Do You Still Think Your Salvation Is Great?

Early in your Christian life, you thought salvation was “great,” didn’t you?

Our salvation depends on God’s covenant, rooted in eternity, foreshadowed in the Mosaic liturgy, fulfilled in Christ, enduring forever. No wonder Hebrews calls it “so great a salvation” (Heb. 2:3).   Before all time; prior to all worlds; when there was nothing “outside of” God Himself; when the Father, Son, and Spirit found eternal, absolute, and... Continue Reading

10 Effects of Living with Addiction

It is harder to relearn old things with new motives than it is to learn to do new things.

Read Romans 5:3-5. Notice that God cares about our suffering, not just our sin (v. 3). Notice that God recognizes the difficult journey you are on. Notice that God sees that shame is the most difficult obstacle, often even more difficult than the direct cause of suffering itself, on that journey (v. 5).    This post... Continue Reading

Why Christians Need A Christian Doctrine Of Humanity

For several centuries we have come to think of humanity as a status that we confer upon others.

Infant humans are humans. Humans conceive human embryos. Those embryos develop into human infants. Our English word embyro is just the Greek word ἔμβρυον (Embyon) for foetus (fetus) and Foetus is Latin for infant. From a biological perspective, all the stuff that determines what we become is already present. From a logical perspective, it makes no sense to say that we become human either in utero or after. Who says? On... Continue Reading

The Christian Response to White Supremacy

The American Church hasn’t engaged this theological task seriously, repentantly, or consistently enough.

To achieve and maintain a credible, public Christian political witness, truth must be valued. So must humility, temperance, consistency, brotherly kindness, and other qualities that are perfectly reflective of what it means to be Christian and to uphold Christian character.   The responses to the white supremacy rally and the resulting violence in Charlottesville have... Continue Reading

Protecting Children from Abuse: An Interview

Research has consistently found that approximately 1 in 4 females and 1 in 6 males will be sexually victimized before their 18th birthday.

One of the first steps to protecting children is the recognition and acknowledgement that the prevalence of child sexual victimization isn’t any lower within the very communities where children should be most protected, our churches. We also need to acknowledge that both adults and children perpetrate sexual abuse.   It happens. We wish it didn’t... Continue Reading

Hijacked by the Gospel

Paul, captured always by the vision of the original capturing vision of Jesus Christ on the Damascus road, appeals again to singular transforming power of the gospel by appealing to the way it powerfully transformed him.

Paul’s conversion was so abrupt, enlightening, and illuminating, such a surprise and such a reversal, everything he says and does thereafter is bathed in the same blinding light. Gospel wakefulness is so powerful, its effect is sustained. It forever changes the game, flips the script.   Not that I have already obtained this or am... Continue Reading

Why Does it Take an Eclipse to Get us to Look Up to the Heavens?

Am I as attuned as I should be to the glories that surround me all the time?

When God created the world, all the angels shouted for joy (Job 38:4-7). The God who sings over his creation is the God who rejoices in his works (Psalm 104:31). If God delights in the work of his hands, shouldn’t we? And shouldn’t the wonders of creation lead us to praise and thank him?  ... Continue Reading

How Skeptics View Christianity

Both H.L. Mencken and J. Gresham Machen regarded efforts to trim and cut Christianity and so make it palatable to moderns was intellectually dishonest and foolish.

“The generality of readers, I suppose, gathered thereby the notion that [Machen] was simply another Fundamentalist on the order of William Jennings Bryan and the simian faithful of Appalachia. But he was actually a man of great learning, and, what is more, of sharp intelligence.”   J. Gresham Machen was by most accounts a fundamentalist.... Continue Reading

Mr. Moral Magoo?

Many in the Church have "Magooed" themselves into moral and theological positions that happen to be biblically sound, but we have no idea how we got there.

There is a practical reason why we must do this: if our moral and theological positions are only culturally informed, then they can be devastated by a more persuasive cultural norm when it shows its face. In fact, we see this happening quite a lot right now. It seems like the last two or three... Continue Reading

Is the Gospel No Longer Enough for Black Christians?

How can we for whom the gospel was sufficient – and necessary – to change us, expect something other than the gospel to change someone else?

