True Fruit of the Fear of God

If we are walking this life outside of the fear of God then we will be operating in the flesh.

The fear of God is the missing ingredient in most professing Christian’s walks. The Spirit-filled believer does fear God and walks in submission to Him in all things. The fleshly believer does not fear God and walks according his or her fleshly fears and lusts. They may indeed deeply desire to have victory over their... Continue Reading

Keep the Whole Book in Mind

The whole Bible matters when we interpret the whole Bible.

We write a lot on this blog about how context matters. But we aren’t only concerned with the sentences and paragraphs surrounding your favorite verse. This example from Luke 20 shows the importance of at least three different Scriptural contexts. The location of the question in Luke 20 and the baptism in Luke 3 reminds us that the immediate context... Continue Reading

An Honest Abortion Debate

A response to Caitlin Flanagan’s essay in The Atlantic.

The most powerful part of Flanagan’s essay comes in its latter half, a challenge to supporters of abortion rights, when she discusses the technology that enables 3D ultrasound imaging of the fetus in utero. “These sonograms are so richly detailed that many expectant mothers pay to have one made in a shopping-mall studio, much in... Continue Reading

Why Do Christians Need to Hear the Gospel Every Day?

Meditating on God’s Word and gospel truths roots our faith.

The gospel is a greater treasure than temporary gratification, a greater pleasure than sin to enjoy. Knowing that there is no good thing we can do that would make God love us more in Christ actually frees us to love and obey him rather than to take advantage of His grace (see all of Romans... Continue Reading

The Pastor and Reformation

The Scriptures are sufficient to guide us in friendships and the worship of God.

The pastor’s role as an overseer is to guard the church’s behavior. Interpersonal relationships matter as the church is called to maintain the unity of the Spirit and the bond of peace (Eph. 4:3). Likewise, weekly worship must be orderly and arranged in such a manner as to bring glory to God. When the weekly... Continue Reading

How the Sexual Revolution Created Identity Politics

Today’s identity crisis is part of a larger undoing.

I do not intend to provide a critical review of Eberstadt’s book, something which would take much more time and effort, and something which has already been done (such as this review by Carl Trueman). Instead, I wanted to offer a summary of the book’s main lines of argument and offer it as a very... Continue Reading

Prayers from Colossians for Gospel Workers

Let’s spur each other on as a body of Christ!

It sometimes can be hard though to know what to pray for workers, especially if there haven’t been any recent prayer points. However, the Bible is full of gold when it comes to praying on behalf of God’s people. Here are five sample prayers drawn from Colossians that I’ve been using when praying for those... Continue Reading

A Creedal Christmas – Christ

To say that Jesus is the Christ is to ascribe to Him all that the Old Testament heralded of God’s Messiah.

The fifth chapter of the Gospel of John paints an epochal portrait of Jesus, speaking of His identity and the climactic character of His mission. In that chapter Jesus says this: “You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me” (John 5:39). The... Continue Reading

The Ten Commandments: The Sixth

May he grant us grace to resist anger and promote life.

We must begin by following our Lord’s direction and confronting the murderous tendencies of our own hearts. In his sermons on the Ten Commandments, Henry Bullinger singles out anger and envy as twin, deadly tendencies. Sinful anger is a sense of injury that intends to resolve itself to the hurt of the one who offended... Continue Reading

A Tale of Two Responses: Worldly Grief and Godly Grief

As believers, we must acknowledge that when we are confronted with our sin, it is the kindness of the Lord.

Our response when we are confronted with our transgressions reveals whether we have worldly grief or godly grief. John the Baptist exhorted the crowds who came out to be baptized by him, “Bear fruits in keeping with repentance” (Luke 3:8). That is, turn from your sin and do the things which reflect a repentant heart.... Continue Reading

Darwinism’s Big Breakdown

Michael Behe says evolution degrades genes but doesn’t create them.

