Cain and Abel: More than Sibling Rivalry

Cain and Abel may indeed be the first story of sibling rivalry, but it is far more than that.

Cain and Abel may indeed be the first story of sibling rivalry, but it is far more than that. It is a divine theater of hope and resurrection life in Christ. It is a preview of the life of many who faithfully follow God in this world and trust in His promises while dramatically displaying... Continue Reading

Is There a Different Process of Church Discipline for Elders?

The process of church discipline is not different for elders, but the Bible underscores the need for churches to exercise great caution and care when hearing accusations.

After commanding that pastors receive double honor, be fairly compensated for their work, and go through a detailed vetting process, God’s Word commands the church to be careful to protect the ministries and the ministers of the church. He does this not to command a blind loyalty that overlooks sin among the elders (verse 20... Continue Reading

‘It’s the Current Year!’ Is Not a Good Argument

Why don’t we burn witches in 2017? Maybe for the same reason we approve of same-sex marriage.

What if we in 2017 are wrong, and our benighted ancestors were right? What if our self-deception is deeper than we’d ever dare to admit on a large scale? What if we’ve papered over and medicated and anesthetized ourselves to keep from feeling the true damage inflicted by our immorality? What if we’ve covenanted together... Continue Reading

10 Things You Should Know About Pride and Humility From Jonathan Edwards

Here are ten things we can learn from Jonathan Edwards on the nature of both pride and humility.

When we grow in our knowledge of something that is finite, we feel that in a sense we have “conquered” it or subdued it and that it is now within our control because we have knowledge of it in all respects. But if the object of knowledge is infinite, as God is, with every measure... Continue Reading

Following Leaders

Principled obedience and submission to our leaders are not license for runaway authority but encouragement to biblical authority.

A primary means of growth in life is by imitation, so we need to be careful in choosing our leaders because “the pupil becomes like the teacher.” There is perhaps nothing more sobering, yet encouraging, for a leader than the realization that those who have chosen to follow them in the name of Christ are... Continue Reading

Students Voiced Their Approval of Machen (1926)

What the student body of Princeton Seminary expressed about Dr. Machen in a resolution adopted by the Students’ Association on November 16, 1926.

Machen, however, had previously opposed in 1920 the Philadelphia Plan for merging nineteen Presbyterian denominations into a single federated body.  He had published two books, The Origin of Paul’s Religion (1920) and Christianity and Liberalism (1923), both of which presented strong arguments against modernism and unbelief.  Machen had become a very public voice raised against... Continue Reading

Alabama Baptists Condemn ‘Alt-Right White Supremacy’

The Alabama Baptist Convention approved a resolution on November 14 condemning racism, including "alt-right white supremacy and white nationalism."

“Radicalized movements in the United States are awakening racial and ethnic divisions that seek to reignite social animosities, reverse improvements in race relations, divide our people and stir up anger and further separation of races,” the statement “promoting gospel unity for all races and ethnicities” said. The Alabama Baptist Convention approved a resolution Tuesday November... Continue Reading

GOP Tax Bill Gives Boost To School Choice

Republicans want to expand 529 accounts to cover K-12 education.

A provision in the Republican tax reform plan would provide more school-choice options for families saving for their children’s education. Under the GOP proposal, parents could use up to $10,000 per year from a 529 education savings account to pay for K-12 schooling.   (WNS)–A provision in the Republican tax reform plan would provide more... Continue Reading

Uncovering Treasures in Paul’s Shortest Letter

Of all the apostle Paul’s epistles, the letter to Philemon may be my favorite

“This is Paul’s only letter that doesn’t mention his apostleship in the greeting. He wants to emphasize to Philemon that he is writing first as a friend, not as a superior. Rather than giving his spiritual son a direct command, he prefers to make his appeal on the basis of love.”   I have a... Continue Reading

Reading the Bible: Ordinary Reading (Part 1)

Sitting down to read the Bible isn’t enough; we need to learn how to read it well

“Don’t be discouraged. Reading, like anything else, is a skill that needs to be learned, practiced, and trained. You might think “I know how to read,” and once you know how to read it’s simply a matter of increasing your vocabulary. Reading is easy and intuitive, and therefore shouldn’t require any extra training once the... Continue Reading

Is the Word of God a Quick Fix?

