The Work of the Word in Worship

If all of life is for the glory of God, that means that we are called to worship God on a daily basis.

When we sing “Amazing Grace” as a gathered church, we are not singing empty words. The verses contain doctrine about our God that originate in the pages of the Bible. Such knowledge about the wonder and beauty and love of God should lift us to the heights of praise. It’s not the arrangement or the... Continue Reading

The Rock is Christ: How to Read Exodus

Paul’s commentary on the Exodus teaches vital lessons about how to read Exodus and even the whole Old Testament.

Let’s stop with the hermeneutical gymnastics and affirm what Scripture literally teaches: Christ is the centre of the story of Exodus, the Bible, and the Universe. Let’s have the faith of Moses who “considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward” (Heb 11:26).    ... Continue Reading

‘Christianity is Taught Not Caught’

Without a sound Christian nurture, the experience of conversion can be presented as degradingly inadequate.

The task of Christian nurture, then, is to provide children and young people with Biblical thought-forms, an intellectual framework which is Scripturally informed, so that the message will be neither meaningless nor misunderstood by its being presented on a different cultural wavelength. That they recognize the difference does not necessarily follow, and this fact accentuates... Continue Reading

A Biblical Definition of Addiction

While the dominant models of addiction counseling view the problem from within either a disease or choice framework, the Bible offers a more robust perspective.

The Bible can sympathize with this feeling of bondage, and yet it never avoids holding us morally responsible for our actions. We are moral agents, and the Bible treats us as such, even in the face of addictive habits. Ed Welch points out that drunkenness serves as a prototype for all addictions in the Bible,... Continue Reading

Why Pastors Should Engage Thomas Aquinas

Thomas’ theological intellect shone on doctrinal matters in countless ways.

A question arises. How much was Thomas a ‘career academic’, dedicated to establishing ‘the truth’? And how much was his mission to serve God in and through serving the church? Thomas of course would distinguish these tasks while not separating them.   Thomas’ early life was one of riches to rags. Born to nobility in... Continue Reading

How to Handle Criticism

Criticism will help us to grow and improve if we can learn from it.

C.H. Spurgeon deals with Ecclesiastes 7:21–22 quite helpfully in a chapter from his Lectures to My Students titled “The Blind Eye and the Deaf Ear.” Spurgeon says, “You cannot stop people’s tongues, and therefore the best thing is to stop your own ears and never mind what is spoken.” When false accusations and destructive criticism... Continue Reading

Pastor, Keep Preaching the Gospel to Yourself!

Apart from Christ, there are no promises, there is no good news.

Pastors have a myriad of responsibilities, but none can replace the preaching of the gospel. In fact, all other activities must be permeated with the gospel message. Doing what matters most, and the only thing that ultimately matters for eternity is possible for every single preacher. Relentlessly preaching the gospel is not dependent on budgets,... Continue Reading

Is Church Discipline Mean?

Church discipline is really a call to repentance and faith.

The tendency is to view the church as means of therapy, merely as a place of fellowship and encouragement, but not as the divinely instituted embassy in which the keys of the Kingdom of God are administered. Viewed thus, the very idea of church discipline seems high-handed, arbitrary, unjust, and even cruel. After all, the... Continue Reading

Seven Reasons To Study the Church’s Past

As I’ve read about the first-century church, I’ve been struck by the blessedness of living in this generation—our generation.

Sometimes God sees fit to allow the church to take a giant step forward, as in the days of the Reformation, but more often the church has slowly and deliberately developed doctrine that accords to Scripture. Today we have unprecedented access to the Scripture and to resources dealing with the Bible. For this we ought... Continue Reading

The Gospel and Self-Conception: A Defense of Article 7 of the Nashville Statement

As Christ claims all things for himself in his redemptive work, so he claims for himself the consciousness of man.

In the words of the Missouri Presbytery’s report on their investigation of Revoice, “The statement alienated the Side B community, who felt that the authors of the Nashville Statement did not consider the,ir [sic] viewpoints or experiences. They were especially offended by the language ‘we deny adopting a homosexual or transsexual self-conception is consistent with God’s holy... Continue Reading