What Are Gospel Issues?
Today it is very common to hear that such-and-such a topic is “a gospel issue; what does this really mean?
In sum, to affirm something is or is not a gospel issue is not a transparent expression. It is likely to be clearest among those who share a common confession as to what the gospel is. It is useful only when it means something more stringent than that X can be tied in some way... Continue Reading
Accepting “No” as God’s Will
We must accept the fact that God sometimes says no. Sometimes He calls us to suffer and die even if we want to claim the contrary.
This “nevertheless” was the supreme prayer of faith. The prayer of faith is not a demand that we place on God. It is not a presumption of a granted request. The authentic prayer of faith is one that models Jesus’ prayer. It is always uttered in a spirit of subordination. In all our prayers, we... Continue Reading
6 Church Killers That (Unfortunately) Have Stood the Test of Time
Satan was neutralizing local churches 300 years ago in the same way he is today
It’s easy to set up outward, measurable standards of appearance and performance. We like to do this because it validates us, makes us feel successful as Christians and leaders. Yet the outward conformity COULD be merely a cover for the absence of inward dependence. Healthy churches emphasize the gradual, growing work of God’s Spirit within... Continue Reading
The Coming Collapse of “Marriage Equality”
One day the notion of same-sex marriage will be in the rearview mirror along with Prohibition and New Coke, with people saying, “What were we thinking?”
The Titanic was the largest and most luxurious ship ever built, helmed by the most experienced captain of the North Atlantic, and considered unsinkable because of its reinforced hull and water-tight compartments. Not unlike the Titanic, the gay rights movement is a huge force riding the wave of tolerance and equality. But the movement is... Continue Reading
Mutual Stroking and the Minister
There is one great temptation for all in the ministry: “Mutual Stroking”
Come into the sacred ministry with eyes wide open. There will be days of sweetness. There will be seasons which are sour. Do not enter the battle thinking it to be a vacation. You might be really happy; you might be really popular; and you might become very rich. And as you serve the Lord, you might also... Continue Reading
Neither Traditional Nor Contemporary
Presenting a third way that shares some of the concerns of both the advocates of “contemporary” and “traditional” worship
The practice of the first 600 years of the church and for the 200 years of Reformation is more ancient than the 18th and 19th-century revisions that his approach seeks to preserve. To the “contemporary worship” folk I say: Perhaps historic worship would interest you more if you saw how truly radical it is? ... Continue Reading
Where’s the Justice at Justice?
It’s hard to fathom how the president who started with the press fluffing his pillows has ended up trying to suffocate the press with those pillows
“It’s hypocritical,” Risen said. “A lot of people still think this is some kind of game or signal or spin. They don’t want to believe that Obama wants to crack down on the press and whistle-blowers. But he does. He’s the greatest enemy to press freedom in a generation.” Washington — Jim Risen is... Continue Reading
Who Will Get to Decide Definition of Marriage?
In a new and different twist, one judge thought the issue was for the legislature and voters to decide, not the courts.
Of all the appeals courts to hear this issue, the 6th Circuit seems more likely to uphold traditional marriage in a 2 to 1 decision. The 10th and 4th circuits have already found traditional marriage rules unconstitutional. And last week, Utah filed a petition for review with the U.S. Supreme Court to look at a... Continue Reading
Let the Banner Fly! Protecting the Free Speech Rights of Churches
The city’s banner regulations violated the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment
The City Banner Regulations allow certain groups to display banners containing any viewpoint those groups wish to communicate, except for commercial, political, or religious “advertisements.” Here, [the church] would like to do precisely what other local groups have done (like the Rotary Club and Jaycees), i.e., advertise for a local, community event that is open... Continue Reading
To Those Of You Who Don’t Like To Sing On Sunday
When we don’t feel like singing, the problem isn’t a singing problem, but a seeing problem.
If we could see God as he truly is, we would be utterly undone. We would be singing for joy, kneeling in adoration, and weeping in gratitude. If we saw Jesus in his resurrected, ascended glory, there would be no talk of, “Well, I’m more of the quiet type.” So what should we do when... Continue Reading
Dethroning Celebrity Pastors
How do we protect ourselves from the danger of celebrityism—on whatever level we might experience it?
