Scripture, Culture, and Convictions
No matter what cultural issues may arise, Christians must commit themselves wholly to God as He reveals Himself in His word.
Scripture is its own interpreter and the divinely inspired interpreter of life in this fallen world. In our day, predetermined cultural conclusions about any given ethical matter in society are formed in academia and popularized through the medium of television and the internet. In fact, they are not merely popularized. They are packaged in manipulating... Continue Reading
America Is in the Grips of a Fundamentalist Revival
But it’s not Christian.
Yes, secular religion is breaking out across the land. That’s old news. Here’s what’s new—it’s growing so very dark. We don’t need to repeat all the recent excesses of cancel culture to know that many anti-racist progressives are in the midst of a hunt for ideological heretics, and even the oldest sins can’t be forgiven.... Continue Reading
Follow the Way You Want To Be Followed
There is a call on those who lead to first master the art of following.
The fact is, we train our followers by the way we follow. We teach them how they ought to follow us by the way we follow others. I am reminded of the words of Jesus who warned, “With the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.” It’s a proverb that can be... Continue Reading
Beauty and Motivation
The will chooses what it loves.
Jonathan Edwards tackled the questions of motive, desire, and freedom in his work The Freedom of the Will. There Edwards argued that the strongest inclination is the choice one makes, and that choice is the same as the will. There is no neutral “deciding faculty” within us, independent of beauty. Whatever the mind perceives as the... Continue Reading
What Is God Up To?
The Temptation to Overinterpret Suffering
This pandemic is the first time that many of us have reckoned with a particular trouble that affects nearly everyone, and it has caused us to think more about God’s ways. Though the answers across the body of Christ will have different emphases, there are at least three matters on which we can have broad... Continue Reading
Why Read Early Christian Authors?
Examining the Modern Life with Help from the Past
Consider…the challenge, one of the greatest of today, posed by Islam’s attack on the Trinity and the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ. Broadly speaking, Evangelicals are woefully inadequate in their ability to respond to such an attack for they rarely ever hear sermons on the Trinity and the Incarnation. Here, the Fathers can help... Continue Reading
Why Did Satan Target Eve?
How Man and Woman Fell Out of Order
Does God’s original order stand after the entrance of sin into the world? And more to the point, might how sin entered the world give us reason for upholding God’s original order still today? For centuries, 1 Timothy 2:12 was not controversial. Now, in some circles, it has become one of the most debated... Continue Reading
An Important Win for Religious Liberty: Espinoza v. Montana
The opinion effectively ends the ability of state governments to discriminate against religious education under what are commonly referred to as “Blaine Amendments.”
The Supreme Court now finds in a 5-4 decision—with Chief Justice John Roberts writing the majority opinion along with Justices Thomas, Alito, Gorsuch, and Kavanaugh—that the Montana Supreme Court’s invalidation of the Montana scholarship tax credit/scholarship program was unconstitutional. When first instituted, the legislation allowed parents to use scholarship grants for tuition payments to religious... Continue Reading
Here’s The Dilemma Humanism Can’t Solve But Christianity Can
The Humanist savior is mankind, while the Christian savior is Jesus Christ.
There is another answer, the one provided by Jesus Christ. But secularists/humanists are increasingly not merely rejecting the answer provided by Jesus Christ, they are becoming more intolerant and impatient with it, as seen in radical leftist Shaun King’s declaration this week that “all murals and stained glass windows of white Jesus, and his European... Continue Reading
Bringing Down Churchill
Churchill’s statue in London’s Parliamentary Square was defaced by a protestor who spray-painted “was a racist” across its base.
While recognizing his flaws, we should, however, evaluate Churchill’s historical context and scrutinize his arguments. And we should remember that without Churchill, Britain might have capitulated to the Nazis as France did and that world history would be radically different. In leading Britain during World War II, Churchill acted with consummate courage and arguably had... Continue Reading
Your Culture and Your Preaching – Part 2
Five categories of cultural influence on our public speaking.
