The Parables of the Mustard Seed and Leaven

The parables of the mustard seed and the leaven reveal something of the mysterious progress and imperceptibility of the kingdom of God.

These twin parables illustrate the growth of God’s kingdom between Jesus’ first and second advents. In them, Jesus showed that the manner in which He ushered in the kingdom of God need not sow any doubts concerning the power and legitimacy of His messianic office and the kingdom. The humble inauguration was no mistake—it was... Continue Reading

The Meaning of “Refuses to Act” in BCO 34-1 As Interpreted by the 28th PCA General Assembly

A precedent ruling from the 2000 PCA General Assembly can provide guidance on understanding BCO 34-1.

Thus, the only precedent case the PCA has about invoking BCO 34-1 is SJC 1999-01 that came before the GA in 2000. GA’s decision overturning the SJC’s original decision and mandating that it take up the case, should provide precedent guidance to the SJC at this time as it considers whether to assume original jurisdiction,... Continue Reading

Dear Church—Don’t Overlook and Undervalue the Elderly

"It’s a new thing with a new mission for a new target and a new culture.”

In a message sent to the members, they were given an opportunity to attend another Methodist church some 15 miles away during the process. However, they were also informed that when the church relaunched, it would be different and the changes were intended to reach a different group of people in their community. Specifically, younger people.   A recent move... Continue Reading

Taste Formed and Deformed by Culture

Culture is formative and , in some senses, determinative.

Culture can be defined as T. S. Eliot suggested, “the incarnation of a religion”. At the heart of any culture is Richard Weaver’s “metaphysical dream”: an unspoken but ever dominant vision of ultimate reality. From this vision, a culture creates worship, art, jurisprudence, custom, and social order. Quentin Faulkner says that “culture is perhaps best... Continue Reading

How the 10th Commandment Makes Sense of the Prior 9 Commandments

“You shall not desire your neighbour’s household; you shall not desire your neighbour’s wife, male servant, handmaiden, ox, donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbour.”

I think Jesus deepens the logic already implicit in God’s Ten Commandments. He certainly gets to the heart of the matter. But what he gets at was already present in Exodus 20, albeit without the same level of specificity.   As my pastor recently emphasized, the Ten Commandments come from the mouth of God. He... Continue Reading

States are Fighting Back Against Transgenderism and the Assault on Women’s Sports

Given “transgender” logic, it would be discriminatory to deny a “transgender” boy-to-girl the right to compete with the girls.

How many women who identify as men compete in men’s sports? It rarely if ever happens. Transgenderism is a one-way street. It’s only men who are competing in women’s sports and denying girls and women their rightful place in competing with other real women. This is an assault on women’s sports!   Women of the... Continue Reading

What Apostates Don’t Say

Like Pilate, apostates wash their hands of Jesus and add, by their silence, “I find no guilt in him.”

I write this with no malice toward those who have walked away. My heart breaks for them. Being a Christian is hard enough; pretending to be one would be excruciating. But instead, I want to point this out and, by way of warning, direct professing Christians to “consider Jesus” (Heb. 3:1).   When people walk... Continue Reading

A Biblical Approach to an Overly Guilty Conscience

What do we do when guilt feels stuck in our stomach and refuses to go away?

Each of us knows the sickening feeling of guilt over our sins. It isn’t pleasant, and sometimes it comes unannounced. Yet, we also know it was by recognizing our smothering guilt that we confessed our sins and trusted in Christ for salvation. Is this guilty feeling good, even though it feels so bad? What do... Continue Reading

The Parable of the Unforgiving Servant

Not everyone who thinks he is forgiven is actually forgiven, but that is not because of a shortage of forgiveness with Christ.

When Christ spoke this parable, He was on His way to the cross. It’s only because of His one sacrifice on the cross that there can be forgiveness for any sinner. And from the crucified Savior flows the power to manifest this forgiveness to others in the community of faith. It is the good news of... Continue Reading

What Does It Mean To Be The Apple Of God’s Eye?

