Boys Need Their Moms
Boys need their moms—I am convinced of it. I see this when I look back at my own life.
“Even in Christian circles there is little attention given to the relationship of boys and their mothers, at least once they pass the toddler stage. It is rarely mentioned and rarely celebrated. We still look askance at a boy who spends a lot of time with his mom or a mom who is close to... Continue Reading
Hostages to Homogeny: Why I’m Done with “Racial Reconciliation”
A rebuke to some Evangelicals' indifference and insincerity towards race relations
“Amidst the public handshakes and hugs, the coffee and conferences, there is a platforming of a type of humility that isn’t changing much of anything. I’m not a nationally known preacher or author, but in many ways I’ve found it more helpful to be a pastor on the ground level. What I can do at... Continue Reading
My Indebtedness to the Puritans
As a theologian I have read a lot of books about the teachings of the Bible, but none affect me more than the writings of the Puritans, and its parallel movement in the Netherlands
The Puritans not only commended love, but called Christians to excel in love with godly zeal. Oliver Bowles said zeal “is a holy ardor kindled by the Holy Spirit of God in the affections, improving a man to the utmost for God’s glory, and the church’s good.” My life has been profoundly shaped and... Continue Reading
Old Princeton: Archibald Alexander’s Letters to the Aged
Rev. Alexander’s last letters close with getting closer to eternity
May the Good Lord grant we who are younger with deeper appreciation that, The hoary head is a crown of glory and the beauty of old men is the gray head (Proverbs 16:31; 20:29). For, as Rev. Alexander writes in Letter One, “There is something peculiarly lovely as well as venerable in the silvery locks... Continue Reading
Don’t Just Pray About It
In the 5th Psalm we read of a believer exercising highly developed prayer reflexes
“Much like a eager and expectant child who has dropped a seed into the ground, the believer is to look through the eyes of faith knowing that God is for them, loves them, hears them, and works all things together for their good (Rom. 8.28; 1 Pet. 5.6-8). The same heart of faith that comes... Continue Reading
God’s awakening power is not activated by our schemes and tactics, but by His Spirit and His ordinary means of awakening
“When God awakens, He always brings revival, whether it is the revival of a single soul, the revival of a family, the revival of a community, or the revival of a nation. When God brings revival, He always brings deep and convicting repentance that leads to a life of faith, repentance, and obedience.” Awakening... Continue Reading
Don’t Count on Deathbed Conversions
Lots of people have remorse over their sinfulness, but that is not repentance that leads unto life
This reminds of when Mickey Mantle died back in the 1990s. There was news of his deathbed conversion and the evangelical world rejoiced. “We got one!” This has always bothered me because when you heard about what Mantle said concerning his faith, it wasn’t very comforting. Realize, I’m not saying that Mantle was not saved,... Continue Reading
Supreme Court to Hear Westminster Seminary’s Case
The United States Supreme Court has accepted for review Westminster Theological Seminary’s lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
“Westminster filed the lawsuit because it objects to the regulations enacted under the Affordable Care Act that require the seminary to provide abortifacients (drugs and devices that can cause abortions), including the morning-after pill, to its employees under its health insurance policy. The Supreme Court will hear our case on March 23rd, 2016.” Under... Continue Reading
Why the Media Need to Stop Hounding Dan Walker
Christian TV presenter Dan Walker has been criticised in the media this week for believing that God created the world. David Robertson responds
Why did the Daily Mail, Times, Independent and Telegraph (amongst others) run lengthy articles about Mr Walker? Is Dan the first Transgender presenter? Is he the secret love child of one of the Royals? No. It’s worse than that – he’s a Christian! And not just a Christian, but a Baptist Christian. Even worse than... Continue Reading
Lent…if borrowed should be returned
It saddens me to see the growing excitement over such high church traditions in our churches while simultaneously diminishing the ordinary and historical practices.
Please know that I am not on a crusade to wipe out all traditions and practices that are not my own. My crusade is to wipe out the mindless and sentimental borrowing from other traditions. And, I am really not even on a crusade to convince all of my PCA brothers that they ought to return to... Continue Reading
Worldview Loneliness in the Church
This is what it’s like to feel alone because of your Christian worldview in the Church.
