Having Boldness To Enter The Holiest
It is Christ's mediation that allows God’s people to draw near to Him in worship
“With the advent of Jesus Christ, the symbolic worship of the tabernacle has given way to the reality: we draw near to God through the rent flesh and shed blood of the Messiah. His resurrection is God’s justification of His mediatorial work (see Acts 17:31). Any approach to God apart from Christ, therefore, is rebellion... Continue Reading
The Opposite Of Name It, Claim It
I can't help but think how different a Christian benediction is from the "name it, claim it" mentality
“Our “positive confession” is what God says, not what we creatively speak. And the good news of the gospel is not that we can demand what we want from God and he is then required to give it. No, it is that despite our wretched, sinful condition and rebellion against God, he has lavishly given us Christ and all... Continue Reading
Does God Hate Your Minister and Your Church?
In Jeremiah’s day, God was furious with those ministering in his name
“May our churches be places where God’s Word is supremely taught, and God’s blessings and curses are faithfully presented. May our ministers be servants who are advancing in sanctification; may ministerial hypocrisy not be present. May all God’s people be proactively pastored; no one should be left alone or forgotten. Through the gracious power of God’s Holy Spirit, may... Continue Reading
10 Ways to Exercise Christlike Headship
Whether trained by a godly dad from birth or newly learning about headship as a young believer, your face is to be set like a flint in pursuing the glory of God as the Christlike head of a home
“You recognize that your family will only flourish under your leadership when you are flourishing in Christ. This means being in the Word regularly and praying regularly and being a faithful church member. You don’t have to be a spiritual all-star, future biographers poring over your Moleskins for clues into your thinking. You do need... Continue Reading
Whenever you shake up something as homogenous as one-race churches, things are bound to get messy
“Over the last year, our big, white church has been striving to more fully reflect the diversity of Columbus, Ohio and the Kingdom of God. In the first few years, we perpetuated the racial segregation that exists in so many churches across America. Then in just four short years, we became a church of 1,000... Continue Reading
9 Things You Should Know About Intimate Partner Violence
The issue of intimate partner violence has been in the news recently after the National Football League suspended Ray Rice for hitting his finacee
“The term “intimate partner violence” (IPV) describes physical, sexual, or psychological harm by a current or former partner or spouse. This type of violence can occur across age, ethnic, gender, and economic lines, among persons with disabilities, among both heterosexual and same-sex couples, and does not require sexual intimacy. IPV affects more than 12 million... Continue Reading
The Questions of Gay Marriage: Covenant or Biology in Genesis 2?
Of the passages relating to sexuality in the Bible, few are as evocative as this one from Genesis
“To attempt to remove the nature of the covenant from the possibility of procreation distorts not simply the meaning of this passage, but creates a division between the word of promise and the physical reality that at every point Scripture overcomes. If this is right, then I would suggest there is more at stake in... Continue Reading
Why We Have No ISIS Strategy
A culture, lacking recourse to the transcendent, will be unable to seek the reconciliation that comes from genuine repentance
In the words of scholar N.T. Wright, they want, “to reap the fruit, but sever the root.” In so doing, they refuse to see what Nietzsche so clearly did — the real, horrific consequences of a world finally free from the God of Moses and Jesus. Alexander Schmemann elaborates: “Here, in this paradox, is the whole... Continue Reading
Preachers Heckle Students
Rev. Thornton’s presentation came on the heels of a hostile one
“Thornton, a pastor with the Presbyterian Evangelistic Fellowship in Bristol, Tenn., was one of the religious speakers who presented in front of the library this week. Thornton’s presentation began around noon Wednesday. “I will preach, Lord willing, of both law and grace, heaven and hell,” Thorton said before his presentation. “I will preach that Jesus... Continue Reading
Don’t Want To Be Called Racist? Then Let The Children Suffer
The abuse has gone on for years, but no one addressed it for fear of racism
National Review editor Rich Lowry reports that “in a BBC documentary, the author of a 2002 report to the Rotherham council on the scandal said her work was quashed. When she noted that the perpetrators were from the Pakistani community, a colleague told her ‘you must never refer to that again — you must never... Continue Reading
The Illusion of Neutrality
The secular state cannot be neutral in matters of religion.
