Hate is a Christian Virtue

We should, like John Owen, hate sin. Particularly our own sin.

Bolz-Weber is attacking the Bible’s teachings on human sexuality. And the response from the White Horse Inn? An attack on the efforts of some in the church to promote those biblical teachings to women in the church. Not having a daughter, I don’t have a lot of knowledge about those who promote purity rings. I... Continue Reading

Riches to Rubbish–Van Gogh’s Unstable View of the Bible

Van Gogh's story is shot through with complexity.

Van Gogh’s story is shot through with complexity, and I do not intend to over simplify it, but one compelling question must be asked. How did a man who was in his youth so earnest for the Word of God, for the gospel, for Christ, for devoting his life to serving God–how did he come... Continue Reading

A House Divided

There are only two possible ways to be spiritual: worship of nature or worship of the Creator of nature.

While the multitude of pagan cults that flocked to Rome could add to their list the divinized Caesar as an additional god, for Christians, this was an act of polytheism and thus a denial of the very nature of the true and only God. Here was culture shock leading to cultural deadlock. Christianity was seen... Continue Reading

PCA Minister Howard Griffith Called Home to Glory

Dr. Howard Griffith was Emeritus Professor of Systematic Theology at Reformed Theological Seminary’s Washington D.C. campus.

Howard Griffith was the founding pastor of All Saints Reformed Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Richmond, Va., and continued to serve as pastor for 23 years. He was Emeritus Professor of Systematic Theology at Reformed Theological Seminary’s Washington D.C. campus, having taught there since 2002.   Dr. Howard Griffith, 64, was called home to glory on... Continue Reading

Christian U Flip-Flops on Gay Relationships

At the direction of the Azusa Pacific University’s Board of Trustees, the institution will update its student handbook, striking language in it that barred LGBTQ relationships.

“APU is an open-enrollment institution, which does not require students to be Christian to attend, and the handbook conveys our commitment to treating everyone with Christ-like care and civility,” Mark Stanton said in a statement to the newspaper. “Our values are unchanged and the APU community remains unequivocally biblical in our Christian evangelical identity.”  ... Continue Reading

The West is a Third World Country: The Relevance of Philip Rieff

Rieff is today justly famous for his 1966 book, The Triumph of the Therapeutic: Uses of Faith after Freud.

Cultural conservatives face a time when it is not simply a question of debating the nature of our culture on some commonly agreed foundation. It is a time when we face the complete transformation of our culture into an anti-culture.   Perhaps one of the most confusing aspects of this present age is the sheer... Continue Reading

Can We Set Aside Special Days for Special Observances?

Does the Bible say much about special days, such as those commemorating noted events?

It is interesting, albeit sad, that so many of our churches today make a big deal of holidays that Jews, Muslims, agnostics, and other non-Christians can observe, such as Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Thanksgiving, and most recently Sanctity of Life in January and even thay for the whole month, according to some.    It was... Continue Reading

Girl, Follow Jesus

Hollis’s message this time around is, “All that really matters is how bad you want those dreams and what you’re willing to do to make them happen.”

In her latest book, Girl, Stop Apologizing: A Shame-Free Plan for Embracing and Achieving Your Goals, Hollis has gained momentum. She wants you to believe in yourself, to take great pride in your hard work and accomplishments, and to do so without shame and with gusto. She wants you to go hard and unapologetically after your... Continue Reading

Boldness and Clarity as a Light to the World

Sometimes a divided world is worthy of a good cry.

In these times of polarizing incivility, it is tempting to soften the hard edges of faith, to fear our failing public opinion and our impending ill repute, to redraw the lines given by God so that we neither love nor speak with gospel boldness. It is tempting to try to “balance” grace and truth.  ... Continue Reading

Compressing Spiritual Growth in the Age of Acceleration

The opinion of this young man, and of our age, is that super-spirituality is most attainable by those who ingest the highest quantity of edifying media.

Rosa’s basic argument is that our western experience is a forever-accelerating economic system, reinforced politically and socially. Said another way, acceleration is the desire we feel to collapse life into a series of discrete moments and experiences — email to email, tweet to tweet, text to text, snap to snap, meeting to meeting, image to image, and... Continue Reading

7 Unspoken, Unseen Leadership Traits That Make Leaders Great

Good leadership means a leader does what is best for the team and the organization – not for his or her personal gain – regardless of who gets credit.

