Nothing In, Nothing Out

We brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.

When you are thinking of the judgment: We check everything at the grave. When the multi-billionaire John D. Rockefeller died, his assistant was asked, “How much did he leave?” “Everything,” he replied. Why not print this verse and stick it on everything you have or want: “We brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing... Continue Reading

Keeping Gossip Out of Prayer Requests

How do we keep gossip out of our prayer ministries?

Anyone can be tempted to gossip. But we can avoid it if we slow down and evaluate whether we are the right person, with the right motivation, talking to the right audience with the right information. A good prayer request comes from the good stored up in a good heart, and one day, we’ll all... Continue Reading

This Is The Last Post You Will Ever Need To Read On Why They Don’t Sing In Church Anymore

This is NOT the last post you will ever need to read on how to get churches to sing once again, but we do need long-term conversations on this

We may not be able to turn the tide in the rest of our culture, but with intentionality over the next generations, we can change the culture of singing in the church. This is not a non-essential of faith. This is not adiaphora. This is important stuff. If the ancient principal of lex orandi, lex credendi is true, if... Continue Reading

Where Did All The Preachers Go, And What Did You Do To Them?

The relationship between the minister and his congregation can be quite thrilling; at other times the relationship can be quite chilling.

Bottom line, do you want the sort of minister that gives you what you need, or the charlatan who gives you what you want? And what will be your response to the faithful man of God who week-in and week-out unflinchingly proclaims God’s Word in your hearing? Will you judge him for being too long? Will you condemn... Continue Reading

You Can Trust Scientific Research Reports (We Think; We Hope)

We should be properly skeptical of the scientific claims. How can we be more informed consumers of research claims?

It is always wise and prudent to be skeptical about scientific research. Good science gives us valuable new insights into the world in which we live. Nevertheless, even when properly conducted, science does not yield “proof.” The testing of hypotheses is based on statistics and probabilities. Scientific research always includes some probability that the findings... Continue Reading

The Errors Of Liberation Theology

Marxism has infected, and often poisoned, Latin American Christianity through aberrant forms of liberation theology.

Liberation theology arose in the 1960s and 70s as a response to the widespread poverty and injustice in Latin America. It began with the Gospel premise that Christians have a special obligation to help the poor. But like so many theological movements which depart from sound Catholic principles   When Evo Morales, the President of... Continue Reading

One Simple Way To Encourage Your Pastor

A little bit of encouragement will go a lot farther than you think.

Don’t worry about his head getting too big. The Lord knows how to keep his pastors humble so you can worry about keeping your pastor going. Who knows what season of doubt your minister may be enduring? Who knows what discouragement constantly plagues him? Who knows how close he may be to leaving the ministry... Continue Reading

How Rich Corporate Elites Are Lobbying Lawmakers to Crush Marriage Advocates

What do you do when you can’t persuade the American people to embrace your values? Use government coercion to impose those values on people.

The basic idea is that LGBT activists couldn’t persuade a majority of citizens to vote to redefine marriage, so they got five unelected judges to redefine marriage for the entire country. Now, they’re using corporate giants to pressure lawmakers in D.C. to enact legislation that would eliminate any dissent. It gets worse. What do you... Continue Reading

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, Columbus, Ga., 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 Columbus, Ga., 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... 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