America’s Zero-Sum Culture, and How It’s Tearing the Nation Apart
A zero-sum game is a situation where there is a finite amount of capital or benefits to be gotten and if one person or group gains, another loses.
But this contemporary zero-sum culture of winners and losers stands in sharp contrast to earlier political discourse as it was informed by religiously derived notions of divine providence, sin, tragic brokenness, grace, and humility in the face of a world that we do not fully understand. Witness Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address, which, while not shying away... Continue Reading
You’re So Vain, You Probably Think This Psalm Is About You
David was passionate about leading his friends to acceptably worship the Holy God
In the midst of his discomfort, David is finding comfort in the LORD, and he longs for his children and people to do so as well. All true worshipers should humble themselves before the mighty hand of the Lord. For it is always better for one to humble oneself, than to be forcefully humbled by the... Continue Reading
Fragile Foundation of Marriage Equality, Part 3
In the minds of “marriage equality” supporters, the discussion is over; there is one “right side of history.”
Damon Linker has “made clear repeatedly” that he supports gay marriage, and yet he is “troubled by the equally stunning lack of charity, magnanimity, and tolerance displayed by many gay marriage advocates.” The problem is that certain “equality” proponents “don’t just want to win the legal right to marry. They don’t just want most Americans... Continue Reading
A Crisis Of Existentialism
We are in the midst of an existential crisis. Not a crisis that threatens our existence, but rather a crisis of existentialism.
One might say that Existential Philosophy is diametrically opposed to Ontological Philosophy. The former gives sovereignty to perception, the latter to what is; the former gives precedence to subjective identity, the latter to inherent identity; the former emphasizes what is apparent – feelings, qualities, or the accidents – the latter emphasizes substance…. Perhaps, in no case is the... Continue Reading
A Flicker of Light In An Increasingly Dark News Feed
Shining some light on the good things God is doing in the church – to focus on what is commendable and true.
The above principles and practices are not given as a “formula” for success, though the Lord has blessed these biblical commitments in our body and I can’t help but think he would do so in any congregation. My intent is to acknowledge publicly the Lord’s immeasurable goodness to us undeserving sinners! And, by extension, to... Continue Reading
The Heresy of Racial Superiority — Confronting the Past, Confronting the Truth
The ideology of racial superiority is one of the saddest and most sordid evidences of the Fall
“Throughout history, racial ideologies have been driving forces of war, of social cohesion, of demagoguery, and of dictatorships. Race theory was central to the Nazi regime and was used by both sides in the Pacific theater of World War II. In that theater of the war, both the Japanese and the Americans claimed that the... Continue Reading
Hunger Artists In The Reality TV Age
The indiscriminate approval of every personal choice, irrespective of the harm it causes, has borne the full ethical weight of progressive politics in Western societies for decades now.
Our reality is stranger than Kafka’s fiction precisely because it is no longer fiction, and no longer confined to the hunger artist. Our guardians and experts demand that we, the public, are morally obliged to give our approval to each and every authentic choice. It is a matter of human rights. The ancient Romans... Continue Reading
5 Common Obstacles Long Term Pastors Experience
What are 5 common obstacles that long term pastors face in their church?
The long term pastor faces frustrations, betrayal, weariness, loneliness, disappointments, burnout, depression, marital conflict, criticism, and even contempt. It shouldn’t surprise us at all that there are so many obstacles for long term pastors and one of the greatest obstacles is even surviving to be a pastor long enough to be considered a long term... Continue Reading
Guilt Is Not Just a Feeling
Guilt is not just a feeling, it is a legal standing
“God often creates a sense of unease in people, which then leads them to a consciousness of sin, and then a deeper sense that they are guilty before God. Then He brings them beyond mere “feelings” of guilt to confess, “I am guilty before God.” As the psalmist says, “If You, LORD, should mark iniquities,... Continue Reading
John Adams and American Independence
Adams still does not receive the recognition he deserves
Adams’s faith played a vital role in his long and distinguished life. It significantly affected his worldview, determined his moral standards, helped shape his character, and supplied many of his goals. His belief that God governed the world and directed the course of nations and the lives of individuals gave him the courage and confidence... Continue Reading
The Indispensability Of Preaching
God is calling His people and He is doing so through the preaching of the gospel
“As inefficient as it may seem to us, God the Spirit has left to the office of preacher the ministry of announcing the good news and it through that act, announcing the incarnation, obedience, righteousness, death, resurrection, ascension, and return of Christ that he has promised to bring all of his elect to new life,... Continue Reading
How Do You Read the Bible?
