When Marriage Became About Me, Myself, and I

Today we expect our spouses to heal our wounds, justify our existence, and provide rapturous sex.

Without God and a thick sense of community and an objective ethical framework, the expectations for romantic love are so high—and our moral foundation so malleable by individual desire—that we end up asking too little of marriage. Even escape valves that erode the commitment necessary for sustaining love, such as living apart and consensual nonmonogamy, receive consideration.... Continue Reading

The Westminster Shorter Catechism

Said of the Shorter Catechism: “The ripest fruit of the Assembly’s thought and experience.”

There was an old expression, particularly among the Scottish Presbyterians, who would say, “I own the Confession.” By that, they meant that they had made its doctrine their own; they had taken the content to heart, and saw that indeed it was an accurate reflection of the teaching of Scripture. So, too, the Catechism, though... Continue Reading

Review: “The Problem of Slavery in Christian America” – A Book You Cannot Ignore!

A review of “The Problem of Slavery in Christian America, An Ethical-Judicial History of American Slavery and Racism.”

He allows no leniency in his critique of Presbyterian theological giants of the South, including men like Dabney, Thornwell, Palmer, and Girardeau.  These theological icons, because of their views on slavery, are dealt with severely.  As the monuments of men like Lee and Jackson are being dismantled today, in this book, these theological icons fall... Continue Reading

Assurance, Introspection, and Religious Feelings (Hodge)

Assurance of faith is one of the great blessings of the Christian life.

“The grounds of assurance are not so much within, as without us. They are, according to Scripture, (1.) The universal and unconditional promise of God that those who come to Him in Christ, He will in no wise cast out; that whosoever will, may take of the water of life without money and without price.... Continue Reading

Grace Efficacious, Grace Unlosable (Hoekema)

In Reformed theology “saved by grace alone” means “not by works at all.”

God preserves his people and brings them to glory solely by grace (Acts 20:32; 2 Thes. 2:16).  We can’t even take credit for the good works that we actually do.  If we do good works, it is because God is graciously at work in us to work (1 Cor. 15:10; Eph. 2:10).  The road to... Continue Reading

Fair-Minded Criticism Is an Acquired Taste that Can Become One of Life’s Best Pleasures

Fair-minded criticism is one of life’s best pleasures, an acquired taste well worth the acquiring.

Critics, like governing authorities, are servants of God to you for good (Rom. 13:4). He who sees into hearts uses critics to help us see things in ourselves: outright failings of faith and practice, distorted emphases, blind spots, areas of neglect, attitudes and actions contradictory to stated commitments, and, yes, strengths and significant contributions. God... Continue Reading

What Privileges Do You Have in the Covenant of Grace?

Thomas Watson (1620-1686) was one of the most highly esteemed nonconformist Puritans of his day, as well as being an extremely popular preacher.

It is impossible to divorce the privileges of a believer as a redeemed individual with the connection he has with Christ in the Covenant of Grace. Christ’s covenant, ministered to the believer through faith, is the mode in which the believer will obtain all the benefits offered.   The Believer’s Privileges in the Covenant of... Continue Reading

Sharing Jesus Without Freaking Out

Sharing Jesus is as simple as connecting with others around their passion or their pain.

If Jesus is the greatest thing that ever happened to us, he should come up in conversations. Not forced, not structured, but simply because he is the biggest deal in our lives (50). And while this book is refreshing, energizing, and encouraging, it does not go without delivering some much-needed conviction regarding the average believer’s... Continue Reading

Living By Grace (Bridges)

The misunderstanding of salvation by grace alone is this: if we are saved by grace alone, then it doesn’t matter how we live.

Bridges makes some helpful comments in this book on what it means to live by grace.  For example, in one chapter he talks about how holiness is a gift of God’s grace and in another chapter he describes the sufficiency of God’s grace for living the Christian life.  He nicely steers clear of both legalism... Continue Reading

Pass it On: A Book Review

Champ Thornton’s new book, Pass It On: A Proverbs Journal for the Next Generation, is both a study guide for the book of Proverbs and a gift to give away

Pass it On is Christ-centered, showing how Christ is wisdom for us. “…true wisdom came to full bloom in the person of Christ. And because of his life and death, he stands as our ultimate Example and Source of wisdom. Jesus modeled perfect wisdom, rightly relating to God and everything else. And now he has... Continue Reading

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