California Orders Churches to Fund Abortions – Or Else

A regulatory change in California has placed abortion in the category of ‘basic health services’ all insurance plans must cover. Even those that churches buy.

Several other California churches have received similar notices from their insurers, and others will follow. While California (like the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, or HHS) exempts churches from its contraceptive mandate, there is no exception to this bureaucratic abortion mandate. This leaves California churches in the illogical and impossible position of being free... Continue Reading

10 Reasons I Quit Competitive Parenting

Resigning from the sport of competitive parenting

So there you have it: just ten of the reasons why I feel like I’m losing at this sport of competitive parenting. So I’m done. I quit. I’m exhausted and just can’t do it anymore….To the rest of you parents who are as tired of the rat race as I am, won’t you join me... Continue Reading

When Jesus Calls You Satan

We sin like Peter when we refuse to accept those mysterious and hard-to-swallow truths

So what is Peter’s error? What is Peter’s sin? What was Peter’s thinking that smelled like smoke and resulted in the reprimand of Christ, “Get behind me, Satan!” Peter’s error is his refusal to accept persecution, pain, destruction, and death as part of God’s best plan for advancing His glory and expanding His Kingdom.   Peter... Continue Reading

The Defense of Marriage Isn’t Over

The Supreme Court’s action is a setback for sound constitutional self-government and for a healthy marriage culture. So where do we go from here?

Whatever the law or culture may say, we must commit now to witness to the truth about marriage: that men and women are distinct and complementary, that it takes a man and a woman to bring a child into the world, and that children deserve a chance to grow up with a mom and a... Continue Reading

Leadership: American Style

The flaws of two men who excelled due to their charisma and ability to connect with “the people” : Bill Clinton and Mark Driscoll

The similarities between Clinton and Driscoll’s trajectories to leadership should disturb us, for they reveal something troubling about the nature of “successful” church leadership in American evangelical circles.  The common denominator is an ability to communicate effectively, connecting with the people through dynamic speaking and charismatic leadership.  Such skills cover a multitude of sins in... Continue Reading

The D-word Is Coming To A Campus Near You

Colleges continue to kick Christian clubs off campus for ‘discrimination’ in leadership

Where do legitimate limits of “sameness” end? In campus life—or public life, for that matter—what makes for healthy diversity? If universities are one of our foremost training grounds for citizenship, and if their purpose is not only to prepare students to earn a living but also to live well amidst a diverse democracy, how should... Continue Reading

Reconciliation or Justice?

We can't have reconciliation in its truest sense without justice

Forgiveness does not mean leaving the helpless undefended, and the refusal to call power to the acknowledgement of truth and justice is an abandonment of the very ones God calls us to champion.  Oppression hides behind self-justification, excuses, rules, systems, etc.  Truth must dismantle everything that allows unjust outcomes and love must bridge the breach... Continue Reading

An Ontology of Marriage

Marriage is “between a man and a woman,;” it’s better to define it as being between a “husband and wife;” this is closer to a tautology and analytically true

A husband without a wife is a contradiction — it is ontological nonsense. A wife without a husband is impossible — an ontological absurdity. A marriage without a husband or a wife is a contravention — an ontological irrationality. A female husband or a male wife, likewise, falls into the category of the absurd. And... Continue Reading

Single Americans Are Rapidly Multiplying

Kiley Crossland

Although the number of divorced, separated, or widowed singles has increased since the 1970s, the larger increase, from 22.1 percent to more than 30 percent, came from a growing number of singles who never marry, Yardeni found. Some argue this increase is the result of more couples deciding to cohabitate instead of marry.   (WNS)–Singles... Continue Reading

Mars Hill Church Board of Elders: Mark Driscoll Resigned Instead of Entering a Restoration Plan

More questions over Mark Driscoll's resignation

This statement does not address the reasons Driscoll was asked to step away from the pulpit. Did the BoE report disqualify him or not? Having a restoration plan certainly sounds like disqualification. From what would Driscoll need to be restored, if not disqualification? Since the congregation is footing the bill for the severance, shouldn’t they... Continue Reading

Hillsong: We Haven’t Shifted After All

Is it wrong to expect the pastor of one of the world’s most influential churches to have a sound theology of sexuality and marriage—and to offer it when asked?

