Serious Trouble Brewing in the PCA Over “Gay Christians”
It appears to me that the PCA should be preparing for some serious trouble over the legitimacy of what is being termed “gay Christian.”
Rather than adopting some new theological position at a local church or Presbytery level, let us appeal to the broader church to study the issue and report back to the church. Is sexual desire for other men or women of the same gender acceptable, as long as it does not become lust, or is it... Continue Reading
Open Letter to SBL Concerning Their Ban of IVP from the Annual Convention
The objection of SBL is that IVCF’s employee policy requires subscription to a document called “Theological Summary of Human Sexuality,” which in SBL’s mind severely restricts free inquiry.
Fifth, and somewhat baffling, is what you wrote to IVP. You said that SBL was committed to: “a variety of critical perspectives … diversity of participation and unhindered critical discourse … free inquiry and expression.” John, mate, I don’t want to be confrontational, but can you explain to me how does banning a publisher from the annual... Continue Reading
The PC Police Outlaw Make-Believe
In our surreal age of identity politics, pretending is politically incorrect.
Ms. Shriver delivered her speech while wearing a sombrero—a literal representation of her deeper point, which is that the job of fiction writers is to embody characters unlike themselves. If identity politics reaches its absurd conclusion, Ms. Shriver said, “all I could write about would be smart-alecky 59-year-old 5-foot-2-inch white women from North Carolina.” ... Continue Reading
Human Sexuality: Defined by the Mystery of the Trinity
The Bible discloses that there only two options for human existence: We either worship the creation or we worship the Creator.
We do not define God nor do we self-define. In the creation of human sexuality God, as Creator and Redeemer, reveals something of himself as both different from us, yet intimately related to us. In revealing himself, he defines us. Thus our great cosmic human task is faithfully to carry that image throughout our lives... Continue Reading
The Socio-economic Contribution of Religion to American Society
This article summarizes the first documented quantitative national estimates of the economic value of religion to U.S. society.
The data on local congregations show that they provide a significant level of community and social services beyond those provided through religious organizations set up to specifically provide health care, education and charity. … congregations spent an estimated $9.2 billion on social programs in 2012, the bulk of which came from donations of individual congregants.... Continue Reading
The Need for a Ministerial Break Down
Ministers must aim being faithful to break down God's word so that it will be understood and appreciated by the younger and older believers.
Those ministers who fail to break down God’s word for His people usually do so from behind an ecclesiastical smokescreen. They treat each member of the congregation as if he or she should be at the same spiritual place in understanding by virtue of the fact that they are members of the church. This is... Continue Reading
Religious Freedom — For Everyone
What are the limits and parameters of religious liberty?
Machen: Tolerance, moreover, means not merely tolerance for that with which we are agreed but also tolerance for that to which we are most thoroughly opposed. A few years ago there was passed in New York the abominable Lusk Law requiring private teachers in any subjects whatever to obtain a state license….But certainly such opposition... Continue Reading
5 Significant Signs You’ve Stopped Growing as a Leader
Spending all your time in your sweet spot can turn your sweet spot into a dead spot.
You can grow in your sweet spot, getting better and better at what you do best, which is great. But being in your sweet spot every day doesn’t always stretch you. In fact, it can start to feel comfortable…too comfortable. Take that to its logical conclusion and you might discover this: spending all your time... Continue Reading
When someone says, “No Lord!” they have to be insincere in one of those two words.
When some say “No Lord,” they are proclaiming insincere praise. With their mouths they are giving title and tribute to God, but there is a wide gulf between their words and their affections. They are insincere in calling Jesus, “Lord.” They are very sincere in saying, “No.” Have you ever said, “No Lord!” I must admit, I... Continue Reading
How My Books are Being Banned at the Society of Biblical Literature
SBL’s ire of book banning is directed to the simple belief that the Bible teaches marriage is between a man and a woman.
