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Dec 2017 13 Dec 13, 2017
1

When the seventh trumpet is sounded in Revelation 11:15 we read an astounding statement that serves to reinforce our confidence that when all is said and done, God wins! There John records the words of multiple “voices” in heaven, saying: “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever” (Rev. 11:15). The declaration is that what Satan formerly ruled, in a manner of speaking, as t...Read More

Dec 2017 11 Dec 11, 2017
1

This theory of the atonement will likely strike most Christians as bizarre, and rightly so! (1) The primary advocate of this theory was the Scottish theologian and intellectual leader, John McLeod Campbell (1800-1872). Campbell was instructed at home by his father from an early age and was fluent in Latin before entering the University of Glasgow in 1811. He received additional training at the University of Edinburgh. His vigorous defense of unlimited atonement put him ...Read More

Dec 2017 7 Dec 7, 2017
1

On more than one occasion I have heard contemporary proponents of the so-called “prosperity” gospel appeal to Paul’s use of the principle of sowing and reaping to support their view. By the way, I say “so-called” prosperity gospel because when seen for what it is there is very little if any “good news” or “gospel” in it. That aside, was Paul an intentional or inadvertent advocate of this view? Twice in his writings P...Read More

Dec 2017 4 Dec 4, 2017
2

As much as we hear about the gospel of Jesus Christ one would think that everyone is on the same page when it comes to defining this word. Sadly, that is not the case. So just what is the gospel? How might we define it? Here are ten things to keep in mind. (1) The “gospel” is the gloriously great good news of what our triune God has graciously done in the incarnation, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ to satisfy his own wrath against us and to se...Read More

Nov 2017 29 Nov 29, 2017
2

While much can and should be said about spiritual gifts, here are a few relevant observations or principles that I believe should guide our understanding and exercise of the charismata. (1) Every single spiritual gift, whether it be mercy, serving, giving, speaking in tongues, or prophecy, is a “manifestation of the Spirit” given “for the common good” (1 Cor. 12:7). Therefore, every gift is by definition supernatural, since every gift is the enab...Read More

Nov 2017 27 Nov 27, 2017
3

Yet again today we try to understand a little-known theory of the atonement that has actually re-emerged in our own day. (1) The primary proponent of the governmental theory was Hugo Grotius (1583-1645). Law, according to Grotius, is a positive statute or enactment. “It is not,” he says, “something inward in God, or in the Divine will and nature, but is only the effect of his will” (iii). Law is thus a product of God’s will by which not eve...Read More

Nov 2017 22 Nov 22, 2017
1

It’s actually easier to identify the effects of shame than it is to define its essence. But I’ll try. Shame is the painful emotion that is caused by a consciousness of guilt, failure, or impropriety, that often results in the paralyzing conviction/belief that one is worthless, of no value to others or to God, unacceptable, and altogether deserving of disdain and rejection. As you can see, shame and guilt are not the same thing. The difference between guilt a...Read More

Nov 2017 20 Nov 20, 2017
1

If the language of Christus Victor is foreign to you, it simply means Christ the Victor. The focus of this theory of the atonement suggests that the primary aim of Christ’s death on the cross and resurrection from the dead was the defeat of Satan and the powers of evil. In its earliest expression it took the form of the somewhat crude ransom to Satan theory. And it is there that we begin. (1) Origen (a.d. 185-254) is somewhat enigmatic in his comments on Christ&rs...Read More

Nov 2017 17 Nov 17, 2017
1

You are all aware, I’m quite sure, that there is an eternity of difference between saying, “Delight yourself,” and “Delight yourself in the Lord” (Psalm 37:4). The former is pagan or secular hedonism. The latter is Christian Hedonism. So let’s unpack this notion that our delight or joy is to be in God. And the question is: Why, and what does that mean? In order to answer that, I want to direct your attention to a footnote. Strange as ...Read More

Nov 2017 15 Nov 15, 2017

A few years ago I taught a verse-by-verse series on 1 Corinthians 12-14. This series covers everything Paul said about spiritual gifts and their exercise in the local church. The title to the series is Life in the Spirit. All 13 of these sermon manuscripts are now available on my website. Simply click on Resources at the top of the Home page and then click on Articles. You will see the documents under Biblical Studies. This is the most detailed and extensive series of ...Read More

Nov 2017 13 Nov 13, 2017
4

No one has spoken with greater clarity on the nature of both pride and humility than Jonathan Edwards. Here are ten things we can learn from him. All citations are from Religious Affections (Yale). (1) Hypocrites are quite good at making much of their humility and speaking lowly of themselves and their attainments. Such folk loudly proclaim their lowliness and then expect others to praise them for it! They are quick to make known their failures and their humility but re...Read More

Nov 2017 8 Nov 8, 2017
2

Perhaps the single greatest controversy surrounding Revelation and the most important issue when it comes to interpreting the book, is the question of its structure. Many, perhaps most, evangelicals read Revelation as if it is describing a short period of time that is still in the future. Those who embrace what may be called the futurist view of the book most often will argue that what we have in Revelation 6-19 is a description of events that will take place in the futu...Read More

Nov 2017 6 Nov 6, 2017
2

I could have as easily entitled this post: ten things you should know about what happens when a Christian dies. So what happens when a Christian dies? The simple answer is that he/she enters immediately into what theologians call the intermediate state. It is called “intermediate” because it is what we experience in between the time of our earthly lives (now) and the time when we receive our glorified and resurrected bodies. So here are ten things to keep in ...Read More

Nov 2017 1 Nov 1, 2017
8

I was recently asked by a member at Bridgeway if I believe in what is called “replacement” theology. Although this is a massively complex subject, I tried to provide a brief answer. Here it is. All biblical interpreters recognize that there is development between the Old Testament and the New. Some say the Old Testament is the seed to which the New Testament provides the flower. Others speak of the relationship as one of symbol to substance, or type to anti-...Read More

Oct 2017 30 Oct 30, 2017
1

When I say the “relationship between Jesus and the Holy Spirit” I’m not talking about the internal dynamics that exist eternally among the three persons of the Trinity. What I have in mind is the relationship that Jesus sustained to the Holy Spirit during the time of his earthly ministry. Here are ten things to keep in mind as you reflect on this question. (1) It was not primarily by virtue of his divine nature that Jesus lived the kind of life he did ...Read More

Oct 2017 27 Oct 27, 2017

Sometimes the most seemingly insignificant words in the Bible carry the greatest, indeed eternal impact. That is certainly the case in Revelation 7. There we read: Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, “Who are these, clothed in white robes, and from where have they come?” I said to him, “Sir, you know.” And he said to me, “These are the ones coming out of the great tribulation. They have washed their robes and made them white in t...Read More

Oct 2017 25 Oct 25, 2017
1

The portrayal by John of his vision of the “innumerable multitude” in Revelation 7 may go a long way in helping us understand how the promise of the Abrahamic covenant is ultimately fulfilled. We read this in Revelation 7:9-12. “After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm bran...Read More

Oct 2017 23 Oct 23, 2017
3

Will the debate ever end about the identity of the 144,000 servants in Revelation 7? Perhaps not, but I hope these ten truths will contribute something to our understanding of who they are and what they do. We read that 12,000 are “sealed from every tribe of the sons of Israel” (Rev. 7:4). (1) The list of tribes in Revelation 7 corresponds to none of the nearly twenty different variations found in the OT. Judah, listed first here, is found in that position i...Read More

Oct 2017 18 Oct 18, 2017

Here at Bridgeway we love to sing the song, King of My Heart. The way in which it declares that God is good is both biblical and reassuring. But there is a line in the chorus that often times sticks in the throat of some believers. It goes something like this: “You’re never gonna’ let, never gonna’ let me down.” Some struggle to sing this because deep down inside they don’t really believe it. They think there have been times in their l...Read More

Oct 2017 16 Oct 16, 2017
1

On October 5-7, we hosted some 1,400 people in OKC at the Convergence Conference where we focused on the passionate pursuit of both Word and Spirit in the Christian life and in the local church. My first message was on the power of God. I’m not talking about God’s omnipotence, what he is in himself, but rather the power of the Spirit that he has imparted to us for the work of the ministry. Here are ten things we should all know about this power. (1) God&rsqu...Read More

Oct 2017 16 Oct 16, 2017
2

I’m happy to announce that the plenary sessions from our recent Convergence Conference will be made available at noon today, central time. You can find them at either of these two websites: www.convergenceconference.org or www.bridgewaychurch.com. It was an incredible week and God was pleased to bless us with his manifest presence and power. Many were healed and their testimonies will be posted at a later date. Even more were refreshed, empowered, and encouraged i...Read More

Oct 2017 15 Oct 15, 2017

Picture yourself in the most painful situation imaginable. Your finances are in a shambles, your health is deteriorating daily, and you are all alone. No one seems to care how you feel. You have a splitting headache, the house is an unmitigated mess, and tomorrow has all the signs of being worse than today . . . and the telephone rings. Sure enough, it’s that one person in your life who never calls or seems to care until they need something from you. And today, of all ...Read More

Oct 2017 13 Oct 13, 2017

If someone were to ask you what it is about Christianity that makes it unique among the many world religions, how would you answer them? What is it about the Christian faith that sets it apart and in doing so helps to confirm its truthfulness? What is it about Christianity that makes it so appealing...Read More

Oct 2017 12 Oct 12, 2017

This may sound a bit strange, but there are some things in the Bible that are not so much to be understood as they are to be trusted. Here’s what I mean. The Bible is meant for our instruction. God moved on the hearts and minds of its authors over a 1,500 year period to record his revelation of what is true and right and good. In doing so, we also have in the Bible a revelation of what is false and wrong and evil. The Bible is there for God’s people to lead us into w...Read More

Oct 2017 12 Oct 12, 2017
1

In my book, Convergence: Spiritual Journeys of a Charismatic Calvinist, I make a point that ought to be obvious to anyone who reads Scripture, namely, that the God of the Bible is a speaking God. The whole of Scripture, from the Garden of Eden to the New Heavens and New Earth, is a record of God speaking in human history to his people. He spoke to Adam and Eve, to Noah, to Enoch, as well as to Abraham, Moses, Samuel, Solomon, and a seemingly endless list of men and women...Read More

Oct 2017 11 Oct 11, 2017

The commandment of God that his people are to love one another is not new. Everyone was familiar with Leviticus 19:17-18. Continue reading . . . ...Read More

Oct 2017 11 Oct 11, 2017

You may not be familiar with the name Tertullian. I don’t of anyone who has named their child after him. Tertullian lived and ministered in the early years of the third century a.d. He was one of the greatest of the early church fathers and was actually the first man to use the word “Trinity” to describe the nature of God as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. He lived and wrote at a time when opposition to Christianity and the Church was intensifying. Although Tertullia...Read More

Oct 2017 10 Oct 10, 2017

I had originally planned on beginning today with a question, until I realized it was a silly question, the answer to which is always, “Yes.” But just because it is a silly question and everyone will always respond with the same answer, doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be asked. So here goes: “Do you ever find yourself troubled in heart?” ...Read More

Oct 2017 9 Oct 9, 2017

Is it ok to pray for a miracle? To hope for a miracle? To seek God for a miracle? For many years I thought it was unspiritual to desire or seek for any spiritual gifts, especially those of a more overt miraculous nature. I had been taught it was an indication of immaturity to seek signs in any sense, that it was a weak faith, born of theological ignorance, that it was only the biblically illiterate and emotionally unstable people who prayed for healing or a demonstration...Read More

Oct 2017 9 Oct 9, 2017

It’s both amazing and deeply distressing that I continue to hear of people who are supposedly “in love with Jesus” but not with the church. “We like you, Jesus, but we don’t care for your wife!” Really? The so-called “organized” church is for some reason offensive to them. Does the NT support such a notion? Is it possible for someone to be a Christian and remain opposed to his Bride, the church? I hope these ten truths abou...Read More

Oct 2017 8 Oct 8, 2017

What precisely is a miracle? What events in life would qualify as miracles? When you make a trip to Penn Square Mall on the day before Christmas and discover that the parking lot is not only completely full but has spilled out onto the grassy median and even across the street, do you pray for a miracle? And when you then make one more loop through the parking lot only to discover that a spot has suddenly opened up for you directly in front of the store where you planned ...Read More

Oct 2017 7 Oct 7, 2017

There are numerous reasons why non-Christians struggle to believe the Christian faith. I won’t burden you by listing them. But when it comes to Christians themselves, believers in Jesus, there are typically only two. If you should ask a born-again-justified-by-faith-in-Jesus-man-or-woman what their greatest struggle is when it comes to Christianity, they will most likely point to one of two things....Read More

Oct 2017 6 Oct 6, 2017

Gordon Fee is one of the more prominent NT scholars of our day. In one of his books he refers to the struggle one student had with understanding how the Holy Spirit could be a person. "God the Father makes perfectly good sense to me," said the student, "and God the Son I can quite understand; but the Holy Spirit is a gray, oblong blur" (5-6). ...Read More

Oct 2017 6 Oct 6, 2017

[Much was made last week when news broke that Hugh Hefner had died. I couldn’t believe my ears as I listened to sports talk radio and other news agencies talk about how great it would have been to have lived his life. A lot has been written in the days since Hefner died, but nothing so insightful and truthful as the article below by my friend, Jon Bloom, of Desiring God. I encourage you to read it carefully and pass it along to as many as you can.] Continue re...Read More

Oct 2017 5 Oct 5, 2017

We live in a rather odd season in the history of the church of Jesus Christ. What isn’t odd or strange is the spread of new and unbiblical doctrines. That, sadly, is something of a commonplace in church history. There always have been and always will be people who profess to know Christ and claim to believe in the authority of the Bible who promote false teachings, some of which are undeniably heretical. ...Read More

Oct 2017 4 Oct 4, 2017

I can’t begin to tell you how many times during the course of a normal week that someone asks me, in an obviously distressed and confused tone of voice: “Sam, what’s wrong with our world? What is happening? Is there any hope at all?”...Read More

Oct 2017 4 Oct 4, 2017
1

[Andrew Wilson posted this article on his blog today as he makes his way from the U.K. to Oklahoma for the Convergence Conference. Please do heed his appeal and pray for us this week.] I'm flying to Oklahoma City today to speak at the Convergence conference, which aims to encourage people in "the passionate pursuit of Word and Spirit." Given the timing, this obviously isn't an advert (although with Sam Storms, Francis Chan, Matt Chandler and Jack Deere, it should be qui...Read More

Oct 2017 3 Oct 3, 2017
1

Several weeks ago I announced that my entire series of sermon notes on the book of Hebrews was available on my website. Today I’m happy to tell you that all twenty-two lessons on the book of James are now posted. If you are unfamiliar about how to access these documents, simply click on Resources at the top of the Home page, and then on Articles. Look under Biblical Studies, and at the bottom of the list you will see both Hebrews and James. These twenty-two articles ar...Read More

Oct 2017 3 Oct 3, 2017

Last week I came across an article (www.mattmoore.org, “Is Your Heart Good Soil?”) that instantly captured my attention. The author confessed both his “sadness and terror” as he thought about the departure from Christianity on the part of several of his close friends. “One moment they appeared to be joyfully walking with God,” he writes, “and then out of nowhere — to my shock and horror — they began trampling all over his Son . . . . I'm not talking abo...Read More

Oct 2017 2 Oct 2, 2017

Blaise Pascal, a 17th century French philosopher and mathematician, once said, and I quote:...Read More

Oct 2017 2 Oct 2, 2017
2

Temptation does not end when you become a Christian. It begins. That isn’t to say non-Christians aren’t tempted, but the primary target of Satan’s seductive devices are the children of God. We see this in the experience of Jesus, who was tempted by the Devil for forty days in the wilderness. Notwithstanding Satan’s decisive defeat, we read in Luke 4:13 that he only departed from Jesus “until an opportune time.” If Satan’s attack ...Read More

Oct 2017 1 Oct 1, 2017

There was a time when I thought the verb “enjoy” and the noun “God” should never be used in the same sentence. I could understand “fearing” God and “obeying” God, even “loving” God. But “enjoying” God struck me as inconsistent with the biblical mandate both to glorify God, on the one hand, and deny myself, on the other. How could I be committed above all else to seeking God’s glory if I were concerned about my own joy? My gladness and God’s gl...Read More

Sep 2017 30 Sep 30, 2017

I’ve had the privilege in life to know a good many so-called “famous” people. I hesitate to say this because it may sound like name-dropping, something I deplore. The fact that God has providentially orchestrated my life so that I have had the opportunity to become friends with famous and quite successful Christians has nothing to do with me. It says nothing about me. So I mention this only to draw attention to the fact that no earthly acquaintance or friendship ca...Read More

Sep 2017 29 Sep 29, 2017

The author of the book of Hebrews said something in chapter five of his letter that is extraordinarily relevant to the lives of Christian men and women today. He said that “solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil” (Heb. 5:14). By “solid food” he means the deep things that God has revealed to us. A lot of Christians would prefer never to be challenged or stretched when ...Read More

Sep 2017 28 Sep 28, 2017

Let me be clear right from the start. I stole the title for today’s message from the sub-title to J. D. Greear’s book, Jesus Continued: Why the Spirit Inside You is Better than Jesus Beside You. It’s an excellent book that I recommend you read. Even if you don’t get around to reading it, I suspect that the sub-title will surely capture your attention. Is it really true that having the Holy Spirit live inside us forever is actually better than walking and talking ...Read More

Sep 2017 27 Sep 27, 2017

I despise the term, Indian-giver. If you look it up in Webster’s Dictionary it is defined as “a person who gives something to another and then takes it back.” I was happy to discover that the Concise Oxford English Dictionary doesn’t even include a listing for the term. I don’t know where it came from or when it was first coined, but it is derogatory of Native Americans and perhaps even racist. It suggests that an “Indian” is by nature the sort of individua...Read More

Sep 2017 27 Sep 27, 2017

There are several good reasons why the Apostle Paul described the Second Coming of Jesus Christ as our “blessed hope” (Titus 2:13). It is a “blessed hope” because it will mean the end of all sin and suffering in our lives. No more battles with temptation. No more feelings of guilt when we fail. No more diagnoses of cancer or heart disease or arthritis. No more sadness upon hearing of the death of a loved one. No more funerals. No more anger or res...Read More

Sep 2017 26 Sep 26, 2017

Today is the second message in our new series in John 13-17 that we are calling, Last Words. That is to say, we are looking at what has also been called The Farewell Discourse of Jesus, the concluding words of instruction and encouragement that Jesus gave to his disciples on the night on which he was betrayed by Judas Iscariot. Some have referred to these five chapters as The Upper Room Discourse because that is where they gathered to celebrate the last supper. ...Read More

Sep 2017 26 Sep 26, 2017

On a somewhat regular basis, young married couples will come to me and ask my advice about how they might learn to pray together. Often, it is either only the husband or the wife who comes and complains that his/her spouse remains silent when the other prays aloud. For any of you to whom this applies, please don’t take offense or feel any shame. Ann and I struggled with this for several years early on in our marriage. I couldn’t understand why Ann was so reluctant to...Read More

Sep 2017 26 Sep 26, 2017

Last week I indicated to you that there are four glorious truths found in the opening five verses of John 17. We looked at the first two of them last Sunday. The first is found in v. 1 where Jesus affirmed the absolute sovereignty of God the Father over his life and the time of his death. This we see in his words, “Father, the hour has come.” The second truth is stated both in v. 1 and again in vv. 4-5. There we were given a glimpse into the love of God for his peopl...Read More

Sep 2017 26 Sep 26, 2017

Is there a unifying theme to the extended prayer of Jesus in John 17? I mentioned to you in an earlier message that John 17 ought to be called “The Lord’s Prayer” insofar as it is a prayer that he himself actually prayed. What we typically call the Lord’s Prayer is found in the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 6:9-15. But there is one thing in that prayer that Jesus never could and never would have prayed. Jesus instructs his disciples to pray: “Forgive us our debt...Read More

Sep 2017 25 Sep 25, 2017
3

The word “meditation” has developed something of a bad reputation in certain Christian circles. In this article I want to reclaim it as one of the essential spiritual disciplines for all believers. (1) Meditation begins, but by no means ends, with thinking on Scripture. To meditate properly our souls must reflect upon what our minds have ingested and our hearts must rejoice in what our souls have grasped. We have truly meditated when we slowly read, prayerfu...Read More

Sep 2017 23 Sep 23, 2017

Most people in this room was either not yet born or far too young to remember the momentous events of 1948. This was the year that witnessed the formation of what is known as The World Council of Churches. The driving force behind the establishment of this organization was a desire for Christian unity. ...Read More

Sep 2017 22 Sep 22, 2017

I know some of you don’t like your jobs. And I can understand why. You struggle to get up each day and return to a task that either bores you or wears you out or feels unproductive. But you do it anyway because you know that God honors hard work and you know you have an obligation to pay your bills and you know that others depend on you. I say this because I want to say Thank You to everyone at Bridgeway. Thank you for paying me to do something that I enjoy more than a...Read More

Sep 2017 22 Sep 22, 2017
2

We’ve been looking this week at the fifth seal in Revelation 6:9-11. Here it is again: “When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne. They cried out with a loud voice, “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” Then they were each given a white robe and told to rest a l...Read More

Sep 2017 21 Sep 21, 2017

In the previous article I made several observations about the nature of the intermediate state, in particular the conscious condition of those who have died physically and are now in heaven in the presence of the risen Christ. Here again is the text we looked at: “When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne. They cried out with a loud voice, “O Sovereign L...Read More

Sep 2017 20 Sep 20, 2017
4

This past week I preached on the fifth seal judgment in Revelation 6:9-11. Here is what it says: “When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne. They cried out with a loud voice, “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” Then they were each given a white robe and told to rest...Read More

Sep 2017 18 Sep 18, 2017
2

The word miracle is used somewhat promiscuously to describe everything from healing a paralytic to finding a parking space at the mall on the day before Christmas. So we begin our ten things we should all know about miracles with a definition. Continue reading . . .  The word miracle is used somewhat promiscuously to describe everything from healing a paralytic to finding a parking space at the mall on the day before Christmas. So we begin our ten things we should ...Read More

Sep 2017 13 Sep 13, 2017
4

I recently received an email that asked me a question about reincarnation. More specifically, the question centered around Melchizedek and if perhaps the way he is described in Hebrews 7 suggests at least the possibility of reincarnation. Here is the text, followed by my reply. Continue reading . . . I recently received an email that asked me a question about reincarnation. More specifically, the question centered around Melchizedek and if perhaps the way he is describe...Read More

Sep 2017 11 Sep 11, 2017
2

The Convergence Conference: the Passionate Pursuit of Word and Spirit, is now only a few weeks away. I hope and pray you will give serious consideration to joining us here in Oklahoma City, October 5-7. Here are ten things you should know about the conference. Continue reading . . . The Convergence Conference: the Passionate Pursuit of Word and Spirit, is now only a few weeks away. I hope and pray you will give serious consideration to joining us here in Oklahoma City, ...Read More

Sep 2017 7 Sep 7, 2017

[In the wake of the release of The Nashville Statement last week there have been several critical comments and questions raised. Denny Burk responded to these issues and his treatment is well worth your close consideration.] Continue reading . . . August 29, 2017 Denny Burk [In the wake of the release of The Nashville Statement last week there have been several critical comments and questions raised. Denny Burk responded to these issues and his treatment is well worth...Read More

Sep 2017 6 Sep 6, 2017
1

Last week I alerted you to the release of The Nashville Statement on human sexuality. I provided a link to the place where you can read the entire document, especially the Articles of Affirmation and Denial. Just in case you didn’t click on the link, I decided to provide you with those fourteen articles. Continue reading . . . Last week I alerted you to the release of The Nashville Statement on human sexuality. I provided a link to the place where you ca...Read More

