Does God Really Care About Our Suffering?
Our God is not stoic and unaffected, but is touched by our afflictions.
When you are suffering, how do you think God responds to you? Do you imagine him saying something like: “Hey buck up. It doesn’t hurt that bad.” “Somebody call the Waaaaambulance” “Come on, you big baby, shake it off. Get over it.” Our heavenly Father is filled with compassion for his blood-bought children. He has... Continue Reading
A Mountain or a Marathon?
Reflections on Rusty Reno's proposals for a Christian society
Reno is clear on what needs to be done to rebuild society. His vision is not of a return to the Christian-Right politics rooted in the alleged faith of the Founders or consisting of shouting Bible verses louder in the public square. Nor is it that of a confident pluralism that assumes that decency and... Continue Reading
The Truth About Living with an Invisible Illness
God sees me and my pain even when others cannot.
Invisible illness has been the crucible of God’s love in my life. This trial has forced me to see him anew. While my pain isolates me, it also connects me to God and others. God in Christ intimately knows physical pain as well as the agony of being misunderstood and invalidated by those closest to... Continue Reading
Welcome News For The Distressed Sinner!
Sibbes was not against Christ being an example for us, but he emphasized that “the main comfort we receive from Christ is by way of [his] satisfaction.”
“Certainly we shall never be finally and wholly forsaken, because Christ was forsaken for us. Now we may think of God without discomfort, and of sin without despair. Now we may think of the law of death, the curse and all, and never be terrified – why? Christ our surety hath given full content of... Continue Reading
How Do We Solve a Problem Like the Singles?
Contentment is difficult for singles because from our perspective, both the believing and unbelieving world seem to agree that happiness in celibacy is impossible.
This sounds serious, but the implications are radically liberating. You don’t need to get married or have sex to live a rich life! The single person is a whole person on their own. They wait for no “better half” to live the good life. That life is for now. That contentment is for now. ... Continue Reading
Eight Women of Faith
Eight Women of Faith is a collection of brief historical vignettes, each of which introduces a Christian woman from days gone by and reveals some of her unique contributions during her life and times.
Yes, Haykin provides biographical details, but his purpose is less to recount the character’s life than to point to her faith and to the way she grew and served during her lifetime. He means to show the vital importance of women for the life and health of the Christian church. He does not merely describe... Continue Reading
‘What Christian is it that beats his wife?’
A brief look at a sermon which defies convention by exposing violence, clarifying offenders’ responsibility, and contesting the blaming and pathologizing of victims
This sermon is one of the only sermons in the corpus in which the pastor explicitly refers to abuse whilst exposing violence, clarifying offenders’ responsibility, and cautioning against victim-blaming. Considering the statistics regarding intimate partner violence, it is highly likely that a victim of violence sat in the pews when each of the sermons we... Continue Reading
Left Behind Co-Author Tim LaHaye Dies at 90
Minister and political activist remembered for his influence on Americans’ view of the end times
In 1994, LaHaye was on an airplane when he noticed a pilot flirting with a flight attendant. He thought to himself, what would happen if the rapture occurred in that moment? What would it be like for those left behind while Christians vanished into thin air during the second coming of Christ? LaHaye soon partnered... Continue Reading
How Much Faith Do You Need To Foster?
A Review of “Faith to Foster,” getting a peek into serving as a foster family for children in need of care.
Faith to Foster isn’t a how-to guide—although the practical tips are there. It’s not a self-righteous “look at what we’ve done,” memoir—although, what they’ve done is remarkable. It’s an invitation to peek inside the Menn’s home to see what it looks like for a young couple to take a step of faith and care for... Continue Reading
Theonomy, Greg Bahnsen, and the Federal Vision- Part Two
Bahnsen’s writings laid the foundation for the Federal Vision, particularly in the areas of the sacraments, conditional perseverance, apostasy, the mono-covenantal structure of Scripture, and the law.
Bahnsen is guilty of two errors in his work on theonomy. First, he established a new paradigm for the law by connecting the believer’s obedience to the whole Old Testament law in exhaustive detail. Second, he emphasized obedience to the law so strenuously that he often comes close to the dangerous Pelagian spectrum of errors.... Continue Reading
9 Secrets Pastors Keep
Which secrets are you hiding from your church members?
