There Were Only 3 ZIP Codes in America Without Any Ashley Madison Accounts — Here They Are

There are precisely three ZIP codes across the country that have no record of Ashley Madison users.

And there you have it. Those are the last vestiges of the US left untouched by Ashley Madison — though of course there is the possibility that there are other bastions of innocence that have fake accounts registered to them. Even so, the ubiquity of Ashley Madison is striking.   One of the reasons why... Continue Reading

The Ideal American Woman of the 19th Century

I would argue that we are influenced not only by the present day but by strongly held, cultural ideas of the past.

The following is an excerpt regarding the ideal 19th century woman, which historians have called the cult of true womanhood. If you read it in the light of the ongoing debate about gender roles, it has a familiar ring to it. Of particular note, this ideal could not be achieved by poor women or slaves.... Continue Reading

Ministering to the Suffering

Here are a few reminders for Christians as we minister to others in their suffering

Suffering is a time during which we experience the weight of the curse in heavier-than-usual ways. As people are pulled and pressed under previously unexperienced pains, people often say and do things spiritually uncharacteristic of how you’ve known them. And as much as we’d like the Spirit to ooze out of suffering’s squeeze, sometime it just... Continue Reading

Should We Read Expository Commentaries?

Some considerations on what use to make of expository commentaries

This question is a matter of debate over at Ref21, with Rick Phillips taking the pro side, and Paul Levy taking the con side. I have to say, having read many expository commentaries, that I whole-heartedly agree with Rick. Paul raises some important points, however, which deserve careful consideration. The first point he raises is... Continue Reading

God Keeps His Covenant of Love

God loves you, mom. He is faithful to complete the good work He began in you.

I realize that not every pastor’s wife has children or the prospect of grandchildren. Not every pastor’s wife has offspring who are following the Lord and bringing her joy. I know this can be painful. Although God is not blessing you in the same way that He is blessing me (and vice versa), He is blessing you... Continue Reading

Should We Watch Murders on Social Media?

I don’t think we should watch the video. I don’t think we should post it. And I don’t think media outlets should run it.

A videotaped massacre can easily be a kind of pornography, turning human beings—made in the image of God–into spectacles, all while giving the illusion of a safe distance between their suffering and the audience. We can justify watching this as “being informed,” but there is a very thin line these days between news and entertainment.... Continue Reading

Ashley Madison and the Death of Monogamy

The furor and grief over the Ashley Madison revelations point to the underlying reality that even those supposedly liberated from conventional sexual morality really do know that adultery is wrong.

But in the larger secular culture, the big question is whether adultery really matters or not. Marriage and monogamy have been subverted from an array of cultural forces. Moral revolutionaries declared war on monogamy, declaring it to be unrealistic, patriarchal, repressive, and antiquated. Popular culture and entertainment glorified virtually any experiment in sexual gratification and... Continue Reading

Noisy Quiet Times

Some of us may be surprised to find out how many hours we have actually spent with our Lord Jesus when we meet him face to face.

Late one night I was reading a Christian book on the disciplines of the Christian woman. When I got to the part that suggested setting my alarm clock at 3:00 am to have my quiet time, I slammed the book closed and threw it at the wall. That book has probably been a blessing to... Continue Reading

Already & Not-Yet

We may speak of the kingdom of God – the rule and reign of Christ – as being already here, but not yet come in its fullness.

There is a real danger of falling into one of the ditches on either side of the road when it comes to our understanding of the coming of the kingdom of God. The kingdom of God was inaugurated at Christ’s first coming and will be consummated at His second coming. Living between these two epiphanies,... Continue Reading

The Radical Assault on Marriage and Family, from Karl Marx to Justice Kennedy

An interview with Dr. Paul Kengor, author of "Takedown: From Communists to Progressives, How the Left Has Sabotaged Family and Marriage"

The key here is the rise of the New Left, or the so-called “cultural Marxists.” They switched the fight against the West away from the Marxist class/economic-based revolutionary model to one of culture and sex. Their inability to sell economic Marxism to the world meant that a new means would be needed to bring down... Continue Reading

I Will Not Treat You Fairly

What do we want from God, the Judge? Will we really demand fairness from him?

