The Covenantal Hermeneutic
These covenants were parts of God’s redemptive plan under the one covenant of grace.
These hermeneutical systems affect the way we read and interpret Scripture. Covenant theology, for example, sees much more continuity across all of Scripture. It also rejects the idea that God has two separate peoples. Dispensationalism sees much more discontinuity, on the other hand. It argues that much of Scripture applies only to Israel and not... Continue Reading
In Praise of the Average Pastor
The world needs more average pastors who show up, week by week, faithfully discharging the call that God has given them.
We measure things differently than God does. We look for the impressive, for the gifted, for the extraordinary. God seems to show up in ordinary, forgotten places, and to use the people that everyone else passes over. We like the spectacular. And yet God does some of his best work behind the scenes through the faithful,... Continue Reading
The Sovereignty of Ancient Babylonian Gods
Christians can be confident that all is in God’s hands.
The Babylonian gods are powerless. They crouch and cower. They can’t rescue anyone. They can’t rescue their worshippers from danger. They can’t even rescue themselves from being carried off in defeat. What a contrast between these ancient Gods of Babylon and our eternal God. Our God doesn’t crouch and cower. Nothing catches Him by surprise. Not just because... Continue Reading
What The Court-Packing Debate Teaches Us About Defining The Adjective Reformed
I raise the question about the apparently newfound passion among Baptists for the fluidity of language because I perceive that their support for this approach to the meaning of words is selective.
One of the arguments that has been made most frequently in favor of the relatively recent attempt to re-define Reformed along minimalist, theologically inclusive, and even latitudinarian lines, has been: the meaning of words change. This argument has been made to me in the comments box in this very space. Never mind the fact that... Continue Reading
Woke Christianity and Genuine Christianity Are Two Different Religions
Progressives, the Media, members of Congress, et cetera have drunk the Kool-aid of CRT and Intersectionality.
I was in one of the Christian discussion groups on Facebook and saw a discussion going on where a young man was being congratulated for becoming the pastor of a “Woke” church. I read what they were saying. I intervened. I asked direct questions about the priority of the Gospel in their ministry. The reaction... Continue Reading
What Is Keeping You From Your Church?
The interruptions of 2020 have made it very easy to make church attendance optional.
We used to say that you should be at church unless “providentially” hindered. In other words, unless something that is in the Lord’s control keeps you from being here. If you are in a high risk category today, you could definitely say that you have been providentially hindered from begin here. But, unless you are providentially... Continue Reading
When Revival Comes…
Heaven is filled. One by one the converts die, and it even gets fuller; the harps of heaven are louder.
The revival of the church then touches the rest of society. Men, who do not come forward and profess religion, are more punctual in attending the means of grace. Men that used to swear, give it up; they find it is not suitable for the times. Men that profaned the Sabbath, and that despised God,... Continue Reading
How to Battle Spiritual Lethargy
Though the climb may be steeper for some than others, the Spirit of God comes alongside of you.
Sanctification is a grind. It is a long, wearying struggle against sin. A similar fatigue to that which hits us physically also hits us spiritually. One of the difficulties in overcoming spiritual lethargy is that the toil, thorns, thistles, and sweat impeding our sanctification are often not as easily recognized as the physical ones. The following... Continue Reading
The Fragrance of Union with Christ
A person who has learned how to spend good time in his personal, private worship brings an aroma with him or her.
When we help a new believer to learn how to read the Scripture and pray as a daily practice, we have helped him learn that Christ actually meets with Him, opens the Word, answers his prayers. In short, Christ by His living Spirit Indwells him and teaches him. If he fails to seek this “mystical”... Continue Reading
The Simple Call of the Gospel, Part 5: Simple Logic From Simple Servants
Perhaps by your testimony to God’s Word, some will heed the call of the Lord and be washed in the blood of the Lamb.
Though men may scoff and scorn God still has servants today continuing to present His message. He has servants in pulpits proclaiming the power and wisdom of God. He has servants in work places, neighborhoods, retirement homes, testifying to the world this simple truth: If you will pursue great deeds for salvation, why would you... Continue Reading
Who Do You Say That She Was?