Because of the true Son of David, we become the apple of God's eye.

How can David claim to be the apple of God’s eye? Can he say this because it’s before his adultery with Bathsheba and the murder of Uriah, her husband? Did he forfeit this claim after he committed such sins? And, what about us? Surely we couldn’t lay hold of this title. We know our sin.... Continue Reading

For the Hymnal

Having a hymnal in the pew and in the home helps join the sacred and the secular.

Having the physical hymnal in the pew and at the dinner table creates a beautiful resonance and harmony between church and home. A liturgy of life emerges that helps Christian piety and devotion extend beyond Sunday morning. This is especially well-facilitated in Lutheranism and other traditions where the hymnal also contains Scripture-saturated liturgical services, rites,... Continue Reading

Dear Memaw: A Letter I Wish My Great-Grandmother Could Read

I wish I could tell you about your piano, Memaw. It is quite the story. But since I can’t tell you, I tell Him, each day, and thank Him for it.

I guess I’m writing this letter more for me than for you. I guess I’m writing it because I needed to be reminded that God orchestrates even the tiniest details, like your old piano, to accomplish His perfect plan. Maybe that’s what comforts me the most when I sit on that creaky bench each day.... Continue Reading

The Spirit of Puritan Worship

The Puritans were zealous for pure worship, because God is zealous for the glory of His name.

Spiritual worship is not a passive experience; it requires concentration, exertion, diligence, and “striving” with all your might (Rom. 15:30) to serve God with a single-minded focus upon His glory (Col. 3:22).[13] David prayed in Psalm 86:11, “Unite my heart to fear thy name.” In worship God must be the center of our attention and... Continue Reading

Parenting Books: Moving From Formulas Back to Principles

You must be committed as a parent to long-view parenting because change is a process and not an event.

Many Christians would even say that the Bible isn’t a parenting book, because it doesn’t give practical day-to-day help. It is true that you won’t find verses about the terrible twos, the tween years, or helping your twenty-something child to “adult.” We can, however, miss the forest for the trees, forgetting the foundational principles from... Continue Reading

Repeated Sinning and the Hope of Forgiveness

When we return to God in brokenness and in confidence that he has already provided forgiveness in the blood of Christ, we will make it our renewed aim to be well-pleasing to him.

God has redeemed us so that we would walk in paths of righteousness. Jesus died to both the guilt and the power of sin so that those for whom he died can walk in newness of life. “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people,” writes the apostle, “training us to... Continue Reading

The Blessed and Only God: Part One

What Christ has done flows out of who God is.

Let’s be honest, the knowledge of God is a bit of an acquired taste. At first it seems too remote or intellectual, like a piece of classical music; but on closer inspection, after repeated exposure and listens, you pick up on the beautiful patterns, the intricate textures, the emotions and images that are provoked and... Continue Reading

The Parable of the Rich Fool

This parable is short and simple, but at the same time it is rich and profound.

The man is living like a fool, like someone who does not believe in God or as someone who lives as though God does not exist. “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God’ ” (Ps. 14:1). He is oblivious to the sovereignty of God. “But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your... Continue Reading

Why Did the Pharisees Hate Jesus So Much?

The Pharisees were exposed, and because they were exposed by the true and authentic holiness of Christ, they hated Him.

A lot of things had happened between the day of the formation of the Pharisees and the time of Jesus’ incarnation, when they masqueraded as devotees of righteousness and obedience. In a word, they were counterfeit. They were fake. And nothing reveals a counterfeit like the presence of the genuine.    When you talk to... Continue Reading

How to Read Joel Theologically: Part One

Joel does not only call on people to return to the Lord and call on his name. His invitation to seek the Lord wholeheartedly is associated with a vision of God’s coming into his creation.

Joel begins with the awesome experience of the locust plague and transforms the experience into a transcendent message of the nearness and awesomeness of the Day of the Lord. Both the plague and the Day of the Lord occasion a renewed search for God without any pretense or self-justification. God promises his presence and vindication... Continue Reading

Don’t Just Live, Christian – “Walk”

We are to walk with God. That is the journey of intimacy.

