The Word of God Comes Alive in Conflict
God didn’t only give us his word to get us through life’s trials, but he also gives us trials to make his word come alive.
Our conflicted times, and conflicted relationships, do not increase our earthly comforts, but they need not shake our confidence in heaven. The Scriptures were forged in such times, in the most challenging of days. The lead characters suffered. They did not live easy lives. The greatest figure of all, God himself in human flesh, anticipated... Continue Reading
The Suicide of the Church & the West
The substitution of our feelings and our preferences in the place of God is the suicide of the church.
Burnham perceived the problem with contemporary American Christianity already in the early 1960s—people compartmentalized their faith. Thus, the problem of guilt lingers. Since everyone feels guilty and nobody accepts God’s forgiveness for actual sins, man finds other means of dealing with guilt. Naturally, people search for reasons they feel guilty. Wealth inequality is one area... Continue Reading
Questioning the Kingdom? – Part 1: Definitions
The kingdom of Christ has visible impact on the world not only within the walls of the church but wherever his word is believed and his lordship obeyed.
The cultural fruit of Christendom in the West, though sometimes overripe and worm-eaten, still stands to remind us that the gospel cannot help but transform. This process will continue amid trial, triumph, and setback until the return of Christ as he puts his spiritual enemies under his feet (1 Cor. 15:25). These enemies include such... Continue Reading
Opportunities and Opposition
And so the kingdom comes: the kingdom of grace is extended, the kingdom of darkness is assaulted, and the kingdom of glory draws near.
Opposition without opportunity can be disheartening, even crippling, for pastors and churches. Opportunity without opposition can be unhealthy, even dangerous, for pastors and churches. But, in God’s wisdom, opportunity and opposition often come together. The opportunity fires the heart before God in the teeth of the opposition. The opposition bows the heart before God in... Continue Reading
God’s Will is not Constant Comfort and Worldly Success
Christian endurance is the ability to live lovingly, joyfully, peacefully, and patiently under conditions that we wish were different.
God’s will is not that we should every moment feel happy, but that we should every moment be holy. If we live holy lives then we will also worship the Lord our God in spirit and truth with our lives. These holy lives are not guaranteed to be free of suffering. In fact, the opposite... Continue Reading
Haggai: The Uncanny Correspondence Between Temple and People
As they build his house, he is really building them into a dwelling for himself, through his Chosen King in David’s line.
There is an uncanny correspondence between temple and people. After the exile, God’s revelation through his prophets unravels more of the mystery. Yes, there remains a physical house. Yes, the people remain obligated to build it and serve Yahweh within it. But Haggai shows us that the house itself is fading from the forefront to... Continue Reading
Reformed by the Word: One Church’s Journey
Some can be won by your Christ-like love, even if they don’t understand your God-centered doctrine.
I became schizophrenic in my preaching. One Sunday, I’d preach on the sovereign holiness of God, because that’s what the text said. The next I would try to entertain with a skit or other ‘clever’ innovation. But the Word of God would not let go. I didn’t know it at the time, but God was... Continue Reading
Knowledge and Christian Maturity
The use of the mind cannot be divorced from the proper worship of God. God gives us our minds, so that we may seek to know him—and in knowing him, love and serve him. Tweet
I don’t just want to know that God is sovereign, I also want to live a life that’s free from paralyzing fear. I don’t just want to know that God is all-wise, I also want to trust him when things go bad. I don’t just want to know and speak of the mightiness of John... Continue Reading
The PCA Has Fallen into Error, and Can’t Get Back Up: Part 3-David Frenchism
Frenchism: Does not really have a problem with cultural Christianity, as much as with those who do not agree with it on how the culture is to be influenced.
But let’s get to the offences of white Christians themselves. Christians who voted for Trump because of their concerns about abortion, gay marriage, assaults on free speech, oppressive taxation, etc., are condemned for failing to “lay down their political arms.” We must understand, though, that this is only an offence for Trump voters. Those who,... Continue Reading
A Threefold Cord
The image is one of a strong, three-stranded rope that is much stronger than if the rope were just one or even two strands.
