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

I Was Pregnant, And Then I Wasn’t

In the aftermath of a miscarriage, the loss of someone I never knew has been more devastating than I could have imagined.

Miscarriage means to carry badly. “A morbid expulsion of an immature foetus,” according to the Comprehensive Medical Dictionary. But the cases where the body hasn’t expelled the fetus are called “missed miscarriages.” A double miss. You miscarried the baby, but you also missed the miscarriage altogether.   The exam room where my husband and I... Continue Reading

Let Me Repeat Myself? – Part One

Why do they sing the same thing over and over again? Isn’t once enough?

“Whether we’re praising or we’re praying, there are certainly numerous biblical examples of repeating the same words to God. Worship leaders use repetition as a tool to let important proclamations and/or petitions not just fly by without the intentionality they might warrant.”   One universal criticism of contemporary worship songs and the flannel-shirted people who... Continue Reading

Gulfstream Presbytery Overtures PCA General Assembly to Amend Westminster Confession 24 by Adding Two Scripture Proofs

The overture requests adding two Scripture proofs to clarify that the Westminster Confession of Faith 24.4 excludes same-sex marriage.

The Gulfstream Presbytery approved an overture at its October 2016 Stated Meeting, asking that Westminster Confession of Faith 24.4 be amended by the addition of two Scripture proofs that would explicitly exclude homosexual marriage. The overture will be considered by the 45th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in America. The PCA General Assembly will... Continue Reading

Lifting Your Soul

What does it mean to lift your soul? How do you actually do this?

Lift your soul to the Lord by trusting him to teach you how to walk in his ways. Psalm 25 says directly and simply, “To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul. O my God, in you I trust” (Ps 25:1-2a). After asking that the Lord would not let him suffer shame from others,... Continue Reading

Taking Back Christianese #5: “Just Ask Jesus into Your Heart”

Despite the association with modern day revival-style churches, this phrase actually has a long pedigree, even in Reformed circles.

In this way, as noted above, this phrase can actually backfire on itself.  While intended to prevent false conversions, it can (if misused) actually lead to false conversions.  People can think they are saved because they “asked Jesus into their heart” with no awareness of how to evaluate their own spiritual condition.   Some of... Continue Reading

Should Christians Feel Guilty All the Time?

I’m convinced most serious Christians live their lives with an almost constant low-level sense of guilt.

Most of our low-level guilt falls under the ambiguous category of “not doing enough.” Look at the list above. None one of the items are necessarily sinful. They all deal with possible infractions, perceptions, and ways in which we’d like to do more. These are the hardest areas to deal with because no Christian, for... Continue Reading

Powerful Promises to Give Us Hope for Our Children

Let us pray regularly that Jesus would save each of our children, grandchildren and descendants and that each one would follow Jesus wholeheartedly as a disciple until the he returns.

Though Scripture doesn’t absolutely guarantee their salvation, God gives us many strong reasons to pray and hope for our children. Charles Spurgeon urged parents to pray Isaiah 59.21, which I have written in my prayer notebook at the top of the page of requests for my family: “And as for me, this is my covenant... Continue Reading

Masculinity and the Priority of Love

The characteristic quality of the true man of God is a Christlike love

In Ephesians 5, the apostle sounds two abiding keynotes, one for the woman and for the man. The primary element for the woman of God is submission, and I recognise that that must be carefully and scripturally defined and worked out. Paul, in this passage, then moves on to the keynote for the man. And what... Continue Reading

12 Steps to a Happy Marriage

"There is no more lovely, friendly, and charming relationship, communion, or company than a good marriage." Martin Luther

Marriage is depicted as a beautiful picture of Christ and the Church and is said to be a great mystery. Wives are to submit to the authority of their husbands as the church submits to Christ and husbands are to love their wives as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her. Both commands... Continue Reading

The Provocative People of Proverbs

The book of Proverbs warns us about people like that, people who love to incite conflict and hate to resolve it.

The morally deficient fool. “Keeping away from strife is an honor for a man, but any fool will quarrel” (20:3). This brand of fool is even worse than the obstinate one. This one outs himself the moment he opens his mouth because his words show him to be utterly deficient in goodness and grace. He... Continue Reading

Redeemer Seminary, the Fundamentalist-Modernist Controversy, and the Parachurching of Reformed Theological Education

Redeemer Seminary in Dallas (formerly Westminster Seminary) will close at the end of the year; Reformed Seminary will open an extension campus there.

The impending closure of the Redeemer Seminary in Dallas, Texas is now known to many. Responding to overtures from the Redeemer Board, Reformed Theological Seminary will, according to RTS Chancellor Ligon Duncan, implement “a two-step plan whereby Redeemer would ‘close with dignity’ and RTS would petition ATS and SACS to begin offering theological education in... Continue Reading

The Most Valuable Aim of Apologetics

Apologetics is to provide an answer to the critics of the Christian faith, to those who seek to undermine the rational basis for Christianity or who critique it

“The toughest three years of my life were my seminary years, because I was a zealous Christian studying in a citadel of unbelief. Every day, the precious doctrines of our faith were attacked viciously by my professors.”   Exodus 3 narrates the well-known account of God’s revealing Himself to Moses in the burning bush and... Continue Reading

Kenneth Woodward Untangles Some Political Strands in American Religion (Review)

Woodward, who has written earlier books on saints and on miracles in different religious traditions, has produced a volume that is clearly meant as a career valedictory

“Journalism’s emphasis on what is provably factual — vote totals, stock prices, batting averages — left most reporters and editors leery of the ineffable, inchoate qualities of religion. To the degree that mainstream American journalism gradually rose to the task in later decades, it did so by erroneously trying to comprehend religion through the prism... Continue Reading

How I Found Freedom From Gender Confusion (Part 1)

I struggled, but with no conviction, and defeat was a foregone conclusion

From time to time I’d take a stand: I’d throw away my entire stash of clothing, and vow to “go straight”. But my only real weapons in the fight were a vague instinct that cross-dressing must be “wrong”, and the associated feelings of guilt. They were too easily rationalized away. Why should I feel guilty?... Continue Reading

Can We Enjoy Heaven Knowing Loved Ones Are in Hell?

Many we love today will have an eternal experience of pain, torment, and separation

“However, those of us with non-believing family members and friends can find this certainty an area of intense struggle. Why? Because we know that not everyone will be there with us.”   Heaven is far too perfect, far too sinless, far too other for us to imagine in our fallen minds. Our attempts to put... Continue Reading

The New Culture of Life

The future of pro-life activism is young, female, secular, and “feminist."

“There’ a little bit of truth to the old pro-choice saying that the movement is a bunch of old conservative white men,” activist Aimee Murphy told me. “But I really have seen a massive shift with the youth, to ensure that our solutions are women-centered and that we’re being consistent and nonpartisan, inclusive and opening... Continue Reading