What Is the Unpardonable Sin?

Jesus then stated that “all sins” can be forgiven, including “whatever blasphemies”—except for the specific blasphemy of the Spirit.

Luke’s account of this teaching is even more specific: “Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but to him who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven” (Luke 12:10). At this point, we need to define blasphemy, and this verse from Luke gives us a... Continue Reading

Why Supporters of a Nashville Pastor Are Speaking Out About His Departure From Covenant Presbyterian Church

In 2016, PCA minister, Jim Bachmann, lost his position as the senior pastor of Covenant Presbyterian Church, which rose to prominence in Nashville under his leadership.

Bachmann moved from Chattanooga in 1991 to lead Covenant Presbyterian Church. At the time, the congregation barely had 40 members. Under Bachmann’s leadership, the congregation grew to more than 2,000. By the late 2000s, they were able to raise funds internally to build a $15.5 million sanctuary on a hilltop overlooking southwest Nashville…. Now, Bachmann, 63, is leading a... Continue Reading

Lloyd-Jones on Racism and the Gospel

"We face national prejudices, class prejudices, race prejudices, gender prejudices, and so on. There is almost no end to them."

D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, who I have never heard anyone describe as a Marxist, gospel-compromising, SJW, preached a sermon on John 4:13-14 titled, “Spiritual Dullness and Evasive Tactics,” in which he brought up the issue of racism. Early in the sermon on Jesus’s encounter with the woman at the well Lloyd-Jones explains, “We have dealt with some general... Continue Reading

PCA Minister Jerome Roger “Jerry” Dodson III Called Home to Glory

Jerome “Jerry” Roger Dodson, III,57 passed away Saturday, July 14, 2018, on his birthday, at Capital Regional Medical Center in Tallahassee following a brief illness.

He was ordained by R.C. Sproul at Saint Andrew’s Chapel in Sanford FL., following which he received a call to Northside Presbyterian Church in Melbourne, FL. There he served faithfully for many years, and later he became pastor at New Philadelphia Presbyterian Church in Quincy, FL, where he was serving at the time of death.... Continue Reading

Ten Concise Reasons to Remember the Sabbath

First and foremost, remembering the Sabbath is a command.

Hebrews 4:9 tells us that “there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God.” Every time we gather as the church for worship on the Lord’s Day, we should be reminded, examined, and prepared for the great day of judgment and consummation that yet awaits us as Christ will return (Matt. 25:31-46).   Having... Continue Reading

Facebook and Friendship

Facebook has helped us stay in touch, not so much for bragging but for recalling happiness in a time of our lives when burdens and responsibilities did not weigh so heavily on us.

A few years back, I had the chance to visit with an old friend in California with whom I attended high school. Our wives and we all attended college together, and we were close for about a decade while our now-adult children were young. Over the years, Facebook helped us follow the general trajectories of... Continue Reading

How to Affair-Proof Your Pastor

It's very rare for pastors to jump straight into physical adultery from an otherwise healthy place.

Lots of ground is given an inch at a time leading up to the fall. So if you’re like me, you’re weary of seeing man after man fall, seemingly week by week, and you’re wondering: Is there anything we can do? The answer is yes, I think. Again, we can’t keep a sinner from sinning, really, but there... Continue Reading

Crossing the Finish Line

We need endurance and encouragement to finish running the race of faith we have entered.

I was done. My coach and my teammates encouraged me to get back on the track and finish the race. I didn’t want to finish the race. They kept encouraging me. I finally walked back on the track and slowly jogged until I crossed the finish line. There is a parable in this experience.  ... Continue Reading

The United Methodist Church Has Appointed A Transgender Deacon

“I understand the rules of the church,” Barclay said. “But here’s the truth: I’m queer, and I’m called to this. I tried to walk away.”

Barclay said they have received many messages from people opposed to their leadership in the church because of their gender identity. But Barclay has also heard from LGBT Christians, from the parents of LGBT youth and from supportive churches that seek Barclay’s input about a theology that embraces Christian teaching and queer inclusion.   The bishop spoke... Continue Reading

Paul: Let Him Not Eat

One of the creational laws under which both believers and unbelievers live is the law that requires the able-bodied to work in order to eat.