I can hear the answer now: Same way I read any book, one word after another.
“Read it for its own sake. Read it receptively. Read it the way you would listen to a friend tell you a story. You listen because you want to hear, not because you think what he says is going to change your life, or teach you something you didn’t know before.” I can hear... Continue Reading
Eternalizing the Old Testament
Everything in the Old Testament Scriptures is fulfilled in Jesus
“One of the most important biblical-theological matters with which we must wrestle is that of how we are to harmonize the Old Testament teaching about “everlasting” ordinances with the teaching of the apostles as to the abrogation of the command to circumcise (1 Cor. 7:19; Gal. 5:6, 11; and 6:15), the cessation of the Old... Continue Reading
3 Compelling Reasons Why We Must Deal With Our Sinful Anger
Why should we seek to uproot our sinful anger and replace it with godly fruit?
“First, we should deal biblically with our anger for the sake of our personal health. Long before the advent of modern medicine, the Bible described the psychosomatic (or “spirituo-somatic”) connection between sin and sickness, and between righteousness and health.” Why should we seek to uproot our sinful anger and replace it with godly fruit?... Continue Reading
What Are You Willing to Give Up?
The accelerated pace of the sea-change going on now in America requires some comment
“The somewhat provocative title of this post should not be seen as a call to emotional hysteria. All too often, the conversation is characterized by shrill voices on both sides of the debate, thus creating a climate where no one can listen. Evangelicals are rank with fear. Why? And what kind of fear is it?”... Continue Reading
Where Do You Stop?
If you object to the Confederate Flag, why not to Alabama’s and Florida’s
“If these accusers don’t stop, they will be yet the latest example of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s short story, “Earth’s Holocaust,” which recounts the absurd lengths to which reformers go to arrive at a perfect society or institution, so absurd that activists forget to look in the mirror because they threw it into the fire.” If... Continue Reading
The Top Five Forgotten Founders
Important founders of the United States that are not well known to many
Lemuel Haynes: born in Connecticut to a white mother and black father, Haynes worked as an indentured servant prior to enlisting in the Massachusetts militia, and then the Continental Army. Haynes also experienced evangelical conversion and came under the tutelage of local Calvinist pastors. Shortly after the Declaration of Independence, Haynes wrote “Liberty Further Extended,”... Continue Reading
Radical for Jesus a New Kind of Legalism?
Today, young adults struggle with a new form of it: the pressure to live radically for Christ.
Bradley said many Christian leaders have inadvertently encouraged the radical message by calling young people to make a difference and change the world. A growing disdain for American suburbs in favor of the inner city has also contributed as has the missional church movement, which encourages people to be missionaries in their own communities. ... Continue Reading
40 Questions for Christians Now Waving Rainbow Flags
Something to chew on before swallowing everything the world and Facebook put on our plate.
If you consider yourself a Bible-believing Christian, a follower of Jesus whose chief aim is to glorify God and enjoy him forever, there are important questions I hope you will consider before picking up your flag and cheering on the sexual revolution. These questions aren’t meant to be snarky or merely rhetorical. They are sincere,... Continue Reading
Dear Christian Friends: Remember You Are Not Home
Christians have for centuries lived in communities that did not welcome them. However, they made it and the gospel made it.
Finally, remember that Jesus never called the church to redeem culture or create a Christian America. Our job is to glorify God by declaring and demonstrating the gospel. The church is an embassy of grace on foreign soil. And we must remember that this church has been, is being, and will be built by Jesus... Continue Reading
Since It Is God’s Law…
Antinomianism downplays the law; legalism downplays the gospel.
