The Motion of God
There’s a posture, a "motion" if you like, of God that dominates a correct understanding of how the Lord works and that influences how we consider and think about the church.
If we chase after experiences we won’t find them, but that if we look to worship God in spirit and truth, we will have dramatic and dynamic encounters with God by his Spirit that will change us, change our churches, change our towns and cities, shake the foundations of the earth, challenge the powers successfully,... Continue Reading
Thousands of Congregations Leave United Methodist Church Over Biblical Concerns
They are part of a growing exodus from the denomination.
In recent years, bishops and ministers blessed homosexual relationships. UMC conferences approved lesbian- and gay-identified ministers and bishops, defying Scripture and official Methodist policy. Church leaders also showed support for abortion, denouncing the Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade. Last week, 193 churches disaffiliated from the South Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church “over matters related to human sexuality,” announced Bishop David Graves, overseer... Continue Reading
Don’t Wait For Joy
Jesus gives us His joy in the midst of world full of trouble.
One day, for all those who have repented and believed that gospel, we too will rise. We will be with the Lord, in His presence forever. And in His presence is fullness of joy (Psalm 16:11). Our joy now is weak and fickle, but then it will be unshakeable. We will be with Him forever and... Continue Reading
The Ministry of the Pew
Sunday Morning for Normal Christians
The pastor’s ministry does not replace mine; it refines mine. It makes our ministry better, more effective. Your pastor equips you for the work of ministry, for the building up the body of Christ into mature manhood (Ephesians 4:12–13). This ministry finds some expression on Sunday mornings as you serve, you prepare, and you exercise your own gifts and acts of love within your... Continue Reading
Question 2: What Is God?
He is not simply our Creator; He is also the Sustainer.
All things exist because of Him, but He is not the deistic idea of the great Watchmaker, forming the cosmos and then leaving creation to its own devices. No, God actively upholds and sustains His creation. He spoke light into being, and light continues to shine throughout the universe because God is still speaking. Paul... Continue Reading
More Than You Can Handle
Bring Your Insufficiency to Jesus
If you belong to Jesus, you can rest assured that he will absolutely give you tasks that are far beyond what you can handle. An honest look at his commands will show you that he already has. Don’t worry about that. The size of your lunch, or your ability, or your strength, is never the... Continue Reading
What Does a Breaking World Sound Like?
The Effects of the Fall
If we will spend time thinking about the intricacies of Genesis 3 and the interconnections across Scripture, we will see how pivotal this chapter is in the biblical storyline, and we will recognize the many notions that grow out of the garden ground. If we situate the fall in Scripture’s storyline effectively, an exploration of Genesis 3 will result... Continue Reading
When You are Grieving or Know Someone Who is – You Never Know the Level of Your Thoughtfulness or Impact
Our family was blessed in a variety of ways this year on the anniversary of our daughter’s death.
Text Messages and Personal Notes. Within a few hours of our day beginning, we started receiving text messages of care and concern from those who love us. Nothing major. One such text, “We are thinking about you all today and sweet Kayla! We love you both and your precious family.” Another, “Praying for you and... Continue Reading
If the LORD Should Mark Iniquity
More Prayer and Less Pride
When we see the failings of our brothers and sisters, let our first inclination be to believe the promises of God for that saint, and to watch out for our own souls. Let us be willing to have the hard conversations, but let it be with clear eyes and a humble heart. Let our own... Continue Reading
Drawn Out of Many Waters
Echoes of Moses and Joshua in Psalm 18
There are no doubt more than six examples we could identify in Psalm 18 that recall the days of Moses and Joshua, but these six are sufficient to show how a psalmist—in this case, David—was aware of, shaped by, and echoed earlier Scripture. As we become deeper readers of the Old Testament, such allusions and echoes... Continue Reading
Looking for Meaning in All the Wrong Places
Mental health numbers are still on the rise by diagnosis or social identity, but believers buck the trend.
