This Messianic Age
Everywhere we look, people have appointed themselves as the savior of others.
As false messiahs and idols always do, they falter, fall down, and fail us. What freedom and joy there is knowing the only One anointed by heaven to save! In their influential book When Helping Hurts on poverty alleviation, Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert speak of the “god complex” or “savior complex” that so many exercise—especially in... Continue Reading
What’s an Exile to Do? Brace Yourself to Face Fiery Trials with Joy
Trials do to our faith what fire does to gold.
Know that our God has His good purposes in our suffering for His will, and that He sets the limits of how intense our suffering is and how long it lasts. Take the Apostle’s approach: do good and, if suffering comes, trust God to refine you and confirm you through it. The sobering truth... Continue Reading
The Heart of God’s Law
Tracing the Ten Commandments to Jesus
When we understand the relationship between the law and the covenant, we can turn afresh to the question of how Christians ought to fulfill these commandments in light of the work of Christ. For centuries, the Christian church has given careful attention to the Ten Commandments. In his commentaries, John Calvin devotes hundreds of... Continue Reading
Land Acknowledgment Statements: The Cultural Violence of the Academic Elite
The primary purpose of these statements is not to do justice to the victims of historical oppression but rather to signify one’s affinity for the performative rituals of academic wokeness.
The intellectual elite who fetishize the tragic stories of marginalized groups in America are less interested in redressing those sufferings than they are in using them to maintain their membership in an elite group that is far removed from the plight of the “Other” (as they might say). After a quick search of my... Continue Reading
“Antiracism” Deserves a Capital Letter: A Preview of Voddie Baucham’s Fault Lines
Antiracism has its own cosmology, original sin, law, gospel, martyrs, priests, means of atonement, new birth, liturgy, canon, theologians, and catechism.
Because Antiracism is a definable ideology and new religion, rightly capitalizing it as a proper noun deprives Antiracism of its by-design rhetorical underpinning. In the language of Antiracism, simply being not racist is not enough. Recently on Twitter, a Ph.D. student at a Southern Baptist seminary threw shade at Voddie Baucham’s upcoming book Fault Lines for... Continue Reading
I Think We are Killing the Wrong People
The Bible does not sanction the killing of babies in the womb. However, the Bible does sanction capital punishment of adults who are guilty of the crime of murder.
The Bible is clear about ways to love our neighbor that are very practical and not just pious words. The question is not whether someone is going to die, but the question is who is going to die. I am afraid that emotions fueled by modern sentimentality, and prevailing misconceptions of love, rule men more... Continue Reading
The Problem of the Premise
If you begin with a faulty cause premise the argument fails, and good intentions cannot and will not rescue it.
By framing the cause of racism as “whiteness” it makes it an ethnically ancestral sin that condemns all in that tribe both past, present, and future. It means guilt without redemption. Unfortunately, if a voice of objection to this faulty reasoning it is raised it is met with the response that the objection only proves... Continue Reading
Why is Inseparable Operations Such a Hard Sell?—The Trinity and Inseparable Operations
The doctrine of inseparable operations affirms that the triune persons act as a single agent externally, while internally their operations are divided.
The doctrine of the Trinity ultimately rests on the biblical datum of inseparable operations. But the reverse is also true: triune unity necessarily implies the inseparability of God’s external operations. For both teachers and pastors, the doctrine of the Trinity has been one of the most demanding topics, often resulting in glazed-over student eyes,... Continue Reading
I Will Not Offer the Lord What Costs Me Nothing
Powerful preaching comes from praying preachers.
How long does it take to prepare a sermon? As long as it takes. Get in the seat. Gather your tools. Go to work. And don’t quit until the hard work is done. Think about it. You have left the pulpit feeling bad that you did not prepare better. But you never leave the pulpit... Continue Reading
Blemishes Preserved: A Specific Sin God Supposedly Leaves Alone Is Same-Sex Attraction
When one has a sinful condition, as the St. Louis doctrine maintains, there is no actual sinning when one has same-sex attraction, because it is only a potential to sin.
