Core Foundational Beliefs of Discipleship

The church must seek to glorify God and the work his Son did in redeeming his people by actively working with people to shape them in becoming true disciples of the Lord.

Everywhere Jesus spoke of discipleship, he associated it with life and death.  For instance, he stated in Luke 14:26-27, “If anyone comes to me, and does not hate his father, mother, wife, children, brothers, sisters, and yes, even his own life, then he cannot be one of my disciples.  Whoever does not carry his own... Continue Reading

Is the Westminster Confession’s Doctrine of the Sabbath a Judaizing Doctrine?

Does observing Sunday as the Christian Sabbath lead to a judaizing of the gospel and a denying of Christ?

Indeed, this is a system whose Sabbath doctrine is inextricably intertwined with other central doctrines of our confessional system, such as its doctrine of the law of God. One wonders how ordained officers who embrace the position of the Minority Report could work in clear conscience within the context of a denomination and in cooperation... Continue Reading

Calvin’s Questions: A Response To Jonathan Sheehan

The question is not “Do I make my own choices, and determine my own destiny?” but instead, “Given that I do not, why do I want to believe that I do?”

And yet at this point, just when it is about to get interesting, Sheehan pulls up short. He tells students that when they critique Calvin’s ideas, they are “participating in the intellectual revolutions of the modern world.” This is a way of containing the challenge Calvin poses.   In “Teaching Calvin in California,” a recent... Continue Reading

Lament: A Missing Practice

There is a practice of biblical praying that is missing, and without it, I believe Christian praying can become unreal and pastorally unhelpful

“What difference would it make to our own prayer life and our church life if we heard prayers of lament when something awful happens to a congregation member, or to the local community, or to the wider society? Christian realism requires no less.”   Early in my Christian life I was taught an acronym to... Continue Reading

How To Sing Psalms That Are Not True for You

Here are six ways that we can sing psalms that do not reflect our present reality

Those of us who are psalm singers are often faced with the problem of singing worship songs which are not true to our own experience. For example, there are many psalms which speak of suffering, poverty, oppression, and persecution. How can we sing them when we are going through times of joy, peace, and even... Continue Reading

Confessional Boundary Stones

Consider these ways that the historic confessions that have endured through centuries can bring peace and prosperity to the church.

Confessions keep us from repeating mistakes. Many of the creeds of the church arise out of controversy. Erroneous preachers, heretics, and popes have declared teachings that simply are not true and, in response, the faithful met together to articulate truth to bring greater light to the gospel. So often theological controversies that arise in our day... Continue Reading

The Humbled Leader

Jesus sustains us through the difficulties and buffetings of sin and Satan.

In your dark saga there is good news. I overheard another conversation yesterday. It was between the Father and the Son. Jesus, the friend of sinners, the friend that sticks closer than a brother, your faithful high priest, he prayed for you. Though you were faithless, he remained faithful in his affection for you. And he boldly interceded that through it... Continue Reading

10 Things You Should Know About Union With Christ

Our union with Christ is profoundly real and intensely intimate

Union with Christ is not a sentiment, metaphor or illustration, or even primarily a “doctrine”. Nor is it a way of speaking about something else—whether justification, sanctification, or any other benefit of Christ (even if it includes all of these and more!). Our union with the living Christ is the essential truth of our new... Continue Reading

The Covenant With Abraham: Blessing The Nations

God’s promises to Abraham are inseparable from the biblical understanding of God’s mission for the church.

Jesus is the fulfillment of the Abrahamic Covenant. The Seed of Abraham delivers God’s grace and mercy to Israel and to the Gentiles, that is, the nations of the world. Jesus brings the blessings of the covenant to the family of nations through the global mandate given through the gospel to the Church.   Following... Continue Reading

Jesus Loves Me, This I Know…

In recent years, myriads of books have been written to seek to convince men --and particularly women-- of the love of Christ. Jesus Calling is one such example.

The quest for a subjective experience of the love of Christ apart from Scripture also often comes in the form of superstitious readings of nature or providence. One sees a rainbow or a beautiful sunset and thinks, “This is a sign of God’s love for me.” Someone narrowly escapes a near-death incident and thinks, “Now... Continue Reading