Sunday Schooling Our Kids Out of Church

We've essentially “Sunday-Schooled” our children out of church—because we never assimilated them into church. We never “church-broke” them.

…we shifted kids out of the main worship experience, en-culturated them in their own program, and robbed them of any touch points with the rest of the body of Christ.  Another way of saying it: by segregating our kids out of worship, we never assimilated them into the life of the congregation.  They had no... Continue Reading

Prominent Protestant Pastors Vow To No Longer Perform Government Marriages

Two Protestant pastors, concerned about rapidly-changing government definitions of marriage, have started a movement encouraging priests and ministers to refuse to perform civil marriages

“….My main reason for saying this is simple: Marriage — the lifelong union between a man and woman for the sake of mutual support and, God permitting, the bearing and raising of children — is a universal human estate, bound to God’s creative and redemptive will. Regardless of the civil state’s views on the matter,... Continue Reading

Gay-Rights Campaign Invokes Religion in the South

The nation’s largest gay advocacy group launched a faith-based campaign in Mississippi in mid-November

The campaign is part of HRC’s Project One America, an initiative announced this spring to win support for the LGBT agenda in Alabama, Arkansas, and Mississippi. HRC is spending $8.5 million on the project and says All God’s Children will cost an initial $310,000. A study commissioned by HRC and cited in their campaign fact... Continue Reading

When Christian News Reporting is All Three

World has not been irresponsible; it merely reports how other public figures within evangelicalism have been irresponsible

A typical knee-jerk reaction to bad news is to blame the messenger.  And if World had been malicious in its intent, biased in its reporting, and taunting in its editorializing, then we’d all have had cause for complaint.  However, reporting bad news is not, in and of itself, bad or wrong.   Across most of the journalistic... Continue Reading

10 Traits of Healthy, Tenured Pastors

Traits of healthy, tenured pastors and leaders

Long-tenured pastors don’t necessarily mean a church will be healthy. But several short-term ones almost guarantee it’s not. Praying daily for your congregation will not only give you a heart for your people but a spiritual and relational connection you would otherwise miss.   Long-tenured pastors don’t necessarily mean a church will be healthy. But... Continue Reading

About Being Unfriendly

Unfriendliness is related to being selfish

Friendliness in itself is not holiness; it is sometimes a mask for hidden agendas and a palliative for a conscience that hides other iniquities.  “I may be a monster, but at least I am nice to strangers and puppies,” the hedonist and serial killer might say.  However, in the kingdom of Christ selfishness is not... Continue Reading

Christian Publisher Splits Conservative, Progressive Imprints

The Crown Publishing Group announced changes to its organizational structure designed to satisfy criticisms it had not remained true to biblical teaching

With Cobb retiring as president in March, Crown announced the appointments of new, separate vice presidents for WaterBrook Multnomah and Convergent. The new vice president of WaterBrook Multnomah, Alexander Field, comes from David C Cook, another Christian publishing company in Colorado Springs, Colo. Convergent will relocate to New York City under the leadership of David... Continue Reading

Adopting or Rejecting the World’s Way?

When God’s people adopt culturally acceptable practices they can have disastrous results

What the church of the Lord Jesus has and needs is the worship of the Triune God through the preached word and the administration of the sacraments around which she praises and prays. When churches start to think that they must look like a smaller version of the civil government in all its programs or any business... Continue Reading

Is Houston Still Targeting Pastors’ Sermons?

Houston Mayor Annise Parker’s legal team may request more sermons and private correspondence from two African-American pastors named as plaintiffs in the suit against the city

“The city will move to compel documents from the plaintiffs who filed this lawsuit and who have refused to produce any documents in response to the city’s requests,” lawyers claimed in a court document filed Friday. The city’s lawyers pledge to refocus all of their pressure on the plaintiffs, rather than other petition organizers, according... Continue Reading

Always Abusing Semper Reformanda

There is much truth in the slogan the church reformed, always reforming, but it was never intended to become a license for corrupting the Reformed faith.

