PCA Standing Judicial Commission Member Files Protest for SJC’s Failure to Assume Jurisdiction Over Peter Leithart
Protest presented to the PCA’s Standing Judicial Commission for answering Overtures 2013-20, 21, and 22 in the negative
The SJC’s answer to Overtures 20, 21 and 22 establishes the principle that in such cases a presbytery has completely fulfilled this requirement to act if it has conducted a trial that fulfills all the technical details required by the BCO. With this understanding of BCO 34-1, should a presbytery become unwilling to convict one... Continue Reading
Casualties of War
Perhaps the pastorate isn’t dangerous, but I think it ranks up there for the level of stress that pastors suffer.
So, why on earth would anyone want to pursue the pastorate given these casualties of war? Simply stated, there’s a fire in your belly and a sense that you just have to pursue the call. A wise colleague of mine once said to a prospective seminary student who was thinking about pursuing ordained ministry, “If... Continue Reading
Here are some practical ways to maintain faithfulness to your spouse.
What do you do when someone other than your spouse shows interest in you beyond the interest of platonic, Christian friendship? If someone is not treating you as a younger sister or a brother (1 Tim. 5:2), how can you think and act in a way that protects your marriage, the church, and the name... Continue Reading
Homosexuality in Culture
Our culture’s majority position on homosexuality reminds us that we do not live in Christian America
Where can we be salt and light? So given that homosexual marriage is here to stay—now what? How do we talk about these things in a way so as not to become a stumbling block? What are the critical political issues? How do we engage with both those who hold strongly to a homosexual political position and... Continue Reading
Is the Movie Version of Noah Biblically Accurate?
Don't be taken in by the Noah movie trailer
There were many other bizarre, unbiblical aspects in the preview cut. Though it’s possible that some of these elements may not make the final cut (though we suspect most will), compare the above list to the trailer that has just been released! The comparison should be very revealing for you. You wouldn’t get much of a hint of... Continue Reading
Christian Rap and Public Apologies
Joel Beeke and Sam Waldron on comments made during the recent NCFIC discussion
Since I wrote the above email both Scott Brown and Joel Beeke have issued apologies for aspects of their comments. I think their apologies show wisdom and humility. Both emphasize the distinction I am insisting on in this blog. Let me only add that my ministry at the NCFIC conference emphasized the crucial distinction I was making at the... Continue Reading
5 Things to Do Before Leaving Your Church: The Pastor Edition
Thoughts churches and pastors might find helpful in the sometimes painful process of losing a shepherd
It’s hard on everyone when a pastor leaves–usually. Sometimes congregations are happy to see a man go and seem to do everything they can to ensure it happens. The story is told of the irate pastor who stood before the unhappy congregation and announced in no uncertain terms that he was leaving. Today would be... Continue Reading
Why Worship Teams Should Seek To Play With Excellence
Music is a gift of God’s grace to the world and especially his church.
I recently encouraged and thanked our worship team for pursuing musical excellence as they lead us in singing to the Lord together. Though they are not seeking to perform or show off their talents, when they play with excellence, it helps us worship. Not that we need instruments to worship, but the music stirs us. Many... Continue Reading
Supreme Court rejects Liberty’s Obamacare challenge
The case challenged both the employer and individual mandates on grounds of religious freedom, but it also disputed Congress’ power to compel employers to provide insurance.
Representing Liberty University is Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel, who challenged the law the day President Barack Obama signed it in 2010. On Tuesday’s The World and Everything in It, Staver said the issue of the employer mandate isn’t over. “If certainly there is a Court of Appeals that will strike down the employer mandate, that’s... Continue Reading
Seven Ways Pastoring Has Changed in Thirty Years
Thirty years ago, the church expected the pastor to be a capable preacher and caregiver. Today much more is expected.
Outreach was accomplished by getting people to come to church services thirty years ago. That is not so today. I remember some of the classic outreach ministries I led thirty years ago. They were all designed to get people to visit church services as a first step. Today, many barriers must be addressed in order for... Continue Reading
Christian, Where is your Hope?