The truth is there is no gospel and, conversely, no church – regardless of ethnic composition or denominational affiliation – apart from the life-changing message that ‘Jesus Saves’. It is that message which, I fear, is being lost as increasing numbers of black Christians become convinced that their primary loyalty is to an ecclesiastical legacy rooted in a socio-ethno missiology that... Continue Reading

The Andelin Connection?

We need to take a hard look at what is being taught in the name of Christian marriage and womanhood. How much is truly biblical, and how much is Mormon?

If you ignore the Mormon foundation, how different is Andelin’s teaching from the Christian women’s books that followed? How many of those demand complete obedience from wives regardless of whether their husbands are leading the family into ruin? How many forbid women from correcting their spouses or even offering a different opinion? How many teach... Continue Reading

When Homeschooling is Hard

God's glory shines as he works through us, doing the impossible through unlikely people.

To be honest, homeschooling isn’t hard just because my patience gets stretched. It’s hard because everything is stretched. The longer I do it, the more I realize what I’ve sacrificed. Because I homeschool, it means I’m not employed in my profession, the one I worked so hard to learn and attain. Because I homeschool, I miss out on... Continue Reading

Identifying Elders And Deacons

The health of the church is dependent on the spiritual health and giftedness of the men who hold office in a given local church.

When pragmatic considerations drive the rationale for why such or such a man holds office, the church has abandoned its submission to God’s word and will, accordingly, reap the consequences. The qualifications which the Holy Spirit laid out in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1 are not optional. They are essential. While no one man... Continue Reading

Most ‘Sex Workers’ Are Modern-Day Slaves

Prostitution is rarely, if ever, a choice

If I suggest to fans of prostitution that nothing terrible will happen to men if they can’t pay for sex, I hear the same complaints: ‘But what about disabled men? How will they get a date?’ When I point out that sex is not a human right, I’m told about the mother who bought her... Continue Reading

The Vanishing American Adult – Book Review

Sasse laments the current scene of youth. And it’s more than a mere mocking of the 20-something adolescent vegging out on Call of Duty in his parent’s basement.

Sasse proposes, “The schools are less to blame than we are, for we [parents] are the ones who have asked them to deliver more than any mass institution is competent to produce.” In part two of the book, he gives five character-building habits for parents to help kids get traction out of perpetual adolescence. “All... Continue Reading

The Happy Trap

“Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” are wonderful civil liberties before the magistrate but they are not the charter of the Kingdom of God.

Jesus never promised us euphoria, however. He promised us free salvation, graciously given. He promised us suffering and possibly martyrdom but that message does not much resonate with a culture addicted to euphoria and opioids. Like any other addiction, a little is never enough. Soon it takes more and more to reach the same state... Continue Reading

A Well-Spent Sabbath

The idea that Sunday is the Christian Sabbath, an entire day set apart for worship, rest, and ministry, is entirely novel.

A new creation has been inaugurated and a perfect exodus has occurred. We have been translated from the dominion of darkness into the kingdom of the Son of God’s love. That’s why the church now meets on the first day of the week. New creation and perfect redemption are the great realities that are ours... Continue Reading

On Technology And Preaching

Being distracted is not the biggest risk of using technology in preaching. The greater danger is missing god himself.

As an expositor I am delivering a message from the King. Therefore, when I’m preaching I want all eyes on me, not wandering into some starry abyss of high-def images born along by a Hans Zimmer-like score. (Can you imagine coming into the presence of the King of glory and while he’s talking you look... Continue Reading

The Commandment of Charlottesville

There is no such thing as “social justice.” There is only justice.

Sacrificing rams, oil, firstborns are as ineffective as throwing a rock at a white supremacist or spitting on an Antifa protestor, or posting an anti-Trump meme.  All that autonomy, all that idolatry… all that…sin went to the cross of Christ.  And it is only in the Gospel that we find the penalty for our sin... Continue Reading

Why Many Of Our Churches Are Still One Color

Most churches are still one color, one race, or one group.

Many church leaders and members do not know what takes place in their own communities. Many times when I have met with church leaders and shared the demographics and realities of the members of their community, they express total surprise at what is taking place. Their church is a bubble. Or to use another metaphor, the... Continue Reading

Pastor Fired For Porn Addiction Offers Help To Fellow Strugglers

Greg Oliver, a former worship pastor for 11 years at a Birmingham-area church, was fired in 2009 for pornography use.

