The Great Western Earthquake
Reformation - No one could have known it then, but what happened then set in motion an earthquake whose aftershocks are still being felt in the churches today.
That earthquake had three epicenters, one in Wittenburg with Martin Luther, another in Geneva with John Calvin, and still another in Canterbury with Thomas Cranmer. What were the contributions of each of these men? Wittenburg, Geneva, Canterbury. Luther, Calvin, Cranmer. An earthquake with three epicenters. The quake continues to roll. Reformation Day 2014 The date... Continue Reading
What Is Reformation Day All About?
On October 31, 1517, Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the church door. What does that mean for the church today?
Though preached clearly in the New Testament and found in the writings of many of the church fathers, the medieval bishops and priests had largely forgotten the truth that our own good works can by no means merit God’s favor. Salvation is by grace alone through faith alone, and good works result from our faith,... Continue Reading
How Christians Will Know They Can Join Hands With Rome
Among other things, in order for Rome to be Christian, it must tear down its system of salvation and rebuild it after that of Scripture.
Rome sees the Reformation as a fracture of the true church, not a healing of it. For the aforementioned reasons, Rome would need to adjust its perspective on the Reformation towards being one of the best things to happen to Christ’s church. In doing so, it would need to renounce much of the doctrine affirmed in... Continue Reading
What’s the State of Theology in America?
The results of a survey that measured Americans’ theological knowledge
Considering all that we know about human nature, about the unceasing malice of the devil, and about the fanatical anti-Christian cultural pressures over the last fifty years, these figures are remarkably strong and resilient and give much cause for thanksgiving and motivation as we continue the work of teaching, preaching, and evangelizing both the world... Continue Reading
Evil, Evangelism And Halloween…
Don’t have an opinion about Halloween? Learn and think about it. And then get one.
The easiest way to be conformed to the world is by letting everything it whispers wash over us without any thought or care. If we never think about the importance of having a biblical worldview, we will inevitably begin to reflect the world and culture around us. If we want to live unthoughtfully, we will... Continue Reading
Dealing with Doubt
Everyone, at some point in their life, will experience seasons of doubt.
If you are struggling with doubt, then you are a believer whom it bothers. This is a sign that God is working on you! If your doubt about God doesn’t bother you, your heart is most likely hardened and you may not even be a believer. But it could also be that you are not... Continue Reading
Antinomianism: Rhetoric, Extremes, and Safety
Avoiding two extremes in understanding Christians, faith, and works
For Paul, the idea that a Christian would still want to live in sin is paradoxical. Our very justification has given sin a death blow. There is a real sense in which as a Christian, I am no longer enslaved to sin. God has through the blood of Jesus redeemed me and has given me... Continue Reading
Mature, Restful, and Confessional
Going beyond Young, Restless, and Reformed
As we remember the rediscovery of the gospel truths and our Reformed heritage this Reformation Day, let us also remember and give thanks that our understanding of the Christian life as taught in the Scriptures is not reducible to merely five points of soteriology. The doctrines which are taught in the Scriptures, as summarized in... Continue Reading
This Argument Has Reached Retirement Age
Answering Peter Enns on the supposed contradiction between Exodus 12:8-9 and Deuteronomy 16:5-7
Very simply, this proves my point. B-sh-l is a flexible, general, catch-all term. When you b-sh-l something with fire, it is called “roasting.” When you b-sh-l something in water (per Exodus), it is called “boiling.” It is a term that operates just as our English word “cook.” To “cook” something is to prepare it for human consumption.... Continue Reading
Cult of Personality: Lessons for Homeschoolers from Doug Phillips’ Ministry
The signs were there. But the will to see them was not.