The Reformation churches have some wonderful slogans that are chock full of important truths. Sometimes, however, these slogans can be misconstrued, misreported, and misunderstood. With the possible exception of sola Scriptura (by Scripture alone), none of these slogans has been mangled more often toward greater mischief than ecclesia reformata, semper reformanda (the church reformed, always... Continue Reading

12 Struggles Singles Face

Twelve struggles that must be faced at different stages and to different degrees

Remember Jesus was able to live 33 single years, tempted in all points like as you are, and yet without sin. He is therefore able to sympathize, support, and strengthen you when are tempted. He is THE SINGLE. He lived a life of perfect singleness and died a death of perfect singleness – experiencing the... Continue Reading

World Magazine Examines BioLogos Efforts to Win Christians Over to a Darwinist Account of Human Origins

BioLogos offers grants to church, parachurch, and academic leaders and organizations that promote 'evolutionary creation.

As for the religious implications, Meyer told World that BioLogos offers “an unsubstantiated and controversial claim to urge pastors and theologians to jettison a straightforward reading of Genesis about the human race arising from one man and one woman. They think ‘the science’ requires such a reinterpretation, but apart from speculative models that make numerous... Continue Reading

Seven Ways to Deal with CAVE Dwellers in Your Church

They are in every church. They are critics. They are naysayers.

Critics and naysayers are in every church. They are CAVE (Consistently Against Virtually Everything) Dwellers (This phrase originated with Curt Coffman in his work on disengaged employees.). They can make your life miserable . . . unless you learn to deal with them.   They are in every church. They are critics. They are naysayers.... Continue Reading

Ministry to Those Suffering Domestic Abuse

Some hurdles victims face on the path to healing, faulty and harmful approaches to "helping" those who suffer abuse

Tragically, the church can also be a place where abuse is enabled by well-meaning but woefully misinformed clergy. Lindsey and I have known of clergy who have said to victims of abuse, “Jesus’ wounds were redemptive – they saved the world. Your wounds can be redemptive and save your relationship.” Similarly, we know of pastors... Continue Reading

Flaws and Friendship Were Not the Problem

Piper recently addressed the question, “Do you regret partnering with Mark Driscoll?”

Dr. Piper mentions Driscoll’s “flaws.” Again, this is not the issue. I don’t know of anyone who criticizes Driscoll for having flaws. All of us, without exception, have flaws. The problem is that the word flaw trivializes what was happening at Mars Hill. Plagiarizing, bullying, foul language, global missions funds being used for local projects,... Continue Reading

Christ our God

Christians have always confessed that Christ is divine – not a being less than or subordinate to God, but God himself.

Christians have always confessed that Christ is divine – not a being less than or subordinate to God, but God himself.  Heretics in the early church fought against this doctrine; modern-day cults like Jehovah’s Witnesses still rail against it.  But the deity of Christ is one of the fundamental truths of biblical religion.  Jaroslav Pelikan... Continue Reading

7 Ways Christian Academics Can Be Truly Christian

I want Christian academics to flourish. I also want these Christian scholars to be thoroughly Christian.

Honor others above yourself. Don’t look down on others who are less intelligent, even if it’s the pastor or the worship leader. Understand that everyone has different gifts. There are people who won’t read three books this year, but they are pure gold around the hospital bed, in the youth room, under the hood of... Continue Reading

Boerne Christian Assembly Excommunicates Doug Phillips: A Response

This story has now come full circle.

After nine years, Doug Phillips was forced to (voluntarily) resign from his position as President of Vision Forum Ministries and he subsequently lost his business when the homeschool world was rocked with the revelation that Doug Phillips, the man who held himself out as the one to emulate in having the “perfect” godly family, was... Continue Reading

Update Regarding Doug Phillips

The Elders of Boerne Christian Assembly have excommunicated Doug Phillips

The Elders of Boerne Christian Assembly have moved to excommunicate Doug Phillips from the Body of Christ. In doing so, we have sought in good faith to follow diligently the process set forth by our Lord Jesus Christ in Matthew 18:15-17. This has been a process in which BCA has demonstrated great longsuffering and patience,... Continue Reading

What I Wish I Could Tell My Younger Self About Pastoring

Over the decades, I’ve learned some things I wish I would have known as a freshman pastor

“I was an impatient, driven, type-A kind of person, who didn’t necessarily have time for people and their problems. It was easy to think of pastoring as more about leadership, programs, and preaching, rather than being involved with people. But the reality is, pastoring is about being intimately involved in the lives of people –... Continue Reading

