The Seminary of Suffering
As I look upon the person of Christ, I find a Savior who can sympathize with my darker moments. He is good.
Believing in the sovereignty of God is easy when life is good. That was true of my life. I was comfortable. Trials were minimal, at worst. But then my wife and I had to take our firstborn to the emergency room. It was not long before we were checked into the hospital and told that... Continue Reading
Public Statement from James Coates, Pastor of GraceLife Church, Edmonton, Alberta
Addressing the broader public on the reasons GraceLife Church has begun gathering as a local church.
This statement from Pastor James Coates is featured on the website of Edmonton’s GraceLife Church. It was updated the day he turned himself into police for violating Alberta’s Health Act. Coates has been in custody since he turned himself into police on Tuesday, because he refuses to agree to the conditions of his release. (Posted:... Continue Reading
Preach The Difficult Sermon
There is one glaring problem when we preach to people outside of our church. The people who need to hear the sermon are not there.
We need to preach to the people in our pews. Those are the people we have been called to reach. Those are the people we might actually change with the power of the Holy Spirit. Of course, it is scary to preach to those people. They pay your paycheck. But, the people in the pews... Continue Reading
Warning Signs About That State Of Evangelical Pop Culture: The Visible, Institutional Church Matters
Enjoy the beats and the bass but let them be what they are: entertainment.
My point here is not to rail against Semler, Botz, or Turner et al. but to note how they illustrate the personality-driven, churchless nature of contemporary evangelical (to the degree that evangelicals are funding Semler’s mission to mainstream the Q of LGBTQ into the evangelical bloodstream) theology, piety, and practice. It is rootless relative to the Great... Continue Reading
Critical Theory … For Kids?
New title releases show the spreading influence of a controversial academic framework.
Critical theory is problematic, perhaps more for what it leaves out than what it teaches. Oppression has sown tragedy the world over—not exclusively by the West. Men in power often take advantage of the vulnerable (as do powerful women)… There’s plenty in American history and culture to criticize, but critical theory casts a pall of... Continue Reading
The Bible Warned Us About This
There is only one hero. Others may good models in some areas, maybe even in most areas, but all but Christ are fallen.
Putting our faith in someone other than Jesus will inevitably lead to disappointment. Yet we do it anyway. That’s why it hurts so bad when our heroes fall. The solution isn’t to never have a hero. I don’t think we can live that way. We need someone to look up to. We just must be... Continue Reading
What Has Happened to Our Sense of Shame?
Shame is a product of a society that prioritizes the soul over the body. It is a defense mechanism against all that is low, vulgar, and sinful.
Shame serves as an early warning system. When triggered, it compels us to change our ways. It represents a spectacular clash between right and wrong. This strong sentiment makes us see the malice of our acts and their lasting consequences to our reputations. Thus, a sense of shame benefits society. It is not limited to... Continue Reading
The Equality Act and the Cost of Freedom
The day is quickly approaching when there will be no space remaining in America where Christians are free to work or engage in public education without denying their faith.
In short, the Equality Act will point out that the Bible is incompatible with the law of the United States of America. This will assault the freedom of speech for Christians in the public sphere, for pastors in print and the pulpit, as well as Christian education and institutions. The Equality Act could be the... Continue Reading
Thy Word Is Not a MagLite
The great King David knew something about being alone in the dark.
God’s Word does not show us the end from the beginning, it does not show us the whole pathway of our lives or the entire course of our obedience, but just the next step, the next right thing. God illumines our way, but not our whole way all at once. He shines a light along... Continue Reading
The Fruit of the Spirit: Gentleness
We need the wisdom that is from above in order to know how to live, how to respond to our decaying culture.
The Holy Spirit, through Paul, then gives us three ways that we can “stand firm”. We are to “rejoice in the LORD always”[xii], let our “reasonableness be known”[xiii], and to not be anxious.[xiv] The remainder of our discussion will focus on letting our “reasonableness be known”. There are tremendous pressures in our culture. Talk... Continue Reading
Prayers in Ruth
Spend time praising God for his faithfulness in the past, his kindnesses in the present, and his promises for the future.
