Hate is a Christian Virtue

We should, like John Owen, hate sin. Particularly our own sin.

Bolz-Weber is attacking the Bible’s teachings on human sexuality. And the response from the White Horse Inn? An attack on the efforts of some in the church to promote those biblical teachings to women in the church. Not having a daughter, I don’t have a lot of knowledge about those who promote purity rings. I... Continue Reading

Boldness and Clarity as a Light to the World

Sometimes a divided world is worthy of a good cry.

In these times of polarizing incivility, it is tempting to soften the hard edges of faith, to fear our failing public opinion and our impending ill repute, to redraw the lines given by God so that we neither love nor speak with gospel boldness. It is tempting to try to “balance” grace and truth.  ... Continue Reading

A Church In Crisis: Reflections on the UMC

In a hotly debated and contentious decision the church doubled down on the current position and even tightened its restrictions.

I’ll admit that the General Conference captured my attention — I watched, listened, and read with great interest. Now, you may wonder why a confessional Presbyterian would be attentive to the things going on in the United Methodist Church. After all, our theology and polity are significantly different. True as that may be, what interested... Continue Reading

The Father of the English Bible

“If God spare my life, ere many years pass, I will cause a boy that driveth the plough shall know more of the Scriptures than thou dost.”

Tyndale sought to translate the Scriptures from the original languages rather than the Latin Vulgate thus improving on the work of his faithful predecessor Wycliffe. And so began a mission upon which Tyndale would spend the rest of his life at great cost to himself.   William Tyndale (1494-1536) dedicated his life to the translation... Continue Reading

Final Thoughts On the United Methodist Church General Conference

In the final act of GC2019 the episcopal leaders of the entire Western Jurisdiction stood to announce they will ignore all that was passed and become even more radical in expanding their agenda.

In the final minutes of General Conference, the delegates managed to pass both the Traditional Plan and a gracious exit plan, but both without the necessary legislation to implement them. The delegates were never allowed the opportunity to vote on that. We are left with a lot of good words, but no one is required... Continue Reading

5 Conversations to Have With Students Before They Leave Your Church

In this post, I’d like to focus on what I would consider to be some of the most helpful topics to cover over a student's senior year.

Senior year is a stressful year. The most commonly asked questions for a senior in high school is, “Where are you going to college?” and “What’s going to be your major?” Many students don’t know the answer to these questions. This messaging sends a signal to students that their identity is somehow bound up in... Continue Reading

New Global, Orthodox Identity for United Methodists Surprises Many

Besides the American Baptist Church (liberal northern counterpart to Southern Baptists), only United Methodism among the “seven sisters” of mainline Protestantism has officially retained Christian teaching that sex is exclusively for husband and wife.

United Methodists have openly debated sex since 1972, when the General Conference, responding to ambiguous language on sexuality proposed by a church agency, added to the church’s Social Principles that homosexual practice is “incompatible with Christian teaching.” It also stipulated that “sex between a man and a woman is to be clearly affirmed only in... Continue Reading

Desperately Seeking Transcendence

Weekly worship is less like a rock concert and more like a hike in the Swiss Alps.

When we gather for the weekly worship service, we gather as those starved for God, and starved for transcendence. We have been swimming all week in the normal, trivial, earthly, ordinary, and natural. We need the abnormal. We need the essential. We need the heavenly. We need the extraordinary. We need what is above nature.... Continue Reading

Yes, There are ‘Thorns’ in Vocational Ministry Too

Even ministry jobs exist in a fallen, broken world.

Here’s where we realize there are some profound misconceptions circulating about the nature of vocational ministry, the biggest of which might be the idea that ministry will (finally) bring vocational fulfillment. In a world where everything is bent towards existential satisfaction, it’s not hard to see why vocational ministry is viewed this way. Like everything else, ministry... Continue Reading

“I Should Have Been Doing Most of What I Did as a Student Pastor”

It is a grave blunder to think ministry becomes more informational and less relational as people age.

As a former student pastor I know how important it is to teach students in a way that helps them realize that the faith, the Scripture, and our God is for them and for them tomorrow – not just for them in the future. This is true for big people too! Yes, we must teach... Continue Reading