Five Reasons Some Pastors Are Loners—And Why That’s Not Good

I have met very few leaders who fell when they were sharing life and ministry with others

“Jesus always got it right: He knew how to balance His time with the Father and with others. He called individuals, preached to the hundreds, and fed the thousands – all while also patiently investing in a few men. Even in his toughest moments (like the Garden of Gethsemane), He wanted men with Him.”  ... Continue Reading

Learning Contentment

Contentment means embracing every aspect of His providence simply because it is His providence

“Christian contentment means that my satisfaction is independent of my circumstances. When Paul speaks about his own contentment in Philippians 4:11, he uses a term commonplace among the ancient Greek philosophical schools of the Stoics and Cynics. In their vocabulary, contentment meant self-sufficiency, in the sense of independence from changing circumstances.”   I spoke with a... Continue Reading

Duggars Reeling From Son Josh’s Sex-Abuse Scandal

The Duggars are reeling since oldest son, Josh, has acknowledged he was investigated for molesting underage girls when he was a teenager in Arkansas

“Twelve years ago, as a young teenager, I acted inexcusably for which I am extremely sorry and deeply regret. I hurt others, including my family and close friends,” Josh Duggar, 27, said in the statement posted on the family’s Facebook page. “We spoke with the authorities where I confessed my wrongdoing, and my parents arranged... Continue Reading

The God of Typological Recapitulation

The Scriptures are full of typological recapitulations to help us better grasp Christ

“Even though the prophets promise a time of restoration for Israel, theocratic Israel never experiences it. That’s precisely because it would only be realized in Christ. This has massive implications for our understanding how to read the Old Testament in a spiritually applicable way to ourselves today.”   The Scriptures are full of typological recapitulations to help... Continue Reading

The Episcopal Church: Undermining the USA from Within

EMM is one of nine major Government contractors making money by bringing in refugees

“Refugees designated to migrate to the United States are advanced travel money by an arm of the U.S. State Department. They land here, and are placed in the hands of (among other agencies) Episcopal Migration Ministries (EMM), which helps them relocate into specific communities.”   In my previous post, I detailed the sordid story by... Continue Reading

International Mission Board Drops Ban on Speaking in Tongues

New rules also loosen restrictions on baptism, divorce, and parents of teenagers

“Under the previous rules, candidates who spoke in tongues or had a “private prayer language” were barred. Under the new rules, speaking in tongues does not disqualify missionary candidates. Too much emphasis on charismatic gifts, like speaking in tongues, could still lead to discipline.” For more than a decade, the Southern Baptist Convention’s International Mission... Continue Reading

Commemorating the Burning of Jan Hus

Church reformer Jan Hus was burned at the stake 600 years ago this summer

“Hus was an heir to the English church proto-reformer John Wycliffe, whose themes of personal holiness and direct reading of Scripture in native language he reiterated.  Wycliffe died a natural death, but a quarter century later he was condemned at the Council of Constance, where a still very much alive Hus was tried for heresy,... Continue Reading

Definite Atonement and The Triune God

At the heart of the gospel is the penal substitutionary atonement of Jesus Christ

“Christ’s death is not limited in power, but limited only in its scope. Rather than making salvation possible for all people, Christ’s death actually saves certain people. Christ’s shed blood purchases and fully redeems the elect and there is no possibility that the atonement will not powerfully secure salvation for them.”   At the heart... Continue Reading

The God Who Justifies (Book Review)

If you want a better handle on the doctrine of justification, then this book will serve you well

“The book is technical but it is not too difficult. One might be tempted to be discouraged by the number of times White quotes Greek or seems to split exegetical hairs to make a big point, but we shouldn’t be. He is doing the heavy lifting and careful reasoning to make us more confident in... Continue Reading

The Gathering Storm: The Eclipse of Religious Liberty and the Threat of a New Dark Age

We are now facing a battle that will determine the destiny of priceless freedoms and the very foundation of human rights and human dignity.

Religious liberty is under direct threat. Just days ago the Solicitor General of the United States served notice before the Supreme Court that the liberties of religious institutions will be an open and unavoidable question. Already, religious liberty is threatened by a new moral regime that exalts erotic liberty and personal autonomy and openly argues... Continue Reading

Is It HOW We Read the Bible or IF We Read the Bible?

