Understanding Sexual Sin: The Harvest USA Tree Model
Thinking of our hearts as part of a tree originates from Jesus’ words in Luke 6: “...each tree is known by its own fruit."
The new heart and new life that Christ gives is the beginning of an entirely new tree. In the gospel, our true and eternal identity is in Christ, even though we still battle with the patterns and baggage of our old ways. Rather than simple self-discipline and willpower, though, the real source of change is new... Continue Reading
We Got Here Because of Cowardice. We Get Out with Courage
Being woke: Racism is redefined. It is no longer about discrimination based on the color of someone’s skin. Racism is any system that allows for disparate outcomes between racial groups.
Every day I hear from people who are living in fear in the freest society humankind has ever known. Dissidents in a democracy, practicing doublespeak. That is what is happening right now. What happens five, 10, 20 years from now if we don’t speak up and defend the ideas that have made all of our... Continue Reading
Making Honey and Naming Names
Careful and honest critique is necessary to protect God’s Church.
While we live in an age where men lack backbone and are often times unwilling to do the unpopular thing, it’s quite refreshing to see men like Voddie Baucham spend time dealing with the issues and pointing out the errors of men and organizations that were once trusted and respected. At the recent 2021... Continue Reading
When God Became Heaven for Me
The gospel is not a way to get people to heaven; it is a way to get people to God.
What’s better than a world without sin, sorrow, and death? A world with God. Yes, he will wipe away our tears. Yes, he will heal our wounds and cure our diseases. Yes, he will finally do away with that awful enemy, death. But those blessings, while infinitely great, will be as puddles next to the ocean... Continue Reading
The Effectual Call
It is imperative that we understand that we are in Christ according to the work of God and remain in Him because He preserves us in the Son.
Just like Abram, we are justified (declared righteous) by God because we have believed Him in the promise of the Son. We believe because we have been effectually called with a holy call according to the purposes of God, not the purposes of any man. After these things the word of the LORD came... Continue Reading
Study: Nearly 70% of Born-Again Christians Say Other Religions Can Lead to Heaven
Of an estimated 176 million American adults who identify as Christian, just 6% or 15 million of them were actually found to hold a biblical worldview.
Strong majorities were also found to errantly believe that all religious faiths are of equal value, people are basically good and that people can use acts of goodness to earn their way into Heaven. The study further showed that majorities don’t believe in moral absolutes, consider feelings, experience or the input of friends and family... Continue Reading
Deeper: Real Change for Real Sinners
Book Review: Ortlund continually brings us back to what is already true of us and presses it upon us more firmly.
Deeper is a rare book. It is applied theology. It is doctrine pressed on the heart. It is a book that enacts an approach to change rather than simply arguing for that approach. Dane C. Ortlund. Deeper: Real Change for Real Sinners. Crossway, 2021. 192 pages, hardback. $21.99. Dane C. Ortlund is the author of the widely-acclaimed... Continue Reading
Your Child Is Different, Not Less
God doesn’t make water boys. He creates image bearers: human beings blessed with the privilege of reflecting God’s character through whatever God given capacities they possess. This reality is caught more than taught. It is conveyed in how we treat others in our relationships and in how we treat our children throughout the day. ... Continue Reading
The Church Among The Deathworks
The rainbow-colored stole that the priest wore is a deathwork. And deathworks are just as lethal to the faith as any explicit denial of Christian teaching.
“Deathwork” is a term used by sociologist Philip Rieff. It refers to the act of using the sacred symbols of a previous era in order to subvert, and then destroy, their original significance and purpose. Rieff uses Andres Serrano’s notorious 1987 picture Piss Christ to illustrate this. The work is a photograph of something considered... Continue Reading
Escaping the Clever “Kafka Trap”
The secular world clearly controls the language game.
