Lloyd-Jones on Scandalous Grace that Isn’t Cheap

There is a fatal tendency to put up law and grace as antitheses in the wrong sense.

Is it not true to say of many of us that in actual practice our view of the doctrine of grace is such that we scarcely ever take the plain teaching of the Lord Jesus Christ seriously? We have so emphasized the teaching that all is of grace and that we ought not to try... Continue Reading

When Childhood Has Become a Race

Goodbye busy summer, hello busy school year: What have we lost in the rush?

For what purpose, parents might ask, have we banished boredom? And for what price have we filled the nooks and crannies of the everyday, cramming out the teachable moments as we sit in our house, and when we walk by the way, and when we lie down, and when we rise (Deut. 6:7)?Will someone finally ask... Continue Reading

“Men were created to employ themselves”: Calvin on Gen. 2.15

We tend towards one of two extremes in our attitudes towards work: either we make too little of it, or we make too much of it.

If Adam’s “earthly life” was in fact temporary, so also was the job he was given. In other words, even in a sinless world, work would have given way to that eternal rest, worship, and fellowship with God which was from the very beginning prophetically imaged in humankind’s weekly rest, worship, and fellowship with God.... Continue Reading

4 Ways To Live Out Your Role As Helper

One of the reasons many wives struggle in their marriages is because they refuse to embrace the role God has given them as helper to their husband.

We are not called to help our men become the perfect specimen of a husband. We are called to help him become the man God has called him to be. Namely holy and mature in Christ.  You are your husband’s helper. This is not a demeaning position, but a high calling–the calling to be a... Continue Reading

Why Does God Let Me Stay So Weak?

Why is it so hard to put sin to death? Why do we struggle and fail so much?

The more we realize our weakness, then when anything good happens through us, we know it is the power of Christ, not us. When we have tried again and again to conquer a sin, become aware of our own weakness in the battle, then finally conquer it, we know it was by Jesus’ grace and... Continue Reading

Opposing Views on Homeschool Regulation

HSLDA responds to policy recommendations from a group advocating for more government oversight

Should states regulate homeschoolers more closely? Would that help prevent rare instances of neglect—or establish a dangerous precedent of government interference? An article in the Sept. 6 issue of WORLD explores the question of abuse among homeschooling families. Although available evidence suggests abuse and neglect are less common than average among homeschoolers, the Coalition for... Continue Reading

‘Worship Wars’ Have Died Down But Some Christians Are Focused on ‘Coolness’ Instead of Genuine Ministry

Worship Pastor & Recording Artist Lincoln Brewster Weighs in on 'Authentic' Ministry

“And it really is true, it’s who we are. We will worship. The problem is, we worship everything. It’s a focus issue most of the time. Even in the case of hymns, many people worship the hymns. There [are] church splits and worship pastors getting fired, all kinds of craziness because of songs. Even if... Continue Reading

Dear PBS, I don’t think there’s a compassionate way to murder infants

PBS has decided to air a 90 minute pro-late term abortion propaganda piece

Look behind those abortion clinics, PBS. Whose bodies are in the hazardous waste containers? Whose corpses are incinerated by the thousands? Whose heart is injected with poison? Whose spinal cord is snipped? The abortionists? Or the babies? You answer that question, and then tell me who needs the humanizing around here.   Dear PBS, This... Continue Reading

A Review of Bird’s “Evangelical Theology”

I’m glad I own Bird’s Systematic Theology, and think it is a helpful contribution to theology, even though it has some serious weaknesses of which our readers should be aware.

I do have notable concerns about several theological positions Bird advocates.  First, and most importantly, Bird departs from historic Reformed theology in the areas of covenant and justification.  Major red flags here: he rejects the covenant of works and disagrees with imputation in justification (he likes the term “incorporation” – i.e. union with Christ).  Second,... Continue Reading

Ashes And Good Theology

Good theology doesn't deny the reality of ashes; rather it affirms the undiminished love of God in the face of a diminished and fallen creation

Our faith is in a God who is good, and good all the time, even when buildings burn and we lose hope in structures and lose faith in human beings who set the fires.  Our faith is in a God who is good in the midst of pestilence, and war, and the brutality of authority... Continue Reading

5 Reasons Your Church May Be So Small

Large or small, your church needs to worship the Lord, care for the flock, and strive to serve Jesus well

I pastor a small church. I love small church life. I love the familiarity, the closeness, and the pace of life in small churches. We’re in a small town/rural community. We’re striving to repent of our self-righteousness. We’re trying to make sure our worship and our church life is accessible to new people. Our leaders... Continue Reading

Kindness and Repentance

We’re not doing much with repentance. What does it mean and where does it fit in our lives?

