An Everlasting Meal

In God’s wisdom, the death of Christ would coincide with the Passover feast.

Jesus supplies the primary purpose of this new covenant feast: “Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me” (1 Cor. 11:25). Paul clarifies that this mandate has an expiration date: “For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes” (v. 26, emphasis... Continue Reading

Incomprehensible but Knowable: Special Revelation

God is pleased to reveal His glory to Moses, but only part of it.

What do we have that didn’t come from somewhere or someone else? Applied to our knowledge of God: what do we know about God that He Himself has not told us? In a certain sense, theology is a one-way street. We cannot attain to the heavenlies. The heavenlies must come down to us. In Exodus... Continue Reading

You Are Not You Without Him

Die to yourself, and you will find the true you.

The God who made us in his own image has not given us the power to create a self that can survive on its own. From the beginning, our true identity (who weare) has been tied to our Creator (who he is): “God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him” (Genesis... Continue Reading

Sabbath Rest – Part 1

The most detailed revelation on the concept of rest begins after Israel’s Exodus from Egypt.

“I am the Lord your God,” a common recognition formula that God often employs to instruct His people on who He is.  When morning came, Moses relayed the command of the Lord to the people to take as much as they could eat, an omer, according to the number of people in each tent.  Those who... Continue Reading

‘It Was a Miracle’: Freed Pastor Andrew Brunson Celebrated at Big DC Events, Gets to Walk Daughter Down the Aisle

Though it was a time of celebration, Pastor Brunson encouraged the officials that Christian persecution in Turkey is growing.

“There’s a lot of bad stuff happening in Turkey right now, most of it not toward Christians but toward people who are accused of supporting Fethullah Gülen,” Brunson said. “I have many friends in prison in Turkey now who should not be in prison. Many families have been destroyed.” In the midst of intense persecution, the... Continue Reading

On Fire for Christ: Remembering John Rogers (February 4, 1555)

A man with bold ambitions and simple obedience to match.

John Rogers stands in a long parade of God-centered men; men who preached the truth, confronted sin, lived uncompromising lives, and finished strong.  Like Rogers, some were martyred.  Others died of old age or were tormented with disease.  Those who participate in this Christ-exalting parade still have something to say.  Their courage emboldens us.  Their lives... Continue Reading

Guidelines for Grumbling

What then if I have been guilty of grumbling or have been tempted to guilty gripes and later given in?

If we have a work-for-wages spirit, and think we are more deserving than others, because we have worked harder or longer, we have seriously misunderstood the principle of grace: none of us deserves a thing from God except destruction, hell, death and miseries in this life – any reward that a son of Adam gets... Continue Reading

Sermon Application Missteps, Individualism, Universalism and Duty

Many sermon applications are not matters of absolutely constant moral duty or obligation.

Sermon applications get into trouble when the preacher identifies a particular application and lays it on the conscience of all their hearers in equal measure. With no attention to the range of individuals and contexts. This clumsiness is often made worse when moving from the Old Testament to the New Testament. Passages which are primarily addressed... Continue Reading

Honoring God

Honor is so vital that many Scriptures accentuate it.

Romans 1:21 vividly depicts what happens when honor disappears. This clear verse is a mirror that shows what honor is and what it is not and how honoring God is tied to our essential moral fabric. Yes, morality begins with theology. Though the dishonorable retain some spiritual sense, Paul, in fleshing out the doctrine of total... Continue Reading

Marks of a Healthy Church- A Biblical Understanding of Evangelism

Tell people with honesty that if they repent and believe they will be saved–but it will be costly.

As one preacher said, “To ‘evangelize’…does not mean to win converts…but simply to announce the good news, irrespective of the results” (135). We certainly hope to see God powerfully move in a person’s heart and save them! However, if you share with someone and they reject the gospel, you have done the work of evangelism.... Continue Reading

The Cross of Christ and the Problem of Evil

There is nothing quite as wonderful as being the object of God’s ill-deserved, glory-maximizing mercy.