Phillips was a master salesman. Promotions and propaganda were his trade. A “vision of victory” was his ware. Vision Forum offered a full-colored, glossy catalog that presented the pristine world of white, middle-class early America. His lectures would include outrageous claims of revival and a special calling from God for the audience because, well, they... Continue Reading
The Closing of Discussion in the Public Square: Bowing to the New Social Orthodoxy
Homosexualist advocates are driving out of the public square with abusive rhetoric and the teeth of "sexual orientation" laws anyone who calls into question their agenda
In most mainline seminaries today candidates for faculty positions who are known to have published in favor of the scriptural and orthodox position on male-female marriage will not be hired. It is even less likely that candidates for faculty positions in secular colleges and universities will be hired. After all, institutions of higher learning cannot... Continue Reading
What Led You To Become An Atheist? Some Surprising Answers
Surprising answers creating a completely unexpected composite sketch of American college-aged atheists
They felt their churches offered superficial answers to life’s difficult questions: Churches did not address questions like creation v evolution, sexuality, reliability of the Bible, purpose of life, etc. Messages were bland, shallow, irrelevant, and boring….Ages 14-17 were decisive: Most embraced unbelief in the high school years. What leads people away from religion and into atheism?... Continue Reading
A Beginner’s Guide to Singing the Psalms for Corporate Worship
If the idea of singing the Psalms for corporate worship is a daunting our outdated proposition, here’s some practical help
Why should we care about singing the Psalms in corporate worship in the 21st century? First, because the Psalms are a divinely-inspired school of prayer. Then also realize that they offer a point of contact with nearly every human experience: from desolation to gratitude, loneliness to community, anger to joy. If the idea of singing the... Continue Reading
Quarantine Laws and the Bible
As the Westminster Confession puts it, the “general equity” of the Old Testament law does inform us as Christians living under the New Covenant
I do think that it is important to remember that these quarantine laws were simply the application of another law recorded in Leviticus 19:18 — that every Israelite was to “love your neighbor as yourself, I am the Lord.” The royal law of Christ was not new when he gave it. Christ was drawing this... Continue Reading
Does Spiritual Formation Work? Answers from Haggai
“Spiritual formation” is a hot topic today. But does it work? The Old Testament prophet Haggai would answer no
The solution to our spiritual disease is not spiritual formation. The change we really need is a new heart and the “health” of Jesus Christ. Perfect attendance to spiritual practices does not overcome our sinful nature — that requires the grace of God and the blood of Jesus Christ. “Spiritual formation” is a hot... Continue Reading
10 Things That We Hate About Bad ‘Leaders’
Have you ever found that you look to the person in charge and think, “How on Earth did they get that role?”
We have all heard of the Peter Principle – namely that people get promoted to the level of his or her incompetence. This may well give us an insight into why organizations can be bereft of leadership. But poor leaders are not just incompetent, they can be downright destructive. They are often driven by self-serving... Continue Reading
Good News For The Naked Public University
Christian study centers are emerging from the epistemological rubble of our naked public universities
We noted together that universities specialize in small and medium-sized questions, and have largely removed the big questions from consideration, except in philosophy or perhaps classics. The logic of academic specialization means that we have our disciplinary logics, ground rules, and accepted theories that define what we count as proper. Academics have no higher allegiance... Continue Reading
A Response to Iain H. Murray’s “Expository Preaching—‘Time for Caution’”
Consecutive or systematic exposition of Scripture done well is strengthens the people of God
As with so many other issues in church life, a valid protest—if, in fact, Mr. Murray’s caution is that—does not presume the validity of the proposed solution. The belief accordingly remains untouched, for this writer at least, that consecutive or systematic exposition is the most effective way of declaring the whole revealed counsel of God... Continue Reading
Meeting Jesus at the Prayer Meeting
When we are too distracted or sleepy in the prayer meeting, it is good to remember that we are not praying alone
As we met last night for prayer we weren’t meeting alone. We were meeting with Jesus. Our own prayers for conversions, growth, preservation, fellowship, joy, unity, faithfulness, and the glory of God are simply the “Amen” we utter in response to the continual intercession of Jesus Christ the only mediator between God and man. When that... Continue Reading
Houston To Drop Pastor Subpoenas
The City of Houston will withdraw its controversial subpoenas of five pastors tied to a lawsuit over the city's equal rights ordinance
I didn’t do this to satisfy them,” Parker said of critics. “I did it because it was not serving Houston.” Parker’s administration already had withdrawn its request for some of the pastors’ sermons, which proved a particular flashpoint, and the clergy said Tuesday she seemed to be considering whether to remove the subpoenas altogether. ... Continue Reading
High Maintenance Christians Are Better Than Nice Ones
“It costs God nothing, so far as we know, to create nice things; but to convert rebellious wills costs Him crucifixion.” ---C.S. Lewis
He spoke the world into existence knowing the cost. He came in the flesh knowing the cost. Jesus knew the cost when he made the promise with the Father and the Spirit before the world began. He didn’t come to save nice things or nice people. He didn’t make a promise to redeem nice, low... Continue Reading
God, Without the Fuss
It's the Bless-Me Club. It is self-help, and that kind of message plays very well in America.