I think this is a teaching moment for Christian leaders. The refusal to speak clearly when asked remains a problem, which is what precipitated this to begin with. Given that this issue may be the hottest cultural topic and given the swiftness with which society and, increasingly, the courts have accepted gay marriage, prominent Christian... Continue Reading

Pick on Someone Your Own Size

Thoughts on "domestic discipline"

I knew someone once who told me (quite unashamedly) that he did this, on the alleged basis that the Bible encourages it. Ephesians says marriage is like the relationship between Christ and the church, he told me. And since Christ disciplines the church, ergo he should physically discipline his wife, especially when she was displeasing... Continue Reading

Pray for the Pastor’s Wife: Love

Each pastor’s wife will encounter individuals she finds it difficult to love. Pray that, in the strength of Christ, she will.

I have a friend who frequently asks me , “Would you pray that I could be what my husband and kids need?” Every time she asks, I am freshly astounded by her humility and love. She is a very gifted woman who would have much to offer her family. She understands the Scriptures, the human... Continue Reading

The Old Testament in the New Testament

8 points on the relationship between the Testaments

In many cases the NT writers, illumined by the Holy Spirit, perceived with greater clarity than the OT writers themselves God’s intended meaning behind some prophecies.  What the prophets had seen only dimly and in terms of general principle, the NT writers saw in the glowing light of fulfillment in a perspective in which a... Continue Reading

Jonathan Edwards (Christian Biographies for Young Readers) by Simonetta Carr

The Christian Biographies for Young Readers series introduces children to key figures from church history

This book is a joy to page through. Full color illustrations, photographs, portraits and maps, buildings and vistas appear at the appropriate time on each page. After the biographical sketch, a time line of Edward’s life is included, as is an excerpt from a letter to one of his daughters. Also included is a “Did... Continue Reading

Five Ways to Glorify God While You Wait

There is a sovereign purpose behind our in-between.

Whatever our in-betweens are, how do we live while we wait? How do we wait for God to act, to answer prayer, to move in the desperation of our lives? How do we live by faith while we wait to hear if we need another test, for the long hoped for engagement ring, for the... Continue Reading

The Hopeless Marriage

Hopelessness is a small step from spiritual neediness, which is the foundation of all change

Most marriages have times when one spouse does not like the other, and the dislike is usually mutual—at least my “friends” tell me that is accurate, though I’m confident that even when my wife thinks she doesn’t like me, she secretly—very secretly—likes me. For some of us, these times happen less frequently and we manage... Continue Reading

Why Abraham Was Right

A Reply to Rachel Held Evans's post "I Would Fail the Abraham Test"

Having asked some questions regarding Rachel Held Evans’ view of God, let me take my own stab at this subject.  For I pray that I would pass Abraham’s test and I applaud Abraham for doing so.  Evans states that while she is not yet a mother, she knows “deep in my gut” she would sooner... Continue Reading

Idaho Ministers Sue To Prevent Gay Weddings At For-Profit Wedding Chapel

Owners of an Idaho wedding chapel have filed suit against officials in Coeur d’Alene, claiming the city is unconstitutionally forcing them to violate their religious beliefs by performing same-sex marriages

Pastors have raised concerns about being forced to conduct same-sex weddings, though most experts call that concern a red herring. The lawsuit in Idaho raises a larger question of whether ordained ministers who run a for-profit business conducting weddings can be required to conduct same-sex weddings under nondiscrimination laws.   (RNS) The owners of an Idaho wedding chapel... Continue Reading

7 Things Your Church Needs From You

Here are seven ways you can serve, honor, and help grow your local church

“Every church has people who make the public gatherings of the church a low priority. These are the people who only come to church when it is convenient and who use any excuse to miss a day or miss a service. Every church desperately needs people who will make the public gatherings a top priority.... Continue Reading

Practical Principles Of Biblical Interpretation

The supreme arbiter in interpreting a verse's meaning is the overall teaching of the Bible

