The Baptism Scandal in the Reformed Churches

Why do many local Baptist churches baptize more adults per year than some entire Reformed denominations?

Now I’m guessing that all of my Reformed brethren who think someone who newly professes faith in Christ needs a couple of months of new member classes before earning the right to be baptized might have a problem with baptizing converts who six weeks earlier had been part of a mob bent on murder. Yet,... Continue Reading

Are Images Of Jesus Allowed?

The Scripture does not give a description of Jesus.

One group affirms the plain confessional view as summarized above in WLC #109, which prohibits any representation of God. Another group would object to depicting him in corporate worship, but would allow pictures of him in children’s Bibles and Sunday School material. The last group would hold that images of Jesus are not problematic since... Continue Reading

Seeing Is Not Always Believing

Scripture records occasions when even God’s people experienced disbelief after seeing miracles

“Though God has not promised to act in the same miraculous manner today as He did in the days of old, we can expect Him to move in our behalf. We don’t merit righteousness before our Father by our obedience, and the Lord’s grace is so vast that He regularly blesses us in spite of... Continue Reading

Alone, But Never Alone

Whenever the lines that distinguish these two dimensions of saving grace are blurred, it is salvation itself that becomes the casualty

“If we lose sight of the distinctiveness of justification as, according to Martin Luther, the mark of a standing or falling church, and allow it to become confused with sanctification, then the focus of faith is inclined to shift from Christ to self. This has been borne out in Catholicism historically as much as in... Continue Reading

What Sexual Theft Says About You

A letter to a would-be adulterer

You don’t really believe God when he declares that you may “be sure your sin will find you out” (Numbers 32:23). If you think you can get away with it, just because you succeed (at least for a while) in hiding it from your contemporaries, as David did, you are acting as if God doesn’t... Continue Reading

Studying the Confession: The Doctrine of Assurance

The struggling believer can come and receive grace, encouragement, strength and victory!

Yet so many believers today haven’t been taught this, much less do they believe it!  Yet, believers have the tools they need.   The Westminster Confession of Faith … What is it? Is it a document that presents cold intellectual faith?  Dead Orthodoxy as it seems to some… Is it a historical artifact that has... Continue Reading

Why Every Healthy Church Emphasizes Preaching and Teaching

Over and again, Jesus proved that his word had the power to heal and to give life

“When God gives life—either physical or spiritual—he does so through the power of his Word. This means pastors who want to have a life-giving ministry have no viable option other than the preaching and teaching of Scripture. Yes, small groups, fellowship, and various programs can be good tools for discipleship and evangelism. But none of... Continue Reading

God the Redeemer

As a result of their disobedience, our first parents plunged themselves and their posterity into inconceivable ruin and misery.

But the Bible speaks of another Adam—the last Adam—Jesus Christ, the Son of God. He succeeds where the first Adam failed. He comes and does what the first Adam failed to do. He comes and rescues and renews our race from the ruin that resulted from the rebellion of the first Adam. The last Adam... Continue Reading

Where Evangelism Fails

The emphasis fell on the divine offer, not the human response: “I offered them Christ.”

This “supply-side” focus (rather than “results-driven” ministry) is so healthy, clarifying, and joy-giving. As an evangelist, nothing brings home to me the graciousness of my Lord so much as offering him to others. The givenness of Jesus is so tangible when you lift him up before people and say: “Turn and receive this Lord; he has given... Continue Reading

The Puritan Passion for Philosophy and Science

The Puritans’ enthusiasm for natural theology “went hand in hand with their adamant insistence that ministers not only be trained in the Scriptures and in systematic theology but also...the study of logic, philosophy and the classics.”

One of the consequences of the Puritans’ commitment to natural theology was their unusual degree of interest in science. Instead of being opposed to it, the Puritans, says Marshall, were “markedly enthusiastic about the study of the natural world” and as a result they “befriended science.”   Yesterday I highlighted my surprising recent discovery that ”the... Continue Reading

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