Reformed “Spotlight”: Self-Promoting Wolves or Selfless Shepherds?

Why worry about one abused sheep when there are ninety-nine applauding me?

The measure of anyone’s ministry is not how many people are in their church, how many blog readers or Twitter followers they have, how many books they’ve written, how many conference invitations they receive, or how many famous friends flatter us. The biblical measure of ministry is how they treat “the least of these” (Matthew... Continue Reading

The Christian and Joy

Christians are tempted, of course, to be discouraged and depressed by the force of overwhelming circumstances.

First, in as far as we are able, we must learn to control our feelings. There are various kinds of depression, to be sure, and some are the result of complex physical and psychological disorders. But there are times when we are spiritually depressed for no good reason. There are times when the best thing... Continue Reading

Misinterpreting the Thief (John 10:10)

Does the thief mean Satan?

The commenters of the Reformation era up through the nineteenth century all agreed that the thief referred to failed human leaders and their false teaching. I was unable to find a single commentary from those centuries that even mentioned the interpretation that the thief referred to Satan. John Calvin, as he explained that the thief... Continue Reading

Bible and a Brew: Groups Get Together to Talk Faith Over a Pint

Dault points to a current "theology hipster subculture" in which groups of men with beards and pipes host hard-core discussions of orthodox theology.

“There’s a perception in the church and in Milwaukee that you have to have this veneer of holiness that says don’t drink, don’t smoke, don’t chew.” Quakkelaar is building a church called Friend of Sinners Church, part of the Presbyterian Church in America. Currently, they meet in a temporary location, but Quakkelaar said the program... Continue Reading

Is Disagreement about Homosexuality an “Intra-Evangelical” Discussion?

Zondervan will be releasing later this year a new book on homosexuality in their Counterpoints series

“Affirming” vs. “Non-Affirming” – Related to the above, I am persuaded that the labels “affirming” and “non-affirming” frame the issue in a way that is already biased against what the church has always believed about homosexuality. When the labels are applied to questions of human identity, they sound as if one group likes gay people... Continue Reading

Classical Christian Education and Doug Wilson

My concern is that CCE as a movement has very close ties to Doug Wilson and has been and continues to be influenced by him and his views.

The danger that I see in this is that many people who do not share Doug Wilson’s views on theology, history, slavery, patriarchy, marriage, sex, etc. may be allowing him to teach his views to their children without being aware of it. You may think that the danger is small, that his views on these... Continue Reading

China Reveals What It Wants to Do with Christianity

Bulldozer death of pastor’s wife draws attention, but president’s long-awaited speech on religion will impact Chinese Christians much more.

In an environment in which the CPC is moving aggressively to rein in all expressions of civil society Xi’s message on religion comes as no surprise. His vision for reasserting control over religion—an area the CPC finds particularly difficult due to the diversity and complex history of China’s various religious communities—combines legal means with tightened... Continue Reading

Who Does My Body Belong To?

The Christian answer is obvious: My body belongs to God.

Do you see how far we’ve come? The Bible says that my body belongs to God. Even Godless traditional societies will at least say that my body belongs to my people. But here and now my body belongs to me and it is outright bigotry for you to impose upon me any obligation to the contrary.... Continue Reading

This Is Not Our Inheritance …Yet

In this present time, we are given the privilege and responsibility to tend God’s planet; we are to work hard for God, our families, neighbors, and ourselves.

Steward well your life, time, energy, and possessions. Spend your day well worshiping God by improving his reputation, his vineyard, his family under your care, and his neighborhood. Be diligent workers and enjoy the fruits of your labor. This is part of God’s economy. He delights in having satisfied laborers. Then, look forward to the... Continue Reading

No Tolerance for Religious Tolerance?

Denying true coexistence. The words “religious liberty” don’t mean what they once did to many people, especially if big business has its way.

Think of all of the corporate-led attacks and blackmail against common-sense religious freedom legislation in Arizona, Indiana, Georgia, North Carolina, and now Mississippi. And then think of the bakers, florists, and photographers in places such as New Mexico, Colorado and Washington State who have been forced to choose between their beliefs and ruinous fines forcing... Continue Reading

New Evidence: Baby Body Parts Are Big Business

Congressional investigation finds proof businesses are profiting—illegally—from fetal tissue trade.