But, apparently book banning is back in vogue. Dr. John Kutsko, executive director of the Society of Biblical Literature, has just proposed that InterVarsity Press–one of the largest evangelical presses in the country– be suspended from having a book stall at the annual SBL meeting (starting in 2017). The reason for this ban is the... Continue Reading
50 Years Ago: The Split Between John Stott And Martyn Lloyd-Jones
An event 50 years ago between two respected church leaders that shook British evangelicalism—on the nature of the church and the basis of gospel unity and purity
Lloyd-Jones argued that evangelicals were guilty of “the sin of schism” for remaining visibly separated from each other, while being visibly united in their denominations to people who denied the gospel essentials …. Stott and his Anglican evangelical colleagues, like J. I. Packer, protested vigorously against heresy in the Church of England, especially against liberal... Continue Reading
How Vocation Transformed Society
A dramatic example of how a theological teaching had a revolutionary social impact is the Reformation doctrine of vocation.
Another name for the doctrine of vocation is the priesthood of all believers. God does call some Christians to be pastors, but He calls other Christians to exercise their royal priesthood by plowing fields, forging steel, and starting businesses. But all priests—including peasants and serving girls—need access to God’s Word. So during the Reformation, schools... Continue Reading
Worship At Home
Because our worship is about the glory of God rather than our emotional experiences, worship is central to all of life.
The reading of the Word at home and the preaching of the Word at church are not innovations given to us by man. They are instructions given by God to his people. To lead our families in worship, we must always be grounded not in our own profundity, but on the omniscient and good instructions... Continue Reading
Fake Christian Emotions And Real Christian Affections
Many Christians believe that what Scripture means by “pure” and by “lovely” is the pleasant, the naive, the Hallmark Channel, not the reality of a world in need of redemption.
Prosperity gospel preachers would tell us that the point of the Christian life is to escape pain, suffering, and grief. And we should not deny that God has plans to “wipe every tear” from the eyes of believers. But in this life, realistic grief and sorrow are as much a part of the godly affections... Continue Reading
Which Ministry: Backwoods Boondocks or Metro Urban Center?
God is still preparing and preparing his servants in his fields ripe for harvest.
John the Baptist could not have ministered successfully in the same arenas that Paul the Apostle did and the opposite is also true. Not only were their ministry gifts different, but their preparation and personalities were tailor made by our sovereign God for them to do exactly His will in the exact places where He... Continue Reading
Time to Grow Up
Parents and local church members, let us teach our children to follow our example and grow up.
Let’s enjoy the progress Christ is making within and seek to be a bit different than the average Joe in our culture. Let’s grow up! Let’s mature and leave behind our childish and foolish ways. Men, let’s take the lead and man up! Ladies, you mature as well and grow in excellence as you grow in years.... Continue Reading
5 Ways Persecution in Iran Has Backfired
Seeing Christians willing to suffer often draws unbelievers closer to Christ
“Scripture is clear that God often uses his people’s suffering to advance his kingdom. In his providence, the Islamic regime’s strategies to stamp out the Persian-speaking church in Iran have backfired—resulting in further church growth. Here are five examples.” The Bible is full of stories reminding us that, whatever the opposition, God is always victorious. It’s the story of Joseph... Continue Reading
Why Definite Atonement (Particular Redemption) Must Be True
The doctrine of definite atonement or particular redemption refers to the biblical truth that Jesus died on the cross only for His elect and actually procured their eternal salvation at Calvary
“What did Jesus actually accomplish at the cross? Did Jesus really save people or did Jesus make people savable by dying for them? What did the atonement achieve? The many words that comprise the theological range that describes what Jesus did on the cross all underscore that Jesus perfectly saved people by dying for them.”... Continue Reading
12 Theses on a Christian Understanding of Economics
The Christian worldview reminds us that we must live with the recognition that we will give an account to the Lord for our stewardship of our resources
“Some economic systems treat the idea of private property as a problem. But Scripture never considers private property as a problem to be solved (see, for instance, the Ten Commandments). Scripture’s view of private property implies it is the reward of someone’s labor and dominion.” Regrettably, many American Christians know little about economics. Furthermore,... Continue Reading
The State of Theology: Does Even the Smallest Sin Deserve Eternal Damnation?
Eight out of ten Americans have an incorrect view of sin
You can think of the views of sin and of Christ’s person and work as an inverse relationship. Thinking less of sin, not grasping its full weight, means we necessarily think less of Christ and less of His work on the cross. When we see the full depth and heinousness of our sin, we exalt... Continue Reading
Andy Stanley Says Christian Unity Is More Than ‘Hey, Can You Put Down Weapons For The Weekend?’
