What Became of the Christian Intellectuals? There is More to the Story

The public square is increasingly devoid of any serious Christian thought

“Half a century ago,” Jacobs tells his readers, “such figures existed in America: serious Christian intellectuals who occupied a prominent place on the national stage. They are gone now. It would be worth our time to inquire why they disappeared, where they went, and whether–should such a thing be thought desirable–they might return.”   Where... Continue Reading

Evangelicals and Race — A New Chapter

Why racial justice and reconciliation are now core for the movement

We are currently experiencing a new “God moment,” when God is shining his burning light on how our nation and our churches are fractured by racial division and injustice. In the past two years, we’ve seen image after image of injustice perpetrated against black Americans.   Evangelicals are sensitive to what we call “God moments”—when... Continue Reading

Sexual Identity: Saboteurs at the Door

Why do such false teachers even bother with the church? Why not just go around the church and get right to the immorality they desire, uninhibited, undiluted and without delay?

“Peter anticipates an age-long heretical infiltration in churches designed to satisfy man’s sensuality and greed. What is most striking about Peter’s prophecy is that what is normative in the world will find entrance into the church (2 Cor. 12:21). Why?”   The 17th century minister and Scotsman, Alexander Nisbet said, “the most dangerous heretics have... Continue Reading

J. Alec Motyer (1924-2016)

Renowned Old Testament pastor-scholar J. Alec Motyer has passed away at the age of 91

While I believe I have read and used all of Dr. Motyer’s published works over the course of my life, three of his books were transformative to my ministry in particular. In my early days as a preacher his commentary on Amos, sub-titled “The Day of the Lion,” was a huge help to me as... Continue Reading

Should Christians Save for Retirement?

How is maintaining a generous retirement plan fundamentally different from the rich fool storing up for his later years to live out his life in comfort and security?

“Is saving large amounts of money for retirement as essential as we’re constantly told? Paul commended the Macedonian believers, not for clinging to the little they had, but for giving beyond their means (2 Corinthians 8:3‑5).”   When a man retires at sixty-five, studies show his chances of having a fatal heart attack immediately double.... Continue Reading

Learning Repentance from the Psalmist

One of the ways our emotions tell us something is wrong is in the case of our sin

“When the Holy Spirit convicts us of sin, we feel the weight of it. It makes us grieve and feel sorrow. We feel anger toward ourselves for what we’ve done. We feel a nagging disquiet in our souls that won’t let go.”   I broke my arm two years ago. It was the first broken... Continue Reading

Can Salvation Be Lost Because of Sin?

My confidence rests in the intercession of Christ and God’s ability and promise to hold on to me

“I’m persuaded from a study of Scripture that we can have an assurance of our salvation not only for today but for all time. But the assurance that we have, or confidence in our future estate in salvation, must be based upon the right foundations.”   The question of losing one’s salvation is one that... Continue Reading

Why America’s ‘Nones’ Left Religion Behind

Perhaps the most striking trend in American religion in recent years has been the growing percentage of adults who do not identify with a religious group

About half of current religious “nones” who were raised in a religion (49%) indicate that a lack of belief led them to move away from religion. This includes many respondents who mention “science” as the reason they do not believe in religious teachings, including one who said “I’m a scientist now, and I don’t believe... Continue Reading

What Causes Us To Worry?

Some have thought that worry is purely a physiological issue while others have concluded that it is purely spiritual.

The historic Christian categories of World, Flesh and Devil are entirely capable of providing a robust understanding of people and their problems, allowing us to avoid simplistic reductionism on either end of the spectrum. We don’t have to engage in either/or thinking and conclude that anxiety is either purely physiological or only spiritual. This means... Continue Reading

13 Reasons You Are Precious to God

Praise God today that he has made you precious and delightful to himself.

