Christians Need Not Fear Scientific Inquiry

This does not mean that we should uncritically accept all pronouncements and pontifications of scientists.

When we oversimplify theology or oversimplify science, we encounter many difficulties between the two. Science is a complex enterprise. So is theology. Their relationship is to be studied closely and deeply if we are to discover an ultimate harmony between them.   There is a sense in which the Christian should be the most passionate... Continue Reading

The Puritan Call to the Ministry

The Puritans understand the call to ministry as a sacrificial calling.

Differing from the Church of England at the time, the Puritans understood the call to ministry not as an ambition of academic or clerical achievement, but the shepherding-care of the local church. In doing so, they sought to love the local church for the glory of her Savior, Jesus Christ.   Rightly understood, the Puritans... Continue Reading

Bee in the Bonnet

Christian satirical news site continues to dish up laughs and controversy.

The conservative and Christian satire site fills an underserved market, as evidenced by the regular viral reach of its articles. One recent headline was shared more than 1 million times on social media and stirred up an unusual amount of hard feelings.   Liberal and secular satirical news outlets such as The Daily Show, Last... Continue Reading

Courage, and Tactics, in the Gender Debate

Reclaiming apologetic preaching and teaching around fundamental philosophical categories of personhood prepares Christians for a smart and effective witness concerning gender issues.

Key to the gender debate is what makes a person, and how one’s gender is integral (or not) to that personhood. Christian theology gives us what we need to navigate this evolving cultural frontier. The Old and New Testaments are the foundation on which much of the Western tradition bases its ideas of a person:... Continue Reading

The First Worship War

A heart of worship will manifest itself in excellent, obedient offerings to God.

Good heart motivation alone does not justify disobedience of God’s clear instructions or worshiping in flippant, casual ways. On the other hand, doing exactly what God has commanded without a heart that desires to please and glorify him is equally deficient. Both are important.   The very first conflict following the Fall was a conflict... Continue Reading

Bringing our Children to the Table

In doctrinally serious churches, welcoming the children of believers to the Lord’s Supper is one of the most important elements of the life of the church.

At what point is a child mature enough to examine his or her own heart to see whether or not he or she is discerning the body or not? Certainly, there is absolutely no reason why we would ever assume that an infant could examine his or her own heart with any sort of conscious maturity.... Continue Reading

Hospitality in a Fallen World

Christians are called to love our families, neighbors, and enemies.

Because Christian hospitality flows out of the gospel, it is a powerful tool. It strengthens families, communities, and is a strong witness. Hospitality is an instrument for sanctification, unity, and blessing.   The last chapter of Revelation gives us a picture of Heaven, where God welcomes His people into His city. But for that home... Continue Reading

You Don’t ‘Let’ God Do Anything

God doesn’t need our help. And he doesn’t need our permission.

The devil is actively trying to get us to think we can dethrone the true Sovereign and enthrone ourselves. And the full counsel of the true gospel is the right antidote to “let go and let God” thinking, because only the gospel reminds us that God is sovereign over us and our circumstances.   An... Continue Reading

The Main Flaw in “Homosexual Christianity”

The “Homosexual Christian” movement in the PCA needs to be repelled and repentant homosexuals welcomed through the gospel into the loving embrace of Christ and into the fellowship of his holy church.

For a Christian homosexual to announce a never changing sinful desire is to place himself outside the covenant of grace. The promises of the new covenant cannot be broken by God, and no person can belong to Christ without receiving the Holy Spirit. The minister must not be simply a communicator of this gospel but... Continue Reading

The Rise of Barbie and Rambo

With the introduction of artificial contraception, women became sterile sex objects and men became their emasculated fashion accessories.

Far be it from me to be curmudgeonly about a child’s toy, but on the other hand, what exactly is child-like about the Barbie doll? With her pneumatic chest and pouting expression, if she is a teenager her name is Lolita. In fact, Ruth Handler, the creator of the Barbie doll, borrowed the idea from... Continue Reading

When My Parents Aren’t Christians

The lordship of Christ precedes parental respect.