Behe’s new book, Darwin Devolves, focuses on how “Darwinian processes nicely account for changes at the species and genus levels of biological classification, but not for changes at the level of family or higher”—in other words, microevolution but not macroevolution.   Michael Behe, a 67-year-old biochemistry professor who has taught at Lehigh University since 1985,... Continue Reading

A Western Renaissance

The relationship between Charlemagne and the papacy was uneasy.

Charlemagne and his successors saw themselves as “sacred kings,” the divinely chosen rulers of a Christian empire, responsible to God for its spiritual as well as secular welfare. The pope was, to them, nothing more than their chief spiritual advisor. So long as church and state were united, and seen as two aspects of a... Continue Reading

Depression Fought Hard to Have Him

William Cowper (1731–1800)

What shall we learn from the life of William Cowper? The first lesson is this: We fortify ourselves against the dark hours of depression by cultivating a deep distrust of the certainties of despair. Despair is relentless in the certainties of his pessimism.   God moves in a mysterious way His wonders to perform; He... Continue Reading

I Got Fired at Age 50

I thought it was the end of my career.

A government study shows more than half of Americans are pushed out of a job, one way or another, after age 50. Of those given the heave-ho, only 1 out of 10 regain the annual income they had. That can really mess up those 401(k) calculations, can it not?   I got fired, canned, dismissed,... Continue Reading

Puritans Drank Beer, Loved Sex, and Didn’t Burn Witches

Not as puritanical as you thought.

The colonizers of New England have been portrayed for more than 100 years as drab, glum and pleasure-hating. But scholars of that period of American history say the facts tell a different story, not only about the Pilgrims but the Puritans, a similar and larger religious group that settled a few years later in Massachusetts.... Continue Reading

Intellectual Excercises

The goal of God's revelation is the utter absorption of the mind of the new humanity in the contemplation and adoration of the eternal God.

The issues raised by the Christian faith are not (of course) merely academic. They are issues of life and death. But they are intellectual, for they have to do with the truth. And the best academic traits—patience, fairness, orderliness, clarity—are graces that the Church ought to covet.   The idea that the Christian faith is... Continue Reading

Judah First

The promise that the Redeemer would come from the tribe of Judah is paramount to understanding so much of what we read in the books of Moses, the prophets, the Gospel narratives, the epistle to the Hebrews and the Apocalypse.

What is significant about the Genesis 49:8-12 prophecy (often called the ‘Shiloh prophecy’) is that it reveals the office that the Messiah would hold according to the tribe in which He would appear. The scepter would not depart from Judah until ‘Shiloh’ came. Built into the prophecy was the history of the Kings of Israel.... Continue Reading

How the Bible’s Irony Combats the Prosperity Gospel

While God does not promise to give us physical health and material prosperity during the church age, he does promise full spiritual and physical health in the new heavens and earth.

God does often bless our efforts with material prosperity, but not because he is obliged to in response to a promise. He does so as a foreshadowing of the eternal new creation to come, when Christians will experience eternal spiritual and material prosperity. I do believe in an ultimate “health and wealth gospel,” since there... Continue Reading

PCA Minister, Jim Urish, Called Home to Glory

Dr. James Everett Urish, 72, died peacefully on Saturday, December 7, 2019 in Rangely, Colorado after battling cancer for over three years.

In the summers of 1972 and 1973, he traveled with Christian basketball teams across Europe, Africa, and Israel, sharing the Gospel. Jim also spent time at L’Abri, Switzerland where he met his future bride, Anne Penny, was tutored by Francis Schaeffer, played for a semi-pro basketball team, and worked at a nearby bakery. He rigorously... Continue Reading

Controversial Compromise

Bill aimed at balancing LGBT agenda and religious freedom gets some support but alarms both sides.

Last month organizations including the Heritage Foundation, Family Research Council, Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, and Concerned Women for America sent an opposition letter to Republican House leaders. They say the bill does too much to extend SOGI protections to public accommodations—something the Utah Compromise did not touch.   A Republican congressman on Friday introduced... Continue Reading

Some Thoughts for Grieving Christian Parents

A hopeful message for Christian parents about raising their children.

