The Prompting to Worship: the Father’s Love for Us
When we believe in the Father’s love, we know we can always come to God, have access to Him, and grow in love for Him
“Crucial to our communion with God is the knowledge that the same Father who shall judge the world in righteousness, chooses to set his love upon us. It is true that God the Son took the just wrath of God the Father on the cross, but it is equally true that it was the Father... Continue Reading
The Danger of ‘Measurable Outcomes’
Ten million ignorant assertions, even when magnified and accelerated in a hundred million tweets and “likes,” still never add up to truth or wisdom
“We are in the age of gargantuan numbers, truly instant information, ceaselessly hyperactive social media, when the worldwide web has become a flood-driven Niagara of raw, uninterpreted information and emotion that pounds down on us by the minute with its ceaseless roar and its drenching deluge. Who can hear themselves think, let alone make sense... Continue Reading
When God Sings About You
When God prays and intercedes for us, He also exults over us with singing — loudly!
“God is honored by singing. God is honored by shouting. God loves to see his people rejoicing and exulting with all their heart. And how does he respond to the harmonic adoration of his people? He too joins in with songs of love and affection, and the focus of his love songs are his radiant... Continue Reading
Jesus Isn’t Going To Take My Zoloft
The fact that my depression and anxiety didn’t go away when Jesus “came into my heart” and the reality that I had to be medicated to live a normal life made me feel like a second-class Christian.
“I was told that if I would just cast my anxieties at the “foot of the cross” then I would be released from the burdens that weighed so heavily on me. I so desperately wanted the formula that I had been taught to work- read my Bible, pray everyday, and go to church and all... Continue Reading
He Is The Savior And We Are The Saved (Part 6)
Christians are prophets, and we honor our King when confess his Word to a watching world
“When ecclesiastical assembly pronounce on trendy issues (e.g., divestment) they are not likely to find much opposition from the powers of this age. When, however, they perform their actual prophet duty, then resistance is much more likely. This is as it has been since Christianity first came into contact with the pagan world in the 1st... Continue Reading
What’s the Difference Between the Ontological and the Economic Trinity?
If I said, “Describe for me the difference between the ontological Trinity and the economic Trinity,” would you be able to do it?
“Ontology is the study of being. When we talk about the ontological Trinity, we are referring to the fact that God is three in one. There are three persons in the Godhead—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit—who together are one being. The ontological structure of the Trinity is a unity. When we speak... Continue Reading
Refusing To Call Evil “Evil”
There are times when our pluralistic sensibilities are overcome by an unambiguous display of evil
“No one is served when we bury our heads in the ground and pretend that ISIS is anything less than one of the most morally repugnant regimes on the face of the planet. Maybe our statesmen will disagree on the best way to address this threat. But can’t we all agree on what they are.... Continue Reading
A New Beginning As “New Life” For Virginia Congregation
The wait to become part of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC) is over for a Virginia congregation
“New Hope Presbyterian Church’s dismissal to the EPC from the Presbyterian Church (USA) by Presbytery of the Peaks came to a ceremonial conclusion on July 20. The congregation had been granted its departure during a May 8 presbytery meeting. The presbytery’s policy calls for a 90-day waiting period after dismissal, so while Presbytery of the... Continue Reading
Effectual Calling And Trinitarian Balance
How does a call that is planned in by God in heaven before time began translate into our personal experience in life?
“In the first place, we need to be clear that the Spirit does not do his work in isolation, not merely from the Father, but equally of the Son. It is the call of God in the voice of Jesus that the Spirit uses to call his chosen ones to new birth, faith and repentance.... Continue Reading
7 Reasons Why the Current Marriage Debate Is Nothing Like the Debate on Interracial Marriage
Is opposition to same-sex marriage the same as opposition to interracial marriage?
Even cultures that embraced same-sex relationships did not treat them as marriages. Far from having been devised as a pretext for excluding same-sex relationships—as some now charge—marriage as the union of husband and wife arose in many places over several centuries entirely independent of, and well before any debates about, same-sex relationships. Indeed, it arose in... Continue Reading
The 10 Greatest Hymns of All-Time
The best hymns are those that are universal and timeless, speaking to all Christians in all times, places, and situations.
