10 Historical Myths About World Christianity
Brian Stanley presented what he perceives as the top ten historical myths about World Christianity.
Indigenous cultures were not static entities: to suggest that they were is characteristic of western modernity. Missionaries often displayed what we would term cultural blindness, but their message, once translated into the vernacular, acquired indigenous cultural overtones. Missionary contributions to the inscription and study of indigenous languages have helped to preserve or enrich such cultures.... Continue Reading
Princeton Professor: Cultural Elite Can No Longer Tolerate Christians
“Christians, and those rejecting the me-generation liberal dogma of ‘if it feels good do it,’ are no longer tolerable by the intellectual and cultural elite.”
Offering advice to parents with children in college right now, George discusses the weakening intellectual rigor and moral decay dominating most American campuses. In this interview, he asks parents to be vigilant and says, “no credential is worth having your child indoctrinated into some secular liberal ideology and away from the faith of his family.”... Continue Reading
Westminster Shorter Catechism Question #1: Grammatical Error Or Theological Truth?
The more you enjoy God the more you will glorify Him and the more you glorify God the more you will enjoy Him.
In other words, we exist “to glorify God BY enjoying Him forever” and we “enjoy God BY glorifying Him forever.” To be more precise, they are saying when we are embracing our created, redeemed, and sustained ‘responsibility’ “to glorify God” we will “enjoy God” and when we “enjoy God” we will instinctively and increasingly “glorify... Continue Reading
How I Changed My Mind about Infant Baptism
I could not understand why, given the Old Testament emphasis of God's working through families, the New Testament did not signal a change in that policy
It is my joy to baptize the children of believers and to see those children treated, not as little strangers until they make their profession of faith, but as members of the family of God. As such they are instructed in the full width of Bible truth and in the catechism of the church. It is the most... Continue Reading
How the War on Poverty Was Lost
Fifteen percent of Americans still live in poverty, according to the official census poverty report for 2012, unchanged since the mid-1960s.
Do higher living standards for the poor mean that the war on poverty has succeeded? No. To judge the effort, consider LBJ’s original aim. He sought to give poor Americans “opportunity not doles,” planning to shrink welfare dependence not expand it. In his vision, the war on poverty would strengthen poor Americans’ capacity to support... Continue Reading
High-Flying CEO Quits After Daughter Writes List Of 22 Milestones He Missed
The head of a $2 trillion investment fund quit his job after his 10-year-old daughter wrote him a note listing 22 special moments in her life he had missed
“It was a list that she had compiled of her important events and activities that I had missed due to work commitments,” he wrote. “The list contained 22 items, from her first day at school and first soccer match of the season to a parent-teacher meeting and a Halloween parade. The head of a... Continue Reading
“Losing Our Religion”: A Review of Peter Enns’ “The Bible Tells Me So”
Summary: The Bible isn’t history–in the modern sense of the word–it’s a book of stories written by ordinary people trying to make sense of God and the world
Enns wrote The Bible Tells Me So for potential Jesus-followers who have been taught to read the Bible as a how-to instruction manual and can’t seem to make it work. Young people are powerfully attracted to the non-violent kingdom Jesus talked about, but wonder how Jesus fits with the stuff in the rest of the Bible which... Continue Reading
Christian College’s Accreditation Threatened Over Adherence To Christian Moral Values
If you are a Christian, then you take Bible as an authority in sexual matters. That means no sex before marriage. And no sex outside marriage. Period.
Part and parcel of the rejection of God as an authority figure is the desire to get the approval of everyone else around you for acting immorally and selfishly. When people reject God, they feel guilty, and it causes them to want to surround themselves with people who tell them that they are actually doing... Continue Reading
Incest a ‘Fundamental Right’, German Committee Says
Anti-incest laws in Germany could be scrapped after a government-backed group said relationships between brothers and sisters should be legal
“The abolition of the offense of incest between siblings would be the wrong signal,” said Elisabeth Winkelmeier-Becker, legal policy spokeswoman for the party’s group in parliament. “Eliminating the threat of punishment against incestuous acts within families would run counter to the protection of undisturbed development for children.” Laws banning incest between brothers and sisters... Continue Reading
California School Bans All Christian Books
Staff at the library were told to remove all books with a Christian message, authored by Christians or published by a Christian company.