The “You’re a racist either way” charge (called a “Kafka trap”) is just one current example of the kind of nonsense used by our own culture’s thought police to cloud our minds and confuse us. Racism exists, of course, but claiming all whites are racist because they’re white simply trivializes genuine racial bigotry. The... Continue Reading
Here I Am, Send Someone Else
We must use these days wisely, for they are the only days we have. Our life is a vapor.
These are not the days for someone else! These are our days. Let us share the gospel and live obediently before the King, which entails even standing for the truth in hard seasons. I think applications abound here. But let us encourage one another all the more as we see the Day approaching. Let us... Continue Reading
The Re-Imagined World of John Lennon
The negation of the very things that are real or the denial of distinctions is not a biblical worldview and certainly not one that is Creator/creature distinctive.
I could not help but notice that the song is replete with the word “no”. No heaven…no hell…no countries…no religion…and no possessions. According to the lyrics, somehow or in some way, the “no” of these things is supposed to bring about “a brotherhood of man” where all share the world, and we live as one.... Continue Reading
Patience Is Waiting on the Lord
Patience is a positive virtue. It’s not merely the absence of sin; it’s the pursuit of righteousness.
In the end, God always keeps perfect time. He never underestimates the amount of time it will take to accomplish a goal or to bring about a certain result. He never misjudges his own ability; he never miscalculates the moment to act. Because he is sovereign over all, his plans and purposes unfold precisely when... Continue Reading
Mentoring Made Simple
A simple approach to mentoring: in a relationship of love and encouragement call others to faith and repentance.
We call them to believe about themselves that God has created them with gifts, abilities, and talents to use for his service, the service of others, and for their own joyful use. We help them to recognize these gifts and talents and call them to believe that God can use them to bless others, and... Continue Reading
When the State Tells Pastors What to Tell Their Congregations
If a pastor in England in the 1630s, or in Canada in the 2020s, can be compelled to speak certain messages at the state’s command, then religious liberties are at risk.
James I “transmitted the Declaration to his bishops with an order that it be read from pulpits, but resistance was immediately forthcoming. Some clergy, including the Archbishop of Canterbury, determined to refuse compliance, while a few bold spirits preached against the royal proclamation.” The king withdrew the order, but the declaration’s impact upon England was... Continue Reading
Why Do We Call It Evil In The First Place?
The “problem of evil” is the highest barrier to faith for members of Gen Z and second highest (after Christian hypocrisy) for Millennials.
The problem of evil, pain, and suffering is difficult to bear on a personal level. Christians should be careful not to too-quickly dismiss the concerns of people who have experienced these very-real realities. However, the presence of these in our world does not rule out the existence of God. In fact, the presence of evil... Continue Reading
Feed the Sheep by Any Hand
Fighting Envy in Pastoral Ministry
We seek to do the church good while hoping others do more good than we ever could. Threats become brothers to us again when we learn to long for others’ success where we have failed, when we long for others to take God’s people across the Jordans we never could. When we begin to pray,... Continue Reading
A significant portion of the Psalms do the same thing – the author pours out his heart and bares his soul to a God who listens.
So easily we lose the childlike simplicity of prayer; a child speaking to his/her father. We start to think more about the people around us that we can see than the God above whom we cannot. We pile up stock phrases or mumble our way to an amen as we prematurely reach for our fork. Even when... Continue Reading
God’s not “They:” Divine Pronouns Matter
In this cultural moment, the call is to de-gender God altogether, along with everything else, including us.
The Bible’s gendered language is no accident of history. Rather, it tells us significant things about God and His attitude toward His Bride, the Church. It is not coincidental that our lives are given to us as gendered beings; rather, it reveals aspects of the greatest love story in human history. God is the Father,... Continue Reading
The Armor of God
It inflames the Christian’s heart with language that radiates strength and courage for the warfare we face “in the evil day” (v. 13).
Putting on the armor of God that Christ Himself bore is tantamount to putting “on Christ,” which we have already done when we were baptized “into Him” (Rom. 6:3 ; Gal. 3:27). This is tantamount to telling us to look to Christ in faith for all things. Our faith in Christ informs everything about our daily lives so... Continue Reading
The Haunting Effects of Sin
As it did with David, sin has a way of robbing us of peace and joy. It can weaken, embarrass, and grieve us years after the indiscretion.