My worldview loneliness is not provoked by the awkward discomfort that comes from sharing the Christian faith with an unbeliever in secular culture. Which is not to say evangelizing is easy for this introvert. No, that challenge is different. I expect a lost soul to find the Gospel offensive. The mocking, callousness and avoidance of the... Continue Reading
Is It Possible To Be Too Pie in the Sky?
What does the Bible say about the relationship between longing for the day to come and this side of heaven helpfulness?
The non-Christian world has long made this accusation, but in recent years the accusation has come from inside the Christian camp as well. Within our own circles some are claiming the church has been unhelpfully influenced by Plato. If you remember back to your college philosophy class you’ll remember Plato’s allegory of the cave. In... Continue Reading
Minds, Books, and the Fruit of Traditionalism
How much has this traditionalism discouraged women from using their brains and thinking wisely for themselves?
I believe this is reflected in the books that are marketed to Christian women. These numerous volumes are long on subjective experience and stories and short on objective doctrine. Thus dubious content can find cover under emotional appeal and perceived personal rapport with the author. They are also driven by application, usually related to the... Continue Reading
Speedos or Shorts? Bikinis or Bathing Suits?
Two things in the last week have brought to my attention that those who wish to maintain anything approaching traditional Christian standards are facing a brave new world.
Religious and social conservatives, and even traditional liberals, may well have disagreed over the years about what constitutes modesty (Speedos or shorts? Bikinis or bathing suits?) but they have typically accepted that the concept itself is legitimate and appropriate. In a world where Reichian quackery rules, we do not debate the limits of modesty for... Continue Reading
The Essence of Faith: Neither Obedience Nor Love
In Reformed theology when we talk about the essence of justifying faith, we exclude love and obedience.
In other words, love and works are not the same as justifying faith; love and works are not the essence of faith. The sinner is not justified by faithful obedience, or by faith working through love, but by faith alone, only, period. True faith always results in love and good works, but love and good... Continue Reading
A Prayer for When Life is Disappointing
Disappointment is part of life in this fallen world. Things don't work the way they are supposed to.
God is preparing us now, in this life, for eternity. He uses our struggles and challenges to sanctify us and make us holy. He is making us increasingly more like Christ by stripping away the layers of sin and removing the counterfeit loves in our heart. So when disappointments come, we can ask ourselves, “What... Continue Reading
Joyful Noise: Praise with the Volume Pumped Up
There is something that generates an impact that reverberates through this world, the spiritual realm, and the Universe: a joyful church.
This is the reason we worship: he deserves it. God is good, loving, and faithful. This is why we sing, this is why we make a loud noise – because he is worthy of worship. We can worship him sincerely because he is indisputably worthy of our worship. Only in heaven we will grasp fully... Continue Reading
The Impact of Calvinism on Culture
First, what is “culture”? Second, what is “Calvinism”? Third, what is “impact”?
“First, for the purposes of this series, we will limit the word ‘culture’ to six particular areas: education, politics, economics, marriage/the family, the law, and the arts. As we shall see, Calvinism has had a significant impact on these central components of Western culture, and consequently on American culture.” Over the next few weeks,... Continue Reading
The Fingerprints of God
Lost in the revolving news cycles of the last few weeks was a finding that has rocked the scientific world.
In a paper published in the open-access journal eLife, researchers say they have pinpointed the single mutation that allowed our ancient protozoa predecessors to evolve into complex, multi-cellular organisms. “Incredibly, in the world of evolutionary biology, all it took was one tiny tweak, one gene, and complex life as we know it was born.” As... Continue Reading
What a Super Bowl Ad Reveals About Our Abortion Culture
Social media lit up during this year’s Super Bowl over the abortion lobby’s outrage about a chip commercial; “humanizing fetuses.”
We cannot “humanize” what is already human, but we can certainly dehumanize the humanity around, or within, us. The abortion lobby wants the “fetus” to be thought of only in clinical language, as though he or she were merely an “it,” tissue to be disposed of. Those who oppress the poor want them to be... Continue Reading
Top Generals: Women Should Register For the Draft
Top Army and Marine generals testified that women should be required to register for the draft now that the Pentagon has lifted exemptions for women from ground combat.