The schools Superintendent Kathleen Hermsmeyer, responded to the PJI in a letter writing: “We do not purchase sectarian educational materials and do not allow sectarian materials on our state-authorized lending shelves”. Corrie ten Boom’s ‘The Hiding Place’, a true story of courage and compassion by Christians in Nazi Germany, is one of many titles deemed... Continue Reading
Ordinary Isn’t Mediocre
How can we be content with our callings in ordinary life but still strive for excellence?
Whether we are talking about doctrine, athletics, music, parenting, or practicing law, it’s often by faithfully exercising the foundations that we reach the freedom to be good at what we do. It’s usually the everyday commitment to our pursuit, not the novel, and not the quest for superiority itself, that leads to true excellence. And... Continue Reading
Five Questions With a Former Muslim Who Converted to Christianity
As long as there are Muslims, there will be Christians who need to be equipped to share the Gospel with them in compelling compassion.
The Gospel is this: that God saw our sin and suffering, and instead of standing removed from the world, watching and judging, He entered into the world and suffered alongside us, taking our burden from us, paying our penalty for us. He secured our eternity for us because we cannot earn our own salvation, and... Continue Reading
God Is Faithful to Preserve His Own
God will bring our journey to completion and us to perfection, so that arrayed in perfect holiness we will live forever in His love.
Paul says that God, having begun His work in our lives, “will bring it” to completion. This indicates that God not only guarantees the completion of our salvation, but is actively involved in the believer’s life to bring this to pass. God works in our lives in the way a craftsman works to finish a... Continue Reading
Top 10 Sermon Introduction Mistakes
How you get your sermon started matters.
Waiting until the body to point your people to the text. I’m a stickler on getting to your passage in the intro, and not waiting until the body of the sermon. The reason for this is that I don’t want to accidentally communicate that our agenda drives how we go to the Bible. Instead, I... Continue Reading
Learning How Not to Argue (with help from Kanye West)
“How can you be so concerned about issue ‘A’ when we have issue ‘B’, ‘C’, and ‘D’ in the world, which are obviously much more serious!”
For example, “How can you be so upset about my behavior in a concert when the world is filled with real and violent injustices?” Or, as I have heard several times in the past six weeks, “Why are people so concerned about what’s happening with Mark Driscoll and Mars Hill when our Christian brothers and... Continue Reading
God Hates Divorce?
We should pause before accepting the translation of Malachi 2:16 as (…For I hate divorce…)
Stuart’s translation is this: “If one hates and divorces” – Yahweh, Israel’s God said – “he covers his clothes with crime” – Yahweh of the Armies said. Stuart argues that this translation 1) doesn’t require emendation of the Hebrew verb, 2) fits the immediate context, and 3) is consistent with the divorce teaching of Deuteronomy... Continue Reading
Do You Desire Repentance or Revenge?
What is the correct Christian response to being wronged?
Once again, it is not sinful to desire God’s justice or the justice of the governing authorities that wield God’s sword (Rom. 13:1-7) or Christ’s justice through biblical discipline in the local church (Matt. 18:15-20). But, when justice is not rendered, we must trust that vengeance is God’s, He will repay, says the Lord (Rom. 12:9). In... Continue Reading
How the News Makes Us Dumb
The news will make us dumb unless we are smart enough to merely nibble on it as snack and look for our daily sustenance somewhere else.
Sommerville does not argue for a complete repudiation of the news, and neither do I. But we must keep the news in its place. Most of us would do well to read the news less often. We would be wiser, happier, and more useful if we read more books and fewer blogs, if we read... Continue Reading
Just Add Water
Part 1 of an answer to the question: Do Baptists that practice closed communion teach that Presbyterians aren't Christians?
If the charge that Dr. Jones has put forward here has any weight at all, it rests on the idea that refusing participation to the table demands a metaphysical statement about those refused – namely, that they do not belong to Christ at all, in any sense. That’s always the charge of Presbyterians against us... Continue Reading
Mars Hill Phoenix Rises From The Ashes To Become Phoenix Bible Church
Seeking to rise like Phoenix from the ashes, members of Mars Hill Phoenix are starting a new church
“We believe that God has begun something very special through Mars Hill Phoenix. As things come to an end on Sept. 28, we want to explore next steps to continue as a church family and essentially start a new church of what was Mars Hill Phoenix. Our first service together would be Oct. 5, at... Continue Reading
Disrespecting The Holy Spirit — A Tendency for Calvinists and Arminians Alike
May we not be found amongst those who disrespect the Holy Spirit in regards to their one-time regeneration or their on-going sanctification
“May we all give the Holy Spirit the honor, praise, and worship he is due. The Father chooses those who will receive justice and those who will receive mercy. The Son lives and dies for his flock; all those who call upon the name of the Lord. And it is the Spirit who applies the choice... Continue Reading
The Sanctifying Spirit
How exactly does the Spirit empower us for growth in godliness?
