The Whole Christ
Ferguson is going far beyond church history and bringing clarity to the way we are to live the Christian life.
In other words, Ferguson looks at this controversy, dissects it, and then applies it to our day. And, as it happens, we, too, are struggling with issues related to legalism and antinomianism. That makes his book perfectly timed and a valuable contribution to the discussion about the role of the law, the role of obedience,... Continue Reading
Black Lives Matter or black lives matter?
There is no question that Black Lives Matter (BLM) advocates positions which are antithetical to God's Word.
My goal in this piece is to address the problem of Christians associating with and/or promoting the Black Lives Matter (BLM) organization and perhaps make a suggestion or two along the way. Since some of my brothers and sisters within the PCA are positively inclined toward BLM to the extent of association and promotion I... Continue Reading
When a Christian Sins
As Christians in this world, we are sinners and saints. Redeemed, yet still needing to repent.
A repentant and confessing Christian has much to remind themselves of when they fall into sin. We need the comfort of the gospel and its strong encouragements. We need reminders to quite our souls with peace regarding the past and reminders to galvanize them for action going forward. We have a great God. Let us... Continue Reading
Can We Trust the Four Gospels to Tell Us the Truth About Jesus? (Part 1 of 3)
Why should we consult these four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke & John) and no others?
If you’re suspicious of the four Gospels because they were accepted and used by the church so early and so widely, keep in mind that this is not the established, government-supported, corrupt church of the Middle Ages. The early church, before Constantine, was known for its loving community, sacrificial concern for one another and for the needy... Continue Reading
Let’s Stop Snuggling the Wolves
Let's fiercely protect our dear brothers and sisters from the dreadful jaws of deception
There remain many more wolves circling the sheep pen. They are not as easy to spot as Bell was; they are humble, they are respected, and if there were problems with their doctrines then surely the flock would be able to chew on the meat and spit out the bones, right? There remain many more... Continue Reading
It’s Just the Way I Am …
There seems to be a lot of praise for offensive “honesty” lately. But being offensive is not a virtue.
As believers, there will be times that we have to “speak the truth in love” (Eph. 4:15), and it may very well offend. When we confront others for their sin, we can do it gently and lovingly and with kindness towards them. They may be offended by what we say, but let it be the... Continue Reading
Sufficient in our Insufficiency
The wonder of God's grace is that we have everything we need to do what God has called us to
So being in a place where we feel insufficient, incapable, and weak is exactly where we need to be. We don’t have to fear being there. We don’t have to fear not knowing what to do because we have everything we need in Christ. He is our sufficiency both in our salvation and in our... Continue Reading
One of the Most Original Books on Homosexuality in Years
A review of Unchanging Witness: The Consistent Christian Teaching on Homosexuality in Scripture and Tradition by Don Fortson and Rollin Grams
And I can tell you, the result is absolutely devastating for the claim that Christianity and homosexuality go together. A person might be able to convince themselves that the Bible allows it (by reinterpreting even the plainest of passages), but it is a bit hard to explain away 2000 years of absolutely consistent church history.... Continue Reading
Control What You Can Control and Enjoy the Benefits
A problem with focusing on weight is that when people fail to achieve their weight goals despite vigorous efforts they may get discouraged and give up.
To my friends who began the new year with hopes of a buff body: stick with the exercise even if you are still portly. Hunger and weight are complex and are still being researched. Our bodies were engineered for a world in which famines were inevitable. Some of us may simply have been endowed by... Continue Reading
Why Can’t People Just Be Rational? The Visceral Turn in American Culture and Politics
Evangelicalism is not a movement of thoughtful reflection; rather, it is an activist impulse driven by a certain understanding of religious experience.
But when moral judgments are no more than expressions of individual sentiment at least two things take place. Because the locus of moral authority is the self rather than larger principle, disagreements are often personalized, and there is less room for agreements to disagree regarding matters over which good people may differ. In addition, because... Continue Reading
If Necessary, Use Words?
