Looking for the Lost
The sovereign Saviour of the world uses the agency of his redeemed children scattered throughout that world to seek the perishing and, in his own words, ‘compel them to come in’ (Lk 14.23).
The very same Bible that sets out the aforementioned truths about God also sets out God’s declared means of bringing these people from being elect to the point at of actually receiving this salvation for themselves. And the means God sets out in his word is the spiritual equivalent of a search and rescue mission... Continue Reading
Engaging Culture With A Clear Vision
Whatever comes of any cultural revolution, believers engage the present age remembering where their true home and citizenship are.
Our children are facing and will continue to face a turbulent and hostile culture. They are being exposed to anti-Christian thought and arguments (implicitly and overtly) everywhere they turn. I would submit that instead of focusing so much on the culture, we should focus on our children. Many of you are well familiar with... Continue Reading
Is There a ‘Right Side’ of History?
We ought to yearn to be on the side of God and of the good, the true, and the beautiful, and to stand on the last day.
The next time someone challenges your biblical convictions on law, morality, society, or salvation as repressive or troglodytic, consider three presuppositions that underlie the colloquialism “the right side of history”: Objective morality. If there is a “right” side of history, there is a wrong side as well. But who determines this standard? Who stands as... Continue Reading
A Theology of the Home
This side of heaven, home should be a place where faith, hope, and love flourish. Faith in the sure work of Christ crucified and resurrected.
The home is not a neutral zone for acting upon baseless desires, nor is it simply a bastion for maintaining traditional values. One of the primary purposes of the home is to cultivate Christlike virtues that animate who we are in private and facilitate what we do in public. When the Apostle Paul addressed the... Continue Reading
Beauty, Ethics and Worship
If beauty exists, and if the human being is made in God’s image, a dearth of beauty must produce both a thirst and an eventual demand.
The neglect of beauty within Christian liturgy and practice in the last century have had visible effects on Christian worship. The last one hundred years or so have been a less fruitful era for Christian expression in terms of music, poetry, literature, architecture, and the plastic arts. This lopsided emphasis on propositional truth may have... Continue Reading
The Quiet Powerhouse of Christian Hospitality
Let us open the earthly homes we have now that more may enter into the Kingdom.
The Bible shows us a God who is holy, just, faithful and true—and who opens his arms in a wide invitation to all who call on him through faith in Christ. If hospitality is the generous welcoming of others and seeking to supply their needs, then hospitality is right at the center of the Gospel.... Continue Reading
A Call for Sympathy
"Give me the friend who, though poor in gold and silver, has always ready a sympathizing heart.”
Ryle, a great theologian with much “proper and correct counsel” he could give, is onto something. How we need genuine sympathy to open hearts and draw out our better feelings. How we need to suffer with that we might better discuss with. How we need to suffer with that we might better counsel with. How we... Continue Reading
Equal Opportunity for Me, Not Thee
LGBT Groups Push the NCAA to Boycott Idaho.
The U.S. Department of Justice on Friday filed a statement of interest in the Idaho case, saying the law provides equal protection for women. “Allowing biological males to compete in all-female sports is fundamentally unfair to female athletes,” Attorney General William Barr said. And in a recent 45-page letter, the U.S. Education Department threatened to... Continue Reading
The answer is not to hold on to your anger through pride, but to release it through humbling yourself before God.
Submit yourselves to God, draw near to God and He will draw near to you. I promise you that His desire will be for you to be reconciled to your true brothers and sisters in Christ. Go to them and seek forgiveness. You may say, “Yeah, but he said!” or “Yeah, but she said!” So... Continue Reading
Successful or Faithful?
Youth ministry for the long haul is a high calling, but more and more critical for the lives of students and for the future of the Church.
Long term ministry, alongside the guidance of others that have ministered faithfully throughout the years to teenagers, has taught me and continues to teach me that when my motivation is to be faithful, or rather to respond to God’s faithfulness to me, my motivation is no longer my own. It’s not about me at all.... Continue Reading
Groaning, Waiting, Hoping
How to live in a fallen, fragile world.
