Israel, Hamas, and Evangelicals
Evangelical support for Israel is not grounded in a putatively biblical framework, but rather in prudential considerations.
Indeed, there are many prudential reasons for Christians as Citizens to support Israel. Among them, Israel is the only free, democratic nation in the Middle East. Also, Israel is a close ally of the United States, sharing a similar cultural heritage, values, and interests. Lastly is the moral imperative. The meaning of Israel is powerfully... Continue Reading
Without the Trinity the Doctrine of the Atonement Goes off the Rails
The atonement is the apex of the triune mission of God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit working together to reconcile sinners and renew creation.
We need to recognize that, through and through, the doctrine of atonement needs to be thoroughly Trinitarian. It’s centered on Christ. Jesus is the Son of the Father who is empowered by the Spirit. The Apex of God’s Mission The atonement is the apex of the triune mission of God: Father, Son, and Holy... Continue Reading
Love the Sinner; Hate the Movement
Our job is to love the sinner enough to call them to repentance. And to hate the movements that accost them.
Love always seeks the best for a person. And what is best for a person is what God says in His Word. We must love men and women who are being led to the slaughter enough to point them away from these diabolical fantasies, the damned identity politics dreamt up by demons and instead bid... Continue Reading
Don’t Counsel or Debate Over E-mail or Social Media
As easy as communication is, avoid any serious communication with members of your church via e-mail, twitter, or the Facebooks. Why is this the case?
Digital communication is convenient, but in counseling and debate situations, it’s best to conduct these face-to-face. Sit down over a cup of coffee and counsel or engage in debate. In some circumstances, digital communication may be the only option, though I would sooner resort to a phone call. Leave logistical matters to e-mail (time, place,... Continue Reading
Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise: History of a Classic Hymn
The inspiration for “Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise” came to Walter Smith during a dinner with eleven other New College alumni as they reminisced about the halcyon days immediately following the Disruption.
As the men gathered around the dinner table recalled their happy bygone student days, they particularly recollected the lofty phrasings of their mentor’s prayers. They rehearsed his most striking and memorable catchphrases — many of which now shaped cadences of their own prayer vocabulary. Realizing the riches that their conversation had uncovered, Walter Chalmers Smith... Continue Reading
Indi Gregory: Third Infant to Die at Hands of UK Government
Good parents do everything in their power to protect their children. But what happens when the government takes that power away?
Unfortunately, Justice Robert Peel denied the request, claiming that Indi’s “best interests” would be served by withdrawing treatment — that is, by letting her die in Britain. “I do not think she experiences any meaningful quality of life,” Peel asserted, “and sadly she never will.” Indi’s parents appealed Peel’s decision, but to no avail. Once... Continue Reading
A Kingdom That Cannot Be Shaken—Hebrews 12:25-29
The author of Hebrews warns that the unparalleled display of God’s grace goes hand-in-hand with an unparalleled display of His judgment that is still to come.
Only God’s kingdom will endure the dissolving and remaking of the cosmos. As mighty as the kingdoms of earth may seem for the moment, they cannot endure the passage of time, let alone the day of judgment! See that you do not refuse him who is speaking. For if they did not escape when they refused... Continue Reading
What Is the Best Thing about Marriage? (Mark 10:1–12)
Marriage gives us a glimpse of the infinite love God wants people to experience in Him.
Christians are not to grieve the Holy Spirit with bitterness, but to be kind, compassionate and forgiving. We are to forgive as Christ has forgiven us. To sustain our marriage, we have to daily remind ourselves of the gospel of God’s forgiveness. What’s the best thing about marriage? I think as a teenager I... Continue Reading
The Psalms Are a Little Bible
Demonstrating the truth of Martin Luther’s claim.
The Psalms teach us about salvation. There is no salvation to be found in chariots or spears or horsemen or political power. Salvation is from the Lord. When God saves sinners, he forgives their sins. He counts righteousness to them through faith. God is the refuge and the rock of his people. He pulls them... Continue Reading
Chesterton on the Free Family
Chesterton’s love of the family always features in his writings.
