My “Boring” Christian Testimony
How I know it's nonetheless real.
And so I began to fear that I hadn’t really been saved—or, at least, that my story of being saved wasn’t quite legitimate. My before-and-after-conversion pictures (assuming I could even pinpoint a particular moment) didn’t look that different. With no outward markers of coming to Christ, I questioned whether I had at all. Perhaps I... Continue Reading
Christian, Where is Your Joy?
Should a believer’s life be marked by joy? And what if it isn’t?
The Savior has come, and He will come again. In the face of this truth, how can we be anything but joyful? No matter our circumstances, no matter the pain, sorrow, grief, fears, dangers, heartaches we face, we are His, and He will never leave us. And one day, He will come and take us... Continue Reading
Can God Prevent Evil?
Yes, He could stop all that is evil, but does not do so for His own glory.
So is God being unjust by not preventing evil? Not at all. But we must understand that if He is to wipe out all that which is evil, that means He would have to wipe out all of humanity. It is in His grace towards some that He doesn’t deal immediately with the evil that... Continue Reading
Torture and Police Brutality in a Real Police State
What happened to nine North Korean teenagers who were forced back to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in May 2013 by the Laotian and Chinese governments
Although North Korean defectors are recognized internationally as refugees, China routinely violates its obligations to respect the principle of non-refoulement under international refugee and human rights law and sends North Koreans back to certain imprisonment and probable death. So in April of 2013, MJ, his wife, and the nine teens began a journey from China... Continue Reading
The Dumbest Thing I Ever Said
“Christianity is so easy. I don’t see what the big deal is.”
If you think that Christianity is easy, then maybe you are not loving people very well. Perhaps you are not living very closely to other believers. Perhaps you are not frequently applying the gospel. Perhaps the person and work of Jesus is not the model and motivation for your love. When we examine the Bible and... Continue Reading
Top Ten Books of 2014
This doesn’t mean I agree with every point in all these books, but it does mean I found them helpful and insightful.
When I say “best” I have several questions in mind: Was this book well written and enjoyable to read? Did I find it personally challenging, illuminating, edifying, or entertaining? Is it a book I am likely to reread or consult often? Do I see myself frequently recommending this book to others? This list is... Continue Reading
What Was Mary Thinking?
While she was no co-redemtrix, Mary has a lot to teach us.
Mary recognized her humble state and the unmerited blessing of God in being chosen to be the one who would give birth to the Savior (vv 46-50). What’s more, Mary had a keen understanding of the promises of God in the old covenant and how these promises were being fulfilled through the child that she... Continue Reading
300 Years After His Birth, Whitefield Has Staying Power With Evangelicals
George Whitefield, who was born in England 300 years ago on Dec. 16, 1714, is regarded as a catalyst for the First Great Awakening
“He was far more famous than Franklin when they first met,” said Kidd of the mutually beneficial relationship that lasted for decades. “Franklin kind of hitches his wagon to Whitefield’s star.” Across the Atlantic, the evangelist befriended members of the British aristocracy. “Whitefield had connections even within the royal family in Britain,” said Kidd. ... Continue Reading
The “Celibate Gay Christian” Movement: How Should We Think About It?
The “celibate gay Christian movement” is known for its emphasis on teaching gay people to use their same-sex attraction to serve God
The defining element of same-sex attraction is desire for a sexual relationship with someone of the same sex. Once that desire is removed, it is no longer SSA. It is just friendship. In that sense, same-sex attraction is not a means to better, more holy friendships. It is an impediment to them. When one feels... Continue Reading
College President Sorry For Saying ‘All Lives Matter’
The president of Smith College is apologetic for telling students on the Northampton, Mass., campus that "all lives matter."
