Is the Tide Turning on Religious Belief?
Despite the dour statistics about declining church attendance, religious faith seems to be experiencing a revival. What role did the New Atheists ironically play in it? And what is its future?
After tides ebb, they flow. Low tides are followed by high tides. This is the central metaphor in Justin Brierley’s new book, The Surprising Rebirth of Belief in God. “In this book I will make a bold proposition—that Matthew Arnold’s long, withdrawing Sea of Faith is beginning to reach its farthest limit and that we... Continue Reading
Why Christian Faithfulness?
When societal transformation is our goal, we inevitably lose our mission as the church.
Our lives in society ought not to be characterized by trying to get ahead, trying to advance our own agenda, or trying to do what’s best for us; our goal in society ought to be to submit ourselves to the needs of others—submit to governing authority, submit to our employer, submit to the needs of... Continue Reading
The Noahic Covenant within Progressive Covenantalism (Part 1)
The Noahic covenant is that it: (1) reaffirms the creation covenant, (2) reminds God and man of Yahweh’s promise to never destroy the earth in judgment again, (3) remains in force until Christ’s return.
Why is it that God is so patient with the hard-heartedness of mankind after the flood? In short: the Noahic covenant! Yahweh is clear that post-flood mankind still has the same heart problem that has wreaked havoc on the earth since the original transgression in the Garden. So, the fear and dread he puts in... Continue Reading
The Bible Is A Historical Document
And why that's frustrating for everyone.
In order for the Bible to be coherent, we really do need to have some insight into their world. It’s not that someone needs to understand their ancient setting in order to understand what the Bible is teaching, but many pieces of the full Biblical puzzle will remain missing until you start to dive into their... Continue Reading
The Neighborhood Church Returns: Making the Comeback a Reality
The Surprising Return of the Neighborhood Church, just released! What might it look like if such a comeback were to occur?
It’s time for the neighborhood church to make a comeback. The stigma of small churches is fading. Fostering is becoming more common. Pastors should feel free to leave the islands of their campuses and make friends. The opportunity to revitalize neighborhoods is as big as ever. The neighborhood church movement is primed for a relaunch.... Continue Reading
What God Sees When He Looks at Me
The record of Christ’s perfect obedience is dripping off of our souls because of what Christ accomplished.
When God looks at us, our heavenly Father no longer sees us in our lies, or lusts, or those things that have shamed us from the past. He doesn’t see us as sinners who need to have our acceptance card stamped or our churches grow in impressive ways. The record of Christ’s perfect obedience is... Continue Reading
An Eschatology of Pentecost (End Times Series Part 26)
All of the events that happen during holy week and Pentecost track perfectly along with the Old Testament Festal calendar.
Fifty days later, in the same way God descended from heaven to dwell with His people in Sinai, God Himself descended again to dwell with the people of God at Pentecost. But unlike the Old Testament version, where the people needed to remain far off from God because of the finished work of Christ, the... Continue Reading
The Train is Leaving the Station
Andy Stanley’s Departure from Biblical Christianity
Stanley dismissed Biblical texts against homosexual behavior as “clobber” verses and said, “If your theology gets in the way of ministry—like if there’s somebody you can’t minister to because of your theology—you have the wrong theology.” This is not a misunderstanding. This is a trajectory that points to the Unconditional Conference and two speakers married... Continue Reading
How Is the Rainbow a Sign of the Covenant?
The rainbow is a sign of God’s redeeming grace and mercy.
The rainbow is the sign that the Lord will preserve the present creation until the consummation of the covenant of grace when He will fully redeem His people from every tongue, tribe, and nation and bring them into the full enjoyment of a new creation. The sign of the Noahic covenant is therefore a gospel... Continue Reading
Ladies, Don’t Beat Your Pastors with the Rod of Titus 2
Elders must guard the church from unsound doctrine.
