What Can We Expect When We Give To The Lord?

God’s word tells us that we should give with an expectation of blessings and rewards

Paul says that whatever we do, including giving, we should do for God’s glory. Sometimes we can give to the church out of habit, or because we feel like we “have to” or we “should,” because God’s word commands it. But what if we prayed before the basket passed in front of us, “Lord, I... Continue Reading

‘Can We Give A Little Grace To One Another?’ Asks UCC Officer

Speaking a word directly to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A), Blackmon said that she “would be worried about the church, but for God.”

“Give yourselves the opportunity to get it wrong,” Blackmon said. “Give yourselves the forgiveness to say out loud what you’re thinking so we can get through what they’re thinking. We major in grace. We preach grace. We teach grace. We give grace to the stranger. Can we give a little grace to one another?”  ... Continue Reading

The Cult of Death and California’s Physician-Assisted Suicide

Christians have always been staunch defenders of the immutable value of human life

The California law goes beyond even “passive euthanasia” by having doctors intentionally recommend death to still functioning people. The Catholic Church in California issued a statement condemning the law when it was passed in 2015 and again last month when it was overturned.   Last month, a Riverside County Judge put a hold on California’s... Continue Reading

Jars of Clay

Every one of our temples is returning to dust even if some are further along that continuum than others

“I had my surgery Friday, and though there was a 40% chance that I had more cancer than the original precancerous cells they found before surgery, tests during the surgery showed I did not. We are still waiting the final official word, but it seems I am cancer free in this area at least. I... Continue Reading

The Church’s Central Role in the Coming of the Kingdom of God

The church acts as a sort of embassy for the government of the King

“It’s not to the government, nor to any king or pope or any other ruler, but rather to the church — to this ragtag bunch of argumentative, self-centered, struggling-for-holiness but gloriously forgiven sinners — that the keys of the kingdom of God are given.”   The Kingdom of God Is Manifested in This Present Age... Continue Reading

The Holy Spirit Of The Bible Vs. The Spirit We Sing About

Popular songs like “Holy Spirit” or “Spirit of the Living God” fall short

I love the desire that many people have to worship in a more trinitarian sense—meaning preaching, singing, and praying that demonstrates our belief in a God who is “one in essence and three in person.” We must remember though, that just because a song is popular does not mean that it is Biblical. We must... Continue Reading

When Comforting Turns Selfish

Blurting out clichés in the face of pain isn’t a uniquely Christian problem

“Have you ever wondered why Christians, who should be the most compassionate people on the planet, can say such unhelpful things when hardship hits? We have a whole Bible full of promises that God will redeem terrible situations, and these sentiments should be comforting; but we can often wield them at the wrong time, out... Continue Reading

Book Review: 15 Things Seminary Couldn’t Teach Me

This volume provides a collection of wise, short, and practical chapters from a number of pastors

Now, before you think the book totally dismisses the need for the seminary, you should know that the presidents of two seminaries also contributed to this volume. Albert Mohler of Southern Seminary wrote the foreword, and Danny Akin of Southeastern Seminary has penned the chapter “How to Shepherd My Wife.”   I don’t remember much... Continue Reading

Speed with God

Great intellect though Edwards was, he recognized that to “speed with God” was a matter of the heart.

As early as the age of nineteen Edwards recognized that if he lost a sense of the greatness and generosity of the divine love, there would be no resources of grace to motivate the life of holiness to which he committed himself in his resolutions. Therein lay wisdom far beyond his years.   When Sereno E.... Continue Reading

No Solus Christus for the PCUSA!

“Christ alone” is no longer a part of the “gospel message” of the PCUSA; universalism is now the center.

Reading this prayer carefully, one discovers that faith in Jesus Christ is just one of many diverse faiths on earth, all of which are good. God’s gift of grace is not linked uniquely to the work of Christ opening up salvation for all the world, but rather only one way of coming to God. Apparently... Continue Reading

5 Attributes God isn’t Sharing

God is not just more than we are. He is in a class all by himself.

God alone is eternal, immortal, all-powerful, all-wise, and all-knowing (1 Tim. 6:15–16). His spectacular majesty is beyond our ability to comprehend. God is infinitely great. Here are five ways we see that.   God loves to share things with us—life, breath, all of creation—but there are some things that only he has because he is... Continue Reading

Holy Helps for a Godly Life

But godliness never flourishes unless it is planted in the fertile soil of God’s grace.

