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
Spiritually Hungry? The Church Service Is Your Main Meal
As his gathered people delight in his gospel of grace together, our souls are nourished for the week ahead.
The next time you feel discouraged and guilty about not having your personal “quiet time,” do this instead: remember the previous Sunday at church, and then breathe a sigh of relief and praise. You have consumed God’s Word. More than that, you have feasted on its abundance. Through singing it, praying it, reading it, and hearing it... Continue Reading
Of Moths & Multiplication
Without the Yucca moth, the Joshua tree would have no method for pollination.
Evangelism and disicpleship share an obligate symbiotic relationship, which, when empowered by the work of the Spirit, leads to the growth of the church. They are not enemies. They were never intended to be separated. And, like the Joshua Tree in the Mojave Desert, the church, a Great Commission ecosystem, is planted in desolate places... Continue Reading
We Are Not Home Yet
We are merely sojourners passing through this world on our way to glory.
The eternally glorious Son of God was treated as a stranger among His own people (John 1:10–11). But He came to make us heirs of the world to come. He came to fulfill the hope of Abraham, Joseph, and Moses. He entered that state of sojourning to secure redemption for His people. He identifies with the... Continue Reading
Infants Are Easily Discontented
God gives us a contentment that is beyond this world, beyond our very selves—a contentment that causes our hearts to soar far above our circumstances and to remain at peace.
As we press on in the Christian life, as we advance from spiritual infancy to spiritual maturity, we find joyfulness increasing even when our comforts are decreasing. We find ourselves cheerful in trials, content in persecution, submissive even when we meet with sore disappointment. Things that may have seriously disturbed us in former days are powerless... Continue Reading
Teach Your Children Well
Home is where the cradle of belief begins.
According to Barna’s research, those who believe the following are very likely to live a faithful, Christian life: God is the all-powerful, all-knowing, loving, just, merciful, reliable creator who is also our companion and unerring guide for life. All human beings are sinful by nature; every choice we make has moral contours and consequences. Jesus Christ... Continue Reading
Reining in the Presumptuous Parachurch
Two specific examples of where the presumptuous parachurch should be reined in.
I don’t think the ideal or realistic scenario is for all Christian ministry to take place within local churches or be formally managed by denominational oversight. But this does not mean that parachurches are free to ignore to the special importance of local churches in God’s kingdom. If we proactively work together, we can hope... Continue Reading
Come to Our Help!
The Lord often conforms His people to His image through crises for His sake, and His sovereign purposes will prevail without ultimately crushing us.
Perhaps today you are experiencing a difficult season and you feel like the Lord is asleep instead of coming to your aid. Let Psalm 44 encourage you. Look with eyes of faith to the Lord and affirm, “You are my King, O God” (v. 4). Take comfort in the truth that He ordains your suffering... Continue Reading
What to Do When the Lord Seems Absent
Our Focus Should Remain on the Lord
In order to wait on the Lord, we must not be afraid of anyone or anything else apart from the Lord. We must focus on the promise held out to those who make Him their fear, “He shall be for a sanctuary unto them.” Waiting then involves our hearts fixing on God, and none else. “My... Continue Reading