“Our assumption is that God, because of His omniscience, would never be guilty of contradicting Himself. It is therefore slanderous to the Holy Spirit to choose an interpretation of a particular passage that unnecessarily brings that passage into conflict with that which He has revealed elsewhere. So the governing principle of Reformed hermeneutics or interpretation... Continue Reading

7 Signs You Are Dealing With A Spiritual Attack

Satan is a deceiver who instigates problems and disappears before anyone recognizes his influence

“There’s nothing Satan wants more than for the people of God to stop praying with regularity. Our prayers hinder his work in the world. Many times we underestimate the power of prayer and begin to neglect the fervency and consistency of it. We must never forget the amazing works of God in our lives through... Continue Reading

Mental Illness and the Church: An Analysis

What do the stats tell us about how the church deals with mental illness?

“A couple of weeks ago, LifeWay Research released new data on mental illness and how churches and pastors respond. David Murray, as a pastor and thinker, has written a couple of great blog posts analyzing the data. This is the first. David served on the working review team that reviewed and approved the project direction... Continue Reading

The Gospel According To Enoch: Calvin On Gen. 5:21-24

Enoch's admission ticket first to the intermediate state and then to the eternal state of glory was purchased by the coming Seed - the one who would conquer death and secure eternal glory

“Calvin discovers further value, first of all for the historical Church just described and secondly for the Church in subsequent centuries, in the specific albeit rather terse record of the miraculous translation from this world to the next which befell Seth’s great-great-great grandson Enoch (the godly counterpart to the ungodly Lamech, both men being seventh... Continue Reading

Winsome, Beautiful, Gracious … Rejected And Despised

Despite her loving intent, the church of Jesus Christ should expect to be a body hated by many

“The Savior was full of unconditional love; he was winsome and beautiful. However, despite his unmatched charity and glorious work, he was despised and rejected. His Gospel got in the way of a certain group’s preferred lifestyle, and so he was deemed undesirable. In the end, while one begged to be in his presence, many more pleaded... Continue Reading

What’s Ahead For The Supreme Court? The Court Refuses The Gay Marriage Question

The Supreme Court, by refusing to hear these cases, casts a shadow of uncertainty over two of the central institutions of organized society—marriage and family

The Supreme Court, by refusing to hear these cases, casts a shadow of uncertainty over two of the central institutions of organized society—marriage and family. The court’s refusal appears to favor judicial over legislative power and the court’s silence threatens American federalism which recognizes that state governments retain powers to act which cannot be usurped... Continue Reading

Episcopal Church Continues Shedding Members

The church has faced steep losses since the early 2000s with a perfect storm of changing demographics, low fertility and departures by traditionalists

“While the Episcopal Church has established a continued pattern of steady decline since the early 2000s, the unbroken trend is relatively recent: the church lost only 18,000 members in the 1990s, a plateau that dropped off about the time Gene Robinson of New Hampshire was consecrated the church’s first openly partnered gay bishop. Overall, the... Continue Reading

The Bible Tells Me So: Why Defending Scripture Has Made Us Unable to Read It

A review of Peter Enns' new book

In the end, The Bible Tells Me So is a book about contradictions. Enns intended it to be a book about contradictions in the Bible. But it becomes quickly apparent that the contradictions are really in Enns’s own worldview. He claims the Canaanite conquest is immoral, yet argues the Bible provides no clear guide for... Continue Reading

Sermons Are “Fair Game” in Houston

The Real Warning in the Subpoena Scandal

At this point, it is five Houston pastors who are feeling the heat. But these subpoenas stand as a direct warning to every pastor, rabbi, minister, priest, and imam in America. You or I could be next. This is how religious liberty dies. Liberties die by a thousand cuts.  An intimidating letter here, a subpoena... Continue Reading

The Secret of Big Evangelicalism Is the Secret of Great Comedy

In a world of sentiment and aesthetics, an instinctive sense for tastefulness is what makes for a successful marketing strategy.

What is interesting is that the chronology of the whole YRR-Driscoll saga falls out along taste/aesthetic lines.    Those who saw the problem early were quickly dismissed as Pharisees, hypocrites, ‘discernment bloggers,’ judgmental, and even racists.  These are all pretty distasteful categories in the late modern world of tolerance and niceness. Those who decried or ignored... Continue Reading