3 Things Proverbs Teaches Us About the Nature of Wisdom
Wisdom is about reality. It’s about real-life decision-making in real-life situations. And that is, indeed, a powerful thing.
If we want to really know anything, if we want to possess any amount of wisdom about how to live, then the foundation of it all is fear. It’s fear of the Lord. But fearing the Lord is not the same thing as being afraid; to “fear the Lord” is to live with a holy... Continue Reading
Thinking about Plagues
The plagues are a tight literary unit, that is trying to express the mastery of Yahweh over the world and over the powers.
As is always the way when Yahweh fights the gods, there’s not any combat, the actions of the Lord simply show them to be impotent before him. The first three plagues fit in a pattern of water, earth, and sky (nile → frogs → gnats), which is the biblical layering of the cosmos (waters below, earth,... Continue Reading
The Very Worst Thing We Can do to a Person
One of Jesus’ big concerns in Matthew 23 is that the Pharisees are leading people to Hell.
Hypocrisy is telling other people how to live when you are unwilling to do the same things. This was what the Pharisees were doing. Hypocrisy is telling people that we are all sinners in the same boat, who all need to repent of many different things, but then making out that we have no need... Continue Reading
Even Believers Need to Be Warned
How Hell Motivates Holiness
Why, ultimately, did Paul warn of hell? Because Jesus was too wonderful, too marvelous not to use every righteous means available to “present everyone mature in Christ,” to win people to him and keep people near him. Others needed to know the danger of hell because they needed to know the danger of missing eternal... Continue Reading
Who is the Hero?
We have a hero complex.
We’re so tied to that hero complex that we react badly when something or someone challenges it. When we can’t do something or fail to achieve what we set out to, or even just don’t do something very well, we can’t handle our hero narrative being challenged so we excuse it – it was someone else’s... Continue Reading
A Difference-Making Ministry for Any Christian
The ministry of engaged listening.
Not all of us can preach, but all of us can listen. Not all of us can apply ourselves to diligently expositing the Word, but all of us can apply ourselves to diligently receiving it. And preaching is at its very best when the preacher and the listener alike take their role seriously and do... Continue Reading
Why Don’t You Talk About the Sermon?
What shall we do? Let’s start talking!
Iron sharpens iron. Before the word is snatched away, think through what you have heard and speak about it. What challenged you? What did you learn? Be brave. Encourage honesty by opening up what you found difficult to hear or to understand. Admit your struggles. Remember that the message was preached to the church family so... Continue Reading
True Shepherds Protect Their Flocks
The hearts of the simple must be protected by courageous and faithful men willing to confront and expose dangerous errors.
If a pastor suspects that a fellow elder is abusing his office in any way, he must stand between that false shepherd and the precious sheep. Too often elderships have been accused of circling the wagons and protecting their own at the expense of Christ’s blood-bought sheep. It is not the job of shepherds to... Continue Reading
The Incomparable Comfort of the Christian Faith
The Scriptures speak to the heart such words of comfort as only God could speak.
The Bible is the opening of the heart of God. It is God’s heart unveiled, each beat inviting the mourner, the poor in spirit, the widow, the fatherless, the bereaved, the persecuted, the sufferer, yes, every child of affliction and grief to the refuge and sympathy, the protection and soothing of His heart. As... Continue Reading
The First Time We are Told to Love the Lord
A Key Command from Moses to the Israelites
Deuteronomy 6:5 is about loyalty, covenant faithfulness, allegiance. What kind of people should the Israelites be? They should be loyal to God who had redeemed them from Egypt and who (in the context of Deuteronomy) had carried them to the border of the promised land. Their love for God would take the shape of obedience—internalizing... Continue Reading
Devotion in an Age of Distraction
How Beauty Breaks the Spell
Not everyone sees God’s beauty. Some are “haters of God” that have “exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images” (Romans 1:23, 30). That’s why Samuel Parkison says there is an aesthetic component to salvation: when the Spirit regenerates us, he enables us “to behold the beauty of the Trinity mediated in Christ.” This new... Continue Reading
For Those Under the Temptation of Ending Their Lives
An Epidemic Of Emptiness
If you are someone who claims the name of Christ, and who is mulling over the idea of ending your own life, know these truths: you are being tempted by Satanic lies and what you are contemplating is a grievous evil. Jesus knows and feels your pain. His body, the Body of Christ, is here to lift... Continue Reading
Towards a More American Classical Education
Classical Education at a Crossroads
The next few years will be a critical period for the classical movement in the United States. As our schools emerge onto the radar of the negative world, hostile press will increase, as will the temptation to save face by compromising everything our movement gets right: our commitment to Christianity, our national heritage, and the... Continue Reading
The Ten Words | Exodus 20:1-21
What is the purpose of the law for us today as Christians?
Under the covenant that Jesus inaugurated by the sacrifice of Himself, our Lord has removed the curse and burden of the law from us. We rest in His obedience rather than our own. Furthermore, He has given to us the Spirit of life that produces His fruit within us, fruit of love, joy, peace, patience,... Continue Reading
Machen Saw What was Coming
He warned of fascism and ethnonationalism and we should too!
In the machinery of modern industry and government, and in worldly, pragmatic ideologies, Machen saw a real threat to liberty, society, and the church. The only solution for him was the knowledge of a God who cared enough to send his Son, beneath whose cross and in whose church is the only refuge from the... Continue Reading
How “He Gets Us” Fails to Get Jesus
The presentation of Jesus is driven by the winds of culture rather than the pages of Scripture.
