Is the Church Full of Hypocrites?

For a Christian simply to demonstrate that he is a sinner does not convict him of hypocrisy.

A hypocrite is someone who does things he claims he does not do. Outside observers of the Christian church see people who profess to be Christians and observe that they sin. Since they see sin in the lives of Christians, they rush to the judgment that therefore these people are hypocrites. If a person claims... Continue Reading

‘Gay Girl, Good God’: Review

To my surprise, being a Christian delivered me from the power of sin but in no way did it remove the possibility of temptation.

“In my mind, choosing God was the same as choosing heterosexuality.… I now know what I didn’t know then. God was not calling me to be straight; he was calling me to himself. The choice to lay aside sin and take hold of holiness was not synonymous with heterosexuality.… In my becoming holy as he... Continue Reading

Jordan B. Peterson: A Sign of the End Times?

Jordan Peterson preaches that most unpopular of gospels in this age of victimhood: personal responsibility.

Reading Peterson reminded me of one of the great losses of Protestant theology for which we are now paying a high price: an emphasis on the virtues, or character traits. Protestant ethics have, in practice, made the matter of character—of intrinsic personal virtues—something of secondary importance. This is not a necessary consequence of the foundational... Continue Reading

D. A. Carson on the (Ambiguous) Claim ‘This Is a Gospel Issue’

I wonder if we might be having more clear and productive conversations these days if we had taken to heart Carson’s careful definitional distinctions.

“Because of the complex entanglements of theology, with a little imagination one might argue that almost any topic is a gospel issue. At one level or another, everything in any theology that is worth the name is tied to everything else, so it is possible to tie everything to the gospel. In that sense, well-nigh... Continue Reading

How to Evangelize Your LGBT Neighbors

When Christians live communally, outsiders find intimacy within the family of God.

This is the question that we who wish to evangelize the LGBT community must answer: To what are we calling people? If we know what we are calling people from but do not have anything to call people to, we are only sharing half of the gospel.   Some believe that we live in the... Continue Reading

Retribution and Redemption

The death penalty has its origin in God's dealings with Noah and those who stepped off of the Ark with him immediately after the flood.

Jesus was in the loins of Noah, so to speak. The nations were also in the loins of Noah. Noah stood as a second Adam, the head of a newly created humanity standing in a typical new creation–though far from being the consummated new heavens and new earth. In order to secure the populating of... Continue Reading

Social Justice in the Shadows

Telling the difference between those working for a cause and those making a cause work for them; beware of the false prophets of social justice.

Whether we call it social justice, God’s work, or something else, there are people on the left, right, and everywhere in-between working hard to study and solve the ills that infect our society, elevate humanity, fight injustice, and help those in need. These individuals often receive little or no public recognition. But there are also... Continue Reading

5 Marks of a Stinky Sermon

To help you avoid preparing and preaching stinky sermons, I have provided a short list of common marks of a stinky sermon.

Walk into each sermon with the assumption that God has already written the sermon for you, and you merely need to follow the text. A text-driven sermon will eventually take both the preacher and the congregation to the foot of the cross, or else it is merely empty speech.   No preacher should expect to... Continue Reading

Jonathan Edwards the Pastor

Rather than relying on outward signs of success, Edwards sought to cultivate—through prayer, Bible study, and meditation—dependence on God alone.

Edwards was only twenty-three when he became the assistant pastor of First Church of Northampton, Mass., a Congregational church led by his maternal grandfather, the venerable Solomon Stoddard. Just two years later, Stoddard died, leaving Edwards to shepherd the church alone. He would remain pastor of First Church until July 1, 1750. They were years... Continue Reading

Calvary Chapel In Oregon Transitions To The Reformed Faith

A former Calvary Chapel church has called a Reformed minister and hopes to move toward affiliation with the United Reformed Church of North America.

In 2009, Cornerstone’s elders decided to subscribe to the Three Forms of Unity as their confessional standards. For the next two years, two of the church’s pastors taught through the confessions on Wednesday and Sunday evenings. “Becoming Reformed has touched and reshaped every area of the church’s life: liturgy, pastor-led worship, the administration of the sacraments... Continue Reading