Amid growing optimism surrounding fetal tissue research in 1993, Congress lifted the ban on obtaining samples from abortion centers. The move was a bipartisan effort and included many safeguards designed to ensure the sale of baby body parts never became a money-making business. According to evidence obtained from tissue procurement companies, those safeguards failed. The... Continue Reading

Tyranny of the Civil Magistrate Must Be Resisted

Must we submit to all civil magistrates, even when they are tyrants?

The problem with preaching to individuals, as individuals only, is that the corporate nature of the covenant is lost. Because individual resistance can be anarchy, the issue of resistance must be comprehended as a corporate matter. When two separate magistrates who represent the body politic demand your obedience, who will you obey?    In the... Continue Reading

I Am Ryland – The Story of a Male-Identifying Little Girl Who Didn’t Transition

5-years-old Ryland was born a female; her parents have been transitioning her to male. Here’s my story with a different conclusion.

My husband is amazing at design and is the decorator/designer for our home.  He does most of the clothes shopping for both of us, and has no interest in learning how to change the oil in our car.  He is creative and artistic.  But he also loves to go hunting and fishing and has to... Continue Reading

My Mom Is Killing Me

After Christmas, my mom came to live with me. It’s been rough. I knew it would be hard, but I wasn’t prepared for it to be this hard.

When I took this thing on, I had one goal: to glorify God by honoring Mom and helping her to finish her race well. That goal remains the same. If you’d think to pray for me in this, I’d sure appreciate it. I don’t know how much time Mom has with me, but I don’t... Continue Reading

9 Items That Should Be In Every Missionary’s Budget

What missionaries should have in their budget in order to live an average life, but also to engage in fruitful ministries.

Missionaries do not get into missions because of the perks. A missionary is willing to make certain sacrifices to benefit the kingdom. However, if the church were better providing for its missionaries we might attract more qualified servants and encourage them to serve longer. Providing a missionary with the resources, assistance and peace of mind... Continue Reading

Innocent Man Ends Up Pals With Crooked Cop That Framed Him

"I falsified the report," former Benton Harbor police officer Andrew Collins admitted.

Last year, by sheer coincidence, they both ended up at faith-based employment agency Mosaic, where they now work side by side in the same café. And it was in those cramped quarters that the bad cop and the wrongfully accused had no choice but to have it out.   BENTON HARBOR, Mich. – It all... Continue Reading

I Promise…

Overseeing the ceremony in which the Lord brings together in the covenantal bond of marriage those He has called you to pastor is one of the greatest joys of pastoral ministry

“Sadly, we see just how little most value vow taking in our day. We see with what flippancy men and women will throw away their marriage and how easily they walk away from the church when they find one or two things with which they do not agree. The great need of our day is... Continue Reading

10 Cravings of the Sinful Nature

What does the intense longing that comes from your sinful nature look like?

If you are discouraged in ministry, expect the sinful nature to produce thoughts about quitting. The sinful nature will say, “You deserve better than this. There’s something else you could do.” The sinful nature will always produce these cravings, strong desires, and intense longings.   What are the cravings of the sinful nature? What kinds... Continue Reading

Memorial Drive Settles Lawsuit With Presbytery For $950,000

New Covenant Presbytery has “released any interest in MDPC’s property”

“The 3,461-member Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church began discerning its future in the PCUSA in early 2015, when the congregation voted 839-277 to enter the presbytery’s discernment process. However, the church was searching for a new pastor at the time, and put the process on hold until a new pastor was called.”   Memorial Drive Presbyterian... Continue Reading

Your Days Are Numbered

Of all the gifts God gives us, few are more precious and few are more fleeting than time

“Though ‘Your Days Are Numbered’ is a little book, it packs an outsized punch. Perritt examines hobbies in both their blessings and their distractions and he diagnoses the trivialities that can consume so much of our time, explaining that “innocent things often become deadly in the hands of our Enemy.”   Of all the gifts... Continue Reading

