Sola Scriptura or Sola Cardia?

What does "Sola Scriptura" mean? And why is it important?

“It would follow then that a sufficient Bible that must be read, obeyed and applied would be preached. Pastors who do not preach the Bible betray any commitment to sola Scriptura. As nice and entertaining as stories, jokes, and authenticity are–they cannot bear the freight of God’s work in the pulpit. God means to have his people’s... Continue Reading

Why I Am (Still) An Evangelical

In the end, all other explanations regarding the troubles of this world seemed insufficient

“Although I certainly simplified the matter, the truth was that as I read more, learned more, and thought more, the evangelical understanding of the biblical narrative of creation–fall–judgment–redemption impressed itself upon me, continuing to recount the story of my own life while making sense of the world in a way that nothing else that I... Continue Reading

Irenaeus on Reading and Understanding Scripture

Irenaeus advanced in his work the basic thesis that Scripture means what it says -- that is, that Scripture is clear in its articulation of the fundamental points of Christian theology

“A sound mind,” he wrote, “and one which does not expose its possessor to danger, and is devoted to piety and the love of truth, will eagerly meditate upon those things which God has placed within the power of mankind [i.e., power to understand], and has subjected to our knowledge, and will make advancement in... Continue Reading

Mr. Walker Goes to Washington

Mark Walker, a freshman congressman from North Carolina, is no stranger to the church

A friend of Walker and Lawndale Baptist Church’s senior pastor, Joe Giaritelli, said he never doubted Walker would make it to Washington. “I didn’t care what the polls were saying,” Giaritelli told RealClearReligion. “I just knew in my heart that he was going to win that, that God was going to open up doors.”  ... Continue Reading

Understanding Domestic Persecution (Part 2)

The question is not what ultimately defines persecution, but rather “Who.”

“The persecution of Israel’s prophets, and that of the saints of the New Testament and this age find their nexus in the life and Person of Christ. He sets the pattern for persecution within an inhospitable culture, and Scripture shows us at least two ways of understanding Him from this angle.”   Before we can... Continue Reading

Former Pastor of First Presbyterian Chosen to Lead New Congregation

Rev. Charles Hasty, former pastor of First Presbyterian of Columbus, has accepted a call to a new flock

“Hasty, who has said he was neutral on the issue, resigned as senior pastor of First Presbyterian in May. At the time, he wrote an email to members of First Presbyterian saying: “My heart, like all of yours, is broken in the wake of the fractured vote for gracious dismissal and the resulting conflicted state... Continue Reading

Politics of Inclusion

If the gospel is the basis for society, where are non-Christians supposed to go?

“Is bi-partisanship really a gospel imperative when practically every oped writer for the Times and the Post promotes crossing the aisle in Congress? Do we need to gussy up bi-partisanship with the gospel? Is that why Christ died?”   Matt Tuininga calls for the gospel politics of inclusion even while excluding some — ahem —... Continue Reading

Setting The Stage

The fifteenth century set the stage for the Reformation

“As the century opened, the reform movement of Jan Hus allowed for the creation of a separate Czech church. Hus stood on the text of Scripture to reject the theological changes of the medieval Catholic church, though he was also spurred by the love of his country to seek independence from the Holy Roman Empire.”... Continue Reading

Wheaton College Refuses to Bow to Caesar’s Demands

Wheaton College on Friday will stop providing any health insurance for students.

It is indeed regrettable that some students will be without health insurance coverage. And some students and alumni are already blaming the school. But the loss of the health insurance is the fault of the Obama administration, not the administration at Wheaton. The college has repeatedly asked for a compromise that would not require them... Continue Reading

Cecil the Lion

I wonder - did Kimmel tear up when he saw the video of the Planned Parenthood doctor talking about crushing infants as so many organ factories?

But in the grand scheme of wickedness, the death of a lion – even a lion called Cecil — barely registers on the most sensitive Richter scale.  The pathetic tears of a Kimmel and the predictable verbal violence of the hashtag wielding rent-a-mobs of the internet merely witness to the complete lack of any real... Continue Reading

The Brave New World of Childhood Indoctrination

This indoctrination will prove a significant challenge to both religious liberty and to free and rational thought.