Clearly, people are suffering. In a culture shaped by a “critical theory mood,” claims of suffering can be thought of as a desirable way of elevating a person’s moral status. It is also not a coincidence that this suffering has accompanied a culturewide loss of a sense of meaning. A 2021 Lifeway Research study found... Continue Reading
Question 1: What is Our Only Hope in Life & Death?
Our Comforter, the Holy Spirit does not ease our afflictions throughout this life; instead, He strengthens us to endure them.
There is nothing more comforting and more hopeful than belonging, body and soul, both in life and in death, to God and to our Savior Jesus Christ. We find it sometimes impossible to work ourselves into a sweat for our own health, yet Jesus sweat drops of blood as He worked eternal redemption for us.... Continue Reading
Difficult Bible Passages: Nehemiah 13:25
Was Nehemiah grossly overreacting here?
It is the first half of verse 25 of course that so many folks – including too many Christians – would find all rather shocking and unacceptable: “And I confronted them and cursed them and beat some of them and pulled out their hair”. The truth is, if Nehemiah was with us today and did... Continue Reading
A Response to “Thoughts on the ARP Special Committee on Women Deacons Study”
An op-ed response to “Thoughts on the ARP Special Committee on Women Deacons Study."
Logically and rationally with so much history supporting female deacons or deaconesses, it is difficult to understand such conflict. The office of deacon does not biblically lead to the office of elder. Their gifts and callings are different. One governs and the other serves. Remember, originally, they served tables. The current battle over women... Continue Reading
Why Every Church Should Practice “Open” and “Closed” Communion
It’s not an either/or choice, but a both/and.
It is important that whoever is administering the Lord’s Supper recognises what they’re doing. They’re holding a set of keys, which need to be used carefully. To simply leave all questions of admission down to the individual’s choice is irresponsible, like leaving the front door to your house wide open. But Jesus calls us to... Continue Reading
Worship and Victory
How can God bring victory in hopeless circumstances?
Are you desperate for victory? Over sin? Over despair? Over loss? Bow down and worship. “Draw near to the Lord and he will draw near to you,” (Jms. 4:8) James admonishes. “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise,” (Ps. 51:17), David echoes. This... Continue Reading
The Anthropological Lie of “Same-Sex Marriage”
Four additional threats posed by same-sex “marriage.”
We cannot let routineness overwhelm or supplant how Scripture and the Christian tradition have reflected on the uniqueness of conjugal marriage. Same-sex “marriage” is not marriage. Truth is truth no matter the untruth, and the created order defies societal manipulation. A marriage where husband and wife are rightly geared towards procreation is a blessing to... Continue Reading
PCA Officers & Their Pronouns
Dozens of congregations of the PCA) communicate to the church and to the world that ordination is not essential to the holding of church office or to bearing the titles thereof.
Wittingly or unwittingly, this alternative practice creates a new quasi-office or serves as a sort of “ecclesial disobedience” protest against the existing BCO provisions. The effect of not ordaining deacons (if allowed) will, in effect, change the meaning and undermine the authority of the BCO by ignoring or contravening it rather than using the difficult... Continue Reading
How Can God be Both Righteous and Sovereign Over Evil?
God’s Complete Sovereignty
God’s control of history ensures that everything happens by his design, but he does not plant evil thoughts and motives in human beings to carry such actions out. The story of Joseph in the book of Genesis is a perfect illustration of this maxim. The Bible is crystal clear: God is sovereign over all his... Continue Reading
Cynicism Isn’t a Spiritual Gift
Cynicism is contagious. It has become a movement, a niche lifestyle, a way of being.
Cynics aren’t interested in salvation or transformation. They’re only interested in an endless self-loathing ministry of doom. A prophet speaks to people he loves with tears. A cynic disdains the people he is called to confront. A prophet’s desire is to see transformation. A cynic’s desire is to bring attention to himself. One of my... Continue Reading
Find Your Way to Help the Hurting
A Hundred Roads to the Hurting
Find your way to move toward the hurting. Don’t assume someone else is checking in. Don’t assume someone else will send a meal. Don’t assume they’re overwhelmed with messages and visits. When the trial comes — when sickness falls, when the job disappears, when the marriage collapses, when a loved one dies — assume God... Continue Reading
Pastoring Small Towns (A Review)
This practical and encouraging book offers biblical insights and personal stories for pastors who serve in villages and small towns.
