The Aquila Report Introducing New App — Begins Year End Challenge Campaign

Reformed Churchmen Publications, publisher of The Aquila Report, encourages readers to join it in reaching the goal of matching a challenge grant it has received.

A foundation has generously given The Aquila Report a grant of $7,000. We want to use this grant to challenge our readers to match  this gift with your gifts. As in past years, the foundation gave us permission to use this gift as a way to encourage our readers to support The Aquila Report. In 2015, our readers donated $4,540... Continue Reading

Why Do I Always Have The Plank And My Brother Always Has The Speck?

Why am I the only one with a plank in my eye?

If I had spent as much effort in my life trying to convince myself to be more godly and obedient as I have spent trying to convince other people of some opinion of mine, I would be a very different man than I am.  And that’s why I always have the plank and the other guy... Continue Reading

Crash-Proof Pastoring

Amidst the busyness of their schedules, pastors go and work without refueling, ignoring God’s call to find rest and replenishment in Christ.

I know from personal experience. We can move from one good and important ministry cause to the next good and important ministry cause. But to turn our eyes from Christ, to neglect lingering in communion with Him, to make our time in Scripture and prayer all business and no pleasure, will lead us to crash,... Continue Reading

Should Ole Aquinas be Forgot and Never Brought to Mind

A Response to Dewey Roberts’ “Aquinas Not a Safe Guide for Protestants”

One of the reasons so many Reformational Christians shy away from St. Thomas is because, during the Council of Trent, Thomas’ great Summa was set in the middle of the council and consulted often as Rome gave its conciliar canons and anathemas against the Reformation.  Since then, many lay Evangelicals have understandably wondered how a... Continue Reading

What Do They Know? Learning From “Secular” Leaders

God is not just King over our spiritual lives. He is King of every sphere.

We’re worried that a naturalistic worldview has influenced our psychology and our politics and our music. But we’re inconsistent. We don’t have the same anxiety about the business principles that inform our leadership. How do we filter them? If we’re honest, we don’t even think about it most of the time. Don’t misunderstand me. I’m... Continue Reading

5 Christian Clichés That Need to Die

Sometimes, in our desire to simplify truth, we can trivialize and even obscure it. And to obscure the truth is to tell a lie.

Now, if “let go and let God” solely referenced the moment of justification, it would be fine. But it typically refers to the process of sanctification, which is anything but passive. The Christian life is grueling. When Paul reflects on it, he doesn’t think of sunsets and naps but soldiers and athletes and farmers . He thinks... Continue Reading

Don’t Help the Despots … Thoughts from the Son of Cuban Emigrants

Like other communist nations, Cuba had no freedom of expression, no political freedom, no property rights, and was ruled by a murderous dictator.

In Cuba there are often food shortages. One day, while especially hungry, my great aunt and her roommate decided to do the unthinkable: Eat some mangoes from the tree in her yard. All property in Cuba is state owned, including fruit trees. After the deed was done, they feared the smell of the mango skins... Continue Reading

Tone Deaf Ref

When the faith is on the line, the tone is necessarily strong.

From Athanasius’s talk of ‘Ariomaniacs’ to Zwingli’s salvoes against Anabaptist fanatics, the rhetoric was always as high as the stakes involved, and rightly so. Indeed, I can think of no cardinal doctrine of the faith which was established through expressions of politeness towards error.  Yes, we must avoid slander and unnecessary meanness.  But we must... Continue Reading

Fake News on Gay Science?

A widely reported study on longevity of homosexuals appears to have been faked.

Now Social Science & Medicine has demonstrated its own scientific integrity by publishing what amounts to a repudiation of another widely reported LGBT study, by Mark Hatzenbuehler, which concluded that “minority stress” was knocking an amazing twelve years off the lives of gay people.   A widely reported study on longevity of homosexuals appears to... Continue Reading

No Theology Without Doxology

How do you know if you are doing theology as it should be done?

“A crucial litmus test of the authenticity of our theology is where it ultimately leads us. Since God relates to us in the totality of our being – not merely as disembodied mind or spirit – then theology will always reflect those wider dimensions. God’s purpose for the church is that she may ‘be to... Continue Reading

What Is the Biblical Basis for Human Dignity?