We who believe in Jesus can often be more aware of our sin and unworthiness than God’s love for and delight in us. We may believe that God accepts us in his son, but it’s hard to believe he takes pleasure in us and views us as precious to him. Yet 1 Peter 5:7 tells... Continue Reading

Monks, Hermits, and the Devil’s Deception (Luther)

We should never withdraw from people, for people are the neighbors God calls us to love and serve

“Is it serving God when you crawl into a corner where you help and bring solace to no one?  What need does our Lord God have of the service you perform in a corner?  The one who wants to serve God should not crawl into an isolated cell but remain among people and serve them,... Continue Reading

The Flawed Theory of “Social” Missions

To represent the gospel of Jesus Christ as being about the general upliftment of unbelieving society is, in fact, to misrepresent the gospel.

Many social justice advocates argue that the incarnation was, at least in part, about bringing shalom, human flourishing, or general well-being to the human race.  Therefore, they say that any Christian effort which increases human flourishing (such as digging a well or starting a medical clinic) is gospel ministry.  Although this may initially seem compelling,... Continue Reading

Review – Left: The struggle to make sense of life when a parent leaves

Left pulls back the curtain on what it's like to be a child of divorce.

Left is also a very honest book. Jonathan does not sugarcoat his struggles of resentment and anger. In the end, he realized that he had to make the first move to reach out to his dad. There was no happy ending and no response. But he was brought to the place of clinging to the... Continue Reading

How Petra Rocked My Soul

All of that parenting and Bible-reading and sermonizing and catechizing had done its work in me, but somehow it was just waiting for one more thing

It was as if their music was saying, “Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know you’ve memorized the catechism, I know you go to church, I know you read your Bible. That’s all great. Way to go! But do you know Christ? Do you love him? Will you live for him?” I realized that I didn’t really... Continue Reading

Learning Repentance from the Psalmist

When we feel the pain of conviction, a crushing weight that feels like broken bones, we can run to our Father and cry out to him in repentance.

One of the ways our emotions tell us something is wrong is in the case of our sin. When the Holy Spirit convicts us of sin, we feel the weight of it. It makes us grieve and feel sorrow. We feel anger toward ourselves for what we’ve done. We feel a nagging disquiet in our... Continue Reading

Witherspoon’s Pastoral Ministry

This public censure, though considered appropriate by his congregation, landed Witherspoon in a 14-year legal battle in which he faced opposition from a hostile presbytery and formal charges of libel and slander.

Church members presumed that clergy would not only preach on Sunday, but also visit the people from house to house and be intimately involved in their lives (even if they sometimes complained of the involvement).[13] So when scholars conclude that “Few aspects of the history of Scottish Presbyterianism are more repugnant to the modern mind... Continue Reading

Human Identity in Crisis

The removal of God from cultural consciousness has eliminated the true source of human identity.

Things have changed. The “Four Spiritual Laws” or “Evangelism Explosion” no longer work for many. People are losing their identity. They long for human rights and personal dignity, but these things only come from God the Creator, whom they reject. The Gospel is still the answer, which they unknowingly long to hear. The God who... Continue Reading

Top 10 Things I Love That Worship Leaders Do

Some positive, proactive comments to encourage worship leaders as they lead worship.

Point me to the gospel. This is why I’m there, whether I remember it or not. This is what I need. I need the announcement of the historical work of Christ on the cross and out of the tomb more than I need oxygen! So I’m very, very grateful when your song choice, banter, worship... Continue Reading

Theonomy, Bahnsen, and the Federal Vision – Part 3

The grace conveyed in baptism is effectual only for the elect.

The Westminster Confession of Faith limits its “high view of the efficacy of baptism” to the elect alone. Further, Westminster Confession of Faith 28:6 states: “The efficacy of baptism is not tied to that moment of time wherein it is administered.” That is, baptism does not bestow regeneration on every recipient. What baptism does it... Continue Reading

Christian Colleges Relieved By California Committee Vote

The gentler version of a bill targeting faith-based colleges moves forward

After months of fierce opposition from religious liberty advocates, bill sponsor Sen. Ricardo Lara, a Democrat, stripped away the problematic provisions of the bill. The bill the committee voted on now requires schools to disclose if they have an exemption and to report to the state whenever students are expelled for violating the schools’ code... Continue Reading

I Can’t Believe Spurgeon Didn’t Say That

Can’t believe Spurgeon didn’t say this when so many quote him as saying it: “I take my text and make a beeline to the cross.”

