Four Thoughts on Persecution in America
While martyrdom is a special category set aside for a select number of Christians, persecution is the normal experience of every Christian everywhere.
Having said all this, let’s not minimize the extent to which traditional Christianity and traditional Christians are facing increasing intolerance in this country. The fines, the lawsuits, the jobs lost, the public disdain—these are not figments of the imagination. No amount of PR work is going to rescue the church from being thought by some... Continue Reading
We’ve Lost Our Vocabulary of Wonder About Heaven
God tells us to set our minds not primarily on this life, but on the person we were made for, Jesus, and the place we were made for: Heaven
Scripture tells us “we are looking forward to a new heavens and new earth [redeemed universe] in which righteousness dwells” (2 Peter 3:13). The problem is, many believers are not looking forward to a new heavens and New Earth! They imagine this present life is the real life, their only opportunity to experience everything on... Continue Reading
Parenting is Love, Not War
PARENTING = BATTLE metaphor is one we should be particular skeptical of
Given that God uses the metaphor of a parent (father and mother) and child to illuminate His relationship with us, the PARENTING = BATTLE metaphor is one we should be particular skeptical of. As Christians, we are no longer at war with God. As Reformed believers, we believe our children are part of the covenant... Continue Reading
Grieving the Loss of Dreams
Within every lost dream there is a beckoning, a divine opportunity, even in the midst of your grief and brokenness.
Grief can make us physically nauseous, emotionally depressed and spiritually dry. It can numb us to the realities of God’s comfort and goodness. Surrounding ourselves with the people of God, immersing ourselves in the preaching of the Word and continuously crying out to God in broken confession and trust are often the remedies for healing... Continue Reading
Nine Common Tensions Pastors Face
Every day, pastors and other church staff make intentional decisions about what is important in their lives and ministries.
These tensions are not between a good choice and a bad choice. They are between two good choices where one will be sacrificed for the other. It is easy to say that the pastor must seek balance; it is much more difficult to find that balance. Every day, pastors and other church staff make... Continue Reading
You Might Be a Pharisee If . . .
God’s people need to break the habit of “playing the Pharisee card”—particularly to deflect confrontation or dismiss a rebuke
Modern Pharisees do exist. But applying that label in a careless and reckless manner often ends up striking at the wrong target. And sometimes the real Pharisees end up being the ones who hypocritically use the pejorative against others. Scripture teaches us enough to readily identify Pharisees and pharisaical culture in modern churches. Even so,... Continue Reading
To the Unknown Pastor
Thanks be to God for these faithful men who, despite cultural pressures, remain true to Scripture and faithful to Christ.
While we all want to complain about the state of the Church, and in many cases rightfully so, I think it’s helpful to remember, as God told Elijah so long ago, that there are many men around the country and around the world who faithfully shepherd their congregations, joyfully counsel them, diligently prepare and spend... Continue Reading
Critical Race Theory, RTS, and SBTS
Are the ways of looking at race associated with Critical Race Theory compatible with the views of our Lord and his Apostles?
It is not inference or implication that “Critical Race Theory” strongly influences the thinking of Dr. Willams and Mr. Tisby. One can draw a straight line from “Critical Race Theory” to the way these man look at race, culture, politics, society, and the particular form of society that is the church. It is impossible to... Continue Reading
The Jihadi Who Turned to Jesus
His rejection of Islam makes him a target for his fundamentalist former allies and he fears they will one day catch up with him.
Exactly why he sought solace in Christianity, rather than a more mainstream version of Islam, no one can quite explain. Reading the Bible, Mr. Mohammad claimed, made him calmer than reading the Quran. The churches he attended, Mr. Mohammad said, made him feel more welcome than the neighborhood mosques. In his personal view, Christian prayers... Continue Reading
God’s Definition of Good
This excerpt is adapted from Is the Bible Good for Women? Seeking Clarity and Confidence through a Jesus-centered Understanding of Scripture.
Joy is available. The best kind of goodness exists at God’s feet in His throne room. There we can find joy, and peace, and satisfaction. But God’s version of good is not like the temporary earthly joy of money and nice houses that some religious figures offer their followers. It is not self-actualization (“the achievement... Continue Reading