The Bible Tells Me So: Why Defending Scripture Has Made Us Unable to Read It

A review of Peter Enns' new book

In the end, The Bible Tells Me So is a book about contradictions. Enns intended it to be a book about contradictions in the Bible. But it becomes quickly apparent that the contradictions are really in Enns’s own worldview. He claims the Canaanite conquest is immoral, yet argues the Bible provides no clear guide for... Continue Reading

Sermons Are “Fair Game” in Houston

The Real Warning in the Subpoena Scandal

At this point, it is five Houston pastors who are feeling the heat. But these subpoenas stand as a direct warning to every pastor, rabbi, minister, priest, and imam in America. You or I could be next. This is how religious liberty dies. Liberties die by a thousand cuts.  An intimidating letter here, a subpoena... Continue Reading

The Secret of Big Evangelicalism Is the Secret of Great Comedy

In a world of sentiment and aesthetics, an instinctive sense for tastefulness is what makes for a successful marketing strategy.

What is interesting is that the chronology of the whole YRR-Driscoll saga falls out along taste/aesthetic lines.    Those who saw the problem early were quickly dismissed as Pharisees, hypocrites, ‘discernment bloggers,’ judgmental, and even racists.  These are all pretty distasteful categories in the late modern world of tolerance and niceness. Those who decried or ignored... Continue Reading

Patrick Henry College President Steps Down

Leadership change comes as school pushes for growth

The school’s provost, Gene Edward Veith, will step into the role of interim president while the college looks for another leader. By email, Walker told me his departure was amicable, although he declined to describe the issue of disagreement. “The Board and I have the same vision for PHC’s mission and character. But Christians can... Continue Reading

Justification By Faith Alone Is The Normative Reformed Doctrine

Beware of those who appeal to the outliers as if they were or are or should become the norm.

There is a open move to rehabilitate Shepherd’s doctrine by revising the history of what Shepherd said and what the issues were. As I say, the moralists never go away. Many Christians are more comfortable with Jesus as a facilitator of justification and salvation rather than as the Savior. Like Shepherd, they want to blur the line... Continue Reading

Prayer Changes Us, Not God

Three answers to the question: if God is sovereign, then why pray at all?

Prayer is appointed by God for our seeking from Him the things which we are in need of. (Pink them reminds his readers of God’s sovereignty and decree of all things). Prayer is not for the purpose of informing God, as if He were ignorant,… but it is to acknowledge He does know what we... Continue Reading

Why The Church Covers Up Abuse

Four reasons why churches sometimes cover up abuse

Abuse is an evil that feeds upon silence, secrecy, and shame.  Sometimes people are pressured not to ask or tell about abuse, because it would damage both parties, both families by unnecessarily shaming them.  But ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ is not help.  And of primary importance, we must affirm that our fundamental duty is to... Continue Reading

Hillsong Church, Relevance & Pariahs

Hillsong's pastor, stressing the church's need to stay relevant, declined to give the church's position on same-sex marriage

At his New York press conference, Pastor Houston explained: “And to me, the world we live in, whether we like it or not is changing around and about us. Homosexual marriage is legal in [New York City] and will be probably in most Western world countries within a short time. So the world’s changing and... Continue Reading

Government Tells Christian Ministers: Perform Same-sex Weddings or Face Jail, Fines

Officials threaten to punish senior citizen couple – both ordained pastors – if they decline to officiate same-sex ceremonies

City officials told Donald Knapp that he and his wife Evelyn, both ordained ministers who run Hitching Post Wedding Chapel, are required to perform such ceremonies or face months in jail and/or thousands of dollars in fines. The city claims its “non-discrimination” ordinance requires the Knapps to perform same-sex wedding ceremonies now that the courts... Continue Reading

Young, Reckless, And Reformed

Three challenges for the young, reformed Christian.