I know the Romans outline, it always sounded to me like law first then the relief of the gospel. But I know now it’s bigger than that. Could it be that what’s missing today in our church isn’t ‘not enough Hell’ but ’not enough kindness of God’?   We still use that word repentance but... Continue Reading

Taking Friendship To A New Level

God is relational. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit co-exist as a perfect, mutually-loving, mutually-supportive, in-covenant community; we are created in God’s image and we need relationships, too

Whereas “modern” friendship asks, “What can this person do to make my life better?” a Gospel-centered friendship asks, “What can I do to make this person’s life better? What can I do to ‘enhance her glory,’ to help her be and become all she can be, as the person God created her to be and... Continue Reading

I Increasingly Find Conflict Between My Faith and Some Conservative Discourse

In the past several months there have been three incidents that have solidified for me that my faith and my politics are starting to collide

I’m a conservative before I’m a Republican. I was once even an elected Republican. But before I’m a father or husband, I am a Christian. My politics have to be balanced by my faith. That faith requires me to put faith, hope, mercy, and grace ahead of much, including a lot of short term political... Continue Reading

How To Become More Productive: Classic Insights From Adam Smith

Labor becomes more productive when it is divided.

Problem-solving is the essence of work. You can become more productive by welcoming the problems you face and inventing, discovering, or creating solutions to them. Adam Smith notes that many machines were invented by “common workmen” who channeled their frustrations into practical solutions. In Book 1, Chapter 1 of The Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith asks us... Continue Reading

Facebook Fortune Cookies

Facebook fortune cookies: bad theology around the water cooler of modernist and postmodern conversations

In a world of many voices, it is said, each not only has an equal right to be heard, but each is equally right.  For the postmodernist it is arrogant to claim that one can absolutely know absolute truth. Yet, for the modernist Christian, he presents the claims of Christianity through apologetics, propositions, and “timeless... Continue Reading

Beseeching God

As we pray in Christ’s name, we do so at the invitation of God, with the assurance that if we seek and ask, we will find and receive

In the model of so many prayers recorded for us, we come before God lifting our eyes to His glory, reciting His character, recounting His awesome deeds.  We move on to lay out our concerns, casting our cares upon Him.  Then we conclude with plaintive, desperate, importunate expressions beseeching our God.   Now therefore, O... Continue Reading

After Evangelical Virgin Guys Marry, Then What?

Evangelical leaders have touted “virginity pledges” as a way for teens and young adults to “save themselves for marriage.” But what happens after the wedding day?

According to a researcher at the University of Washington, young adult men who took the pledge and had male friends who held them accountable before marriage find themselves suddenly adrift and unable to talk to trusted friends — and sometimes even their new wives — about sex. (RNS) For decades, evangelical leaders have touted “virginity pledges”... Continue Reading

The Prompting to Worship: the Father’s Love for Us

When we believe in the Father’s love, we know we can always come to God, have access to Him, and grow in love for Him

“Crucial to our communion with God is the knowledge that the same Father who shall judge the world in righteousness, chooses to set his love upon us. It is true that God the Son took the just wrath of God the Father on the cross, but it is equally true that it was the Father... Continue Reading

The Danger of ‘Measurable Outcomes’

Ten million ignorant assertions, even when magnified and accelerated in a hundred million tweets and “likes,” still never add up to truth or wisdom

“We are in the age of gargantuan numbers, truly instant information, ceaselessly hyperactive social media, when the worldwide web has become a flood-driven Niagara of raw, uninterpreted information and emotion that pounds down on us by the minute with its ceaseless roar and its drenching deluge. Who can hear themselves think, let alone make sense... Continue Reading

When God Sings About You

When God prays and intercedes for us, He also exults over us with singing — loudly!

