A Prayer of Christ-Loving Voters

A prayer to the eternal God for clarity, perspective and priorities as we face issues in our temporal setting.

Yet here on this Earth that You have created, many other things will end.  Peace eventually ends, as do wars.  Wealth is seldom permanent.  Nations rise and fall.  Political parties come and go.  Companies are launched and go bankrupt.  Technology is invented and becomes obsolete.  Illnesses come and go.  You even tell us in Your... Continue Reading

Tribune Of Poor White People: An Interview with J. D. Vance, Author of “Hillbilly Elegy”

“Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and a Culture in Crisis” is an American classic, an extraordinary testimony to the brokenness of the white working class, but also its strengths.

Interestingly, both in my conversations with poor blacks and whites, there’s a recognition of the role of better choices in addressing these problems.  The refusal to talk about individual agency is in some ways a consequence of a very detached elite, one too afraid to judge and consequently too handicapped to really understand.  At the... Continue Reading

The Marrow of Calvinism

The Calvinist believes that God is the Lord of life and Sovereign of the universe

God’s sovereignty is the marrow of doctrinal Calvinism—provided we understand that this sovereignty is not arbitrary but is the sovereignty of the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. As [John] Duncan wrote: “It is a holy will that rules the universe—a will in which loving-kindness is locked up, to be in due time... Continue Reading

The Trinity: God is Not an Undifferentiated Monad

The God of Scripture is Triune: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. He is a Triunity.

“To put it another way, God’s unity is ontological and not just ethical. God’s unity is not the result of a harmonious unanimous vote within the Godhead. The three persons do not form a committee. God’s unity just is the complete and whole interpenetration of the three persons of Father, Son, and Spirit.”   Some... Continue Reading

Ken Ham and Bill Nye: Round Two

Young Earth Creationist Ken Ham and Bill Nye “The Science Guy” have squared off again

“At the very least, round two of the Ham-Nye bout demonstrates the intractability of the creationist position, at least on the popular level. A cursory glance at the comments section of The Washington Post article, for instance, reveals a number of proud Ham supporters.”   Young Earth Creationist Ken Ham and Bill Nye “The Science... Continue Reading

What It Means That Mike Pence Called Himself An ‘Evangelical Catholic’

The phrase says a lot about religion, Indiana and the governor himself

“One of the more publicly shared accounts of Pence’s transition from a Catholic youth minister who wanted to be a priest to an evangelical megachurch member came in 1994. That’s when he told the Indianapolis Business Journal about an intense period of religious searching that he underwent in college.”   Donald Trump’s vice presidential pick,... Continue Reading

Resting Upon the Pillow of God’s Promises

The truth of God’s promises comforts and provides rest for his children

“Each night before bed I consider my day. I think of my sin, God’s evident grace, and his unflinching faithfulness. As I prayerfully inspect my own heart my head rests on the pillow of God’s promises. They are the comfort and means of rest to my restless soul.”   Recently my wife bought me a... Continue Reading

5 Principles Megachurches Can Learn From Small Churches

Healthy small churches have characteristics that make them work

“Big churches are fond of saying ‘every number is a person’, which is true. But when the crowd gets huge, sometimes people feel like numbers. In a healthy church, every person is a person, not a number.”   Small churches receive a lot from our megachurch friends. We read their books, sing their songs, use... Continue Reading

Heil! the Coming Progressive Utopia

Scotland is a land where preaching the Gospel is compared to noxious Nazism.

The opposition to Christianity takes a troubling turn with the not-so veiled threat of progressive Harvard Professor Mark Tushnet: “The culture wars are over; they [the Christians] lost, we won….taking a hard line is better than trying to accommodate the losers.” There will be, he warns, no accommodations or exceptions.   Commentators in major national... Continue Reading

Does Complementarity Just Boil Down to a Tiebreaker?

