The Gathering Storm: The Eclipse of Religious Liberty and the Threat of a New Dark Age
We are now facing a battle that will determine the destiny of priceless freedoms and the very foundation of human rights and human dignity.
Religious liberty is under direct threat. Just days ago the Solicitor General of the United States served notice before the Supreme Court that the liberties of religious institutions will be an open and unavoidable question. Already, religious liberty is threatened by a new moral regime that exalts erotic liberty and personal autonomy and openly argues... Continue Reading
Is It HOW We Read the Bible or IF We Read the Bible?
Theological liberals, by and large, simply do not read or know the Bible as much as theological conservatives.
What all of these arguments, promoted by the most prominent voices of progressive Christianity, have in common is that they count on their audience members being too unfamiliar with Scripture to even realize how such arguments totally ignore or misrepresent the most relevant biblical passages. The politically incorrect fact of the matter is that for... Continue Reading
The Tumult of Her War
These four themes are helpful reminders for Christians who may be discouraged by the ongoing conflict with the world in which they find themselves
This aspect of the Christian life – conflict with the world and being hated by those who are not united to Christ – is not something that we like to reflect upon, but it is a major theme of the New Testament. And, as John Calvin writes, God uses the tribulations of this world to... Continue Reading
The Predominant View of “The Least of These” in Church History
Interpreting “the least of these” as Christians is no historical anomaly.
The amount of evidence that Gray covers is vast and can hardly be reproduced in a single blog post. But we can summarize his findings with respect to the narrow view of “the least of these.” He concludes that if one sets aside references to the “least of these” that are unspecified, “then it is... Continue Reading
What Kind of Pastor Does God Use to Revitalize a Church?
God simply wants faithful shepherds.
It is unfortunate the amount of dying churches that conclude they need one of two kinds of men to lead them to revitalize their church. Churches first pursue finding the next young, rock-star preacher to be their pastor, banking on his charisma will be what breathes life back into the church. The problem with this... Continue Reading
Overture 1: Pacific Northwest Presbytery
Amend BCO 15-1 and 15-3 to give Presbyteries the Additional Option of 3 Appointing a Judicial Commission Whose Decision Would Be Final
However, this strikes me as being essentially the same rationale that provided the PCA with its current Standing Judicial Commission of the General Assembly. While that seemed good at the time, there has developed a great deal of discomfort with the way it has worked out in the long run. As a result, my own... Continue Reading
Five Things Every Christian Should be Doing with God’s Word
Psalm 119 is one of the best examples of Scripture speaking about Scripture
Indeed, Jesus embodies all five of these characteristics. He trusted, studied, used, delighted in, and obeyed God’s Word. In fact, he did all these things even more than the first David. While David certainly serves as an example of what to do with God’s word, Jesus is the ultimate example. One greater than David has... Continue Reading
The Monstrous Beast of Pride and the Saving Power of the Cross
Pride is, in fact, the most dangerous, core, deadly sin in the life of any believer.
Pride is a most deadly spiritual sin, and humility is a most under-valued and yet essential virtue. I was going to say “especially in our contemporary culture,” but I’m not sure that’s true. Human beings have always been tripped up, led astray, enslaved and undone by excessive pride. What makes pride so bad? Think about... Continue Reading
“Q” Is Cool
The Evangelical movement is in theological crisis mode right now. Q's cool motto: "Stay Curious. Think Well. Advance Good," in this case, without serious scrutiny, can be costly.
This is theologically flawed! Both Jesus (Matthew 19:5) and Paul (Ephesians 5:31) cite Genesis 2:24 as normative for sexual ethics. What distorted machinations will bright minds employ to justify a subjectively chosen, culture-pleasing view of moral practice? I never thought I would live to read such unsustainable argumentation from the pens of so-called Evangelical scholars!... Continue Reading
The Free Church of Scotland General Assembly – Day 2
David Robertson was elected as Moderator of the General Assembly of the Free Church of Scotland
All in all it was a thrilling day – if somewhat bizarre. The impression left on my heart is just simply that whether the footman at the door, the Lady at the table, or the beggar on the street – all of them need to hear about and be invited to, the Feast of the... Continue Reading
Ask a Swedish Pro-Life Midwife about Her Country’s Reputation for Tolerance
Mona Sahlin, the national coordinator against violent extremism, proclaimed in February at a conference on religion and democracy that the “one who refuses to participate in abortions is an extreme religious practitioner,” one who is simply “on a different level from the Islamic State” — that is, a pro-life medical practitioner is like ISIS, just... Continue Reading
Can You Be A Christian Without Believing In Christ?