Although Jennings often frames her style as “helping them understand a different point of view exists,” “setting up conversations,” and “modelling non-judgmental thinking,” she authoritatively interjects into her students’ conversations establishing what is right and wrong. She does this despite her “work to help children understand that just because someone thinks something different from you,... Continue Reading

It’s Not Dixie’s Fault

There is an old, tired motif in American journalism that the South is the source of our nation’s social ills.

These crude regional stereotypes ignore the deep roots such social ills have in our shared national history and culture. If, somehow, the South became its own country, the Northeast would still be a hub of racially segregated housing and schooling, the West would still be a bastion of prejudicial laws that put immigrants and black... Continue Reading

How Reading Can Transform Your Health

If reading secular books can have such life-transforming benefit, how much more will a wide range of good spiritual books transform our lives and even our eternity.

Grothaus’s life was in a rut…until he read War and Peace. Its 1500 pages took him two months to conquer and immediately became his favorite book because of how it changed him. “It’s  almost impossible to explain why,” he says “but after reading it I felt more confident in myself, less uncertain about my future…As weird as... Continue Reading

Now is the Time For Outrage

How will we be assessed by future generations of Christians if we do not speak out clearly, if we do not flood social media, if we do not decry this wickedness from our pulpits?

For my more progressive fellow pastors, now is not the time for missional quietude over abortion. Now is the time for outrage. Now is the time for public disgust. Slavery would never have been abolished through missional conversations. Public outrage was necessary to bring the whole sinful enterprise crashing down. The same public outrage must... Continue Reading

Are We Called to Preach the Gospel or Preach the Word?

At the heart of his great little book, William Still emphasizes that the work of the pastor is primarily preaching and teaching the whole Word of God

We, too, live in a time when certain churches and certain movements are strongly emphasizing being Gospel-centered and emphasizing that pastors need to clearly preach the Gospel every Sunday. Now, I am fully in favor of being Gospel-centered, and I hope and pray that I do preach the Gospel every Lord’s Day morning. But that’s... Continue Reading

Musings On How Big Is The PC(USA) Big Tent – Part 2: He’s In My Church?

Donald Trump is a Presbyterian? My reaction to the reaction is “If the PC(USA) is a big, inclusive tent why can it not include him?”

But returning to the thought experiment, my question is not really about the specific individual here except to the extent that based on his history we know that he has been confirmed in a predecessor denomination and he self-identifies as a Presbyterian. But we also know that he is outspoken and has views not in... Continue Reading

Belief in a Historical Adam: A Call to Courage

There are some who make what is real in scripture less real in the church. This is especially true with contemporary challenges to the historical Adam.

Paul ascribes a real transgression to one real man just as he ascribes a real act of righteousness to one real Savior, Jesus (Rom 5:18). Adam is no a mytho-poetic literary construct. If he is then his trespass was not that of a real man and our need for the real obedience of the one... Continue Reading

The Calvary Option?

Ministry will continue to be made up of the same elements as that of our spiritual forefathers: Word, sacraments, prayer

Despised and mocked by all around him, he plods towards death, faithfully doing that to which he has been called.  But the Calvary Option is surely too grand a name for just doing my job. So I suggest we call it simply ‘the traditional pastoral work in an ordinary congregation option.’ Inelegantly phrased, I know,... Continue Reading

The Future of Evangelicalism: Stronger, Smaller, and Stranger

We'll be left with a church of upstream swimmers, people who cling to their faith identity despite a powerful counter current of anti-Christian sentiment.

Nominal Christians have long been the church’s “warm market.” They don’t have major obstacles to faith and are the most likely people to become committed believers. Yes, their exodus will purify the church. But, to continue with the marketing terms, when people are rushing to shed your label, it means you have a branding problem.... Continue Reading

5 Warning Signs for the Church in a “Facebook Culture”

Here are a few characteristics of a “Facebook culture” that we certainly need to reckon with as believers.

