He Will Hold Me Fast
Not only is God able to keep his people, but he does so “with great joy.”
After the unsettling conversation with the Canadian convert, Harkness wondered how he might help other Christians celebrate the power of God’s sustaining hand in our perseverance and have this sweet truth bore deep into our souls. The answer was obvious for a musician like Harkness: a song. He mentioned the need in a letter to... Continue Reading
Is the Wall of Separation ‘Bad History’?
Separation of church and state has a negative connotation for many evangelicals and other religious conservatives, who believe that the Supreme Court has used it to exclude religion from American public life.
The First Amendment was originally ratified in 1791. It guaranteed Americans the “free exercise of religion,” and it prohibited Congress from making any “law respecting an establishment of religion.” In 1791, Americans widely understood an “establishment” to be a tax-supported denomination, such as the Church of England. The First Amendment prohibited the United States from... Continue Reading
Reading The Word
One of the surest ways to misinterpret a document is to disregard the background in which it was written
“The main thrust of WLC 156 is not the limitation on who can read Scripture publicly, but the duty of all to read Scripture privately and with their family. Here, again, we see that the historical background to the Westminster Assembly provides insight into why this portion of the answer is given such prominence.” ... Continue Reading
If You Can Give Up KJV English in the Bible, Why not the Confession of Faith?
People using the Standards as a benchmark for theological clarity don’t mind requiring users to suffer with the alien words and forms.
As part of the work of the Committee on Christian Education, on motion, the body approved this: “That the Eighty-fifth (2018) General Assembly notify the member churches of NAPARC and other appropriate church bodies with which we have fellowship that it has erected a special committee to propose linguistic updating of the doctrinal standards of... Continue Reading
What Science Is Really Teaching Us
Many Christians today are fearful of studying science, and there’s more to this fear than math anxiety.
As a Christian and a scientist who has been working in the discipline long enough to see some major scientific theory and paradigm shifts (such as from an eternal, “steady state” universe to a “big bang” universe with a beginning in space and time), I can say with confidence that “science destroys faith” may be... Continue Reading
3 Lessons from a Monthlong Sabbatical
Real Time away Can Recharge Your Spirit and up Your Game
As the trip approached, everyone asked where I was going, what I’d be doing, and how many books I’d bring. (An entire library!) But above all, they wanted to know if I was excited. Of course, I was excited! But to be honest, I was anxious, too. My old workaholic values resurfaced haunting me with unwelcome questions.... Continue Reading
The Apostle’s Creed: He descended into Hell
Calvin argued that Christ’s descent into hell happened on the cross prior to His death.
Perhaps you will remember that the Apostle’s Creed was used to oppose the docetic teaching of Marcion and others like him. The docetists believed that matter was bad and therefore Jesus only seemed to have a material body. Therefore, as I mentioned in the introduction to this series, in order to oppose this false teaching the... Continue Reading
The Apostle’s Creed: God the Father Almighty, Maker of Heaven and Earth
The right to claim to have God as one's Father is dependent upon one's union with Jesus Christ
“When Christians think of the fatherhood of God, their minds most likely go at once to the Trinity, and from there to the many New Testament passages that refer to God as the Father, along with the connecting belief in God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.” When we speak of God as... Continue Reading
Attending Corporate Worship
Four important reasons Christians ought to attend the Lord’s Day gathering.
When we strangers and aliens gather as brothers and sisters under the banner of the gospel, we are rehearsing that glorious day when we will know as we are known, when our sin is vanquished and our Christian fellowship is fully enjoyed. As such, going to church is perhaps the most heavenly thing you can... Continue Reading
No Small Pastors
Pastors of small churches can be used by God in significant ways when they’re consecrated to God.
Pastors of small churches have every reason to be encouraged. We’re not the junior varsity team. The idea that our work is insignificant reflects the world’s values, not God’s values. Because it’s so counterintuitive, we need to take regular steps to recalibrate what we think, and reading books like Schaeffer’s is helpful. Most pastors... Continue Reading