Where Sex Trafficking Occurs in America
Christians in America too often assume that trafficking is a problem that only occurs in foreign lands.
While sex slavery is certainly more prevalent in other countries, we can’t overlook what is happening in our own cities and states. We can help these women and children, though, by knowing the signs to look for. The Story: A recent report highlights the cities and states within the United States in which human... Continue Reading
Is the “New Perspective on Paul” a Product of Our Current Cultural Moment?
Apparently NPP folks are the ones that finally see Paul clearly without being clouded by their cultural situation.
Is it true that NPP [New Perspective(s) on Paul] folks have somehow been able to do what reformed folks have not, namely throw off the shackles of cultural influence and see the real Paul? Are they able to rise above their cultural circumstances and engage only in objective exegesis (whatever that might be)? Ever... Continue Reading
Why the Apologist Must Also Play Offense
The church is up against not mere ignorance but biased enmity.
This is a large part of the task of the Christian apologist: to prove the Christian worldview, and to rely on God to cause the acquiescence of the unbelieving heart to the soundness of biblical doctrine. Christianity on the Defense With each passing generation, wherever Christianity flourishes, so too do distortion, misrepresentation, overemphasis, and... Continue Reading
The Church and Israel in the New Testament
Although the nation of Israel was often involved in idolatry, apostasy, and rebellion, God always kept for Himself a faithful remnant—those who trusted in Him and who would not bow the knee to Baal.
The relationship between Israel and the church in the New Testament is not always easy to discern, but it can be understood if we remember the differences between national Israel and true Israel in both the Old Testament and the New, and if we keep in mind what Paul teaches in Romans 11. One... Continue Reading
Christian Loses His Burden
Those who take God lightly are those who have no regard for His glory.
This is the description of how salvation comes. It comes as a result of the atoning work of Christ and the exchange of our sin from our backs to His, as well as the cloak of His righteousness being transferred from His account to ours. Anything that eliminates this double exchange, this double imputation of... Continue Reading
The Shepherd’s First Assignment
Alongside prayer, the primary responsibility of shepherding is teaching, grounding the sheep in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Sheep stray and need to be reminded, retrieved (even rescued), and trained in the way of truth and righteousness. But, just like with our children learning to speak or read, it starts with the basics. The Apostles’ Creed gives us a syllabus of basic biblical teaching for being rooted and built up in Christ,... Continue Reading
The Joy of Justification
Just as Jesus experienced sorrow on account of the imputation of our sin, believers rejoice in the fact that God has clothed us in the righteousness of another.
“To be exalted from a relation fraught with guilt and wrath and fear and death, and to be brought at once, on the ground of another’s merit, into one of favor and peace and blessedness and eternal life–to have the angry frown of an incensed avenging judge turned away, and all replaced by the sweet... Continue Reading
Tuning Your Soul to the New Creation Melody
As we are redeemed in Christ, our new goal is a lifelong pursuit of training our ears to hear the pitch and harmony of new creation.
As we faithfully and prayerfully read the Scriptures, the Spirit conforms us to the image of Christ, and the self-focused tunes that normally operate as the soundtrack of our lives are replaced with the joyful, hope-filled beat of our crucified and risen King. A person’s ear can be trained to hear any number of... Continue Reading
Speaking on the Unspeakable: Shame & Student Ministry
Shame is that inner voice each one of us has heard telling us we are unworthy, unlovable, and unredeemable.
Those who have had little interaction with teenagers may wrongly assume that the youth of today have somehow avoided the grip of shame. They assume this, of course, because teenagers are great at faking confidence. What words come to mind when you think of “shame?” Humiliation. Embarrassment. Weakness. Ridicule. Total rejection. While recently listening... Continue Reading
God Doesn’t Need Us
He doesn’t need you, He doesn’t need me, and He doesn’t need anyone or anything in this world.
God is not a needy God. It’s not as if He was bored, twiddling His thumbs, desperately lonely before He created the world. God is not dependent on the world for His existence, nor is He dependent on the world for His happiness and self-fulfillment. Instead, He possesses life in and of Himself. More precisely,... Continue Reading