Christ Covenant Church Calls Reverend Kevin DeYoung as Senior Pastor
Dr. Mike Ross, who has been senior pastor at Christ Covenant Church for more than a decade announced his plans to transition into new areas of ministry early in 2016
In addition to his primary responsibility as senior pastor at Christ Covenant Church, DeYoung has also been named Assistant Professor of Systematic Theology at Reformed Theological Seminary in Charlotte, beginning June 1, 2017. He was formerly a Chancellor’s Professor for the Seminary. In his new role, De Young will be a residential, voting member of the... Continue Reading
The Necessity of Godly Leadership
Nothing destroys a church quicker than unholy men at its helm and nothing grants it more strength than godly men leading even as they follow Christ.
Our churches need godly leaders who preach not to tickle ears or to satisfy the critical listener, but aim at heart-change. Oh for men who dare to be courageous for the sake of Christ, not shrinking in the face of challenge or melting when confronted with difficulty. The church demands servants who gladly embrace the... Continue Reading
Spring Storms: Are You Ready?
Emergency preparedness experts ready us physically, but is your soul ready for them too? T
Notice the echoes of Psalm 29 at Pentecost. The mighty rushing wind and the fire that fell from heaven did not bring terror, but they led to boldness that only comes through the Holy Spirit. Thunderstorms in creation terrify the natural man, but for the Christian, every clap of thunder heard overhead ought to make... Continue Reading
Making A Pastoral Apology
A sincere apology should include three elements.
Take full responsibility. It was, after all, your decision or your action that caused the hurt. If there were reasons for your actions, state them, but do not use them as excuses. And don’t pass the blame—or even share the blame. If you’re a leader, others might have been involved in the mistake, but they... Continue Reading
Comfort Without the Clichés
Eight ways to help hurting friends
You cannot fix it. Loving the hurting opens us up to the temptation to see ourselves as the sufferer’s personal savior. But they do not need you—they need Christ. Comfort is about redirecting someone to seek what they need in Christ first and not in you. Comfort is not about always being there for someone;... Continue Reading
What Does Semper Reformanda Mean?
The part of religion that always needs reforming is the human heart.
The phrase ecclesia reformata, semper reformanda (the church reformed, always reforming) has been used so often as to make it a motto or slogan. People have used it to support a surprising array of theological and ecclesiastical programs and purposes. Scholars have traced its origins to a devotional book written by Jodocus van Lodenstein in... Continue Reading
What Hath Amsterdam to do with Princeton?
The recent controversy surrounding the reversal of the decision to award the 2017 Kuyper Prize to Dr. Timothy Keller, while disappointing, is not surprising.
Dr. Keller, as an ordained minister in the PCA, is much more aligned theologically with Old Princeton. His doctrine of Scripture would be more in-line with Old Princeton. His views on women and LGBTQ+ persons in ordained ministry would be affirmed by Old Princeton (and probably New Princeton until, obviously, more recent times). As such,... Continue Reading
Is the Bible Good for Women?
Wendy Alsup’s new book, Is the Bible Good for Women?: Seeking Clarity and Confidence Through a Jesus-Centered Understanding of Scripture, asks a different sort of question, but it’s the one we need to be asking.
Is the Bible Good for Women? doesn’t just equip women to interpret Scripture correctly; it helps us gain a right understanding of a woman’s value. God made all of humanity in his image, and his ultimate purpose for his creation is to live in a world where both man and woman are mutually responsible to each other and their Creator. Crafted in... Continue Reading
An Opening Proposition that Changes Everything
Why are there no quotes from Jesus in all of Hebrews?
“This seems rather strange for a book that so confidently states that God has spoken to us by the Son. Wouldn’t this mean that Jesus’ words are God’s words? And if so, shouldn’t the author of Hebrews be quoting Jesus right and left to make his case? The fact that the book of Hebrews doesn’t... Continue Reading
Singing from the Same Page
Singing the same songs unites us in a shared faith.
When personal words fail, how glorious is it to be able to rely on the words of Scripture and the text of a well-worn hymn to give voice to the truth of the gospel and to unite our hearts in hope. It behooves us to ensure that the people we shepherd are well prepared and... Continue Reading
How Should Pastors Want to Be Remembered When They Are Gone?
