The Cluster B Society
We must learn how to counter emotional falsification and how to say “no” with a renewed voice of authority. We must find a way to restore balance, order, discipline, sanity.
A recent CIA recruitment video valorized the Cluster B traits of narcissistic identity obsession, self-righteousness, and craving for affirmation. “I am a woman of color. I am a mom. I am a cisgender millennial who has been diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder,” intones the featured CIA analyst as the camera pans over her diversity awards.... Continue Reading
How Jesus Wanted Us to Read His Gospel
The next time we open the Gospel of John, we could treat Jesus simply as a good teacher, scrounging for the final crumbs tossed to the floor. Or, we can know Christ as he has made himself known, the Son of God.
At one point in his ministry, Jesus drew a crowd of 5000 hungry people. Enamored by stories of Jesus healing the sick, they followed him. Desiring to feed the crowd, Jesus multiplied a little boy’s fish and bread, the disciples passed out lunch, and the crowd ate until satisfied. Enamored by yet another sign, they... Continue Reading
How to Orchestrate a Revolution
What we see from 1 Peter is the miracle of a changed life impacting others.
What does this mean for the Christian living in a given neighborhood? What does this mean for a Christian going to work? What does this mean for a Christian taking their child to soccer practice and how they mix with other parents? What does this mean for the children themselves and how they act towards... Continue Reading
God’s Promises in Christ While Encountering Affliction
Plead in your prayers the hope that God’s promises offer you in affliction, not asking when you will be delivered from your trial but what your trial is meant to deliver to you.
Hebrews 3:1 and 12:3 tell us that the most effective means for enduring affliction is to consider Christ, the fountainhead of all vital Christianity. But how, you ask, and in what ways must I consider Him? In this booklet, Joel R. Beeke shows how our consideration of the passion, power, presence, patience and perseverance, prayers, plenitude,... Continue Reading
When Genuine Obedience Becomes Impossible, Hell Becomes Impossible as Well
When we don’t have the category of obedience or holiness as a real possibility, it actually can be very detrimental to the preaching of the gospel.
So we must have a category of Jesus that doesn’t mean you’ll never be tempted or you’ll never have imperfect motives, but you can live a life of ordinary faithful obedience. One of the problems when we don’t have that category is when we think, You know what? I never really obey. Everything in my... Continue Reading
Commanded To Remember
“Remember” means to be in active reflection on the saving mercy contained in the eternal covenant and the consequent redemptive action of God in Jesus Christ.
Deuteronomy 8 verses 2, 11, 14, 18, 19 have an antiphonal chorus that works between the seriousness of the command to remember and the devastation wrought by the tragedy of forgetting. Should his temporal blessings make them flatter themselves with a sense of independence, they are warned not to “forget the Lord your God” (11)... Continue Reading
Are People Basically Good?
We are sinners not because we sin. Rather, we sin because we are sinners.
The fall is not simply a question of rational deduction. It is a point of divine revelation. It refers to what we call original sin. Original sin does not refer primarily to the first or original sin committed by Adam and Eve. Original sin refers to the result of the first sin—the corruption of the... Continue Reading
Where’s the Lion Now?
Making hard decisions with Aslan.
The most important thing to say is that anyone who regularly reads the Bible, by the Spirit, sees the lion every day. The word of God is the one inspired, infallible path he has given us for life. “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the... Continue Reading
It Doesn’t Work: Presbyterian Church USA
Compromises on sexuality are connected to general erosion of biblical fidelity. It doesn’t work.
Since the change of the definition of marriage, the PCUSA seems to have lost all counterbalance to contemporary progressive ideologies. Having lost its conservative contingent, the PCUSA appears to be in theological and moral freefall with few voices seeking to preserve any historic biblical understandings. On the first day of the 2016 General Assembly, the opening... Continue Reading
The Secular Son Of Progressive Christianity
Ibram X. Kendi’s worldview is a natural outgrowth of an unbiblical theology.