Sep 2017 4 Sep 4, 2017
3

What may we conclude, if anything at all, about the tragedy in Houston? What lessons does the Bible teach us as we try to make sense of this event? What is the relationship of God’s sovereignty to the devastation of this hurricane? Here are ten things to keep in mind. Continue reading . . . What may we conclude, if anything at all, about the tragedy in Houston? What lessons does the Bible teach us as we try to make sense of this event? What is the relationship of ...Read More

Sep 2017 1 Sep 1, 2017
2

Beginning in early March of 2014 I launched a verse-by-verse series of sermons on the Epistle to the Hebrews. I concluded the series in May of 2015. There were a total of 47 sermons on the book. My standard practice here at Bridgeway is to provide our people with a written manuscript of each sermon. All 47 of these sermon manuscripts on Hebrews are now available on my website. Continue reading . . . Beginning in early March of 2014 I launched a verse-by-verse series of ...Read More

Aug 2017 31 Aug 31, 2017
1

I was in Nashville, TN, last Friday as I joined approximately 60 evangelical leaders to formulate and finalize a statement on what we believe is the biblical view of sexuality, with particular emphasis on homosexuality and transgenderism. This statement is sponsored by the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, together with the Ethics and Religious Liberties Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention. Continue reading . . .  I was in Nashville, TN, last Fri...Read More

Aug 2017 30 Aug 30, 2017
1

Last week we looked at ten things we should know about angels. Our focus was on good and holy angels, those who persevered in their obedience to God. But what about demons? Although fallen and rebellious, they, too, are angels. So today we turn our attention to some ten things the Bible says about demons. Continue reading . . .  Last week we looked at ten things we should know about angels. Our focus was on good and holy angels, those who persevered in their obedie...Read More

Aug 2017 25 Aug 25, 2017
1

I’ve always been fascinated by who remained, following the crucifixion of Jesus, to attend to his body and provide for his burial (see Mark 15:42-47). Contrary to what most of us would have expected, it wasn’t Peter or John or James or any of the disciples. Continue reading . . .  I’ve always been fascinated by who remained, following the crucifixion of Jesus, to attend to his body and provide for his burial (see Mark 15:42-47). Contrary to what m...Read More

Aug 2017 23 Aug 23, 2017
1

That’s quite a claim in the title. I’m certain that others who have read far more of Augustine than I would beg to differ. Needless to say, we all have our favorite texts, those theologically rich and experientially captivating statements for which Augustine is justly famous. But I want to mention mine, which, as you probably have guessed, is found in his Confessions. Continue reading . . .  That’s quite a claim in the title. I’m certai...Read More

Aug 2017 21 Aug 21, 2017

Unbelievers scoff at the suggestion that angels are real. For them, angels are a holdover from the medieval mindset that debated endlessly about how many of them could dance on the head of a pin! But for the Christian who takes the Bible seriously, angels are an essential part of God’s universe and play a crucial role in the lives of believers. Here are ten things we need to keep in mind regarding who they are and what they do. Continue reading . . . Unbelievers s...Read More

Aug 2017 18 Aug 18, 2017
2

I am keenly aware of the skepticism of many when it comes to the claims of people like myself regarding the validity today and the life-changing power of prophetic ministry. So let me tell you a story. Today, August 18, is a very important day in my life as a Christian. And it provides an important lesson for us concerning the nature and operation of the spiritual gift of prophecy. Continue reading . . . I am keenly aware of the skepticism of many when it comes to ...Read More

Aug 2017 16 Aug 16, 2017
2

This year, 2017, marks the twentieth anniversary of the death of John Wimber. Ten years ago I wrote a brief article of remembrance to mark John’s passing. It seems only fitting that ten years later, on the twentieth anniversary of his death, that we should take a few minutes to remember this man and what he meant to the body of Christ. So I’m reposting the article I wrote in 2007. I hope you enjoy it. Continue reading . . . This year, 2017, marks the twentie...Read More

Aug 2017 14 Aug 14, 2017
3

Repentance is a massively important spiritual issue that calls for careful study and clear articulation. Here are ten things to remember about what it means to repent of our sin. Continue reading . . .  Repentance is a massively important spiritual issue that calls for careful study and clear articulation. Here are ten things to remember about what it means to repent of our sin. (1) Genuine repentance begins, but by no means ends, with heartfelt conviction of sin....Read More

Aug 2017 9 Aug 9, 2017

In this passage James envisions a believer intervening in the life of another, wayward, believer. The result is that you will “save his soul from death” and will “cover a multitude of sins.” Does this mean there is the potential for a Christian to sin so severely that if someone doesn’t intervene to restore him/her that this person might “lose” their soul to “death,” i.e., lose their salvation? No. Several points need to be made....Read More

Aug 2017 9 Aug 9, 2017
3

Now that I have your attention, let me explain what I mean. Sadly, in today’s world if you refuse to endorse the moral legitimacy of same-sex physical intimacy you are branded as a hate-filled bigot, a homophobic who is devoid of love for those who struggle with (or have already yielded to) attraction to someone of the same sex. Continue reading . . .  Now that I have your attention, let me explain what I mean. Sadly, in today’s world if you refuse to e...Read More

Aug 2017 7 Aug 7, 2017

Two weeks ago we looked at ten things all of us should know about Augustine. His principal theological opponent was a man named Pelagius. Today we turn our attention to what little we know about the person of Pelagius and especially what we should know about his theology. Continue reading . . .  Two weeks ago we looked at ten things all of us should know about Augustine. His principal theological opponent was a man named Pelagius. Today we turn our attention to wha...Read More

Aug 2017 3 Aug 3, 2017
3

At the conclusion of our Lord’s letter to the church at Laodicea, we read this remarkable promise: “The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne” (Rev. 3:21). Continue reading . . .  At the conclusion of our Lord’s letter to the church at Laodicea, we read this remarkable promise: “The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as ...Read More

Jul 2017 31 Jul 31, 2017
10

Few things are more controversial among Christians than the sovereignty of God. Is God truly sovereign over everything, including calamity, natural disasters, death, and demons, or is his sovereign control restricted to those things we typically regard as good, such as material blessing, family welfare, personal salvation, and good health? Today we turn our attention to ten things we should all know about God’s sovereignty. Continue reading . . . Few things are mo...Read More

Jul 2017 27 Jul 27, 2017
5

I’ve been a subscriber to World magazine for as long as I can remember. Some have referred to it as the Christian version of Time magazine. Actually, it’s a lot better than Time ever was and not simply because it is faith-based. But I’m not here to praise World. I’m here to draw attention to two things that I noted in its most recent, August 5, 2017, issue. Continue reading . . . I’ve been a subscriber to ...Read More

Jul 2017 26 Jul 26, 2017

Some Arminians argue for what is called corporate or class election. Continue reading . . .  Some Arminians argue for what is called corporate or class election. For example, Roger Forster and Paul Marston contend that “there is no such thing in the New Testament as personal (individual) election of believers. Christ is the chosen One, and believers are elect because they are in him” (God’s Strategy in Human History, 145). Here they explain their ...Read More

Jul 2017 24 Jul 24, 2017
5

Was Augustine (the emphasis is on the second syllable, hence aw-GUS-tin, not AW-gus-teen) the greatest theologian in the history of the Christian church? That will always remain a matter of opinion, but if there is a Top Ten list he would most assuredly be counted in the first five. Today we look at ten things we should know about him. Continue reading . . . (1) Augustine was born on November 13, 354, in the small North African city of Thagaste. He died on Aug. 28, 430....Read More

Jul 2017 21 Jul 21, 2017
1

I don’t know Eugene Peterson, which is to say I’ve never met him personally. I know of him from his many books and his personal paraphrase of the Bible, The Message. I’ll be honest. I’ve never cared much for The Message. I know many who love it, but I’m the odd sort who prefers a more formally equivalent (dare I say “literal”?) translation of God’s Word. But that is not what this article is about. Continue reading . . .&nbs...Read More

Jul 2017 19 Jul 19, 2017
2

The Bible has a remarkable capacity to challenge and overcome our misperceptions about who we are. When we are inclined to think of ourselves as orphans, the biblical text declares that we are the adopted children of God. If we are wracked with guilt, the inspired word reminds us that we are forgiven. The feeling of being stained and soiled by sin is overcome with the realization that we are cleansed by the blood of Christ and clot...Read More

Jul 2017 17 Jul 17, 2017
1

Today we turn our attention to the issue of beauty. What is it? Can it be defined? What does it mean to have an aesthetic experience? Is God beautiful, and if so, how does it relate to his glory? Continue reading . . .  Today we turn our attention to the issue of beauty. What is it? Can it be defined? What does it mean to have an aesthetic experience? Is God beautiful, and if so, how does it relate to his glory? (1) After creation, when God looked upon his handiwo...Read More

Jul 2017 15 Jul 15, 2017

“At the heart of why people disbelieve and believe in God, of why people decline and grow in character, of how God becomes less real and more real to us – is suffering” ...Read More

Jul 2017 15 Jul 15, 2017

Supposing, just for the sake of illustration, that you come across an envelope in which there is a lengthy letter. It doesn’t belong to you but you are determined that it be delivered to its rightful destination. More than likely the first order of business would be to examine the front of the envelope to discover the individual or individuals to whom the letter is addressed. But to your dismay, there are no names there. To complicate matters, there is no address on th...Read More

Jul 2017 14 Jul 14, 2017

Last week in our inaugural study in the book of James I briefly suggested that the primary theme of this epistle is that Christianity is not just a body of doctrines to believe but also a life to be pursued in the power of a living faith. In other words, James, perhaps more so than any other NT book, calls on us to put into practice on a daily basis what we profess to believe. In fact, James will go so far as to say that a work-less faith is a worth-less faith. In true, ...Read More

Jul 2017 14 Jul 14, 2017

If you’ve ever wondered why Bridgeway Church exists, it isn’t so that those who don’t play golf might have something to occupy their time on a Sunday morning. Our mission statement is clear and to the point: We exist to exalt Christ in the City, through Gospel-centered Worship, Discipleship, Community, and Mission. But why? Why is it our individual and collective mission to exalt Christ? Why is it that we don’t make it our primary collective aim to promote brothe...Read More

Jul 2017 14 Jul 14, 2017
5

One of the more important books released in 2017 is Andy Naselli’s, How to Understand and Apply the New Testament: Twelve Steps from Exegesis to Theology (Presbyterian & Reformed). What follows is one example of why I so greatly appreciate Andy’s book. Continue reading . . . One of the more important books released in 2017 is Andy Naselli’s, How to Understand and Apply the New Testament: Twelve Steps from Exegesis to Theology (Presbyteria...Read More

Jul 2017 13 Jul 13, 2017

My dad was a banker for most of his professional working life. He was also a remarkable judge of character. I think this came from at least two sources. One was certainly the Holy Spirit. In other words, I think God uniquely gifted my dad with powers of discernment. He could see through the false fronts that people put up and was remarkably accurate when it came to looking beyond and behind actions to the motivation in people’s hearts....Read More

Jul 2017 13 Jul 13, 2017

When we began our series in the book of Hebrews I mentioned several things about which we remain in ignorance. For example, we don’t know who wrote the book or when it was composed or where the author was located or who the people were to whom it was addressed. However, I think we can reasonably conclude one thing about the people who received this letter. Whatever else we may not know about them, I’m quite confident that they had never seen the Christmas movie, It...Read More

Jul 2017 12 Jul 12, 2017

It’s a refrain we’ve all heard countless times. ...Read More

Jul 2017 12 Jul 12, 2017

Jesus is better, or so the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews would have us believe. As good and great as was everything that preceded him during the time of the Old Covenant under Moses, Jesus is better. Jesus is immeasurably superior to anything your heart can conceive or your mind can imagine. Jesus Christ is God’s full and final revelation to the world of what is good and true and beautiful and eternal. He is the one who by God’s decree will inherit everything....Read More

Jul 2017 12 Jul 12, 2017

Jonathan Petersen, Manager of marketing for Bible Gateway, interviewed Sam Storms about his book, Practicing the Power: Welcoming the Gifts of the Holy Spirit in Your Life (Zondervan, 2017). Continue reading . . . Jonathan Petersen, Manager of marketing for Bible Gateway, interviewed Sam Storms about his book, Practicing the Power: Welcoming the Gifts of the Holy Spirit in Your Life (Zondervan, 2017). What is your “pipe dream” you speak of in your...Read More

Jul 2017 11 Jul 11, 2017

Now here’s a question for you, and yes it does have a purpose and it does have a direct relation to our passage this morning. ...Read More

Jul 2017 11 Jul 11, 2017

Let me come straight to the point. Our world, and sadly that often times includes the professing Christian church, is, contrary to James’ counsel, slow to hear, quick to speak, and has a hair trigger when it comes to anger. You can almost hear people justifying each of these:...Read More

Jul 2017 11 Jul 11, 2017

[“The introductory formula [in v. 6a] is interesting. At first glance the wording seems cavalier, ‘But one has somewhere testified.’ The author is not betraying ignorance, as if he doesn’t know the text which he cites. The letter as a whole demonstrates that he is sophisticated and knowledgeable in his use of the OT. These are not the words of an uneducated novice. Hebrews doesn’t focus on the person who uttered the words or the exact place where they are found...Read More

Jul 2017 10 Jul 10, 2017

My guess is that the majority of people here today have at one time or another throughout their educational experience audited a class or course, whether in high school or more likely in college. I certainly have. I loved the courses I audited. After I had graduated from Dallas Seminary in 1977 I returned a couple of years later and audited beginning Hebrew which was being taught by my good friend Jack Deere. ...Read More

Jul 2017 10 Jul 10, 2017

Let me be entirely honest with you this morning. My guess is that most of you think I never have doubts about my faith in Christ or that everything in Christianity makes perfectly good sense to me. Quite honestly, that’s not true. I often find myself asking why God did what he has done. What reason did he have for doing it this way and not that way? On occasion, to be honest, it doesn’t strike me as being the best or most efficient way of doing things. On occasion, I...Read More

Jul 2017 10 Jul 10, 2017

Today we turn our attention to James Arminius and a few brief observations about the theological system that bears his name. Continue reading . . .  Today we turn our attention to James Arminius and a few brief observations about the theological system that bears his name. (1) Jacob Harmenszoon, better known to history as James Arminius, was born in Holland in 1559. His father died within a year of his birth and his mother, his brothers and sisters, and virtually ...Read More

Jul 2017 9 Jul 9, 2017

Last week our time in this passage was devoted to exploring what it means to say that God the Son, the Second Person of the Trinity, became a human being in the person of Jesus of Nazareth, and how he, by dying and rising from the grave, was able to defeat and destroy Satan and to deliver men and women from the fear of death by which Satan kept them enslaved....Read More

Jul 2017 9 Jul 9, 2017

Today, traditionally known as Easter Sunday, more biblically known as Resurrection Sunday, is all about one theme and one theme only: Jesus of Nazareth, the God-man, following a sinless and altogether virtuous and obedient life, died a substitutionary and altogether sufficient and saving death, and then rose again to a new life in a glorified but still human body....Read More

Jul 2017 8 Jul 8, 2017

All of us know that some sins are more conspicuous and overt than others. Public drunkenness, for example, or profane speech are readily identifiable. It’s obvious to even the casual observer if someone is intoxicated. The same is true of obscene or profane speech. If you have eyes and ears you can know instantly whether such sins are being committed....Read More

Jul 2017 8 Jul 8, 2017

I had an interesting experience in studying this passage in Hebrews 3 and in my preparation for this message. I got massively distracted! But in a good way! And I hope you will be happy and pleased that I was. So let me explain. ...Read More

Jul 2017 7 Jul 7, 2017

There simply is no more eternally important question that any man or woman can ask and then answer than this: “How might I, a hell-deserving sinner, be reconciled to God and made acceptable in his sight?” Or we might pose the question in yet another way: “How might I, a man/woman who is undeniably unrighteous and thus deserving of eternal judgment, be made righteous in the sight of God?” Other questions might feel more pressing or more practical, but rest assured...Read More

Jul 2017 7 Jul 7, 2017

’d be curious to know what many of you think about your salvation and what God has done through Christ to reconcile you to himself. My guess is that most Christians today would respond by talking of personal faith in Jesus and repentance from sin, of being forgiven and becoming a child of God. A few of you would mention what it means to be justified or declared righteous in the sight of God through faith alone in Christ alone. And of course, all these things are true a...Read More

Jul 2017 6 Jul 6, 2017

I’m sorry for having to begin on something of a downer, but I want to draw your attention today to the many ways that human beings have distorted some of the most precious of God’s gifts to us....Read More

Jul 2017 6 Jul 6, 2017
1

Recently I joined the hosts of Two Thieves Podcast to discuss the keys to sound biblical interpretation, with particular application to the subject of eschatology and my own amillennial convictions. The interview is about 45 minutes in length. Continue reading . . .  Recently I joined the hosts of Two Thieves Podcast to discuss the keys to sound biblical interpretation, with particular application to the subject of eschatology and my own amillennial convictions. Th...Read More

Jul 2017 6 Jul 6, 2017

Back in Hebrews 2:4 our author encouraged us not to neglect this “great salvation” that we have in Jesus Christ. Do you know why your salvation is great? Do you think often of it? Have you exerted the mental and spiritual energy to meditate on the multi-faceted, multi-dimensional nature of what it means to be “saved” from sin and death and condemnation? How much time have you given to exploring the multitude of blessings that comes with being a child of God? ...Read More

Jul 2017 5 Jul 5, 2017

I think all of you are familiar with the oft-heard statement that Christians are people who are “in” the world but not “of” the world. There isn’t a specific biblical text that says it in precisely those terms, but James 4:4 does describe followers of Jesus as people who should avoid developing a “friendship with the world.” In fact, James says that to be a “friend” of the world is to be at “enmity with God” (James 4:4b). The apostle John exhorts Ch...Read More

Jul 2017 5 Jul 5, 2017

Today, in our study of these two verses in Hebrews 4, you are going to hear something about Bridgeway Church and our philosophy of ministry that you may never have seriously considered before. You are also going to learn something about me, although I trust that those of you who’ve been here for a while already are aware of what I will say. You who are new to our fellowship likewise need to know what drives me and accounts for what I do on a Sunday morning and the way ...Read More

Jul 2017 5 Jul 5, 2017
1

Highly regarded Wesley-Arminian theologian Thomas Oden passed away just a few months ago here in Oklahoma City. Among Oden’s many published works is one that provides a clear presentation of the Arminian-Wesleyan view of God’s saving grace. Continue reading . . .  Highly regarded Wesley-Arminian theologian Thomas Oden passed away just a few months ago here in Oklahoma City. Among Oden’s many published works is one that provides a clear presentatio...Read More

Jul 2017 4 Jul 4, 2017

I don’t like oversimplification. I don’t typically give much credence to those who try to reduce complex problems to a single cause. But I’m going to make an exception to that this morning. And I’m making an exception because James does. Or I should say, God does through the writing of James. ...Read More

Jul 2017 4 Jul 4, 2017

Allow me to set the stage, so to speak, for what we read here in Hebrews 4:14-16, especially v. 16 on which we will focus most of our attention. ...Read More

Jul 2017 3 Jul 3, 2017

There is a radio commercial that I hear several times a week here in OKC. If you don’t listen regularly to sports talk radio you probably aren’t aware of it. Quite honestly, I can’t even tell you what product or service is being promoted, but I do vividly remember the opening comments that are designed to grab the listener’s attention. The spokesman says something along the lines of: “Few have mastered the art of name-calling.” He then plays a recording of on...Read More

Jul 2017 3 Jul 3, 2017

If you were to ask the average Christian to quote one verse in the Bible that best summarizes what we call the gospel, most would instinctively turn to John 3:16. And that’s ok. It is stunning to think that because God loved this world of fallen sinners he sent his only Son, Jesus, so that if we believe in him we have everlasting life. So, you can’t make a mistake or go wrong by pointing to John 3:16 as an excellent summation of the gospel....Read More

Jul 2017 3 Jul 3, 2017

In two previous installments of “10 things you should know” we looked at ten reasons why preaching in general has fallen on hard times, as well as ten reasons why biblical preaching is critically important. Today we look at the nature of expositional preaching and why it is, in my opinion, the far superior approach to making known the written Word of God. Continue reading . . .  In two previous installments of “10 things you should know” we ...Read More

Jul 2017 2 Jul 2, 2017

Perhaps the greatest sound and light show in the history of God’s people took place in conjunction with the giving of the Ten Commandments. We are told in Exodus 20:18ff. that after God had spoken what are known as the Ten Words that “all the people saw the thunder and the flashes of lightning and the sound of the trumpet and the mountain smoking” (Exod. 20:18a). Their response was anything but surprising: “the people were afraid and trembled and they stood far o...Read More

Jul 2017 2 Jul 2, 2017

I have to suppress the urge to laugh out loud when I hear Christians tell me how great it would be if we could only return to the glory days of the early church. They appear to believe that in the first century the church was far better off than it is today, that it knew little of division or false teaching and knew a lot of power and purity. I have to be entirely honest and say that this sort of spiritual nostalgia is horribly misinformed....Read More

Jul 2017 1 Jul 1, 2017

Is it possible for a Christian to live like an atheist? I don’t mean “live like an atheist” in the sense that one actually denies the existence of God or commits sin repeatedly and feels no conviction or experiences no repentance. That person would have no basis for claiming to be a Christian in the first place. What I have in mind is a person who is born again going about his or her business and daily affairs without the slightest regard for God’s intimate perso...Read More

Jul 2017 1 Jul 1, 2017

It has been slightly more than a year and a half since we concluded a brief series of sermons on the question of whether or not born-again believers in Jesus Christ can lose or forfeit their salvation. We looked at virtually all the passages in the NT to determine if a person who has been justified by faith in Jesus Christ can somehow experience de-justification. Can a person who has been fully forgiven of their sins do something that would lead God to once again regard ...Read More

Jun 2017 30 Jun 30, 2017

I’d like to see a show of hands. How many of you here today are by nature patient? Is there anyone who finds patience as natural as breathing? Anyone? Anyone? I’m looking for that man or woman, young or old, who instinctively responds to irritating people and aggravating circumstances with a calm and controlled spirit. Anyone? Anyone? Hmmm. I didn’t think so....Read More

Jun 2017 30 Jun 30, 2017
4

In a recent tweet my friend Matt Chandler made this comment about the acquittal of a police officer in the shooting death of Philando Castile Continue reading . . .  In a recent tweet my friend Matt Chandler made this comment about the acquittal of a police officer in the shooting death of Philando Castile: “This brokenness requires radical steps but it’s deeply demonic. Praying for Holy Spirit breakthrough and the binding of this spirit.” I...Read More

Jun 2017 30 Jun 30, 2017

There is no way to exaggerate or overestimate what you could achieve by the grace of God if you were living in the full assurance of your hope in Christ. There is no way to exaggerate or overestimate how deeply you could enjoy the blessings of being a child of God if you were living in the full assurance of your hope in Christ. Let me turn that around and say the same thing in different terms. God wants you to know that you belong to him. His desire is for every one of h...Read More

Jun 2017 29 Jun 29, 2017

Truth, or integrity in our speech, that sense of moral obligation to God according to which we represent things as they really are, both in word and deed, has gradually eroded in many segments of our society. This shouldn’t come as a total surprise insofar as the first sin in the Garden of Eden was an attack upon the veracity or truthfulness of what God himself had said. Recall the statement: “in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die” (Gen. 2:17). Man’s...Read More

