Rediscovering the Lost Art of Lament

Does God want us to ignore the great difficulties of life, to get over them, to power through them, or to be crushed by them?

This place where Jesus experienced forsakenness—this place of ultimate lament—is where we need to come when we are lamenting. When we cry out to God for his help, we can look to the cross and know that God will not turn his back on us. God’s rejection is what Jesus has already experienced, in our... Continue Reading

On Moving Fences

Some want to do away with ecclesiastical and theological fences without having any idea why the fences are there.

I once sat in a presbytery meeting and heard a young recent seminary graduate express a scruple about the prohibition of images of Jesus that is found in the Westminster Larger Catechism, answer 109. He said that he didn’t believe it was correct. When asked if he had ever read anything defending the Catechism’s view,... Continue Reading

Racial Reconciliation: What We (Mostly, Almost) All Agree On, and What We (Likely) Still Don’t Agree On

A list of areas we may mostly agree on and areas we may probably still don’t agree on.

And finally, maybe a list like this can help us put our arguments in the appropriate categories. Let me be clear: all of the disagreements above are important, and Christians should be engaged in all of these debates. By laying out these disagreements, I’m not suggesting we now ignore them or act as if no... Continue Reading

Messianic Politics

I cringe when I hear/read political advocacy which says something like, “If Jesus was alive today, he would support this policy …”

Whenever we cite Jesus in support of the political causes we care about, let’s do so honestly, in keeping with what he actually said and did in this world. If we give Scripture honest and humble inquiry, the risen Christ may well bless us such that we’re not seeking to sign him up to support... Continue Reading

Christian Missionary Waterboarded by ISIS in Prison, Led 40 to Christ

Czech missionary Petr Jasek endured a 14-month imprisonment in Sudan where he was tortured by fellow cellmates. Jesus supernaturally imparted peace during his confinement and he became a bold witness.

Then Jasek was moved to another prison where conditions were even worse. “We were squeezed in a small room — 15 by 18 feet. There were sometimes 40 of us. That was the situation and I was able to lead 40 Eritrean refugees to Christ,” he said. “It was like new revelation for me. I... Continue Reading

Study: Atheists Find Meaning In Life By Inventing Fairy Tales

Atheists often snidely dismiss religion as a fairy tale. Yet a study finds the meaning atheists and non-religious people attribute to their lives is entirely self-invented.

But apparently many atheists and non-religious people have a hunger for meaning and a sense of moral rectitude that their worldview cannot satisfy. Sure, they are free to invent their own meaning and morality, but then they should be honest and admit that their meaning and morality has no advantage over the meaning or morality... Continue Reading

Ambrose of Milan

One of the most talented bishop of the early church.

Only one name is more associated with Ambrose than Theodosius’s, and only one student outshined this teacher: Augustine. The skeptical professor of rhetoric had gone to Milan in 384 to hear the bishop’s famous allegorical preaching. By the time he left four years later, he had been baptized by Ambrose and given a philosophical basis... Continue Reading

10 Commandments of Progressive Christianity #1: Is Jesus Our Lord or Our Example?

When given the choice between worshiping Jesus (which requires that he is divine) and merely looking at Jesus as a good moral guide, liberals have always favored the latter.

While liberal Christians make much of Jesus’ moral example, what is missing in their system is why anyone should care. After all, if Jesus is just an ordinary man, then why would we think his particular moral code is any better than any other person’s?  Why should we think his moral code matters at all?... Continue Reading

When Hot-Button Issues Cry Out to Young Pastors

It takes a long time to skillfully speak about hot-button issues. It takes even longer to speak skillfully about hot-button issues in a godly way.

We must be careful that the pulpit is not used for hot-button issues over simple, surrendered exposition. It’s harder to do the latter, though. There is a tendency in younger pastors to assume that Bible exposition doesn’t seem to scratch raging social itches. Perhaps even worse, there is also a tendency in younger pastors to... Continue Reading

Is Political Agreement Necessary to Gospel Reconciliation?

Should we sever our communion and shared labor for the gospel over cultural/political disagreements?

