The Symbolism of the Rainbow
There is rich biblical-theological symbolism in God’s act of setting the rainbow in the sky
God, by placing the rainbow in the sky, was, in a sense, aiming His weapon of war and judgment at Himself; and, as it was with the cutting of the covenant with Abraham in which God alone passed through the animals that had been cut apart in judgment, God is saying in the Noahic covenant that... Continue Reading
Why The Gay Marriage Debate Was Over In 1950
Religion, morality, even reality were now questions of self-fulfillment—making truth subjective and traditional truth claims irrelevant and meaningless.
Once self-fulfillment becomes the end towards which individuals are moving, then there is no longer any fixed council or direction to govern any particular individual’s choice—only what a person claims will lead to his personal betterment, as only he is entitled to determine. Individual autonomy and self-indulgence trump all else…. Having enshrined individual autonomy as... Continue Reading
Lessons Learned From The Civil Rights Resolution At The 2015 PCA General Assembly
Five encouraging observations and lessons on how the PCA GA handled the Civil Rights Resolution
How then do we add feet to our repentance regarding the Civil Rights era, while maintaining this purely spiritual mission and authority? That is what we will need to work out in the year to come in our sessions and presbyteries. I might suggest that we begin by looking to the book of Philemon as... Continue Reading
Episcopalians Approve Religious Weddings For Gay Couples
The Episcopal General Convention in Salt Lake City on Wednesday (July 1), Episcopalians voted to allow religious weddings for gay couples.
On Tuesday, the House of Bishops had approved the resolution, 129-26, with five abstaining, and it was overwhelmingly passed by the House of Deputies, the voting body of lay people and clergy, on Wednesday… The Episcopal Church is the U.S. branch of the global Anglican Communion, and before the vote, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby had... Continue Reading
A Summary of PCA Statements on Homosexuality
A brief overview of actions on sexuality taken by past PCA General Assemblies
In light of recent decisions by some denominations to approve ordaining openly homosexual individuals to the ministry, to allow ministers to officiate and bless same-sex marriages, and because of the public debate on legalizing same-sex marriages, it is appropriate to note that not all denominations have taken these actions. And since one of these denominations... Continue Reading
The Multi-Dimensional Love of Christ
Christ's love is unlike human love
One multi-year study did find that over 60% of all songs in the Top 40 were love songs. Not surprising really, given how wonderful an experience it is to love and to be loved. However, a large number of love songs, perhaps the majority, lament the difficulties and disappointments of human love. Quite a... Continue Reading
Dear Pope Francis: Here Are Five Times Weapons of War Saved Christians
The Pope has been protected by the Swiss Guard since the 1500s; those guys pack an array of high-powered contemporary weaponry to gets the job done.
One the most famous naval engagements in history pitted forces of the Holy League, Christians supported by Pope Pius V, against the invading Ottoman Turks. It was the first major victory for a Christian naval force over a Turkish fleet, a victory driven, by, among other things, technological advances in weaponry. This week, Pope... Continue Reading
Cheers to the Magna Carta
It’s the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta,
The Magna Carta talks of rights, but these are not Lockean Natural Rights, given to individuals through the unmediated powers of their Creator. Quite the contrary, the opening articles of the Magna Carta clearly assert that rights come from God (not “the Creator”) to the king who then bestows them, not to individuals, but to communities. All... Continue Reading
When Leaders Fall, All Are Punished
Heaven is not thrown into crisis with a scandal, however shocking or hard the fall.
The immorality of leaders has been a reality among God’s people for as long as God has had a people. The temptations for leaders are as real as they are for the rest of us, but the consequences are more severe. When a leader falls, all are punished. Not punished for the pastor’s sin, but by his sin. It’s fair, then,... Continue Reading
Don’t Expect a Flood of Gay Marriages
Gay marriage is not primarily about gay marriage, it is mainly about silencing gay consciences and Christians.
