The Aquila Report Introducing New App — Begins Year End Challenge Campaign

Reformed Churchmen Publications, publisher of The Aquila Report, encourages readers to join it in reaching the goal of matching a challenge grant it has received.

A foundation has generously given The Aquila Report a grant of $7,000. We want to use this grant to challenge our readers to match  this gift with your gifts. As in past years, the foundation gave us permission to use this gift as a way to encourage our readers to support The Aquila Report. In 2015, our readers donated $4,540... Continue Reading

The Story Of Redemption

A digest of some spiritually stimulating redemptive-historical meditations from Scripture.

The Tabernacle was the mobile dwelling place of God–a tent covered in skin. When Jesus came, the Apostle John tells us that “He tabernacled among us.” Jesus is the enfleshed, mobile dwelling place of God. In Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.   Nothing serves to strengthen our faith so much as... Continue Reading

A Plea To Pastors: Don’t Cancel Church On Christmas

I hope it’s not too late to make you reconsider your decision to cancel church on Christmas.

I’m enough of a Puritan to think that December 25 is Sunday before it’s Christmas. It’s the Lord’s Day. It’s a resurrection morning. It’s the day on which Christians have gathered for 2,000 years to sing the Bible, preach the Bible, pray the Bible, and see the Bible in the sacraments. It’s the day of the... Continue Reading

If We Aren’t Being Attacked For Our Faith As Christians, We’re Doing Something Wrong

Our culture has attempted to divide Christianity into two groups: bad Christians and tolerable, if not good, Christians.

It’s not just about gay marriage or abortion or any other specific issue. They hate Christianity because it is Christianity. They hate it simply for being true, just as Christ was crucified simply for being God. Those who hate truth and hate God will lash out at the closest things to Him.   A lot of... Continue Reading

Religions Dead and Living

Can we see in “Church Going,” a provocative poem, a model for Europe’s future religious evolution?

What exactly is the remaining pull of a place that is notionally holy? And if, as seems obvious, religion is in such sharp decline, what will be the ultimate fate of such places when they fall into disuse and ruin? Might they be objects of superstitious terror, unlucky places? Or will they be special and... Continue Reading

GPS—3 Ways to Love Your Pastor Well

A navigation system for loving and serving your pastor well—a GPS system: Give, Pray, Serve.

You pastor prays for you. Why do you think that is? It’s not simply because he’s paid to. He prays for you because he loves you and wants you to grow in grace. So one of the most simple ways to love him well is to keep him and his family in your prayers. Send... Continue Reading

A Father’s Fight For Joy

Am I a glad father?

But even as I reflect on the weight of this responsibility and admit my shortcomings in living up to it, I am not without hope. I look to God, who loves us as children because of His character, not our merit. Turning from my selfish ways, I pursue His glory and, in that pursuit, find... Continue Reading

Limited Atonement: I am Not Praying for the World

An encouraging and comforting thought: Jesus prayed, died, rose from the dead, and continues to intercede for you.

When Jesus went to the cross he went to hang in the place of and instead of elect sinners. He did not die for the human race-in-general. He had definite men and women, and boys and girls he was substituting himself for. When Jesus went to the cross he died for those he had been praying for in his “High Priestly” prayer (John... Continue Reading

Are You Too Old For The Mission Field?

Older Christians are answering the call to fulltime missions and mission agencies and churches are responding with open arms.

Many Christians are realizing in their older years, not that they wasted their youth, but that God was preparing them for their later years. “The Lord didn’t design us to coast out on flowery beds of ease, but to make some sort of difference,” said Nelson Malwitz, founder of Finishers Project, “There is a full... Continue Reading

Statement: Former Church Says Tullian Tchividjian Should Not Be in Ministry

The Session of Willow Creek Church (PCA) in Willow Springs, Fla., issued a statement that Tullian Tchividjian should not return to ministry.

