No Lord!

When someone says, “No Lord!” they have to be insincere in one of those two words.

When some say “No Lord,” they are proclaiming insincere praise. With their mouths they are giving title and tribute to God, but there is a wide gulf between their words and their affections. They are insincere in calling Jesus, “Lord.” They are very sincere in saying, “No.”   Have you ever said, “No Lord!” I must admit, I... Continue Reading

How My Books are Being Banned at the Society of Biblical Literature

SBL’s ire of book banning is directed to the simple belief that the Bible teaches marriage is between a man and a woman.

But, apparently book banning is back in vogue.  Dr. John Kutsko, executive director of the Society of Biblical Literature, has just proposed that InterVarsity Press–one of the largest evangelical presses in the country– be suspended from having a book stall at the annual SBL meeting (starting in 2017). The reason for this ban is the... Continue Reading

50 Years Ago: The Split Between John Stott And Martyn Lloyd-Jones

An event 50 years ago between two respected church leaders that shook British evangelicalism—on the nature of the church and the basis of gospel unity and purity

Lloyd-Jones argued that evangelicals were guilty of “the sin of schism” for remaining visibly separated from each other, while being visibly united in their denominations to people who denied the gospel essentials …. Stott and his Anglican evangelical colleagues, like J. I. Packer, protested vigorously against heresy in the Church of England, especially against liberal... Continue Reading

How Vocation Transformed Society

A dramatic example of how a theological teaching had a revolutionary social impact is the Reformation doctrine of vocation.

Another name for the doctrine of vocation is the priesthood of all believers. God does call some Christians to be pastors, but He calls other Christians to exercise their royal priesthood by plowing fields, forging steel, and starting businesses. But all priests—including peasants and serving girls—need access to God’s Word. So during the Reformation, schools... Continue Reading

Worship At Home

Because our worship is about the glory of God rather than our emotional experiences, worship is central to all of life.

The reading of the Word at home and the preaching of the Word at church are not innovations given to us by man. They are instructions given by God to his people. To lead our families in worship, we must always be grounded not in our own profundity, but on the omniscient and good instructions... Continue Reading

Fake Christian Emotions And Real Christian Affections

Many Christians believe that what Scripture means by “pure” and by “lovely” is the pleasant, the naive, the Hallmark Channel, not the reality of a world in need of redemption.

Prosperity gospel preachers would tell us that the point of the Christian life is to escape pain, suffering, and grief. And we should not deny that God has plans to “wipe every tear” from the eyes of believers. But in this life, realistic grief and sorrow are as much a part of the godly affections... Continue Reading

Time to Grow Up

Parents and local church members, let us teach our children to follow our example and grow up.

Let’s enjoy the progress Christ is making within and seek to be a bit different than the average Joe in our culture. Let’s grow up!  Let’s mature and leave behind our childish and foolish ways. Men, let’s take the lead and man up! Ladies, you mature as well and grow in excellence as you grow in years.... Continue Reading

Which Ministry: Backwoods Boondocks or Metro Urban Center?

God is still preparing and preparing his servants in his fields ripe for harvest.

John the Baptist could not have ministered successfully in the same arenas that Paul the Apostle did and the opposite is also true.  Not only were their ministry gifts different, but their preparation and personalities were tailor made by our sovereign God for them to do exactly His will in the exact places where He... Continue Reading

5 Ways Persecution in Iran Has Backfired

Seeing Christians willing to suffer often draws unbelievers closer to Christ

“Scripture is clear that God often uses his people’s suffering to advance his kingdom. In his providence, the Islamic regime’s strategies to stamp out the Persian-speaking church in Iran have backfired—resulting in further church growth. Here are five examples.”   The Bible is full of stories reminding us that, whatever the opposition, God is always victorious. It’s the story of Joseph... Continue Reading

Why Definite Atonement (Particular Redemption) Must Be True

The doctrine of definite atonement or particular redemption refers to the biblical truth that Jesus died on the cross only for His elect and actually procured their eternal salvation at Calvary

“What did Jesus actually accomplish at the cross? Did Jesus really save people or did Jesus make people savable by dying for them? What did the atonement achieve? The many words that comprise the theological range that describes what Jesus did on the cross all underscore that Jesus perfectly saved people by dying for them.”... Continue Reading

12 Theses on a Christian Understanding of Economics

The Christian worldview reminds us that we must live with the recognition that we will give an account to the Lord for our stewardship of our resources

“Some economic systems treat the idea of private property as a problem. But Scripture never considers private property as a problem to be solved (see, for instance, the Ten Commandments). Scripture’s view of private property implies it is the reward of someone’s labor and dominion.”   Regrettably, many American Christians know little about economics. Furthermore,... Continue Reading

The State of Theology: Does Even the Smallest Sin Deserve Eternal Damnation?