In what follows, I provide a brief argument (four propositions and a conclusion) that seeks to make sense of evil in the world. The argument is based on the metanarrative of Scripture—creation, fall, and redemption; together with the revelation of God concerning his overarching purpose for creation and history. I call this the Greater Glory Theodicy because... Continue Reading

The Hope of Biblical Compassion: Charity

Given the unbiblical nature of the welfare state, what should Christians seek to do? Abolish it.

Jesus came to grant liberty to the oppressed and the prisoners. Orthodox Christians would never let the state take charge of the Gospel. Neither should we leave to the state those imprisoned in the welfare state. Especially when we consider the spiritual danger they are in. Remember, people who are not willing to work are... Continue Reading

Church Budget Matters That Matter

The heart of a church's budget is to relieve needs.

I think it’s fair to say that there are two line-items ordinarily emphasized by the Bible. The first are relief funds for the poor (see Acts 2:45, 4:34, Romans 15:26, 2 Corinthians 9:9, and Ephesians 4:28). As God’s own riches are measured in his mercies (see Ephesians 2:4) it’s the peculiar glory of the church... Continue Reading

…but I Have a Couch

I prayed, and as I sat on my couch, asking God how to do hospitality for Him, a new concept came to me.

Perhaps the most helpful and practical thing to do is to look around and recognize what you have, and then be intentional about using what you do have to obey God. For example, I don’t have a large space, but I do have a couch. So, I now invite women to come share a pot... Continue Reading

Your Tears Are Not in Vain

God has the most power to help and should be consulted first.

When my little man cries I have a deep affection and longing for him to get better. And that’s coming from me, a sinner. The perfect Father’s love is flawless and beyond measure. Often in those painful moments of life, God is sanctifying us. He cares too much for us to remain like we are... Continue Reading

A Contrast in Growth

Whereas Jacob was unwilling to release his son – God was not unwilling.

Do you see what Jacob has done?  First, as a father he has failed.  He seems to be willing to allow his family to die of starvation in order to preserve the life of Benjamin from some unforeseen accident while traveling to Egypt.  But as bad as that is there is something far worse.  Jacob... Continue Reading

Upheld by Everlasting Arms

The verse or passage we may read to our members should be explained and applied in a way that shows them there is substance in the words offered to them.

In Deuteronomy 33, Moses addresses the tribes of Israel with words of blessing. The blessing for each tribe is custom-made. God does not offer one-size-fits-all blessings to his people; but, rather, tailors them to their circumstances and need. But what is so striking about these blessings is the ‘bookends’ between which they are sandwiched. They... Continue Reading

Sexual Abuse by Teachers is on the Rise

Just under 500 educators were arrested on the incidences of sexual abuse in schools nationwide in 2015 according to statistics.

Today’s technology makes it easy for predators to discreetly prey on children. Students usually have their phones with them at all times, which allows the perpetrator free and unmonitored access to the child. Even children without cell phones can be targeted through their laptop, tablet, or personal computer.   Lately, it seems like it has... Continue Reading

The Sweet Spot of Reformedish Kingdom Theology (or why 2k looks R)

What if being culturally engaged was not about being on the right side of social and political reforms…but about suffering through and enduring an evil age?

What if being culturally engaged was not about being on the right side of social and political reforms, with the banner of Christ held high, but about suffering through and enduring an evil age (Gal 1:4). I understand that when Jesus said, “If you were of the world, the world would love you as its... Continue Reading

Church Clarity: Exposing Church Policies and Theologies Affecting How People in Culture Are Perceived

The goal of delivering Church Clarity should appeal to all people, regardless of their particular beliefs, or even if they are not involved with a local congregation.

Powerful institutions tend to operate in ambiguity, rather than in clarity. And churches are no exception. Many churches fail to disclose their actively enforced policies on their websites. Can a woman preach? Will you officiate a same-sex wedding? Hire a queer pastor? Answers to these questions often remain elusive. Ambiguity enables those with power to... Continue Reading

Context Matters: With His Wounds We are Healed

Jesus still bears the wounds that now heal us.

