Are Christians Getting a Passing Grade When It Comes to Teaching Character?

Churches of all places should be where people can get schooled in character, at a level and depth unrealized by public school character education programs.

In recent years, I’ve been assured at church that I’m in a safe place where I can take off my mask, admit I don’t have my act together, and be my authentic self. As comforting as that sounds, it can only be a starting point, not a destination – a starting point we don’t want... Continue Reading

It’s Time to Legalize Polygamy

And so the slippery slope begins: Why group marriage is the next horizon of social liberalism.

But the marriage equality movement has been curiously hostile to polygamy, and for a particularly unsatisfying reason: short-term political need. Many conservative opponents of marriage equality have made the slippery slope argument, insisting that same-sex marriages would lead inevitably to further redefinition of what marriage is and means. See, for example, Rick Santorum’s infamous “man... Continue Reading

SCOTUS Decision on Marriage: Best Articles & Videos

A round up of articles addressing the Supreme Court decision on marriage

I can’t say anything better than has already been said by countless courageous Christian leaders around the country. So here’s a round up of the best articles I’ve found. If you want to make clear that, regardless of majority opinions and Supreme Court decisions, you will obey God rather than man, you can begin by... Continue Reading

Are My Children Christians?

My opinion and your opinion of our children–however optimistic or pessimistic that may be–is not the determining factor

This is the way the Holy Spirit speaks about our children: as those who are capable of being saved, as those who are relationally in covenant with God, as those who belong to the kingdom, as those who are numbered among the saints, and as those who are set apart from unbelievers. And it’s this... Continue Reading

I Will Trust and Not Be Afraid

As Christians we are called upon to put our ultimate trust in the Lord and not in anything or anyone created nor in our circumstances.

Our trust in the Lord is tested as gold in the fire when all history is ganging up on us. God seems distant and the heavens are brass. But God is not really distant at all. He is arranging the chess pieces so that he will win the game. There really is no doubt about... Continue Reading

But What Does the Bible Say?

As we pour over legal opinions and internet commentary, let us not forget what the Bible says.

I’d rather not talk about homosexuality again. But the world hasn’t stopped talking about it. And the Bible hasn’t stopped saying what it has always said. So let’s not be shrill and let’s not be silent. If you already know what the Bible says about homosexuality, don’t forget what the Bible says about all of... Continue Reading

Bill Gothard Defends Himself on New Website

Former ministry leader denies allegations of sexual abuse, but women who say he abused them stick by their stories, as donors try to prevent the sale of ministry assets

Bill Gothard is back. A little over a year ago, amid allegations of sexual abuse, he resigned from the ministry he founded in 1961. Last weekend he re-launched his website. Gothard continues to assert that the more than 60 women who accused him of harassment and abuse are “not telling the truth.” The most inflammatory... Continue Reading

Sudan Punishes Imprisoned Pastors after American Advocacy

Jesus' encouragement to visit ‘the least of these’ in jail proves tricky in practice.

Two days after Devlin’s visit, prison officials said the two pastors had been transferred to separate cells in a higher-security prison. The men have not seen their families or attorneys since, and are chained daily, CSW reports. While no reason was given publicly for the pastors’ transfer, some observers point to the failed attempt by... Continue Reading

Everything Has Changed and Nothing Has Changed — The Supreme Court Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage

As Chief Justice Roberts said in his dissent, “The majority’s decision is an act of will, not a legal judgment.”

In one sense, everything has changed. And yet, nothing has changed. The cultural and legal landscape has changed, as we believe this will lead to very real harms to our neighbors. But our Christian responsibility has not changed. We are charged to uphold marriage as the union of a man and a woman and to... Continue Reading

Is Preaching Really Foolishness?

Paul is talking about that which is foolish in the world’s eyes, but which in actuality is the wisdom of God unto salvation.

It was inconceivable to the Greek that there could be an incarnation. So what happened when Paul preached in Athens? They laughed, because his message seemed foolish. What Paul had to say to the Greeks was that mind was separated from matter, that spirit was separated from flesh. What Paul had to say to the... Continue Reading

Fragile Foundation of Marriage Equality, Part 2

More people are accepting marriage equality, but a solid majority as well as moderates and liberals say moral values are in decline.

