Expiation and Propitiation

How is it that the Apostle Paul, along with the rest of the New Testament authors, determined to know nothing but “Jesus Christ and him crucified”?

God, to the praise of His unsearchable wisdom, gave ancient Israel sacrifices to serve as theological tools, instructing His people about the remedy for sin and the need for reconciliation with God. After the resurrection of Jesus and the outpouring of His Holy Spirit, the Apostles were enabled to discern in the pages of the... Continue Reading

Restless and Reforming

Many confessional Reformed Protestant communions feel that TULIP’s five points fail to capture the depth and subtlety of what it means to be Reformed.

When Reformed churches created a separate identity from Lutherans and Anglicans, they originally understood that Christianity involved much more than doctrines of original sin, justification by faith, or predestination. And if twenty-first-century Reformed churches in the United States have trouble differentiating themselves from the New Calvinism as they attempt to retrieve the past, that challenge... Continue Reading

Living Out Part 3 – Unbiblical Counsel

The greatest love and compassion that we can have for Christians struggling with same-sex attraction is to give them wise and faithful teaching that is rooted in the hope of the gospel.

In an article written by Ed Shaw (pastor, ministry partner at Living Out, and instructor at Living Out conferences that help churches be more LGBTQ+ inclusive), he describes how he “copes” in his personal battle with same-sex attraction. His aim is to help men who experience this same struggle to respond to the temptation they face when attracted to... Continue Reading

Please Do Not Reimagine Worship

It would do us well to remember that God doesn’t need our imagination to repackage worship.

The Archbishop of Canterbury (William Temple) in the 1440s described the purpose and functionality of worship. He said, “To worship is to quicken the conscience by the holiness of God, to feed the mind with the truth of God, to purge the imagination by the beauty of God, to open the heart to the love... Continue Reading

Why You Need to Stop Being Too Busy for Jesus

What the troubled Martha needed wasn’t to keep busying herself for Jesus, but to sit and spend time receiving from Jesus.

There’s Martha – the doer – tending to the Lord, wanting to make this a special visit for him. This was, no doubt, a big moment for her; and everything needed to be perfect! And yet, Luke tells us that her service for Jesus was actually a distraction from Jesus. One popular Greek lexicon defines... Continue Reading

The Apostles’ Creed: The Holy Spirit

“The Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.”

Rather than drawing attention to himself, the Sprit has always delighted in shining the spotlight upon the Son, to the glory of the Father. And this is precisely why, as Joel Elowsky has wisely noted, any discussion of the Holy Spirit is fraught with particular difficulty as the church seeks to define and understand Someone... Continue Reading

Thomas Boston, the Marrow and the Gospel

Like Jonathan Edwards, I consider Thomas Boston "a truly great divine."

Like most prolific writers, Thomas Boston was also a prodigious reader. As a man of limited means, his personal library was small–little more than a single shelf of books. Yet he read whatever he could find, and in his Memoirs he lovingly describes new theological books arriving by post.   Thomas Boston is one of... Continue Reading

10 Things You Should Know about Systematic Theology

Holy Scripture is the supreme source and norm for the “systematic” study of theology.

As a discipline devoted to studying and teaching holy Scripture, systematic theology seeks to give heed to the full scope of biblical teaching. Systematic theology does not content itself to focus upon a single biblical author—say, Isaiah or Paul—or a single biblical theme—say, the doctrine of justification. Systematic theology is a discipline that devotes itself... Continue Reading

United Methodists Edge Toward Breakup Over LGBT Policies

Under one scenario, many centrists and liberals would leave en masse to form a new denomination — a potentially complex endeavor.

Traditional Plan supporter Mark Tooley, who heads a conservative Christian think tank, predicts that the UMC will split into three denominations — one for centrists, another oriented toward liberal activists and a third representing the global alliance of U.S. conservatives and their allies overseas. “It’s a question of how long it takes for that to... Continue Reading

9 Things You Should Know About Notre Dame Cathedral

The current fire is part of a long history of damage to the cathedral.

