The New Calvinists
Not only are there still a few Calvinists around, but another closely related species has suddenly appeared: New Calvinists, the same but different
With the New Calvinism, the dynamics change and Calvin becomes but a dim shadow. Instead, there is a curious mixture of the Five Points, 16th century Anabaptism, 18th century revivalism, 20th century Pentecostalism, sophisticated marketing, the latest technology, and high-decibel music. The details will vary, of course, depending on the whims of the Leader. At its worst, he will... Continue Reading
5 Warning Signs of Spiritual Abuse
What are 5 warning signs of spiritual abuse that pastors or church leaders might inflict upon the church?
Be watchful for those who are only in it for the money and are always trying to get increases in salary or take up special offerings for themselves, for those who try to rule the church with an iron fist, those who redefine salvation, those who say that we are the only true church and... Continue Reading
Millennials Bucking Trends On Abortion Approval
Over half of millennials now say the practice is ‘wrong’
After all, “about 500,000 young people were about to mow you down. With love — mow you down with love!” she said with a laugh. She also described the powerful impact that she and some 60 young people had when they went to Capitol Hill after the march to make sure certain members of Congress... Continue Reading
For Years I Pleaded With God To Make Me Straight, So Why Did My Prayers Go Unanswered?
Why didn't God answer my prayer to rid me of my homosexual desires? Because homosexual desires were not my main problem.
My heart was changed instantaneously when I trusted in Christ and began to follow Him, but my mind was not. I now have a heart that genuinely loves God and desires to worship Him, but at the same time, I’m still utterly messed up and damaged by sin. The Lord is working in me and... Continue Reading
Change For Struggling Marriages
With the marriage falling apart and thinking there was no way forward, all the while looking like the happily married couple everyone expected us to be
This post is a guest piece written by a couple who were both Christians when they were married, but who had significant relationship struggles in the first few years. They hope that their story encourages other Christian couples who are facing relational challenges, especially if they are hiding those struggles from those who could help.... Continue Reading
I Am a Conservative Western Christian
I am not willing, as a Christian, to take the blame for Charlie Hebdo’s depiction of Muhammad. Charlie Hebdo is a reflection of the secular West, not particularly a reflection of Christianity.
Christianity and Islam have not always been civil to one another; we all know the history of the Crusades. Nevertheless, I contend that the current disagreement is not a disagreement between Christianity and Islam. Charlie Hebdo was not reflecting the dominant Christian view of freedom and respect. Charlie Hebdo, rather, was reflecting the secular view... Continue Reading
The Right Tax To Support Education
The endowments of the wealthiest universities should be taxed to fund a common purse for education that can be spent on tuition tax credits for some post-high school education
This is a tax progressives should love. America has a uniquely unequal system of higher education. We’re the only place in the world were gigantic sums of money have been accumulated by relatively few educational institutions. Just as redistribution makes sense when it comes to personal income, surely it makes sense when it comes the... Continue Reading
On Torture, Can We Handle The Truth? We’d Better Start Trying
What should evangelical pastors be saying about torture?
But we also grieve over the torture that sinful humans inflict upon one another. War is hell. There is no perfect justice nor completely preventable act of terror. And torture — in its many forms and varieties and degrees — would not exist if the world were free from evil. That’s why the sinless savior... Continue Reading
American Bible Society Will Depart New York for Center City Philadelphia
The American Bible Society will give up its tony Broadway address for one in Philadelphia's historic district.
The American Bible Society has about 270 employees and about 200 volunteers worldwide, according to a 2012 financial report. That year, the society had a $9 million deficit on a $92 million operating budget. Its total assets, not including its building, are valued at $491 million, according to its 990 filing from 2012. The... Continue Reading
A High (And Prioritized) Ecclesiology
One of the major problems in evangelicalism today is a low ecclesiology.
Outside of the visible church there is no ordinary possibility of salvation, but outside of the invisible church there is no possibility of salvation whatsoever. For man baptizes in water, but God our Savior “saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the... Continue Reading
Are Sacraments Fundamentals?
Because the sacraments preach the gospel, they are gospel issues.
