Regeneration Is Monergistic

“Regeneration is the act of God and of God alone.”

Most people naively imagine that there is something they can do to cause themselves to be born again. They hear a well-meaning person say, “Believe and be born again,” and suppose that they can. So they try to effect their own regeneration. But this they cannot do. In attempting it, they are like someone who... Continue Reading

To evangelicals, Trump is the whirlwind. And they’re fine with that.

Many Christians have been trained by their religious culture to look for divine presence only in the spectacular and exciting.

This attraction to exhilaration is a dominant characteristic of evangelical Christianity in America that dates back to the First Great Awakening in the 18th century. It goes a long way in explaining why a group that shares so little with Trump became his most reliable voting bloc.   To Americans who stand outside the evangelical... Continue Reading

Stretched Thin? Why Seeking Coherence over “Life Balance” Is the Answer

In Wonder Woman, Harris posits that instead of searching for balance we should aspire to find coherence in our vocations and stewardship.

A life well-aligned is one that keeps in perspective the greater story for which we have been created. This requires humility and perception because it means that we must accept that we cannot—and should not—do everything. This also means that we are now free to pursue true excellence in the things we are called to... Continue Reading

White House Closes International Abortion Funding Loophole

Pro-life groups applaud expansion of Reagan-era Mexico City Policy

Under the new rule, foreign NGOs will be allowed to receive funds if they promise not to perform or promote abortion, and the rest of the funds will be redirected. Correnti predicted the government will have no trouble finding new grant recipients: “There are many, many faith-based organizations that do work on the ground in... Continue Reading

Running to the Pantry of Good Works

I have been reminded again of personal futility.

I’ve noticed a troubling personal trend. This trend is not new, but it is nevertheless fresh and disturbing. During times of spiritual apathy, sin, or negligence of spiritual disciplines I notice the feeling of being distant from God and his blessings. Then, I resolve to pray, read my Bible and do what is right. The... Continue Reading

These Present Sufferings

Paul sets these groanings in a very specific context: that of a fallen world.

With a significant choice of words, the apostle speaks first of all about creation ‘groaning’ (8.22), and how ‘we ourselves [Christians]…groan inwardly’ (8.23), then of the Holy Spirit who intercedes for believers ‘with groans that words cannot express’ (8.26). Language that speaks of something deep that must be expressed, but for which no normal vocabulary... Continue Reading

The Number One Reason Missionaries Go Home

Regretfully, the number one reason is due to conflict with other missionaries.

From my own personal experience on the field and after five years training, equipping, and sending missionaries, I have witnessed this truth firsthand. In all my travels around the world, I’ve spent countless days with missionary teams of all types, sizes, and makeups and one reality remains true: none of them are perfect.   The... Continue Reading

We Actually Don’t Need a Trinitarian Revival

Attempts to teach a ‘better’ understanding of the Trinity may do more harm than good.

Christians should be saying the right things about the triune God, feeling properly-formed feelings of responsive devotion and worship, and behaving as those who believe in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. But whenever the church or its teachers underperform in one of these areas (and “we all stumble in many ways,” as James 3:2... Continue Reading

The Church Is Greater Than Her Pastors

In a rightly ordered church, everything doesn’t collapse when the pastor leaves or dies.

Turretin did say more, but this is a good reminder for pastors (myself included) that we are called to serve the church and humbly minister to her.  The church doesn’t revolve around the pastor.  The church does not exist to serve the pastor.  The pastor is not the church’s lord and ruler.  Jesus is.  The... Continue Reading

As Losses Mount, Presbyterian Official Declares: “We are not dying. We are Reforming”

The PCUSA shed 89,893 members in 2016, a decline of 5.7% percent, dropping below 1.5 million members for the first time.

The decline contrasts with several years of steady growth among some other reformed denominations in the United States. The Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) – which split from one of the PCUSA’s predecessor bodies – has reported growth for each of the past five years, rebounding from a short period of decline that began in 2008. Separately,... Continue Reading

‘I Might . . . Pull Off a Leg or Two’

A shocking new undercover video exposes the grisly reality of ripping apart fetuses.

