Unconditional Election: The Calling and Commissioning of the Apostle Paul

The Apostle Paul’s own experience bears out the utter gratuity of God’s grace to sinners

“I would suggest that the biblical discussion of divine election or unconditional election cannot bypass Romans 9 or other Scriptural passages that indicate that God chooses those whom he will save based upon his own reasons which do not include anything special about the one chosen at the time God saves a sinner.”   The... Continue Reading

Shame, Sanctification, Singleness, and Marriage

It seemed like there was no good age to be to talk about the difficulties and the blessings of the season in which I was called to by God.

I don’t want to be ashamed of the fact that at 35, I’ve only been married a year and while most of my peers are coming into their second decade of marriage, I am still a baby at it. I don’t know how to do it well, but I also take great delight in it. Please... Continue Reading

The Ordinary Christian Life

Maybe if we discover the opportunities of the ordinary, a fondness for the familiar, and a wonder for the mundane, we will end up being radical after all.

If gradual growth in Christ is exchanged for a radical experience, it is not surprising that many begin looking for the Next Big Thing as the latest crisis experience wears off. Even in my own lifetime, I’ve witnessed—and participated in—a parade of radical movements. And now, according to Time magazine, the “new Calvinism” is one... Continue Reading

Fears and Fleeting Faith

Our faith is shockingly shallow on the day of uncertainty. Our fears quickly overwhelm our fleeting faith.

We marvel at the disciples for their lack of faith. They had seen miracle after miracle, had experience after experience. They had walked with him and been taught by him as his dearest friends, his closest allies. Yet in one moment of uncertainty they forgot it all. We marvel, but we shouldn’t. If we are... Continue Reading

Don’t Give Up the Battle

We can’t afford to give up or give in; so much is at stake.

Though hard and painful emotions are often distorted and exaggerate reality, they do tell us something, they tell us that something is wrong. They indicate that something is going on in our heart. They reflect our internal struggle with God. When we ignore them, try to control them, attempt to cover them up, or pretend... Continue Reading

Smilingly Leading You to Hell

Christians are called by God to stand firm on what the Bible says is true, no matter how counter-cultural, and no matter how odious to the spirit of the age.

Niceness is not a bad trait. It is not wrong or sinful to be nice. But we vastly overestimate it and at the same time confuse it with those traits that matter so much more. It may be good to be nice, but it is so much better to be holy.   One of these... Continue Reading

Show My Child Grace, or Lay Down the Law?

Law and grace are not opposing forces

So, as I know my children need the awareness of God’s law, they also need the self-awareness that law gives them. They need the guidance of God’s law. I also know that I need to bring that in a spirit of tender, patient, kind, loving, and forgiving grace. Law and Grace Are Not Opposing Forces... Continue Reading

The Evangelical Fall From The Means Of Grace

The various revival movements of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries tended to push the Lord’s Supper to margins of Reformed piety.

It is because we have become practically anti-supernatural and simultaneously super-spiritual in our theology, so that we are, on the one hand, bored with God’s ordinary means of grace (the sacraments) and on the other hand have stopped believing that God can and does use those means to accomplish His purposes. That is to say,... Continue Reading

Why It Matters

If we all agree that homosexual behavior goes against Scripture, what’s the big deal if we differ over how to discuss and label same-sex desire?

There’s no question that Christians should be empathetic toward those struggling with same-sex attraction and have the humility to acknowledge that if we don’t have that struggle, we don’t know what it’s like. But there’s a point at which empathy becomes distorted and blinds us to Scriptural truths and to the reality that suffering is... Continue Reading

Restricting Women to the “Pink Passages”

Responding to the claim that no woman should teach, not even other women

Pastors should be encouraged to preach sound doctrine. Husbands should be encouraged to study the Word with their wives. But, we should be careful not to set up extrabiblical hedges. In our defense of qualified men as ordained leaders and husbands as spiritual leaders in the home, we should not restrict women to the “pink... Continue Reading