If the sacraments are not gospel issues, then why should we not ordain someone who holds to transubstantiation? Consubstantiation? Memorialist? Usually, we’re not willing to go there. But then, that would mean that we view some sacramental issues as gospel issues, and other issues as not gospel issues. Perhaps this is true. I, for one,... Continue Reading
When Your Church Is Disappointing and Boring
Our personal boredom can often be symptomatic of a needed soul adjustment.
Church has a much higher purpose for existence than not being boring or disappointing. The most important thing is not that we are bored or disappointed, but that our lives and churches exist for the glory of God. Let’s face it. Church is not always as exciting as we would like. Sometimes it’s boring... Continue Reading
Cross-Contamination at the Lord’s Table
Thomas Oden wrote his book, Requiem, after a chapel service at Drew University introducing the goddess Sophia as worthy of Christian worship
I love how Oden didn’t merely focus on the seminary and the religious professionals. He wrote a book to expose them to the congregants who were affected by this poison. Discerning worshippers had already been noticing something different being preached from their pulpits. When theology is reduced to ideology, it’s the local church that is... Continue Reading
Will Christians Be Allowed To Serve As Judges In California?
The evidence is mounting that the sexual revolutionaries will brook no dissent in the march of “gay rights.”
Yesterday, the California Supreme Court ruled that state judges could no longer hold membership in the Boy Scouts of America. Why? Because the Boy Scouts allow gay scouts but not gay Scout leaders. As far as the California Supreme Court is concerned, the Boy Scouts discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation, and that violates... Continue Reading
My Baby’s Heart Stopped Beating
My little slice of motherhood continues to show me different angles of God’s good character and things about myself that I never could have learned without my baby.
He gives purpose to our suffering (Romans 8:28). My miscarriage didn’t happen in a vacuum. Both my child and I were created in God’s image, designed for his glory. My intentions for my child’s life were not the Lord’s intentions, and my timetable was not his timetable. He chose for that tiny person’s purpose to... Continue Reading
The Law: God’s Law and the Christian
We do not receive Christ and all his benefits of redemption only to then live as we please.
This marvelous news of salvation by grace, apart from the works of the law, however, in no way excuses us from living in conformity to God’s Law as kingdom disciples. In various quarters of the evangelical world –– even in some sections of the Reformed camp –– there seems to be a conspicuous de-emphasis upon... Continue Reading
On Friendship: A Review of “The Company We Keep”
True Christian friendship has to do with Christ’s work for his people – friends are also brothers and sisters in Christ
If you’ve been thinking about friendship, desire good friendships (or if you think negatively about friendships!) I highly recommend this booklet: The Company We Keep by Jonathan Holmes. It’s a brief (just over 100 small pages), concise (to the point), and clear (outlined and explained well) biblical discussion of Christian friendship. The contents include 1)... Continue Reading
“Jesus was a Palestinian” is a False Narrative
The pro-Palestinian Christian narrative, as defined by its leaders, is a lie.
In early December I came across a video of Dr. Mitri Raheb, pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Christmas Church in Bethlehem, summing up the pro-Palestinian Christian narrative. While Raheb’s duplicity is disturbing, his rather succinct commentary offers an opportunity to debunk the lies that he and his colleagues advance As any reader of this... Continue Reading
Perseverance and Hope Through Disability
Joni Eareckson Tada says the Martin Pistorius story should encourage Christians to advocate for the humanity of people mistakenly called ‘vegetables’
In the 1980s, when Pistorius was 12 years old, he came home from school with a sore throat. As his condition worsened, doctors guessed he had cryptococcal meningitis. His mobility eventually vanished, followed quickly by his ability to make eye contact and speak. For about two years, Pistorius lingered, trapped in a personal prison. He... Continue Reading
The Regulative Principle of Worship
The regulative principle of worship states that the corporate worship of God is to be founded upon specific directions of Scripture
It is important to realize that the regulative principle as applied to public worship frees the church from acts of impropriety and idiocy — we are not free, for example, to advertise that performing clowns will mime the Bible lesson at next week’s Sunday service. Yet it does not commit the church to a “cookie-cutter,”... Continue Reading
Seven Reasons Churches Are Too Busy
If local churches were humans, most of them would experience burnout. Many congregations are too busy to be effective. Many have a hodgepodge of seemingly unrelated activities.