If skin color and cultural/political viewpoints are to determine our lines of shared worship and gospel labor, where is Christ in our priorities? This was a question that has rightly been asked of white Christians, whose sin of racism demanded a color-coded worship. I also fear it needs to be asked of some African-American brothers and... Continue Reading

The Noose of History

We cannot lynch the body of Christ with the noose of history for some sense of personal satisfaction.

I think it behooves us to acknowledge when this historical record has wrapped a noose around our necks and circumvents seeing present-day realities with sober judgment. This is where past transgressions dictate our interactions such that all we can see is the oppression of the past and want to impose that on the present. Sadly,... Continue Reading

The Amazing Riches of Psalm 23

Jesus’ unceasing love for us never ceases. Every sunrise brings new mercies. His faithfulness is infinite.

Because Jesus has redeemed us, called us by name, and made us his own, he will always be with us, no matter what we go through. And because he is the Lord our God and our Savior, he will allow nothing to overwhelm us in an ultimate sense. He will give us peace.   Psalm... Continue Reading

Unorthodox Christology

Recently, it has come to light that William Lane Craig, professor of philosophy at Talbot School of Theology, propagates an unorthodox view of Christology.

Rather than avoiding the Appolinarian heresy, Craig embraces a form of it which he personally calls, “Neo-Appolinarianism.” How very sad that we are re-living the early church heresies in our own day. Instead of staying with the orthodox notion that Christ is fully God and fully man–two natures in one person, “without confusion, without change,... Continue Reading

Tyndale Sued by Boy Who Didn’t Come Back from Heaven

Subject of retracted afterlife account demands damages for using his name.

Malarkey has sued on the grounds of defamation, financial exploitation, and publicity placing a person in a false light, saying that Tyndale went forward with initially publishing and promoting the book knowing his opposition. He states that he did not write any part of the book or consent to the use of his name as... Continue Reading

Three Things to Remember When You Fear the Future

It's hard not to worry and fret about the unknown. It's hard not to fear. And it can be hard to trust God with the future.

Because the future is in God’s hands and no one else’s and because he is good and only does what is good, we can trust our future to him. We can rest in his sovereign care for us. The trials and circumstances we fear, while not good in and of themselves, are always used by... Continue Reading

Are There Degrees of Sin?

Calvin and every one of the Reformers strenuously maintained that there is a difference between lesser sins and what they called gross and heinous sins.

It’s clear that we have different degrees of sin when we consider the warnings of Scripture. There are at least twenty-two references in the New Testament to degrees of rewards that are given to the saints in heaven. There are different levels, different rewards, and different roles in heaven. The Bible warns us against adding... Continue Reading

I Was A Disney Princess, I Had An Abortion, And It Almost Ruined My Life

Recently, Planned Parenthood tweeted, ‘We Need a Disney Princess Who Had an Abortion.’ No, we do not.

On Monday, I got up and went to work. I wondered if anyone would notice that I had been crying all weekend. I put on my costume. I worked hard to put my eye makeup on to cover the tear stains. I fixed my hair, brushed on my blush, applied lipstick, and tried to smile... Continue Reading

Macrina the Younger – The Fourth Cappadocian

Basil’s and Gregory of Nyssa’s sister Macrina is less known, in spite of the powerful influence she exercised on her whole family.

Macrina’s enthusiasm for an ascetic life was contagious. When her mother transferred the family to their estate in Annisa, Pontus (on the southern coast of the Black Sea), Macrina persuaded her to turn the place into a religious community. There, the family and some like-minded people lived together, devoting their time to prayer, service to... Continue Reading

Why Francis Schaeffer Matters: The Church in Culture – Part 7

Despite the degradation of the culture, Schaeffer believes there is hope for the Christian church.

Postmodernism essentially posits the view that there is nobody in the universe.  There is “nobody to love man, nobody to comfort him, even while he seeks desperately to find comfort in the limited, finite, horizontal relationships to life (Death In The City, 215).   The result is that “God has turned away in judgment as our... Continue Reading

Are We Proclaiming a Hell We Don’t Deserve—and a Christ We Do?

The way we think about hell is always a reflection of how we think about sin and, in turn, how we think about Christ.

