The ancient Psalms are experiencing somewhat of a revival in various places. Why?
Some Christian songs are emotionally stirring, but have little theological content; the heart is engaged, but not the mind. Over-reacting to this, some have composed songs that are full of theological facts, but don’t engage the worshipper’s feelings. They are more like sung sermons. The Psalms strike an inspired balance of doxological theology and theological... Continue Reading
The Necessity of a Divine Mediator
Why is it important for Jesus to be God? Without this being his identity, you would have no Savior.
Finally, our mediator needs to be divine so “that he might…bring [us] to everlasting salvation” (Q&A 38). His divinity has sustained the wrath of God against him because of our sins. His divinity gave infinite value to his work on our behalf. His divinity has satisfied God’s eternal justice against our sins. His divinity has... Continue Reading
Will the Supreme Court Turn against Religious Liberty – Part 1
The disfavoring of religion in court decisions of recent decades is resulting in the exclusion of religion from society
The Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) highlighted the crossroads situation that America faces with respect to religious liberty in two panel discussions at Capitol Hill on September 16. These discussed first the only religious liberty case now accepted by the Supreme Court, Trinity Lutheran Church vs. Pauley, and a second panel concerning the future direction that... Continue Reading
Van Til’s Critique of Barth’s Christology (Part 2)
Barthianism is not simply a different expression of Christianity, but a different religion altogether
Or, to put the matter in the form of a question: is there any way to conceive of Barthianism and (Reformed) Christianity as friends? The answer must be Nein! For this reason, we find the recent dismissals of Van Til’s critique by current evangelical theologians somewhat troubling. What is perhaps even more disturbing is the... Continue Reading
Prey to Being Positive?
At risk of being ‘jaundiced against joy’, I’ve often remarked how the ‘positivity police’ who cry ‘stop being negative’, are often among the most negative people I know.
If I’m now in danger of being too negative, never preach heaven if you do not warn of hell. Never preach blessing unless you threaten curse. Don’t omit wrath when you assure ‘no condemnation’. I hope I’m not guilty of overstating the case. If anything, I think, the opposite is true. The sparkling Gospel diamond... Continue Reading
Regret Will Kill You Unless You Kill It With Promises
The life-giving promises of Scripture are the God-appointed means of renewing our mind when we feel regret
The human mind struggles to grasp these truths. We have no mental framework for this type of response. When someone sins against us, we don’t respond this way. Perhaps, if God is gracious, we are able to forgive the person for the wrong they’ve done. Our offer of forgiveness means that we will not seek... Continue Reading
The Church Here and There (Turretin)
Christ’s church exists in a twofold state: on earth, and in heaven.
In Reformed theology there are various ways to describe Christ’s church. One of the descriptions is to distinguish between the church militant and the church triumphant. This is not to say there are two churches. It is simply a way to explain the state or degree of Christ’s church. Christ’s church exists in a twofold... Continue Reading
The Call to Discipleship: Moving Beyond Reactionary Ethics
The answer, of course, is in the gospel of Christ, and it is only being Christ-centered that Christian ethics can really be truly Christian.
On the other hand, what characterizes modernity’s (and much of contemporary Christianity’s) “naive and confused love” is a failure to grasp “one of the conditions for authentic love”: renunciation and sacrifice. In the gospel, Pinckaers reminds us, “radical self-renunciation is a necessary condition for love of Christ.” And it is that sort of love, a... Continue Reading
Why Every Parent Should Embrace Their Inability
Adapted from Parenting: "The 14 Gospel Principles That Can Radically Change Your Family" by Paul David Tripp.
Here’s the bottom line for every parent: the change that has to happen in each of your children, you can’t create. In fact, nowhere in his Word has God tasked you with the responsibility to create it. Good parenting is about becoming okay with the fact that you are powerless to change your child. In... Continue Reading
Crossway Statement on the ESV Bible Text
Crossway apologizes for saying recently that “the text of the ESV Bible will remain unchanged in all future editions printed and published by Crossway.”
We have become convinced that this decision was a mistake. We apologize for this and for any concern this has caused for readers of the ESV, and we want to explain what we now believe to be the way forward. Our desire, above all, is to do what is right before the Lord. In... Continue Reading
Americans Love God and the Bible, Are Fuzzy on the Details
Most Americans still identify as Christians but they seem to be confused about some of the details of their faith.
