Christian Reformed Church Stands Strong for Biblical Sexuality
The CRC Synod 2022 might go down as the most monumental meeting for the CRC of this generation for approving a strong stand for biblical marriage and sexuality.
The results were landslide decisions in favor of the historic church view of sexuality. Synod voted 131-45 to recommend the Human Sexuality Report to the churches. Synod then voted 123-53 to affirm that the traditional stance on sexuality is “confessional” and therefore binding on all officebearers. The Christian Reformed Church in North America (CRC) held its... Continue Reading
Dying, Yet We Live: How Mortification is the Way of Life in the Spirit
We are no longer debtors to live according to the flesh; rather, we are indebted and enabled to live according to the Spirit.
Putting sin to death, likewise, is a difficult duty for the Christian, but Paul teaches us that it is necessary and possible. Romans 8:12–13 states that life in the Spirit includes liberation and mortification. We are no longer debtors to this present, evil age, so we walk in a different direction, think after the realm of Christ,... Continue Reading
No Civilization Without Restraint: Wise Words From 1939
Sexual identity is treated as if it is central to human identity, human purpose, and human happiness.
Unwin’s conclusions can be boiled down to a single issue. Are people living for the future, with the ability to delay gratification, or are they focusing only on the here and now? When a culture fails to restrain its sexual instincts, people think less about securing the future and instead compromise the stability, productivity, and the... Continue Reading
When the psalmists refer to Sheol, what they most feared was not death per se, nor that they might lose themselves in death. Rather, they feared that they might lose contact with God.
With the death, resurrection, and ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ, the understanding of death and the afterlife changed radically for the saints. Here it is important to understand our Lord’s seventh saying on the cross: “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” (Luke 23:46). This final saying was a statement of consolation and filial... Continue Reading
God is a Se
He is not dependent upon anything else (or anyone else) for his being. That’s the Godness of God.
Theologians have long referred to this perfection as God’s aseity, from the Latin a se, or “from himself.” The idea is that God’s existence is his essence. All other creatures exist by way of a Creator – they came into being by way of another Being, and therefore their existence is dependent and thus not a part of their... Continue Reading
Calm Under Pressure
Recovering the Grace of Equanimity
Beholding the glory of our Lord — in his striking Gospels calmness and his present imperturbable equanimity — we are “transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another” (2 Corinthians 3:18). We cannot study the real Christ too much. We cannot look to him too often. We cannot meditate on him... Continue Reading
Music: Theology’s Seasoning
Music plays an important role in keeping theology palatable for the saint.
Hymns are Dominantly God-Centered. Most hymns that have lasted the test of time are God-centered hymns. Even songs about personal sanctification often have the intention to draw your eyes to Christ in the midst of your trials. This is the ultimate point isn’t it? A life experiencing hardship tests the saint’s commitment to resolutely keep God... Continue Reading
The Value of Knowing Both Sides
4 ways that we can follow Solomon’s wise words and pursue understanding both sides.
Draw conclusions. I personally have very strong beliefs about God as the one and only Creator, about Jesus Christ as God’s only Son, about our need for salvation through Christ alone because of our sins, about the resurrection of Jesus, and about a number of other issues. And when we come to strong conclusions, most... Continue Reading
Horn of Salvation
In the priestly service and the worshiping life of Israel, the altar horns were indelibly associated with the provision of atonement through the shedding of blood.
Taking hold of the horns of the altar may have been an ancient way to plead for mercy, but it was no guarantee. Yet God has provided all His people with a true and eternal horn of salvation in Jesus Christ. To take hold of Him alone by faith alone is to find peace with God... Continue Reading
The Biblical Genius of PCA GA 49’s Overture 15
Perhaps the most talked-about item before and after the 2022 PCA General Assembly was Overture 15 dealing with an important qualification for ordination for church officers.
To frame the issue as a question, does God’s Word warrant the inclusion of a paragraph in our BCO that disqualifies from ministry (as Deacons or Elders) “men who describe themselves as homosexual?” Having wrestled with this question, I believe that the answer is yes. Indeed, I am more and more convinced of the biblical... Continue Reading
Union with Christ: A Biblical Overview
Every gospel blessing that we have, from eternity past to eternity future, comes to us because of our union with Christ.