I made a list of where my hope isn't to remind myself
Christ is our only sure hope. Our salvation is secure in Him. God has saved us, God is saving us, God will save us. Past, present, and future. All are certain in Him. May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy... Continue Reading
Family Worship and Its Benefits
Family worship is not meant to be some kind of guilt inducing torture established by divine decree. Rather, it is a means of grace.
As we think about family worship, we should note up front that there is no verse of the Bible commanding Christian families to gather together each evening to worship. However, there are plenty of commands making it clear that Christian parents are to teach their children the faith, read the Word, and pray. In essence,... Continue Reading
Is a Father a Priest to His Family?
The teaching that a husband/father is priest to his family is unbiblical and promotes abuse
As with most errors, this unbiblical doctrine that the man is the priest of his home consists of truth mixed with error. A father is to train up his children in the instruction of the Lord. A husband is to love his wife and promote her sanctification. He surely must pray for his family. These... Continue Reading
Seven Thoughts on Pastors Writing Books
Writing is a privilege, and that should make us humble
Whether in sermons or in print, it’s not okay for pastors to take credit for something that is not theirs. Granted, the lines can be blurry. But that doesn’t mean the line doesn’t exist. And just because it feels like the sin of sloth more than the sin of theft doesn’t make it less of... Continue Reading
Death Rattle or Life Preserver? An Appeal to the NCFIC Panelists
Christian Hip Hop Artist, God's Servant, offers some thoughts on the Reformed Rap debate
Remember that we are for you. Do you remember John’s Q & A with our Lord in Luke 9:49-50, after the disciples were corrected on their views of “who is the greatest” by Jesus? “John answered, ‘Master, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he does... Continue Reading
Pastors, how do we respond to brothers in error?
What are our motives in the confrontation? Are we just being pugnacious? Or is there a more biblically formed motive for the controversy?
What should our motive be in bringing confrontation? There’s much that could be said here, but I think the scripture tells us that we ought to have in mind the best interests of both the flock and the false teachers. Public confrontation ought to be animated by a desire to protect God’s people from being... Continue Reading
A Reformed Approach to Science and Scripture
A New Free eBook from Keith Mathison
In A Reformed Response to Science and Scripture, Dr. Mathison tackles a topic that has long been a subject of debate, aiming to equip Christians to approach questions pertaining to science and Scripture with grace, humility, and patience. “How old is the universe?” This question was raised during our 2012 National Conference and Dr. R.C. Sproul gave a... Continue Reading
Doorbusting Advent: A Prayer From a Dull Heart Not Quite Ready for Christmas
An Advent prayer—at the beginning of another Advent season
Yet as I rounded the corner and approached the storefront, my mood quickly changed. Feverishly scanning the crowd and realized I was among the Fortunate Ones. My heart leaped for joy! Racing, even floating, to the line, I did a head count: I was number 18. Standing there with a glad smug satisfaction—“I’m number 18!!” I... Continue Reading
The Sword of the Saint, Unsheathed
A review of Peter Damian’s ‘Book of Gomorrah: An Eleventh-Century Treatise Against Clerical Homosexual Practices’
Even so, like a good pastor, Damian encourages these sinners to hope in God’s mercy through repentance. He rallies them to take a bold stand “against the importunate madness of lust. If the flame of lust burns to the bones, the memory of perpetual fire should extinguish it immediately.” He urges them not to let... Continue Reading
Black Friday, Subjectivism, and Christian Liberty
The pope’s Gaudium Evangelii is an anti-capitalist screed, aiming its papal sights on the evils of the free market
Gaudium Evangelii is a good reminder to Protestants to remember the limits of ecclesiastical authority and competence. The Bishop of Rome obviously isn’t an economist and more importantly he doesn’t have the authority he arrogates to himself to pontificate (pun intended) about economics. Yes, there is a dark side to capitalism but there’s a darker... Continue Reading
C.S. Lewis: God’s Storyteller
Not long before his death on the same day as the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, Lewis remarked that he would be forgotten within five years.