In everything worth having, even in every pleasure, there is a point of pain or tedium that must be survived, so that the pleasure may revive and endure. The joy of battle comes after the first fear of death; the joy of reading Virgil comes after the bore of learning him; the glow of the... Continue Reading
No, I *AM* Spiritually Closer With Evangelicals Who Reject Certain Tenets Of “Classical Theism” Than With Classical Trinitarians Who Reject The Reformed Doctrine Of Justification.
The church must be vigilant and never forget that Rome affirms the person of Christ while denying the work of Christ, which makes her an enemy of Christ and no amount of Trinitarian orthodoxy can remedy that reality.
Fellowship among evangelicals will always be along a vast theological continuum of spiritual closeness whereas with devout Roman Catholics spiritual closeness is a binary consideration. There is none. Let us not confuse sanctification and fellowship within the body with evangelizing those outside the evangelical church. Our personal spiritual affinity toward other professing Christians should be... Continue Reading
G. K. Beale on the Expected Universalization of the Old Testament Land Promises
It is now in Christ, the Last Adam and true Israel, and the church, in union with the Last Adam and true Israel, that Eden will finally be expanded to the ends of the earth.
The New Testament understands the land promise as a promise that Israel’s land would be expanded to encompass the entire world. For example, Romans 4:13 says, “For the promise to Abraham or to his seed that he would be heir of the world was not through the Law . . .” (so also Heb. 11:8–16;... Continue Reading
Your Eschatology Matters
We are meant to be builders instead of cowards. You will find no eschatological defeatism or passivism while we await our rapture out of here.
When adopting a hermeneutical framework for reading the Bible, the standard evangelical method is to try and understand what the original author was attempting to communicate to the original audience. When you do that, the only viable method of interpreting eschatological passages is the method known as partial preterism. Partial because we do not believe... Continue Reading
How Do You Cope with Chronic Illness in Life and Ministry?
The Lord works in our weakness for his glory and he will get us home.
Chronic illness isn’t just discouraging and traumatic, it’s actually quite frustrating. Your plans get scuppered. You constantly feel your limitations. You want to do things and achieve things, but you can’t. Recently, Phil 1:12 has been a big encouragement to me. In this verse, Paul explains how his imprisonment has actually become an opportunity for... Continue Reading
Giving Up Darwin
A fond farewell to a brilliant and beautiful theory.
An intelligent designer might seem more necessary than ever now that we understand so much cellular biology, and the impossibly long odds facing any attempt to design proteins by chance, or assemble the regulatory mechanisms that control the life cycle of a cell. Meyer doesn’t reject Darwinian evolution. He only rejects it as a sufficient theory... Continue Reading
The Rise of Ethical Cannibalism
The triumph of the transgender movement will inevitably lead to cannibalism.
Transgenderism seeks the ultimate victory of technology over nature—the goal of science at its very origins, “the conquest of nature.” You can ask my friends (if I have any left) whether I predicted that transgenders would soon outrank gays in the new morality, a morality which judges based on who is most committed to the... Continue Reading
The Marxist Origin of Wokism
We may feel extremely discouraged as we see the direction of our country, and we are not promised peace and tranquility. Yet the stunning intricacy of God’s creation still makes thoughtful people sit up and take notice.
Political control of behavior and speech (the goal of CRT/Wokism) is a significant stage in the arrival of full-blown cultural Marxism. Though Rufo does not consider religious issues in his book, he states on his substack page that the future of America concerns the rejection of both religion (Christian morals) and of political liberalism (that... Continue Reading
Cowards, Copycats, and Careerists
How small-souled leaders homogenize Christian higher education.
Although the careerist may value the institution’s unique mission, its faithful pursuit is ultimately incidental to his primary motivation: ascending to the next rung on the professional ladder. Maintaining the distinctive character of Christian higher education and ensuring its enduring efficacy will require intentional, robust, and principled leadership that both understands and resists the mechanisms of... Continue Reading
Protestants Need to Go Back to Basics
The Center for Classical Theology is a wonderful step in the right direction for Protestantism.
A time of social upheaval and chaos such as ours is likely to send even the most devout Christians into despair unless they can place the terrifying flux of life in the earthly city against the unchanging reality of the sovereign God himself. It is the same with personal suffering. What patient suffering from cancer... Continue Reading
For All the Saints
The hymn moves hearts to glorify God – and as it does, it greatly encourages us as earthly saints to live well in this world in whatever time God gives.