Do we tend to take the stance of the celebrity expert, or the authoritarian scholar, or use the indirect authority of gentle encouragement? It is not just whether we speak with authority or not, but how that authority is wielded. This is about whether we are more direct or indirect, instructive or suggestive, bold or... Continue Reading
The Evangelical Church’s Confused Witness on Race: Part 3
The apparent obsession of many of the leaders in the SBC and the PCA with white racism is rooted in white guilt.
Racism will be with us until Christ consummates His marriage with His Bride, the church. But God’s wisdom shows us that the best way to help blacks and other minorities is not through welfare, affirmative action, or confessing our racism—unless, of course, we really are racist In Part 2 of this series, we presented the... Continue Reading
What are the Differences Between Covenantal and Dispensational Theologies?
Reformed Theology was a refreshingly different perspective than what I had grown up with (and not quite so scary!).
We all struggle to understand the relationship between the Old and New Testaments, and the host of questions that come along with it: How do we know which OT laws carry over and which do not? What is the relationship between the church and Israel? Should we interpret prophecy literally or symbolically, or a mix?... Continue Reading
Balance: More Than Just Merely a Goal or Good Idea
As a follower of Christ, you are to walk worthy or in equilibrium with the call of God.
When you consider all three senses of the Gospel, you begin to understand the call. Paul commands all believers to live consistent with the calling – or the Gospel. As believers, we are saved from sin and toward a new life of good works in Christ, become part of God’s one family, and receive the... Continue Reading
Transformation Through the Word
God’s inspired Word is “profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”
The sufficient Word has given those ordinary means of grace that, through their regular use, will shape believers to live as disciples who observe everything Jesus taught: reading the Word, preaching the Word, singing the Word, prayer, giving, baptism, and the Lord’s Table. The regular, disciplined use of these means of grace progressively forms believers... Continue Reading
Writing Every Wrong
Social media provides us with the endless opportunity to opine on anything – whether anyone cares to hear it or not; but do we personally have to right every wrong?
These tests may militate against our impulse to write immediately, spontaneously, and even crushingly. However, pausing to weigh the wisdom in whatever we would write may well lead us to forego the writing altogether – or certainly to adopt a wiser tone that corresponds with these biblical tests. We really do not need to write... Continue Reading
Is The Church’s Officer Class Surrendering?
They have declared that the purpose of the Gospel is racial reconciliation rather than reconciliation of sinful man to a holy and righteous God.
So now even the Gospel is subverted to meet the needs of the gods of Diversity and Inclusion. They have pimped the Gospel to to appease people who will never be appeased. They have declared that the purpose of the Gospel is racial reconciliation rather than reconciliation of sinful man to a holy and righteous... Continue Reading
The Well-Trained Theologian
Essential Texts for Retrieving Classical Christian Theology
As students begin courses and prepare for seminars, as pastors are trained for the pulpit, they are not required to engage the wisdom of the ancient past firsthand or what many have labelled classical Christianity. Such chronological snobbery, as C. S. Lewis called it, is pervasive. Over the last several decades, evangelicalism’s lack of... Continue Reading
I’m Not Hateful, You Are
Judge me? You don’t even know me!
Across the great American political divide, the two warring tribes have made an identical judgment about the other—“I’m not hateful, you are.” Or, to put it even more precisely, “I may not hate you, but you hate me.” One of the first and most elementary things a young Christian learns in Sunday school is... Continue Reading
A Gasp of Pain, A Sigh of Relief
In God’s sovereignty, he has interrupted so many of our habits, both good and bad.
It is my sincere hope we will all think carefully about our church-based commitments before returning to all of them. I said in the early days of the pandemic that it isn’t often we get a do-over in life, but this situation has given us one. Doesn’t it make sense to take it? The... Continue Reading
Home, Church, and State—God’s Good Gifts and Satan’s Evil Attacks
We need a biblical analysis of what we are seeing, feeling, and experiencing together in this great national unrest.
