The Deadly Sins of Proverbs 6:16-19: Hands that Kill
Evidence of our hatred for God.
Murder is a crime and a capital offense at that, because it is a strike at God Himself. In man’s act of killing man he is, at the root of the matter, seeking to murder God. This, of course, God hates. Perhaps you have noticed by now that Proverbs 6:16-19 is not simply a list of... Continue Reading
Don’t Edit Your Prayers
We don’t need to frame our prayers perfectly for God to hear us.
Don’t be put off by the formal prayers you hear in church. Prayer is simply talking to God. If you are upset with life, say that to God. When we think of prayer, sometimes what think about are the carefully crafted prayers we hear in church and see in prayer books. You know the... Continue Reading
Why Is There Only One Way To Heaven?
The one road that leads us away from God is paralleled by the one road that leads us back to him.
There is only one way to heaven because there’s only one way to hell—rebellion. There is only one way to be saved because there is only one kind of person who needs to be saved—sinful rebels like you and me. It is an audacious claim of the Christian faith that there is only one... Continue Reading
Finding Joy in the Immutability of God
Nothing can diminish His perfections.
If you are in Christ Jesus, you are as secure as his unchanging nature. Just as his perfections can never be diminished, neither can the salvation he has provided to us. He alone is the rock of our salvation that will never be moved (Psalm 62:6). Futility. That is what every attempt at rebellion... Continue Reading
A Concise Biblical Evaluation of Critical Theory
Scripture demands color-blindness, along with class- and power-blindness.
The problem with CT is that it is anti-biblical. It promotes interpreting the realities of life through categories and lenses that are contrary to what the Bible teaches and that actually fuel division rather than encourage harmony. The issue of Critical Theory (CT) has become the hot-button issue for evangelicals over the past couple of... Continue Reading
An Open Letter to a Discouraged Saint
Lift up your eyes and see your gracious King’s unchangeable countenance of love toward you.
What is most true, most real, most compelling, (and most long-lasting) about your life are not the multiple places of suffering, nor your two-steps-forward, one-step-back battle against particular sins. What is most foundationally true is that you are a beloved child of the Father, a co-heir with Jesus Christ. Dearest brother, I know you... Continue Reading
Let Us Reason Together
Before we can speak wisely, we first have to think deeply.
Right now, the world, at its worst, needs the church, at its best. It needs a clearly considered and thoroughly Biblical response to all aspects of the crises that threaten us now from every side. For those who hoped that our experience of living in times of crisis might end with 2020, I do... Continue Reading
What Makes Church Boring?
There is no "style" that keeps churches alive.
Church becomes boring when we make the gospel secondary, make our entertainment primary, and stop bearing one another’s burdens to fulfill the law of Christ (Gal 6:2). I recently ran across a quote from a book I read some years ago, and which I think remains immensely relevant. I wanted to share the quote,... Continue Reading
The Deadly Sins of Proverbs 6:16-19: A Lying Tongue
The seriousness of the problem requires a serious remedy.
How many “little” lies do we excuse as not so bad? Yet the Bible is crystal clear that to lie is to sin. But before those lies are told, two lies need to be believed—a lie about God and a lie about ourselves. The fall of mankind began with a lie. “Has God really... Continue Reading
Does Christology Matter?
Jesus Christ Himself is the gospel.
Most of us are sticklers for clearly describing anything we love, be it science, computing, sports, business, or family life. Should we be indifferent to how we think and speak about our Savior and Lord? “We all unanimously teach that our Lord Jesus Christ is to us one and the same Son, the self-same perfect... Continue Reading
How To Eat Your Bible
Cultivating a big appetite for the word of God.
I was a new believer at the time. I didn’t understand I desperately needed to read the Bible over and over again for the rest of my life. I thought it was possible to finish reading the Bible. The first time I finished reading the New Testament, I went to my mom and said... Continue Reading
A Simple Explanation of Divine Simplicity
He is what he is, and that is all there is to it.
We have partial knowledge of the fullness of God, not full knowledge of only a part of him. That knowledge will expand, but as with an image in a mirror, it will come into better focus, not be something completely different from what we already know. From Gerald Bray’s new The Attributes of God: An... Continue Reading
Good Fences Make Good Neighbors: SBC, CRT, and the BFM
The Christian faith has boundaries.
When the boundaries that a confession of faith necessarily marks out are acknowledged, you can be sure that someone somewhere will start leveling the charge of bigotry. Something there is that doesn’t love a wall, That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it, And spills the upper boulders in the sun; And makes gaps even two can... Continue Reading
Intersectionality Goes to Court
Intersectionality’s purpose was never to merely interpret the world, but rather to change it.
Scholars have for decades lamented that intersectionality, whilst influencing certain cases, has not achieved widespread momentum. Title VII, it seems, was always destined to serve as the first intersectional battleground, and Bostock may very well serve as the long hoped-for case that enables intersectionality to gain traction. In their insightful and unfairly neglected book, Beyond All Reason:... Continue Reading
What Was Early Church Worship Music Like?
The earliest Christians did not hold a “style doesn’t matter” view of music.
