What Difference Does an Inerrant Bible Make?
Does it matter whether the Bible is errant or inerrant, fallible or infallible, inspired or uninspired?
At the end of the day, inerrancy is inseparable from Christology. If Jesus didn’t teach this view of Scripture, the argument would be over. The issue is not the sacrosanctity of a book, a “paper pope,” or bibliolatry. The issue at stake is the integrity of the person and work of Jesus. He can save... Continue Reading
Biblical Womanhood is Often NOT Biblical
Does God really want me to be a doormat to be feminine?
Most materials and sermons I got from Christians in my girlhood emphasized that the only way a girl or woman could be pleasing to God was to be a doormat to other people. Meaning, many hallmarks of codependency are present in this teaching, such as: It is biblical or good for a girl or woman... Continue Reading
“You Are Quite Wrong”
Contrary to the insistence of many, you can set forth a series of mere questions and stories and still be "quite wrong"
I used to celebrate that the emergent church has gone the way of the buffalo. With Rob Bell jumping the shark and Brian McLaren’s “marriage” of his son to another man it had outed itself as at best a reincarnation of old-school 20th century liberalism and at worst another vehicle for moving large numbers of... Continue Reading
Shades of Grey: 3 Ways to Deal with Ethical Dilemmas
There are three main ethical systems by which people try to answer the Nazi knock knock scenario
Many a debate about ethical systems gets illustrated by the Corrie Ten Boom conundrum posed as Nazis knocking on your door to inquire whether you are hiding innocent Jews in your home. You can either tell the truth and sacrifice the lives of your refugees, or you can lie and, assuming you have the world’s most gullible Nazi... Continue Reading
Worship is More Important Than Your Small Group
The contention that corporate worship is not as stirring as small groups usually revolves around four complaints: it is too “pastorcentric,” passive, boring, and impersonal.
I love small groups. Don’t misunderstand me. They serve a real purpose in most churches, but their importance cannot and does not supersede our gathering together in corporate worship. We are the church. Worship is what we do. We gather together to meet with God, to hear His Word, to partake of His sacraments, to... Continue Reading
The Church and the Individual Christian
One particular idea that is often missed when Christians discuss the relationship between Christianity and Culture: the distinction between the Church and the individual Christian.
Second, this distinction between the purpose and responsibilities of the Church and the various callings and responsibilities ofindividual Christians frees the individual Christian from the burden (often placed upon them by others) to ‘transform’ their workplace, culture, or government – or to find uniquely ‘Christian’ ways of doing ordinary tasks. Christians are called to obey... Continue Reading
I’m Shocked That You’re Shocked
Erskine College is in the news for articulating the biblical and historic Christian position on human sexuality
The surrounding culture has shifted, the remaining effects of Christianity on the culture are ebbing and most people don’t want to be at odds with the people in the office, their family, or the social circle. This is why the mainline churches such as the Presbyterian Church USA have abandoned much of historic Christian teaching.... Continue Reading
10 Things You Shouldn’t Say to a Pastor Right After the Sermon
These are ten responses where pastors have had the most visceral reactions.
Pastors often take 10 to 20 hours to prepare a sermon. They pray for God to speak through them. They preach with conviction and fervency. And then they hear one of these sentences. These ten responses are close approximations of what pastors have actually told me. I am sure there are many more. I’ve... Continue Reading
Reflections on Genesis 3:15
A promise of defeat for Satan, a word of assurance to the angels, and a message of hope for fallen humanity. It is all contained here in kernel form.
The significance of this passage can scarcely be overstated. In one short statement the underlying theme and meaning of history is laid bare. Whatever one says about the history of mankind, therefore, whether they’re looking at the specks of some seemingly insignificant incident, or the grand movements of a mighty nation, if this overarching perspective... Continue Reading
Why Our Children Don’t Think There Are Moral Facts
If there are no truths about what is good or valuable or right, how can we prosecute people for crimes against humanity?