Every person is either “in Adam” or “in Christ.” Those “in Adam” are dead in sin and separated from God because of their relationship to Adam and his rebellion. Those “in Christ” are dead to sin and spiritually alive unto God because of their relationship to Christ and His obedience. A Forgotten Doctrine When was the... Continue Reading
What Does the Bible Teach Us about Urgent Moral Controversies?
The Bible is routinely blamed for our evils and credited for our ideals.
The Bible is a treasury of humanity’s highest ideals and yet the Bible is brutally realistic about human evil. The clash between those ideals and human reality gives the Bible great dramatic power. The Bible is blamed for virtually every evil under the sun. Here is a summary of the rap sheet: Slavery and... Continue Reading
“This is Your Brain on Depression. Any Questions?”
The church has bought into a physical understanding of struggling with depression because it is the lie the world has been telling us for decades.
We must stop thinking that depression is merely physical in origin and cure. It’s not. It never was. We are bodies and souls, and we must care for both bodies and souls comprehensively and well. Will you forgive me a short foray into my particular field of study? You see, my undergraduate degree is in psychology,... Continue Reading
“The Life Everlasting”: A Place Prepared
This present fallen world is not all there is.
The life everlasting that we confess in the Apostles’ Creed is, in part, life in a unique other-worldly place, a new, transfigured world to come, in which God and man are to live together forever. What appeal, if any, does everlasting life hold for you? For us who confess I believe in … the life everlasting, those... Continue Reading
Beware of the Flatterer
One of the great weapons employed against the children of God is a deceiving tongue.
From social justice to other mainline heresies, false teachers proselytize people with enticing words and compelling arguments which necessitates discernment in the journey of faith. Apart from discernment and a commitment to God’s revealed will in the pages of Scripture, we will wander off down a flatterer’s path only to find ourselves entangled in a... Continue Reading
How Sheep Get Saved: Jesus as the Door, the Good Shepherd, and the Sovereign Sacrifice (A Sermon on John 10:1–21)
Jesus’s sheep hear his voice, but his enemies are confounded.
Jesus addresses his adversaries, the ones seeking to kill him, and he tells a parable that describes God’s coming judgment on the temple courts of Jerusalem. At the same time, his parable identifies Jesus as the only Savior who can lead his sheep away from this impending disaster. In Luke 15 we come across... Continue Reading
What Does God Want from His People?
God longs for his people to share his passion for his glory, his people, and the gospel of Jesus Christ his Son.
How we think of God and what we think he expects of us are hugely important when it comes to how we serve him and especially how we respond when things don’t go the way we thought they would. I wonder how you answer that question? What’s your instinctive first reaction? What is God... Continue Reading
Battle over “Wokeness” at Christian Colleges Isn’t Just about Politics, It’s about Dollars
The latest battle in Christian higher education isn't centered on theological issues, but rather on politics.
Moving off—or being perceived as moving off—from sufficiently conservative viewpoints is a major gamble with poor odds of success. The inverse is also true—the more conservative a religious-based college is, the better its odds are of not just surviving, but flourishing. For decades, Hillsdale College and Grove City College mirrored each other. Fiercely independent, neither takes... Continue Reading
First, the Plank: Getting Started Dealing with Conflict
Jesus addresses our natural propensity to judge others, and to judge them unfairly.
I’m commanded to first take the log out of my own eye. I’m told that it’s there, and that I’d better deal with it first. So, I must get on my knees before God, metaphorically or literally or both, and ask God to help me see the log in my own eye and get it out. As a... Continue Reading
“The Resurrection of the Body”
The human race has been groaning for death’s defeat, aching for the body’s deliverance from death.
In the resurrected Lord Jesus Christ, we have God’s pledge that, as believers, our groans and aches over our mortality will end. Scripture tells us that our bodies will be delivered from death, never to die again, for death itself will die. Death raises questions to which most of us anxiously want answers. What... Continue Reading
Mutilating Our Bodies
Minor boys and girls are socially brainwashed into making catastrophic, self-harming decisions.
