The Fight for the Culture is Taking Place in the Church

An overview of the PCA’s 2019 General Assembly

Three years ago, much of the debate at GA focused on racial reconciliation. Last year, it was the role of women in the church. This year, it will likely be homosexuality and the Revoice movement, which is being hotly debated in the PCA and Southern Baptist Convention. Although sexual abuse and the “Me Too” movement... Continue Reading

Correct Doctrine Conforms to Godliness and is a Means of Great Contentment, But False Doctrines do Neither

What we understand as Orthodox Christianity is not very satisfying to the unregenerate.

The false teacher is puffed up with conceit (τετύφωται) and understands (ἐπιστάμενος) nothing (μηδὲν). What a description! The word τετύφωται (tetyphōtai) describes people who are full of pride and insolence. They are ‘drunk’ with pride and their hearts are lifted up not only against man but also against God. That sure explains why their eyes... Continue Reading

Help Support Religious Freedom Down Under

Israel Folau is well-known Australia rugby player who lost his position with Rugby Australia for an Instagram post in which he shared the love of Jesus for sinners.

He’s challenging that decision in court as a matter of freedom of speech and freedom of religion.  A few days ago, he set up a GoFundMe page and it quickly raised a lot of cash for his case.  However, GoFundMe pulled the plug on it.  The Australian Christian Lobby has now taken over the fundraising. ... Continue Reading

Imagine There’s No Heaven? The Only Way is UP!

Our trouble is that if we only exist in the horizontal plane we are not looking UP to the only One who can pronounce what is virtuous, good and true.

We are living in desperately sad, bad and mad times.  We are witnessing a breakdown in human relationships, in trust, loyalty, truth and cohesion, at every level.  Why is this?  Because we have lost the awareness of the ‘up’ – that there is a God who is above us, who is greater than us, who... Continue Reading

Counter-Cultural Aseity

God’s Aseity in the Old Testament

In the beginning only God existed, and he created all things by his very word. The skies, the land, the seas, plants, animals, bugs, fish, and finally humans. All of this, God did in and of himself—the Triune God working within himself to create out of nothing the whole of everything. This picture of the... Continue Reading

‘Most Free’

It is interesting that while much attention has been given to free will at the creaturely level, comparatively little has been devoted to divine freedom.

The Confessionally-minded Reformed theologians of the 17th century understood that the divine action does not, and cannot depend on, or is affected by, anything that is not ultimately in the character and will of God. In other words God’s freedom is freedom from any factor outside of God, who is after ‘most  wise, most holy’ and... Continue Reading

Biblical Complementarianism Serves to Protect Women

Male leadership is not part of the curse, it’s one of God’s good blessings for the home and the church.

When we examine the the definition of complemenatrianism, if we’re honest with the term itself, it involves more than prohibitions on women serving. It’s far more than a stop sign for women. The word itself defines the position that points to the calling of men to be the leaders of the home and the local... Continue Reading

Canons of Dort (32): Our Sovereign God Uses Means To Encourage Us

The Remonstrants tried to take the Reformed churches back to the theology that had flourished between Aquinas and the the neo-Augustinian renaissance.

The YRR movement is a welcome return to aspects of classic Augustinian theology but the downside of this recovery is that it is truncated. It has no doctrine of the church and its adherents mostly downplay a vital aspect of the Reformed confession: the God who is sovereign also uses means to accomplish his purposes.... Continue Reading

Your True Inheritance

How do I respond to the good grace of God and recognize my true inheritance?

Bless God the Father who has set up your inheritance for you. A few years back, we had our wills done. If something unexpected happens to us, our kids won’t get rich but there will be a little provision for them. I know my one daughter will be very thankful that at some point [hopefully a... Continue Reading

The Continuing Downgrade in the Christian Reformed Church

As assessment of the Christian Reformed Synod meeting, June 14-20, 2019.