This is the simple Gospel. Those who demand equitable fairness will spend their days receiving such in the place of eternal condemnation. Contrarily, those who say, “Forget Fairness” will receive mercy and grace from the Son of God who took their sins upon his shoulders, placed his righteousness upon their account, and “forgot fairness” for... Continue Reading

Why San Francisco’s City Church Is Wrong About Sex

San Francisco's evangelical City Church will no longer require members to abstain from homosexual practice, so long as the homosexual activity occurs in the context of marriage.

Although the City Church letter appeals to Jesus’ mission to outcasts as a basis for jettisoning a male-female requirement for marriage, it is difficult to claim that the Jesus we encounter in Scripture would have countenanced homosexual sex in the context of a “marriage.” Jesus appealed to the two-sexes requirement for marriage (and thus for... Continue Reading

Editorial: Doctors Must Put Patients Before Personal Views

The Canadian Medical Association is proposing that doctors who object to assisted suicide should be required to refer patients to an independent third party.

Laws prohibiting medically assisted death in Canada were struck down by the Supreme Court of Canada in February. The court gave the federal government a year to deliver a new law allowing consenting adults with an “intolerable” – though not necessarily terminal – condition the right to seek medical help to end their lives. Making... Continue Reading

Ben Carson: #BlackLivesMatter Misfire

Our righteous anger misdirected at politically convenient targets, not real culprits.

We should go to Washington. For decades they have fought the “War on Poverty.” Poverty won. We lost. Over 19 trillion dollars has been wasted, but can anyone identify a single battle won as a result? We certainly have not helped the poor “lift themselves out of the ruts of poverty” as Lyndon Johnson promised — far from... Continue Reading

“Textual, Expository, Redemptive-Historical, Applicatory” Preaching?

If all expository preachers differ in their style, structure and approach to preaching, is one specific way of preaching that we ought to be aiming for?

A hermeneutical principle can never take the sole place in a homiletical method. This danger can occur with systematic theology as well. We have to integrate the redemptive-historical elements into the sermon as they are naturally highlighted in the immediate context of the text. This is not always an easy task. We have to give ourselves to a... Continue Reading

Anti-Church Evangelical Trends

Six anti-church trends among American evangelicals

Spectator Christians: “Spectator Christianity feeds on the delusion that virtue can come through viewing, much like the football fan who imagines that he ingests strength and daring while watching his favorite pro team.  Spectator sports and spectator Christianity produce the same things – fans who cheer the players on while they themselves are in desperate need... Continue Reading

Kenya Moves Forward with Strict New Church Regulations

In mid-August, Deputy President William Ruto said the government will tighten regulations on the registration of religious organizations and their leaders in an attempt to tame rogue pastors.

The new rules, announced earlier this year, would require pastors, rabbis, imams, and other religious leaders to obtain certificates of good conduct from the police and clearance from the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission. Religious leaders opposed the move and asked for more consultations with government officials.    (WNS)–The Kenyan government is cracking down on churches in... Continue Reading

Accidental Feminist or Vlad the Impaler?

To help the dazed and clear up the confusion, here is a final helpful summary of what we actually claim

While I have little interest in complementarianism as a social movement myself, I worry at the influence such voices may have on congregations and Christian families.  It would thus be very helpful for groups like CBMW to make it clear where they think the acceptable rightward boundary of their movement is. And, while we’re at... Continue Reading

Killing Sin by the Spirit

"Be killing sin or it will be killing you." - John Owen

Killing sin is not a one-time, simple procedure. There’s no easy seven-step program of sin killing that you can complete in a week or a month or a year. As long as we remain in this flesh, we will be subject to temptations and we must constantly, vigilantly, diligently and ruthlessly kill sin. We cannot... Continue Reading

Bumper Sticker Worldviews: Do They Make Sense?

Although the non-Christian worldview might seem like a steady structure on the outside, we can have confidence that it won’t hold up under closer scrutiny.

