The Closing of Discussion in the Public Square: Bowing to the New Social Orthodoxy

Homosexualist advocates are driving out of the public square with abusive rhetoric and the teeth of "sexual orientation" laws anyone who calls into question their agenda

In most mainline seminaries today candidates for faculty positions who are known to have published in favor of the scriptural and orthodox position on male-female marriage will not be hired. It is even less likely that candidates for faculty positions in secular colleges and universities will be hired. After all, institutions of higher learning cannot... Continue Reading

What Led You To Become An Atheist? Some Surprising Answers

Surprising answers creating a completely unexpected composite sketch of American college-aged atheists

They felt their churches offered superficial answers to life’s difficult questions: Churches did not address questions like creation v evolution, sexuality, reliability of the Bible, purpose of life, etc. Messages were bland, shallow, irrelevant, and boring….Ages 14-17 were decisive: Most embraced unbelief in the high school years.   What leads people away from religion and into atheism?... Continue Reading

A Beginner’s Guide to Singing the Psalms for Corporate Worship

If the idea of singing the Psalms for corporate worship is a daunting our outdated proposition, here’s some practical help

Why should we care about singing the Psalms in corporate worship in the 21st century? First, because the Psalms are a divinely-inspired school of prayer. Then also realize that they offer a point of contact with nearly every human experience: from desolation to gratitude, loneliness to community, anger to joy.   If the idea of singing the... Continue Reading

Quarantine Laws and the Bible

As the Westminster Confession puts it, the “general equity” of the Old Testament law does inform us as Christians living under the New Covenant

I do think that it is important to remember that these quarantine laws were simply the application of another law recorded in Leviticus 19:18 — that  every Israelite was to “love your neighbor as yourself, I am the Lord.”  The royal law of Christ was not new when he gave it.  Christ was drawing this... Continue Reading

Does Spiritual Formation Work? Answers from Haggai

“Spiritual formation” is a hot topic today. But does it work? The Old Testament prophet Haggai would answer no

The solution to our spiritual disease is not spiritual formation.  The change we really need is a new heart and the “health” of Jesus Christ. Perfect attendance to spiritual practices does not overcome our sinful nature — that requires the grace of God and the blood of Jesus Christ.   “Spiritual formation” is a hot... Continue Reading

10 Things That We Hate About Bad ‘Leaders’

Have you ever found that you look to the person in charge and think, “How on Earth did they get that role?”

We have all heard of the Peter Principle – namely that people get promoted to the level of his or her incompetence. This may well give us an insight into why organizations can be bereft of leadership. But poor leaders are not just incompetent, they can be downright destructive. They are often driven by self-serving... Continue Reading

Good News For The Naked Public University

Christian study centers are emerging from the epistemological rubble of our naked public universities

We noted together that universities specialize in small and medium-sized questions, and have largely removed the big questions from consideration, except in philosophy or perhaps classics. The logic of academic specialization means that we have our disciplinary logics, ground rules, and accepted theories that define what we count as proper. Academics have no higher allegiance... Continue Reading

A Response to Iain H. Murray’s “Expository Preaching—‘Time for Caution’”

Consecutive or systematic exposition of Scripture done well is strengthens the people of God

As with so many other issues in church life, a valid protest—if, in fact, Mr. Murray’s caution is that—does not presume the validity of the proposed solution. The belief accordingly remains untouched, for this writer at least, that consecutive or systematic exposition is the most effective way of declaring the whole revealed counsel of God... Continue Reading

Meeting Jesus at the Prayer Meeting

When we are too distracted or sleepy in the prayer meeting, it is good to remember that we are not praying alone

As we met last night for prayer we weren’t meeting alone. We were meeting with Jesus. Our own prayers for conversions, growth, preservation, fellowship, joy, unity, faithfulness, and the glory of God are simply the “Amen” we utter in response to the continual intercession of Jesus Christ the only mediator between God and man. When that... Continue Reading

Houston To Drop Pastor Subpoenas

The City of Houston will withdraw its controversial subpoenas of five pastors tied to a lawsuit over the city's equal rights ordinance

I didn’t do this to satisfy them,” Parker said of critics. “I did it because it was not serving Houston.” Parker’s administration already had withdrawn its request for some of the pastors’ sermons, which proved a particular flashpoint, and the clergy said Tuesday she seemed to be considering whether to remove the subpoenas altogether.  ... Continue Reading

High Maintenance Christians Are Better Than Nice Ones

“It costs God nothing, so far as we know, to create nice things; but to convert rebellious wills costs Him crucifixion.” ---C.S. Lewis

He spoke the world into existence knowing the cost. He came in the flesh knowing the cost. Jesus knew the cost when he made the promise with the Father and the Spirit before the world began. He didn’t come to save nice things or nice people. He didn’t make a promise to redeem nice, low... Continue Reading

God, Without the Fuss

It's the Bless-Me Club. It is self-help, and that kind of message plays very well in America.