You cannot say, “The People must remain absolutely neutral as to whether the People, as such, owe any allegiance to God, to acknowledge His benefits, and to pray for His protection.” To say it is to deny the debt. It is to take a position while trying to appear to take none. To decline to... Continue Reading
Law, Wisdom, And Charity: Life In A Twofold Kingdom
Does recognizing that we live under God’s twofold kingdom somehow dispense with the moral law?
Yes, we do live in two spheres simultaneously but a believer is always under God’s moral law in both. As a citizen of the common sphere, under God’s sovereignty and authority, I am not free to enter into business relations that compromise my profession of the Christian faith. Obviously, Paul tells us that we’re not... Continue Reading
If You Struggle Over an Issue… You Must Be Right!
That is how shallow we have become in the church these days. We think if someone really gives something a lot of thought, then it must be correct.
I’m doing some research around the web and came across Rachel Held’s Evans post on God and the Gay Christian. In there she tells us that she has another post that is in the works about why she changed her mind on God and the gay Christian. Gee, can’t wait. Her testimony and preface for... Continue Reading
Flattening Will Get You Nowhere
What is so controversial about the view that the covenant with Adam was gracious?
So we offer a warning to Jones about his flattening lest he reduce the uniqueness of Christ’s epoch-making work in contrast to Adam’s epic failure. He may want to chalk Meredith Kline’s views of Moses up to the latter’s study of the Ancient Near East. But Jones should also pay attention to the other much... Continue Reading
#WhyIStayed: How Some Churches Support Spousal Abuse
A safe church does not tolerate the abuse of women or anyone else for that matter. A safe church empowers and equips all victims to walk away from those who hurt them. A safe church is where the abused can leave the abuser being assured that is what God wants them to do. It is... Continue Reading
May I Marry for Looks?
An Open Letter to Single Male Idiots
Physical attraction is a wonderful luxury that you may choose to wait for. You may even choose to be single forever rather than marry someone you aren’t physically attracted to. Good luck with that. Just don’t prioritize looks over character. You may insist on both and be willing to die single, or you may have to choose.... Continue Reading
For Those Who are Led by Their Emotions
While being emotional can make us empathetic and compassionate, there’s a negative side as well.
No, there is negative side that goes deeper than simple embarrassment. Because the truth is, our emotions can’t always be trusted. Sometimes they exaggerate things. They can make something that’s only mildly irritating seem like the worst thing. Other times, our emotions can be downright liars. They tell us things about ourselves and others that... Continue Reading
Can Facebook Really Ruin Your Marriage?
I don't think Facebook is to blame for divorces, but I do think Facebook is revealing what is already there.
Some character issues may be revealed that don’t require any posting. The ABC News article quoted an author saying that Facebook can turn people into jealous and distrustful people. Really? Facebook can do that? I’m pretty sure that these are issues that people already have, and spending time on Facebook may reveal and fuel something... Continue Reading
The World in a Wafer: Globalization, Localization, and the Lord’s Supper
The localities of the world’s distinct cuisine are on the common table, and a chair exists for people from every nation
By collapsing spatial divisions, the Lord’s Supper tells a spatial story about the destiny of the world. The Lord’s Supper is catholic in the truest sense. It is celebrated by those across the world who acknowledge the Lordship of the man from Galilee. However it has a “decentered center; it is celebrated in the multitude... Continue Reading
Believing Myths and Ignoring Facts
Our culture seems to have mistaken vehemence for substance, mockery for intelligent critique, sarcasm for valid conclusions
Somewhere in the midst of it we forgot to listen to each other, to attempt to walk in another person’s shoes, to see it from another’s perspective, to patiently wait to ascertain what is actually known rather than what is immediately assumed. If we don’t rush to judgment there is not going to be anything... Continue Reading
Gungor, Questions, And The Doubters Among Us
Why such a fuss over Christian musicians’ theology and ethics?
