Minds, Books, and the Fruit of Traditionalism

How much has this traditionalism discouraged women from using their brains and thinking wisely for themselves?

I believe this is reflected in the books that are marketed to Christian women. These numerous volumes are long on subjective experience and stories and short on objective doctrine. Thus dubious content can find cover under emotional appeal and perceived personal rapport with the author. They are also driven by application, usually related to the... Continue Reading

The Essence of Faith: Neither Obedience Nor Love

In Reformed theology when we talk about the essence of justifying faith, we exclude love and obedience.

In other words, love and works are not the same as justifying faith; love and works are not the essence of  faith.  The sinner is not justified by faithful obedience, or by faith working through love, but by faith alone, only, period.  True faith always results in love and good works, but love and good... Continue Reading

PCA and Race: Reflective Review of “The Last Segregated Hour”

Confession and repentance should be located at the level in the body in which the offense occurred.

Historian Stephen R. Haynes wrote an account of the effects of the civil rights movement on churches in the Memphis area. One particular chapter has special relevance for the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA), and that is chapter 12: “A Season of Prayer and Corporate Repentance”: Wrestling with the Past at Independent Presbyterian Church (IPC).... Continue Reading

A Year of Biblical Womanhood?

Women reading Evans’ book may come away with a distrust of the Bible and with animosity towards God for “requiring” things He never required.

Ultimately, I think that Evans’ book is the result of the experientialism so common in the Church today. Despite her claims that she would follow the Bible’s instructions for women without picking and choosing, she does exactly that. She picks and chooses how to apply those instructions by deciding which extra-Biblical sources she will follow.... Continue Reading

What the Bible Means to Me

This is my short chapter in What the Bible Means to Me published by Christian Focus.

Of course there are great difficulties in the Bible – what else would you expect? There is variety of genre, apparent (though not real) contradictions, and even the apostle Peter found some things hard to understand!   But as the living and enduring Word of God, it is still as fresh, and dynamic as the day... Continue Reading

Can Social Justice Be Rescued?

This book promises to rescue the term from “its ideological captors” by clarifying “the true meaning of social justice.”

To end with one down-to-earth example: How is it that the most Catholic continent of all, South America, with an open field for continuously implementing Catholic social thought ever since 1891, should come into the twenty-first century with the second-largest population of truly poor persons on the planet? With so many structural deficiencies? For all... Continue Reading

The Whole Christ

Ferguson is going far beyond church history and bringing clarity to the way we are to live the Christian life.

In other words, Ferguson looks at this controversy, dissects it, and then applies it to our day. And, as it happens, we, too, are struggling with issues related to legalism and antinomianism. That makes his book perfectly timed and a valuable contribution to the discussion about the role of the law, the role of obedience,... Continue Reading

One of the Most Original Books on Homosexuality in Years

A review of Unchanging Witness: The Consistent Christian Teaching on Homosexuality in Scripture and Tradition by Don Fortson and Rollin Grams

And I can tell you, the result is absolutely devastating for the claim that Christianity and homosexuality go together.  A person might be able to convince themselves that the Bible allows it (by reinterpreting even the plainest of passages), but it is a bit hard to explain away 2000 years of absolutely consistent church history.... Continue Reading

Children at the Lord’s Table?

Dr. Cornelius Venema’s Children at the Lord’s Table? Assessing the Case for Paedocommunion provides a Biblically-grounded and confession-honoring answer

At the time, all I found on the historic, Reformed practice of requiring profession of faith before admission to the Lord’s Table were a few passing references in the confessions and theological books, and a helpful though somewhat poorly recorded tape series by Kenneth Gentry.  Thankfully, Dr. Cornelius Venema’s scholarly yet accessible work Children at the Lord’s... Continue Reading

Why Kids Today Are Out of Shape, Disrespectful – And In Charge

Kids have been indoctrinated in their own awesomeness

“It’s common now in this country to find parents who are chauffeuring their 8-year-old or 12-year-old around to various schools, among families that are choosing a school, and the parent functions as educational consultant. The parent makes a recommendation, but the child makes the final decision.”   Dr. Leonard Sax has been a family physician... Continue Reading