Theological liberals, by and large, simply do not read or know the Bible as much as theological conservatives.

What all of these arguments, promoted by the most prominent voices of progressive Christianity, have in common is that they count on their audience members being too unfamiliar with Scripture to even realize how such arguments totally ignore or misrepresent the most relevant biblical passages. The politically incorrect fact of the matter is that for... Continue Reading

The Tumult of Her War

These four themes are helpful reminders for Christians who may be discouraged by the ongoing conflict with the world in which they find themselves

This aspect of the Christian life – conflict with the world and being hated by those who are not united to Christ – is not something that we like to reflect upon, but it is a major theme of the New Testament. And, as John Calvin writes, God uses the tribulations of this world to... Continue Reading

The Predominant View of “The Least of These” in Church History

Interpreting “the least of these” as Christians is no historical anomaly.

The amount of evidence that Gray covers is vast and can hardly be reproduced in a single blog post. But we can summarize his findings with respect to the narrow view of “the least of these.” He concludes that if one sets aside references to the “least of these” that are unspecified, “then it is... Continue Reading

What Kind of Pastor Does God Use to Revitalize a Church?

God simply wants faithful shepherds.

It is unfortunate the amount of dying churches that conclude they need one of two kinds of men to lead them to revitalize their church. Churches first pursue finding the next young, rock-star preacher to be their pastor, banking on his charisma will be what breathes life back into the church. The problem with this... Continue Reading

Overture 1: Pacific Northwest Presbytery

Amend BCO 15-1 and 15-3 to give Presbyteries the Additional Option of 3 Appointing a Judicial Commission Whose Decision Would Be Final

However, this strikes me as being essentially the same rationale that provided the PCA with its current Standing Judicial Commission of the General Assembly. While that seemed good at the time, there has developed a great deal of discomfort with the way it has worked out in the long run. As a result, my own... Continue Reading

Five Things Every Christian Should be Doing with God’s Word

Psalm 119 is one of the best examples of Scripture speaking about Scripture

Indeed, Jesus embodies all five of these characteristics.  He trusted, studied, used, delighted in, and obeyed God’s Word.  In fact, he did all these things even more than the first David.  While David certainly serves as an example of what to do with God’s word, Jesus is the ultimate example.  One greater than David has... Continue Reading

The Monstrous Beast of Pride and the Saving Power of the Cross

Pride is, in fact, the most dangerous, core, deadly sin in the life of any believer.

Pride is a most deadly spiritual sin, and humility is a most under-valued and yet essential virtue. I was going to say “especially in our contemporary culture,” but I’m not sure that’s true. Human beings have always been tripped up, led astray, enslaved and undone by excessive pride. What makes pride so bad? Think about... Continue Reading

“Q” Is Cool

The Evangelical movement is in theological crisis mode right now. Q's cool motto: "Stay Curious. Think Well. Advance Good," in this case, without serious scrutiny, can be costly.

This is theologically flawed! Both Jesus (Matthew 19:5) and Paul (Ephesians 5:31) cite Genesis 2:24 as normative for sexual ethics. What distorted machinations will bright minds employ to justify a subjectively chosen, culture-pleasing view of moral practice? I never thought I would live to read such unsustainable argumentation from the pens of so-called Evangelical scholars!... Continue Reading

The Free Church of Scotland General Assembly – Day 2

David Robertson was elected as Moderator of the General Assembly of the Free Church of Scotland

All in all it was a thrilling day – if somewhat bizarre.  The impression left on my heart is just simply that whether the footman at the door, the Lady at the table, or the beggar on the street – all of them need to hear about and be invited to, the Feast of the... Continue Reading

Ask a Swedish Pro-Life Midwife about Her Country’s Reputation for Tolerance

Mona Sahlin, the national coordinator against violent extremism, proclaimed in February at a conference on religion and democracy that the “one who refuses to participate in abortions is an extreme religious practitioner,” one who is simply “on a different level from the Islamic State” — that is, a pro-life medical practitioner is like ISIS, just... Continue Reading

Can You Be A Christian Without Believing In Christ?