In the process of our discussion he asked me if I could tell him where the original source is to the quote that inspired my book’s title. Charles Spurgeon is credited thousands of times by authors and theologians all over the world for saying, “I take my text and make a beeline to the cross.”... Continue Reading

Target Reports Sluggish Sales Following Restroom Controversy

Retailer claims pro-transgender policy has nothing to do with keeping customers away

“It’s clear that some of our guests like and some dislike our inclusive bathroom policy,” said Cathy Smith, Target’s chief financial officer, in a conference call with media and investors yesterday. Target shareholders took a big hit. Stocks fell 5 percent after America’s second-largest retailer reported a loss of quarterly sales for the first time in two... Continue Reading

Mother, Adult Son Fight For Right To Incestuous Relationship

Advocates for ‘consanguinamory’ ask, if same-sex couples can marry, why can’t we?

A mother and adult son charged with incest in New Mexico are going public with their relationship, saying they are willing to go to jail to fight for the “right” to be together. The mother, Monica Mares, 36, and her son, Caleb Peterson, 19, met again last year after nearly 18 years apart. Another family... Continue Reading

Theonomy and Straw Men

The most strident criticism of Theonomy is based on straw men and erroneous readings of the Old Testament.

Theonomy has been mischaracterized in modern evangelicalism, mostly because people accept short retorts as truth.  Actually, if you want to see the compassion and mercy of God, the Old Testament is a better place to go than observing what is going on in America today under the laws of Secular Pluralism.  I’ll take God’s law... Continue Reading

Blessed Are the Pure in Heart, for They Shall See God

Jesus said that those who are pure at their very core are the ones who will see God

“The thing that keeps us from having the vision of God now is our impurity, our sin. John said that when we see Him, we will be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. The question remains as to whether God will glorify us in heaven, allowing us to see Him as... Continue Reading

African Churches Urged Not to be Distracted by Western Progressives

Dr Idowu-Fearon said that he was “deeply disturbed” by seeing how Christians determined to maintain Anglican orthodoxy are being “swept aside by a campaign to change the churches"

“Our African Churches can never be social progressives in the sense beloved of the West. We will never allow our churches to be taken over by views and programmes which suggest that the Bible is wrong. We will not crumble or bow the knee to a godless secular culture that despises the Bible and what... Continue Reading

A Controller’s Story

Controlling behavior can be the result of good traits and habits carried to an extreme

To be out of control in one area or another brings on such a feeling of being overwhelmed often to the point of just wanting to give up trying. It’s bearing the constant “all or nothing” burden that really weighs the heart/mind/body down.   Kathleen Peck left an insightful comment to my article on controlling... Continue Reading

The Trinity: The Triune God for Exiles

You have a Christian life because of actions taken by God the Holy Trinity

“You have a Christian life because the Father has chosen you for salvation according to his foreknowing love. You have a Christian life because the Spirit has sanctified you, separating you from Satan, sin and the world unto God. You have a Christian life because the Son compels your obedience having purified your conscience by... Continue Reading

3 Keys To a Powerful Prayer Life

Christian, find a quiet place and a quiet time where you can quiet your heart before God

The first key is a place of quiet, a place that is free, or as free as possible, from distractions. “With regard to many of us, the first of these, a quiet place, is well within our reach. But there are tens of thousands of our fellow-believers who find it generally impossible to withdraw into... Continue Reading

Slaves of Christ

Christ purchased believers so that they can no longer claim to be their own

In the Scriptures, the most important example of a slave, however, is the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. In Philippians 2:5-8, the Apostle Paul charges believers to have the same “mind” as that of Christ Jesus who, even though He was equal with God, took the form of a bondservant and was obedient to God to... Continue Reading