Jun 2017 29 Jun 29, 2017

To what lengths do you think God might go to provide you with rock solid proof that he loves you and will fulfill his promises to you? How extravagant might his efforts be? Is there a limit to what he might do or say in order for you to be encouraged and reassured that his promise to save you cannot be broken? ...Read More

Jun 2017 29 Jun 29, 2017
1

I’m currently reading through John Piper’s most recent book (and so should you!), Reading the Bible Supernaturally: Seeing and Savoring the Glory of God in Scripture (Crossway, 2017). I’ll have a more complete review of it when I’m done, but I can assure you that it will most definitely be on my list of Top Ten Best Books of 2017. Continue reading . . .  I’m currently reading through John Piper’s most recent book (and so should y...Read More

Jun 2017 28 Jun 28, 2017

So, let’s be honest with each other this morning about why we don’t pray as much as we know we should. When I talk with Christians of all ages and both genders, I hear comments like these:...Read More

Jun 2017 28 Jun 28, 2017

So, who the heck is Melchizedek? And assuming we can find an answer to that question here in Hebrews 7, what difference does it make to you and me? The best way for us to proceed in search of an answer is by pausing briefly and making certain that we know the flow of the book of Hebrews....Read More

Jun 2017 28 Jun 28, 2017

I was recently invited by the Gospel Coalition to contribute to their series of posts called “On My Shelf.” Numerous individuals have also been asked to share what they are currently reading and what they’ve read in the past that has had a significant impact on their lives. Here is my list. Continue reading . . .  I was recently invited by the Gospel Coalition to contribute to their series of posts called “On My Shelf.” Numerous indivi...Read More

Jun 2017 27 Jun 27, 2017

Many of you are new to Bridgeway and may not as yet fully understand what we mean when we say we are a church committed to both the Word of God and the Spirit of God. Or, upon hearing that, you may respond by saying: “Big deal. All churches believe in the importance of the Bible, and all churches believe in the existence of the Holy Spirit.” That may be true, but that’s not what we mean here at Bridgeway....Read More

Jun 2017 27 Jun 27, 2017

No matter how seemingly helpful the many psychological formulas that help you cope with life may be, no matter how transforming the practical counsel you might find in today’s world to help you with your problems may be, everything is either partial or periodic. What I mean by that is simply this: they only go so far and for so long before they lose their capacity to make a difference. ...Read More

Jun 2017 26 Jun 26, 2017

The responses I hear when I ask someone to pray for the sick that they might be healed are varied: ...Read More

Jun 2017 26 Jun 26, 2017

At our community group leaders gathering here on Friday night I spoke about what has been called the “scandal of particularity”. What many perceive to be the “scandal” of our evangelical faith is the idea we promote that there is only one particular pathway to God; only one particular and exclusive opportunity to be saved; only one particular person, namely, Jesus Christ, through whom we are reconciled to God. ...Read More

Jun 2017 26 Jun 26, 2017

In last week’s installment of our ten-things-you-should-know series I focused on the causes for the demise of biblical preaching. Today I want to focus on why it is so critical that pastors be committed to the exposition of the Word. Continue reading... In last week’s installment of our ten-things-you-should-know series I focused on the causes for the demise of biblical preaching. Today I want to focus on why it is so critical that pastors be committed to th...Read More

Jun 2017 25 Jun 25, 2017

In July of last year, when we began this series of studies in the epistle of James, I pointed out in the first message that most scholars agree that the “James” who wrote this letter was in fact the half-brother of Jesus (see Mark 6:3-6). That is to say, he was the natural born son of Joseph and Mary. Like his other siblings, he was initially opposed to the ministry of Jesus, but after the resurrection he became a committed and loyal disciple of his older half-brothe...Read More

Jun 2017 25 Jun 25, 2017

I did not plan for our study of Hebrews 8 to fall on the last Sunday of the month, the day on which we regularly celebrate the Lord’s Supper. I can only attribute that to divine providence! Of course, some of you may not immediately recognize the connection between the New Covenant, about which Hebrews 8 says more than any other passage in the NT, and our celebration of the Lord’s Supper. If that is true, I would simply remind you of the words spoken by Jesus when he...Read More

Jun 2017 24 Jun 24, 2017

If every Christian isn’t familiar with 2 Timothy 3:16-17, every Christian should be. There the Apostle Paul made what most believe is the most important statement in the Bible about the Bible. He said:...Read More

Jun 2017 24 Jun 24, 2017

I’ll be the first to admit that on a number of occasions in our study of Hebrews I’ve wondered to myself: What does this book have to do with life in 2014? Its language seems so foreign and its images so distant and its symbolism so strange. We live in a world where a man has walked on the moon. We wake up each day to a life dominated by computer technology and threats of nuclear terrorism. And when we get sick we have antibiotics within arm’s reach. All this talk ...Read More

Jun 2017 23 Jun 23, 2017

So Moses said, “Thus says the Lord: ‘About midnight I will go out in the midst of Egypt, and every firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sits on his throne, even to the firstborn of the slave girl who is behind the handmill, and all the firstborn of the cattle. There shall be a great cry throughout all the land of Egypt, such as there has never been, nor ever will be again (Exodus 11:4-6)...Read More

Jun 2017 22 Jun 22, 2017
5

The New City Catechism: 52 Questions & Answers for Our Hearts & Minds was published earlier this year by Crossway. A companion volume, The New City Catechism Devotional (239 pages), with an Introduction by Timothy Keller and under the general editorial oversight of Collin Hansen was also published by Crossway. Part Three of the Devotional is devoted to short chapters on the theme of Spirit, Restoration, and Growing in Grace. I was asked to contribute the devotion...Read More

Jun 2017 22 Jun 22, 2017

How seriously and sincerely do you look forward to the Second Coming of Christ? Does it occupy your thinking on a regular basis? I’m not asking whether or not you enjoy engaging in speculative debates with friends about the identity of the Antichrist or whether or not Russia will conspire with other nations to invade Israel. I’m not asking you about your opinion on whether or not there will be a so-called Great Tribulation and where you stand on the timing of the Rap...Read More

Jun 2017 21 Jun 21, 2017
3

Back in April of this year, at the national conference of the Gospel Coalition, Kevin DeYoung addressed the question of why there appear to be so many different interpretations of the Bible? If the Bible is inspired and sufficient, why do so many Christians disagree with one another on particular texts and topics? The language of “pervasive interpretive pluralism” was first used by author Christian Smith, who recently converted to Roman Catholicism. Kevin&rsq...Read More

Jun 2017 20 Jun 20, 2017

I’m going to begin by asking you a series of questions, to each of which, in my opinion, there is one simple answer. ...Read More

Jun 2017 20 Jun 20, 2017

Most of you are too young to remember this, but in the 1970’s one of the most controversial books to be released came from the pen of Harvard University professor, B. F. Skinner. It was titled, Beyond Freedom and Dignity. The central thesis of that book was that inasmuch as humanity is on the verge of self-annihilation, it has become imperative that radically decisive steps be taken to control human behavior. Skinner, of course, was an advocate of biological evolution....Read More

Jun 2017 20 Jun 20, 2017
Jun 2017 19 Jun 19, 2017
21

Biblical preaching has fallen on hard times in the western world. There’s certainly no lack of speaking and sharing and shouting. And dramatic presentations and video clips are prevalent in pulpits across America. But there is precious little biblical preaching. The Bible makes a token appearance here and there, but rarely to be explained and expounded and acknowledged as authoritative for how we think and live. There are several reasons for this dearth of biblical...Read More

Jun 2017 19 Jun 19, 2017

Gina Welch is a graduate of Yale University, teaches English at George Washington University, and is the author of the book, In the Land of Believers: An Outsider’s Extraordinary Journey into the Heart of the Evangelical Church (Metropolitan Books, 2010). Here is the description she provided of herself: “I am a secular Jew raised by a single mother in Berkeley, where we took a day off school in October for Indigenous Peoples, not for Christopher Columbus. I cuss, I d...Read More

Jun 2017 18 Jun 18, 2017

This passage in Hebrews 10 makes a lot of people extremely uncomfortable. More than a few of you were probably squirming in your seats as I read it just a moment ago. And it isn’t primarily because it seems to suggest that a Christian can lose his/her salvation. That, of course, is an important issue that I’ll take up shortly. No, I’m referring to the language here that speaks of such things as judgment, the fury of fire consuming sinful people, punishment, and ven...Read More

Jun 2017 17 Jun 17, 2017

This portion of God’s Word that we call the Letter to the Hebrews has occupied our attention now for thirty weeks. Although I had studied and even preached through Hebrews many years ago, its impact on me this time has been far beyond anything I experienced before. Over and over again, almost on a weekly basis, this letter has rocked my world. I’ve been encouraged one week and challenged the next. I’ve been deeply convicted by the Holy Spirit only then to be remind...Read More

Jun 2017 16 Jun 16, 2017

Before we so much as stick our big toe into the deep waters of Hebrews 11, I want to make two things crystal clear. The first has to do with the nature and meaning of Christian faith. The second relates to the place of Hebrews 11 in the context of the book of Hebrews as a whole. ...Read More

Jun 2017 15 Jun 15, 2017

Some of you probably think that I take a certain perverse pleasure in bursting your deeply cherished doctrinal bubbles or in slaying your sacred cows when it comes to certain long-held beliefs about the Bible. I don’t. Well, o.k., so maybe I do, just a little bit. But my real pleasure comes from providing you with a clear explanation of the truth of God’s Word, and if in the process of doing so I have to call into question some of the things you may have been incorre...Read More

Jun 2017 15 Jun 15, 2017
1

I doubt if many of you have ever heard the name Octavius Winslow. He was a Baptist pastor in England in the 19th century (d. 1878), a contemporary of Charles Spurgeon, who late in life became an Anglican. But that’s not important. What is important is that you hear and understand the truth of one thing he said about the Holy Spirit: Continue reading... I doubt if many of you have ever heard the name Octavius Winslow. He was a Baptist pastor in England in the 19th ...Read More

Jun 2017 14 Jun 14, 2017

The purpose of Hebrews 11 is to encourage us in our own personal journeys of faith. As our author said in Hebrews 10:36, “you have need of endurance,” and as he will say yet again in Hebrews 12:1, “let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.” To endure in the face of pressure, persecution, suffering, and general laziness, we need faith, the sort of faith that is modeled for us in the many people noted in Hebrews 11. Today we are going to look closel...Read More

Jun 2017 13 Jun 13, 2017

I want to portray for you two similar scenarios, one that is applicable to men and the other to women. ...Read More

Jun 2017 12 Jun 12, 2017

I wasn’t able to see the movie that came out a few months ago, but I do remember when the book first came out in 1972. I’m talking about Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. If you haven’t read it, you should. This one excerpt will give you a good sense for what it’s about. ...Read More

Jun 2017 12 Jun 12, 2017
2

No one outside the biblical authors themselves has exerted the influence on me personally as has Jonathan Edwards. So here are ten things you should know about his life and ministry. Continue reading... No one outside the biblical authors themselves has exerted the influence on me personally as has Jonathan Edwards. So here are ten things you should know about his life and ministry. (1) Edwards was born October 5, 1703, in East Windsor, Connecticut. He had 10 sisters (...Read More

Jun 2017 11 Jun 11, 2017
2

Will you endure in faith all the way to the end of life? How do you know that you will still be a Christian when you wake up tomorrow morning? These and related questions are addressed in the eighth chapter of John Piper’s new book, Doctrine Matters: Ten Theological Trademarks from a Lifetime of Preaching (Minneapolis: Desiring God, 2014). Continue reading . . . Will you endure in faith all the way to the end of life? How do you know that you will still be a Chris...Read More

Jun 2017 11 Jun 11, 2017

Not all Christians will appreciate or respond positively to what I have to say this morning about the nature of their relationship with Jesus Christ and what it means to live as a Christian. I’m sorry to have to begin this message on such a negative note, but the fact remains that many of those who profess to follow Jesus have a horribly distorted and unbiblical perspective on what is meant by the Christian life. Let me explain. ...Read More

Jun 2017 10 Jun 10, 2017

There are several things that I would love to be able to tell you, but I can’t. My commitment to the inspiration and authority of the Bible won’t allow it. For example, I would like to be able to say that you need not ever again be concerned about or pray for your unsaved family members or friends because there is no such thing as hell or eternal condemnation. I would love to be able to tell you that, but I can’t....Read More

Jun 2017 9 Jun 9, 2017

I’ve always been both intrigued and encouraged by something John the Apostle wrote in the fifth chapter of his first epistle: “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome” (1 John 5:3). Jesus said something almost identical in Matthew 11. In making his appeal for people to follow him, he gave this reason: “For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matt. 11:30)....Read More

Jun 2017 8 Jun 8, 2017

There are numerous important spiritual lessons for us to learn from this passage, but my focus today is on only one. And as you can see from our reading of this text, it concerns the obvious and unmistakable contrast between the old covenant, as represented by Mt. Sinai, and the new covenant, as represented by Mt. Zion. ...Read More

Jun 2017 8 Jun 8, 2017
4

How is it that a woman called “Jezebel” came to exert such incredible power over the lives of Christians in Thyatira (Rev. 2:18-29)? What accounts for the authority she possessed to convince the followers of Jesus to abandon their commitment to ethical purity and engage in sexual immorality and other forms of compromise with the surrounding culture? Continue reading... How is it that a woman called “Jezebel” came to exert such incredible power ov...Read More

Jun 2017 7 Jun 7, 2017

As best I can remember, it was the spring of 1971. Ann and I had been dating for about seven months. I’m not sure how committed she was to me but I was absolutely certain that we were going to get married. As far as I was concerned, she was my girl and nothing or no one was going to get in the way of our future together....Read More

Jun 2017 7 Jun 7, 2017

This is now the third announcement of the topics and content of what you will hear in the plenary sessions at the Convergence Conference, October 5-7, 2017, here in Oklahoma City. I’ve already shared what I plan on addressing, as well as the subjects on which Andrew Wilson will speak. In this brief post I will mention the sessions to be taught by Matt Chandler, Francis Chan, and Jack Deere. Continue reading... This is now the third announcement of the topics and c...Read More

Jun 2017 6 Jun 6, 2017

I read the other day that Amazon.com currently lists for sale 151,000 books on marriage, 27,000 books on dating, 12,000 books on attraction, and more than 190,000 books on sex. One would think that with this massive focus on sex and marriage and the plethora of books from which people might draw more information than they could ever hope to process that we, as a society, would have grown up and matured by now and that marriage as the foundation of the family would be str...Read More

Jun 2017 5 Jun 5, 2017

I’m not a huge fan of ranking the comparative benefits or blessings of the gospel. I know some believe that adoption into the family of God as spiritual sons and daughters is the greatest blessing of the gospel. Others prefer justification, the truth that through faith we are declared righteous in Jesus. Occasionally you will hear someone talk about forgiveness of sins or the indwelling of the Holy Spirit as the greatest benefit we gain through faith in Jesus....Read More

Jun 2017 5 Jun 5, 2017
7

With the English Reformation we come to the fourth major tradition to emerge from the events of Oct. 31st, 1517 (Lutheran, Reformed [Calvinistic], and Anabaptist being the other three). The reformation in England differed from that on the continent in three ways: 1) The English reformation was dominated by political events. 2) There was no one figure who stood out in the way Luther, Calvin, or Zwingli did in Europe. 3) The struggle in England focused less on theological ...Read More

Jun 2017 4 Jun 4, 2017

Change is inevitable in virtually every sphere of our existence. Next year we will witness a change in the presidency of the United States, and with it, regardless of who is elected, will undoubtedly come changes in our economy and our foreign policy and how much we pay in taxes. All of us who live in Oklahoma know that if there is anything that is change-less about the weather in our great state it is that it changes not just daily but hourly! Our jobs change. Our bodie...Read More

Jun 2017 3 Jun 3, 2017

How’s your heart? No, I don’t mean that organ in your chest. I’m not asking if you’ve recently suffered cardiac arrest. I’m not asking for information about your pulse rate or your white blood count or how high or low your cholesterol may be. I have no interest today in the results of your most recent electrocardiogram or how many times your heart beats in a minute. And I’m not interested in your family’s history of heart disease. None of this means that I ...Read More

Jun 2017 2 Jun 2, 2017

I want to dispense today with any prolonged introduction and jump right into the deep end of the pool. In Hebrews 13:14 our author says that Christians, and I assume that means you who are in attendance here today, are people who know and believe in the depths of your heart that “here” on this present earth, in its present form, “we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come” (Heb. 13:14). ...Read More

Jun 2017 1 Jun 1, 2017
1

Three times in James 5:7-9 the author of this letter calls for Christians to be “patient” in light of the impending return of Jesus Christ. Continue reading . . . ...Read More

Jun 2017 1 Jun 1, 2017

Two weeks ago the Pew Research Center released the results of its most recent survey of America’s religious landscape. I wasn’t at all surprised by the statistics. The survey indicated that whereas in 2007 more than 78% of Americans identified as Christian, that number has plummeted to just over 70%. In other words, there was a 7.8% decline in those who identify as Christians. The biggest losses were in mainline Protestant denominations and among Roman Catholics. The...Read More

Jun 2017 1 Jun 1, 2017
2

The letter that Jesus sent through John to the church in Pergamum contains two glorious promises for the “the one who conquers” (Rev. 2:17). We looked in a previous article at the promise that Jesus would give him/her “some of the hidden manna.” Today we look at the second promise: “And I will give him a white stone, with a new name written on the stone that no one knows except the one who receives it” (2:17). Continue reading... The ...Read More

May 2017 31 May 31, 2017

G. K. Chesterton, turn of the century British author, Roman Catholic, and journalist, once famously said: “Christianity has not so much been tried and found wanting, as it has been found difficult and left untried.” Each time I hear those words I have the same feeling of ambivalence rise up in my heart. In other words, I find myself wanting to say to Chesterton, “Well, Yes, . . . but, then again, No.”...Read More

May 2017 31 May 31, 2017
1

In Revelation 2:17 Jesus speaks a word of promise to the Christians in Pergamum. “To the one who conquers,” says Jesus, “I will give some of the hidden manna.” What does this mean? Continue reading... In Revelation 2:17 Jesus speaks a word of promise to the Christians in Pergamum. “To the one who conquers,” says Jesus, “I will give some of the hidden manna.” What does this mean? Hebrew tradition records that a pot of mann...Read More

May 2017 29 May 29, 2017
1

So, as we continue our study of the Protestant Reformation, we now turn to the Anabaptists and what they believed. Continue reading... So, as we continue our study of the Protestant Reformation, we now turn to the Anabaptists and what they believed. Among those involved in the reformation in Zurich were some who believed efforts at purifying the church were moving too slowly. They called for a more radical break with Rome and with society as a whole. They insisted that...Read More

May 2017 26 May 26, 2017
2

I’m excited to announce that Francis Chan will be coming to the Convergence Conference in October, here in OKC. He will be one of our plenary speakers, together with Matt Chandler, Andrew Wilson, Jack Deere, and myself. Continue reading... I’m excited to announce that Francis Chan will be coming to the Convergence Conference in October, here in OKC. He will be one of our plenary speakers, together with Matt Chandler, Andrew Wilson, Jack Deere, and myself. M...Read More

May 2017 25 May 25, 2017
5

So, I want to talk a moment about hell. That’s right, hell. Let’s pause for a moment and give thanks that those who know and love Jesus “will not be hurt by the second death” (Rev. 2:11). This promise is found in our Lord’s letter to the church in Smyrna (Rev. 2:8-11) and calls for our careful examination. Continue reading... So, I want to talk a moment about hell. That’s right, hell. Let’s pause for a moment and give thanks tha...Read More

May 2017 24 May 24, 2017

In his letter to the Christians in first-century Smyrna Jesus described the nature and extent of their suffering. It entailed at least four dimensions. First, they were in the throes of “tribulation” and “poverty” (Rev. 2:9). These are so inextricably linked in the experience of the Christians in Smyrna that I list them as one. Second, they were being slandered (2:9). Third, some of them were about to be imprisoned for their faith (2:10a). Fourth,...Read More

May 2017 22 May 22, 2017
1

In previous installments of our 10 things you should know series we’ve been looking at the more important figures in the Protestant Reformation. Thus far we’ve examined the life and theology of both Martin Luther and John Calvin. Many are unfamiliar with the name of Zwingli, and yet he was a primary contributor to the emergence of reform in Switzerland. So, here are ten things you should know about his life and theology. Continue reading... In previous insta...Read More

May 2017 18 May 18, 2017

As I wrote in a previous post, Bridgeway Church is hosting a national conference October 5-7 of this year here in Oklahoma City, OK. If this is the first time you’ve heard of it, I encourage you to click on the ad at the top of this page and watch the video invitation. This is the second article that provides information on the subject matter of each plenary session. I’ve asked Andrew Wilson to address the issue of healing. I can’t think of anyone more...Read More

May 2017 17 May 17, 2017

As you probably know by now, Bridgeway Church is hosting a national conference October 5-7 of this year here in Oklahoma City, OK. If this is the first time you’ve heard of it, I encourage you to click on the ad at the top of this page and watch the video invitation. We are now beginning to make public the titles of the plenary sessions together with a brief description of what will be covered. Here are the two plenary sessions at which I will speak. Continue read...Read More

May 2017 15 May 15, 2017
3

A while back I wrote an article on ten things you should know about the life and ministry of Martin Luther. This was followed by two posts on the life of John Calvin as well as his theology. So it only seems fitting that we should also devote an article to the theology of Martin Luther. Continue reading . . .  A while back I wrote an article on ten things you should know about the life and ministry of Martin Luther. This was followed by two posts on the life of Joh...Read More

May 2017 11 May 11, 2017
4

Everyone is familiar with the indictment Jesus brings against the church in Ephesus concerning their fast fading love. “I have this against you,” said Jesus, “that you have abandoned the love you had at first” (Eph. 2:4). Continue reading . . .  Everyone is familiar with the indictment Jesus brings against the church in Ephesus concerning their fast fading love. “I have this against you,” said Jesus, “that you have abandone...Read More

May 2017 9 May 9, 2017
3

In an earlier article Andrew Wilson briefly defined open theism as “the idea that God does not exhaustively know the future, because the future is “’open’: what will happen tomorrow is not yet fully determined, but depends in part on the free decisions of God’s creatures.” Continue reading . . .  By Andrew Wilson | Friday 5 May 2017 In an earlier article Andrew Wilson briefly defined open theism as “the idea that God does ...Read More

May 2017 8 May 8, 2017
2

Last week we looked at ten things all of us should know about the life of John Calvin. Today we turn our attention to ten things concerning his theology. Our primary, but not exclusive, source for these truths about Calvin’s theology come from the Institutes of the Christian Religion, the first edition of which in 1536 contained only 6 chapters. The final edition of 1550 had 80 chapters. Continue reading . . .  Last week we looked at ten things all of us shou...Read More

May 2017 4 May 4, 2017
1

If you don’t listen regularly to the Ask Pastor John podcast, you don’t know what you’re missing. On Friday, April 28, he addressed a fascinating question that came to him from a listener in the U.K. Continue reading . . .  If you don’t listen regularly to the Ask Pastor John podcast, you don’t know what you’re missing. On Friday, April 28, he addressed a fascinating question that came to him from a listener in the U.K. Here is t...Read More

May 2017 3 May 3, 2017
1

A couple of weeks ago Andrew Wilson posted an article on his blog in which he responded to Steve Timmis’s review of my book, Practicing the Power. I was pleased with how Andrew responded to Steve and thought those of you who may not have seen the article would enjoy it. Continue reading . . .  By Andrew Wilson | Wednesday 19 April 2017 A couple of weeks ago Andrew Wilson posted an article on his blog in which he responded to Steve Timmis’s review of my...Read More