Dr. Ann Schutt-Aine, the director of abortion services for Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast (which has been referred to local law-enforcement for criminal charges related to fetal-tissue trafficking): If I’m doing a procedure, and I’m seeing that I’m in fear that it’s about to come to the umbilicus [navel], I might ask for a second set... Continue Reading

The Type of Leaders a Small Town Church Needs

What you don’t want to deal with is a leader who is obsessed with the greener grass somewhere else.

Small towns are not often seen as destinations, but the people who live there deserve to be led by people who’ve taken them seriously. If a leader is only interested in leading at a church in a small town so they can advance to something bigger and better down the road, people will know immediately.... Continue Reading

I Disagree With The Advice To Simply Try Harder

Domestic abuse is not a suffer for Jesus moment.

As Biblical counselors, we are to help her understand her role as his Biblical helpmate. I already established that it is not in her best interests to pretend and placate with him, but do you think it is in his best interests? I don’t believe so. Rather I believe it is in his best interests... Continue Reading

What To Do When God Is Silent

When God is silent, open up his word, and be reminded that he has spoken truthfully, perfectly, clearly, and sufficiently

We don’t need to have a special word from God that tells us all about exactly how to live our lives (a roadmap, if you will); we need a word from God about who he is, what he has done, and has promised to do. That’s what the Bible is. If you are in a... Continue Reading

Comfort in Revelation

What if Revelation is less about decoding the events of the 21st century but a word of comfort and consolation for Christians down through the ages?

We have all had our share in the thread of suffering that began in Genesis 3, but it ends in Revelation. Sin and evil will be no more. “and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first... Continue Reading

John Knox and the Women Who Loved Him

Why did these and many other women express so much love toward a man who blew a fierce trumpet against female rulers?

In spite of his formidable life and bold choices, Knox is still largely unknown. Maybe his larger-than-life charisma is the very reason for this neglect. People generally remember blazes and flares. In his case, they remember the blasts of his trumpet against women rulers – especially Mary Queen of Scots, “that cursed Jesabel,” as he... Continue Reading

Creed or Chaos?

If Christian dogma is irrelevant to life, to what is it relevant?—religious dogma is in fact nothing but a statement of doctrines concerning the nature of life and the universe.

If the average man is going to be interested in Christ at all, it is the dogma that will provide the interest. The trouble is that, in nine cases out of ten, he has never been offered the dogma. What he has been offered is a set of technical theological terms that nobody has taken... Continue Reading

Turkey Levels Charges Against Andrew Brunson

Turkish media is reporting May 19 that EPC teaching elder Andrew Brunson is being accused of being a “Kurdish sympathizer”

Hurriyet, the leading English-language news outlet in Turkey, reported that prosecutors are citing Brunson for “delivering sermons to the Kurds with a ‘special purpose’”—wording that implies support for an ethnic group that Turkey is waging a military campaign against. The Kurds are a minority group in Turkey (primarily located in the eastern and southeastern parts... Continue Reading

Study: Donors Are Less Generous Than They Think

A national study of 1,000 American charitable donors shows that nearly nine out of ten believe they give away a higher proportion of their household income than they actually do.

A new national study shows most American charitable donors severely overestimate the percent of their household income they give to charity.  Most also believe that, as donors, they’re part of a select group – seriously misjudging the proportion of Americans who give to charity.  The study points out that this misperceptions may inhibit higher giving... Continue Reading

Should I Send or Should I Go? Front line And Supply Chain

There is something undeniably compelling about the thought of being on the front lines of the Great Commission.

  The reward for those who go is different from those who stay, but those who stay can participate in the frontline efforts by praying for, financially supporting, staying in contact with, participating in strategic short-term mission trips that encourage, equipping, and assisting the missionaries.   Whenever missionaries speak at our church my heart leaps... Continue Reading

Healing a House Divided: An Interview with Presiding Bishop Michael Curry

"The essence of sin is separation."

