jesus Christ
Even if one has never heard the word “dispensationalism” or received formal teaching on the doctrines of dispensationalism, it has had a great influence on modern evangelicalism. So, many evangelical Christians read the Old Testament and (perhaps even subconsciously) dismiss portions of God’s Word, thinking that they only apply to national Israel or those physically... Continue Reading
Playing with Fire
The State of California, the teaching of history, and the human condition
The action of the State of California may well be driven by the trendy politics of the day, but it represents a phenomenon of comprehensive social and political importance, not just the ascendancy of a particular political stance. The new curriculum represents the confusion that lies at the very heart of modern Western identity; it... Continue Reading
Putin Can’t Stop the Gospel
Every once in a while, a leader, whether it be a judge, a king, or a Czar, tries to do the impossible and shut down the Gospel.
Putin, like Nero before him, arrogantly thinks that he can stop the Gospel. But when the Lord changes the heart of a man or woman and gives them a great love for the souls around them, it doesn’t matter if you threaten them with fines, higher taxes, or even prison and the loss of life.... Continue Reading
Of Conventions, Prayers, And Church
The Importance Of Distinguishing Sacred And Secular
Both the opening and closing of last night’s events are a good argument for doing away with public, shared prayers in such, common, secular events. It’s not that delegates to political conventions should not pray. They should. It’s not that candidates should not pray. They should. It’s not that voters should not pray. They should.... Continue Reading
Racism, Prejudice, and Christ
When the eternal Son of God became flesh and dwelt among us, he crossed an infinite chasm—from the infinite to the finite, and from immortality to mortality.
There is a fine line between legitimate probability judgments and sinful prejudice. It is a real line. God sees it even when we don’t. And my concern is to plead with you not to let the legitimacy of probability judgments function in your heart as a subtle self-justification for sinful prejudice. Probability and Prejudice... Continue Reading
10 Things You Should Know About Shame
Guilt’s message: “I did something bad,” and needs justification and forgiveness. Shame’s message: “I am bad,” and needs an identity shift and relational connection.
Relational disconnection is often rooted in shame. If I don’t believe that I can be loved, I will find it impossible to be in authentic relationship with anyone. I will find ways to distance myself from others, or to protect myself from being truly known. My core belief is that if you really knew me,... Continue Reading
Denominational Diversity And Cultural Normativity
White Normativity is that set of unwritten cultural precepts that serve as a source of minority alienation in a majority culture—even in the Church.
Multicultural Normativity is when the Church confesses racial integration as the biblical norm— and the cross-cultural family of Christ as the way things ought to be. Multicultural Normativity means your congregations’ worship and relationships and ministries are so defined by the presence of ethnic minorities—so built from the ground up on a racially integrated... Continue Reading
Recovering the Priority of Personal Holiness
In an age when the church is emulating the world, where it is no longer distinguishable from our pleasure-oriented culture, the example of John Owen shines like a beacon on a stormy night.
The Word of God is the means employed by the Holy Spirit to transform us into the image of Christ, so if preaching and evangelism are to be effective, private communion with God in His Word must be more important than discovering the latest ministry technique. “If the Word does not dwell with power... Continue Reading
For ’90s Teens, Free Condoms Led To More Pregnancies
New study shows the pitfalls of condom distribution in high schools
“Access to condoms for the entire high-school-aged population in a county would lead to about five extra births per 1,000 teenage women, or a 10 percent increase relative to the mean,” wrote Buckles and Hungerman. “Since the average program covered about one-third of the teenage women in the county, the typical program led to an... Continue Reading
How Skipping Church Affects Our Children
The church is losing its young people because the parents never taught their children that it was important.
Maybe the reason why our children have no love for Christ is due to the fact that we as parents do not show any love or passion for Christ, evidenced by how we prioritize our time both on Sundays and during the week. When television, sports, school, hobbies even family itself are elevated to a... Continue Reading
Five Things I Pray I Will Not Do As A Senior Adult In The Church
Five specific prayers seeking guidance to have a positive attitude about church involvement in ones senior years.
I pray I will not be more concerned about my preferences than serving others. I’ve already blown it on this one. I did not like the volume of the music in the service at my church a few weeks ago. I complained about it to my wife. And then I was reminded of all the... Continue Reading
An Acts 17:11 Woman!
What we really need are churches full of Acts 17:11 women. Berea had a bunch of them (Acts 17:12) and they were famous throughout the world.
I have four daughters who are like the daughters of Job. But my wife and I haven’t taught them to be Proverbs 31 women or Titus 2:4-5 women, according to the current usage of those terms. They’ve never worn denim burkas. They’ve never been taught to leave the room when the men are talking. They... Continue Reading
Christian Conscience, Christian Institutions, and Behavior Based Antidiscrimination Doctrine
The severe legal threat to the free exercise of traditional Christianity continues to grow
Then is when faithful Christians must not compromise, but rather will have to become an underclass, or stated differently, internal exiles within American society. Those who do compromise are not only sinning through compromise, as noted in the Biblical and confessional passages, and therefore absolutely wrong, but also will likely come to accept sin as... Continue Reading
Being in Ministry Saved My Marriage
I worry that an endless litany of blame-the-ministry could cause faithful pastors and their wives to view the local church as their marriage's enemy rather than its best ally.
I can’t count the number of times our church has publicly prayed for us and for our marriage. Sunday mornings from the pulpit. Wednesday nights in church prayer meeting. Tuesday mornings at Bible study. The people of God are regularly and specifically praying for us to have a loving, faithful, and happy marriage. These prayers... Continue Reading
Choose Your Love & Love Your Choice
Here are three steps we find in Joshua’s famous charge to Israel to make a commitment to God
It is an awesome commitment of breathtaking simplicity. “You do what you do, but I will serve God. I don’t care if my house is the only one in the world making this choice, we will serve the right God, the true God, the living God, come what may.” And yet many Christians prefer to... Continue Reading
God gave Israel more knowledge of Him than any other nation in the world.
Sadly, Israel’s experiences are still being repeated in many nations which God has blessed with His knowledge. The knowledge of God has been rejected, and these societies are in the painful process of inevitable self-destruction. This truth-rejection, self-destruction, divine-rejection cycle can also be seen in many Christian churches, schools, and universities. Because you have rejected knowledge, I will... Continue Reading
Complementarian Issues of Nomenclature and Doctrine
I personally have some big differences with those who founded the conservative complementarian movement and would love for there to be a different word to identify non-egalitarians.
In conclusion, the nomenclature issue isn’t really an issue in my opinion. But it does help to understand why so many more people resonate with the idea of complementary genders than with the specifics of complementarian application that the Council of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood supports. But the reinterpretations of Scripture, in my opinion, are... Continue Reading
Who’s Really Influenced by Their Cultural Situation?
A Deep Irony in the New Perspective on Paul
In sum, Matlock is arguing that NPP has (possibly) reinterpreted Paul in such a way that he seems to reflect the concerns of our modern cultural moment. Put bluntly, Paul, according to NPP advocates, sounds like a liberal protestant. He downplays personal sin and guilt, emphasizes social action, and does it all with a dab... Continue Reading