Alabama Senate Passes Bill to Effectively Nullify All Sides on Marriage

The Alabama state Senate passed a bill that would end the practice of licensing marriages in the state, effectively nullifying the contentious national debate over government-sanctioned marriage.

The bill would replace all references to marriages “licenses” in state law with “contracts.” The legislation would not invalidate any marriage licenses issued prior to the bill being passed. The contract shall be filed in the office of the judge of probate in each county and shall constitute a legal record of the marriage. A... Continue Reading

Heads LGBTs Win, Tails Christians Lose

You must not only bake the cake, or arrange the flowers, or make the ring, you must hold the correct opinion when you do it.

This Christian jeweler agreed to custom-make engagement rings for a lesbian couple, knowing that they were a couple, and treated them politely. But when they found out what he really believed about same-sex marriage, even though the man gave them polite service, and agreed to sell them what they asked for, the lesbian couple balked,... Continue Reading

7 Reasons Christians Should STAY On Facebook

Encouragement for ways in which Facebook can be used for Kingdom purposes

We are often grieved when social media becomes the setting for angry or obscene exchanges, but for Christians there are wonderful opportunities to share articles, scripture, anecdotes, stories, and videos that are intended to teach, strengthen, and build up the people who read, watch, or listen to them. When wisely used, Facebook can massively extend... Continue Reading

Overtures 2 and 9: The “Recreations” Clauses: North Texas and Tennessee Valley Presbyteries

“Establish Study Committee to Recommend Changes to the Westminster Standards regarding the Sabbath”

Insofar as a study committee is concerned, I have no objection to the idea. In fact, if the study committee does its job properly it would at least clarify the issue at the heart of this discussion. That issue is, “What do the Standards mean by ‘recreations’”? Most people probably think that the Standards mean... Continue Reading

Clickbait Headlines Are Killing My Soul

Why are they killing us? Because if everything is amazing, then nothing is amazing.

The more clickbait headlines I read, the more I become suspicious of any claims of glory. My heart becomes calloused to beauty and wonder and mystery. The more time I spend wading through the shallows of Facebook, the more I forget about the deeps of the gospel. The Internet has a way of dulling beauty... Continue Reading

Top Men: A Response to Paul Helm

Paul Helm has an interesting piece critiquing the critics of megapastordom.

Third, Paul’s comments are prefaced by his observation that the debate is not taking place because the critics are not engaging the other side.  On the contrary, the problem is that the Top Men and their followers have adamantly refused to engage the critics.  We have been dismissed, blacklisted and bullied.   Paul Helm has... Continue Reading

What Should the Duggar Scandal Teach the Church?

The controversy here is, sadly, yet another reminder to the church of our responsibility to be a witness for justice and righteousness on the issue of sexual abuse.

Sexual abuse is immoral, but it is far more than just sexual. Sexual abuse is an act of violence, in which one leverages power to sexually violate the helpless. The resulting aftermath is not just a guilty conscience awaiting judgment on the part of the perpetrator, but a victim who has been assaulted. Sexual abuse... Continue Reading

What Does Jude 7 Mean By “Other Flesh”?

Reasons to accept the traditional interpretation that Jude 7 is a reference to the sin of homosexual behavior

In short, the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah and the whole region was not just a one-time attempted gang rape of angelic beings, but, according to Jude a lifestyle of sensuality and sexual immorality, at least one aspect of which was exemplified in men pursuing the flesh of other men instead of the flesh of... Continue Reading

Mark Driscoll returns: Ex-Mars Hill Pastor Gets Standing Ovation at Mill Creek Church

The fallen pastor has picked himself up, with none of the mea culpas or public soul searching seen from his former top aides.

Driscoll built the Mars Hill Church, which he co-founded, into a mega church which eventually had 15 “campuses” in five states, and an estimated regular attendance of 13,000. It came crashing down last year, amidst plagiarism accusations, questions about where “church planting” donations designated for Ethiopia and India were really spent, and multiple accusations of... Continue Reading

Lecrae Makes Music Concerned With The Soul

Lecrae is a devout Christian and his lyrics deal with issues of faith, family and social justice.

On embracing his faith within hip-hop: It’s interesting, because it’s such a phenomenon for a hip-hop artist to fully embrace his Christian roots and his faith. That becomes something that people almost need you to justify. What we’re communicating in our music is love and justice and service and community. But it’s rare that we’ll... Continue Reading

First Presbyterian Church, Columbia, SC, Buys SCE&G Building For College Ministry

The onetime customer service center for SCE&G at Marion and Lady Streets has been sold to the church for $4.1 million.

