Whose Dream Are You Living For?

If we have expectations that life should be easy or always go our way, we will certainly be disappointed.

Though Scripture contains many promises that give parents great hope their children will follow him, it doesn’t guarantee a painless pleasure cruise. The Bible has many promises that believers will experience deep joy, peace and contentment in him. And following Jesus as a disciple is the only path to true and lasting joy. Yet we will... Continue Reading

Does Jeremiah 29 Call Us to Seek the Welfare of the City?

Contrary to the way it is used by some today, this verse has no relevance at all to the question of the priority of reaching cities over other places.

I’ve been astonished by people I’ve heard who make an argument from Jeremiah 29:7 like this:They note that that word ‘welfare’ is the Hebrew word shalom, which has a wide possible range of meanings—it covers physical, emotional, spiritual and financial peace and prosperity. They then assume that it has all those meanings here, and so... Continue Reading

Is It True to the Book?

When it comes to God, it's as though we think He doesn't care if He is misrepresented as long as He can reach a wider audience from the big screen or The New York Times' bestseller list

There were very serious consequences for misrepresenting God in the Bible because false representation led to false worship of a false god. If you take “Is it true to the Book?” seriously, then you also run smack into the 2nd commandment. (Ex. 20:4-6) The law in general gets a bad rap these days, as though... Continue Reading

When You’ve Got a Bramble for a King

The bramble promises destructive fire if the trees will not comply. But it’s a trick.

Examined like this, we can see the gospel application in Jotham’s parable for us today. Our hearts are desperate for a king. We will make an idol of nearly everything, and indeed, the abundance of possessions and the security of comfort and the assumption of God’s favor for our self-righteousness are the most common. But... Continue Reading

What Is Shaping You?

Paul is concerned about what is shaping our perspective, priorities, pursuits, and opinions

“Instead of being conformed, Paul instructs us to be transformed. There’s a contrast here between something pressing in on us from the outside that causes us to be conformed and something taking place on the inside that causes us to be transformed. Where inside is this taking place? In our minds.”   There’s a section... Continue Reading

Thinking Biblically about Authority: An Interview with David Wells

So many people there is nothing out there that can legitimately validate any action or belief

“As we have come into our postmodern moment, then, we find that there is no longer a narrative to life; there are only our personal stories. There is no overarching meaning to it; there are just our private moments when something becomes real. There is no Truth; there are only truths.”   1) If someone... Continue Reading

Saved by ‘Allegiance’ Alone? On a New Attempt to Revise the Reformation

In this new book, Bates considers afresh the nature of salvation and the gospel

As Bates argues, the gospel can’t be reduced to the formula “Jesus died for our sins,” since the gospel centers on the truth that Jesus is King. He’s the resurrected and enthroned Lord over all, and we’re called to express our allegiance to him as our Lord. According to Bates, there are eight elements to the... Continue Reading

Spring Storms: Are You Ready?

Emergency preparedness experts ready us physically, but is your soul ready for them too? T

Notice the echoes of Psalm 29 at Pentecost. The mighty rushing wind and the fire that fell from heaven did not bring terror, but they led to boldness that only comes through the Holy Spirit. Thunderstorms in creation terrify the natural man, but for the Christian, every clap of thunder heard overhead ought to make... Continue Reading

Comfort Without the Clichés

Eight ways to help hurting friends

You cannot fix it. Loving the hurting opens us up to the temptation to see ourselves as the sufferer’s personal savior. But they do not need you—they need Christ. Comfort is about redirecting someone to seek what they need in Christ first and not in you. Comfort is not about always being there for someone;... Continue Reading

What Does Semper Reformanda Mean?

The part of religion that always needs reforming is the human heart.

The phrase ecclesia reformata, semper reformanda (the church reformed, always reforming) has been used so often as to make it a motto or slogan. People have used it to support a surprising array of theological and ecclesiastical programs and purposes. Scholars have traced its origins to a devotional book written by Jodocus van Lodenstein in... Continue Reading