The Most Important Book of the Year?

A recommendation for Kevin DeYoung's new book, Taking God at His Word

The Word of God will always be under attack. It has been so since the serpent said to the woman, “Has God really said?” So books like Taking God at His Word are perennially relevant. But it is not just the authority and inerrancy of the Bible which are attacked. In evangelical, Bible-affirming circles the sufficiency and... Continue Reading

Dear Rachel Held Evans

I do not fear Miley Cyrus. Who I fear, Rachel, is you.

You see, you look like a Christian. You talk about Jesus and love and God’s word. You claim faith in Christ. You dress appropriately, you are an engaging speaker, a compelling author, and you seem unashamed to share your faith. On a surface level—the only level that perhaps my young daughter or the thousands of... Continue Reading

I Love My Black Letter Bible

The red letters are not more inspired than the black ones.

On the surface, “Jesus shows us what God is really like” language appears pious and even Jesus-exalting. In reality, it betrays a tragically truncated view of the Jesus of the Bible. We see God “as he is” by gazing with the eyes of faith on the pages of his Word—all of them.   With the way some... Continue Reading

God, the Gospel, and the Gay Challenge — A Response to Matthew Vines

In God and the Gay Christian Vines argues that “Christians who affirm the full authority of Scripture can also affirm committed, monogamous same-sex relationships.”

When he begins his book, Matthew Vines argues that experience should not drive our interpretation of the Bible. But it is his experience of what he calls a gay sexual orientation that drives every word of this book. It is this experiential issue that drives him to relativize text after text and to argue that... Continue Reading

3 Things Pastors (and Their Wives) Should Say Publicly More Often

I’m tired of reading How-Horrible-The-Ministry-Really-Is-If-You-Only-Knew-The-Truth articles.

You, my church, are not horrible. Nor are you taking years off my life. Nor are you wrecking my family and faith. I have been a pastor’s daughter since before I was two years old, and now I’m going on ten years as a pastor’s wife, and I want you to know that serving you... Continue Reading

Patriarchy On Trial

Judging by the intense conversations all over the Internet and within homeschooling circles, there continues to be much confusion about what patriarchy really means and how its proponents believe it should be applied.

The first point I want to make today is that I see the most common views of men and women within the body of Christ in more recent times as being on a continuum. At the far left end of the spectrum is the radical, secular view that there are no differences between men and... Continue Reading

Being On the Internet Doesn’t Give You Permission To Be A Jerk

One of the primary things that sets Christians apart from the rest of the world is the way we treat one another.

If we’re going to call ourselves Christians, it’s time to start acting like Christians. It’s fine to disagree with another Christian. It’s fine to point out erroneous teaching. But every action, online and offline, must be ruled by love. The command to treat others as we want to be treated, applies just as much to... Continue Reading

Oprah, Rob Bell, And Faux Self-Empowerment For The Self-Centered

Where God is Self and Self is God, we ought not be surprised when we find ourselves at the mercy of human depravity.

For alas, when “she keeps me warm” becomes the driving justification for your philosophy of life — spiritual, social, sexual, or otherwise — and when the “life you want” cares little for anything beyond “opening yourself,” “looking deep inside yourself,” “saying ‘yes’ to this moment,” or “waking up” to some human-contrived ideal of self-awareness, you can bet... Continue Reading

Pressler Says SBC Controversy Started in Houston Church

“Conservative resurgence” co-founders Paul Pressler and Paige Patterson passed on stories about the early days of the struggle to students at Midwestern Seminary.

“All of us were crying,” Pressler said. “Then Charles comes in the room and he sits down. And he sits there about five minutes and he said: ‘Men, I’ve got to tell you something. God knocked me flat on the floor in my room this morning before I came over here and told me I... Continue Reading

PCA Insider Movements Study Committee Submits Its Report

The Report will be considered by the PCA General Assembly in June 2014

The Study Committee is recommending the following: 1. That “A Call to Faithful Witness, Part Two: Theology, Gospel Missions, and Insider Movements” serve as a Partial Report (Part Two of Two Parts). And 2. That the 42nd General Assembly make available and recommend for study “A Call to Faithful Witness, Part Two: Theology, Gospel Missions,... Continue Reading

Easter And Ethics: How The Resurrection Reshapes the Christian Life

How does the resurrection shape the Christian life? How does it reorient our moral intuitions?