Derek Thomas said plans for the three-story, 32,000-square-foot building, formerly a SCE&G customer service center, have not been finalized. A church committee is putting together a formal plan. However, the building probably will include a student library, meeting spaces and a coffee shop.   First Presbyterian Church is the latest downtown Columbia congregation to reach... Continue Reading

8 Features of the Best Kind of Calvinism

Calvinism at its best is experiential

The experiential Calvinist cultivates communion with God. … Experiential Calvinism cherishes communion with God and understands that this communion requires two things: that we “receive” His love and that we “make suitable returns unto him.” The Father’s love is received “by faith” through Christ. “The soul being thus, by faith through Christ, and by him... Continue Reading

Scouts President: Gay Leader Ban Unsustainable

Robert Gates, who as secretary of defense abolished the military’s ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, policy, says Scouts’ ban ‘cannot be sustained’

Gates’ speech and his call for change is not a surprise. When the Boy Scouts decided in 2013 to allow homosexual youth into the program, critics of the change said then the decision was unsustainable. John Stemberger, who ultimately left the Scouts to found a group called Trail Life USA as a Christian alternative to... Continue Reading

United Methodist Body Votes to Change the Church’s Position on Homosexuality by Allowing Clergy to Be ‘Practicing Homosexuals,’ Perform Gay Weddings

The Connectional Table voted 26 to 10 in favor of proposed legislation that would allow clergy to perform gay weddings

The Discipline also says that clergy can neither bless gay weddings nor can non-celibate homosexuals be ordained. At the UMC’s most recent general conference, held in 2012 in Tampa, Florida, a resolution introduced to change the Discipline’s language on these positions was voted down. But the controversy over the Mainline Protestant denomination’s position on homosexuality continued.... Continue Reading

Qualifying ‘The State of the PCA’

A response to Bryan Chapell's ‘State of the PCA’

If I am to be classified as a traditionalist, here is my definition of it: I believe in a tradition that is derived from the Scripture and has been held by great names in church history. This Scriptural tradition has found its way into the great creeds and confessions of the Church, particularly the Westminster... Continue Reading

On Conservative Religious Activism, The Numbers Speak For Themselves

American churches are incredibly generous to the needs of a hurting world

In 2009, overseas relief and development supported by American churches exceeded $13 billion, according to path-breaking calculations by the Hudson Center for Global Prosperity. (This includes not just evangelical churches but also Catholic and mainline Protestant congregations, and covers both direct missions work and donations to private relief groups.)   WASHINGTON (RNS) In an interview... Continue Reading

Baptism and a Box of Corn Flakes

Baptism is called a sign and seal. A sign points to the existence of something. A seal authenticates, confirms and guarantees the existence of that which is signified.

Baptism is a sacrament, wherein the washing with water in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, doth signify and seal our ingrafting into Christ, and partaking of the benefits of the covenant of grace, and our engagement to be the Lord’s.   My Presbyterian congregation entered 2015... Continue Reading

Kirsten Powers Gets Its Dangerously Wrong on the Bible and Homosexuality

Responding to Kirsten Power’s affirmative answer to: "Could there be a future where most American Christians support same-sex relationships?" with: "Only if these Christians renounce the Word of God…."

We are called to holiness more than to heterosexuality, and from Genesis to Revelation, from Moses to Jesus to Paul, the consistent witness of Scripture is that holiness can never be found in a homosexual union. No amount of Scripture twisting can make sexual relationships between two men or two women holy in God’s sight.... Continue Reading

Launching A Missions Movement: Acts 1:8

Acts 1:8 is both an outline and a summary of Acts.

