J. I. Packer on the Hub of Christian Life
There can be no genuine or transformative holiness in life until a person has for his primary and ultimate aim the glory of God alone.
There can be no genuine or transformative holiness in life until a person has for his primary and ultimate aim the glory of God alone. This is not optional, as if some who claim to know him in a saving way might choose to move in a different direction, with a different goal or aim.... Continue Reading
The Heart of Worship: Temple Imagery as Instruction for New Covenant Worship
The heart of worship is not subjective or abstract. Just as the worship of the Old Testament was objective and concrete—even visible—so is the worship of the New Covenant.
In the Old Testament, one of the first principles we learn about worship is that sincerity alone is not acceptable (see the narrative of Cain’s sacrifice in Genesis 4). The heart of worship in the Old Testament was objective; the ceremonies prescribed in the Law of Moses were realities apart from feeling and emotion. The... Continue Reading
Counseling the Body
First steps for holistic soul care.
The soul (or heart) has rightly been the emphasis in our theology. Here Scripture gives details that we could never see apart from God’s revelation to us. In the soul, we know God and turn toward him or away from him. Look for obedience or disobedience, faith or unbelief, and you will see the soul... Continue Reading
What Does “Demisexual” Say about Christian Hope?
It’s difficult to keep up with these new identifications and all the rules governing them. Someone recently suggested, perhaps we should just change the acronym to “LGBTQ-TBA”
We must be prepared also to offer the far better vision of identity, love, sex, and friendship found in the Christian account of reality. To not offer the better way of the Gospel would be heartless and foolish. Not only do we have a better story to tell, but the timing is right. This late... Continue Reading
Christians Are Part Of Something Much Bigger
There are no small Christians. There are no insignificant believers. There are no ‘little people.’ We are all a part of God’s great redemptive story.
Don’t worry if nobody knows about you. Don’t worry if your ministry seems to be slim pickings. Don’t worry if your web traffic is quite low. Don’t worry that you are never invited to speak or share your story. Don’t worry if hardly anyone seems to know that you even exist. Worry instead about things... Continue Reading
A Reply to ‘The PCA Conflict Over the Moral Law’
I respectfully disagree with how the author of “The PCA Conflict Over The Moral Law” has framed things in this piece --under two headings only: conservative and progressive.
From what I heard from many of the dissenting voters at GA was NOT a progressivist agenda, but a reasoned assertion that those who came before us did a pretty fine job of upholding these things in how they set up BCO 24-1, and that it does not need to be re-written. I respectfully... Continue Reading
Georgia Church Loses Pastor, Then Its Assets, to Regional UMC Leaders
Conservative Methodists worry about their place in the denomination ahead of delayed plans for a split over LGBT issues.
Conflicts over pastoral appointments have led other conservative congregations to leave the UMC, which is waiting on a delayed vote to split the denomination over LGBT issues. Though the UMC officially does not permit same-sex marriages or clergy in same-sex relationships, the position has not been enforced in its regional conferences, and conservative churches are... Continue Reading
Width and Length and Depth and Height
We will never understand the love of Christ toward us, until we understand the love of Christ toward the nations.
I won’t go so far as to say that the breadth of God’s love (or any other dimension in particular) refers specifically to His plan to pour out His grace upon the Gentiles. Nevertheless, the expansiveness of the love of God is manifested in the expansiveness of the Gospel to all nations. Much ink... Continue Reading
Guilt-inducing racism is being employed as a political tool, imposed on the schools, teaching children that they are collectively and individually responsible for racism by virtue of their skin color.
Here is a last word. A worldview without forgiveness, such as the worldview of CRT, offers no hope. There is no vision of a world in which this sin is defeated or redeemed, much less one in which the guilty are forgiven and restored. But the great message the gospel brings to the world and... Continue Reading
I Miss My Son Today
I miss my son today. That goes without saying, I suppose, since I miss him every day.
And I am confident that, by his grace, I can carry out today’s assignment. I am confident that I can bear the burden of this day’s sorrow until night falls and my eyes close in rest. I am confident that I can be faithful in today’s calling for as long as the day lasts. I... Continue Reading
Be True to Yourself?
