Repairing the Damage after a Pastor Falls
Whenever a pastor falls into public and scandalous sin, it leaves a trail of desolating damage in many lives.
Prioritize the wife and children. Each of the groups above need pastoring but none more so than the wife and the children of the fallen man. Bizarrely, the wife is sometimes a target of blame when a pastor falls. This can even come from the fallen pastor, as was the case a few years ago when... Continue Reading
To Christians Who Suffer
If you are suffering, I pray God gives you the eyes of faith to see that his grace is sufficient for you in your weakness even right now.
As Paul said in his trial, “When I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Cor. 12:10). Suffering is so hard; it is a heavy, heavy burden. But God’s grace lightens the load, shines light on the path, and makes it possibly for us to joyfully make it through suffering. And remember, your trial will... Continue Reading
The Like Culture
I think that sometimes we sacrifice our own classiness by feeding this whole celebrity-obsessed cultural hunger
Likes have also become a way of dividing into online alliances. I see this with my teenagers, and I see it in the Christian bubble of social media. Instead of pursuing truth, we are often feeding into our sinful tendency to compare ourselves with others. We can easily begin to calculate the value of what... Continue Reading
Survey: Americans Say Bible is Helpful, but Don’t Read It
Over half of Americans have read little or none of the Bible, according to findings released Tuesday (April 26) by LifeWay Research.
“Most Americans don’t know first-hand the overall story of the Bible—because they rarely pick it up,” said Scott McConnell, executive director of LifeWay Research. “Even among worship attendees less than half read the Bible daily. The only time most Americans hear from the Bible is when someone else is reading it.” Only 11 percent of... Continue Reading
How Do I Handle Life’s Upsets?
Spend Less Time on “Why” and More Time on “Who”
Someone we love gets sick. Why? Was it something they did? Something they didn’t do? In most cases, the answer is, “who knows?” Sickness is a part of the world as a result of the fall. It’s an upset that merely results from life in a broken world. Reframing an upset in this fashion helps... Continue Reading
The Rule Of Worship, Christ And Culture, And Asparagus Fest
With respect to worship, we confess that the church may impose no practice upon Christians that is not commanded explicitly or unavoidably implied (WCF 1.6: “by good and necessary consequence”) by God’s Word.
When, however, the church observes Asparagus Fest or otherwise confuses culture with worship (secular with the sacred), it impinges upon the Christian conscience because Christ has not authorized such an observance. Attendance to public worship is mandatory. Therefore the church needs to take special care not to obligate Christ’s people beyond that which he has... Continue Reading
Can’t We PLEASE Talk About Something Else?!
I'm afraid we're so hyper focused on the topic of Biblical womanhood that we're creating a generation of Biblically lopsided women.
I’m concerned that our focus on Biblical womanhood in women’s Bible studies has put us in danger of forgetting the gospel. We are saved by the blood of Christ, not by adherence to a standard of womanhood that may or may not be Biblical. If we are not teaching Christ, crucified and resurrected, we are not helping... Continue Reading
The Real “Anti-Science”
There are at least three means by which these supposed defenders of science actually undermine it through their political tactics
Politicizers of science are not as clever as they think. People are watching, and the real victim of their abuse could be support for science itself. Indeed, the more vehemently establishment thinkers and their media camp followers seek to suppress alternate views and research, the more they attempt to crush ethical debates with the “anti-science” cudgel, the... Continue Reading
Refusing to be Encouraged
There are times when we refuse to be encouraged or comforted or complimented.
But there is a sense in which we want to retain personal responsibility. Sure, Christ is the one who strengthens me. He is the one in whom I can all things. But I am the one doing those things. I chose to undertake them and to put out the effort to do them well. Like... Continue Reading
5 Mistakes More Likely To Be Made By Small Churches Than Big Churches
Different sizes of churches serve different functions. And they face different challenges.
Fixing these errors may not bring numerical growth. There are plenty of healthy, missional, strategic small churches that have none of these issues, but still find that their greatest contribution to Christ and his church comes in a smaller package. Numerical growth is not the goal. Health is. Sometimes that health will produce numerical growth,... Continue Reading
God Still Uses Ordinary Means And Ordinary Men
Through the ordinary means of ordinary men, God used preachers.