Dear brothers and fellow pastors, do not lost sight of for whom and what we labor to preach Christ and shepherd his people.
Begin now to consider how you wish to be remembered. Will you want a tombstone like John Wesley (just outside Bunhill Fields) and so many others with monuments and flowery words that articulate all you accomplished for Christ? Or, will you wish to be forgotten if it meant that Christ would not be forgotten to future generations?... Continue Reading
Prayer Changes Things: Right? Or Does It?
My good God rules, controls, and ordains all things for my good and his glory. God invites me to pray to him and promises to respond to my prayers.
Our prayers don’t alter God’s sovereign plan. It’s not like we pray and God says, “Woah, hey now! Didn’t expect that one. Okay, gotta change things quickly. Time to shift things around. Let’s see, I’ll put this here and this here and…” God isn’t the ultimate project manager, trying to juggle the lives of 7... Continue Reading
When I find it hard to love with long-suffering, I must remember Christ and his long-suffering love toward me.
This nuance or deeper meaning to “Love is patient” makes me look at the love I have for others in a new way. It’s easy to love those who treat me well, but those who don’t? That’s hard. It’s hard to love those who let me down time and time again. Those who disappoint me... Continue Reading
Why I Love the Psalms
Throughout history, the book of Psalms has been treasured by many Christians in many places.
In the ancient and medieval periods, the Psalms were studied and sung very frequently, especially by monastics. The great Athanasius (296–373) said, “I believe that a man can find nothing more glorious than these Psalms; for they embrace the whole life of man, the affections of his mind, and the motions of his soul. To... Continue Reading
10 Mistakes Churches Make with Special Needs Families
How can churches better serve the special needs community?
What mistakes do Churches make when it comes to special needs families? Inaccessibility: Difficult to access main sanctuary or other facilities and services. Inflexibility: Resistance to adjust service times and format, youth activities. Impatience: Frustration with inevitable service disruptions, but also staying with the family through difficult seasons. Insensitivity: Comments, conversations, and decisions that unintentionally wound special needs (SN)... Continue Reading
9 Ways the New Covenant is better than the Old
It is easy for believers to lose sight of how privileged we are to participate in the New Covenant.
In the New Covenant we have confidence to draw near to Christ in service of his people. In the Old Covenant, the qualifications for ministry in the temple were largely external, and consisted of various washings and sacrifices—shadows, really. In the New Covenant, the qualifications for spiritual service are raised. While you would think this... Continue Reading
Pastors Staying Put
Pastors too are called to be content where God puts them – urban, suburban, or rural.
“If you wish to benefit your flock spiritually, and, at the same time to gain spiritual and theological strength yourself, regard them as your beloved people; try more and more to take an interest in them, and resolve, in the fear of God, to stay as long with them as Providence shall make it your... Continue Reading
Why Pastors Should Work Hard to Write Well
Pastors should work hard to become clear, competent writers
“You may not realize it, but pastors have to write every day. I’m sure every pastor has a love/hate (mostly hate?) relationship with email. There was a day last week when I wrote 53 emails. Many of those were short, but I hope none of them was sloppy.” Pastors should work hard to become... Continue Reading
Atheists At Risk of Dying Out Due to Belief in Contraception, Study Claims
The findings fly in the face of popular discourse - and scientists’ predictions
“Although one might argue that just because someone has religious parents it doesn’t necessarily mean they will grow up with the same beliefs, further studies have shown that religion does in fact appear to be heritable. And it appears both nature and nurture play a role – it may seem obvious that how you’re brought up... Continue Reading
Boy Scouts 1948 Versus Boy Scouts 2017
Scouting has capitulated to the late-modern war against nature and forfeited its most basic mission
We used to recite the Scout oath at all the formal gatherings. Of course it has all the problems of any civil religion. In the 1960s and 70s, when I was reciting the oath we all knew what honor, God, country, and “morally straight” signified. One of the books I loved most as a... Continue Reading
The Surprising Power Of Little Things
It’s the cumulative effect of little things that shape our future
“There’s two ways I should respond to the power of little things. First, this reality should prompt a deep dependence on the sovereignty of God. I can’t control or manipulate the little things, but He can. Chance events or random circumstances aren’t chance or random at all in light of God’s perfect work in the... Continue Reading
You Can Take the Curmudgeon Out of Presbyterianism…
Shouldn’t New Calvinists trust the God-ordained means of grace?
