Christianity Packs Its Office and Leaves the Building

Let’s just try imagining a public square with no Christianity.

Yet if I leave the public square, what will keep you from burning down my church? On what basis will you tolerate me and my so-called false god, even if he’s tucked away in the private sphere? You might refrain for pragmatic reasons for a little while. But if you can manipulate the levers of... Continue Reading

How God Became Jesus—and How I Came to Faith in Him

Bart Ehrman’s narrative suggests the more educated you are, the less likely you are to believe. My life proves otherwise.

Some have great confidence in skeptical scholarship, and I once did, perhaps more than anyone else. If anyone thinks they are assured in their unbelief, I was more committed: born of unbelieving parents, never baptized or dedicated; on scholarly credentials, a PhD from a secular university; as to zeal, mocking the church; as to ideological... Continue Reading

Michael Bloomberg: “I’ve Earned My Place in Heaven”

Many people believe that if their good works outweigh their bad works, then they will have eternal life.

The New York Times reports: But if he senses that he may not have as much time left as he would like, he has little doubt about what would await him at a Judgment Day. Pointing to his work on gun safety, obesity and smoking cessation, he said with a grin: “I am telling you... Continue Reading

Same-Sex Marriage and the Future

In some form or another, your church will have to address the marriage revolution

Look at the empty cathedrals of the Episcopal Church, the vacated pews of the Presbyterian Church (USA), and right down the line. Let me be clear. Even if embracing same-sex marriage—or any other endorsement of what the Bible calls sexual immorality—“worked” in church-building, we still wouldn’t do it. If we have to choose between Jesus... Continue Reading

Sola Experienca is For Real

Today our personal experience and personal interpretation of that experience is the unquestionable authority that all must submit to

We have a culture awash in a neo-gnosticism that gobbles up personal experience like samples at Costco. We cannot resist them. Then we have people everywhere telling their own stories and then interpreting them with authority. And of course we have a church that goes right along with it to reinforce sola experiencia to the thousands who... Continue Reading

Legal complaint filed in Vision Forum case

The possibility of a messy trial brings important reminders about Christian clarity

The complaint filed yesterday alleges Phillips committed “inappropriate, unwanted, and immoral sexual acts” against Torres-Manteufel. The complaint graphically alleges sexual incidents, but not sexual intercourse, and it doesn’t allege sexual contact when Torres-Manteufel was a minor.   In the April 5 issue of WORLD, we reported on the closing of Vision Forum Ministries (VFM), and the fall of... Continue Reading

Chinese Christians Rattle Government

Despite increased persecution, the Chinese Christian church is growing

Officially, the Chinese Constitution grants religious freedom. However, the conditions placed on that freedom give the authorities’ broad powers to curtail religion. For example, the Constitution says, “No one may make use of religion to engage in activities that disrupt public order, impair the health of citizens or interfere with the educational system of the State.”  ... Continue Reading

The Fountainhead of Satanism

To be a follower of both Rand and Christ is not possible

Many conservatives admire Rand because she was anti-collectivist. But that is like admiring Stalin because he opposed Nazism. Stalin was against the Nazis because he wanted to make the world safe for Communism. Likewise, Rand stands against collectivism because she wants the freedom to abolish Judeo-Christian morality. Conservative Christians who embrace her as the “enemy-of-my-enemy”... Continue Reading

I Have Authority to Lay It Down and I Have Authority to Take It Up Again

The hired hand loves his life more than the sheep, but Jesus loves his sheep more than his life and he lays it down for his sheep

Christianity is not merely being saved from sin and death and judgment; it also means having a living shepherd to guide you and feed you and heal you and protect you and help you love. The words of verse 14 are astonishing, if you’ve ever dreamed of a deep, deep, deep relationship: “I know my... Continue Reading

Propositional Truth Meets Personal Encounter

The biblical canon is the completed foundation, but the preached Word is the primary means of the Spirit’s ongoing building project

Immediately I noticed the words, truth, He will speak, He will tell, declare, and declare again. This Helper that we have as believers ministers to us by the Word. In Reformed circles, we love to say that Christ accomplishes and the Spirit applies. But how does he do this? Through the Word! And the apostles were inspired by the Spirit to... Continue Reading

Hobby Lobby’s Steve Green Launches A New Project: A Public School Bible Curriculum

The Mustang, Okla., school board voted to adopt the Museum of the Bible Curriculum, a four-year public school elective on the narrative, history and impact of the Bible

He describes the program as “robustly unique.” It divides its topic into three areas: the Bible’s narrative; the history of its composition and reception; and its impact on human civilization. The spine of the first-year program (the only text completed so far) is a 400-plus-page book, currently spiral-bound, featuring 108 chapters divided into five-day-a-week lessons.... Continue Reading

A Response: Did The Reformer’s Reject All Images?