God’s Word can easily become information for our brains, rather than nourishment for our souls

Brothers and sisters, may we never see God’s Word as our “quick fix”! Rather, my prayer is that we would love the Word of God increasingly more each day, hungering for it like the Psalmists did, when they wrote, “As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. My... Continue Reading

Alzheimer’s Locks Up Its Victims, But Christ Holds The Key

Even while our minds deteriorate, our status as image bearers of the living God remains

“Many Americans today live in fear of Alzheimer’s, for that terrible disease seems able to steal our soul and obliterate our personality. But it does not. It only has the power to lock it up for a season, until the One who made it calls it back from its troubled slumber. The psyche does not... Continue Reading

Evangelical Ky. Gov. Praised for Urging State Lawmakers Who Settled Sexual Harassment Lawsuits to Resign

Biblical law shows how the Lord takes up the cause of the victim and the vulnerable

Southern Baptist Theological Seminary President R. Albert Mohler Jr. said Bevin’s “moral clarity and candor on this issue stands out not only in the state of Kentucky but, frankly, in the entire national conversation for the fact that it is so laser-like.”   Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin, an evangelical Christian, drew high praises from the evangelical... Continue Reading

James White’s 4 Keys to Effective Debating

You need to examine and familiarize yourself with your opponent’s original source material

“When you explain their view on an issue, they should nod in agreement with everything you are saying before you explain why you disagree. If they don’t believe you understand their position or if they think you have misrepresented their beliefs, they will dismiss any argument you proffer against the faulty position you have presented.”... Continue Reading

Doctrine Alone

Going back to the solas of the Reformation, the Reformers were passionate about doctrine

“They debated the best way to formulate the great truths of the Bible not merely with their opponents within the Roman Catholic church, but also with each other – allowing legitimate latitude for interpretation. But they were equally passionate for godly living: behaviour that was shaped by the truth of God’s word.”   The season... Continue Reading

The Real Difference On Election

If the number of saved people is fixed, then that cannot be the ultimate point of difference between Calvinism and Arminianism. The point of difference must lie elsewhere.

“When we consider the five points of Calvinism, it becomes clear that unconditional election is the ultimate point of difference. To put it in a very vernacular way, does God love me because He loves me, or does He love me because I am so lovable? Is the cause of salvation to be found in... Continue Reading

The Mystery of the Gospel

This is a mystery that was hidden by God until it could be publicly revealed in the incarnation of Jesus Christ, in His death, burial, and resurrection.

All around Asia Minor and the ancient world at this time, there were mystery religions and mystery cults, and there were some who thought, especially from the Roman perspective, that Christianity was just another one of them. After all, it had its mystery.   The essential content of Christian preaching, Paul says, is the mystery... Continue Reading

Who Are the “Broken Wolves” in the Evangelical Community Today?

“Broken Wolves” are those “who use their own authenticity, pain, and brokenness to attract believers who are also suffering and broken.”

There are quite a few people out there who talk about the personal difficulties they’ve experienced in life, including abuse, often abuse at the hands of church people. They tend to look at certain doctrines of the faith with great suspicion or even abhorrence.   In his groundbreaking article I shared on my blog earlier this... Continue Reading

The (Other) Lord of Martin Luther’s Life

What we know—and what we can guess—about the reformer’s wife, Katharina von Bora.

The Reformation’s 500th anniversary has brought renewed attention to its most significant players, and “Katie” Luther is no exception. Hence, we have a new biography by Ruth Tucker, Katie Luther, First Lady of the Reformation: The Unconventional Life of Katharina von Bora.   How do you write a book about a woman whose life story is... Continue Reading

Judge Gives FEMA 3 Weeks to Change Policy Banning Churches From Receiving Disaster Relief

If FEMA fails to change the policy within the deadline, the judge said he would issue a ruling.

