God’s Word Working Through God’s Spirit

“God’s Word, working through God’s Spirit, is God’s primary instrument for growing God’s church.”

God has always worked through the preaching of his Word in the power of the Spirit. The book of Acts should be enough to convince me. Take the connection that Luke makes between the focus of the apostles on the Word and prayer, and the results: “‘But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to... Continue Reading

In Australia Presbyterians and Reformed Churches Move Closer

Two Australian churches – the Presbyterian Church of Australia (PCA) and the Christian Reformed Churches of Australia (CRCA) have signed an agreement to work more closely together.

This agreement can be seen as a long-delayed response to the Presbyterians who decided not to enter the union that produced the Uniting Church in 1977. That led to the re-emergence of the Presbyterians as a more conservative church. The CRCA was founded by Dutch migrants in 1951. They had no desire to form a... Continue Reading

Shepherd the Flock of God That Is Among You

I’m speaking for the kind of joy that comes from knowing God has called you to a particular flock, and being grateful for that incredible privilege, knowing it’s more than you deserve.

“The flock that is among you.” What an amazing phrase. Not some other flock somewhere else. Not the masses on social media. Not those who would be part of a platform. These people, this flock, matters. They need all of our attention and love. They are the ones to whom God has called you. Out... Continue Reading

What Do We Do With All The Pieces?

How does my faith respond when the echo chamber that I was part of ugly explodes?

God is doing something good here. It’s good for me to doubt a faith whose hope was tethered more to Reformed Evangelicalism than to Jesus Christ. It’s good for us that our echo chamber has blown up. But what do we do with all the pieces?   In his book, In Two Minds, Os Guinness quotes John... Continue Reading

Leaders and 3 Types of Stress

We want to do all we can to avoid “no stress” and “debilitating stress” and to courageously walk into opportunities of “performing stress.”

“There are three types of stress. There is ‘no stress’, which means you don’t care and don’t bring your best. There is ‘debilitating stress’, which is not good for you or your family. And then there is ‘performing stress’, which helps you pull out the best you have in the moment. That is my level... Continue Reading

Salt and Light: Practical Applications for Today

Your faith in Christ and love for God must be translated into visible terms.

We must be willing to be hated of all men for Christ’s sake. Nor can we bring the light of God’s Word to bear on the life of the world if we retreat into a safe place of our own where we hide from the world and preach only to ourselves. The church is not... Continue Reading

Can You be a Christian without Going to Church?

One reads the scenes in heaven and it’s never, never about being an isolationist.

The Great Commission directed gospel work to be done within the ongoing framework of Christian community. The continual teaching and shepherding toward faithful observance of Christ’s teachings is not done in isolation. Nor is the accountability necessary to hold our spiritual feet to the fire of obedience done alone. We need the body of Christ... Continue Reading

Preacher, Study the Text—But Also Study Your People

A sermon isn’t a TED Talk; it’s a family talk.

Simply put, pastors, consider your people as you preach. Now, this might be easier for me because the church I serve isn’t very large. But even if our church had 500 members, I hope that I’d be active enough in my personal shepherding that I’d be able to consider individuals’ circumstances and spiritual health as... Continue Reading

Together for the Gospel Announces Theme, Speakers For 2020 Conference

T4G20: Entrusted with the Gospel will encourage pastors and church leaders to consider their sacred responsibilities as stewards of the gospel.

While many interests and activities may be worthy pursuits, pastors must be careful to cherish the gospel of Christ above all. Together for the Gospel 2020 will remind pastors of this important responsibility and encourage fidelity in their ministry.   Together for the Gospel 2020 will encourage church leaders to remain focused on the sacred... Continue Reading

William Twisse: a 17th-century Polemicist

William Twisse didn’t understand the primacy given to the Lord’s Supper.

Twisse agreed, as the Reformed confessions stated, that the Lord’s Supper points to the realities of Christ’s death and resurrection, but aren’t the same realities expressed in baptism and in the preaching of Scriptures? If forced to bow to the altar, he could do so, but would also bow to the font and the pulpit.... Continue Reading