The ”He Gets Us” campaign never presents the need for sinners to repent. Their campaign promotes works and service but it doesn’t present the good news of Jesus. The social gospel never saves, it only sooths people as they journey onward toward the gates of hell. The “He Gets Us” presents a Jesus who affirms rather than confronts. There... Continue Reading
The Sufficiency of Scripture in Doing Christian Theology by the Book
Scriptures are sufficient for the specific task for which God gave them.
The Scriptures reveal who God is, who humans are in relation to God, and how we should portray this relationship in worship of our Creator. The Scriptures are sufficient to ground our trust in God and to know what God requires of us. However, when we say that Scripture is sufficient, we do not mean... Continue Reading
Rise Up, O Men of God
Reflections of one man’s faithful life to encourage the Church to nurture our young men, so that it will flourish in their generation.
Our young men need public and private examples of godly men in generations past and present. Our pastor would tell us that his personal pursuit of holiness was for the benefit of others—because his wife needed a godly husband and his children a godly father and the church a godly leader. He modeled meekness and... Continue Reading
Westminster Kingdom Theology
The kingdom of Christ and the kingdom of Satan.
Is reality outside the church a common realm that is unrelated to the kingdom of Christ? No, the moral division in this life is not between the kingdom of Christ and a common realm considered as two static domains with diverse locations. The moral division in this life is between the kingdom of Christ and... Continue Reading
How “Throw My Body in the Ditch” Theology Relates to Sexual Ethics
The body matters—even in death. A buried Savior is just as much a part of the gospel as death and resurrection.
The church fought to teach that Jesus Christ “suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried;” But it wasn’t only doctrine about Christ they fought for. They also taught “the resurrection of the body.” The early church placed great importance upon the body. What we do in the body matters. What happens to our... Continue Reading
Director’s Dicta: “Lies that Live” – Part 2
The Sexual Super Self
Paul in Romans 1 makes plain that the theological and worshipexchanges he describes result in unrighteous ethical conduct, particularly regarding sexuality that “breaks the bonds” of the Creator. This leads to societal and cultural chaos, as Jonathan Burnside explains: “[I]n biblical thought, sexual relationships can be used either to create community or to destroy community. . . . Sexual order helps to... Continue Reading
The One Who Loves
John writes that the law came through Moses, but grace and truth came through Christ.
The Mosaic Law is not contrary to the gospel. In fact, the Mosaic Covenant is an exfoliation of the Covenant of Grace. However, John 9 helps us to understand the division when the Pharisees say to the now healed blind man, “You are his [Jesus] disciple, but we are disciples of Moses. We know that... Continue Reading
Controversy in the Church and the Evangelical Public Square
A Reflection Occasioned by Jake Meador's Recent Opinions on the Alistair Begg Affair
In a recent article Jake Meador wrings his hands anxiously because he believes that ‘evangelicalism’ is a “controversy generator machine,” and he believes that this is the source of needless strife that admits of no clear resolution. By contrast, he sees in the institutional church a suitable alternative that has prescribed processes for resolving controversy. I confess,... Continue Reading
Imago Dei, Male and Female
Why did God make us male and female in his image?
Through the joint workings of man and woman, God would use humanity to continue putting the earth into its beautiful order and fill it with His image. This is why generally men are more drawn to tasks that form and shape the world, whether physically or intellectually, and women tend toward tasks that fill and... Continue Reading
“12 Angry Men” is Almost Seventy—and Still Relevant for Christians
Sidney Lumet’s 1957 Classic
The movie seems more concerned with the men’s outlooks on the boy than whether or not he is actually guilty. The revelations are not that the boy is found innocent but rather that the evidence against the boy that each man has exploited for their convenience is found to be deeply flawed. Each man is... Continue Reading
When the Walk Becomes a Crawl
One of the Most Hopeful Reminders I’ve Read about Sanctification
We like steady and predictable. It seems to vindicate our efforts at making the Christian life work in a businesslike manner. But, in fact, there’s no formula, no secret, no technique, no program, no schedule, and no truth that guarantees the speed, distance, or time frame. On the day you die, you’ll still be somewhere... Continue Reading
The End Result for “Religious but Foolish” Men and Women
A day of reckoning will come, although foolish people can cause much damage in their wake.
You shouldn’t be deceived when you become discouraged by how vicious, religious, yet foolish men or women can be. They will always come to a tragic end, for God will not be mocked. A lack of integrity will always be found out. I have watched my own life and the lives of those around... Continue Reading
Benjamin Rush, Temperance Movement, and Today
The world wants to squeeze God’s people into its mold and intemperance is one of the tools it uses.
Alcohol is the third leading cause of preventable death in the United States behind number two, tobacco, and number one, poor diet combined with physical inactivity. How should Christians respond to this situation? Temperance has been and will continue to be a topic of debate, but the ministry of the church is to teach people to be... Continue Reading
What Happened to the Young, Restless, and Reformed?
Every movement has to mature, learn, develop change or die.
The next decade is going to be a challenging time, as we face continued cultural pressure, and as the cadre of Gen-X leaders approach retirement and will need replacing. We need to learn the lessons of mistakes made in the past, but also to continue to sustain and develop our strengths. I enjoyed listening... Continue Reading
Covenant Baptism: A Primer for Baptists
Believer’s baptism is a valid and biblical position but covenant baptism better aligns with what the whole of Scripture teaches.
While the debate about whether to baptize infants or not has raged for five centuries, we can and should seek unity as brothers and sisters in Christ. Baptism actually unites us by identifying us as part of the visible people of God, so let the world see our unity rather than division as we approach... Continue Reading