A Bucket List or a Longing for Eternity?
I do not know exactly what life in the new heavens and new earth will be like, but I believe that the new creation will be better than this current creation, not worse. It will be more, not less.
I think this dull vision of heaven makes us all, even Christians, think that we need to suck all the joy and excitement we can out of this life before we “kick the bucket.” Well, I have a different perspective: I have no plans to kick the bucket. I intend to pass from life into... Continue Reading
Are Differences in the Gospels Evidence of an “Imperfect” Bible?
A response to the series by Peter Enns’ entitled, “Aha moments: biblical scholars tell their stories.”
The problem with entering seminary students (such as myself years ago) is not that they’re faced with an imperfect Bible but that their expectations at the outset are often inadequately informed. Just because the Bible involves translation and testimonies doesn’t make it imperfect! The Bible is “imperfect” only when measured by the unwarranted expectation that... Continue Reading
You Are Not Forgotten
The church has its own POWs—those who are missing or imprisoned by life in a fallen world, those who spend long periods of time captive to illnesses both mental and physical.
The church is great in a crisis. We are great with sudden heart attacks, emergency surgeries, car wrecks, funerals. We are great with flowers and meals and child care for people’s moments of chaos and desperation. This is good. But we are not always so great with the messy, unsolvable, lengthy trials of those who... Continue Reading
The Church and Violence Against Women
Male violence against women is a real problem in our culture, one the church must address.
An abusive man is not an over-enthusiastic complementarian. He is not a complementarian at all. He is rejecting male headship because he rejecting his role as provider and protector. As the culture grows more violent, more consumerist, more sexualized and more misogynistic, the answer is not a church more attenuated to the ambient culture, whether... Continue Reading
Dozens of Christians ‘including women and children’ are arrested in Saudi Arabia
Islamist police in Saudi Arabia have stormed a Christian prayer meeting and arrested its entire congregation
Nina Shea, director of the Washington-based Hudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom, told FoxNews.com: “Saudi Arabia is continuing the religious cleansing that has always been its official policy. It is the only nation state in the world with the official policy of banning all churches.” Islamist police in Saudi Arabia have stormed a Christian... Continue Reading
Why Do Christians Worship on Sunday?
When Jesus rose from the dead on the first day of the week, things changed.
Christ, the second Adam, “finished” (John 19:30) the work that the first Adam failed to do (Rom. 5:12-19). Because of that pivotal event, the church determined that for Christians under the new covenant, the day of worship and celebration of the Lord’s grace in Jesus Christ was to be the first day of the week,... Continue Reading
The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill Church
Behind the scenes, former church members said, Driscoll could be abusive and controlling
For years the edgy, blue-jeaned, hipster preacher used charisma and combativeness to barrel through turmoil, once bragging that he’d mow down all who questioned his vision: “There is a pile of dead bodies behind the Mars Hill bus, and by God’s grace, it’ll be a mountain by the time we’re done,” he once said in... Continue Reading
On Nude Celebrities, Virtual Voyeurs, and Willing Victims
As Christians, we must refuse to participate in further victimizing those who are victims of sin.
The young man who looks at pornography is enjoying someone else’s victimization. Whether the woman on the screen was raped into porn or whether she is a fully-willing participant, she is a victim of evil, controlling forces. And the young man who looks at her on the screen is joyfully participating in her victimization. He... Continue Reading
Biblical Portraits of Creation
A review of a book on the biblical doctrine of creation
The book concludes with an appendix, which is essentially a reprint of Kaiser’s article “The Literary Genre of Genesis 1-11,” which initially appeared in 1969. In this article he argues for reading Genesis 1-11 as straightforward “historical narrative-prose.” I think the article is convincing. However, such self-identified evangelical scholars as Peter Enns (formerly of Westminster... Continue Reading
Having Boldness To Enter The Holiest
It is Christ's mediation that allows God’s people to draw near to Him in worship
“With the advent of Jesus Christ, the symbolic worship of the tabernacle has given way to the reality: we draw near to God through the rent flesh and shed blood of the Messiah. His resurrection is God’s justification of His mediatorial work (see Acts 17:31). Any approach to God apart from Christ, therefore, is rebellion... Continue Reading
The Opposite Of Name It, Claim It
I can't help but think how different a Christian benediction is from the "name it, claim it" mentality
“Our “positive confession” is what God says, not what we creatively speak. And the good news of the gospel is not that we can demand what we want from God and he is then required to give it. No, it is that despite our wretched, sinful condition and rebellion against God, he has lavishly given us Christ and all... Continue Reading
Does God Hate Your Minister and Your Church?