Pastors who are not held accountable by the church are unprotected from themselves and the temptations of the devil. They are untethered in the storm of ministry and will not just drift with the wind, but will fly away on their own until they crash. Accountability isn’t possible if the pastor is the pope of... Continue Reading
The Gospel According to Cats and Dogs
Don’t trade the bad news of finicky love for the false gospel of unconditional affirmation.
The gospel according to cats offers no grace. The gospels according to dogs expects no obedience. Take your pick: a Christianity without mercy or a Christianity without repentance. Neither are truly Christian. Some people have a gospel according cats. And others have a gospel according to dogs. The gospel according to cats has God saying,... Continue Reading
Genocide in Iraq
What we are now seeing in 2014 is an attempted genocide carried out by the group calling itself Islamic State, or ISIS
Up till now, many in the West have been silent in the face of this evil. The Western media has been silent, not wanting to seem intolerant towards Islamic groups. They have not come to terms with the ideology of radical Islamic thought. Our government has done little until yesterday. Many Western Christians have been... Continue Reading
You Don’t Think Learning the Biblical Languages is Worth It? Think Again
Some students decide (very early on) that the biblical languages are just something to be endured. They are like a hazing ritual at a college fraternity.
Behind this “take your medicine” approach to the biblical languages are a couple of assumptions that need to be challenged. First, the characterization of pastoral ministry as somehow incompatible with the languages (due to busyness, or other causes), is an unfortunate misunderstanding of what a pastorate is all about. No doubt, pastors should be busy... Continue Reading
A Prayer for When We are Weak
Jesus was made weak so that I could be made strong.
When God looks at me, he doesn’t see my sin, he sees Christ. When I face weakness of any kind, Jesus is with me, through the power of the Spirit. He is strengthening and enabling me to go through trials so that I might grow in holiness. He is using my very own weaknesses to show... Continue Reading
The Sin in Our Cynicism
Cynicism is the prevailing posture of a post-Christian world, and sadly, it’s a posture in which many Christians too often find themselves.
Cynicism is that sneering bitterness toward all things true and deep. It’s the subtle contempt trying to contaminate the cheeriest of moments — that slow, thick smoke of pessimism toxifying the oxygen in the lungs of our hope, suffocating any glad-hearted embrace that God did something meaningful in our lives and strangling our childlike faith... Continue Reading
How Will Gay Marriage Impact Your Marriage?
The redefinition of marriage will bring with it a redefinition of marital norms
Gay marriage proponents frequently argue that gay marriage should be treated as equal with traditional marriage. Proponents put forth examples of gay couples and their domestic life together to illustrate the point that gay marriage is not different than any other kind of marriage. Rosin argues, however, that such examples are not the norm. She... Continue Reading
What Does Social Justice Look Like in an Abortion Culture?
Christians must ensure that the shuttering of abortion clinics is met with corresponding support mechanisms from churches and community groups to make abortion alternatives readily available.
Part of the role of government is to provide for the common defense – a protection of the population from those who would seek to do harm. With this understanding, I propose that protection of the unborn should be a priority of a just government. But what of social justice for the unborn? Earlier this August... Continue Reading
On Suicide, Gratitude And Compassion
The past few weeks have brought headlines that ask us to grapple with our deepest hurts and fears
“Christians can be clumsy when it comes to deciphering mental health issues. A thousand voices rushed to weigh in on the selfishness of suicide. Some mused on how a death like Williams’ illustrated the emptiness of life apart from a relationship with God. Those who expressed sorrow over his death were scolded for their blind... Continue Reading
One Black Man’s Complicated Relationship With The Police
I’ve never been arrested or charged with a crime, but in many ways I constantly feel like a suspect
“I suspect that many who read this post will criticize my perspective. They will think that none of this history or the current events justify mob action as in the case of Ferguson, Missouri. I would agree if the point is that violence is not an appropriate response. I would, however, ask that we pause... Continue Reading
Predestination: Can I Be Sure I Am Chosen?