Eight out of ten Americans have an incorrect view of sin

You can think of the views of sin and of Christ’s person and work as an inverse relationship. Thinking less of sin, not grasping its full weight, means we necessarily think less of Christ and less of His work on the cross. When we see the full depth and heinousness of our sin, we exalt... Continue Reading

Andy Stanley Says Christian Unity Is More Than ‘Hey, Can You Put Down Weapons For The Weekend?’

Stanley emphasized that "unity around who is Jesus is preeminent"

Stanley then paraphrased and explained what Christ meant by that prayer: “Father, I pray that they will all be in oneness just like We are in oneness. I pray that they will be in unity together, just like We are in unity together.”   Speaking to thousands of Christian leaders gathered for Catalyst Atlanta Oct.... Continue Reading

Sexual Morality in a Christless World

Sexual morality is undergoing a revolution as traditional morality gives way to something different

“Into the fray steps Matthew Rueger with his book Sexual Morality in a Christless World. Though the last few years have brought us no shortage of books on how to live on this side of the sexual revolution, Rueger offers something unique in examining and explaining the historical and cultural backdrop to the New Testament’s... Continue Reading

Heaven is a Person

Heaven isn’t about the place, it’s about the Person

“God has given us some information about heaven, but consider how much more he has told us about himself! The Bible is stuffed with truths and stories about God’s character, his demands, and his grace. When we complain that we don’t know much about heaven, we’re missing the point. God has told us gobs about... Continue Reading

5 Reasons To Teach Your Kids About The Reformation

I want my children to know that without the gospel, they cannot make sense of life in a fallen world

“During October we take a couple of nights each week in family worship to study the major figures and core issues of the Reformation. We’ve looked at the lives of John Calvin and John Knox, the burr in Martin Luther’s saddle that drove him to nail his 95 theses, the five solas of the Reformation, even why I... Continue Reading

An Illustration of Repentance

Do we have a sense of what repentance looks like when God is working repentance in us?

In God’s work in the believer, He takes a little time to bring the believer to an awareness that his course is actually a sinful one. Then there is the process of coming to a stop, the process of the turn itself, and the process of getting up to speed in faithfulness. But some sins... Continue Reading

3 Awful Features of Roman Sexual Morality

Whatever else you know about the Bible, it says this: It lays out a sexual ethic that displays God’s intent in creating sexuality.

Our society is throwing off the last vestiges of the Christian sexual ethic and as it does so, we are once again outsiders and traitors who threaten to destabilize the whole system. As we insist that sex is to be limited to the marriage of one man to one woman we threaten the stability of... Continue Reading

Why Millennials Won’t Build the Kinds of Churches their Parents Built

We can't treat Millennials as a homogeneous group. We have to minister to them as individuals, instead.

Millennials won’t build the kinds of churches their parents and grandparents built. I don’t know what kinds of churches they will build, but they’ll be very different than what we’ve been used to in the last two generations. Here’s why. Builders and Boomers took relationships for granted and needed to build structures. Millennials take the structures for... Continue Reading

A Curious Student Dug Through A Box In The Archives — And Unearthed A Centuries-Old Geneva Bible

A college student found a Geneva Bible in an old box in the college’s archives; it may be more than 400 years old.

Crummé has traced the Bible’s ownership back to Francis Fry, a 19th-century Bible collector in England. From Fry, the Bible apparently went to a London bookseller, who sold it to the Rev. Clarence Baerveldt, a pastor in Waldport and Yachats, who gave it to Lewis & Clark. Along the way, it’s possible the Bible made... Continue Reading

The Death of the Apostles’ Creed in Corporate Worship

Has using the Apostles’ Creed or other creeds in corporate worship died a death by mere silence?