In Jeremiah’s day, God was furious with those ministering in his name
“May our churches be places where God’s Word is supremely taught, and God’s blessings and curses are faithfully presented. May our ministers be servants who are advancing in sanctification; may ministerial hypocrisy not be present. May all God’s people be proactively pastored; no one should be left alone or forgotten. Through the gracious power of God’s Holy Spirit, may... Continue Reading
10 Ways to Exercise Christlike Headship
Whether trained by a godly dad from birth or newly learning about headship as a young believer, your face is to be set like a flint in pursuing the glory of God as the Christlike head of a home
“You recognize that your family will only flourish under your leadership when you are flourishing in Christ. This means being in the Word regularly and praying regularly and being a faithful church member. You don’t have to be a spiritual all-star, future biographers poring over your Moleskins for clues into your thinking. You do need... Continue Reading
Whenever you shake up something as homogenous as one-race churches, things are bound to get messy
“Over the last year, our big, white church has been striving to more fully reflect the diversity of Columbus, Ohio and the Kingdom of God. In the first few years, we perpetuated the racial segregation that exists in so many churches across America. Then in just four short years, we became a church of 1,000... Continue Reading
9 Things You Should Know About Intimate Partner Violence
The issue of intimate partner violence has been in the news recently after the National Football League suspended Ray Rice for hitting his finacee
“The term “intimate partner violence” (IPV) describes physical, sexual, or psychological harm by a current or former partner or spouse. This type of violence can occur across age, ethnic, gender, and economic lines, among persons with disabilities, among both heterosexual and same-sex couples, and does not require sexual intimacy. IPV affects more than 12 million... Continue Reading
The Questions of Gay Marriage: Covenant or Biology in Genesis 2?
Of the passages relating to sexuality in the Bible, few are as evocative as this one from Genesis
“To attempt to remove the nature of the covenant from the possibility of procreation distorts not simply the meaning of this passage, but creates a division between the word of promise and the physical reality that at every point Scripture overcomes. If this is right, then I would suggest there is more at stake in... Continue Reading
Why We Have No ISIS Strategy
A culture, lacking recourse to the transcendent, will be unable to seek the reconciliation that comes from genuine repentance
In the words of scholar N.T. Wright, they want, “to reap the fruit, but sever the root.” In so doing, they refuse to see what Nietzsche so clearly did — the real, horrific consequences of a world finally free from the God of Moses and Jesus. Alexander Schmemann elaborates: “Here, in this paradox, is the whole... Continue Reading
Preachers Heckle Students
Rev. Thornton’s presentation came on the heels of a hostile one
“Thornton, a pastor with the Presbyterian Evangelistic Fellowship in Bristol, Tenn., was one of the religious speakers who presented in front of the library this week. Thornton’s presentation began around noon Wednesday. “I will preach, Lord willing, of both law and grace, heaven and hell,” Thorton said before his presentation. “I will preach that Jesus... Continue Reading
Don’t Want To Be Called Racist? Then Let The Children Suffer
The abuse has gone on for years, but no one addressed it for fear of racism
National Review editor Rich Lowry reports that “in a BBC documentary, the author of a 2002 report to the Rotherham council on the scandal said her work was quashed. When she noted that the perpetrators were from the Pakistani community, a colleague told her ‘you must never refer to that again — you must never... Continue Reading
The Illusion of Neutrality
The secular state cannot be neutral in matters of religion.
