7 Reasons Why the Current Marriage Debate Is Nothing Like the Debate on Interracial Marriage

Is opposition to same-sex marriage the same as opposition to interracial marriage?

Even cultures that embraced same-sex relationships did not treat them as marriages. Far from having been devised as a pretext for excluding same-sex relationships—as some now charge—marriage as the union of husband and wife arose in many places over several centuries entirely independent of, and well before any debates about, same-sex relationships. Indeed, it arose in... Continue Reading

The 10 Greatest Hymns of All-Time

The best hymns are those that are universal and timeless, speaking to all Christians in all times, places, and situations.

As English-speaking Christians, we have a vast array of hymns available to us, and we each have our list of favorites. In my assessment, the best hymns are those that are universal and timeless, speaking to all Christians in all times, places, and situations. They are firmly grounded in Scripture and drawn out of, or... Continue Reading

Three Gospels for Anxiety

In Matthew 6, Christ says, “Do not be anxious about your life” and provides us with 3 gospels to help us combat our daily anxiety.

Unlike the pagan Gentiles, Christians have a heavenly Father who willingly, faithfully, and eternally takes on the burden of our provision. It makes sense that pagans worry, because they don’t have the assurance of divine provision, but Christians shouldn’t be anxious. We have a Father who knows exactly what we need and is in the... Continue Reading

Major Missions Agency Picks ‘Radical’ New President

Megachurch pastor David Platt is now the younger face of the Southern Baptist Convention's International Mission Board

David Uth, one of the IMB trustees, spoke to Baptist Press about selecting Pratt: We weren’t looking for a man who knew how to talk about it; we were looking for a man who was doing it—and using the influence he had to affect the nations. When we considered what Brook Hills was doing to send couples [to... Continue Reading

A Line in the Sand

The Homeschool Legal Defense Association speaks out against the dangers of Patriarchy and Legalism

While people are entitled to personal opinions within a broad range, there are some views within the patriarchy movement that go too far. Women are not to be the de facto slaves of men. Women are created with dignity equal to that of men. Women have direct and unmediated access to God. Daughters should not be taught... Continue Reading

I Forgive You, But Please Don’t Call it ‘Giving Grace’

Ultimately, I'm afraid that by using the wrong biblical word for the right biblical response we may be misunderstanding both.

What should I do when my husband forgets to buy milk on the way home from work? When my kids leave their new bikes out in the rain? When fellow church members are curt or critical on Sunday mornings?  Increasingly, I hear the godly action in these scenarios described as “giving grace.” And, while I... Continue Reading

Four Rules To Simplify Christian Dating

Is it just me, or has the whole Christian dating / courting / dorting thing become really, really complicated?

When it comes to dating, God’s wisdom is desperately needed. There are so many issues which aren’t explicitly addressed by Scripture, and therefore require wisdom. Is it sinful for a couple to drive to a deserted area at night just to “hang out”? No, but it might not be the wisest thing. Is it wise... Continue Reading

The God Who Comforts

Have you experienced God’s comfort? How can you then comfort someone else?

Do you ever go through seasons of discouragement and wonder why your faith is so fragile? Do you ever think that since you’ve been a believer for so long, you shouldn’t ever struggle, experience weakness, or feel stabs of fear? Have you ever felt overwhelmed by the pressures of life and wondered what is wrong and... Continue Reading

Between Hagiography And Cynicism

We should tell the truth about the past as best we can and that includes letting the reader know that our subject was human and thus fallen.

It does no service to Christians now or in the future to beatify our forebears in the faith. An overly sanitized story is ultimately not a true story. Scripture itself is quite realistic in its portrayal of some of the great figures in redemptive history. One is repeatedly shocked by Moses’ brutal honesty not only in... Continue Reading

The Federal Vision and The Dualism Duel

In a system where salvation is all of grace, how can a common personal union with Christ securely save some and not securely save others?