So while those in your congregation may not be fully aware of the common stressors each pastor deals with, remember that pastors are not called to be God but to model what it looks like to follow him. That’s one truth you can be comfortable sharing with them. As a pastor, every Sunday you... Continue Reading
Getting the facts isn’t as hard as some make it seem; The Washington Post deserves no better than a C- for a story it did about Asheville, N.C.
But the measure’s main goal was immediately interpreted and publicly portrayed by homosexuals, lesbians, transsexuals, etc., as a restraint on their liberties. Joining them in that protest were the mainstream media, academia, mainline churches, and—perhaps most significant—some leaders in business and travel. Major corporations (like PayPal) as well as huge sporting groups (like the NBA... Continue Reading
Why Are So Many Millennials Having Children Out of Wedlock?
A new study shows that access to jobs and income inequality are shaping this generation’s decisions to start a family.
They come from a specific group of young Americans who don’t have college degrees, live in areas with high income inequality, and tend not to have very bright job prospects. The study, published this month in the journal American Sociological Review, found that in areas with the greatest income inequality, young men and women were... Continue Reading
15 Things the Proverbs Teach About How to Post on Facebook – Or Anywhere Else
The importance of writing and speaking with temperance in public places and web sites.
The Proverbs have much to teach us about how to use our tongues, as well as how to use our fingers as we type strongly-held opinions in a super-charged political climate. While Facebook can be a good place to air out ideas and to expose yourself to different views, there are at least 15 things... Continue Reading
California Hospitals Reject Assisted Suicide Prescription
After California legalizes euthanasia, growing number of medical centers refuse to participate
Euthanasia advocates applauded the bill, while critics warned it might encourage physicians and family members to pressure patients to end their own lives. Hospitals are caught in the middle, but those with moral qualms about assisted suicide, or that don’t have the resources to cater to it, are opting out of the lethal network. ... Continue Reading
Where Evangelicals Stand on Transgender Morality
While more than half of evangelical believers (54%) said it’s wrong to identify with a different gender, just 35 percent of Americans share that view
LifeWay asked 1,000 Americans whether they thought that changing one’s gender or identifying with a different gender is morally wrong. Respondents also had the option to select “it’s not a moral issue.” As politicians debate restroom access, employment protection, insurance coverage, and military service for transgender people, questions of morality have emerged. Is it... Continue Reading
Back to the Early Church?
It will not do to romanticize the early church into something that is inherently superior
During the early church, errors flourished. Errors existed over large matters such as the deity and incarnation of Christ (Colossians) and justification by faith alone in Christ alone (Galatians). People struggled with other errors. Did God’s people miss the resurrection of the righteous (2 Tim. 2:18)? Will dead Christians miss Christ’s return (1 Thess. 4:13-18)?... Continue Reading
United Methodist Schism & Local Churches
A debate in over 30,000 local United Methodist congregations about sex will be the mother of all ecclesial battles, exceeding in rancor and venom all previous controversies.
That a formal United Methodist schism, forcing thousands of local congregations effectively to choose sides, would be chaotic and destructive does not of course mean it won’t happen. And maybe, from the perspective of purity, such division must happen, before there can be renewal and new life, some firmly believe. But whatever happens, United Methodist... Continue Reading
Taking Back Christianese #3: “God is Always Pleased with You”
Is this response helpful? Yes and no. It depends on what a person means and how they frame it.
It confuses justification and sanctification. This phrase can be used in such a way that it takes what is true of justification (God sees the perfect righteousness of Christ) and applies it without qualification to our sanctification (therefore God is never concerned about our sin). In other words, it assumes that if God is pleased... Continue Reading
The World’s True Hope
Where are Christians to look in seeking for hope in 2016?