Leading well means sometimes what a leader does when the team’s back is turned is more important than what they do in the team’s presence. When they don’t know what the leader is thinking or how he or she will respond — they discover they can still trust the leader.   There are parts of... Continue Reading

A Church In Crisis: Reflections on the UMC

In a hotly debated and contentious decision the church doubled down on the current position and even tightened its restrictions.

I’ll admit that the General Conference captured my attention — I watched, listened, and read with great interest. Now, you may wonder why a confessional Presbyterian would be attentive to the things going on in the United Methodist Church. After all, our theology and polity are significantly different. True as that may be, what interested... Continue Reading

Talking About Technology with Your Teen

Ultimately, we want to parent our kids in their use of technology within the biblical values we’ve set for our families. But how do we do that?

If we’re going to assess how technology shapes our families—specifically, our children—we need to think about it because most kids don’t. They live in a world where devices, content, and interaction are all experientially seamless in ways that make it nearly impossible to self-assess the effect of technology on their lives.    In my last BCC... Continue Reading

The Father of the English Bible

“If God spare my life, ere many years pass, I will cause a boy that driveth the plough shall know more of the Scriptures than thou dost.”

Tyndale sought to translate the Scriptures from the original languages rather than the Latin Vulgate thus improving on the work of his faithful predecessor Wycliffe. And so began a mission upon which Tyndale would spend the rest of his life at great cost to himself.   William Tyndale (1494-1536) dedicated his life to the translation... Continue Reading

The Sweet Exchange

It is the idea of exchanging one person’s life and penalty for another’s that Peter uses in 1 Peter 2:22-24.

Sin bearing is the central aspect of Christ’s role. You can believe in Jesus as a good man, as a wise teacher, and as an example of love and compassion. But if you don’t accept his role as the sin-bearer, you have missed the point of Jesus Christ. He came to die.   “It was... Continue Reading

Final Thoughts On the United Methodist Church General Conference

In the final act of GC2019 the episcopal leaders of the entire Western Jurisdiction stood to announce they will ignore all that was passed and become even more radical in expanding their agenda.

In the final minutes of General Conference, the delegates managed to pass both the Traditional Plan and a gracious exit plan, but both without the necessary legislation to implement them. The delegates were never allowed the opportunity to vote on that. We are left with a lot of good words, but no one is required... Continue Reading

Can I Pray Imprecatory Prayers?

In Hebrew Wisdom Literature, lament psalms are the individual and corporate cries of God’s people.

At root, an imprecatory psalm is an invocation of divine cursing. Examples of these imprecations include Psalms 5, 6, 35, 69, and 109, all of which are cited in the New Testament. Curse pronouncements are interspersed throughout the biblical canon. For example, Jesus calls down woes of judgment on religious leaders in Matthew 23.   Yes. And... Continue Reading

Ordination of Women to the Office of Deacon or Deaconess?

Deacons are servants, but not all who serve are ordained as deacons.

These texts demonstrate diakonos is normally functional and only rarely limited to the definition of a local church office. When it refers to an office, the context makes it clear that meaning is intended as in First Timothy 3 where offices are the subject of the chapter. In other contexts, where church offices are not... Continue Reading

Expository Thoughts: Luke 19v11-27 – Why Do We Have Misplaced Sympathy For The Wicked Servant In The Parable Of The Ten Minas?

We too readily jump to the conclusion that the king is a “harsh master” who expects too much of his servants and treats them appallingly.

Given that the king is clearly meant to stand for God and/or Jesus in the parable this plays into our deep-seated fears that perhaps he is harsh and unfair and will treat us badly. However, this is to read the parable with our cultural eyes, and to miss the real point because of a misplaced... Continue Reading

If It Saves Even One Life

I could think of hundreds of ways we could save more lives than we do.

What is so irritating about it as an argument is that it isn’t really an argument at all. It is more an a prioriassertion. This will save a life and thus it is worth it. Worse, it then casts anyone who demurs as a lover of death and one who is happy to see people killed for the sake of... Continue Reading

The Value of Biography

The best way to learn about leadership is by reading good biography.