May 2017 2 May 2, 2017
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May 2017 1 May 1, 2017
2

Everyone everywhere is talking about Martin Luther in 2017. It is, as you know, the 500th anniversary of the “launch” of the Protestant Reformation. But we would do well to give equal consideration to John Calvin. So today we look at 10 things everyone should know about his life. I will later follow up on this with 10 things we should know about his theology. Continue reading . . .  Everyone everywhere is talking about Martin Luther in 2017. It is, as y...Read More

Apr 2017 27 Apr 27, 2017
5

Heresy abounds. It always has and always will, until such time as Jesus returns and exposes the misguided theological fabrications of men and women and vindicates the truth of his Word. In our day, there are many heretical and deviant notions circulating within the professing evangelical church. But I am persuaded that the most serious and severe departure from biblical faith in our day is the repudiation of the truth of penal substitutionary atonement (together with the...Read More

Apr 2017 25 Apr 25, 2017
2

One of the three things said of Jesus in Revelation 1:5 is that he is “the ruler of the kings of the earth,” and that includes Assad of Syria and Kim Jong Un of North Korea, and yes, he is the ruler of President Donald Trump as well. Continue reading . . .  One of the three things said of Jesus in Revelation 1:5 is that he is “the ruler of the kings of the earth,” and that includes Assad of Syria and Kim Jong Un of North Korea, and yes, he i...Read More

Apr 2017 24 Apr 24, 2017
2

It’s been a little more than a week since most Christians celebrated Easter, or Resurrection Day. But it would do us all well to continue to keep our focus on the reality of the empty tomb. Here are ten things that we need to know about efforts on the part of unbelievers to account for it. Continue reading . . .  It’s been a little more than a week since most Christians celebrated Easter, or Resurrection Day. But it would do us all well to continue to k...Read More

Apr 2017 20 Apr 20, 2017
10

At Bridgeway we love the song, “What a Beautiful Name It Is” (written by Ben Fielding and Brooke Ligertwood). But there is a line in it that has caused a few to wonder if perhaps we are singing heresy. Continue reading . . .  At Bridgeway we love the song, “What a Beautiful Name It Is” (written by Ben Fielding and Brooke Ligertwood). But there is a line in it that has caused a few to wonder if perhaps we are singing heresy. The relevant port...Read More

Apr 2017 19 Apr 19, 2017

This is the sort of thing that happens more often than not as one gets older. That’s the only excuse I can come up with for having posted the incorrect endorsement for Jason DeRouchie’s new book, How to Understand and Apply the Old Testament: Twelve Steps from Exegesis to Theology (Presbyterian & Reformed, 2017). Or maybe it was just late at night, following a long and exhausting day. In any case, the endorsement that was posted earlier today was actually...Read More

Apr 2017 19 Apr 19, 2017

Bethlehem College and Seminary, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, is a marvelous place to pursue one’s education and to prepare for Christian ministry. One of the many reasons for this is the remarkable faculty that God has brought to BCS. Two of those men are Andrew David Naselli and Jason S. DeRouchie. This past week their companion volumes on NT and OT exegesis were released by Presbyterian & Reformed Publishing Company. Both are in hardback. Andy’s NT volume...Read More

Apr 2017 17 Apr 17, 2017
3

News broke this past week that Hank Hannegraaf, of the Bible Answer Man radio program, was chrismated on Palm Sunday at Saint Nektarios Greek Orthodox Church in Charlotte, North Carolina. Yet another man devoted to the Eastern Orthodox faith is Rod Dreher, who has been much in the news of late because of his best-selling book, The Benedict Option. So who are the Eastern Orthodox and what is it precisely that they believe? Continue reading . . .  News broke this pas...Read More

Apr 2017 14 Apr 14, 2017

This is undoubtedly one of the most controversial and frequently debated passages in all of Scripture. It would not be going too far to say that those who believe a genuine believer can forfeit (or lose) his/her salvation appeal to this passage more often than any other. Read the passage closely....Read More

Apr 2017 14 Apr 14, 2017
1

Today is Good Friday, the day on which Jesus was crucified. Prior to this, as Jesus sat with his disciples in the upper room, he said something in his prayer to the Father that calls for our serious and joyful consideration – “Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world” (John 17:24). Continue reading . . .  Today ...Read More

Apr 2017 12 Apr 12, 2017
1

We find ourselves today well into the events of Holy Week. I think it would be of great spiritual benefit to pause and consider something Jesus said as he sat with his disciples in the upper room on that night when Judas would betray him into the hands of his enemies. Continue reading . . . We find ourselves today well into the events of Holy Week. I think it would be of great spiritual benefit to pause and consider something Jesus said as he sat with his disciples in t...Read More

Apr 2017 10 Apr 10, 2017
2

During Holy Week, on the night when Jesus gathered with his disciples in the upper room, he declared that through his shed blood there would come into existence a “New” covenant, a glorious reality described in some detail in Hebrews 8. Here are some ten things about the New Covenant that all Christians should know. Continue reading . . .  During Holy Week, on the night when Jesus gathered with his disciples in the upper room, he declared that through h...Read More

Apr 2017 4 Apr 4, 2017
Apr 2017 3 Apr 3, 2017
3

The single most explicit biblical text on the judgment that awaits every Christian is found in 2 Corinthians 5:9-10. There Paul writes this: “So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.” Continue reading . . .  The single most explicit biblical text on the judgment that await...Read More

Mar 2017 31 Mar 31, 2017
2

So what should we do when we feel nothing, when we are bored and indifferent and dead on the inside, when we are downcast and can barely move our mouths to sing? What should we do when we've lost our sense of intimacy with the Lord, when we feel nothing of his presence, when there is but a haunting echo of his distance? Some of you struggle to attend church. You find little appealing in it but feel obligated to go because a friend or family member pressured you into comi...Read More

Mar 2017 29 Mar 29, 2017
1

Does the New Testament explicitly mention or describe formal church membership? No, it does not. However, there are numerous truths and responsibilities in the NT which would be minimized or denied if there were no definable local church membership. In other words, the fact that membership is not explicitly mentioned does not mean it didn’t exist. Those things which are explicitly mentioned necessarily assume that covenant membership existed. Therefore, if we concl...Read More

Mar 2017 27 Mar 27, 2017
5

If there is a single driving force in our society today it may well be what I call instant self-gratification. It is into this mindset in our society that the Bible speaks about fasting. Is it any wonder that few people are listening? Nothing seems as silly to the natural mind or as repulsive to the body as fasting, especially when you place our demand for instant self-gratification in a consumer-oriented world where life is all about seeking and obtaining whatever suits...Read More

Mar 2017 22 Mar 22, 2017
1

Our worship of God does not make him more powerful. Neither does it compel him to act. But God is pleased by praise. He loves to act on behalf of his people when his people exult in him and exalt him in worship. Praise is where God lives (Ps. 22:3)! It is his home! Continue reading . . .  Our worship of God does not make him more powerful. Neither does it compel him to act. But God is pleased by praise. He loves to act on behalf of his people when his people exult ...Read More

Mar 2017 20 Mar 20, 2017
3

Before I delineate the 10 things all of us should know, let’s look at a definition of postmillennialism by one of its advocates, Lorainne Boettner. Continue reading . . .  Before I delineate the 10 things all of us should know, let’s look at a definition of postmillennialism by one of its advocates, Lorainne Boettner. He describes postmillennialism as, “that view of the last things which holds that the Kingdom of God is now being extended in th...Read More

Mar 2017 16 Mar 16, 2017
11

The following brief article was written by my friend Ray Ortlund and posted on his blog on February 28, 2017. I was deeply moved by it and thought it should be made available again to those who may not have seen it. Continue reading . . .  The following brief article was written by my friend Ray Ortlund and posted on his blog on February 28, 2017. I was deeply moved by it and thought it should be made available again to those who may not have seen it. It is very m...Read More

Mar 2017 15 Mar 15, 2017
1

The psalmist exhorts us to worship “skillfully” (Ps. 33:3). Does this simply mean with technical precision or is there something more involved? I would like to suggest that what the psalmist likely had in mind is similar to what John Piper calls “undistracting excellence.” Continue reading . . .  The psalmist exhorts us to worship “skillfully” (Ps. 33:3). Does this simply mean with technical precision or is there something more i...Read More

Mar 2017 13 Mar 13, 2017
2

I need to make a confession right up front. I’ve never smoked marijuana. I’ve never been drunk with alcohol. In fact, I’ve never used an illicit drug of any sort. I mention this because I’m quite sure that some will object to what I say in this article by insisting that I have no right to speak about an experience in which I’ve never personally indulged. I think that’s ridiculous. Whether or not I’ve ever been “high” ...Read More

Mar 2017 9 Mar 9, 2017

In the previous article we looked at the unsearchable greatness of God. So, how does one respond to such a God? Needless to say, such splendor, majesty, mercy and call for the loudest and most passionate of praise. Continue reading . . .  In the previous article we looked at the unsearchable greatness of God. So, how does one respond to such a God? Needless to say, such splendor, majesty, mercy and call for the loudest and most passionate of praise. We are to exto...Read More

Mar 2017 8 Mar 8, 2017

You can’t not worship. Ignore my use of the ungrammatical double negative and try to understand what I’m saying. You can’t not worship. Or to put it yet another way, “we can’t not love something ultimate” (James K. A. Smith, You Are What You Love, 20). You may choose not to sing. You may choose not to bow down. You may choose not to lift your hands. You may choose not to give any outward or physical expression to your devotion, but you...Read More

Mar 2017 6 Mar 6, 2017

Worship is a subject on which everyone has a personal opinion. We all know what we like and dislike. So it may appear silly for me to summarize in ten points what a biblical approach to worship should entail. Silly or not, here goes. Continue reading . . .  Worship is a subject on which everyone has a personal opinion. We all know what we like and dislike. So it may appear silly for me to summarize in ten points what a biblical approach to worship should entail. Si...Read More

Mar 2017 3 Mar 3, 2017
2

The following is a brief excerpt from my book, Practicing the Power: Welcoming the Gifts of the Holy Spirit in Your Life (Zondervan). Its focus is Paul’s instruction in Ephesians 5:18-21, where he writes: Continue reading . . .  The following is a brief excerpt from my book, Practicing the Power: Welcoming the Gifts of the Holy Spirit in Your Life (Zondervan). Its focus is Paul’s instruction in Ephesians 5:18-21, where he writes: “And do not ge...Read More

Mar 2017 1 Mar 1, 2017
1

It’s one thing to be filled with the joy that comes from earthly comforts or accomplishments. The joy of winning the game or completing a project is truly a wonderful thing. But nothing can compare to the experience in one’s heart of the very joy that filled the heart of Jesus. In John 15:11 Jesus said this: “These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.” He virtually repeats himself in John 17:13 &nd...Read More

Feb 2017 27 Feb 27, 2017
2

Much will be said and written about Martin Luther in 2017, inasmuch as this is the 500th anniversary of his posting of the 95 theses on the church door at Wittenberg, an event that many believe launched the Protestant Reformation. But here are ten things about Luther you may not know. Continue reading . . .  Much will be said and written about Martin Luther in 2017, inasmuch as this is the 500th anniversary of his posting of the 95 theses on the church door at Witt...Read More

Feb 2017 23 Feb 23, 2017
2

In the final analysis, how can we be sure that we will remain safe and spiritually secure in our relationship with Jesus Christ? Knowing myself as I do, if left to my own strength and resolve I’m quite sure I would wander and eventually turn my back on my Savior. So what keeps me in relationship with him? What is the sure and certain ground of my security? I find the answer to that question in the first of four prayers that we find on the lips of Jesus in John 17. ...Read More

Feb 2017 22 Feb 22, 2017
3

The following story of a miraculous healing in our church is taken from the Conclusion to my book, Practicing the Power: Welcoming the Gifts of the Holy Spirit in Your Life (Zondervan). I assure you it is not a fable or fabrication. These are real people, not unlike you and me. The names of the people involved have been altered. They have given me permission to tell the story of what happened. Continue reading . . .  The following story of a miraculous healing in o...Read More

Feb 2017 21 Feb 21, 2017

One might well argue that Daniel 9:24-27 is both the most complex and the most crucial text in either testament bearing on the subject of biblical prophecy. Its complexity is questioned only by those who have not studied it, or perhaps by those whose conclusions concerning its meaning were predetermined by unspoken theological commitments. That Daniel 9 is as crucial as I have suggested can hardly be denied. For example, dispensationalists have largely derived from Danie...Read More

Feb 2017 20 Feb 20, 2017
1

Holiness of life or sanctification entails substantial growth in Christ-likeness, but never reaches the point of absolute sinless perfection in this life. In this regard, we should closely examine 1 John 3:6 and 9. Continue reading . . .  Holiness of life or sanctification entails substantial growth in Christ-likeness, but never reaches the point of absolute sinless perfection in this life. In this regard, we should closely examine 1 John 3:6 and 9. My own translat...Read More

Feb 2017 17 Feb 17, 2017
2

In yesterday’s article we looked at arguments against the possibility of a born-again believer in Christ being demonized. Both that article and the one that follows below are from my chapter on this subject in my book, Tough Topics (Crossway). Continue reading . . .  In yesterday’s article we looked at arguments against the possibility of a born-again believer in Christ being demonized. Both that article and the one that follows below are from my chapte...Read More

Feb 2017 16 Feb 16, 2017
1

(In a recent review of my book, Practicing the Power, Tim Challies took issue with my suggestion that a born-again Christian could possibly be demonized. Several have followed suit and asked me about this. I wrote an answer to the question in my book Tough Topics [Crossway] and plan on making this material available in two installments over the next two days. I hope it proves instructive and helpful, regardless of where you happen to land on the question.) Continue readi...Read More

Feb 2017 15 Feb 15, 2017
5

Let me begin by saying thanks for taking the time to read and review my new book on your blog (www.challies.com). I’m extremely blessed that you would consider it worth your time and effort to do so. I’m also grateful for the many times you have linked to my blog, especially the “10 Things You Should Know” series of articles. Continue reading . . .  Tim, Let me begin by saying thanks for taking the time to read and review my new book on you...Read More

Feb 2017 15 Feb 15, 2017
Feb 2017 14 Feb 14, 2017
2

Now what? Many Christians today are theologically convinced of the ongoing work of the Spirit (continuationists), but who have not seen the practices of the Spirit in our churches, and who desperately want to see God glorified in healings and by verbal prophecy and experience firsthand the edification of the gift of tongues delivered and interpreted. It can be a daunting challenge to simply wait. So, what are we to do while we wait? Or should we stop waiting and start ac...Read More

Feb 2017 13 Feb 13, 2017
9

I take no special delight in writing this article. But hell is real and people are going there. So let’s look closely at what the Bible has to say about it as well as the on-going debate over whether hell is eternal conscious punishment. Continue reading . . .  I take no special delight in writing this article. But hell is real and people are going there. So let’s look closely at what the Bible has to say about it as well as the on-going debate over whe...Read More

Feb 2017 8 Feb 8, 2017
2

When we refer to the believer’s ultimate “glorification” we are speaking of the transformation of our whole being: body, soul, spirit, will, mind, and affections, in which sin is eradicated and we are made like Jesus (see Phil. 3:20-21; 1 John 3:1-3). What I want to suggest is that there is a very real and important sense in which this glorification of all believers never ends. Continue reading . . .  When we refer to the believer’s ultimate...Read More

Feb 2017 7 Feb 7, 2017
4

I’m happy to announce that my new book, Practicing the Power: Welcoming the Gifts of the Holy Spirit in Your Life (Zondervan) is now available for purchase. You can get it at Amazon or at Christian bookstores. What follows is the Foreword written by Matt Chandler, lead pastor at the Village Church, Flower Mound, Texas, and President of the Acts 29 network. Continue reading . . .  I’m happy to announce that my new book, Practicing the Power: Welcoming th...Read More

Feb 2017 6 Feb 6, 2017
2

Most Christians love the Psalms, for in them we find heartfelt prayer, emotional vulnerability, and passionate praise of God. Continue reading . . .  Most Christians love the Psalms, for in them we find heartfelt prayer, emotional vulnerability, and passionate praise of God. But we also find troubling statements such as these: “Make them bear their guilt, O God; let them fall by their own counsels; because of the abundance of their transgressions cast them...Read More

Feb 2017 2 Feb 2, 2017
1

We noted in yesterday’s article that in John 16:8-11 Jesus refers to three things the Spirit will do when he comes to indwell and empower the witness of the Church, us! Continue reading . . .  We noted in yesterday’s article that in John 16:8-11 Jesus refers to three things the Spirit will do when he comes to indwell and empower the witness of the Church, us! We saw in v. 8 that he will “convict” the world. This word translated “convi...Read More

Feb 2017 1 Feb 1, 2017

In the previous article we looked at why it was essential for Jesus to go to the cross, rise from the dead, and ascend to the Father. Only in doing so could we receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. And we also noted what Jesus meant when he said it was to our “advantage” that he go away. Continue reading . . .  In the previous article we looked at why it was essential for Jesus to go to the cross, rise from the dead, and ascend to the Father. Only in doi...Read More

Jan 2017 31 Jan 31, 2017
1

Let me be clear right from the start. I stole the title for today’s article from the sub-title to J. D. Greear’s book, Jesus Continued: Why the Spirit Inside You is Better than Jesus Beside You. It’s an excellent book that I recommend you read. Even if you don’t get around to reading it, I suspect that the sub-title will surely capture your attention. Is it really true that having the Holy Spirit live inside us forever is actually better than walk...Read More

Jan 2017 30 Jan 30, 2017
2

The primary biblical text on the nature and meaning of the Lord’s Supper/Table, also known as Communion or the Eucharist (from the Greek word for the giving of thanks) is 1 Corinthians 11:23-34. Here are ten brief observations on what we see in this text. Continue reading . . .  The primary biblical text on the nature and meaning of the Lord’s Supper/Table, also known as Communion or the Eucharist (from the Greek word for the giving of thanks) is 1 Cori...Read More

Jan 2017 25 Jan 25, 2017
7

There is a loud chorus of voices these days denouncing, in a somewhat condescending way, the long-standing belief among evangelicals that when Christians die they go to heaven. In one sense, this outcry is good and constructive. It is an understandable and much-needed response to the unbiblical gnosticism of some “fundamentalist” Christians who denigrate material creation, diminish the reality of a future bodily resurrection, and fail to reckon with the centr...Read More

Jan 2017 23 Jan 23, 2017
1

I’m excited to be able to announce the opening of registration to our first national conference to be held here in Oklahoma City at The Criterion in Bricktown (downtown OKC). Continue reading . . .  I’m excited to be able to announce the opening of registration to our first national conference to be held here in Oklahoma City at The Criterion in Bricktown (downtown OKC). Bridgeway Church is hosting the conference, the theme of which is the urgent need t...Read More

Jan 2017 19 Jan 19, 2017
2

Worship is utterly and eternally unique in one critically important respect: unlike every other Christian responsibility or experience, worship is an end in itself. Continue reading . . .  Worship is utterly and eternally unique in one critically important respect: unlike every other Christian responsibility or experience, worship is an end in itself. In other words, worship that glorifies God must be expressed in conscious awareness that this is the ultimate goal ...Read More

Jan 2017 18 Jan 18, 2017
1

You may be wondering, “Why should the world hate Christians?” After all, look at all the good that followers of Jesus have brought to society: hospitals, homeless shelters, ministries to the poor, law-abiding lives, protection of the unborn in the womb, and the list could go on. Continue reading . . .  You may be wondering, “Why should the world hate Christians?” After all, look at all the good that followers of Jesus have brought to society...Read More

Jan 2017 16 Jan 16, 2017
4

We all hear a great deal about Christian sanctification, but what precisely is it, and how does it work? Today we look at ten things about this crucial biblical truth. Continue reading . . .  We all hear a great deal about Christian sanctification, but what precisely is it, and how does it work? Today we look at ten things about this crucial biblical truth. (1) Sanctification is transformation through consecration. The Greek word often translated “sanctifica...Read More

Jan 2017 13 Jan 13, 2017
1

My new book, Practicing the Power: Welcoming the Gifts of the Spirit in Your Life (Zondervan) will be released in a couple of weeks. It is now available for pre-order at Amazon. Here are a few of the endorsements it has received. Continue reading . . .  My new book, Practicing the Power: Welcoming the Gifts of the Spirit in Your Life (Zondervan) will be released in a couple of weeks. It is now available for pre-order at Amazon. Here are a few of the endorsements it...Read More

Jan 2017 11 Jan 11, 2017
1

We have thus far examined what revival is and what our responsibilities are with regard to it. We now turn to yet another important question: Why do people respond to revival with fear, skepticism and disgust? There are several reasons. I’ll mention twelve. Continue reading . . .  We have thus far examined what revival is and what our responsibilities are with regard to it. We now turn to yet another important question: Why do people respond to revival with f...Read More

Jan 2017 10 Jan 10, 2017
1

Yesterday we looked at ten things we should know about revival. Today I want to continue this focus by looking at some of the characteristics of true, heaven-sent revival. It will soon be evident that my observations are heavily indebted to the writings of Jonathan Edwards and J. I. Packer. Continue reading . . .  Yesterday we looked at ten things we should know about revival. Today I want to continue this focus by looking at some of the characteristics of true, he...Read More

Jan 2017 9 Jan 9, 2017
1

Revival, both personal and corporate, is something about which the Bible often speaks and something all of us should desire. Continue reading . . .  Revival, both personal and corporate, is something about which the Bible often speaks and something all of us should desire. So, as we turn our attention to ten things everyone should know about revival, may these biblical prayers be in our hearts and on our lips: “Turn again, O God of hosts! Look down from he...Read More

Jan 2017 4 Jan 4, 2017
2

A lot of people struggle with John 15:1-11 and our Lord’s teaching on the vine and the branches. This week I’ve been looking at the question of the relationship between professed faith in Christ and consistent obedience to his commands. This passage speaks directly to the issue. Let’s look closely at it. Continue reading . . .  A lot of people struggle with John 15:1-11 and our Lord’s teaching on the vine and the branches. This week I’...Read More

Jan 2017 3 Jan 3, 2017
1

Yesterday I posted an article on ten things we should all know about the so-called Lordship Salvation controversy. It reminded me of an article I came across a few months ago (www.mattmoore.org, “Is Your Heart Good Soil?”) that instantly captured my attention. The author confessed both his “sadness and terror” as he thought about the departure from Christianity on the part of several of his close friends. Continue reading . . .  Yesterday I ...Read More

Jan 2017 2 Jan 2, 2017
11

Your first response to this title may well be: “What controversy?” One doesn’t often hear much any more about the so-called “Lordship Salvation” controversy, but it is most assuredly an issue that needs to be addressed. Continue reading . . .  Your first response to this title may well be: “What controversy?” One doesn’t often hear much any more about the so-called “Lordship Salvation” controversy, but it ...Read More

Dec 2016 29 Dec 29, 2016
1

Most of you have probably never heard of Thomas Sowell. This week, at the age of 86, he announced his retirement from a prolific career as a columnist and author. Most recently Sowell has served as Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. He grew up in poverty in Harlem, served in the U. S. Marine Corps, received his bachelor’s degree from Harvard University, a masters from Columbia University, and in 1968 earned his Ph.D. in Economics from t...Read More