When “the creation was subjected to futility,” the one who subjected it did so “in hope” (Romans 8:20). What hope? The hope “that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God” (Romans 8:21). The futility infecting creation is not... Continue Reading
Judge Rules New York May Not Enforce Double-Standard Restrictions On Religious Gatherings
De Blasio’s shows of support for mass protests “clearly undermine the legitimacy” of his reasons for restricting religious congregations.
On June 6, he permitted religious gatherings under Phase Two, but restricted them to 25 percent capacity, half that of stores and barbershops. At the same time, Cuomo and de Blasio have encouraged the mass protests sweeping New York in the wake of George Floyd’s death. Answering a question about whether protests should be discouraged, Cuomo... Continue Reading
Beware the Idol of “Normal”
That there is no true security except that which is in Christ. And that true hope is found in God alone.
For in the wake of the disease and the shut down that accompanied it, we have been forced to confront all the sources of security and safety that we have held for ourselves. These idols – idols of our financial system, our jobs, our government institutions, our entertainment and comfort, our personal control and power... Continue Reading
The Hope of Hopewell: Honoring God and Loving Your Neighbor
I had the privilege of preaching at the Historic Hopewell Church at Hueston Woods State Park near Oxford, Ohio.
A band of Reformed Christian families from Chester, S.C., personally witnessed the brutal treatment of the slaves and demanded that the entire practice be condemned and abolished. When it became clear that their pleas would not be heard, they made the difficult decision to pack up their belongings, leave all that they knew, and head... Continue Reading
The Surprising Transformation of the Disciples of Jesus
An encounter with the resurrected Jesus will transform disciples and prepare them for a joyful mission.
When Jesus visited the disciples, he didn’t only give them instruction and fellowship, he gave them a purpose for the future. When explaining the Scriptures, Jesus said “it is written” that “repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem” (Luke 24:47). And the disciples were not... Continue Reading
Samuel Miller – Conscientious Pastor and Teacher
Miller helped to train a generation of preachers who labored “to diffuse, in every direction, the holy and benign influence of truth.”
Miller trained the students through his regular lectures, his copious writings (including a manual on preaching), and his sermons. To him, preaching was a spiritual calling that an ordained pastor could never put aside in this life. His commitment to remain faithful to this calling and never merge his office “as a minister of the... Continue Reading
The Mark of an Educated Mind
Schooling underpinned by critical thinking is the bedrock of civilisation. It could save us from today’s infantilised discourse.
At a time when so many are lamenting the degradation of public discourse, a conversation about how best to incorporate critical thinking into our schools is long overdue. Our civilisation might just depend on it. Many years ago I gave a talk at the London Metropolitan Archives in which I outlined my reasons for... Continue Reading
On Behalf Of Environmentalists, I Apologize For The Climate Scare
Author of “Apocalypse Never” formally apologizes for the climate scare he was a part of creating over the last 30 years.
But there are also reasons to believe that environmental alarmism will, if not come to an end, have diminishing cultural power. The coronavirus pandemic is an actual crisis that puts the climate “crisis” into perspective. Even if you think we have overreacted, COVID-19 has killed nearly 500,000 people and shattered economies around the globe. Scientific... Continue Reading
Spurgeon’s Vision for Women’s Ministry
Spurgeon believed that God called many women to serve Christ in large and inspiring ways.
Though Spurgeon would not support the idea of women serving in pastoral ministry or preaching to the gathered congregation, he nonetheless valued the role of women in the spreading of the gospel. He also believed it was entirely appropriate for women to teach other women in the church. Thus, Spurgeon sought to promote and resource... Continue Reading
The Cure for a Lack of Fruit in Our Christian Lives
True believers demonstrate the fruit of the Spirit, and this fruit is observable and measurable.
Bearing fruit, something that Jesus identifies as keeping His commandments (15:10), is intimately related to abiding in Him. It is in the sphere of abiding in Christ and not apart from it that fruit emerges. The Westminster Confession of Faith insists that Christians may be “certainly assured that they are in the state of... Continue Reading
Dear Police Officers
I’m grateful you protected my mom when I was too young to protect her. I’m grateful you returned me home safely when I was lost.
