Contextualization, as it is commonly practiced, is a trojan horse for worldly propaganda that threatens the future vitality of the church; the sheep are starved in order to reach the goats.
Some might raise the objection that contextualization is unavoidable. They’d argue that everyone is a product of his or her own culture. They’d say that no one is unaffected by their own culture, and it is arrogant to think anyone can “transcend” his own culture. To a degree, I’ll concede this point. It is true... Continue Reading
Final Tally From PCA Presbyteries on Overture 15
The data, in my opinion, reveals two competing opinions within the PCA on whether the sexuality issue among ordained officers has been resolved.
O15 was one of three overtures presbyteries considered in 2022-23 on the topic of sexuality. Overture 29 (O29) and Overture 31 (O31) passed in a supermajority of presbyteries and will come to the floor of GA this summer, where a simple majority vote of commissioners will amend the BCO with their language. Two sexuality overtures—Overture... Continue Reading
Read This First: Motivation For Shepherds
If your motivation for ministry has faded and shepherding seems like just something else to do, let me encourage you to take steps to renew your first love.
Shepherding is challenging and rewarding—but it won’t bring you the rewards that are often coveted in this world. This is why proper motivation for ministry is so important. Its reward in this life is the joy of serving the One who died for you when you serve those he has entrusted to your care. Jesus’s... Continue Reading
Enough time has passed that the church can calmly, methodically evaluate her COVID-19 decisions, actions that were of historical significance with profound consequences for the spiritual health of the church.
Actions of massive significance call for significant accountability. Self-reflection is a good spiritual discipline, also for church leaders. Did we engage in spiritual abuse when we turned away faithful worshipers? Were we condescending toward mask-wearers seeking to protect vulnerable family members? Did we demand submission to civil government on matters better left to individual conscience?... Continue Reading
Seeing Evil in All It’s Terrifying Power; So We Trust God Who is Sovereign Over it All (Job pt13)
There are terrifying supernatural forces at work in the world that are the source of pain and suffering. But they’re not God’s equal.
Satan rages against God and against God’s people and plans. We need to be aware of that. God is good, but sometimes he allows Satan to strike with all his evil intent within the limitations God places on him, though God will use it for his glory and our good even if we never know... Continue Reading
New Releases from the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals
Releases include a new book on worship, “Trembling Joy,” by Rev. Ryan Speck and a new podcast, “Hear the Word of God,” featuring Rev. Eric Alexander.
In “Trembling Joy,” Pastor Ryan Speck answers the question, “What if worship style were more than a matter of personal taste?” by showing how the Bible’s own definition and description of worshiping God should impact the church… Presenting the teaching ministry of Rev. Eric Alexander, “Hear the Word of God” has joined the Alliance’s Podcast... Continue Reading
PCA Post-Memphis: Revive or Divide?
Soon, Commissioners will be heading to Memphis for the Presbyterian Church in America’s (PCA) 50th General Assembly, its Golden Jubilee.
As a denomination, we need to worry exclusively about the second fear outlined in the preamble to the Report and commit ourselves to being a bold witness in the Apostolic model. That means no nuance, no hand wringing, and no compromise. Our BCO needs to include a standard for our officers that is a clear... Continue Reading
Anything Worth Doing, is Worth Doing Badly
There are some things that are so worth doing, that they are worth doing even before you are great at them.
Don’t let an unrealistic expectation of perfection keep you from doing the things that are most good for your soul and most glorifying to God. Pick up your Bible, pray, evangelize, encourage the church, and follow God wherever He leads. If it’s worth doing, be willing to put in the awkward reps of early attempts.... Continue Reading
The God Who Knows
Because Jesus was weak and tempted, He knows.
There is such comfort in understanding that Jesus knows what you are going through. He sees it all, so understands the facts of it. But he also knows what it is like to face the most grievous circumstances, to endure the greatest sorrows, to face the fiercest temptations. Which means that as you face the... Continue Reading
You Shall Know Them by Their Fruits…
What are the “fruits” of false prophets that we are to judge?
