We Are Not Germs: The Case for Human Dignity

Christianity teaches that human dignity is rooted in the holiness of God; it reflects God’s dignity.

If you call me to sacrificial, altruistic action in behalf of human beings, you better have a reason. And it should be greater than simply, we should be for people because we’re people. Because unless we can establish that it means something to be people, it’s pure emotion. And rights granted on the basis of... Continue Reading

Fine Dining or Dumpster Diving: A Paradigm for Activist Theology

The knowledge derived from secular ideology will always look foolish when compared to the wisdom derived from Scripture.

The ideologies and theories of today are not radical enough to carry the freight of contemporary issues, but the Bible is more than adequate for the task.  After all, it is “God-breathed,” therefore it “is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness (II Timothy 3:16).  The knowledge derived from secular ideology will always look foolish... Continue Reading

Marlon “Big Dog” Brown: A Story of Redemption and Hope

We can make a significant difference in the lives of those in need by serving them.

For the last 13 years, Brown has worked full time for Service Over Self (SOS) to arrange and direct crews of college and high school students to renovate and repair the houses of low-income Memphis residents during the students’ summer and spring breaks. In addition, he has spent countless hours befriending and aiding the city’s... Continue Reading

Beyond Symbolic Gestures: The PCA and Underprivileged Women

Collateral damage: Abused women whose churches fail to minister to and care for them.

On the one hand, Jessica was encouraged. This was the first acknowledgement from a church court that her church leaders had wronged her. The RPR Committee had officially (for the second time in two years) cited her presbytery. Perhaps members of her church might begin to question the ways Jessica had been characterized and treated... Continue Reading

Winning One Another

Nothing less than one’s eternal destiny is at stake when someone wanders.

God the Holy Spirit turns wanderers back to Himself, but He ordinarily uses people to do so, just as He uses means to bring people to saving faith in the first place. Just as God will use our faithful prayers and proclamation of the gospel for the saving of His elect, He will use our... Continue Reading

Forgive Me Not

Should we forgive someone who does not ask for our forgiveness or does not show repentance in the asking?

When we stand praying and forgive someone who has wronged us, we take it upon ourselves to undertake the heart work of forgiveness. When the wrongs we have forgiven others resurface uninvited in our minds, we must cry out to our God: “I do forgive; help me in my unforgiveness.”   There is a debate... Continue Reading

The Religious Test of Orthodox Christians in America

The trend in American culture seems to be a growing intolerance for the outward expression of orthodox Christianity.

It is no wonder those holding to orthodox Christian beliefs are being tested – both in the public and private spheres of society. The Constitution protects the free exercise of religion and prohibits a religious test to qualify for public office, but as long as the worldviews of two distinct belief systems remain in diametric... Continue Reading

The Duty of Devotion

Devotion is an expression of love and loyalty rooted in both duty and delight.

Christians often speak of devotion. We speak of “devoting ourselves to God” and, more commonly, of “doing our daily devotions.” This word is familiar to every believer, but I wonder how often we consider what it means and what it entails. What is this devotion we offer to God? And what’s the connection between devotion... Continue Reading

Don’t Be Caught without a Confession

Holding to a confession is an act of humility, admitting that we are not, as we would wish, the final arbiters of truth.

J. Gresham Machen wrote, “In the sphere of religion, as in other spheres, the things about which men are agreed are apt to be the things that are least worth holding; the really important things are the things about which men will fight.” In this way, confessions of faith are at the core of Christianity.... Continue Reading

Godliness Is Not Your Personality

Why do we take our individual, personality, character, gifts, or calling and make that the sum total of godliness for everyone else?

Why do we take our individual, personality, character, gifts, or calling and make that the sum total of godliness for everyone else? The introvert equates godliness with quietness. The extrovert equates godliness with activity. The generous person equates godliness with giving. The social person equates godliness with hospitality. The workaholic equates godliness with hard-work. The... Continue Reading

Have We Christians Made Marriage Too Complicated?

