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

Bus Company Refuses Ad Space to Pro-life Group

An Indiana bus company refuse to let a pro-life group advertise on city buses in Ft. Wayne; will to have to justify its decision in federal court

The complaint filed by ADF explained that Citilink’s policies present no binding written guidelines for its officials to decide whether to permit or deny an ad, “granting Citilink officials unbridled discretion to accept or reject private expression protected by the First Amendment.”  “No one deserves to be silenced simply for having a viewpoint that city... Continue Reading

What the Presbyterians (PCUSA) Got Wrong on Israel

The PCUSA document takes us away from a Palestinian state next to Israel as a Jewish state

The recent document, “Zionism Unsettled,” produced by the Israel/Palestine Mission Network of the Presbyterian Church (USA), takes us farther from this goal. In “Unsettled, “released in January, the IPMN makes its case clearly: Zionism is at the heart of the problem, destroying both native Palestinian lives and thriving Jewish communities around the world in a... Continue Reading

Five Errors to Drop From Your Easter Sermon

If you want to help people see Holy Week with fresh eyes, start by dropping these familiar fallacies.

This Easter, let’s make sure we don’t leave out the “glory” part when we tell the story of Jesus’ suffering. No doubt, the Cross was glorious in and of itself in displaying Jesus’ perfect obedience, God’s love for humanity, and the God-man’s rendering of substitutionary atonement for sinners. Jesus’ earthly work is indeed “finished” (John... Continue Reading

On the Historicity of Adam

Views that deny or question the common descent of all human beings from an original first pair are beset with insuperable exegetical and theological difficulties

The issue here is not an aspect of our ever-revisable and often changing understanding of the physical workings of ourselves, our environment, and the universe at large. Rather, we are discussing perennial and unchanging matters basic to who we are as human beings—what it means to be created in God’s image and the kind of... Continue Reading

Is It Right For A Christian To Take Antidepressants?

Handling and treating depression in beleivers

Christians have flocked to psychiatrists and psychologists to seek help for their sadness without giving the first thought to what the Word says about living faithfully and with hope in the midst of a fallen world. Too often this has resulted in medicating when the best approach would have been to address the heart with... Continue Reading

Diversity and Dishonesty

Fuzzy rhetoric masking ideological pressure is a serious moral defect at the heart of elite culture in America

The defect, crucially, is not this culture’s bias against social conservatives, or its discomfort with stinging attacks on non-Western religions. Rather, it’s the refusal to admit — to others, and to itself — that these biases fundamentally trump the commitment to “free expression” or “diversity” affirmed in mission statements and news releases. This refusal, this... Continue Reading

It’s Not Just Athletes – College Screws Everyone

Students are contributing to the university’s bottom line through tuition payments and the spigot of federal financial aid — yet their interests are not being served

Students are not getting a broad liberal-arts education — nor are they being prepared for careers. A February Gallup poll found that 14 percent of Americans — and only 11 percent of our business leaders — strongly agree that graduates have the necessary skills and competencies to succeed in the workplace. But administrators and faculty... Continue Reading

Transgender Student Files Housing Complaint Against Christian University

The student came to George Fox University in Newberg, Ore., as a woman but has been in the process of legally, and physically, changing her gender

George Fox University administrators met throughout the year with Jayce, now a sophomore, to figure out where she would live once she legally became a man. Because student housing at George Fox is single-gender, campus officials proposed that Jayce live alone on-campus next year. Jayce had requested to live in an on-campus apartment with a... Continue Reading

Canadian Law Society Backs School’s Religious Freedom

Country’s first Christian law school moves closer to reality

Trinity Western University (TWU) in Langley, British Columbia, received the accreditation despite intense criticism from gay rights groups and some members of the legal community who claim TWU’s community covenant discriminates against homosexuals. A proposed resolution would have refused to recognize Trinity Western graduates, but it failed on a 20-6 vote.   (WNS)–The Law Society... Continue Reading

Growing Up Gothard

What happens when we invest our trust in the effectiveness of a system rather than the grace of God

We must first recognize that these man-made systems hold no promise. No political, economic, social, or educational system can guarantee the spiritual results sought. Any faith placed in a system is misplaced. The answer is not a system, but a Savior. A Savior who promises his grace will be sufficient, who promises to complete the... Continue Reading

‘Heaven Is For Real’ — NOT!

To accept this story without comparing it to Scripture is foolishness and is an open door for all kinds of fanciful doctrines that the world may conjure up for the masses.

The point being, if you want to know what heaven is like, and know it for real, read the Bible. What the Bible tells us about heaven is authoritative. It is not speculation or imagination. It is what Jesus told us it would be.   I was driving home today listening to Sean Hannity and his... Continue Reading

Are Christians in America Persecuted?

There are at least four reasons it's important we realize that Christians in America will be, and often are being, persecuted.

Persecution is not something that befalls only a few Christians. While it’s possible to read Jesus’ words in John 15:20 as a unique promise for the apostles, the passage from 2 Timothy cannot be read so narrowly. The point is plain: while martyrdom is a special category set aside for a select number of Christians... Continue Reading

What Does Liberal Christianity Offer Millennials?

The Church will only succeed if it continues to offer the same services it has rendered for the past 2,000 years

What do liberal Christians think these churches have to offer millennials? Social Justice? The Democratic Party offers that. Perhaps lessons in responsible treatment of the Environment? We are supplied a constant dose from Chipotle and Starbucks. Maybe it is the wonderful good news of progress and equality? Alas, we have had that rammed down our... Continue Reading

The Goat and the Cross {An Easter Story}

What can compare with a sacrifice that exchanges sin and blood for life and redemption?

A Cross awaits this Lamb, and He is placed on it.  High above the city, so that all can see His shame, but only some feel it.  He bleeds and hangs, and all the while He loves.  And the sacrifice of the goat looks so tame now.   It is morning in the camp.  The... Continue Reading

Don’t Blame Evangelicals for the Cult of the Virgin

Making an idol out of virginity is a problem that's much bigger than evangelicalism

Christians, of course, are commanded to live chaste lives before and during marriage. But when we decontextualize the purpose and meaning of virginity or attempt to promote it through guilt or gimmicks, the church reflects ancient myths and modern fetishes more than biblical principles.   Even in the midst of a sexual revolution, of a generation drawn to open... Continue Reading

It’s Back — The “Gospel of Jesus’s Wife” and the State of Modern Scholarship

So much of what is presented as modern biblical and theological scholarship is an effort to destroy the very idea of orthodox Christianity

As a matter of fact, the pattern of marginalizing false renderings of Jesus is found even in the New Testament, where the apostles are continuously defending one understanding of Christ and rejecting all others. The apostles unapologetically rejected false teachings about Christ and argued for what the Apostle Paul called the “pattern of sound words.” ... Continue Reading