The Blessing of Humility (Book Review)

A book on humility would make a fitting final work for a man who exemplified that virtue

Bridges insists “A life of humility is not an option for a believer to choose or reject. It is a command of God.” To teach the beauty and value of humility as well as to start on down the path toward humility he turns to the Beatitudes saying, “these expressions of Christian character are a description of... Continue Reading

Are We Living in the Last Days?

I can’t say yes or no. So I will say, “Yes, and I don’t know.”

“When I look at two titans of theology like Martin Luther and Jonathan Edwards and I see them making predictions and voicing their expectations of the near return of Jesus and being wrong, that gives me pause.”   We have to be careful not to be guilty of what Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for—what I call... Continue Reading

“God Made Me for China” — Eric Liddell Beyond Olympic Glory

Eric Liddell ran for God's glory, but he was made for China. He desperately wanted the nation he loved to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ

“Americans of my generation remember Eric Liddell largely because of Chariots of Fire, the 1981 British film written by Colin Welland, produced by David Puttnam, and directed by Hugh Hudson.”   Olympic glory abounds in Rio as the 31st modern Olympiad is well underway. This time, the event is living up to its hype, especially... Continue Reading

The Trinity: Praying to the Father through the Son by the Spirit

We come to a heavenly Father through the eternal intercession and heavenly ministry of Jesus Christ, our sympathetic high priest

“In the Covenant of Redemption, the Son voluntarily agreed to become incarnate and undergo the miseries of this life and the excruciating death of the cross and the victorious resurrection from the grave for us.  And when he ascended, he entered into the loving heavenly Father’s presence with our (now glorified) human nature where he... Continue Reading

The Secret to Preparing for Suffering

“It feels like I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop.”

“Though suffering is a sure reality in this world, we need not anxiously fear it. Instead we must prepare for it by establishing and exhorting our faith now, through the living and abiding Word of God.”   “It feels like I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop.” I sat on the edge of our bed... Continue Reading

Three Presbyterian Denominations Continue To Grow

Three Presbyterian denominations – ECO: A Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians, the Evangelical Presbyterian Church and the Presbyterian Church in America – are growing in both the number of churches and members, while the Presbyterian Church (USA) continues to decline

PCA membership increased by 11,816 for a total of 370,332 members and Sunday school attendance was also increased to 97,719 up by 1,096 from 2014. Taylor called this “the first increased in SS in a number of years.”   Three Presbyterian denominations – ECO: A Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians, the Evangelical Presbyterian Church and... Continue Reading

The Most Important Book I’ve Read This Year

Tthe most important book I've read so far has been written by a secular Jewish social psychologist named Jonathan Haidt

“Countless reviews have appeared online, most of them glowingly positive, so I don’t want to rehash any of that here. But because I think his book is so helpful, I do want to draw attention to the three main points Haidt makes about the way we make moral decisions, and the three controlling metaphors he... Continue Reading

Should Children Sit Through “Big Church”?

There is a sense of solemnity and awe which children should experience

“What would be the impact if, for twelve years, the children saw dad with his face in his hands praying during the prelude to worship? What would be the impact if they saw mom and dad beaming with joy in singing the praises of God? Just think of it.”   Robert from Columbia, South Carolina... Continue Reading

America’s Lost Girls?

Whereas lust might chiefly lure entertainment-absorbed lost boys, vanity and pride generally hovers at the core of self-absorbed lost girls.

Affirmation of self-worth for America’s young girls is now measured by how many strangers over the Internet compliment or “Like” their latest Instagram photo. Unconditional love isn’t even a concept. These girls are used to earning love, or warped approval rather. Earn it by proving your worth with straight-As in school. Prove your worth to... Continue Reading

Missions: Ecclesiology With a Passport

Today a growing percentage of new missionaries are being sent to focus on social relief, with the church and the gospel tacked on as something of theological addendum.

It’s a dicey line that Stott and Keller have drawn for the church to walk.  In essence, they are saying, “We’re going to keep the gospel the main thing and focus the church on social reform; in fact, in a sense, social action is the gospel too.”  In theory, it’s a noble blend of word... Continue Reading

Eternal Subordination of the Son and CBMW

The evidence shows that ESS/EFS/ERAS has been embraced and taught by many who represent CBMW from the beginning.