Lifestyle evangelism by itself, without using words, is not enough. Faith comes from hearing.
The fact of the matter is that words are necessary. That doesn’t mean that conversion is dependent on us, as the Finneyites would have us believe. The Holy Spirit is the one Who converts. So, we should not get ourselves into a sweat about whether we have the right words or not. Our best arguments,... Continue Reading
Survey: Prepubescent Porn Exposure Has Doubled In A Generation
A new study shows childhood exposure to pornography has doubled in a generation, and porn usage and addiction reaches far into Christian churches.
In the report, seven in 10 youth pastors said a teen had come to them in the last 12 months seeking help with porn. With that said, 21 percent of youth pastors and 14 percent of all Christian pastors reported currently struggling with porn themselves. More than 66 percent of teens and young adults reported... Continue Reading
Standing For Life In An Abortion Culture
Thousands come out in the snow to remember the unborn on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade
A looming winter storm shut down most of the nation’s capital Jan. 22, but the forecast did not stop thousands of pro-life advocates from taking to the streets in the 43rd annual March for Life. “It’s inspiring to see so many people here, even with Snowmageddon bearing down on us,” said Carly Fiorina, the lone... Continue Reading
Here’s Why Writing Things Out By Hand Makes You Smarter
Typing is fast. Handwriting is slow. Weirdly, that's precisely why handwriting is better suited to learning.
“When we write, a unique neural circuit is automatically activated,” he said. “There is a core recognition of the gesture in the written word, a sort of recognition by mental simulation in your brain, it seems that this circuit is contributing in unique ways we didn’t realize.” The result? “Learning is made easier,” he concluded.... Continue Reading
Four Mistakes Leaders Make When Handling Conflict
Not all conflict is bad, some conflict is really healthy tension; but unhealthy and sinful conflict destroys.
Not distinguishing between sin and style. Confronting someone for habitual sin that results in conflict (dishonesty, divisive attitude, gossip, etc.) should be handled differently than confronting someone for a leadership style that is out of sync with the context or a lack of competence that is causing strife. People who don’t match the culture of... Continue Reading
Sorry, Liberals, Scandinavian Countries Aren’t Utopias
Scandinavia: Bland, wholesome, individual-erasing mush.
One of the most country’s most widely known quirks is a satirist’s crafting of what’s still known as the Jante Law — the Ten Commandments of Buzzkill. “You shall not believe that you are someone,” goes one. “You shall not believe that you are as good as we are,” is another. Others included “You shall... Continue Reading
What Should I Do with the Hard, Difficult People in My Church who Appear to Hate Me?
Why are these difficult people a good reason to stay and endure?
Pastors, hold fast to what you know to be true and right. Love those who love you as you love those who don’t–at least right now. However, don’t be surprised when you wake up one day (years from now) and find that a church member who has been cold to you for years suddenly has... Continue Reading
You Are the Second Abuser
From college campuses to the world of celebrity to religious communities, there seems to always be a backlash against those who come forward
Whatever your justification, your shrill voice is the knife in the dark that attacks when a person finally decides to come into the light. You should know that. You should know that your words are not without power. They are extremely powerful. And their power is what has caused the abused to be silent for... Continue Reading
The Strong Man Temptation
In the midst of such unrest and tumult it is natural to look for help. The question is to where (whither) should Christians look?
Nowhere is there, in the American constitutional system, a place for a “strong man” to fix everything. The only “strong man” in a constitutional republic is the Constitution and the electorate that directly and indirectly chooses those who guard and execute it. The history of the “strong man,” who promises to fix all social ills... Continue Reading
Lessons Learned from Grief
The latter part of last year, I journeyed through the wilderness of grief
The Israelite’s had an entire liturgy and pattern they followed for grief. They weeped and wailed. They tore their clothes. They covered themselves in ashes. They voiced their sorrow to God and held nothing back. In our culture, we’ve lost the ability to grieve. We are quick to move through any painful experience and put it... Continue Reading
The Big Chill: Hope for a Winter Season of Marriage
Sometimes the loneliness in marriage is lonelier than being alone
Are some destined to a Narnia-like marriage where it’s always winter and never Christmas? Is there hope for a couple when the chill sets in? Throughout years of ministry, I have witnessed spring bloom time and again in marriages and I believe there is hope. In the midst of a wintery season, how can a... Continue Reading
Children at the Lord’s Table?