One's faith is secure because the Rock on which it is placed is secure
“The first part of the answer is to affirm that the Word of God says our standing in relationship to God as believers in Jesus Christ is secure. Notice this, for example, from 2 Peter 1. Peter writes not only as a “servant” but also as an “apostle of Jesus Christ” (v. 1). Then he... Continue Reading
Samuel Lamerson Named President of Knox Theological Seminary
The Knox Board of Directors has appointed Dr. Samuel Lamerson as President of the seminary, effective immediately
Dr. Lamerson has been at the Seminary since 1989 when Dr. D. James Kennedy founded it under the guidance of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church. Dr. Lamerson was a member of the first Knox graduating class in 1993, and is well respected by the faculty, staff, and academia at large. He has been professor of New... Continue Reading
UK Worship Artist, Vicky Beeching, Whose Songs Are Sung in American Churches Comes Out as Lesbian
Vicky Beeching, a UK-based worship artist whose songs are sung in American churches has come out as a lesbian
“What Jesus taught was a radical message of welcome and inclusion and love,” Beeching stated. “I feel certain God loves me just the way I am, and I have a huge sense of calling to communicate that to young people.” And now, she says she wants to work to change the beliefs of those in the... Continue Reading
5 Ways To Crush The Entrepreneurial Spirit Of Your Child
Our children need to know what failure feels like so as they grow up they learn from those experiences
Our children need to know what failure feels like as they grow up, so that when they grow up, failure can be an opportunity to learn rather than a debilitating crisis. I’m thankful that my parents equipped me to thrive and I’m hopeful that my wife and I can pass on the legacy to... Continue Reading
Ebola Claims Another African Doctor
Another leading physician in Sierra Leone’s fight against Ebola has died from the disease
Dr. Modupeh Cole died on earlier today, according to Sidie Yayah Tunis, director of communications for Sierra Leone’s Ministry of Health and Sanitation. Trained in the United States, Cole was one of the top doctors working in the isolation ward in Freetown’s Connaught Hospital. He tested positive for the disease last week and received treatment... Continue Reading
Why Doesn’t The World Seem To Care When Christians Die?
Why is it that when Christians are persecuted, no one seems to care — not even other Christians?
“It was only last week, when the torture and killing had reached such extreme levels that the world began to take notice, that President Barack Obama ordered United States humanitarian and military intervention to rescue some 40,000 members of the Yazidis, a non-Muslim minority cornered by radical Muslims on a mountain outside of Mosul.” ... Continue Reading
Muhammed Is Britain’s Most Popular Boys Name
Muhammad is so popular as a name because the three million Muslims in Britain tend to like to name at least one of their sons after the prophet
“At the time, Mohammed was already the most popular boys name in London by some considerable margin. The scale of the result is likely to leave the public shocked, although much of the mainstream media are expected to focus on the official ONS results. As a result, they will report that Mohammed only came in... Continue Reading
Skip Ryan Resigns from Park Cities PCA and Redeemer Seminary
Two letters were mailed to church members, with confession about struggling with prescription drugs, and pastor’s comments
The remorse, regret, sadness, and burden of my failures are not mine alone. I have profoundly hurt my family and you, my church family, and I have betrayed your trust again. I am so deeply sorry that I have failed to be the Christian my teaching has suggested I am. Letters from Park Cities Presbyterian... Continue Reading
The Lord’s Supper: Sip It, Don’t Dip it
Those who oppose intinction do so for a few different reasons that, when combined, compel us to keep the elements of the Lord's Supper separate.
Rightly administering the Lord’s Supper is a mark of a true church. It occupies a critically important place in the life of God’s people as a memorial of Christ, the message of the gospel, and a means of his grace. Yet, even among those who share this perspective there remain differences in practice. I will... Continue Reading
Who are My Brothers and Sisters?
Ms. Beeching argues that our views about homosexuality ought not to divide Christians from one another.
Ms. Beeching is not the only one who has underestimated the gravity of our differences over these issues. There have been many others. And that is why we have to test her claim by scripture. Are we all really “brothers and sisters in Christ” even when we disagree with one another about an issue of... Continue Reading