When Will Life Ever Make Sense?
We accept the fact that bad things happen to good people: Are we being tested? We remind ourselves, sometimes grasping for straws, that Job was tested, too.
“But yet – I know this; we all do – the crud of life is still crud. To my friend dealing with the worst cancer news, what can I say, what can any of us say? Of course we pray for healing. Of course we trust God’s mysterious ways. Of course we try to believe... Continue Reading
Walking Through Fire
Despite dementia, Elisabeth Elliot Gren holds fast to Scripture.
“Since the onset of dementia about a decade ago, the best-selling and widely known Christian author communicates mostly through slight hand gestures and facial expressions.” Lars Gren led me down a dim hallway to a simple room lit magnificently by floor-to-ceiling windows that looked out over the Atlantic Ocean. A slim, elderly woman dressed... Continue Reading
Family Worship 101
Family worship is not merely a religious discipline; it is a meeting with the triune God in a spirit of adoration by means of three key ingredients.
“Family worship is an indispensible instrument for instilling both old and young with a consciousness of the Lord, His Word, and our call to worship. In research for a recent book, George Barna demonstrates that parents who pass along to their children the baton of spiritual maturity and vitality have one thing in common: they... Continue Reading
Where Preferences Go To Die
If a church doesn't teach sound doctrine, preferences don't matter, since one's soul is at risk.
“I’m convinced many of our problems with the church result from running away from difficult or uncomfortable situations rather than persevering through them. Since we don’t enjoy facing our fears or finding ourselves in challenging circumstances, the thought of escape brings great comfort.” I love my church. Without question it’s a community unified in... Continue Reading
By Us, About Us: Reflections On 12 Years A Slave And Literature
Literature shows us in stark relief that we’re less different than we would have imagined, and that we all possess the same basic need: Christ.
“Literature is one of the primary containers of cultural truth. As Christians who are to be serious about proclaiming Christ in every area of the society we live in, to leave literature out of the picture is to leave a dangerous stone unturned.” I remember the first time I ever realized that a story... Continue Reading
On Scripture Regulated Worship
It is on the ground of this robust understanding of the authority of the Word of God that we assert that Christian churches must follow the worship of God regulated by God.
“We deny that God desires or is pleased by innovation in matters of faith. We deny that silence from God’s Word on the circumstances of worship renders them amoral, or their implementation a matter of indifference.” We affirm that the worship of God is regulated through his Word. Innovation, however well intentioned, is “will... Continue Reading
It’s Not Just Sabbatarians Who Need Sabbath
Sometimes I think my fellow Baptists may have been just a little too reckless in abandoning the pattern of six days followed by one day.
“It has always fascinated me that God chose to rest. He worked six days, creating the heavens and the earth and everything that would fill them. And then he, the God who never grows weary, chose to rest. He took sabbath. Why would he do this? Why would the all-powerful God rest?” I grew... Continue Reading
Gay Advocacy May Split Church of England From Ugandan Church
The Church of Uganda is prepared to walk apart from the Church of England if the Church of England does not respect the African church’s views on sin and sexuality.
“He added the Western church appeared unaware of their double mindedness. “Many people have spiritual blindness but let us not mix issues. One hundred and thirty six years ago, the Church of England sent graduates from Oxford University to Africa to evangelise. America is a super power built on Christian principles… but in all this... Continue Reading
You’re Going to Die (and So Might Your Dreams)
It’s possible that God’s plan for us is littleness
Are we pursuing our own greatness or the expansion of worship of Jesus Christ? They aren’t necessarily incompatible, but God is more interested in the latter than the former. And ultimately, if we prioritize Christ’s glory, we won’t really care in the long run how noticed, renowned, recognized, or “successful” we are personally. We’ll realize... Continue Reading
Lent…if borrowed should be returned
It saddens me to see the growing excitement over such high church traditions in our churches while simultaneously diminishing the ordinary and historical practices.
