Eschatological Hope and Fulfillment
All the sadness, sorrow and pain that belong to the present order of things will cease.
When the bride of Christ lives out of an eschatological hope that looks forward to the new heaven and earth, to her long-awaited wedding day, and to her home in a new creation temple, she prays. Strikingly, this is where the book of Revelation ends. In Revelation 22, we find two distinct prayers of Christ’s bride…... Continue Reading
Christian Imagination is Not Imaginary Christianity
The term imagination has been used by theologians, philosophers and artists to refer to something real, not unreal.
Man is an imaginative creature. Perhaps this is part of what it means to be in the image of God. Unlike animals, we continually turn creation into symbols: words, paintings, stories, poems, songs, sculptures, miniatures, structures, decorations. What are we doing? We turn the raw stuff of creation into things that carry meaning. We create... Continue Reading
The 50/50 Problem: How the Internet Is Distorting Our Reality
The outcomes of our internet-saturated society have begun to manifest themselves in politically obvious ways.
More than 50 percent of Americans spend more than 50 percent of their waking hours living in virtual, artificial worlds rather than the given, created one in which their bodies exist. The 50 percent threshold represents a tipping point that renders dialogue, deliberation, civic friendship, and compromise extraordinarily difficult in any society. Many causes... Continue Reading
Nature and Apologetics
Apologetic approaches will increasingly become an important commodity for Reformed churches
In the current environment, one is hard pressed to imagine a national broadcast institution like the BBC asking a Christian to explain the intricacies of his faith. Nevertheless, Lewis remains an important figure in the apologetic use of natural law, particularly in the way he demonstrates God as the divine Lawgiver, and couples this with our... Continue Reading
Does Jesus Care About Syntax?
Does Jesus care about syntax? The arrangement of His parable-set in Luke 15 suggests He does.
Syntactically, Jesus structures all three parables in the set to feed into that final scene. If the question is, “Why do I eat with the sinners and tax collectors?” The answer comes in the third parable: Because “it is fitting to celebrate and be glad, for” these sinner and tax collectors (like the younger brother... Continue Reading
Reflections on the Christlike leadership of John Stott
"He lived what he preached”—that is perhaps what we most need to remember and learn from as we confront the heartbreaking truth that a number of Christian leaders have failed in this area.
Uncle John’s last lesson to me about service came for me on the day in 2011 that he died. There was a rota amongst the church staff to go down to his residential home and it happened to be my day to go on 27th July. That morning I got there at about 10am. The... Continue Reading
Social Justice or Scriptural Justice?
Modern social justice ideology is not the same as biblical justice.
The truth is, there is a lot of talk today about things like “social justice”. It is often rather fuzzily defined – if defined at all. It is more meant to give you a nice buzz – to make you feel good. It is often little more than a motherhood statement, a mantra to sway... Continue Reading
Asking the Right Questions
I want to suggest one last question that is the most important of all... The question is: “Does God exist?”
In our search for God, where we start will often determine where we end. If you search for God only to show yourself that He is not there, then you will not find Him. If you ask grand theological questions only to show yourself what a spiritual person you are, then you’ll never obtain answers. But... Continue Reading
“Oh, That My People Would Listen to Me!”
The Lord cares for, protects, guides, shelters, all those who put their trust in Him.
The Lord defends his people from their enemies. Provides meat in due season. Cares for the nursing babe, the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow. But those who will despise His instruction and not listen to His Word with faith and exaltation of His name, will be utterly destroyed. And it happened after this... Continue Reading
Silent Majority No More
Believers need to develop a doctrine of suffering that embraces the challenges of the culture.
Culture has shifted from embracing a Judeo-Christian worldview to one that repudiates every traditional expression related to biblical principles. Basic ideas regarding anthropology—gender, race, ethics—now face challenges for validity with each passing news cycle. The result has witnessed a retreat for many Christians. Rather than being salt and light, many now believe silence is the... Continue Reading
Why Compromising With The Equality Act Falls Short
We don’t have to join every protest or hold every sign. However, at the very least, we must not say what is not true.
