‘Heaven Is For Real’ — NOT!

To accept this story without comparing it to Scripture is foolishness and is an open door for all kinds of fanciful doctrines that the world may conjure up for the masses.

The point being, if you want to know what heaven is like, and know it for real, read the Bible. What the Bible tells us about heaven is authoritative. It is not speculation or imagination. It is what Jesus told us it would be.   I was driving home today listening to Sean Hannity and his... Continue Reading

Are Christians in America Persecuted?

There are at least four reasons it's important we realize that Christians in America will be, and often are being, persecuted.

Persecution is not something that befalls only a few Christians. While it’s possible to read Jesus’ words in John 15:20 as a unique promise for the apostles, the passage from 2 Timothy cannot be read so narrowly. The point is plain: while martyrdom is a special category set aside for a select number of Christians... Continue Reading

What Does Liberal Christianity Offer Millennials?

The Church will only succeed if it continues to offer the same services it has rendered for the past 2,000 years

What do liberal Christians think these churches have to offer millennials? Social Justice? The Democratic Party offers that. Perhaps lessons in responsible treatment of the Environment? We are supplied a constant dose from Chipotle and Starbucks. Maybe it is the wonderful good news of progress and equality? Alas, we have had that rammed down our... Continue Reading

The Goat and the Cross {An Easter Story}

What can compare with a sacrifice that exchanges sin and blood for life and redemption?

A Cross awaits this Lamb, and He is placed on it.  High above the city, so that all can see His shame, but only some feel it.  He bleeds and hangs, and all the while He loves.  And the sacrifice of the goat looks so tame now.   It is morning in the camp.  The... Continue Reading

Don’t Blame Evangelicals for the Cult of the Virgin

Making an idol out of virginity is a problem that's much bigger than evangelicalism

Christians, of course, are commanded to live chaste lives before and during marriage. But when we decontextualize the purpose and meaning of virginity or attempt to promote it through guilt or gimmicks, the church reflects ancient myths and modern fetishes more than biblical principles.   Even in the midst of a sexual revolution, of a generation drawn to open... Continue Reading

It’s Back — The “Gospel of Jesus’s Wife” and the State of Modern Scholarship

So much of what is presented as modern biblical and theological scholarship is an effort to destroy the very idea of orthodox Christianity

As a matter of fact, the pattern of marginalizing false renderings of Jesus is found even in the New Testament, where the apostles are continuously defending one understanding of Christ and rejecting all others. The apostles unapologetically rejected false teachings about Christ and argued for what the Apostle Paul called the “pattern of sound words.” ... Continue Reading

Slaughtering Conventional History’s Sacred Cows

An excerpt from Rodney Stark’s How the West Won: The Neglected Story of the Triumph of Modernity

Belief in the Dark Ages remains so persistent that it seems appropriate to begin by quickly revealing that this is a myth made up by eighteenth-century intellectuals determined to slander Christianity and to celebrate their own sagacity.   Historian Rodney Stark writes books that are models of popularly accessible scholarly writing. After reporting for the Oakland... Continue Reading

On Pretty Dresses

Why we should still compliment little girls on pretty dresses

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post explaining why I don’t talk to girls at church about their clothing. One loyal reader (okay, my dad) took the time to write a thoughtful critique of my argument, making a well-reasoned case for why we should acknowledge the prettiness of frilly dresses and the handsomeness of... Continue Reading

Update: I Will Praise You In This Storm — Mom Has Baby Boy A Week After Tornado Destroys Home

A week ago around 4:00 a tornado 200-300 yards wide tore down Beech Ridge Road in Beaufort County, North Carolina

About half way to the ditch Carla felt the wind pick up and said she realized they wouldn’t make it. She lay down and covered Hannah as the tornado swept over. Carla tries to describe what happened during the next few seconds but says she doesn’t entirely know. What she does know is that she... Continue Reading

Sexual Atheism: Christian Dating Data Reveals a Deeper Spiritual Malaise

We must graciously but prophetically call out the shortsightedness of Christians who are borrowing trouble sexually and sinning against God and others in the process through our messaging and ministries.