In an extraordinary way, the Lord uses the haunting effects of sin to bring his child to the point where we will no longer be able to be haunted by them. By using them to conform us to His image, not only will we avoid sin in the future, but when the accuser rears his head,... Continue Reading
No Shortcuts to Growth
The key is not in the Bible; it is the Bible.
God’s work is easy for Him. He doesn’t look for shortcuts because He never grows weary. We get tired and frustrated, however. We’re tempted to look for the simple path, the quick answer, the effortless way forward. But there is none. Sanctification requires diligently attending to the means God has given us. The growth may... Continue Reading
Don’t Sin to Fix Sin
Whatever problem we may be faced with, however messy and difficult to untangle, the solution to it is not further sin.
As a general rule, we don’t want to sin in order to fix sin. Where we are in such a mess that every immediate choice looks like something we ought not to do, we want to put right as much as is wrong (such as we are able) and to press toward what will lead... Continue Reading
The God of Marxism—Part 3
The god of Marx, Lenin, etc., was the act of revolution because that was the only thing that could bring about their imagined Utopia.
The entire worldview of the Marxist is inescapably materialistic… Marxist ideology teaches the exact opposite. It does believe that life consists in the things we have (or do not have). It has no kingdom of heaven. Everything is earth-bound and materialistic. Karl Marx was a professed atheist, but I do not believe in atheists... Continue Reading
I Find My Delight in Your Commandments | Psalm 119:47
Do you love God’s law?
Indeed, now that Christ has taken upon Himself the curse of the law for us, the great dread of the commandments has been removed. We are now entirely free to obey out of love and delight, rather than out of fearing the consequences. We no longer look at the commandments as if they were an... Continue Reading
More Than Mom Can Bear
How to Love Beyond Our Limits
When God pushes us past our limits with circumstances that have us sprinting and gasping, it is his grace to us. He’s driving us toward his goodness. He’s pressing us beyond ourselves to new vistas of himself. He’s moving us away from the things that would really harm us by putting distance between us and... Continue Reading
How the Irish (Christians) Saved Education
Irish monks viewed the preservation of literature and knowledge as part of their task as Christian scholars and clergy.
The Irish also had a hand in the recovery of education on the European continent in the late 8th and early 9th centuries. Having built an empire, Charlemagne realized that he desperately needed educated officials to govern it. So, he searched for the best scholar in all of Europe to head his educational reform program... Continue Reading
Is the Church in China being Persecuted?
Pastor Wang Yi was sentenced to 9 years in prison, deprived of his political rights for 3 years, and 50,000 RMB of his personal property were seized.
This gentleman declares his fidelity to the Lord Jesus Christ and his burning desire to live faithfully according to his Word: not just as an individual but also as a member of the church of Jesus Christ and particularly as an ordained leader within it. He is being persecuted for preaching the gospel, He is... Continue Reading
Prayer Tips: For What Should We Pray?
Though the Holy Spirit does indeed offer groanings and utterings in these moments (Rom. 8:26), we still want something solid to express and pray.
Indeed, whatever God ordains is right because, not only will He not leave or forsake His people (Deut. 31:6, Heb. 13:5), He will also continually care for us as a Shepherd tends His flock (Ps. 23), and He will work all things for His greatest glory and our greatest good (Rom. 8:28). Therefore, we pray for... Continue Reading
The Enneagram, the Angel, and the Divine Coma
The Enneagram is not to assess personality types but to figure out which of the nine paths to God each one must take to reconnect with their “true self.”
McCord attempts to rehabilitate the Enneagram by using biblical language and is doing so with no one calling her out for it, other than myself (as far as I know). Even pastors who should know better are falling for McCord’s fake gospel Enneagram. By crafting the right-sounding terminology, it can sound biblical. With a modest amount... Continue Reading