Surfside Presbyterian Church Struck By Lightning, Catches Fire
The Myrtle Beach area church is a member of the Presbyterian Church in America.
As many of you have seen our church was struck by lightning this afternoon and a fire ensued. The fire department was there very quickly and many put themselves in danger during the storm to put the fire out. The damage seems to be contained to the middle third of the building. However, Pastor Holcomb’s... Continue Reading
Guilty of Christian Nationalism?
The growing politicization of sexual morals and the rejection of traditional governing principles in the West are truly leading us down a path to the normalization of “pagan nationalism.”
We find ourselves in an increasingly divergent clash, not of nationhood but of ultimate worldviews. Certainly the accusation of “Christian nationalism” fails to do justice to the Christian vison. The goal of the Christian faith is not social control but recognition of the cosmic lordship of God the Creator and Redeemer over all things, including... Continue Reading
The Childless Woman & the Miracle Child
The dilemma of the barren or childless woman disappears with the genealogies.
The new creation mandate that Jesus gives to his bride is to go and make disciples of all the nations: it turns out that all along, the childless woman has been Eve, come again. Eve, the mother of all living. The barren one has become the mother of us all (Galatians 4:26,27). She is the... Continue Reading
Nature, Grace, and Film
Were evangelicals to embrace nature (creation) as a category, their critique of contemporary cinema would be richer, more interesting, and more enlightening.
When we think about film we should ask, “is this a good piece of filmmaking? What is the nature of film? What makes a good film (e.g., screen writing, cinematography, directing, editing, acting etc)? These are the sorts of questions that Christian film critics ought to be asking and answering about film . I love... Continue Reading
Tom Hanks Gets Empathy Wrong
In our culture, a straight man playing a gay man in a piece of fictional drama risks being seen as indulging in an act of imperialist aggression.
Hanks is not motivated by a fear that gay actors are not getting roles in Hollywood movies. He is motivated by the desire to avoid, in his words, “inauthenticity”—presumably a critical comment on the dramatic representation of the suffering of gay men by a straight actor. Tom Hanks recently declared that if Philadelphia, the movie that... Continue Reading
Truth Is What Our Schools Need
Seeking “equity,” too many schools are simply giving up on learning standards and an aspiration for excellence.
In the name of “antiracism,” racism is being taught to American children. Fundamental facts of our country and its founding principles are at best being overlooked and at worst being distorted and denied. The following is excerpted from Hostages No More: The Fight for Education Freedom and the Future of the American Child, published today... Continue Reading
Romans 1 and Atheism
Atheists hate it when you point out the truth that there can be only one true God.
Atheists do not spend all their time and energy hating on and railing against flying spaghetti monsters for the simple reason that they know there are no such things. But they DO know that God exists, and they hate him for it. If God exists, then they cannot be god. Yes they actually do... Continue Reading
Book Review: H.B. Charles offers "A Short Guide to Understanding, Participating in, and Leading Corporate Worship
This is a book that will benefit every Christian, for whether or not we have been called to take a leadership role in worship, it most certainly falls to each one of us to understand it and participate in it. Though we are 2,000 years past the founding of the New Testament church, we... Continue Reading
Romans 8: Distractions
Christians may walk through valleys of apathy and often experience a lack of zeal.
No matter the situation or context, no matter the “craziness” going on around us, the Christian is that person who sets themselves to still thinking about and focusing on the things of the Spirit. Are there distractions? Yes! There will always be distractions…perhaps it is our focus on God in the midst of distraction which is... Continue Reading
You Know the ‘Thing:’ The Concept of Inherent Rights in the Declaration of Independence
When removing one letter in a word highlights God’s moral order for the world.
There is only one way to out of this moral crisis, and it’s by returning to the concept of a unitary right as an objective divine standard in which all society must conform. The question we are confronted with today is not “what should we do?” Rather it is, “Do we have the moral courage... Continue Reading
Can Faith Move Mountains?
Matthew 21:18-22, at least not directly, is not about you and the things you want! This passage is about Jesus and what He wants!
Because of Christ, that old covenant religion was cast into the deepest seas and replaced by something so much better: the fount of Living Water! Jesus’ faith unleashed His Kingdom of salvation upon the world by putting away the types and shadows that came before. That is what this verse is trying to get at... Continue Reading
Pride Cometh Before the Fall
The new form of tolerance is not built on the concept of objective truth, but what is believed to be worthy of acceptance, approval, and applause.
The “new” tolerance demanded in our current political and social milieu is not one that is concerned with the truth, but your truth. If one’s beliefs run counter to what you believe to be praiseworthy, it is an afront to your very identity and personhood—at least if what you believe to be praiseworthy is in line with the... Continue Reading
Speaking Truth in Marital Conflict
It's not easy to restrain our word choices when emotions run high.
Seeing the Spirit’s work in our partner doesn’t mean we ignore real issues or problems. Husbands and wives should speak about concerns in order to hold one another accountable and to invest in the health and growth of one another. But it does mean we expect to find ways God is showing up in our... Continue Reading
The Beauty of Duty
What is my God-given duty in this day?
It is wise and good at each juncture to pray “God, help me to be dutiful in all that you call me to.” The one who thinks in this way, the one who prays in this way, the one who lives in this way, will live a life of duty, a life of significance, a... Continue Reading
Why Repentance is a Necessary Part of the Christian Life
Whenever the catechism speaks of a saving grace it means that the subject under consideration is a fully orbed gift from above. The Lord in His love for you has not only given the means for sanctification, our being renewed in the image of Jesus, but He has granted to you the ammunition to keep killing sin... Continue Reading
Theology and the Peace of the PCA: Lessons from John Webster
God is the God of peace: give attention to him and his work above our own, trusting him to resolve our controversies by listening to his Word alone in conducting them.
