Yes, Restore Mark Driscoll. But to What?

Maybe Driscoll is simply not pastoral material.

Since when does welcoming someone back to fellowship mean that you have to welcome him back to a post he abused? What’s wrong with a pew, even up front if he wants it? But just a pew? Laity, as the kids might say if the idea ever entered their heads, rocks! The verse Morris cites... Continue Reading

The Psalmist Tells Us – Sing!

God created music for the good of his people.

I don’t know about you, but I find that during phases of spiritual dehydration, the night is the hardest part of the day. It’s probably because I don’t have any activities to distract my brain; I’m forced to lie in bed and think about all the different elements that are contributing to my depression. What... Continue Reading

God is Always at Work

If you find yourself in a season of darkness, you are not all alone.

God is always at work. This is a glorious truth that all believers need to carry in their heart. Nothing that we experience, no tear that we shed, no pain that we endure, no sin that we commit, gets wasted in God’s economy. He uses it all to change us into the likeness of his... Continue Reading

Affections and Emotions

How does one order his affections and thereby begin to control his emotions?

By nature, mankind lives in the passions of their flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and are by nature children of wrath (Ephesians 2:3). Properly ordering one’s affections, therefore, is impossible for those who are outside of Christ. But, for the Christian – the one who has been born again,... Continue Reading

8 Causes of Pastoral Ministry Slump

The pastoral ministry slump is subjective if not vague. But it's real. And every pastor experiences it.

The “slump” metaphor is used often in sports. The baseball hitter is in a slump because he has not gotten a hit in 15 at bats. The football quarterback is in a slump because he has only completed eight passes in the past two games. But pastors can get in slumps as well. Admittedly they... Continue Reading

On Pastoral (Dis)qualification and Other Things

There are a set of very specific and detailed qualifications that are necessary - not optional - for any man who would be an under-shepherd of any flock of God.

I thankfully acknowledge that, mercifully, and to the best of our knowledge, Mark has not been guilty of “immorality, illegality and heresy.” Nevertheless, I protest that this is not the issue in the matter of pastoral qualification and disqualification. The presence of scandalous and often public sin would certainly disqualify any man from ministry at... Continue Reading

When “Biblical” is Just Another Hashtag

Putting it another way, we’re already pretty sure we’re right, so we try to pull the Bible in on our side.

And the problem, of course, is that the ideas just come from our own brains, not the Bible. I’m afraid, sometimes, that because whole generations of us grew up knowing all the Bible stories backwards and forwards, we go into life with the unspoken assumption that “if I’m pretty sure it’s right, it’s biblical.” But... Continue Reading

When Dad Doesn’t Disciple the Kids

In homes where dad is spiritually absent, I believe mom is called both to pray and to act.

In the absence of dad’s help, move forward to fill the gap. Without vilifying dad, simply begin having the conversationsnecessary to guide your children safely to adulthood. Continue to pray for dad. Continue to invite him periodically to join the conversation. Continue to honor him by committing to speak well of him to your children.... Continue Reading

5 Bad Substitutes for Discipline

Five poor substitutes that fail to address the heart.

There is nothing easy about parenting, and nothing easy about the responsibility of training our children in obedience through discipline. Because discipline is unpopular and unpleasant, parents often find themselves looking for substitutes. In her book Parenting Against the Tide, Ann Benton lists five poor substitutes for disciplining our children—five poor substitutes that fail to... Continue Reading

California Orders Churches to Fund Abortions – Or Else

A regulatory change in California has placed abortion in the category of ‘basic health services’ all insurance plans must cover. Even those that churches buy.