I recently met with a pastor whose church is emblematic of the hyper-busy congregation. Morning worship attendance is steady at 350, but Sunday evening worship had declined in a decade from 160 to 40. The pastor suggested the church consider eliminating the Sunday evening service, an act that required a majority vote in a business... Continue Reading
Calvinist Evangelicals in United Methodist Church!
Institutional United Methodism in America has given up on cities and given up on young people, so no surprise it is declining by nearly 100,000 annually.
Think about it. The most powerful city in the world has almost no vital, orthodox United Methodist churches. Instead there are typically small, liberal congregations that celebrate their diversity but have little capacity for meaningful outreach. The same is true for most large cities. And institutional United Methodism has no ability to address this challenge.... Continue Reading
One Pastor’s Tedious Defense of the First Amendment
Last week, the pastor of a small church in Gilbert, Ariz., introduced himself on the steps outside of the Supreme Court.
“I’m Clyde Reed, pastor of Good News Community Church in Gilbert, Ariz.,” [editor’s note: Rev. Reed is a minister in the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church] he said. “I’m 82 years old and have been a pastor for over 40 years. I never dreamed my small church sign would be a topic for the Supreme Court.”... Continue Reading
One Abortionist’s Painful Path to Life
It took the death of his own daughter to make Dr. Anthony Levatino realize abortions kill children
WNS Editor’s note: On the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, we’re sharing the story of one abortionist who quit after realizing he was killing people’s children for money. Dr. Anthony Levatino quit the abortion industry in the mid-1980s. He became a Christian years later and now uses his experience and expertise as both a doctor and... Continue Reading
Boko Haram Emerges As Brutal Islamic State Of Africa
Boko Haram, with its chilling brutality, radical Islamic ideology and unstoppable seizure of Nigerian territory is quickly emerging as the Islamic State of Africa.
Boko Haram first gained international notoriety for its savagery in April 2014, when it abducted 276 girls from a boarding school in Chibok and threatened to sell them as wives and sex slaves. The “bring back our girls” movement began with Nigerian village women demanding government action and grew into a worldwide rallying cry, with... Continue Reading
British Midwives Lose Fight for Conscientious Objection To Abortion
The British Supreme Court has rejected the right of conscientious objection for senior midwives who refuse to supervise abortions performed on a labour ward
“Today’s decision sadly makes it likely that senior midwives who refuse to kill babies will be forced to leave the profession. Junior midwives might still be able to work in labour wards where abortions are performed but they will be restricted to ‘staff midwife’ status at best. They could easily be placed in an impossible... Continue Reading
The Church Needs the New Homophiles
There is a group of Catholics who experience same-sex attraction. They accept the teachings of the Church on sexual morality. They do not act on their same-sex desires. They are chaste.
The New Homophiles insist that God made them gay, though the Church does not teach that. They insist that they have special gifts given to them through their same-sex attraction. That is certainly not in Church teaching. And they want Church teaching to reflect these assertions, which would amount to a change in Church teaching.... Continue Reading
A Word to Famous Pastors
The church is both blessed and cursed by its well-known pastors.
You have been given a public platform. You occupy the stage of various conferences. You help lead national and perhaps international ministries. People listen to you when you speak and write. Those men who pastor 100 souls will be responsible for much. Some of you serve churches of multiplied thousands. You will give an account... Continue Reading
The Sin We Don’t Speak Of
Everyone's is different, but the effects on us are the same. And when it rears its ugly head we are undone.
In God’s eyes, sin is sin. No amount of human ordering changes that for him. We have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23). This sin is the great equalizer before him. There are no sins that are beyond his reach for cleansing and there are no sins that make... Continue Reading
Divine Mathematics of Salvation
Jesus plus anything else that you seek to add to His saving work will end in eternal loss.
Paul ties the everything together at the end of this letter when he explained that the Judaizers were seeking to avoid persecution for the cross of Christ, and were wanting to boast in the flesh (i.e. in human accomplishments). Put basically, it appears that the great error of the Judaizers was not merely seeking to add circumcision... Continue Reading