The church is in trouble when plainly presented “sound doctrine” through modest Scripture reading, humble preaching, simple singing, and unassuming praying is not enough. This is an important question because many earnest believers desire to worship on the Lord’s Day in form and content the same way that Christ and the Apostles worshiped. The... Continue Reading
The Bible Belongs to Every Age
It all comes down to “Thus says the Lord.”
The Bible belongs to every age. It is not simply the true Word for the first century. It is not simply the authoritative Word for the first century. It is not simply the necessary Word for the first century. It is not simply the sufficient Word for the first century. In 1734 and 1735,... Continue Reading
Liang Fa—The First Ordained Chinese Pastor
He was particularly fierce in his condemnation of Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, and all forms of idolatry.
At times, Liang was discouraged by what he considered a slow progress of the gospel in his country. After his death, however, the number of Christians in China, largely influenced by both his writings and his example, continued to multiply. In 1804, fifteen-year-old Liang Fa moved to the big city of Guangzhou (then known... Continue Reading
The Deadly Sins of Proverbs 6:16-19: Haughty Eyes
Wisdom pursues humility and love of others.
The person who has haughty eyes has rebelliously inverted the Lord’s command to love the Lord your God with all your soul and with all your mind and to love your neighbor as yourself. First, let it be known that God hates; He hates sin and he hates sinners. And we ought not shy... Continue Reading
Drilling Down to the True Source of Our Anxiety
If God is for us, who is against us?
The real power to overcome anxiety is this—that surely God will take care of our practical questions and needs, in the way He sees fit in His wisdom, given that He has already given us the life of His Son. The introspective Christian knows that there is almost always a question behind our question.... Continue Reading
Faith and Works are Necessary
We should never take the profession of faith as being valid from any “believer” whose works consist only of being religious.
We should always look for the evidences of a regenerated heart in new believers, which are the good works that naturally flow from those abiding in Christ by obeying Him. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.... Continue Reading
The Power of Naming
Let us not abdicate our moral and intellectual duty to examine all naming for truth value in the interest of making a more perfect union.
Improper or inaccurate naming has serious consequences for individuals and/or communities depending on what is being named. Therefore, caution is required for how we name things, especially if the naming involves behavior/ideas of social/political importance. Consider how important naming is, especially naming things of concern to the general citizenship. It is interesting that the... Continue Reading
The Other Pandemic
Hidden amidst the rubble of the disrupted and destroyed, we find a secondary and deadly pandemic thriving: a pandemic of loneliness.
We need to be known. We need to hear other people. We need other people speaking Jesus back into your life, and we need other people to avoid collapsing in the vortex of a galaxy of one. One pandemic leads to another. Because our lives are never compartmentalized, we can expect that the effects... Continue Reading
Do Not Fear
We cannot walk by faith in the Sovereign Lord Jesus Christ and fear what might come to pass at any moment.
Jesus is all powerful, restraining and conquering all His and our enemies, has foreordained whatsoever comes to pass, preserves, provides for, and protects us, is reigning in glory, and will never leave or forsake us. When we live in fear we stop believing in God as He truly is—Sovereign, preserving and governing all His creatures... Continue Reading
Is All Lost?
“Alas, my master! What shall we do?”
Since Christ is with us, what shall we do? Completely surrounded by the enemy, Elisha answered his servant’s question and our question in this way, “Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” And when the servant of the man of God arose early and... Continue Reading
What’s An Exile To Do? Live in Reverent Awe of Your God
What a travesty it would be to live any other way!
God, from all eternity, did, by the most wise and holy counsel of His own will, freely and unchangeably ordain our redemption and even the faith and hope we now have. How can we not live in reverent awe of such a God as ours! Exiles are non-essential, or haven’t you heard? Even as... Continue Reading
How Much Should We Pay Our Pastor?
An Introduction to the Pastoral Compensation Tool
It is sometimes unclear what the compensation target should be, and how much is too little or too much. It might even happen that a church can be forgetful of the changes that need to be made to a minister’s compensation in the years which follow after approving the initial call, as family size grows... Continue Reading
Lord of the Years
There is One in heaven who never has changed and never will throughout eternity.
He is the Lord of time. He not only created it, he controls and directs its course and content. We, by contrast, are creatures of time. We have no control over it. We cannot pause it when our lives and circumstances are careering out of control. Constancy is something every human being craves. Knowing... Continue Reading
Working Faith In Us
God has not failed this year.
Many people’s prayer lives are deeper, their trust in God is greater, their confession of sin is more thorough, their marriages have been strengthened, their appreciation for worship and the church has grown, their sense of responsibility for others’ well-being has increased, and their relationship with the Lord himself is richer. The world, it... Continue Reading
3 Reasons the Christian Should Not Be Afraid to Ask in Prayer
Sometimes my theology gets in the way of my prayers.
The regular asking in prayer is actually a helpful reminder of just how needy we all remain. We are not self-sufficient but instead are entirely dependent on God’s grace. I’m a nervous pray-er. I don’t mean I’m nervous praying with other people; I mean that many times I’m nervous when I pray because I... Continue Reading
Will Faith as Small as a Mustard Seed Save You?
How much faith do you need to be saved?
What matters is who you put your faith in. You could struggle with doubt, while another believer is confident in his faith. Neither one is “more saved” than the other. So long as you both put your faith in Jesus, you will be saved. I don’t like the word “faith.” It’s not the biblical... Continue Reading