Let No Tribulation in Christ’s Cause Discourage Us (Wyche to Huss)

When the church leaders in Prague burned many of Wycliffe’s books in 1410, Huss and others were excommunicated for not giving up their copies of Wycliffe’s books and for “opposing the Catholic faith.”

There’s more to the story, of course, but one thing worth noting is that an English Lollard (someone who agreed with Wycliffe) named Richard Wyche heard about the incident and wrote a letter of encouragement to Huss – whom he had never met.  I’ll post the letter from Wyche to Huss below.  It is slightly longer than... Continue Reading

The Old Man Crucified: An Essential Book

I want to offer one more book to this list of essential readings on why these doctrines matter and specifically a book which helps apply these glorious doctrines to the everyday man.

I’ve recently started meeting up with a small group of men in my church early on Sunday mornings to help them fight against sin as well as give encouragement in their war against lust. We’ve begun reading through and meditating on D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones’ Exposition of Romans Chapter 6: The New Man, published by the... Continue Reading

Killing an Increasingly Tolerated Sin

One of the prevailing iniquities of our time is the increasing tolerance of pornography.

We’ve gone from scandalous secrecy to open acceptance. The temptation for the Christian is to redefine sexual purity according to the shifting standards of morality. What does it mean to be pure: Monogamy? Not engaging in a physical sexual act? Thankfully, God’s Word is our authority on sexual purity, our unchanging roadmap to joy and... Continue Reading

Jerks for Jesus

Why the temple cleansing (etc.) isn't your permission to always be fighting.

Certainly the Bible says at least as much — if not more — about speaking the truth in love, not tearing down, and letting our speech be gracious as it does “letting people have it.” In any event, what are we to make of the biblical support for this kind of online behavior?   It’s... Continue Reading

Is God More Tolerant Today?

Something has changed. But it’s not God.

The summum bonum—the highest good—of our culture is tolerance. Not surprisingly, as our culture becomes more tolerant and less concerned about sin, so does the god they worship. To support the idea that God is getting more tolerant, some appeal to the Bible.   We are all prone to imagine a god that is more like... Continue Reading

Even the Smallest Sin…

Out of 3002 respondents in the US, 58% rejected the idea that "even the smallest sin deserves eternal damnation."

Unlike several of the other findings, in which there is a noticeable shift in the beliefs of 18 year olds from those of 65 year olds in the church, there was uniformity of rejection in the represented age groups. That ought to give us pause about what has and what is being taught in our... Continue Reading

Why Was the Reformation Necessary?

The great Reformers of the sixteenth century concluded that reform was urgent and necessary in their day.

In pursuing reform for the church, they rejected two extremes. On the one hand, they rejected those who insisted that the church was essentially sound and needed no fundamental changes. On the other hand, they rejected those who believed that they could create a perfect church in every detail. The church needed fundamental reform, but... Continue Reading

A Colossians 3:16 Kind of Singing

“Worship is a response to who God is and what God has done.”

Sometimes we rely on sermons and the worship gatherings alone to get us ready to worship. Friends, we are prone to wander, prone to leave the God we love. True worship is a daily dwelling that Paul is talking about in Colossians. This is a dailyrecognition that what we deserve is death, hell, the wrath... Continue Reading

The Majesty of Suffering

“It is a blessed thing to be subject to the sovereignty of God". John Calvin

Whatever suffering God allows you and I to go through, is suffering that He takes us through. Meaning, He never leaves us to our own devices to deduce or figure out how to endure or tolerate it, but instead walks hand-in-hand with us in the midst of it (Ps. 23:4). God grants to His people the gift of suffering... Continue Reading

In the No: Freedom and Belonging Will Never Be Found in the Hookup Culture

Freedom comes in serving our brothers and sisters by promoting their holiness, not by seducing them for our own pleasure.