I can appreciate his desire to distance the work of CBMW from the ESS debate, however, CBMW has been part of the debate, promoting ESS and ESS proponents from the very beginning. Unless and until CBMW makes a statement rejecting ESS and those who hold to it, they will continue to be associated with ESS... Continue Reading

When Jesus Brings a Sword

Every Christian soon finds that the most divisive thing he can do is tell someone else about their sin and their need for a Savior

Christian, you cannot be surprised when you experience division. You don’t need to seek this division or long for it or glory in it, but you do need to expect it. Jesus and his gospel bring division between those who embrace him and those who reject him. As Matthew Henry said, “Christ came to give... Continue Reading

Praying in the Whirlwind

Calvin offers four rules for prayer–four rules for when we need the basics all over again.

It should be clear by now that the Institutes‘ four rules for prayer (reverence, a deep sense of need, humility, and trust) cohere: knowing God as he has revealed himself magnifies our helplessness; and the humility that results takes God at his Word that he will hear the prayers of his children. The crux, according... Continue Reading

God Remembers You

We forget to remember. But God never does.

God never forgets to sympathize with and comfort those who are hurting. To name just a few, he remembers to provide for you, comfort you, convict you, strengthen you, lead you, provide you with joy, apply the grace of Christ, keep you from apostasy, use you for his kingdom purposes, refresh you with his presence,... Continue Reading

Co-Addict or Trauma Victim? Secondary abuse of spouses and partners of sex addicts

Sometimes the best-intentioned efforts to help one spouse hurt the other.

Hundreds of thousands of individuals struggling with drug and alcohol abuse, compulsive sexual behavior, compulsive gambling, and other serious problems, have benefited from Christian support groups, websites, articles, pamphlets, and books offering encouragement, exhortation, and advice. Many of these materials are written by recovering addicts themselves, who talk openly about their process of recovery. However, in... Continue Reading

Actually Shane Claiborne, Christians Should Support Capital Punishment

In my opinion – and based on the Bible – to be pro-capital punishment is to be pro-life.

The redemption of the felon on death row is between the felon and God. It’s up to God to have mercy on him/her; we on the other hand, have to do what’s right and necessary for the preservation of civil society by protecting the innocent and punishing the guilty. Sparing the condemned doesn’t do that.... Continue Reading

Does California Care about Students who Question their Sexuality?

California Senate Bill 1146 (SB 1146) created an earthquake of controversy. The problem with the controversial provision of SB 1146 is that it would have hurt the very people it sought to protect.

As best I can tell, the concern of the ERLC statement is to protect religious institutions and low-income and minority groups. But that’s not the bill’s concern. The controversial provisions (now removed) sought to protect LGBT students. So that’s how its opponents should frame their argument. The problem with the bill isn’t just that it... Continue Reading

What Worship Style Attracts the Millennials?

Their focus is on theologically rich music, authenticity, and quality that reflects adequate preparation in time and prayer

And you will hear Millennials speak less and less about worship style. Their focus is on theologically rich music, authenticity, and quality that reflects adequate preparation in time and prayer. But they will walk away from congregations that are still fighting about style of music, hymnals or screen projections, or choirs or praise teams. Those... Continue Reading

What The Pro-Choice And Pro-Life Miss About Simone Biles

Simone Biles has value not because she is a young woman inspiring the world or because she is a world champion gymnast who was adopted as a child, but because she is Simone.

No amounts of tweets or praise can change the fact, however, that the young woman Americans have fallen in love with on their television screens would not be here if her mother had chosen abortion. That’s the thought abortion supporters never want to ponder … What if? Because if we allow the human life to continue... Continue Reading

Statism and Parachurchism

"Personality," Machen writes early in his work, "can only be developed in the realm of individual choice. And that realm, in the modern state, is being slowly but steadily contracted.