“By defeating Satan through his death and resurrection, Jesus reframes our ethics by showing that our primary moral adversary has no lasting authority or power on those who are in Christ. By conquering sin, he reshapes our ethics by demonstrating that all this world can boast is nothing compared to the glory of faithfully obeying... Continue Reading

What Do Expiation and Propitiation Mean?

Together, expiation and propitiation constitute an act of placation. Christ did His work on the cross to placate the wrath of God.

“These words spark all kinds of arguments about which one should be used to translate a particular Greek word, and some versions of the Bible will use one of these words and some will use the other one. I’m often asked to explain the difference between propitiation and expiation. The difficulty is that even though... Continue Reading

Body Theology For Teens

Ten words for teens to ponder when thinking about their bodies

“As the believer’s body is the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 6:19), you should care for it better than you would your own home or even the White House. Defend your body by avoiding substances that damage it and experiences that can deface, injure, or even kill.”   I’m on my way back... Continue Reading

A Faith That Fights

By using the illustration of a Grecian Olympic fighter, the preacher to the Hebrews teaches us that part of our discipline in the Christian life is conditioning

“Christians are disciples, after all, and we therefore need to be disciplined. As biblical pastors, teachers, and mentors lead us we realize that we aren’t quite as spiritually fit as we thought we were. When we face a challenge or obstacle, we find our strength and stamina are weak. We need practice. Trials in life,... Continue Reading

Missing Jesus

The solution to our longing is not to look within ourselves, but to Jesus Christ

“The book begins with the premise that sometimes we all feel like we’re missing something. We have put our faith in Christ and we are following him, attempting to live in obedience to him, and yet something still seems to be missing. We’re left wanting more. There are a thousand answers to this more; in... Continue Reading

The Middle East War on Christians

Muslim-majority nations are doing to followers of Jesus what they did to the Jews

“The Middle East may be the birthplace of three monotheistic religions, but some Arab nations appear bent on making it the burial ground for one of them. For 2,000 years, Christian communities dotted the region, enriching the Arab world with literature, culture and commerce. At the turn of the 20th century, Christians made up 26%... Continue Reading

Christianity Packs Its Office and Leaves the Building

Let’s just try imagining a public square with no Christianity.

Yet if I leave the public square, what will keep you from burning down my church? On what basis will you tolerate me and my so-called false god, even if he’s tucked away in the private sphere? You might refrain for pragmatic reasons for a little while. But if you can manipulate the levers of... Continue Reading

How God Became Jesus—and How I Came to Faith in Him

Bart Ehrman’s narrative suggests the more educated you are, the less likely you are to believe. My life proves otherwise.

Some have great confidence in skeptical scholarship, and I once did, perhaps more than anyone else. If anyone thinks they are assured in their unbelief, I was more committed: born of unbelieving parents, never baptized or dedicated; on scholarly credentials, a PhD from a secular university; as to zeal, mocking the church; as to ideological... Continue Reading

Michael Bloomberg: “I’ve Earned My Place in Heaven”

Many people believe that if their good works outweigh their bad works, then they will have eternal life.

The New York Times reports: But if he senses that he may not have as much time left as he would like, he has little doubt about what would await him at a Judgment Day. Pointing to his work on gun safety, obesity and smoking cessation, he said with a grin: “I am telling you... Continue Reading

Same-Sex Marriage and the Future

In some form or another, your church will have to address the marriage revolution

Look at the empty cathedrals of the Episcopal Church, the vacated pews of the Presbyterian Church (USA), and right down the line. Let me be clear. Even if embracing same-sex marriage—or any other endorsement of what the Bible calls sexual immorality—“worked” in church-building, we still wouldn’t do it. If we have to choose between Jesus... Continue Reading

Sola Experienca is For Real

Today our personal experience and personal interpretation of that experience is the unquestionable authority that all must submit to

We have a culture awash in a neo-gnosticism that gobbles up personal experience like samples at Costco. We cannot resist them. Then we have people everywhere telling their own stories and then interpreting them with authority. And of course we have a church that goes right along with it to reinforce sola experiencia to the thousands who... Continue Reading

