Let’s Pray that Gosnell Gets Life Indeed
Nevertheless, since Gosnell will now get life instead of death, let us pray he gets life indeed. Time in prison means time for repentance, and repentance of a sinner is always the heart of God, who “is not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). Scripture exhorts us... Continue Reading
Loveism = Jesusism: Jesus Led Me All the Way…One Step at a Time
A testimony of how God has opened wide doors of ministry in difficult countries
In 2001, I was invited to come to North Korea to found an international university there as well. I told them that I would bring Christians who were international academics from many countries, people who were excellent teachers. They would be carefully chosen people who would love the North Korean students and care for them... Continue Reading
The Unique Role of Mrs. Pastor
My role is not exactly like that of other married women; my life as Mrs. Pastor, by God’s design, is unique. Thankfully, I have fundamentals to guide me, such as God’s inspired Word, my husband’s biblical wisdom and the needs of God’s people. After that, I use my God-given gifts, prayer and the guidance of the Holy... Continue Reading
Are All Sins Equally Heinous?
A Response to Barnabas Piper
But, and this is key, that does not mean every sin is equally heinous. Missing in Piper’s analysis is a careful discussion about how some sins are more grievous than others and therefore warrant a more vigorous Christian response. I appreciate Robert Gagnon’s fine response to this problem: … In a recent article, Barnabas... Continue Reading
The Reformed Doctrine of General Revelation
What It Is and What It Isn’t
In any case, what we have is a failure to communicate that is leading to serious misunderstanding and misrepresentation. The purpose of this brief post is to explain what the traditional Reformed doctrine of general revelation is, and just as importantly, to explain what the traditional Reformed doctrine of general revelation is not. In the... Continue Reading
The SBC is Hemorrhaging
In response to the laziness of Southern Baptists and the non-existent fervor for soul-winning in SBC churches, pastors have resorted to using unbiblical methods to get lost people in the doors of the church for worship. Pastors, God’s shepherds, have sought to adjust worship within the Body of Christ to appeal to those who are... Continue Reading
Grace Greater Than All Our Worries
I’ve been bitten by a serpent-shaped lie that says I can orchestrate all the details of my life. That I can plan them and execute all on my own. The lie then produces fear when the reality crashes in that I actually can’t do it at all. Because rather than being in control of all... Continue Reading
IRS Subjects Dr. James Dobson and Family Talk Action to Viewpoint Discrimination
IRS delays application for 501(c)(4) status for Dobson’s organization
Family Talk Action’s attorney asked her when the IRS would issue its determination letter. Ms. Medley responded saying, I don’t think your Form 1024 (application for exemption) will be granted because Family Talk Action is “not educational” because it does not present all views. She continued, saying that Family Talk Action sounded like a “partisan... Continue Reading
Abusers in the Church
How to recognize and respond to those who use abusive tactics to gain power and control in the church
If you are a faithful pastor or church member, the probability that you have met one or both characters in this evil duo is quite high. In Scripture, Diotrephes and Jezebel were both abusers. Today, they still exist within many if not most churches. Masquerading as pious saints, they set themselves up in power and... Continue Reading
Look, It’s Rubbish!
You can tell a lot about someone's theology from what they do in worship.
And then finally, the pièce de resistance, the moment to which the whole service had been leading, the climactic moment when the congregation was taken to the very gates of heaven: the service ended, not with a benediction or even a prayer, but with another chance to meditate, this time not to waves crashing on... Continue Reading
Is God Angry with Sin?