It seems as if Christians we have lost what it means to be friends within our marriages

As time went on, there seemed to be a stronger emphasis on submission and leading in the Christian culture I was a part of.  And I started feeling the pressures of putting our marriage in this “Christian box”. I started second guessing things. Were we playing our parts correctly? Was I sinning by giving my... Continue Reading

The Joy of Paglian Sex

Given her polemic against the therapeutic drivel and middle class mores of modern sexual liberalism, could it be that Camille Paglia has a better grasp of Christian teaching than the pope?

We need that Paglian attitude: Christian sex should be transgressive and thumb its nose at respectable pieties.  You know – exclusively heterosexual, within the bonds of marriage, with single people remaining celibate.  That breaks all the modern taboos and threatens the comfy orthodoxies that now dominate sexual mores.  Sex is simply too important to leave... Continue Reading

Lesbian “Bishop” Karen Oliveto Warns to Not “Create an Idol Out of” Jesus, Says He Had “Bigotries and Prejudices”

Oliveto makes clear that her Jesus is one who was not only deficient in his knowledge of facts, but one who was also morally faulty.

Meanwhile, Karen Oliveto actually warns against those of us who “create an idol out of” Jesus Christ. The commonly accepted theological definition of an idol is something other than God, usually something created by human hands, improperly worshipped as a god. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary broadly defines an “idol” as “a false god.” So by definition, it is... Continue Reading

A Vital Call for the Vitals of Religion

So, really, the only option is full subscription to the old confessional standards.

The only way to remedy this is to come up with a list of vitals–that is, acceptable exceptions–or require strict subscription to the original documents. There are simply no other alternatives. And when the list of vitals is produced, no doubt, a sub-set of vitals-of-the-vitals will emerge, and then we are back to square one.... Continue Reading

John 3 Might Not Mean What You Think It Does (2)

The habit of associating the work of the Spirit with great social, religious, and even psychological events is deeply ingrained in the the American psyche.

Again, in John 3, our Lord Jesus did not prescribe particular experiences nor large-scale social-religious events or movements. He prescribed new birth by the Holy Spirit. We have added the concomitant experiences and events. When we do this, in our own way, we are seeking to make a bit more reasonable and understandable the mysterious,... Continue Reading

On Christianity and Confederate Statues

Don’t get so ensnared with earthly concerns that that you forget the main focus of this life.

Now, I don’t fault anyone for being concerned over the presence of confederate statues. I personally think they would be better off in a museum. But Paul’s gestures make me realize that in the grand scheme of all things concerning Christ’s kingdom, whether a statue remains or goes is far less significant than if hearts... Continue Reading

Fortress for Truth: Martin Luther

In a day of ecclesiastical corruptions and apostasies, he was a valiant champion of the truth; his powerful preaching and pen helped to restore the pure gospel.

On March 10, 1522, Luther explained the mounting success of the Reformation in a sermon. With strong confidence in God’s Word, he declared: “I simply taught, preached, and wrote God’s Word; otherwise I did nothing. And while I slept … the Word so greatly weakened the papacy that no prince or emperor ever inflicted such... Continue Reading

‘Cheap Sex’ and the Single Christian

Neglecting to defend the value of sex, chastity, and fidelity will have its consequences.

Honestly, it’s difficult to imagine challenges to the Church’s teachings on sexual ethics could get worse. Amid religious revisionists’ efforts to turn gender into self-expression and marriage into free-for-all groupings, now we face the impact of devalued sex.   The Washington Post ran a fascinating op-ed by Mark Regnerus on September 5 that examines just how... Continue Reading

What’s changed in Britain since same-sex marriage?

I urge every Aussie to examine the evidence, analysis the results and be clear about what you’re voting for.

In the United Kingdom, it has become abundantly clear that redefinition has affected many people, across many spheres. At first glance, these spheres appeared distinct from marriage redefinition. However, subsequent changes, have proved that they are entirely intertwined.   Four years ago, amid much uncertainty, 400 British members of parliament voted to redefine marriage in... Continue Reading

Are You Always the Hero of Your Stories?

When I try to look awesome, I’m not doing a good job showing how awesome Jesus is.