While living in community, let your theology be shaped and molded as you’re seeing it worked out in a local church. As a point of emphasis, I suggest this be a local church. One. Don’t be the church-hopping person who is a little everywhere, but not completely somewhere. Put value in not just growing your... Continue Reading

Opposite but the Same

The more things change, the more things really do stay the same

I ran into one while reading Todd Brenneman’s Homespun Gospel. Brenneman’s comparison of Max Lucado and Rob Bell in his chapter, “You are Special,” is spot on. The subtitle is A Tale of Two Hells. Both Bell and Lucado use sentimental means to promote their popular message. They endorse themselves as the cool ones—the ones in... Continue Reading

The Secret to a Happy Life

Maximizing pleasure is our culture’s chief goal, but happiness and pleasure are profoundly different

Humility is the secret to a happy life. What is humility? Scripture does not say the humble person is Mr. Milquetoast, the wishy-washy person, the spineless man who is a doormat for the world; rather, the humble person is one who fears God. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and such... Continue Reading

The 9 Most Overlooked Threats to a Marriage

Surveys of couples have rated marital communication as the number one problem in marriage. It’s not…

It’s a lifetime that forms us into people who are becoming ever more loving versions of ourselves, who can bear the weight of loneliness, who have released the weight of shame, who have traded in walls for bridges, who have embraced the mess of being alive, who risk empathy and forgive disappointments, who love everyone... Continue Reading

Unthinkable Aloofness

Will we worship the Father honorably, boldly minister, and suffer after the pattern of Jesus Christ?

The call is to minister and prioritize as did Jesus Christ. He was concerned with worshiping the Father in Spirit and in truth. He was diligent to worship God only in the way prescribed in Scripture. He was cautious of keeping God’s Ceremonial Law, and would have been a strong proponent of the Regulative Principle... Continue Reading

What The Muslim World Believes, On Everything From Alcohol To Honor Killings

A sweeping, 226-page report from the Pew Forum explores attitudes and opinions from Muslim communities around the world

A majority of Muslims in several countries say that any Muslim who leaves the faith should be executed, with the share who support this nearing two-thirds in Egypt and Pakistan. In Afghanistan, 78 percent say apostates should be killed… the effect is a deeply chilling one for religious freedom, with atheists and converts often persecuted.... Continue Reading

A Review: “The Word Became Fresh: How to Preach from Old Testament Narrative Texts”

A study and guide for using the Old Testament in preaching and teacing

The author explains and expounds that the central focus of every Old Testament narrative is theocentric, which means that in “all our reading we should keep our eye on God – what he is revealing about himself and how he is working.” Davis wraps the book together by giving the reader an opportunity to walk with... Continue Reading

Come, Holy Spirit!

The Holy Spirit is in charge of pointing you to Jesus and his love

It’s about the Holy Spirit and what he does. He brings Jesus into your heart, again and again. That sermon, or the way you read the Bible, or the way you mull over the meaning of your life—that’s the key, that Jesus loves you.   I hear different kinds of sermons, some my own. Many... Continue Reading

The Battle Between Between Exile Theology and Dominion Theology

The battle between Exile Theology and Dominion Theology is important to understand

To consider only myself and my future is actually selfish.  The covenant teaches me that more important than myself are the generations that will follow me.  I may want to escape the trials of this earth, but my children and grandchildren will have to live in a world that we leave to them.  Better to... Continue Reading

The Gospel According To Tobler

For all his faults, Tobler is affectionate and loyal, and dogs often demonstrate such qualities even when mistreated by their owners. By contrast, sinful human beings are in consistent rebellion against God

“Tobler has never quite learned to be obedient. Stubborn to a fault, he remains invincibly ignorant of the meaning of the command come. He will come eventually, of course, but only on his own terms. The biggest problem, however, is that Tobler is an inveterate thief. He loves to steal stuffed animals, socks, and other... Continue Reading

When A Lesbian Mayor Sits In Your Town Hall

Do not be foolish and think this day of Christian ease and comfort will last. It has come and gone in most cultures and will most likely do so in the United States of America