Pastors are not perfect….But they are not unaccountable. God is holding them to the charge of shepherding His flock, guarding them against unsound doctrine, and teaching them sound doctrine, so when you submit to your elders and pastors, you are submitting to the Lord. There is a growing trend among women’s ministries in the... Continue Reading
Grace in a Bug Bite
Our productivity does not incite God’s delight. It’s the righteousness of Christ imputed to us that merits the blessing of God.
God uses disruptions to put us through His school of grace; to remind us that we bring nothing to table. He ordains mundane events to keep us humble. God orchestrates events to create dependent children who come only with hands empty and arms outstretched. One night several years ago, my foot began to itch.... Continue Reading
The Singles among Us Deserve a Better Church Culture
While God’s design for marriage is a good gift, so is singleness.
We can’t allow an unbiblical culture of the church to exist unchecked, rather we should actively seek to redirect our church members back to a truly biblical perspective. Therefore, we need to address the idolization of marriage within our church. Every individual church has its own culture. Biblical mandates, denominational beliefs, and traditions make... Continue Reading
Of the Danger of Christian Celebrity
Honor faithful Bible teachers. Beware of being influenced by celebrity.
The outside celebrity, the bigtime speaker, the passion-stirring author is not your pastor. These teachers can be a gift from God, and I do not want to have you ignore them. But you must realize that these folks do not know you and cannot care for your soul. You are not their responsibility before God. ... Continue Reading
Young Men and the Search for Genuine Masculinity
Christianity offers a vision of self-sacrifice in a world of self-promotion.
Pastors and parents must be intentional about the formation of the young men in our homes and congregations. Lost boys don’t have to stay lost. They can be found, ultimately, by a Heavenly Father who loves them and can redeem their lives for His glory. A recent poll by the Survey Center on American... Continue Reading
The Entanglements of Science and Religion
What we think about science and religion often says more about us—our views on what it means to be human and who gets to decide—than it does about science and religion.
Spencer’s book is based on deep historical insight and research, it is written with elegance and energy, and it achieves the rare feat of being scholarly and serious as well as accessible and engaging. It will be an important resource for anyone who wishes to understand the scientific and religious entanglements that have shaped, and... Continue Reading
We Are Repaganizing
Most people who describe themselves as pro-choice have not really thought about what truly abandoning Christianity would mean.
Given the widespread practice of both abortion and infanticide, even in Christian cultures, it’s apparent that people struggle to abide by a moral principle that causes huge practical problems. Christianity only ever blended with paganism, rather than fully replacing it, because Christian teachings do cause huge practical problems for followers of the faith. It is... Continue Reading
What Is the Meaning of “His Number Is 666”? — Revelation 13:16–18
All people are born in sin; thus, all people outside of Christ have this mark.
The number 666 symbolizes man exalting himself as God. It is idolatrous humanism. It is what Adam reached for in the garden of Eden, and it is what lies of the heart of all idolatry. Truly, the hearts of humans are idol factories because sinful man desires to be like God. The number 666 perfectly... Continue Reading
Comforting Lies about Suffering
How the prosperity gospel hurts people.
Peter had to learn these lessons about suffering, and so do we. For the believer, suffering is not a curse, not an indication of weak faith or a lack of blessing, but rather an integral part of the Christian life. God may discipline us to awaken and refine us, but his discipline is a loving... Continue Reading
The Point of Thinking about Eschatology
Thinking about eschatology should help our holiness.
We should try our best to understand what Ezekiel wrote, and to piece it together with other passages of Scripture that speak of what will happen in the future. Of course, we should always model humility as we try to understand Scripture, but we shouldn’t just shrug our shoulders and say we’ll figure things out... Continue Reading
Building durable new institutions in a corrosive environment requires a dangerous embedding of counter-mainstream DNA.
If the old institutions are dying or losing their traditional formational functions, why will not any new ones rapidly meet the same fate? Indeed, we are seeing that many evangelical institutions go into decline rapidly. Many of the earlier 1980s vintage megachurches already have “mainline disease” – an aging member base, fewer families with children,... Continue Reading
Comprehending the Love of God
Is there anything grander than God and his love?