The whole world appears to be scrutinizing your every move. Some of us are judging you fairly. And some of us are judging you unfairly. But if you’re reading this, I hope you’ll submit and entrust yourselves to God. He is the only person who judges justly. I was a five-minute walk from home... Continue Reading
Nikole Hannah-Jones’ Hatred For America Is The Basis Of The 1619 Project
Hannah-Jones’ words matter. They are the same words that may well emanate from our children’s lips if we do not take our institutions back.
In some ways, Hannah-Jones and her 1619 Project are not radical. Like-minded radicals have controlled our formative institutions for years, particularly in schools, indoctrinating generations of children in an anti-American milieu that casts the United States as racist, imperialist, and oppressive. How would you feel if the person teaching your children American history argued... Continue Reading
Let Us Go to Him Outside the Camp
Stay close, bearing with Him while the camps keep warring, and you will know peace.
These words were written to a generation of Christians who were just figuring out what following Christ should look like. They were in uncharted territory in many ways, trying to reconcile old traditions, self-righteous striving, superstitions, and the influence of false religions with their faith in the true Savior. Once Pharaoh finally let God’s... Continue Reading
Jesus in the Gospel of John—the Word
Invoking the words of Genesis, John begins a "new" creation account.
Why is Jesus called the Word? It’s clear that John wants us to understand the Word as divine and eternal. He is God. Having established that, John goes on to say: “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,... Continue Reading
Black Power and the New York Times’ 1619 Project
The New York Times’ 1619 Project is not only an effort to radically recast the formative years of the American colonies but is informed by the same radical intellectual perspective that undergirds that distorted history.
It is indeed possible that “the operation of established and respected forces in society” may yield unequal outcomes for different groups, but that fact does not tell us anything about the moral nature of those “forces.” A 100-meter race track and a random group of runners sprinting its length are quite likely to produce something... Continue Reading
Are Some Sins Easier to Condemn, Easier to Erase?
What if bigotry were as hard to discern and remedy as same-sex attraction and concupiscence?
Is it possible to think about tribalism, bigotry, undue attachment to groups, or racial supremacy the way the PCA instructs officers and members to think about same sex attraction? Both are disordered inclinations. But when people condemn bigotry between racial groups, they tend not to see it as something that lurks in a fallen human... Continue Reading
Christianity in a World of “Newspeak”
Those raised on Newspeak lose the very ability to think outside of the categories of the party because the words required to do so no longer exist.
It is instructive to consider Newspeak because it can shed light on some of the difficulties Christians face when attempting to speak or write on important issues in today’s often Orwellian world. Those in power and those seeking power in various cultural realms often hijack language and redefine words and concepts in an attempt to... Continue Reading
The Maker of the Mountains Is with You
In days of darkness, God regularly delivers his comfort and strength to us through four simple words: “I am with you.”
When you meet the kind of Christians who trust God as their faithful Creator, you will know it. Such saints have a mark they cannot hide. Not only do they walk through suffering with an abiding peace in Jesus; they also walk through suffering with an eye toward others: “Let those who suffer according to... Continue Reading
June 15, 2020, was not a good day for the Supreme Court of the United States.
Even granting what the Court claims about “the ordinary public meaning” of the Title VII statute, the notion that “discrimination based on homosexuality or transgender status necessarily entails discrimination based on sex” is just flat-out confused. It’s a bad ruling that will have very harmful consequences (and not just for religious employers). Yesterday, the... Continue Reading
Lament And The Hope In Pentecost
We are living in a jarring time and a word coming back into popular use lately reflects our times: “lament.”
Acts 2 and its description of the mighty rushing wind of the Holy Spirit that changed the world is that way. It took strangers and brought them together, not simply so that they could understand each other’s languages but knit them into a new family, a new humanity…God has gathered us to be revived and... Continue Reading