What is the hope to which Christians should be looking in this world? Our hope is not in the secular city, which in time always reverts to the Cainite mean. Our hope is in God, on whom we call, to whom we pray, to whom we offer worship, and for whom we proclaim the saving... Continue Reading
Explainer: Divine Simplicity and the Trinitarian Controversy
If you have followed the recent upheaval over the Trinity and gender, you may have asked yourself these questions
This doctrine [divine simplicity] was once taken for granted by basically everyone, from the earliest days of the church through to the Reformation and beyond, and only became unfamiliar quite recently. I’m not going to be able to explain all the details of the idea here. My objective is twofold: to give a basic outline... Continue Reading
What Did Jesus Do for Women?
In a world where women had little or no legal rights and got little or no respect as intellectuals or spiritual people, Jesus came along and turned the world's view of women upside-down.
Contemporary feminists often blame Christianity for being anti-women. Some neo-pagan-minded feminists put “goddess” bumper stickers on their cars, imagining that a return to the days of goddess-worship would liberate them from the male-dominated oppression of the church. A close reading of the New Testament against the cultural background of the first-century Roman Empire tells a... Continue Reading
Your Work Never Goes Unseen
Our work is done for God's glory and fame, not our own. It's not done for the praise or accolades of man but for the sake of our Savior.
So friends, if you are working hard for the Lord, don’t give up. Don’t despair. All your work done for God’s glory is storing up for you eternal treasures that far outweigh any accolades or acknowledgement in the here and now. None of it is wasted or lost. Your quiet faithfulness in all things, even... Continue Reading
CALVINIST: A Documentary On the Development of the Modern Calvinist Movement
The film’s anticipated release date in October 2017.
Well-known and not-so well-known Calvinists alike will be interviewed and help explain where Calvinism came from and why it is making a sudden comeback. Lanphere will attempt to discover what circumstances led to the resurgence of Calvinism, its successes and perhaps where it’s falling short. Finally, the film will seek to point young Reformed people... Continue Reading
I Am Not a Complementarian
I need a new way to describe myself.
So from now on when people ask me where I am in regard to male/female roles in church and the home I will simply say that I am Confessional. That is, I am part of a church and denomination which has a substantial and clear confession of faith and Book of Church Order both of... Continue Reading
A Prayer of Christ-Loving Voters
A prayer to the eternal God for clarity, perspective and priorities as we face issues in our temporal setting.
Yet here on this Earth that You have created, many other things will end. Peace eventually ends, as do wars. Wealth is seldom permanent. Nations rise and fall. Political parties come and go. Companies are launched and go bankrupt. Technology is invented and becomes obsolete. Illnesses come and go. You even tell us in Your... Continue Reading
Tribune Of Poor White People: An Interview with J. D. Vance, Author of “Hillbilly Elegy”
“Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and a Culture in Crisis” is an American classic, an extraordinary testimony to the brokenness of the white working class, but also its strengths.
Interestingly, both in my conversations with poor blacks and whites, there’s a recognition of the role of better choices in addressing these problems. The refusal to talk about individual agency is in some ways a consequence of a very detached elite, one too afraid to judge and consequently too handicapped to really understand. At the... Continue Reading
The Marrow of Calvinism
The Calvinist believes that God is the Lord of life and Sovereign of the universe
God’s sovereignty is the marrow of doctrinal Calvinism—provided we understand that this sovereignty is not arbitrary but is the sovereignty of the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. As [John] Duncan wrote: “It is a holy will that rules the universe—a will in which loving-kindness is locked up, to be in due time... Continue Reading
The Trinity: God is Not an Undifferentiated Monad
The God of Scripture is Triune: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. He is a Triunity.
“To put it another way, God’s unity is ontological and not just ethical. God’s unity is not the result of a harmonious unanimous vote within the Godhead. The three persons do not form a committee. God’s unity just is the complete and whole interpenetration of the three persons of Father, Son, and Spirit.” Some... Continue Reading
Ken Ham and Bill Nye: Round Two
Young Earth Creationist Ken Ham and Bill Nye “The Science Guy” have squared off again
“At the very least, round two of the Ham-Nye bout demonstrates the intractability of the creationist position, at least on the popular level. A cursory glance at the comments section of The Washington Post article, for instance, reveals a number of proud Ham supporters.” Young Earth Creationist Ken Ham and Bill Nye “The Science... Continue Reading