When We Talk About Millennials, We’re Usually Talking About White People
When we write about Millennials, we need to be careful about how we say what we say
First of all, the sociological category of “Millennials” is an American invention. So whenever you make generalizations about “Millennials,” you’re only talking about Americans. But it gets even more specific than that. We write blog posts and cultural commentaries saying, “Millennials this,” and “Millennials that,” but unless we’re using statistics to support our statements,... Continue Reading
The Peter Principle and the Saul Syndrome
The Peter Principle is about competence. The Saul Syndrome is about character.
“Greater responsibility tends to expose cracks in one’s character. The cracks were already there, but the added burden or the additional ‘power’ made them more visible. If people are promoted based on their skill alone, they are promoted into a place where a lack of integrity will be more damaging to others.” The Peter... Continue Reading
Direct Revelation and Marriage Proposals
If the Bible isn’t for the mystic or the mythic then who is it for?
“Christians are not all mystics speaking to one another like mystics uttering often contradictory, well-God-told-me’s, while comparing the validity of their mystic experiences in which said revelation was received. Nonsense. Christians go to the word, together, to figure out, together, what God says about salvation and the life the saved live.” Lisa sat there,... Continue Reading
Persecution and the Priorities of Preaching
Sometimes God uses the Word to rebuke and correct His people
“Do you not imagine that your preaching priorities would become clear under persecution? After all, if you are forced to meet with your congregation in a catacomb, and if you know that you might be arrested at any time, you are going to weigh every word.” Sometimes it happens that preaching the Word is... Continue Reading
To Women Who Feel Guilty About Their Abortions
The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit (Psalm 34)
“If you’re already a Christian, but struggle with the weight of guilt over your sin, remember what Christ has already done for you. Live in the freedom that he purchased for you. Remember that though your sins were like scarlet, Christ has made you white as snow. Pray on behalf of others who are considering... Continue Reading
The Coming Identity-Crisis
We could turn out to be what we’ve always tried to evade
“The coming identity crisis for younger evangelicals (which I still consider myself to be one though I’m now climbing the northern slope of my fourth decade of life) is that we will have to come face to face with a label we’ve spent much of our ministry trying to avoid. For some time, however short... Continue Reading
Five Questions about Sanctification and Good Works: Are Good Works Necessary to Salvation?
Good works are identified with sanctification as its definition and cheerleader
“This question about the necessity of good works has often perplexed Christians. If, on the one hand, we say no, good works are not necessary, we can hardly make sense of the warnings and moral imperatives of the New Testament. But if we say good works are necessary to salvation, it can sound like we’ve... Continue Reading
Carly Fiorina Q+A: ‘Whom Shall I Fear?’
The candidate on her faith, abortion, and why women make good investment risks
“The sharp-spoken former executive has offered voters glimpses of her personal life, including her battle with breast cancer in 2009 and her stepdaughter’s tragic death after struggling with drug addiction. It was her Christian faith that sustained her.” Ever since Carly Fiorina’s forceful criticism of Planned Parenthood during CNN’s Republican debate, Americans have been... Continue Reading
“I’d Rather Go to Hell Than be With You!”
Instead of being proud of this encounter, to the point of posting it as an example of proper evangelism on YouTube, they should have been ashamed.
It is tempting to think that if I’m doing it wrong then I should stop, or I should alter the message. We don’t have that luxury. We are called His ambassadors for a reason. We cannot alter the message, remain silent, or represent Him the wrong way. We must strive to be like Christ as... Continue Reading
Nine Reasons He Didn’t Stop the Shootings
Let us be encouraged that we are not fools if we stand with the victims and say to the world that seeks our death: “I’m a Christian.”