Next to loving God comes giving way to Dad. The general principle taught by the fifth commandment is to obey lawful government (Ex. 20:12). The specific application is that children honor parents. Children must please parents in everything (Col. 3:20), with careful qualification (Eph. 6:1–3). Positively, you should elevate and esteem your parents. Negatively, you should avoid any... Continue Reading

Accepting “No” as God’s Will

Sometimes the way of suffering is the Father’s plan.

Never did a man pray more earnestly than Christ prayed in Gethsemane. Who will charge Jesus with failure to pray in faith? He put His request before the Father with sweat like blood: “Take this cup away from me.” This prayer was straightforward and without ambiguity—Jesus was crying out for relief. He asked for the... Continue Reading

Cartographers For Christ

What if you held in your hands the promise of real riches that belonged to you, if only you were willing to do the searching and digging?

The Puritan Thomas Goodwin once remarked that “In Christ are treasures that will require digging to the end of the world.” The riches of Christ pose a paradox to us: they are “unsearchable riches” (Eph. 3:8), and yet those who seek them with diligence will find them (Prov. 8:17). In other words, the digging never... Continue Reading

Mary Honywood and Her Flickering, Unquenchable Faith

Mary was one of the many gentlewomen of her time who supported Protestant preachers during the troubled reign of Mary Tudor.

On July 1, during the scheduled execution of preacher John Bradford (1510–1555) and apprentice John Leaf in the district of Smithfield, the authorities delayed the proceedings for five hours, hoping the massive crowd would disperse. This didn’t happen. In fact, the attendants were so many and so eager to find a good spot that Mary... Continue Reading

Pineapples and Biblical Interpretation — What’s the Connection?

The root fallacy of biblical interpretation is exegetical root fallacy.

When a person tries to define the meaning of a biblical word by appealing to its etymology (its history of how a word’s meaning changes over time) or to its component parts, they are committing the error of exegetical root fallacy. They are trying to say a word now means such and such because its... Continue Reading

The Deficient Great Commission

Is the great commission only to make converts for Jesus?

“We exist to make disciples of Jesus,” a church’s mission statement might say. You’ve probably seen that on a website or a church sign before. There are some in the evangelical world — especially some in the non-denominational church-planting networks — that place a heavy emphasis on making disciples.   As I was reading the... Continue Reading

Lowcounty Presbytery Overtures the 48th PCA GA to Amend BCO 17 to Prohibit PCA Ordination for Men Self-Identifying as ‘Gay-Christians’

Overture from Lowcountry Presbytery requests the 48th PCA General Assembly to Amend BCO 17 to Prohibit PCA Ordination for Men Self-Identifying as ‘Gay-Christians’

Lowcountry Presbytery approved an overture at its January 25, 2020 Stated Meeting, requesting the 48th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in America amend Book of Church Order 17 by adding a new paragraph to “Amend BCO 17 by Adding a Clause Which Prohibits Ordination for Men Who Self-Identify as ‘Gay Christians,’ ‘Same-sex Attracted Christians,’... Continue Reading

Savannah River – 2nd Presbytery to Request the 48th PCA GA to Assume Jurisdiction Over the Missouri Presbytery Issue

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

Savannah River Presbytery approved an overture at its January 25, 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.” The overture concludes with this resolution: Savannah River Presbytery requests that the 48th General Assembly... Continue Reading

What Is Preaching (And Who Does It)?

Being commissioned (i.e., sent out) is an essential prerequisite for preaching ministry.