Maybe the best way to BTTY is to admit that left to ourselves we have no ultimate meaning.
The alternative to BTTY is to seek meaning outside of ourselves in Jesus Christ. But how does faith in and submission to God—our infinite, external authority—satisfy rather than stifle us as human beings? “Be true to yourself.” -EVERYONE This cultural gospel is so common it doesn’t strike us as odd. Put simply, BTTY asserts that... Continue Reading
The Death of the Episcopal Church is Near
One of the most troubling things about the future of the Episcopal Church is that the average member is incredibly old.
When 25,000 people are leaving through death and only 5,000 are being replaced through children who stick around – the end is near. I don’t think that it’s an exaggeration at all to believe that the Episcopalians will no longer exist by 2040…can a denomination continue when it has money but no people? That’s the... Continue Reading
Two Cheers for Civil Religion
Is the death of America's old civil religion a good thing?
Civil religion is not dead. It has simply gone woke. And in the new form, as in the old, a secularized and domesticated Christianity contorts itself to appear respectable to its cultured despisers. Over the last few years, I have heard numerous Christians claim that the death of America’s old civil religion is a... Continue Reading
Was the Trinity Torn Apart at the Cross?
There is no tearing apart of the Trinity, but rather God the Son suffering in the flesh.
Christ’s confidence that God was “for him” as Son and faithful servant, and that God was “against him” as substitute and representative (surety), were both expressed in that one cry: “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” The cry doesn’t tell us everything about the atonement or what Jesus suffered, but it does... Continue Reading
Platt’s McLean Bible Church Hit With Attempted Takeover, Lawsuit from Opposition
The suburban DC megachurch’s recent scuffle over race and politics is symptomatic of a broader evangelical rift.
To some observers, McLean’s conflict seems like a replay of other recent episodes from American evangelicalism, where leaders who appeal to Scripture to address social issues are accused of theological liberalism or secular influence even if they continue to hold traditional Christian views. The level of suspicion around such leaders appears to have grown during... Continue Reading
Context Matters: In the World, but Not of the World
Is this a biblical saying? If so, are we using it correctly?
Those who follow Christ are, like him, not of the world. For this reason the world may hate us. So we should ask God to keep us from the evil one and sanctify us in his truth. Perhaps you’ve heard that Christians are (or ought to be) in the world but not of the world.... Continue Reading
Did God Change at the Incarnation?
Quite clearly, the orthodox Christian answer to the question is a resounding “No!”
What does it mean to say that the Word, the Son of God, became flesh? Does it mean that God transformed into a man? Does it mean that God’s nature and man’s nature were blended somehow to create a new hybrid nature? Does it mean that God changed? In the beginning was the Word,... Continue Reading
The Holiness of God
God’s Holiness is taken for granted by most of us and that is a terrible sin on our part.
Let us who know Him not take His Holiness for granted, but let us strive to know Him deeper and better by drawing near unto Him in prayer, worship, and by studying His Word. In the year of King Uzziah’s death I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, lofty and exalted, with the... Continue Reading
Don’t Force Young Women to Fight the Nation’s Wars
A group of Senate Democrats is proposing a rewrite of the military draft laws to require that women register for the Selective Service System.
Throughout history, most men and women—and even children—have recognized the wisdom of not sending our mothers, daughters, and sisters to the battlefield. The pattern in the Bible is that when combat is necessary it is men, not women, who bear the responsibility to participate in warfare. The Story Congress appears poised to force young... Continue Reading
The Principles of Reformed Worship
God's teaching on worship is sacred and inviolable.
Much of the modern confusion about worship is due to the confusion of public and private piety. Reformed worship is not a concert, revival meeting, nor a private prayer circle. In Biblical worship, God speaks to his gathered people and they reply corporately. Introduction In preparation for the invasion of Canaan, our covenant God... Continue Reading
We Need Worldview-Confronting Preaching
Pastors and teachers need to clearly contrast what the word of God says with what the culture says.