Going to church provides no immunity when it comes to a society saturated in pornography. “It’s a very significant problem in the church,” Oliver said. “The problem is getting worse not better.” Beneath the surface, the porn problem is there. “If you compare evangelical Christians and those who don’t go to church, the stats about... Continue Reading

PCA Study Committee Report on the Role of Women in the Ministry of the Church: Recommendation #8

Assessing Recommendation 8 of the PCA Role of Women in the Church Report presented to the 45th General Assembly.

If the report felt the need to exhort the church on this point, I think it would have been better said that the church should enfold, include, love, labor for, seek to serve all its members, whether male or female, wherever, and in whatever circumstance they may be found. To divide the church into male... Continue Reading

The Law of Morality and Its Prevalence in Creation

The only standard which carries any moral weight is the one revealed by the Supreme Creator of the Universe.

Since there is the One Supreme God who has created the Laws of Morality, it hardly seems rational to suggest that there are other viable laws of morality that violate the laws of morality present in nature which point to God and His mighty works. Therefore, if God is indeed the Author of morality, then... Continue Reading

Review: Dewey Roberts on the Federal Vision

A review of “Historic Christianity and the Federal Vision: A Theological Analysis and Practical Evaluation.”

Federal Vision advocates see a tension between that traditional Evangelical view of the Gospel (which Evangelicals have held since the Reformation) and the practice of infant baptism.  They feel that infant baptism must be more than just wishful thinking to be meaningful: It must be an “objective” covenant that actually confers what it symbolizes.  In... Continue Reading

He (and They) Must Not Be a Novice

Time brings maturity and maturity fosters humility

“Not too long ago I encountered a marriage ministry founded by a couple who were just a few years into marriage. They were eager and willing to write books and host seminars and travel far and wide to share their wisdom. It is possible they have much wisdom to share, especially as they mine the... Continue Reading

Litigious Progressives

This latest attempt by progressives to have the church’s judicial branch do what they cannot accomplish legislatively reveals their increasingly aggressive litigious bent

“No one disputes the rights of United Methodists to petition General Conference and to advocate for changes to church teaching and law. However, progressives’ repeated attempts to circumvent its law only serve to ignite more legal maneuvering at General Conference and before the Judicial Council.”   In yet another bid to overturn The United Methodist... Continue Reading

We Are Done With Chemo, and I’m a Little Bit Afraid

I want to leave a couple of thoughts as a follower of Jesus and parent of someone finishing 3+ years of chemo

“I didn’t know much about leukemia at the time, I’m not even sure I was positive it was cancer before Elijah got it. I knew enough that first night to stay off the internet. There are lots of leukemias, and our boy only had one of them. Until they gave it a specific name, I... Continue Reading

Why You Don’t Read Your Bible (and How to Start)

The most important thing for spiritual growth is reading the Bible, yet most people in the church aren’t

“In my experience, there are two main reasons people don’t read their Bible. The first is that people honestly don’t understand the Bible holds transformational power. Second, they don’t read the Bible because they don’t know how to find delight in reading it. Both issues are worth understanding in more detail.”   Over and over... Continue Reading

Pastor’s Wife Allegedly Stole $1.4 Million From Clinic, Community Member Says She Needs ‘Prayer’

Susan Combs Pratt, wife of Senior Pastor Weston Pratt of Living Waters Full Gospel Church in Hazard, Kentucky, was indicted last week for embezzling $1.4 million from Mercy Clinic in Jackson

“Pratt was released from Three Forks Regional Jail last Thursday and is expected to be arraigned in Breathitt County Circuit Court on Aug. 11. Calls to Living Waters Full Gospel Church went unanswered Wednesday.”   Susan Combs Pratt, wife of Senior Pastor Weston Pratt of Living Waters Full Gospel Church in Hazard, Kentucky, was indicted... Continue Reading

Hypepriests: The Grail-Wearing Pastors Who Dress Like Justin Bieber

Justin Bieber and his favorite pastors have all started wearing the same mega-hyped clothes

“It is not exactly news that pastors have learned how to dress with style and panache; this has been the case since Hillsong burst onto our cultural radar. But when did it become cool for the biggest pop star in the world to dress like his pastor? Or, perhaps more to the point: when did... Continue Reading