Bishop Curry was elected to be the 27th presiding bishop and primate of the Episcopal Church in 2015, becoming the first African American leader of the denomination. Before his installation, he served as bishop of the diocese of North Carolina for 15 years, and previously he served as a pastor in North Carolina, Ohio, and... Continue Reading

The Joys of Life

In an effort to squeegee politics out of my life for a long weekend, I recently attended several sporting events that highlighted my granddaughters’ skills in soccer and swimming.

All in all, this weekend gave us a most delightful and wonderful experience, thankfully devoid of politics, and bursting with the joys of life, why it is worth living—family, children, grandchildren, love, competition, laughter, exhilaration, goofiness all around, plenty to share, and memories that will never fade. Certainly, it is all this that keeps us... Continue Reading

How Real Books have Trumped Ebooks

The digital revolution was expected to kill traditional publishing. But print books are ever more beautifully designed and lovingly cherished.

After reaching a peak in 2014, sales of e-readers and ebooks have slowed and hardback sales have surged. The latest figures from the Publishing Association showed ebook sales falling 17% in 2016, with an 8% rise in their physical counterparts. At the same time, publishers’ production values have soared and bookshops have begun to fill... Continue Reading

International Furor Erupts Over Embryo Jewelry Business

Company that makes pendants from discarded embryos vows to forge ahead.

In April, Baby Bee Hummingbirds offered a discount for jewelry made with embryo ashes to “make the process more affordable and easier on families.” After the Australian site Kidspot featured their products in a story of one of their customers who now wears the ashes of seven embryos around her neck on a pendant, people... Continue Reading

Luther and Calvin’s Quiet Discussions in Heaven

Was Calvin influenced by the writings or ministry of "the Initiator" of the Reformation?

“Much remains uncertain about which of Luther’s works Calvin read and which of Calvin’s works Luther read. It is, however, clear that Calvin had knowledge of the controversies that surrounded Luther’s theological writings and debates and that Luther read Calvin on certain theological issues.”   Those who cherish the Reformation have often sought out what,... Continue Reading

Stop Being On Fire For Jesus

As much as we may hate to admit it, being on fire really just comes down to feeling

“By no means does the bible tell us to gauge our spiritual lives solely (or even primarily) based on our feelings. It’s a reality in the bible that we will go through seasons of pain, doubt, failure, feebleness, and loss. Not every second of our lives will be exhilarating, news-worthy, record-breaking happiness, and excitement.” The... Continue Reading

Shame, Guilt, and Fear: What 1,000 Americans Avoid Most

Many Americans are more worried about their reputation than their conscience

“What’s our biggest cultural fear? Shame,” he said. “What’s surprising is not that personal freedom, ambition, and doing the right thing are valued by Americans. It’s that risk to our reputation is what matters most.”   Many Americans are more worried about their reputation than their conscience. They worry less about guilt and fear and... Continue Reading

Why First-Born Children Are Better Leaders

The short answer: They have a lot of practice bossing around their younger siblings

The idea that birth order might shape personality goes back at least to the 1920s, when Alfred Adler theorized that first-born children develop a “taste for power” at a young age, since they can dominate their younger siblings and are fixated on avoiding being “dethroned” as the prince of the family.   The concept of... Continue Reading

Eight Signs Your Church May Be Closing Soon

If a church has four or more of these signs present, it is likely in deep trouble

“The budget is severely inwardly focused. Most of the funds are expended to keep the lights on and/or to meet the preferences of the members. There are few dollars for ministry and missions. And any dollars for missions rarely include the involvement of the members in actually sharing the gospel themselves.”   We call it... Continue Reading

The Ruling Elder: An Indispensable Element of a Well-Ordered Church

The office of RE represents a refinement of the offices found in the early church

“For the church today, the office of RE, while at times allowed to suffer from an inferiority complex, is really an integral part of what the church is to do to fulfill its divine commission.  REs possess a pedigree descending from Calvin’s Genevan polity, and their work is of great importance to the health and... Continue Reading