Much Evangelical teaching on devotional practices is only loosely connected to a robust understanding of the gospel of grace, or worse, leads undiscerning believers into practices more characterized by mysticism, asceticism, and legalism, than the gospel-grounded, grace-oriented piety of which Calvin spoke, namely, “that reverence joined with love of God which the knowledge of his... Continue Reading

A Field Guide to Atheism—for Believer and Unbeliever Alike

By carefully disentangling the different ways atheism works, and the different reasons why people find it compelling, Gray has done a great service not just for atheists who want to be understood but also for Christians who want to understand.

John Gray—veteran British philosopher, intellectual historian, and book reviewer—has no intention of converting anybody. But his Seven Types of Atheism is a searching and helpful taxonomy of unbelief ancient and modern, and it has the potential to make the second of these two scenarios disappear altogether.   Imagine a conversation in which well-meaning skeptics try to deconvert... Continue Reading

The Walls That Law Built

In the same way as the walls of old Sydney speak of our past and act as a testimony to where we came from—yet do not define us as a nation—so do the walls of God’s law.

The walls that law built were established through the labour of transgressors—us. The price of sin must be paid, the curse must collect its toll. We laboured and served under the old written code, forever building the walls that tormented our flesh and would only lead to death, until of course, the liberating force of... Continue Reading

Christ’s Church is a Mess…But I’m not Bailing

More so than any other time in my life, I look around and I feel like Christ’s church is little more than a big, fat mess.

I could dissociate myself from people with whom I disagree on tribal theological points, but then I’m compromising church unity just like they do. It’s taken me some time, but I’m beginning to understand that Christ’s church is a mess because Christ’s church has always been a mess. It’s supposed to be a mess. And if the gospel is... Continue Reading

Why Study the Book of Song of Solomon?

The Song of Solomon is God’s gift to the church for such a time as this.

The hesitancy to study the Song is understandable. As a collection of poetic exclamations and exchanges between two lovers, the intimate nature of the material causes some to shy away. As Hebrew poetry, the Song employs parallelism with images and metaphors that are not always easy to grasp. And, some are not sure how to... Continue Reading

A Father Pointing His Dying Son to Jesus

Are you afraid to meet Jesus, my boy?" asked his father. Blinking away a few tears, his son looked up to him and said, "No, not if He’s like you, Dad!"

Jonathan because of his illness lived the last 12 years of his life like a prisoner. While his siblings and friends reached that age where they lived their lives coming and going as they pleased Jonathan was home bound because of his illness. Because of this he was able to see behind the curtain (Wizard... Continue Reading

Reflections from Inside the Overtures Committee at the 46th PCA General Assembly

Or, how the proposed amendment to BCO 59, the Marriage Chapter, at the PCA GA was finally drafted and approved.

The PCA General Assembly voted to propose that BCO 59-3 be given constitutional authority and amended it to read: “Marriage is only to be between one man and one woman (Gen. 2:24-25; Matt. 19:4-6; 1 Cor. 7:2), in accordance with the Word of God. Therefore ministers in the Presbyterian Church in America who solemnize marriages... Continue Reading

The Gnostic World of John Walton

To change the church’s view of God making all things in the space of six days, theistic evolution must first change the church’s understanding of Genesis.

Dr. Walton introduces a false tension between history and theology in order to disconnect real events from their historical-theological implications. This separation between history and theology enables him to replace the Biblical history of the world with a materialist evolutionary history. In redefining man’s history, however, he must inevitably redefine the theology connected to it.... Continue Reading

Helping America’s Children

There is outrage of children separated from parents at the U.S. border; what about remedies for children in our country suffering from inadequate parenting, nutrition, healthcare, and education?

Hopefully, the separation of children from parents who have entered our country illegally will soon end. The bigger issue, however, is: Will we take action through government, houses of worship, and humanitarian organizations to end the larger tragedy of the millions of American children whose intellectual, physical, and emotional development is stunted, whose education is... Continue Reading

Presbyterian Church USA Poised to Condemn Islam, Muhammad and the Qur’an….