Dec 2016 28 Dec 28, 2016
2

A while back I wrote an article about ten things all of us should know about the necessity of prayer. Here I want to follow up with some observations on a few relevant biblical texts. Continue reading . . .  A while back I wrote an article about ten things all of us should know about the necessity of prayer. Here I want to follow up with some observations on a few relevant biblical texts. Look with me at what Paul says in 2 Corinthians 1:8-11, but especially v. 11...Read More

Dec 2016 27 Dec 27, 2016

Do you ever find yourself comparing the gifts you receive at Christmas? If you do, it’s probably a good idea not to mention this to anyone else, especially those whose gift may not have rated as highly as others in your estimation. Continue reading . . .  Do you ever find yourself comparing the gifts you receive at Christmas? If you do, it’s probably a good idea not to mention this to anyone else, especially those whose gift may not have rated as highly...Read More

Dec 2016 26 Dec 26, 2016
8

There is a reason I said God’s “Will(s)” (plural) instead of God’s “will” (singular). My focus in this installment of 10 things you should know is the question of whether or not there are two senses in which God may be said to “will” something. Continue reading . . .  There is a reason I said God’s “Will(s)” (plural) instead of God’s “will” (singular). My focus in this installment o...Read More

Dec 2016 22 Dec 22, 2016
1

Christmas, for some, can be an especially discouraging time of year. One often hears of those suffering from “seasonal depression” or the “holiday blues” as they contemplate the loss of a loved one, a failed marriage, unemployment and the financial pressure of being unable to provide gifts for their family, or perhaps a child who simply won’t come home. Continue reading . . .  Christmas, for some, can be an especially discouraging time...Read More

Dec 2016 21 Dec 21, 2016

We’ve all heard the story of what happened on that first Christmas night. Let’s look more closely at how it is told by Luke in chapter two, verses eight through fourteen of his gospel. Continue reading . . .  We’ve all heard the story of what happened on that first Christmas night. Let’s look more closely at how it is told by Luke in chapter two, verses eight through fourteen of his gospel. And in the same region there were shepherds out ...Read More

Dec 2016 20 Dec 20, 2016
4

It’s amazing how often people get caught up in the debate over when Jesus was actually born. Although we should never be dogmatic on this point, the biblical text does provide us with a number of clues. Continue reading . . .  It’s amazing how often people get caught up in the debate over when Jesus was actually born. Although we should never be dogmatic on this point, the biblical text does provide us with a number of clues. The Christmas story begins ...Read More

Dec 2016 19 Dec 19, 2016

I typically post an article every Monday on ten things all Christians should know about a particular topic. Although my focus today is again on ten things, the ten things are the best books of 2016. With so many excellent volumes released this year, I have decided to include an extended list of Honorable Mention books that could easily have been included in the Top Ten. So here they are, in descending order. Continue reading . . .  I typically post an article every...Read More

Dec 2016 16 Dec 16, 2016

I’m thrilled to announce that my new book is now available for pre-order. In approximately two months, in February of 2017, Zondervan will release Practicing the Power: Welcoming the Gifts of the Spirit in Your Life. Continue reading . . .  I’m thrilled to announce that my new book is now available for pre-order. In approximately two months, in February of 2017, Zondervan will release Practicing the Power: Welcoming the Gifts of the Spirit in Your ...Read More

Dec 2016 14 Dec 14, 2016
1

There was a time when the glitz and tinsel of Christmas used to bother me. But no more. Continue reading . . .  There was a time when the glitz and tinsel of Christmas used to bother me. But no more. It bothered me, then, because it seemed at times as if Jesus had become lost in all the hoopla of the holiday season. I was fearful that the secularism and sophistication of society had somehow obscured Christ right out of Christmas. But I’ve come to realize tha...Read More

Dec 2016 13 Dec 13, 2016
3

On November 29, 2016, G. Shane Morris wrote an article titled, “The Real Reason Evangelicals Don’t Baptize Babies.” Since I am an evangelical who doesn’t baptize babies I was instantly curious what the “real reason” is. To say that I disagreed with virtually everything in this article is not an overstatement. I may be wrong, but I think a number of paedo-baptists would also disagree with much in the article. Continue reading . . . ...Read More

Dec 2016 12 Dec 12, 2016
2

The word “omnipresence” refers to the truth that God is everywhere: from here in the room where I sit to beyond the galaxies that the Hubble telescope is able to probe. Let’s look at ten things we should know about this attribute of God. Continue reading . . .  The word “omnipresence” refers to the truth that God is everywhere: from here in the room where I sit to beyond the galaxies that the Hubble telescope is able to probe. Let&rsqu...Read More

Dec 2016 8 Dec 8, 2016

In the opening words of his prayer to the Father in John 17, Jesus defines for us the essence of eternal life. “And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent” (John 17:3). Continue reading . . .  In the opening words of his prayer to the Father in John 17, Jesus defines for us the essence of eternal life. “And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you...Read More

Dec 2016 7 Dec 7, 2016
3

Let’s be honest: there are a number of things taught in the Bible that we struggle to believe and understand. Why did God destroy the entire human race, except for Noah and his family, with a great flood? Why did God order Israel to exterminate the Canaanites from the face of the earth? Why is the reality of hell and eternal punishment taught in Scripture? Why does the Apostle Paul say that “neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men...Read More

Dec 2016 6 Dec 6, 2016
2

I’m thrilled to announce that my new book is now available for pre-order. In approximately two months, in February of 2017, Zondervan will release Practicing the Power: Welcoming the Gifts of the Spirit in Your Life. Continue reading . . .  I’m thrilled to announce that my new book is now available for pre-order. In approximately two months, in February of 2017, Zondervan will release Practicing the Power: Welcoming the Gifts of the Spirit in Your ...Read More

Dec 2016 5 Dec 5, 2016

There is a reason why I speak of the “necessity” of prayer and not simply ten things to know about prayer. I want us to consider the necessity of prayer in terms of what we stand to lose if we don’t pray. Sadly, prayer for many who profess faith in Christ has become a meaningless ritual. They have lost sight of the fact that God suspends great and glorious blessings on our asking for them. So let’s take a look at ten reasons why prayer is necessar...Read More

Dec 2016 1 Dec 1, 2016
1

In the previous two articles we’ve been looking at John 14:12 Continue reading . . .  In the previous two articles we’ve been looking at John 14:12 where Jesus said, "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in me will also do the works I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I go to my Father." After looking at a variety of attempts to account for the meaning of this passage, I said this in the previous article: “Most peop...Read More

Nov 2016 30 Nov 30, 2016
1

In the previous article we looked briefly at a variety of perspectives on the subject of miracles. Continue reading . . .  In the previous article we looked briefly at a variety of perspectives on the subject of miracles. Today we turn our attention to the many interpretations of what Jesus meant when he said in John 14:12, "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in me will also do the works I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I go to my ...Read More

Nov 2016 29 Nov 29, 2016

Is it ok to pray for a miracle? To hope for a miracle? To seek God for a miracle? For many years I thought it was unspiritual to desire or seek for any spiritual gifts, especially those of a more overt miraculous nature. Continue reading . . .  Is it ok to pray for a miracle? To hope for a miracle? To seek God for a miracle? For many years I thought it was unspiritual to desire or seek for any spiritual gifts, especially those of a more overt miraculous nature. I h...Read More

Nov 2016 28 Nov 28, 2016

Yesterday was the first Sunday of Advent, so it only seems fitting that we should turn our attention to the glorious message of Christmas. We will do that by devoting today’s article to 10 things all of us should know about the virgin conception and birth of Jesus. Continue reading . . .  Yesterday was the first Sunday of Advent, so it only seems fitting that we should turn our attention to the glorious message of Christmas. We will do that by devoting today&...Read More

Nov 2016 22 Nov 22, 2016
1

Two years ago I posted this article as I reflected on the reality of ingratitude in the days following Thanksgiving. I was re-reading the article and thought it might be helpful, in case you missed it, to revisit some thoughts about gratitude (or the lack thereof) in anticipation of our celebrations two days hence. Continue reading . . .  Two years ago I posted this article as I reflected on the reality of ingratitude in the days following Thanksgiving. I was re-re...Read More

Nov 2016 21 Nov 21, 2016
3

The Kingdom of God is a massively important topic and spoken of throughout the Word of God. So reducing its essence down to only ten things feels silly, if not impossible. But here goes anyway. Continue reading . . .  The Kingdom of God is a massively important topic and spoken of throughout the Word of God. So reducing its essence down to only ten things feels silly, if not impossible. But here goes anyway. (1) Jesus claimed that the fulfillment of the Old Testam...Read More

Nov 2016 18 Nov 18, 2016
1

(This excellent article was written by Anthony Bushnell and originally posted at www.desiringgod.org on November 11, 2016. I strongly urge you to read it prayerfully.) Continue reading . . .  NOVEMBER 11, 2016Let’s Rise to Love Those Left in FearArticle byAnthony Bushnell (This excellent article was written by Anthony Bushnell and originally posted at www.desiringgod.org on November 11, 2016. I strongly urge you to read it prayerfully.) These days have beco...Read More

Nov 2016 16 Nov 16, 2016

The clearest and most glorious and encouraging passage in the Bible on the dynamics of giving and serving and the spiritual blessings that come with it is found in 2 Corinthians 8. I simply cannot overstate how significant this text has been in challenging and changing my life, in particular my understanding of the source and sustaining energy of joy and how it enables us to serve others to the glory of God. Continue reading . . .  The clearest and most glorious an...Read More

Nov 2016 15 Nov 15, 2016

A genuinely remarkable, but easily misunderstood exhortation in the OT is the one we find on the lips of David in Psalm 37:4. Continue reading . . .  A genuinely remarkable, but easily misunderstood exhortation in the OT is the one we find on the lips of David in Psalm 37:4. Let’s look at it for a moment in its broader context. “Fret not yourself because of evildoers; be not envious of wrongdoers! For they will soon fade like the grass and wither lik...Read More

Nov 2016 14 Nov 14, 2016
3

In an earlier installment of the “10 Things You Should Know” series, we looked at Ephesians 5:18 and what it says about being filled with the Spirit. But here I want to look more closely at the issue as it is found in other portions of God’s Word. I’ve found that the best way to help people understand what it means to be “filled” with the Spirit is to compare and contrast that experience with being “baptized” in the Spirit....Read More

Nov 2016 10 Nov 10, 2016

Oh, how times have changed when it comes to the execution of a criminal. Continue reading . . .  Oh, how times have changed when it comes to the execution of a criminal. When the Supreme Court of the United States first banned capital punishment, part of the reason for that decision was that it was deemed to be “cruel and unusual.” The crucifixion of a condemned man in the first century, under Roman law, on the other hand, was deliberately cruel and un...Read More

Nov 2016 9 Nov 9, 2016
1

Of the twelve disciples of Jesus, we probably know the least about Philip. His name figures prominently in John 14 when he makes this request of Jesus: “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us” (John 14:8). Jesus responds with the famous words: “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:9). Continue reading . . .  Of the twelve disciples of Jesus, we probably know the least about Philip. His name figures prominently in John...Read More

Nov 2016 8 Nov 8, 2016
1

If there is anything clear in God’s Word it is that Jesus Christ is the only way to the Father. This is not a popular assertion, as it strikes many as arrogant and exclusivistic. But there it is in John 14:6 – “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Continue reading . . .  If there is anything clear in God’s Word it is that Jesus Christ is the only way to the Father. This is not a popu...Read More

Nov 2016 7 Nov 7, 2016
1

Well, we have arrived. Tuesday is Election Day, an election day, dare I say, unlike any other in the history of the United States. Never before in the history of our country have two more reprehensible candidates stood before us asking for our support. Some may be offended by that statement. But since this election campaign is one in which giving offense has been elevated to an art form, I thought I’d join in. In any case, here are ten things you should know about ...Read More

Nov 2016 3 Nov 3, 2016
4

This week we’ve been looking at various features of the Protestant Reformation. I’m quite certain that as October of 2017 approaches, marking the 500th anniversary of Luther’s posting of his 95 theses, we will hear and read even more. But we should not overlook some of the more significant efforts at reform found in the Roman Catholic Church. One of the more lasting movements that emerged was the formation of the Society of Jesus or the Jesuits, under t...Read More

Nov 2016 2 Nov 2, 2016

In a recent installment of Ask Pastor John (www.desiringgod.org), John Piper addressed the question of why we must embrace the truth of Sola Scriptura, that is, the truth that God’s written Word, the Bible, is the final and ultimate standard for determining spiritual and theological truth. Here is what John said. I urge you to read it carefully. Continue reading . . .  In a recent installment of Ask Pastor John (www.desiringgod.org), John Piper addressed the ...Read More

Nov 2016 1 Nov 1, 2016

What was it that made the retrieval of gospel truth by Martin Luther and others so appealing to the people living in the early years of the 16th century? To answer this question is to account for why the Protestant Reformation took hold in the hearts of so many people. I believe the answer to this question is found in an understanding of the Roman Catholic sacrament of penance, and in particular the ways in which it undermined the centrality of grace and the finality and...Read More

Oct 2016 31 Oct 31, 2016
2

Today, October 31st, is the 499th anniversary of the launch of the Protestant Reformation. It was on this day that Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the church door in Wittenberg as a protest against the abuse of the sale of indulgences. So today we look at ten things that everyone should know about the Protestant Reformation. Continue reading . . .  Today, October 31st, is the 499th anniversary of the launch of the Protestant Reformation. It was on this day th...Read More

Oct 2016 27 Oct 27, 2016

October 31st is only four days away and I suspect that preparations are already underway for the celebration of Halloween. Let me take this opportunity to strongly encourage you to celebrate October 31st, but not for the same reason given by most in our society. Although the last day of October is most frequently referred to as Halloween, our focus as Christians should be on the momentous event that occurred in Wittenberg, Germany, in the year 1517. Continue reading . . ...Read More

Oct 2016 26 Oct 26, 2016

I’m often asked the question by those with an interest in historical theology: “Who was Moise Amyraut? What is Amyraldianism? What did he mean by ‘hypothetical universalism’?” If these are questions that interest you, read on. Continue reading . . .  I’m often asked the question by those with an interest in historical theology: “Who was Moise Amyraut? What is Amyraldianism? What did he mean by ‘hypothetical universali...Read More

Oct 2016 25 Oct 25, 2016
2

It’s no secret that American Christians are conflicted about this election. What should we do when faced with two candidates who fall so radically short of basic decency, honesty, and integrity? Continue reading . . .  Article by Joe Rigney (first published at www.desiringgod.org on 10-21-16)Professor, Bethlehem College & Seminary It’s no secret that American Christians are conflicted about this election. What should we do when faced with two candi...Read More

Oct 2016 24 Oct 24, 2016
5

Today we look at 10 things we should know about how to interpret the Bible (or conversely, how not to interpret it). But before we begin, it’s important to remember that the Bible is not an answer-book that provides ready-made explanations for all problems or solutions to puzzling questions. When I run into a problem with my computer, I click the Help button and find a topically organized list of solutions to virtually every difficulty I may be facing. But the Bibl...Read More

Oct 2016 21 Oct 21, 2016

In Mark’s description of the crucifixion we are told that “Jesus uttered a loud cry and breathed his last” (Mark 15:37). Continue reading . . .  In Mark’s description of the crucifixion we are told that “Jesus uttered a loud cry and breathed his last” (Mark 15:37). This cry (v. 37) is probably a reference to the sixth of our Lord's seven utterances on the cross. According to John, this cry consisted of the words, "It is finished...Read More

Oct 2016 20 Oct 20, 2016
1

“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” This so-called cry of dereliction by Jesus from the cross (Mark 15:33-35) has been analyzed repeatedly by scholars and theologians. My aim today is simply to draw our attention to the agony of abandonment, the very real sense in which Jesus was alone in his final moments of suffering for sin. Continue reading . . .  “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” This so-called cry of dereliction by Je...Read More

Oct 2016 19 Oct 19, 2016

In the previous article we looked at the portrayal in Mark 15 of the horrific mistreatment suffered by Jesus at the hands of his executioners. A few comments today will bring the story to its conclusion. Continue reading . . .  In the previous article we looked at the portrayal in Mark 15 of the horrific mistreatment suffered by Jesus at the hands of his executioners. A few comments today will bring the story to its conclusion. The place of Jesus' crucifixion is c...Read More

Oct 2016 18 Oct 18, 2016

Aside from a few notable biblical exceptions such as Enoch and Elijah, all men die. I suppose I should also include as exceptions to that otherwise unbreakable law the final generation of Christians who will be alive when Jesus returns. But, again, aside from these obvious and unusual exceptions, the law of life is that all men die. Continue reading . . .  Aside from a few notable biblical exceptions such as Enoch and Elijah, all men die. I suppose I should also in...Read More

Oct 2016 17 Oct 17, 2016
1

As someone once said of the doctrine of the Trinity: "Try to explain it, and you'll lose your mind. But try to deny it, and you'll lose your soul!" With this in mind, let’s examine 10 things we should all know about the Trinity. Continue reading . . .  As someone once said of the doctrine of the Trinity: "Try to explain it, and you'll lose your mind. But try to deny it, and you'll lose your soul!" With this in mind, let’s examine 10 things we should all...Read More

Oct 2016 13 Oct 13, 2016

In the previous article we looked at three things that John says in his first epistle concerning the commandment that we love one another as Christ has loved us. We now continue that train of thought with five final comments. Continue reading . . .  In the previous article we looked at three things that John says in his first epistle concerning the commandment that we love one another as Christ has loved us. We now continue that train of thought with five final com...Read More

Oct 2016 12 Oct 12, 2016

In the previous article we began by looking at the “new” commandment given to us by Jesus in John 13:34-35 that we love one another as he, Jesus, has loved us. The Apostle John, who was leaning against the breast of Jesus when our Lord spoke these monumental words about loving one another, took them to heart in a way that we see nowhere else in the NT. This “new” commandment of Jesus had a profound and life-changing impact on John. We know this to...Read More

Oct 2016 10 Oct 10, 2016

In last week’s article in the 10 things you should know series, we looked at what tithing was like under the terms of the Mosaic or Old Covenant. Today we turn our attention to what giving or financial stewardship is like under the terms of the New Covenant. Continue reading . . .  In last week’s article in the 10 things you should know series, we looked at what tithing was like under the terms of the Mosaic or Old Covenant. Today we turn our attention ...Read More

Oct 2016 6 Oct 6, 2016
1

If you happen to be in the Minneapolis area tomorrow, Friday, October 7, and Saturday, October 8, I encourage you to come to Bethlehem Baptist Church and join us for a special seminar on the subject of Christian Hedonism. Here is the description of what you’ll experience. Continue reading . . .  If you happen to be in the Minneapolis area tomorrow, Friday, October 7, and Saturday, October 8, I encourage you to come to Bethlehem Baptist Church and join us for ...Read More

Oct 2016 5 Oct 5, 2016

At the beginning of what is known as the Upper Room or Farewell Discourse of Jesus (John 13-17) we see something quite remarkable. We read that it was “during supper” that “the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him” (John 13:2). Later, in John 13:27 we read that “Satan entered into him.” In other words, Satan didn’t merely put the idea in Judas’s head. He himself entered...Read More

Oct 2016 4 Oct 4, 2016
2

We are told in Mark 15:11 that “the chief priests of Israel stirred up the crowd” to have Pontius Pilate release a man named Barabbas instead of Jesus. When Pilate in turn asked them what he should do with Jesus, they cried out repeatedly, “Crucify him! Crucify him!” So Pilate, “wishing to satisfy the crowd, released for them Barabbas, and having scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified” (Mark 15:15). Continue reading . . .&nbs...Read More

Oct 2016 3 Oct 3, 2016
3

Today we take up the issue of tithing, especially as it was mandated under the Law of Moses. Here are 10 things we should know. The question before us is not whether Christians are responsible to be generous with their wealth in giving back a portion of it to support the work of the ministry. 2 Corinthians 8-9, as well as other texts, make it quite clear that we are. The question, rather, is whether New Covenant Christians are biblically and morally obligated to give acc...Read More

Sep 2016 30 Sep 30, 2016

Mark 14:65 is difficult to read, and even more difficult to understand: “And some began to spit on him and to cover his face and to strike him, saying to him, ‘Prophesy!’ And the guards received him with blows” (Mark 14:65). Continue reading . . .  Mark 14:65 is difficult to read, and even more difficult to understand: “And some began to spit on him and to cover his face and to strike him, saying to him, ‘Prophesy!’ And the...Read More

Sep 2016 29 Sep 29, 2016
1

One of the more baffling things Jesus said during his trial before the high priest of Israel was in response to the question, “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?” His response is recorded for us in Mark 14:62. There he said: “I am, and you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.” Continue reading . . .  One of the more baffling things Jesus said during his trial before the hig...Read More

Sep 2016 27 Sep 27, 2016

[Many of you said you had problems accessing the entire article yesterday, so I’m posting it again. I trust that this time the entire article will appear. Thanks for your patience.] Continue reading . . .  [Many of you said you had problems accessing the entire article yesterday, so I’m posting it again. I trust that this time the entire article will appear. Thanks for your patience.] Although some argue that there is no consistent pattern in the NT fo...Read More

Sep 2016 27 Sep 27, 2016

One of the more profound mysteries in the life of Jesus is the reason for his anguish and distress in the face of a future that he himself had prophesied. I have in mind his prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane: “Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will” (Mark 14:36). Many have attempted to explain this request. Continue reading . . .  One of the more profound mysteries in the life of J...Read More

Sep 2016 26 Sep 26, 2016
9

Although some argue that there is no consistent pattern in the NT for local church government, I disagree. I believe the NT portrays for us a virtually air-tight case for governance by a plurality of Elders. However, it is important to realize that even if this is not the case we can still determine whether or not women should be appointed to positions of senior governmental authority. Continue reading . . .  Although some argue that there is no consistent pattern ...Read More

Sep 2016 22 Sep 22, 2016
2

[The past two days have seen a number of blogs re-posting Michael Kruger’s response to Andy Stanley’s sermon on the Bible. If you’ve already read Kruger’s article, you can stop now. But if you haven’t, please take the time to carefully study what he has written. It is superb and much needed.] Continue reading . . .  [The past two days have seen a number of blogs re-posting Michael Kruger’s response to Andy Stanley’s sermon ...Read More

Sep 2016 21 Sep 21, 2016

One of the more striking scenes in the gospel accounts of our Lord’s earthly life and death takes place in the Garden of Gethsemane. The portrayal of the almost indescribable mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical anguish that Jesus experienced is overwhelming. The synoptic gospels together paint a graphic picture using five different words. One word alone, apparently, simply could not capture the depths of his torment. Continue reading . . .  One of the ...Read More

Sep 2016 19 Sep 19, 2016
5

Today we turn our attention to 10 things we should know about the most controversial passage in the Bible when it comes to the role/relationship between men and women. In 1 Timothy 2:11-15, Paul writes: “Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgre...Read More

Sep 2016 15 Sep 15, 2016

I’ve been thinking lately of the mood or attitude or spiritual perspective that ought to characterize our approach to the Lord’s Table. Many gravitate to one of two extremes. Some come sullen and sad, while others draw near with a joy that often borders on frivolity. Continue reading . . .  I’ve been thinking lately of the mood or attitude or spiritual perspective that ought to characterize our approach to the Lord’s Table. Many gravitate to...Read More

Sep 2016 14 Sep 14, 2016

I was honored in 2000 when my friend Larry Crabb agreed to write the Foreword to my book, Pleasures Evermore (NavPress). I’ve often told people that it is the best part of the book! Larry’s observations on Jonathan Edwards’s hypothetical observations on the life and trial of Oscar Wilde is an excellent summation of Christian Hedonism. I commend it to your consideration today. Continue reading . . .  I was honored in 2000 when my friend Larry Crabb...Read More