Work is a creational or natural necessity but it’s also a Christian obligation. Charity is also a Christian virtue and obligation. Our English word charity is derived from the Latin caritas, which simply means love. We have come to think of charity as giving money and/or food to those in need but that is an application of charity but not charity... Continue Reading

Confessions of a Recovering Pragmatic Pastor

Despite my schooling, I launched into pastoral work lacking something critical: a biblical approach to logical church ministry.

Let me define what I mean by “pragmatist.” It’s the approach that says a church can use any effective means to win people to Jesus, make disciples, grow the church, or build the kingdom. A church may adopt any structure, program, or strategy that “works” to reach people for Christ as long as the initiative... Continue Reading

New Research: Churchgoers Stick Around for Theology, Not Music or Preachers

Don’t mess with a church’s beliefs or there may be an exodus, according to a new study from Nashville-based LifeWay Research.

The study of Protestant churchgoers found most are committed to staying at their church over the long haul. But more than half say they would strongly consider leaving if the church’s beliefs changed. Pastors often worry about changing church music and setting off a “worship war,” said Scott McConnell, executive director of LifeWay Research. But few... Continue Reading

4 Marks of Faithful Preaching

It is the irreducible, indispensable task of the ministry to preach and teach The Word.

 I remember being enraptured, but not so much by the spokesperson — though Piper is of course a powerful preacher — as by the force of these verses that spoke to me that day. There is a sense in which that was the first time I began to understand more clearly what a call to... Continue Reading

Even This

Trusting God in Your Darkest Day

In and through every hurt, every suffering, every hardship, he is unfolding his purposes for your everlasting good. He is working this — even this — for your final joy. God gives us glimpses into his peculiarly loving ways throughout the Bible, but he does so with particular power at the very turning point of... Continue Reading

You Won’t be Perfect in This Life

God help you if you weren’t victorious—if you struggled, if you failed, if all your feats of strength ended in an embarrassing whimper for help.

As those boys became men, I wonder how many of them walked their pilgrimage with a limp, like I did. How many of them felt the frustration of remaining sin, knew defeat just as often as victory, and stuffed any honest engagement with sin deep down into their psyche? To succeed in the Christian life,... Continue Reading

Low Visibility

There is no more pressing need that we have at present than the need to define our terms.

“Language matters because whoever controls the words controls the conversation, because whoever controls the conversation controls its outcome, because whoever frames the debate has already won it, because telling the truth has become harder and harder to achieve in an America drowning in Orwellian Newspeak.” ~ Erica Jong   Quite a number of contemporary theologians... Continue Reading

Steve Chalke and the Cross of Christ

Steve Chalke’s attack on the cross of Christ is desperately sad and is about as anti-Gospel as you can imagine.

The Biblical view of the Cross does engage hearts, minds and the thinking of our culture. It challenges and it goes far deeper than the cheap, superficial and shallow applications of Chalkes version of the Cross. Nothing challenges our culture like the Cross. It is offensive to our culture. Chalkes message on the other hand... Continue Reading

Westminster PCA in Lancaster, Penn., to Host Gala 50th Anniversary Celebration

50 years ago marked the first worship service of Westminster Presbyterian Church in Lancaster, Penn., when the Rev. Wilbur Siddons preached the first sermon before 200 people.

As gratifying as the growth in membership has been, Rogers said what most impresses him is the church’s commitment to outreach. The church supports dozens of missions around the world. “(The founding members) did something amazing in early days. They said that 30 percent of all general undesignated revenue that the church receives is set... Continue Reading

Christ, the Delight of God and the Godly

Throughout eternity the Trinity was enveloped in perfect delight, enjoyment, and love as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

It’s not as if Christ became the delight of God at the baptism or transfiguration. Instead, Jesus is the eternal delight of his Father. Have you considered that love existed before creation? Since God is love (1 John 4:8), and he is uncreated, then love existed prior to any creation. Who or what did God... Continue Reading

Will Stare Decisis Prevent A Post-Roe World?

Stare Decisis is a perfectly fine and efficient principle when considering a hierarchical judiciary.

Stare Decisis is a perfectly fine and efficient principle when considering a hierarchical judiciary. It prevents lower courts from “going rogue,” and answering the questions of a case contrary to the opinion of a superior court. It would be a chaotic system, for example, in which the Supreme Court decided corporate speech is free speech (Citizens... Continue Reading

Catching up on Petrus van Mastricht

The great Dutch theologian of the Nadere Reformatie, Petrus van Mastricht (1630–1706), has only recently been introduced to the English-speaking world.

