Busyness and Rest

If Jesus had to be deliberate with His priorities, so will we.

Don’t think Jesus is some kind of esoteric teacher who spent His life solely in contemplation. If Jesus ministered in the flesh today, He’d get more emails than any of us. He would have people and the media clamoring for His attention. Jesus did not float above the fray, untouched by the pressures of normal... Continue Reading

Serving from the Heart

We aren’t just serving men; we are serving Christ.

Paul knows we will be tempted to serve “by the way of eye-service” (Ephesians 6:6). It was a good thing that I loved my family well while my friend watched. But I should also seek to serve my family sacrificially when no one is watching. In private moments, I should serve to glorify God. In... Continue Reading

Our Church’s Journey to Reach Families with Disabilities

Jesus saw people with disabilities. He did more than notice them; he filled his house with them. He instructs us to do the same.

Another way to begin to consider disability in the context of the church is through the parable of the great banquet in Luke 14. Jesus prefaces the parable with an instruction: “But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay... Continue Reading

Lead Us Not into Temptation

Sin is serious and we are more prone to it than we care to admit.

When Jesus reached for the language of  ‘leading’ and ‘tempting’ in the prayer he gifted to his people for posterity, it was borne out of the deep personal experience of his own true humanity. He was not for a moment suggesting that his beloved Heavenly Father was guilty of trying to ensnare him; rather, he... Continue Reading

Are You Born Again?

Belief is the product of the work of the Holy Spirit. Without belief no one is saved.

The work of the Holy Spirit in the heart of one who is being saved is not something we can control in any way. It would be as if we could observe and control the wind if we could control what the Holy Spirit does. However, just as we can see the affects of the... Continue Reading

The Most Perfect Being

God is self-sufficient and independent of anything or anyone.

An imperfect “God” doesn’t offer much assurance or hope at all, but the one true triune God is perfect. He is so much greater than my misconceptions of him, and I’m thankful that he uses sermons and books correct my understanding. And the only reason I could know God in the first place is that... Continue Reading

As Useful to the Church as the Sun: John Owen on Hebrews

Owen intended his commentary to outlive him.

By the time his third volume was published in 1680, Owen believed the end of his life was imminent, even speaking of his “near approach unto the grave.” For Owen, there was no time to waste on preliminary matters. The tome consists entirely of an exposition on Hebrews 6–10 and contains some of his most... Continue Reading

Biblical Authority in Worship Practice

As individuals, Christians are free to observe religious practices as long as they do not contradict Scripture or consider such practices necessary to salvation.

Paul insists in verse 5 that “each one should be fully convinced in his own mind” concerning observing sacred days, and in verse 23 he warns that “whoever has doubts is condemned if he eats, because the eating is not from faith. For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.” In other words, one must... Continue Reading

The Frozen Chosen

The doctrine of election ought to affect our lives. It ought to warm our hearts and lead us to worship and serve the Lord.

Genuine faith manifests itself visibly in the things that we do and the words that we say. It may be hidden for a season, but it cannot remain that way. It will manifest itself visibly in our lives. In that sense, we cannot be “chosen” and remain in a “frozen” condition. There may be times... Continue Reading

Breakpoint: GLAAD Not Happy About Declining Acceptance of LGBT

How the Movement Overplayed Its Hand.

The political, legal, and cultural victories of the past decade have led many LGBT activists and allies to believe that the kind of complete “acceptance” GLAAD is after was not only inevitable but imminent. So much so, they became impatient not only with people who overtly disagreed with them, but even with those who were... Continue Reading

A Man over the Moon

The historic Apollo moon landings still marvel scientists a half-century later, but astronaut Charlie Duke says he’s also learned the heavens declare the glory of God.

Astronauts and astronomers hope remembrances of Apollo 11—and the eight other lunar missions in the Apollo program—ignite fresh interest in scientific careers and space exploration, even as private companies aspire to build space colonies or travel to Mars. Duke hopes the awe-inspiring footage and images will also spark the kind of spiritual wonder he finally embraced... Continue Reading

The Ethics of 2K

a Christian is a member both of the body of Christ, and to human beings more generally.