Nothing catches our LORD by surprise because He has ordained all that is to come to pass for His own glory. The mature believer rejoices in this, knowing that God truly is God. All things are under His control, from our lives that are filled with regular trials, to the kings who rule over us,... Continue Reading
How the Other Half Reads: What I Learned from a Book on Manhood
Discovering the universal truth in our gender-specific teachings
Rather than pursuing biblical masculinity in order to reach Christ, men should pursue Christ first and become the men God has already made them to be. This is Pyle’s banner, and it bears a striking resemblance to Hannah Anderson’s conclusion in Made for More. There, she invites women to recover their primary identity as being... Continue Reading
What The Heidelberg Liturgy Teaches Us About Grace, Faith, And Sanctification
The law of praying is the law of believing but what we confess also colors and is reflected in our corporate worship.
The key difference between the penitent and the impenitent is not good works. It is Spirit-wrought new life and Spirit-wrought true faith in Christ. There is an order to the Reformed confession of the faith. The Holy Spirit is the Lord and Giver of life. He gives new life to his elect, and with new life he gives... Continue Reading
A Review: Crowned
Crowned walks a new believing woman through the foundational truths of who God is and who we are in Christ.
This book is ideal for those whose ministry is in a church context where there are many who are unchurched. It would be a useful tool for a spiritual mentor to use in a discipleship relationship with a new believer. The writing is clear, practical, and Biblical. Reading through Crowned, you feel as though Melissa... Continue Reading
The Wave of the Future
We need more discussion on what bivocational ministry might look like.
I am fortunate: my ‘day job’ is something which pays a living wage, which I love doing, and which offers significant overlap with my pastoral work. Most other bivocational pastors I know do not enjoy such privilege. They drive buses or work office jobs or even (in one case) run a ranch in order... Continue Reading
The Preacher and His Technology
Technology can be a wonderful servant but a terrible master.
My aim in this article is to help preachers use technology in such a way as to get the most out of this willing servant, but also to avoid it becoming a damaging tyrant. To do that, we will honestly face some of the dangers of technology in sermon preparation; then we will outline a... Continue Reading
2 Motivations for Pursuing Holiness
Peter gives us two truths worth remembering as motivations for our pursuit of holiness.
It’s one thing to ransom someone from slavery in this world. Many have performed this gracious act, and we thank God for it. But how do we ransom people from slavery to sin? How much do we pay to ransom them from death and hell? For such a transaction, silver and gold are of no... Continue Reading
Five Questions About Sanctification and Good Works: How Does Sanctification Differ From Justification?
Justification and sanctification must not be confused. Here's how they differ.
“Both justification and sanctification are by faith, but whereas faith is the instrument through which we receive the righteousness of Christ, faith is the root and principle out of which and sanctification grows (XVII.i.19). We say that justification is by faith alone, because we want to safeguard justification from any notion of striving or working.”... Continue Reading
Justin Welby’s Wager and the Threat of a ‘Liquid’ Anglican Communion
Characterised by fewer traditional institutions and structures, there will be greater flexibility, looser geographical boundaries, ease of movement and constant change
“First, there is little agreement on how to evaluate the current situation in the Anglican Communion. Second, given the lack of details in the announcements regarding what the Archbishop of Canterbury actually has in mind, many commentators are assuming the worst.” With some leaders of the Anglican Communion accusing others of not being “Christian,”... Continue Reading
Christians in Syria Struggle to Survive Amid Terrors
A Pastor is caught between obligations to ministry and to family.
The pastor, whose name is withheld for security reasons, and his family typify the many Christians scrambling to survive in Syria. With an estimated 700,000 of Syria’s pre-war population of 1.4 million Christians having already fled, he too harbors the question, “Should I flee my country, and if so, when and where should I go?”... Continue Reading
Three Steps To Successful Sabbaths
Jesus demonstrated how we can live in a healthy rhythm with our lives and ministries
“Balance is an illusion for driven people. Life is way too unpredictable to balance. A better biblical goal is to live a life in rhythm. Athletes understand the need for a pre-season, season, and off-season. So do accountants and politicians. Even nature’s seasons and cycles remind us of God’s rhythm.” I once thought I... Continue Reading
From business to politics to education, there is no avoiding religion
“The fact is that we are religious beings through and through. All of us, as R.C. Sproul says, are theologians. God made us that way. Even on a day when everyone concedes that the pope might otherwise dominate the news, half a dozen other “religious” stories crowd their way onto the table of contents.” ... Continue Reading
The Good News Of The Salvation Has Now Been Announced
What is the central unifying narrative thread in the history of redemption?