More than half of Americans (58 percent) say God is the author of the Bible. About half say the Bible alone is the written Word of God (52 percent). Two-thirds of Americans (64 percent) say the biblical accounts of the physical (bodily) resurrection of Jesus are completely accurate. A quarter (23 percent) disagree. Thirteen percent... Continue Reading
Lloyd-Jones on Van Til on Barth
A review by Martyn Lloyd-Jones on Cornelius Van Til’s “Christianity and Barthianism”
It is difficult to over-estimate the value of this book at the present time. It shows clearly why the Barthian teaching has been so ineffective in the life of the church. It has been an intellectualist movement which has led men to preach about the Word rather than preach the Word. It has been going... Continue Reading
The Age Of Consent In A New Age
The debate once centered upon the age of consent for sex or marriage. Today, the debates are about the age of consent for gender reassignment surgery and life itself.
The advocates of autonomy establish the moral righteousness of providing gender reassignment surgery or euthanasia to a minor who requests it on the argument that the child asked for it. This is an absolute abdication of adult responsibility for the sacred trust of children. It makes you wonder if those who advocate for a child-run... Continue Reading
Why It’s Time to Give Up On Your Desire for Consensus
If you want to kill vision, form a committee. The committee will beat the life out of any innovation you bring to the table.
I don’t know why this is true, but it’s often easier for a team of people to adapt to a bold idea and make it better than it is for a team to come up with a bold idea. This isn’t always the case, but in many instances, I think it is. I dream in... Continue Reading
‘Shut Up, Bigot!’ The Philosophers Argued
Richard Swinburne, the Oxford philosopher and Orthodox Christian, delivered a lecture on Christian sexual ethics at a Midwest Society of Christian Philosophers conference; it offended some in attendance.
Today, when someone is accused of homophobia, the mere fact of accusation allows no effective reply. To defend oneself by saying that homosexual and heterosexual unions are not equal, even if supported by most persuasive arguments, only confirms the charge of homophobia because the charge itself is never a matter of discussion. The only way... Continue Reading
It Is Time For Cultural Apologetics – Pt. 1
Our rising generation desperately needs to be trained in cultural apologetics, the theological analysis of contemporary culture using terminology that speaks to this new, de-christianized situation.
How interesting that via these different terms of “holy” and “holism” we come back to our starting point, the fact of only two religions, Oneism or Twoism. Oneism is a form of spiritual holism where everything is included—including God. Twoism is the very essence of holiness, where things are not confused but have their special,... Continue Reading
Distinguishing Among the Three Persons of the Trinity within Reformed Tradition
I do not think the talk of “roles” is the best way to speak of the eternal distinctions between the Persons of the Trinity
Traditionally, the way in which the Persons of the Godhead have been distinguished—and they are distinct (which suggests three hypostases) not different (which would suggest another ousia)—is not by roles or by eternal relations of authority and submission, but by paternity, filiation, and spiration. To put it another way, the Father is the Father (and... Continue Reading
May A Christian College Administer Communion?
The question is whether it is proper to administer communion (the Lord’s Supper or the Eucharist) outside the visible, institutional church
When private persons, who have not been authorized by Christ nor ordained by his church, take upon themselves the prerogative of administering Christ’s sacraments, they are usurpers. However well-intentioned they may be, they are doing what does not belong to them. The sacraments were to be administered by the true, visible, institutional church. The great... Continue Reading
Mortification and Vivification
Without the Spirit of God, there would be neither mortification nor vivification in the life of the believer.
Both mortification and vivification are the work of the Holy Spirit in the believer’s life. As Paul states, “If you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live” (Rom. 8:13; see also Rom. 8:4; Gal. 5:16-25;... Continue Reading
Toward a Better Reading: Reflections on the Permanent Changes to the Text of Genesis 3:16 in the ESV
We’re concerned that this new rendering repeats the very mistakes that led to the formation of the ESV in the first place
As users of the ESV, we have always known that the translation of the ESV occurred in context of concerns about gendered language. We understood the concern as such: Because Bible translators can read meaning into gendered words based on current sociological agendas, we want to be constrained by the actual words of the text... Continue Reading
Complaining Isn’t Authentic, It’s a Waste of Time
We’ve begun to celebrate complaining as a virtue rather than a vice
Complaints spring from a heart that thinks it deserves better. But in a fallen world people sin against you, families are broken, relationships are hard, work drains you, and suffering is commonplace. Water is wet and life is hard—that’s just the way it is. The sooner I recognize this, the better. Then, when I’m tempted... Continue Reading
History Taken Out Of God’s Hands: Middle Knowledge
"In the theory of middle knowledge, that is precisely the case with God. God looks on, while humans decide."