Through the ordinary means of ordinary men, God used preachers. These preachers gave them a reason to live. They freed them up to live by giving them a kingdom bigger than their own. We shrink-wrap our world and vision to the size of our lives. God used the prophets to increase their kingdom view–from the... Continue Reading
The Revolution Demands Unconditional Surrender
The terms of moral surrender have been delivered to believers; they are absolute and unconditional.
How to deal with the losers? Here we meet the reality of liberal judgment in a day of liberal ascendancy. Tushnet argues that conservatives should now be met with a hard line and a demand for total surrender—no accommodation whatsoever. Don’t even try to be nice to moral enemies, Tushnet commands, since their arguments have... Continue Reading
Forgiveness: Muslims Moved as Coptic Christians Do the Unimaginable
Amid ISIS attacks, faithful response inspires Egyptian society.
On Palm Sunday, the guard had redirected a suicide bomber through the perimeter metal detector, where the terrorist detonated. Likely the first to die in the blast, Faheem saved the lives of dozens inside the church. “I’m not angry at the one who did this,” said his wife, children by her side. “I’m telling him,... Continue Reading
Millennials Want Jobs and Education, Not Marriage and Kids
A large majority of young Americans now believe more than half, 55%, believe marrying and having children is not very important.
A large majority of young Americans now believe education and economic accomplishments are extremely important parts of adulthood, and more than half — 55% — believe marrying and having children is not very important. That mentality differs from the values of 40 years ago. In 1975, 8 in 10 people were married by the time they turned 30. Now,... Continue Reading
5 Facts On How Americans View The Bible And Other Religious Texts
Five key facts about Americans and their holy texts
In 2014, about four-in-ten Christians (42%) said reading the Bible or other religious materials is an essential part of what being Christian means to them personally. An additional 37% say reading the Bible is important but not essential to being a Christian, and 21% say reading the Bible is not an important part of their Christian... Continue Reading
We are born into the world “in Adam,” that is, as glorious traitors
“Total depravity does not mean that we are as bad as we can possibly be. After all, even Gentiles sometimes follow the dictates of their conscience (Rom. 2:14–16). Rather, it means that just as God’s image encompasses our whole self, the bondage of sin does as well.” Secular humanism has no way of explaining... Continue Reading
Can We Overcome “Other Ministry Envy”?
No one church or ministry can single-handedly fulfill the Great Commission
“There are probably many things to say about this subject, but I have identified five reasons why I think this is such a struggle for Christians—and Christian leaders in particular. Additionally, I’d like to share several practices I believe the Lord has led me into to work against this tendency in my own heart, as... Continue Reading
Parents’ Mobile Use Harms Family Life, Say Secondary Pupils
An overuse of mobile phones by parents disrupts family life
“Of pupils who had asked their parents to put down their phones, 46% said their parents took no notice while 44% felt upset and ignored. Despite this, only a minority of parents (10%) believed their mobile use was a concern for their children – although almost half (43%) felt they spent too much of their... Continue Reading
3 Things Chinese Pastors Can Learn from the Reformers
The Reformation is like a huge mine in which we can dig and from which we can learn
“In the past three to four years, more and more Chinese ministers have started practicing expository preaching week after week. The consequences have been remarkable and encouraging: congregations engage more with worship because they can anticipate the passage that will be preached the coming Sunday; people see the beauty of scripture and the gospel, which... Continue Reading
How to Fight for Faith in the Dark
Depression usually causes a person to feel only gloom and despair, no matter what they’re thinking
When all you feel is gloom, it becomes very hard to have hope, no matter what you read in Scripture. As someone who labored under a lot of depression and anxiety throughout my life, I know that it usually doesn’t help a depressed person to say, “Just believe God’s word more!” I’ve often said... Continue Reading
Five Common but Unreasonable Requests Church Members Make of Pastors
Most pastors will encounter all five of these requests in the course of their ministries
“Accept a gift with unreasonable expectations. The most recent was the offer of a $10,000 gift if the church signed a document agreeing to keep fresh flowers on his grave in perpetuity. I assume he meant the request to be posthumous.” “I need you to do a funeral for my cat.” Yes, that is... Continue Reading
Blasphemy Blocks Re-Election of Indonesia’s Only Christian Governor
But after losing Jakarta race, Ahok finds some favor in court
“Ahok is very positive. He says that everything is in God’s hands and that everything has a purpose,” said Lucille Talusan, CBN’s Indonesia correspondent. “Even if he is under trial for what is happening in his life, he believes that one day God is going to bring him back to his calling. The first thing... Continue Reading
We Need More ‘Parlour Preachers’
The 19th-century English pastor and author Charles Bridges writes in his book The Christian Ministry that we need more “parlour preaching”
“Some today have used the term Gospel Fluency to describe a similar work (see Jeff Vanderstelt’s Gospel Fluency). In short, ones who are fluent in the gospel have their mother tongue in the gospel. They see and hear the world through the gospel filter and demonstrate an ability to speak the gospel into the everyday... Continue Reading
TULIP and Reformed Theology: Irresistible Grace
God, and God alone, has the power to change the disposition of the soul and the human heart to bring us to faith.