Is Certainty Sinful? (Book Review)

Enns’s diagnosis of sins of “certainty” is more accurate than many might grant

“The answer, according to Enns, is that Christians (still) have a problem with certainty, despite the numerous treatments that have said as much. Specifically, he thinks we’ve identified our faith in God with our thoughts about God, and so have become preoccupied with correct thinking.”   “I’m not saying never doubt or question,” John Ames writes to his... Continue Reading

5 Reasons You Need the Westminster Shorter Catechism

Here are five reasons I consider this catechism worth engaging today

“Of course there are plenty of other documents that can help with this study. It’s likewise true the Shorter Catechism goes a bit beyond the core on some matters. Nevertheless, the first 38 questions and answers offer a succinct, clear, and heartwarming summary of central Christian beliefs.”   My first encounter with the Westminster Shorter Catechism... Continue Reading

The Gospel of Sovereign Grace

Sovereign grace crushes our pride. It shames us and humbles us.

This idea that salvation owes everything to God’s grace is the overarching theme not just in Romans but in all of Paul’s epistles. For example, Paul begins his letter to the Philippians with a prayer for the church in which he says, “He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until... Continue Reading

China On Course To Become ‘World’s Most Christian Nation’ Within 15 Years

The number of Christians in Communist China is growing so steadily that it by 2030 it could have more churchgoers than in America

“Officially, the People’s Republic of China is an atheist country but that is changing fast as many of its 1.3 billion citizens seek meaning and spiritual comfort that neither communism nor capitalism seem to have supplied.”   It is said to be China’s biggest church and on Easter Sunday thousands of worshippers will flock to... Continue Reading

Truth in the Imperfect Community

People break fellowship with a local church for all sorts of unbiblical reasons.

Even if we were to discern an error in any of these three areas, the first and proper thing to do is to make one’s concerns known to the leadership of the church. When it seemed to Paul that Peter was behaving in a way contrary to the Gospel, he opposed him to his face... Continue Reading

Have We Undervalued the Sufferings of Christ?

The implications of looking to Christ’s sufferings through his entire life as vicarious and “in our room” are huge.

Among other things, this is how and why Christ transforms and sanctifies all of our trials to the profit of our souls. Christ’s suffering for you throughout his life is the reason why the suffering in your life now represents the hand of a loving Father rather than the wrath of a just Judge. Sometimes... Continue Reading

Jen Hatmaker, Blurry Lines, and Transformative Truth

Jen Hatmaker is the new Beth Moore in many Christian ladies’ circles.

These sentiments are not surprising. Hatmaker has made far more controversial comments on Christian sexual ethics before. While Religion News Service’s Jonathan Merritt believes Hatmaker’s post reflects a shift on LGBTQ inclusion, he also notes in a recent column that she’s made similar statements on the subject in the past. Merritt points out Hatmaker’s 2014... Continue Reading

Because She Mattered

To Jesus, she wasn’t a nobody, she wasn’t an outcast – for He had taken that away.

But this woman has been unclean for 12 years. What she has to say isn’t wanted. Isn’t needed. She isn’t’ worth the bother. People quit listening to her years ago. People quit caring years ago. All she had left was sneaking through the crowd and touching the hem of the garment. If she could just... Continue Reading

If You’ve Cheated, Should You Tell Your Spouse?

I believe that confessing adultery to your spouse is absolutely necessary. Here are five reasons

You can’t expect your spouse to just be sad for a few moments and then forgive you. It may feel to you as you confess that a great burden is being lifted, but this is the first time that they are hearing about this. There has to be a grieving and an expressing of the... Continue Reading

Listening to the Women

At this moment in history, when the church of Christ seems poised for some of the biggest battles against culture and secularism it has yet seen, she needs allies. She has allies.

Many commentaries on Luke 24 will comment on the historical context of the women, that would likely have found them poorly educated, and their testimony in civil courts as inferior to men. But less commentary is usually offered on how Luke describes the men. The men to whom the women speak aren’t simply some of... Continue Reading