When Christianity is reduced to a social program, God is left to an afterthought. And when God is an afterthought, it’s no surprise that faith in God would be abandoned when belief in God becomes inconvenient. Why tithe to your church when you could give to the ACLU? Why sit through a Sunday sermon when... Continue Reading
The High Calling of the Pastor
The responsibility of the pastor is to bring the lost and straying sheep into the fold, strengthen the weak sheep, and help the strong sheep to mature. Preaching should reflect those responsibilities.
While the public ministry of preaching is vital, most salvation and spiritual growth happens in the context of private ministry. Baxter noted that it is this private ministry that lends credence and trustworthiness to preaching. This private ministry is so important that Baxter spends more than a third of the book discussing it. It is... Continue Reading
Enthralled by the Beauty of God
Why Jonathan Edwards still preaches.
In Edwards’s greatest sermon, “A Divine and Supernatural Light,” he depicts the beauty of the redemptive love of Christ as a light flowing from the center of reality. Since that light reveals the beauty of a loving person, it can be truly known only affectively. Someone might have just a rational knowledge about that love... Continue Reading
Marriage is a Steel Trap
Marriage is costly, but part of the beauty of marriage is what can happen when we pay that price.
Couples who keep those vows, even when those vows feel like a trap, often find that something beautiful happens as they endure the hardship. Things get better. They learn to love each other. God grows beautiful things in what looks like a garden of clay if we stick with it long enough and keep our... Continue Reading
Adversaries, Antagonism and Opposition – the Normal Christian Life
We can count on resistance and enmity as we stand for Biblical truth.
The United States in the 50s and 60s might have seemed to be more or less Christian, but it was anything but. And one radical Christian who knew all about this much earlier on than most other Christians was Francis Schaeffer (1912-1984). He knew everything was not right in America and the West, and he sought to give a... Continue Reading
What Makes Christian Ethics Truly “Christian”? A Seminary Prof Answers
Christian ethics aims at divine glory.
In light of that picture of humanity, Christian ethics cannot merely concern itself with knowing the right or good thing to do, it must first attend to being or—more starkly—becoming the right or good sort of being, the kind of being who might then do good things. Grace, redemption, and salvation are elemental to Christian... Continue Reading
If Satan Wrote a Book on Parenting
If Satan wrote a book on parenting, he would want people to believe that children belong to society as much as to parents.
If Satan wrote a book on parenting, he would want you to raise them in strict accordance with law rather than gospel, with strict rules rather than free grace. He would want parents to physically discipline them, then abandon them in their pain and misery, wondering how they can once again earn their parents’ favor.... Continue Reading
Don’t Just Be an Expert in What Things Don’t Mean
When we actually take the time to understand what God is really saying, we can be humbled and encouraged and exhorted, not filled with pride.
Let’s refuse to be those who only know what the Bible doesn’t mean, and let’s find out what it actually means. God’s word is profitable, even those verses that are misunderstood and abused. I’m glad I dug in to learn what Philippians 4:13 meant. It is incredibly encouraging, and I want more to be strengthened... Continue Reading
Don’t Sass Your Mother!
Inferior's Love and Devotion to Superiors at Home, Church, and in the State
Part of the wisdom of the Fifth commandment is ensuring that as the son learns to give praise and honor to his mother, he would absorb sympathetic love from her witness of piety and grace towards her superiors and through that would learn much towards how he is to care and provide for those God... Continue Reading
Could God Do __?
Who have you given up on?
Don’t lose hope. Not because your child, your boss, your employee, your spouse, or yourself is capable on his own of the change that he or she has have failed at time and time again, but because we believe in the Spirit of God, who can transform any heart, who can resurrect the dead, and... Continue Reading
There Is No Place for Us and Them in the Church (Part 1)
We look at the world and see all it’s godlessness and idolatry and sin and then look at ourselves and think we’re not too bad.
