The Struggle to Find God’s Will

We are called to trust God as we take uncertain steps.

The struggle to find God’s will is a struggle with certainty. We naturally seek as much certainty as possible in regard to decisions. Certainty helps us feel more in control, and when we feel in control, we feel safe.   “What does God want me to do?” Have you ever asked yourself that question? I... Continue Reading

United Methodists Propose a Plan to Split Their Denomination

While the UMC is the latest—and largest—modern religious institution to split because it cannot reconcile the demands of Scripture and secular-infused individualism, it likely won’t be the last.

If the delegates at the 2020 General Conference adopt the protocol, UMC churches that want to form a new Methodist denomination will register their intention by May 15, 2021. Local churches and conferences will then be able to vote to align with any of the newly established Methodist denominations that derive from the post-separation UMC.... Continue Reading

Communing with Christ in the Supper

The Westminster Confession of Faith teaches that believers really and truly feed on Christ by faith as He is spiritually present in the Supper.

Explanations about the presence of Christ in the Supper have been vast and nuanced throughout church history. However, the fact that Evangelicalism (broadly defined) has failed to acknowledge the real spiritual presence of Christ in the Supper is the bad fruit of nineteenth century Revivalism—rather than the careful exegetical labors of sixteenth century Reformation.  ... Continue Reading

Packer’s Dusty Puritan Discovery Still Guides and Helps

The evangelical world has not been the same since.

Packer would spend a lifetime underscoring how the Puritans of the past can help Evangelicals of the present. As one example, Packer explains how reading the Puritans can correct the hyper-individualism and anti-thinking perspective that pervades Evangelicalism.   During J. I. Packer’s second year of undergraduate studies at Oxford, he was invited to serve as... Continue Reading

Recovering the Song of Songs as a Christian Text

The Song of Songs challenges us to seek more in our personal relationship with Christ, to love him more, to know him better, to sound the depths of what has been revealed of him.

The Song of Songs, because it is Scripture, intends to bring us to this saving knowledge of God. Up until the middle of the nineteenth century, it was treated as a book of theological and spiritual knowledge pointing us to God. In fact, one writer calls it a sacramental word that uses visible and tangible... Continue Reading

What John 1 Taught Me about Who Jesus Is

The apostle John's introduction to Jesus.

John says that Jesus is the “true light” and that He “gives light to everyone.” In other words, if we can see, know, or understand truth, it is because He has given light to us. Jesus is not only the truth but also the way to know the truth.   The college I attended offered... Continue Reading

Edith Cavell: A Brave Guide

At a time in history when examples of godly women are few and far between, much needed strength and encouragement can be drawn from the life of this lady who put all her trust in Jesus Christ, her Savior. 

Throughout the fifty years of Edith Cavell’s life, she was content to work hard and live humbly. She was a godly woman and, therefore, a godly historical example. The Bible instructs us to teach our children about such historical examples. Psalm 78:4 reads: “We will not hide them from their children, but tell to the coming... Continue Reading

Have You Read a Book Yet This Year?

The new year is an ideal occasion to audit your time by auditing your reading.

Where to begin? Begin with a book that looks interesting, not necessarily with one that looks like it will change your life. Find one that looks intriguing and let yourself get swept into it. There will be time to read the life-changers later on. The most important thing for today is to just build the... Continue Reading

Defining the Will of God

Defining the will of God is important for us as Christians because it unveils who He is as the eternal, all-powerful, all-knowing God.

Geerhardus Vos describes God’s will as “that perfection of God by which in a most simple act and in a rational manner He goes out toward Himself as the highest good and toward creatures outside Him for His own sake.” Stated negatively, God’s will cannot be separated from God Himself. Since God is one is... Continue Reading

Brazil’s Supreme Court Lifts Ban on Netflix Film Depicting Jesus as Gay

On Thursday, the higher court's ruling struck down the lower court’s ban with the President of Brazil’s Supreme Court, Justice José Antonio Dias Toffoli, stating that freedom of expression is a fundamental right of democracy.

