He (and They) Must Not Be a Novice

Time brings maturity and maturity fosters humility

“Not too long ago I encountered a marriage ministry founded by a couple who were just a few years into marriage. They were eager and willing to write books and host seminars and travel far and wide to share their wisdom. It is possible they have much wisdom to share, especially as they mine the... Continue Reading

Litigious Progressives

This latest attempt by progressives to have the church’s judicial branch do what they cannot accomplish legislatively reveals their increasingly aggressive litigious bent

“No one disputes the rights of United Methodists to petition General Conference and to advocate for changes to church teaching and law. However, progressives’ repeated attempts to circumvent its law only serve to ignite more legal maneuvering at General Conference and before the Judicial Council.”   In yet another bid to overturn The United Methodist... Continue Reading

We Are Done With Chemo, and I’m a Little Bit Afraid

I want to leave a couple of thoughts as a follower of Jesus and parent of someone finishing 3+ years of chemo

“I didn’t know much about leukemia at the time, I’m not even sure I was positive it was cancer before Elijah got it. I knew enough that first night to stay off the internet. There are lots of leukemias, and our boy only had one of them. Until they gave it a specific name, I... Continue Reading

Why You Don’t Read Your Bible (and How to Start)

The most important thing for spiritual growth is reading the Bible, yet most people in the church aren’t

“In my experience, there are two main reasons people don’t read their Bible. The first is that people honestly don’t understand the Bible holds transformational power. Second, they don’t read the Bible because they don’t know how to find delight in reading it. Both issues are worth understanding in more detail.”   Over and over... Continue Reading

Pastor’s Wife Allegedly Stole $1.4 Million From Clinic, Community Member Says She Needs ‘Prayer’

Susan Combs Pratt, wife of Senior Pastor Weston Pratt of Living Waters Full Gospel Church in Hazard, Kentucky, was indicted last week for embezzling $1.4 million from Mercy Clinic in Jackson

“Pratt was released from Three Forks Regional Jail last Thursday and is expected to be arraigned in Breathitt County Circuit Court on Aug. 11. Calls to Living Waters Full Gospel Church went unanswered Wednesday.”   Susan Combs Pratt, wife of Senior Pastor Weston Pratt of Living Waters Full Gospel Church in Hazard, Kentucky, was indicted... Continue Reading

Hypepriests: The Grail-Wearing Pastors Who Dress Like Justin Bieber

Justin Bieber and his favorite pastors have all started wearing the same mega-hyped clothes

“It is not exactly news that pastors have learned how to dress with style and panache; this has been the case since Hillsong burst onto our cultural radar. But when did it become cool for the biggest pop star in the world to dress like his pastor? Or, perhaps more to the point: when did... Continue Reading

The Country Where Children with Down Syndrome Are Disappearing

The scale of the eugenics problem in the United States is exponentially higher than it is in Iceland

A reporter from CBS asked Stefansson, “What does the 100 percent termination rate, you think, reflect about Icelandic society?” He replied, “It reflects a relatively heavy-handed genetic counseling. And I don’t think that heavy-handed genetic counseling is desirable. . . . You’re having impact on decisions that are not medical, in a way.”   The... Continue Reading

The Eternal Shore Five Things We Forget About Heaven

Think of these as qualities we forget about heaven — parts of the shoreline most likely to be overlooked

“Imagine being out for a walk and bumping into Charles Spurgeon. Or Moses. Or Joni Eareckson Tada (who, of course, can walk and run!). All the saints, from all times, will be your intimate friends and neighbors. It is, after all, eternity, so if you miss anyone over the first ten billion years, you’ll have... Continue Reading

Don’t Confuse Spirituality with Righteousness

I was caught up with a crowd who confused the means with the end. Spirituality can be a cheap substitute for righteousness.

Spiritual disciplines are vitally necessary to achieve righteousness. Bible study, prayer, church attendance, evangelism, are necessary for Christian growth, but they cannot be the final goal. I cannot achieve righteousness without spirituality. But it is possible to be “spiritual,” at least on the surface, without attaining righteousness.   When I first became a Christian I was... Continue Reading

Shining Divine Light in the Darkest Places – Corrie Ten Boom

The blacker the night around us grew, the brighter and truer and more beautiful burned the Word of God.