My heart becomes filled when I reflect upon the lyrics of this hymn! But it should also be remembered that lyrics are meant to be sung to a melody or tune. I don’t mean this as a slight to any of the tunes – past or present – to which For All the Saints have... Continue Reading
Samuel Miller, Old Side Pastor and Professor
Miller’s Old Side influences combined with Alexander’s New Side training under William Graham created an educational environment in which applied Westminsterian doctrine brought together head and heart knowledge.
From the beginning of his New York ministry, Miller was not despised for his youth but instead proved an exemplary colleague. The local Reformed ministry included not only Miller’s pastoral colleagues at Collegiate, but also John M. Mason (Associate Reformed) as well as Reformed Dutch pastors John H. Livingston and William Linn. It was really... Continue Reading
Woke: Collectivist or Individualist?
A short debate.
What we call Wokeism was predated by its previous iteration “political correctness” in the 1990s and political correctness itself was predated a generation before by the New Left. The New Left was composed of both an identitarian vein and an environmental vein and the two veins have been operating symbiotically since. (Think of hippies reading... Continue Reading
A Work of Biblical Proportions
Review: ‘The Word: How We Translate the Bible—and Why It Matters’ by John Barton
The “formal equivalence” approach to biblical translation strives to bring the original-language source-text to the reader by effecting as close to a word-for-word translation as possible, given the constraints of moving from one language to another. By contrast, the “dynamic equivalence” approach (sometimes called “functional equivalence”) aims to bring the reader to the source-text through... Continue Reading
Ten Formative Books
All have stood the test of time.
John W. Nevin, The Mystical Presence—Published in 1846, this volume provides both a defense of Calvin’s eucharistic doctrine and a wonderful introduction to the soteriology of the Mercersburg Theology movement we associate with John Williamson Nevin and Philip Schaff. In it, Nevin called out much of the American Reformed community for its rationalistic Zwinglianism and lack... Continue Reading
A Great Cloud of Witnesses
The whole world is watching.
All that we say and do and think is being noticed. That should help us to keep on the straight and narrow, and help us run the race with diligence and perseverance. It is too easy to be swayed by what we see and hear in this world, but we must be more conscious of... Continue Reading
The Gates of Hell
What are the gates of Hell, anyway? And where are they?
Jesus says that the gates of the place of the dead will not prevail against the church. He is talking not about some place that the Enemy lives but his descent into the grave. He broke the gates of Hades. He broke the gates of Sheol. He broke the gates of death. He wrested death out of the... Continue Reading
10 More Words Every Christian Should Know (and Be Able to Explain)
Effectively sharing the gospel with unbelievers.
Perseverance (of the Saints): “They, whom God hath accepted in His Beloved, effectually called, and sanctified by His Spirit, can neither totally nor finally fall away from the state of grace, but shall certainly persevere therein to the end, and be eternally saved. (Phil. 1:6, 2 Pet. 1:10, 1 John 3:9, 1 Pet. 1:5,9)” (Westminster... Continue Reading
An Oracle for a King
A Call to Caution: This oracle tells us we must use our God-given authority to ensure justice and righteousness rather than abusing it on personal pleasures.
Ultimately, this oracle of King Lemuel’s mother could be summed up as three warnings against the improper use of authority. I have previously covered the topic of authority in some detail, describing how God gives us authority for the purpose of obeying Him and caring for the people He has entrusted to us. Therefore, if... Continue Reading
Love Your Enemies: Reflections on Luke 6:27-28
In our modern era, Jesus’s words pierce just as deep. “…pray for those who abuse you.”
In light of the cross and everything Jesus would have to endure at the hands of Pontius Pilate and the Jews, this is a profound statement! Jesus “loved His enemies” to the point that He would lay down His life for them while praying “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” That is…mind-blowing! This... Continue Reading
Christians Love Their Enemies with Truth
Keeping the 9th Commandment in the Way of Our Lord
There is a pernicious lie that we tell ourselves that it is okay to be rude toward men and women who have acted poorly toward us. That is the type of action the devil loves. He hopes and prayers for division between the Lord’s people especially. Rather than to allow yourself to be snared in... Continue Reading