Southern Baptists and the Sufficiency of Scripture

The books on heavenly tourism are not the only problem lining the shelves of Lifeway.

Lifeway promotes a host of books and studies that purport to help people hear the voice of God. Many of these books list Scripture as just one of many ways that God speaks to His people. Clearly there are Christians who do believe that God still gives direct revelation outside the mediation of his Word.... Continue Reading

17 Ways To Glorify God

Thomas Watson in his book, Body of Divinity, offers a commentary on "What is the Chief End of Man?"

Thomas Watson, in his book Body of Divinity, offers a commentary on this question and its answer. In doing so Watson offers 17 ways in which the Christian glorifies God. I will give the bullet-point list of ways that Watson lists along with one quote and one Scripture reference that he mentions in his larger... Continue Reading

Nine Traits of Church Bullies

Church bullies have always been around. But they seem to be doing their work more furiously today than in recent history.

Church bullies are common in many churches. They wreak havoc and create dissension. They typically must have an “enemy” in the church, because they aren’t happy unless they are fighting a battle. They tend to maneuver to get an official leadership position in the church, such as chairman of the elders or deacons or treasurer.... Continue Reading

Discrimination Against Gay People in Indiana?

Indiana's law does not legalize discrimination against anyone.

Critics allege that this law allows citizens to “discriminate” against gay people. The accusation is completely misinformed, and the media have played a big part in the dissemination of ignorance about what this law actually does and doesn’t do. I won’t rehash the law here, but I will direct you to Joe Carter’s helpful explainer... Continue Reading

Unseen Influence

Our confession of hope influences how we handle our everyday lives, love our families, and in turn influence all those around us.

While the compilation of these many acts of love certainly gives credibility to our position of influence, it’s our unseen confession of hope that helps us to persevere, pointing our children to the true fixer, Jesus Christ. Mothers know we need to rely on God’s strength. Our confession of hope is not in our own... Continue Reading

Commending Others as Christ Does

My church is full of "sister Phoebes," and I want to work on commending them more.

Sometimes, I have such high standards for my Christian sisters that I fail to recognize the daily steps of obedience these women are taking. I forget how far they have come in their Christian journey. My attitude needs to be more like Christ’s. He knows our imperfections and loves us in spite of them. He sees and commends the good deeds of... Continue Reading

What Dawkins, Hawking, and Harris Know About God

In Romans 1:18-32 God tells us what every atheist knows about God.

What hope! As we evangelize, we are not evangelizing blank slates. We are not starting with total ignorance. We are going to people who already know much about God. There are already mental sockets prepared for the truth of God’s Word to fit into and to explain.   How would you like to peer into... Continue Reading

Three Crucial Truths to Keep Me From Going Crazy

Change is a good and God-glorifying thing.

Philippians 1:6 puts it this way: “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” That is such sweet, sanity-giving news. God will do it. He will finish the good work he started in me, and he will... Continue Reading

Who The Unchurched Really Are

The most unchurched demographic is the working class, the lower income non-college-educated folks

“Certainly, we need to proclaim the Gospel to everyone, and I don’t want to downplay the importance of evangelizing millennials, urbanites, college students, and everyone else.  But doesn’t the church need to give some attention to the main demographic where the unchurched are?”   Most evangelism programs, church growth tactics, and other attempts to reach... Continue Reading

What Christianophobia Looks Like In America

New Study: Champions of religious freedom tell Christians, 'Keep your faith to yourselves'

“As this survey illustrates, animosity toward Christians involves racial, educational, and economic factors; the people most likely to hold negative views of conservative Christians also belong to demographic groups with high levels of social power. Rich, white, educated Americans are major influencers in media, academia, business, and government, and these are the people most likely... Continue Reading

We Cannot Love God If We Do Not Love His Word

If we want to do the will of the Father, we need to study the Word of the Father

“It is very sad to me that in today’s sophisticated Western culture, people are more familiar with the twelve signs of the Zodiac than with the twelve tribes of Israel or the twelve Apostles. Our world likes to see itself as sophisticated and technological, but it remains filled with superstition. Christians are not immune to... Continue Reading

NBCI’s 34,000 Black Churches Breaks Fellowship with Presbyterian Church (USA) Urges African American Protestant Denominations to Sever Ties

PCUSA's manipulation represents a universal sin against the entire church and its members

“The Presbyterian General Assembly, the top legislative body of the PSUSA, voted last June to revise the constitutional language defining marriage.  This arbitrary change of Holy Scripture is a flagrantly pretentious and illegitimate maneuver by a body that has no authority whatsoever to alter holy text.”   The National Black Church Initiative (NBCI), a faith-based... Continue Reading

Hymns We Should Sing More Often: Holy God, We Praise Your Name

"Holy God, We Praise Your Name" is based on the fourth century Latin hymn "Te Deum Laudamus"

“This is the first installment of an intermittent series I’ve called “Hymns We Should Sing More Often.” The aim is to remind us (or introduce for the first time) excellent hymns that are probably not included in most church’s musical canon.”   A few people reading this post can remember World War II. The rest... Continue Reading

Anxiety Attacks

Jesus reminds us of the futility of our anxiety

“Look at how awesome our Lord is! Consider how amazingly gracious that He wants us to know He is in control, He loves us, He provides and protects us, and He commands us, “do not be anxious about your life.” If we are to be concerned or preoccupied about anything, it should be the things... Continue Reading

Millennials Are The ‘Don’t Judge Generation’ On Sexual Morality

Most young adults hold views on moral issues that are a long way from what major religions preach

“What we see running through the answers is that where principles of fairness come up, millennials want to see equal access to health services, abortion and contraception. They think people should have individual freedom to make decisions.”   Most young adults of every religion, race and ethnicity support access to affordable contraception. And 56 percent... Continue Reading