“I would look about us as Betsie read, watching the light leap from face to face. More than conquerors. … It was not a wish. It was a fact. We knew it, we experienced it minute by minute – poor, hated, hungry. We are more than conquerors. Not ‘we shall be’. We are! Life in... Continue Reading

4 Painful Lies Stay-at-Home Moms Tell Themselves

When it comes to stay-at-home motherhood, the cacophony of voices, both inside and out, can be deafening.

I’m a stay-at-home mom because I’m striving to obey God’s calling on my life. He’s given me gifts, talents, and abilities that I steward while devoting most of my time to my family. We prayerfully made these decisions for our family; they’re not a judgment call on yours.   We’ve all come across passive-aggressive people who says things in... Continue Reading

The Worst Philosophical Defense of Abortion You’ll Ever Hear

Ironically, Harman’s view is based in part on a famous, reputable argument against abortion, one that claims what makes killing inherently wrong is that it deprives a victim of their future experiences.

Harman says she is defending the “liberal position about early abortion” that there’s “nothing morally bad” about early state abortions. Harman’s position is that among “early fetuses” there are two “very different kinds of beings.” She claims that she and her interviewers “already had moral status then”—that is, as an early embryo—“in virtue of our... Continue Reading

Wisdom Christology in James and 1 John

As Calvin understood, the eternal Wisdom is a creative, redemptive, and sanctifying wisdom; therefore, this Wisdom is a fountain of life.

The ability of the Word to transform human life is the basis of its authority and its glory. It is this Word of life – the divine Wisdom – which brings us into fellowship with God and restores the bond of love between believers and God, and between believers one with another.   In the previous... Continue Reading

Where to Bring Your Broken Heart

Gospel hope is the foundation of healthy grief.

In a world where sin infects and impacts all things, it is impossible for believers to make it through without hearts that break. But we have a God who is not silent at such times. He knows, because he has walked in our shoes (Hebrews 4:15). He has felt the terrible pangs of a broken... Continue Reading

Addiction, Lies and Relationships

Addiction is often said to be a disease of denial but it is also a disease of regret.

Because addiction by definition is an irrational, unbalanced and unhealthy behavior pattern resulting from an abnormal obsession, it simply cannot continue to exist under normal circumstances without the progressive attack upon and distortion of reality resulting from the operation of its propaganda and psychological warfare brigades. The fundamentally insane and unsupportable thinking and behavior of... Continue Reading

Caspar Olevianus and the Birthday Sermon That Split a Town in Half

Some describe him as a pioneer of covenant theology because, while was not the first one to expound it, he was the first one to arrange it in a clear and well-defined structure.

Olevianus preached with all the enthusiasm of a new convert, sharply denouncing the Roman mass, the worship of saints, and other expressions of what he considered pure idolatry, and boldly proclaiming the Reformed doctrine of justification by faith alone.   On his 23rd birthday, 10 August 1559, Caspar Olevianus had a chance to preach his first... Continue Reading

Persevere: Faithful Ministry Will Bear Fruit

Faithful ministry is successful ministry even when it leads to hardship and suffering.

For 9 1/2 years (2000-2009) this young man labored to bring about biblical faithfulness. He was wounded and weary from battle. But the Holy Spirit gave him power and he fought for Jesus. The congregation continued to decline in numbers. But the seeds of righteousness and repentance were sown. I think he left feeling a... Continue Reading

Race, the Gospel, and the Moment

Some thoughts on how to respond to the events in Charlottesville, Va.

Racism should not be only brought up at moments such as we witnessed in Charlottesville this past weekend. The evil of racism is a biblical theme—a sin the gospel reveals and heals—so we should be teaching about it routinely in the course of regular preaching.   How should Christians, and especially those with an Anglo-white... Continue Reading

It’s Not Just About The Sex

Our culture has concluded that relationships are defined by sex.

The good news is that friendship, and especially commitment, are more stable than sex and eroticism. To the extent that couples begin their relationships on the basis of sexual attraction, the stability of their marriage is a long shot. To the extent that they begin their relationship with commitment and friendship, they are exponentially more... Continue Reading

Humanity’s Oldest Ache

Words not only describe how we feel, they distinctly shape how we understand our feelings.