Sep 2016 13 Sep 13, 2016
1

When people want to deny Christian Hedonism they often direct our attention to the words of Jesus in Mark 8:34-37. But as you will shortly see, this passage is actually a defense of it. Continue reading . . .  When people want to deny Christian Hedonism they often direct our attention to the words of Jesus in Mark 8:34-37. But as you will shortly see, this passage is actually a defense of it. Here is what Jesus said: And calling the crowd to him with his discipl...Read More

Sep 2016 12 Sep 12, 2016
5

We’ve been looking closely at some important principles to understand when it comes to male headship and female submission. We turn today to 10 things we should know about how Paul’s appeal for mutual submission in Ephesians 5 applies to this subject. Continue reading . . .  We’ve been looking closely at some important principles to understand when it comes to male headship and female submission. We turn today to 10 things we should know about how...Read More

Sep 2016 8 Sep 8, 2016

I’ve often been asked what, in my opinion, is the best book ever written on the inspiration, inerrancy, and authority of the Scriptures. It’s not an easy question to answer. Continue reading . . .  I’ve often been asked what, in my opinion, is the best book ever written on the inspiration, inerrancy, and authority of the Scriptures. It’s not an easy question to answer. When I first started out in ministry in the 1970’s there were few t...Read More

Sep 2016 7 Sep 7, 2016

If someone were to ask you what it is about Christianity that makes it unique among the many world religions, how would you answer them? What is it about the Christian faith that sets it apart and in doing so helps to confirm its truthfulness? What is it about Christianity that makes it so appealing? Continue reading . . .  If someone were to ask you what it is about Christianity that makes it unique among the many world religions, how would you answer them? What i...Read More

Sep 2016 6 Sep 6, 2016

During John Piper’s recent ministry trip to Europe, he spoke at the Congresson Missione in Montesilvano in Italy. His subject was: Why God Created the World. I strongly urge you to read and re-read this remarkable article. It was first published at www.desiringgod.org on Saturday, September 3, 2016. Continue reading . . .  During John Piper’s recent ministry trip to Europe, he spoke at the Congresson Missione in Montesilvano in Italy. His subject was: W...Read More

Sep 2016 5 Sep 5, 2016
6

In an earlier post we looked at 10 things all should know about male headship as it is found in Scripture. Today we look at female submission. Continue reading . . .  In an earlier post we looked at 10 things all should know about male headship as it is found in Scripture. Today we look at female submission. (1) Submission (Gk., hupotasso) carries the implication of voluntary yieldedness to a recognized authority. Biblical submission is appropriate in several rela...Read More

Sep 2016 1 Sep 1, 2016

We’ve been trying to understand the difference between how Mary and Judas responded to Jesus as a way of exposing the nature and intensity of our own affection for the Son of God. The story we’ve been looking at is found in Mark 14:1-11. Continue reading . . .  We’ve been trying to understand the difference between how Mary and Judas responded to Jesus as a way of exposing the nature and intensity of our own affection for the Son of God. The story...Read More

Aug 2016 31 Aug 31, 2016

We looked yesterday at the remarkable story in Mark 14:1-11 and I asked the question: What words best describe your affection and love for Jesus. Would you call it unashamed and extravagant? If not, why not? Continue reading . . .  We looked yesterday at the remarkable story in Mark 14:1-11 and I asked the question: What words best describe your affection and love for Jesus. Would you call it unashamed and extravagant? If not, why not? Let’s look again at the...Read More

Aug 2016 30 Aug 30, 2016

The portrait of Jesus in the gospels is truly stunning. Jesus, described by his enemies as the friend of sinners, was uninhibited in the presence of lepers and unafraid to confront demonic spirits. He was unembarrassed by prostitutes and unimpressed by religious leaders. He is unoffended by your weaknesses, undeterred by your sin, and unashamed to call you his own. How do you respond to someone like this? Continue reading . . .  The portrait of Jesus in the gospels...Read More

Aug 2016 29 Aug 29, 2016
7

In the on-going dialogue (debate!) between complementarians and egalitarians, there is considerable confusion about the meaning of male headship. So today we look at 10 things we should know about headship. Continue reading . . .  In the on-going dialogue (debate!) between complementarians and egalitarians, there is considerable confusion about the meaning of male headship. So today we look at 10 things we should know about headship. (1) “Headship” (Gk...Read More

Aug 2016 25 Aug 25, 2016
3

Many struggle to understand the Trinity. I count myself among them! But I believe it! I believe it not because I can explain it with logical precision, but because the NT so clearly and repeatedly teaches it. One such place is the book of Revelation. There we see consistent and repeated evidence of the Deity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit: three co-equal persons existing as One undivided God. Continue reading . . .  Many struggle to understand the Trinity. I count...Read More

Aug 2016 24 Aug 24, 2016

This reminder is for anyone in the Oklahoma City area who is free Thursday night, August 25. Bridgeway will be hosting an evening of worship, fellowship, and lots of food at the Myriad Gardens, downtown OKC. We will gather starting at 6:00 p.m. with several food trucks available. Bring your friends and family. Worship at the Water Stage will start around 7:30 p.m. We’d love to see you there. It will be a great opportunity to proclaim Christ in the City and to enjo...Read More

Aug 2016 24 Aug 24, 2016

In his book, What About Free Will? (Presbyterian & Reformed, 2016), Scott Christensen seeks to articulate the significance of what is known as compatibilism. Continue reading . . .  In his book, What About Free Will? (Presbyterian & Reformed, 2016), Scott Christensen seeks to articulate the significance of what is known as compatibilism. On pp. 77-78 he says this: “Biblical compatibilism seeks to demonstrate one simple reality. Every human action i...Read More

Aug 2016 23 Aug 23, 2016
2

Last week Desiring God posted an article that contains the message John Piper delivered while visiting Google in California. If you didn’t see it then, you must see it now. Continue reading . . .  Last week Desiring God posted an article that contains the message John Piper delivered while visiting Google in California. If you didn’t see it then, you must see it now. My hope in these few minutes is to listen carefully to four people who have been troub...Read More

Aug 2016 22 Aug 22, 2016

The best way to describe the dispensationalist’s view of the millennial kingdom is chronologically, i.e., by means of the temporal order in which the events actually occur. Although there are variations among those who call themselves dispensationalists, I will focus here only on the majority view known as dispensational, pretribulational, premillennialism. Continue reading . . .  The best way to describe the dispensationalist’s view of the millennial k...Read More

Aug 2016 18 Aug 18, 2016
11

Is it ever OK for a Christian to lie? Make no mistake: God is truth, and we are to be like God. Truth-telling is therefore a crucial moral duty for those in the kingdom of God (see esp. John 8:44; Acts 5:1-11; Col. 3:9; Rev. 21:27). The question is this: "Is it ever morally permissible to tell a lie?" Continue reading . . .  Is it ever OK for a Christian to lie? Make no mistake: God is truth, and we are to be like God. Truth-telling is therefore a crucial moral dut...Read More

Aug 2016 17 Aug 17, 2016

Truth, or integrity in our speech, that sense of moral obligation to God according to which we represent things as they really are, both in word and deed, has gradually eroded in many segments of our society. This shouldn’t come as a total surprise insofar as the first sin in the Garden of Eden was an attack upon the veracity or truthfulness of what God himself had said. Continue reading . . .  Truth, or integrity in our speech, that sense of moral obligation...Read More

Aug 2016 16 Aug 16, 2016

We look once again today at helpful comments from Scott Christensen, taken from his excellent book, What About Free Will? Reconciling our Choices with God’s Sovereignty (P&R, 2016). Here we take note of an important distinction in Scripture between two senses in which God may be said to “will” something. Continue reading . . .  We look once again today at helpful comments from Scott Christensen, taken from his excellent book, What About Free W...Read More

Aug 2016 15 Aug 15, 2016
2

The psalmist declares that our Lord is great “and mighty in power; his understanding has no limit” (Psalm 147:5). We often talk about what we know and how we know, but rarely stop and ask: How does God know? What does God know? So today we turn our attention to ten things we should know about God’s knowledge. Continue reading . . .  The psalmist declares that our Lord is great “and mighty in power; his understanding has no limit” (Psal...Read More

Aug 2016 12 Aug 12, 2016

Foundational to the Roman Catholic doctrine of purgatory is their understanding of the double-effect of sin. Continue reading . . .  Foundational to the Roman Catholic doctrine of purgatory is their understanding of the double-effect of sin. Note carefully the following description taken from the Catholic Catechism: “Grave sin deprives us of communion with God and therefore makes us incapable of eternal life, the privation of which is called the ‘ete...Read More

Aug 2016 11 Aug 11, 2016

We’ve had occasion of late to consider two pro-slavery statutes that were part of the original Constitution of the Unites States of America. We should rightly rejoice that subsequent Amendments to the Constitution rendered null and void such clauses. One more heinous clause in our Constitution is known as the Slave Importation Clause. Continue reading . . .  We’ve had occasion of late to consider two pro-slavery statutes that were part of the original C...Read More

Aug 2016 10 Aug 10, 2016

Can we really believe the words of Jesus in John 14:14 when he declares: “If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it”? Continue reading . . .  Can we really believe the words of Jesus in John 14:14 when he declares: “If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it”? Twice in vv. 13-14 Jesus says you must pray “in my name”. What does that mean? Is Jesus telling us that all we have to do is attach the words, “In Christ&...Read More

Aug 2016 9 Aug 9, 2016

We probably shouldn’t compare biblical promises, as they are all precious and assured of coming to pass. Continue reading . . .  We probably shouldn’t compare biblical promises, as they are all precious and assured of coming to pass. But I’m especially drawn to the promise Jesus made in the Upper Room Discourse when he said to his disciples: “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you an...Read More

Aug 2016 8 Aug 8, 2016
2

Some see the concept of immutability as a threat to the biblical portrait of God who appears in some sense to change. Others are equally concerned that a careless tampering with this attribute of God will reduce him to a fickle, unfaithful, and ultimately unworthy object of our affection and worship. It is imperative, therefore, that we proceed cautiously, and yet with conviction, in articulating these ten truths about divine immutability. Continue reading . . .  S...Read More

Aug 2016 4 Aug 4, 2016
1

The question: “What think ye of the Bible?” reduces to the question: “What think ye of Christ?” Continue reading . . .  The question: “What think ye of the Bible?” reduces to the question: “What think ye of Christ?” To deny the authority of Scripture is to deny the lordship of Jesus. So what did Jesus think of the Scriptures (or at least of the Old Testament)? Consider the people and events of the OT, for example, wh...Read More

Aug 2016 3 Aug 3, 2016
1

There is a tendency in some evangelical circles to drive a wedge between revelation (the transcendent Word of God) and the Bible (understood as man’s written record of or witness to the Word). It is said that we cannot identify the words of Scripture with divine revelation. Continue reading . . .  There is a tendency in some evangelical circles to drive a wedge between revelation (the transcendent Word of God) and the Bible (understood as man’s written ...Read More

Aug 2016 2 Aug 2, 2016

In an earlier post I explained one of the ways in which our Constitution was flawed. Although surely the greatest document in the history of human political life, the Constitution was not without its shortcomings, one of which was known as the Fugitive Slave Clause. Continue reading . . .  In an earlier post I explained one of the ways in which our Constitution was flawed. Although surely the greatest document in the history of human political life, the Constitutio...Read More

Aug 2016 1 Aug 1, 2016
3

Because of our focus on the inspiration and inerrancy of God’s written revelation, the Bible (i.e., Special Revelation), we often tend to ignore the other ways in which God has made himself known more generally to all mankind. Theologians call this General Revelation. What is it and why is it important that we understand what is meant by it? Continue reading . . .  Because of our focus on the inspiration and inerrancy of God’s written revelation, the Bi...Read More

Jul 2016 29 Jul 29, 2016
1

With our nation in the throes of a venomous race for the presidency, I’ve been drawn to a closer look at our Constitution and some of the issues that set the tone for the first 100 years of this country’s history. Continue reading . . .  With our nation in the throes of a venomous race for the presidency, I’ve been drawn to a closer look at our Constitution and some of the issues that set the tone for the first 100 years of this country’s hi...Read More

Jul 2016 27 Jul 27, 2016

In the aftermath of so much racial division and hatred in our society, I was drawn once again to a consideration of the Parable of the “Good” Samaritan. I put the word “Good” Samaritan in quotes because, as you probably know, as far as the Jewish people in the first century were concerned there was no thing as a “good” Samaritan. They were hated and despised and avoided at all costs. Continue reading . . .  In the aftermath of so...Read More

Jul 2016 26 Jul 26, 2016

Few portrayals of our risen Lord are as awe-inspiring and breathtaking as that which we find in Revelation 1. Continue reading . . .  Few portrayals of our risen Lord are as awe-inspiring and breathtaking as that which we find in Revelation 1. Here is what John saw and how he responded: Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking to me, and on turning I saw seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the lampstands one like a son of man, clothed with a lon...Read More

Jul 2016 25 Jul 25, 2016
4

We Protestants often fail to take note of the unique and sometimes profitable contributions of Roman Catholic theologians of the past. So today we look at 10 things we should know about Thomas Aquinas. Continue reading . . .  We Protestants often fail to take note of the unique and sometimes profitable contributions of Roman Catholic theologians of the past. So today we look at 10 things we should know about Thomas Aquinas. (1) Thomas Aquinas was born at Roccasecc...Read More

Jul 2016 22 Jul 22, 2016
1

Today is J. I. Packer’s 90th birthday. Longevity in life and ministry is often taken for granted in our day. We quickly forget that Thomas Aquinas died at the age of 49. Both John Calvin and Jonathan Edwards were 54 when they entered the presence of Jesus. Charles Spurgeon died much too soon at the age of 57. Martin Luther outlived them all, passing away at the age of 62. The church of Jesus Christ should pause and thank God for sustaining Packer’s remarkable...Read More

Jul 2016 20 Jul 20, 2016
1

Someone recently asked me if I believed that the Protestant Reformation is over? That’s a loaded question that would likely elicit an equally loaded answer. It took my mind back to an article I wrote several years ago. The article was a book review of the volume by Mark Noll and Carolyn Nystrom, titled: Is the Reformation Over? An Evangelical Assessment of Contemporary Roman Catholicism (Baker Academic, 2005). I thought it might be helpful to re-post it here. After...Read More

Jul 2016 19 Jul 19, 2016

I recently listened to a lecture by a pastor who was determined to undermine the biblical doctrine of penal substitutionary atonement. As part of his defense, he argued that it is unbiblical to speak of God being reconciled to us. It is we alone, he insisted, who are reconciled to God. In other words, he believes that there is nothing in God that needs to occur for us to be reconciled to him. His wrath does not need to be propitiated. His justice does not need to be sati...Read More

Jul 2016 18 Jul 18, 2016

Many would prefer that we only speak of God’s love and grace. But apart from the reality of divine wrath neither love nor grace makes much sense. We’ll see this as we explore ten things that every Christian should know about the wrath of God. Continue reading . . .  Many would prefer that we only speak of God’s love and grace. But apart from the reality of divine wrath neither love nor grace makes much sense. We’ll see this as we explore ten...Read More

Jul 2016 15 Jul 15, 2016
5

Please don’t misread or misinterpret the intent of this brief article. I have not yet formulated an opinion on the Black Lives Matter movement. I have no desire to make a political statement. Continue reading . . . Please don’t misread or misinterpret the intent of this brief article. I have not yet formulated an opinion on the Black Lives Matter movement. I have no desire to make a political statement. I’m not sufficiently informed about the people be...Read More

Jul 2016 13 Jul 13, 2016

In the previous article we looked at the marvelous ways in which Jesus loves his own. There are five of them in John 13:1-5, and here we turn our attention to the final two. Continue reading . . . In the previous article we looked at the marvelous ways in which Jesus loves his own. There are five of them in John 13:1-5, and here we turn our attention to the final two. (4) Fourth, his love was not merely an inward affection, but made itself known by an altogether unexpe...Read More

Jul 2016 12 Jul 12, 2016
1

In an earlier article I pointed out the seemingly insurmountable obstacles that Jesus overcame to loving his own. Continue reading . . .  In an earlier article I pointed out the seemingly insurmountable obstacles that Jesus overcame to loving his own. They are found in John 13:1-5. Here is the passage again. “Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were...Read More

Jul 2016 11 Jul 11, 2016
4

Anyone who thinks that we’ve made substantial progress in resolving the problem of racial disharmony and animosity in our society is simply not paying attention. The violent events that have filled our streets in the past week together with the response from both the white and African-American communities clearly demonstrate that mistrust, suspicion, and even hatred across the racial divide are rampant in virtually every sector in our society. Continue reading . . ...Read More

Jul 2016 7 Jul 7, 2016
1

Whenever I begin to wonder whether or not the children’s song is correct when it says, “Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so,” I turn to John 13 and read some of the most remarkable and reassuring statements in God’s Word. Continue reading . . .  Whenever I begin to wonder whether or not the children’s song is correct when it says, “Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so,” I turn to John 13 a...Read More

Jul 2016 6 Jul 6, 2016
1

Many who are skeptical of divine healing today and tell us we have little reason to expect that God will do miraculous things in response to our prayers, appeal to what I have called the “cluster” argument. Continue reading . . .  Many who are skeptical of divine healing today and tell us we have little reason to expect that God will do miraculous things in response to our prayers, appeal to what I have called the “cluster” argument. Here is...Read More

Jul 2016 5 Jul 5, 2016

The responses I hear when I ask someone to pray for the sick that they might be healed are varied Continue reading . . .  The responses I hear when I ask someone to pray for the sick that they might be healed are varied: “But I’m not an Elder. And James says the sick should call for the Elders to have them pray.” “But I’m not a Pastor. I’m not on staff at our church. Isn’t it the responsibility of pastors to pray for the ...Read More

Jul 2016 4 Jul 4, 2016

Today we turn our attention to 10 features of the healing ministry of Jesus. Continue reading . . .  Today we turn our attention to 10 features of the healing ministry of Jesus. 1. Jesus healed hundreds, if not thousands, of people. Contrary to those who say that Jesus healed only a few dozen, the gospels indicate that he healed multitudes. Healing was a common feature of his earthly ministry. Healing was not a secondary or subsidiary activity for him. Consider th...Read More

Jul 2016 1 Jul 1, 2016

[One of the books released in 2016 that will undoubtedly make it onto my end-of-year best-books list is Scott Christensen’s, What About Free Will? Reconciling our Choices with God’s Sovereignty (P&R, 284pp.). In Chapter Three, titled, “How Big is Your God?” Christensen describes God’s sovereignty in these terms.] Continue reading . . .  [One of the books released in 2016 that will undoubtedly make it onto my end-of-year best-books ...Read More

Jun 2016 30 Jun 30, 2016

We’ve looked closely at James 5:13-18 and must now address the question: Why doesn’t God always heal the sick? The reason why many are not healed may be answered in any one of eight ways. Continue reading . . .  We’ve looked closely at James 5:13-18 and must now address the question: Why doesn’t God always heal the sick? The reason why many are not healed may be answered in any one of eight ways. I’ve written on this more extensively i...Read More

Jun 2016 29 Jun 29, 2016

Many of you who are unfamiliar with Bridgeway Church here in Oklahoma City may not fully understand what I mean when I say we are a church committed to both the Word of God and the Spirit of God. Continue reading . . .  Many of you who are unfamiliar with Bridgeway Church here in Oklahoma City may not fully understand what I mean when I say we are a church committed to both the Word of God and the Spirit of God. Or, upon hearing that, you may respond by saying: &ld...Read More

Jun 2016 28 Jun 28, 2016

You have to read it to believe it. This from the blog of Rod Dreher Continue reading . . .  You have to read it to believe it. This from the blog of Rod Dreher: This is not tragedy, it’s farce: “Allah bless us and bless our families and bless our Lord. Lead us on the straight path – the path of all the prophets: Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad,” and so went the prayer offered up by Wajidi Said, from the Portland Muslim C...Read More

Jun 2016 27 Jun 27, 2016

In this installment of 10 Things You should Know we’ll turn our attention to Romans 13:1-7 (and 1 Peter 2) and the Christian’s responsibility toward human government. Continue reading . . .  In this installment of 10 Things You should Know we’ll turn our attention to Romans 13:1-7 (and 1 Peter 2) and the Christian’s responsibility toward human government. (1) All governmental authority comes from God (Romans 13:1,4,6). This applies to Phara...Read More

Jun 2016 24 Jun 24, 2016

Today we continue in our study in James 5 and the relationship between prayer and healing. Our single focus in this article will be on the phrase, “the prayer of faith.” Continue reading . . .  Today we continue in our study in James 5 and the relationship between prayer and healing. Our single focus in this article will be on the phrase, “the prayer of faith.” Here again is the text: “Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is...Read More

Jun 2016 23 Jun 23, 2016

We’ve been looking at James 5:13-18 and the subject of prayer and healing. Continue reading . . . We’ve been looking at James 5:13-18 and the subject of prayer and healing. Let’s look again at the text before we continue: “Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the...Read More

Jun 2016 22 Jun 22, 2016

James 5:13-18 is an extremely rich and densely packed passage. In the previous article we looked at v. 13. Today we turn our attention to vv. 14-15. Continue reading . . .  James 5:13-18 is an extremely rich and densely packed passage. In the previous article we looked at v. 13. Today we turn our attention to vv. 14-15. Here is the entire passage: “Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise. Is anyone among you sic...Read More

Jun 2016 21 Jun 21, 2016

So, let’s be honest with each other today about why we don’t pray as much as we know we should. Continue reading . . .  So, let’s be honest with each other today about why we don’t pray as much as we know we should. When I talk with Christians of all ages and both genders, I hear comments like these: “Come on, Sam, we live in a digital world where religious rituals from medieval times, like prayer, simply don’t fit in. Enlight...Read More

Jun 2016 20 Jun 20, 2016
6

In our continuing series on 10 things every Christian should know, we turn our attention to the Roman Catholic Church and its beliefs about the Virgin Mary. Continue reading . . .  In our continuing series on 10 things every Christian should know, we turn our attention to the Roman Catholic Church and its beliefs about the Virgin Mary. (1) Rome believes that when Mary was conceived in the womb of her mother she was preserved and protected from the taint of origina...Read More

Jun 2016 17 Jun 17, 2016

We’ve been looking at biblical texts that are often cited as proof of trichotomy. None are so frequently mentioned as Hebrews 4:12 and 1 Thessalonians 5:23. Continue reading . . .  We’ve been looking at biblical texts that are often cited as proof of trichotomy. None are so frequently mentioned as Hebrews 4:12 and 1 Thessalonians 5:23. Hebrews 4:12 “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the div...Read More

Jun 2016 16 Jun 16, 2016
1

Now that we’ve looked at how the words soul, spirit, mind, and heart are used in the Bible, we turn our attention to particular passages of Scripture in the NT that are often used to defend the notion of trichotomy. Continue reading . . .  Now that we’ve looked at how the words soul, spirit, mind, and heart are used in the Bible, we turn our attention to particular passages of Scripture in the NT that are often used to defend the notion of trichotomy. ...Read More

Jun 2016 15 Jun 15, 2016

In the previous article we spent considerable time looking at the use and meaning of the word “soul” in both the Old and New Testaments. We now turn our attention to the words “spirit”, “mind”, and “heart” in both testaments. Continue reading . . .  In the previous article we spent considerable time looking at the use and meaning of the word “soul” in both the Old and New Testaments. We now turn our attent...Read More

