Singing the Lord’s Song in a Foreign Land
Derek Kidner once remarked of Psalm 137 that “Every line of it is alive with pain.”
“The Psalmist is not only weeping, but he reached to hang up his lyre on the branch of a willow tree somewhere along the Tigris or Euphrates River in this cradle that gave birth to the ancient civilization (137:2). The Babylonians, his captors, wanted to hear him sing a song of Zion. But the Psalmist... Continue Reading
Empathy, Experience, and the Gospel
Greater empathy: not at the expense of orthodoxy but perhaps a better way to "deploy our orthodoxy."
For a society that is so individualistic, we’re driven by a herd mentality. We may even be wired that way. Just watch little kids copy each other’s behavior. The herd’s values vary from one social group to another, but you quickly learn what is accepted/expected and what is not. Given this pressure, it’s hard being... Continue Reading
Holiness Is Our Goal
Scripture tells us that God’s goal for us is that we might be holy, that is sanctified.
It is precisely because we are in relationship with God that we ought to pursue holiness, the two go together well and are in no way opposed to each other. Holiness is relational wholeness with God, relational wholeness with God includes walking in the path of his commands. You shall be holy, for I... Continue Reading
The Danger of ‘A High View of the Efficacy of the Sacraments’
The Confession teaches that true grace is conferred to and efficacious for the elect alone.
Concerning baptismal efficacy, the Westminster Standards restrict it to the elect alone who are the subjects of God’s efficacious grace. A wrong view of baptismal efficacy changes the meaning of all the most important doctrines of salvation. Efficacious grace means that the elect alone are: redeemed by Christ; given a new heart; justified, adopted, and... Continue Reading
Nahum, Judgment, and Jesus
How do you tell others about bad news?
So when we read Nahum, we don’t need to focus on the bad news. There is always going to be bad news to share. Instead, we should see it as motivation to share the good news of the gospel—because the glorious light of the cross of Christ is the best news we have to share.... Continue Reading
Critique of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church Report on Republication
A review of the OPC report on Republication
“One would hope that a newly-appointed committee of the OPC would redress the grievous wrong that has been committed with regard to this committee’s reading of the work of Kline and restate the biblical teaching pertaining to the covenants, giving priory to Scripture rather than the Confession.” The Report on Republication written by a... Continue Reading
How The Church Today is Getting Discipleship Wrong
The way many leaders approach maturity is to assume that knowledge produces maturity. Since when?
Maturity takes time and is not linear. It would be great if there was instant maturity in faith and in life. But it never works that way. You can’t expect a 3 year old to have the maturity of a 13 year old, or expect a 23 year old to have the maturity of a... Continue Reading
How Christianity Flourishes
Christian mission has always thrived by surging in the margins and under the radar
“Christianity grows best under hardship. There are more Christians in China today, for instance, where free expression of faith is illegal, than the total population of the United States. Christianity is in decline in America, and Christendom is already in ruins in Europe, but in the East and in Africa, where it is new, a... Continue Reading
What Is Biblical Stewardship?
Fundamentally, stewardship is about exercising our God-given dominion over His creation
“A steward in the ancient world was a person who was given the responsibility and authority to rule over the affairs of the household. For example, the patriarch Joseph became a steward over Potiphar’s household: he managed everything in the household and was given the authority to rule over the house (Gen. 39:1–6a).” The... Continue Reading
When Healing Hurts
Being refined is painful but it's a good pain. It is a necessary pain. It's a pain that heals.
What that means is, when I ask God to transform me, to make me more like Christ, he doesn’t instantly change me. He strips away my sin through a multitude of circumstances and situations. For example, when I pray and ask God to make me patient, I don’t wake up the next morning a patient... Continue Reading