Both Reformed theology and Federal Vision soteriology have their dualities; yet there is a crucial difference. The dualities in Reformed theology do not reach into the heart of the mystical union with Christ. In Reformed theology, there are no dualities that divide between those who are in union with Christ. In Reformed theology, all who... Continue Reading

The Doctrine of Justification Among the Puritans

Justification is a gospel mystery—a matter, that is, of divine revelation by grace

Baxter was convinced that those who held the ground and formal cause of our justification to be the imputing to us of Christ’s own righteousness (i.e., his fulfillment of the precept and penalty of the moral law) were logically committed to Antinomianism, on the “payment-God-will-not-twice-demand” principle. At this point in his thinking… Baxter assumed, with... Continue Reading

The Conflicting Narrative of Jerusalem

Jerusalem has two conflicting narratives accompanied by differing holidays, songs, and stories; this results in two identities that are in conflict with each other

Peace treaties do not negate long standing narratives that give identity.  There must be a larger story …  Jesus promised to bring a peace that this world cannot give.  Such peace is both internal as it relates to Jesus giving us a clear conscience before God the Father, but also a peace between those who... Continue Reading

8 Tips For Talking to Your Kids About Sex

Maybe those of us who are religious and less conflicted about sex discussions need to offer some tips

Of course, if we want to raise children who care about something deeper and less fleeting than satisfying physical desires, that should be just one component of a larger discussion about who we are as humans, the gift of our sex, how our sexes complement each other, the significance of that complementarity, family formation, personal... Continue Reading

Understanding Ethics: Consequentialism

Instead of seeking what we think to be the best outcome, our duty is to seek the will of God in humble obedience

If no objective standard exists, then how can one truly know which action is best? Consequentialism lacks a sufficient knowledge base from which to categorize good or bad. Unless one can see into the future, many actions must be recognized as presently ambiguous. Only a being with the attributes of God can be sure that he/she is... Continue Reading

The Psychology Behind Messy Rooms: Why The Most Creative People Flourish In Clutter

Albert Einstein: “If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, then what are we to think of an empty desk?”

While it might look completely random to strangers, a lot of times, a person’s mess is very methodical – with respect to himself. Psychological scientist Kathleen Vohs, from the University of Minnesota, who set out to debunk this urban legend, didn’t confine her study to solely the desk. No, Vohs, clearly a creative mind, chose... Continue Reading

Christ’s Love for the Law

Jesus understood God’s law to be positive and helpful, even if occasionally painful.

Living in our humanistic culture, there is probably no more hated word than ‘law’ (unless it’s pre-destination)! To our world apart from Christ, the ultimate priority is to live free from any constraint, allowed to authenticate oneself with one’s own choices. Many people in our age work as hard as they can for unbridled freedom.... Continue Reading

Slow-er Relationships

Social media and texting can damage your soul—they work against human design rather than with it

Get ready for a backlash—a surge in longer dinners with friends, tech-free small groups, and a general break out of a pent-up desire for human fellowship. Get ready for a retro movement back to slow-paced relationships. The pendulum is already swinging toward something more in sync with our humanity. But it will test us, because... Continue Reading

Spirit Guides

There are two things, above all, that students want: that their professors challenge them and that they care about them.

My years in the classroom, as well as my conversations with young people about their college experience, have convinced me there are two things, above all, that students want from their pro­fessors. Not, as people commonly believe, to entertain them in class and hand out easy A’s. That’s what they retreat to, once they see... Continue Reading

Ferguson and My White-Looking Son

I’ve watched the horror in Ferguson, MO unfold, I couldn’t help but wonder what it will be like for my son as he grows into a young man.

Because he is white-looking, I fear my son will grow up in an environment that is hostile towards white males. I do live in the south where racial tension and strife have plagued our history. So what if we end up doing just the thing we’ve fought so hard to stop? What if we, black... Continue Reading

Did Paul Teach that a Rock Followed the Israelites in the Wilderness?

First in the series responding to Peter Enns' "Aha Moments" questioning the inerrancy of Scripture

As for the second problem, even if this Jewish “tradition” was extant in the first century there are serious doubts about whether 1 Cor 10:4 demonstrates Paul’s adoption of it.  He may well be doing a biblical – theological exegesis of Exodus 14-17 in the light of Psalm 78:14-20 (e,g., “he splits the rocks . . . and gave them abundant... Continue Reading

The Wrong Kind of Christian

There is no amount of niceness or progressive sympathizing that will remove the reproach of the gospel.