A generation ago, many Americans would have been considered “nominal” in their devotion. Today, many have stopped claiming a religious identity altogether.

What if morality isn’t the heart of Christianity but a byproduct of the Christian gospel? The gospel is not about good people getting better but about bad people being made right with God. It’s not about humans making the world a better place but the Son of God making the world his home and then... Continue Reading

Will The Real Anglicanism Please Stand Up?

Reformation Anglicanism carries its own distinctive flavor in the milieu of the Reformation

By Reformation Anglicanism, I mean Anglicanism as it developed during the time of the Reformation. Reformation Anglicanism was dominant in the Church of England from the reign of Edward VI through Elizabeth I (of course, with the exception of Mary Tudor’s reign). Reformation Anglicanism was largely formed under the leadership of Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas... Continue Reading

Two Preaching Giants And The ‘Betrayal’ That Tore Them Apart

Charles and Andy Stanley confront their lives, relationship and ministries

The tension between Andy and his father had been building even before the divorce. They were partners in ministry, but they were becoming rivals. As Andy’s congregation started outdrawing his father’s, people told Charles that his son was becoming a prima donna who wanted to take over the entire church.   Alpharetta, Georgia (CNN) — Andy... Continue Reading

The Sabbath In All Of History

Work, marriage and rest are ordinances established by God prior to the fall into sin, and form a perpetual order for mankind.

If Adam, in Eden, would have decided to make an idol, he would have sinned. If Adam, in Eden, would have murdered or would have stolen, he would have sinned. However, if Adam failed to set up cities of refuge in Eden, he would not have sinned. The moral law, summarized in the Ten Commandments, was binding... Continue Reading

If the Supreme Court Imposes Same Sex Marriage, You Could Lose Your Church

Obama's Solicitor General admits that the feds will treat orthodox Christians like racists

Imagine if your house of worship needed to turn a hefty profit, so it could pay the same taxes on its property and income as a casino or a strip joint — unlike Planned Parenthood, since that abortion business is a tax-exempt (and federally funded) “charity.” Imagine if none of the money you gave your church... Continue Reading

Maybe Christianity In America Is Dying Because It’s Boring Everyone To Death

Christianity has all of this: depth, its own ancient and epic history, sacredness, beauty, reverence; why bury them under a thousand layers of icing and whipped cream and apathy?

That’s how you stop the “decline” of Christianity in America. Tell people the truth. The truth, that’s all. Move them. Love them. Make them feel anger, and fear, and longing, and sadness, and happiness, and hope, and determination. All of these things. These are all a part of our Faith, because our Faith is everything. As Chesterton said,... Continue Reading

Overtures to the 2015 PCA General Assembly

The 43rd General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in America is meeting in Chattanooga, Tenn., June 9-12, 2015

The General Assembly (GA) meets annually. This year it is meeting in Chattanooga, TN, June 9-12. Each year, various proposals, called overtures, come from presbyteries for the GA to consider and act on. Since the denomination is connectional, the decisions made by the GA are binding on the presbyteries and the churches. Some years, many... Continue Reading

Evening of Confessional Concern and Prayer at PCA 43rd General Assembly

The Evening of Confessional Concern and Prayer will meet on Monday, June 8

The Evening of Confessional Concern and Prayer will meet in the Convention Center, Ballroom “H” from 7-9 P.M. It will be a time to share and listen to the conservative, confessional perspective on lingering or new issues within the PCA. There will be a time to pray together prior to the opening of the General... Continue Reading

On Writing Well (5 Big Tips)

Writing ideas that are applicable not only to professional writers, but to anyone who wants to grow in communication skills.

“You’ll never make your mark as a writer unless you develop a respect for words and a curiosity about their shades of meaning that is almost obsessive. The English language is rich in strong and supple words. Take the time to root around and find the ones you want.”   We learned last week that William... Continue Reading

What Is Marriage To Evangelical Millennials?

Millennials have inherited the inverse: a view of sex with little meaningful connection to procreation

While I listened to my students lambast the article, it struck me that, on one level, they were right: marriage isn’t in danger of being redefined; the redefinition began decades ago, in the wake of the sexual revolution. Once the link between sexuality and procreation was severed in our cultural imagination, marriage morphed into an... Continue Reading