Please know that I am not on a crusade to wipe out all traditions and practices that are not my own. My crusade is to wipe out the mindless and sentimental borrowing from other traditions. And, I am really not even on a crusade to convince all of my PCA brothers that they ought to return to... Continue Reading
The Heart of Hypocrisy
Four examples of hypocrisy from Luke 12
In Luke 12, we are given four examples of hypocrisy from the teaching of Jesus. All of them point back to verse 2 which says, “Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known.” In other words, Jesus is saying that you cannot hide what is inside your... Continue Reading
Offense to the Establishments
When the church finds herself sitting at the top table with the politicians, academics, the sportsmen and the pop-stars, it is virtually certain that she has abandoned the way of the cross.
He calls the outcasts and the strangers into his family, and makes them his bride. He doesn’t summon us to build an empire, to change the education system while convincing the world of his sovereignty, and to clean out the music industry for his glory. He calls us to worship and he calls us to... Continue Reading
The 3 Tenses of the Gospel
We never get past the gospel.
Why, then, does the New Testament speak of salvation in three tenses? The answer lies in considering what happens in salvation. Initially, at the point of regeneration, our sins are forgiven— entirely and completely. We have been delivered from sin’s penalty. Through faith, we are reckoned to be righteous—as righteous as Christ is. Then, there... Continue Reading
A Preaching Confession
I feel guilty admitting I want to win more souls, like a barren woman wanting children but ashamed to let others know.
It is hard to confess that I have not been earnest enough in praying for conversions through preaching, believing souls will be converted by preaching, and calling people to Christ when preaching. To do this is an admission of defeat. Spurgeon says that the Lord hides much of our fruit to keep us humble and... Continue Reading
A Mother’s Ordeal – One Woman’s Fight Against China’s One-Child Policy
A review of a book on the tragedy of China's one-child policy
This book is hard to read; it’s callous and brutal and disgusting. The horror of Chi An’s “profession” comes to life in the chapter entitled “The Little-Boy-Who-Wouldn’t-Die.” A young girl, at full term, was forced to abort her baby. One doctor, then another, plunged formaldehyde into the baby’s brain in the birth canal, but still... Continue Reading
Sex Scandals in Conservative Homeschool Circles
I believe that much of the sexual abuse and scandal that’s coming to light these days is directly related to the sin of legalism.
You can monitor modesty and measure hemlines, but you cannot moderate the temperature of your child’s heart. You can eliminate songs with beats, but you cannot temper the beating of your child’s heart for artistry. You can talk about not defrauding the hearts of boys or girls, but you cannot control the trigger in their... Continue Reading
Young, Restless, and Reformed Homeboys on Lenten Fasting
One of the practices low-church Evangelicalism has long embraced is not participating in lenten abstention
My point is simple. Evangelicalism is a tradition with attendant folkways and liturgical practices. One of the practices low-church Evangelicalism has long embraced is not participating in lenten abstention. As a traditionalist, I walk in the steps of these historical homeboys and am the richer for it. Last spring, I wrote about my skepticism about the new found... Continue Reading
The Two-Kingdoms Theology and Christians Today
2K theology is both less than biblical and less than faithful to the decided weight of the Reformed tradition
First, the kingdom of God and the institutional church are wrongly equated by 2K advocates. There is a rough consensus among New Testament scholars that the kingdom of God is a much more comprehensive reality than the institutional church, and this misidentification of the church and the kingdom has all sorts of unfortunate results, such... Continue Reading
Icky Theology Can’t Hack It
We are living through a massive redefinition of human sexuality
There are two kinds of existence-the uncreated Creator, and everything else, which is created. Twoism celebrates both God’s otherness in relation to the world and also explains the distinctions he placed in the creation to celebrate this Twoist reality. This is a heterocosmology, a world based on otherness and difference. These two understandings of the... Continue Reading
If you like Ralph Davis, you should try Knox Chamblin
I’ve been listening to Knox Chamblin’s lectures on the New Testament which are available from Third Millennium. There are about 80 lectures and I recently got hold of his book “Paul and the Self,” which is outstanding…It’s the fruit of over 30 years teaching about Paul and is pure gold for pastors. Dr Chamblin taught New Testament at Belhaven... Continue Reading
Who’s Afraid of Christian Zionism?
