Encouragement for Battling Spiritual Depression

Turning from an unhealthy preoccupation with self and sin to a growing focus on the gospel and others.

Those of us who tend toward introspection can easily drift into intense soul-searching as the means to finding assurance. What we need to hear is the summons to obedience. Until we start acting on the truth we know, we may not find the assurance for which we are desperately searching, no matter how much reading... Continue Reading

Apocryphal Gospels, Conspiracy Theories, and the Mainstream Media

The public loves a good conspiracy theory.

If we really want to know what Jesus was like, our best bet is to rely on books that were at least written during the time period when eyewitnesses were still alive. And there are only four gospels that meet that standard.   One thing that I have observed over the years is that major... Continue Reading

The Secret to Breaking Free from Habitual Sin

It is not called the “fight of faith” for nothing.

Every sin, every wrongdoing, no matter what kind — whether acted out in behavior or nurtured secretly in some dark place of our heart (Matthew 5:28) — is a manifestation of something we believe. Every sin is born out of a belief that disobeying God (wrongdoing) will produce a happier outcome than obeying God (right-doing).... Continue Reading

Defy the Culture: Get Married

We are designed for marriage, one man for one woman.

Who doesn’t love a good love story? “They lived happily ever after” is written deeply into the fabric of the cosmos and we all know it to be true: it is the message of the gospel. And we get to proclaim that truth at a Christian wedding. In proclaiming this blessed truth it crushes the... Continue Reading

Amazon Bans Books on “Conversion Therapy”

Amazon has now set the precedent for banning Christian teaching about sexuality from the books that they sell on their platform.

The Amazon ban and the suggested legislation to ban conversion therapy isn’t limited to Joseph Nicolosi’s teachings. This ban defines any attempt to change one’s sexual desires as “conversion therapy.” Well guess what? That means that every single Christian who believes that that God’s grace changes sexual sinners would be implicated by this ban and... Continue Reading

Canons Of Dort 33: The Grace Of Perseverance Is A Spiritual Doctrine

God preserves those who cannot preserve themselves.

Contra the Remonstrants, the doctrines of assurance and comfort do not make Christians lazy or indifferent to piety and to sanctification, they are the very power and essence of growth in the Christian life. I am free to die to sin and to struggle against it only because I have been saved by grace alone, through faith... Continue Reading

Purposeful Suffering: There are God-Ordained Reasons Behind Our Pain

Christians believe God has spoken to the issue of suffering within the pages of Holy Writ.

Importantly, as we read Scripture, we find that God is not surprised by suffering and evil, nor has he lost control of his creation. Instead, everything is being worked out according to his providential purposes (e.g. Eph 1:11). In our deepest and darkest pain there are amazingly God-ordained purposes (cf. 2 Cor 4:17). Stunningly, these... Continue Reading

Argument from Culture

It's an attempt to undermine the legitimacy and primacy of Scripture for Christian living, while claiming to honor the Scripture for what “it really says.”

This argument states that since Christ (or Peter, or John, or Paul, etc.) addressed people bound by a certain place, time, and culture, the message’s proscriptions and prescriptions are likewise bound by a certain place, time, and culture.  Scripture does not utter statements once and for all authoritative; rather, it records statements held to be authoritative once... Continue Reading

Avoid Legalism: Emphasize the Law

Recovering the gospel alone isn’t enough to keep legalism at bay.

One passage of Scripture that teaches the distinction between the law as a covenant and the law as a rule of life is Romans 7. Romans 7:4 says that believers have “died to the law through the body of Christ,” showing that we are no longer in a marriage covenant with the law (Rom 7:1-3)... Continue Reading

The Next Generation Needs the Gospel Rather than Another Cheap Pragmatic Trick

When pragmatism takes priority over theology, the church is driven to do all sorts of things in the name of reaching people for Jesus in ways that Jesus would never approve.

Every Christian motto is built upon a theological foundation. It’s either fueled by low theological conviction that takes a backseat to pragmatism or it’s fueled by a high theological conviction that drives decision making and functionality. We want the latter rather than the former.   “We must be willing to do whatever it takes the... Continue Reading