“The church is not to be foolishly optimistic and expect a favorable reception from all men. Christ’s body should not be surprised when the ministry of Christ separates friends and family members. The Prince of Peace, who gives peace to his own people, came not to give peace to the earth. Some will welcome the... Continue Reading

When Ebola Comes To Church

Eric Duncan entered my life and the life of my church

“After learning that Eric was connected to Louise and that Louise and her family were being placed in quarantine because he had fallen ill in her apartment, my first question was, “Could I visit her?” Somehow, instinctively, I sensed that in times like these, the role of a pastor is to be present. I wish... Continue Reading

Why Micromanaging Is Ungodly

Micromanagement among Christian leaders reflects poorly on our faith and the gospel

“God has uniquely gifted every person. Leaders are tasked with seeing those gifts, feeding them, and giving people room to use them to the fullest extent. Micromanagers either cannot or will not do this. They see people as tools to be wielded or foolish sheep to be shepherded. They cannot recognize that the people under... Continue Reading

What Should Evangelicals Make of the Rome Synod on the Family?

Reports indicate that the synod is asking for a more “pastoral” and “more inclusive” approach to cohabiting couples, same-sex partners, and others

“The church is to welcome everyone as guests and observers, to hear the gospel preached and taught. The church is not itself, though, to be made up of unrepentant people. That’s why scandalous sin is to be disciplined, and why the Lord’s Table is to be offered only to those in right fellowship with God... Continue Reading

Christians Should Be Forgiving People

If we refuse to give forgiveness when repentance has been manifest, then we expose ourselves to the same fate as the unforgiving servant

“We are all debtors who cannot pay their debts to God. Yet God has been gracious enough to grant us forgiveness in Jesus Christ. It is no wonder that in the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus instructs His disciples to say, “Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.” There is a parallel, a joint movement... Continue Reading

The Internal Law About Anger

Anger and insult toward humans are like murder in God’s sight, violating the sixth commandment

“Jesus says to us today, as he did to Pharisees, if you think yourselves far removed from murderers – you who are free from actual bloodshed – have you not hated, insulted, or wished someone dead? A murderer actually carries out this wish. But you have the same kind of anger as a murderer, and... Continue Reading

The Importance Of Being A Pastor / Theologian

We need a higher appreciation for why pastor/theologians are so important in this fallen world

“The purpose of this post is to call pastors to see the importance of committing themselves to the church of God, first and foremost–as men who shepherd His flock on a weekly basis; and then, having given themselves to this glorious work, give themselves to theological writing, training and ministry for the well-being of the broader... Continue Reading

7 Disappointing Reasons People Leave the Church

One disappointment I have had in ministry is watching people come to church, get excited for a time, then disappear

“The biggest disappointment is not people who transfer to another church. I’m okay with that if it helps them better grow in their relationship with Christ. I’m talking about people who quit going to church altogether. They are in one day — out the next. What happens to them? Why do they leave?”   One... Continue Reading

Pastors Shouldn’t Have Trade Secrets

Your willingness to share your experience and knowledge can be of great help to others in ministry

“I remain firmly convinced, based upon Scripture and my experience, that pastors should not be in competition with one another. They should support, root for, rejoice in, and serve to ensure the other’s growth. One major implication of being gospel-centered is that we actually want to see the gospel advance. In order to do this... Continue Reading

How To Frustrate Your Children

The fact that our children become discouraged or frustrated does not invalidate our instruction, but discouragement flowing from provocation does

“More than just dealing with children, the fifth commandment also covers our obligation toward our children. “The fifth commandment requireth the preserving the honor, and performing the duties, belonging to everyone in their several places and relations, as superiors, inferiors, or equals.” (Westminster Shorter Catechism Q/A 64). The 17th century divines teach us that children... Continue Reading

The Scandal

Thoughts on Mark Driscoll and other pastors who have gone before him

First, the best thing that is coming out of the Mars Hill debacle is a discussion about accountability. If Christians require accountability within the church, pastors require at least a double measure of accountability. Genuine accountability is not found in para-church structures or corporate-style boards. Elders need to be accountable to one another in the... Continue Reading