The Two-Kingdoms Theology and Christians Today

2Ktheology: Christians should view themselves as citizens of two distinct kingdoms (the church and the world), and that efforts to transform society on the basis of Christian principles are wrongheaded.

We will cheerfully admit that 2K advocates have some legitimate concerns, particularly that the mission and witness of the church not be hijacked by political and cultural agendas.  But in this instance the cure is worse than the disease.  While 2K theology may well scratch the itch of Christians who need a theological excuse to... Continue Reading

How “Safe Spaces” Kill Human Dignity

“Safe spaces” attempt to reduce public discourse to self-admiring yes-fests that ban disagreement or critiques that could potentially hurt someone’s feelings.

However, our culture no longer derives the concept of human dignity from either the imago Dei or from an understanding of man as a rational animal. We are an agnostic society. We no longer uphold mankind as metaphysically superior to animals, and we are plagued by a sinking suspicion that we will not always be... Continue Reading

Evangelical Theological Society 2015

The Evangelical Theological Society’s annual meeting is different for everyone; a few highlights.

Here is the bottom line question. Given that Jesus would not condone same sex activity, what would he do and say to people struggling with homosexual desires? How would he communicate God’s grace and truth without pushing them over the edge? Don’t tell me that my views are hateful bigotry unless you can answer that... Continue Reading

When Did the Church Turn Into Amway?

Is it Amway or a Mega-Church? Not to worry, it’s the same thing.

The Evangelical Industrial Complex has copied many of the very things that have “worked” so well in Amway: *Tell people that Christianity is all about getting your Dreams and realizing your Destiny. Check. *Tell people that having lots of money is a good thing that God wants for you (so you can help others, of course). Check.... Continue Reading

What the Lord’s Prayer Cinema Controversy Tells Us About Religion In The UK Today

What does this little pre-Christmas spat on The Lord’s Prayer teach us about the state of religion in Britain today?

The reaction to this advert is quite revealing at another level. While the political secularists seek to remove every last vestige of our Christian heritage from public life, it seems as though the majority of the great British public don’t agree. Most people don’t go to church, but nonetheless many still regard Britain as a... Continue Reading

Should Christians “Disown” Gay Children?

Whether or not a gay son, daughter, or other family member calls himself or herself a Christian, Christians should love them as family members

But Christian parental love denies neither the child nor God’s law. It insists on loving both child and God’s law, which may be the hardest challenge of all, requiring strength, flexibility, tenacity, resilience, hope, faith. Such love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things (1 Cor. 13:7). So, love your... Continue Reading

Three Reasons Why Big Events Are Ineffective in Most Churches

Not all church events are intended to be outreach events but those that do, do not fare well in that regard.

The Great Commission cannot be limited to special holidays. The event should be only a part of an overall heart and strategy to reach people with the gospel. This issue is much like churches expecting the stand-and-greet time during the worship services to make them a friendly church. Genuine friendliness is not limited to a... Continue Reading

Tears for Gosnell’s House of Horrors

Healing and forgiveness can be found, even with tragedies like 3801 Lancaster.

The Philadelphia police who had seen a lot in their work on the streets had never seen anything like what they found at the address of 3801 Lancaster. What they found was a filthy medical facility. For example, a cat roamed freely and there were uncleaned litter boxes through the building. There was nothing that... Continue Reading

Same-Sex Marriage: Hamilton Princess Cancels Talks

Hamilton Princess, Bermuda was both applauded and criticised for pulling the plug on two talks by a prominent same-sex marriage opponent.

Mr Federer told The Royal Gazette he was not aware of the nature of the forums until media coverage. But the organisers said the hotel never asked for specifics about the talk. “Hamilton Princess was fully informed that the venue and arrangements were being made for and on behalf of Preserve Marriage,” said their statement.... Continue Reading

Colorado Springs Pastor Killed in Planned Parenthood Shooting

Attack at abortion clinic leaves three dead and nine wounded.