The book of Ruth records six prayers of intercession to Yahweh. Most are expressed as benedictions in the presence of the recipient. Each prayer emphasizes the Lord’s sovereign desire to bless, his hesed lovingkindness, and the importance of family relationships. The Lord then answers each petition favorably, often using the person who prayed as an instrument of... Continue Reading
Why We Preach the Law
We preach the Law–the Ten Commandments–to hopefully prick the conscience of the unbeliever.
When you preach the law, you don’t stop there. That would be legalism. It would be a cold religion of dos and don’ts. That is not good news. No, you keep going. You keep going until you reach the part about Christ absorbing all our sin on the cross. That is the good news. ... Continue Reading
It’s Not ‘Gestational Parent’: She’s a Mother
Calls to de-gender persons and relationships are taking off around the globe.
Effective communication is becoming harder. We can no longer trust our eyes and our senses to make reasonable conclusions. We stumble over our words as we try to find the accepted doublespeak. How is the new mother, sorry, the ‘gestational parent’? Are you the non ‘birthing parent’? Apart from sounding like idiots, the problem is,... Continue Reading
The Faith Shall Be Sight
The unseen spiritual world is real, powerful, and used by God for the glory of His name and the good and protection of His people.
The army of the Lord cannot be seen with our eyes today but we read it in God’s Word and believe it by faith. Heaven is not yet visible but it is revealed in God’s Word, we believe it by faith. We have not seen Jesus yet with our eyes but we know Him by... Continue Reading
If I Were Starting A Denomination From Scratch
if I were building a denomination from scratch in 2021 I would think small, local and relational.
We can do more together than we can do apart. But we have to be together. We have to agree on more than the mode of adult baptism. We have to agree deeply, broadly, substantially and methodologically. And we have to know each other. It will take time together, it will take work, commitment, grace... Continue Reading
Thank God for His Work in Nigeria
Our troubles are real, and our dissatisfaction at the state of our nation is not unwarranted.
But God is working in Nigeria, and that should give us hope and cause us to rejoice. On the first Sunday of February, my church welcomed 15 congregants into membership. And we had two visiting pastors from a thriving church in Lagos officiating the induction service. You may think that 15 isn’t 1500, or that... Continue Reading
Risk-Taking and Trusting God
Trusting God’s promise — to die is gain — steadies our feet for risk.
These risks reveal that we never misplace trust when we trust God. These risks were not like betting your salary on the underdog and praying for a lucky break. Behind these risks was the confidence that God would be faithful to his word, whether they lived or died. A wise risk is God-centered and God-trusting.... Continue Reading
Christ and the High Fever
While an enemy of the Christian and of Christ, sickness is not beyond the control of the Lord.
Because Christ has worked such a great work in us we ought to love and serve Him with all our heart soul strength and mind. We must continue to visit and care for the sick, worship Him in the beauty of holiness, bless and praise His most Holy name. This is our reasonable duty which... Continue Reading
God Chose What is Foolish in the World to Shame the Wise
This does not mean that we should all just drop what we are doing and go on the attack with those theologians with whom we disagree.
The apologist is called upon to give a faithful witness to the truth, rather than to attempt to improve on the Lord’s wisdom by autonomous arguments. No one was ever argued into the Kingdom of God. Being confident of his or her ability to challenge apostate thought, the believer must reason, not according to the... Continue Reading
Review of Truth with Love: The Apologetics of Francis Schaeffer
Follis shows us how to apply Schaeffer’s principles in our time.
In his book Truth with Love: The Apologetics of Francis Schaffer, author Bryan A. Follis shows his readers what Francis Schaeffer believed and how he lived. It is a transformational book that can bless you in your walk with the Lord. If you enjoy good biography as much as I do, you will probably appreciate... Continue Reading
Hamu Lujonza Kaddu Mukasa and the Early Church in Uganda
Mukasa is remembered in Uganda as a promoter of both Christianity and education.
