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

Is It HOW We Read the Bible or IF We Read the Bible?

Theological liberals, by and large, simply do not read or know the Bible as much as theological conservatives.

What all of these arguments, promoted by the most prominent voices of progressive Christianity, have in common is that they count on their audience members being too unfamiliar with Scripture to even realize how such arguments totally ignore or misrepresent the most relevant biblical passages. The politically incorrect fact of the matter is that for... Continue Reading

The Tumult of Her War

These four themes are helpful reminders for Christians who may be discouraged by the ongoing conflict with the world in which they find themselves

This aspect of the Christian life – conflict with the world and being hated by those who are not united to Christ – is not something that we like to reflect upon, but it is a major theme of the New Testament. And, as John Calvin writes, God uses the tribulations of this world to... Continue Reading

The Predominant View of “The Least of These” in Church History

Interpreting “the least of these” as Christians is no historical anomaly.

The amount of evidence that Gray covers is vast and can hardly be reproduced in a single blog post. But we can summarize his findings with respect to the narrow view of “the least of these.” He concludes that if one sets aside references to the “least of these” that are unspecified, “then it is... Continue Reading

What Kind of Pastor Does God Use to Revitalize a Church?

God simply wants faithful shepherds.

It is unfortunate the amount of dying churches that conclude they need one of two kinds of men to lead them to revitalize their church. Churches first pursue finding the next young, rock-star preacher to be their pastor, banking on his charisma will be what breathes life back into the church. The problem with this... Continue Reading

Overture 1: Pacific Northwest Presbytery

Amend BCO 15-1 and 15-3 to give Presbyteries the Additional Option of 3 Appointing a Judicial Commission Whose Decision Would Be Final

However, this strikes me as being essentially the same rationale that provided the PCA with its current Standing Judicial Commission of the General Assembly. While that seemed good at the time, there has developed a great deal of discomfort with the way it has worked out in the long run. As a result, my own... Continue Reading

Five Things Every Christian Should be Doing with God’s Word

Psalm 119 is one of the best examples of Scripture speaking about Scripture

Indeed, Jesus embodies all five of these characteristics.  He trusted, studied, used, delighted in, and obeyed God’s Word.  In fact, he did all these things even more than the first David.  While David certainly serves as an example of what to do with God’s word, Jesus is the ultimate example.  One greater than David has... Continue Reading

The Monstrous Beast of Pride and the Saving Power of the Cross

Pride is, in fact, the most dangerous, core, deadly sin in the life of any believer.

Pride is a most deadly spiritual sin, and humility is a most under-valued and yet essential virtue. I was going to say “especially in our contemporary culture,” but I’m not sure that’s true. Human beings have always been tripped up, led astray, enslaved and undone by excessive pride. What makes pride so bad? Think about... Continue Reading

“Q” Is Cool

The Evangelical movement is in theological crisis mode right now. Q's cool motto: "Stay Curious. Think Well. Advance Good," in this case, without serious scrutiny, can be costly.

This is theologically flawed! Both Jesus (Matthew 19:5) and Paul (Ephesians 5:31) cite Genesis 2:24 as normative for sexual ethics. What distorted machinations will bright minds employ to justify a subjectively chosen, culture-pleasing view of moral practice? I never thought I would live to read such unsustainable argumentation from the pens of so-called Evangelical scholars!... Continue Reading

The Free Church of Scotland General Assembly – Day 2

David Robertson was elected as Moderator of the General Assembly of the Free Church of Scotland

All in all it was a thrilling day – if somewhat bizarre.  The impression left on my heart is just simply that whether the footman at the door, the Lady at the table, or the beggar on the street – all of them need to hear about and be invited to, the Feast of the... Continue Reading