Belief in a Historical Adam: A Call to Courage

There are some who make what is real in scripture less real in the church. This is especially true with contemporary challenges to the historical Adam.

Paul ascribes a real transgression to one real man just as he ascribes a real act of righteousness to one real Savior, Jesus (Rom 5:18). Adam is no a mytho-poetic literary construct. If he is then his trespass was not that of a real man and our need for the real obedience of the one... Continue Reading

The Calvary Option?

Ministry will continue to be made up of the same elements as that of our spiritual forefathers: Word, sacraments, prayer

Despised and mocked by all around him, he plods towards death, faithfully doing that to which he has been called.  But the Calvary Option is surely too grand a name for just doing my job. So I suggest we call it simply ‘the traditional pastoral work in an ordinary congregation option.’ Inelegantly phrased, I know,... Continue Reading

The Future of Evangelicalism: Stronger, Smaller, and Stranger

We'll be left with a church of upstream swimmers, people who cling to their faith identity despite a powerful counter current of anti-Christian sentiment.

Nominal Christians have long been the church’s “warm market.” They don’t have major obstacles to faith and are the most likely people to become committed believers. Yes, their exodus will purify the church. But, to continue with the marketing terms, when people are rushing to shed your label, it means you have a branding problem.... Continue Reading

5 Warning Signs for the Church in a “Facebook Culture”

Here are a few characteristics of a “Facebook culture” that we certainly need to reckon with as believers.

“Surfacey” interactions/artificial relationships.  …. people might feel more connected, but they can really be more distant, at least from who they really are. In contrast, true Christian fellowship requires that we engage with people as we really are, so that we can honestly face our sin and grow together in Christ.   One of my... Continue Reading

The 4 Most Embarrassing Things Cecile Richards Said In Defense Of Planned Parenthood

She did her best, but her talking points were really bad.

However, her main talking point — that the footage was edited — is completely refuted by the full release of the footage in question. Her subsequent talking point of straight up character assassination has no substantiating evidence. She may have been caught in a rather obvious false statement about how many clinics are engaged in... Continue Reading

Liberating Christians from Their Cultural Captivity

Like ambassadors, evangelicals must learn the language and worldview of the people they are trying to reach.

At the same time, evangelicals must prepare to minister to the wounded, the refugees of the sexual revolution whose relationships have been wrecked by false promises of freedom and autonomy. When people are persuaded that they are free to “come and go” as they please, relationships will grow fragile and fragmented. Those around us will... Continue Reading

SCOTUS: Too Much and Too Little

Identity cannot be in sexual orientation (the religion of the day) and the triune God at the same time

The root of the tragedy of the SCOTUS decision is that sexual orientation as a category of personhood is both too much and too little all at once, too weighty for the soul to bear and not capacious enough to portray God’s power to redeem, transform, lay down his life, and live again in and... Continue Reading

Christians Shouldn’t Be Culture’s Morality Police

We aren't called to demand that secular culture reflect biblical principles.

If more Christians were eating meals with non-believers, or with believers they didn’t always agree with, the Internet might look nothing like it does. We often replace face-to-face conversations with insensitive, irresponsible use of social media. The toughest discussions are the ones that require slowing down, pulling up a chair and pouring a drink together,... Continue Reading

Boy Scouts End Ban on Gay Scoutmasters: LGBT Groups Not Satisfied Unless Religious Liberty Is Trampled

The Boy Scouts of America voted to lift a long-established ban on gay adults as employees and volunteers within the organization.

Liberalizing socially conservative organizations is a great way to shrink them to irrelevance. Just ask the vanishing Protestant Mainline. But the goal here was never to help the Boy Scouts of America but rather to send scouts the same cultural signal the sexual revolutionaries send to the rest of America: Join . . . or... Continue Reading

How We Interpret Texts Really Matters

The consequences of mis-handling of Scripture can be very serious:

A small group meets and reads a passage of Scripture. They then go around the room and ask each person, “What does this passage mean to you?” The sincere Christians who are there to learn and grow have no formal training and not much knowledge of the Scriptures, so their response of “Well, to me,... Continue Reading

How Do I Know God’s Will for My Life?