There is a way you can live in which you don’t just live – you walk. And this is God’s intent for all of us who are in Christ. It’s to live in such a way that’s so different – so distinctive – that you can’t even describe it as “living” any more. The Hebrew word... Continue Reading

3 Good Things to Remember When People Let You Down

As much as it hurts when people disappoint us, it is important to remember that all of us have disappointed people as well.

Perhaps you expected something from a certain person that he or she didn’t give you. This does not necessarily mean the person has sinned against you. We all have expectations of the people in our lives, and this goes both ways. Maybe people close to you—your spouse, children, parents, friends—hoped you would treat them in... Continue Reading

Hell Will Not Unsettle Heaven

The horror of judgment and promise of joy.

When the clouds roll back, and we peek into heaven, we see martyrs cry out for justice: “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” (Revelation 6:10). We hear an angelic call to worship “because the hour of his judgment... Continue Reading

A Plea for Meekness

A meek person gives a wise, poised, and measured reaction.

I believe evangelical Christians would be wise to recover the lost trait of meekness during the upcoming political elections. Yes, there is a place for healthy discourse in the public square. Yes, there is a place for healthy dialogue across the political spectrum. Yet the modest question I raise to my fellow evangelicals is this:... Continue Reading

The Inspiration of Scripture

We see that Paul had a very high view of God’s Word.

What does it mean that “All Scripture is breathed out by God”? I translated as “God-breathed” the Greek word θεόπνευστος or theopneustos, which is a compound word comprised of θεός or theos, “God,” and πνέω or pneō, “to breathe hard, or blow.” What does this tell us? The word πνέω speaks of of a conscious... Continue Reading

Revisiting Revoice: Same-Sex Attraction in Sanctification

One cannot remain neutral with regard to whether SSA is morally culpable sin or a gift from God. Far too much is at stake.

The way forward in the journey of sanctification is not a selfish focus on sinful desire, but a freeing focus on the fatal wound dealt to our sin in the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. As 2 Corinthians 5:21 says, “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so... Continue Reading

The End of (Secular) Babies

The West is defined by its incredible shrinking families.

Having children, multiple amounts of them, will make your families outliers in the culture. In this late modern age having children—and plenty of them—is an increasingly outrageous, if not to say subversive and scandalous act.   Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him.  Like arrows in the hands of a warrior... Continue Reading

Taste Spoiled By Sweetness

Aesthetic immaturity is one of the reasons for a discrepancy in taste among people.

Since Scripture describes man’s propensity for self-deception, and his inclination towards self-worship, it is no surprise that sentimental art is popular and that unreflective people consider it their preference.   A discussion of taste is one of the most difficult (and unrewarding) ones to have, for most people are unreflective about their likes. “I know... Continue Reading

Rejoice Always

Obedience to this command is not accomplished by an act of the will.

The tribulations of life are inevitable. But they do not have the last word. The crucified and risen Christ is the world conqueror. The Lord Jesus Christ reigns over heaven and earth. This includes all of the blessings and burdens of your private world.   Do you know what the shortest verse in the New... Continue Reading

Why the cancellation of Franklin Graham should concern us all.

If we value our right to speak, and if we think free speech matters, we should be bothered about this case.

You may or may not agree with Graham’s politics. You may or may not agree with his religious views and the way he puts them across. But that he should be permitted to voice them was once a universally accepted basic right. But not any longer.   One of the difficulties of being a free... Continue Reading

PCA’s Defiant Greg Johnson Scheduled to Speak Revoice 2020 as PCA Splits

No denomination has grown in reach or numbers after embracing “gay Christianity” or gay marriage.

It appears the activists in the Revoice movement are excited that their movement is helping split one of the conservative denominations in America. PCA Pastor Greg Johnson may even be flaunting it.   Some Revoice History The idea of “LGBTQ Thriving in Historic Christian Tradition” is the theme of Revoice .The movement began in 2017... Continue Reading