What Difference Does an Inerrant Bible Make?
"We affirm that a confession of the full authority, infallibility and inerrancy of Scripture is vital to a sound understanding of the whole of the Christian faith."
The Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy strikes a delicate balance. It affirms that the doctrine of inerrancy is “vital to a sound understanding of the whole of the Christian faith” and that to deny it has grave consequences for the individual and the church. However, this statement also makes clear that belief in inerrancy is... Continue Reading
As They Turn To Burning Bibles, Portland Rioters Show Their True Colors
While rioters in Portland previously attacked federal buildings, businesses, and even officers, this weekend, they found a new target: Bibles.
“I don’t know what burning the Bible has to do with protesting against police brutality. Do not be under the illusion that these protests and riots are anything but an attempt to dismantle all of Western Civilization and upend centuries of tradition and freedom of religion.” While rioters previously attacked federal buildings, businesses, and... Continue Reading
Why Reformed Christians Are Vulnerable To Social Justice
At this rate, social justice is probably going to be one of the major legacies and pitfalls of the Young, Restless, and Reformed movement.
Social justice has become so widely accepted in mainstream Reformed circles it might be considered their sixth point of Calvinism. Some influential leaders and organizations look like they identify with social justice just as much as they identify with the five points of Calvinism and the five solas. Many young Christians didn’t learn how... Continue Reading
White Fragility and Getting White People To Talk About Racism
Perhaps no author has played a more central role in this cultural conversation than Robin DiAngelo and perhaps no book has been more widely recommended than her book.
The great tension at the heart of the book is this: Why is a white woman leading the conversation about racism and racial inequality? If white people are so biased and so blinded by our whiteness (as she herself teaches), how can we trust her to properly understand the problem and prescribe the right solution?... Continue Reading
Got Peace Right Now? 7 Things You Need to Know about Your Justification in Christ
"Because if this article stands," said Luther, "the church stands; if this article collapses, the church collapses."
As sinful creatures, the gospel does not come naturally to us. We need to be reminded over and over again of the fact that God’s grace is lavish. It comes as no surprise that a biblical conception of justification would cause offense, for justification is the very heart of the gospel. That is precisely why... Continue Reading
Christian Maturity and How it Relates to Discernment
Discernment is something all of us should be doing as believers.
It is so sad when I encounter believers who have the attitude that their walk should never offend anyone so they do not “practice that discernment stuff.” On the other hand, I have also seen many “discernment ministries” online that I would prefer that they weren’t. Discernment is important so let’s take a closer look... Continue Reading
Marriage in Rapid Decline, Even Among Evangelicals
It is not an overstatement to say that if this trajectory holds, our society will collapse.
What does it mean for America that in half a generation, the total percentage of men in their prime participating in marriage went from half — already an alarmingly low rate — to close to only a third? From 1 in 2 to 1 in 3 married? If we were a nation that was genuinely... Continue Reading
One in Three Practicing Christians Has Stopped Attending Church During COVID-19
Barna researchers identified a few types of churchgoers in this unique era of digital Church.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at each of these groups of Christians, including generational and emotional trends among each. This data was collected in late April through early May 2020, so percentages mentioned below may have again shifted in recent weeks as the pandemic has progressed. However, the responses shown here—reflecting engagement... Continue Reading
The Way of the Kingdom
This is our Savior. This is love. This is the way of the Kingdom of God.
We should stand amazed that our Lord, in His moment of greatest affliction––and as the object of the greatest injustice in the history of the world––would stretch out His hand to His enemies in love. This last miracle of love is rivaled in greatness only by our Lord praying on the cross––as the soldiers nailed... Continue Reading
The Wrong Enemy
Paul told us who the real enemy is in Ephesians 6.
We pray against the wrong enemy a lot of the time. Why aren’t we praying against Satan and the demons? Just because we can’t see it, and we don’t know much about it, therefore, we think that the battle is entirely in the visual spectrum. But the real battle is a spiritual one. When we... Continue Reading
3 Good Things to Remember When You Feel Overwhelmed by Your Sin and Failures
Though he disciplines us, teaching us as a loving and gracious father, he remembers our dusty weakness with compassion.
It is good to mourn our sins in confession, regretting the pain we have caused others and ourselves. It is right to have a healthy desire to be taught by God—to have the discipline of a loving father. Yet, in our weakness God shows forth his glory in the love and forgiveness we have in... Continue Reading
Disobedience of God Results in Cultural Chaos
The underlying reason for our rebellion is our disregard of God’s ultimate authority in our lives.
The real problem in Israel in the time of the judges was that they had rejected the authority of God as their King. That is the same problem we see in our culture today. We have rejected the authority of God and His Word and have substituted the authority of man. We see that very... Continue Reading
What Came Before God?
God’s eternality is inseparably related to His self-existence, His aseity.
His eternality, perhaps more than anything else, sets God apart from us. His holiness refers not only to His purity but also to His otherness or transcendence—the sense in which He is different from us. One thing we human beings have in common is that we are creatures, who by nature are temporal. At the... Continue Reading
Theological Proportionality and Your Nose
To blow something small (or even large) out of proportion, or even to shrink something that is very large, is to distort the beautiful face of the gospel.
Say a man draws a portrait of a face with a hilariously large nose, and you critique him for doing so. It will do you no good to pull out a book titled “list of body parts found on the face” because “nose” surely will be there. The painter may even have memorized the chapter... Continue Reading
Why I Love The Belgic Confession
The piety of the Belgic Confession is why I love the Belgic Confession.