We would also like to state in the clearest possible terms that we do not believe that Mr. Tchividjian should be in any form of public or vocational ministry. Rather, inasmuch as he is truly repentant and in accordance with his membership vows, we would urge him to immediately return to his church of membership,... Continue Reading

The Common Sin of Middle Age Believers

I wonder if complacency is not our most common sin?

“We have met many challenges that youth presented. We have taken risks and secured through work many goods. The Lord has blessed our efforts for his kingdom, and we begin to rest on our laurels. We slowly begin slipping into a spiritual forgetfulness.”   Each stage of adult life presents its own unique challenges. Young... Continue Reading

10 Things You Should Know About Physician-Assisted Suicide

Physician-assisted suicide does not guarantee a painless, dignified death

“In the majority of cases, after the lethal medication is ingested, patients who have opted for assisted suicide fall asleep and die comfortably within several hours. However, sometimes the medication causes vomiting, other distress, and/or does not lead to death for a number of hours or days.”   1. The option of physician-assisted suicide is... Continue Reading

Why Doesn’t Our Faith Move Mountains?

Are we failing to see great things from God because of our lack of faith?

“We’re prone to think if we just had more faith, then God could do amazing things through us. But Jesus tells us something quite astonishing. The issue isn’t whether we are full of faith but whether we have any faith.”   Peter tells us Paul wrote some things that are hard to understand (2 Pet. 3:16).... Continue Reading

Be Careful Of Missionary Patriotism

Waving USA flags in some countries is not the best way to win friends and influence people

“It seems that the next four years will be difficult ones for the USA, no matter which candidate won the election. One of the first adjustments missionaries make is to learn that political preferences and national pride should never be equated with Christianity.”   The first thing that happens after we have realised our election... Continue Reading

Martin Luther’s 7 Characteristics of the Church

Luther derived these seven points from the first table of the Ten Commandments

“These are the true seven principal parts of the great holy possession whereby the Holy Spirit effects in us a daily sanctification and vivification in Christ, according to the first table of Moses. By this we obey it, albeit never as perfectly as Christ.”   The Word “First, the holy Christian people are recognized by their... Continue Reading

The Reformation Was Not A “Modern” Event

Reformation studies are nearly always categorized as “early modern”

“The Reformation was much more a medieval than a modern phenomenon. None of the Reformation churches accepted or confessed any of basic tenets of modernity. Whatever differences there were among the modernists, they were all united by locating authority within the self.”   It is widely held and assumed that the Reformation was a modern... Continue Reading

Miscarriage Changed Me

3 years have passed since those foggy days of grief, but the memories of the heartache are still vivid

“I am grateful that God has heard these honest cries, and that he is patient and compassionate with my hurting heart. Though painful, I praise him for the lessons he teaches in the valley and that he walks alongside the aching heart long after the meals and sympathy cards stop.”   My palms were beginning... Continue Reading

The Hillbilly Gospel

Moralistic therapeutic deism is the faith of many Americans…especially amongst the hillbilly population.

The only answer to the hillbilly brokenness is the gospel. And it’s a gospel which isn’t afraid to get its hands dirty but also a gospel which is deeply theological. Cultural Christianity isn’t the answer because it’s part of the problem. A resurgence of Mayberry might address some of the brokenness but it will just... Continue Reading

Enough is Enough

Jesus said what he said about divorce to protect women, not to imprison them.

Our loyalty to marriage is good and noble and true. But when loyalty to a relational structure allows evil to continue it is a false loyalty, even an evil loyalty. Christian leaders and friends, we have to see that some evil men are using their wives’ Christian guilt and our teaching about the sanctity of... Continue Reading

The Travails of Lieutenant Marty

The U.S. Military, transgenderism, and the logic of psychological man

But transgenderism is not about who uses which loo. That question is the trivial point of a very long and sharp spear, useful for belittling the concerns of those who believe that there is a profound connection between biology and gender. Transgenderism is set to change everything—our understanding of sex, of identity, of relationships, of... Continue Reading

Where Should Our Women be Discipled?

Women Need to Have the Same Theological Standards as Men.