Watson goes on to say that in a legal sense no one can obey the law because of the fall and our sinful nature. However, he notes, in a gospel sense we can obey the law. “Gospel obedience consists in a real endeavor to observe the whole moral law (Ps. 119:166):” Our triune God... Continue Reading
How Should You Talk to Your Children About Same-Sex Marriage?
How does one teach about the law and the controversy, without exposing one’s children to more than they can handle?
The Bible isn’t nearly as antiseptic as Christians sometimes pretend to be, and it certainly doesn’t shirk back from addressing all the complexities of human life. If we are discipling our children, let’s apply the Scriptures to all of life. If we refuse to talk to our children about the reality of the world they... Continue Reading
4 Perfections of God’s Transforming Word
What are the particular traits or characteristics of God’s Word that render it so useful a tool and so powerful a weapon in the hand of the Holy Spirit?
Third, God’s Word is right, pure, and clean. Here is the Old Testament statement of the doctrine of biblical inerrancy. The Word is said to be right or straight because it does not deviate from perfect conformity to any just standard by which truth is measurable. The Word is pure as a pure light is clear... Continue Reading
Working Out What God Has Worked In
Yes we labor, strain and strive to reach the prize. But we do it in the power of God who works within us.
Someone once said, “We must work out what God has worked in.” Jesus saves us as a gift, and “sanctifies” us, or sets us apart for himself. We then must begin to walk out that “sanctification,” in which the Holy Spirit moves and empowers us to cooperate with him to become like Christ. Someday we’ll... Continue Reading
Why Good Works?
Those who have been given new life (regenerated) will do good works.
In our time, of course, we’ve seen the same sort of ping-ponging. We have the self-described, so-called Federal Vision movement arguing essentially the Arminian doctrine of salvation and calling it Reformed. Among the evangelicals there are antinomians arguing that the moral law no longer applies to Christians and then there are moralists (nomists) who teach... Continue Reading
The Symbolism of the Rainbow
There is rich biblical-theological symbolism in God’s act of setting the rainbow in the sky
God, by placing the rainbow in the sky, was, in a sense, aiming His weapon of war and judgment at Himself; and, as it was with the cutting of the covenant with Abraham in which God alone passed through the animals that had been cut apart in judgment, God is saying in the Noahic covenant that... Continue Reading
Why The Gay Marriage Debate Was Over In 1950
Religion, morality, even reality were now questions of self-fulfillment—making truth subjective and traditional truth claims irrelevant and meaningless.
Once self-fulfillment becomes the end towards which individuals are moving, then there is no longer any fixed council or direction to govern any particular individual’s choice—only what a person claims will lead to his personal betterment, as only he is entitled to determine. Individual autonomy and self-indulgence trump all else…. Having enshrined individual autonomy as... Continue Reading
Lessons Learned From The Civil Rights Resolution At The 2015 PCA General Assembly
Five encouraging observations and lessons on how the PCA GA handled the Civil Rights Resolution
How then do we add feet to our repentance regarding the Civil Rights era, while maintaining this purely spiritual mission and authority? That is what we will need to work out in the year to come in our sessions and presbyteries. I might suggest that we begin by looking to the book of Philemon as... Continue Reading
Episcopalians Approve Religious Weddings For Gay Couples
The Episcopal General Convention in Salt Lake City on Wednesday (July 1), Episcopalians voted to allow religious weddings for gay couples.
On Tuesday, the House of Bishops had approved the resolution, 129-26, with five abstaining, and it was overwhelmingly passed by the House of Deputies, the voting body of lay people and clergy, on Wednesday… The Episcopal Church is the U.S. branch of the global Anglican Communion, and before the vote, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby had... Continue Reading
A Summary of PCA Statements on Homosexuality
A brief overview of actions on sexuality taken by past PCA General Assemblies
In light of recent decisions by some denominations to approve ordaining openly homosexual individuals to the ministry, to allow ministers to officiate and bless same-sex marriages, and because of the public debate on legalizing same-sex marriages, it is appropriate to note that not all denominations have taken these actions. And since one of these denominations... Continue Reading