Books by John Howard Yoder to Include A Statement Regarding His Sexual Abuse
Yoder (1927–1997), well-known Mennonite theologian for his work on Christian ethics, is also remembered for his long-term sexual harassment and abuse of women
The board and staff of MennoMedia, the publishing agency for Mennonite Church USA and Mennonite Church Canada, has issued a statement regarding the continued publication of John Howard Yoder books in light of ongoing discussions of Yoder’s long-term sexual harassment and abuse… We are opting to continue to make his work available but are placing... Continue Reading
Judge Orders Colorado Cake Maker To Serve Gay Couples
The business will face penalties if it continues to turn away gay couples who want to buy cakes.
“At first blush, it may seem reasonable that a private business should be able to refuse service to anyone it chooses,” Judge Spencer said in his written order. “This view, however, fails to take into account the cost to society and the hurt caused to persons who are denied service simply because of who they... Continue Reading
The 5 Gossips You Will Meet
Most of us have met these people. Most of us have been these people.
We all know The Backstabber, don’t we? The Backstabber is a complainer, but he is more than that. He is also angry and malicious and is out destroy others. He may bring full-out lies in order to bring down another person, or he may engage in a smear campaign. He looks for something, anything, everything wrong... Continue Reading
Who Needs Santa When You’ve Got Jesus?
Santa, the Christmas Lie, is but a whimper and a sigh in the light of Jesus, the Christmas Truth.
In other words, Jesus is WAY cooler than Santa. This is a message that is, I think, tragically lost on many children. Let’s be honest: Christmas ain’t big enough for the both of them. Santa, the fun fictional character? Sure. Santa, the silly game of make believe? Yeah, he can join the festivities without overshadowing... Continue Reading
Has the Megachurch Lost Its Luster?
What will be the future ecclesiastical landscape?
Seekers, the curious, and nominal believers can come to enjoy a show, hear a sermon, remain unperturbed in the enormous crowds, and enjoy the energy and facilities of a megachurch. However, if these same people want depth, they will be referred to small groups. But, more often than not, hungry Christians will begin to attend... Continue Reading
More Arguments That Are Less Than Meets the Eye
10 popular arguments that should be less persuasive than they often are.
If you traffic the blogosphere, or just scroll down Hootsuite or your Facebook page, you will find these arguments in abundance. And they very often carry the day. But on closer inspection, the reasoning is often much less than meets the eye. Three years ago I wrote a post about six popular arguments that should... Continue Reading
Is it Really That Simple?
Simplicity isn't a discipline; it is an essential characteristic of God.
Sure, simplifying can be a very good thing. But when we are talking about our spiritual life, goodness, obedience, and truth, I think that it is important to recognize that these are not virtues that come from within ourselves. This discipline of simplicity that Foster teaches is ambiguous at best. At worst, it is suggesting... Continue Reading
9 Reasons to Reconsider Preaching Verse-by-Verse
Benefits from expositional preaching
Verse-by-verse preaching generally gets a head nod from preaching books as a technique for the overly-zealous Bible expositors who view the Bible more as a lecture than a sermon. But I’d like us to reconsider not simply expositional, but verse-by-verse preaching as a means to bridge the gap between this generation and the millennial generation... Continue Reading
Presbyterian Church in America General Assembly for Beginners, Part 1
An introduction for those for whom this will be their first GA
First, what is the GA? It is the annual meeting of representatives of the churches that make up the PCA. A fuller description of the GA is found in Chapter 14 of the BCO. I recommend that you read it. The GA meets at different locations around the nation, usually in a city that has... Continue Reading
Pearl Harbor Survivor James Downing, 100, Shares Story of That Fateful Day
Jim Downing, 100, the oldest known survivor of Pearl Harbor talks about his experiences; a gunnery mate on the USS West Virginia, Downing was onshore when the attack began
“Then an anti-aircraft shell landed right outside and blew a crater about 25 feet across,” Downing said, illustrating with outstretched arms. There was no time to think, he said — time only to react and rely on training. As he told his new bride goodbye, she handed him a verse of Scripture from Deuteronomy 33:27:... Continue Reading
Karen Hodge Named PCA Women’s Ministry Coordinator
Hodge has been appointed as the Women's Ministry Coordinator for the PCA, effective February 1, 2014
Karen is a member of Naperville PCA in Naperville, IL, where her husband Chris serves as Pastor. She has served the PCA for many years in a variety of roles. As a mother and the wife of a pastor, she has ministered in the following congregations: Briarwood PCA in Birmingham, AL, Christ Covenant PCA in... Continue Reading
Fossil Finding Shakes Evolutionary Theories
Creationists question Darwinian explanations of a recent DNA discovery
This finding perplexes evolutionists who believe the Neanderthals lived in Asia and Western Europe, while Denisovans were thought to be limited to East Asia, nearly 4,000 miles from the cave where the fossil was discovered in Spain. Since it is doubtful that a Denisovan could have traveled that far, evolutionists have no explanation for the... Continue Reading
Who’s Afraid of Pregnant Women?
