Peril on Both Sides

We only interpret the Bible properly and truly when we interpret it as part of this whole.

It is a mistake to treat a passage as if it stands alone, isolated from the rest of Scripture. Rather, every passage fits somewhere within a great narrative that takes us from creation to consummation, from the past and too-short glories of Eden to the future and eternal glories of paradise. We haven’t understood it... Continue Reading

How Can We Prepare for Coming Persecution?

“I don’t think that we’re prepared for what is coming . . . (M)any of us are complacent and we’re unaware and this means that the people in our churches are going to be blindsided by what comes.”

Persecution is coming. Christians are the most persecuted group in the world. And we’re kidding ourselves if we don’t think that persecution will come here. For some, like the Christian professor who was fired for challenging students’ liberal beliefs about sexuality and marriage, it already has. Fortunately, that professor, Eric Thompson, was reinstated after an arbitrator ruled in... Continue Reading

The Briarwood Statement on Biblical Ministry to Those Who Struggle with Homosexuality

The Briarwood Statement (as unanimously approved by the Session of Briarwood Presbyterian Church at its stated meeting on June 18, 2019).

This Statement is not meant as a full theological treatment of homosexuality generally nor is it focused on the related but separate issue of gender identity.  Instead, the Statement is designed to acknowledge the deep struggle and sense of bondage that those in sexual sin can experience while affirming the authority, sufficiency and preeminence of... Continue Reading

Repentance and Change: Common Flaws

I usually hear erroneous views of repentance when I first meet a man trying to stop using porn.

“I’ve been told that sin does not have dominion over me, but it doesn’t seem to be true. Perhaps I’m not really a Christian.” I can respond to this man in many ways to give him real hope, but one thing that can be of great help to him is some basic instruction on repentance.... Continue Reading

For Pastors Only (But You Can Eavesdrop)

No wonder Herman Melville called envy “the rabies of the heart.”

There are some pastors who have a lot of pastor friends. They are not typical. Most are very isolated from their peers, and often at odds with them. Why? They are the competition. And they feed into our darkest, least-talked-about disease: envy.   Can you think of the name of a fellow pastor you would... Continue Reading

Why Study the Book of Ephesians?

God has a plan for the ages that he will accomplish in Christ through the church.

The book of Ephesians concerns what God is doing in redemptive history by making the church: God is forming the body of Christ, that he might fill them to walk in works of love and to stand firm in Christ’s victory. The church, therefore, is not a simple social construct in the hands of sinners skilled... Continue Reading

The Dirty Dozen: Some Thoughts on Why We Stink at Evangelism

These are the twelve reasons why we are less than faithful in making known the glory of the gospel to those who otherwise have no hope in this life or the next.

Not all twelve of these apply directly to me, and my guess is that such will be the case with most of you. But to whatever extent we can honestly point to any of the twelve and say, “Yeah, that’s true of me,” I pray the Spirit would bring conviction and a corresponding boldness and... Continue Reading

The Continuing Downgrade in the Christian Reformed Church

As assessment of the Christian Reformed Synod meeting, June 14-20, 2019.

Though some would point to evidence of eroded Scriptural authority earlier, the acceleration of decline is clearly marked by a flirtation with a “broadened” feminist hermeneutic, ultimately embraced by many in the 1990s and 2000s.  Since the rapid push to deliberately train and ordain women for pastoral ministry under a so-called “local option,” the CRCNA... Continue Reading

Five Crucial Things for Sunday Morning

You are glorifying God, but in worship, God is doing something in you and your family that will last for all eternity.

Some mornings it is hard not to feel like your family just crash-landed in the chairs, and sometimes that sense of chaos follows you into worship, at least, in your mind. The Westminster Directory for the Publick Worship of God supplies some very practical direction at just this point. It says that if any are... Continue Reading

Resolution 9 and the Southern Baptist Convention 2019

The infamous resolution, “On Critical Race Theory and Intersectionality,” was ill-advised from the start.

The reality is that neither Critical Race Theory nor Intersectionality are simply tools. They are indeed ideologies that have arisen out of neo-Marxist, postmodern worldviews and are used by many to promote those worldviews today (the fact that it is called Critical Race Theory indicates that it is not simply a tool of analysis). Do... Continue Reading