PCA Church Plant: One Family, Many Challenges, Tons of Inspiration
A PCA mission church begins worship services in Colorado Springs even as it struggles against fires and different afflictions
Kara said many churches are built on how together they are, how good they look, how together the members are. “Within our new congregation, four people have cancer, one woman’s aunt was murdered, another was robbed at gunpoint, five were in the fire and one woman lost her home. So, our little community has really... Continue Reading
Diversity, Not Jesus, Saves Says Episcopal Presiding Bishop Schori
She concluded her sermon by stating that we are not justified by our faith but by our respect for diversity
Schori: Salvation comes not from being cleansed of our sins by the atoning sacrificial death of Jesus Christ, but through the divinization of humanity through the work of the human will. “We are here, among all the other creatures of God’s creation, to be transformed into the glory intended from the beginning. The Presiding... Continue Reading
A View on Missional Church Planting from the Far Outfield
Our local prefecture in Asia has a population of four million, with only a single openly-publicized church and a dozen or so “house churches.
The recent focus on urban church-planting is a necessary corrective to the flight of Evangelicals to the suburbs in many North American contexts, but must not become an overreaction in a world in which as many as seven thousand distinct ethnic groups remain unreached with the gospel and over four thousand of the world’s seven... Continue Reading
The Texas Cheerleaders’ Massacre (of the Bible)
Twisting Scripture and trivializing its true meaning
However, whatever we think of the ruling as law, we ought to be embarrassed by the cheerleaders’ banners. To say they have used these verses without regard to the original context and intent is an understatement and exercise of restraint on my part. To say that they have at best trivialized and at worst blasphemed... Continue Reading
How Southern Baptists Should Approach Disagreements in Theology
My goal in this article is to help Southern Baptists think productively about the Calvinism controversy and other theological controversies in the Southern Baptist Convention.
Is Calvinism outside of the Baptist Faith and Message? Clearly, it is not. The Baptist Faith and Message comes from a line of Calvinist confessions, rooted in the Second London Baptist Confession and the Westminster Confession of Faith. This is our theological history as Southern Baptists. Our confession has been modified over the years to... Continue Reading
The Pentagon’s Problem With Proselytizing
Evangelicals lately have detected worrying signals from the military
So is the case about Pentagon policy closed? Not at all, say some religious-liberty advocates. For one thing, the Pentagon statement clarifying that military personnel would not be court-martialed if they “evangelize” also said that “proselytization” is considered a Uniform Code of Military Justice offense. Yet the definitions of those two words are almost identical:... Continue Reading
Augustine and Rape
The pressures on Christians in Augustine’s day were so intense that he was compelled to publicly address rape
Augustine draws these suffering Christians to see that where they did not consent to sin, even where they suffered abuse, they were not sinning, and did not commit sin: “[they] sinlessly suffered the violence of their captors.” They remain pure and chaste, despite the heinous offenses committed against them. Augustine notes that like the suffering... Continue Reading
Tunnel Vision: The Personal Purgatory of Kevin Tunell
A tunnel vision that focuses on sin with no relief of basking in mercy will leave us in despair
Suzan’s parents offered to settle for a mere $936 [down from $1,500,000], on one condition: that Kevin pay the amount by sending them a check for $1, made out to the deceased Suzan Herzog, every Friday for the next eighteen years—one for every year Suzan had been alive. The penalty seemed like he had been... Continue Reading
Tornadoes, Tsunamis, and the Mystery of Suffering and Sovereignty
Thoughts on the Oklahoma tornado
Great natural disasters such as this tell us nothing about the comparative sinfulness of those who are its victims. Please do not conclude that the residents of Moore, Oklahoma, are more sinful than any other city that has not as yet experienced such devastation. Please do not conclude that we are more righteous than they... Continue Reading
Divorce, Remarriage, and Abuse
Part 3 of the review of Pastor Jeff Crippen's book, A Cry for Justice
In the case of abuse in marriage, the abuse victim is not the one destroying the marriage when he or she decides the marriage contract has been rendered null and void. That has already been accomplished by the abuser who has refused to love, honor, and cherish as he vowed before God to do. The... Continue Reading
The “Why” Behind the IRS Scandal
The Agency’s decisions to pursue individual organizations that oppose the administration’s public policies, is legally, morally, politically and ethically unacceptable. Perhaps more simply, however, it is linguistically unacceptable. Where Bob Jones lost its tax exemption for running afoul of “established public policy,” the IRS is targeting groups that disagree with the “administration’s public policies.” ... Continue Reading
A church with a less realistic view of life than one can find in a movie theater?