The creeds are a teaching instrument.  Some churches are exposed to very little doctrine.  These short creeds summarize concisely the fundamental doctrines of the faith.  Once we repeat them over and over, week by week, they become part of our being.  They are brief and succinct.  They contain orthodox statements that we never forget.  ... Continue Reading

What “Every Thought Captive” Means In Its Original Context

Did Paul have in mind, as he wrote 2 Corinthians 10:5, the transformation of Greco-Roman culture? If so it is not obvious.

The arguments to be destroyed are those of the Judaizers (as in ch. 3) and especially those of the self-exalting, self-described “Super Apostles,” who were teaching a theology of glory (we may be sure that everything they did was said be “huge!” and “magnificent!” and “fantastic!”) whereas Paul was a theologian of the cross. He... Continue Reading

InterVarsity Now Paying the Price for Mixed Message on Homosexuality

InterVarsity Christian Fellowship is learning the hard way that, when it comes to homosexuality, you cannot straddle the fence.

And so, while InterVarsity did well to call for churches to reach out with sensitivity and compassion to the LGBT community and to recognize the struggles experienced by many true believers, they erred seriously by putting forth the mixed message of Marin and others, a message that surely was felt in InterVarsity’s campus ministry as... Continue Reading

Evangelicals and Lust for Political Power – Beyond the Lesser of Two Evils

The logic of the lesser of two evils argument assumes that power is our primary objective.

As Christians we are called to witness to the lordship of Christ in everything that we do. And as Paul makes quite clear in Philippians 2, that does not mean seizing power and lording it over our neighbors, whatever the cost; it means humbling ourselves, taking up the form of a servant, and seeking justice... Continue Reading

How I Found Freedom From Gender Confusion (Part 2)

After decades of listening to lies, I was hearing the truth—and the truth really did set me free.

Some people know my past, some don’t. I don’t often talk about it, because, miraculously, it’s not an issue anymore. I tell people if I need to, or if it might help someone, but not everyone in my church family needs or wants to know the details. The Bible tells them who I am—a sinner... Continue Reading

I Can Fumble And Strike Out Through Christ Who Strengthens Me

No one seems to quote Philippians 4:13 after he gave up the game-winning touchdown or struck out to lose the game; why quote it when you win?

Everyone has the tendency to compare the highlight reel of others’ successes to our daily failures and lose heart. But baseball, for those of us who love it, provides a constant reminder that everyone (even the superstar) strikes out, but the game still goes on. Angell was right, “There is more Met than Yankee in... Continue Reading

Dying to Be Protestant: Oxford Martyrs’ Day

On Oxford Martyrs Day it is worth asking: "What did Ridley, Latimer, and Cranmer die for?" Answered simply, they died for the Protestant faith.

On October 16, 1555, Bishops Hugh Latimer and Nicholas Ridley, having been tried at the University Church of St. Mary and condemned for heresy, were tied to stakes and burned alive. On March 21, 1556, Archbishop Thomas Cranmer, primary author of the Book of Common Prayer and The Articles of Religion, also died at the... Continue Reading

LGBT Group Threatens Johns Hopkins Over Report That Science Doesn’t Show People Are Born Gay, Transgender

The Human Rights Campaign threatens to penalize Johns Hopkins University if it does not denounce a report concluding there is little scientific evidence that people are born gay or transgender.

“Some of the most widely held views about sexual orientation, such as the ‘born that way’ hypothesis, simply are not supported by science. The literature in this area does describe a small ensemble of biological differences between non-heterosexuals and heterosexuals, but those biological differences are not sufficient to predict sexual orientation, the ultimate test of... Continue Reading

Why It Matters that the Reformers Were Pastors

Many of the Reformers were pastors; the Reformation was aimed at reviving dormant local churches.

The Reformation at its heart was a spiritual renewal movement, in which European churches and believers were revitalized through the recovery of the Scripture and the proclamation of the gospel. Evangelicals who care about the gospel, who are committed to the authority of the Bible, and who long for the renewal of the church will glean encouragement, learn lessons,... Continue Reading

Does God Forbid Images Of Christ?

Are images of Christ allowable in non-worship contexts?

I have defended the right of artistic representations of Christ. I have not defended – and in fact, stand against – images of Christ being used in worship. In Deuteronomy 4:15 God expressly warns Israel: “So watch yourselves carefully, since you did not see any form on the day the LORD spoke to you at... Continue Reading