Napoleon Bonaparte signed an agreement in 1801 to restore the cathedral to the Catholic Church. Three years later he decided to hold his coronation ceremony at the cathedral, becoming the first Frenchman to hold the title of emperor in a thousand years. Pope Pius VII handed Napoleon the crown—which the young conqueror of Europe placed on... Continue Reading

Sexual Sin and the Pursuit of Purity

With enough unsupervised liberty, bad boys (and girls) are sure to make sinful fools of themselves.

You’re at Pleasure Island University now, where all your desires, whether R-rated, TV-MA, or worse, can become realities. Pornography is more accessible than cable TV. One-night stands are all too common. Temptation to give in to sexual sin is literally everywhere. And all around you are real-life Lampwicks who have been given “enough rope” to... Continue Reading

Living Out Part 2 – A Closer Examination

Some of the shifts occurring among evangelicals regarding how we help those struggling with same-sex attraction are for the good.

I began to observe things coming from Sam Allberry’s ministry site, Living Out, that troubled me. When I contacted some trusted pastors who openly supported Living Out ministries, they encouraged me that Allberry and his ministry partners were committed to the same biblical principles regarding homosexuality that we were.   A Closer Examination of Living Out In my past experience,... Continue Reading

What is Impassibility?

Defining a forgotten attribute.

We must remember that any examination of God and the teaching about Him recorded in Scripture must be done in the context of devotion. The words of Leviticus 10:3 provide the context for our study: “By those who come near Me I must be regarded as holy; And before all the people I must be... Continue Reading

Worshiping the Earth

Humanity has moved away from worshiping the God of the Bible towards goddess worship, the worship of creation or Mother Earth.

Worshipping the creature rather than the creator engenders the wrath of God (Rom. 1:18).  Moreover, it is futile.  All pagan religion, including goddess/Earth worship seeks peace and harmony with nature, thinking that this is the solution to all of humanity’s ills.  But it ignores the fact that the problem really lies in the human heart. ... Continue Reading

3 Ways Christ’s Resurrection Changes You

Because of who Christ is, the resurrection is an event, unlike any other in history, which has the power to fundamentally change us because it gives a new identity, purpose, and hope.​

Chances are that you’ve been asked you if you are “born again,” but it’s probably unlikely that anyone has asked, “Are you resurrected?” This second question might seem kind of odd to ask someone, yet the Bible uses both the metaphor of rebirth and Christ’s resurrection as ways to describe the start of the Christian... Continue Reading

It’s All About the Recovery

When we have sinned in our Christian life or made a error in judgment in pastoral ministry, we need to remember that so much of the Christian life and pastoral ministry is in the recovery.

Even the best professional golfers hit some really bad shots. The difference between them and others is that they know how to recover when they have done so. So much of the game is in the recovery. This can serves as a good lesson for the Christian life in general and pastoral ministry in particular.... Continue Reading

The Resurrection of Christ

According to the New Testament, the disciples believed in the resurrection of Jesus because Jesus really, after His death, came out of the tomb….

But Christian experience, though it cannot make us Christians whether Jesus rose or not, still can add to the direct historical evidence a confirming witness that, as a matter of fact, Christ did really rise from the dead on the third day, according to the Scriptures. The “witness of the Spirit” is not, as it... Continue Reading

He is Not Here, He is Risen

What significance does the resurrection of Jesus have in God’s redemptive plan?

For Jesus, being the Christ meant that He so closely identified with His people that whatever can be said of Him can, at least in principle, be said of them. For Christians (both Jews and Gentiles, see Rom. 9:4–8), then, this means that they participate in God’s covenant, becoming by faith heirs of His promises,... Continue Reading

Romans 4:25: The Key To Understanding Easter

The gospel is not merely the news that Christ died, but also that he rose again.

The resurrection of Christ, therefore, is not merely a remote historical fact, like the Revolutionary War or fall of Rome. Rather, the resurrection of Christ is the ground upon which we hope that Christ’s work on our behalf has succeeded and been ratified by God himself. Christ claimed to be our sin bearer. By raising... Continue Reading

Sabbath Simplicity

Minimalism symposium: Stories of more and less.