Stanley emphasized that "unity around who is Jesus is preeminent"
Stanley then paraphrased and explained what Christ meant by that prayer: “Father, I pray that they will all be in oneness just like We are in oneness. I pray that they will be in unity together, just like We are in unity together.” Speaking to thousands of Christian leaders gathered for Catalyst Atlanta Oct.... Continue Reading
Sexual Morality in a Christless World
Sexual morality is undergoing a revolution as traditional morality gives way to something different
“Into the fray steps Matthew Rueger with his book Sexual Morality in a Christless World. Though the last few years have brought us no shortage of books on how to live on this side of the sexual revolution, Rueger offers something unique in examining and explaining the historical and cultural backdrop to the New Testament’s... Continue Reading
Heaven is a Person
Heaven isn’t about the place, it’s about the Person
“God has given us some information about heaven, but consider how much more he has told us about himself! The Bible is stuffed with truths and stories about God’s character, his demands, and his grace. When we complain that we don’t know much about heaven, we’re missing the point. God has told us gobs about... Continue Reading
5 Reasons To Teach Your Kids About The Reformation
I want my children to know that without the gospel, they cannot make sense of life in a fallen world
“During October we take a couple of nights each week in family worship to study the major figures and core issues of the Reformation. We’ve looked at the lives of John Calvin and John Knox, the burr in Martin Luther’s saddle that drove him to nail his 95 theses, the five solas of the Reformation, even why I... Continue Reading
An Illustration of Repentance
Do we have a sense of what repentance looks like when God is working repentance in us?
In God’s work in the believer, He takes a little time to bring the believer to an awareness that his course is actually a sinful one. Then there is the process of coming to a stop, the process of the turn itself, and the process of getting up to speed in faithfulness. But some sins... Continue Reading
3 Awful Features of Roman Sexual Morality
Whatever else you know about the Bible, it says this: It lays out a sexual ethic that displays God’s intent in creating sexuality.
Our society is throwing off the last vestiges of the Christian sexual ethic and as it does so, we are once again outsiders and traitors who threaten to destabilize the whole system. As we insist that sex is to be limited to the marriage of one man to one woman we threaten the stability of... Continue Reading
Why Millennials Won’t Build the Kinds of Churches their Parents Built
We can't treat Millennials as a homogeneous group. We have to minister to them as individuals, instead.
Millennials won’t build the kinds of churches their parents and grandparents built. I don’t know what kinds of churches they will build, but they’ll be very different than what we’ve been used to in the last two generations. Here’s why. Builders and Boomers took relationships for granted and needed to build structures. Millennials take the structures for... Continue Reading
A Curious Student Dug Through A Box In The Archives — And Unearthed A Centuries-Old Geneva Bible
A college student found a Geneva Bible in an old box in the college’s archives; it may be more than 400 years old.
Crummé has traced the Bible’s ownership back to Francis Fry, a 19th-century Bible collector in England. From Fry, the Bible apparently went to a London bookseller, who sold it to the Rev. Clarence Baerveldt, a pastor in Waldport and Yachats, who gave it to Lewis & Clark. Along the way, it’s possible the Bible made... Continue Reading
The Death of the Apostles’ Creed in Corporate Worship
Has using the Apostles’ Creed or other creeds in corporate worship died a death by mere silence?
The creeds are a teaching instrument. Some churches are exposed to very little doctrine. These short creeds summarize concisely the fundamental doctrines of the faith. Once we repeat them over and over, week by week, they become part of our being. They are brief and succinct. They contain orthodox statements that we never forget. ... Continue Reading
What “Every Thought Captive” Means In Its Original Context
Did Paul have in mind, as he wrote 2 Corinthians 10:5, the transformation of Greco-Roman culture? If so it is not obvious.
The arguments to be destroyed are those of the Judaizers (as in ch. 3) and especially those of the self-exalting, self-described “Super Apostles,” who were teaching a theology of glory (we may be sure that everything they did was said be “huge!” and “magnificent!” and “fantastic!”) whereas Paul was a theologian of the cross. He... Continue Reading