Every. Single. Word.
When God speaks, it is absolutely perfect.
Who is like our God who speaks with perfect clarity? Who speaks with such wisdom and truth and faithfulness. Who can thunder with a voice like His in total authority? Only our God has words like this. And every single word of God is true. As I was listening to the radio the other... Continue Reading
One of the Most Remarkable Features of Early Christian Manuscripts
When students see a NT manuscript up close for the first time, they notice something rather peculiar and unexpected.
The nomina sacra are designed to show reverence and devotion to the name(s) of God…they were a way for the scribe (and, later, for the reader) to set apart the divine name. Thus, as strange as it might sound, they were a form of worship. One of my favorite electives I teach here at RTS... Continue Reading
Letters to Stagnant Christians #2: Passive Rebellion
Simply put, your approach to the Christian life is filled with passive rebellion to God’s authority.
Let me tell you what has brought radical awakening to many a passive rebel. Begin treating God’s church as if it really were an extension of God’s authority….you cannot say that a church’s expectations are biblical and reasonable, join it, and then refuse to meet those expectations. That’s just passive rebellion, and it quenches the Holy... Continue Reading
The Religious Freedom Restoration Act at 30
Some original supporters of the landmark law to protect conscience rights now want to weaken it.
RFRA and other religious liberty protections are a part of a larger set of cultural, legislative and legal efforts that will be required to navigate and resolve current conflicts over what it means to be human, created male and female. In that long-term effort, continuing to articulate and defend the rationale behind RFRA for the... Continue Reading
Don’t Always Avoid Pain
For the believer, pain works as a tool in the hands to prepare us for his ministry in the body of Christ.
There is a purpose in painful situations. It is not a waste of emotions and feelings. God is working in our painful experiences. If we subscribe to the notions of false preachers who purport that saints cannot and should not go through tough times, we shall rob ourselves of the opportunity to know God in... Continue Reading
The Ancient Paths, John Gill’s Four P’s of Masculinity
Masculinity does not need to be reimagined, but restored.
John Gill’s biblical vision and example of marital masculinity stands as a needed corrective to the disorderly egalitarian, destructively passive, and disastrously macho versions of masculinity that our confused culture has put forth in recent decades. A short time before his death, eighteenth-century London Baptist pastor John Gill (1697–1771) put the finishing touches on... Continue Reading
Johannes Kepler, Thinking God’s Thoughts After Him
Scientist who brought us revolutionary discovery on functions of the universe, deferred to God to lead him in all his works.
Kepler knew his theories would be rejected by scientists, but he didn’t care. It had taken eons before anyone discovered how God had structured the universe, so Kepler figured he could wait another century or so to be proven right. November marks the death of Johannes Kepler, one of the most important figures of... Continue Reading
God in Us: Three Evidences of the Lord’s Presence in Our Lives
We are God’s children, and our Christian experience is real.
In saying “we have come to know and to believe” God’s love for us, John reminds us that our theological convictions are proven and deepened by living experience. Just as a good marriage takes seriously the vows made on the wedding day, each spouse learning to daily rely on the other’s love, so in our... Continue Reading
A Biblical Eldership Is a Male Only Eldership
The New Testament intends these restrictions to be permanent and universally binding on all believers and all churches.
Paul’s restriction on women certainly elicited criticism then, just as it does today. So, as in nearly all other references to distinct male-female roles, Paul immediately supports his instruction with Scripture: “For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor” (1 Tim. 2:13–14).... Continue Reading
Order and Beauty
A little theology of Christian writing.
The painter, not just the canvas, is in view for the Christian writer. He speaks the truth truthfully, sincerely, as he knows it before God. Out of the overflow of the heart, the pen writes. He says with Job, “My words declare the uprightness of my heart, and what my lips know they speak sincerely”... Continue Reading
I Love My Transgender Child. I Love Jesus More.
Our children don’t always know what they want or what’s best for them. And we don’t either, which is why we have to trust Jesus and his Word.
