One of the Easiest Ways to Glorify God
What could be easier? We can glorify God by giving thanks. But how does gratefulness honor the Lord?
Thankfulness shows we appreciate God’s costly mercy in saving us. We were blind and dead in our sins, under God’s wrath, slaves of sin and Satan, without hope or God, and unable to save ourselves, when Jesus came down, suffered brutal torture, holy wrath and death to rescue us and bring us to God. How... Continue Reading
Unjust, Unkind, Unfair, Un-humble?
Is it unjust, unkind, unfair, un-humble to insist upon the exclusivity of Jesus Christ?
If we are to return to God, we must go in and by and through Jesus Christ. We must go in and by and through Jesus Christ alone. He demands exclusivity. We cannot use Jesus to hedge our bets, adding a little Jesus to our own efforts or to another guru or deity. We cannot... Continue Reading
This Is My Body: How Christian Theology Affects Body Image
Two studies examine the intersection of the Bible and body shaming
American culture promotes near-impossible ideals of beauty, particularly for females. Those feelings are tied to a range of negative outcomes from serious eating disorders to depression and low self-worth. So what can the latest research offer in terms of practical tips in promoting a positive body image? Donald Trump’s controversial comments about women and... Continue Reading
Satan’s Civil Rights
For the first time, a Satanist group has official permission to meet in a public school at the end of the school day.
At one level, this seems like cultural fair play, but at another level, it shows how dramatically Western culture has changed. After centuries of underground existence, Satanic teaching is now so self-confident of its acceptance that it openly demands —and gets—a public voice. The Pew Research Center showed that out of about 245 million US... Continue Reading
Some Vossian Thoughts on the Visible-Invisible Church Distinction
The Reformed have always taught that the distinction between the visible and invisible church is not a bifurcation of a generic concept into two species, but the description of one and the same subject
“1. There are visible and invisible aspects to the church. 2. These aspects are not separate churches, but have a large amount of overlap. 3. The visible and invisible do not entirely overlap: there are many false sons within her pale, and some true believers outside her administration.” I’m reading the 5th volume of... Continue Reading
The Hidden Power in Every Idol
It’s not just idols that are empty and powerless. It’s also the people who worship them.
In the Western world we are far too sophisticated for carved idols, of course, but we have idols of our own, respectable idols suited to twenty-first century sensibilities. If we worship the idol of the perfect body, the sweeping curves or the chiseled abs, we will become as vain and self-focused as the models in... Continue Reading
Giving Thanks Is Better Together
I hope we recognize that this shared thanksgiving is one of our great privileges as the people of God.
In a secular society, Thanksgiving is widely perceived as an interfaith or even faith-optional holiday. But the Christian knows that gratitude is not merely contented mindfulness. True gratitude is directed at our God, the giver of every good and perfect gift (James 1:17). In expressions of thankfulness, we exalt him, proclaim his faithfulness, and confess... Continue Reading
Thanksgiving as Theological Act: What Does it Mean to Give Thanks?
A lack of proper thankfulness to God is a clear sign of a basic godlessness.
Sinners saved by the grace and mercy of God know a thankfulness that exceeds any merely human thankfulness. How do we express thankfulness for the provision the Father has made for us in Christ, the riches that are made ours in Him, and the unspeakable gift of the surpassing grace of God? As Paul wrote... Continue Reading
His Banner Over Me
Love has power that nothing else has – it was the love of God that changed the world, and this is what we are to show in our homes.
If you do not know this kind of love, I would urge you to come to Christ and be reconciled to God. Come to the one who so loved the world that he laid down his life for his sheep. Come to him in repentance and faith. Learn at the foot of the cross what... Continue Reading
Two Things Pastors Must Do Before Leading
Sheep will let you lead them if you first love and feed them.
Hungry sheep are never happy sheep, so make sure their souls are full from your preaching or teaching. Soon after his restoration, Peter and his comrades would face the challenge of prioritizing their prayer and preaching ministry (Acts 6:4 ). Immediate ministry demands distracted them from their preparations which led to the spiritual and numerical... Continue Reading