The biblical narrative begins and ends at home. From the Garden of Eden to the New Jerusalem, we are hardwired for place and for permanence, for rest and refuge, for presence and protection. We long for home because welcome was our first gift of grace and it will be our last. The setting of our... Continue Reading

PCA Study Committee Report on the Role of Women in the Ministry of the Church: Recommendation #7

Assessing Recommendation 7 of the PCA Role of Women in the Church Report presented to the 45th General Assembly.

There is no question that all God’s people are set apart to serve and minister within the church (Ps. 4:3, 2 Tim. 2:21). However, the practice of setting apart for specific tasks within the church seems to be an exceptional circumstance where men already in office, whether as Levite, priest, apostle or teacher in the... Continue Reading

Eye On The Sky

A total solar eclipse is a sign of heavenly design.

Earth’s unique location and vantage point for eclipses and other astronomical phenomena is evidence of intelligent design, Gonzalez and Richards wrote: “Simply stated, the conditions allowing for intelligent life on Earth also make our planet strangely well suited for viewing and analyzing the universe.”   A much-anticipated solar eclipse will sweep across the United States... Continue Reading

When Your Pastor Becomes A Social Justice Action Hero

It has become common in our day for pastors to frame their sermons to deal with the social justice issues of the day.

The one thing the church offers is an answer to the wrath of God because of sin. As the world remains under judgment, the Christian gospel offers a way of transference out of a kingdom of darkness and into a kingdom of light, out of Babylon and into the heavenly Jerusalem. We do this by... Continue Reading

ECO Theological Task Force Introduces Book of Confessions

Now that ECO is well established we have the responsibility to assess our collection of documents and to clarify and consider their meaning for us going forward.

Now that ECO is well established we have the responsibility to assess our collection of documents and to clarify and consider their meaning for us going forward. We also have the responsibility to determine which creeds, catechisms, confessions, and statements we would like to see included in our future confessional standards. We trust that our... Continue Reading

Charlottesville and the Mission of the Church

The church is at her best when she offers the one thing the world cannot: the gospel of Jesus Christ.

The answer to racial bigotry is not an amalgamation of left-wing critical theory and the gospel. The two cannot be harmonized. Nor is it appropriate to respond to white nationalism with black nationalism. The answer is a message. It is the same message Paul brought to the Corinthians; a message which seemed then and will... Continue Reading

A Historic Framework for Social Responsibility

How shall the church think about social issues of race, justice and power?

On the one hand this is freeing. The single mother working two low-wage earning jobs does share the same kind of moral responsibility as the wealthy CEO for her neighbors, but she does not share the same degree of moral responsibility as the wealthy CEO. On the other hand, it is morally challenging. True righteousness is measured by deeds... Continue Reading

Are Christians Intolerant Haters? Lessons from the Church of the Second Century

In other words, can we learn anything from the Christians of the second century that may help us in our current cultural moment? Absolutely.

Second-century Christians were regarded as “haters.”  One might think the small size of the early Christian movement would allow it to be overlooked or ignored.  But this is not what happened.  On the contrary, the Roman government noticed Christians and didn’t like what they saw. Christians were seen as offensive, rude, peculiar, and a threat... Continue Reading

New Manual Guides Church Leaders in Sexual Abuse policies and prevention

The book helps church leaders identify different types of abuse (sexual, physical, emotional, spiritual), learn about state laws and institute safeguards, such as background checks for employees.

In 2015, the last year for which numbers are available, there were 683,000 incidents of child abuse and neglect reported to child protective services in the United States. “Protestants understand this isn’t just a Catholic issue,” said Tchividjian, referring to the massive clergy sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic Church. “This issue is sadly incredibly... Continue Reading

14 Ways to Fight For God’s Peace in Times of Stress

God gives us many promises we can cling to in hard times, and gives us a number of things we can do to experience his peace.

God desires his children to experience his peace. This doesn’t mean we won’t ever have serious concerns or be tempted to be anxious. It doesn’t mean we will always feel peace. But as we fight the good fight of faith, we will increasingly experience the deep peace of God.   Life in this world is... Continue Reading

Are Millennials Killing America’s Religious Freedom?

There is a growing misconception among many Millennials on the concept of religious liberty and why it is so crucial to protect.

According to data collected from the Pew Research Center, 40 percent of Millennials believe that the government should be able to prevent people from saying statements that are offensive to minority groups. This percentage is increasingly alarming when compared to earlier generations, such as Gen X, Baby Boomers, and the Silent Generation, of which 27 percent, 24 percent, and... Continue Reading