How I Found Freedom From Gender Confusion (Part 2)

After decades of listening to lies, I was hearing the truth—and the truth really did set me free.

Some people know my past, some don’t. I don’t often talk about it, because, miraculously, it’s not an issue anymore. I tell people if I need to, or if it might help someone, but not everyone in my church family needs or wants to know the details. The Bible tells them who I am—a sinner... Continue Reading

I Can Fumble And Strike Out Through Christ Who Strengthens Me

No one seems to quote Philippians 4:13 after he gave up the game-winning touchdown or struck out to lose the game; why quote it when you win?

Everyone has the tendency to compare the highlight reel of others’ successes to our daily failures and lose heart. But baseball, for those of us who love it, provides a constant reminder that everyone (even the superstar) strikes out, but the game still goes on. Angell was right, “There is more Met than Yankee in... Continue Reading

Dying to Be Protestant: Oxford Martyrs’ Day

On Oxford Martyrs Day it is worth asking: "What did Ridley, Latimer, and Cranmer die for?" Answered simply, they died for the Protestant faith.

On October 16, 1555, Bishops Hugh Latimer and Nicholas Ridley, having been tried at the University Church of St. Mary and condemned for heresy, were tied to stakes and burned alive. On March 21, 1556, Archbishop Thomas Cranmer, primary author of the Book of Common Prayer and The Articles of Religion, also died at the... Continue Reading

LGBT Group Threatens Johns Hopkins Over Report That Science Doesn’t Show People Are Born Gay, Transgender

The Human Rights Campaign threatens to penalize Johns Hopkins University if it does not denounce a report concluding there is little scientific evidence that people are born gay or transgender.

“Some of the most widely held views about sexual orientation, such as the ‘born that way’ hypothesis, simply are not supported by science. The literature in this area does describe a small ensemble of biological differences between non-heterosexuals and heterosexuals, but those biological differences are not sufficient to predict sexual orientation, the ultimate test of... Continue Reading

Why It Matters that the Reformers Were Pastors

Many of the Reformers were pastors; the Reformation was aimed at reviving dormant local churches.

The Reformation at its heart was a spiritual renewal movement, in which European churches and believers were revitalized through the recovery of the Scripture and the proclamation of the gospel. Evangelicals who care about the gospel, who are committed to the authority of the Bible, and who long for the renewal of the church will glean encouragement, learn lessons,... Continue Reading

Does God Forbid Images Of Christ?

Are images of Christ allowable in non-worship contexts?

I have defended the right of artistic representations of Christ. I have not defended – and in fact, stand against – images of Christ being used in worship. In Deuteronomy 4:15 God expressly warns Israel: “So watch yourselves carefully, since you did not see any form on the day the LORD spoke to you at... Continue Reading

I Was Pregnant, And Then I Wasn’t

In the aftermath of a miscarriage, the loss of someone I never knew has been more devastating than I could have imagined.

Miscarriage means to carry badly. “A morbid expulsion of an immature foetus,” according to the Comprehensive Medical Dictionary. But the cases where the body hasn’t expelled the fetus are called “missed miscarriages.” A double miss. You miscarried the baby, but you also missed the miscarriage altogether.   The exam room where my husband and I... Continue Reading

Let Me Repeat Myself? – Part One

Why do they sing the same thing over and over again? Isn’t once enough?

“Whether we’re praising or we’re praying, there are certainly numerous biblical examples of repeating the same words to God. Worship leaders use repetition as a tool to let important proclamations and/or petitions not just fly by without the intentionality they might warrant.”   One universal criticism of contemporary worship songs and the flannel-shirted people who... Continue Reading

Gulfstream Presbytery Overtures PCA General Assembly to Amend Westminster Confession 24 by Adding Two Scripture Proofs

The overture requests adding two Scripture proofs to clarify that the Westminster Confession of Faith 24.4 excludes same-sex marriage.

The Gulfstream Presbytery approved an overture at its October 2016 Stated Meeting, asking that Westminster Confession of Faith 24.4 be amended by the addition of two Scripture proofs that would explicitly exclude homosexual marriage. The overture will be considered by the 45th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in America. The PCA General Assembly will... Continue Reading

Lifting Your Soul

What does it mean to lift your soul? How do you actually do this?

