A Troubling Question for Christians: How Much Is Enough?
Have we really done enough to say we’ve done enough to satisfy God’s standard?
When it comes to all of these how-much-is-enough questions, I have found that there is only one question and answer that gives me peace. Did Jesus do enough? Did Jesus do enough on the cross to pay for my sins? Was his active obedience enough to satisfy my failure to do enough? To that question,... Continue Reading
The PCA and the Right Against Self-Incrimination: Against Overture 14 at the PCA General Assembly
Overture 14 seeks to change BCO 35-1 to read that "church officers under accusation with regards to doctrinal views shall be required to testify before the court."
At the 2015 General Assembly in Chattanooga, the PCA rejected an overture to require an accused officer to testify against himself. Doctrinal charges must be proved by public materials and sermons, rather than aggressive prosecution. At the GA in Mobile, however, Providence Presbytery has raised this same issue again through Overture 14, which seeks to... Continue Reading
Eyes that Don’t See: Irony in the PCUSA
Christ calls us to be salt and light, not Splenda and reflective tape.
Success is being able and willing to leave the culture behind. Whether it’s as a denomination, a local congregation, or individual Christ-followers. Frankly, it’s encouraging to see that many Presbyterian congregations have people who can see the fallacy of culture. There is more to life than whether women should be pastors, or gays should marry. ... Continue Reading
A Rubicon Has Been Crossed – The Church of Scotland Assembly Recent Decision
The Church of Scotland has voted to allow its gay ministers to marry; the Church of Scotland has removed itself from the Bible.
Evangelicals have no hope of reversing the situation. Now that the Kirk has decided it is no longer governed by Christ through his Word, the Establishment will resort to the type of underhand politics, spin and macro management that I have witnessed this past year and which was once again evident on Saturday…Evangelicals will keep... Continue Reading
5 Questions To Ask of a Book Before You Read It
A few tips on sorting out which books you should read by asking 5 questions of any book.
All of this is designed to help you filter the few books you will read from the thousands you could read. Not only that, but it is designed to help you get a sense of what a book is all about before you begin to read it. When you are quite new to Christian books,... Continue Reading
An Apologetic Without An Apology
An important and essential question we must ask about any ministry we engage in: “Is it worth it?”
I am not intimidated by the question since there has been much good fruit to show for the effort. I am not intimidated by the critics of our evangelical faith.. I am downhearted and brokenhearted every day by the statistics, the newspaper accounts, the gunshots, the blood on the street, the caskets at the funerals,... Continue Reading
The Book of Revelation Is Not Just about the Future
The “Revelation of Jesus Christ” portrays the paradoxical present rule of Jesus Christ as King of all the kings of the world, his ultimate triumph, and the salvation of his people through tribulation.
Revelation delivers to the distressed churches of Asia Minor and to the church in all ages, the triumphant assurance that behind the scenes of history and despite the vicissitudes of history, the kingdom of God is in power, and Jesus Christ the King of all kings is on his Father’s throne executing his sovereign judgment... Continue Reading
LGBT: Great Thoughts But What Can We Actually Do?
It’s easier to engage in intellectual analysis of “Why?” than to address the practical question of “What now?”