Several other California churches have received similar notices from their insurers, and others will follow. While California (like the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, or HHS) exempts churches from its contraceptive mandate, there is no exception to this bureaucratic abortion mandate. This leaves California churches in the illogical and impossible position of being free... Continue Reading

10 Reasons I Quit Competitive Parenting

Resigning from the sport of competitive parenting

So there you have it: just ten of the reasons why I feel like I’m losing at this sport of competitive parenting. So I’m done. I quit. I’m exhausted and just can’t do it anymore….To the rest of you parents who are as tired of the rat race as I am, won’t you join me... Continue Reading

When Jesus Calls You Satan

We sin like Peter when we refuse to accept those mysterious and hard-to-swallow truths

So what is Peter’s error? What is Peter’s sin? What was Peter’s thinking that smelled like smoke and resulted in the reprimand of Christ, “Get behind me, Satan!” Peter’s error is his refusal to accept persecution, pain, destruction, and death as part of God’s best plan for advancing His glory and expanding His Kingdom.   Peter... Continue Reading

The Defense of Marriage Isn’t Over

The Supreme Court’s action is a setback for sound constitutional self-government and for a healthy marriage culture. So where do we go from here?

Whatever the law or culture may say, we must commit now to witness to the truth about marriage: that men and women are distinct and complementary, that it takes a man and a woman to bring a child into the world, and that children deserve a chance to grow up with a mom and a... Continue Reading

Leadership: American Style

The flaws of two men who excelled due to their charisma and ability to connect with “the people” : Bill Clinton and Mark Driscoll

The similarities between Clinton and Driscoll’s trajectories to leadership should disturb us, for they reveal something troubling about the nature of “successful” church leadership in American evangelical circles.  The common denominator is an ability to communicate effectively, connecting with the people through dynamic speaking and charismatic leadership.  Such skills cover a multitude of sins in... Continue Reading

The D-word Is Coming To A Campus Near You

Colleges continue to kick Christian clubs off campus for ‘discrimination’ in leadership

Where do legitimate limits of “sameness” end? In campus life—or public life, for that matter—what makes for healthy diversity? If universities are one of our foremost training grounds for citizenship, and if their purpose is not only to prepare students to earn a living but also to live well amidst a diverse democracy, how should... Continue Reading

Reconciliation or Justice?

We can't have reconciliation in its truest sense without justice

Forgiveness does not mean leaving the helpless undefended, and the refusal to call power to the acknowledgement of truth and justice is an abandonment of the very ones God calls us to champion.  Oppression hides behind self-justification, excuses, rules, systems, etc.  Truth must dismantle everything that allows unjust outcomes and love must bridge the breach... Continue Reading

An Ontology of Marriage

Marriage is “between a man and a woman,;” it’s better to define it as being between a “husband and wife;” this is closer to a tautology and analytically true

A husband without a wife is a contradiction — it is ontological nonsense. A wife without a husband is impossible — an ontological absurdity. A marriage without a husband or a wife is a contravention — an ontological irrationality. A female husband or a male wife, likewise, falls into the category of the absurd. And... Continue Reading

Single Americans Are Rapidly Multiplying

Kiley Crossland

Although the number of divorced, separated, or widowed singles has increased since the 1970s, the larger increase, from 22.1 percent to more than 30 percent, came from a growing number of singles who never marry, Yardeni found. Some argue this increase is the result of more couples deciding to cohabitate instead of marry.   (WNS)–Singles... Continue Reading

Mars Hill Church Board of Elders: Mark Driscoll Resigned Instead of Entering a Restoration Plan

More questions over Mark Driscoll's resignation

This statement does not address the reasons Driscoll was asked to step away from the pulpit. Did the BoE report disqualify him or not? Having a restoration plan certainly sounds like disqualification. From what would Driscoll need to be restored, if not disqualification? Since the congregation is footing the bill for the severance, shouldn’t they... Continue Reading

Hillsong: We Haven’t Shifted After All

Is it wrong to expect the pastor of one of the world’s most influential churches to have a sound theology of sexuality and marriage—and to offer it when asked?