“The reason [Osteen is] so popular is because of the spiritual infantilism of America. Not just spiritual, the infantilism of American culture,” Anthony says. “And he feeds the Paris Hilton, Britney Spears culture. It’s all me. Benefit me. What can I do for me? How can I feel better? What can I do about me?... Continue Reading

7 Wrong Reasons to Join a Church

What are some important considerations in choosing a church?

Committing yourself and your family to a local church is one of the most important decisions you will ever make this side of eternity; and yet, for all the weightiness of it, it is a decision to which the larger part of church attenders have given little to no thought. Over the past three decades, I... Continue Reading

Can You Be Happy in Every Circumstance?

“God can make you happy in any circumstances. Without him nothing can.” Andrew Bonar

Christians weep and sorrow too. However, the Christian battles against that sadness by faith, and gradually and slowly begins to win the victory, to see the good hand of God, to sense the Father’s love, to experience the Savior’s sympathy, and to enjoy the Spirit’s comfort. As faith strengthens, so does joy, so that even... Continue Reading

What Luther Says to this Confessional Age

Oprah style confessions, now so popular among Christians, are what Luther would have regarded as a form of human righteousness

Our confessional age is an age where the baring of souls is seen as an act which makes the confessor vulnerable or ‘authentic’ and thus serves ironically to enhance their authority or invulnerability. That might sound strange, but who in this present age can criticize the person who has told the world that they suffered... Continue Reading

Protestantism’s Birthday – A New 95 Theses Needed

We need a New Reformation. We need “Scripture Alone” as our guide again.

Do we see denominations inventing and “discovering” their own doctrines? Do we see churches bending their theology in order to fill the pews? Do we see widespread moral failings in the clergy – everything from pedophilia to homosexual encounters? Do we see story after story in the news about financial shenanigans? How many churches wallow... Continue Reading

The Progressive Evangelical Package

There may not be a Progressive Gospel(s) Federation with explicit standards we can look to, but there are certain tenets

Many of us labor under the illusion that the progressive package, the party line, doesn’t exist. Some of those within the camp take its putative diversity and ideological inclusiveness as a point of pride. I suppose for them my aim is to pop their balloon. For others floating within progressivism’s orbit but not yet diving... Continue Reading

Is There Any Point in Trying?

Do you really try everyday to make serious progress in righteousness?

Yet we struggle don’t we? We strain even to do the simplest of things when it comes to disciplining ourselves in this new life. We’d rather play the game of mimicking second and third hand Christian activity than lay bare our souls to the radical work of God’s grace. Sin, which no longer has any... Continue Reading

Is the Noah Account Just One Myth Among Many?

Genesis 6-9 and Ancient Near Eastern Flood Stories

Early in 2014, the news headlines were all abuzz with the “ground-breaking” discovery of a Mesopotamian flood account that featured a round ark. “Ahhhh, yes,” arm-chair critics beamed, “we always knew that the biblical story couldn’t be true. Here is proof that Genesis 6-9 is just one myth among many.” Besides the fact that ancient... Continue Reading

10 Things I Wish Everyone Knew About Reformed Theology

Is Calvinism the cold, rigid approach to Christianity it’s made out to be?