The legends of Mary Magdalene.
What the Spirit tells us clearly about her in all four Gospels (a rare honor) is that she was present at Jesus’s crucifixion (Matthew 27:55–56; Mark 15:40–41; John 19:25–27) and at his burial (Matthew 27:57–61; Mark 15:42–47). And then she was the first of Jesus’s followers to see the tomb empty, the first to see... Continue Reading
What I Love When I Love My God
Life in the love of God is not a deprived life; rather, life in the love of God is a multiplying life.
In a world where all loves are competing, he says that love for God is exponential. It’s not that we have a certain amount of love that we need to distribute accordingly; rather, in life with God, when we love God, we have more love to give. It’s an ever-expanding resource like a fountain that... Continue Reading
Discouraged? Take Courage and Take Heart
Christ promised that He will build His church, and He promised that our souls are secure in Him.
Paul sailed along the Italian coast and finally made it to Rome by land. Just before getting there, however, fellow Christians came down to Paul in order to escort him to Rome (Acts 28:11–15). As a result, “Paul thanked God and took courage” (Acts 27:15). “Courage” here is from tharsos, a noun related to the... Continue Reading
The Ruins of History (Historical Reliability of the Bible).
Bias will not listen or look for the truth, either with, or without evidence. Truth however remains truth, regardless of bias.
The Bible’s historical reliability is not a question of superstition vs facts, but rather a question of truth vs bias. Prior to the 1847 British expedition by Layard Nineveh was, in historical circles of study in Europe, a place of myth. There simply was no evidence (aside from the Bible) that critics would accept. The... Continue Reading
The Costly Results of an Impaired Prayer Life
In Christ, we have a Father who has an open ear and willing heart to hear our prayers and anxious thoughts (1 Peter 5:7).
Our minds become worldly, and we feel more and more alienated from God, and therefore have less and less about which to speak with Him. Then we develop an unwilling spirit, which always finds pretexts for not praying and excuses for having neglected prayer. Our inner life begins to weaken. The pain of living in... Continue Reading
Paralysis Was His Good Plan
How Predestination Changed My Suffering
God makes himself look glorious whenever I trust him with my disappointments. Far from tarnishing his good name, my smile in my wheelchair turns up the wattage on his glory for others to see. “Your broken neck is no accident, Joni. God has an amazing plan for your life.” Christian friends said something like... Continue Reading
Wikipedia Bans Editors from Expressing Support for Traditional Marriage
Co-founder claims, "Wikipedia no longer has an effective neutrality policy.”
The move led site administrator “Ad Orientem” to resign, according to The Christian Institute, which noted that the administrator pointed out that the decision was “clearly inconsistent” with the project’s commitment to neutrality and condemned hostile comments about traditional marriage supporters. Wikipedia has decided to restrict its editors from expressing opposition to same-sex marriage... Continue Reading
Brooks Describes The Problem But Does He Answer The Central Question: Why?
Prosperity does not make people happy or satisfied. It cannot.
Brooks identifies a number of the symptoms of our Late Modern age and he even proposes some possible social remedies but he does not identify the root cause and the real answer. During most of the 20th century, through depression and wars, Americans expressed high faith in their institutions. In 1964, for example, 77 percent... Continue Reading
...a birthmark of the believer and a trademark of the Christian in relating to God and neighbor.
Paul’s solution to the church’s unity is love. That love is not something sentimental; it is substantive. It is not cosmetic; it is core to relating to others and to the church’s growth and mission. The greatest of these is love. (1 Corinthians 13:13, ESV) Reformation Heritage Books recently published The Works of William... Continue Reading
How Do We Form Boys into Men?
On Teleological Complementarity
There is one doctrine of union with Christ, and every Christian must learn it as pastors and elders teach it to the whole church. Nonetheless, God has also called men and women to different roles throughout life, and so union with Christ manifests in certain distinct patterns of faithfulness for the sexes. The Christian... Continue Reading
Packing the Court: An Issue for Churches
If the church refuses to proclaim that Christ is Lord over all of life—public and private—she denies her calling.