“The reason [Osteen is] so popular is because of the spiritual infantilism of America. Not just spiritual, the infantilism of American culture,” Anthony says. “And he feeds the Paris Hilton, Britney Spears culture. It’s all me. Benefit me. What can I do for me? How can I feel better? What can I do about me?... Continue Reading
7 Wrong Reasons to Join a Church
What are some important considerations in choosing a church?
Committing yourself and your family to a local church is one of the most important decisions you will ever make this side of eternity; and yet, for all the weightiness of it, it is a decision to which the larger part of church attenders have given little to no thought. Over the past three decades, I... Continue Reading
Can You Be Happy in Every Circumstance?
“God can make you happy in any circumstances. Without him nothing can.” Andrew Bonar
Christians weep and sorrow too. However, the Christian battles against that sadness by faith, and gradually and slowly begins to win the victory, to see the good hand of God, to sense the Father’s love, to experience the Savior’s sympathy, and to enjoy the Spirit’s comfort. As faith strengthens, so does joy, so that even... Continue Reading
What Luther Says to this Confessional Age
Oprah style confessions, now so popular among Christians, are what Luther would have regarded as a form of human righteousness
Our confessional age is an age where the baring of souls is seen as an act which makes the confessor vulnerable or ‘authentic’ and thus serves ironically to enhance their authority or invulnerability. That might sound strange, but who in this present age can criticize the person who has told the world that they suffered... Continue Reading
Protestantism’s Birthday – A New 95 Theses Needed
We need a New Reformation. We need “Scripture Alone” as our guide again.
Do we see denominations inventing and “discovering” their own doctrines? Do we see churches bending their theology in order to fill the pews? Do we see widespread moral failings in the clergy – everything from pedophilia to homosexual encounters? Do we see story after story in the news about financial shenanigans? How many churches wallow... Continue Reading
The Progressive Evangelical Package
There may not be a Progressive Gospel(s) Federation with explicit standards we can look to, but there are certain tenets
Many of us labor under the illusion that the progressive package, the party line, doesn’t exist. Some of those within the camp take its putative diversity and ideological inclusiveness as a point of pride. I suppose for them my aim is to pop their balloon. For others floating within progressivism’s orbit but not yet diving... Continue Reading
Is There Any Point in Trying?
Do you really try everyday to make serious progress in righteousness?
Yet we struggle don’t we? We strain even to do the simplest of things when it comes to disciplining ourselves in this new life. We’d rather play the game of mimicking second and third hand Christian activity than lay bare our souls to the radical work of God’s grace. Sin, which no longer has any... Continue Reading
Is the Noah Account Just One Myth Among Many?
Genesis 6-9 and Ancient Near Eastern Flood Stories
Early in 2014, the news headlines were all abuzz with the “ground-breaking” discovery of a Mesopotamian flood account that featured a round ark. “Ahhhh, yes,” arm-chair critics beamed, “we always knew that the biblical story couldn’t be true. Here is proof that Genesis 6-9 is just one myth among many.” Besides the fact that ancient... Continue Reading
10 Things I Wish Everyone Knew About Reformed Theology
Is Calvinism the cold, rigid approach to Christianity it’s made out to be?
“Reformed theology reorients the believer to a God-centered view of reality. As Michael Horton writes, “God is not a supporting actor in our life movie. We exist for his purposes, not the other way around.” The end purpose of human life is to glorify God. The reason this isn’t bleak for us is that God is glorified... Continue Reading