I was baptized in the Reformed Episcopal church. I grew up in Reformed and Presbyterian churches. My father diligently taught my sister and I the distinctives of a Reformed covenant theology from our earliest days. He repeatedly reminded us that God had promised to be a covenant God to us and to our descendants after us. I believe those promises now for my own ch...Keep Reading
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The Westminster Standards address many of the significant theological and practical matters for Christian discipleship better than we could on our own. If we are to equip congregants to be sound in the faith, fruitful in every good word and work, and to be prepared for potentially difficult days ahead, we should consider using the Westminster Standards as a guide in Christian discipleship. ...
The entirety of the believer’s life can only be lived in light of the priesthood of Christ. As the Mediator of the new covenant, Jesus preeminently functions as the Great High Priest over the house of God. In the words of James Henley Thornwell, “Priesthood is the perfection of mediation,” and we have such a perfect Mediator in Jesus...
May we not fall into ritualistic, Christless, and imbalanced approaches to the means of grace in our churches. How we minister the means of grace in the context of public worship is more important than simply professing to be “an ordinary means of grace church.” May the ordinary means of grace be more than a Shibboleth to us....
A brief survey of the top fifty best-selling Christian books reveals what subjects are of the greatest and least interest to the majority of professing Christians. Books on purpose, finances, personality, self-esteem, love languages, and relational boundaries dominate the list. Books on the triune God, Christ, sin, the gospel, Scripture, preaching, the sacraments, prayer, church discipline, and the local church are woefully wanting. ...
In his book "The Problem of Pain," C.S. Lewis wrote, “The settled happiness and security which we all desire, God withholds from us by the very nature of the world: but joy, pleasure, and merriment, He has scattered broadcast. . . . Our Father refreshes us on the journey with some pleasant inns, but will not encourage us to mistake them for home.”...
I have several friends who share the same anecdote with meover and over again. Sometimes, I lovingly remind them that they have already told me whatever it is they've shared ten times. Sometimes I just listen to them so as not to take away the joy they seem to be experiencing when conveying the story to me for the tenth time. I am sure that I too have repeated the same sto...Keep Reading
The defense of historic doctrinal formulations regarding the Triune God, the Person of Christ, inner-Trinitarian relations and the implications of those relations for gender roles are among the more substantial issues at stake in the debate. The interconnectedness of the matters involved in the controversy makes just about any attempt to distill the essence of the debate i...Keep Reading
At the Desiring God 1990 Pastor's Conference, Sinclair Ferguson gave a talk titled, "The Biblical Basis for the Doctrine of Eternal Punishment." It is, without doubt, one of the most significant treatments of the doctrine of hell that I have ever heard. At the outset of that lecture, Ferguson told the following story: "A number of years ago, certainly within the lifetim...Keep Reading
Among the many grievous situations in which a believer may find himself or herself, having a spouse who is either unbelieving or unwilling to join a biblical church can be one of the most burdensome. The Scriptures teach us the importance of belonging to a local congregation, being under the oversight of godly elders and living out the Christian life among the members of t...Keep Reading
When God gives us children, He entrusts to our care little eternal beings. Each one of them will spend eternity in either heaven or in hell. There is an unparalleled sobriety that rightly accompanies such delegated responsibility. We often fail to properly prioritize our responsibilities. Our jobs are not eternal; our houses are not eternal; our cars are not eternal; our b...Keep Reading
One of my close friends was telling me about a recent interaction he had at a Reformed seminary with a student who was preparing to go into college ministry. In the course of their conversation, my friend and this seminarian entered in on the subject of sexual sin. This young man insisted that there is no sexual sin that is more heinous than another. My friend push...Keep Reading
Jesus Christ is the King and the only head of the church. He mediates the presence of God to his people when he stands in the midst of the people of God who are gathered together to worship the living God. Jesus acts as the worship leader of the people of God (Heb. 2:12). He stands as the great High Priest of the Church, making the worship, prayers and praises of his peopl...Keep Reading
We all love new beginnings. When we enter a new year, most of us tend to think back on the past year--we look back at the accomplishments and failures and wonder if the forthcoming year will yield more progress and a better sense of achievement. When we make New Year's resolutions, we are reacting to regrets that we have had over the past year's activities and events. Usua...Keep Reading
Too often, ministers foolishly embrace the ecclesiastical advice of those who know absolutely nothing about the specific arrangement of the local church they pastor. A pastor is animated by an article in which today's latest "church expert" insists that he or she has the corner on what should be done in every church. All the while, he forgets that that those writ...Keep Reading