Among the victims was Garrett Swasey, a 44-year-old campus police officer for the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. The Washington Post profiles Swasey’s role at Hope Chapel, a nondenominational evangelical church, where he served as a co-pastor for seven years and played on the worship team.   Police confer at an intersection near the scene of... Continue Reading

We Are Living In The Midst Of The Greatest Turning Of Muslims To Christ In History

With all news of the persecution around the world by Islamist groups, there is a lesser-known story of growing numbers of Muslims who are turning to Christ as Lord.

One group of converts in Central Asia said they tell each other: “If you’re persecuted just thank God that you haven’t been beaten, if you’ve been beaten, thank God you haven’t been thrown in prison, if you’re in prison, thank God you haven’t been killed, and if you’ve been killed, thank God that you’re with... Continue Reading

Reviving the Black Church

A review of Thabiti Anyabwile’s Reviving The Black Church: A Call to Reclaim a Sacred Institution

Reviving the Black Church offers a robust biblical and theological exposition of how dead black churches can be made alive in Christ by the power of the Spirit and the preached Word, just like those dry bones in Ezekiel 37. But Reviving the Black Church isn’t just for the black church. Pastors and church leaders from a variety of... Continue Reading

Questions Through The Decades

Questions that characterize each decade of our lives.

Seventies: How do I handle the sense of loss? Questions of grieving and rearranging. Eighties: What can I offer a world that sees me as feeble and obsolete? Living with obscurity. Nineties: How do I deal with end of life issues? What is my legacy? How will I die? Who will remember me?   On... Continue Reading

Take Down Of A Liberal Icon

Princeton University is under pressure from the Black Justice League, a student group, to remove the name and image of Woodrow Wilson, whom they accuse of being a racist

Woodrow Wilson’s views were appalling—his published, philosophically founded, intellectually consistent views. But if the campus activists were at all interested in understanding, not just denouncing, they would follow the trail from Wilson’s racial views to the progressivism and scientific of his day that continue to misshape our own views of human worth.   College and... Continue Reading

Race and University Admissions: Abigail Fisher v. University of Texas II

Fisher v. University of Texas II is scheduled to be heard in the court’s new term. The outcome will shape college and university admissions policies nationwide.

What should the Supreme Court do with this appeal? First, it is time for the justices to insist that public colleges and universities produce convincing evidence that a diverse student body produces enough clear, compelling, benefits to justify race-conscious admissions. The court should retreat from its policy of “deferring” to universities on this issue. Secondly,... Continue Reading

Abortionists Admit Emotional Toll Of Grisly Work

In video footage the National Abortion Federation tried to suppress, conference panelists admit the horror of killing unborn babies

Evidently, many abortionists cannot escape the psychological toll their violent work takes on them. NAF’s San Francisco conference focused on providing psychotherapeutic help for second trimester abortionists. Harris spoke at that conference as well, talking about “stigma” workshops she runs, in which abortion providers share their experiences. She laments the risks, mentioning ruptured family relationships... Continue Reading

No More Football, Guys

“Why Can’t a Woman Be More Like a Man?” – Professor Higgins

The relationship between Christ and the church is the pattern. Does Christ submit to the church so that somehow the church does not submit to Christ in everything? No, Christ does not submit to the church, but he does love the church, sacrificially so to the point of death…. The note in the ESV Study... Continue Reading

Does God “Want” All to Be Saved? Probing into the Will of God

Our answer to this question depends on what we mean when we say that God “wants” something.

Theologians have distinguished between three different sorts of “wills” for God: 1. Decretive will. This refers simply to what God decrees or ordains by his sovereign will.  And we know from Eph 1:11 that God ordains whatsoever comes to pass.  So, in this sense, we can say that a hurricane, for example, is God’s “will.” 2. Preceptive... Continue Reading

Bad Doctrine vs. Heresy: An Exercise in Theological Triage

How much can one get wrong and still be a true child of God?

“The charge of heresy is a serious one. We cannot be trivial or frivolous in throwing around the term. But Paul’s response to the Judaizers (among many other passages of Scripture) teaches us that there are times when we must draw clear lines of separation, even among those who would call themselves Christians.”   More... Continue Reading

Do You Trust Yourself Too Much?