Our children deserve a consistent intellectual foundation. Facts are things that are true. Opinions are things we believe. Some of our beliefs are true. Others are not. Some of our beliefs are backed by evidence. Others are not. Value claims are like any other claims: either true or false, evidenced or not. The hard work... Continue Reading
A Perfect Storm Is Heading Toward Higher Education
With too-high tuition and unhappy parents, college administrators better get ready for some changes.
So what should colleges do? First, they need to recognize the inevitability of change. Change is coming, and those schools that embrace it are far more likely to survive. Second, they should start listening to the constituency that is paying the bills. Providing real job skills and job placement assistance—along with a solid education—should take... Continue Reading
Is Spiritual Formation Shooting At The Right Target?
The theology of Spiritual Formation sounds great on paper, but it is focused on the wrong target.
Left to ourselves, we would be trapped in our sin. But there is a way to overcome sin (“to overcome the world”). The path to change is not through spiritual disciplines; it is through faith in Jesus Christ. You overcome sin by persevering in the faith and believing in the salvation offered by Jesus Christ.... Continue Reading
Progressivism’s Effects on Marriage and Family
American Protestants have a legacy of preaching whatever cultural norm they decide to embrace during any given era.
In the West, Christianity is recast to conform to Western, market-driven, materialist; consumeristic, social norms and evangelicals are no different. The gospel in U.S. Protestantism has not proven yet to be more powerful than the American Dream. One could easily argue that Protestants gave marriage over to the American Dream 120 years ago or so... Continue Reading
I Support Net Neutrality, But That Is Not What The FCC Just Did
The new regulatory action by the FCC has sweeping implications for the Internet, and the price we will pay over time for this radical shift will be severe.
The FCC’s action begins a new chapter of competing visions for the Internet — one where government regulators play a central role in directing how the Internet evolves, versus one in which entrepreneurs, private enterprise and consumers expressing their preferences set the terms for the future. The latter has a superior record in delivering value... Continue Reading
‘Macho Christianity’ Isn’t the Problem, Gimmick Christianity Is
Just be a man. You don’t have to advertise your incredible masculine mojo on a billboard.
At the same time, however, exaggerated masculinity is not the solution to excessive femininity. In fact, when a pastor plays up his manliness, my first question is: What have you done to show that you’re a real man? And wearing lumberjack clothes while watching MMA fighting isn’t an answer. Over at The New Republic, Elizabeth Bruenig has... Continue Reading
Calling in the Big Guns to Fire at the San Francisco Archdiocese
The first casualty of this PR war is the truth; Singer says that his mission is to “push the facts as our clients see them.”
As expected, the first casualty of this war is the truth. Singer has said that himself, suggesting that his mission is to “push the facts as our clients see them.” Noting that Singer “has a complex relationship with the truth,” reporter Joe Eskenazi wrote in the Weekly that “the truth, after all, isn’t exactly Singer’s... Continue Reading
New Hotline Launches To Help People Leave Religion Behind
A new crisis hotline for those struggling between faith and atheism has been launched
“When people are reconsidering the role religion plays in their lives, they risk losing their families, their spouses, their jobs,” said Sarah Morehead, executive director of Recovering From Religion. “These people are isolated, excluded, shunned. It rocks these people to the bottom of their hearts. It is heartbreaking.” (RNS) A new crisis hotline for... Continue Reading
Believing and Heeding
Pharaoh was a believer; he had faith, but not the sort of faith that saves.
As one analyzes Pharoah from the testimony of Scripture, Egypt’s king proves to be a religious individual with some grasp of right doctrine and some degree of internal faith. Pharaoh is a believer, but so what? He is like the demons who come face to face with Jesus in the Gospels. They believe Jesus to be the Son... Continue Reading
“Righteous” Reputations of Churches that Don’t Care
Why do so many churches fail to do the right thing when they learn that one of their own has been accused of sexual abuse?
What is the right thing to do when a church learns that one of its own has been accused of victimizing a child? First and foremost, it must immediately turn its focus and care away from institutional reputation and towards the victimized and the vulnerable. Though there are multitudes of ways this can be... Continue Reading
Why You Should Never Be “Done” With Church
You need to be in a church. And some local church needs you.