The hookup culture is supposedly about freedom and autonomy. Priest’s radio show reveals that the playing field is not really equal. But she doesn’t see that the whole premise of self-interest and self-pleasure in the hookup culture is enslaving.    Radiolab did a series of three podcasts called “In the No” in collaboration with radio maker Kaitlin... Continue Reading

Pastoral Covetousness

Nothing will rob a pastor of joy as much as covetousness.

Ask God to give you joy when other ministries succeed. Ask God to free you from coveting their success. See their success as kingdom success, and remind yourself that we all work for the same master.   There’s something in us that discounts our current circumstances: our lives, our location, our role, our life. We... Continue Reading

The Dying Away of Cultural Christianity

Following Christ is not one’s golden ticket to a white-picket-fence American dream.

Rather than being a cause for alarm, the dying-away of cultural Christianity should be seen as an opportunity. It used to be too easy to be a Christian in America; so easy that one could adopt the label simply by being born in this “Christian nation” and going to church once or twice a year... Continue Reading

How to Respond When a Servant, an Elder, or the Preacher Struggles with Pornography

God’s Word does give us principles to guide us when a servant of the church stumbles into pornography.

Pray your church is a place where confessed sin is seen as a godly triumph. Yes, there should be consequences—especially if the sin is particularly severe and the servant is in a particularly public ministry. But don’t gloss over the fact God kindly brought it into the open. Your leaders now have the opportunity to... Continue Reading

What a Pro-Life Church Looks Like

A pro-life culture in church doesn’t end at the grave.

 A pro-life culture in church is fuelled by the fact that there is not only life after death, but as Tom Wright says “life after life after death.”  A robust doctrine of resurrection, steeped in God’s plan to renew the whole creation (as opposed to souls floating around like cling film on wispy clouds), fuels... Continue Reading

Spurgeon’s Church Planting Strategy

Between 1853 and 1867, twenty-seven new churches were founded by students from the Pastor’s College.

From the beginning, Spurgeon’s goal for the Pastors’ College was “not only to train students, but to found churches.”[2] As much as he emphasized the importance of evangelism, Spurgeon understood that “no amount of occasional evangelistic services will ever render needless the abiding work of organized Christianity.”[3]    Charles Spurgeon lived during a time of theological... Continue Reading

What ‘The New York Times’ Gets Wrong on the ‘Transgender Memo’

Without a stable definition of what a man or woman is, society’s most important constituency—humanity—is left wondering what, in fact, it is.

Two of the world’s foremost experts confidently dismiss the timeless truth that sex and gender identity are chromosomal and embodied realities—while admitting no one knows where gender identity originates or, for that matter, what constitutes male or female. This admission means humanity is left with no stable definition of itself.    Last week, within the... Continue Reading

The Gracious, Sovereign, Effectual Call (Murray)

John Murray’s "Redemption Accomplished and Applied" is an outstanding resource

“If you haven’t read this book, I highly recommend doing so sooner than later! You’ll come away with a greater appreciation of Christ and what he did (and does) for you!”   John Murray’s Redemption Accomplished and Applied is an outstanding resource that gives a clear and concise summary of what the Bible teaches about Christ’s... Continue Reading

Corporate Consequences of Unchecked Porn Use

Here are 11 frightening snapshots of how pornography left unchecked will weaken your church

“Pornography causes us to see others as objects. If this goes unchecked it will turn the common church lobby into a college nightclub. We’ll lose the ability to rightly relate to those we’re called to love and serve. A brother or sister will be seen as a temptation to be avoided or an object to... Continue Reading

Joy and the Protestant Reformation

Joy is not something many people readily associate with the Protestant Reformation

“Last year I read through John’s Calvin’s great work Institutes of the Christian Religion with a young man in my congregation. What struck me most rereading it was the way Calvin repeatedly emphasizes God as our Father.”   “I’m writing a book on joy and the Reformation.” His raised eyebrows were enough to tell me... Continue Reading

The Liberty To Sin And The Liberty Not To

Earlier this week, the Government of Canada legalized marijuana

“I do not want a soft theocracy in this sinful world. I want a fair and free democracy for believers and unbelievers. People should have the legal right to pursue happiness — even when they pursue happiness in sin.”   A nation that strips my neighbours’ liberty to sin will strip my liberty to call... Continue Reading