As the world rises up in desperate rage against the police departments of our world in a broader sense, calling out for their defunding and in some cases abolishment, we are seeing the work of the great conspirator. Make no mistake, Satan’s aim is to ensure sin rules the day, and to remove any and... Continue Reading
Judas, John & Jesus
It is good to ask the question "Why did Iscariot betray Christ?"
Were God to withhold (common but especially) saving grace from us, remove the guard by which He shields our souls through faith, and retake or not bestow the regenerating and sanctifying Spirit that resists war-waging flesh, all of us would succumb to Satan like Judas. Introduction Of all the characters in Scripture, the most... Continue Reading
Small Decisions Matter: Discernment for Everyday Life
Who among us can walk in wisdom?
The distinctions we make between good and evil are paramount. Scripture pleads with us to be alert to these decision points. And then there are micro distinctions we must make between what is good and what is better, what is bad and what is worse. In the best of times, all of these decision points... Continue Reading
Beauty, Ethics and Worship
Both truth and goodness, lacking beauty, do not have the power to convince and save.
The significant exodus from Protestant Evangelicalism to Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy in the last few decades is at least partly due to aesthetics: the perceived barrenness of beauty in the average Evangelical or low-church. Sometimes throwaway lines leave a deep impression. One of those were words written on a blog I avidly followed... Continue Reading
Guarding Against Heresy and Holding Fast to Sound Doctrine
The ancient historian Rufinus tells us (Church History 10.15) that the eminent bishop of Alexandria, named Alexander, was sitting by the sea one day when he glanced up to see some boys playing a game on the beach: not tag, nor chasing after a ball, nor swimming. These Christian boys were mimicking the actions they had... Continue Reading
The Neoliberal Counter-Revolution
We’re witnessing a counter-revolution of the neoliberal class—academe, media, large corporations, ‘experts,’ Big Tech—against the nationalist revolution launched in 2016.
But when national institutions bow (or kneel) to the street fighters’ demands, it should tell us that something else is going on. We aren’t dealing with a Maoist or Marxist revolt, even if some protagonists spout hard-leftish rhetoric. Rather, what’s playing out is a counter-revolution of the neoliberal class — academe, media, large corporations, ‘experts’,... Continue Reading
Is God Judging the World?
How the Book of Revelation Explains our Crises
Are all the troubles the world is currently facing punishments from above? The simple answer is yes . . . and no. Charles Spurgeon once quipped that “only fools and madmen are positive in their interpretation of the Apocalypse” (The Sword and the Trowel, October 1867). Perhaps you will bear with me in a little... Continue Reading
A Guidebook for the Coming Christological Civil War
Christology has lost its twofold basis.
Many Christians no longer affirm the key to classical Christology doctrine, namely, that the infinite, immutable, impassible one unites to finite, mutable, and passible humanity. Some Christians even affirm neo-apollinarianism. And rarely do churches proclaim Christology from the pulpit (at least in its more theological form). As we have debated the doctrine of Trinity... Continue Reading
What Do You Mean by Evil?
Also known as “the rock of atheism,” the problem of evil argument intends to show an internal contradiction between the nature of God and the story of reality.
There’s a reason why we all wrestle with this issue at one time or another. It’s because everyone experiences evil to some extent, and certainly everyone experiences suffering at some point in life. Keep that in mind for a minute. It was standing room only as people lined the back of the packed room.... Continue Reading
Cloaked Cowards: A Theology of Conflict
If ever a theological discussion escalates beyond a placid tone of “agree to disagree,” observers begin shifting their weight, clearing their throats, and contemplating the carpet.
I’ve had Christians with me while I was explaining the gospel to someone, and the Christians seemed more uncomfortable with the situation than the person being evangelized. So, while their apprehension may or may not lead them to physically climb onto your shoulders, the prospect of potential conflict makes many believers nervous. Growing up, I had... Continue Reading