Even the briefest perusal of recent activities by the most prevalent evangelical and Reformed(ish) para-church organizations of our day seems to support this claim. No longer content with a straightforward task of providing resources (books, media, conferences) which (arguably) improve theological literacy and piety, we see, for instance, para-church organizations attempting to define the Church’s... Continue Reading

When God “Rightly” Hurts Us

The Scripture is full of times when God watched and allowed his children to be hurt.

Remember God’s sovereignty. He really is the omnipotent, omniscient, everywhere present King. God really is in control of everything. He foreordains all that comes to pass. Do not listen to your fleshly heart. Do not entertain the lies of Satan. Forget the theologians who presented an impotent God who is powerless to interfere. God is sovereign.  ... Continue Reading

Are Clergy Underpaid? New Study Reveals Rising Wages, Shorter Hours and a Diminishing Wage Gap

The wages of battling sin are getting better for those of the cloth

“There are vast differences in the situations of individual clergy, from those serving small rural or urban churches who often work for low wages without benefits to the high-end salaries of some prominent megachurch pastors. Catholic priests are by far on the low end of the scale, earning about half as much as other clergy.”... Continue Reading

Military’s Highest Court Denies Marine’s Religious Liberty Claim

The military’s highest court upheld the conviction of a U.S. Marine court-martialed for disobeying an order to remove three Bible passages she posted around her workplace.

In the majority opinion, the judges noted that because Sterling did not indicate until during her trial that the signs had any religious significance to her, the words on the signs could have been interpreted as being “combative in tone.” They concluded the order to remove the signs was valid and did not place a... Continue Reading

This Republican Mayor Has An Incredibly Simple Idea To Help The Homeless. And It Seems To Be Working

Next month will be the first anniversary of Albuquerque’s There’s a Better Way program, which hires panhandlers for day jobs beautifying the city.

In partnership with a local nonprofit that serves the homeless population, a van is dispatched around the city to pick up panhandlers who are interested in working. The job pays $9 an hour, which is above minimum wage, and provides a lunch. At the end of the shift, the participants are offered overnight shelter as... Continue Reading

Whose Hate? Which Victims?

Making the case for more (or at least different) hate crimes

“So what do victim impact statements and the concept of hate crime have in common? They both point to an evaluation of the moral significance of criminal acts, and of victimhood, that prioritizes the psychological and the subjective.”   One of the great problems in today’s world is that hate is rather limited in scope.... Continue Reading

All of Us Sinners, None of Us Freaks

Christian convictions for the transgender age

For Paul, gay and lesbian sexual acts are “contrary to nature” — literally “against nature.” At its heart, sex misuse is the toxic runoff of idolatry, but the manifest wrongness of the act is in leading its actors to use gender for anti-natural sex acts. Such abuse of creation is nothing short of rebellion against... Continue Reading

The Spiritual Warfare of Boring Preaching

Jesus was often poorly received — but He never bored

“If lost people don’t like your message because they’re hostile to the gospel, you’re in good company. But if you’re boring the people of God with the Word of God, something has gone seriously awry.”   The devil is a preacher. From the third chapter of the Bible onward, he is opening up God’s word... Continue Reading

An Essential Key to Understanding the Development of the NT Canon

For anyone willing to search for it, the internet is packed with myths, mistakes, and misunderstandings about how the whole process really worked

“(1) there was a core canon from a very early time, (2) there was dispute about some of the smaller books that took some time to resolve, (3) Christians continued to find some non-canonical books to be orthodox and helpful, though not Scripture, and (4) some books were so theologically off the mark that they... Continue Reading

Doxological Calvinism

Doxology is, literally, a word or words of praise

Doxologies punctuate the Bible because they punctuate the life of faith. This at least was Paul’s understanding of the life of Abraham: “he was strong in faith, giving glory to God” (Rom. 4:20).   Let me invite you to take a simple word-association test. The usual procedure for such a test is that the administrator... Continue Reading

NT Commentaries Withdrawn Over Plagiarism Allegations

Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing received allegations against one of its NT commentaries

The author, Peter T. O’Brien, was presented with the findings and provided the following response: “In the New Testament commentaries that I have written, although I have never deliberately misused the work of others, nevertheless I now see that my work processes at times have been faulty and have generated clear-cut, but unintentional, plagiarism. For... Continue Reading