If I hated God and despised Christians, I’d be an ardent supporter of same-sex marriage. What better way to express enmity against God and His people? That’s a major reason why so many homosexuals who will never marry, and why so many heterosexuals who have no interest in same-sex marriage, wanted it legalized and mandated... Continue Reading
What Churchgoers Should Do If Churches Lose Tax Exemption Status
6 Ways to Remain Faithful No Matter the Cost
Do not use this as an excuse to shy away from the opportunity to speak into the political system. Certainly, such a decision is not the desired outcome. And we could easily decide to give up. But it is a mistake to completely abandon the opportunity this governmental structure gives us. It is an opportunity... Continue Reading
The Church in Exile
The Christian church on earth is always, in a sense, in exile.
No doubt there are those reading this article who find my own position to be one of cultural surrender. Should we not be taking to the streets and the ballot boxes in order to take back what is ours? It might well be that thoughtful political engagement by individual Christians will slow the tide of... Continue Reading
Russell Moore’s ERLC Posts a Flawed “Evangelical Declaration on Marriage”
Here are at least five problems that I see with the statement
Far from Christians being too outraged and too panicked over the last two decades, many Christians, especially among ‘elite’ evangelicals, have exhibited a dearth of outrage and alarm, so as to appear reasonable to the broader culture. Many elite evangelicals have contended that the homosexualist push in the country was only one of many issues... Continue Reading
Now’s the Time To End Tax Exemptions for Religious Institutions
The Supreme Court's ruling on gay marriage makes it clearer than ever that the government shouldn't be subsidizing religion and non-profits
So yes, the logic of gay-marriage rights could lead to a reexamination of conservative churches’ tax exemptions (although, as long as the IRS is afraid of challenging Scientology’s exemption, everyone else is probably safe). But when that day comes, it will be long overdue. I can see keeping some exemptions; hospitals, in particular, are an... Continue Reading
When Everything Seems to Be Changing
There is one thing that never changes and one thing we can always hope in: our unchanging God.
Things will continue to change. Both in our world and in our daily life. Some of those changes will feel like a tiny ripple and others will crash into our life and turn it inside out. But no matter what changes we face, we don’t have to fear. We don’t have to hide. Because our anchor is our... Continue Reading
Monogamy is No Joke
The Christian understanding of monogamy has a shared goal of holiness. It is to picture Christ’s love for his church.
I agree with Marceau that “MONOGAMY IS NO JOKE.” I may even join her in using all caps. It’s an honor. It is our godly context for sexually intimate relationship and family while we await something even greater on the new heavens and new earth. Because God is faithful, I can be faithful. But this... Continue Reading
Theories of the Atonement: What Happened on the Cross?
Without the concept of penal substitution undergirding all of these other pictures of the atonement, we fail to do adequate justice to the full-orbed biblical picture of Jesus as the sin-bearing, wrath-propitiating Substitute for sinners.
Throughout church history, there have been various views and theories that conceptualize the nature of Christ’s work on the cross. Because the atonement runs to the very heart of the Gospel, it’s important for us to know how people throughout the history of the church have understood the work of Christ, and to be able... Continue Reading
"Unity brings us truth," Pastor Harrell of City Church in San Francisco has declared
“Hundreds of evangelicals were caught off guard in March when their church leaders, without any open discussion, announced that sexually active homosexuals could become members. How did that happen, and what steps can members of other churches take to forestall such surprises?” Two days after Valentine’s Day in 1997, City Church—an attempt to build... Continue Reading
Theological Fidelity: An Interview with David Garner
What does it mean for a pastor to be a pastor-theologian?
“Theological contemplation is never private domain. The preacher doesn’t function autonomously; in fact, his work is, in a very important sense, shared and uncreative. As a contemporary spokesman, the preacher preaches the historic deposit of faith, following thousands who have gone before him with a view to the untold thousands that will follow.” Tabletalk:... Continue Reading
The Body Politic is Queer
If our culture continues to "evolve," it will one day implode. May faithful believers be there when that happens.