Although they objected to the iconographical use of art in worship, Calvin and Zwingli were not against the use of art in other venues

Reformation iconoclasm was taken to the extreme by some of the lesser-known Reformers that took to violence against Roman Catholic churches, smashing stained-glass windows, burning reliquaries, diptychs, triptychs, whole altars, and mutilating religious art. But none of the major Reformers promoted or approved this activity. In fact, as documented above, they did not disapprove of... Continue Reading

Born to Neglect, Raised to Hope

Neglect in the Chinese orphanage left the then 2½-year-old unable to eat solids, sleep through the night, or trust her new parents, hence the challenge to raise her in a new home

In his book No Little People, Francis Schaeffer wrote that “in God’s sight there are no little people and no little places. Only one thing is important: to be consecrated persons in God’s place for us, at each moment.” For four years during the 1990s WORLD annually ran a set of features with specific examples of Christians who were... Continue Reading

The Multifaceted Diamond of Christ’s Atoning Work

What Christ accomplished on the cross is so massive that no one explanation or description of the atonement can tell

Because the atonement is at the heart of who God is and what he has done for us, we can never fully exhaust the riches that flow from this event. But recognizing our inability to mine all the theological treasures represented in the cross of Christ should not keep us from pondering the beautiful truth... Continue Reading

Intolerance Is Now A Vice Of The Left

A bigger threat to Canada: A small Christian university that endorses traditional ideas about marriage? Or a large group of liberal activists who want to stomp all over them?

Once upon a time (back in the Jurassic age, when I was in university), the most progressive forces in society believed passionately in free speech, tolerance, pluralism and diversity. They still claim to believe in those things – until someone says something they don’t like, at which point they fight to shut them down.  ... Continue Reading

Forgiveness Incarnate

On the cross, Christ personified ultimate forgiveness; Christ is forgiveness incarnate

The chasm, however, is only unspannable in human terms. As Trollope again writes, “Have you no trust in God’s providence? Cannot you accept what has been done for you?” Father, “Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors” (Matthew 6:12). But Father, please don’t stop there. My forgiving of my debtors is... Continue Reading

A Case Study in Liturgics, Theology, and Politics — The Life of the Book of Common Prayer

Review of Alan Jacobs, The Book of Common Prayer: A Biography

“Jacob’s book is engaging, well written, and quite accessible to non-specialists. His treatment of the Oxford Movement’s response to the Gorham case in the nineteenth century is stimulating and insightful, as is his explanation of Gregory Dix’s remarkable impact on liturgical scholarship.”   Baylor University’s Alan Jacobs has written an elegant history of an extraordinary... Continue Reading

The Fall Of A Believer

We should distinguish a serious and radical fall from one's faith from a total and final fall

“Theologically speaking, what we are talking about here is the concept of apostasy. This term comes from a Greek word that means “to stand away from.” When we talk about those who have become apostate or have committed apostasy, we’re talking about those who have fallen from the faith or at least from the profession... Continue Reading

On Today’s Congregational Music

We affirm that twenty-first-century churches must worship God in their own words, with their own voice

“Singing beautiful and truthful songs of yesteryear should always be part of the Christian worship experience. Nevertheless, the command to sing to God in the present implies that believers will be working hard to craft hymns and songs that build on Scripture and the genuine Christian tradition, but nevertheless report the experience of a 21st... Continue Reading

That’s So Dys-Evangelical…

"Dys-evangelical amounts to something like “the disordering or undermining of the good news.”