The Selective Service question came during a hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee about how the services would begin to integrate women into combat units and training programs for combat-related jobs. The sometimes contentious hearing also exposed the reluctance of Marine Corps leaders to bring women into certain demanding infantry, armor, and special operations... Continue Reading
You Are Not Drafting My Daughter Into the Military!
The gospel of humanistic egalitarianism has replaced the gospel of Jesus Christ as the source of truth in America.
As a Christian I beg to differ on both counts. With regard to gender, God created them both male and female. The female is called the weaker vessel (1 Peter 3:7). This has implications for all areas of life, especially the military where physical strength is a priority. Hey, Uncle Sam, you are not drafting... Continue Reading
I Don’t Mind 3 AM Starts… Just Don’t Ask Me To Work On A Sunday! New Face Of BBC Breakfast Is A Devout Christian Who Always Keeps The Sabbath
Dan Walker, famous for presenting football shows, will be the new face of BBC morning TV; he struck a deal with BBC that he would never work on Sundays
At first, Walker’s refusal to work on Sundays made it tough to find a job as a football presenter. Some interviewers thought he was stupid, and others felt sorry for him, he admits. But he persevered and was eventually hired by the BBC. Since 2009, the 6ft 6in married father of three has become familiar... Continue Reading
10 Misperceptions Laypersons Have about Pastors
Laypersons sometimes have misperceptions of pastors that I think hurt their leaders
“We’re always on the lookout for the next best church.” To be honest, some pastors do live that way – and they don’t make it easy for the rest of us who are genuinely committed where God has placed us. Most of really love our church, even with all their imperfections. I started this... Continue Reading
PCA and Race: Reflective Review of “The Last Segregated Hour”
Confession and repentance should be located at the level in the body in which the offense occurred.
Historian Stephen R. Haynes wrote an account of the effects of the civil rights movement on churches in the Memphis area. One particular chapter has special relevance for the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA), and that is chapter 12: “A Season of Prayer and Corporate Repentance”: Wrestling with the Past at Independent Presbyterian Church (IPC).... Continue Reading
Ash Wednesday: Picking and Choosing our Piety
The rise of Lent in non-Roman, Orthodox or Anglican circles is a fascinating phenomenon.
When Presbyterians and Baptists and free church evangelicals start attending Ash Wednesday services and observing Lent, one can only conclude that they have either been poorly instructed in the theology or the history of their own traditions, or that they have no theology and history. Or maybe they are simply exhibiting the attitude of the... Continue Reading
The Fear of Man Versus the Fear of God
Power is intoxicating, in whatever form one has it, and people who acquire this kind of power and respect become very loath to risk it in any way whatsoever.
In the Reformed world, this kind of respect comes from publishing a book, or becoming a professor at a seminary, or having a prominent position in the denomination, or having a large church. It is easy to forget how eminently expendable we are, and instead start to think (even if it is not as crassly... Continue Reading
Mainline Death or Revival?
There’s no pledge from Christ, who promised that The Church will prevail, that Mainline Protestantism will necessarily have any future
There are plenty of Christian movements in particular times and places that have whithered and perished. Mainline Protestantism may have served its purpose across four centuries in America and will just fade into obscurity, leaving behind beautiful sanctuaries and lots of wonderful memories of momentous spiritual, cultural and social accomplishments. Princeton Seminary President Craig... Continue Reading
5 Rookie Pastor Mistakes
Often conflicts arise because well-intentioned pastors make rookie mistakes—the missteps that occur at the intersection of the ideal and reality.
When a pastor insists on his preferences and suggests they are biblical truths, he will lose trust and influence. Church members have the Holy Spirit and the Bible at their disposal just like he does, and will usually know the difference. Further, if he twists the Scriptures to justify his self-centered demands, so will they.... Continue Reading
Can We Trust the Four Gospels to Tell Us the Truth About Jesus? (Part 3 of 3)
Don't these four Gospels contradict each other in many places?
Now, what does all of this have to do with the contradictions between these Gospels? Well, think about it: If four different people write about someone’s life and public ministry, they’re going to choose different details to emphasize and they’re probably going to arrange their material differently. We also have to realize that these books... Continue Reading