Hopefully, places like City Church in San Francisco, who have recently embraced same sex marriage, will realize the full implications of that decision before queerness starts to define their entire belief system. In some ways, apostate Oneist churches are showing the way for the culture. If the body of Christ is queer, so will be... Continue Reading
We … and Our Fathers Have Sinned (Daniel 9:8)
As one who grew up in the Southern Presbyterian Church, I must confess my own as well as my people’s sins.
I have also learned these lessons from my elders in Augusta. They have taught me how important public confession of past sins—especially by a majority—is to racial reconciliation. What may feel to us to be something small, something that does not cost very much, communicates integrity and a desire for genuine relationship. As we as... Continue Reading
How to Read More Books
With summer here, here are some personal discoveries that were helpful to me
“This past year I have attempted to become more intentional with my reading. In previous years I have read a lot but I would not say that I read well. My reading lacked a detailed attack plan. As a result, sometimes reading happened and other times it did not.” “How can I read more books?”... Continue Reading
Public Expressions of the Gospel
Explicit public expressions of the gospel in popular culture are few and far between
“We tend to do proclamation well in the evangelical world, but when we do, we often shout the truth from afar and shake our heads when others don’t listen. To be light, however, we need to be present. We need to be in the places where the darkness has a foothold.” Explicit public expressions of the... Continue Reading
Can We Really Know Our Pastors?
People want to believe the best about their pastors, and without always knowing what they’re doing, refuse to see what’s going on right under their noses
“I certainly agree that the megachurch model is pastorally problematic, but that doesn’t seem to me to be a plausible reason to explain Tchividjian’s fall. Or rather, to clarify, I don’t think that a small church would solve the problem. Sure, you will be able to “know” your pastor, in the sense of being on... Continue Reading
The Most Painful Interview I’ve Ever Watched
Poor Brian Williams. He just couldn’t say it: “I lied.”
“There are some moments in the interview where Williams says that he takes ownership, accepts responsibility, etc., but despite Matt Laurer’s admirable pushing and prompting him on the “lie” issue, Williams refused to admit that he was trying to mislead people.” Poor Brian Williams. He just couldn’t say it: “I lied.” After almost 10... Continue Reading
Laying a Beating on the Neighborhood Bully
The bully is powerless in the presence of someone much stronger than he is
“Imagine you are outside playing when the neighborhood bully comes your way. He walks up to you, shakes his fist in your face, and says, “I am going to pound you.” You know he is too strong for you, so you grit your teeth and prepare to get hurt. But then suddenly his eyes grow... Continue Reading
Are Christians Getting a Passing Grade When It Comes to Teaching Character?
Churches of all places should be where people can get schooled in character, at a level and depth unrealized by public school character education programs.
In recent years, I’ve been assured at church that I’m in a safe place where I can take off my mask, admit I don’t have my act together, and be my authentic self. As comforting as that sounds, it can only be a starting point, not a destination – a starting point we don’t want... Continue Reading
It’s Time to Legalize Polygamy
And so the slippery slope begins: Why group marriage is the next horizon of social liberalism.
But the marriage equality movement has been curiously hostile to polygamy, and for a particularly unsatisfying reason: short-term political need. Many conservative opponents of marriage equality have made the slippery slope argument, insisting that same-sex marriages would lead inevitably to further redefinition of what marriage is and means. See, for example, Rick Santorum’s infamous “man... Continue Reading
SCOTUS Decision on Marriage: Best Articles & Videos
A round up of articles addressing the Supreme Court decision on marriage
I can’t say anything better than has already been said by countless courageous Christian leaders around the country. So here’s a round up of the best articles I’ve found. If you want to make clear that, regardless of majority opinions and Supreme Court decisions, you will obey God rather than man, you can begin by... Continue Reading
Are My Children Christians?
My opinion and your opinion of our children–however optimistic or pessimistic that may be–is not the determining factor
This is the way the Holy Spirit speaks about our children: as those who are capable of being saved, as those who are relationally in covenant with God, as those who belong to the kingdom, as those who are numbered among the saints, and as those who are set apart from unbelievers. And it’s this... Continue Reading