What could be more unnatural than the act of leaving your comfortable home to go to a place you’ve never been, to speak a language you don’t know, to love a people you’ve never met. Acts 1:8 is not a story of super-disciples, but a story of a bunch of sinners, just like you and... Continue Reading

TLC Pulls 19 Kids Over Josh Duggar Misconduct Scandal

The move comes less than 24 hours after news broke of sexual misconduct allegations against Josh Duggar

In a statement released late Thursday, Duggar admitted to misconduct when he was 14 years old, calling his actions “inexcusable.” “I hurt others, including my family and close friends,” he said in a post on his family’s official Facebook page. “I confessed this to my parents who took several steps to help me address the situation. We... Continue Reading

Five Reasons Some Pastors Are Loners—And Why That’s Not Good

I have met very few leaders who fell when they were sharing life and ministry with others

“Jesus always got it right: He knew how to balance His time with the Father and with others. He called individuals, preached to the hundreds, and fed the thousands – all while also patiently investing in a few men. Even in his toughest moments (like the Garden of Gethsemane), He wanted men with Him.”  ... Continue Reading

Learning Contentment

Contentment means embracing every aspect of His providence simply because it is His providence

“Christian contentment means that my satisfaction is independent of my circumstances. When Paul speaks about his own contentment in Philippians 4:11, he uses a term commonplace among the ancient Greek philosophical schools of the Stoics and Cynics. In their vocabulary, contentment meant self-sufficiency, in the sense of independence from changing circumstances.”   I spoke with a... Continue Reading

Duggars Reeling From Son Josh’s Sex-Abuse Scandal

The Duggars are reeling since oldest son, Josh, has acknowledged he was investigated for molesting underage girls when he was a teenager in Arkansas

“Twelve years ago, as a young teenager, I acted inexcusably for which I am extremely sorry and deeply regret. I hurt others, including my family and close friends,” Josh Duggar, 27, said in the statement posted on the family’s Facebook page. “We spoke with the authorities where I confessed my wrongdoing, and my parents arranged... Continue Reading

The God of Typological Recapitulation

The Scriptures are full of typological recapitulations to help us better grasp Christ

“Even though the prophets promise a time of restoration for Israel, theocratic Israel never experiences it. That’s precisely because it would only be realized in Christ. This has massive implications for our understanding how to read the Old Testament in a spiritually applicable way to ourselves today.”   The Scriptures are full of typological recapitulations to help... Continue Reading

The Episcopal Church: Undermining the USA from Within

EMM is one of nine major Government contractors making money by bringing in refugees

“Refugees designated to migrate to the United States are advanced travel money by an arm of the U.S. State Department. They land here, and are placed in the hands of (among other agencies) Episcopal Migration Ministries (EMM), which helps them relocate into specific communities.”   In my previous post, I detailed the sordid story by... Continue Reading

International Mission Board Drops Ban on Speaking in Tongues

New rules also loosen restrictions on baptism, divorce, and parents of teenagers

“Under the previous rules, candidates who spoke in tongues or had a “private prayer language” were barred. Under the new rules, speaking in tongues does not disqualify missionary candidates. Too much emphasis on charismatic gifts, like speaking in tongues, could still lead to discipline.” For more than a decade, the Southern Baptist Convention’s International Mission... Continue Reading

Commemorating the Burning of Jan Hus

Church reformer Jan Hus was burned at the stake 600 years ago this summer

“Hus was an heir to the English church proto-reformer John Wycliffe, whose themes of personal holiness and direct reading of Scripture in native language he reiterated.  Wycliffe died a natural death, but a quarter century later he was condemned at the Council of Constance, where a still very much alive Hus was tried for heresy,... Continue Reading

Definite Atonement and The Triune God

At the heart of the gospel is the penal substitutionary atonement of Jesus Christ

“Christ’s death is not limited in power, but limited only in its scope. Rather than making salvation possible for all people, Christ’s death actually saves certain people. Christ’s shed blood purchases and fully redeems the elect and there is no possibility that the atonement will not powerfully secure salvation for them.”   At the heart... Continue Reading

The God Who Justifies (Book Review)

If you want a better handle on the doctrine of justification, then this book will serve you well

“The book is technical but it is not too difficult. One might be tempted to be discouraged by the number of times White quotes Greek or seems to split exegetical hairs to make a big point, but we shouldn’t be. He is doing the heavy lifting and careful reasoning to make us more confident in... Continue Reading

The Gathering Storm: The Eclipse of Religious Liberty and the Threat of a New Dark Age

We are now facing a battle that will determine the destiny of priceless freedoms and the very foundation of human rights and human dignity.

Religious liberty is under direct threat. Just days ago the Solicitor General of the United States served notice before the Supreme Court that the liberties of religious institutions will be an open and unavoidable question. Already, religious liberty is threatened by a new moral regime that exalts erotic liberty and personal autonomy and openly argues... Continue Reading