Cloaked Cowards: A Theology of Conflict
If ever a theological discussion escalates beyond a placid tone of “agree to disagree,” observers begin shifting their weight, clearing their throats, and contemplating the carpet.
I’ve had Christians with me while I was explaining the gospel to someone, and the Christians seemed more uncomfortable with the situation than the person being evangelized. So, while their apprehension may or may not lead them to physically climb onto your shoulders, the prospect of potential conflict makes many believers nervous. Growing up, I had... Continue Reading
Augustine of Hippo
A Life Marked by a Deep Commitment to Orthodoxy and Sovereign Grace
Converted from a life of cosmopolitan self-pursuit, Augustine was marked by a deep awareness of God’s sovereign grace to him in Christ. His unexpected calling in the community of Hippo bore tremendous fruit, multiplied through his writing. Among these, his Confessions and The City of God provide enduring lessons for pastoral care and Christian discipleship. The fires of... Continue Reading
Relying on the Spirit
The Holy Spirit must and will also bless faithful preaching both to the conversion of unbelievers and to the growth in grace of believers.
Especially as a young minister, Timothy, you need to be persuaded that the Spirit’s regenerating action is, as John Owen wrote, “infallible, victorious, irresistible, and always efficacious”; it “removeth all obstacles, overcomes all oppositions, and infallibly produces the effect intended.” All modes of action which imply another doctrine are unbiblical. J.I. Packer writes: “All devices for... Continue Reading
Engaging Culture With A Clear Vision
Whatever comes of any cultural revolution, believers engage the present age remembering where their true home and citizenship are.
Our children are facing and will continue to face a turbulent and hostile culture. They are being exposed to anti-Christian thought and arguments (implicitly and overtly) everywhere they turn. I would submit that instead of focusing so much on the culture, we should focus on our children. Many of you are well familiar with... Continue Reading
A Theology of the Home
This side of heaven, home should be a place where faith, hope, and love flourish. Faith in the sure work of Christ crucified and resurrected.
The home is not a neutral zone for acting upon baseless desires, nor is it simply a bastion for maintaining traditional values. One of the primary purposes of the home is to cultivate Christlike virtues that animate who we are in private and facilitate what we do in public. When the Apostle Paul addressed the... Continue Reading
The Quiet Powerhouse of Christian Hospitality
Let us open the earthly homes we have now that more may enter into the Kingdom.
The Bible shows us a God who is holy, just, faithful and true—and who opens his arms in a wide invitation to all who call on him through faith in Christ. If hospitality is the generous welcoming of others and seeking to supply their needs, then hospitality is right at the center of the Gospel.... Continue Reading
Successful or Faithful?
Youth ministry for the long haul is a high calling, but more and more critical for the lives of students and for the future of the Church.
Long term ministry, alongside the guidance of others that have ministered faithfully throughout the years to teenagers, has taught me and continues to teach me that when my motivation is to be faithful, or rather to respond to God’s faithfulness to me, my motivation is no longer my own. It’s not about me at all.... Continue Reading
The Hope of Hopewell: Honoring God and Loving Your Neighbor
I had the privilege of preaching at the Historic Hopewell Church at Hueston Woods State Park near Oxford, Ohio.
A band of Reformed Christian families from Chester, S.C., personally witnessed the brutal treatment of the slaves and demanded that the entire practice be condemned and abolished. When it became clear that their pleas would not be heard, they made the difficult decision to pack up their belongings, leave all that they knew, and head... Continue Reading
The Evangelical Church’s Confused Witness on Race: Part 2
The predominant reason behind the Presbyterian Church in America’s and Southern Baptist Convention’s susceptibility to worldly influence on the issue of race appears to be white guilt.
The approach of leaders in both denominations is turning them into serial repenters; the PCA has been repenting for almost 20 years. They simply can’t stop confessing how racist they are and repenting of sins past and present. This fails to witness the gospel to the unbelieving culture in two ways. First, serial repentance brushes... Continue Reading
Your Culture and Your Preaching – Part 3
You are not doing this to generalize or to label, but rather to gain a vantage point for your own culture.
Sometimes you can gain a lot of ground quickly by just asking someone who is from outside your culture but will be honest enough to answer your question. This will be more helpful after doing some good thinking yourself. If you just jump to this then the benefit will be reduced, but it is still... Continue Reading