Sabbath Is Not a Means To More Productive Work
It's time to stop optimizing the Lord's Day
“Today, the zeitgeist has shifted. What was once prohibition might now be heard as permission: to stop, take a breath, and remember that we are more than what we produce, more than our job title or bank balance. Sabbath, in this light, does indeed represent resistance to the dominating paradigm of more more more, an... Continue Reading
A Word To The Introverted Pastor: Be Extroverted on Sunday
My introversion can keep me from interacting even with people I love
“The pastor that inspired me most in my spiritual walk when I was a 20-something year old trying to figure out my life direction emailed me recently. He had read one of my introversion posts and wanted to echo the sentiments in it. He said he has always marveled at how many introverted pastors he... Continue Reading
“The Greatest Failing Of The American Church Today”
Greg Forster says it’s “the failure of the American church to affirm the goodness of civilizational life”
“I don’t agree with Greg that “the failure of the American church to affirm the goodness of civilizational life is our greatest failing today.” That’s overstating a good case. I do agree with him that it’s a great failure, even a very great failure. And I also agree with him on the need to prioritize... Continue Reading
USCCB Chairmen Respond To ‘Unprecedented and Extreme’ Executive Order
Response to Obama’s executive order prohibiting federal government contractors from “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” discrimination and forbidding “gender identity” discrimination in the employment of federal employees
The executive order prohibits “gender identity” discrimination, a prohibition that is previously unknown at the federal level, and that is predicated on the false idea that “gender” is nothing more than a social construct or psychological reality that can be chosen at variance from one’s biological sex. This is a problem not only of principle... Continue Reading
The Death Of Archie… And Innocence
Archie, the flagship character in the comic book franchise of the same name, died this week
“I know kids are growing up fast nowadays, but isn’t this stuff a little heavy for eight and nine year olds? Archie Bunker pushed the envelope 40 years ago, but that Archie was designed for an adult audience. Until recently, the biggest controversy Archie Andrews ever found himself in was making dates with two girls... Continue Reading
The Foundation of Christian Joy
If God were not sovereign, I could never come to that comforting conclusion — I would be constantly subjected to fear and anxiety without any significant relief.
“Romans 8:28, which is a favorite for many of us, states that “all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” (NKJV). There’s no other text that demonstrates so clearly and magnificently the beauty of God’s sovereign providence than that one. The text... Continue Reading
8 Ways To Beat Temptation
We all face temptations of many kinds. God wants us to beat them. We don’t have to sin, as powerful as temptations feel. Here are 8 ways to gain the victory.
“Quote Scripture. That’s how Jesus overcame the tempter. When you feel like grumbling remind yourself to “Rejoice always.” When tempted to give a harsh reply think, “A gentle answer turns away wrath.” When rankling against correction remind yourself, “God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Of course to quote Scripture when tempted... Continue Reading
Marriage And Millennials
There’s something about this “death ’til we part” business that’s worth hanging in for
“This marriage thing is hard.We know everything about each other, can anticipate each other’s next sentence, and not only know exactly where the dirty socks will be thrown but when. We repeat the same fights, stick to the same guns, rebut with the same rebuttals, face the same bedheads in the morning. If monogamy equals monotonous... Continue Reading
Why Church Members Don’t Invite Others To Church
When my church consulting teams have asked church members about their reticence to invite others to church, here are ten responses we have often heard
“Many church members have contact with the unchurched every week, if not every day. They go to school with them, work with them, live beside them – and sometimes live with them. What church folks don’t do, though, is see the unchurched as “sheep without a shepherd” (Matt. 9:36), as spiritual beings in need of... Continue Reading
The Federal Vision, Ten Questions, and the Westminster Standards
Ten questions that are relevant to the Federal Vision controversy
The Holy Spirit works in the visible church in accordance with the decree of election. Therefore, the elect in the visible church receive some benefits which the non-elect in the visible church do not. All the elect and only the elect are effectually called. The Holy Spirit works faith in their hearts and thereby unites... Continue Reading
Can Christians Lose Their Salvation?