We can cry out to God for discernment, God promises to faithfully lead us, and we will hear His voice and follow in His ways

The comfort of God’s faithful leading is matched by the promise that His sheep follow His guidance. Of course, each of us faces temptation and goes astray, but if we are truly seeking His paths, we can rest assured that we will hear and follow. He does not leave us to wander, but faithfully guides in a variety... Continue Reading

I Am a Grateful Pastor

I have so much for which to be grateful, so many church members who bless me week after week.

I am a grateful pastor. I admit I get discouraged at times. And I admit that I can get frustrated and weary as well. But I have so much for which to be grateful. There are so many church members who bring me joy and encouragement. I am a grateful pastor. I am grateful for... Continue Reading

President of Planned Parenthood Did Her Cause No Favors

It looked and sounded desperate and deceitful. And that is because it was.

Even after all of her bluster, there are two facts that she does not dispute. Take note: (1) Planned Parenthood routinely kills babies in utero through procedures that involve “crushing” the baby. (2) Planned Parenthood harvests the body parts of dead babies and hands them over to researchers in exchange for money.   The President... Continue Reading

Looking Away From Abortion

You can turn away. But there will be plenty of chances to look, to see, to know.

But the reluctance to look closely doesn’t change the truth of what there is to see. Those were dead human beings on Richard Selzer’s street 40 years ago, and these are dead human beings being discussed on video today: Human beings that the nice, idealistic medical personnel at Planned Parenthood have spent their careers crushing,... Continue Reading

Can Hipster Christianity Save Churches From Decline?

What happens when churches become too driven by the desire to be trend-savvy and culturally relevant?

Many don’t want the church to be like a sceney bar or a stylish boutique. They want the church to be the church: an institution that embraces awkward people, confronts sin, transforms lives, subverts the sovereignty of self, serves others and provides meaning more substantial than the ephemera of fickle fads.   Do people want... Continue Reading

No Platform High Enough

No matter your goal, no matter your god, it will not and cannot bring lasting satisfaction.

When it is platform you crave, when it is the size or the popularity of your following that you use as the measure of your success, you will inevitably and eventually find that there is no platform high enough. No success will ever perfectly fulfill your ambitions. When it is recognition that you are after,... Continue Reading

From Liberal Judaism to Faith in Jesus

Another reason why so few Jewish people believe is because so few have heard

I went to Jonathan after the talk and said, “I’m Jewish, so I suppose this isn’t for me.” He had a good response: “Jesus himself was Jewish! He’s the Jewish Messiah, the one the Jews were waiting for. If you follow him, you’ll be following your own Messiah.”   My background is liberal Judaism—Judaism without... Continue Reading

The Gospel-Centered Flow of Worship

The structure of the weekly worship service serves to instruct and root us in the Gospel

“We begin the service with the Call to Worship—God calling His people out of the world into His presence. There is an intentional covenantal element to this act of being called forth and set apart. The following hymns/songs of praise reflect the nature and character of who God is and what He has done.”  ... Continue Reading

Perpetual Worship: The Discipline of Loving God in Creation

Communing with God takes place not only over his Word, but among his works

“Christianity has always had a stream of thought that regards creation with real suspicion. Many Christians have felt that creation, be it the body, or food, or wealth, is partly evil. Drawing from Greek Platonism, the body is seen to be inferior to the spirit, a kind of temporary vehicle that trips up our spirit,... Continue Reading

The Christian Fraternity

Fellowship is a fairly common word in ecclesiastical circles, but what exactly is it?

“Those who are regenerated and growing in their adoration of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are to find their souls drawn towards like-minded worshipers. After all, they do have the same beliefs, interests, passion, and Holy Spirit dwelling within.”   Fellowship is a fairly common word in ecclesiastical circles, but what exactly is it?... Continue Reading

Dealing With Doubt

How can Christians find faith in the midst of doubt?