Jun 2016 14 Jun 14, 2016

All Christians agree that God created us as a material (or physical) and immaterial (or spiritual) unity. But not all agree on the nature of the immaterial. Some argue that the immaterial dimension in human nature is divided into two distinct and separate faculties: soul and spirit. They are thus called Trichotomists: the three “parts” or “faculties” being the body, the soul, and the spirit. Others believe that the immaterial dimension cannot be s...Read More

Jun 2016 13 Jun 13, 2016

Today we continue our weekly series on 10 things you should know. Our focus is on being filled with the Spirit as Paul describes it in Ephesians 5:18. Continue reading . . .  Today we continue our weekly series on 10 things you should know. Our focus is on being filled with the Spirit as Paul describes it in Ephesians 5:18. 1. Being filled with the Spirit is contrasted with being drunk with wine. Thus, it is a question of influence, control, or power. If you insis...Read More

Jun 2016 9 Jun 9, 2016
1

On many occasions I have directed your attention to excellent articles written by Andrew Wilson, pastor in Eastbourne, U.K. The one he posted yesterday (6-8-16) may be the best yet. Like Wilson, I am often asked the question: “Sam, what do you think of Bill Johnson and Bethel?” I’ve been tempted to write an answer, but now I don’t need to. The article is too long to post here, so I urge you to follow the link to Andrew’s blog and read it in ...Read More

Jun 2016 8 Jun 8, 2016
1

In chapter five, verse seven of his epistle, James gives an illustration of what our patience should be like. He compares it to the farmer who, after planting his seed, waits patiently for “the early and the late rains” and the fruit of the harvest that it will bring. Continue reading . . .  In chapter five, verse seven of his epistle, James gives an illustration of what our patience should be like. He compares it to the farmer who, after planting his s...Read More

Jun 2016 7 Jun 7, 2016

As I’ve recently been preaching through John 13, the subject of Judas Iscariot’s betrayal of Jesus has been much on my mind. In the course of my research, I have looked once again at what appear to be three inconsistencies in the biblical text. I emphasize the word “appear”. Continue reading . . .  As I’ve recently been preaching through John 13, the subject of Judas Iscariot’s betrayal of Jesus has been much on my mind. In the c...Read More

Jun 2016 6 Jun 6, 2016

In an earlier article we looked at 10 things we should know about the person of the Holy Spirit. In this article we turn our attention to the work of the Spirit. Continue reading . . .  In an earlier article we looked at 10 things we should know about the person of the Holy Spirit. In this article we turn our attention to the work of the Spirit. (1) The Holy Spirit serves us as a “down payment” on the future inheritance of our salvation (2 Cor. 1:21-22...Read More

Jun 2016 3 Jun 3, 2016
2

[A little more than two years ago (April 21, 2014) Jonathan Parnell posted this article at the website of Desiring God (www.desiringgod.org). Many, myself included, found it to be particularly insightful. I thought it would be good to post it again here.] Continue reading . . .  [A little more than two years ago (April 21, 2014) Jonathan Parnell posted this article at the website of Desiring God (www.desiringgod.org). Many, myself included, found it to be particula...Read More

Jun 2016 2 Jun 2, 2016

There is a reason I put a question mark at the end of the title to this article. Continue reading . . . There is a reason I put a question mark at the end of the title to this article. Let me explain. In James 5:10-11, in order to reinforce his call for patience, our author directs our attention to the OT. He mentions the suffering, patience, and steadfastness of “the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord” (v. 10b). We don’t know whom he had in mi...Read More

May 2016 31 May 31, 2016
2

How many of you reading this article are by nature patient? Continue reading . . .  How many of you reading this article are by nature patient? Is there anyone who finds patience as natural as breathing? Anyone? Anyone? I’m looking for that man or woman, young or old, who instinctively responds to irritating people and aggravating circumstances with a calm and controlled spirit. Anyone? Anyone? Hmmm. I didn’t think so. No one comes by patience naturall...Read More

May 2016 30 May 30, 2016
7

Today we turn our attention to the person of the Holy Spirit. We’ll follow up next week by looking at the work of the Spirit. Continue reading . . .  Today we turn our attention to the person of the Holy Spirit. We’ll follow up next week by looking at the work of the Spirit. (1) In the OT the word most often translated as “Spirit” is the feminine noun ruach. It is used 94 times of the Spirit of God. In the NT the word most often translated ...Read More

May 2016 27 May 27, 2016
1

John Calvin was born on July 10, 1509, at Noyon in Northeastern France. Continue reading . . .  John Calvin was born on July 10, 1509, at Noyon in Northeastern France. Unlike Martin Luther, Calvin was born into the professional class and received an excellent early education. His name has come to us via a process: Cauvin is French; Calvinus is the Latinized form; Calvin is the Anglicized form.] We can’t be certain, but the likelihood is that his conversion t...Read More

May 2016 26 May 26, 2016
2

I have two brief announcements, the first far more important (at least to me) than the second (which may be important to you). Continue reading . . .  I have two brief announcements, the first far more important (at least to me) than the second (which may be important to you). First, today is my 44th wedding anniversary (and the 11th birthday of my youngest grandson, John Benjamin)! What can I say about Ann? Well, a lot, actually! But I won’t share my deepes...Read More

May 2016 25 May 25, 2016

[Speculation about Paul’s thorn in the flesh continues unabated. In this superb article Andrew Wilson asks and answers the question: who gave Paul his thorn? This is a critically important question, especially as it sheds light on the subjects of divine sovereignty and suffering. Read it closely. It first appeared at the blog, Think Theology, on Wednesday, May 18, 2016.] Continue reading . . .  [Speculation about Paul’s thorn in the flesh continues unab...Read More

May 2016 24 May 24, 2016

[This article by Mary Kassian is one of the best treatments of this thorny question as I’ve ever read. I encourage you to study it closely and in its entirety. It is a model of careful and judicious reasoning in an effort to answer questions not explicitly addressed in Scripture. It first appeared on Saturday, May 21, 2016, at www.desiringgod.org.] Continue reading . . .  [This article by Mary Kassian is one of the best treatments of this thorny question as I...Read More

May 2016 23 May 23, 2016
2

Here are 10 things we should know about Satan. Continue reading . . .  Here are 10 things we should know about Satan. (1) Satan, like all other angels, was created at a point in time (Col. 1:16; John 1:1-3). Satan is not eternal. He is a finite creature. He is, therefore, God's Devil. Satan is not the equal and opposite power of God (contra dualism). His power is not infinite. He does not possess divine attributes. In sum, he is no match for God! At most, Satan is...Read More

May 2016 19 May 19, 2016

[Yesterday I posted an article by Denny Burk regarding the evil and outrageous order by our President regarding gender neutral bathrooms in America’s public school. Today I encourage you to read this article by Andrew Wilson, posted on his blog on Friday, May 13, 2006.] Continue reading . . .  [Yesterday I posted an article by Denny Burk regarding the evil and outrageous order by our President regarding gender neutral bathrooms in America’s public schoo...Read More

May 2016 18 May 18, 2016
1

[This timely and insightful article by Denny Burk appeared on his blog on May 12, coming in the wake and in response to an outrageous order by our President. Read it closely.] Continue reading . . .  [This timely and insightful article by Denny Burk appeared on his blog on May 12, coming in the wake and in response to an outrageous order by our President. Read it closely.] By the time you read this, the news will be all over the country. The New York Times reports...Read More

May 2016 17 May 17, 2016

A couple of weeks ago I wrote a brief article on Prince and asked whether he, a Jehovah’s Witness, might have known in a saving way the Prince of Peace, the Lord Jesus Christ. I’ll let you draw your own conclusions from that article. What I found rather providential is that about an hour after I finished writing the piece they showed up at my front door! Yes, the Jehovah’s Witnesses were canvassing my neighborhood. I engaged the young man in conversatio...Read More

May 2016 16 May 16, 2016

Here we take up the issue of the new birth, or what we often refer to as regeneration or being born again. Continue reading . . .  Here we take up the issue of the new birth, or what we often refer to as regeneration or being born again. (1) Being born again is not to be thought of in terms of moral reformation, a mere exchange of one set of habits for another set. Some mistakenly think that mankind does not need re-creation, only redirection. But as we shall shor...Read More

May 2016 13 May 13, 2016

[Last Saturday, May 7, Ross Douthat, writing for the New York Times, had some interesting things to say about Donald Trump. He cannot bring himself to believe, and neither can I, that any right-thinking conservative could support a man of Trump’s (lack of) character and temperament. Here is a portion of the editorial.] Continue reading . . .  [Last Saturday, May 7, Ross Douthat, writing for the New York Times, had some interesting things to say about Donald T...Read More

May 2016 12 May 12, 2016

I often find myself asking why God did what he has done. Continue reading . . . I often find myself asking why God did what he has done. What reason did he have for doing it this way and not that way? On occasion, to be honest, it doesn’t strike me as being the best or most efficient way of doing things. On occasion, I say to myself, and to God, “That doesn’t make sense to me. It seems really odd that this is how you have chosen to go about achieving y...Read More

May 2016 11 May 11, 2016

In the opening verses of John 13, as Jesus prepared to eat the last supper with his disciples on the night when Judas would betray him, we are confronted with two glorious indications of how much Christ loved his own. Continue reading . . .  In the opening verses of John 13, as Jesus prepared to eat the last supper with his disciples on the night when Judas would betray him, we are confronted with two glorious indications of how much Christ loved his own. We read t...Read More

May 2016 10 May 10, 2016
1

While much can and should be said about spiritual gifts, here are a few relevant observations or principles that I believe should guide our understanding and exercise of the charismata. Continue reading . . .  While much can and should be said about spiritual gifts, here are a few relevant observations or principles that I believe should guide our understanding and exercise of the charismata. (1) Every single spiritual gift, whether it be mercy, serving, giving, s...Read More

May 2016 9 May 9, 2016
4

Here we take up the concept of God’s saving grace as irresistible. Continue reading . . .  Here we take up the concept of God’s saving grace as irresistible. (1) Irresistible grace concerns the process by which God brings the elect to saving faith in Jesus. However, we must be cautious lest we reduce the mystery of salvation and conversion to a mechanical sequence that can be monitored with mathematical precision. We must never forget that just as the ...Read More

May 2016 6 May 6, 2016

We’ve been looking at James 4:13-17 where James highlights five principles for helping us process the reality of divine providence in our lives. Give serious consideration to them as you reflect on life today and your plans for the next five minutes as well as the distant future. Continue reading . . .  We’ve been looking at James 4:13-17 where James highlights five principles for helping us process the reality of divine providence in our lives. Give se...Read More

May 2016 5 May 5, 2016

In an earlier article we looked briefly at how Paul viewed the providence of God in his life and apostolic ministry. Here I want us to turn our attention to what James says in James 4:13-17. Continue reading . . .  In an earlier article we looked briefly at how Paul viewed the providence of God in his life and apostolic ministry. Here I want us to turn our attention to what James says in James 4:13-17. There we read: Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorr...Read More

May 2016 4 May 4, 2016

Is it possible for a Christian to live like an atheist? Continue reading . . .  Is it possible for a Christian to live like an atheist? I don’t mean “live like an atheist” in the sense that one actually denies the existence of God or commits sin repeatedly and feels no conviction or experiences no repentance. That person would have no basis for claiming to be a Christian in the first place. What I have in mind is a person who is born again going a...Read More

May 2016 3 May 3, 2016

The disturbing and unbiblical trend continues: professing Christians who insist they love Jesus but have no formal association with or participation in the life of a local church. What are we to make of this? Is the church secondary to God’s purposes in history? Or might it be primary? And if so, what is the reason for the existence of the church? Continue reading . . .  The disturbing and unbiblical trend continues: professing Christians who insist they love...Read More

May 2016 2 May 2, 2016
3

Today we focus on 10 things that every Christian should know about the penal substitutionary atoning sacrifice of Jesus. Continue reading . . .  Today we focus on 10 things that every Christian should know about the penal substitutionary atoning sacrifice of Jesus. (1) A good working definition of penal substitution is provided by the authors of the book, Pierced for our Transgressions: “The doctrine of penal substitution states that God gave himself in the ...Read More

Apr 2016 28 Apr 28, 2016
3

Last week I was reading the daily devotional posted on the Solid Joys app, from Desiring God ministries. The focus was on a somewhat obscure OT passage. Continue reading . . .  Last week I was reading the daily devotional posted on the Solid Joys app, from Desiring God ministries. The focus was on a somewhat obscure OT passage. It reads as follows: “Saul also went to his home at Gibeah, and with him went men of valor whose hearts God had touched” (1 ...Read More

Apr 2016 27 Apr 27, 2016

Of all the Beatitudes spoken by our Lord, the one that has affected me most through the years is found in Matthew 5:8 – “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” Continue reading . . .  Of all the Beatitudes spoken by our Lord, the one that has affected me most through the years is found in Matthew 5:8 – “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” Much might be said of this remarkable statement, but he...Read More

Apr 2016 26 Apr 26, 2016

The Apostle Paul records for us a remarkable prayer in Ephesians 1:15ff. At the heart of this prayer is his request that “the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory,” might give to the saints in Ephesus (and you and me as well!) “the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him” (Eph. 1:17). Continue reading . . .  The Apostle Paul records for us a remarkable prayer in Ephesians 1:15ff. At the heart of this prayer is...Read More

Apr 2016 25 Apr 25, 2016

Today I continue the weekly series on 10 things we should know about specific Christian doctrines. Our focus today is divine election. Continue reading . . .  Today I continue the weekly series on 10 things we should know about specific Christian doctrines. Our focus today is divine election. [This was originally written for Crossway and posted on their blog on Tuesday, April 19, 2016.] 1. Election is a pre-temporal decision by God, a choice he made before any of...Read More

Apr 2016 23 Apr 23, 2016
4

With the sudden death of rock music icon Prince, many have wondered whether or not he might have known Jesus Christ as his Savior. Continue reading . . .  With the sudden death of rock music icon Prince, many have wondered whether or not he might have known Jesus Christ as his Savior. I must confess that I never followed the career of Prince and I never intentionally listened to any of his music. I say “intentionally” because somewhere along the way I m...Read More

Apr 2016 21 Apr 21, 2016

The answer to the question, “Is the Church the True Israel of God?” is found at the close of Paul’s epistle to the Galatians (among other places in the NT). Continue reading . . .  The answer to the question, “Is the Church the True Israel of God?” is found at the close of Paul’s epistle to the Galatians (among other places in the NT). He pronounces a blessing that has been the source of seemingly endless controversy. The ESV ren...Read More

Apr 2016 20 Apr 20, 2016
1

Celebrity skeptic Bart Ehrman of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill continues to produce books that he believes debunk the claims of evangelical believers concerning Jesus and the Bible. Continue reading . . .  Celebrity skeptic Bart Ehrman of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill continues to produce books that he believes debunk the claims of evangelical believers concerning Jesus and the Bible. The list of such books is almost endless, and...Read More

Apr 2016 19 Apr 19, 2016

Some advocates of Hyper-Grace argue that since our salvation is all of grace, there is nothing that Christians can do that displeases the Lord. Continue reading . . .  Some advocates of Hyper-Grace argue that since our salvation is all of grace, there is nothing that Christians can do that displeases the Lord. God is always pleased with us because of who Christ is and what he has done. We can never grieve the Lord except by failing to receive and rely upon his grac...Read More

Apr 2016 18 Apr 18, 2016
2

The next installment of our “10 things you should know” series concerns justification. Continue reading . . .  The next installment of our “10 things you should know” series concerns justification. (1) Most Protestant Christians immediately think of the reformer Martin Luther when the subject of justification is raised. Early on Luther believed that, if the sinner would take the initiative by humbly calling on God and “doing what lies...Read More

Apr 2016 14 Apr 14, 2016
3

In an earlier article I pointed out what I perceive to be one of the errors in the message that I’m calling Hyper-Grace. It had to do with repentance. Certain authors who promote this doctrine build their concept on the notion that the Holy Spirit will never convict Christians of their sins. Continue reading . . .  In an earlier article I pointed out what I perceive to be one of the errors in the message that I’m calling Hyper-Grace. It had to do with r...Read More

Apr 2016 13 Apr 13, 2016
2

Among the many things often heard by advocates of what I’m calling Hyper-Grace is that too many Christians are focused on repenting of their sins. We are excessively “sin-conscious,” so they say, and should instead turn our attention to the finality and sufficiency of God’s saving grace to us in Jesus Christ. Continue reading . . .  Among the many things often heard by advocates of what I’m calling Hyper-Grace is that too many Christia...Read More

Apr 2016 12 Apr 12, 2016

I’ve been slowly working my way through John Piper’s excellent new book, A Peculiar Glory: How the Christian Scriptures Reveal Their Complete Truthfulness (Crossway). In one of the early chapters Piper asks and answers the question: Which Books Make Up the Old Testament? Continue reading . . .  I’ve been slowly working my way through John Piper’s excellent new book, A Peculiar Glory: How the Christian Scriptures Reveal Their Complete Truthfu...Read More

Apr 2016 11 Apr 11, 2016

We continue the series on 10 things all Christians should know about basic Christian doctrines. Today we look at the Incarnation of Christ. Continue reading . . .  We continue the series on 10 things all Christians should know about basic Christian doctrines. Today we look at the Incarnation of Christ. (1) The word “Incarnation” refers to the idea that Jesus has come to earth “in the flesh" (1 Jn. 4:2; 2 Jn. 7); was “sent in the flesh&rdquo...Read More

Apr 2016 7 Apr 7, 2016

To say that our world at large disregards the gravity of sin is so obvious that one hesitates even to mention it. Continue reading . . .  To say that our world at large disregards the gravity of sin is so obvious that one hesitates even to mention it. Countless men and women go about their daily existence, moment-by-moment drawing breath from the very God whose name they openly blaspheme and whose blessings they so presumptuously take for granted. One shouldn&rsqu...Read More

Apr 2016 6 Apr 6, 2016
1

Of all the many promises in the NT, few are as precious and powerful as the one we find in James 4:8. There we are exhorted to “draw near to God” with the corresponding assurance that if we do “he will draw near to you.” Continue reading . . .  Of all the many promises in the NT, few are as precious and powerful as the one we find in James 4:8. There we are exhorted to “draw near to God” with the corresponding assurance that if w...Read More

Apr 2016 5 Apr 5, 2016

We are not by nature submissive people. Our tendency or inclination is to assert ourselves at all costs and require that others yield to our desires and opinions and goals. Running directly contrary to this orientation of our hearts is the command in James 4:7 that we “submit” ourselves “to God.” Continue reading . . .  We are not by nature submissive people. Our tendency or inclination is to assert ourselves at all costs and require that ot...Read More

Apr 2016 4 Apr 4, 2016

We continue our series of articles on ten things you should know about certain biblical doctrines. Today, we look at the subject of grace. Continue reading . . .  We continue our series of articles on ten things you should know about certain biblical doctrines. Today, we look at the subject of grace. (1) Let’s begin with a definition. Herman Bavinck defined the saving grace of God as “his voluntary, unrestrained, unmerited favor toward guilty sinners, ...Read More

Apr 2016 1 Apr 1, 2016

Why do we lie? What makes deceit or misleading speech such a powerful temptation? What do we hope to accomplish by means of a lie that seems to trump all the reasons why we should tell the truth? There are countless answers, no doubt, but I want to focus on four. Continue reading . . . Why do we lie? What makes deceit or misleading speech such a powerful temptation? What do we hope to accomplish by means of a lie that seems to trump all the reasons why we should tell th...Read More

Mar 2016 31 Mar 31, 2016

On two occasions in the NT we are told in almost identical terms to resist Satan. The promise appended to this command is that if we obey it, he will flee from us (see James 4:7; 1 Peter 5:9). Continue reading . . .  On two occasions in the NT we are told in almost identical terms to resist Satan. The promise appended to this command is that if we obey it, he will flee from us (see James 4:7; 1 Peter 5:9). Let it be said right up front that “the devil”...Read More

Mar 2016 30 Mar 30, 2016

Both humility and pride are difficult to define. But define them we must, as nothing is more deadly to Christian spirituality than pride and nothing more needed than humility. Continue reading . . .  Both humility and pride are difficult to define. But define them we must, as nothing is more deadly to Christian spirituality than pride and nothing more needed than humility. We know this from numerous biblical texts, one of which is James 4:6-7. There we are told tha...Read More

Mar 2016 29 Mar 29, 2016

What is it about Jesus that makes him worthy of your adoration and praise? What is it about Jesus that makes him irresistibly attractive? Why is he alone worthy of your whole-hearted allegiance and love? Continue reading . . .  What is it about Jesus that makes him worthy of your adoration and praise? What is it about Jesus that makes him irresistibly attractive? Why is he alone worthy of your whole-hearted allegiance and love? Consider one answer from the portrai...Read More

Mar 2016 28 Mar 28, 2016
1

With this article I’m launching a series that will appear every Monday for the foreseeable future. It will focus on 10 things that every Christian needs to understand about particular theological truths from Scripture. I start the series today with 10 things you and I should know about the doctrine of total depravity. Continue reading . . .  With this article I’m launching a series that will appear every Monday for the foreseeable future. It will focus ...Read More

Mar 2016 25 Mar 25, 2016
1

Today we recognize and celebrate the atoning sacrifice of Jesus on what is known as Good Friday. Two days hence we will rejoice on Easter Sunday that Jesus rose again to life. So what was Jesus doing on Saturday? Continue reading . . .  Today we recognize and celebrate the atoning sacrifice of Jesus on what is known as Good Friday. Two days hence we will rejoice on Easter Sunday that Jesus rose again to life. So what was Jesus doing on Saturday? Many believe that h...Read More

Mar 2016 24 Mar 24, 2016
2

I’ve been reading Carl Trueman’s excellent book, The Creedal Imperative (Crossway, 2012). I wish I hadn’t waited this long. Continue reading . . .  I’ve been reading Carl Trueman’s excellent book, The Creedal Imperative (Crossway, 2012). I wish I hadn’t waited this long. In the opening chapter he comments on what he calls “the cultural case against creeds and confessions.” By this he means the various forces and feat...Read More

Mar 2016 23 Mar 23, 2016
1

I distinctly remember the first time I heard John Piper provide an answer to this question. His comments have shaped my own understanding of why God permits the Devil to continue to exist and to launch his assaults against Christians. Continue reading . . .  I distinctly remember the first time I heard John Piper provide an answer to this question. His comments have shaped my own understanding of why God permits the Devil to continue to exist and to launch his assa...Read More

Mar 2016 22 Mar 22, 2016

As you probably know, next year, 2017, marks the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s posting of his 95 theses to the church door at Wittenberg. Continue reading . . .  As you probably know, next year, 2017, marks the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s posting of his 95 theses to the church door at Wittenberg. Whether or not this can be identified as the beginning of the Protestant Reformation, it serves to remind us of the radical challenge that Luth...Read More

Mar 2016 21 Mar 21, 2016
1

If somehow it were possible to lay bare your soul in the presence of everyone, what would it reveal about the priorities of your life? Continue reading . . .  If somehow it were possible to lay bare your soul in the presence of everyone, what would it reveal about the priorities of your life? If your thoughts could somehow be recorded and played back in stereo for all to hear, what would we learn about what matters most to you? If your efforts and actions in the co...Read More

Mar 2016 17 Mar 17, 2016

If you don’t already listen daily to the Ask Pastor John (Piper) podcast, I urge you to make it a regular part of your spiritual diet. In a recent episode, a caller asked John Piper this question. Continue reading . . .  If you don’t already listen daily to the Ask Pastor John (Piper) podcast, I urge you to make it a regular part of your spiritual diet. In a recent episode, a caller asked John Piper this question. It is one that I am also frequently ask...Read More