Legal Complaint Filed in Vision Forum Case

The possibility of a messy trial brings important reminders about Christian clarity

The complaint filed yesterday alleges Phillips committed “inappropriate, unwanted, and immoral sexual acts” against Torres-Manteufel. The complaint graphically alleges sexual incidents, but not sexual intercourse, and it doesn’t allege sexual contact when Torres-Manteufel was a minor.   In the April 5 issue of WORLD, we reported on the closing of Vision Forum Ministries (VFM), and the fall of... Continue Reading

Chinese Christians Rattle Government

Despite increased persecution, the Chinese Christian church is growing

Officially, the Chinese Constitution grants religious freedom. However, the conditions placed on that freedom give the authorities’ broad powers to curtail religion. For example, the Constitution says, “No one may make use of religion to engage in activities that disrupt public order, impair the health of citizens or interfere with the educational system of the State.”  ... Continue Reading

The Fountainhead of Satanism

To be a follower of both Rand and Christ is not possible

Many conservatives admire Rand because she was anti-collectivist. But that is like admiring Stalin because he opposed Nazism. Stalin was against the Nazis because he wanted to make the world safe for Communism. Likewise, Rand stands against collectivism because she wants the freedom to abolish Judeo-Christian morality. Conservative Christians who embrace her as the “enemy-of-my-enemy”... Continue Reading

I Have Authority to Lay It Down and I Have Authority to Take It Up Again

The hired hand loves his life more than the sheep, but Jesus loves his sheep more than his life and he lays it down for his sheep

Christianity is not merely being saved from sin and death and judgment; it also means having a living shepherd to guide you and feed you and heal you and protect you and help you love. The words of verse 14 are astonishing, if you’ve ever dreamed of a deep, deep, deep relationship: “I know my... Continue Reading

Propositional Truth Meets Personal Encounter

The biblical canon is the completed foundation, but the preached Word is the primary means of the Spirit’s ongoing building project

Immediately I noticed the words, truth, He will speak, He will tell, declare, and declare again. This Helper that we have as believers ministers to us by the Word. In Reformed circles, we love to say that Christ accomplishes and the Spirit applies. But how does he do this? Through the Word! And the apostles were inspired by the Spirit to... Continue Reading

Hobby Lobby’s Steve Green Launches A New Project: A Public School Bible Curriculum

The Mustang, Okla., school board voted to adopt the Museum of the Bible Curriculum, a four-year public school elective on the narrative, history and impact of the Bible

He describes the program as “robustly unique.” It divides its topic into three areas: the Bible’s narrative; the history of its composition and reception; and its impact on human civilization. The spine of the first-year program (the only text completed so far) is a 400-plus-page book, currently spiral-bound, featuring 108 chapters divided into five-day-a-week lessons.... Continue Reading

A Response: Did The Reformer’s Reject All Images?

Although they objected to the iconographical use of art in worship, Calvin and Zwingli were not against the use of art in other venues

Reformation iconoclasm was taken to the extreme by some of the lesser-known Reformers that took to violence against Roman Catholic churches, smashing stained-glass windows, burning reliquaries, diptychs, triptychs, whole altars, and mutilating religious art. But none of the major Reformers promoted or approved this activity. In fact, as documented above, they did not disapprove of... Continue Reading

Born to Neglect, Raised to Hope

Neglect in the Chinese orphanage left the then 2½-year-old unable to eat solids, sleep through the night, or trust her new parents, hence the challenge to raise her in a new home

In his book No Little People, Francis Schaeffer wrote that “in God’s sight there are no little people and no little places. Only one thing is important: to be consecrated persons in God’s place for us, at each moment.” For four years during the 1990s WORLD annually ran a set of features with specific examples of Christians who were... Continue Reading

The Multifaceted Diamond of Christ’s Atoning Work

What Christ accomplished on the cross is so massive that no one explanation or description of the atonement can tell

Because the atonement is at the heart of who God is and what he has done for us, we can never fully exhaust the riches that flow from this event. But recognizing our inability to mine all the theological treasures represented in the cross of Christ should not keep us from pondering the beautiful truth... Continue Reading