“First, I’ve never come across the term “dys-evangelical” before.  George appears to have coined it.  A Google search for the term turned up nada, zilch.  But, second, it’s a wonderfully accurate word for describing  how fragmentation among Christians works against the Great Commission.  In the Greek, the prefix “dys” means bad, abnormal, disordered; while the... Continue Reading

Going For Blood

Cutting oneself as the substitute of a lesser pain for a greater pain

“Cutting herself isn’t the only way that she calms down. She burns herself too. Cigarette lighters, irons, they all work. They temporarily stop the chaos within, but what stops the insanity best—is blood. These strategies substitute a lesser pain for a greater pain, a physical pain for a psychological pain. And if cutting and burning... Continue Reading

Misplaced Humility and the Resurrection of the Dead

On Easter Sunday we celebrate a key event in the history of redemption, the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead

This Easter Sunday let us repent and put humility and bold confidence back where they belong, showing sincere humility (and suspicion) in regard to the subjective feelings, intuitions, leadings and instincts of our own hearts, and unwavering confidence in the objective truth of God’s law and promises. Easter, like every Lord’s Day, is not a... Continue Reading

Highland Park Presbyterian Church Sues For Control of its $30 Million Property

The parties had been engaged in mediation, but talks broke down before a settlement was reached

“The property is worth $30 million, and HPPC has left the national Presbyterian denomination for a smaller, more conservative sect. The Presbyterian Church (USA) believes it should retain ownership of HPPC’s church property, but that isn’t sitting well with Highland Park Presbyterian, which has 4,000 active members and is one of the largest Presbyterian churches... Continue Reading

Separation Of Church And Football?

Dabo Swinney has coached the Clemson Tigers since 2008, when he told reporters his secret to success was to “put your eyes on the Lord in everything you do.”

“FRFF complains that the team attended a Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) breakfast where three players spoke, Swinney organized privately funded buses to take the team to church, and the coach scheduled team devotionals. In 2012, Swinney facilitated a baptism during practice for former wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins. The foundation demands Clemson terminate its relationship... Continue Reading

Tragic Worship

The problem with much Christian worship in the contemporary world is not that it is too entertaining but that it is not entertaining enough

Of all places, the Church should surely be the most realistic. The Church knows how far humanity has fallen, understands the cost of that fall in both the incarnate death of Christ and the inevitable death of every single believer. In the psalms of lament, the Church has a poetic language for giving expression to... Continue Reading

Salvation is by Works Alone

It might seem jarring to hear, but that very jolt itself may well disclose a colossal and common misunderstanding of the gospel

The gift of salvation is a gift earned… by Christ. The penetrating bitterness and anguishing labor of Christ have delivered real grace. Grace is no empty package of neat ribbons and bows; it is a gift of actual substance, historical and redemptive work accomplished. Christ’s redemptive ministry renders “such a great salvation”….And his work of salvation... Continue Reading

A Bubba With a Passion for the Gospel and Golf

Watson's top priorities: "Christian. Husband. Daddy. Pro Golfer."

Why It Matters: Christians have always been involved in professional sports, so why is the faith of superstars like Watson suddenly worthy of the public’s attention? Because athletes like Watson show that it’s still possible for athletes to be open and unapologetic about their willingness to share the Gospel. The Story: On Sunday Bubba Watson, one of... Continue Reading

Did God Die on the Cross?

If we say that God died on the cross, and if by that we mean that the divine nature perished, we have stepped over the edge into serious heresy

We should shrink in horror from the idea that God actually died on the cross. The atonement was made by the human nature of Christ. Somehow people tend to think that this lessens the dignity or the value of the substitutionary act, as if we were somehow implicitly denying the deity of Christ. God forbid.... Continue Reading

Christian Publisher Plans Pro-’Gay’ Book, Employees ‘Under Threat’

Multnomah appears poised to make the same mistake as World Vision

An “imprint” in the publishing world is like a mask – the name and logo of the entity may be unique, but the same staff, editors, executives, promoters, are behind the book as are behind those put out by other “imprints” (i.e., directly from Multnomah, and wearing that brand/mask). So Multnomah is now consciously trying... Continue Reading

Islam Wins the Battle of P.C. Causes

A poster child of women’s rights was disinvited from receiving an honorary degree at Brandeis University

If you had asked any of us 30 or 40 years ago which campaign would prevail in the quest for preeminence—women’s rights, gay rights, and Islamic rights—who among us would have guessed Islam would emerge victorious. And yet here we are. A one-time backwater religion from a small town in Saudi Arabia is bringing the... Continue Reading