“Reformed theology reorients the believer to a God-centered view of reality. As Michael Horton writes, “God is not a supporting actor in our life movie. We exist for his purposes, not the other way around.” The end purpose of human life is to glorify God. The reason this isn’t bleak for us is that God is glorified... Continue Reading

7 Reasons Church Isn’t For You

Maybe I am the first to say, out loud, what a lot of pastors would like to say: church isn’t for you

“Sometimes we forget why we are ‘The Church’ in the first place. Sometimes we treat the church like all the other things we consume daily in our lives, and so we try to shape and form the church in our own image. We want a church that meets our preferences, like personalized settings on our... Continue Reading

The Holy Spirit And The Word Of God

The writing of Scripture comes neither by human motive nor human creativity

“In short, the prophetic Word is the Word of God. More precisely, the words of Scripture are the product of the Holy Spirit. And herein lies the critical point. Scripture is to be trusted because of its Author. To speak of the Word of God is to speak of the Spirit’s product, and the Spirit... Continue Reading

It’s Not Gay: Examining Liberation From Lifestyle Bondage

Christian songwriter Dennis Jernigan reflected upon his past while receiving the Courage Award for Former Homosexuals at the Second Annual Ex-Gay Awareness Month Conference

“Christians are called to  “have the ministry of reconciliation,” Jernigan stated during the post-screening discussion. Yet Jernigan draws the line at allowing a homosexual cousin to bring his partner to the Jernigan home in order to protect his family. A “real possibility” cited by Jernigan in Sing over Me, meanwhile, is that “hate speech” accusations will come... Continue Reading

In Alabama, Religiously ‘Unaffiliated’ Now Surpass Major Religious Group

The percentage of Alabamians not affiliated with a specific religion surpasses the percentage of white mainline Protestants, ranking it third among "religious" groups

“The American Values Atlas was compiled by the Public Religion Research Institute and Social Science Research Solutions, and was released in late September. It found that 14 percent of Alabamians describe themselves as “unaffiliated” when asked about their religious tradition. The “unaffiliated” category ranks third behind white evangelical Protestants (36 percent) and black Protestants (18 percent).”   The... Continue Reading

Union With Christ: A Matter Of Spiritual Life And Death

Union with Christ is one of the central theological principles of the Christian faith

“Christ is in us and we are in Christ. The two sides of this mutual relationship sometimes appear together in Scripture. For example, in teaching His disciples about the vine and the branches—a metaphor for union with Christ—Jesus said, “Abide in me, and I in you” (John 15:4). Similarly, the apostle John described union with... Continue Reading

Gay Marriage: No One Expects The Secular Inquisition

Except that we did expect it. In fact, it’s inherent in the fundamental basis of the left’s arguments

“The test of liberty isn’t what happens to people who agree with the intent of a particular edict. The test is what happens to people who disagree. That brings us to the reason why gay rights advocates insisted on the government granting same-sex unions the title of “marriage.” The theory behind this was that homosexuals... Continue Reading

A Biblical Theology Of The Wilderness

When we fix our eyes on Christ crucified, we see how the wilderness of this world is already being restored to a Garden-Paradise and will one day gloriously manifest itself fully in the New Heavens and the New Earth

“Israel’s wandering in the wilderness serves as a typological picture of the New Covenant church’s wandering through the wilderness of this world on the way to the Heavenly Canaan. Hebrews 3-4 and 1 Corinthians 10:1-13 make the experience of Israel in the wilderness analogous to the New Covenant church’s experience in the world.”   In elementary school, one... Continue Reading

Putting To Rest A Bad Argument: Marriage Law And Sex Discrimination

Marriage laws use a criterion necessarily linked to a good social purpose that we didn’t just invent

“The primary question regarding the definition of marriage is not whether any particular class of individuals (gay, straight, male, female) has a special link to the common good, but whether certain couples do. And it shifts the burden of proof onto those who would find no such link.”   When will the Supreme Court rule... Continue Reading

What David Gushee’s Change of Heart Really Means

Ethicist David Gushee no longer believes homosexual, bisexual, or transgender behavior to be sinful

This is no surprise for those who have been following David Gushee’s career. He’s been on a leftward slide for many years now on a range of issues. That he is making this announcement now shocks no one. In fact, earlier this year Gushee endorsed a book making revisionist arguments about the Bible and homosexuality.... Continue Reading

Matt Recker and The Gospel Coalition: Inerrancy and Creationism

How much damage do progressive creationism, theistic evolution, and old-earth cosmogony wreak upon the system of Christian faith?

On the one hand, Keller can technically claim that he has not denied the inerrancy of Scripture—much as Richard M. Nixon, in his resignation address, claimed that “technically I did not commit a crime.” On the other hand, his teaching about origins is such a serious distortion of what Scripture actually says that one is... Continue Reading