These are just a few reasons God’s word says we should be part of a local church. You may need to leave the particular church you are in now. But Jesus wants you to be in some church somewhere. A church with pastors, preaching, instruction, shepherding. It won’t be perfect. It will probably be messy,... Continue Reading
What Good Is Faith?
We are justified and saved. Full stop.
Please notice which verb the catechism used in Q.59. “Believe.” Please notice which verbs are absent: doing, obeying, growing, cooperating, keeping. These are the verbs of the moralists. That some of them are now conceding justification sola gratia, sola fidebut falling back to “salvation” as the place to man the barricades in defense of works... Continue Reading
Why is Denying Justification Such a Serious Error?
The doctrine of justification by faith alone on the ground of Christ’s imputed righteousness remains under direct attack in various quarters.
In spite of all the passages cited above, some believe that justification by faith alone is a secondary or tertiary doctrine. They say, “We may be justified by faith alone, but we’re not justified by believing justification by faith alone.” Using that rationale, they go on to say a person may be saved without believing this... Continue Reading
The Dangers of Pet Sins
There is no such things as domesticated sin. All sin, even our “pet sins” are dangerous.
We all desire to be wise, but the keeping of pet sins is dangerous and foolish. Sin is an untamable beast and must not be underestimated. We are not strong enough to keep it as a pet or kill it in our own strength. But Jesus has overcome them all and has given us the... Continue Reading
Should I Attend the Wedding of a Gay Friend or Family Member?
Attendance at a wedding is not like attending a concert, where attendance suggests nothing about your own views on the proceedings.
Can we invite our gay neighbors to dinner? Can we welcome them as guests in our home? Can we work alongside them as colleagues at our places of business? Can we offer real friendship and love? Yes, yes, yes, and yes. But we may not attend their wedding. We should vigorously pursue other ways to... Continue Reading
No Creeds! (Except What Celebrity Preacher Says)
Many of the major weak spots in the American church today were already prevalent in the 19th century
In other words, the [celebrity] leaders of this “populist hermeneutic” told common Americans to read the Bible as if they were the first ones reading it and forget about the creeds and Christian scholars before them. On the other hand, the leaders were ultimately dominating the movement and many of the people were following them. ... Continue Reading
Can I Call It “My” Church?
I still think there are three good reasons to keep calling the local body my church
This week, I had two different conversations which thoughtfully challenged the use of my in front of church. Our language expresses our theology, and this tiny pronoun is worth some reflection. When I meet people at the next conference or denominational meeting who ask me “How’s your church?” what can I say? Can I—should I—call... Continue Reading
Do Calvinists Put God in a Box? Of Course We Do, But So Do You!
The reality is that whenever we think about God at all, we put Him in a box.
We may not like what Scripture says about God or us for that matter. But we must trust in the God who reveals Himself through Scripture and reject our own inclinations. To trust our feelings, desires and wants when it is contrary to Scripture is utter foolishness. By that I mean there is no greater... Continue Reading
Out Of The Darkness, Out Of The Grey, And Into The Light
What is the church to do as her members struggle with sexual temptation and sin?
“The citizens of Sodom and Gomorrah were incredibly carnal, and the family of Abraham was not much better. Lot was abused by his daughters. Tamar was wronged by her father-in-law. Later, Reuben, the eldest son of Jacob, was cursed for his sexual fornication. While Joseph ran from temptation, Samson ran towards it.” What is... Continue Reading
A Biblical Theology Of The Trees Of The Garden
Like baptism and the Lord’s Supper, the two trees were sacramental
“The tree of Life was also sacramental–symbolizing something of the eternal life that man could have entered into if he had obeyed with regard to the testing of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Adam, the son of God (Luke 3:38), forfeited our right to the Tree of Life by taking the fruit... Continue Reading
The Necessity of Expository Preaching
Expository preaching is a necessary corollary of the doctrine of the God-breathed nature of Scripture
“The idea is not so much that God breathed into the Scriptures, but that the Scriptures are the product of His breathing out. Independent of what we may feel about the Bible as we read it, Scripture maintains a “breath of God” quality. Thus, the preacher is to make God’s Word known and make it... Continue Reading