Though some would point to evidence of eroded Scriptural authority earlier, the acceleration of decline is clearly marked by a flirtation with a “broadened” feminist hermeneutic, ultimately embraced by many in the 1990s and 2000s.  Since the rapid push to deliberately train and ordain women for pastoral ministry under a so-called “local option,” the CRCNA... Continue Reading

Revoice and God’s Design for the Family

Revoice represents a theology and ethic which, if allowed to take root in the PCA, will lead us into great and grievous errors.

But as I have stated before, along with many others, the trouble with Revoice is the content. What Revoice proposes is a departure from what Christians have historically believed about key doctrines and their ethical implications. Revoice represents a theology and ethic which, if allowed to take root in the PCA, will lead us into... Continue Reading

John Gerstner and the Renewal of Presbyterian and Reformed Evangelicalism

Jeffrey S. McDonald speaks about his book, “John Gerstner and the Renewal of Presbyterian and Reformed Evangelicalism in Modern America.”

John Gerstner (1914–96) was a significant leader in the renewal of Presbyterian and Reformed evangelicalism in America during the second half of the twentieth century. Gerstner’s work as a church historian sought to shape evangelicalism, but also northern mainline Presbyterianism. He wrote, taught, lectured, debated, and preached widely.   Jeffrey S. McDonald speaks about his... Continue Reading

Shattering Words and Crying to God

God delights when we pour out our troubles on him and call upon him in distress.

So much of scripture is filled with God’s delight in the prayers of the saints, and his curse on those who did not call upon him, who refused to seek his aid. Contrary to the American popular religion, God’s blessing is NOT on the one too proud to seek help. It is not on the... Continue Reading

How John’s Vision of Jesus’ Glory Brings Us Comfort Today

Our primary mission is to be a witness to the world’s one and true King, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Though we live in relative ease, comfort, and prosperity in America, our mindset must always be that of exiles sent to this country to represent the world’s one true and final King, our Lord Jesus Christ. Like the Apostle John and the ancient church, we exist in the tribulation, the kingdom, and the patient endurance... Continue Reading

Beware of Bills in Sheep’s Clothing

Given the current legal climate, even those who are moderate on the right to life issue should oppose the Equality Act.

The bill reads “pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition shall not receive less favorable treatment than other physical conditions.” Abortion supporters view pregnancy as a medical condition that is cured by abortion. Abortion would be no different from an appendectomy. Thus HR 5 would overturn the Hyde Amendment that prevents federal money from funding... Continue Reading

Machen’s God-Centered Vision

The structure of the modernism of Machen’s day is not too different from the postmodernisms of our day.

In some churches the triumph of modernism is complete. But it is still a menace at the door of all our churches and schools and agencies. One of our great protections will be the awareness of stories like Machen’s — the enemy he faced, the battle he fought, the weapons he used (and failed to... Continue Reading

Packer on What 3 Types of Evangelicals Could Learn from the Puritans

What have the Puritans to say to us that might serve to heal the disaffected casualties of modern evangelical goofiness?

The great Puritans were as humble-minded and warm-hearted they were clear-headed, as fully oriented to people as they were to Scripture, and as passionate for peace as they were for truth. They would certainly have diagnosed today’s fixated Christian intellectualists as spiritually stunted, not in their zeal for the form of sound words but in... Continue Reading

Raw Honesty in Prayer

When we approach the throne of God, we should not desire him to do anything other than change our hearts.

We often forget that God knows what is in our hearts.  He knows the desired vengeance, the anger, or any other festering emotion.  When we come to the throne of God, we can be sincere, because of God’s knowledge of our heart, mind, and soul.  He is the one we turn toward and before whom... Continue Reading

Was He Too Prone to Wander? Robert Robinson (1735–1790)

Robinson was animated by an evangelical faith and piety that was later compared to Jonathan Edwards.

On Sunday, May 24, 1752, he was one of a gang of young people who went and got a fortune-teller drunk on cheap gin, and then visited Whitefield’s Tabernacle at Moorfields “to mock the preacher and pity his hearers,” but instead Robinson was haunted by Whitefield’s sermon on the wrath to come. Day and night... Continue Reading

Dorothy Leigh and Her Advice to Her Sons

Leigh’s book continues to be a valuable read.