Making yourself the hero all the time is like playing dress-up. It is not reality. This is living in a fantasy world. After all, my wife lives with me, she knows what is actually true. No matter how hard I tried, even unwittingly, to pretend and write my own script my home remains a “no-spin-zone.”  ... Continue Reading

How the Minor Prophets Help Us Enjoy Jesus

Why not begin your journey to greater joy in Jesus through reading the Minor Prophets?

If we believe what Jesus says about our joy in him hinging on the words of God, then we need the whole Bible. To maximize our joy in him we need maximal Scripture. So let’s look at how one often-neglected section of the Bible helps us enjoy Jesus: the Minor Prophets.   When it comes... Continue Reading

Should a Judge’s Nomination Be Derailed by Her Faith?

During a recent hearing, Democratic senators pushed an appellate-court nominee to explain how her religious beliefs would affect her legal decisions.

As conservative, often religiously motivated positions on issues like gay marriage and banning abortion increasingly become out of step with popular opinion and legal precedent, this boundary between personal conviction and legal fidelity is going to become even tricker to navigate. What’s the line between examining a nominee’s religious convictions and believing those convictions disqualify... Continue Reading

6 Ways to Teach Like Jesus

If you want to be a better preacher, look no further than Jesus.

Questions are a powerful teaching method, especially when teaching a hostile crowd (like unbelievers). Questions stimulate critical thinking. Asking good questions makes the audience hungry to find the answers. If you want to preach like Jesus, ask a lot of questions. Do not reveal the answer immediately. Help your audience use their own brains.  ... Continue Reading

How To Grieve Like a Christian

The gospel informs all we do, including our grieving.

How do Christians grieve? Paul provides helpful instruction and begins with these words: “We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope” (1 Thessalonians 4:13).   his life is full of loss and full of grief. Though there... Continue Reading

Biblical Encouragement

As believers, we are called to encourage one another. But what does such encouragement look like?

Biblical encouragement doesn’t have all the answers. It doesn’t attempt to solve the mystery of someone’s trial or answer the question, “Why?” It’s not about advice giving. It is comfortable with grieving and lamenting, with tears and cries. It often encourages just by being present. It comforts through hugs, a hot cooked meal, or a... Continue Reading

4 Ways Pastors Can Help With Mental Health

In all honesty, we are not adequately trained to assess, much less diagnose, many mental health issues.

A 2013 LifeWay Research survey found nearly half (48%) of evangelicals believe that serious mental illness can be overcome with prayer and Bible study alone. If we found out that 1:4 of our people had cancer, would we encourage them to blow off their doctor and join a cancer Bible study instead?   Most pastors... Continue Reading

Can Our Sins Derail God’s Plan For Our Lives?

Because of Jesus’ incredible sacrifice, nothing we do can separate us from God’s love.

Maybe you have really messed up. Derailed your life. But does this mean you have derailed God’s purpose for you? Is God finished with you? No! In his infinite sovereignty, he still has an incredible plan for your life. He knew every sin we would ever commit, before and after we believed in Jesus. He... Continue Reading

The Overcommitted Church

Many churches have become too busy for their own good.

Failure of churches to have a clear purpose. Even the best of churches can only do so many things well. Once a church has no clear and defining purpose, it has no reason to start or discontinue a program or ministry. That issue then leads to the next two reasons.   Many churches have become... Continue Reading

John 3 Might Not Mean What You Think It Does (1)

We should say, “I do not know precisely when I was given new life but I know that I have believed for a time and that I believe now.”

The work of the Spirit is so mysterious we should not try to pin it down. We should and must affirm that it is, that new life has been given. We should and must affirm who gives new life (the Holy Spirit). We should and must affirm the necessity of new life. Our Lord could not be... Continue Reading

Feeling is not a Fruit (Or: Feelings and the Faith)

Feelings about the gospel may come and go, but the fact of it remains.

Feelings come and go; they rise and fall.  Feelings depend on how much sleep you’ve had (or not had!) in the past week.  Feelings depend on how much coffee you had today (or didn’t have!).  Sometimes feelings change when the seasons change!  Emotions often change when circumstances change.  So don’t base your Christian faith on... Continue Reading

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