A generation ago, many Americans would have been considered “nominal” in their devotion. Today, many have stopped claiming a religious identity altogether.
What if morality isn’t the heart of Christianity but a byproduct of the Christian gospel? The gospel is not about good people getting better but about bad people being made right with God. It’s not about humans making the world a better place but the Son of God making the world his home and then... Continue Reading
Will The Real Anglicanism Please Stand Up?
Reformation Anglicanism carries its own distinctive flavor in the milieu of the Reformation
By Reformation Anglicanism, I mean Anglicanism as it developed during the time of the Reformation. Reformation Anglicanism was dominant in the Church of England from the reign of Edward VI through Elizabeth I (of course, with the exception of Mary Tudor’s reign). Reformation Anglicanism was largely formed under the leadership of Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas... Continue Reading
Two Preaching Giants And The ‘Betrayal’ That Tore Them Apart
Charles and Andy Stanley confront their lives, relationship and ministries
The tension between Andy and his father had been building even before the divorce. They were partners in ministry, but they were becoming rivals. As Andy’s congregation started outdrawing his father’s, people told Charles that his son was becoming a prima donna who wanted to take over the entire church. Alpharetta, Georgia (CNN) — Andy... Continue Reading
The Sabbath In All Of History
Work, marriage and rest are ordinances established by God prior to the fall into sin, and form a perpetual order for mankind.
If Adam, in Eden, would have decided to make an idol, he would have sinned. If Adam, in Eden, would have murdered or would have stolen, he would have sinned. However, if Adam failed to set up cities of refuge in Eden, he would not have sinned. The moral law, summarized in the Ten Commandments, was binding... Continue Reading
If the Supreme Court Imposes Same Sex Marriage, You Could Lose Your Church
Obama's Solicitor General admits that the feds will treat orthodox Christians like racists
Imagine if your house of worship needed to turn a hefty profit, so it could pay the same taxes on its property and income as a casino or a strip joint — unlike Planned Parenthood, since that abortion business is a tax-exempt (and federally funded) “charity.” Imagine if none of the money you gave your church... Continue Reading
Maybe Christianity In America Is Dying Because It’s Boring Everyone To Death
Christianity has all of this: depth, its own ancient and epic history, sacredness, beauty, reverence; why bury them under a thousand layers of icing and whipped cream and apathy?
That’s how you stop the “decline” of Christianity in America. Tell people the truth. The truth, that’s all. Move them. Love them. Make them feel anger, and fear, and longing, and sadness, and happiness, and hope, and determination. All of these things. These are all a part of our Faith, because our Faith is everything. As Chesterton said,... Continue Reading
Overtures to the 2015 PCA General Assembly
The 43rd General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in America is meeting in Chattanooga, Tenn., June 9-12, 2015
The General Assembly (GA) meets annually. This year it is meeting in Chattanooga, TN, June 9-12. Each year, various proposals, called overtures, come from presbyteries for the GA to consider and act on. Since the denomination is connectional, the decisions made by the GA are binding on the presbyteries and the churches. Some years, many... Continue Reading
Evening of Confessional Concern and Prayer at PCA 43rd General Assembly
The Evening of Confessional Concern and Prayer will meet on Monday, June 8
The Evening of Confessional Concern and Prayer will meet in the Convention Center, Ballroom “H” from 7-9 P.M. It will be a time to share and listen to the conservative, confessional perspective on lingering or new issues within the PCA. There will be a time to pray together prior to the opening of the General... Continue Reading
On Writing Well (5 Big Tips)
Writing ideas that are applicable not only to professional writers, but to anyone who wants to grow in communication skills.