This is not a pragmatic book. Anyone looking for hints and tips should look elsewhere. This is a gospel-centred look at persevering amidst the challenges of rural ministry, not a how-to guide. I believe that makes it more, not less, helpful. I’d recommend Pastoring Small Towns for pastors and eldership teams in British rural areas.... Continue Reading
The Wonderful Harmony of Vivification and Mortification
We kill and we fill. We fight and we feast. We remove and we indulge.
We fight sin. We battle it. We kill it. But anyone who has waged this kind of war will tell you that the removal of any sinful habit, especially one we hold closely to our hearts, leaves an incredible void in its absence. We wonder if we can even go on, for we’ve come to... Continue Reading
5 Ways to Encourage Your Children to Serve
“Service” should be a major theme in your family.
Don’t underestimate your children by assuming they can’t serve others. They can and they should. Expect it. Model it. Don’t overestimate your children by assuming they’ll want to serve. They probably won’t unless their parents teach them how or their father convinces them it’s cool. Then you’ll have a hard time getting them to sit still. We... Continue Reading
The Prophecy of Haggai and the Coming of Jesus
Haggai 2:9 isn’t predicting a future physical temple to be built at some point in Jerusalem in the end times. The words of the Lord in that verse are about what Christ would accomplish in himself and with his church. The word of the Lord told Haggai’s contemporaries that something greater than their temple was... Continue Reading
Second Thoughts About the Proposed Witness Overtures
Reasons for not approving the two proposed overtures before the PCA General Assembly seeking to amend BCO 35-1 regarding who can serve as a witness in ecclesiastical cases.
Ecclesiastical cases are fundamentally intramural proceedings brought in and for the church. The proposed changes seek to expand the jurisdiction of our ecclesiastical courts into an area that, under the framework of our historic polity, has been the province of the civil magistrate. Expanding the jurisdiction of our ecclesiastical courts by accepting unbelievers as witnesses... Continue Reading
Thoughts on the Church’s True Nature and Mission: A Partial Rejoinder to Larry Ball’s Challenge to the Spirituality of the Church
The Spirituality of the Church is an inferred doctrine that arises from various aspects of the church’s nature, role, and relations, and in many cases, is best discussed at length.
The church has a definite purpose to accomplish, which her Lord has provided her with the authority, gifts, and power to achieve. It is her business to make disciples of all nations, baptizing and teaching them to observe all that Christ has commanded. This will often result in great social, economic, and political consequences, yet... Continue Reading
Why the World is Running Out of Babies
Only 3% of the world’s population currently lives in a country whose birth rate isn’t declining.
An essay by Louise Perry at The Spectator, entitled, “Modernity is making you sterile.” Perry, a maverick feminist and author of The Case Against the Sexual Revolution, argues that the so-called “progress narrative” cherished among the elites of the developed world, along with the technologies that have enabled it, is keeping us from having babies. Like a slow-acting poison, modernity and its... Continue Reading
Know the Difference Between Laziness and Limitations
Why Does It Matter?
Laziness is clearly condemned in Scripture (e.g., Prov. 18:9; 21:25), while awareness of limitations and finitude is commended as wisdom (e.g., Ps. 90:1–12). Laziness is the shirking of duty and the prideful assertion that I won’t do that. Accepting my limitations is the humble acceptance that I can’t do that. Yesterday, while dressed in my typical uniform of sweats... Continue Reading
It’s “Very Good” to be a Man
Fighting for what you are FOR instead of fighting what you are AGAINST.
Men, masculinity is defined by God in Scripture. When that is the kind of man you are learning to become, or striving to become, then you have aligned yourself with God’s “very good” vision. Care nothing for what the haters and critics say. Do not apologize for your masculinity, do not be ashamed of it,... Continue Reading