The State of Theology: Suspicious Of Authority

The results of this study might give the Reformers a little consternation

“One of the most crucial conversations during the Reformation concerned the marks of the true church. This is understandable. Prior to the Reformation the only church was the Roman Catholic Church. (In the West, of course, as the Orthodox Church dominated the East.) Then along came the Reformers, who raised the question: What is the... Continue Reading

Fencing The Table (Part 2)

Biblical principles and directives regarding the careful fencing and partaking of the Lord’s Table.

As we engage the questions before us we should recognize that the sacraments must be set in the larger context of ecclesiology (the doctrine of the church). Our fencing inquiry is not a simple question that can consider the sacrament in the abstract. Rather it is a complex matter involving several issues of wider biblical,... Continue Reading

Is a Belief in Hell Incompatible with the Truth That God Is Love?

If we start selectively believing Scripture, we dismantle the authority of Scripture

“Whenever we take one biblical truth, then conclude that another teaching of Scripture is incompatible with it, we presume to act as judges of Scripture, rather than submitting to what it says. Hence we become our own authority, defining God’s love on our own terms in a way that is incompatible with Hell, whereas Scripture... Continue Reading

When Sin Keeps You From Prayer

Sin puts a stress on our relationship with God. It is a breach.

“It is ironic that prayer is actually the rescue chopper from the captivity of sin. It’s the only way out. Like making contact with a Search and Rescue Team, prayer discloses our location and position. The way out of the spiraling pattern of sin is to confess it.”   The other day I preached on... Continue Reading

Semper Reformanda

Semper reformanda is not about constant fluctuations, but about about firm foundations.

When the church changes its mind–or a professor or pastor or professional blogger demands that the church changes its mind–on, say, the definition of marriage or the nature of sexual sin, we can rest assured that, however much some traditionalists may object to the change, the church is courageously embodying the legacy of the Reformers... Continue Reading

What Good Are Confessions And Catechisms If They Are Not Inerrant?

The Reformed confessions are not inerrant but we have no need for inerrant confessions.

So, what use are confessions? They are official, ecclesiastical summaries of the faith on certain key points. What good is the United States constitution? Much in every way, if we will follow it. They provide guidance to ministers, elders, deacons, and members. The confessions provide us with agreed language on the key points of the... Continue Reading

The Interface of Medieval Mysticism and Buddhist Mindfulness Meditation

Contemplative techniques are designed to subdue the body and mind into passive openness to mystical experiences that impart the convincing impression of tapping into a higher plane of reality

The terrifying effects that sometimes result from meditation should come as no surprise, since the interface of science and mysticism has given scientific and academic credibility to the forbidden realm of the occult. Mysticism has long been understood as the science of consciousness, by which human consciousness is transformed into Divine Consciousness through meditative techniques.... Continue Reading

A Prayer for When the Future is Uncertain

In our culture today, there is much uncertainty about the future.

Cry out to God, give Him your fears, worries, and cares. Ask for salvation, rescue, and deliverance. Instead of despairing over what could or might happen, run to the One who holds the world in the palm of His hand. Turn to the One who turns the hearts of kings (Proverbs 21.1). Rest in the One... Continue Reading

The Missional Creep of the PCA

Our mission is, as always, to make disciples in the midst of the culture.

The reason for this deteriorating effect is because the gospel was not given to convert the culture. It was given to save sinners. Yet, evangelical progressives, who love the idea that they are change agents for the Kingdom, are busy focusing on culture, instead of sinners. This is why the gospel has been made of... Continue Reading

The Doctrines of Grace: Total Depravity: Did Calvin Pick TULIPS?

Ask someone if they know about Calvinism and most likely they’ll bring up TULIP

“If TULIP wasn’t original to Calvin, how did we get it?  What are traditionally known as the Five Points of Calvinism sprung from theologians who were actually opposed to Calvin’s teachings, specifically those on predestination.”    Ask someone if they know about Calvinism and most likely they’ll bring up TULIP, a helpful acrostic that stands... Continue Reading