Tattoos For The Soul

The tattoos that cover my chest and arms speak to the faith I hold dear

“To know God is to believe who he has revealed himself to be in Christ, to rest in his grace, and to obey him in faith. In all of this, we are dependent on the Holy Scripture, and are compelled to affirm and articulate the truths revealed therein. This is where confessions of faith play... Continue Reading

My 2 Cents: Feminism, Stereotypes, and Experiences

It's not experiences or stereotypes that should guide our decisions

When we move past experience and stereotypes to biblical truth, we find that there are some things that are absolutes on which we should not budge. And there are other things that are matters of discernment and liberty. We should be kind but firm on the one, and gracious and flexible on the other.   Last... Continue Reading

5 Reasons Your Church Should Be Smaller

Here are five reasons your church might be better off focusing on faithfulness instead of success… even if it that means it will shrink.

When Jim Collins wrote his renowned leadership manual Good to Great, church leaders ate it
 up. His central thesis, “Good is the enemy of
 Great,” contends that leaders who become satisfied with a good organization will cease to press
toward greatness. My thesis is a complete reversal of Collins’s. I say that Great is the enemy... Continue Reading

God The Savior Of All?

One of the biggest and most important questions we can ask is “Does God save everyone?”

If God saves such a great number of people, such a great diversity of people, with such a great salvation – from sin, guilt, death, and hell – but they must put their faith in Christ to experience this, that will get us out of bed in the morning, that will fuel evangelistic passion, and... Continue Reading

Ministers, not Masters

The truly loving shepherd of Christ’s sheep renounces all forms of despotism, domineering, and dictatorial power.

We who would claim to be ministers of the Gospel in the service of Christ’s flock need to be on guard against that domineering spirit in our own hearts. It is so easy for those who are naturally gifted as leaders to fall prey to this temptation. You give a prideful and insecure man a... Continue Reading

Children’s Ministry – A Litmus Test Of Biblical Faithfulness In The Church…

If you want to get an idea of how a church views Scripture, look at how they teach it to the little ones

Is your Children’s Ministry predominantly teaching the kids about Christian principles and values? What kind of lessons are being taught? Is it mostly about being more kind, honest or obedient? Do they teach the full counsel of God? Are they telling kids about who God is? Is Christ and His grace at the center of the teaching?... Continue Reading

Monday Morning Ministry Blues Should Fade Fast

This balance of work and prayer refreshes and refocuses us.

Monday has come again. I have worked hard last week, praying and preparing. I worked hard yesterday preaching God’s word. Now I wake up today and am reminded that it is God that gives the increase (1 Cor. 3.6-7). He DOES give the increase. He has grown his people and He will continue to grow... Continue Reading

Avoiding a Spirit of Lethargy

The author of Hebrews here lays out two paths, the path of belief and the path of unbelief, and neither are to be taken lightly.

Christ knew that there is a gravity to evangelism and we do well to take it to heart. We are not offering membership to a political party, or a social club, or a retreat center; we are offering life and death. Those who hear the gospel and reject it or receive it insincerely heap condemnation... Continue Reading

Constructive Criticism at Work

It seems that as a society, and even in the evangelical world, all questions, differing opinions, and critique are taken as personal attacks.

Does our work now reflect our grateful response? Do we labor with both humility in ourselves and confidence in the One who is transforming us into his own likeness? He’s the one who took it personal. And he is the one who will personally be the advocate for his people on that last day. For... Continue Reading

In the Name of Grace

Today grace is being enlisted not as an enablement to obedience but as a conspirator to concupiscence.

But the grace promoted today is a grace without backbone, an invertebrate, jellyfish-like grace. It is all warm and squishy, and sounds so Christian. It is touted as loving, embracing, affirming, tolerating. Such grace is accepting without being expecting. It makes no demands. It holds no expectations. It stamps sins “forgiven” and gives the green... Continue Reading

Worship According to the Word

Concern for the proper worship of God was central to the Reformation, even as it is central to our most important theological debates today

While all Christians affirm the necessity and reality of the experiential dimension of faith, the experience must be grounded in and accountable to the Word of God. This is of central importance to the question of worship, for, left to our own devices, we will be inclined to seek worship that meets our desire for... Continue Reading

Looking for a Good Fight

Some conflicts are well worth having, and some you cannot avoid.

As a pastor you are an under-shepherd of Jesus Christ, but you must actively shepherd. We have to fear God more than sheep; if you live in fear of sheep, you don’t know your mission or calling. Some sheep have more “fleece” than others, as in wealthy tithers and donors. Some people have influence and they know it, and God help... Continue Reading

We Ask You To Abstain

Historic Reformed and Presbyterian churches have always “fenced” the table of the Lord.

Again, we might discuss and debate how “high” the fence is around the table, but it is biblical (see citations above) and wise to clearly tell unbelievers and unrepentant persons that they are not to take the Lord’s Supper.  It might not sound politically correct or “nice,” but it is a biblical help in keeping... Continue Reading

You Are Dust, Not Divine

We dusty, sinful human beings face a ridiculous temptation: self-reliance.

One of my favorite passages in the whole Bible is Psalm 103. I pray it often, and focus on these words: “For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust.” These words tell us that even while we pray to the all-knowing and all-powerful God, we do so as created beings who were... Continue Reading

The Effect of Singing

Paul instructs us that worship is vital to encouraging one another and building each other up

This can be of particular encouragement when a Christian comes to church after a particularly hard or discouraging week. We might feel so low and downcast that we have nothing to lift up before God and no ability to turn our attention to God with thanksgiving. Yet the singing of others and our own singing... Continue Reading