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

The Country Where Children with Down Syndrome Are Disappearing

The scale of the eugenics problem in the United States is exponentially higher than it is in Iceland

A reporter from CBS asked Stefansson, “What does the 100 percent termination rate, you think, reflect about Icelandic society?” He replied, “It reflects a relatively heavy-handed genetic counseling. And I don’t think that heavy-handed genetic counseling is desirable. . . . You’re having impact on decisions that are not medical, in a way.”   The... Continue Reading

The Eternal Shore Five Things We Forget About Heaven

Think of these as qualities we forget about heaven — parts of the shoreline most likely to be overlooked

“Imagine being out for a walk and bumping into Charles Spurgeon. Or Moses. Or Joni Eareckson Tada (who, of course, can walk and run!). All the saints, from all times, will be your intimate friends and neighbors. It is, after all, eternity, so if you miss anyone over the first ten billion years, you’ll have... Continue Reading

Don’t Confuse Spirituality with Righteousness

I was caught up with a crowd who confused the means with the end. Spirituality can be a cheap substitute for righteousness.

Spiritual disciplines are vitally necessary to achieve righteousness. Bible study, prayer, church attendance, evangelism, are necessary for Christian growth, but they cannot be the final goal. I cannot achieve righteousness without spirituality. But it is possible to be “spiritual,” at least on the surface, without attaining righteousness.   When I first became a Christian I was... Continue Reading

Shining Divine Light in the Darkest Places – Corrie Ten Boom

The blacker the night around us grew, the brighter and truer and more beautiful burned the Word of God.

“I would look about us as Betsie read, watching the light leap from face to face. More than conquerors. … It was not a wish. It was a fact. We knew it, we experienced it minute by minute – poor, hated, hungry. We are more than conquerors. Not ‘we shall be’. We are! Life in... Continue Reading

4 Painful Lies Stay-at-Home Moms Tell Themselves

When it comes to stay-at-home motherhood, the cacophony of voices, both inside and out, can be deafening.

I’m a stay-at-home mom because I’m striving to obey God’s calling on my life. He’s given me gifts, talents, and abilities that I steward while devoting most of my time to my family. We prayerfully made these decisions for our family; they’re not a judgment call on yours.   We’ve all come across passive-aggressive people who says things in... Continue Reading

The Worst Philosophical Defense of Abortion You’ll Ever Hear

Ironically, Harman’s view is based in part on a famous, reputable argument against abortion, one that claims what makes killing inherently wrong is that it deprives a victim of their future experiences.

Harman says she is defending the “liberal position about early abortion” that there’s “nothing morally bad” about early state abortions. Harman’s position is that among “early fetuses” there are two “very different kinds of beings.” She claims that she and her interviewers “already had moral status then”—that is, as an early embryo—“in virtue of our... Continue Reading

Wisdom Christology in James and 1 John

As Calvin understood, the eternal Wisdom is a creative, redemptive, and sanctifying wisdom; therefore, this Wisdom is a fountain of life.

The ability of the Word to transform human life is the basis of its authority and its glory. It is this Word of life – the divine Wisdom – which brings us into fellowship with God and restores the bond of love between believers and God, and between believers one with another.   In the previous... Continue Reading

Where to Bring Your Broken Heart

Gospel hope is the foundation of healthy grief.

In a world where sin infects and impacts all things, it is impossible for believers to make it through without hearts that break. But we have a God who is not silent at such times. He knows, because he has walked in our shoes (Hebrews 4:15). He has felt the terrible pangs of a broken... Continue Reading

Addiction, Lies and Relationships

Addiction is often said to be a disease of denial but it is also a disease of regret.

Because addiction by definition is an irrational, unbalanced and unhealthy behavior pattern resulting from an abnormal obsession, it simply cannot continue to exist under normal circumstances without the progressive attack upon and distortion of reality resulting from the operation of its propaganda and psychological warfare brigades. The fundamentally insane and unsupportable thinking and behavior of... Continue Reading

Caspar Olevianus and the Birthday Sermon That Split a Town in Half

Some describe him as a pioneer of covenant theology because, while was not the first one to expound it, he was the first one to arrange it in a clear and well-defined structure.

Olevianus preached with all the enthusiasm of a new convert, sharply denouncing the Roman mass, the worship of saints, and other expressions of what he considered pure idolatry, and boldly proclaiming the Reformed doctrine of justification by faith alone.   On his 23rd birthday, 10 August 1559, Caspar Olevianus had a chance to preach his first... Continue Reading

Persevere: Faithful Ministry Will Bear Fruit

Faithful ministry is successful ministry even when it leads to hardship and suffering.

For 9 1/2 years (2000-2009) this young man labored to bring about biblical faithfulness. He was wounded and weary from battle. But the Holy Spirit gave him power and he fought for Jesus. The congregation continued to decline in numbers. But the seeds of righteousness and repentance were sown. I think he left feeling a... Continue Reading

Race, the Gospel, and the Moment

Some thoughts on how to respond to the events in Charlottesville, Va.

Racism should not be only brought up at moments such as we witnessed in Charlottesville this past weekend. The evil of racism is a biblical theme—a sin the gospel reveals and heals—so we should be teaching about it routinely in the course of regular preaching.   How should Christians, and especially those with an Anglo-white... Continue Reading

It’s Not Just About The Sex

Our culture has concluded that relationships are defined by sex.

The good news is that friendship, and especially commitment, are more stable than sex and eroticism. To the extent that couples begin their relationships on the basis of sexual attraction, the stability of their marriage is a long shot. To the extent that they begin their relationship with commitment and friendship, they are exponentially more... Continue Reading

Humanity’s Oldest Ache

Words not only describe how we feel, they distinctly shape how we understand our feelings.

The biblical narrative begins and ends at home. From the Garden of Eden to the New Jerusalem, we are hardwired for place and for permanence, for rest and refuge, for presence and protection. We long for home because welcome was our first gift of grace and it will be our last. The setting of our... Continue Reading

PCA Study Committee Report on the Role of Women in the Ministry of the Church: Recommendation #7

Assessing Recommendation 7 of the PCA Role of Women in the Church Report presented to the 45th General Assembly.

There is no question that all God’s people are set apart to serve and minister within the church (Ps. 4:3, 2 Tim. 2:21). However, the practice of setting apart for specific tasks within the church seems to be an exceptional circumstance where men already in office, whether as Levite, priest, apostle or teacher in the... Continue Reading

Eye On The Sky

A total solar eclipse is a sign of heavenly design.

Earth’s unique location and vantage point for eclipses and other astronomical phenomena is evidence of intelligent design, Gonzalez and Richards wrote: “Simply stated, the conditions allowing for intelligent life on Earth also make our planet strangely well suited for viewing and analyzing the universe.”   A much-anticipated solar eclipse will sweep across the United States... Continue Reading