Dealing with Abusive Men

Psalm 129 speaks of those who are characterized by two words: murder and lies.

Too often we hear of men who are well-thought of in church. They know all of the right phrases, and know when to shed the right tears. They sing with gusto and say “Amen” at the right places in the sermon. But when they go home and are alone with their wives and children, they think only of destruction and murder. They systematically seek to destroy the image of God in their family. They are the king of the castle and smack their loved ones around just to make sure that they remember it. They belittle, despise and ridicule their wives. They beat and abuse their children.

The Most Hurtful Comments of Job’s Friends?

What has hit me in reading Job in my devotions recently are the hurtful comments his friends make with respect to children.

Of all that Job lost, the deaths of his children had to be the most painful. Some may argue that in Satan coming a second time before God and asking to harm Job himself that his own health was most dear to him. No, that was Satan’s wicked, selfish logic (2:4) that any loving parent will tell you is untrue, for you would rather suffer yourself than see your own child suffer or die. Indeed, the gospel faith that Job had (19:25) is centered on the searing pain of the Father watching his own Son suffer and die. The loss of his children was Job’s greatest sorrow. The boils on his flesh and the bitter curse of his now child-deprived wife merely represent the awful pain of his loss.

Aquinas Is Still Not a Safe Guide for Protestants

A rejoinder to “Should Ole Aquinas be Forgot and Never Brought to Mind?” in the discussion on Aquinas.

Whatever Aquinas says in one place concerning election, regeneration, justification, the bestowal of the Holy Spirit, adoption, sanctification, and other graces, must be considered with the realization that he holds heretical views on the sacraments. In one part of the Summa, you can read what Aquinas says about justification by faith, but then you go... Continue Reading

Without Holiness, No One Will See The Lord

What do these words, “without holiness no one will see the Lord” actually mean?

The writer of Hebrews is telling us to take seriously the necessity of personal, practical holiness. When the Holy Spirit comes into our lives at our salvation, He comes to make us holy in practice. If there is not, then, at least a yearning in our hearts to live a holy life pleasing to God,... Continue Reading

Growing in Grace

The Christian faith, life, and walk, is about Jesus; it isn’t about me.

It is not introspective navel gazing that will draw us close to Christ–it is through looking outward to the One who is the object and grounds of our faith. When I fall into sin, the remedy is not looking at me and/or the sin. It is by hating and repenting of it, and looking to the sinless... Continue Reading

The Doctrines of Grace: When You Have Turned Again

In the midst of the final week of our Lord’s earthly ministry in his estate of humiliation, Jesus has an interesting exchange with Peter about his forthcoming denial

“Peter is among the elect and we see acted out before us the manifestation of that fact in Jesus’ conversation with Peter. Peter was a sinner just like Judas. Judas was no better or worse than Peter. Yet Peter repented of his sin and was restored and he was given an unusual preview of that... Continue Reading

One Reason To Dedicate Yourself to Bible Reading in 2017

The Bible shatters those places in my heart where I start getting comfortable

“Commit to reading the Bible more consistently in 2017. And not just reading it to check off boxes and say you read the whole Bible in a year. But read the Bible from the posture of an unfinished and broken down house that needs repairing and let the Bible do it’s demolition work as well... Continue Reading

Joseph of Nazareth vs Planned Parenthood

There is something more joyous than “choice.”

Planned Parenthood thinks “Choice on Earth” is the message of Christmas. Maybe it is in a Christmas culture more identified with the shopping malls than with the churches. But maybe this year Christians should follow the footsteps of the “other” man at the manger.   A few years ago the Planned Parenthood Federation of America... Continue Reading

If Church Isn’t Necessary, Let’s Quit

But is that really an option? Well, no it’s not.

Why? Because I’m convinced if it’s not necessary it’s too difficult and not worth my time. Listening to sermons is hard and it’s not really my learning style. So, let’s quit. Singing is outdated and the thought of someone hearing me slightly off key or out of tune is unbearable. Let’s quit. Praying together is boring and I’m too easily distracted. Let’s quit. I have my own friends and family and people at church can be hard to get along with. Let’s quit. It’s also too time consuming. Saturday nights are too fun and I could function better on Monday if I could get a couple extra hours of sleep. Let’s quit. Besides, my schedule is too demanding with my weekly workload, studying and homework, sports games, and an unending shopping list. Let’s quit.

Calvin on the Sacraments

Let us make neither too little of the signs by severing them from the living Christ, nor too much so that we obscure him.

But there is one argument that credobaptist proponents, then and now, have often used as a kind of reductio ad absurdum: if you baptize infants, you ought also to give them the Lord's Supper. Calvin sees a serious flaw here. For while both baptism and the Supper point to Christ, they each point to different aspects of union with him. Baptism points to a once-and-for-all initiation into Christ. It is done to us, not done by us. We do not baptize ourselves, we are baptized. The Supper, however, is not a sacrament of initiation but of communion.