Bonhoeffer once asked, “Why did it come about that the cinema really is often more interesting, more exciting, more human and gripping than the church?” Why, indeed. Maybe the situation is even worse than I have described; perhaps the churches are even more trivial than the entertainment industry. After all, in popular entertainment one does... Continue Reading
The Boy Scouts of America and “The Fork in the Road”
The result is the BSA has come to a “fork in the road” and will have to “take it” in a vote by its General Council this week.
But at the moment it is the BSA which is at a “fork in the road” and you must “take it.” The path of “principled leadership” promises not only to maintain a marvelous legacy but actually build on it with that glorious leadership attribute of moral courage even in the face of an assured response... Continue Reading
Speaking Terms: Witnessing and the Military
What happens to free speech in a regulatory era?
What’s so ironically outrageous about the bureaucrats’ suggested restrictions on free speech among military personnel is that anyone anywhere even thinks about imposing such limits on the very uniformed people who have pledged their lives to protecting our freedoms. We should be ashamed to let such thoughts cross our minds. Not sure what all the... Continue Reading
Who Are Your Heroines?
Scripture gives us real heroines who did the little stuff, the messy stuff, and the necessary stuff.
Adult women need heroines, too. But these extraordinary women are little overwhelming to me. Truly, I can’t conquer the laundry, let alone find a cure for cancer. I take joy in the fact that the heroines in Scripture are outwardly less splashy than those from women’s history month. “Mother shuns Disney Princess ideal and... Continue Reading
Four Further Thoughts on the Complementarian Conversation
It seems to me the current conversation is mainly about two things: abuse and application.
Where have complementarian principles been abused? How are complementarian principles best applied? Those are fair questions. There are black and white issues, but just as many gray ones (which is why Danvers is thick on principles and thin on specifics). We should be able to talk about the applications without assuming that everyone to the... Continue Reading
A Prayer for the People of the Oklahoma Tornado Tragedy
As part of our support, praying for the people ravaged by the Oklahoma tornado
Lord, we are desperate to release our burden for the grieving people of Oklahoma as we lift their needs before Your throne of mercy… Encourage those who sit amidst the ruin and rubble of what was once their homes, like Jeremiah weeping, and help them to rebuild and give them a faith beyond their own... Continue Reading
A Biblical and Scientific Adam
A challenge to evangelicals who have backed away from an historic Adam, using a theologically informed look at ape ancestry genetic claims
In a just-published article from the Westminster Theological Journal, Westminster Theological Seminary professor Vern Poythress brilliantly explains why such a surrender is wrong biblically and scientifically. Poythress, with both a Th.D. and a Harvard Ph.D. in mathematics, is well-positioned to write about both theology and evolutionary theory. He has published 13 books, including Redeeming Science... Continue Reading
The Mass Exodus of Christians from the Muslim World
A mass exodus of Christians is currently underway. Millions of Christians are being displaced from one end of the Islamic world to the other. We are reliving the true history of how the Islamic world, much of which prior to the Islamic conquests was almost entirely Christian, came into being. A mass exodus of Christians is... Continue Reading
Thoughts on Culture Wars
Christians in America must remember that our greatest goal is not to preserve a Christian America, but to advance the gospel throughout the country. The preaching of the gospel, fueled by prayer and service to our neighbor is our greatest weapon–not getting into debates about homosexuality, abortion, etc. There is a time for debate, but... Continue Reading
What Day Changed the Course of Christian History?
