Sin is Like a Snowball
Sin is never content to remain small.
Sin may have entered the world in a subtle rebellion, but once it got rolling it gained tremendous speed and became a giant, unstoppable monster. When it finally reaches the point in history which Mark describes in chapter 15 of his gospel, sin is as terrible and ugly as it gets. Sin is like... Continue Reading
Do you want abiding happiness? Look to Christ.
Do you want rest for your soul? Do you want a happiness the abides in your heart regardless of your feelings and circumstances? Look to Christ. He doesn’t promise life will be easy—it won’t. But he does promises you abiding joy because you’ll be in union with him. We will never find happiness by... Continue Reading
The Comfort of Samson
Samson was a faith-filled man who was a very far cry away from spotless.
God knew exactly what he was doing in using someone like Samson as his judge and his redeemer of Israel. He knew exactly how he purposed the life of this man of faith, no matter how stained and tarnished by sin he remained this side of heaven. Judges is one of those books of... Continue Reading
The Very Real Danger of Coveting
We are not to desire the things that belong to someone else.
Having more things won’t make you happy. In fact, riches are often warned against in the Bible as a huge danger to your faith. Thank God for what you already have, and not just material things either. Thank him for salvation, forgiveness of sins, and adoption as sons. “Do not covet” is one of... Continue Reading
A Conduit Attitude
In Christ we find our sufficiency to handle whatever situation or whatever state we find ourselves.
A conduit attitude weds an outlook of optimism and determination (hope and faith) with the realization that it is only in Christ that we can do all things. Negatively put, apart from Him we can do nothing. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Phil 4:13) The little train engine famously... Continue Reading
When the Troubles of My Heart Are Enlarged
The more troubling, perplexing, and overwhelming a situation feels, the more desperately we feel our need for God's wisdom and guidance.
David is a good mentor for us. He was experienced in fighting fear and unbelief in the face of overwhelming situations and issues. And as God did for David, he will instruct sinners like us in the way we should choose as we fear him and trust him. And as we do, we too will... Continue Reading
The “It’s Just a Movie” Mistake
If films imitate life, and vice versa, how can we argue that they are “just” movies?
Regardless of whether film is the cause or the effect of our behavior—art imitating life or the reverse—movies aren’t “just” movies. They mirror us and we mirror them. But whether the good or the evil mirrors us more accurately is entirely up to us. I used to think everyone was wooed by the characters... Continue Reading
Cancelling Wisdom’s Colour
Cancel culture could only exist in a reductionist age, an age that sees in black and white and has forgotten that the colour of all human life is moral struggle.
Cancel culture begins in a misunderstanding of the human person; it forgets our fallenness and our complex moral struggle against our own passions or flesh. Cancel culture ends in a dangerous disregard of our personal need for grace. The line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either... Continue Reading
The Treasure Slipping Silently Away
The unavoidable feelings of mortality make increasingly clear what youth could not conceive.
Time is no treasure hidden in a box that we can feel in our pocket. We cannot plunge beneath the waters and retrieve what has passed. Coins unspent, unheeded, now lie beyond retrieval. But if you can, read these words: More coins are left to you. Imagine yourself on a large ship in the middle... Continue Reading
What Motivates Sin (and How to Fight It)
We try to grab things God hasn’t given in a way he hasn’t allowed.
Do you love God more than that sin that’s enticing you? Is obedience to him more valuable to you than that good thing you desire but don’t properly have? None of us trusts him perfectly, but reflect on the goodness of his character and providence, and, through the power of the Spirit, your ability to... Continue Reading
How Are Believers Prophets, Priests, and Kings?
Part of our vocation as Christians is to exercise a threefold office.
The threefold office of the believer is a wonderful gift of grace. It is how we conduct our pilgrimage in the world. Husbands and fathers should exercise that threefold office, but so should wives, mothers, and singles. We need to clearly distinguish between Christ, the prophet, priest, and king, and our participation, by grace alone through... Continue Reading
The Priority of Prayer
It’s not that we don’t have time, but that we don’t have the heart.
Believer, do you have the heart to pray? And not just a half-hearted, quick prayer but a serious, steadfast, prayer with eagerness? We must remember one crucial component of prayer: we are talking to not only the God of the universe, but also to our Heavenly Father. It is not a matter of time... Continue Reading
It is OK for Christians to not be Happy all the Time
There was a time when even the great prophet Elijah was overwhelmed.
Things might become too much for you, but they are never too much for God. God has a plan and carries it out even when we cannot do any more. God sustains a remnant of faithful people even when we feel like we are all alone. Many of the songs we sing in church... Continue Reading
How to Deal with Intrusive Thoughts: What Scripture Says
The battle for our mind is no mere battle against brain matter. It is a spiritual battle.
Your intrusive thoughts do not have the final say in your life. Jesus Christ has spoken a more powerful word on the cross. And he invites you into a joyous place where your mind is an ally, not an enemy in your striving to conform to his likeness. Our thoughts are important. Our minds... Continue Reading
Preaching Preferred Pronouns
Personal pronouns are some of the most important words to interpret when reading the Scriptures.
It is incumbent on all of us to give careful consideration of the Bible’s personal pronouns. They guide our interpretation of any given passage; they explain the collective and individual aspects of Christianity; and they serve as useful homiletical tools for the minister of the gospel to preach the word to himself and to the... Continue Reading
The crowds that surged toward Jesus longed to feel his healing touch.
Jesus left no one worse than he had found them. None left his presence without some blessing, some challenge, some enablement or encouragement to live for the good of others and the glory of God. And what a difference it would make in this world if we determined to do the same. Some of... Continue Reading
Truth in an Age of Skepticism
The events of 2020 have shown that we have a problem: people are reluctant to trust one another.