Mar 2016 16 Mar 16, 2016

There are some biblical texts that can feel a bit overwhelming when first read. Someone recently indicated to me that they felt this way on reading James 4:4-6. Continue reading . . .  There are some biblical texts that can feel a bit overwhelming when first read. Someone recently indicated to me that they felt this way on reading James 4:4-6. There James declares that God is jealous for the complete devotion of our hearts (see James 4:4-5). This individual respond...Read More

Mar 2016 15 Mar 15, 2016

So why does God care so much about whether you and I love him preeminently, indeed exclusively? What does it matter? Continue reading . . .  So why does God care so much about whether you and I love him preeminently, indeed exclusively? What does it matter? In James 4:4-6 we are told that people who flirt with the world and, as it were, “jump into bed with other gods,” are guilty of spiritual adultery. That almost seems a bit extreme, doesn’t it? ...Read More

Mar 2016 14 Mar 14, 2016
2

I dare say that most of us have no idea how truly presumptuous we often are in our relationship with God. And this is nowhere more in evidence than in our experience and practice of prayer. Continue reading . . .  I dare say that most of us have no idea how truly presumptuous we often are in our relationship with God. And this is nowhere more in evidence than in our experience and practice of prayer. I was recently alerted to this yet again by something James said ...Read More

Mar 2016 10 Mar 10, 2016

One of the more important biblical portrayals of the Holy Spirit is found in Romans 8:9. There the Apostle Paul wrote: “You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.” Continue reading . . .  One of the more important biblical portrayals of the Holy Spirit is found in Romans 8:9. There the Apostle Paul wrote: “You, however, are ...Read More

Mar 2016 9 Mar 9, 2016

Few have written with such clarity and passion on the subject of revival as has Charles Spurgeon. Spurgeon parted company with many who have reflected on this topic by arguing that the term itself “can only be applied to a living soul, or to that which once lived. To be revived is a blessing which can only be enjoyed by those who have some degree of life” (“What is Revival”?). Continue reading . . .  Few have written with such clarity and pa...Read More

Mar 2016 8 Mar 8, 2016

Very soon Crossway Publishers will release John Piper’s new book, A Peculiar Glory: How the Christian Scriptures Reveal their Complete Truthfulness (304 pp.). I can’t recommend this excellent book too highly. If you want another opinion or two about its value, consider these endorsements below. Continue below . . .  Very soon Crossway Publishers will release John Piper’s new book, A Peculiar Glory: How the Christian Scriptures Reveal their Complet...Read More

Mar 2016 7 Mar 7, 2016

I just learned that Jerry Bridges passed away last night at the age of 86. What a remarkable Christian man, author, and husband. Continue reading . . .  I just learned that Jerry Bridges passed away last night at the age of 86. What a remarkable Christian man, author, and husband. I first met Jerry personally when I was pastoring a church in Ardmore, Oklahoma. I can’t recall the precise year, but it was sometime in the late 1980’s. He was on his way to...Read More

Mar 2016 7 Mar 7, 2016
1

[This is an excellent summary of where things stand written by Denny Burk.] Continue reading . . .  [This is an excellent summary of where things stand written by Denny Burk.] Posted on March 4, 2016, by Denny Burk at www.dennyburk.com For those who are wondering, here are my thoughts on last night’s debate and where things stand as far as the presidential race is concerned. Also, a brief word of gospel encouragement: 1. Donald Trump has debased himself an...Read More

Mar 2016 4 Mar 4, 2016

The truths that James articulates in chapter four, verses one through three of his letter are relevant not merely to life in the church but to life in general, especially in the marriage relationship. Continue reading . . .  The truths that James articulates in chapter four, verses one through three of his letter are relevant not merely to life in the church but to life in general, especially in the marriage relationship. “What causes quarrels and what cau...Read More

Mar 2016 3 Mar 3, 2016

In the previous article we noted how James identifies the fundamental cause or source of our sin: it is our “passions” or “desires” that wage war within our souls (see James 4:1-3). Continue reading . . .  In the previous article we noted how James identifies the fundamental cause or source of our sin: it is our “passions” or “desires” that wage war within our souls (see James 4:1-3). Then note how he turns to give th...Read More

Mar 2016 2 Mar 2, 2016
3

I don’t like oversimplification. I don’t typically give much credence to those who try to reduce complex problems to a single cause. But I’m going to make an exception to that today. And I’m making an exception because James does. Or I should say, God does through the writing of James. Look at what he says in James 4:1-3. Continue reading . . .  I don’t like oversimplification. I don’t typically give much credence to those who tr...Read More

Mar 2016 1 Mar 1, 2016

Clearly, if we are to live in a way that both pleases God and is satisfying to our souls, we must understand the gospel, not only in terms of its core content but also its ethical consequences. So what is the gospel, and is it all that important in the New Testament? Continue reading . . .  Clearly, if we are to live in a way that both pleases God and is satisfying to our souls, we must understand the gospel, not only in terms of its core content but also its ethic...Read More

Feb 2016 29 Feb 29, 2016

One especially effective tactic of Satan during times of spiritual renewal and revival is not so much to promote explicit error but to push Christians beyond the truth. Continue reading . . .  One especially effective tactic of Satan during times of spiritual renewal and revival is not so much to promote explicit error but to push Christians beyond the truth. Here’s what I mean. Satan will typically fail to prevent us from the pursuit of truth. As much as he ...Read More

Feb 2016 25 Feb 25, 2016
2

Earlier this week I posted a blog article entitled, “God is Happiness.” I took this from something Charles Spurgeon had written in his exhortation to Christians to be filled with the very joy that fills the heart of God. The more I thought about Spurgeon’s observations, the more my mind was taken back to something John Piper wrote in his book, The Pleasures of God. It is deserving of our careful and thoughtful meditation. Continue reading . . .  E...Read More

Feb 2016 24 Feb 24, 2016
1

Why should Christians be filled with joy? Because God is filled with joy. And because heaven, our eternal home, is a place known for joy and bliss and we have living within us, in the person of the Holy Spirit, a down payment or foretaste of what that glorious inheritance will be. Continue reading . . .  Why should Christians be filled with joy? Because God is filled with joy. And because heaven, our eternal home, is a place known for joy and bliss and we have livi...Read More

Feb 2016 23 Feb 23, 2016

Charles Spurgeon, though on occasion depressed and despondent, held firmly to the truth that joy or cheerfulness or happiness must be the aim of every Christian. There are several reasons why he believed this to be true. Continue reading . . .  Charles Spurgeon, though on occasion depressed and despondent, held firmly to the truth that joy or cheerfulness or happiness must be the aim of every Christian. There are several reasons why he believed this to be true. Her...Read More

Feb 2016 22 Feb 22, 2016

Given Charles Spurgeon’s battles with depression and the way he understood those times of spiritual darkness to serve the greater good of his growth in Christ, one might think that he resigned himself to suffer in this way and put little stock in the experience of joy. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Continue reading . . .  Given Charles Spurgeon’s battles with depression and the way he understood those times of spiritual darkness to serve the ...Read More

Feb 2016 20 Feb 20, 2016
5

Donald Trump has challenged the Christianity of Ted Cruz while also raising questions about the nature of Ben Carson's faith. In the past, he also suggested that President Obama might be a Muslim rather than a Christian. Now, the pope has questioned the Christianity of Trump. Continue reading . . .  [This article was written by Michael Brown and appeared on the Charisma News website. It is well worth reading.] Donald Trump has challenged the Christianity of Ted Cr...Read More

Feb 2016 19 Feb 19, 2016
2

I didn’t find out until Wednesday of this week that Dr. Charles Ryrie (b. 1925) had passed into the presence of his Lord and Savior. Continue reading . . .  I didn’t find out until Wednesday of this week that Dr. Charles Ryrie (b. 1925) had passed into the presence of his Lord and Savior. He died on February 16th, just weeks short of his ninety-first birthday. Numerous tributes have been written in the wake of his death, but I would like to add my short...Read More

Feb 2016 18 Feb 18, 2016

This will be the final installment of four articles in which I provide you with a selection of comments by various conservative thinkers and authors regarding Donald Trump. They are found in the February 15, 2016, issue of National Review. Continue reading . . .  This will be the final installment of four articles in which I provide you with a selection of comments by various conservative thinkers and authors regarding Donald Trump. They are found in the February 1...Read More

Feb 2016 17 Feb 17, 2016
1

I told you there was more to come in my brief survey of comments found in National Review’s issue of February, 2016. The next to speak up is Michael Medved. Continue reading . . .  I told you there was more to come in my brief survey of comments found in National Review’s issue of February, 2016. The next to speak up is Michael Medved: “Worst of all, Trump’s brawling, blustery, mean-spirited public persona serves to associate conservative...Read More

Feb 2016 16 Feb 16, 2016

In the previous article I cited observations by David Boaz and Mona Charen concerning Donald Trump, found in the February 15, 2016, issue of National Review. The cover title boldly declares: Against Trump. Continue reading . . .  In the previous article I cited observations by David Boaz and Mona Charen concerning Donald Trump, found in the February 15, 2016, issue of National Review. The cover title boldly declares: Against Trump. Here are some additional comment...Read More

Feb 2016 15 Feb 15, 2016

I’ve been a subscriber to National Review magazine off and on for a couple of decades (and for the last two or three years without break). May I strongly suggest that you give serious consideration to subscribing as well. It is quite worth the modest investment. Continue reading . . .  I’ve been a subscriber to National Review magazine off and on for a couple of decades (and for the last two or three years without break). May I strongly suggest that you...Read More

Feb 2016 11 Feb 11, 2016
1

[I really enjoyed this article by Andrew Wilson that he posted on his blog on Wednesday, February 3, 2016. It is a brief response to the answer given to this question asked by Jonathan Leeman.] Continue reading . . .  [I really enjoyed this article by Andrew Wilson that he posted on his blog on Wednesday, February 3, 2016. It is a brief response to the answer given to this question asked by Jonathan Leeman.] Is dancing acceptable as part of Christian worship in co...Read More

Feb 2016 10 Feb 10, 2016
1

It is a struggle, to say the least, to find anything “good” or spiritually profitable in those times when God has temporarily removed from us the sensible awareness of his presence. For some, it is nothing short of hell on earth. Whether one chooses to call it spiritual depression or what Charles Spurgeon has described as God’s “apparent desertion” of us, few things rival it for the pain and discouragement it can create in our hearts. Contin...Read More

Feb 2016 9 Feb 9, 2016

Few things bring us joy quite like the return of a loved one from a long trip away or a reunion after years of separation. In a manner of speaking, it is much the same, if not better, when the sensible awareness of Christ’s presence returns following a season of his “apparent desertion” (Spurgeon). Continue reading . . .  Few things bring us joy quite like the return of a loved one from a long trip away or a reunion after years of separation. In a...Read More

Feb 2016 8 Feb 8, 2016
1

The sense of God’s presence is a precious gift that we should never take for granted. Of course, in another, more technically theological sense, God is always present to us whether we feel or sense him or not. The attribute of divine omnipresence is a comfort to every Christian and a threat to those who think they can sin secretly, outside of God’s purview. Continue reading . . .  The sense of God’s presence is a precious gift that we should never...Read More

Feb 2016 4 Feb 4, 2016
2

Although it first strikes us as odd, there is much truth in the fact that sometimes God “hides himself from us, because by his foresight and prudence he is thus able to prevent the breaking forth of evil” (Charles Spurgeon, “The Causes of Apparent Desertion,” 6). Continue reading . . . Although it first strikes us as odd, there is much truth in the fact that sometimes God “hides himself from us, because by his foresight and prudence he is t...Read More

Feb 2016 3 Feb 3, 2016
2

It is the considered opinion of quite a few that Charles Spurgeon may well have been the greatest preacher of any age in the history of the church. His gift for speaking to the hearts of men and women and bringing to bear on them the tender mercies of Christ and his Spirit is perhaps without peer. Continue reading . . .  It is the considered opinion of quite a few that Charles Spurgeon may well have been the greatest preacher of any age in the history of the church...Read More

Feb 2016 2 Feb 2, 2016
1

Charles Spurgeon’s periodic bouts with depression are almost legendary. Less clear would be the cause or source of his struggles. Some would go so far as to label him clinically depressed and attribute the problem to certain undefined chemical imbalances. We likely will never know for sure. But there is much that we can learn from this great man’s battles with despondency. Those who wish to delve more deeply into Spurgeon’s own experience should consult...Read More

Feb 2016 1 Feb 1, 2016
3

[The following article was written by Michael Gerson, Opinion writer for The Washington Post. It appeared at www.washingtonpost.com on January 28, 2016, at 9:22 p.m.] Continue reading . . .  [The following article was written by Michael Gerson, Opinion writer for The Washington Post. It appeared at www.washingtonpost.com on January 28, 2016, at 9:22 p.m.] Donald Trump is often credited with distilling Jeb Bush’s main electoral challenge: that he is “lo...Read More

Jan 2016 29 Jan 29, 2016
1

Do yourself a tremendous favor and go immediately to www.thegospelcoalition.org and click on Blogs. Click on Justin Taylor, who has linked to a brief podcast by Evan Puschak. His analysis of “How Donald Trump Uses Language” will open your eyes, and perhaps do a lot more. You won’t regret it. Continue reading . . .  Do yourself a tremendous favor and go immediately to www.thegospelcoalition.org and click on Blogs. Click on Justin Taylor, who has li...Read More

Jan 2016 28 Jan 28, 2016

We’re giving consideration to what Jesus said about a Christian’s relationship with and responsibility to human government. Continue reading . . .  We’re giving consideration to what Jesus said about a Christian’s relationship with and responsibility to human government. The passage is one with which all of us are quite familiar. And they sent to him some of the Pharisees and some of the Herodians, to trap him in his talk. And they came a...Read More

Jan 2016 27 Jan 27, 2016

I can’t imagine what it would be like or how I would react if I were arrested and thrown in jail for hosting a Bible study in my home. Try to imagine being sentenced to five years in prison simply for sharing your Christian faith with a friend at Starbucks. Let’s be honest and admit that it’s hard to envision such things happening. After all, with few exceptions, it’s easy being a Christian in America (so far). We feel relatively safe and secure a...Read More

Jan 2016 26 Jan 26, 2016

In the previous article we looked at what James meant when he referred to the wisdom that comes from below. And what of the “wisdom” that comes from God, the wisdom of heaven, the sort of wisdom in accordance with we are to live? Continue reading . . .  In the previous article we looked at what James meant when he referred to the wisdom that comes from below. And what of the “wisdom” that comes from God, the wisdom of heaven, the sort of wis...Read More

Jan 2016 25 Jan 25, 2016

What is “worldly” wisdom or the wisdom from “below”? James answers this for us in his letter by identifying several characteristics of worldly wisdom. And note that he focuses his attention on what wisdom produces in terms of personal conduct and motivation. Continue reading . . .  What is “worldly” wisdom or the wisdom from “below”? James answers this for us in his letter by identifying several characteristics of wor...Read More

Jan 2016 21 Jan 21, 2016
1

I think all of you are familiar with the oft-heard statement that Christians are people who are “in” the world but not “of” the world. Continue reading . . .  I think all of you are familiar with the oft-heard statement that Christians are people who are “in” the world but not “of” the world. There isn’t a specific biblical text that says it in precisely those terms, but James 4:4 does describe followers of Jesu...Read More

Jan 2016 20 Jan 20, 2016

By now many readers have heard about Wheaton College professor Larycia Hawkins, who wore a hijab to show solidarity with Muslims and whose future employment is now in doubt. Hawkins’s statement that Muslims and Christians worship the same God has ignited a firestorm of debate among Christians as to whether and in what sense this statement is true or false. Continue reading . . .  [This article, by Lydia McGrew, first appeared on the website of The Gospel Coal...Read More

Jan 2016 19 Jan 19, 2016
1

Last week (January 11, 2016) Denny Burk wrote a helpful response to the question of whether or not the Bible, in particular the NT, endorses slavery. It was titled, Seven reasons why you shouldn’t read 1 Timothy 6:1-2 as an endorsement of slavery. Continue reading . . .  Last week (January 11, 2016) Denny Burk wrote a helpful response to the question of whether or not the Bible, in particular the NT, endorses slavery. It was titled, Seven reasons why you shou...Read More

Jan 2016 18 Jan 18, 2016

In a recent blog post at the Gospel Coalition website, Justin Taylor articulated six truths that will go a long way in answering the question before us: do Jews, Christians, and Muslims worship the same God? Here is his proposal Continue reading . . . In a recent blog post at the Gospel Coalition website, Justin Taylor articulated six truths that will go a long way in answering the question before us: do Jews, Christians, and Muslims worship the same God? Here is his pr...Read More

Jan 2016 15 Jan 15, 2016
4

The news below strikes very deeply in my heart and at first brought me to tears. But tears of sadness soon turned to tears of gratitude and joy as I reflected on the impact and influence of J. I. Packer not only on my own life but on the lives of tens of thousands of Christians over nearly a century of time. Continue reading . . . The news below strikes very deeply in my heart and at first brought me to tears. But tears of sadness soon turned to tears of gratitude and j...Read More

Jan 2016 13 Jan 13, 2016

This was the title of an article written by Gerald McDermott of Beeson Divinity school on 6-4-13, published in First Things. Continue reading . . . This was the title of an article written by Gerald McDermott of Beeson Divinity school on 6-4-13, published in First Things. McDermott responds to some of the arguments put forth by Yale theologian Miroslav Volf in his recent book: Allah: A Christian Response. Volf, says McDermott, answers the question with a nuanced but in...Read More

Jan 2016 12 Jan 12, 2016

On January 5, 2016, John Piper posted this article at the Desiring God website (www.desiringgod.org). I completely agree with him. Continue reading . . . On January 5, 2016, John Piper posted this article at the Desiring God website (www.desiringgod.org). I completely agree with him. I posted this article on Saturday, January 9, when the lottery total had reached $900 million. I don’t know if anyone has claimed victory yet, but my opinion remains the same regardle...Read More

Jan 2016 11 Jan 11, 2016
1

I rarely comment on Presidential candidates (and probably won’t endorse one), but I simply couldn’t pass up this opportunity to voice my agreement with Garrison Keillor on Donald Trump Continue reading . . . I rarely comment on Presidential candidates (and probably won’t endorse one), but I simply couldn’t pass up this opportunity to voice my agreement with Garrison Keillor on Donald Trump (his article was titled, “Cartoon Candidates Don&rs...Read More

Jan 2016 8 Jan 8, 2016
2

In the previous four articles I’ve focused on what James says about the power and perversion of the human tongue. As one example of its life-changing power, consider this story of 11 Christians in Aleppo, Syria, who were brutally tortured and martyred by ISIS (the story is reported by Annie Cotton of Christian Aid Mission). Continue reading . . . In the previous four articles I’ve focused on what James says about the power and perversion of the human tongue....Read More

Jan 2016 7 Jan 7, 2016

The tongue makes a mockery of our claims to power and authority. Continue reading . . . The tongue makes a mockery of our claims to power and authority. James explains: “For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God....Read More

Jan 2016 6 Jan 6, 2016

The point of James 3:3-6 is simple and to the point. The tongue exerts a disproportionate influence when compared to its size. Continue reading . . . The point of James 3:3-6 is simple and to the point. The tongue exerts a disproportionate influence when compared to its size. “If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they a...Read More

Jan 2016 5 Jan 5, 2016

We’re looking at what James has to say about the tongue, our speech, and the difficulty we all face in taming the tongue. He has just concluded a discussion on the relation between faith and works (James 2:14-26). Faith without works, said James, is dead and of no benefit to anyone. It would seem then that he now wants us to know that works are not limited to actions. Words are also works. Continue reading . . . We’re looking at what James has to say about t...Read More

Jan 2016 4 Jan 4, 2016

I want to draw our attention to the many ways that human beings have distorted some of the most precious of God’s gifts to us. Continue reading . . . I want to draw our attention to the many ways that human beings have distorted some of the most precious of God’s gifts to us. Take, for example, our minds. God has given us brains and minds that we might understand him and grasp his truth and delight in his greatness. And what have we done with this glorious ...Read More

Dec 2015 31 Dec 31, 2015

We’ve heard much in recent days of what it means to be “politically correct”. To be “politically correct” means you avoid language or behavior or beliefs that might in any way offend someone who disagrees with you. I’m not a fan of political correctness. But I’m even less a fan of “theological correctness.” Continue reading . . . We’ve heard much in recent days of what it means to be “politically correct&...Read More

Dec 2015 30 Dec 30, 2015
3

For those of you who may have missed the posting of my Best Books of 2015, here is the list one more time with no editorial comment. These are followed by a few that didn’t quite make the top ten but deserve Honorable Mention. Continue reading . . . For those of you who may have missed the posting of my Best Books of 2015, here is the list one more time with no editorial comment. These are followed by a few that didn’t quite make the top ten but deserve Hono...Read More

Dec 2015 29 Dec 29, 2015
4

Yesterday I listed numbers 10-6 of my best books of 2015. Today I will start with number 5 and work my way to what I consider to be the best book of the year. Continue reading . . . Yesterday I listed numbers 10-6 of my best books of 2015. Today I will start with number 5 and work my way to what I consider to be the best book of the year. (5) ESV Men’s Devotional Bible, edited by Sam Storms (Wheaton: Crossway, 2015). You may find it odd that I’ve included ...Read More

Dec 2015 28 Dec 28, 2015

This year my list of the best books in 2015 will be released in two parts. Today I provide my selections for numbers 10 to 6. Tomorrow I’ll list numbers 5 to 1. Following that I hope to post an article with my “honorable mention” books, of which there are many. Continue reading . . . This year my list of the best books in 2015 will be released in two parts. Today I provide my selections for numbers 10 to 6. Tomorrow I’ll list numbers 5 to 1. Foll...Read More

Dec 2015 24 Dec 24, 2015
2

The hymn writer tells us that it was a “silent” night, a “holy” night. But it was also a cold night, as the shepherds huddled together seeking warmth from the fire. To them it seemed like every other night. The crackling of wood, the occasional bleating of a lamb, were the only sounds that disturbed the otherwise routine silence. Continue reading . . . The hymn writer tells us that it was a “silent” night, a “holy” night. ...Read More

Dec 2015 23 Dec 23, 2015

Andreas Kostenberger and Alexander Stewart, co-authors of The First Days of Jesus, recently published an article in Christianity Today titled, “5 Errors to Drop from Your Christmas Sermon.” Continue reading . . . Andreas Kostenberger and Alexander Stewart, co-authors of The First Days of Jesus, recently published an article in Christianity Today titled, “5 Errors to Drop from Your Christmas Sermon.” The five errors are: Don’t add details t...Read More

Dec 2015 22 Dec 22, 2015
3

In what we know as the Lord’s Prayer (Matt. 6:7-15), it is the name of God, Yahweh, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ and our Father as well, that is to be “hallowed” (v. 9b). It isn’t the name of Allah or any other alleged ‘god’ but the name of our heavenly Father that is the focus of our prayers. Continue reading . . . In what we know as the Lord’s Prayer (Matt. 6:7-15), it is the name of God, Yahweh, the Father of our Lord ...Read More

Dec 2015 21 Dec 21, 2015

The relationship between faith and works is not an issue for ivory tower theologians but for every man and woman who cares about where they will spend eternity! Continue reading . . . The relationship between faith and works is not an issue for ivory tower theologians but for every man and woman who cares about where they will spend eternity! The NT is clear: Faith alone is the condition of salvation but works are the consequence of it. If there are no works, there lik...Read More

Dec 2015 18