If our minds are our ultimate governors then we are nothing more than fools

“What the Bible is not saying is that you can’t trust yourself to observe whether a car is coming and it is safe to cross. Of course you  can do this. However, what it is getting at is the fact that fallen humanity, sinners, are inclined towards foolishness.”   I trust myself. A lot. This... Continue Reading

The Spirit Was Really Moving

When the Word is faithfully preached, the Spirit is moving, whether we feel good, bad, or blah

“We have a tendency as Christians to link good feelings, whether it be at a concert or a worship service, with the moving of the Spirit. But we should be careful about that. We are too dependent on our feelings and too little dependent on faith.”   More than thirty years ago, when I was... Continue Reading

Permanent Jihad, Continued

Is the militant jihadi tradition really here to stay as a fundamental and growing part of Islam?

“So who is the main beneficiary of the attacks? Cui bono? So we would have an operation with some sponsors trying to use it for one cause, and others seeking a diametrically opposite outcome? Sounds like plenty of other precedents in the history of terrorism over the past century or so.”   I dearly wish... Continue Reading

Renaming Sin

If you sin persistently, you will fall away from God. Then you will rename the sin.

You will not talk about pride, the great sin; you will call it “self-esteem,” “self-worth,” or what is “due to me.” You will not talk about gluttony and materialism; you will talk about “the good life.” You will not talk about disobedience; you will talk about “shortcomings.”   Three hundred years is a long time.... Continue Reading

Who Lost the American Culture War?

Two prominent public intellectuals chart out a political way forward for Evangelicals in America

The assumption of the article is that the Supreme Court decision in favor of same-sex marriage is a cultural landmark, placing gay rights within the moral authority of the civil rights movement—as it were, Martin Luther King blessing the rainbow banner. The decision, the authors say, is “like a boulder thrown into a pond which... Continue Reading

When God Leaves You Waiting

Have you ever felt like you were in God’s waiting room for an appointment that He missed?

Sometimes what God does in the waiting room of our lives is more important for our future than what we hoped He would have done in one of our “missed appointments.” Our part is to not figure out His path for us, but to trust Him while we’re on it.   Have you ever noticed... Continue Reading

Hey Pastor Fosdick, The Fundamentalists Did Win

The worldly worldlings are worried about speech and its power to hurt

The desire to make the world a tolerant and liberated place has now extended to Princeton University where students are objecting both to associations between the institution and its former president, Woodrow Wilson, but also to the word — wait for it — “master.” (Will Princeton stop granting “Masters” degrees?)   First it was smoking.... Continue Reading

A Simple But Life-Changing Realization

Where God gives a command, He also gives the means to obey

It took many years and a lot of pondering God’s Word before I realized that God really can make his people far holier than they thought possible. The change began with a simple but life-changing realization: God would not tell me to do something I could not actually do. I read, “[Treat] older women as... Continue Reading

Ministry Myth: You Must Have Musical Talent or Teaching Gifts

The piano-playing-Sunday-school-teaching pastor's wife requirement is a myth

God saved me. He knew my gifts and talents because He gave them to me. God led me to marry a man whom He would call to be a pastor one day. God’s grace was always sufficient for me. And, besides, God’s biblical list of requirements for pastors’ wives is fairly short, and it doesn’t include specific musical talents or teaching gifts. (I wrote about that subject... Continue Reading

An Important Distinction Between Kinds And Functions Of Conditions

If we bear this distinction in mind we may safely teach a clear doctrine of salvation without accidentally turning the covenant of grace into a covenant of works

There are two senses to the word condition in Reformed (covenant) theology. Sometimes they were used under the same topics in both senses. It was expected that the reader would discern the distinction but given that, in the confessional Reformed world, we are still recovering classical Reformed theology after about a century of overlooking and... Continue Reading

Preaching the Whole Counsel of God

A review of Julius Kim's new book on designing and delivering gospel-centered sermons

Although this book is under 250 pages, there is a lot of information between the covers! I appreciated the section on the design and delivery of the sermon, where Kim gave 12 points on how the brain hears, retains, and listens to speaking. For example, since studies (and experience!) have shown the brain can only... Continue Reading