“A piece of satire is not going to undermine the values of Christian faith, which has been around for more than 2,000 years,” the court’s president wrote. Netflix nor Porta dos Fundos have commented on the ruling. “Jesus, who’s hitting the big 3-0, brings a surprise guest to meet the family. A Christmas special so... Continue Reading

Reforming God?

I have become convinced that the doctrine of God as Trinity is central to Protestantism.

It is arguable that the Protestant heresy par excellence is Unitarianism, an error on the doctrine of God which can co-exist with a very high view of scripture. Many of the early Unitarians, the Socinians exhibit this. Thus, when John Owen engages with the Socinians, he really doesn’t have much to say about their doctrine of... Continue Reading

Churches Helping Churches to Keep Pastors in the Word

A closer look at Acts 18 shows us how generosity from others can free ministers to further the work of the Lord.

When first in Corinth, Paul financially supported himself by making tents with Aquila and Priscilla. Paul later told the Corinthians that though he had the right to receive compensation for his spiritual labors, he did not make “use of this right” in order to keep from putting “an obstacle in the way of the gospel... Continue Reading

Old Testament Redemptive-Ethical Concessions

What are we to make of the fact that the patriarchal narratives seem to teach that God tolerated polygamy in the Old Testament?

“The case of polygyny being tolerated in the Old Testament is the classic illustration of the supposed low type of Old Testament ethics. Yet…Jesus himself interprets this as a pedagogical measure on the part of God in order to lead Israel on to the absolute ideal. It was for the hardness of man’s heart, and... Continue Reading

Commanding the Ravens: God’s Unexpected Provision

We need to widen our perspective if we want to see the full picture of how God cares for his children.

Elijah was a man, and by that we understand that he suffered from weakness, fears, and a keen ability to feel like he alone was on God’s side [see 1 Kings 19:18]. In many ways, aside from his specific prophetic ministry, he was just like you—a man with personal struggles and a wonderfully powerful God.... Continue Reading

On Politics and The Binding of Consciences

Don’t try to be the conscience of other believers in gray areas.

Over the past several years, and seemingly (to me) increasingly in the past few months there is one issue specific to the church in the United States over which many seem more than willing to attempt to bind other’s consciences, voting behavior. The epicenter of the issue is voting for the current president, Donald J.... Continue Reading

B. B. Warfield – Not a Solitary Theologian

While it’s true that Warfield spent much time at home and in his study, he was deeply invested in the lives of those around him: students, family, and friends.

In 1873, Warfield entered Princeton Theological Seminary, studying under Charles Hodge and his son Caspar Wistar Hodge. Two years later, he was licensed to preach. A sermon he gave on Romans 3:4 in Dayton, Ohio, left such an impression on his hearers (including a local reporter, who reprinted it) that he was extended a call to pastor... Continue Reading

Central Georgia Presbytery Requests the PCA General Assembly to Assume Jurisdiction Over the Missouri Presbytery Issue

Overture 2 from Central Georgia Presbytery places before the 48th PCA General Assembly a “BCO 34-1 request for General Assembly to Assume Original Jurisdiction in Missouri Presbytery Issue.”

Central Georgia Presbytery approved an overture at its January 11, 2020 Stated Meeting, placing before the 48th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in America a “BCO 34-1 request for General Assembly to Assume Original Jurisdiction in Missouri Presbytery Issue.” An overture is a means by which a Presbytery can bring a matter to the... Continue Reading

Examples of Callings in Scripture

A true calling need not be extraordinary, even in the examples from Scripture.

Ordinary human callings do not occur in the same dramatic fashion as that of the prophets and heroes of the Bible, yet there is an important similarity between their callings and that of every other human being. We are all called by God to live our lives as those made in the image of God (Gen.... Continue Reading

LGBTQ History Lessons Will Soon be Mandatory in NJ Classrooms; 12 Schools to Pilot Program

The law requires that middle and high school students learn about the social, political and economic contributions of LGBTQ people but leaves it up to local districts to determine how to teach those lessons.