Scripture is the source of the church’s life. The church does not precede Scripture but arises in response to Scripture. The church obeys and preaches the Scriptures, not judges them. While the church hears Scripture, Scripture stands in judgment over the church. If controversy is churchly, then it must be characterized by Scripture, for attention... Continue Reading
Counter-Attack in the War Against Reality
The June 24 reversal of the Roe v. Wade decision signals the first successful counterattack in the decades long war against reality.
The June 24 Dobbs decision is not a pro-life decision. It is a pro-constitution (in which there is no right to abortion) and anti-court decisions made by judicial fiat (like Roe v. Wade). It restores the question of abortion to the people and their elected representatives. It is the first check in what has... Continue Reading
The Safety of a Father’s Laughter
Those who laugh along with God at themselves laugh best.
To produce a feeling of security in those under your care, you truly must know how to keep them secure. A scornful laugh is based not on self-help platitudes but on genuine strength (at least if you want people to laugh with you and not at you behind your back). And naturally, the secret source of... Continue Reading
The Christian’s Dual Citizenship: When the Ethics of Heaven and Earth Collide
Earthly kingdoms will crumble, but God’s kingdom is eternal.
Until Christ comes again, Christians live as citizens in this world and citizens of heaven. We are dual citizens who have the duty to love God and our neighbor in our earthly countries with a different kind of power than the world has. Where Rome demanded allegiance through aggression and superiority, followers of Jesus depend... Continue Reading
Pastor, Preach Repentance
God is willing to forgive the sins of those who come to him in faith and repentance is the hope of the sinner, and must therefore be preached to sinners fully and freely.
Much contemporary preaching demands faith. This is right insofar as it goes, but it is not all. Preachers should not demand faith only. We are saved by faith in Christ, yes, but Christ saves us, through faith, from sin. He was called Jesus (literally, Savior) because he was going to save his people from their sins (Matt. 1:21). If... Continue Reading
“If You Would But Listen to Me!” The Center of the Psalms, the Central Issue for Us
As God tells Israel, when we don’t listen to God, it’s because we’re listening somewhere else.
As we read Jesus’s interactions with the Pharisees, we get the sense that the Psalm 81 rebuke would still apply: “Oh, that they would but listen to me!” May we not be the same. May we read our Bible and listen to God’s word. But more that merely that, according to what we see in the center... Continue Reading
Good Cop, Bad Cop – Theologically Speaking
Great care is needed as we affirm sound teaching.
Their head may be full of theology, but it seems that their heart is empty. They miss what the Spirit of God is trying to do as they go on their little theological crusade. Those folks who are such repeat offenders when it comes to this really demonstrate how little of the heart of God... Continue Reading
What is the Presbyterian and Reformed View of Baptism?
The meaning of baptism, the recipients of baptism, and the mode of baptism.
The Reformed view, over against the Baptist view, is that the children of at least one believer should be baptized as well (WCF 28.4). Under the old covenant, children were considered members of the covenant community and were granted the sign of initiation into that covenant, which was circumcision (Gen. 17:9–14). Under the new covenant,... Continue Reading
Are God and Satan Playing Chess With My Life?
Engaging the Fight
This visible realm into which we are born is merely the chessboard on which invisible cosmic warfare is being waged. It is the stage on which we live out our days, rejoice over God’s gifts, suffer in life’s hardships, weep over our losses, battle through life’s temptations and trials, beat back Satan’s assaults, and then... Continue Reading
The Ten Words: The Tenth
The Sin of Envy
The mere desire of wanting that which is not yours, and entertaining that desire with any delight and approval and yearning, is itself rebellion against God, even if you have not outwardly acted on that desire. You may not have made the choice to take any action at all in taking away your neighbor’s wife... Continue Reading
The Revealed and Hidden Will of God
You don’t need handwriting in the sky in order to discover God’s will for your life.
In all things, ask the Lord for wisdom and then apply the principles of God’s Word when choosing between options. If you make your choice according to wisdom and aren’t sinning in making the choice, you need not worry. You don’t need a sign from heaven to know God’s will. As long as you are seeking... Continue Reading
Some Answered Prayers Hurt
The Hidden and Faithful Love of God
“In faithfulness you have afflicted me” (Psalm 119:75). For when our training in righteousness has done its sanctifying work, one of the peaceful fruits is that we learn to joyfully trust the Father’s hand because we’ve learned to trust the Father’s heart. Scripture tells us that “every good gift and every perfect gift is from... Continue Reading
The Ten Words: The Ninth
The 9th commandment does not carry the impossible weight of “do this and live or else.”
We do not earn our salvation or even maintain our standing before God. Rather this commandment now becomes a way to honor the One who saved us and testify of his goodness out of love. Because of what Christ has done, stony hearts that formerly suppressed the truth have been replaced with hearts of flesh... Continue Reading
Best Teachers Could Be Your Parents, “Homeschool Awakening” Documentary Suggests
14 featured families are driven to challenge these norms and more through their homeschooling lifestyles.
The parents in the film realized their responsibility in shaping their children’s minds. The benefits of homeschooling outweighed the sacrifices. The parents explained how homeschooling set them free to individualize learning unique to each child’s needs, and his or her style and pace of learning; to preserve their child’s identity, protecting them from negative outside influences; to... Continue Reading
Prophetic Passion and Resistance Thinking
Where are the prophets among us?
Nearly two decades ago Os Guinness released a brief but powerful volume entitled Prophetic Untimeliness (Baker, 2003). It is well worth revisiting – or for many of you, being introduced to for the first time. In his Introduction he explains the book’s title: “Prophetic Untimeliness is a term adapted from the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche but shaped by... Continue Reading