Veto Presbyterian Church in Vincent, Ohio Withdraws from PCUSA; Joins PCA

The Veto Presbyterian Church was received by the Ohio Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church in America on February 2, 2016.

On January 13, 2016, the session of Veto Presbyterian asked to join the Ohio Presbytery of the PCA as a mission church. On February 2,, with great joy, the Ohio Presbytery voted to receive Veto as a mission church of the Presbytery, with a provisional session of members of the session of Grace Presbyterian, Hudson,... Continue Reading

God’s Forgotten Libertarian

Machen butted heads with Princeton’s increasingly leftist faculty until he’d had enough

“Machen didn’t much care for politics. He saw it as inherently stifling and anti-individual. The idea that true Christianity was to even a small degree compatible with any form of statism — socialism, communism, or fascism — was, to Machen, a dangerous fiction.”   Of the Presbyterian theologian J. Gresham Machen (1881–1937), Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist... Continue Reading

Geneva College Names Twentieth President

Dr. Calvin L. Troup Becomes President Elect of Geneva College

Dr. Troup comes to Geneva from Duquesne University’s Department of Communication and Rhetorical Studies where he directed the university’s nationally-ranked Rhetoric Ph.D. Program. Before serving at Duquesne for 20 years, he also taught at Penn State in University Park, PA and Indiana University in Bloomington, IN. He graduated from Geneva College with a bachelor’s degree... Continue Reading

Do Not Put a Period Where J.I. Packer Puts An Exclamation Point

So this is the story of how J.I. Packer made me cry. Sort of.

“I worked out the pages from the FedEx pouch with fear and trembling and started thumbing through. Turns out I didn’t have much to worry about. Packer’s pen was light and friendly. Most of his corrections had to do with word choices or expansions of my thinking, adding the clarity and theological precision he has... Continue Reading

Six Ways Ministry Spouses Get Hurt

It is indeed tough to be in vocational ministry. But it’s also tough to be the spouse of these ministers.

“A worship minister shared with us this tragic story. He was caught up in some worship wars, an all too common reality. The worship leader, however, was pretty thick-skinned, and moved forward despite the criticisms. When the critics saw they were not making progress with the worship leader, they began to attack his wife with... Continue Reading

The Biblical Basis for the Spirituality of the Church

Paul appeals to his reader not on the basis of civil justice but on the principle of love

“At least one presbytery also received a motion for the PCA to publicly call for financial reparations from white people to African Americans in compensation for the institution of slavery that existed in America prior to 1865.  These actions would seem to oppose the spirituality of the church.”   Last week I posted a piece... Continue Reading

Old Princeton: Archibald Alexander, An Old Model For a New Paradigm

Alexander is a wonderful model for the pastor/scholar today

“During the years of his pastorate, Alexander preached often, led catechism classes for the youth, and yet still made time to answer Thomas Paine’s Deism.  During these years, he developed knowledge of textual criticism, continued to read his Greek Bible, he read one chapter from the Hebrew Bible per day, and read widely.”   What... Continue Reading

Do You Keep Your Commitments – Even When It Hurts?

The righteous man “swears to his own hurt and does not change,” according to Psalm 15:4

“I have been shocked by how easily some Christian leaders (even counselors) break their commitments. On the other hand, I have witnessed wonderful examples of Christian integrity.”   The righteous man “swears to his own hurt and does not change,” according to Psalm 15:4. A dear mentor first made me aware of this verse when... Continue Reading

“Gay Christian” Explains Why She Now Accepts Same-Sex Marriage

Rodgers’s explanation—like her previous one—is long on personal experience and short on Bible

If she has a reasoned biblical rationale for her views, she doesn’t really share it. In fact, she says that when she held to the traditional view, it wasn’t based as much on biblical teaching as it was on her trust in what certain Christian leaders were telling her. When she stopped trusting those leaders,... Continue Reading

Can We Trust the Four Gospels to Tell Us the Truth About Jesus? (Part 2 of 3)

It's become very commonplace to say that the Bible is full of errors and full of contradictions.

