Accusing An Elder

Do not receive an accusation except in front of two or three witnesses that can do something about it.

The worst thing to do is simply talk about it, rejoice secretly in the “hidden knowledge” and go tell the next person, in confidence, of course – adding your own juicy tidbits to make it sound just a little better. THAT is what Paul is forbidding. Don’t hear it, don’t receive it at all –... Continue Reading

Stop Feeling Your Feelings

We should never make our bodily feelings any test of how sincere we are, how devoted we are, or how authentically we are worshipping.

Certainly we should never make our bodily feelings any test of how sincere we are, how devoted we are, or how authentically we are worshipping. Churches or Christian leaders that encourage a pursuit of what amounts to bodily undulations as a litmus test of faith, joy, or love have effectively imprisoned their people in the... Continue Reading

The Time to Pray is Before the Shooting Starts

I’ve noticed a disturbing trend among Christians. We are not a praying people.

We spend so much time worrying about the world our kids and grandkids are growing up in, so many hours scheming and planning ways to shelter them, and so little time talking to the One who can actually change things. If you want to know the truth, it isn’t the youth of today or the... Continue Reading

Integrity in Christian Leadership

The lesson is simple: even with solidly conservative theology, we sadly often find moral compromise in our ranks.

As leaders, we will often face situations that reveal what is in our hearts. When we are pricked, our people will see our hearts, and they need to see us bleed integrity—either true holy character or humble repentance. If there is one thing that the Protestant evangelical world needs right now, it’s men and women... Continue Reading

How is the Holy Spirit Our Helper?

By faith the heavenly Paraclete, the heavenly attorney, will save his people.

Jesus is the one with whom we need to be united, but the Holy Spirit is the only one who can unite us to him! There are certain things the Father does, certain things the Spirit does, and certain things the Son does. While they don’t do different works, they do different things in every... Continue Reading

Pastor, Don’t Avoid Uncomfortable Topics

It takes courage to preach the whole counsel of God.

Pastors, your people want you to go there. They are hungry for clear, compassionate, biblical teaching on the difficult topics facing our culture and their own families. Sexuality. Gender. Racial reconciliation. Hell. God’s wrath. Tithing. Church discipline. Divorce. Greed and materialism. War and violence. Charismatic gifts. Christ’s exclusivity.   Few pastors jump at the chance... Continue Reading

The One Book: Gospel Fear by Jeremiah Burroughs

A book that causes us to reevaluate something at the core of our identity as a child of God is a gem indeed.

Burroughs (1599-1646) exemplifies the Puritanism of the times well, with a deep love for his flock supplemented with powerful and theologically rich preaching. In fact, Thomas Brooks called Burroughs the Prince of Preachers for his passionate exposition of the Word to his flock. Published 28 years after his death by a group of friends who... Continue Reading

Jesus Is the True and Faithful Gardener Who Cares for Your Soul

He gives himself to the cultivation of the souls of his people through his atoning sacrifice and continual intercession.

Since “a garden was the place wherein we fell…therefore Christ made choice of a garden to begin there the greatest work of our redemption,” Jesus is the second Adam. It is fitting, therefore, that his work of undoing all that Adam did should begin in a Garden.   The Scriptures tell us that the Son... Continue Reading

The Man They Need You to Be

Letter to Myself as a Young Pastor

Ministry is going to be tough. If you stay faithful to the gospel, you will be attacked, maligned, misunderstood, and criticized. The temptation will be to defend yourself at all cost. After all, no one likes to have his name dragged through the mud—trust me, I know.   Playwright T.S. Eliot wrote, “In my beginning... Continue Reading

Hope and Holidays

Temporal rest makes us restless for eternal rest.

The ‘labour-then-rest’ mode of living points forward to the bigger narrative of our lives, and the even grander scheme of the cosmos, in which being forever with the Lord will entail resting from the rigours and nuisances of sin-beleaguered labour here.   If all the year were playing holidays, To sport would be as tedious... Continue Reading