3 Ways We Corrupt the Idea of Freedom

We might be tempted to think that freedom means a lack of moral constraint

“Another way we might misunderstand the nature of freedom is by thinking that freedom means a lack of personal responsibility. This misunderstanding runs rampant in the world around us. We see people abandoning their responsibilities to their families because they are tying them down.”   “You can’t make me do this. Don’t you know this... Continue Reading

Vincenzo Paravicino and the Valtellina Massacre

Vincenzo Paravicino was one of the many Italians who lived in today’s Swiss Canton of Grisons

“Paravicino’s family had been divided for some time. It was predominantly Protestant, but two of its members had moved to the Roman Catholic camp, leading the opposition. Fifty-five of his relatives arrived in Zurich, while sixteen died during the attacks or while they tried to flee.”   Vincenzo Paravicino was one of the many Italians... Continue Reading

Enduring The Storms Of Life

Some of us are facing difficult circumstances that no one knows about

“Psalm 46 was written as a refuge for God’s people in this age of suffering. It reminds us that God is in control — even when everything around us seems out of control. It teaches us about the faithfulness and sovereignty of God. Nothing comes into our life that has not first passed through His... Continue Reading

5 Reasons Why You Need Financial Goals

As you embark on your journey to financial health, goals are a must

“You would never embark on a family vacation without knowing the destination. And you would never get on the road without how knowing how to get to that destination. You have a plan. The same is true for your financial goals.”   “I want to get financially healthy.” “I want to give generously, save wisely,... Continue Reading

Living When You Know You Will Die

We know we are going to die, but we glory in the hope we have in Christ.

Jesus conquered the enemy we would never be able to conquer on our own through his resurrection from the dead. Because Jesus rose again, we do not have to fear the fangs of our worst enemy. Jesus triumphed over death and by his grace, we will as well.   A few months ago, I walked... Continue Reading

If You Knew Me, You Would Say Much Worse

The more I understand my sinful nature, the more I am living in reality.

Pick up a history book–any history book–and see how many times the oppressed, when given the opportunity, become the oppressors. Is it power that corrupts? Or is it possible that the corruption is already inside of us, just waiting for the right set of circumstances? That’s them, not me, we tell ourselves. But why? Why do we think... Continue Reading

How One Book Changed My Life (Part 3)

If I could name just one defining feature of Mastricht's Theoretical-Practical Theology, it is that it is full of the glory of God.

Theology is not merely about living: it is about living for God, through Christ. Its chief end is God’s glory, and the great means it seeks to that end is our union and communion with God (103), which comes only through the Mediator, Jesus Christ (102).   Previously I discussed how Petrus van Mastricht, in... Continue Reading

The Marrow of Modern Divinity: Edited and Abridged (Wilson)

One of Wilson’s goals of writing the summary was to get more people to read the original Marrow.

To be sure, abridging and editing a book like “The Marrow” is no easy task, and we all might go about it in a slightly different way.  But in my opinion Wilson’s summarization is a good and accurate one.   Many of our readers are perhaps familiar with Edward Fisher’s excellent 17th century publication called “The... Continue Reading

3 Reasons We Should Pay Attention to What We Sing in Church

Music and singing helps connect what our minds might know but our hearts do not feel.

Throughout the history of Christianity, one of the greatest tools for teaching theology has been music. After all, one of the earliest Christian hymns is the great Christological passage of Philippians 2. If it’s true, then, that we are learning from our songs whether we mean to or not, then we ought to pay very... Continue Reading

The Grace of Grieving

Sanctified grief on Ezra’s part appeared to have a blessed and positive effect on the people of Israel.

Do we, as God’s people, mourn over sin? Or is sin too comfortable for us: is it an understandable failing on our part or a most horrific offense in the sight of God? The people’s sin reduced Ezra to a disheveled beggar with torn robes and hair, fasting until evening. That is, I think, how... Continue Reading