Approximately 40 lines out of ~20,000 lines in the New Testament text are in doubt, mostly the longer ending of Mark’s Gospel and the first 11 verses of John 8. So, the total number of seriously disputed lines in the New Testament is less than 1/2 of 1% of the total text. The New Testament... Continue Reading

How China’s One-Child Policy Led To Forced Abortions, 30 Million Bachelors

Fong explores the wide-ranging impact of what she calls the world's "most radical experiment" in her new book, One Child.

In a city setting they could maybe, if you worked for a [civil service-like] job they might threaten to fire you. … This is for having a child. If you went for a termination, all of this would go away. But, of course, then there were people who really wanted the child and then they... Continue Reading

Strangers And Aliens (15a): Turning The Other Cheek (1 Peter 3:8–12)

Peter’s approach is in sharp contrast to the way that post-19th century evangelicals and liberals have often talked about unity.

It is not possible to survey theological liberalism here but those liberals who continue to profess some degree of adherence to the Christianity usually redefine the faith in subjectivist terms. Christianity becomes the quest to recover Jesus’ religious experience. Doctrine becomes a metaphor for personal experience, not claims about objective truth and reality. Liberals have... Continue Reading

That Awkward Conversation

Have you ever been in a conversation with a person you care about who is recommending a so-called Christian book that you know is full of bad theology?

Let’s face it, we become defensive when our judgment is challenged. And who wants to be the continual Debbie Downer in the conversation? And yet at the same time, you want to help encourage people whom you care about to discerningly engage with the content of what they are reading. Truth is important and our... Continue Reading

What’d J’ya Say God?

When that little voice speaks in my head, is that the Spirit?

So we must be careful when talking about our inner voice and the Spirit’s speaking to us. The Bible tells us that the inner voice IS NOT the voice of the Spirit. Instead, the inner voice, as it grows more and more to echo, to repeat what the Bible says, is evidence to us that... Continue Reading

Secularization and the Sexual Revolution: Evangelical Theology and the Cultural Crisis (Part 1)

The challenge of the moral revolution threatens to shake the very foundations of Christianity in the United States and far beyond

Hobson is arguing that this moral revolution, having turned the tables of Christianity, now robs the Christian Church of the moral high ground it had previously claimed. The situation is fundamentally reversed. For the first time in the history of Western civilization, Christianity appears to be on the underside of morality, and those who hold... Continue Reading

Here Comes Trouble. Now What?

Here comes trouble. Cast them on Christ.

This family might be trouble, but they might also be fellow sinners saved by grace, on the road to the heavenly Jerusalem, and growing in Christ day-by-day. The Lord may yet soften and mature them, and he may do it in the very pews of your church. God is still turning the pages on their... Continue Reading

Wheaton Professor Who Said Muslims And Christians Worship The Same God Decides To Leave College

Wheaton College political science professor Larycia Hawkins has decided to part ways with the college.

“The Administration and Dr. Hawkins have come to a place of resolution and reconciliation,” Ryken said in his email. “With a mutual desire for God’s blessing, we have decided to part ways.” In a separate email to the faculty, Wheaton provost Stan Jones said in an email Saturday that he has withdrawn charges for firing... Continue Reading

Dead and Obese Substitutes

If I am not careful, I give faith, honor, glory, and worship to the church of Christ and not the Christ of the church.

As a minister, believe it or not, the church can be my Buddha; it can be my dead and obese idol of choice. The temptation is always before me to over-value increased membership, happy and unified elders, more and better facilities, additional staff, fantastic programs, theological degrees, blog readership stats, church fame, personal notoriety, hearing... Continue Reading

What the Bible Means to Me

This is my short chapter in What the Bible Means to Me published by Christian Focus.

Of course there are great difficulties in the Bible – what else would you expect? There is variety of genre, apparent (though not real) contradictions, and even the apostle Peter found some things hard to understand!   But as the living and enduring Word of God, it is still as fresh, and dynamic as the day... Continue Reading

‘Risen’: Hollywood Gets Jesus Right

Overall, this film provides a stunning portrayal of the events behind the Christian teaching that this one man, after being fully dead, was Risen.

Risen isn’t just thematically and historically accurate, it also succeeds as a film. Impressive cinematography captures each powerful scene…. Events unfold in front of a frantic, soaring score, adding even more depth of emotion to such stunning scenes. The pacing is spot on, between Roman questionings, the pursuit of fleeing Jews, and the contrasting peace... Continue Reading

Elbert McGowan Takes Helm at Jackson’s Redeemer PCA Church

Redeemer PCA in Jackson, Miss., calls Elbert McGowan as pastor.