In the letter to the Ephesians, Paul uses the word ‘member’ to refer to Christians in a churchly setting, as you would expect. (3.6)  But rather surprisingly he uses it again to members of the kingdom of this world, our neighbours in the widest sense, (4.25) We do good to our neighbours by being honest... Continue Reading

Sabbatical Thoughts: Repentance and Rest

What promises of God have I allowed to drift to the back of the mind that need to be brought to the front so that I live boldly in the light of them?

It is so easy to be pessimistic- why repent when I know I am going to fall again? And yet the one with faith will say that defeat doesn’t have to be inevitable because I go forward believing that God the Holy Spirit lives within me. And, to pick up the theme above, it is... Continue Reading

God Is the Knower of Hearts

Knowing that God sees any pretense, any wrong motive, or any hidden agenda will help us guard our thinking.

Since God searches the hearts of men, that means our hearts too; it also means that He will give unto every one according to our works (Revelation 2:23). Think about that. This is why we must fill our hearts and minds with the Word of God instead of the garbage the world is trying to... Continue Reading

God Will Give You More Than You Can Handle

Give the Lord your lament. Give the Lord your pain. Give the Lord your tears.

God will give you more than you can handle, but He will never give you more than He can handle. These are the two statements that now drive my preaching and counseling. God gives you more than you can handle so that you can realize you can’t handle it on your own! He gives it to you... Continue Reading

The Fall of Man

The Fall not only affected Adam and Eve but all of humanity until now.

Adam and Eve disobeyed God which introduced sin and death into the world. Satan whispered questions of doubt, “Did God really say?” He led them to believe that God was withholding good, but if they just ate the fruit, they could “become like God.” When we begin to question God’s Word and doubt his goodness,... Continue Reading

Does Holding to Biblical Views on Life and Marriage Adversely Affect the Gospel’s Message to the World?

Do Evangelicals holding to a pro-life and a biblical male-female priority for marriage make it harder to convert people to genuine Christianity?

Because the recipients of this brainwashing will be predisposed to view any movement that upholds the biblical male-female priority for marriage and anti-transgender integrity of the sexes as the equivalent of Ku Klux Klan racism. The only kind of Christianity that these potential converts will be primed for is a heretical, left-wing “liberal” version.  ... Continue Reading

The Faithfulness of Christ in the Little Things

Our Lord’s faithfulness in little things was simply the reflection of the perfect beauty He saw in the face of His Father.

Although Jesus owned no Hebrew Bible of His own, He had hidden it in His heart. He listened to God’s Word each day and meditated on it. That means something more than merely reading it. He was reflecting on it, letting it sink in, digesting it.   It is a principle in Christ’s kingdom that... Continue Reading

The Pollution of Man

Knowing our complete inability to save ourselves highlights the grace and mercy of God.

Even if man were to recognize his condition, total inability means that he is powerless, on his own, to change his ways. Just like the leopard cannot change his spots (Jer. 13:23) so we cannot stop our sinful actions and motives. 1 Cor. 2:14 teaches that the natural man doesn’t receive the things of the... Continue Reading

Klein v. Oregon: Religious Liberty & Freedom of Speech vs. Gay Rights

What are the Constitutional claims supporting the positions of faith-guided commercial providers who are asked to set aside their religious beliefs by customers who ask them to offer services contrary to their convictions?

The first basis for relief from the reach of the anti-discrimination laws is the claim that such laws violate the freedom of speech of the providers. At first blush, it may seem a stretch to regard baking a cake or arranging flowers as “speech.” However, federal Constitutional cases have long recognized that protecting speech is... Continue Reading

Who is Chosen in Love?

We were just as unholy and fallen as the rest of the fallen human race until God intervened.