Lewis thus suggests that ‘the foundation of all clear thinking about ourselves and the universe we live in’ consists in our knowledge of a moral law, and an awareness of our failure to observe it. This awareness ought to ‘arouse our suspicions’ that there “is a Something which is directing the universe and which appears... Continue Reading
Why Calvin and Not Luther?
Reasons for the appeal of Calvinism over Lutheranism for many
Calvinism is also a faith for people on the run. Literally. It was not rooted in one country, dependent on a nation-state or powerful patron. Calvin tried to settle in Geneva, but even there things did not always go well with the locals, who either resented the intrusions in their lives or refused to divvy... Continue Reading
Auburn University Homecoming Queen Molly Anne Dutton Surprised By Nation’s Reaction to Her Adoption Story
Auburn University senior Molly Anne Dutton shared the story of her birth mother's decision to put her up for adoption over abortion
On Saturday [Oct. 12, 2013], she was voted Miss Homecoming 2013 by the student body at Auburn University after weeks of sharing her platform, which tells of how Dutton’s birth mother made the decision to sacrifice her marriage and give Dutton up for adoption, as opposed to having an abortion, after surviving a sexual assault.... Continue Reading
Paul Walker – A Reminder to Those Who Teach in Christian Schools
Walker professed to be a Christian testifying that a major factor in his spiritual life was his education at an evangelical Christian school
For better or worse, many students will pass through the classrooms of Christian schools around the world. I’m so proud of many of the students who have been in one of my classes or schools in the past as they have become leaders of influence as adults. I doubt that many thought Paul Walker would... Continue Reading
The Philanthropists: William Wilberforce
Wilberforce was the English politician and Christian philanthropist who led the abolition of the British slave trade—and more
While Wilberforce is obviously most remembered for his arduous work against the British slave trade, he also made numerous other vocational and financial contributions to the work of Christ’s kingdom. He volunteered for dozens of societies. For example, he worked for the Church Missionary Society, the British and Foreign Bible Society, the Sunday School Society,... Continue Reading
Whither the PCA at 40: Anyone for a Janus Birthday in December?
This week a young denomination, the Presbyterian Church in America, will celebrate its 40th birthday
It is no accident that the PCA’s formative meeting was on December 7, 1973, the anniversary of the founding of the Southern Presbyterian denomination in 1861. This letter is as clear a herald as we have of the basic values of the birth of the PCA, often summarized as “True to the Scriptures, the Reformed... Continue Reading
How Do We Fix the Problem of Celebrity-ism?
Understanding that no matter what our success is, we are still just people.
How does celebrity-ism start? It always—always—begins when we forget who we are. For pastors, maybe the congregation’s grown to a size when people are starting to take notice. More people show up. Podcasts downloads increase. Someone suggests writing a book. That book sells more than three copies. Monday, after sharing a few thoughts on... Continue Reading
Review of Mark Jones' book Antinomianism
Jones argues well that historic Reformed theologians typically critiqued antinomian rhetoric (i.e. our sanctification means going back to our justification). They critiqued it because it was unclear, because it had a primarily negative view of the law, because it became a hermeneutical grid, and because it lacked a balanced approach to Christology and the Christian... Continue Reading
Belhaven Professor, Wife Offer Seat at the Table
Students join couple for Thanksgiving meal.
Seventeen people — mostly dance students — attended that first meal in 2010. The afternoon ended with somewhat of an impromptu performance. “We put on a performance of ‘Nutcracker’ while we were clearing the table,” Don Hubele said with a smile. “They were all doing ballet while they’re washing dishes.” Belhaven University student Kerry Jones... Continue Reading
Strassel: Piano Sonata in FTC Minor
Music teachers, beware. The feds are onto you. Better not try to raise the price of your lessons.
In March of this year, a small nonprofit in Cincinnati—the Music Teachers National Association—received a letter from the FTC. The agency was investigating whether the association was engaged in, uh, anticompetitive practices. Teddy Roosevelt busted Standard Oil. The Obama administration? It’s making the world safe from rapacious piano teachers. Every month, it seems, brings... Continue Reading