Pastors and elders want thinking women in the church, right? And yet popular beliefs that came out of the nineteenth century’s cult of domesticity still seem to linger in the evangelical culture today. Back then, people taught that women’s brains were inferior to men’s intellectually and that women needed to reserve their energy and blood... Continue Reading

John Owen on Mortification of Sin

Those who do not put sin to death do themselves and others great harm.

In 1656 Puritan Pastor John Owen felt concerned that professing Christians were too “at peace in the world” (vii). He also believed that much of the teaching against sin in his day produced “superstition, self-righteousness and anxiety of conscience” in the hearers (viii). So, Owen wrote a little book called The Mortification (or “Putting to... Continue Reading

Circumcision Was Always About The Necessity Of Regeneration

Circumcision was always a sign of what the Spirit does within his elect.

The circumcision of the heart promised in Deuteronomy 30:6 signals to us that circumcision was never really about the cutting away of the foreskin. It was always, even under the types and shadows, about our need for new life, or, figuratively a new heart. The new heart, the circumcised heart, is something that only Yahweh... Continue Reading

Are Chip and Joanna Gaines “Cultural Heretics”?

Chip and Joanna Gaines attend a historically Christian congregation on the matter of sexual ethics.

Supporters of same-sex marriage once leaned on libertarian terminology to make their case. “Just live and let live,” we were told. Nowadays, despite surveys showing that only half of Americans support same-sex marriage, the traditional view, accepted by nearly all societies across the world for thousands of years, is treated as if it is a... Continue Reading

Was Jesus Married to Mary Magdalene? Revisiting a Stubborn Conspiracy Theory

There are half-truths, arguments from silence, and appeals to conspiracy theories. In the end, it simply doesn’t hold up.

In sum, this Huffington post article is an unfortunate exercise in “whack a mole.”  It is the same old conspiracy theory of prior generations, fed to a new audience that perhaps wouldn’t know any better. And that is the sad part of this whole story.  The average person reading this article will probably accept it... Continue Reading

A Minister’s Regrets

My regrets are more substantial than the dynamics of the movement of people into and out of a congregation.

I am sorry that I did not rest in a routine of personal devotions early on. Settled into a place at a time and seeking the face of God sounds natural, like morning ablutions, but it is a living holy world you are entering and so there is bound to be dark spiritual resistance. It is... Continue Reading

Repenting … And I Love It!

Regular confession and repentance reminds us of our continued need of a Savior and his enduring love for us.

Regular repentance results in increased holiness and prayer. As we talk with our Savior about our sin, the Spirit causes us to loath that which he loathes. As we pray, we find ourselves having transformed desires. As we repent, we find we want to understand his Law better and worship him more. Increased are our desires... Continue Reading

That Dragon, Cancer

"That Dragon, Cancer" is as difficult yet as straightforward a game as you will ever play.

That Dragon, Cancer is as difficult yet as straightforward a game as you will ever play. The purpose is not to gain points or earn badges or compete with friends, but to grapple with hard matters, to consider life and death, to consider mortality and eternity.   Oh my. I had no idea. I had heard... Continue Reading

America’s Declining Faith In Pastors And Churches

Whatever their personal beliefs, Americans’ faith in their pastors and churches has been in significant decline for decades.

Religious authority is increasingly grounded in individual preferences, not religious leaders or institutions. That’s the new normal for American religion. When it comes to determining whether we’re “good Christians,” we rank following individual conscience higher than following the actual teachings of our churches, says Duke proessor Mark Chaves.  And just one in ten agrees the local... Continue Reading

Top 7 Nations With Worst Record of Christian Persecution: Report

A new report reveals believers are facing a rising level of intolerance and severe oppression, particularly under seven nations of concern.

The seven nations where persecution was branded so extreme that “it could scarcely get any worse” include: Afghanistan, Iraq (northern), Nigeria, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Somalia and Syria. “A virulent and extremist form of Islam emerged as the number one threat to religious freedom and was revealed as the primary cause of persecution in many... Continue Reading