Many are being sucked into the LGBT lifestyle with promises of happiness. They are going to be badly disappointed. They will thirst again. We need to come alongside them with the cleansing and refreshing water of life that if they drink, they will never thirst again. I’m looking forward to hearing many testimonies of grace... Continue Reading
The Remedy for Our Helicopter Parenting
To helicopter-mother is to hover over others with the intent of controlling them
You’ve probably heard the term “helicopter mom” in regard to how some moms tend to obsessively overparent. Child psychologists in the West have been documenting this social trend and publishing their opinion papers online. Sometimes grim forecasts are given for kids parented in this manner: depression, anxiety, poor performance in school, and financial issues. ... Continue Reading
The Old Testament’s Message to Our Culture
Let me give you five ways the Old Testament speaks profitably to our times
“The Old Testament paints a dark, dark picture of sin and its awful effects. And yet the Lord, in mercy, came again and again to raise up godly leaders, to revive His church, and to renew and re-create the culture. The darkest days often preceded the brightest dawn. What hope of renewal this grand historical... Continue Reading
Europe: Allah Takes over Churches, Synagogues
In Europe, the practice of Islam really is outstripping Christianity
A year ago, the Muslim French leader Dalil Boubakeur suggested turning empty churches into mosques. It is the first time in France that something similar happened to a synagogue. “History teaches us that these transformations are rarely innocent,” said Bertrand Dutheil de La Rochère, an assistant to Marine Le Pen, leader of the National Front... Continue Reading
What comfort we have in the fullness of God who will never leave us
“The light of God’s revelation, especially the Trinity, burns off the mist of confusion and error in common belief and practice. Oppositely, when we fail to appreciate God in all his glory we experience atrophied joy in our lives. Press to know and savor God — Father, Son, and Holy Spirit — and rejoice as... Continue Reading
Methodist GC2016 Recap: The Good, the Bad, the Ugly
Key highlights from the 2016 General Conference of the United Methodist Church
“On pro-life issues, we overwhelmingly voted to end our denomination’s scandalous 43-year affiliation with the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (RCRC), voted by an even larger margin to delete an official UMC resolution expressing appreciation for RCRC, and in other actions, we voted decisively to repeal a 40-year-old official ‘Responsible Parenthood’ resolution very broadly defending... Continue Reading
Confession and History: Heroes Who Confessed
Without historical events, there is nothing to confession
“When we think about the relationship between our confessions and history, another important aspect is that the documents themselves are a product of historical events and circumstances. Part of the Christian’s task of understanding our doctrines and our confessions is understanding the role that they played in certain historical circumstances.” In our day, the... Continue Reading
Pro-Gay Group: Vulnerable Children Being ‘Recruited’ to Believe They Are Transgender
It is time that mental health and other professionals begin speaking out on this issue
“In many cases, these young people may be suffering from mental health problems such as anxiety or depression that leave them easy prey to the cult-like tactics of these online trans activists,” said the group of professionals. As a result of this situation, says the group, they are now ringing the alarm on medical transition... Continue Reading
Missouri Synod Set For Fight Over Who Should Preach to Lutherans
Lutheranism has always been built on a tension between ordained clergy and what is called the priesthood of the believer, or the laity, and over who can do what
While the pool of men — the church ordains only men — answering the call to enter seminary and serve as pastors has shrunk in recent decades, some want to enforce higher standards on ministers who aren’t ordained and strip away the so-called “Licensed Lay Deacon” credentials. Half a millennium since a Catholic priest... Continue Reading
Note to Aspiring Preachers: Here are Seven Key Pitfalls to Avoid
Preaching is hard work.
To those sitting in the pews, preaching can look relatively effortless–especially when it is done well. But do not be fooled. Preaching exhausts the body and the soul in ways that are incommensurate with its duration. I could work in the yard all day in 90 degrees of heat and (somehow) feel less exhausted than... Continue Reading
Hughes Oliphant Old Called Home to Glory
Dr. Old is the author of a seven volume history of preaching, “The Reading and Preaching of the Scriptures in the Worship of the Christian Church.”
Dr. Old’s interests extended from Christian education, particularly with teenagers and special needs children, to art, architecture, and above all, worship. It is the importance of worship which sparked his desire to study further the history of worship. With this in mind he went to Europe, where for seven years he learned the principles applied... Continue Reading
Don’t Back Away from Religious Freedom
We must reject antidiscrimination rhetoric used against religious freedom; conscience should be protected, not judged.
We must be sure that the general public understands clearly what they are rejecting when they reject religious freedom. They are requiring believers to take action which believers understand to be immoral and sinful. No one should have to pay for other people’s choices in contraceptives, abortifacients, or other goods and services that they believe... Continue Reading
States Sue Obama Administration Over Transgender Bathroom Policy
Texas said it was among 11 states filing suit against the Obama administration’s mandate to allow transgender students to use whatever bathroom they identify with
“He says he’s going to withhold funding if schools do not follow the policy,” Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick of Texas said this month. “Well in Texas, he can keep his 30 pieces of silver. We will not yield to blackmail from the president of the United States.” On Wednesday, officials in other states used language... Continue Reading
A De-Sexed Society is a De-Humanized Society
President Obama’s transgender directive isn’t about civil rights or bathroom use. It’s about state control over personal relationships.