Not everyone agrees with this view. Some people say that it detracts from human freedom, so they speak of God’s middle knowledge. That is, although God knows all the possibilities of what might happen in the future, his decree depends on man’s choices and actions. In this view, God decreed that which he foresaw would... Continue Reading
Following Trans Bathroom Policy, Target’s Sales Tank
It’s bad news for Target and the trans activists trying to get other major retailers to degender their restrooms.
Target’s leadership refuses to concede their controversial bathroom policy has anything to do with their poor fortunes. However, the very day Target announced its sad sales figures, it also announced it would spend $20 million to install single-use bathrooms in the rest of their 1,800 stores. This is a ton of money to fix a... Continue Reading
Would You Rather Have Blood Filled Hands or Beautiful Feet?
The task is simple – we are called to be faithful.
The contrast is staggering: on one hand the unfaithful ambassador who doesn’t share the truth fills his hands with blood as person after person he had a chance to share truth with but didn’t dies in their sin. On the other hand is the faithful preacher who shares the truth and has beautiful feet as he... Continue Reading
Does Prayer Change God’s Mind?
Does prayer make any difference? Does it really change anything?
“The very reason we pray is because of God’s sovereignty, because we believe that God has it within His power to order things according to His purpose. That is what sovereignty is all about—ordering things according to God’s purpose. So then, does prayer change God’s mind? No. Does prayer change things? Yes, of course.” ... Continue Reading
What Do You Think? Part 2
When homosexual ideology is tolerated in the PCA: How our commitment for the gospel can be compromised?
But when anyone preaches from the pulpit that individuals with homosexual desires are “born that way through no fault of their own,” then this is clearly and willfully redefining this biblical teaching. Homosexual character and desires are, like all sin, brought into effect by our sinful desires, passions and lusts; it is one of the... Continue Reading
For the Bible Tells Me So: Biblical Authority Denied … Again
A true defense of the Christian faith has never been more needed than now, but an attempt to rescue Christianity from its dependence upon Scripture is doomed to disaster.
“Jesus loves me — this I know, for the Bible tells me so.” A mature Christian faith will say more than that, not less than that. “For the Bible tells me so” does not mean that we do not have reasoned answers to difficult questions, but it does mean that we admit our dependence upon Scripture —... Continue Reading
‘Hillsong’ Casts a Secular Lens on an Evangelical Band
It took only one Hillsong service for Mr. Warren. 43, to overcome his knee-jerk prejudice
Mr. Wagner acknowledged that Hillsong risked being criticized for participating, but said the documentary “fits right into the church’s M.O.,” which includes the evangelist knack for “being right at the forefront of using every kind of media possible to bring God to the secular popular consciousness.” Michael John Warren, the director of MTV documentaries... Continue Reading
Sexuality and Our Public Lives: The Tower of Babel and the Kingdom of Christ
Genesis gives a fascinating account of fallen man’s collective attempt to define their own name themselves; a name that is very different from what God had already decreed
This is the brave new world in which we live – a world where anyone and everyone can “make a name for themselves”, even despite the name they were born with and given. But unlike Genesis where God, in judgment, came down and confused their languages, perhaps now God is doing something far worse: letting... Continue Reading
In 20 to 40 years, Most Americans Won’t Have Sex To Reproduce. Get Ready.
Within the next few decades, that percentage will skyrocket. Developments in bioscience will combine to make IVF cheaper and much easier.
These factors, plus a robust, profit-seeking fertility industry, constitutionally protected advertising, and the libertarian streak in American culture (especially around parents and children), lead me to believe that sometime in the next 20 to 40 years, Easy PGD will be the most common way Americans conceive their children. For 100 million years, all our... Continue Reading