It didn’t matter to them if we were politically or racially diverse, if we cared about the environment or built Habitat homes. It didn’t matter if our students were top in their fields and some of the kindest, most thoughtful, most compassionate leaders on campus. There was a line in the sand, and we fell... Continue Reading

An Open Letter to Richard Dawkins

In response to Dawkins' assertion that it is morally good to abort children with Down syndrome

And so, Dr. Dawkins, I’d like to invite you to dinner. Come spend time with my children. Share a meal with them. Before you advocate their deaths, come find out what’s worthwhile in their lives. Find out if the suffering is worth the joy. I don’t want you to come over for a debate. I... Continue Reading

Dark Days for a Pastor’s Wife

One pastor's wife shares her recent experience of troubled times

A pastor’s wife, who normally encourages church members in their struggles, sometimes finds herself in difficult circumstances where she is the one in need of ministry. This is not a comfortable place for her or for those who look at her as unflappable. It may be unsettling for new Christians to see mature believers stricken. Here is my experience. Deep WatersApril: Troubles within... Continue Reading

Christ Did Not Die for You to Do Keg Stands

Here are a few suggestions on how to begin formulating a Christian response to drinking on our college campuses.

Some Christians go farther than Scripture in condemning alcohol. The Bible celebrates wine as a gift from God (Isa. 55:1; John 2:9) and good for your stomach (1 Timothy 5:23). I’m not convinced that the Lord’s Supper was strictly the unfermented stuff (1 Cor. 11:21). But let’s not trade one overreach for another. Christians who enjoy... Continue Reading

Singing God’s Words or Man’s Words?

The question puts us on the horns of a false dilemma.

Are there hymns that are divinely true because they convey the accurate meaning of God’s word? If they accurately capture the sense of Scripture then we are dealing with God’s truth, and not merely “man’s words.” The truth of God’s word gives rise to truth:    Years ago I was asked the following question by... Continue Reading

What I Wish I’d Been Taught In School

What subjects do you wish were taught at school? What subjects would you drop or reduce?

I think things have improved somewhat in some schools over the years, but there are still huge gaps of basic practical living and vocational skills that no amount of algebra, physics, history, and psychology can make up for. With all the inertia, vested interests, and stagnant thinking in the educational system, I know it will... Continue Reading

Harry Reeder: Loss of Trevelyn Campbell ‘Extraordinarily Challenging’

Briarwood Presbyterian Church head pastor Harry Reeder says Trevelyn's death has hit his congregation hard

It is with heavy heart that I write you to inform you that Trevelyn was killed in a car accident late last night on Altadena. She had been visiting with us for several hours, doing laundry, having dinner, and it was such a lovely, joyful visit as she was anticipating a new year at Samford.... Continue Reading

A Better Sermon Will Not Help You!

I wonder how often we come to worship, consecrate ourselves to be students at the beginning of the service, hear a faithful presentation of God’s Word, swear to obey, and then do the opposite

“We are informed but incorrigible. Our heads and mouths are filled with God’s Word, but it does not affect our hearts and feet. We know what to do, but do it not. And in the end, our miserable existence is made more miserable. We heap sin upon sin and wonder what is wrong with our minister, our church, and our holy religion. On Sunday... Continue Reading

Of Course Courtship is Fundamentally Flawed

Blaming “courtship” for “dragon” fathers, spineless spinsters, and poor young men who are getting crushed by the courtship machine seems extreme

“Perhaps there are homeschooled girls out there who have been brainwashed into mechanical responses or an inability to have an opinion. I don’t know many of them. It’s easier to say, “no,” to a guy when you know you don’t want him than it is to have the whole thing go to dad. So my... Continue Reading

The Waiting Is The Hardest Part (Patience In Ministry And Parenting)

If you are a parent or a minister, your loved ones may require years of tear-stained effort. Don’t give up. Don’t get frustrated, even when given cause. Take the long view.

“When ministering to others, it is easy to get frustrated with people who just “don’t get it” or don’t seem to have the will power to stop certain behaviors. It is easy to throw one’s arms up in the air when ministering to the stubborn or slow, and move on to other things. And yet,... Continue Reading