In light of the very real threat posed by the Equality Act, a number of Christians have offered compromise solutions, most notably the Fairness for All Act. FFA would carve out exemptions for churches and certain religious organizations, though it’s unclear which ones, but it would not protect the religious freedoms of private Christian citizens who are... Continue Reading
A Frequent Expression of Love
Just as wives need constant expressions of loving commitment from their husbands, so does Christ’s Bride need her Lord’s frequent communion.
We so easily forget our Lord without a frequent reminder of Him and his benefits to all our senses, without which we also are so prone to wander and forsake Him. I remember one young husband and father say to our Session that he was thankful for weekly communion here, because (besides the exegesis of... Continue Reading
The Pornification of Society
Besides acknowledging the harm that pornography inflicts on the individuals involved, few people consider pornography’s effect on the community.
Compared to pulling out one’s phone and watching titillating videos, taking a person out and having a conversation is difficult and uninteresting. Compared to the easy pleasure of pornography, the lasting pleasure of a happy marriage or even a job well-done is relatively pointless. Compared to the stress-free satisfaction of virtual sex, the hard-won satisfaction... Continue Reading
Confessional Discipleship (Part 2)
If we adopt the long–term approach to discipleship, we will be less compelled to rush through the content of what we are teaching.
Christian service will also flow out of Christian discipleship. If we merely program service in the local church, we will end up creating a church full of Martha’s (Luke 10:38–42)—men and women who are torn in every direction and overwhelmed by the desire to serve others. As Burk Parsons has helpfully explained, “Many churches have... Continue Reading
Just Who Did Isaiah See On The Throne?
How can we not but conclude that Isaiah saw the whole Trinity represented to him in a vision?
Herman Witsius says that “Isaiah saw the whole Trinity, like a king sitting on a throne” and points not only to the more prominent passage of John 12:41, but also points to Acts 28:25-27, where Paul quotes the same prophecy about the hardness of heart from Isaiah 6 and says, “The Holy Spirit was right... Continue Reading
The Soviet government was not satisfied with killing Lohmeyer. They were determined to erase records about his life.
“[God] made me as one fettered, in order to fetter me to himself and to you, and in so doing he gave me the gift of inner freedom from all the mortal burdens of my life. He did all this to me, an innocent victim in the world’s eyes, the martyr of a good cause—and... Continue Reading
God Speaks, We Respond
Worship is not simply “performing” for God—that actually is what characterizes pagan worship.
Communing with God is like eating with someone around your table in your dining room. In that kind of setting, you can let your guard down; there’s no need for pretense. Dining with someone is an opportunity for you to listen to them, to get to know them, to enjoy their company. It is an... Continue Reading
The Passover’s and Christ’s Exodus
We are beyond the promises, types, and shadows of the Old Testament, standing instead in the fulfillment, antitypes, and substance of the New Testament.
In Christ, the story comes to its climax. The sad and painful story that began in the garden of Eden with sin and exile finds its joyful end in the Son sitting at the right hand of God and waiting for the day that He will return and bring us to the mansions (John 14:1–3) that He... Continue Reading
The Divine Word of God
The Jews were very familiar with the idea of the “word of God” as a personal manifestation of God in his Divine Angel, sent from “the LORD of hosts”
We have seen that Hebrews presents the Bible as God’s powerful Word, but it immediately blurs the distinction between the Bible and God, even the Bible as “the word” and Jesus as “the Word”. There is a Person behind all the ‘words’ of the Bible, who is himself ‘the Word’. They are essentially his ‘words’.... Continue Reading
Why Do We Add To Our Trouble?
We make our way more difficult when we give ourselves over to sin. Every sin is a weight, every vice a heavy load to our souls.
God has called each of his people to run a race, a race that for the great majority of us will be a marathon more than a sprint. This is no small calling, no brief task, no little labor. We run best when we run light, free from the burdens of sin, free from the... Continue Reading
Put to Death What is Earthly in You
Those faux-Christian leaders attempting to widen the narrow gate wider than Christ set it are doing a disservice to those they are misleading.