When longtime Redeemer pastor Mike Campbell announced his departure in late 2015, McGowan’s name was immediately on the minds of many congregants as a possible successor. “Elbert preached a sermon before he was voted in, and people were just lit up — it was like electricity,” said pastoral assistant Steve Lanier. “Then he did another... Continue Reading

Can Social Justice Be Rescued?

This book promises to rescue the term from “its ideological captors” by clarifying “the true meaning of social justice.”

To end with one down-to-earth example: How is it that the most Catholic continent of all, South America, with an open field for continuously implementing Catholic social thought ever since 1891, should come into the twenty-first century with the second-largest population of truly poor persons on the planet? With so many structural deficiencies? For all... Continue Reading

Bad Homiletical Models of Expository Preaching

Despite the many books on preaching, bad homiletical models of expository preaching still exist

“Those who favor what is called redemptive-historical preaching tend to be deeply critical of expository preaching styles of the past. They regard the homiletical styles of Augustine and Calvin as guilty of mixing Judeo-Christian theology with classical pagan methodology in their use of the grammatico-historical hermeneutic.”   Despite the many books on preaching, bad homiletical... Continue Reading

NARAL: Little Sisters of the Poor ‘Not A Religious Enterprise’

Official at one of the top abortion groups in America: An order of Roman Catholic nuns does not qualify "a religious organization,"

Crane’s views have more traction with the federal government. The HHS regulation mandating free contraception defines a “religious employer” as a group that primarily employs and serves people of a given religion. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops argued, when the rule was released, that most religious organizations and people wouldn’t qualify for an exemption... Continue Reading

Having Trouble in Ministry? Just Face it. Literally.

I want to fear God and love people in such a way that when something comes along that is problematic that I fall on my face and petition the Lord

“Recently we have been reading through the Book of Numbers with the family. I have been struck by Moses’ response to the seemingly incessant grumbling and divisiveness by the people. Surely when God tells us that Moses was more humble than any who were living in his day (Num. 12.3) then we have something to... Continue Reading

Tor and the Trinity

It started with a hijab during Advent, and ends with a foundational lesson in the Trinity

The Second Vatican Council declared that Muslims profess “to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God.” Later: “Muslims worship God, who is one, the Creator of heaven and earth,” and said that the “Muslim religion” is “deserving of our admiration for all that is good and true... Continue Reading

Eavesdropping On Two Non-Christian Deathbeds

In the past week, two articles have given insights into how non-Christians face death

“When I read these articles I was struck by the contrast with so many Christian deathbeds that I’ve been present at. Yes, some Christians do look back with regret on parts of their lives, but they also know that all their sins, failings, shortcomings are covered with the blood of Christ.”   In the past... Continue Reading

Overture To PCUSA Seeks To Extract Apology From Those Following Biblical Teachings On Sexuality

A Presbyterian Church (USA) presbytery is asking the 222nd General Assembly to apologize to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning (LGBTQ/Q) community

The overture asks that the PCUSA affirm, confess and apologize for “the teachings and actions that have created marginalization of our sisters and brothers, adding to the erroneous belief that people who identify as LGBTQ/Q should be considered unworthy to serve fully or be honored as family within and without the church.”   A Presbyterian... Continue Reading

Which Christianity?

It may look like a church, sing like a church, have stained-glass like a church, and call itself a church, but be careful: It might not be a church.

“J. Gresham Machen recognized nearly a century ago that some views that go by the  name Christianity are really a different religion altogether. Like the African bishops, orthodox believers everywhere need to be prepared to distance ourselves—not from people, but from a secular agenda masquerading as Christianity.”   The big religion story of last year?... Continue Reading

5 Things That Are a Total Waste of Time in Leadership

How do you eliminate things that are a total waste of time as a leader?

“When you’re starting up, everything happens in a frenzy and making it to your next weekend or next milestone is itself a victory. You don’t have time to manage well because you’re so busy creating. But eventually, every organization gets out of start-up phase. Which means you have more time for managing.”   You know the scenario.... Continue Reading