When all one has is a sinful condition, in the St. Louis doctrine there is no actual sinning when one has same-sex attraction, because it is only a potential to sin. So fervent sexual desire sits there passively causing no sin. Some of us have never heard of a passive passion. It would be like... Continue Reading
Herman Bavinck and Theology Proper: Talk of God’s Absoluteness and Why it Matters
For Bavinck, all of theology is the knowledge of God, a science that pursues God through his own revelation of himself to the world.
To describe this nature of absoluteness, theologians have often grasped for the term “simple,” which is potentially confusing in the contemporary world but its conceptual content remains unflinchingly necessary. As Bavinck points out with regards to this concept: “We as human beings can make a distinction between the being and attributes of people. A human... Continue Reading
On Being Inclusive (And Other Foolish Nostrums)
Why we must not be inclusive of inclusion:
The worst sort of “inclusion” that the religious leftists are pushing has to do with salvation. They claim that God loves everyone, accepts everyone, rejects no one, and therefore all people are – or will be – saved. There is no hell, there is no wrath of God, and there is no narrow road to... Continue Reading
A New Kind of Biblical Hero
We weren’t made for leper colonies or fantasy worlds. We were made for reality. Even if at times painful.
“They are always going to reject you….eventually.” This is the message my shame tells me. I’m fighting against that message these days. I’m trying to believe the gospel enough to pursue unguarded relationships with others. I’m trying to trust in Jesus enough to be authentic; authentic with others, myself, and ultimately with Him. The leper... Continue Reading
Loyalty Matters: The Misunderstood Virtue
Blind loyalty is no true loyalty at all. In fact, a friend who offers up blind loyalty is not offering a gift, but a poison pill.
Any healthy organization rightly expects that its members will be completely loyal to the mission. Far more important than blind devotion to any individual or a tribal fanaticism, mission-driven loyalty actually has the capacity to create cohesive organizational cultures where innovation happens, ideas move toward execution, and people flourish. Ironically, mission-driven loyalty creates space for... Continue Reading
Salvation Belongs to the Lord
No one is immune to brushing past the dust covered diamond of salvation.
How can we bury something so precious as salvation under the dust of jargon? God teaches Jonah a lesson he will never forget. Salvation, all the glory of being rescued by God—through Jesus’s atoning sacrifice and rescued to God—is a gift he graciously gives. The check is in his name and the rewards come to... Continue Reading
Dear Twitter, I’m Leaving You for My Wife
The worst part of Twitter might actually be the whole pig—the head, the body, the arms, the legs, the snout, the curly tail, and not just the underbelly.
I know that I am culpable for my Twitter feed. The specifics of all the social media algorithms may remain opaque, but the principle is readily known: the more you click, the more you get. And I certainly got. For every doofus Twitter comment I clicked, I got ten more comments in my feed. My... Continue Reading
Some Lose God While Serving God, A Subtle Danger in Christian Ministry
One of the most frightening — Lewis calls it “the subtlest of all snares” — is the temptation to mistake a means for the end.
Abstract truth tends to remain on the surface. Real transformation comes when we get concrete and personal. And I’m no artist, real or otherwise. But I am a teacher and a preacher. And I love to teach and preach. And reading Lewis on the danger of mistaking the means for the end challenges me precisely at this... Continue Reading
The PCA Has Fallen into Error, and Can’t Get Back Up: Part 2-Racism
In Part 2, we will look at race and racism. Specifically, the work on this of the PCA’s General Assembly in 2004 and 2016.
The assumption of the General Assembly appears to be that the current economic and conditions of many blacks today are manifestations of racism by whites, past and present, and only through repentance by whites from this past and current (inherent?) sin can blacks escape the negative effects of these sins and find their way out... Continue Reading
Standing at the Abyss: Reclaiming Civilisation
How are we to respond to the full-blown assault on our culture?
Sure, as a Christian I realise that at the end of the day cultures will come and go, nations will rise and fall, and societies will only thrive temporarily. As C. S. Lewis said about the dignity of the individual as made in the image of God: “There are no ‘ordinary’ people. You have never... Continue Reading
Keep Your Head
Don’t be shocked and don’t be thrown, be sober minded, keep your head in the midst of that.