Dr. Cornelius Venema’s Children at the Lord’s Table? Assessing the Case for Paedocommunion provides a Biblically-grounded and confession-honoring answer
At the time, all I found on the historic, Reformed practice of requiring profession of faith before admission to the Lord’s Table were a few passing references in the confessions and theological books, and a helpful though somewhat poorly recorded tape series by Kenneth Gentry. Thankfully, Dr. Cornelius Venema’s scholarly yet accessible work Children at the Lord’s... Continue Reading
Here are six areas of parenting where I’ve learned (and am learning) to exercise patience
If there’s one thing we want for our kids above all, it’s that they know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior from their earliest years. Yet, although we can do so much for them as parents, we cannot force this, we cannot make this happen. If it’s hard waiting for their purpose to clarify,... Continue Reading
When Life Beats the Snot Out of You
When I’m worn out, physically and spiritually, I desperately need to be renewed.
And notice how God renews us: by satisfying us with good. God wants to renew us by satisfying us. Sometimes that good thing will be having our circumstances changed. But I don’t think that’s usually the way God does it. The way that God satisfies us is by giving us himself. His power. His strength.... Continue Reading
Why I Am a Cessationist
I've become convinced that some of the so-called charismatic gifts are no longer given
“Why would anyone think that some of the gifts have been withdrawn? I will argue that such a reading fits best with Scripture and experience. Scripture takes priority over experience, for it is the final authority, but Scripture must also correlate with life, and our experiences should provoke us to re-examine afresh whether we’ve read... Continue Reading
Grief And The Christian
When our grief is debilitating, God does not sit aloof in heaven
“What we need most in the midst of grief is God Himself. He will meet us, give us Himself, fill the void left by our loved ones, warm our hearts, lift our burdens, and draw us into the sweet balm of fellowship with His Spirit.” We worship a big god. He is sovereign and... Continue Reading
A Matter Of Inches
Sometimes the difference between life and death is only a matter of inches or seconds
“Eventually we were taken back to talk to the EMT’s who had brought our daughter to the hospital. To our amazement – and theirs – they told us that while the car had knocked her down and passed completely over the top of her, it appeared that neither the wheels nor the undercarriage had hit... Continue Reading
Don’t Theologize or Spiritualize Ministry Mediocrity
A valuable question to ask about every ministry and function in the church is, “How does the fact that Jesus Christ is risen from the dead impact the way we do this?”
“One who says that their commitment to the primacy of preaching, leads them to have little regard for the music, parking, greeting, signage, aesthetics, friendliness, hands-on ministry, evangelism, outreach, care-giving, announcements, and so on, is simply theologizing their laziness and apathy.” I believe in the primacy of Christ-centered expository preaching in the life of... Continue Reading
Why Kids Today Are Out of Shape, Disrespectful – And In Charge
Kids have been indoctrinated in their own awesomeness
“It’s common now in this country to find parents who are chauffeuring their 8-year-old or 12-year-old around to various schools, among families that are choosing a school, and the parent functions as educational consultant. The parent makes a recommendation, but the child makes the final decision.” Dr. Leonard Sax has been a family physician... Continue Reading
How To Offend a Room Full of Calvinists
Just bring up the old line about Reformed theology being incompatible with evangelism
“It is my conviction—conviction rooted in close study of God’s Word—that Calvinism provides a soul-stirring motivation for evangelism, and that sharing the gospel freely and with great zeal is the most natural application of biblical truth.” Do you want to know how to make a Calvinist angry? Do you want to know how to offend a... Continue Reading