If we treated Christian child rearing like we do pastor or missionary work, we would approach things very differently with parents of unbelieving adult children. When we hear of a missionary or pastor who labored for many years in one area to see few (if any) conversions, we laud that Christian, and we speak of... Continue Reading

Ready…Steady…Go!

The proof and fruit of saving grace is sanctified hearts in ready, faithful, servants.

Are we not examples to the flock that we feed? Should we not be at the front of the queue in visiting persecuted believers, tending the sick, clothing the naked, welcoming immigrants, supplying hungry Christians, or helping those who struggle while engaged in Kingdom business?   In my personal devotions this morning I was forcibly... Continue Reading

Your Listening Habits Are Harming Your Relationship with God

No one is listening, even though most people are talking, texting, or typing.

We need daily time with God in his Word and in prayer, as well as time with God’s people (Heb. 10:25). We need time to hear God’s story to teach us about how things really are. We need time to turn off the noise and listen to his goodness again—first, in his Word and second,... Continue Reading

Pity & Intersectionality

If we are in Christ, we are not victims. In Christ, we are “more than conquerors” (Rom 8:37).

It may be tempting for the Christian to adopt a worldly understanding of society and culture, but we recognize that no person is left without excuse before our sovereign God, regardless of sex, race, class, socio-economic status, citizenship, sexuality, or any other worldly distinctive. The created has nothing to leverage against the Creator. We dare... Continue Reading

How Does Jesus’ Temptation Link Him to Israel?

He came to do what Israel had failed to do.

No sooner had God brought His son (Ex. 4:22), Israel, out of Egypt and through the waters that He brought him into the wilderness for forty years—to be tested by Him and tempted by the evil one. In similar fashion, after bringing Jesus up out of Egypt (Matt. 2:15) and through the waters of baptism,... Continue Reading

There Are No Extraordinary Means

Ordinary means are so much better.

Recently in my reading I came across this sentence from a theologian and it stopped me in my tracks: “There are no extraordinary means of grace in the Christian life.” I lingered over that line for a while as it delivered a broadside to most of my Christian walk. How many years have I spent... Continue Reading

Were the Gospels Meant to Be Taken as Historical Testimony?

If the most comprehensive accounts of the life of Jesus were never intended to provide us with historical testimony, any further discussion about the resurrection of Jesus or the trustworthiness of the Bible is pointless.

No one denies that the earliest records of the life of Jesus were based on the testimonies of women and men who had committed themselves to follow Jesus—but a text doesn’t become unhistorical simply because it happens to be a testimony as well. The crucial question isn’t whether testimonies from believers in Jesus were some... Continue Reading

Who’s Afraid of John Calvin? Answer: Thomas Jefferson

Jefferson and his relationship to Calvinism seem worth revisiting in light of the ongoing conversation regarding Christianity and the civil order among conservative Christian intellectuals.

[Jefferson] hated Calvin for many reasons, but he held an especially impassioned loathing for the French Reformer’s throaty trinitarianism and the doctrine of election. Calvin, in Jefferson’s reading of history, represented the clearest intellectual successor to the medieval Christian order he despised. He compared what he called the “simple” doctrines of Jesus—his phrase for Unitarianism—with... Continue Reading

A Hermeneutic of Surrender

Obedience is hard work.

Affirming belief in the inerrancy of Scripture is no substitute for living out the authority of Scripture. While we do well to continue refuting the skeptics of Scripture, our ultimate aim must always be obedience. This, after all, is what true scholarship is about—knowledge so well understood that it cannot be help influence life. The... Continue Reading

The Ten Commandments: The Fifth

“Honor your father and mother, that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you.”

The Hebrew word is kabod and means heavy.  In other words, the person who is to be honored must be accorded weight. Now, it helps if a parent actually has weighty things to say!  You can see how the role of the parent and the honor a child is to give work in tandem.  The... Continue Reading

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