I remember one man to whom I gave a copy of the Belgic Confession, told him to read and then get back to me. His summary was, “I felt like it was Christianity 101 that I’ve always believed.” That was music to my ears. Why? The “Reformed faith” isn’t a cultic set of doctrines and... Continue Reading
A Christian Response to Death
While giving death its due, she must not stop there but point her people to the promise of the empty tomb and the final resurrection.
While the mystery of Christ’s tears surely surpasses human finite understanding, one thing is clear: the promise does not cancel the present pain of death or circumvent grieving and lamentation. In fact, the path from Abraham to Christ strongly suggests the opposite, that knowledge of the promise and the final victory of God over death... Continue Reading
The Nature of Our Hope
The nature of our hope is our conforming to Christ.
Our lives are like grass, here one day and gone tomorrow. Our death is always imminent. And I’m looking forward, not just to the redemption of my body, but also the sinful tendencies I struggle with every single day. In his book the Triumph of the Crucified, in the chapter on the Rapture and the... Continue Reading
Jesus in the Gospel of John – the Good Shepherd
God had come in the person of His Son to shepherd the sheep.
In God’s declaration we find echoes of the shepherd of Psalm 23 where the shepherd is the Lord Himself. He will not desert the sheep but instead lead them to grazing fields of green pastures and to refreshing drink from still waters. Under His watch the sheep need not fear evil. These words take on flesh... Continue Reading
More Pastors Agree With Andy Stanley: No Worship Services Until 2021
Now 5 percent of church leaders say they don’t expect to reopen for the rest of the year.
In the video announcement sent out to his congregation, Stanley explained that even if North Point resumed services, only a small portion of the church could or would attend, and the church could not guarantee safety from the virus. Holding Sunday gatherings would also put leaders in the logistically difficult position of contact-tracing should an... Continue Reading
Conservative Jurisprudence Without Truth
In our own time, we have seen a replay of the old question of who really counts as a human being.
This truth about the human person, the subject and object of the laws, is not the kind of subject that comes into sight when conservatives turn their minds to “jurisprudence.” Yet for James Wilson among the Founders, this truth was the anchoring truth of the law. He thought it fitting to touch on this truth... Continue Reading
God’s Gifts in Times of Crisis
Thanks be to God that in times of crisis we are not left to ourselves, but can look to Christ.
When our hearts are troubled, Jesus commands us to actively practice our faith. We remember and pray things like, “I believe in God, my Heavenly Father. And I believe in Jesus Christ his only son who died for me. I believe God loves me and is in control of everything that happens in my life.... Continue Reading
Search Engines Are Not Value Neutral
Rather than trying to sift through search engine results, we should find trustworthy sources—respected theologians, for example—that can help us learn good theology.
Search engine companies such as Google have claimed that such SEME is not possible, and they seek to operate with transparency for the processes that inform their search engine algorithms. The chances are high that search engine companies do their best to operate in a fair and transparent manner. Nevertheless, this doesn’t preclude or eliminate... Continue Reading
Justice Is Coming
The glory of Christ as judge of the world.
First he came to offer salvation to a world under condemnation. “God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him” (John 3:17). Yet he will come again to put the axe to the root of the tree. First he came... Continue Reading
Accessibility: I Don’t Think That Word Means What You Think It Means
Much of what passes for ‘accessible’ isn’t really as accessible as we seem to think.
We all insist that we want to make our sermons accessible and yet, to listen to a lot of them, I’m not sure we mean the same thing when we use that word. Of course, accessibility (to some degree) is in the eye of the beholder. But I can benchmark accessibility by certain folk in... Continue Reading
Hearing and the Mission of the Church
The Word of God is at work inside believers.
When preachers preach the gospel, some audiences will not believe what they hear. Even if preachers clearly communicate the gospel to their hearers, some will refuse to receive it in faith. Preachers, therefore, should not become frustrated or discouraged. Quoting Romans 10:14–17, author Roger E. Van Harn explains the central role of hearing in... Continue Reading
Of Homes and Nations
The only hope of prosperity for any nation is Christian parents training up their children in the ways of the Lord.
If the course of our country, wherever that may be, is to progress in a God-fearing and righteous manner, that must start in the Christian home. We cannot expect the world around us to pursue a path we secretly balk against ourselves. Casting down idols in the public square will not last if we are... Continue Reading
The New Bigotry
Real progress comes through God’s Spirit and Word empowering God’s people.
Consider the program and aim of bigotry: It seeks to pigeonhole and caricature another group in order to disparage their dignity and worth. Bigotry flattens a person’s three-dimensionality. It is dismissive, and its purpose is to gain control. These markers sound quite a lot like what passes today for political discourse. Among the thinning... Continue Reading
Gospel Ministry: The Kingdom Only Triumphs Through The Unnoticed Faithfulness Of The Many
Most of the acts that lead to the spread of the gospel will be unnoticed and unremarked in this life.
We need to be careful how we judge and who we celebrate. The triumph of the gospel is never just the victory of ‘The Few,’ but of the whole body working together. We need to know that our contributions, however small and insignificant they might seem, matter. This month marks the 80th Anniversary of the... Continue Reading
Racial Justice: The New Religion?
“ Woke is the new Saved."
What is unfolding before our eyes is a new secular religion. For all its claims of “inclusivity,” this new faith is deeply intolerant. It has roots in the American past that would likely surprise its adherents: the Puritan era of our nation’s earliest religious zealots. Progressives are now engaged in doing theology without God. ... Continue Reading
The Heart in Conflict
Until our desires are perfectly aligned to Christ’s in glory, we cannot escape the friction that often happens when two sinners rub shoulders.
Settling for superficial peace and the ceasing of hostilities is tempting. But the goal of the believer is to glorify God by being conformed to the image of Christ. That can only happen when we deal with the heart first and foremost. How long has it been since your last conflict? Many of us... Continue Reading