“To keep it straight, the Gospel Coalition attracts and promotes Calvinists (think Tim Keller and the PCA) who do not minister as Calvinists, that is, Calvinists who look the other way when it comes to worship and the ministry of the word. To be sure, New Calvinists care about ministry, but their concern is for... Continue Reading
Weary Mom, Come to Me
Motherhood is hard. Can I get an amen?
“He invites you, mom, who labors and are heavy laden. You who have been working hard to be the best, only to realize that your efforts leave you more condemned and doubting than refreshed and encouraged.” Motherhood is hard. Can I get an amen? While we bear the difficult physical aspects of mothering, our... Continue Reading
Cynicism And The God Who Makes All Things New
Cynicism is a problem for many, especially those who have spent much of their life in the church
“We’ve heard great ministry ideas but they sound like a repeat of every other great ministry idea that failed. We hear people make promises and sit back and wait for them to let us down. Over time, our cynicism grows into anger and bitterness.” In our homeschool, I’ve been going through a cycle of... Continue Reading
The True Story of Army Medic Desmond Doss, the Soft-Spoken Christian Superhero
President Harry S. Truman presented Doss with the Medal of Honor on Oct. 12, 1945
Doss should be listed among the “most heroic figures in American history. He was singular,” said “Hacksaw Ridge” director Mel Gibson, during 2016 commencement rites at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., in the hills where Doss grew up. Facing a wall of flames and shellfire, Army medic Desmond Doss had to make an agonizing... Continue Reading
Should My Child Miss Church to Play Sports?
There’s been a radical shift in our culture’s attitude toward Sunday in recent years.
With the advent of traveling teams, Christian parents have a golden opportunity to teach their children about priorities. Mom and Dad, what’s really most important to you? Do you crave the ego-boost of bragging about what a terrific athlete your child is, or do you want them to know God’s will for their lives? When... Continue Reading
The Benedict Option: What is It?
The BenOpt is a call to live in an intentionally Christian way in light the West’s antagonism to Christianity.
The BenOpt is not a call to enter into a monastery but strategic retreat into Christian community. It’s a call to live in an intentional way to survive the oncoming cultural onslaught. Of course, the next decades will almost certainly not include physical persecution. But Christian schools will begin to lose their accreditation, jobs will... Continue Reading
Preventing Pastoral Burnout
Three areas to help pastors in particular not only recover from burnout, but also prevent it.
When I counsel pastors with burnout, stress, anxiety, or depression, I often find a strange reluctance to address the physical side of their suffering and an obsession with the spiritual. The spiritual side of things has to be addressed of course, especially because heart motivations are often the root cause of burnout. But even then,... Continue Reading
Here’s How the New Christian Left Is Twisting the Gospel
Research tells us evangelicals are drifting further away from the orthodox truths their parents and grandparents held dear.
Popular liberal evangelical writers and preachers tell young evangelicals that if they accept abortion and same-sex marriage, then the media, academia and Hollywood will finally accept Christians. Out of fear of being falsely dubbed “intolerant” or “uncompassionate,” many young Christians are buying into theological falsehoods. Instead of standing up as a voice for the innocent... Continue Reading
Confessing the Sin of Platforming
It’s possible to want to help others think biblically, to look to Christ, to learn God’s word, and also “market” or strategize or share online. But maybe the only way to navigate this area is to proceed with caution.
Babel and the Baptist are at odds. Let’s make a name for ourselves. Let’s not. Let’s increase our following. Let’s decrease, dwindle to peanuts, and baton everything toward Christ. How can we increase our social media buzz? How can people see more of Christ by what I do? There’s a fuzzy tension here. “Let... Continue Reading