I think this is a teaching moment for Christian leaders. The refusal to speak clearly when asked remains a problem, which is what precipitated this to begin with. Given that this issue may be the hottest cultural topic and given the swiftness with which society and, increasingly, the courts have accepted gay marriage, prominent Christian... Continue Reading

Pick on Someone Your Own Size

Thoughts on "domestic discipline"

I knew someone once who told me (quite unashamedly) that he did this, on the alleged basis that the Bible encourages it. Ephesians says marriage is like the relationship between Christ and the church, he told me. And since Christ disciplines the church, ergo he should physically discipline his wife, especially when she was displeasing... Continue Reading

Pray for the Pastor’s Wife: Love

Each pastor’s wife will encounter individuals she finds it difficult to love. Pray that, in the strength of Christ, she will.

I have a friend who frequently asks me , “Would you pray that I could be what my husband and kids need?” Every time she asks, I am freshly astounded by her humility and love. She is a very gifted woman who would have much to offer her family. She understands the Scriptures, the human... Continue Reading

The Old Testament in the New Testament

8 points on the relationship between the Testaments

In many cases the NT writers, illumined by the Holy Spirit, perceived with greater clarity than the OT writers themselves God’s intended meaning behind some prophecies.  What the prophets had seen only dimly and in terms of general principle, the NT writers saw in the glowing light of fulfillment in a perspective in which a... Continue Reading

Jonathan Edwards (Christian Biographies for Young Readers) by Simonetta Carr

The Christian Biographies for Young Readers series introduces children to key figures from church history

This book is a joy to page through. Full color illustrations, photographs, portraits and maps, buildings and vistas appear at the appropriate time on each page. After the biographical sketch, a time line of Edward’s life is included, as is an excerpt from a letter to one of his daughters. Also included is a “Did... Continue Reading

Five Ways to Glorify God While You Wait

There is a sovereign purpose behind our in-between.

Whatever our in-betweens are, how do we live while we wait? How do we wait for God to act, to answer prayer, to move in the desperation of our lives? How do we live by faith while we wait to hear if we need another test, for the long hoped for engagement ring, for the... Continue Reading

The Hopeless Marriage

Hopelessness is a small step from spiritual neediness, which is the foundation of all change

Most marriages have times when one spouse does not like the other, and the dislike is usually mutual—at least my “friends” tell me that is accurate, though I’m confident that even when my wife thinks she doesn’t like me, she secretly—very secretly—likes me. For some of us, these times happen less frequently and we manage... Continue Reading

Why Abraham Was Right

A Reply to Rachel Held Evans's post "I Would Fail the Abraham Test"

Having asked some questions regarding Rachel Held Evans’ view of God, let me take my own stab at this subject.  For I pray that I would pass Abraham’s test and I applaud Abraham for doing so.  Evans states that while she is not yet a mother, she knows “deep in my gut” she would sooner... Continue Reading

Idaho Ministers Sue To Prevent Gay Weddings At For-Profit Wedding Chapel

Owners of an Idaho wedding chapel have filed suit against officials in Coeur d’Alene, claiming the city is unconstitutionally forcing them to violate their religious beliefs by performing same-sex marriages

Pastors have raised concerns about being forced to conduct same-sex weddings, though most experts call that concern a red herring. The lawsuit in Idaho raises a larger question of whether ordained ministers who run a for-profit business conducting weddings can be required to conduct same-sex weddings under nondiscrimination laws.   (RNS) The owners of an Idaho wedding chapel... Continue Reading

7 Things Your Church Needs From You

Here are seven ways you can serve, honor, and help grow your local church

“Every church has people who make the public gatherings of the church a low priority. These are the people who only come to church when it is convenient and who use any excuse to miss a day or miss a service. Every church desperately needs people who will make the public gatherings a top priority.... Continue Reading

Practical Principles Of Biblical Interpretation

The supreme arbiter in interpreting a verse's meaning is the overall teaching of the Bible

“Our assumption is that God, because of His omniscience, would never be guilty of contradicting Himself. It is therefore slanderous to the Holy Spirit to choose an interpretation of a particular passage that unnecessarily brings that passage into conflict with that which He has revealed elsewhere. So the governing principle of Reformed hermeneutics or interpretation... Continue Reading