People cannot identify false prophets by the way they appear because they come to us disguised to look as one would expect true prophets, or true Christians, to look. You can only judge false prophets by their false prophecies and false teachings because when they appear at your door, online, or on television, they look like... Continue Reading
What is the True Purpose of the Lord’s Supper?
Three Particular Reasons Given to Us From Ralph Erskine
Comprehending the importance of celebration, commemoration, and confirmation in light of the festivity of the Table meal changes our relationship to how we approach the question of who is to be granted access to the bread and the cup. If those without faith should not come to the Lord’s Supper because they have not any of these... Continue Reading
“If You Should Suffer for Righteousness’ Sake” – (1 Peter 3:8-17) – Words from Peter to the Pilgrim Church (Part Seven)
Be Prepared to Give a Defense
In modern America, Christians are thought be self-righteous spoil-sports who reject science, deny people the right to marry and sleep with whomever they want, and who think we alone are right. The reality is that if you identify yourself as a Christian you will encounter similar situations to those Peter is describing. People will curse... Continue Reading
Spotlight on Preaching
Real preaching is pastoral.
If done right, preaching never produces a conscious moment of being in the spotlight. But it will put the spotlight where it belongs – on Him whom we preach. And in gazing upon that spotlighted figure, those to whom we preach will be bettered, and helped, and encouraged, and enabled to persevere, forgive, repent, serve,... Continue Reading
Influencers for Christ
The Lord Jesus urged His disciples to be salt and light.
As influencers Christians want to infuse grace and truth and life into the lives of others in their spheres of influence, where God has providentially situated them for that purpose. Their influence is spread not by pedantic posturing or virtue signaling but by exhibiting integrity and the courage of faith that knows, trusts, and serves... Continue Reading
Do You Trust Him?
We bring much more glory to God when, despite our circumstances, we actually trust Him to do His will and not our own.
I pray that we would lean into that impulse to look beyond ourselves to the One who is able to help in all our troubles. I pray that we would learn to trust Him, not to do our will, but to do His will. Let us learn to pray, “Not my will, but yours, be... Continue Reading
What is a truly transformed life in Christ?
It is not one that is produced via a man devised program. It is one that is the fruit of becoming a living sacrifice in which God develops the mind of Christ via his plan of mind renewal. I know that any Christian maturity that I possess is the work of God, by His grace,... Continue Reading
Something is Amiss
The church needs to hear this blaring alarm and stop, drop, and pray.
A recent survey suggested that an alarming percentage of evangelicals do not believe in the sinlessness of Christ. That is a brazen attack of the enemy on the gospel itself. Is that doctrine being undermined because it’s not being taught or because people are not taking hold of it for one reason or another? Does... Continue Reading
If I Hadda Known…
It is the grace of God not to tell us everything.
Not knowing much about our path ahead keeps us dependent upon God, and means we cannot rely on ourselves. We need him every step of the way. Yes it is riskier this way, and we may feel quite insecure and uncertain at times, but if that drives us to our knees and makes us even more fully trusting... Continue Reading
Open Hands: How to Appropriately Respond to God’s Blessings
Blessings bring temptations that trials do not.
If we think we deserve God’s blessings, we will be disappointed when He does not provide them, thereby causing us to question His sovereignty and goodness. However, when we realize that we sin incessantly and immediately deserve God’s eternal condemnation, we will understand that every breath is an undeserved gift of God. Therefore do... Continue Reading
Our Hope in the Ascension
He ascended locally (a real geographic place), visibly (in front of many witnesses), and bodily (not some ethereal disappearance).
The Ascension is a further fulfillment and vindication of the triumph of the Resurrection. It is no wonder that the Ascension is highlighted throughout the New Testament as a necessary precursor to a number of blessings in this age of the Spirit. The Ascension is linked to the giving of Messianic gifts (Eph. 4:8-10), to... Continue Reading
The Biblical Responsibility of Christian Parents
Every family needs a mission statement.