“We should ask God to deliver us from Satan’s attacks of unbelief and discouragement. We should learn to resist them in the power of Christ (see James 4:7). Trusting God for the grace to endure adversity is as much an act of faith as trusting Him for deliverance from it.”   In times of doubt, difficulty,... Continue Reading

Rebuilding a Marriage Culture: A Fourfold Mission for the Church

We need to live out the truth about marriage and human sexuality

“The church needs to present a case for biblical sexuality that is appealing and that engages the best of modern thought. The virtues of chastity and lifelong marriage are enriching, but after fifty years, the church has still not devised a compelling response to the sexual revolution.”   The Supreme Court’s ruling in Obergefell v.... Continue Reading

Gay Marriage and the Future of Evangelical Colleges

Now that same-sex couples have the right to wed, will higher-ed institutions that condemn LGBT students still be eligible for federal funding?

“But as gay rights have gained wider acceptance over the past few years, many evangelical colleges have found themselves facing a predicament. Policies forbidding gay relationships have brought negative media attention and increasingly frustrated students, both of which could turn disastrous for religious colleges already struggling with tight budgets and uncertain futures.”   Page 15... Continue Reading

The Coming Of The Age Of Gibberish

As ever, in our aesthetic age, it is impossible to argue against a feeling.

This is where the New Left looks set to undo itself.  The very language upon which it depends for articulating its moral and political ambition—e.g., equality, gender, humanity, rights, etc.—was predicated upon reality being more than a linguistic construct or the creation of individual egos.   Every now and then I read something which seems... Continue Reading

The Sunday Worship Killer

You are meeting with the Triune God of the universe. Don’t let our adversary tempt you to do something less.

Instead of meeting with God, she played the cynic. Instead of hearing the voice of God, she heard the frail words of the preacher. Instead of a mind stirred by truth, it was stymied in criticism. Instead of a heart moved with joy, it was hardened in judgment.   Few things harden the soul, deaden... Continue Reading

Reflections On SCOTUS Oberkeful Opinion #1

Christian outrage is crucial and right, but must lead to lament; lament must lead to repentance.

I am outraged that a nation claiming to be “under God” now legally, institutionally as well as culturally mocks the God of glory. Therefore, I lament that this ruling not only positions this nation under God’s judgment but reveals that we are already under the judgment of God.   What about outrage? OUTRAGE: An extremely strong... Continue Reading

A Modest Proposal: We Are The Satire

Modern American culture has achieved an eerie resemblance to Jonathan Swift's satirical essay recommending infant cannibalism.

Not only is Planned Parenthood engaged in haggling over body parts and organs of murdered children, but the gods of this world are feasting on our children – the gods of entertainment, pleasure, reputation, influence, sports, education, safety, security, etc. – and too many of us are making them plump for the eating. We have become... Continue Reading

Black Christians, Personhood, And Planned Parenthood

Planned Parenthood fallout, personhood, and the Black community's relationship with the organization.

When it comes to personhood, Planned Parenthood occupies a “special place” in the life and history of the African American community. In its infancy, Planned Parenthood serviced many urban communities. It’s still true today, where well over 75% of its clinics are found in minority neighborhoods. On average, over 1,000 Black babies are aborted every... Continue Reading

How We Made Too Much of Gender

Reclaiming an identity more meaningful than manhood or womanhood.

I’m not minimizing the difficult reality of Jenner’s condition, gender dysphoria, and others like Jenner. Still, we’re all experiencing the consequences of a cultural fixation on gender. A man or woman, a boy or girl, who tends toward the features considered “the other” might question his or her identity in a way that may not have happened... Continue Reading

A Pastor’s Reflections: The Way of the Cross and Criticism

If you always want to avoid criticism, chances are that you’re trying to avoid the way of the cross.

Christ, Paul, and the other apostles were all subjected to withering criticism. If you’re a pastor and find yourself under the fire of criticism, then you’re in good company. Don’t look for a way out—after prayerful consideration of whether the criticism is valid—press on and follow in the footsteps of Christ. Press forward in the... Continue Reading