The trend in some large cities is more beneficial to cats and dogs than to children.
“To breed or not to breed, this was the question,” pondered one married woman writing for The Seattle Times. Her article, “Why I Am Not Having Kids,” offered many reasons for her decision, including: “Not having a child is the most important thing I could do to reduce my carbon footprint.” I might add, another way... Continue Reading
Jeremy Walker’s “The New Calvinism Considered” Considered
A book review of The New Calvinism Considered by Jeremy Walker
I don’t think Jeremy’s caveat that “New Calvinism” is a nebulous phrase exempts him from the need to shed some definitional light on the matter. The alliterated headings of Calvinism, Characters, Conglomeration, and Consolidation do not seem to sufficiently define boundaries for the movement. And, so, while Piper and Driscoll are almost constant topics of... Continue Reading
Sanctified by Faith
"...the corporate means of grace that God has given to the church–the ministry of the word, prayer, and the sacraments–must be viewed as crucial to our sanctification."
Is sanctification to be viewed as entirely a work of God, or does the Christian work together with God? On the face of it, the answer to this question is not immediately obvious. On the one hand, our sanctification is clearly the work of God’s grace–it is rooted in the triumph of Christ over sin... Continue Reading
Separation of Church and Church
When property law and canon law collide.
On appeal to the Supreme Court, the Falls Church Anglican is the only church that stands in the legal battle. The 10 other defendants have either settled or given up due to legal expenses. The congregation will know if its case will be heard by the Supreme Court by January 2014. Hundreds of congregations... Continue Reading
Season for the Reason
Christians should avail themselves of the opportunity we have with Christmas to share the gospel.
Certainly, we want to keep Christ in the gospel as the reason for the season. But we also want to avail ourselves of the season to speak with others about why the eternal Son of God became incarnate. We want to use the season to give the reason for the hope that is in us.... Continue Reading
Rob Bell Has Left The Church For A “Quasi-Intentional Spiritual Community”?
While there is disagreement over the definition of “evangelical” with complex issues, there are foundational points of identity
In fact by the time Bell and Schuller were winding up their ministries, they were not recognized as evangelical by many who remain committed to the authority of scripture, the necessity of personal conversion, and the great commission mandate. In short, countless evangelicals did not recognize them as evangelical. Yes, evangelicalism is in a numeric... Continue Reading
Areopagitica: Freedom of the Press and Christian Journalism
The freer the press, the less the innocent have to fear and the more the guilty need to be worried.
That is why the health of the Christian subcultures in our society depends to an important extent upon the freedom of the Christian press; and that in turn depends upon having plenty of public voices and different groups presenting their different perspectives without the threat of being silenced by those with power and money. ... Continue Reading
Bible Secrets Revealed?: A Response to the New History Channel Series (Part 3)
The newest episode, “The Forbidden Scriptures,” is designed to argue that certain books were “banned” or “forbidden” from the New Testament.
In the end, we are again left with a very disappointing episode. Yes, it was entertaining. It was certainly provocative. Unfortunately, it is simply not not historically accurate. For a History Channel production, that proves to be sadly ironic. This is the third installment of a new series reviewing the History Channel series entitled Bible... Continue Reading
Nelson Mandela and the Ironies of History
Nelson Mandela was essential to his nation and to the eradication of apartheid. But no man’s life is heroic in every respect, and no human hero can save.