We should distinguish a serious and radical fall from a total and final fall.
The question is, are these people who are guilty of a real fall irretrievably fallen and eternally lost, or is this fall a temporary condition that will, in the final analysis, be remedied by their restoration? In the case of a person such as Peter, we see that his fall was remedied by his repentance.... Continue Reading
Saving faith is a gift of God’s grace that the Holy Spirit works in the heart enabling us to believe the gospel to the saving of our souls
What does faith do? Or to put it another way, what does the Christian do by faith? By faith, the Christian believes and acts. By faith a Christian believes to be true whatever is revealed in the Word. This believing is because of the authority of God himself speaking in and by his Word. God’s... Continue Reading
Will Sociologists Be Brave Enough to Study Same-Sex Divorce?
Studies in northern Europe conclude same-sex relationships dissolve more often than heterosexual relationships
Citing the witch hunt against Mark Regnerus, a sociologist at the University of Texas at Austin whose research on children in same-sex marriage households has been dismissed and denounced by the “liberal establishment,” Hayward said he has a hunch about the future of research into same-sex divorce: “Social science research into gay marriage will be... Continue Reading
Christian Eschatology and The Planet of the Apes
Movies can represent the intersection of eschatology with contemporary fears.
As I went around the room with my students, I asked what their home churches had taught about the ultimate things: heaven, hell, kingdom, and so on. Most of them said their churches were reluctant to say much at all, beyond generalities. Many of their churches, it seems, were fearful to talk much about eschatology... Continue Reading
No Other Name
Jesus shall save his people. That’s his name. That’s who is to us: our Savior.
For the medieval church as for many Christians today, it was tempting to think that Jesus had made salvation possible for those who do their part. In that scheme Jesus was not so much a savior as a facilitator. In such a scheme he is reduced to a cosmic doorman, who allows us to enter the presence... Continue Reading
“You don’t have to live crazy to follow Jesus.”
All in all, this book, Radically Normal, is a helpful evangelical counterpoint to the “radical” American evangelical emphases and movements (emphases and movements which have been around for more than 30 years). It’s well written, not too difficult to read, and provides a good remedy for those Christians who feel guilty for not being radical. Thankfully, you... Continue Reading
8 Tips on How to Talk to Your Kids About the Sermon
Make the decision as a parent to talk to your kids about the sermons you hear
You may have checked off all previous seven tips and you may still feel like it was a complete waste of time; like nothing got through to your child. It’s at that point that you must remember the first two rules: They retain more than you think they do. They understand more than you think... Continue Reading
Envy Always Wins
Envy is the lost sin; how can it be cured?
What’s the cure for envy? Charles Spurgeon said: “The cure for envy lies in living under a constant sense of the divine presence, worshiping God and communing with Him all the day long, however long the day may seem. True religion lifts the soul into a higher region, where the judgment becomes more clear and... Continue Reading
The Next Religious Liberty Case
A Christian College asked for an Obamacare exemption. Then came the backlash.
The principal flash point was Gordon College’s code of conduct, which forbids its students and faculty from engaging in sexual activity except in a heterosexual marriage. The day after the letter, the city of Salem announced that it was canceling a contract Gordon has to use Salem’s Old Town Hall. Salem cannot work with “an... Continue Reading
Four Trustees Resign From Bryan College
Four members of the Bryan College board of trustees have resigned, saying they're upset with the direction that the college has taken under President Stephen Livesay
His letter listed three reasons for his resignation. “The ongoing narrative from the president’s office presents interpretations of facts that differ significantly and regularly from what I believe to be true,” Phillips wrote. “Second, I do not believe I could contribute anything substantive to the board that would be heard. … Third, the president indicated... Continue Reading
Your Naked Truth
We all, men and women, fall for this lie: that beauty is something to be consumed.
