The Early Symptoms of Spiritual Danger

We cannot tell the difference between the beginning of backsliding and the beginning of apostasy; both look the same. So what are the tell-tale signs of the sickness unto death?

Yes, apostasy happens. Sometimes the catalyst is flagrant sin. The pain of conviction and repentance is refused, and the only alternative to it is wholesale rejection of Christ. But sometimes the catalyst is a thorn growing quietly in the heart, an indifference to the way of the Cross, a drifting that is not reversed by... Continue Reading

Praying for You, Right Now!

We are all guilty at times of saying “I will pray for you,” and then living with prayer promise dementia.

In my human condition, I need the prayers of my church and my family, as I deal with day-to-day stressors and challenges of life. My fellow parishioners, all of my friends, and all of my family members also need my prayers on their behalf. I’m glad to think happy thoughts for them as well, but... Continue Reading

Pro-Life For All Life

As those who oppose abortion we often face the criticism that we are pro-birth but not pro-life.

If we’re going to claim to be “pro-life” then let us be for all of life. Let us do what we can to remove the inconsistencies that remain so that the pro-life message is not lost because of our failures. As a Christian my ethic is derived from the law of God as expressed in the Ten Commandments. The inverse of “Thou shalt not kill”—the sixth commandment—is that we are to endeavor to preserve our own life, and the life of others. It is not only life in the womb we should be concerned for, but life everywhere. We need to promote all of life as far as we can in the sphere, with the resources, according to the providential circumstances, and with the different responsibilities God has given us. That is going to apply differently from person to person. Even Jesus taught that every duty has its particular time and place “For you will always have the poor with you” (Mark 14:7). What are some practical ways we can be for all of life?

Grace 101

What I discovered was, though we used the same word, our definitions of grace were very different.

There are multiple ways I've heard grace misused and misunderstood. Sometimes it is nuanced in a way that leads to misunderstanding. Sometimes people emphasize grace in one area of faith but not in others. Sometimes they use it interchangeably with words like patience or forbearance. But the definition that concerns me the most is when it is used to mean overlooking something (most often sin) as in "This is who I am and God accepts me that way. He gives me grace to be myself."

Impossible to Believe — Preaching in a Secular Culture

The question remains, what does preaching look like in the secular city?

How do we preach a binding authority when people do not even realize they are under authority? How do we preach the objective truths of a non-provisional gospel? How do we preach the authority of a single book, its singular Savior, and a faith once for all delivered to the saints when most people hold, even unconsciously, to a firm commitment to pluralization?

When I Don’t Feel Successful

The Gospel says more about us than our failures do

“The verdict God speaks over us trumps every other verdict spoken over us by our voices or the voices of others. God uses our failures to wean us off self-righteousness and point us to Jesus, in whom we find a righteousness that is sufficient for our confidence, value, and unshakable joy. In Christ, the power... Continue Reading

Of Good Works

There are two dangers that believers must guard ourselves against as we pursue good works.

So, one danger is to trust in our strength rather than the power of the Holy Spirit to do good works. The second danger is the opposite: becoming complacent in our pursuit of good works by waiting for a special impetus or ‘stirring up’ by the Holy Spirit. But, the Lord has already told us in His Word what He requires of us (Micah 6:8). Indeed, we are to diligently add to our faith such things as moral excellence, knowledge of God’s Word, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love (2 Peter 1:5-7).

Why Paula White is a Heretic

One example is her affirmation of the statement that “Jesus is not the only begotten Son of God … He is the first fruit.”

She is either denying the deity of Jesus or elevating believers to deity. She goes on later to say in a CNN interview that she affirms the Nicene Creed. But saying you do doesn’t actually mean that you do. I wonder if she even understands the Arian heresy the Council of Nicaea was called to address?

The Myth of Influence

The cause of biblical Christianity has been undermined in our time by sincere people who engage in unbiblical activities for the sake of “being an influence.”

The only way to dispel the myth of influence is to commit ourselves anew to the importance of biblical theology as the foundation for Christian action. We must allow the Bible in its fullness to direct our thinking and our doing. We must remember that Paul did not preach an abbreviated gospel, but declared the... Continue Reading

How Much Blood Will Save My Soul?

It is only the blood of Jesus Christ offered once and for all that can cleanse us from all sin.

The High Priest came out from his once-a-year visit to the Most Holy Place and said, “That’s it, you don’t need to come back next year or ever again!” No, he came out and all that could be said was “See you again next year.” The sacrifices were a powerful reminder of sin, but, in... Continue Reading