The special responsibility of the husband as head isn’t about a moment in a tiebreaker decision

When it comes to something more substantial, like uprooting the family for a career, both husband and wife should empathize with one another. I do believe the husband is called to sacrifice first for the wife. But the first priority of that sacrifice for his wife is to consider the effects of their decision under... Continue Reading

How To Pray When Your Soul Is Bone Dry

Perhaps the hardest thing to do in those times is to even make the effort to pray.

Pray boldly but also pray confidently, relying not on your own words or wisdom, but on the Spirit’s intercession. In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our... Continue Reading

Misplaced Fear

Who are you going to fear? Are you going to fear the LORD or are you going to fear man?

So I’m wondering:  How would this election cycle change for us if we were motivated by “the fear of the LORD” instead “the fear of Hillary Clinton” or “the fear of Donald Trump”? What would change if we were kept awake at night by our concern to properly reverence the LORD and not our fear... Continue Reading

Eight Warning Signs of a Bully Church Member

Early warning signs so you won’t be blindsided

They build unhealthy alliances. The bully in one church built an alliance with two weak staff members. The three of them spoke in secret to the personnel committee about the pastor. The pastor was fired without even being asked his side of the story. Watch carefully those the bully befriends.   “I love you pastor,... Continue Reading

Has The Passover Been Abolished?

It is a trend in some Christian circles and churches to host and celebrate Jewish sort of meals that are connected to the Passover.

It may seem interesting and even spiritual to reenact ancient Jewish feasts and meals, but doing so is actually going back to the copies and shadows of the old covenant which is obsolete (Heb 8: 5, 13).  As Hebrews makes very clear, you can’t have the old and the new together – the old is... Continue Reading

We Need a New Name

As a confessional, orthodox, Nicene Christian, I don’t believe the name complementarian defines me or my position on the Trinity or gender roles

Recently I have begun to wonder if it’s time for a new name and a maybe a new movement. Let me explain my reasoning. Whether or not CMBW came up with the term complementarianism, they are the public face of the movement and have defined what it means to be complementarian. Many of the CBMW... Continue Reading

If It Makes You Happy

"Love" is bandied about as the answer to every societal ill.

What is popularly understood as love? The popular notion of “love” seems to be something that more readily resembles “happiness.” If something makes me happy then it is good, not just preferentially but also morally and ontologically. And whatever that good is, it must be celebrated and embraced by all people. This is how love... Continue Reading

The Story After ‘Chariots of Fire’

“The Last Race,” a follow up film to “Chariots of Fire,” is about the ministry of Eric Liddell in China after the 1924 Olympics.

The film first shows Liddell, played by Joseph Fiennes, trudging into an internment camp in 1943, then flashes back to the eastern port of Tianjin and his years in the city as a teacher and missionary after his Olympic victory. After the Japanese invade, he sends his pregnant wife (Elizabeth Arends) and their two daughters... Continue Reading

Evangelical Exodus: The Protestant Seminary That Produced Dozens Of Catholic Converts

A new book tells the story of how numerous faculty members and students of a North Carolina Evangelical seminary found their way to the Catholic Church.

I’d say the fact of authoritative Church councils weighed heavily on me. They essentially were the answer to the above issues of canon and orthodoxy, and they also pointed to what the historic Church was—if the Catholic Church was behind the councils that determined the biblical canon and its orthodox interpretation, was it God-guided or... Continue Reading

Lutherans Armor Up to Defend Women

The U. S. Senate wants to mandate female draft registration—starting a war over conscience.

Last week in Milwaukee ,the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod’s triennial convention passed a resolution, by a 946-89 vote, committing to support “those who have a religious and moral objection to women participating in the selective service system and being subject to a possible draft.” The text of the final resolution built on proposals by more than... Continue Reading

Wisdom and Biblical Principles of Complementarianism

What should complementarianism in the marital relationship look like in a biblically faithful and nuanced fashion?

The Holy Spirit gives us broad principles and examples to follow–thus admitting a measure of subjectivity and necessitating that we seek to proceed with the wisdom that is needed commensurate to the particular situations that may arise. The idea that the Scriptures give us general principles rather than detailed prescriptions for marital situations also tends... Continue Reading

Spin Of The Year

Episcopal Divinity School will cease to grant degrees at the end of the upcoming academic year.