“We want students to see themselves in the stories that are told,” said Ashley Chiappano, safe schools and community education manager for Garden State Equality, the advocacy group leading the pilot program. “We want to make sure they are getting accurate, appropriate and historically relevant information about the community and the strides that have been... Continue Reading

Humbly Coming Before Our Father

The Privilege of Christian Prayer

When I hear people claim the universal fatherhood of God, I immediately want to respond by saying, “Well, yes and no.” Everyone is indeed a child of God in the sense that we are all creatures made in the image of God — we are “God’s offspring,” as Paul declared on Mars Hill (Acts 17:29).... Continue Reading

Forgetting What is Behind?

In order to get the prize, runners must not get distracted.

To reach the racer-goal, and receive the 1st-prize call, needed total mental focus, eyes fixed on the finish, motivated by smell of success, to make sinew-strain worthwhile. When we translate this metaphor into the spiritual arena, it is helpful to think of the following when applying it to ourselves.   I thought it might be... Continue Reading

Faithful Application of the Word of God

Reflections on James The Apostle's Portrait of Working Faith

It is the distinction between faith and works, and their relation to a sinner’s justification, which of course cornerstones Protestantism, by which we would mean biblical Christianity. And so the letter of James can feel a bit squirrel to us. Few preach it. Even fewer perhaps preach it well. Protestants wrestle with those stunningly direct... Continue Reading

The Need and Imperative of Self-Counsel

Without the the consistent lifestyle of a believer in Jesus Christ, the model of biblical counseling falls.

In many ways, you can think of biblical counseling as a four-legged stool. One leg is theology—the dynamics of biblical change. Another leg is methodology—methods consistent with biblical theology that promote change. The third leg is the context of biblical counseling—the body of Christ in the local church. The fourth leg is the practitioner participating... Continue Reading

Rightly Handling the Word of Truth

The superficiality of the Compromised Church is manifest most tragically in how it’s ministers treat the Word of God.

Since few ministers are Bible scholars, they do not know their Bibles, therefore, they use them as if they are nothing more than the user’s manual that came with the monitor on their computer. They never dig into it so the Holy Spirit can break through their calloused hearts with the pure truth from God.... Continue Reading

Let Us Make Our Calling and Election Sure

If we obey our Lord in our sanctification, working it out with fear and trembling then we will be putting to death our flesh and its sinful desires.

Peter tells us that we are to make every effort to supplement our faith. How do we do that and what is it we are to add to it? Again, the answer is to become Spirit-led. This breaks the chains of our fleshly desires and puts us into a mode of obedience to God that... Continue Reading

Neither Sin nor Death nor Elections Can Hinder God’s Work in 2020

God wills and works for his gospel to be cherished.

Every seeming hindrance stacked against God in this world—our sin and weakness, the world’s brokenness, every evil power—cannot ultimately stop the steamroller of God’s love from advancing in our lives and to the nations. Consider his promise through Malachi: “For from the rising of the sun to its setting my name will be great among... Continue Reading

Learning to Say “Amen”

Amen to all things that in your good Providence you bring to my life to grow me.

May 2020  be year be a year of “Amens” for all of us. May we quickly learn not to complain and murmur and let unbelief take root in our hearts, but with the help of the Spirit, may we learn to submit ourselves to the Word of God and the work of the Spirit in... Continue Reading

How Is God Present in Our Pain?

It seems clear that when we suffer, we should prepare to endure even as we also give ourselves to self-examination.

God assured Paul of his power and presence, but also gave him a thorn in his flesh to keep him humble, to keep him from falling into a spiritual death-spiral. God calls us to confess our sins that we may be healed, an acknowledgement that sometimes our sickness and suffering may be a divinely-ordained consequence... Continue Reading

The Spiritual Activity of Community

Christian community gathers regularly for the purpose of mutual spiritual edification to strengthen one another in the life faith.

We have a duty, as the people of God, to stir one another up in love and good works, exhorting one another to that end, and the context in which we do that is our assembling together. The primary assembling for this purpose is undoubtedly public worship, but it’s not limited, or exclusive to public... Continue Reading

The Law Is Love

The essence of the law is love, but you could scarcely tell by the way some people propound it.

Let’s be clear: the law must be applied, and it applies to every situation in which a person could possibly find himself. But what IS the law fundamentally? The law is fundamentally an expression of God’s own character. And God is love (among the other attributes). Hence the law is love, and reflects that attribute... Continue Reading