“You’ll never make your mark as a writer unless you develop a respect for words and a curiosity about their shades of meaning that is almost obsessive. The English language is rich in strong and supple words. Take the time to root around and find the ones you want.” We learned last week that William... Continue Reading
What Is Marriage To Evangelical Millennials?
Millennials have inherited the inverse: a view of sex with little meaningful connection to procreation
While I listened to my students lambast the article, it struck me that, on one level, they were right: marriage isn’t in danger of being redefined; the redefinition began decades ago, in the wake of the sexual revolution. Once the link between sexuality and procreation was severed in our cultural imagination, marriage morphed into an... Continue Reading
No, There’s No “Hate Speech” Exception To The First Amendment
There is no hate speech exception to the First Amendment
Calls for a new First Amendment exception for “hate speech” shouldn’t just rely on the undefined term “hate speech” — they should explain just what viewpoints the government would be allowed to suppress, what viewpoints would remain protected, and how judges, juries, and prosecutors are supposed to distinguish the two. Saying “this isn’t free speech,... Continue Reading
University Approves ‘History’ Class That Doesn’t Mention Both World Wars
Anthropology class can meet U.S. history grad requirement, prompting debate and concern
The new introductory “history” course leaves out, among other things, the Progressive Era, World War I, women’s suffrage, the Great Depression, FDR, the New Deal, World War II, McCarthyism, the Cold War, the Korean War, the nuclear arms race, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the JFK assassination, Freedom Summer, the United Farm Workers Union, the Vietnam... Continue Reading
The Arguments Against Homosexual Marriage Prove that Christian Scholasticism is Alive and Well
Where is God in all of the arguments regarding marriage?
So, where is God in all of these arguments? He is absent, just as he was in the old arguments of Christian Scholasticism. We must assume that he does not exist in order to be successful before the Court. If God does exist, it is a private matter and your belief must be left outside... Continue Reading
Who Really Wrote the Gospels?
How do we know that Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John dictated the books that bear their names?
When churches received each Gospel, they also received information about that Gospel’s origins, telling them whose eyewitness testimony this Gospel represented. Because they received clear oral traditions when they received each book, when Christians began adding titles to these manuscripts, every congregation connected each Gospel to the same author. So who really wrote the... Continue Reading
Fear and Sonship
What role does godly fear play in the life of the believer?
“When we fail to understand or believe the doctrine of adoption we live as orphans and slaves. The fear that we will exhibit will necessarily be servile or slavish fear. The heart that has come to know that the Father has loved us and has “received into the number,” and had given us “a right... Continue Reading
Don’t Confuse Spirituality with Righteousness
Spirituality can be a cheap substitute for righteousness
“Over the years I’ve had many young Christians ask me how to he more spiritual or more pious. Rare has been the earnest student who said, “Teach me how to be righteous.” Why, I wondered, does anybody want to be spiritual? What is the purpose of spirituality? What use is there in piety?” When I... Continue Reading
The Problem with Good Advice
Even if truth is truth no matter who says it, the advice we give ought to point to truth's source
“The problem comes when our advice sounds no different from the advice a counselor from another religion or even no religion at all would give. If an atheist would suggest the same child-rearing techniques or a Buddhist the same stress-management strategies as we do, then there is something missing from our counsel.” During my last year... Continue Reading
If Grace Is So Amazing, Then Why Do We Struggle With It?
Christians struggle to understand what grace is and how it operates
“Since in Adam we’re wired to think that everyone should get what they deserve and that we have the innate ability to fix whatever we’ve broken, we’re not naturally inclined to accept any outside help. But the Scriptures tell us this is foolishness.” As one of the solas of the Reformation, the centrality of... Continue Reading
Fourteen Key Reasons for the Breakdown of Church Unity
One of the greatest problems in our churches is the breakdown of church unity
“I recently heard of a church personnel committee and a few church staff members who worked in darkness to fire a pastor without ever meeting with him first or giving him reasons for his dismissal. Then they refused to respond to church members who were asking questions.” This post has a negative perspective to it.... Continue Reading