We need one another. We need to be able to confess sin, rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. This, of course, is best experienced (by design!) in the local church. However, people can often come and go from Lord’s Day to Lord’s Day without ever actually experiencing community. They’re more... Continue Reading
Critical Race Theory: It’s a Cancer Not a Cure
How can a godless theory be used as an “analytical tool” to address issues needing a Godly solution?
Despite Scripture’s insistence on the unity of believers and how Christ makes us one (Galatians 3:28), CRT diabolically separates us using the deeply flawed human construct of race. I’m half white and half black. My melanin doesn’t change my worth or my propensity to sin. Yet we live in a culture where we are... Continue Reading
Freshman Orientation: An Introduction to Monolithic Higher Education
Diversity of opinion is no longer permitted, much less encouraged.
Too many universities today no longer teach students how to think but what to think. Instead of a marketplace of ideas, campus has become an echo chamber of ideas. But outspoken students (and faculty) can save the university by thoughtfully and deliberately making their voices heard. At the College of William & Mary, freshman orientation... Continue Reading
Burn Out or Rust Out? Lessons from Spurgeon
When you read about these fantastic Christian giants, it spoils you for the ordinary.
There is a very real place for looking closely at the lives of current and past men and women of God, and for allowing them to fully inspire us to keep on keeping on with the Lord. Indeed, let me remind you how utterly invaluable it is for all Christians to both read biographies and... Continue Reading
Demonstrating the Existence of God
Today, very few theologians teach that it is possible to demonstrate by reason alone the existence of God.
Most participants in the Great Tradition over the past 2000 years would have agreed with David that it only the fool who says in his heart “There is no God” (Ps. 14:1; 53:1). The early church fathers, Augustine, Anselm, Thomas Aquinas, the Protestant Reformers, Reformed Scholasticism, the Puritans and the Catechism of the Catholic Church... Continue Reading
5 Sins Leaders Must Constantly Give New Wounds To
Be killing pride, isolation, anger, workaholism, and worry. Or they will be killing you.
The more we think our sin is quiet, the more susceptible we are to its deception and destruction. If we think we are standing firm, we are more likely to fall (I Corinthians 10:12). In his famous and classic work, Mortification of Sin, John Owen wrote, “Never think your sin is dead because it is... Continue Reading
Prophet, Priest, and King
The High Calling of Christian Husbands
Acting as prophet, priest, and king in our homes is a simple way to consider what it means to be a Christlike head of the household. We imitate (not replace) Christ, who is our mediating Prophet after Moses (Deuteronomy 18:15), our Great High Priest who intercedes for us (Hebrews 4:14–16), and our Anointed King of... Continue Reading
America’s Gender Warriors In A Deal With The Devil
The biblical Satan tormented Job by taking away what he needed, while the modern devil torments Faust by offering him whatever he wants.
The biblical Satan tormented Job by taking away what he needed, while the modern devil torments Faust by offering him whatever he wants. Goethe’s protagonist rejects the devil’s blandishments, eschewing the “gold that runs through my fingers like quicksilver, a game that no-one wins, a girl who ogles my neighbor while I embrace her, honor... Continue Reading
Two Major Obstacles to Prayer (Lovelace)
The first obstacle to prayer in the Christian life is the fact that we are still sinful.
The second obstacle to prayer in the Christian life also has to do with the fall: “…There is a force in our minds resisting prayer like a solid barrier which must be broken. This force seizes on any and all of these good and bad excuses of the flesh and reinforces them in order to... Continue Reading
An Open Letter to Those Suffering in the Hospital
God remembers his beloved, and in his abiding, covenantal, perfect love, he provides for them, even when they don’t deserve it.
Trials in the hospital drive us to our knees. They plunge us into despair and churn up questions about God’s love that leave us aching for help. Yet, thanks be to God, because of the great love with which he loved us, whatever trials we endure now, Christ has already “borne our griefs and carried... Continue Reading
Three Cheers for Cultural Christianity
Cultural Christianity would provide us with a theological-moral, socio-political vocabulary and framework without which no cooperation could be possible...
That cultural Christianity in Middletown, Ohio, however poorly practiced and (likely) heterodox, influenced Vance (decades later) to take his faith more seriously is a good outcome, and one that contradicts the mood and narrative of Ortlundism. Among other things, Vance’s testimony discusses how his newfound Catholicism is spurring him on to be a committed, loving... Continue Reading
The Pensacola Theological Institute Will Meet June 16-18, 2021
The Institute theme will focus on issues of human sexuality with emphasis on the Revoice LGBTQ Controversy, Sexual Identity, and Purity within the Presbyterian Church in America.
