The Dead Seriousness of Careless Words
Words can be a taste of life or a savor of death, a scent of heaven or a whiff of hell.
What we may need to be reminded of is that we will be held to account for our words—for all our words. There will be a reckoning not only for the words we intentionally used poorly or that we deliberately used to hurt others, but also for the words we used carelessly. We will be responsible before... Continue Reading
There is a common idea in the contemporary Presbyterian Church in America that our people should be winsome, particularly in their polemics and intra-denominational disagreements.
God did not build his church upon suave, charming, likeable men. He built it upon a man of sorrows who was rejected by men and acquainted with grief (Isa. 53:3), and upon irascible fishermen who lopped off someone’s ear (Jn. 18:10), and upon other men who were not wise or attractive by worldly standards (Acts... Continue Reading
The Heart and Mind of Godly Ministry: Learning from the Letters of Calvin and Rutherford
Two brief excerpts that provide a window looking out at the beautiful landscape of their pastoral wisdom and piety.
Two humble men who remind us that the glory of God, delight in Christ, and the growth of God’s people is our great aim and end in the church. Their letters divulge their longing for the power of the gospel, piety of the people of God, prayerfulness of the saints, and tender presence in the... Continue Reading
Protecting the Gift of God
Using Our Resources in Rightly Keeping the 8th Commandment
A heart of thanksgiving is always looking for ways to help others, as well as understanding in humility the temporality of the world. Selfishness is the opposite of Christian character. Arrogantly assuming the earth was made for your pleasure and that you have a right to all regardless of who or what gets in the... Continue Reading
The Climate Death Cult
The Injustice of an Inhuman Religion
Wynn Alan Bruce, climate martyr and climate saint, killed himself in a climate memento mori. We can pass him off as a clearly disturbed man and pray that his soul has found eternal rest, but what to say about the fact that a movement exists that valorizes him? In the long term, like the Shakers before... Continue Reading
On Baby Grands and Expensive Hymnals
Why not a few guitars and a simple Powerpoint projection?
Christians must continue to pursue the highest and best, even in the presence of dire need. No period of undisturbed tranquility is just over the horizon, the arrival of which will then permit a Golden Age of pursuing the best that has been thought or written. The time for beauty, higher learning, and the pursuit... Continue Reading
He Breaks the Power of Canceled Sin: My Story of Broken Chains
Even in this life, Jesus, who paid the penalty for our sin, will break the enslaving power of canceled sin!
Are you stuck in sin? The Lord is able and willing to deliver you! Ask him to convict you of the sin of unbelief and to impress his Word deep into your heart. Only in Heaven will there be complete freedom from the possibility of sinning. But even in this life, Jesus, who paid the... Continue Reading
Romans 8: No Condemnation
There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
In Christ we have absolute certainty that our salvation is secure, no matter what condemnation thunders forth from God’s law. And as we move verse by verse through this chapter we will climb higher and higher into the heavenly air of our union with Christ, seeing all the ways in which that union will blossom... Continue Reading
Face Your Fear of Man
Who do you look at to see yourself? Whose opinion of you forms your identity?
Christ calls us to look to his face, to hear his word, and to listen to his people to understand who we are in him. And as we hear what he speaks over us, mere human faces lose their hold on us. We speak truthfully and love freely because we, like Christ, are not receiving... Continue Reading
Reflections Concerning a Flower of the Soul
You can have true, lasting contentment in this life.
Christian, do not be down on yourself. Run to new heights in the love of God in Christ, by trusting in Him and adoring His hand toward you in seasons of ease and difficulty. They say that April showers bring May flowers. Well, that might ring true for many parts of the country, but... Continue Reading
Feeling Our Sins
Christians needs to recover the art of being honest about sin.
Take your sin seriously. Kill it before it kills you. Point it out. Leave no room for silly games or foolish antics. Suffocate your sin. Feel it’s brunt—but remember Jesus. He that has learned to feel his sins…has learned the two hardest and greatest lessons in Christianity. (J.I. Packer) We don’t like to talk... Continue Reading
Does the Pro-life Movement Help Mothers?
When people who kill children are considered heroes—of course, people who save children will be considered villains.
The pro-abortion movement doesn’t ignore babies: they murder them. The pro-life movement, however, protects babies and their mothers. As for the ridiculous claim that the pro-life movement needs to embrace essentially leftist or socialist causes in order to prove we’re authentically pro-life: no. One of the biggest myths about abortion today is that the pro-life... Continue Reading
Distributive Justice and the Book of Job
Is biblical justice closely related to an economic redistribution that will meet the needs of the poor and the helpless?
God expects every truly righteous person to care about the poor and to do what is in his power to help them. But it begs the question to maintain that this concern can only be expressed in an endorsement of coercive and redistributory statism that is so essential to contemporary collectivist approaches to justice. ... Continue Reading
The Ten Words: The First
Refusing to believe in the God who made them, they believe in a god they have made.
What then is the best way to fight idolatry in our own lives and keep the commandment? What is the best way to call unbelievers to the one true and living God? What is the best way to reclaim those who have turned away to serve gods of their own imaginings? You shall have... Continue Reading
Swimming with Sharks and Equality Vigilantes
Systemic, institutionally protected forms of robbery are forms of legal theft which break no laws, yet distort principles of just ownership.
We should acknowledge differences, advantages, and imbalances, and strive to help those who are less fortunate. But we should not consider inequality an inherent obscenity. It is a base sort of spirit who says: “Because everyone [or, more often, because I] cannot enjoy that, no one should.” Thieves are typically pegged under one of two... Continue Reading
An East Wind
God will pursue you, like an east wind. Which, strange as it sounds, is good news.