Since the devastation by Hurricane Harvey in late August, FEMA has denied houses of worship access to federal disaster aid grants due to their religious status while allowing other nonprofits and businesses to apply, but Judge Keith Ellison has given the agency until Dec. 1 to change that policy.   A Houston federal judge has... Continue Reading

Don’t Leave Your Husband for Her

A Letter to a Would-Be Adultress

A mixed-orientation marriage combines one spouse who “is” gay and the other who “is” straight. This new language for sexuality and humanity has become our post-Christian world’s reigning (and godless) logic. Gay may be how someone feels, but it can never be who someone inherently is. Because all human beings are made in God’s image, we are... Continue Reading

When Everything Is Missions

The old slogan “every member a missionary” is not really accurate.

The theme of the book is simple and provocative: we are not all missionaries and not everything is missions, and if we don’t get these definitions correct we will not be effective in carrying out the mission Christ gave to the church.   Pastors, mission committees, mission agencies, and church leaders would do well to... Continue Reading

Augustine, Happiness, and a Birthday Cake

There was, of course, a cake – a healthy delight made with spelt flour, almonds, and honey.

Characteristically for Augustine, the cake prompted a three-day discussion. The subject was happiness – one of his favorite themes – a universal instinct which is meant to lead us to true happiness in God. The treatise De Beata Vita(On the Blessed Life) was the happy result. For Augustine, happiness is enjoying God forever.   If Augustine... Continue Reading

Joyfully Lifting Malformed Hands in Worship

"How do we lift our hands to worship the God who sovereignly brings pain into our lives?"

“Please pray that our little son will someday joyfully lift his hands, formed and malformed, in heartfelt worship to the King who in love and mysterious providence saw fit to have him walk this path—even when he can’t know exactly why it had to be so.”   There are many reasons I love being a... Continue Reading

Understanding Free Will

Martin Luther struggled greatly with the relationship of God’s sovereignty to human free will and sin.

When Luther discussed this, he observed that when the Bible says that God hardened the heart of Pharaoh, God did not create fresh evil in the heart of an innocent man. Luther said that God didn’t harden people by putting evil in their hearts. All that God must do to harden anyone’s heart is to... Continue Reading

Top Ten Reasons You Just Might Be a Hyper-Protestant

You might be a hyper-Protestant if….

It is not enough to affirm that justification is forensic and synthetic (a justification of the ungodly that involves the forgiveness of sins and the imputation of the merits of Christ) and received by faith as the instrument that unites us to Christ who is our wisdom and righteousness and sanctification and redemption.  Rather, if... Continue Reading

Welcome to the Sexual Counter-Reformation

The false apostles of the sexual revolution sold a lie: it was not a time of sexual bliss but one of confusion, abuse, slavery, sexual diseases, infanticide and abortion, immorality.

So it’s simple. The Church should do in the 21st century, what it did in the 1st. Preach the Gospel, care for the poor, avoid all sexual immorality, live in a community of love and fellowship and keep ourselves from being tainted by the world. The Church failed many times (look at the Corinthian church for... Continue Reading

What is the Mission of the Church?

Should the term “mission” be used exclusively to refer to the task of evangelism and disciple-making, or can it be broadened to include socially-oriented activities?

Justification by grace through faith in Jesus Christ is, as the Reformers believed, the fundamental truth of the Christian gospel. It’s the essence of our good-news message for the nations. As such, nothing could be more helpful for defining our mission and for keeping us on mission for our King.   Over the past several... Continue Reading

3 Lessons I’ve Learned from the Reformation

On October 31, 1517, Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the Wittenberg Cathedral door, an act that ignited the most revolutionary movement in the history of Christianity since Pentecost.

National gospel awakenings only come through robust God-glorifying, Christ-exalting, Spirit-filled, prayer-empowered, and gospel-saturated churches. This needed revival awaits a reformation among pastors—one that will provide the church with ministers committed to the mission, message, and means of ministry prayerfully focused on God’s unstoppable Word.   On October 31, 1517, Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the Wittenberg... Continue Reading

The Nashville “Megachurch” That Embraced Gay Marriage Two Years Ago Has Cratered

Two years ago TIME magazine highlighted an evangelical “megachurch” whose pastor had led the congregation to affirm gay marriage and to welcome LGBT persons as full members of the church.

This is a sad but predictable result of a pastor who leads a church to apostatize from the Christian faith. Walking away from Jesus is not a catalyst for church growth. On the contrary, it is the catalyst for church death. Believers in such churches will eventually leave, and those that remain to embrace the... Continue Reading