No Time Out … Just Call Out

Here’s what you should not do — keep your distance from God for a period of time to prove your seriousness.

No my sin-sick but Gospel-redeemed freed friends, instead of putting yourself in a ego-stroking, never-satisfying, unnecessary, fruitless, and sinful time-out, believe the Gospel and call out to your faithful, consistent, never-temperamental, always merciful, and only gracious Savior.  God is the Heavenly Father of prodigals, and he looks your way with a convicting Spirit, watching gaze,... Continue Reading

Dad Died with Dirt on His Hands

We are now separated, but only for a time.

I believe that my father has not ceased to be. Rather, his soul has simply left his body for a time. As the Sage once said, “The dust returns to the earth as it was, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.” Though his body is now empty and decaying, his soul is... Continue Reading

John Calvin Wouldn’t Wear a Necktie

There is a certain theology to clothing.

John Calvin offers some pastoral insight…He calls dress an “indifferent matter.” As such, he notes that it’s “difficult to assign a fixed limit, how far we ought to go.” And concludes: “This at least will be settled beyond all controversy, that every thing in dress which is not in accordance with modesty and sobriety must... Continue Reading

Recovering the Exclusivity of the Gospel, Part 2

If one need not believe in Christ for salvation, then one need not tell others to believe in Christ.

Perhaps the tepidness of our witness is not due to out-of-date methodologies or insufficient training. Perhaps the problem—at its core—is convictional; is theological. Do we really believe that persons must believe in Jesus Christ to be saved?   “Does it matter what you believe as long as you are sincere?” I still remember, as a... Continue Reading

The Big Lie

“The Christian has no need to fear God!” Is this true?

There are those in the visible Church in our day who teach that for those in Christ there are no restrictions on behavior. They say, “All things are permissible.” Really? This sounds more like a pandering to those who cannot repent because they are not regenerate but who still demand to be called Christians.  ... Continue Reading

A New Year’s Resolution: Don’t Try to Be With It

Trivialities and the Weight of Glory

If you are in the business of making New Year’s resolutions, why not attempt one that saves time instead of depletes it? Give up trying to keep up. Let the pop culture whirlwind pass you by. Be wonderfully ignorant of the world of what’s happening now.   The headline on my Twitter feed was from... Continue Reading

May I Judge?

It depends on what you mean by the word “judge.”

We do well to repent before God and man of our easy judgmentalism and seek to learn that God-pleasing habit of doing to others as we’d have them do to us (Luke 6:31). As we hate being on the receiving end of perceived gossip or slander, so we need studiously to avoid being on the... Continue Reading

How the Gospel Resizes Our New Year’s Hopes and Fears

Looking to what God has done in the past in order to find courage for the future is a common theme throughout Scriptures.

One thing I learned in the course of my long life is that hopes and fears are in constant need of bridling and resizing, to bring them in accord with reality and with the ultimate goal of our lives—a goal that the Shorter Westminster Catechism, a 17th-century summary of the Christian faith, defines as “to... Continue Reading

The Lost Sheep of the House of Israel

Jesus is indicating that the focus of his earthly mission was primarily to the Jews.

These words are striking in their context because of the obvious persistence of the Gentile lady pleading with him and the apparent perplexity of the disciples who were privy to the conversation. But it is striking also because it echoes directly what Jesus had already said to the disciples when he sent them out to... Continue Reading

Can Scripture Teach Gen Zs To Be Godly Parents? Part 2

Parenting is the godly maturing of the child’s brain, God’s way.

  The good news is that Paul faced the same evangelical problem in his ministry to the Pagans, where their presuppositional belief system was strongly anchored in the worship of idols (likewise, our Gen Z’s worship the self). His success and failures are recorded in Acts, thus providing us with a very practical and proven... Continue Reading