Church leaders say they want to provide a safe place for people to be honest and open about their struggles, but if we are not careful, our denunciation of public expressions of doubt may cause some of the sincere doubters in our own congregations to climb into their shells and never ask the substantive questions. This facade gets tiresome, of course, and... Continue Reading
What If The 1960s Took A Christian Course?
Cure worse than the disease: The ’60s turned society into a mass of contending wills with no higher standard to order them
The ability to recognize those things depends on our sense of the transcendent element within experience. That sense is elusive—it has to do with something that can’t be measured or photographed—but it is real and supremely important. To become reliably present and usable, so it can orient and sustain us, it must be made concrete... Continue Reading
“Bombs Away, Obama!”
We used to send missionaries to the uttermost parts of the earth, but now we send soldiers
We used to send missionaries to the uttermost parts of the earth, but now we send soldiers. Even though there is a place for just wars with bombs, we must never forget that there is only hope in the gospel, not in bombs. There once was a time when other nations considered the United... Continue Reading
A Review: “Seriously Dangerous Religion: What the Old Testament Really Says and Why It Matters “
“Seriously Dangerous Religion” is a thought provoking and profitable book
This is the brilliant aspect of the book. By juxtaposing the biblical answer to these questions with the other metanarratives, it becomes clearer and clearer that the Old Testament is unique and sui generis (in a class by itself). Though there may be overlapping similarities on the surface, nevertheless, at the end of the day,... Continue Reading
On Dialog and Instruction
Browbeating was not the way of Jesus; he did not harangue; he compassionately sought to persuade
Dialog is illegitimate if the questioner has neither a sincere heart nor the humility to receive instruction. This is not to suggest that the other participant, the mature Christian, has all the answers or cannot learn from the one struggling. The only source of revealed truth is the written revelation of the Bible, not the... Continue Reading
The Happiness of Obedience
Obedience to the gospel is obedience to Christ and to God
It is vital to note that obedience to the Creator is owed by mankind, both by the demands of God’s very nature and by man’s nature itself as creature. And it is the demands of God’s nature which the Osteens seek to throw off, and to convince us that we should throw off under the... Continue Reading
Creating A Hospice Ministry For Churches
The death of a church does not have to be the end of its ministry
Part of the key is to remember that we should not see the death of a church as a failure. Even the churches in the New Testament died and were restarted (or, were not, in some places). Why not make the death of your church a strategic decision rather than an unfortunate accident? It... Continue Reading
Poll: Church Leaders Predict Repression Over Objections To Gay Coupling
The culture war is not "somewhere out there" anymore, it’s at the door
“The future is uncertain on how the legal system will single out Christians for their beliefs or force them into situations that violate their conscience, but recent precedent doesn’t provide much encouragement. And it’s not just the legal climate that ought to concern Christians. Cultural forces are at work to remove even reasonable and orthodox... Continue Reading
Will InterVarsity Losing Cal State Standoff Be Tipping Point For Campus Ministries Nationwide?
Cal State withdraws recognition from 23 student groups for not allowing non-Christian leaders
“California State University has told the campus ministry that “no exemption can be made” to a new non-discrimination policy that requires leadership positions be open to all students, InterVarsity announced in a monthly prayer letter. Now 23 student chapters are no longer recognized by their universities as official student groups, losing free access to rooms... Continue Reading
If Only You Knew What I Know
Maybe what we need is need fewer books, and more friendships, fewer abstract principles and more applied ones
“What makes 12-step programs so effective despite vague or even antagonistic notions of God? To large degree, it is the fellowship of addicts or alcoholics, who walk together, and battle together, against a common enemy. They develop transformative friendships based not on doing fun things together or sharing common amusements, but on the growth and... Continue Reading