The issue is a problem at colleges around the country, Lukianoff said. He noted that Columbia Law School recently allowed students to postpone final exams if they felt they had experienced emotional trauma. The University of Hawaii, meanwhile, recently prohibited students from handing out the U.S. Constitution in most areas of campus, and only reversed... Continue Reading
Erskine College and Seminary Announces Major Restructuring Plan
Erskine College and Seminary President Paul Kooistra announced several program and personnel reductions in a letter addressed to students, faculty and staff
At the college, three professors voluntarily announced intended separations from Erskine at the end of the current fiscal year. Other savings will come from several salary reductions because of sabbaticals and load reductions. Additionally, the department of Modern Languages, which houses a French and a Spanish major, as well as several minors will be eliminated.... Continue Reading
The Death of Evangelical Missions…
The proclamation of the gospel for the salvation of mankind is worth hard and painful work
Over the course of the past ten years or so, we’ve worked closely with our church’s missionaries to find out who among them is working directly to fulfill the Great Commission, or is willing to turn in that direction? What we’ve found is that Evangelical missions today has changed from preaching the Gospel to dispensing... Continue Reading
In His Own Words: Marcus Mariota
“Going ‘All In’ for God is glorifying Him with the abilities He’s given us and shining our light for Him.”- Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota
Prior to the 2014 college football season, FCA Magazine traveled to Eugene, Ore., to interview Oregon Ducks quarterback Marcus Mariota about his faith, how it translates onto the field as he goes “All In” for Christ and his team, and what God has taught him during his time as a Duck. FCA: How is... Continue Reading
Gay Marriage And The Death Of Freedom
Rather than striking a blow for individual liberties, the dogma of gay marriage is stifling them
Everywhere gay marriage has been introduced it has battered freedom, not boosted it. Debate has been chilled, dissenters harried, critics tear-gassed. Love and marriage might go together like horse and carriage, but freedom and gay marriage certainly do not. The double-thinking ‘freedom to marry’ has done more to power the elbow of the state than... Continue Reading
Moroni From the Realms of Glory
Mormons share just enough of our beliefs that they can masquerade as Christians if we do not look deeper than the surface.
This video serves as a helpful reminder that Mormons and many others use new media very well. These Mormon evangelistic efforts are always very clever and very compelling. They always give away enough information to make it seem like Mormons are just another friendly group of Christians, and they withhold the information that distinguishes them... Continue Reading
The Jesus Identity!
The discovery of a long-lost crypto-gospel: The Bourne Identity (A Parody)
We begin, for instance, with the charismatic main character, Jason Bourne, whose initials, JB, so obviously recall Jesus Christ! Now, you may object that in translation, JB differs slightly from JC, but this was an evident ruse by the early Christian author to avoid persecution and death. (As a parallel, we look at the author... Continue Reading
Military Punishes Chaplain for Referring to the Bible in Suicide-Prevention Seminar
What upset the atheist group is that Lawhorn explained how he learned to conquer adversity by following the example of Israel’s warrior king, David
Crews also noted that no one at the training session filed a formal complaint. Instead, he said, one Ranger in attendance took a photo of a handout distributed by Lawhorn and posted it on the Facebook page of the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers. The group bills itself as a “national non-profit building community for atheists... Continue Reading
Five Things Pastors Need to Say to Their Children
Pastors' kids who heard these five things consistently are those who have the healthiest attitudes toward the church today
The pastor’s kid can be in a position to experience both the extreme highs and the extreme lows of local church ministry. And while the pastor is not totally responsible for how that child responds later in life, he can have a profound influence on him or her. Over a year ago, I wrote... Continue Reading
If It Were Islam, Ridley Scott Would Need A Bunker
If you’re looking for something utterly offensive and insulting to Jews and Christians, you should go see Exodus
Exodus is about as unsympathetic an exploration of one of the world’s longest-enduring religions as I can imagine. How does Scott get away with this? If he were to do a similar epic on the origins of Islam, he and everyone else involved would be living in a bunker in an undisclosed location. Evangelical Christians not... Continue Reading
Can Any Man Ever Forgive My Past?
Do you think there are any single men who will forgive my past and look at me through new eyes in Christ?
I do believe there are godly single men who will forgive your past and look at you for who you really are: “the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus.” Such a one will be the sort who understands the horror of his own sin — whatever it is — and the infinite mercy he has... Continue Reading
Is Inerrancy a Recent Theological Invention?