American Christians looking at Nelson Mandela must eagerly affirm that we are thankful that he was used in order to achieve freedom and human dignity for his people. But perhaps we should also be thankful that we know a little bit more of the story so that he is not merely held up as a... Continue Reading
An Unhelpful Description of Sanctification
Sanctification is not “getting back to the reality of our justification.”
I don’t want to throw Tchividjian under the bus here. I haven’t read anything else he’s written and I don’t follow his ministry at all. Maybe he’s clarified this elsewhere. I just wanted to point this out, echoing what Mark Jones said in Antinomianism (p. 111-121), that we should be careful when speaking about biblical truths and doctrines. ... Continue Reading
The ACLU Bids to Make a Beginning of the End of Religious Health Care
The ACLU has filed a lawsuit which would require Catholic hospitals to perform abortions.
What makes the case especially scary (and telling), is the clear attempt to tie religious doctrine to legal harm. Rather than suing the hospital, the ACLU is suing the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops for their directives to Catholic health providers that prescribe medical care according to religious principles. As America’s first ever two term... Continue Reading
Ingrid Schlueter Resigns From Janet Mefferd Show Over Mark Driscoll Plagiarism Controversy
The controversy continues
I hosted a radio show for 23 years and know from experience how Big Publishing protects its celebrities. Anything but fawning adulation for those who come on your show (a gift of free air time for the author/publisher by the way) is not taken well. Like Dr. Carl Trueman so aptly asked yesterday in his... Continue Reading
Christian Christmas Grinches
I have no problem with anyone who chooses to jump off the super-sized, industrial-strength Christmas bandwagon. Just don’t be censorious about it.
There is a time for fasting in the Christian life and a time for feasting. The Old Testament teaches us that. And so does Jesus. If Western Christianity is selfish and bloated, let us be the first to say so and the first to show a more excellent way. But let us be the last... Continue Reading
The Real Meaning of Christmas
One of the most remarkable stories of Christmas comes from one of the darkest moments of modern history
Events like the Christmas Truce are worth celebrating. But they lack something. They lack permanence. Such impermanent peace is what we often find in our quest for the real meaning of Christmas. If we are looking for permanent and ultimate goodwill, love, and peace, we must look beyond our gift-giving, get-togethers, and office parties. We... Continue Reading
An Open Letter to Clarence the Angel (From the Film ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’)
What’s the occasion of this, my very first “Angel” letter? I realize it’s a tad tardy, but it’s regarding the movie that made you famous
Does following Jesus mean one will have a wonderful life? Instead, Jesus promises a joyful life, even amidst significant suffering. In theological language, to expect a wonderful life now is to have an over-realized eschatology. We’re living between two worlds, the now and the not yet. In other words, Clarence, the reason this isn’t a wonderful life... Continue Reading
Nelson Mandela, 1918-2013
The man who reconciled a divided South Africa dies at age 95
Spinney noted that Mandela, post-prison, was a peacemaker: “Whatever his youthful allegiances, post-1990 he prevented blacks from going violent. He was not vindictive; he sought and obtained reconciliation with whites. The people who really benefited from Nelson Mandela’s leadership were white South Africans. Rather than being driven out of South Africa by justifiably angry blacks,... Continue Reading
PCUSA’s Covenant Network Marriage ‘Adaptation’ Tilts the Table
Covenant Network within the Presbyterian Church USA pushing the 2014 PCUSA General Assembly to take the next step in sexual revisionism: the redefinition of Christian marriage
Same-sex advocates can assert that Jesus never said anything directly about homosexuality — it was not a topic of debate among Jews of His time — however, they cannot claim that Jesus never addressed marriage. Nor can they deny that the theme of marriage as the two created sexes “becoming one flesh,” imaging the union... Continue Reading
Plagiarism, Personality-Driven Leadership, and the Problem With Evangelicalism
The recent dust-up within evangelical circles over accusations of plagiarism highlights one of the problems with the personality-based leadership that encompasses most of American evangelicalism
Because of the personality-driven leadership inherent in contemporary evangelicalism, the tribalism it nurtures, and the reality that most of American evangelicalism subsists in some variation of the free church tradition, the final outcome of this story is clear. There is no authority that can adjudicate this matter other than the authority upon which both Driscoll and Mefferd... Continue Reading