As English-speaking Christians, we have a vast array of hymns available to us, and we each have our list of favorites. In my assessment, the best hymns are those that are universal and timeless, speaking to all Christians in all times, places, and situations. They are firmly grounded in Scripture and drawn out of, or... Continue Reading
Three Gospels for Anxiety
In Matthew 6, Christ says, “Do not be anxious about your life” and provides us with 3 gospels to help us combat our daily anxiety.
Unlike the pagan Gentiles, Christians have a heavenly Father who willingly, faithfully, and eternally takes on the burden of our provision. It makes sense that pagans worry, because they don’t have the assurance of divine provision, but Christians shouldn’t be anxious. We have a Father who knows exactly what we need and is in the... Continue Reading
Major Missions Agency Picks ‘Radical’ New President
Megachurch pastor David Platt is now the younger face of the Southern Baptist Convention's International Mission Board
David Uth, one of the IMB trustees, spoke to Baptist Press about selecting Pratt: We weren’t looking for a man who knew how to talk about it; we were looking for a man who was doing it—and using the influence he had to affect the nations. When we considered what Brook Hills was doing to send couples [to... Continue Reading
A Line in the Sand
The Homeschool Legal Defense Association speaks out against the dangers of Patriarchy and Legalism
While people are entitled to personal opinions within a broad range, there are some views within the patriarchy movement that go too far. Women are not to be the de facto slaves of men. Women are created with dignity equal to that of men. Women have direct and unmediated access to God. Daughters should not be taught... Continue Reading
I Forgive You, But Please Don’t Call it ‘Giving Grace’
Ultimately, I'm afraid that by using the wrong biblical word for the right biblical response we may be misunderstanding both.
What should I do when my husband forgets to buy milk on the way home from work? When my kids leave their new bikes out in the rain? When fellow church members are curt or critical on Sunday mornings? Increasingly, I hear the godly action in these scenarios described as “giving grace.” And, while I... Continue Reading
Four Rules To Simplify Christian Dating
Is it just me, or has the whole Christian dating / courting / dorting thing become really, really complicated?
When it comes to dating, God’s wisdom is desperately needed. There are so many issues which aren’t explicitly addressed by Scripture, and therefore require wisdom. Is it sinful for a couple to drive to a deserted area at night just to “hang out”? No, but it might not be the wisest thing. Is it wise... Continue Reading
The God Who Comforts
Have you experienced God’s comfort? How can you then comfort someone else?
Do you ever go through seasons of discouragement and wonder why your faith is so fragile? Do you ever think that since you’ve been a believer for so long, you shouldn’t ever struggle, experience weakness, or feel stabs of fear? Have you ever felt overwhelmed by the pressures of life and wondered what is wrong and... Continue Reading
Between Hagiography And Cynicism
We should tell the truth about the past as best we can and that includes letting the reader know that our subject was human and thus fallen.
It does no service to Christians now or in the future to beatify our forebears in the faith. An overly sanitized story is ultimately not a true story. Scripture itself is quite realistic in its portrayal of some of the great figures in redemptive history. One is repeatedly shocked by Moses’ brutal honesty not only in... Continue Reading
The Federal Vision and The Dualism Duel
In a system where salvation is all of grace, how can a common personal union with Christ securely save some and not securely save others?