Preaching is a certain kind of speech carried out by certain kinds of people. Of course, there are other kinds of word ministries given to all believers (Eph. 6:13-17; Col. 3:16; 1 Thess. 1:8; 1 Pet. 3:15) but preaching (especially the speech signified by kerysso) is a ministry set apart.   One of the best books I read last... Continue Reading

Give Us God

My Open Letter to Pastors

Churches don’t need administrative support staff or a custodian. They don’t need a nursery or a dynamic children’s ministry. Of course, all these things can be greatly advantageous for the sake of Christ. But all over the world, churches are thriving without them.   It’s amazing how many things churches don’t need. Churches, for instance,... Continue Reading

True Godliness Comes Only From True Contentment

Let us look at true contentment, its proper focus, and what it brings to each Christian who obtains it.

In case you have not picked up on this by now, I am one who “experiences” the things I write about. I go through the tests, trials, frustrations, then the recovery, cleansing, and healing by God so I can teach those willing to hear the truth that God has taught me. My experience with contentment... Continue Reading

The Human Problem

Every attempted human explanation fails to ultimately address the true problem—inescapable death.

Scripture knows something about suffering and death. Many biblical characters, like the trapped residents of Oran, were faced with death while questioning God’s actions. “Some were tortured…others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword” (Hebrews 11:35­–37). Throughout its pages, humans (like... Continue Reading

Do or Don’t help the Poor?: A Nuanced Position

We must first accurately diagnose the problem in order to help a person appropriately.

Recently people across America have learned about the hoards of homeless people living in tents in Los Angeles and other cities. These “Tent cities” seem to be growing accompanied by growing infestation of diseases and other illnesses (typhoid!?!). This of course prompts the question, How should this be dealt with?   Nuance seems to be... Continue Reading

The Unbelievable Reality of Prayer

Jesus prayed, Paul prayed; they encourage us to pray, and so we pray.

Prayer is something to which we say we are very committed. Sure, we can all admit that we should probably pray more than we do. And, yes, we do have a few questions, like: why pray when God already knows what we need? And we may sometimes think it’d be good if we could do... Continue Reading

God Knows How Not to Ruin an Apology

If we are the people who nearly constantly find ourselves wandering, God is the father waiting to meet us on the way back.

He will not wait with His arms crossed; He will not put them on spiritual probation; He will not wait to see if they can prove themselves genuine. Instead, He desires their repentance and the restoration of relationship so much that He’s only waiting for the slightest sign of return and He will come the... Continue Reading

Navigating the Storms of Life

The key to navigating the storm is developing an awestruck, awesome fear of God in the midst of it.

From your vantage point, it may be very difficult for you to see how God controls your circumstances. In fact, you possibly just see Jesus asleep on His pillow in the stern. Do not be confused though. What seems one way to you is, in fact, different. God is in control.   I have a... Continue Reading

4 Must-Read Books for Grieving Christians

These four books are a lifeline of much needed comfort.

I cannot adequately express the comfort I received from reading this firsthand account by someone who lost his wife, mother, and young daughter in a car accident due to a drunk driver. Jerry Sittser made me feel like I was not alone and that there was someone who understood my loss.   When my son... Continue Reading

Piercing Heaven: A Prayer Book You’ll Actually Use

The purpose of his book is to recover some such prayers and to make them accessible to twenty-first century believers.

So what does it mean to pray like a Puritan? This is the subject of the book’s introduction and Elmer answers by saying that their aim was “neither casual nor perfunctory prayer. The prayers of the Puritans shook lives to the core, pled with a sovereign God for mercy, and praised him in the brightest... Continue Reading

Have You Ever Lost Trust in God?

Take rest in the truth that God is who he says he is, beloved.

“The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty” (Exodus 34:6-7). To remember the Lord’s name as David does in Psalm 119 v 55 is... Continue Reading

The Name That Opens Heaven

Why God will hear our prayers.

Praying in Jesus’s name aims at his glory, and the Father’s glory in him. “Whatever you ask in my name,” he says, “this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son” (John 14:13). When we pray with others, and they hear our prayers, invoking Jesus’s name redounds to his fame, his... Continue Reading