If Biden packs the Court, it will further legislate from the bench. It is much easier for a handful of justices to implement a radical progressive agenda than it is to convince a majority of 100 Senators and 435 Representatives to do the progressives’ bidding. Presidential candidate Joe Biden has been asked repeatedly whether... Continue Reading
The Goodness of Gender
Aloneness was not good in Eden, and the same is true in the church.
A genderless church is as unthinkable as a genderless Eden as we seek to obey the gospel mandate to multiply by making disciples. Titus 2 makes this commission gender-specific when older women are told to disciple younger women to be life-givers in every relationship and situation. The jarring “It is not good for the man... Continue Reading
A Master at Identifying Sin
You can’t do microsurgery on someone else’s eye when you’ve had major trauma to your own.
Hypocrisy is when you care more for other people’s sin than for your own. It’s when your foremost concern is not your own flaws, but the flaws of other Christians. I am a master at identifying sin. I might be tempted to brag about that fact, except for this: While I’m a master at... Continue Reading
Introducing the “Institutes”
A Guide to Reading Calvin’s Classic
The first sentence of the Institutes orients us to its two great themes: “Nearly all the wisdom we possess, that is to say, true and sound wisdom, consists of two parts: the knowledge of God and of ourselves” (Institutes 1.1.1). Calvin’s desire — which he comes back to time and time again — is this... Continue Reading
Some Bad News About The Replication Crisis In Social Science
The evidence suggests peer-reviewed papers that are bogus are just as likely to be cited by other scientists as those that can be replicated.
In an attempt to test just how rigorous scientific research is, some researchers have undertaken the task of replicating research that’s been published in a whole range of fields. And as more and more of those attempted replications have come back, the results have been striking — it is not uncommon to find that many,... Continue Reading
“He Stood Up for America”
One moment from a teacher can often last a lifetime.
One class—one student—at a time, teachers possess amazing power to shape a life and a belief system. Mrs. Drew did that for me. She told of a country that aspired to unimagined heights despite a terrible birth defect. At no point did she ever recommend destroying the country any more than parents of a special-needs... Continue Reading
Will The PCA Go Woke?
The PCA's good-faith efforts to address historic racism are falling into wokeness and critical race theory. But there is still a way forward.
Perhaps the best criticism of the PCA might be that the efforts especially of young ministers—often from Evangelical and Fundamentalist backgrounds—at racial reconciliation, instead of being increasingly “woke” have been rhetorically vague and socio-intellectually contrived, and have led to certain forms of social and intellectual naïveté regarding the consequences of adopting modern taxonomies of social... Continue Reading
When Preaching Is Restricted
God’s plan may be to place you and me, and the people in our churches, into divinely ordained one-on-one situations where we can speak of Jesus.
What do we find in Acts 8-12? We see the gospel spreading to Samaritans and then Gentiles – a massively significant step of progression. But we also see a change of ministry opportunity. After the stoning of Stephen, we read this: “…there arose on that day a great persecution against the church in Jerusalem, and... Continue Reading
Trump as Merlin: Reading That Hideous Strength in 2020
How C.S. Lewis speaks to our times through That Hideous Strength 2.0.
The evil organization which is attempting to destroy the world is called “NICE”, short for the National Institute for Coordinated Experiments. What a great way to brand evil! Who doesn’t like NICE people? If you were to say, “NICE is bad,” that sounds like a contradiction of terms. Clearly Lewis understood a very normal ... Continue Reading
A Lesson on Prayer from a Depressed Charles Spurgeon
The act of prayer, by bringing us into communion with God in His throne room, does indeed destroy such things as doubt, ruin, and anxiety.
All our perils are nothing, so long as we have prayer.” The simple reason for this is that Spurgeon believed, “The essence of prayer lies in the heart drawing near to God: and it can do that without words.” In other words, prayer is the vehicle by which we commune with God Himself, not in... Continue Reading