The other day I pulled up behind a car that contained a litany of bumper stickers expressing their view about all sorts of things.  They were not hiding their worldview (or at least parts of it). But, as might be expected, this individual apparently took very little time to consider whether the content of these... Continue Reading

A Brief History Of Covenant Theology

The roots of Reformed covenant theology are as deep as the Christian revelation and tradition is old.

It is clear that, through the 20th century, the great consensus which had been sustained since the Reformed covenant theology since the 1520’s has fragmented. The causes seem to be three: The influence of Barth, even among confessional theologians has been greater than many recognize. Second, in reaction to Modernity, many have become practical fundamentalists,... Continue Reading

Do Churches Practice Age Discrimination in Hiring Pastors and Staff?

Age is important. But it should not be everything.

I am seeing many churches experiencing difficulty finding pastors and other staff that meet their criteria. The solution could be in looking at candidates who just might be younger or older than they originally anticipated. Don’t be surprised if you find some outstanding candidates either younger or older than you expected.   It’s a simple... Continue Reading

5 Warning Signs of a Spiritual Narcissist

A Spiritual Narcissist is someone who uses the Gospel to build themselves up while they tear others down.

Perhaps the easiest way to identify a Spiritual Narcissist is to see if their works match their words. Many will claim they have nothing but love and compassion in their hearts for those they rebuke, but their actions prove otherwise. Matthew 7 teaches us that we can judge a prophet by the fruit of his... Continue Reading

Ashley Madison, Sin, and Judgment

Secret profiles are secret no more–so much for the promise of invisibility and anonymity.

But before we let this be an occasion for us to point a self-righteous finger, or derive some twisted sense of satisfaction, or luxuriate in the knowledge of these revelations, perhaps we should use it to reflect on the sobering reality of final judgment. Sometimes I hear people blithely say, “God is my judge.” I’ve... Continue Reading

Christian Unity without Doctrinal Indifferentism

For all his polemical instincts, there was a deeply ecumenical side to Witherspoon, but it was an ecumenicity with a definite center and with defined boundaries.

This ecumenical streak in Witherspoon was not borne out of doctrinal indifferentism. His desire for unity, for example, did not encompass Socinians, Pelagians, Catholics or any other group holding religious views he deemed antithetical to true biblical Christianity. Witherspoon had no patience for the latitudinarian kind of unity he found among his colleagues in the... Continue Reading

One Year Later

One year ago was the public announcement of my disqualification from pastoral ministry.

I still have many regrets. Many. Regrets over the things I have done and the people I have hurt. These regrets are not only over those things directly related to my ministry-disqualifying sin, but over a whole host of other things – things that my exposure in this area brought to light in other areas. At... Continue Reading

12 Reasons We Don’t Change

We believe that we are above needing structure

“We chronically underestimate the time it takes to get anything done AND we believe that time is open-ended and sufficiently spacious for us to get to all our self-improvement goals eventually.”   Triggers: Creating Behavior That Lasts–Becoming the Person You Want to Be, by Marshall Goldsmith, is a secular book about the environmental and psychological triggers that... Continue Reading

5 Myths and Truths in Loneliness

I'm amazed at how significant human loneliness is to the triune God

Aloneness isn’t just important to our triune God; it’s central to his design for our dealings with each other and with him. Nor is loneliness simply a result of personal choices or the world’s groaning under sin. Before the fall in Genesis 3, God proclaims, “It is not good for man to be alone” even as he evaluates his sin-free world.   Having been... Continue Reading

Presbytery Finally Pays Church The Sanctions Imposed On It By Civil Court

It took two years, but the Presbytery of South Louisiana has finally paid $390,000 in sanctions

“The church had been in the process of selling its property to its contiguous neighbor, The Stuart Hall School for Boys, when the presbytery tried to block the sale by asserting that the denomination – not the church – owned the property. The court ruled in favor of the local church, as did the Louisiana... Continue Reading

4 Principles for the Exercise of Christian Liberty

These were questions to which Paul in particular gave a great deal of thought

“You do not need to exercise your liberty in order to enjoy it. Indeed, Paul elsewhere asks some very penetrating questions of those who insist on exercising their liberty whatever the circumstances: Does this really build up others? Is this really liberating you — or has it actually begun to enslave you?”   It was... Continue Reading