They Desired A King
The people of God seem to follow the world: desiring a king like others instead of resting in the one who already sits upon the eternal throne.
The brutal irony of 1 Samuel is revealed in the overarching foil of the story. Israel desired a king. But the entirety of the narrative urges them to behold the glory of the one whom they already have. The one who has desired them. The one who has brought them up out of the land... Continue Reading
A Greater Election
“I have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ,” stated the booming voice of Rush Limbaugh to tens of millions as he gave an update on his fight with stage-four lung cancer.
Vote. Be a good steward of the freedom to do so. Write it in, mail it in, pull a lever, or push a button. Regardless of the manner you vote, please remember that a greater election has already occurred. The God of all creation reached from perfection into our imperfection and elected to send His... Continue Reading
Stop Eulogizing The Local Church
Jesus has already overcome death, hell, and the grave, and he has no intention of allowing death to come calling for his bride.
The church isn’t dead. The church isn’t dying. The church lost its footing for a minute, but God isn’t finished with his church and he isn’t finished with the world. We criticize online news sites for their click bait approach to news, but a few websites dedicated to church ministry and pastors need to... Continue Reading
Pro-Life Evangelicals For Abortion?
They might call themselves Pro-Life Evangelicals for Biden, but they’re not thinking like Christians.
We Christians have freedom not to vote for anyone, but we do not have freedom to vote for anyone. We Christians have the freedom not to vote for pro-life politicians like Donald Trump, but we do not have freedom to vote for pro-abortion politicians like Joe Biden. If a pregnant woman promised to you... Continue Reading
The Importance of the Connection of Elders to Those Whom They Serve in the Local Church
A basic principle of Presbyterianism is the right of members to be ruled by officers of their own choosing.
There might be great benefits to local churches and to teaching elders if more of those presently without connection served on local sessions. Churches would be blessed with able men who could assist (even if only part-time or as needed) with the ministry of the church. The men would benefit from the oversight of a... Continue Reading
Faith as a Life Strategy
Faith is a personal trust in Jesus Christ, a trust that involves submitting to His directions and waiting on His timing.
Believing is not just a punctiliar, isolated, insulated act. It is an ongoing way of life. We daily look to Christ in faith for the power to obey and for the strength to endure. Even as we received Christ by faith, so walk we in Him. The believer looks ahead, and there is a life... Continue Reading
Why We Should be More Familiar with OT Sacrifices
Ordination, marriage, and ministry philanthropy are New Testament applications of the regulations for the levitical burnt offering.
How an Israelite would offer their burnt offering matters to God. Unless it is offered in the prescribed way, it will not be acceptable, a pleasing aroma (Lev 1:3, 9, 13, 17). And when we dig into the mechanics of bringing a burnt offering, fascinating things seep from the text’s pores. For the first... Continue Reading
The Promise and Perils of Faith, Vocation, and Culture: Part II – Suffering for Changing the World
You can’t transform culture without affecting culture, which will mean someone won’t like you.
I fear sometimes that becoming Christians of faith, vocation and culture means for many of us becoming Christians of efficiency in systems change. But this is not the way in God’s economy. God would actually have us be inefficient. He would have us live with and pray for and share the gospel with our neighbors over the... Continue Reading
God Determines Your Plans
He’s sovereign over everything, including our plans.
Take comfort. The Lord goes before you to establish your pathway. He’s governing your path. Do you always get what you plan for? No. Much like a child whose parents see what is best for him, God knows what’s best for us. What do you do when you face a significant decision? You pray,... Continue Reading
The Froth of Joy
Our God bids us to take hold of joy.
James instructs us to count it all joy. In so doing, he calls us to form an opinion, to take a position. We need to hear this because our reflex in the face of trials is to grumble and complain. Count it all joy. (James 1:2, NKJV) How many of us have not experienced... Continue Reading
Plagues Throughout Christian History and Some Christian Responses
Life is short, and the mortality rate is always 100%. Therefore, preach Christ and the resurrection.
The early Church showed great compassion during plagues, in ministering to the sick, even those who were pagans. This is also seen in the responses of Luther, Spurgeon, the new Christians on Aneityum, and countless other Christians. When coming to consider plagues throughout history and some Christian responses, it is appropriate to begin with... Continue Reading
Episcopal Church Marriages Plunge by Two-Thirds
Enacting the gender-neutral marriage rite in 2015, Episcopalians unilaterally redefined marriage and further distanced themselves from Christendom.
It is ironic how redefinition of marriage within the Episcopal Church corresponds with fewer marriages, just as proclamations of “inclusion” led to including fewer and fewer people in the life the of church. Episcopalians, briefly in the limelight as Presiding Bishop Michael Curry preached at the 2018 wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex,... Continue Reading
No Argument Against Death
When the euthanasia death angel comes for children, who can say he is wrong?
Over the decades, Dutch doctors “progressed” from euthanizing the terminally ill who ask for it, to the chronically ill who ask for it, to people with disabilities who ask for it, to the mentally ill who ask for it, and even to people with dementia who are unable to ask for it (as long as... Continue Reading
Three Meals, Two Covenants, One Kingdom
A future meal still remains for all of God’s people, who will partake of His blessings for eternity.
I don’t know what would make a good meal in your book, but I know what makes a good meal in the Bible. I’ve been thinking about three specific meals and what ties them all together. These are three meals of substance from the Bible. Two chicken-fried steaks with gravy and sliced onions. A... Continue Reading
Why White Fragility Fails
The errors of this work are deeply antithetical to Christianity itself.
One can challenge racism but one can never really be rid of it, much less saved from it. There can be no repentance from this particular evil. As long as you are white, you will be a racist. There is nothing to be done about it. Earlier this week, I finished Robin Diangelo’s New... Continue Reading
Creation and Politics
It’s almost as if those on the left read the Bible and then said, “Let’s do the exact opposite!”