The Church’s One Foundation

When we reject the teaching of the Apostles— the Apostolic tradition of the New Testament —we’re rejecting the authority of God

“I’ve often pointed out that while the author of the line, “The church’s one foundation is Jesus Christ our Lord,” had his heart in the right place when he was writing his hymn, the line itself is a conduit of misinformation. With respect to the foundation of the church, Scripture does speak of Jesus as... Continue Reading

15 Right Responses To Our Christian Celebrities

Ever since Whitefield, the church has wrestled with what to do with her own celebrities

“It doesn’t always work perfectly, but there’s no reason why a Christian celebrity should exist without accountability to a plurality of elders and congregation in a local church. The New Testament pattern for the local church is sufficiently capable of caring for celebrity Christians. The key is commitment and intentionality. “Celebrity preachers and artists would... Continue Reading

Mindscape: What To Think About Instead Of Worrying

Mindscape is an easily readable, practical theology on how the reality of who Christ is and what He has done transforms our thoughts and actions

“Godly thinking leads to action, and Witmer outlines practical ways this happens. One is simply that we should express our admiration to others. But there is also a dark side to admiration that he addresses here as well. Witmer warns of the weed of covetousness, and points to the seed of contentment to replace it.... Continue Reading

9 Things You Should Know About Military Chaplains

As military members, chaplains are uniquely positioned to assist soldiers and their families

“Chaplains have the rank of a military commissioned officer and serve the dual roles of religious leader and staff officer, but do not possess the duties or responsibilities of command. Article 24 of the Geneva Convention identifies chaplains as protected personnel in their function and capacity as ministers of religion.”   Today is Veterans Day,... Continue Reading

Sexual Orientation And The Gospel of Jesus Christ

In some sense, each of us finds within ourselves a pattern of desires — sexual and otherwise — we did not ask for, but for which we are fully responsible

“First, we face the fact that the Bible clearly, repeatedly, consistently, and comprehensively reveals the sinfulness of all homosexual behaviors. This truth is set within the larger context of the Bible’s revelation concerning the Creator’s plan and purpose for human sexuality — a context that is centered in the marital union of a man and... Continue Reading

The Tenth Commandment and Crabs in a Barrel

This often-overlooked, last of the Ten Commandments impacts not only consumer behavior, it is reshaping federal policy and poisoning American culture along with its economic future

“Fundamental to the Judeo-Christian principles that founded this nation was an understanding that people were uniquely created for a purpose and commanded to make something of themselves and the world they were given. All were encouraged to be fruitful and multiply, subduing the uncivilized earth, leaving it better and more developed than they found it.... Continue Reading

A Penetrating Analogy

People who deny that they have a systematic theology actually very much have a systematic theology

“Systematic theology is a fence that guards our exegesis from error. If our systematic theology actually comes from the organic unfolding progressive nature of Scripture, then it will not be a straight-jacket, but rather the fence that keeps the children from going out into the dangerous road. Operating without a systematic theology is actually impossible,... Continue Reading

The Seven Deadly Sins in a Digital Age: An Introduction

No one can deny that the pace of technology has increased exponentially in recent decades, inflicting growing pains on Christians seeking to live faithfully in a rapidly-changing world

“Most of those in my generation find ourselves afloat on a turbulent sea of new technology not only with little sense of how to operate the sails and rudder, but with a reflexive suspicion of anything like an instruction manual. Those who dare to decry the evils of smartphones or Facebook are quickly branded as... Continue Reading

Over-Pastoring and Under-Pastoring

There are two common dangers in pastoral ministry and Paul is alert to both of them.

Leaders need to disciple themselves with the gospel before they can disciple others. That does not mean they need to be perfect—progress rather than perfection is what is required (1 Timothy 4:15). But leaders do need to apply the gospel to their own hearts—otherwise they will be like the hypocrites of whom Jesus warns, who... Continue Reading

National Cathedral Hosts Muslim Friday Prayers

Representatives from five Muslim groups addressed the gathering both preceeding and following the prayers

No statement was offered noting the use of the Cathedral sanctuary for non-Christian worship, despite the space being consecrated to the worship of Christ. The sanctuary of the National Cathedral has also been used for Tibetan sand painting by monks and for a Native American smudging ceremony, in which a gift of smoking tobacco leaves... Continue Reading