“While Christian singles report praying and church attendance are highly desirable qualities in the dating matrix, a troubling and confusing dichotomy arises when the issue of sex before marriage presents itself. Specifically, single Christians enter a sexual fog. That fog clouds and hides the reality that an identity rooted in Christ should manifest itself in intelligent... Continue Reading

The “Godfather” of Black Expository Preaching: Tribute to A. Louis Patterson, Jr.

Now that he has gone on to be with the Lord, I wanted to pay my respects to a “Prince of Preachers” who looks like me

“It wasn’t until I took a trek down to the E.K. Bailey Expository Preaching Conference that I found the “great hall of African-American expository preachers,” and found out that A. Louis Patterson Jr. was one of the men who had blazed the trail.  Men from all over paid homage to the living legend.  All attested... Continue Reading

High Noon At Bryan College

The board of trustees meets over the controversy surrounding the school’s statement of faith

“The key debate here concerns the historicity of Adam, created—according to Chapter 2 of Genesis—by God’s special formative act. Bryan’s situation is not unique: Professors at many Christian colleges, often influenced by the BioLogos Foundation, contend that God worked through evolution to produce Adam. Some say there were many Adams, others suggest that God made... Continue Reading

What Does It Mean to Know Nothing Except Christ and Him Crucified?

In a very real sense, the cross crystallizes the essence of the ministry of Jesus

“The words crucial and crux both have their root in the Latin word for “cross,” crux, and they have come into the English language with their current meanings because the concept of the cross is at the very center and core of biblical Christianity. In a very real sense, the cross crystallizes the essence of... Continue Reading

“We Face Attacks If C Of E Mariage Policy Changes”

The Church of England blessing gay marriages will be dangerous for the Church in South Sudan

“Returning to the subject later, he said: “What was said was that ‘If we leave a Christian community in this area’ – I am quoting them – ‘we will all be made to become homosexual; so we are going to kill the Christians.’ The mass grave had 369 bodies in it, and I was standing... Continue Reading

9 Things You Should Know About The Rwandan Genocide

Nine things you should know about one of the most horrific seasons of slaughter in modern times

“Local Rwandan radios would use propaganda to incite Hutus to violence. Broadcasts included such statements as, “You have to kill the Tutsis, they’re cockroaches. We must all fight the Tutsis. We must finish with them, exterminate them, sweep them from the whole country. There must be no refuge for them.”   This week marks the... Continue Reading

First Gay Clergyman To Wed Plunges Church Into Crisis: Archbishop Under Pressure To Sack Canon Who Flouted Ban On Same Sex Marriage

Canon Jeremy Pemberton married Laurence Cunnington under new laws pushed through last month

“But Canon Pemberton, 58, now faces disciplinary action from the Church and could be expelled from his work as a priest because the House of Bishops has barred clergy from entering such unions, saying they undermine its traditional teaching that marriage should only be between a man and a woman.”   A senior Church of... Continue Reading

The False Teachers: Marcus Borg

The life and legacy of a man who assumed and further developed theological Liberalism

“In 1985 Robert Funk founded the Jesus Seminar, a group of 150 critical scholars who were tasked with re-examining the traditions surrounding the historicity of Jesus, and in particular, his deeds and his sayings. Among these scholars was Marcus Borg. The scholars employed social anthropology, history and textual analysis to attempt to reconstruct Jesus’ life... Continue Reading

10 Facts About Biblical Diversity

Lessons from Trillia Newbell’s book, United: Captured by God’s Vision for Diversity

I’ve just finished re-reading Trillia Newbell’s book, United: Captured by God’s Vision for Diversity (only $2.99 on Kindle today!). It’s an excellent introduction to the duty and delight of building more diversity into our lives and churches. I want to recommend it to you by highlighting ten major lessons I carried away from the book. 1. Biblical diversity... Continue Reading

Religious Freedom Wins in Mississippi

Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant (R) signed into law the state’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act

Protections for religious freedom, like the one passed in Mississippi, provide a commonsense way to balance the fundamental right to religious liberty with compelling government interests. There will be times when a state or federal government can show it has a compelling reason for burdening religious expression—to ensure public safety, for instance. But RFRAs set... Continue Reading

The Trap of Worry

The problem with worry - like doubt, it's God-forgetful.