If, indeed, we are dead in sins and trespasses, if, indeed, our wills are held captive by the lusts of our flesh and we need to be liberated from our flesh in order to be saved, then in the final analysis, salvation must be something that God does in us and for us, not something... Continue Reading
Why the Lord’s Prayer Is So Offensive
Anyone who thinks that isn’t offensive simply hasn’t been paying attention.
The Lord’s Prayer is not mild, inoffensive, vanilla, listless, nominal, wishy-washy, or wallpapery. If you don’t worship the God and Father of the Lord Jesus Christ, it is deeply subversive, upsetting, and offensive—from the first phrase to the last. Several months ago there was a kerfuffle over an advertisement in which the Lord’s Prayer is prayed by... Continue Reading
Questioning a Question: A False Dichotomy that Isn’t
Is there a false dichotomy between orthodoxy (right doctrine) and orthopraxis (right practice)?
First, there is and ought to be a priority of orthodoxy over orthopraxy for the simple reason that there can be no God-pleasing orthopraxy without orthodoxy. In the New Testament the indicative (what is – the facts) goes before the imperative (what should be – the commands). This is evident as well in the Old... Continue Reading
“The Bible Answer Man” Turns East: An Unlikely Conversion
Eastern Orthodoxy accepts tradition (though not the authority of the pope) as an equal source of revelation along with the Scriptures.
In an interview, Hank Hanegraaff has said “Nothing has changed in my faith.” But it appears that he will have to broaden his source of authority beyond the Scriptures as he answers the questions of his listeners. We hope he reconsiders his decision and realizes that he has chosen a path that has misled many. ... Continue Reading
The Roller Coaster Effect of Ministry
The roller coaster effect is true in a heightened sense for those who are called to parachute plant or plant in an extremely spiritually difficult part of the world, but it is equally true for all ministers of the Gospel who are seeking to carry out a God-honoring ministry of the word.
One of the ways that we prepare ourselves is by keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus and not on our experiences. We have to guard our hearts from getting too excited about the highs and too discouraged by the lows. I have had some of the highest highs and lowest lows literally occur a day... Continue Reading
Whatever You Do, Do It to the Glory of God
If we think that the God of Scripture has no relation to plastic or political elections, we err and rob God of his glory.
The Bible is sufficient for the purpose God gave it. It is concerned with our redemption. But it is not only concerned with our redemption. It is also concerned with God’s glory and our faith and life. Paul also tells us that what is not of faith is sin (Romans 14:23). If we study the... Continue Reading
A High School Counselor’s Tips on Parenting Teenagers
Persevere in loving, praying, and trusting that God loves your children even more than you do.
Implement basic counseling principles into your parenting during these years. Ask lots of questions, but also study body language and mood (remember the raging hormones), and realize that sometimes simply your presence and listening ear are all that is required, while at other times you will find golden opportunities for conversation. I have had... Continue Reading