Both Reformed theology and Federal Vision soteriology have their dualities; yet there is a crucial difference. The dualities in Reformed theology do not reach into the heart of the mystical union with Christ. In Reformed theology, there are no dualities that divide between those who are in union with Christ. In Reformed theology, all who... Continue Reading
The Doctrine of Justification Among the Puritans
Justification is a gospel mystery—a matter, that is, of divine revelation by grace
Baxter was convinced that those who held the ground and formal cause of our justification to be the imputing to us of Christ’s own righteousness (i.e., his fulfillment of the precept and penalty of the moral law) were logically committed to Antinomianism, on the “payment-God-will-not-twice-demand” principle. At this point in his thinking… Baxter assumed, with... Continue Reading
The Conflicting Narrative of Jerusalem
Jerusalem has two conflicting narratives accompanied by differing holidays, songs, and stories; this results in two identities that are in conflict with each other
Peace treaties do not negate long standing narratives that give identity. There must be a larger story … Jesus promised to bring a peace that this world cannot give. Such peace is both internal as it relates to Jesus giving us a clear conscience before God the Father, but also a peace between those who... Continue Reading
8 Tips For Talking to Your Kids About Sex
Maybe those of us who are religious and less conflicted about sex discussions need to offer some tips
Of course, if we want to raise children who care about something deeper and less fleeting than satisfying physical desires, that should be just one component of a larger discussion about who we are as humans, the gift of our sex, how our sexes complement each other, the significance of that complementarity, family formation, personal... Continue Reading
Understanding Ethics: Consequentialism
Instead of seeking what we think to be the best outcome, our duty is to seek the will of God in humble obedience
If no objective standard exists, then how can one truly know which action is best? Consequentialism lacks a sufficient knowledge base from which to categorize good or bad. Unless one can see into the future, many actions must be recognized as presently ambiguous. Only a being with the attributes of God can be sure that he/she is... Continue Reading
The Psychology Behind Messy Rooms: Why The Most Creative People Flourish In Clutter
Albert Einstein: “If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, then what are we to think of an empty desk?”
While it might look completely random to strangers, a lot of times, a person’s mess is very methodical – with respect to himself. Psychological scientist Kathleen Vohs, from the University of Minnesota, who set out to debunk this urban legend, didn’t confine her study to solely the desk. No, Vohs, clearly a creative mind, chose... Continue Reading
Christ’s Love for the Law
Jesus understood God’s law to be positive and helpful, even if occasionally painful.
Living in our humanistic culture, there is probably no more hated word than ‘law’ (unless it’s pre-destination)! To our world apart from Christ, the ultimate priority is to live free from any constraint, allowed to authenticate oneself with one’s own choices. Many people in our age work as hard as they can for unbridled freedom.... Continue Reading
Social media and texting can damage your soul—they work against human design rather than with it
Get ready for a backlash—a surge in longer dinners with friends, tech-free small groups, and a general break out of a pent-up desire for human fellowship. Get ready for a retro movement back to slow-paced relationships. The pendulum is already swinging toward something more in sync with our humanity. But it will test us, because... Continue Reading
There are two things, above all, that students want: that their professors challenge them and that they care about them.
My years in the classroom, as well as my conversations with young people about their college experience, have convinced me there are two things, above all, that students want from their professors. Not, as people commonly believe, to entertain them in class and hand out easy A’s. That’s what they retreat to, once they see... Continue Reading
Ferguson and My White-Looking Son
I’ve watched the horror in Ferguson, MO unfold, I couldn’t help but wonder what it will be like for my son as he grows into a young man.
Because he is white-looking, I fear my son will grow up in an environment that is hostile towards white males. I do live in the south where racial tension and strife have plagued our history. So what if we end up doing just the thing we’ve fought so hard to stop? What if we, black... Continue Reading
Did Paul Teach that a Rock Followed the Israelites in the Wilderness?
First in the series responding to Peter Enns' "Aha Moments" questioning the inerrancy of Scripture
As for the second problem, even if this Jewish “tradition” was extant in the first century there are serious doubts about whether 1 Cor 10:4 demonstrates Paul’s adoption of it. He may well be doing a biblical – theological exegesis of Exodus 14-17 in the light of Psalm 78:14-20 (e,g., “he splits the rocks . . . and gave them abundant... Continue Reading
The Wrong Kind of Christian
There is no amount of niceness or progressive sympathizing that will remove the reproach of the gospel.
It didn’t matter to them if we were politically or racially diverse, if we cared about the environment or built Habitat homes. It didn’t matter if our students were top in their fields and some of the kindest, most thoughtful, most compassionate leaders on campus. There was a line in the sand, and we fell... Continue Reading