No one will ever be punished in hell for being unlike you in some superficial way. No, they will be punished for being so profoundly like you. That’s what is really shocking about hell. It’s shocking that we all deserve this fate, not one of us excluded. When Paul writes that “all have sinned and fall short... Continue Reading

How the Church gets Justice Wrong (and How to Begin Getting it Right)

There is no better time to explore the relationship between making disciples and living as disciples in the world, or the Great Commission and the Great Commandment.

At their simplest levels, the Great Commandment and the Great Commission follow the distinction between law and gospel. A young lawyer asked Jesus, “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.... Continue Reading

Get Thee a Flawed Wife

A letter of encouragement—and realism—to Christian men considering marriage.

For them and many other Christian young men, delayed marriage is common. The reasons are complicated and include unrealistic expectations, lack of confidence, a desire for financial security, aversion to commitment, general immaturity, or more simply, the inability to find or keep a compatible partner. Recent studies indicate that fewer and fewer men are sitting in evangelical churches on... Continue Reading

The Gospel Is The Remedy For Racism

God’s Word is clear about the only remedy for racism: the good news of Jesus Christ.

Now, in the New Covenant, the promises of the ingathering of the Gentiles is coming true. Peter said, “for the promise is to you [Israelite men], and to your children [your covenant household], and to all who are far off [Gentiles], as the Lord our God shall call” (Acts 2:39). The inclusion of the Gentiles... Continue Reading

The Divine Foundation of Authority

The very word authority has within it the word author.

An author is someone who creates and possesses a particular work. Insofar as God is the foundation of all authority, He exercises that foundation because He is the author and the owner of His creation. He is the foundation upon which all other authority stands or falls.   “You’re out!” “I’m safe!” “Out!” “Safe!” “Out!” “It’s... Continue Reading

Bill Hybels, Willow Creek and Truth

Pastor Bill Hybels announced his resignation from Willow Creek, an influential megachurch in the Chicago area.

Ministers should never be protected simply because of their role or status. Every accusation should be taken seriously and dealt with in a prompt manner. I can’t even begin to relay to you how many emails I get from women in the local church who have been flirted with by their pastor inappropriately but have... Continue Reading

How Orthodox Presbyterians Became PCA

Considering what happened to the Orthodox Presbyterian Church (OPC) after the failure of union between the Christian Reformed Church (CRC) and the OPC.

In other words, the consequences of Reformed ecumenism from the 1970s and 1980s were having consequences for all of the players — the CRC, OPC, and PCA. Where Presbyterians went, their forms of association, and their understanding of the church were factors in the witness they embraced.   Another way to supplement Chris Gordon’s post about the... Continue Reading

Why Francis Schaeffer Matters: His Approach to Apologetics – Part 6

Schaeffer begins his approach to apologetics by pointing out that every non-regenerate person enters the discussion with a set of presuppositions.

Some have taken the time to analyze their presuppositions.  Most have not.  But each non-regenerate person is caught in the horns of a dilemma because it is impossible to be consistent in logic or practice.  This holds true along the whole spectrum of people.   Christian Apologetics: Two Purposes Francis Schaeffer’s holds a rather basic... Continue Reading

The Law Exposes Racism As Sin

“You shall love your neighbor as yourself (Matt 22:39).

What is racism? The Oxford Dictionary of English s.v. “racism,” defines it as “prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one’s own race is superior…the belief that all members of each race possess characteristics, abilities, or qualities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as... Continue Reading

Jonathan Edwards and Why I am a Cessationist

“If we aren’t really speaking in tongues, and if the Holy Spirit isn’t causing people to faint and act that way, what are we doing, then?”

Scripture demands we test the spirits to discern if they originate with God (1 John 4:1). The Israelites’ greatest threat wasn’t from the pagan culture outside their camp, but from false prophets within—many of whom drew larger crowds and were better known than genuine prophets.   I’ve been a Southern Baptist all my life, and... Continue Reading

7 Ways to Protect and Pass On the Gospel

If a local body fails to carry out their given assignment, spiritual disaster will eventually occur.

I don’t intend to defend the biblical merits of congregationalism in this post. Instead, I want to list and briefly explain seven ways a congregation can fulfill its Christ-commissioned responsibility. Some of these action steps are directed specifically at the individual church member, while others focus on the congregation as a whole.   Two summers... Continue Reading