We will find that the positions and methods advocated by the political left are consistent with the religion of secular humanism based on a neo-Darwinian evolutionary view of origins. Conversely, the positions and methods advocated by the political right are more aligned with the Christian worldview based on biblical creation. Let’s examine some of these... Continue Reading
The Sovereignty of God and Evangelism
These passages reveal the connection set up in the wisdom of God, between communicating the gospel through preaching and belief.
The reasoning that says, “Either I am elect or not; either way it is pointless to attend to the Word of God,” makes the very same mistake as does the belief that God’s eternal election makes preaching unnecessary. We separate the end of election — renewal in the image of Christ — from those means... Continue Reading
Stop Being Shocked
American liberalism is in danger from a new ideology—one with dangerous implications for Jews
Not liberal in the narrow, partisan sense, but liberal in the most capacious and distinctly American sense of that word: the belief that everyone is equal because everyone is created in the image of God. The belief in the sacredness of the individual over the group or the tribe. The belief that the rule of... Continue Reading
The Christian’s Most Crippling Disability and Enemy
He will consume your dross in the fire of his love for you.
But indwelling sin does not define you. It opposes you. It is an aberration, not an identity. Self-will is a living contradiction within you. So you look far beyond the mirror: “Lord Jesus, your love for me will get last say. You are merciful to me for your name’s sake, for the sake of your... Continue Reading
Don’t Drift from Jesus: Thoughts from Galatians 1
If you are drifting, be careful.
Friend, are you drifting? Maybe you can’t answer that because you’re not sure what drifting looks like. Let me ask you some questions to help: Are you losing your zeal for Christ? Is the day of your salvation increasingly in the rearview mirror? Are you losing sight of the finished work of Jesus, focusing more on what you do... Continue Reading
Is the Evangelical Movement Really “Evangelical”?
This can happen only by a catastrophic failure of leadership.
Too many who would not qualify to serve as deacons or elders in the church by any biblical standard nevertheless hold positions of leadership and influence in the Evangelical Movement. That is evident from wave after wave of moral scandals that have rocked the movement for the past forty years. It is also reflected in the flamboyant... Continue Reading
The Biblical Origin of Individual Civil Liberties: Two Competing Views (Part 1)
hermeneutic inconsistencies lead to socio political inconsistencies
While Plato asserts that only the most enlightened of humanity should rule, and that quality for governance is measured by quality of mind, the Biblical model suggests that human government is inherently imperfect until the qualified King takes His throne. Plato’s ideal is the philosopher king. The Biblical ideal is the Messianic King. Plato’s socio-political... Continue Reading
The Guarantee of Holiness
If you can continue in rebellion and apathy, I have very little hope for you.
This is a plain truth which divides men and women who profess to know Christ into two categories, those progressing in holiness, and those who are not. It is a very simple principle to grasp. God knows whether you are his or not, but if you profess to know Christ and have no holiness of... Continue Reading
Should We Always Do What Jesus Would Do?
If we are honest, we shouldn’t—and can’t—always do what Jesus would do.
The WWJD question should prompt us not to do what Jesus did, but to answer that question exactly the way Jesus did. What would Jesus do? He would do the will of the Father (Jn. 6:38). We should do the same. WWJD? Should we always do what Jesus would do? I think the answer is obvious: No. Don’t get... Continue Reading
Why Should We Be Generous?
God loves a cheerful giver because He Himself is a cheerful giver.
Generosity is at the core of the Christian life and our experience of God. God doesn’t give sparingly; He gives us abundantly more than we can ask or think. We become more cheerful in our giving by giving like God, where His grace has been working in our hearts to abound in generosity to others.... Continue Reading
A Plea To My Evangelical Friends for Biden
How should genuine Christians vote in the up-coming presidential election? A response to a group called “pro-life evangelicals for Biden.”
In thinking of the future of our children and grandchildren, we must ask if a political movement that integrates into its system without difficulty the wholesale slaughter of babies can be represented as a “biblically-shaped ethic.” Abortion is not an efficient solution to unwanted pregnancy. This ethic is shaped by the rejection of God the... Continue Reading
No Families, No Children, No Future
The most important thing that a generation can do is produce the next generation.
Thirty percent of women aged 25 and under have no interest in sex with men. If that does not alarm you as a religious traditionalist or conservative, then you might actually be dead. We absolutely must form right now — not tomorrow, right now — communities that socialize our children into the goodness of marriage and family. The... Continue Reading
Disciplinary Panel Finds Albany Bishop William Love Broke Church Law in Banning Same-Sex Marriages
The panel debated whether Love’s actions had violated church canon law.
“What I tried to do as best I can, by the grace of God, is to be faithful and obedient to that which I believe the Lord has called me to, even though it sometimes can be very difficult, and sometimes it’s not politically correct,” Love said. [Episcopal News Service] The Rt. Rev. William Love,... Continue Reading
A Tale of Two Evangelicalisms
How can those whose theology and spirituality are so similar hold such widely different political opinions?
This demands that Christians, instead of using politics as a theological shibboleth, listen—though of course not uncritically—to what has shaped individual convictions. For behind each conviction lies a story, and knowing it often leads not to consent but to some kind of understanding. But reductionism is always a temptation: to reduce individuals to their political... Continue Reading
The Day I Ran From God
The very passage that caused my heart to fear illuminated my soul with hope.
The bow of God’s wrath is now resting quietly, and there are no remaining arrows to be pointed in my direction. He has forgiven my sins, and all that is left is acceptance in the beloved. It was his mercy that had been pursuing me. Instead of running from him, all I needed to do... Continue Reading