“The incarnation was not a parenthesis. It was the fulfillment of God’s eternal plan and intra-trinitarian covenant (pactum salutis) in which God the Son agreed to be our substitute and the Father to give to his Son a people and the Holy Spirit to apply to that people all of Christ’s benefits.” What is... Continue Reading
The Attraction of the Cross
In a day of self-gratification, what we need is a clear picture of biblical Christianity
An easy way to help people forfeit their own soul is by helping them treasure and seek fulfillment in the things of the world. To them Jesus asks, “What does it profit if you gain the whole world and forfeit your own soul?” Those who live a life of self-denial do so because of the... Continue Reading
What Does it Mean to Abide in Christ?
We must never allow ourselves to drift from daily contemplation of the cross
“We must never allow ourselves to drift from daily contemplation of the cross as the irrefutable demonstration of that love, or from dependence on the Spirit who sheds it abroad in our hearts (Rom. 5:5). Furthermore, remaining in Christ’s love comes to very concrete expression: simple obedience rendered to Him is the fruit and evidence... Continue Reading
Zwingli: Patriot Reformer of German Speaking Switzerland
Huldrych Zwingli (1484-1531), a Swiss reformer, a contemporary of Luther, began his work in Zurich.
Zwingli first served as a pastor in idyllic Einsiedeln (still the home of one of the most ornate monasteries in the world) for two years (1516-1518), prior to beginning his thundering ministry at Zurich’s Grossmunster church on January 1, 1519, making him one of the earliest declared Protestants in the world. William Farel was... Continue Reading
Tethered to Technology—Escaping the IT Trap
Are we using the benefits of technology wisely or are we so tethered to it that we are its slaves?
We often want to blame the technology itself rather than the way we use it, including our failure to take control of and limit it. The fact is, devices like smartphones can sometimes be extremely helpful and even liberating. It can be great to be able to still get work done despite being stuck for... Continue Reading
Websites of Most Individual Protestant Churches Cannot Be Located Through Denominational Website
Only a 32% chance one will find a link for any given Protestant local congregation when visiting a denominational website.
Most Protestant denominations have a website that includes a function to help users find a local church. But denominations provide accurate links to the websites of only 32% of all local churches, even though three out of four churches have their own website. Much of the information on denominational websites about member churches is simply... Continue Reading
Connect for Christ
Jesus just asks us to be faithful as his witnesses.
We also witness by what we say, not in terms of not using profanity or trying to say encouraging things. We witness by sharing the gospel. After all, gospel means “good news.” We bear good news as we point people to God, as we give the Bible’s explanation for the mess the world is in,... Continue Reading
From Gay Parents to Prom Dates, Faith-Based Schools Face LGBT Dilemmas
In the months since the Supreme Court decided same-sex marriage should be legal throughout the United States, faith-based high schools have entered a new frontier.
Solicitor General Donald Verrilli made comments before the Supreme Court foreshadowing legal problems for faith-based schools. When asked by Justice Samuel Alito if a faith-based school could lose its tax-exempt status over its views on same-sex marriage, Verrilli replied, “It’s certainly going to be an issue. I don’t deny that.” (WNS)–In the months since... Continue Reading
The Scottgate Tapes – A Revealing Insight into the Current State of the Church of Scotland
Assessment of a debate between David Robertson and Scott McKenna on the Bible, the atonement and the future of the church in Scotland
The Church of Scotland is dying. Without a major miracle of renewal and reformation, the Church of Scotland is in its death throes within Scotland. It’s establishment is rotten to the core, its doctrine has become unbiblical nonsense, it’s discipline nonexistent in some cases – tyrannical in others, its membership and congregations are in free-fall and... Continue Reading