“God is honored by singing. God is honored by shouting. God loves to see his people rejoicing and exulting with all their heart. And how does he respond to the harmonic adoration of his people? He too joins in with songs of love and affection, and the focus of his love songs are his radiant... Continue Reading

Jesus Isn’t Going To Take My Zoloft

The fact that my depression and anxiety didn’t go away when Jesus “came into my heart” and the reality that I had to be medicated to live a normal life made me feel like a second-class Christian.

“I was told that if I would just cast my anxieties at the “foot of the cross” then I would be released from the burdens that weighed so heavily on me. I so desperately wanted the formula that I had been taught to work- read my Bible, pray everyday, and go to church and all... Continue Reading

He Is The Savior And We Are The Saved (Part 6)

Christians are prophets, and we honor our King when confess his Word to a watching world

“When ecclesiastical assembly pronounce on trendy issues (e.g., divestment) they are not likely to find much opposition from the powers of this age. When, however, they perform their actual prophet duty, then resistance is much more likely. This is as it has been since Christianity first came into contact with the pagan world in the 1st... Continue Reading

What’s the Difference Between the Ontological and the Economic Trinity?

If I said, “Describe for me the difference between the ontological Trinity and the economic Trinity,” would you be able to do it?

“Ontology is the study of being. When we talk about the ontological Trinity, we are referring to the fact that God is three in one. There are three persons in the Godhead—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit—who together are one being. The ontological structure of the Trinity is a unity. When we speak... Continue Reading

Refusing To Call Evil “Evil”

There are times when our pluralistic sensibilities are overcome by an unambiguous display of evil

“No one is served when we bury our heads in the ground and pretend that ISIS is anything less than one of the most morally repugnant regimes on the face of the planet. Maybe our statesmen will disagree on the best way to address this threat. But can’t we all agree on what they are.... Continue Reading

A New Beginning As “New Life” For Virginia Congregation

The wait to become part of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC) is over for a Virginia congregation

“New Hope Presbyterian Church’s dismissal to the EPC from the Presbyterian Church (USA) by Presbytery of the Peaks came to a ceremonial conclusion on July 20. The congregation had been granted its departure during a May 8 presbytery meeting. The presbytery’s policy calls for a 90-day waiting period after dismissal, so while Presbytery of the... Continue Reading

Effectual Calling And Trinitarian Balance

How does a call that is planned in by God in heaven before time began translate into our personal experience in life?

“In the first place, we need to be clear that the Spirit does not do his work in isolation, not merely from the Father, but equally of the Son. It is the call of God in the voice of Jesus that the Spirit uses to call his chosen ones to new birth, faith and repentance.... Continue Reading

7 Reasons Why the Current Marriage Debate Is Nothing Like the Debate on Interracial Marriage

Is opposition to same-sex marriage the same as opposition to interracial marriage?

Even cultures that embraced same-sex relationships did not treat them as marriages. Far from having been devised as a pretext for excluding same-sex relationships—as some now charge—marriage as the union of husband and wife arose in many places over several centuries entirely independent of, and well before any debates about, same-sex relationships. Indeed, it arose in... Continue Reading

The 10 Greatest Hymns of All-Time

The best hymns are those that are universal and timeless, speaking to all Christians in all times, places, and situations.

As English-speaking Christians, we have a vast array of hymns available to us, and we each have our list of favorites. In my assessment, the best hymns are those that are universal and timeless, speaking to all Christians in all times, places, and situations. They are firmly grounded in Scripture and drawn out of, or... Continue Reading

Three Gospels for Anxiety

In Matthew 6, Christ says, “Do not be anxious about your life” and provides us with 3 gospels to help us combat our daily anxiety.

Unlike the pagan Gentiles, Christians have a heavenly Father who willingly, faithfully, and eternally takes on the burden of our provision. It makes sense that pagans worry, because they don’t have the assurance of divine provision, but Christians shouldn’t be anxious. We have a Father who knows exactly what we need and is in the... Continue Reading