It isn’t always the case that the fears of a crisis are unfounded. Just occasionally it is as bad as you fear, but still Paul’s advice holds firm: Keep your Head. There are challenging and fearful times in ministry and church life, but rarely is an instant reaction the right reaction. Quick decisions are often bad... Continue Reading
Who Can Stop the Lord Almighty?
Who can stop the bride of the Lord Almighty? She has been given a task.
Her bridegroom has been given all authority. Not most. All. As we go through the good works set before us (Ephesians 2:10) let’s keep this in mind. We are part of an unstoppable kingdom. To approach the tasks that our Lord has ordained for us as tasks that are doomed to fail is to have... Continue Reading
The Kingdom of God Conquors Racism
We have a hope that transcends social policies. We have the gospel.
In these days of division, our earthly kingdom seems to be splintered beyond repair. We should long for unity and reconciliation. We should long for a kingdom with no tears from the pains and consequences of partiality. We should long for the eternal joy and equality we were created for. But most importantly, we should... Continue Reading
The Dangerous Culture of Apology
If we have not done anything objectively wrong and know that to be the case, then offering an apology as if we had done something wrong has several serious problems.
While I agree that we should be constantly open to correction, that we’re often blind to our own failings, and that we should always listen with humility to rebuke, I think that this ‘culture of apology’ is not only wrong but actively dangerous. We are minimizing the importance of honesty. We are building a world... Continue Reading
Obedience to Civil Authorities
Christians are bound to a general disposition of submission toward civil authorities, except for when their policies come into conflict with divine justice and the demands of Christ.
We ought to expect for Christians and Churches to embrace a range of acceptable stances that simultaneously reflect primary honor for God, and secondary honor for the state. There will be certain government evils that believers simply overlook (Prov. 17:9; 19:11), either because they are preoccupied with other godly causes, unaware of the said evils,... Continue Reading
The Resurrection’s Higher Math
Christ is better than the law and the law cannot account for the eternal kind of life.
But my Jesus will look at my accuser and say, “Isn’t this why you are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God? Because Jared is in me by faith, and because there is no condemnation for those who are in me, he is an heir of eternal life. I am... Continue Reading
What is Reformed Preaching?
Reformed preaching is on watch for the ways the truth of Scripture relates to every sphere and circumstance of life.
In a day when pastors are looking to the world of business, psychology, and politics for talking points, and sermons are sounding more and more like motivational talks, group therapy sessions, or stump speeches, we would do well to return to the legacy of the Reformation—to recover, yet again, the centrality of preaching in our... Continue Reading
The Voice That Raises The Dead
What Jesus did for this young man and widow is a preview of what he will do one day for all of us who have believing loved ones who have died before us: one day Jesus will give us to each other again.
The fourth time that Jesus’s voice raises the dead is easy to miss. When Jesus gives up his spirit, right before he dies, he cries out with a loud voice, “It is finished!” (Matthew 27:50, see also John 19:30). We are well acquainted with what happens in the next verse in Matthew: the curtain of... Continue Reading
Evolution: not a Theory
It would be best to refer to evolution as a speculation or unsubstantiated conjecture about the past.
It is certainly the case that neo-Darwinian evolution has not been proved. But we probably shouldn’t say that it is “just a theory” because a theory (in the primary, scientific sense of the word) has supporting evidence, whereas neo-Darwinian evolution does not. When people say, “evolution is just a theory,” they probably mean it is... Continue Reading
Fear Being Liked
Being liked is the currency of our social relationships, seen in everything from the unspoken gravitation toward one person over another at a party to the digitized tokens of attention we exchange on social media.
The Lord made us to belong to Him first and to one another second. The fear of being disliked by people can threaten that order. Here’s how: By wanting to be desirable in the eyes of people, we often devalue the superior affection of God toward us. We forget that our main problem has never... Continue Reading
Law and Grace: Co-workers But Not Co-redeemers
We cannot demand people to uphold God’s law without God’s grace,
Let us not forget the hope of God’s grace in our own lives, that when we discuss the requirements of the Law, it is by grace that we are not served the penalty of the Law. There is much talk today about “justice,” and many Christians are requiring others to fulfill the demands of the... Continue Reading