In Seven Leaders: Preachers and Pastors (Banner of Truth, 2017), his most recent volume, Murray presents shorter biographical reflections on the following Christian pastors and preachers: John Elias, Andrew Bonar, Archibald Brown, Kenneth MacRae, Martyn Lloyd-Jones, W. J. Grier, and John MacArthur. Much like his previous volume entitled Heroes, this book combines a variety of biographical sketches from... Continue Reading

The Lies of Feminism

What you believe about women and men is not a political issue, it’s a theological one.

What you believe about people—our nature, our purpose—flows from what you believe about God. What the early feminists believed about God’s design for women and men, particularly in how we relate to each other, is still alive today. A quick perusal of the writing of women such as Susan B. Anthony and Emma Goldman tells us that they believed... Continue Reading

The Redeeming Depression of Jesus

There is, in the Bible, both a natural and a spiritual depression.

There is a sinful and a sinless spiritual depression. Again, Ferguson explains, “In the Bible, we can divide melancholy and depression into two categories–there is a melancholy that is natural and there is a melancholy that is spiritual. We then have to divide between a spiritual melancholy that has a holy origin and a spiritual melancholy... Continue Reading

Why Should I Pray?

We pray because we were made to commune with God.

God’s people have been called to prayer from the beginning. In Eden, the Lord walked with and talked to His image bearers. But after they followed Satan’s lies and rebelled against Him, they hid when the Lord showed up. Prayer was, in the most radical way, hindered.   Our triune God is a communion of... Continue Reading

Fellowship Presbytery Overtures 47th PCA GA to Commend and Distribute the RPCNA’s ‘Contemporary Perspectives on Sexual Orientation’

Overture 11 from Fellowship Presbytery requests the 47th Presbyterian Church in America General Assembly “Commend and Distribute the RPCNA’s ‘Contemporary Perspectives on Sexual Orientation: A Theological and Pastoral Analysis’”

Fellowship Presbytery approved an overture at its January 26, 2019 Stated Meeting, asking the 47th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in America to “Commend and Distribute the [Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America] RPCNA’s ‘Contemporary Perspectives on Sexual Orientation: A Theological and Pastoral Analysis.’” An overture is a means by which a Presbytery can... Continue Reading

Federal Appeals Court OKs Tax-Free Housing For Clergy

A federal appeals court ruled Friday [March 15, 2019] that a law giving clergy tax-free housing allowances is constitutional.

The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said in its Friday ruling that the effect of the 1954 law is “neither to endorse nor to inhibit religion, and it does not cause excessive government entanglement.” The court noted that Congress has been providing federal tax exemptions for religious organizations as far back as 1802.  ... Continue Reading

Church: There Is Something Wrong If We Are Not Reminded Of Our Mortality And Jesus Resurrection

We gather together as church to re-orientate ourselves around these eternal realities of life and death, heaven and hell, salvation or condemnation.

The early church seems to have deliberately chosen to meet on the first day of the week to mark the resurrection victory of the Lord Jesus. That is why it is described as the “Lord’s Day.” It is also an anticipation of the great and final “Day of the Lord,” when Jesus returns, the dead... Continue Reading

10 Books That Reveal the Idolatrous Nature of Marxism

Marxism is creeping into the worldview of many Americans, including American Christians.

I will describe each book and then rank its level of difficulty on a scale of 1-5, with 5 being the most difficult. Level 1 is the category for a book you could give to any friend or family member. Level 5 is the category for a book that might be required in a PhD seminar.   Here are... Continue Reading

5 Conversations to Have With Students Before They Leave Your Church

In this post, I’d like to focus on what I would consider to be some of the most helpful topics to cover over a student's senior year.

Senior year is a stressful year. The most commonly asked questions for a senior in high school is, “Where are you going to college?” and “What’s going to be your major?” Many students don’t know the answer to these questions. This messaging sends a signal to students that their identity is somehow bound up in... Continue Reading

New Global, Orthodox Identity for United Methodists Surprises Many

Besides the American Baptist Church (liberal northern counterpart to Southern Baptists), only United Methodism among the “seven sisters” of mainline Protestantism has officially retained Christian teaching that sex is exclusively for husband and wife.

United Methodists have openly debated sex since 1972, when the General Conference, responding to ambiguous language on sexuality proposed by a church agency, added to the church’s Social Principles that homosexual practice is “incompatible with Christian teaching.” It also stipulated that “sex between a man and a woman is to be clearly affirmed only in... Continue Reading