Thanksgiving in All Things
How do we offer the hard thanks, the sacrifice of praise when everything in our life is sorrow-filled and broken?
Paul isn’t telling us to have a Pollyanna outlook on life. Contemporary culture may tell us to think happy thoughts and that’ll make everything okay, as though counting our blessings will make us forget the loved one that was ripped from our arms. Rather, Paul is reminding us of the bigger story. He is reminding... Continue Reading
Religious Liberty Requires Royal Loyalty to Christ
As Christians, we emphasize that Jesus is our Savior from sins (priest) and our Source of truth (prophet); but most of us have downplayed that Christ is our Sovereign King, who demands loyalty in every area of our lives.
It is because enough did understand Christ as King that Christians have, for centuries, started hospitals, universities, schools, soup kitchens, newspapers, businesses, and even entire governments. Because enough Christians understood Christ as King, they have continuously worked to reform the secular institutions and systems in which they labor Monday through Saturday. If Christians believed their... Continue Reading
Myths on Love & the Lack Thereof
What is love? What is unloving? What criteria determines if something is loving or not?
Myth #1: Identifying error in the beliefs of another is unloving. “Why do you need to say that I am wrong? Why can’t you be more loving and focus on the good?” We often go wrong here because we have not started with God at the center in matters of belief. Though we may profess... Continue Reading
Love Your Neighbor Enough to Speak Truth: A Response to Jen Hatmaker
When we fail to discern the true nature of sin and then advocate for laws and policies that bless sinful relationships, we may think we are more merciful than God.
If this were 1999—the year that I was converted and walked away from the woman and lesbian community I loved—instead of 2016, Jen Hatmaker’s words about the holiness of LGBT relationships would have flooded into my world like a balm of Gilead. How amazing it would have been to have someone as radiant, knowledgeable, humble,... Continue Reading
Aquinas Not a Safe Guide for Protestants – Part 2
Why Aquinas is not a theologian you should closely study or follow.
There are more quotes from Aquinas that could be given, but these are sufficient to show that he taught that baptism bestows forgiveness, the grace and virtue of the Holy Spirit, incorporation into Christ, newness of life in Christ, enlightenment, and the opening of the gates of the heavenly kingdom. Anyone familiar with the Federal... Continue Reading
What Christians Should Ask of Government: To Not Play God
For a government to “play God” is to pressure its citizens into idolatry
“Playing God is the greatest temptation that human beings face. In Genesis 3, the first sin involves wanting to be like God. So it’s not surprising that governments, made of human beings, face the same temptation.” In the first half of this course, we thought about what government could ask of Christians. In the... Continue Reading
Why Cursing Matters
Controlling the tongue is among the most difficult—and among the most important—expressions of true Christian faith
While cursing is an unholy way to deal with extreme frustration or anger, the frustration is often real and does need to be expressed. Psalm singing is one way that Scripture trains our hearts to express our angst in holiness, and to rest in Christ’s just condemnations on wickedness. With faith in Christ’s coming judgment... Continue Reading
The Gospel and Traditional Marriage
The point of marriage vows is to introduce security in the relationship through commitment in the image of God, who is eternally committed to His covenant with His people.
Many who put away orthodox views of traditional marriage do so because it is hard. If, because of your personal inclinations you feel attracted physically or emotionally to the same sex, then enduring in such close relationship with someone of the opposite sex seems too hard to try. But for those who do feel attraction... Continue Reading
How Do I Encourage My Pastor?
Never underestimate how meaningful and well-timed it can be when God would so lead you to do so.
Your pastor of all people should know the significance of prayer. The most meaningful things I hear isn’t, “I prayed for you” but, “I prayed that your sermon would be powerfully preached and eagerly received, or I prayed God would protect you and your family from the enemy through this important week.” Write your pastor a... Continue Reading
The State of Theology: Suspicious Of Authority
The results of this study might give the Reformers a little consternation
“One of the most crucial conversations during the Reformation concerned the marks of the true church. This is understandable. Prior to the Reformation the only church was the Roman Catholic Church. (In the West, of course, as the Orthodox Church dominated the East.) Then along came the Reformers, who raised the question: What is the... Continue Reading