7 Things I’ve Learned Breaking (and Living) Free From Porn

When the dean confronted me with my internet history report and alleged porn problem, she told me “We know this wasn’t you. Women just don’t have this problem.”

A year later, I outed myself, and told someone I struggled with pornography and needed help. I found help, and it took me almost two years to feel like I was “free” from pornography. While I’ve been “free” for over a decade, I’ve never stopped battling it.  Those ten years of freedom have included moments... Continue Reading

Into the Abyss

As the dust of Easter celebrations settles after the special services and events, some details of the Passion week linger on in my mind.

The high drama of the Day of Atonement would have been burned into the consciousness of every Jew from his or her earliest years. It was the central day of the Jewish year that dramatically portrayed how Yahweh promised to deal with the central problem of their life as a nation and of themselves individually.... Continue Reading

As Christ loved the Church…

The question that I have for you is this: Are you strong enough to love a woman?

Are you strong enough to live with her with understanding; or do you simply wish to never be inconvenienced, smashing the vessel of her heart on the floor like a cantankerous child? Are you strong enough to protect her heart? To never do anything that would damage her reputation? Would you rather die yourself than... Continue Reading

Repentance and Learning to Hate Sin

"Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."

Satan, the enemy of God and all of God’s people, wants you to believe his lie: “Confessing your sin brings shame upon you and you must hide it at all costs.” We’re also reluctant to confess and to repent because we understand that sin is a reproach to us, since we bear the image of... Continue Reading

Can God Change?

God is unlike the Sun and Moon whose being causes shadows as they ‘turn’. (James 1.17)

But the God who does not change brings about changes. How can this be? Augustine, a greatly-gifted man, put his finger on the lines, if not of a solution, yet of a way of thinking of the one who is changeless brings about changes. ‘Willing a change is not changing a will’ occurs a number... Continue Reading

Two Big Reasons the Trinity Matters

To know God savingly is to know him as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Anything less is not Christian.

Judging by the church’s historic creeds, Christians used to think the Trinity is really important. Judging by the honest answers likely given to the questions above, many modern Christians have lost the sense of why it’s so important, even if they’ve retained it in their doctrinal statements. But judging by a growing number of voices,... Continue Reading

Canons Of Dort (30): God’s Gracious Assurance Of Perseverance

At the Synod of Dort the Reformed churches reaffirmed that Christians persevere and are preserved sola gratia, by grace alone, sola fide, through faith alone.

Even within the Reformed churches and within broader evangelicalism influenced by some aspects of Reformed theology (but not themselves Reformed nor members of Reformed churches) many have been tempted to modify Reformed theology in similar ways. E.g., it is popularly taught in some quarters that sinners are initially justified (declared righteous with God) sola gratia, sola fide but they are... Continue Reading

“It’s All About Jesus” or “Union with Christ” or “Identity in Jesus”: What Do These Mean?

The good news of the gospel—of Christianity as a whole—is that we can be linked with him. We’re in him.

This, in a nutshell, is an explanation of our union with Christ. The Christian’s identity is about Jesus. What happened to him identifies and defines us. What’s true of him becomes true of us. So Christians, let’s make it crystal clear: The reason you and I are forgiven is not just that God forgives. It’s because... Continue Reading

Our Identity Is Not in Their Performance

I just had to be faithful in loving Jesus through loving people and proclaiming truth. I am not in charge of how you respond.

My identity is firmly fixed in Christ and it is not wrapped up in my performance. As Bunyan said so many years before, “my righteousness is in heaven and it’s not dependent upon my good frames or my bad frames”. My standing with the Father is already settled. My record is established. I am in... Continue Reading

Humble Confidence, Not Self-Love

It is only when we are self-forgetful that we can possess the right kind of courageous confidence we need to face the challenges of life.

Paul warns about a forthcoming time of godlessness and argues that its chief characteristic will be that men will be “lovers of self” (2 Tim. 3:2). When one’s center of gravity shifts from God and others to self, it serves as fertilizer for the cultivation of a variety of other sins. One might well ask... Continue Reading