In the present age of skepticism, the church must be diligent to avoid a deterioration of relational trust. If the body of Christ is to flourish, it must resist the influence of society and diligently pursue the mutualities upon which such trust is built. Trust is one of the most fundamental components of everyday... Continue Reading
Actions of the Forty-Eighth General Assembly of The Presbyterian Church in America 2021
A summary of the reports and actions of the 2021 PCA General Assembly from the Stated Clerk.
Dr. Bryan Chapell was elected by the 48th General Assembly as the fourth Stated Clerk of the PCA, having served as Stated Clerk Pro Tempore during the hiatus caused by the postponement of the 48th General Assembly due to the COVID-19 pandemic. TE Chapell follows Dr. L. Roy Taylor, who retired as Stated Clerk of... Continue Reading
What is a “Gospel” Anyway?
A Few Thoughts on Gospel Genre and Why it Matters
To read the Gospels as covenant documents keeps the larger redemptive-historical narrative of the Bible front and center, allows us to see how the whole of Scripture is unified around the person and ministry of Jesus of Nazareth, and reminds us what makes the canonical gospels distinctive from the other “gospels” in the ancient world.... Continue Reading
We are Too Slow in Recognising Our Own Sin
We always tend to see the sins and shortcomings of other people more clearly than we see our own sin.
All of us are slow to see our own sin as well. We explain it away; maybe there seems to be a good reason for it. Perhaps other people do the same thing we just did. Maybe we find God’s rules oppressive and we’d rather do something else. Yet we need to know how bad... Continue Reading
How to Cast Your Cares on God
We must quit trying to be God and trust He knows what is best for us.
Christian, God’s heart toward you is one of love and compassion. He loves you so much he died to save you from your sins. You are in his care, and even the trials you are facing are doing his excellent work. You cannot cast your cares on Jesus without a biblical worldview. Often, when... Continue Reading
A Response to Criticisms: Another Spirit
The identity of Christ is bound up in the truth of the gospel.
False teachers in Corinth were trying to lead believers to attain sanctification by legal means. By substituting law-keeping for the internal change made by the Spirit, these teachers were effectively redefining the Spirit and making Him into something other than the true Spirit of God. They were introducing “another spirit.” As we have seen, 2... Continue Reading
The Shepherd of Hermas: A Literary, Historical, and Theological Handbook
Book Review: Jonathan Lookadoo's handbook is specifically designed to help the new reader of "The Shepherd."
Lookadoo is to be commended for this organized look at the Shepherd of Hermas. Particularly for those unfamiliar with this writing, the section-by-section overview provided by chapter one will be useful for quickly coming to terms with the whole of the writing. The Shepherd of Hermas is usually described as one of the more popular writings of... Continue Reading
On the Fall of Civilisations
History can teach us much about the decline of cultures.
It is only by having a solid understanding of the past that we can clearly see the present and anticipate the future. History is of real value, and Christians should know something about it. The value of history is that we will hopefully learn from it. But as we become more and more dumbed... Continue Reading
J. I. Packer on the Hub of Christian Life
There can be no genuine or transformative holiness in life until a person has for his primary and ultimate aim the glory of God alone.
There can be no genuine or transformative holiness in life until a person has for his primary and ultimate aim the glory of God alone. This is not optional, as if some who claim to know him in a saving way might choose to move in a different direction, with a different goal or aim.... Continue Reading
The Heart of Worship: Temple Imagery as Instruction for New Covenant Worship
The heart of worship is not subjective or abstract. Just as the worship of the Old Testament was objective and concrete—even visible—so is the worship of the New Covenant.
In the Old Testament, one of the first principles we learn about worship is that sincerity alone is not acceptable (see the narrative of Cain’s sacrifice in Genesis 4). The heart of worship in the Old Testament was objective; the ceremonies prescribed in the Law of Moses were realities apart from feeling and emotion. The... Continue Reading
Counseling the Body
First steps for holistic soul care.
The soul (or heart) has rightly been the emphasis in our theology. Here Scripture gives details that we could never see apart from God’s revelation to us. In the soul, we know God and turn toward him or away from him. Look for obedience or disobedience, faith or unbelief, and you will see the soul... Continue Reading
What Does “Demisexual” Say about Christian Hope?
It’s difficult to keep up with these new identifications and all the rules governing them. Someone recently suggested, perhaps we should just change the acronym to “LGBTQ-TBA”
We must be prepared also to offer the far better vision of identity, love, sex, and friendship found in the Christian account of reality. To not offer the better way of the Gospel would be heartless and foolish. Not only do we have a better story to tell, but the timing is right. This late... Continue Reading
Christians Are Part Of Something Much Bigger
There are no small Christians. There are no insignificant believers. There are no ‘little people.’ We are all a part of God’s great redemptive story.
Don’t worry if nobody knows about you. Don’t worry if your ministry seems to be slim pickings. Don’t worry if your web traffic is quite low. Don’t worry that you are never invited to speak or share your story. Don’t worry if hardly anyone seems to know that you even exist. Worry instead about things... Continue Reading
A Reply to ‘The PCA Conflict Over the Moral Law’
I respectfully disagree with how the author of “The PCA Conflict Over The Moral Law” has framed things in this piece --under two headings only: conservative and progressive.
From what I heard from many of the dissenting voters at GA was NOT a progressivist agenda, but a reasoned assertion that those who came before us did a pretty fine job of upholding these things in how they set up BCO 24-1, and that it does not need to be re-written. I respectfully... Continue Reading