When you directly show the superiority of the Bible’s worldview over and against the culture’s worldview, you are glorifying God by showing His infinite worth and superiority over every man-made philosophy. The Bible is powerful. Every Christian who has a proper view of Scripture will agree with this. The Bible convicts, corrects, rebukes, and... Continue Reading
Gentleness does not mean withholding truth.
As we do our God ordained job of confronting a brother or sister in need of rescuing, we must be gentle. Out of love for them and love for their soul we must go to them delivering the entire truth, but we must do so in a way that pleases the Lord. I was... Continue Reading
If the sky has ever left you speechless and breathless, what must the Creator of sky be like?
Even if we had no Bibles, and no preachers, the psalmist says that God would still make his majestic beauty known to us through the skies, the stars and the sun. And this, incidentally, is why the Bible doesn’t try to prove the existence of a Creator. It’s just assumed. Open a Bible about... Continue Reading
Court: University of Iowa Violated Religious Club’s First Amendment Rights
The university discriminated against a Christian club by stripping it and dozens of other religious clubs of their registered status.
The appeals court said Friday that the university engaged in “viewpoint discrimination” by selectively enforcing policies requiring all clubs to offer equal opportunity and access to members regardless race, religion, national origin, age, gender, sexual orientation, or gender identity. A federal appeals court has upheld a 2019 ruling against the University of Iowa, affirming... Continue Reading
The Definitive Meaning of Overture 23 Approved by the PCA GA
The meaning of Overture 23 as a helpful guide to PCA presbyters as they vote on the proposed amendment to Book of Church Order 16-4.
“Officers in the Presbyterian Church in America must be above reproach in their walk and Christlike in their character. Those who profess an identity (such as, but not limited to, “gay Christian,” “same sex attracted Christian,” “homosexual Christian,” or like terms) that undermines or contradicts their identity as new creations in Christ, either by denying... Continue Reading
DeYoung, Thompson, and Kwon: Seeing the Danger
Thompson and Kwon engage in Bulverism, a very popular, but very pernicious, logical fallacy.
When we care passionately about an issue, it can be tempting to take a short cut. Don’t. You will cut yourself off from all correction, exhortation, and admonition from your brothers and sisters in Christ. And you won’t like where you end up. A few months ago, Gregory Thompson and Duke Kwon published Reparations, a... Continue Reading
Wife Will Not Be Charged in Pastor Husband’s Shooting Death in Lemon Grove
Noah Shepherd, 29, was pastor of San Diego Reformed Presbyterian Church, a church in the RPC of North America (RPCNA)
Gabriela Shepherd was originally slated to be arraigned in an El Cajon courtroom Thursday afternoon, but DA’s spokeswoman Tanya Sierra said in a statement that “charges are not being filed at this time. The investigation is ongoing and we will review the case as we get more information.” Shepherd was held in custody without bail... Continue Reading
The Holiness of Christ
We do not have a category for someone who can speak to the waves and cause them to obey Him.
When the resurrected Christ in His glory and the manifestation of His holiness appears, all creatures will fall at His feet because He is other. He is holy. Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord! (Luke 5:8) Peter’s reaction to this miraculous catch of fish is very interesting. He was a... Continue Reading
Individualism Goes Deep
We live in an age of individuals. Which doesn’t sound like it’s saying very much because we can’t imagine anything else.
To worship with the gathered church is to be in the heavenly temple in the presence of God. To be a Christian is to be part of the body. Walking wounded, smeared in her own sin, and riven with division: it is the Church. For all the philosophers and critics say we are ‘expressive... Continue Reading
Exchanging Truth for a Lie: Image, Idolatry, and the People of God
Exploring the nature of idolatry and God’s subsequent wrath.
In a very real sense, when we sin, we repeat the fall of Adam and Eve and the nation of Israel. The story always remained the same. It wasn’t until the coming of Christ that the pattern was broken. Though he was tempted just like Adam and Eve and the nation of Israel, he remained... Continue Reading