For the inaugural article in our new series “Big Questions,” The Gospel Coalition asked four Christian historians, “After AD 70, what day most changed the course of Christian history?” Robert Louis Wilken … at the University of Virginia. … George Marsden … at the University of Notre Dame… Philip Jenkins … at Baylor University. …... Continue Reading
How Fornication Messes Up Marriage
The great harm of sexual sin is not that someone becomes “used goods” but instead that these behaviors become a liability in a marriage, whether future or present. People that trespass sexually and are repentant should not be shamed, but they will have to wrestle through some difficult issues in their matrimony. There can be... Continue Reading
Religious Freedom Watch
What the IRS Wants to Know About Your Religion
From the 16 May 2013 Memo to the Hon. Aaron Schock, Member of Congress, Committee of Ways and Means, from Thomas Brejcha, Peter Breen, Sally Wagenmaker, Esqs. Thomas More Society. The IRS asks: Please explain how all of your activities, including the prayer meetings held outside of Planned Parenthood are considered education as defined under... Continue Reading
Happy Are The Mourners
There are 2 kinds of grief: godly and worldly. Worldly grief is feeling bad because you got caught or things went wrong after you sinned. It’s regret because you look bad in others’ eyes or you messed up your life. … Godly sorrow regrets hurting God and we want to change, not to improve our... Continue Reading
Lawsuit Claiming Church Conspiracy To Conceal Child Abuse Adds More Names and Charges
Sovereign Grace Ministries finds allegations 'serious, grievous, and difficult to read,' but says no evidence of cover-up.
A controversial lawsuit alleging leaders of Sovereign Grace Ministries conspired to conceal the sexual abuse of children has been amended a second time … SGM responded promptly, stating in part: “The charges in this amended complaint are serious, grievous, and difficult to read. The thought of such alleged abuse is extremely disturbing. Because of our... Continue Reading
Church of Scotland Votes To Allow Gay Ministers
Halting between two opinions: Church of Scotland affirmed the Church’s “current doctrine and practice in relation to human sexuality,” but will allow congregations to depart from this doctrine if they choose.
Church commissioners backed his motion to “affirm the Church’s historic and current doctrine and practice in relation to human sexuality, (but) nonetheless permit those Kirk Sessions who wish to depart from that doctrine and practice to do so”. Today’s historic vote effectively means that the traditionalist position holds, but congregations will be able to choose... Continue Reading
This is the PCA – We Want to be Players
We're not a Main Line denomination but we desperately want to be important
Here’s one way we see this lack of awareness today. There is a large swath of young pastors whose ministry sensibilities have been informed by older men very set in we-should-be-players. They’ve also cut their teeth on watching and learning from Tim Keller who is indeed (I think for all the right reasons) an influence... Continue Reading
Living with a Sense of Eternity
Living in the "already" but "not yet" focused on the future
Calvin sought, personally, to develop a balance of contempt for the present life with a deep gratitude for the blessings of God and a love and longing for the heavenly kingdom. The sense that the Lord would come and issue His final assessment on all and bring His elect to glory was a dominant motif... Continue Reading
Kermit Gosnell’s America — What His Trial Really Reveals
Dr. Gosnell is not alone in having the blood of babies on his hands
What the pro-abortion movement fears most is that Americans will pause to consider what this trial really means. It means that Dr. Gosnell would not be on trial for murder if he had killed those three babies while inside their mother’s body. His murder convictions have everything to do with the fact that the abortions... Continue Reading
The Crazy Culture of Complementarianism
Right beliefs do not always lead to healthy cultures.
Culture is a lot harder to pin down and define, and yet culture communicates, sometimes more than our statements. In some churches that affirm a complementarian view of manhood and womanhood, a culture develops that goes beyond the complementarian beliefs into a skewed version of manhood and womanhood that we did not discern from the... Continue Reading