“Love cannot be satisfied. Once you know this Person and begin to love Him, you feel that all you have received is not enough, you want more and more. This is what Paul is praying for these Ephesians. He longs for them also to know Christ, because to know Him is to know His love.... Continue Reading
Denying the Greatest Event in the History of the World
Religious Education classes have been forced to abandon BC and AD in favor of the more politically correct terms.
The birth of Christ and His existence cannot be disputed—there is the evidence from the Bible, and also from other sources.6 Will Christmas be next? Don’t let it be so. As we approach the Advent, I encourage us all to be on the front foot in this battle. There has never been a better time to... Continue Reading
The Worship of Worship
You can have fulness of joy in God, but not fulness of joy in your fulness of joy.
I fear many people today are caught in the childish rut of worshiping their emotions. For this reason, they dislike the sober worship of conservative churches, because such worship seldom inflames the emotions to the intensity desired. Why? Plato told us: “Beautiful things are hard.” God is beautiful, and a singular focus on His beauty... Continue Reading
Five Lies of Our Anti-Christian Age Foreword
Don’t follow the great dragon; that’s what this book is about. He has already been defeated.
We believe that if God is for us, no one can stand against us (8:31). We believe that we are more than conquerors through him who loved us (8:37) and that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us... Continue Reading
When Is a Question Better than an Answer?
Six good questions to ask and a helpful resource to use when engaging neighbors on hot topics.
Too often, assertions are mistaken for arguments, and there’s a vast difference between the two. An assertion is a definitive statement made about the nature of reality. An argument is presented to back up an assertion. By asking “how do you know that’s true?” we’ll move the conversation beyond dueling assertions to why those assertions... Continue Reading
3 Things You Should Know about Galatians
Paul doesn’t fall into legalism, for the obedience of the believer is all of grace.
If righteousness could be obtained through the law, then Christ died for nothing (Gal. 2:21). Righteousness could never come through human obedience since God demands perfect obedience, and a curse impinges on all who fail to do everything God commands (Gal. 3:10). The curse is only removed through the death of Jesus who took the... Continue Reading
The Expectation of a New Covenant Sabbath
Commandments—including the Fourth Commandment—is the expectation of the Bible and the majority position of the Reformed churches.
Scripture indicates the Sabbath will be kept until the end of history. Isaiah 66:22-23, regarding the new heavens and earth, says, “For as the new heavens and the new earth that I make shall remain before me, says the LORD, so shall your offspring and your name remain. From new moon to new moon, and... Continue Reading
The Spirit’s Fruit: Love
The greatest act of love was God the Father sending his own Son to die on a cross to pay the penalty for sin and break its power.
In Galatians 5:22-23, Paul gives us a list of the fruit of God’s Spirit. Notice that it is fruit and not fruits. In other words, all the moral character traits listed in those two verses are organically united to each other, and ought to be understood as aspects of each other in one organic whole.... Continue Reading
No True Christian: Part Two
For those who are redeemed, perhaps the greatest act of doing true good unto others is to call them to repentance from sin and point them to Jesus, to call upon Him.
We decided to answer the claims of Russell Moore and the Woke crowd by turning back a century in time to another person who fought this very same battle with liberals in his day. J. Gresham Machen’s book Christianity and Liberalism came out one hundred years ago in 1923, and his response to the out-of-context... Continue Reading
Parenting in a Scary World
With our confidence rooted in our Savior’s character and victory, we have every reason to press on, courageously raising our kids amid a threatening world.
God’s Word doesn’t shelter us from the ugliness of human depravity. It’s right to explain to our kids (age-appropriately) what’s going on and how it points to our Redeemer. The temptation to avoid uncomfortable topics is real, but if we don’t speak with our kids about sexuality, we can rest assured the world will. Let’s resist... Continue Reading