“Though we must make effort in our growth in godliness (2 Peter 1:5), the Spirit empowers through and through. The Bible is not a cheap infomercial telling us to change and then assuring our little ponytail hearts, “You can do it!” We have already been changed. We are already new creations in Christ (2 Cor.... Continue Reading
Mental Illness Remains Taboo Topic For Many Pastors
Most Protestant senior pastors (66 percent) seldom speak to their congregation about mental illness
“Mental illness, like other chronic conditions, can feel overwhelming at times, said Pingleton. Patients can feel as if their diagnosis defines their life. But that’s not how the Bible sees those with mental illness, he said. He pointed out that many biblical characters suffered from emotional struggles. And some, were they alive today, would likely... Continue Reading
Is Marriage “Just a Piece of Paper”?
Some Christians have rejected the legal and formal aspects of marriage, arguing that marriage is a matter of private and individual commitment between two people
“The signing of a piece of paper is not a matter of affixing one’s signature in ink to a meaningless document. The signing of a marriage certificate is an integral part of what the Bible calls a covenant. A covenant is made publicly before witnesses and with formal legal commitments that are taken seriously by... Continue Reading
Analysis: Moderator Sees Church ‘Evolving’ On Same-Sex Marriage
Presbyterian Church (USA) Moderator Heath Rada, in a recent column, talked about the 2014 General Assembly votes to redefine Christian marriage to include same-sex couples
“It is not my job as Moderator of the denomination to defend the actions of the church,” Rada wrote in his column. “It IS, however, my job to make sure that the work of the General Assembly is correctly interpreted.” So how well did Rada interpret the Detroit assembly’s actions to redefine Christian marriage from... Continue Reading
Does The Bible Endorse American Capitalism or Favor Communist Central Planning?
The Bible contains clear economic principles and the early church grew in an environment of buying, selling, borrowing, and hiring
“Beyond free markets, the Bible favorably presents the elements of an entrepreneurial economy where wages and profits are earned and people prosper. For example, the virtuous woman not only “makes linen garments and sells them,” but also “perceives that her merchandise is profitable” (Proverbs 31:24). Workers were expected to profit from their labor and deserved... Continue Reading
The Israel Of God (Part 2)
The Mosaic Law itself, was only a “shadow” of the fulfillment which came with Christ
“It is the teaching of God’s Word that Jesus is the true Israel of God, that his incarnation, obedience, death and resurrection was not a by-product of Israel’s rejection of the offer of an earthly kingdom, but the fulfillment of God’s plan from all eternity. This is what Jesus told the disciples on the road... Continue Reading
Jesus, the True and Greater Gardener
Consider the theological significance of the following two Garden settings in which Christ carried out the work of redemption
Adam was called to guard and keep the Garden. This certainly included his need to protect his bride from the temptations of the evil one. When Jesus entered into His sufferings on the cross, He did so with His bride–the church–with Him there in the Garden. As Adam should have warned Eve to “watch and... Continue Reading
The Liberal Religion of “Tolerance”
Liberals revere tolerance. They practically worship it. But it's a selective faith.
I believe, in general, that liberals are not actually tolerant. Liberals tolerate only what they what want to tolerate. They tolerate things they agree with—which, of course, isn’t tolerance. Tolerance is about accepting the often-difficult differences between you and someone you strongly disagree with, and respecting that person’s right to an opposing point of view.... Continue Reading
What Is the Covenant of Grace?
The Reformed creeds and confessions express the continuity of God’s covenant of grace despite its many historical variations.
The essence of the covenant of grace is the same throughout the Old and New Testaments—God saves sinners by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. But its historical administration has varied by time and place. For example, the covenant of grace widened from the Old Testament to the New Testament, as it was... Continue Reading