“A school that has taken on racism, sexism, heterosexism, and multiple interlocking oppressions is now called to rethink its delivery of theological education in a new and changing world,” said the Very Rev. Gary Hall ’76, chairman of the board, in introducing the resolution. “Ending unsustainable spending is a matter of social justice.” Translation: “Having... Continue Reading

The Practicality of God’s Word

In a culture that has largely rejected the One True Living Triune God the desire for practicality is often controlled by pragmatism.

The practice of God’s word can only be rightly understood when we recognize these two truths: God’s word gets to define all the words we use and all our words are part of a system of truth, apart from which we cannot arrive at these definitions. Everyone has a system of truth, or a systematic... Continue Reading

Seeing Through Rose Colored Glasses

The struggles that you face are likely different from mine, but we share our human condition and our need for the righteousness of Christ.

The glory of the Christian faith, however, is that when God looks at me, he cannot see my scarlet letters, because he is looking at me through rose colored glasses, tinged with the precious blood of Jesus Christ. He doesn’t wear glasses because his eyes are faulty, but he chooses to view me and my... Continue Reading

Another Look at the Earliest Complete List of the Canon of the New Testament

Around 250 A.D., in his typical allegorical fashion, Origen used the story of Joshua to describe what seems to be the complete New Testament canon.

In other words, it seems that we have good reasons to think that Origen’s list of NT books in the Homilies on Joshua is authentic.  And therefore we have good reason to think that there was a fairly well-established NT canon further back than many have thought.   Last year I posted an article entitled “What Is... Continue Reading

What Is the Will of God for My Life?

What does the Bible say about God’s leading?

“The secret things” belong to God, not to us. “The secret things” are not our business because they are not our property; they are His. However, God has taken some of the secret plans of His mind and removed the secrecy, and such things do belong to us. He has taken the veil away. This... Continue Reading

Daddy Needs a Vacation

I crave quiet, low-key, relaxing days that allow me to lie still and read and pray and ponder

“My children may need a vacation, but I need it more. I work harder than they do. I have greater responsibilities. I carry more stress. I have accumulated a lot more mileage. This leaves me with a deep need for rest.”   I need a vacation. Over the years I’ve learned to identify the signs. I’ve... Continue Reading

Southern Honor and Evangelical History: An Interview with Robert Elder

Church discipline, however unevenly practiced, was an acknowledgement of an enslaved person’s moral agency, something the Southern legal system didn’t acknowledge

“Nobody had written a full-length study of it, but most recent histories agreed that early evangelicals challenged the South’s honor culture, especially the violence, drinking, and rigid hierarchies or gender, race, and class that were integral to it.”   I recently had a chance to interview Robert Elder, assistant professor of history at Valparaiso University,... Continue Reading

Women Face The Draft After Lawmaker’s Protest Amendment Backfires

The House of Representatives likely will take up the next National Defense Authorization Act and with it a controversial proposal to require women to register for the draft.

At a recent conference of conservative activists, retired Army Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin said historically, women have not been included in the draft for two reasons. First, they were ineligible for frontline combat positions. Secondly, “it runs counter to the values of America. It runs counter to our ethos, and that is that we don’t... Continue Reading

Prophets, Prostitutes and Politicians

It is clear that we live in a shallow, confused and increasingly distorted society

“If one set of servants of God are not fulfilling their God appointed duty – what about the others? The church of Jesus Christ and especially those who profess to be leaders within it? Where have all the prophets gone? In the week that I read about all the above events I happened to be... Continue Reading

Why Married Sex Is Social Justice

It’s not only a solid biblical model — it’s also good for human flourishing

“What possible logic is there in criticizing something as appealing as extramarital sex? These are questions that teenagers want answers to. They will make sacrifices, but they need to know that the sacrifices make sense. Our rules and norms in local churches must be presented as rules and norms that will lead to our children’s... Continue Reading