Why did this happen? I don’t know, but God does. Could I have prevented it? Maybe not, but God could have and chose not to. What will the outcome be? I don’t know, but God does. Do I have what it takes to make it through? No, but God is with me every step of... Continue Reading

How to Deal with False Teachers

Those who persist in false teaching present grave spiritual danger and must be opposed.

What should our motive be in bringing confrontation? The scripture tells us that we ought to have in mind the best interests of both the flock and the false teachers. Public confrontation ought to be animated by a desire to protect God’s people from being led astray by teaching that is spiritually and morally harmful... Continue Reading

Let Them Eat Dirt

Undoing the guilt, delusion, and obsession of today’s parents.

I cannot manage every risk for my children. But in managing some of their own, they will learn to depend on God. We can teach our kids the honest laments of the psalms, “How long, O Lord?” (Psalm 35:17). Life in this world hurts, God. We can teach them to look for his gracious answer—his... Continue Reading

10 Things Pastors Hate to Admit Publicly

Insight into some challenges pastors face

Numbers don’t matter! Yeah right. No matter how badly we want to slap that bumper sticker on our Ford the reality is that numbers matter to us. And they matter to us it part because they matter to God. The problem however goes back to #1-3. The absence of growth in our churches can cascade... Continue Reading

Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven Is at Hand

There are few things more important in life than repentance.

If we preach a “gospel” with no call to repentance we are preaching something other than the apostolic gospel. If we knowing allow unconcerned, impenitent sinners into the membership and ministry of the church, we are deceiving their souls and putting ours at risk as well. If we think people can find a Savior without... Continue Reading

Good News, Fellas! Only Women Are Required To Be Modest, Apparently

Modesty is much bigger than a dress code

Meanwhile, men who stare at women are guilty of immodesty, regardless of what the woman is wearing. It’s true that she really should take into account the struggles and weaknesses of those around her, and try humbly to avoid being a stumbling block. But I think this “stumbling block” rationale sometimes falls flat because it... Continue Reading

Sex After Christianity

Gay marriage is not just a social revolution but a cosmological one.

Gay marriage signifies the final triumph of the Sexual Revolution and the dethroning of Christianity because it denies the core concept of Christian anthropology. In classical Christian teaching, the divinely sanctioned union of male and female is an icon of the relationship of Christ to His church and ultimately of God to His creation. This... Continue Reading

Biblical Worship Is Trans-Generational

When it comes to the worship of God, what matters is not what any one particular person or generation desires

Healthy churches should be comprised of people in every generation. When church leaders seek to do whatever is necessary to pull in more of the younger crowd (such as Millennials), they run the risk of pushing out people in other generations before them, and therefore create an unbalanced church ministry. The Millennial generation is not... Continue Reading

Colorado Springs Teacher Goes Public With Reasons For Resignation

The resignation letter underscores issues surrounding the Common Core standards and how one size doesn’t fit all

“I can no longer be a part of a system that continues to do the exact opposite of what I am supposed to do as a teacher – I am supposed to help them think for themselves, help them find solutions to problems, help them become productive members of society. Instead, the emphasis is on... Continue Reading

“A Strong Black Woman”: Reflections On Feminism And Womanhood

In our culture, it isn’t enough for women to be smart. They have to prove it.

The answer for a young black woman trying to be what the world needed more of isn’t to shove her gifts in a hole. I tried that, in a drastic pendulum swing from my “something to prove” mindset. Blessedly, my parents weren’t buying it, and encouraged me to cultivate those gifts, not in the context... Continue Reading

The Politics of St. Paul

Is rebellion ever justified? Reform movements? Civil disobedience? Tax protests? Change?

In his epistles, St. Paul tells servants to treat their masters well and vice versa. There are no appeals for “social justice,” equality of status, or redistribution of wealth. In addition to the famous passage in Romans, Paul exhorts Christians to pray for all in positions of authority (I Timothy 2:1-4). These are not the... Continue Reading