The wonder of divine election is not that God loves us because we are lovely but that He loves us even though there is nothing lovely in us. But in choosing us, He loves us in order to make us holy in His sight. Those whom He chooses will certainly become lovelier over the course... Continue Reading

Alcuin of York–More Than a Scholar

Two doctrinal concerns take prominence in Alcuin’s writings: the primacy of grace and the divinity of Christ.

Alcuin’s accomplishments were numerous and varied, both for the church and the Carolingian court, and his impact on Charlemagne was probably more profound than the existing documents allow us to know. He also influenced generations of European thinkers, either directly or through the educational programs he designed.   Alcuin of York–More Than a Scholar In... Continue Reading

CA Legislators Blame Religious People For High LGBT Suicide Rates

There is no reputable, serious research showing people commit suicide because a particular religion refuses to embrace homosexuality. None.

We must admit that something else is driving the tragically high suicide rates of our gay and lesbian neighbors, and it’s not traditional faith convictions. True compassion demands we find out what that cause is; these lives are too valuable to play baseless politics with.   Legislators in California have discovered yet another way to... Continue Reading

Mind the Gap

The admonition is to pay attention to where you’re walking lest you fall into the gap.

The gap between where we are in our spiritual growth and where we need to be is addressed through the mind. We are to mind the gap, recognizing that we are to progress in Christ-likeness and seeking the grace of God that Christ might be formed in us.   We want to sow in our... Continue Reading

Why We Need More Pastors Like Augustine

Retrieving Ancient Pastoral Practice

But things weren’t always this way. It’s time for the post-Christian church to return to its parochial roots. The bishops and presbyters of the ancient church aspired to nothing more than faithful ministry—possibly ending in martyrdom—in their assigned parish. The paroikia was their focus: a “sojourning community” in a particular time and place. The early... Continue Reading

The Pollution of Man

Knowing our complete inability to save ourselves highlights the grace and mercy of God.

Even if man were to recognize his condition, total inability means that he is powerless, on his own, to change his ways. Just like the leopard cannot change his spots (Jer. 13:23) so we cannot stop our sinful actions and motives. 1 Cor. 2:14 teaches that the natural man doesn’t receive the things of the... Continue Reading

Has the PCA Become A De Facto ‘Side B’ Church?

“Side B Gay Christianity” refers to professing Christians who identify as homosexuals, but who say they will remain celibate.

So what proponents of the “Side B” position in the PCA are demanding is that either that we join them in burning the pinch of incense and saying, “Side B is Good” or that we silently submit to the de facto position. They have in essence declared that for someone to respond publicly to TE... Continue Reading

Five Biblical Points of Dordrecht

A look at the statements in the five Articles of Dort (utilizing the acronym T.U.L.I.P.), in order to show their biblical foundations and theological precision.

When we contemplate what Scripture says about the severity of man’s fallen condition, the glory of God’s eternal purpose to redeem a people, the perfection of the atoning sacrifice of Jesus, the sweetness of the power of God to bring sinners to Himself, and the assurance of God’s commitment to bring His people to glory... Continue Reading

Will America Go To War With Iran On The Basis Of A Theological Fiction?

Mistaking modern day Israel for biblical Israel is not just some innocuous theological framework if it’s being used as a possible justification for going to war.

Going to war with Iran for any reason, short of Iran directly attacking the United States of America, would be a foreign policy blunder with disastrous results. But going to war based on the theological fiction which confuses the modern nation-state of Israel with biblical Israel, equates anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism, and singles out Iran for... Continue Reading

Scapegoating the Church for LGBT Suicide and Stigma

Our legislators need reminding of both law and science as they rush to scapegoat people of faith—and stigmatize reasoned disagreement—as a primary cause of sexual minority suicidality and depression.

If religious convictions are a major contributor to stigma and suicide, one would expect much lower rates of such in nations with relatively fewer people of orthodox faith. But a 2006 study from the Netherlands noted, “This study suggests that even in a country with a comparatively tolerant climate regarding homosexuality, homosexual men were at much higher... Continue Reading