The PC sounding overture, Item 07-01, would mandate that the PCUSA would have to condemn Islam as a religion and its “holy book”, the Qur’an

After leaning long and hard toward a gospel-denying universalism, the PCUSA seems poised now to condemn the religious teachings of a rival faith. To be fair, it has to be said that this unintended exclusivistic drift is not being nourished by a true belief in the gospel but by a mindless pursuit of “progressive justice,”... Continue Reading

Revoice 2018, Evangelizing Homosexuals, Part Two

The heart of our problems invariably is the problem of the heart, and the new life offered in the gospel is our only hope of change.

We need both a love for sinners and a love for God’s holiness. A love for sinners without a love for God’s holiness leads ultimately to cultural accommodation. We must love the sinner enough to warn him of his perilous condition, that he is on the road to hell unless he repents of his sins.... Continue Reading

Fairfax County School Board Votes to Change Sex Ed References to Sex, Gender

The school board claims that biological sex is meaningless, that children can transition to a different sex than the sex “assigned” to them a birth; parental permission to teach this not required.

Currently, Fairfax County Public Schools students in eighth, ninth and 10th grades are taught that “the development of individual identity occurs over a lifetime and includes the component of sexual orientation and gender identity.” The current curriculum says “biological sex” is one of four parts of individual identity. The change to the Family Life Education... Continue Reading

The “Why?” Question

We live in a humanistic culture where relativism reigns; how did we get here?

Prior to WWI, intellectuals and elites were already striving to educate, manipulate, and coerce populations to take a particular direction; one that they believed best for everyone involved and one that they both devised and controlled. These intellectuals, especially those members of The Frankfurt School had two aims: to destroy Western civilization and to destroy... Continue Reading

What is the Image of God?

Does it refer to human capacity for reason, free will, relationship, creativity, ethical conduct, or something else?

The Bible’s teaching on the Image of God can be summarised as three mutually-complementary ideas: capability, occupation, and destiny. These themes develop as the Bible’s teaching unfolds and God introduces more about himself and his plan for humanity. Since each point shapes the others, it is important to recognise that when the Bible teaches us more... Continue Reading

‘Revoice’: In Their Own Voice

While grateful that Revoice speakers and writers are committed biblical teachings about marriage and to the sinfulness of homosexual acts; nevertheless, there are still other issues problematic in their writings.

I have spent a significant amount of time gathering the dozens of quotes below that, I believe, represent in their own words the most problematic parts of what is being promoted by those involved with Revoice. I have included sparse commentary with some of the quotations and have bolded some text within the quotations in order to... Continue Reading

Gospel Promises and Perseverance (Owen)

Note how Owen distinguishes between law (covenant of works) and gospel (covenant of grace)

Gospel promises, then, are: 1. The free and gracious dispensations, and, 2. discoveries of God’s good-will and love, to, 3. sinners, 4. through Christ, 5. in a covenant of grace; 6. wherein, upon his truth and faithfulness, he engageth himself to be their God, to give his Son unto them and for them, and his... Continue Reading

Toward a Theology of Apology

Apology can mean anything from “let me defend myself,” to “my bad,” to “I’m sorry you feel that way,” to “I repent in deepest contrition.”

Apologies are also complicated by history. What is our responsibility in the present to apologize for things that have happened in the past? Should Christians apologize for the Crusades? For the Salem Witch Trials? For slavery? Some apologies for the past are appropriate and heartfelt, while others feel less sincere and more manufactured.   We... Continue Reading

The Apostle’s Creed: He descended into Hell

Calvin argued that Christ’s descent into hell happened on the cross prior to His death.

Perhaps you will remember that the Apostle’s Creed was used to oppose the docetic teaching of Marcion and others like him. The docetists believed that matter was bad and therefore Jesus only seemed to have a material body. Therefore, as I mentioned in the introduction to this series, in order to oppose this false teaching the... Continue Reading

The Balanced Life, Part 4

we were made for work of many sorts, so a balanced life includes our participation in work of some sort.

Jesus was not paid, and he could say, “I glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do” (John 17:4 NASB). People honor God by doing the work that God has given them to do. Work is a primary way we engage with God and experience his involvement... Continue Reading

×

We need your help. Donate now.