Are Reformed Churches Against the Creation of ALL Images?

Refining the understanding of churches and the place of images

In its historical and religious context, it is clear that the 2nd Commandment language concerning the “heaven above . . . earth beneath . . . water under the earth” had specific reference to the Egyptian gods of those domains that the Israelites had long worshiped, and were still worshiping (Ezekiel 20:8-10).  Thus the 2nd... Continue Reading

Pressler Says SBC Controversy Started in Houston Church

“Conservative resurgence” co-founders Paul Pressler and Paige Patterson passed on stories about the early days of the struggle to students at Midwestern Seminary.

“All of us were crying,” Pressler said. “Then Charles comes in the room and he sits down. And he sits there about five minutes and he said: ‘Men, I’ve got to tell you something. God knocked me flat on the floor in my room this morning before I came over here and told me I... Continue Reading

Misplaced Humility and the Resurrection of the Dead

On Easter Sunday we celebrate a key event in the history of redemption, the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead

This Easter Sunday let us repent and put humility and bold confidence back where they belong, showing sincere humility (and suspicion) in regard to the subjective feelings, intuitions, leadings and instincts of our own hearts, and unwavering confidence in the objective truth of God’s law and promises. Easter, like every Lord’s Day, is not a... Continue Reading

Highland Park Presbyterian Church Sues For Control of its $30 Million Property

The parties had been engaged in mediation, but talks broke down before a settlement was reached

“The property is worth $30 million, and HPPC has left the national Presbyterian denomination for a smaller, more conservative sect. The Presbyterian Church (USA) believes it should retain ownership of HPPC’s church property, but that isn’t sitting well with Highland Park Presbyterian, which has 4,000 active members and is one of the largest Presbyterian churches... Continue Reading

Tragic Worship

The problem with much Christian worship in the contemporary world is not that it is too entertaining but that it is not entertaining enough

Of all places, the Church should surely be the most realistic. The Church knows how far humanity has fallen, understands the cost of that fall in both the incarnate death of Christ and the inevitable death of every single believer. In the psalms of lament, the Church has a poetic language for giving expression to... Continue Reading

Biblical Worship Is Trans-Generational

When it comes to the worship of God, what matters is not what any one particular person or generation desires

Healthy churches should be comprised of people in every generation. When church leaders seek to do whatever is necessary to pull in more of the younger crowd (such as Millennials), they run the risk of pushing out people in other generations before them, and therefore create an unbalanced church ministry. The Millennial generation is not... Continue Reading

On the Cultivation of Christian Tradition

We affirm the importance of traditions that we have inherited from the saints of the entire church age

“One of the enduring characteristics of the Reformation, particularly among those of those Protestants not identified with the magisterial Reformation, is a deep distrust of tradition. In an oft-noted irony, this has lead to many churches having an unexamined and hardened tradition of anti-traditionalism. Such a mindset runs counter to the teaching of the New... Continue Reading

Pastoral Wisdom and the Mandate to Report Abuse

Reporting abuse is not simply a legal mandate, it is a moral and biblical one as well.

Yet, despite these clear mandates, I find that churches and other Christian organizations are sometimes leery of reporting abuse when it comes to their attention. They look for ways to avoid complying with the law due to any number of reasons: fear of legal consequences, repercussions within the organization, or harsh reactions from the public.... Continue Reading

What Worship Style Attracts the Millennials?

Their focus is on theologically rich music, authenticity, and quality that reflects adequate preparation in time and prayer

And you will hear Millennials speak less and less about worship style. Their focus is on theologically rich music, authenticity, and quality that reflects adequate preparation in time and prayer. But they will walk away from congregations that are still fighting about style of music, hymnals or screen projections, or choirs or praise teams. Those... Continue Reading

From Beacon Hill to ‘Bishop Bling,’ Clergy Housing Faces New Scrutiny

Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst of Limburg in Germany, aka “Bishop Bling” spent $43 million on a swank new residence and office

“Bishop Bling” was in a class of his own, spending nearly $500,000 on walk-in closets, nearly $300,000 on a fish tank, more than $200,000 on a spiral staircase and $20,000 on a bathtub. Tebartz-van Elst also spent more than $600,000 on artwork — at a time when some dioceses in the U.S. are selling their... Continue Reading