Entitlement to self-fulfillment creates a solid philosophical basis for justifying same-sex unions. Who wants to deny anyone their inherent right to be happy? If some have same-sex attraction and that makes them feel good, then nobody should get in the way of their happiness. Approval of same-sex marriage is quite likely only a symptom of... Continue Reading

Word Magic

Playing with the meaning of words: taking the log out of our eye before assessing the court decision on marriage

But what have we done with those simple assertions of our Fathers? We’ve said, in good Supreme Court majority style, that they can also mean several other possible concepts such as Day-Age, Analogical, or Framework. Well, I do not see any significant difference between what we have done with documents that we have vowed to... Continue Reading

Coming Out

Confession is biblical, appropriate and necessary

I am not so naïve to think I understand much of anything from a press release, and that by one party. Only God knows whether the expression of regret proceeds from godly sorrow or the mourning of being caught. But I know that the gospel is not at stake and that it remains God’s remedy... Continue Reading

The Charleston Tragedy – Is Forgiveness Required?

Are Christians always obligated to forgive every debt or every transgression against them?

Although there is considerable doubt in my mind about the need to forgive apart from contrition, one thing that is clear in the Bible is that we are to love our enemies.  Maybe this is what these families are trying to do in a round-about way?  Jesus said, “Love your enemies and pray for those... Continue Reading

A Review: “Compassion without Compromise” by Adam Barr and Ron Citlau

How to be compassionate with those struggling with sexual sins without compromising biblical principles

This brings the authors to not only encourage Christians to return to God’s design, but to approach other sexual-sinners with humility, which may be what “our standing for truth needs” because none of us “lives up to the standards our faith demands.” If we do so, then, maybe “this posture of humility will gain the... Continue Reading

Marriage Canon Changes at GC2015 Could Seal Fate of Anglican Communion

If Episcopal delegates to General Convention pass two marriage resolutions in Salt Lake City later this month, it could seal the fate of any hope that the Anglican Communion can hold together

If the Church should consider committed same-sex relationships blessed by God, should it do so as a part of the practice of Christian marriage that we have not yet recognized, or rather as an analogous yet distinct good that we have not yet named? The answer is NO on both counts. Same-sex relationships have never... Continue Reading

Brief Thoughts on King v. Burwell

The decision marks a victory for postmodernism in contemporary jurisprudence. Words and texts can be manipulated by sheer will and at a whim.

The war on words is a war on meaning. It is a rebellious war, a “breaking of the chains” and “loosing of the fetters” (Psalm 2) of God’s design for creation and for bearers of his image. And the rebellion goes all the way down, even to the core of our biological identities. The war... Continue Reading

Episcopal Church Elects Michael Curry First Black Presiding Bishop

On Saturday, during a private meeting at St. Mark’s Cathedral in downtown Salt Lake City, bishops elected Bishop Michael Curry as the first African-American presiding bishop.

Curry, 62, spent 12 years as rector of St. James Church in Baltimore before his election as bishop of the N.C. Diocese. He and his wife, Sharon, have two grown daughters, Rachel and Elizabeth. He will succeed Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, the faith’s first female presiding bishop, who completes her nine-year term Nov. 1.  ... Continue Reading

The SCOTUS Decision on Marriage: Will It Change Our Ministry?

One church asks: Will anything change in our church’s ministry as a result of the Supreme Court decision on marriage? Answer: No.

Since this is such an important ruling from the Supreme Court, what should our church do differently?  Nothing.  We at EPC need no new strategy to minister in this cultural context.  We will continue to be the people that God has already been shaping us to be: We will continue to be a church that preaches the... Continue Reading

No Secret Key To Living The Christian Life

God wants us to be like Jesus, and there’s no one secret key to doing that

“Perhaps the “secret” is surrender to the Lordship of Christ, or abiding in Christ, or being filled with the Spirit, or another great biblical truth. Suddenly, the beauty and glory of this truth shines in their soul and from that instant they are changed. This becomes the key that unlocks everything that had prevented their... Continue Reading

You Can’t Serve God and Entertainment

Your means of escape has made you a slave.