Calling on Jews and evangelical Christians to put aside their differences and stand together in support of Israel
To be clear, I’m certainly not calling for a crusade against Judaism. I’m simply telling Jewish people that they needn’t be worried about Christians “tricking” them into abandoning Judaism or Christians making their Zionism contingent on Jewish acceptance of Jesus. By the same token, Jews needn’t demand that Christians abandon a central part of their... Continue Reading
Does the public persona of your faith live in harmony with the private realities of your life?
Is there evidence that you’re living with a separation between your spirituality and reality? However slight, this separation shouldn’t exist. So maybe you’re asking now, “What will my life look like if my spirituality begins to transform my reality?” Let me give you five signs: If I watched a video of your everyday life... Continue Reading
Review: Finding Faithful Elders and Deacons
Review: Finding Faithful Elders and Deacons
I greatly appreciated was that Anyabwile did not just focus on the qualifications of elders or pastors (part 2 of the book), but also dedicated the entire third section of the book to the work that they are called to do. Again, this section would be good for pastor/elder and laity alike. We often have... Continue Reading
Pastors Conference Sponsored by P&R and the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals, May 5–7, 2014
The conference will be held on May 5–7, 2014 at Harvey Cedars Bible Conference, Harvey Cedars, N.J.
Many men leave seminary exuberant and ready to follow God’s calling, only to discover that the road ahead of them isn’t as smooth as they thought it would be. The conference theme, The Faithful Shepherd: Persevering in Your Church and Ministry, will address a few of the important issues that inevitably arise in church ministry.... Continue Reading
PCA Minister’s Son, Zachary Draughon, 25, Dies Unexpectedly
Zachary Draughon passed away, Saturday, March 1, 2014
Randy and Renee Draughon’s son, Zach, suddenly and unexpectedly went home to be with the Lord yesterday morning. They both loved their son with a fierce love and want you to know that they are deeply grieving. They don’t grieve without hope and they want to thank you for grieving with them. A note... Continue Reading
Jesus, Friend of Sinners: But How?
Jesus gladly spent time with sinners who were open to his teaching, He forgave repentant sinners, and He embraced sinners who believed in him.
It is all too easy, and amazingly common, for Christians (or non-Christians) to take the general truth that Jesus was a friend of sinners and twist it all out of biblical recognition. So “Jesus ate with sinners” becomes “Jesus loved a good party,” which becomes “Jesus was more interested in showing love than taking sides,”... Continue Reading
Validated by Persecution: The Irrational Targeting of Evangelical Christians
Why are Christians being singled out?
Unfortunately this type of governmental coercion is out of sync with a democratic society that at least purports to value freedom of religion. These counter examples also reveal how unlikely it is that similar levels of persecution will be experienced by Jews and Muslims. In fact, there is currently a case in Toronto were a... Continue Reading
The Culture of Death Bares its Teeth
Planned Parenthood Leader Says Life Begins at Delivery
“For me, I’m the mother of three children. For me, life began when I delivered them. They’ve been probably the most important thing in my life ever since. But that was my own personal decision.” So life begins at delivery. Until then, no life, no dignity, no sanctity at all. Cecile Richards is no... Continue Reading
DHS Allows German Home-Schooling Family To Stay In US
The Romeike family facing deportation following the Supreme Court’s refusal to hear their appeal is being allowed to stay in the U.S.
That means the Romeike family, who claim the German government is persecuting them because they want to raise their children in accordance with their Christian beliefs, can stay in the United States without the threat of being forced return to their home country, the family’s legal team told Fox News. A German home-schooling... Continue Reading
Advice to Women: Marry an Evangelist
Has scriptural instruction become merely optional in our marriages?
And the question women should ask about prospective husbands is not, Does he feel equipped or gifted to teach? It’s not, Are his public prayers eloquent? It’s especially not: Does he know lots of theological terms? Instead, we should ask, Is this man so compelled by Christ that he cannot keep silent among the people he loves? Shortly after I... Continue Reading