The reason why we do not find significant doctrines of Scripture in the early church is that they were unnecessary.
In the case of inerrancy, it is misleading to suggest that it was a doctrinal invention conceived by Christian apologists in order to retain intellectual credibility in the throes of modernism or to counter the arguments of higher-criticism. On the contrary, it is an example of what happens when a historic doctrine confronts contemporary issues... Continue Reading
Crucified on a Boogie Board
The supposed "crucifixion" of Rob Bell shows that theology does still matter to large segments of the church
Eventually, if this crowd has its way, and all the meanies go home and stop caring about doctrinal health in their churches, well there won’t be an orthodoxy left to feed on. It will just be history to study and reminisce about. At that point, what will their movement be? I can’t answer that question... Continue Reading
Pastors Who Podcast
Carl Trueman, a theologian and pastor in Pennsylvania, started a podcast last year with a fellow pastor and an author friend. About 30,000 people now subscribe to The Mortification of Spin on iTunes. (The name tweaks a classic Puritan book title.) “I kind of do it for fun,” Trueman said. “And I hope we cover... Continue Reading
Exodus: Gods and Kings — A Pastor’s Review
In every way that atheist director Ridley Scott could manipulate the story, he did
“What we have are a bunch of characters that share names with the Exodus narrative but only barely match any of the events and don’t share any of the dialogue whatsoever. It’s almost so far from Exodus, they could have changed the characters, called the film something else entirely, and someone would have watched it... Continue Reading
How American Evangelicals Are NOT Following New Testament Christianity
One way evangelicals have not been following the biblical example of our forefathers is in response to blatant unfaithfulness within the church itself
“I fear that for too many American Protestants, their first reaction if they heard of a church experiencing even one of these problems would be “if something like that was going on in my church, I would just leave and go to another church – even if that meant abandoning a faithful local congregation because... Continue Reading
The Painful Lessons of Mars Hill
What can we learn from the collapse of Mark Driscoll's church?
“It’s difficult to see much more than the still-soggy ruins and drowned hopes of the once booming megachurch. “How did this happen so fast?” asks Rene Schlaepfer, pastor of Twin Lakes Church, a megachurch in Aptos, California. Watching disgrace devour other celebrity pulpits is always grim, he says, but this story hits home even harder.”... Continue Reading
The Image of God and the African American Experience – Part 2
In part two of the Image of God and the African American experience, we explore how slavery, Jim Crow Laws, and subtler forms of racism today diminished but did not destroy the image of God
“Racism attributes superior or inferior characteristics and qualities to people based on race. Racism is a manifestation of rebellion against God. As John Piper once explained, “Anybody that would have the audacity not to submit to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords would not have any problem putting you down.” American culture... Continue Reading
Missions: Why Evangelize?
Why go to all the trouble just to be mocked and rejected the vast majority of the time?
“Why not spend more of our money and efforts trying to disciple those who are already Christians? Or if we want to have at least something to do with evangelism, why not wait for interested people to come to the church, rather than experience the persecution that awaits us in going outside it? We could... Continue Reading
The Strange Oprahfication of Rob Bell
So much of Bell’s new life in California comes off as strange, from his casual rejection of church attendance to his remark that Oprah Winfrey, his new professional partner, has taught him “more about Jesus than anyone.”
“You don’t have to believe in Calvinism or substitutionary atonement to think that Christianity might say more than “God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life.” In fact, Bell seems to put forth a creed that would comport more comfortably with the voices inside the so-called “Prosperity Gospel” wing of Pentecostalism–which, of... Continue Reading
The Most Misunderstood Bible Verse
Jeremiah 29:11 is such a verse. One of the most recognized and oft-quoted Old Testament verses, 29:11 plays a prominent role in how many Christians define and live their faith
“A little context around the verse is instructive. The people of Israel are living in exile in Babylon and are disheartened. The Lord has just informed them that they will remain there for seventy years. As encouragement He reminds them of two things in verse 11, their exile is part of His plan and those... Continue Reading