Last year, my son suffered severe depression and suicidal ideation, admitting himself to the ER during Christmas break. It was the bleakest Christmas my family had ever experienced, and those weeks led to months of wondering if I would find my child dead in his room. Our questions persisted: Why can’t we just hold him... Continue Reading
The Blessing of a Higher Purpose in Our Pain
Those who reject God have no higher purpose and no higher calling, for they will not glorify God and they will not enjoy him.
God may be accomplishing many things through our times of difficulty. He may be shifting our gaze from earth to heaven and causing us to have a greater longing for his presence. He may be refining our hearts and increasing our faith. He may be using our trials to bless and encourage others or to... Continue Reading
Celebrating Christmas B. B. Warfield
Christmas can be remembered conservatively and carefully.
It is increasingly difficult to think of Christmas as remembrance of Jesus’ birth amidst the gifts and other aspects. The day involves fusing the sacred and secular and such efforts immediately or eventually simply do not work out well because Scripture comes in conflict with the world. I think the world has turned Christians from... Continue Reading
Is Work Good?
Work is a vital part of God’s good design for man. It is full of dignity and purpose.
When we work hard at the tasks He has by His providence given us to do, we glorify Him: “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ” (Col. 3:23–24). That’s why... Continue Reading
Lamenting the Church Plant Fad
Don’t expect to double down on church planting to do what only a rigorous application of the Gospel can do in your life, church or organizations health.
Take it from a church-planting veteran who has wept more and laughed with joy more through this journey than in almost any calling (parenting seven kids occupies the top spot). Church planting is not some ministry hack to rid yourself of the baggage that established churches often carry. Nor should you hope to use it... Continue Reading
Ten Reasons Why Church Membership Is Biblical
Membership is countercultural. So be it. Joining a church is a way of saying, “You are the family of God that I want to grow with, in Christ.”
Paul called Christians to bear with one another (Eph. 4:2), sing truth to one another (Eph. 5:19), forgive one another (Col. 3:13), teach and admonish one another (Col. 3:16), care for one another (1 Cor. 12:25), serve one another (Gal. 5:13), show hospitality toward one another (1 Pet. 4:9), and love one another (1 Pet.... Continue Reading
Augustine and Antisemitism
Would that contemporary Christians follow Augustine’s lead and resist the antisemitic demons that tempt us today.
Augustine never promoted a Jewish state, but rather expounded the theological significance of Jewish scattering. However, one wonders if he might support such a state as a way to protect Jewish lives and practice in light of the antisemitic hostility that we have seen simmer over the centuries, erupt in Western nations in the nineteenth... Continue Reading
Why Ayaan Hirsi Ali Became a Christian
I write this merely to echo the emphases of the Apostle Paul, whose understanding of this world was rooted in his understanding of, and preoccupation with, the glories of the next.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali is concerned with how the West is dismantling its traditional cultural norms and with what it intends to replace them. Others have said similar things before. Philip Rieff and Sir Roger Scruton are two that come to mind. But the impression both of them leave is that, yes, they think God is... Continue Reading
Daniel’s Prophecy of the Seventy Sevens: A Reformed Two-Advent View (Dan. 9:24–27)
This interpretation of Daniel’s Seventy Sevens is an eschatological gift from the exalted Lord himself, by which, he is supplying his beloved Bride with just the right mix of tough realism, steadfast hope, and earnest expectation of the soon return of the High King of Heaven.
The prophecy of Daniel’s Seventy Sevens—possibly the most difficult in the entire prophetic canon—is a case study in the indispensability of the NCH. Without it, the vision is a maze; a labyrinth from which there is no escape. With it, the way into the open field of truth becomes clear at last. Note: This... Continue Reading
Five Barren Women in the Old Testament
The power of God upon the womb.