Lift your soul to the Lord by trusting him to teach you how to walk in his ways. Psalm 25 says directly and simply, “To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul. O my God, in you I trust” (Ps 25:1-2a). After asking that the Lord would not let him suffer shame from others,... Continue Reading

Taking Back Christianese #5: “Just Ask Jesus into Your Heart”

Despite the association with modern day revival-style churches, this phrase actually has a long pedigree, even in Reformed circles.

In this way, as noted above, this phrase can actually backfire on itself.  While intended to prevent false conversions, it can (if misused) actually lead to false conversions.  People can think they are saved because they “asked Jesus into their heart” with no awareness of how to evaluate their own spiritual condition.   Some of... Continue Reading

Should Christians Feel Guilty All the Time?

I’m convinced most serious Christians live their lives with an almost constant low-level sense of guilt.

Most of our low-level guilt falls under the ambiguous category of “not doing enough.” Look at the list above. None one of the items are necessarily sinful. They all deal with possible infractions, perceptions, and ways in which we’d like to do more. These are the hardest areas to deal with because no Christian, for... Continue Reading

Powerful Promises to Give Us Hope for Our Children

Let us pray regularly that Jesus would save each of our children, grandchildren and descendants and that each one would follow Jesus wholeheartedly as a disciple until the he returns.

Though Scripture doesn’t absolutely guarantee their salvation, God gives us many strong reasons to pray and hope for our children. Charles Spurgeon urged parents to pray Isaiah 59.21, which I have written in my prayer notebook at the top of the page of requests for my family: “And as for me, this is my covenant... Continue Reading

12 Steps to a Happy Marriage

"There is no more lovely, friendly, and charming relationship, communion, or company than a good marriage." Martin Luther

Marriage is depicted as a beautiful picture of Christ and the Church and is said to be a great mystery. Wives are to submit to the authority of their husbands as the church submits to Christ and husbands are to love their wives as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her. Both commands... Continue Reading

Masculinity and the Priority of Love

The characteristic quality of the true man of God is a Christlike love

In Ephesians 5, the apostle sounds two abiding keynotes, one for the woman and for the man. The primary element for the woman of God is submission, and I recognise that that must be carefully and scripturally defined and worked out. Paul, in this passage, then moves on to the keynote for the man. And what... Continue Reading

The Provocative People of Proverbs

The book of Proverbs warns us about people like that, people who love to incite conflict and hate to resolve it.

The morally deficient fool. “Keeping away from strife is an honor for a man, but any fool will quarrel” (20:3). This brand of fool is even worse than the obstinate one. This one outs himself the moment he opens his mouth because his words show him to be utterly deficient in goodness and grace. He... Continue Reading

Redeemer Seminary, the Fundamentalist-Modernist Controversy, and the Parachurching of Reformed Theological Education

Redeemer Seminary in Dallas (formerly Westminster Seminary) will close at the end of the year; Reformed Seminary will open an extension campus there.

The impending closure of the Redeemer Seminary in Dallas, Texas is now known to many. Responding to overtures from the Redeemer Board, Reformed Theological Seminary will, according to RTS Chancellor Ligon Duncan, implement “a two-step plan whereby Redeemer would ‘close with dignity’ and RTS would petition ATS and SACS to begin offering theological education in... Continue Reading

The Most Valuable Aim of Apologetics

Apologetics is to provide an answer to the critics of the Christian faith, to those who seek to undermine the rational basis for Christianity or who critique it

“The toughest three years of my life were my seminary years, because I was a zealous Christian studying in a citadel of unbelief. Every day, the precious doctrines of our faith were attacked viciously by my professors.”   Exodus 3 narrates the well-known account of God’s revealing Himself to Moses in the burning bush and... Continue Reading

Kenneth Woodward Untangles Some Political Strands in American Religion (Review)

Woodward, who has written earlier books on saints and on miracles in different religious traditions, has produced a volume that is clearly meant as a career valedictory

“Journalism’s emphasis on what is provably factual — vote totals, stock prices, batting averages — left most reporters and editors leery of the ineffable, inchoate qualities of religion. To the degree that mainstream American journalism gradually rose to the task in later decades, it did so by erroneously trying to comprehend religion through the prism... Continue Reading

How I Found Freedom From Gender Confusion (Part 1)

I struggled, but with no conviction, and defeat was a foregone conclusion

From time to time I’d take a stand: I’d throw away my entire stash of clothing, and vow to “go straight”. But my only real weapons in the fight were a vague instinct that cross-dressing must be “wrong”, and the associated feelings of guilt. They were too easily rationalized away. Why should I feel guilty?... Continue Reading

Can We Enjoy Heaven Knowing Loved Ones Are in Hell?