Thoughts on the PCUSA's decision not to include "In Christ Alone" in their hymnal
In choosing to remove this beautiful song from the hymnal, the committee suggests that this notion of God’s wrath is no longer compelling to the majority of PC(USA) congregants. I fear that this is yet another symptom of our loss of any sense of sin that is personal (rather than systemic) and of our cheapening... Continue Reading
Sanctification, Homosexuality, and the Church
The “Jesus + Nothing = Everything” approach to sanctification is error of such prodigious import that it threatens the very essence of the Christian church
But those churches who would accept sinners “as they are” (whether homosexuals or any other variety of sinner) into their memberships, and who would encourage such sinners to ponder the glories of justification rather than repent, engage in a great evil. Such acceptance violates this and every biblical text on church discipline, destroys the purity... Continue Reading
Mark Driscoll, Tribalism, and the Church
We need pastors and churches that preach the gospel, not "tribal leaders" and Twitter accounts
I find this distasteful. The church is the body of Christ. From the church’s institution, the office of pastor has been of central importance. Christianity has its own traditions, language, and culture. Why would Driscoll jettison those things in favor of trendy jargon? Tribes and tribal chiefs. Sounds decidedly pagan to me. I don’t... Continue Reading
Are the Metro Evangelicals Right?
Metro-Evangelicals have developed a kind of “theology of the city” that roots city-centric strategy in biblical proof-texts
Of course, God blessed Paul’s urban strategy to build the church, but I’m not sure metro-evangelicals are gathering the right lesson from this history. It is true that Paul avoided the countryside for the most part, but not because he expected to find more open-minded folks in the cities. ‘Cause that isn’t what he found.... Continue Reading
The Church Should Be A Taboo Free Zone
If someone confesses a sin or struggle to you, don’t be shocked.
There are certain things we don’t talk about much in church. Like eating disorders. Or cutting. Or depression. Or same sex attraction. Or sexual enslavement. The list could go on, but you get my point. The reason we don’t talk about these things is because, frankly, they make us uncomfortable. If we struggle with a... Continue Reading
Court Rules Against German Homeschool Family Seeking Asylum
The Justice Dept. is arguing that German law banning home schooling does not violate the family’s human rights.
Uwe said he was extremely disappointed that their petition to seek asylum was appealed by the Obama administration. “If we go back to Germany we know that we would be prosecuted and it is very likely the Social Services authorities would take our children from us,” he said. Uwe said German schools were teaching children... Continue Reading
Tenth Presbyterian: A Philadelphia and Theological Fixture
Tenth remains content to follow the confessional standards of the Reformation - the Westminster Confession and Catechisms in particular - and let the chips fall where they may
He once told me that he found Christmas and Easter services the least effective, relative to ordinary Sundays – and Sunday-evening services perhaps most effective – in mediating redemptive grace. Indeed, his ministry confirms the observation of British historian Herbert Butterfield that “the church has best served civilization not on the occasion when it had... Continue Reading
A Nation of Wimps
Parents are going to ludicrous lengths to take the bumps out of life for their children. Parental hyperconcern has the net effect of making kids more fragile; that may be why they're breaking down in record numbers.
In changing the nature of childhood, Stearns argues, we’ve introduced a tendency to assume that children can’t handle difficult situations. “Middle-class parents especially assume that if kids start getting into difficulty they need to rush in and do it for them, rather than let them flounder a bit and learn from it. I don’t mean... Continue Reading
Evil, Evil, Everywhere
I’ve found that my students — often steeped in relativism — have to be prodded to consider “evil”
Most students then agree that those things are evil, if by evil we simply mean profoundly immoral….What about Jim Crow, for instance? I encourage them to forget about the United States. Regardless of whether the United States was/is just as evil or less evil or pretty good, was Soviet tyranny evil? I do this exercise... Continue Reading
The Sexual Secularization of Our Society
Intellectual and sexual rebellion rages on in our day, but the final epitaph has not yet been written
There are thus only two ultimate alternatives: either the thinker, activist, or leader can subject sexual desire to truth or he will subjugate truth to sexual desire. If a person is dominated by desire, i.e., Eros, then that desire will be the surest explicator of his thought. The turning away of the mind from truth... Continue Reading