“Surfacey” interactions/artificial relationships.  …. people might feel more connected, but they can really be more distant, at least from who they really are. In contrast, true Christian fellowship requires that we engage with people as we really are, so that we can honestly face our sin and grow together in Christ.   One of my... Continue Reading

The 4 Most Embarrassing Things Cecile Richards Said In Defense Of Planned Parenthood

She did her best, but her talking points were really bad.

However, her main talking point — that the footage was edited — is completely refuted by the full release of the footage in question. Her subsequent talking point of straight up character assassination has no substantiating evidence. She may have been caught in a rather obvious false statement about how many clinics are engaged in... Continue Reading

Liberating Christians from Their Cultural Captivity

Like ambassadors, evangelicals must learn the language and worldview of the people they are trying to reach.

At the same time, evangelicals must prepare to minister to the wounded, the refugees of the sexual revolution whose relationships have been wrecked by false promises of freedom and autonomy. When people are persuaded that they are free to “come and go” as they please, relationships will grow fragile and fragmented. Those around us will... Continue Reading

SCOTUS: Too Much and Too Little

Identity cannot be in sexual orientation (the religion of the day) and the triune God at the same time

The root of the tragedy of the SCOTUS decision is that sexual orientation as a category of personhood is both too much and too little all at once, too weighty for the soul to bear and not capacious enough to portray God’s power to redeem, transform, lay down his life, and live again in and... Continue Reading

Christians Shouldn’t Be Culture’s Morality Police

We aren't called to demand that secular culture reflect biblical principles.

If more Christians were eating meals with non-believers, or with believers they didn’t always agree with, the Internet might look nothing like it does. We often replace face-to-face conversations with insensitive, irresponsible use of social media. The toughest discussions are the ones that require slowing down, pulling up a chair and pouring a drink together,... Continue Reading

Boy Scouts End Ban on Gay Scoutmasters: LGBT Groups Not Satisfied Unless Religious Liberty Is Trampled

The Boy Scouts of America voted to lift a long-established ban on gay adults as employees and volunteers within the organization.

Liberalizing socially conservative organizations is a great way to shrink them to irrelevance. Just ask the vanishing Protestant Mainline. But the goal here was never to help the Boy Scouts of America but rather to send scouts the same cultural signal the sexual revolutionaries send to the rest of America: Join . . . or... Continue Reading

How We Interpret Texts Really Matters

The consequences of mis-handling of Scripture can be very serious:

A small group meets and reads a passage of Scripture. They then go around the room and ask each person, “What does this passage mean to you?” The sincere Christians who are there to learn and grow have no formal training and not much knowledge of the Scriptures, so their response of “Well, to me,... Continue Reading

How Do I Know God’s Will for My Life?

We can cry out to God for discernment, God promises to faithfully lead us, and we will hear His voice and follow in His ways

The comfort of God’s faithful leading is matched by the promise that His sheep follow His guidance. Of course, each of us faces temptation and goes astray, but if we are truly seeking His paths, we can rest assured that we will hear and follow. He does not leave us to wander, but faithfully guides in a variety... Continue Reading

I Am a Grateful Pastor

I have so much for which to be grateful, so many church members who bless me week after week.

I am a grateful pastor. I admit I get discouraged at times. And I admit that I can get frustrated and weary as well. But I have so much for which to be grateful. There are so many church members who bring me joy and encouragement. I am a grateful pastor. I am grateful for... Continue Reading

President of Planned Parenthood Did Her Cause No Favors

It looked and sounded desperate and deceitful. And that is because it was.

Even after all of her bluster, there are two facts that she does not dispute. Take note: (1) Planned Parenthood routinely kills babies in utero through procedures that involve “crushing” the baby. (2) Planned Parenthood harvests the body parts of dead babies and hands them over to researchers in exchange for money.   The President... Continue Reading

Looking Away From Abortion

You can turn away. But there will be plenty of chances to look, to see, to know.

But the reluctance to look closely doesn’t change the truth of what there is to see. Those were dead human beings on Richard Selzer’s street 40 years ago, and these are dead human beings being discussed on video today: Human beings that the nice, idealistic medical personnel at Planned Parenthood have spent their careers crushing,... Continue Reading