Concerning The True Care Of Souls
Bucer’s understanding of pastoral ministry was historically important and personally challenging
“I’m struck by the fact that his definition of pastoral ministry is all about the people to whom we minister. The focus is not on administration (though I’m sure he did some of that), nor on programs (though I’m not against them), nor on meetings (though we all have them), but on the people that... Continue Reading
Choose Your Own Sexual Ethics Adventure
A critique of purity culture turns into a plea for self-centered sexuality.
What’s really important—what, in Anderson’s view, is really moral—is that one’s sex life is shaped by our own sense of ethics. Given all this, perhaps it’s not so surprising that Anderson so easily falls into the trap of setting up her own values as a substitute source of authority. If one’s own viewpoint is one’s... Continue Reading
What Do Pastors’ Wives Do All Day?
A review of Gloria Furman's book, The Pastor's Wife
The Pastor’s Wife is a survival manual of the most glorious kind. Sweeping away the busy clutter, we are left with a sense of what is most vital—for pastors’ wives and everyone else. What do pastors’ wives do all day? If you read this book you’ll know the answer, simple enough for every day but rich enough for... Continue Reading
Maybe Christianity is Less Like a Journey and More Like Fitness Training
Much of our conditioning in the Christian life is hard.
Also, in many of our first experiences in trying to live in light of the gospel, we fall on our faces. We are in a continuous battle with sin. But through repentance and prayer, the Lord uses even those times to strengthen us. When we encounter our new vocabulary the second time, we know it... Continue Reading
Preaching the Catechism(?)
In the confessional German and Dutch Reformed traditions ministers typically preach what is called a catechetical sermon for one of the two Lord’s Day services.
I realize this has been and is being debated, but I believe that the Scripture should be preached and the catechism used only to explain and summarize Scripture’s truths. In other words, I appreciate and have “done” catechetical preaching (and will do it again), but I don’t believe a minister should preach from and exegete... Continue Reading
Justified By Faith(fulness)??
Introducing salvation by works under the name of faith.
Today, many people like to talk about a “living faith” or a “faithful faith” or “obedient faith” which justifies. Though some of these terms may be new, this discussion is not. The Reformers rejected this type of language when they clearly taught (echoing Scripture) that a sinner is justified by faith alone, or apart from... Continue Reading
My Review of True Woman 101
A review of Mary Kassian and Nancy Leigh DeMoss's True Woman 101: Divine Design: an 8-week study on biblical womanhood
Let’s go back now to the problem with the language True Woman 101 uses to discuss the essence of gender. My correction is that God didn’t create women to image the Church. He created women to image Himself. In the particular relationship of Christian marriage, the submission of the Church to Christ is a helpful... Continue Reading
A Fantastic New Book for Women
Introducing Melissa Kruger's new book, Walking with God in the Season of Motherhood
Melissa takes moms through an eleven-week devotional Bible study on enormously critical topics such as Understanding Your Purpose, Knowing God’s Word, Entrusting Your Child to the Lord, Ordering Your Home, and much more. If you are looking for a great gift to give at a baby shower, this is it. Being a mom is... Continue Reading
The Happy Christian
A review of David Murray's new book on the way to be a joyful believer in a gloomy world
I try to be a positive Christian with a positive outlook on life. Generally speaking, I look on the bright side and press on in the Christian life with hopefulness because Christ is on the throne. But sometimes I fall into a rut of gloom, cynicism, and I think the cup is “half empty,” so... Continue Reading
Inheritance of Tears
A review of a new book on miscarriage and pregnancy loss
This book is certainly a fruit that will help many, but the author insists that God will produce good even out of miscarriage. The death of an unborn child is not random and “sorrow isn’t without purpose” (82). She reminds the reader that “we do have the joy of knowing that we do not suffer for... Continue Reading