Gender ideology is an effective statist tool. Cultural Marxists use it to corrupt language and sow confusion, especially among children. It paves the way for the removal of the institutional protections for freedom of association and family privacy that stand in the way of “regulating interactions among all members of society.” As usual, tyranny... Continue Reading
Helping Rural America in Crisis
It is well documented that small town America rarely looks like Mayberry, and a lot like “Methland.”
The crisis we witness in these areas is a crisis for the church. After all, hopelessness, despair, and depression can only be interpreted, mitigated, and worked through by the gospel of Jesus Christ. Yet, it is these areas that are becoming a veritable wasteland as Protestant churches are closing their doors in great number–not to... Continue Reading
Feelings of Guilt: Satan’s Conniving or the Spirit’s Conviction?
In one section of Thomas Goodwin’s book called “A Child of Light Walking in Darkness,” he explains how Satan tricks and deceives a true Christian so that he doubts his salvation.
A question comes up: How do we know if the guilt we feel is due to Satan’s conniving or due to the conviction of the Holy Spirit (John 16:8)? Goodwin says that the difference is this: when the Holy Spirit convicts us of our sins He deals “sweetly” with us without putting any “sting” in... Continue Reading
The Language of Love
Well-meaning Christians who rightly want to love and care for their neighbor can quickly become the unwitting dupes of those with much greater social and political ambitions than live-and-let-live.
In this context, it behooves all Christians to think clearly about the issues and to make that separation between pastoral response to, and care for, the person struggling with issues of sexuality and the larger social ambitions of a movement that has a vested interest in denying any distinction between the personal and the political.... Continue Reading
Back to the Future – the 2009 Church of Scotland General Assembly
The 2009 Church of Scotland Assembly set a trajectory that is now bearing fruit of the declension of the church and its abandonment of biblical truth.
The seriousness of what occurred on Monday is underlined by the reason the Aberdeen Presbytery gave for supporting an active homosexual ministry. The Presbytery stated in their reasons –“The ‘Word of God’ is not synonymous with the Scriptures, but it can, in part, be discerned from the Scriptures through prayer and through the inspiration of... Continue Reading
The Flow of the Psalms
An overview of O. Palmer Robertson’s latest book, “The Flow of the Psalms’”
Robertson’s thesis is that we shouldn’t treat the Psalms like Hershey’s Kisses – beautifully, individually wrapped treats that have no relationship to one another. He argues that there is a flow to the Psalter, a very deliberate, sophisticated arrangement and a logical progression over the course of the 150 ancient songs that were collected together... Continue Reading
Confession and Apologetics: Modeling Scripture’s Method to its Message
The Bible’s own verification of its being God-breathed should be our primary default
Gordon Clark writes, “The first reason for believing the Bible is inspired is that the Bible claims to be inspired.” And so we see “Christ’s view of the Bible can very quickly be indicated. Christ said: It is written!” A Biblical apologist thus grounds the warrant for his witnessing style in the same manner as... Continue Reading
A Danger of Lectio Divina
Lectio Divina often leads us away from the right meaning and right application of a text instead of toward it.
What is the heart of the problem here? It is that the method leads to subjective, rather than objective, conclusions. When we stop the hard work of understanding the words that the Spirit has given us and work exclusively in the “mind of the Spirit,” we become the final authority on meaning. We begin to... Continue Reading
Same-Sex Marriage Advocates Work To Oust Small-Town Judge
The Wyoming Supreme Court is being asked to dismiss a municipal court judge because of her biblical views about marriage; is it a religious litmus test for holding a judicial post?
In 2014, a judge overturned Wyoming’s marriage statute, allowing same-sex couples to get marriage licenses. A reporter asked Neely, the Pinedale municipal court judge and a part-time circuit court magistrate, if she was excited about performing gay weddings. In the opinion of the Wyoming Commission on Judicial Conduct and Ethics, Neely gave the wrong answer:... Continue Reading
A Presbytery PJC Ruling On A Same-Sex Marriage Policy In The PC(USA)
It is worth reiterating at this point that this decision is from a presbytery PJC and has limited application. If appealed and upheld it would gain authoritative status.
“This decision is reminiscent of the remedial cases regarding ordination standards and the various GAPJC rulings that there could be no categorical standards or explicit lists of essential tenants but each candidate must be considered on an individual basis. From a polity point of view this decision falls right in line with that.” I... Continue Reading