As a Christian, I do not believe that human beings have intrinsic dignity

“Dignity, by biblical definition, is tied to the biblical concept of glory. God’s glory, His weightiness, His importance, His significance, is what the Bible uses to describe the fountainhead of all dignity. And only God has eternal value and intrinsic (that is, in and of Himself) significance.”   As a Christian, I do not believe... Continue Reading

A Cross-Shaped View of God’s Attributes

May the cross richly inform our sense of what God is like

“Descriptions of God as just, merciful, wise, and true are accurate. But those words as such, no matter how artfully defined or movingly recited, don’t grip us the way that concrete stories demonstrating God’s justice, mercy, wisdom, and truthfulness do. And no story — that is, no historical event — puts God’s attributes more vividly... Continue Reading

How Do You Reconcile God’s Justice with His Mercy?

God will always do what is right; and what is right is also always good

“Instead of dealing with the tension some sanitize the conversation with theological language. The matter is theological, but theology is not to be done in test tubes; it intersects with real life and a living God. Abraham was overlooking a city that had the dark clouds of death hovering about it with angels marching toward... Continue Reading

Which Old-Testament Promises Apply to Me?

Christians may rightly embrace the promises of the Old Testament made to Israel, because in union with the Messiah, Jesus, we are Israel, we are the true Israel

“Let me see if I can simplify some very complex issues and provide a two-step process that enables Joe and the rest of us Christians to appropriate the Old Testament, especially the promises for our use as Christians in the 21st century.”   We get a lot of questions in the inbox about how to... Continue Reading

Making Peace With Parker: How The Lord Has Brought Me Full Circle

Anywhere but Parker, I said, because Parker for me was pain

“Our heart’s cry is that God would awaken our community through our humble church plant—that Parkerites would not be so easily satisfied with their lives, but that they would seek and surrender to Him, forging a new life with the Gospel at the center.”   “I will move anywhere but Parker,” I said several times... Continue Reading

Whitworth: Cut Ties With Planned Parenthood

Referring pregnant women to Planned Parenthood is tantamount to referring them for an abortion

“In March, Whitworth sponsored a community fetal tissue research event. A recap of the event published on the website of the Northwest Association for Biomedical Research shows Planned Parenthood was defended against claims of wrongdoing. Furthermore, the event highlighted a supposed upside of abortion: using the body parts of preborn human beings for science.”  ... Continue Reading

Iraqi Christians Fear Future Persecution in Post-ISIS Iraq (Interview)

Iraqi Christians are uncertain if they will be included in negotiations deciding the power structure of a post-Islamic State northern Iraq

“Even though IS is being driven out of the area, many native Christians will not return until they are given guarantees from the Iraqi government, Kurdish Regional Government and the international community that they will be able to live without fear that another radical Islamic uprising will put their lives in danger once again.”  ... Continue Reading

Running the Race of Redemption

After his diagnosis, John entered a race--a race in which he acknowledged his need for Christ to carry him across the finish line.

John's life became a glorious testimony to God's redeeming grace. As painful as it was for me to sit by his bedside as he lay dying, my mind was repeatedly filled with a sense of the infinite wisdom of God in crafting the circumstances of John's life in order to draw him to His Son. One minute, John was a law enforcement hero, the next, he was a weak man who recognized his need for Christ and his utter dependence on God to sustain his life.

Sexuality and the Gospel

Homosexuality, in Paul’s view, represents as obvious and intentional an inversion of the created order as is this idolatry.

It is so obvious, to Paul, that God designed the bodies of men and women for sexual relationship with one another, that one needs to willfully suppress this truth to imagine that directing sexual passion to one’s own sex is in line with the creation order. Paul’s argument is not that these people’s conduct is so bad because their passions are so disordered. His argument is that their conduct is so obviously out of accord with God’s purposes in creation that it shows them to have been given over to the same sort of willful self-deception that is at the root of idolatry.

Who Was St. Nicholas?

Why was Nicholas so famous? It’s impossible to tell fact from fiction, but this is some of the legend of St. Nicholas

Nicholas was also hailed as a defender of orthodoxy. Later sources claim he was in attendance at the council of Nicea. According to tradition, he was a staunch opponent of Arianism. Writing five centuries after his death, one biographer said, “Thanks to the teaching of St. Nicholas, the metropolis of Myra alone was untouched by the filth of the Arian heresy, which it firmly rejected as a death-dealing poison.” Stories of his courage abound, one claiming that Nicholas traveled to Nicea and, upon arrival, promptly slapped Arius in the face.

Abortion and Gender Selection (Or, What It Means to Choose Death)

Every day, all over the world, people hit the delete button on a life when they hear these words: “Its a girl.”