The words “Put to death” translates the word νεκρώσατε the Aorist, Imperative, Active form of νεκρόω (nekroō) which the KJV renders as “mortify.” This command refers to a conscious effort to put to death the remaining sin in our flesh. Because real Christians have died with Christ, they can get rid of sinful practices. However,... Continue Reading
The Inscripturated & Incarnate Word of God
What is the relationship between the Word of God as found in Scripture and the Word of God who is known as Jesus?
So with both the Scriptures and Jesus being clearly referred to as the Word of God, then what are we to make of their relationship? Let me put it as simply as possible, then give several proper ways to respond. The Scriptures are the Father’s means of the Spirit revealing Jesus to you so you can... Continue Reading
A Theology of Confusion: How Faith Responds When God’s Ways Don’t Make Sense Pt. 2
Every prayer Jesus offers is always heeded by His Father. Every request Jesus makes always comes to fruition.
Confused, yet calm—because our Savior never ceases to intercede on our behalf. Confused, yet calm—because our Lord always asks for what is good and loving. Confused, yet calm—because in the Lord’s wisdom, He sovereignly allows only that which will shine His glory most bright. Confused, yet calm—because our Father’s ways are unsearchable and unfathomable. Confused,... Continue Reading
Sometimes the Best Explanation Is ‘Forgive Me’
Sin infects our syntax. It corrodes our word choice. We let it — even wield it. When will we learn?
When confronted with our sin, when will we learn that God, in his kindness, has planned for this to take place that we might repent (Romans 2:4)? When will we learn that God intends us to repent that we might once again experience the joy of unblushing fellowship with him (Psalm 51:7–12)? When will we learn that one reason... Continue Reading
Aim All You Have at Heaven: How God Inspires Ambitious Generosity
Any investment we make in heaven at the expense of some experience on earth will be handsomely rewarded now in this time — and in the age to come
Your Father is not stingy, but generous. He wants to give you the kingdom. If you are his, “all things are yours, whether . . . the world or life or death or the present or the future — all are yours, and you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s” (1 Corinthians 3:21–23). How insane of us,... Continue Reading
"Pray by all means, but do not forget that Paul tells the Ephesians to put them off, to put them far from them, and we must do the same." - Martin Lloyd Jones
It is not pleasant, It is not at all pleasant even to preach on these things; it is very unpleasant for us to face them…but, says the Apostle, we must do it, and if we find any vestige or trace of these things within us, we must take hold of it and hurl it away... Continue Reading
The Equality Act and the Looming Tyranny of the Self – Part 1
Merely to discuss any part of the act seems to be a “parade of horribles.”
To replace real, biological sex with subjective feelings about who one is and mandating that people accept and act on this in public life is, as Emilie Kao of the Heritage Foundation recently observed, not the result of new scientific discoveries or thoughtful public debate. It is a radical and coercive decree, which amounts to “gaslighting... Continue Reading
The very nature of self-deception is that there is no conscious awareness of believing lies. Self-deception emerges from living on a self-referential basis.
The mere possibility of falling into this kind of deadly trap ought to be enough to breed extreme humility in the most experienced believer and most accomplished church. It ought to call us to radical commitment to measuring our lives by what the Scripture calls us to be and do and by nothing else. It... Continue Reading
When Peace Like A River
So as our nation recovers from the ever swinging pendulum of fire and flood, I choose to look to the beckoning hand of God to find my peace in the grace he pours out on me in Christ.
My prayer is for a gospel flood, for grace that runs ahead and fills every low place, for a landscape washed new under the blessing and favour of God. Our nation may not deserve it, but it desperately needs it. In recent days, Balrogs have stalked our desperate land …” On January 9, 2020,... Continue Reading
Dialogue with God
Worship that is communion between God and his people is not a monologue, it is a dialogue.
God speaks—truth, and his people respond—spirit. While the term spirit, as I’ve mentioned, may imply the Holy Spirit here, the word can also refer to our inner spirits, and I think in the context of this passages, that is Jesus’s primary point. The woman had asked him about the proper outward physical place and method... Continue Reading