John Owen on Revival

Say what you want about the First and Second Great Awakenings and modern-day "revivalism," but the language and concept of "revival" is a part of the Reformed Orthodoxy of the 17th century

If you listen to some of our modern American Reformed historians today, you’ve been led to believe that the buggaboo of (cue the spooky music) “revival” is an 18th century phenomenon of the First Great Awakening. You’ve been led to believe that every pastor who believes revival is a legitimate work of the Holy Spirit is... Continue Reading

Holy Women Who Hoped in God – I Peter 3:5

Is the Biblical ideal is a gentle, quiet, submissive woman who cheerfully obeys her husband’s every word (or father’s or whatever authority is around) even if she disagrees with it?

What I see when I look at this is not a list of exceptions. It’s a pattern. It’s a pattern of valiant women, strong women who put themselves in danger to protect others, who stand up to people when God tells them to regardless of whether that person is their husband, king, or enemy general.... Continue Reading

How Christ was Administered: Circumcision, Part 1

What is the significance of the sign of circumcision according to the Scripture?

Now this is a point that I think is often missed when discussing this passage: God gave Abraham the Covenant Sign of Circumcision as a seal of the righteousness he had by faith; not as a sign and seal of his faith. So circumcision was a sign and seal of righteousness; and that had by faith. Next, we see... Continue Reading

A Theology of the Home

We must tend to the gardens of our homes, but we must also populate the pews of the church and venture onto the highways of the world.

For many, the home is far from heaven. It is hell on earth. For those suffering in the environs of oppression, the home is a cauldron of abuse, violence, and manipulation. It is a prison to escape from, not a refuge to run to. Still others have never had the privilege of permanent shelter, let... Continue Reading

The Real Root of Sexual Sin

We live in an age dominated by Darwinian explanations of biology and psychology.

“Dishonorable passions,” which refers to sexual sin in all its deviant heterosexual, homosexual, and other expressions, is a manifestation of humanity unhinged from its Creator. The real root of perversion, of which the dishonorable passions of sexual perversions is just one fruit, is human pride.   The most powerful weapon against sexual impurity is humility.... Continue Reading

Smelling the Gospel Flowers in Proverbs

The gospel notes are hit surprisingly well in this wisdom book.

In effort to share and shamelessly disrupt others’ “commute” through this book, I have compiled a short list of verses along with some personal reflections on them. The gospel is in full bloom in the sage’s pages.   In the past I have been guilty of treating the Book of Proverbs a little bit like a... Continue Reading

Know Your Doctrine

Is doctrine a force for division meant to bow before the primacy of love?

As it happens, the Bible has much to say about doctrine and only ever commends it as something that is of great importance to every Christian. In fact, we cannot rightly consider ourselves faithful followers of Jesus Christ unless we thoroughly know our doctrine, staunchly cling to it, and faithfully defend it. Though the Christian... Continue Reading

The Second Death and Penal Subsitutionary Atonement

No matter how much you may endure physically in the present, you will never suffer spiritually in the future.

There is nothing of which I am more deserving than the second death! There is nothing more fitting, more just, more righteous than that I should suffer forever in the lake of fire. And the only reason why I won’t is that Jesus has endured in himself the judgment it entails. Jesus has exhausted in... Continue Reading

13 Reasons Why …

Here are 13 reasons you can give your children for why life is worth living

Have we given our kids 13 reasons why life is worth living? Have we fostered conversations about hard topics? Have we convinced them that no subject is too hard for us to hear, no issue is off limits, and that we can handle even the most intimate details of their lives with genuine love and... Continue Reading

What If Unbelievers Aren’t Miserable?

If the only gospel we know how to share is “Jesus is the answer” we are going to find it rather difficult to share the good news when our neighbor doesn’t have any questions.

But what if the gospel isn’t to make happy people happier? Or even to make miserable people moderately happy? What if the gospel isn’t merely a means to meet our unmet needs? What if the good news of the gospel is so much more? What if it’s about being transferred from a kingdom of darkness... Continue Reading