In partnership with the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals, the 2021 Pensacola Theological Institute Conference will examine the controversial ‘Revoice’ LGBTQ movement within the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) June 16-18 at McIlwain Presbyterian Church in Pensacola, Fla. The speakers will be PCA ministers Dr. Jon Payne and Dr. Richard Phillips. Pensacola, Fla. – In... Continue Reading
William Booth’s Steadfastness in Ministry Despite Strong Opposition
"Fifty years hence it will matter very little indeed how these people treated us. It will matter a great deal how we dealt with the work of God.” - William Booth
Even the great Earl of Shaftesbury, a leader in the evangelical branch of the Church of England and an eminent social reformer, announced that after much study he was convinced the Salvation Army was clearly antichrist. One of the Earl’s admirers then revealed that in his own studies he had learned that the “number” of... Continue Reading
From Best Friends to Platonic Spouses
Some people are taking their friendships to the next level by saying “I do” to marriages without sex.
In the United States, where marriage is incentivized with tax breaks and other couple privileges, getting married to someone with whom you are not romantically attached affords multiple benefits, she said. “A platonic marriage is more than a passing year with a roommate who has different ideas about kitchen cleanliness,” Ms. Conger said. “A platonic... Continue Reading
Chasing Your White Whale
Dear brethren, spur one another to good works but don’t forget to spur one another on to Christ.
Peter gives us a list of things for which we are to “supplement our faith” to make our “calling and election sure” (1 Peter 1) It’s totally fine to love your KJV, or sing your acapella psalms, or read your Puritans. When those things become the measure by which you look at your faith and... Continue Reading
We must examine our hearts as to how we treat ministers of the gospel.
If we are intent on bringing down every pastor in a public exposé when we disagree with something they have said or done rather than seeking their good in prayer, we may be fueling pastor abuse. Again, pastors are to be held accountable; however, they are not to be perpetual objects of attack. God... Continue Reading
The Chief Way Whereby Doctrine is Maintained
God’s good Word and the Gospel are not subjective, and are completely under His control, blessed by the Holy Spirit.
God is sovereign. He is the one who has determined what the gospel is. He is the one who has determined what the purpose of the Church is and of whom it is made up. We do not determine these things. Culture does not determine these things. We cannot be editing doctrine and the Gospel in... Continue Reading
Who Are You?
The supreme lie of our current world may be the ever-present message that you must define yourself.
The authority to define you lies outside of yourself, not merely in the sense of being outside of your individuality. It is outside of your nature. Only your Creator defines you. And if you have spent your lifetime defining yourself, the identity your Creator gives you will surprise you. Our world today is obsessed... Continue Reading
The Way of Temptation and the Highway of Holiness
We need to understand the actual danger and life-shattering effects of sin, and that the way of temptation is lined with the wreckage of good intentions.
The child of God who meditates upon the Scriptures will have a growing distaste for the way of temptation and growing desire for the highway of holiness. You will become that tree planted by streams of water, bearing fruit in its season (Ps. 1:3). Jim turned out the lights, locked his office, and headed... Continue Reading
Walz Loses in Court, Settles with Churches
"The settlement represents a vindication of the Constitutional rights of all churches and other houses of worship.”
After losing their motion to dismiss, Attorney General Keith Ellison and Walz decided to settle the case, meaning current and future emergency orders can no longer discriminate against churches on capacity limits. For the first time since invoking emergency orders, Gov. Tim Walz lost a court battle challenging his emergency powers, specifically his orders... Continue Reading
God Calms Our Sexual Insanity
The seventh commandment isn’t limited to adultery in a narrow sense — the violation of marriage vows. It’s about sexual integrity within a total way of being human.
Real sexual freedom is not when we give free rein to our sexual feelings, but when we follow Jesus on his path of wisdom. He created us for purposes so lofty only he can take us there. The seventh commandment alerts us to the sexual dimension of our true glory. You shall not commit adultery (Exodus 20:14).... Continue Reading