Forbidden Friendships: Can Men and Women Be Friends?

Can men and women be platonic friends, or should they avoid each other?

In response to the sexual revolution of the 1960s, various high-profile scandals, and the recent changes in marriage laws, many Christians have gotten defensive about marriage. It is right for us to defend the Biblical doctrines of marriage. But in doing so we have exalted the relationship to a godlike status promising it can fulfill... Continue Reading

“Faith that Maketh a Man Righteous”: Hugh Latimer on Being Saved by Faith Alone

"our merits are not able to deserve everlasting life: it is too precious a thing to be merited by man"

Elsewhere, in his famous sermon The Sermon on the Plough, Latimer positively and in succinct Reformation fashion, described saving faith as “a faith that embraceth Christ, and trusteth to his merits; a lively faith, a justifying faith; a faith that maketh a man righteous, without respect of works.” Little wonder that Latimer affectively described this faith... Continue Reading

Multi-Tiered Salvation

Whenever someone implies that there are multiple tiers to salvation, I get suspicious.

This is one teaching that will rob you of your assurance and confidence in Christ. Why? Because there is an “initial” salvation that gets you in the door – forgiveness of your sins, but you need to haul yourself to the next level by your surrender. The act of surrender also needs to be a... Continue Reading

Is It Really God Speaking to You?

The problem with equating the voice of your conscience to the voice of God: your conscience can be wrong.

This is why that voice in your head needs to be submitted to God’s Word and not just assumed it is God. God could very well be using your conscience. It is not wise to go against your conscience. But our conscience must be recalibrated to the word of God. It is also possible that your conscience could be... Continue Reading

Yes, You Should Say Something: Overcoming Awkwardness with Grieving People

Grieving people aren’t expecting you to say something that will take away the hurt. They’re really just hoping you will be willing to hurt with them.

What makes a great friend in the midst of grief is someone willing to overcome the awkwardness to engage. He or she comes alongside and is willing, at least for a while, to agree that this is terrible, unexplainable, the worst. No forced looking on the bright side. At least not yet. No suggesting you should... Continue Reading

Provocative Platforms

A fall from grace affects us all.

The Driscolls, Tchividjians, and Webbs are responsible for their sinful choices. But I can take responsibility for my part in clamoring for their platform—for the longevity of their brands. And perhaps if I recognize my own culpability, I can begin to consider what it may look like to turn from living as one unfilled and... Continue Reading

The Baffling Call of God

The gospel allows us to move ahead without having all the answers, without knowing perfectly the purposes of God.

Confident of God’s call on my parents to serve Him in Africa, I was baffled by what they were enduring for the sake of the needy there. Furthermore, as I dealt with my own weary and broken heart, I was baffled at what God was doing in my own life. None of it made sense.... Continue Reading

God Works Through His Appointed Means

"Yes, it is far better that he comes through the gospel than that he would now enter in through the door; for you would not even know him even though he came in."

The Christian must give priority to the outward institutions of the Word, both in preaching and in the sacraments. As God came to us in the incarnation, so He continues to come through outward means to accomplish His purpose. They are the means that God has appointed and through which He works by His Spirit.  ... Continue Reading

Does John Piper Believe in Salvation by Works?

The issue is: “Does Piper reject Reformed orthodoxy regarding salvation by faith alone?”

Reformed confessions’ teaching on salvation by faith alone, if Piper answered these questions: 1. Does justification received now in this world by faith declare not only God’s present verdict but what shall be his final verdict regarding his people? 2. Can justification, once declared, be revoked? 3. Will any who are justified in this age... Continue Reading

The Old Perspective on the Works of the Law

The Reformers understanding of Paul's argument radically impacted later Protestant formulations on the doctrine of justification.

According to proponents of the New Perspective(s) on Paul, justification does not–as the Reformed have always maintained–involve the imputation of Christ’s righteousness by faith alone. The crux of the argument has to do with how one defines the phrase “works of the Law” (and its various related forms in Pauline literature).   Biblical studies have... Continue Reading