China has somewhere between 20 and 40 million unmarried men due to selective abortion, which leads to all kinds of other gender-related abuse. Crime rates, bride trafficking, sexual violence, and even female suicide rates have risen in areas where the female population has dropped. Why are we doing this to ourselves?

Seven Reasons You Should Not Indulge in Pornography

My goal is to motivate you to say no to pornography by God’s grace.

You should not indulge in pornography for at least seven reasons: (1) It will send you to hell. (2) It does not glorify God with your body. (3) It is a poisonous, fleeting pleasure. (4) It foolishly wastes your life. (5) It betrays your wife and children. (6) It ruins your mind and conscience. (7) It participates in sex slavery.

Christmas Peace

In truth, the craziness of Christmas reminds us that we need someone to rescue us from ourselves!

The Son of God living among us? Who would’ve thought? But that’s not all. Jesus didn’t come just to live among us, he came to do something. He came to redeem and restore what was broken. He came to heal the hurting, find the lost, free the bound, and save sinners. He came to bring peace on earth. But not just any peace, the peace that comes from knowing God and being known by him. The peace of redemption.

A Real Redeemer, or: “Remember the Rose!”

Christians call Jesus the Redeemer, and he is, but we sometimes forget that biblically, to be redeemed means to be ruled.

Is there ever really a situation in which we’re not ruled by someone else, even when we think we’re calling the shots? Self-rule, autonomy, is a delusion. We are utterly dependent creatures, created to be dependent upon and cared for by a good and loving God, whose law points the way to real, full, freedom. But we’ve all broken that law; we are way beyond the category of repeat offenders. We need a redeemer who loved God’s law enough to keep it, obeying it himself, suffering the deserved death penalty on behalf of lawbreakers who’d trust in him, and risen to reign not as a superhero, but a sovereign. Jesus frees us from the tyranny of autonomy and its delusional pursuits. He calls us to renounce autonomy, not just rein it in a little.

The Neglected Advent

Very little time and thought is given in the church’s calendar to the second coming of Christ.

Most commonly, I fear, is the idea that there are so many prophecies still to be fulfilled before the second coming (e.g. rise of the antichrist, conversion of the Jews, etc.) that there’s no chance of Christ’s return anytime soon. We forget that very few were expecting or ready for Christ’s first advent. They understood the prophecies only with the benefit of hindsight, and even then most were still in a major muddle. What makes us think we’re any better placed regarding the second advent.

I Won The Lottery And Didn’t Even Play

Why isn’t everyone not intoxicated with the story of God’s grace to undeserving men and women?

I then remembered the quote, the same sun that melts wax hardens clay. When men go to church, read the scriptures, and practice religion, this results in either tender healing or further callousness. The same Jesus who was precious to some was odious to others. Yes, it is true, the Word of God softens some while it... Continue Reading

Baptism – A Personal Journey In Which It Is Discovered That Infant Baptism Is Biblical!

A personal testimony about a journey on the issue of covenant baptism.

So because I had come to see that baptism was something that God does for us, not something that we do for him; because I had come to see that Gods church existed in the Old Testament as well and that the covenant applies across both Old and New Testaments; because children were included in... Continue Reading

They Just Don’t Get It: Why Big Church Solutions Can’t Fix Small Church Problems

The vast majority of churches are small, so we need small church alternatives to big church solutions.

Small church pastors: Try not to get discouraged. Take what you can from all the helpful blogs and books out there. But try not to put unrealistic expectations on you, or your church’s shoulders based on lessons that don’t fit your reality. Be who you are. Not what someone else thinks you ought to be.... Continue Reading

Yes, Go to Church on Christmas Day

Christmas is on a Sunday this year, but it is still the Lord’s Day, the day of worship.

Christians, we have a special opportunity this year to point our family and friends to the Gospel of Jesus Christ by not neglecting to meet together with the saints on Christmas Day. If we desire for the world to stop taking Christ out of Christmas, then we need not do the same through our actions... Continue Reading

IS GENESIS HISTORY? Film Aims To Answer Questions Of Creation, Evolution, Global Flood

A new documentary on the historicity of the Book of Genesis is coming to theaters across the country Feb. 23, but for one night only.

One segment of the documentary focuses on the “Great Unconformity” with a trip to the Grand Canyon. The Great Unconformity is a geological formation that appears globally where granite bedrock is separated from sediment layers on top by an erosional layer caused by flood flow.   NEW YORK (Christian Examiner) – A new documentary on... Continue Reading