Many we love today will have an eternal experience of pain, torment, and separation

“However, those of us with non-believing family members and friends can find this certainty an area of intense struggle. Why? Because we know that not everyone will be there with us.”   Heaven is far too perfect, far too sinless, far too other for us to imagine in our fallen minds. Our attempts to put... Continue Reading

The New Culture of Life

The future of pro-life activism is young, female, secular, and “feminist."

“There’ a little bit of truth to the old pro-choice saying that the movement is a bunch of old conservative white men,” activist Aimee Murphy told me. “But I really have seen a massive shift with the youth, to ensure that our solutions are women-centered and that we’re being consistent and nonpartisan, inclusive and opening... Continue Reading

You Don’t Need More Parenting Advice

Parents, God faithfully parents you, so that you can, in turn, faithfully parent your children

“If you desire not only to cope but to thrive with vision and joy as a parent, you need more than seven steps to solving whatever. You need God’s helicopter view of what he’s called you to do. You need the gospel of Jesus Christ to reveal the foundational principles that will not only help... Continue Reading

The Patriarchy Movement: Five Areas of Grave Concern

Christian Patriarchy tends to be a man-made, law-based system

“This posts does not seek to trash the patriarchy movement or those found in it. Neither does it disagree with the biblical truths concerning headship, gender roles and attitudes towards authority. Rather it seeks to identify a number of issues that do great harm to those within the movement specifically and Christ’s Church as a... Continue Reading

Before You Sought Him (Bernard)

Bernard says it is important to realize that God seeks us before we seek him. If we don’t understand this, we’ll rob God of his glory

“‘I have sought,’ she says, ‘him whom my soul loves’ (Sg 3:1). This is what the kindness of Him who goes before you urges you to do, He who both sought you first and loved you first (1 Jn 4:10). You would not be seeking Him or loving Him unless you had first been sought... Continue Reading

Because I Can

If we are not willing to examine ourselves, we have no right to point the finger out there.

There has been quite a bit of outrage over “Christian leaders” who have endorsed a man who boasted about sexually assaulting a woman, and we should be appalled. Our witness as Christians is a travesty when we enable those who demean God’s image-bearers, mock His standard of righteousness, and commit civil crimes. But our criticism... Continue Reading

Cultural Apologetics Pt.3: A Holy People

If God is holy it follows that this creation is fashioned according to the model or principle of God’s holy personhood.

In this time of cultural collapse and social unrest, this is an exciting time to be a Christian. Though the world rejects our message, there has doubtless never been a time when it needed it more. So for genuine human flourishing and for the glory of God our Creator and Redeemer, the world needs to... Continue Reading

Seeking Clarity in this Confusing Election Season: Ten Thoughts

Some clarity about what Christians should agree on and what we may not have to agree on

There is a tendency, on both sides, to treat “our side” differently than we treat “their side.” Would the same Christian leaders excusing Trump’s statements ever think to excuse the same from Clinton (Bill or Hillary)? Of course not. Would liberals be overlooking Bill Clinton’s treatment of women (and Hillary’s role in downplaying or silencing... Continue Reading

To My Sisters in Christ

What I want you, my sisters in Christ to know, is that there are many of us who find Trump’s words and behavior disgusting.

Contrary to Ben Carson’s explanation this sort of talk is not how most men talk about women in their absence. We do not believe that the number of a man’s sexual conquests or his willingness to force himself upon a woman is the measure of manhood. Quite the opposite. For many of us the arrogant... Continue Reading

Can Depression Be Cured? Latest Research

In May 2016, the Library of Congress and the John Kluge Center hosted a symposium on Can Depression be Cured?

Depression is a serious disorder that impacts the whole body, it is progressive, and it needs to be treated. 60% of people with depression in the United States remain untreated. The most effective way to treat depression at present is a combination of talking therapies and medication.   In May 2016, the Library of Congress... Continue Reading