No Spin on Sin

Speaking the biblical language requires thinking in biblical terms. We mustn’t spin sin

One such area where it is crucial to spot and deal with spin is how we talk and think about sin. Sometimes we think and speak of sin in relativized terms. For example, we may speak of our bad attitudes, selfishness or anger as personal defects that are expected and even accepted. We spin sin by saying or thinking things like, “I am a sinner” or “I’m not perfect” or “I know I really should do (fill in the blank)…” These are all true but they are often relativized and therefore declawed. And, to make matters worse, when we do say things like this often our Christian brothers and sisters affirm us with nods. The danger of this is it produces a culture where sin is not really a big deal.

Biblical Authority: Preaching the Word

When someone preaches they are bringing the Word of God with authority.

Second, the preacher only has the authority to bind the conscience where Scripture binds the conscience. Not only must the preacher stick to the Word of God, he cannot go beyond what is written when he corrects, reproves, and rebukes. The preacher must draw conclusions that are both good and necessary. For example, he can say with Biblical authority that it is sin to look at internet pornography even when there is no concept of the internet in Scripture. However, he cannot say with Biblical authority that one should never go to movies even if some movies are questionable or sinful. The authority from the pulpit must be tied to the Scriptures.

Early Intervention and the Good News of Jesus

The gospel equipped me to face my son’s difficulties head on without either he or I being defined by them.

Come what may, your identity is secure in Christ. And so is your child’s. When I say your identity, I’m talking about the qualities that distinguish your value as a person. What makes you valuable? What makes your child valuable? How do you define your own worth to humanity? How do you define your child’s? The world projects onto us the need as parents to give our children every opportunity to be great in all of the things. But when we take that responsibility on ourselves, we project it onto our children as well. In that paradigm, their self-worth and self-identity will come from how well they measure up and move past classmates and peers. Trained by the pressures from their parents, they find their identity by how they COMPARE to others. But the Bible gives a sobering assessment of that mentality – “they that compare themselves among themselves, are not wise” (2 Cor. 10:12).

The Religion of Secularism

Secularism is not only a problem out there in the culture, it is something we must fight in our hearts, our homes, and our churches.

Secularism is the belief that man does not need God or God’s laws in man’s social, governmental, educational, or economic affairs. Ironically, secularism rejects religion, yet is itself a religion. In these United States of America, many of our politicians, courts, schools, and businesses embrace and promote the religion of secularism under the rubric of... Continue Reading

#clarityforthegospel

So how can we tweet about theology in a responsible way? Get off Twitter. No, really.

Remembering that anyone might read and misunderstand what we’ve written, we need to be as clear as possible. Our speech should be open and honest. We should not give anyone cause to doubt our words or cause to question our orthodoxy. While it’s true that anything has the potential to be misunderstood and that no one can prevent that from happening all the time, our goal should be clarity.

How Jesus Called Out False Teachers and Deadly Doctrine

When we respond to error by giving it the benefit of the doubt, we come close to committing the same error as false teachers: masking error as the truth.

It’s a good time to be a false teacher and to espouse deadly doctrine. And it will continue to be unless God’s people embrace their responsibility to defend the faith and protect the vulnerable. Jesus has left us with both the mandate and the model. Jesus shows that while polemics gains few friends (after all, it was the ones he rebuked who put him to death and the ones he warned who deserted him), it honors God and saves listeners from falling into the snare of deadly doctrine.

Did the Gospel Authors Think They Were Writing Scripture?

To explore this further, let us just consider just one of our gospels, namely the Gospel of Matthew.

If by the first century Chronicles was regarded as the final book in the Hebrew canon,as some scholars have argued,then Matthew’s gospel would certainly be a fitting sequel. An Old Testament canon ending with Chronicles would have placed Israel in an eschatological posture, looking ahead to the time when the messiah, the son of David, will come to Jerusalem and bring full deliverance to his people.

Scripture, Sufficient for What?

Scripture provides for what general revelation lacked after man's fall - a way of salvation

The sufficiency of Scripture rests in the fact that it alone can provide man with the knowledge needed to be reconciled to God.  The Westminster Confession of Faith puts it this way, “The whole counsel of God concerning all things necessary for his own glory, man’s salvation, faith and life, is either expressly set down... Continue Reading

God’s Grace Has a Timing of His Own

He has not forgotten you. Remember that.

We have to remember that God’s timing is not our timing, that his timing is perfect. That when he says “No” to something or “Wait”, he has reasons based in his love for us, even if we don’t understand them.   But God remembered Noah and all the beasts and all the livestock that were... Continue Reading

5 Reasons I’m A Calvinist

I want to explain why I’m a Calvinist, why it brings me great joy, and why I think it’s profoundly biblical.

You know what scares the heck out of me? The thought of falling away from Jesus. Of going apostate. To use the old summer camp language, of backsliding. Why is this so scary? Because I know myself! I know how easily I can get sucked into sin. I’ve seen solid Christians completely wreck themselves upon the rocky shores of wickedness. It’s a terrible, frightening thing to behold. You know that line from “Come Thou Fount” about being “prone to wander”? That’s me! This is where the doctrines of grace give me great comfort.