Does our frantic movement through places mean that we will miss the “thisness” of things and locations that only becomes available when we move into places and abide with creatures? Sabbath rest speaks specifically to this predicament because it calls us to say “No!” to the distraction and fragmentation. It calls us to streamline and simplify... Continue Reading

The Main Secret of Spiritual Prosperity – J.C. Ryle

Jesus teaches that diligence in engaging God’s Word pays off big time.

I’ve had ups and downs in the Christian life and have experienced both the rich treasure of  diligence and the bitter fruit of neglect as it comes to paying attention to God’s Word. Jesus’ words from Mark 4 and Ryle’s comments encourage me to give my all to hearing, loving, and obeying God’s Word. I... Continue Reading

Reason, Revelation and the Resurrection

Scripture, inspired by God as it is, cannot be made subject to general revelation.

For Biologos to base their argument on the authority of Scripture opens them to the mockery and ridicule of a skeptical world, the very same they are trying to avoid. This seems, rather too much, like having one’s cake and eating it. One cannot, with any credibility before the believing or unbelieving world, cite Scriptural... Continue Reading

3 Prayers to Pray as You Open God’s Word

The quality of the Word of God doesn’t change. But what does differ is the state of the heart on which the seed of God’s Word falls.

Jesus told a story one day about a farmer that went out to sow seed, and he did so liberally. The picture we get is of the farmer, in a non-discriminate way, throwing the seed from his bag onto all different kinds of soil, and the seed had varying results. But it was the same... Continue Reading

Marcella of Rome – The Woman Who Tamed Jerome’s Temper

By the time Jerome left Rome, Marcella had acquired a wealth of biblical knowledge.

After Athanasius, Rome welcomed another famous Christian author: Jerome (today best-known for his Latin translation of the Bible). Jerome’s fame had preceded him both as ascetic and as exegete, and Marcella had many questions to ask him. At first, he shunned her. He was a firm believer in celibacy for the clergy and in chastity... Continue Reading

Federal Headship

Christ’s righteousness is imputed to all those whom He represents.

It is in light of the imputation of Adam’s first sin to human beings that these guilty human beings, from the moment of their conception, inherit a fallen nature from their parents. For these reasons, there is no hope or help to be found in or among those who are “in Adam.” But hope and help... Continue Reading

Four Reasons for Pastors to Guard Their Hearts

The wise pastor will soberly reflect on all the pain he will cause if he falls into sin.

Every pastor enjoys a double call on his life: the call to both salvation and ministerial service. As Paul challenged Timothy, so we must kindle afresh the gift of God within us, and guard what he has entrusted to us. One’s call to ministry is indeed a sacred stewardship, a call we must cherish and... Continue Reading

A Letter to Young(ish) Christian Husbands & Fathers

Brother, before you are a husband or a father or an employee, you are a Christian.

If I understand the Bible’s teaching about the depravity of man and the deep-seated sinfulness of the believer, then I think it’s safe to say that we fall short of the Lord’s standards for us as husbands and fathers far more often than we actually meet those standards. That being the case, we ought to... Continue Reading

Elihu the Preacher

Pastors, let's add Elihu to our list of preaching heroes!

Elihu reminds young preachers that those who have the “breath of the Almighty” are qualified to speak His Word, regardless of their age. In truth, youth does come with a fair share of weakness–but God’s Spirit overcomes. As he started to get into the meat of his message, Elihu showed his dependence on God’s Spirit... Continue Reading

Does Modesty Matter Anymore?

Biblical modesty is about revealing true gospel value.

Both Paul and Peter, under the inspiration of the Spirit, address a key question that continues to plague our culture today—“What makes a person beautiful?” Of concern here is how does one live as a new creation in Christ and make that image look beautiful? What qualities are revered and elevated among those who walk... Continue Reading

On Being Had

The ‘pro-choice’ side was never arguing honestly about abortion.

Kermit Gosnell has been had. The now-forgotten poster boy you used and cast away, the one you once found it convenient to revile as someone monstrous and so different from you. No mention of him now, I see, who did no worse than your new law allows, but dons an orange jumpsuit in a cell... Continue Reading