Children need regular biblical teaching just like adults do, and the fact is that children can often grasp more truth than we give them credit for. Certainly some deeper theological truths may be challenging for a child to comprehend, but we must teach the core truths of Scripture to our children from the earliest ages... Continue Reading
The Comfort of a Greater Sight of God (Job pt14)
Comfort In Suffering not Comfort From or After Suffering
We don’t need our why answered we need God. We don’t need to know what God is doing in our suffering, what good he will bring about, we need God. We don’t just need him when the suffering ends but as we sit in the dust and ashes. And we’ve seen in Job that suffering... Continue Reading
Reenchanting the World
Allow your heart to long, because longing is the ground of joy.
So much of the faith is weirder than we’re used to thinking, not just the sensational stuff like angels and Nephilim, but ‘simple’ concepts like Union with Christ. It’s the heart of the Christian view of salvation, yet I rarely hear it talked about in our churches. It’s weird, it’s enchanted, it makes us much... Continue Reading
Fear Not, Abram, I Am Your Shield | Genesis 15:1
If faith is trusting God, should a follower of God ever truly be afraid?
God speaks to Abram with grace, gentleness, and love. If Abram was afraid of Chedorlaomer returning to exact vengeance upon him, God promises to be his shield. If Abram was still concerned about the treasure that he refused from the king of Sodom, God reassures that his reward will be very great. This is how God responds to... Continue Reading
Don’t Be True to Yourself
The salvation we all know we need is not to be found by looking within ourselves but by looking for grace outside ourselves.
The world tells us that our identity is found in what we desire. So to deny the fulfillment of what you desire is to deny your truest identity. We are all awash in what Carl Trueman calls “expressive individualism.”3 The idea is that you are what you feel, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. I’m... Continue Reading
The PCA—Tent or House?
The PCA at 50 ought to remember that she is a house, blessed and bounded by biblical standards.
The tent image might suggest roominess, but the big tents most of us encounter these days contain circus clowns or maybe, far beyond, the cities and Starbucked suburbs, sweaty revival preachers, but maybe we repeat ourselves. Much better (and more biblical) is the image of a house. Houses have doors that can be opened wide... Continue Reading
Girls and the Transgender “Hockey Stick”
The rate of Gen Z women identifying as men has skyrocketed to about twice that of Gen Z men identifying as women.
The startling “hockey stick” of young women suddenly announcing that they’re not women is making that explanation difficult to believe, especially when placed alongside the similarly dramatic graph portraying the crumbling mental health among Gen Z women. Facts must force experts and activists to reckon with the widespread harm being done to young women. As one book on the... Continue Reading
Other discrepancies in the biblical account have yet to be resolved, but that doesn’t mean we should doubt Scripture’s truthfulness.
One of the most satisfying and faith-increasing exercises in my own lifetime has involved giving focused attention to alleged biblical difficulties. That’s because the more I study them and see their resolutions, the more I back away from the text in utter amazement that the Bible can be so coherent and so consistent and so... Continue Reading
Marriage and the Trinity
Is my marriage pointing to the magnificent character of God, the glory of His inner Trinitarian love, and the beauty and selflessness of His divine intimate communion?
God made marriage to reflect the holy, eternal, loving, intimate, joyful, and sacrificial love He has always cherished among the members of the Godhead. In that sense, marriage is not about you but is certainly for you. God has invited you to participate in and imitate His triune love. Perhaps this is why Scripture calls... Continue Reading
3 Misunderstandings About Humility
Humility is a tricky thing.
We are, as Christians, to pursue humility. We do that in any number of ways – by serving in such a way that we know we won’t be recognized, by reminding ourselves of our own sin and condemnation apart from Jesus, and simply by praying for it. We are, in other words, to take a... Continue Reading