You cannot say, “The People must remain absolutely neutral as to whether the People, as such, owe any allegiance to God, to acknowledge His benefits, and to pray for His protection.” To say it is to deny the debt. It is to take a position while trying to appear to take none. To decline to... Continue Reading
Law, Wisdom, And Charity: Life In A Twofold Kingdom
Does recognizing that we live under God’s twofold kingdom somehow dispense with the moral law?
Yes, we do live in two spheres simultaneously but a believer is always under God’s moral law in both. As a citizen of the common sphere, under God’s sovereignty and authority, I am not free to enter into business relations that compromise my profession of the Christian faith. Obviously, Paul tells us that we’re not... Continue Reading
If You Struggle Over an Issue… You Must Be Right!
That is how shallow we have become in the church these days. We think if someone really gives something a lot of thought, then it must be correct.
I’m doing some research around the web and came across Rachel Held’s Evans post on God and the Gay Christian. In there she tells us that she has another post that is in the works about why she changed her mind on God and the gay Christian. Gee, can’t wait. Her testimony and preface for... Continue Reading
Flattening Will Get You Nowhere
What is so controversial about the view that the covenant with Adam was gracious?
So we offer a warning to Jones about his flattening lest he reduce the uniqueness of Christ’s epoch-making work in contrast to Adam’s epic failure. He may want to chalk Meredith Kline’s views of Moses up to the latter’s study of the Ancient Near East. But Jones should also pay attention to the other much... Continue Reading
#WhyIStayed: How Some Churches Support Spousal Abuse
A safe church does not tolerate the abuse of women or anyone else for that matter. A safe church empowers and equips all victims to walk away from those who hurt them. A safe church is where the abused can leave the abuser being assured that is what God wants them to do. It is... Continue Reading
May I Marry for Looks?
An Open Letter to Single Male Idiots
Physical attraction is a wonderful luxury that you may choose to wait for. You may even choose to be single forever rather than marry someone you aren’t physically attracted to. Good luck with that. Just don’t prioritize looks over character. You may insist on both and be willing to die single, or you may have to choose.... Continue Reading
For Those Who are Led by Their Emotions
While being emotional can make us empathetic and compassionate, there’s a negative side as well.
No, there is negative side that goes deeper than simple embarrassment. Because the truth is, our emotions can’t always be trusted. Sometimes they exaggerate things. They can make something that’s only mildly irritating seem like the worst thing. Other times, our emotions can be downright liars. They tell us things about ourselves and others that... Continue Reading
Can Facebook Really Ruin Your Marriage?
I don't think Facebook is to blame for divorces, but I do think Facebook is revealing what is already there.
Some character issues may be revealed that don’t require any posting. The ABC News article quoted an author saying that Facebook can turn people into jealous and distrustful people. Really? Facebook can do that? I’m pretty sure that these are issues that people already have, and spending time on Facebook may reveal and fuel something... Continue Reading
The World in a Wafer: Globalization, Localization, and the Lord’s Supper
The localities of the world’s distinct cuisine are on the common table, and a chair exists for people from every nation
By collapsing spatial divisions, the Lord’s Supper tells a spatial story about the destiny of the world. The Lord’s Supper is catholic in the truest sense. It is celebrated by those across the world who acknowledge the Lordship of the man from Galilee. However it has a “decentered center; it is celebrated in the multitude... Continue Reading
Believing Myths and Ignoring Facts
Our culture seems to have mistaken vehemence for substance, mockery for intelligent critique, sarcasm for valid conclusions
Somewhere in the midst of it we forgot to listen to each other, to attempt to walk in another person’s shoes, to see it from another’s perspective, to patiently wait to ascertain what is actually known rather than what is immediately assumed. If we don’t rush to judgment there is not going to be anything... Continue Reading
Gungor, Questions, And The Doubters Among Us
Why such a fuss over Christian musicians’ theology and ethics?
Church leaders say they want to provide a safe place for people to be honest and open about their struggles, but if we are not careful, our denunciation of public expressions of doubt may cause some of the sincere doubters in our own congregations to climb into their shells and never ask the substantive questions. This facade gets tiresome, of course, and... Continue Reading