There are few opportunities on this side of eternity where we get a taste of this experience with beauty. But I believe Christian marriage is one of them. It comes from a sacrificial, sanctifying love through the years. It comes through moving past the youthful, original attributes that attracted us to one another, to a... Continue Reading
Is Your Parenting That Different From The People You Mock?
Does anybody tell their kids 'no' anymore?
Is such parenting becoming rarer? I recently heard of a college administrator who met with a student and her mother regarding plagiarism charges. Much to the administrator’s surprise, the mother calmly explained that the daughter should not be punished because … wait for it … it was the mother who had plagiarized when she did... Continue Reading
Utah Asks Supreme Court For Urgent Intervention To Halt Same-Sex Marriage Recognition
Utah asked the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday (July 16) to issue an emergency order that would prevent the state from recognizing gay marriages
Utah’s defense of its right to define marriage as a union between one man and one woman is continuing on two fronts — in the historic Kitchen v. Herbert case that toppled the state’s ban on same-sex unions in December and in a newer suit, Evans v. Utah, in which several gay and lesbian couples... Continue Reading
Privacy Battles: As Old As The Old Testament
Warren and Brandeis’ article, perhaps the most influential law review article of both the 20th and 21st centuries, famously defined privacy as “the right to be le[f]t alone.”
When government, or any other entity for that matter, tracks what citizens think, say, plan, and do, we have an ethical violation on its face. Dr. Rashi declares, “It is not as megalomaniacal building engineers that they [the people of Babel] are punished by God but rather as totalitarian-minded social engineers who sought artificial and... Continue Reading
The Gods of the Copybook Headings
Kipling encapsulates the grand illusion that man can ignore eternal truths and live without negative consequences
At times, the illusion appears to be so true. It seems difficult to deny. We are a nation of great wealth. Indeed, for most Americans “Life is good.” However, like Babel, the kingdoms of man will fail. The nature of man does not change. Original sin still reigns in the hearts of mankind. A handsome... Continue Reading
White House Says Obama’s LGBT Executive Order Will Not Provide Religious Exemption
President Obama will not include an exemption for religiously affiliated government contractors when he issues an executive barring discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity
“With the strokes of a pen, the president will have a very real and immediate impact on the lives of millions of LGBT people across the country,” said Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign, a gay rights group. Michael Wear, a former Obama faith adviser who had organized a letter to Obama urging... Continue Reading
Conservative Professor Granted Promotion After Seven-Year Battle
Criminology Professor Dr. Mike Adams’ seven-year quest to earn his promotion at the University of North Carolina – Wilmington has finally come to a successful conclusion
In 2000, however, Adams reconsidered his atheism and became Christian. His conversion led him to publicly speak out on conservative issues, including through a column on Townhall.com. “After this, he was subjected to intrusive investigations, baseless accusations, and the denial of promotion to full professor even though his scholarly output surpassed that of almost all of his... Continue Reading
Praying For Our Children’s Salvation
God blesses the prayers of parents to the spiritual and eternal well-being of their children
“According to God’s promise (Gen. 17:7; Acts 2:39), the children of believing parents are included in the covenant of grace and must be received as members of the church by baptism. This promise is precious, and the privileges it confers on our children are great indeed. But they afford us no ground to presume that... Continue Reading
Why Marriage Traditionalists Are Unprotected In PCUSA
The logic of the pro-same-sex marriage position pushes its proponents eventually to make the redefinition of marriage universal and mandatory
“Proponents of redefining marriage already have declared that they regard this doctrinal revision as “the civil rights issue of our generation.” They see the denial of marriage to same-sex couples as an unconscionable form of discrimination that can have no rational justification. In their eyes, opponents of same-sex marriage are today’s equivalent of racist bigots... Continue Reading
Church Planting Is Insufficient For Social Change
We need God's people seeking God's glory in the church but also outside of it
“It’s been such a profound disappoint in recent years to hear leaders who are such enthusiastic advocates for the need for church planting and orthodox churches to be the leaders that do not advocate for the building of Christian institutions like schools and other intermediate (mediating) institutions.” For the last 12 years I’ve traveled... Continue Reading