They are both excellent. Turretin is on polemical divinity, on the 5 points & all other controversial points, & is much larger in these than Mastricht, & is better for one that desires only to be thoroughly versed in controversies. But take Mastricht for divinity in general, doctrine, practice & controversy, or as an universal... Continue Reading

8th Circuit Court of Appeals Upholds Arkansas’ Right to Bar Judge from Death-Penalty Cases

A federal appeals court has dismissed a challenge by an Arkansas circuit court judge who had been banned from hearing death-penalty cases after he protested against capital punishment.

Griffen stepped into the death-penalty debate in April when he granted a pharmaceutical company’s request for a temporary restraining order preventing Arkansas from using vecuronium bromide in its executions. Just hours later, Griffen joined protesters in front of the governor’s mansion in Little Rock, strapped to a makeshift gurney and sporting an anti-death penalty button.   LITTLE ROCK... Continue Reading

The Golden Age of the Church

The idea of a golden age discounts the shifts in redemptive history

“I understand the frustration in reading the book of Acts and concluding that the Holy Spirit was more visible in His work in the early church. But the Spirit that came upon those at Pentecost is the same Spirit that indwells us. What’s the difference, then? The primary difference is with regard to methodology, not... Continue Reading

How Should a Pastor or Church Leader View Parachurch Ministries?

Parachurch ministries are not going away. The leader who lives as if they are irrelevant is bubble-dwelling.

“I’ve had some transformational experiences through the labors of parachurch ministries. I was converted into a campus ministry. Looking back, I realize my first two years as a new believer were primarily shaped by parachurch vision.”   I’m a pastor. Cut me and I bleed local church. Cut the church and I’m spoilin’ to protect... Continue Reading

Spiritual Growth Is Not an Accident

We are all “plants,” and we are all “gardeners”

Our “gardening” labors being necessary to the germination and growth of “plants” in the gardens of God do not detract from God’s sovereign jurisdiction over all things. This is how he has sovereignly ordered our roles in the gardens he gives us to tend.   We have a small garden at our home. Usually we... Continue Reading

Is Pornography Use Increasing Loneliness, Particularly for Young People?

Our study suggests a close and painful partnership between pornography and loneliness

“If loneliness can lead to pornography use, and pornography use may bring about or intensify loneliness, these circular linkages may create a vicious cycle, pulling the user even further from health-promoting relationship connections.”   Quality relationships and close social connections are associated with decreased mortality risk for all causes.1 Yet among teens, loneliness, isolation, despair,... Continue Reading

Sex Traffickers Routinely Exploit Prison System To Recruit Vulnerable Women Into Sex Work

Traffickers and pimps target incarcerated women by posting their bail, making the women indebted to them

“To identify victims, traffickers sometimes employ women who are also in prison, who scout potential inmates who could be groomed and recruited. Women recall receiving letters from pimps who woo them with promises of financial and emotional security upon release, and describe feeling like there was no choice but to go along with the trafficker... Continue Reading

A Prayer for the Day of Preparation

What we need, as we make our way to church, is a soul-transforming view of Jesus through His Word

“So before you go to sleep, or as your rise to greet the dawn, be full of glory hopes as you breathe this prayer for light – framed according to these texts – crave such surpassing understanding and illumination of heart, with the goodness and grace of God, in the face of Jesus Christ.”  ... Continue Reading

5 Cautions for Your Spiritual Disciplines

You need to consider and properly understand spiritual disciplines and the benefits they may bring

“Do not use the spiritual disciplines so you can tell other people about how godly you are, or even so you can show off to yourself. Don’t read the Bible so you can Instagram your devotions or humblebrag about it on Twitter. Examine your heart to ensure you are using the spiritual disciplines for the... Continue Reading

God’s Dupes?

The one who raises the question against God in effect plays God while denying He exists.

In his article “God’s Dupes,” Harris argues, “Everything of value that people get from religion can be had more honestly, without presuming anything on insufficient evidence. The rest is self-deception, set to music” (The Los Angeles Times, March 15, 2007). Ironically, Harris’ first book is entitled The End of Faith, but it should really be called... Continue Reading