“If I’m honest, I’ve had an unbridled love for frivolous entertainment — over the years I’ve used it primarily as a means of escape. Entertainment was used to distract me from the guilt of sin, friction in relationships, or anxiety about work. It became what daily prayer and Bible reading should have been — a... Continue Reading

Gearing Up for Fortnight for Freedom

Constructing the narrative of Christianity and liberty is almost as selective as identifying Roman Catholic social teaching

“Constructing a narrative with Christianity — Calvinist or Roman Catholic — on the right and liberating side of history is just that, a construction. Sometimes it was, sometimes not so much. But shouldn’t a church gain high marks not for being on the side of John Locke but for proclaiming the good news of the... Continue Reading

InterVarsity Regains Access to Cal State Campuses

Requiring Christian leaders will no longer bar student ministry from recognition

“InterVarsity has experienced tensions over its religious requirements at more than 40 college campuses in recent years, including most notably Vanderbilt University and Tufts University. Meanwhile, a surprising number of evangelicals disagree with faith requirements at public universities.”   nterVarsity has given CT more details about its reinstatement at 19 California campuses. “Cal State has... Continue Reading

An Appeal to Elders

When a pastor falls, there but for the grace of God goes every other Christian

“Whenever a pastor falls, one has to ask: Where were the elders?  Sometimes, of course, the pastor can be good at hiding his faults; At other times, elders just turn a blind eye to peccadilloes, assuming that the pastor is a good chap and could not possibly be heading in a  spiritually lethal direction.”  ... Continue Reading

Summer Reading Suggestions

Here are a few books that I have enjoyed over the past couple of months

“It is for good reason that David McCullough has twice won the Pulitzer Prize. Few historians have his ability to recount history with such skill and verve. His latest, and perhaps final work, is a biography of the Wright brothers.”   I am a voracious and omnivorous reader. While necessity dictates that I focus much... Continue Reading

Confidence in God

So often we are tempted to place our confidence in the wrong place

“So we see something rather remarkable in Isaiah 40. After the promise of deliverance in 40:1-11, we see a series of demonstrations of God’s power. God demonstrates His power over creation and the mighty forces of nature. He measures out the seas, He weighs mountains in a scale, and He knows the vast multitude of... Continue Reading

Samuel and the Witch at Endor

A strong case can be made for this being an evil spirit impersonating Samuel

“However, after studying this a number of years ago, I came to the conclusion that a stronger case can be made for this being an evil spirit impersonating Samuel (just as the devil can transform himself into an angel of light). Here are some of the points I remember from that study.”   I’m really... Continue Reading

Why The Church Should Neither Cave Nor Panic About The Decision On Gay Marriage

This gives the church an opportunity to do what Jesus called us to do with our marriages in the first place: to serve as a light in a dark place.

Let’s also recognize that if we’re right about marriage, and I believe we are, many people will be disappointed in getting what they want. Many of our neighbors believe that a redefined concept of marriage will simply expand the institution (and, let’s be honest, many will want it to keep on expanding). This will not... Continue Reading

How To Protect Your Church Against Sexual Orientation And Gender Identity Lawsuits

Since the Supreme Court has legalized same-sex marriage nationwide Christian churches, ministries, and schools will face serious legal challenges within very short order.

The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) has teamed up with Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) to produce an updated version of a resource designed to help ministries do just that—prepare. This resource is a 44-page booklet titled “Protecting Your Ministry from Sexual Orientation Gender Identity Lawsuits.” It’s a legal guide explaining how churches, Christian schools,... Continue Reading

A Millennial’s Open Letter to the Church

Regarding the question of how to keep millennials interested and engaged in the Church

Call me audacious, but I would suggest that wondering how to keep the church interesting, for millennials or anyone else, is asking the wrong question entirely. The church is to be built upon a rock, not upon the changing times or cultural trends (see Matt 16:18). It is no more the Church’s job to appeal... Continue Reading