In this post, I’m not able to tackle the full ideology of faith healing, nor do I intend to discuss whether we ought to expect miraculous healings to continue taking place today. These are complex issues that warrant complex treatment. But in this post I will deal one small part: the common appeal to Isaiah 53:5 to... Continue Reading

Abortion, Human Dignity, and Jesus

When we reject the teaching of Sacred Scripture concerning what grounds human dignity and purpose, it only follows that we’d lose all dignity and purpose.

In his book Homo Deus, Harari (a self-proclaimed atheist) concludes it doesn’t exist. If mankind isn’t made in God’s image, then we really aren’t any more special than piglets or puppies. When you don’t believe humans have objective dignity, you cannot truly value human life. If you go one step further and reject the belief that humans... Continue Reading

What Really Happened on the Cross? Part 2

Reconciliation, Redemption, and Conquest

Previously, we argued that the most fundamental characterization one can make of the atonement is that it is a work of penal substitution—the Lord Jesus suffering the penalty for the sins of His people as a substitute for them. Then, we claimed that we might further define this penal substitutionary atonement according to five key... Continue Reading

A Real Live Slippery Slope in Action for All to See

The current state of the abortion issue is just like watching a volcano erupt out to sea and build an island in double quick time.

The place we are in late modernity today vis a vis abortion is a prime example of a decision being made about a matter in which all of the presenting arguments at the start of the process are swamped and overrun by the landslide that follows once the decision has been taken. For all of the scornful... Continue Reading

New Law Requires New Jersey Public Schools To Teach LGBT History

The measure was modeled after a similar law that passed in California in 2011.

New Jersey boards of education must adopt instruction that accurately portrays “the political, economic, and social contributions of persons with disabilities and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, where appropriate,” according to the text of the law. Murphy said he was “honored” to sign a bill that will make teaching “about the rich contributions and... Continue Reading

Undying Love

The doctrine of divine impassibility is the belief that God has no “passions”—that is, no disordered affections that could make his love ebb and flow.

God’s affections are always in accord with his holy and gracious character. They are perfect, self-derived expressions of his faithful covenant love. While our emotional responses are often manipulated by others, or caused by circumstances that make us act “not like ourselves,” God is never less than true to himself. Thus, the fundamental difference between... Continue Reading

What Does a Future Merger of the ECO and the EPC Mean for the PCA?

With the possibility of realignment within American Presbyterianism, the PCA can once again, and with one voice, be the conservative, confessional, and complementarian Presbyterian Church in America.

But what does this mean for the PCA? Because of the recent exposure of the progressive vision by a few in the PCA, increasing numbers of pastors have been made aware and have begun the process of mobilizing a coordinated effort. If the aforementioned merger does occur—and I believe it will—progressives can exit slowly, having... Continue Reading

Union with Christ is Everything

The wonderful truth about Christians' union with Christ, and all that it means, is at the heart of Christianity spirituality.

What “spiritual value” comes from union with Christ? It is our position in Him that makes His death count for us and His resurrection mean our life (Rom. 6). Inclusion in Christ is the logic of salvation; when you exclude it from your picture of redemption (even with the intent of being more inclusive), you sever salvation from its... Continue Reading

A Polity to Avoid Like the Plague

If the structures aren’t there, things go awry and the whole house of cards comes crashing down.

There is a particular ecclesiological problem that is absolutely toxic. Actually, there are several. But there is one that rears its head frequently that, should you see it, I would counsel you to keep well away. That is the leader who surrounds himself with only with yes-men. It is the polity that puts one man... Continue Reading

The Irony of Holding a Grudge

When we think we are executing some kind of justice by holding a grudge, we actually harm ourselves more than we harm the object of our disdain.

Sure, obtaining “justice” might not always look the same, depending on your personality, but typically it looks like lashing out, ignoring the other person, avoiding eye-contact, walking the other way when you see them, and having imagery debates in your head. We’ve tricked ourselves into thinking there is freedom in that. They have to pay,... Continue Reading