Vulnerable, disturbed individuals of all ages [are] hastily ushered into procedures that are nothing short of medical malpractice. Justice demands a reckoning in the form of penalties and strictures, for their sakes and for the sakes of others like them who may yet be saved from this Hippocratic Oath-breaking. There are many memorable moments... Continue Reading
Divorce, Censure, and Session Responsibility
Under the gospel of Christ there exist two permissible reasons for divorce: adultery and willful desertion. (Matt.19:8,9; 1 Cor. 7:15)
God-appoints difficult providences for all who are in union with Christ, but we must expect God’s grace to be sufficient for all his people to keep the marriage vow of “for better or for worse” unless one of the two exception clauses can be met (adultery or willful desertion). Elders are to be part of... Continue Reading
Same-Sex Marriage Bill Aims “to Crush Anyone Who Opposes Belief in Gay Marriage”: Senator
Any tax-exempt group that upholds scriptural marriage “will be challenged on their tax policy and will immediately become a target of this federal government.”
Bible-believing Christians say they will not cede the definition of marriage—or endanger believers’ ability to make their voice heard in the United States. A Republican senator has said he will “absolutely oppose” a bill redefining marriage nationwide, warning that liberal activists plan to “use it as a weapon” to drive Christians out of the... Continue Reading
Nothing is hidden from the mind of God—past, present, or future—so nothing can surprise or confuse Him.
The path God has set for your life is based on knowing you—and everything else—perfectly. So we should trust Him in whatever circumstances we find ourselves rather than trusting our own hearts when they tell us that “things would have been better if only…” As it says in 1 John 3:20, “God is greater than our... Continue Reading
The idea of a kinsman redeemer is laid out in the Levitical laws, displayed by men such as Boaz and Jeremiah, and fulfilled by Jesus.
The New Testament emphasizes that we are spiritual debtors. The only acceptable price for the debt of our sin is the precious blood of Jesus. When that price was paid, the debt was canceled and sinners were set free. What is remarkable is that the incarnate Jesus is not ashamed to call us brothers and... Continue Reading
Spiritual Explosion—“My Eyes Have Seen the King”
The greatest hindrance to a spiritual awakening is our satisfaction without it.
When Isaiah was rocked and shaken by his complete unworthiness, he finally broke down and repented. Full surrender is the only way to recapture the power of the Spirit. Like Isaiah, we’ve been bought with a price, and we must surrender to our King’s will. A desire to truly experience God runs deep within our... Continue Reading
Vanity of Vanities
In Ecclesiastes, vanity has more to do with frustration, fruitlessness, futility, and failure.
While the present creation is described as being subject to futility (Rom. 8:20), there is in store a new creation. Against the bleak backdrop of this fallen world, the apostle whets our appetites: “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed... Continue Reading
The Christian’s Biggest Dream
Glorifying God with your life is the mountain you must climb.
A life lived for yourself or for a created thing will never satisfy because you are finite. But if you live for an infinite God, your cup will never run dry and daily you will find new opportunities to delight in and display that infinitely glorious God. You have probably at one point or... Continue Reading
How to Save Shakespeare and the Western Civilization He Espoused
R.V. Young defends Shakespeare from anti-Western and anti-Christian critics in his book, "Shakespeare and the Idea of Western Civilization."
“Shakespeare and the Idea of Western Civilization” is the Shakespeare book we need in this age of abuse and hatred. We find love and wisdom through its marvelous pilgrimage. And we find the true Shakespeare who has been buried by “the scholars” because of their ideological prejudices. We live in an age of hatred:... Continue Reading
Your Statutes Have Been My Songs
If you long for the heavenly country and would be counted among Christ’s afflicted, then sing the songs of Zion.
We are each on pilgrimage to the Celestial City, to the New Jerusalem. It is right, therefore, for us to hold to God’s Word as our songs during our earthly sojourning. Indeed, God Himself has proclaimed the importance of such songs by giving us the Psalms, an entire hymnbook within Scripture. Your statutes have been my songs in the... Continue Reading