The children born from these formerly barren women are significant. Abraham begets Isaac, Isaac begets Jacob, and Jacob will have sons as well. The first three barren women in the Old Testament (Sarah, Rebekah, and Rachel) are all wives of patriarchs—three generations in a row! In other words, the generations of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob... Continue Reading
A Survey of Presbyterian Mission History in Africa, Whytock, 2023
This book will be an important resource for studies of not only missions, but also Christianity in Africa. The West is in some ways as ignorant of Africa as the nineteenth century missionaries that entered its unknown regions.
A Presbyterian missionary to Africa told me several years ago that Africa is large with peoples of many cultures and languages distributed over its varied topography that provides a spectrum of climates from Cape Town to Casablanca to Cairo. Africa is a mission field that is complex with unique challenges. The nearly 800 pages of... Continue Reading
The Post-Christian Media Is Enormously Ignorant about Christianity
These stories are a toxic combination of ignorance and malevolence. Expect many more of them.
The reality is that Johnson’s comments – which are utterly normative for a traditional Christian – is merely evidence that he is just that – a Christian. Anyone who believes in the Bible believes that God punishes nations for sin; that same Bible defines sin very clearly. Ask any Bible-believing pastor if he believes that... Continue Reading
How bad laws deform a nation.
Laws banning abortion would make it crystal-clear to everyone that abortion is wrong. It would certainly be the case that most people would avoid secret abortions simply out of fear of punishment, but the behavioral impact of laws is more significant than that. They send unmistakable signs to everyone under their jurisdiction that certain things... Continue Reading
Act Like Men
At the heart of virtuous masculinity is boldness for the sake of the truth and courage for the sake of others.
Does Paul’s exhortation in 1 Corinthians 16:13 tell us anything about the nature of manhood and masculinity? Two cautions and then two points. The first caution is that we should not load too much theology onto one ordinary, non-technical Greek word. Paul did not use andrizomai to establish a blueprint for biblical manhood or to... Continue Reading
What Does John 10:10 Mean?
For the one who has faith in Jesus, the best is yet to come.
Jesus’ offer of abundant life in John 10:10 means that to gain Him as your Shepherd is far and away the greatest thing that could ever happen to you. It means that anything this world may either give to you or take away from you doesn’t really matter that much, because a life awaits you beyond the... Continue Reading
Freedom in Christ to Love and Obey
The believer’s status as a child of God is safe and secure, both now and for all eternity.
Just as sometimes children disobey their parents and are disciplined for their own good, God disciplines us because we are his beloved children in Christ, and he will use our failures to teach us through the work of the Holy Spirit who dwells within us. Earthly children don’t stop belonging to their parents when they... Continue Reading
On Joshua and Living for God Through Christ
The story of Joshua can serve as a helpful boost to God's people today to remain steadfast in our service to him and trust him with the results.
One benefit of reading Joshua is to be encouraged by a rather unusual bright spot in biblical history of faithfulness to Yahweh. There are not many places in Scripture where an entire generation’s faithfulness is recorded, but we have such a recording in Joshua. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do... Continue Reading
A Christian Worldview Applied to Every Area of Life
The Puritan approach to revival and reformation reflects their worldview of the supremacy of God above all human authorities.
The Puritans wrote dozens of treatises about family life, describing the proper roles and relationships between husbands and wives, fathers, mothers, and children.9 They placed every family relationship in the light of God’s sovereignty and fatherhood, and called every family member to live in the faith and fear of the Lord. Part of their genius was... Continue Reading
Mary Remembers Jesus Christ
This child was indeed the fruit of her womb, a seed of David but also was the Lord.
These events were the action of God, “to remember His holy covenant, the oath which He swore to our father Abraham” (Luke 172, 73). We remember Jesus Christ, because God remembers his covenant. In remembering, we confess with the mouth and believe in the heart the Person and the pre-ordained events by which we are... Continue Reading
Finding Rest in God’s Eternality
God Is Eternal and We are Not
When we feel weak and frustrated by how limited we are, we can turn to him and find rest, knowing he has taken care of all we need for salvation in the gospel. We don’t need to work without ceasing to prove our worth to our Father because Christ has already accomplished all we need... Continue Reading