God doesn’t exempt his people from his standards. An “us and them” mentality that’s quick to condemn the world and slow to examine our own hearts and see and confess and repent of our own sins invites God’s judgment. God is a holy God, he judges all. We need to examine ourselves and check we don’t... Continue Reading
The Basis for Confession
We are called to walk continually in confession and repentance before God.
When we come to God, we don’t have to wonder whether or not he’ll forgive. It’s not like he is standing far off, waiting to hear our confession before he decides to be merciful. He has proven himself merciful, since the beginning of time and climaxing in the death and resurrection of his Son. After all,... Continue Reading
10 Things You Should Know about the Most Famous Blessing in the Bible
The Aaronic blessing wasn’t earned, but with it came the great responsibility to bear the name of God.
It is a great reminder when pronounced at the end of worship that we are to live every moment of life Coram Deo, before the face of God. As we go into the world, we do not leave the presence of God, for by his benediction he has set his name on us (Num. 6:27). The Aaronic... Continue Reading
By Faith | Hebrews 11:1-3
Often called the Hall of Faith, the author will take us through several examples of Old Testament saints who did not shrink back from the task that God set before them.
We must be prepared to contend for God as our Creator and all that it entails. We are not cosmic accidents that must build our own meaning in life; we are fearfully and wonderfully made. We are wonderfully made because of the special attention that the Creator placed in making humanity. We are fearfully made... Continue Reading
8 Good Things to Remember After Experiencing Rejection
Instead of being the end, rejection can be the beginning of hope.
As believers we can trust that God is at work in these disappointments for his glory and our growth in holiness. He may be testing our faith to see if we are willing to trust him even when circumstances make no sense or are terribly unjust and evil, and this kind of faith is a... Continue Reading
Should Churches have a Vision?
Or, more specifically, should they have vision statements?
You need some sense of where you’re going long term—that could be supporting missionaries, it could be sending people to pastor elsewhere, it could be planting churches or sites, it could be growing until you’re of a size to do a particular thing (though I’m wary of this last one, because growth soon becomes its own goal;... Continue Reading
Joining the Battle of the Ages Through Prayer
J.O. Fraser has inspired many Christians to take up the ministry of intercession, especially for missionaries.
“We are, as it were, God’s agents—used by Him to do His work, not ours. We do our part, and then can only look to Him, with others, for His blessing. If this is so, then Christians at home can do as much for foreign missions as those actually on the field. I believe it... Continue Reading
Can I Lose My Salvation? (The Doctrine of Perseverance)
Perseverance has more to do with God’s work than with our own.
It’s Christ’s Word that warns, guides, teaches, and encourages us as we persevere in faith. We may think of Peter, who, after having fallen away for a time, was restored to Christ on the strength of His truth spoken to him (John 21:15–17). If we wish to endure, it’s imperative we become children of the... Continue Reading
Leaders Are to Be Holy, Righteous, and Good
How the 5th Commandment Reminds Us of a Basic Political Truth
Whether you are a Superior by choice (Father/Mother/Politician) or by call (Minister/Elder/Deacon) there is a seriousness to the responsibility you take on by answering the bell. There are no accidents in God’s kingdom. Acting as one in charge means you are in charge. As Hebrews 13:17 reminds us our King of Kings will hold us to... Continue Reading
6 Things You Need to Know about Unanswered Prayer
We are to be thankful to God that he always hears his children’s prayers, even when he doesn’t answer in the way or timing we would like.
Sometimes God’s children pray for things that would not be good for them or are against God’s will (Matt. 6:10; John 15:7; 1 John 5:14-15). In his love, God keeps us from dire consequences by not granting those petitions. We see a clear example of this in Jonah’s prayer that God take his life because... Continue Reading
The What, When, and Why of Exhorting One Another
We are to mimic those traits of the Holy Spirit and be a help and an encouragement.
There is no statute of limitations on being an encouragement. Each day think of someone who might need a supportive word—perhaps a note, a visit, a phone call. Don’t wait then. Do it. Satan never stops his attempts to discourage the people of God; therefore, we should never stop in our work of comforting and... Continue Reading