The Lord of Hosts [will] chase you down and do you good. To commit every resource of heaven to a single-minded pursuit of getting you to the garden of delight. To chase after you, overtake you, conquer and capture you, and then do you good, and be merciful to you. Small details matter in... Continue Reading
William Francis Joseph Jr., Former PCA Moderator, Called Home to Glory
In 1979 he was elected Moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA).
Mr. Joseph has been a life-long member of Trinity Presbyterian Church, and has served first as a deacon from 1955 to 1962, then as an Elder from 1962 to 2014. In 1979 he was elected Moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA), the Church’s highest court, and served during the... Continue Reading
Won’t Get Fooled Again
After the pandemic, Americans should never let public-health authorities deprive them of their liberties.
[The public] assumed that the Centers for Disease Control knew how to control disease and that scientists and public-health officials would provide sound scientific guidance about public health. Those were reasonable assumptions. They just turned out to be wrong. More than a century ago, Mark Twain identified two fundamental problems that would prove relevant... Continue Reading
Church Of Scotland To Allow Same-Sex Marriages
The Church of Scotland has voted to allow clergy to conduct same-sex marriages for the first time.
The Covenant Fellowship Scotland, a think tank of evangelicals within the Church of Scotland, issued a statement:…”The General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, in converting an overture permitting ministers and deacons to officiate at same-sex marriages into an Act of the Church, has acted in a way which is both unbiblical and sinful…But we... Continue Reading
Profanity and the Gospel
If we want to express righteous indignation, it seems counter-intuitive to use profanity.
Profanity in the secular worldview is nothing more than a social construct that has no basis in objective truth. A worldview that is unable to define cursing has also lost the ability to bless. When you lose one, you lose the other, which is a significant step backward for mankind made in the image of... Continue Reading
We can profitably look at and learn from the question of what it means to live as exiles in the world.
The world we live in has changed, and the faster the church gets our heads around it, the better. And the past two and a half years of a global pandemic have only turbocharged the change. In a time of rapid, dislocating change, it becomes easy to want to get back to what we lost. ... Continue Reading
The Dangers of Syncretism and Idolatry
God alone has the authority to establish worship practices.
God is concerned not only with heart motive—although that is certainly central—nor is he simply concerned that people worship him alone—although that is, of course, true. He is also concerned that his people worship him in the right way, which includes not worshiping in ways that he has forbidden or inventing new ways to worship... Continue Reading
Augustine, Justice & the SCOTUS
Every citizen of the city of God must give everyone their due, which includes God.
We began as a republic and slid to a democracy and perhaps now we are an oligarchy. The United States is not immutable. However, what is true for every citizen of the city of God is clear, according to Augustine. He must serve giving God his utmost. Last night I finished my pilgrimage through... Continue Reading
Truth, Love, and The Definition of “Inclusion”
Today’s cultural understanding of “inclusion” rejects normalcy as oppressive and even bigoted.
Do not advance the lie. Do not agree to the lie. Once you give into the lie, you become defenseless to it and its insatiable demands. It has you in its grip and will not let you go. “Inclusion” is a word that’s often cited as a motivator supporting the decisions and developments taking... Continue Reading
The Double Cure
In Christ Jesus, we have a new legal record and a new heart.
The opposing law that can overcome the law of sin and death is the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus. The Holy Spirit is able to overcome the law of sin and death with life by working faith in the sinner’s heart and thus uniting the sinner to Christ as the source... Continue Reading
Everything and Everyone Changes, Except God
There is no reason to fear if we are connected to the unchanging reality of the eternal God.
It is a source of wonder as well as comfort to contemplate a God whose being, plans and promises never change. This should draw us to God again and again. He can keep our hearts steadfast. Whatever else and whoever else may change, let us seek to have an unwavering devotion, obedience and love to... Continue Reading
How Polyamorous People Are Marking Commitment To Multiple Partners
In legal terms, polyamorous people are unable to marry all their of partners: It is illegal throughout the United States to marry more than one person at a time.
Polyamory is a form of consensual non-monogamy — when people have more than one sexual or romantic partner at once with all partners’ permission. A 2021 study in Frontiers in Psychology found that one in nine single American adults had engaged in polyamory. Sarah Brylinsky, a 34-year-old working in higher education in Ithaca, N.Y.,... Continue Reading
The Three Worlds of Evangelicalism Debate
Culture’s view of Christianity and its moral systems have changed over the last three decades.
Is it really the case that the culture’s view of Christianity and its moral systems are still basically the same as they were three decades ago, and that there was no major cultural break around 2014? I would argue No. There is very strong evidence for such a cultural break. My First Things article... Continue Reading
‘Evangelicals,’ the ‘Christian’ Putin, and the War in Ukraine: A Response to Mindy Belz
As a whole the people of Ukraine are nearly as conservative on social issues as are the people of Russia.
…the war [between Russia and Urkraine has been cast] in terms of good versus evil, with Ukraine’s true believers on one side, and the fake Christian Putin on the other. Personally, I am much more skeptical about the genuine faith of some evangelicals that have tethered themselves to politicians that for decades have kept us... Continue Reading
Abuse, the OPC, and the Psychologizing of Sin
The preference of the term abuse over sin moves abuse out of the moral and spiritual realm and into the psychological.
Here is the real problem that I believe underlies the failure of those frequently using the term abuse to provide a clear, biblical definition: the preference of the term abuse dislocated from sin, moves abuse out of the moral and spiritual realm and into the psychological. In other words, it tends to shift the serious matters at hand from that which is... Continue Reading