Thank You North Park Presbyterian Church (PCA), Jackson, MS
Thanking a church with a rich heritage as it closes
North Park Presbyterian church of Jackson, MS, has always loved us and cared for us well. Even greater was their love for Christ and their desire to see His church spread to all corners of the earth. Their zeal for global missions was evident when their doors were open, and it will continue to be... Continue Reading
“An Army of the Living God”: Stonewall Jackson’s Death and Southern Memory
150th anniversary of the death on May 10, 1863, of Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson from wounds sustained at the Battle of Chancellorsville
The most fascinating aspect of Stonewall’s character was his intense Presbyterian faith. Having been baptized an Episcopalian, Jackson joined the Presbyterian Church after thorough study of the Westminster Confession of Faith, becoming “the bluest [most traditional] kind of Presbyterian,” according to one newspaper account. Jackson was rigorously principled and devout, assiduously avoiding activities on the... Continue Reading
Canadian Supreme Court Rules Biblical Speech Opposing Homosexual Behavior is a ‘Hate Crime’
Ruling: because the use of the word “sodomy” only referred to “two men” and not also the sex acts of heterosexuals, it was a direct target against a specific group of people
The Supreme Court noted in its opinion, among other concerns, that Whatcott’s use of the Bible to target homosexuals was a problem. “[Whatcott's] expression portrays the targeted group as a menace that could threaten the safety and well-being of others, makes reference to respected sources (in this case the Bible) to lend credibility to the... Continue Reading
CRC Nominee for Executive Director Withdraws
Difficulties in finding an Executive Director for the Christian Reformed Church
This is the latest in a series of frustrating events in the leadership of the CRC. The previous Executive Director resigned suddenly two years ago, then other high-level leaders stepped down, and back in 2005 the appointed Executive Director stepped down from ministry before his first day on the job. Just days before the... Continue Reading
The Arrogance of the Urban: Part 2
It is time to abandon the evangelical quest to be “relevant”.
We have an unfortunate tendency to chase what is cool in our culture and make it the centerpiece of our ministry (often denigrating other ministries that don’t share our vision). Meanwhile, we don’t realize that we are really about 10 years behind the cultural trends anyway. We are perennial late-comers to what our world thinks... Continue Reading
Same American Dream, Different Zip Code
Like the suburban planning of a few decades ago, New Urbanism promises to set up the conditions for everyone’s social success.
It is not where you pursue social success but the Dream lies in the fact that one expects planned success to be tangibly achieved. In this regard, elites who planned the suburbs for social success, through public/private arrangements, and elites in the cities are both driven by the same cause: a lust for planned social... Continue Reading
“Gay Marriage” Shows Us Why Theology Matters
Three ways Biblically sound theology will help in the same-sex marriage debate
To invite homosexuals to embrace themselves so that they are no longer lonely is agreeing with those on the left that God was wrong in ordaining the family as one man and one woman together in marriage. It is agreeing with those whom God is pouring out His wrath. It is agreeing with those who... Continue Reading
In Praise of A (Former) Homeschooling Mom
She retires having changed three lives.
One thing instilled in our kids was a love of learning. I have heard more than one person say over the years they never picked up another book after college. Sonya never went to college but has picked up books ever since high-school. She modeled learning, both biblical and the “schoolish” type, to our three.... Continue Reading
Explaining the Universal Phenomenon of Religion
You can go anywhere on the globe and you’ll find evidence of cultic practices of sacrifice
But today the need for sacrifices to be made in faith is forgotten—we hear that it doesn’t matter what you believe as long as you’re sincere. In fact, the basic requirement of sacrifice is unknown—it doesn’t matter what your religious practices are. It doesn’t matter what you worship. It only matters that you do worship.... Continue Reading
The 17:18 Series
The book gives the reader/writer a place to write out, book by book, a copy of the Scriptures for himself
For those not familiar with this series, it is a series of essentially blank journals published by Reformation Heritage Books for the purpose of encouraging Christians to write out their own copy of the Scriptures. It is based on two considerations: first, that the king of Israel was required to write out for himself a... Continue Reading