Leigh spends much time instructing her sons on their roles of fathers. First of all, they should make sure their children, “males or females, may in their youth learn to read the Bible in their own mother tongue.”[10] Children can start learning to read when they are four. By the age of ten, they should... Continue Reading

Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places? Are We Getting Better Enough?

Not only ourselves, but our works also, are justified by faith alone.

Could part of the disconnect be that we are still looking for evidence in our own works which can somehow stand the scrutiny of God’s holy law apart from the free grace of justification in Christ? – for he who has died is justified from sin (Rom 6:7)! So, are we looking for love in all the wrong places?  ... Continue Reading

Beauty and Knowledge

Beauty is at the heart of how one knows the world, and how you know that you know.

Beauty offers us a Christian way of knowing reality. It does something unexpected: it accepts as true what postmoderns say about the Enlightenment view of knowledge, but it simultaneously rejects postmodernism’s nihilism. Beauty concedes both the subjective aspect of human knowledge and an objective basis for that knowledge in reality outside of the subject. The world... Continue Reading

3 Reasons Why Patience Matters for the Christian

Patience is a big deal – probably bigger than we think it is.

When we become impatient, we betray our inner assumption that we had the best thing planned. When our plans for our day (or our lives, for that matter) are interrupted and we have to go a different way, our level of patience shows how convinced we are in our own ability to make plans. When... Continue Reading

Is Total Depravity Biblical? What Does Total Depravity Mean?

From this deadness, all the Reformed doctrines of grace flow like rushing waters.

What does the Bible mean when it describes all of mankind as spiritually “dead”? A dead person is darkened in their understanding. A dead person is callous to the truth. A dead person is (of course) blind, unable to see God’s glory. And let’s be clear: a dead person won’t respond when spoken too, even... Continue Reading

Left to Their Own Devices

When our kids walk with the wise, they will become wise.

The book of Titus talks at length about the need for Christians to influence a younger generation in what is right and good. We are called to model saying “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in this present age (Titus 2:12). We live in a world that... Continue Reading

The “Cereal-Aisle” Syndrome

Historic confessions and creeds protect the Church from foolish "cereal aisle" autonomy.

Navigation out of the current hermeneutical chaos will come only by a functional trust in Scripture’s authority – studying in a manner that derives what Scripture is. God has spoken and done so without stuttering. He has given the Church, in the canon of Scripture, what we need “for life and godliness” (2 Pet. 1:3).... Continue Reading

Five Crucial Things for Sunday Morning

You are glorifying God, but in worship, God is doing something in you and your family that will last for all eternity.

Some mornings it is hard not to feel like your family just crash-landed in the chairs, and sometimes that sense of chaos follows you into worship, at least, in your mind. The Westminster Directory for the Publick Worship of God supplies some very practical direction at just this point. It says that if any are... Continue Reading

Why God Made Your Mouth

Grace will come out of our mouths only if grace is already living in our hearts (Matthew 12:34).

Gracious words straighten bent-over saints, strengthen tottering legs, bind up bruised arms, and grow each other into “the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:13). “Give grace,” in other words, is a call to imitate the God whose words make worlds bloom into being (Psalm 8:3). Give life. See the image-bearer in... Continue Reading

Stop Comparing Your Suffering

Pain is the common denominator of all humanity.

Because we are sinful, our minds tend to drift toward comparison. If you have a house, you tend to compare your house to someone else’s. If you take a vacation, you tend to compare your vacation to someone else’s. Clothing, restaurant choices, vehicles – these are all sources for comparison. And so is our suffering.... Continue Reading

Why Does the Media Diminish the Christian Faith?

The unbelievers who made the movie intentionally left out his faith.

The leaving out of Tolkien’s faith is a convicting wake-up call to us, the confessing church. And this reason may be true of other public slights of the Christian faith, too. It may not be because the unbelieving media is attacking Christianity. They instead might just have witnessed Christians use Christianity as a means to... Continue Reading