A strong believer in a self-governing, self-supporting, and self-propagating church, he backed the appointment of Aberi Balya as bishop in the Native Anglican Church of Uganda and encouraged everyone, rich and poor, to contribute to the building of churches and Christian schools. He set the example by devoting many of his funds to this purpose,... Continue Reading
10 Practical Ways to Help People Who Are Hurting
You might be wondering why all these problems exist in a world made by a good and loving God.
The truth is that all of the world’s problems stem from one incident: mankind’s rebellion against God back in the garden of Eden. Still, we can take courage because sin and death won’t have the final word. God sent his Son to do for us what we could not do for ourselves: live the perfect... Continue Reading
Eight Comforting Things to Remember about Jesus’ Benediction
The benediction of Christ makes us bless him.
The disciples are daily in the temple blessing God. That is, they wait. They wait for the coming of the Spirit, and they wait for the return of Christ. So also, the ascension gives us the patience to wait for our Lord, and we wait by worshipping and witnessing. The Spirit makes the church witnesses... Continue Reading
How I use the Pilgrim’s Progress in Evangelism
The only difference between them and Christian, is that Christian is reading his Bible and the others are not.
When you open God’s word you can’t lie to yourself anymore. Because the Bible is constantly emphasizing how sinful, how broken and how unworthy you are of salvation. It is impossible to believe in works-based righteousness if someone solely believes and reads the Bible. I’m a big proponent of using the Bible in evangelism.... Continue Reading
Update On The 2021 PCA General Assembly
The Administrative Committee of the Presbyterian Church in America announced that the 2021 General Assembly will be in St. Louis a June 28-July 2, with September 20-24 as backup dates.
In this extraordinary time, we are requesting extraordinary understanding from our church family. We are asking that you register now (see link below) for a June 28-July 2 Assembly, but also reserve September 20-24 on your calendars. If pandemic control is not attained in advance of the June dates, you will automatically be registered for... Continue Reading
“Adieu, Adieu, My Brother”
The fire was kindled; the voice of the five confessors was heard, still exhorting one another in the midst of the flames: Courage, my brothers; courage.
Remembering the sufferings of our brothers and sisters may help us to stop complaining about the difficulty of our own journey and instead view it as an honor and a privilege to suffer. As the hymn says, “It is the way the Master went; should not the servant tread it still?” That in leaving... Continue Reading
When you hear the word “diversity,” head for the hills.
In the name of “diversity,” and to pander to the small minority of sexual radicals, they want to destroy the English language. And along with it they want to destroy biology and reality. We have a term for those who try to do stuff like this: fools. We now all know that one of... Continue Reading
Gender Neutrality Goes to Washington
This rejection of God’s created order is a rejection of God himself.
Where the fundamental, incontrovertible differences between men and women—and the implications of those differences—are downplayed and ignored, the acid of pretense will eat away at our grasp of the truth. Nowhere is safe from such corrosion; the home, the local church, and society writ large all become compromised to the point of destruction when we ignore... Continue Reading
Satan Is Pleased to Use Pornography or Systematic Theology to Rob God of Worship
Be careful that you don’t allow the ordinary and normative reading of the Bible that leads to worship to be replaced by a rigid systematic reading that creates conflict and tension in your heart.
The next time that you find your heart cold toward God as you read the Bible or sit under the preaching of God’s Word—it might not be because Satan has lured you into the dark world of pornography on your iPhone. It’s likely due to the fact that you’ve missed opportunities to praise God and... Continue Reading
Discipleship is Not a Factory. It’s a Field.
The lens through which we view discipleship has changed.
We must be careful that we don’t put too much faith in a process and too little faith in the God who sits over the process. That’s industrialization – that if we simply have the right raw ingredients, then follow the right steps, then out comes a mature follower of Jesus. Like an assembly line.... Continue Reading