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
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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.”...
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
The late professor John Murray captured the essence of the incarnation when he said, "The Son of God became in time what He eternally was not. He did not cease to be what He eternally was, but He began to be what He was not."1 On a prima faciereading of this statement, one might be tempted to draw the faulty conclusion that a change occurred in God when the secon...Keep Reading
A number of years ago, I concluded that it is officially an American tradition to have stressful interactions with parents, in-laws, grandparents, siblings, uncles, aunts and cousins on Thanksgiving Day. I have experienced some extremely relationally tense times with family members on Thanksgiving Day. I have a suspicion that I am not alone. Recently, a member of our congr...Keep Reading
I have often taken comfort in the fact that the Apostle Peter said that Apostle Paul wrote "some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstablepeopletwist to their own destruction, asthey doalso the rest of the Scriptures" (2 Peter3:15-16). I don't take comfort in this as a license for misinterpreting Scripture; rather, I take comfort in the fact that an Apostle di...Keep Reading
One of the downsides of living in the technological age is that we are constantly overwhelmed with what we allow to stream into our minds and hearts from our newsfeeds, social media debates, conversations about world affairs, social agendas, personal opinions and every sort of religious and political ideology. All of this, in turn, has the propensity to animate a...Keep Reading
With each cultural crisis or natural disaster, our minds are freshly flooded with a litany of images and calls to come to the aid of our neighbors who have been the victims of an injustice or who have suffered loss. One of the downsides of living in a media-connected age is that we can't escape the constant barrage of information about all of the miseries of this life. Add...Keep Reading
Athanasius once made the following statement about the book of Psalms: "While the entire Holy Scripture is a teacher of virtues and of the truths of faith, the book of Psalms possesses somehow the perfect image for the soul's course of life." The Psalter has a unique place in Old Testament revelation in that it really is a sort of miniature Bible. Every systematic and bibl...Keep Reading